Tie Dye Collection

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Halloween 2013 – Nearly There

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All that’s left to do on the outer dress is adding the lace, and it will be finished.

I’m taking this project at a very leisurely pace, since I have plenty of time before Halloween arrives, and I’ve been having a lot of fun hanging out with my husband, playing with the baby, and enjoying the cool Autumn air. I’ve really liked watching my progress with this dress, because it’s so beautiful and sparkly that I can’t help but feel a youthful glee as I think, “I’m going to be so PRETTY!” Like a fairy princess. :)

I decided to gather the skirt at the top where it attaches to the bodice, which gives it a more “floaty” appearance. I finished the inside seam by covering it with a whip stitch, then hand-stitching it flat against the lining. Unfortunately the seam is a little itchy against skin, so I’m hoping that having the under dress with it will mitigate that problem. If not, then I’m sure that itchy Halloween costumes are a time-honored tradition for many people.

I really really really REALLY love glitter.

Vine Blouse

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I didn’t feel much like modelling, so I put this latest project on my duct tape dress form, which is slowly but surely losing its shape.

I’ve been wanting to make more blouses for myself for ages, but couldn’t quite settle on any styles. A few days ago, I sat myself down with a pile of vintage patterns and the determination to be inspired. I ended up using a pattern from 1975 as my base design, and made a few alterations to better fit my tastes. I figured that some productivity would help my general blah-ness of late, and it does feel better to have something to show for my time.

For the fabric, I used a cotton print that I had purchased awhile back that has a vibrant color, then accented it with hot pink top stitching. The neckline was faced with bias tape, the armholes were done with a rolled hem, and the seams were finished with either a zigzag stitch, or a false french seam, depending on their location.

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Pink top stitching.

Cat hair already.

The Fastener

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My husband and I made the acquaintance of a little old lady awhile ago, the sort who owns a fabric shop and is a guru when it comes to sewing. Somehow or other, the subject of snaps, eyelets, and the tools used to set them came up in conversation with her, and she highly recommended The Fastener by Dritz. When we looked the tool up at home, we discovered that it was no longer being manufactured, so we decided to keep an eye on Ebay.

While The Fastener isn’t particularly expensive, it’s very popular and gets snatched up almost as soon as someone lists one for sale. We ended up having to wait a few months before we were able to get this one for me.

And what a dream! It’s easy to use, and works wonderfully. I’m never going to let this tool get away from me.

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I did a test eyelet and it turned out beautifully. I didn't have to punch through the fabric at all beforehand -- the Fastener did everything with one quick squeeze.

I did a test eyelet and it turned out beautifully. I didn’t have to punch through the fabric at all beforehand — the Fastener did everything with one quick squeeze.

The back.

The back.

Where has the time gone?

I honestly don’t know where the time went.

I ended up catching another cold on the 4th of July, and held on to my strength just long enough to watch the fireworks show before crashing. Fireworks are one of my most favorite things ever, so there was absolutely no way that I was going to let a little ol’ illness keep me away from them!

After that I spent some time working on my wedding dress, which is now about halfway done (I intend on doing a progress post), and drafting a pattern for a swimsuit based on a design in Jill Salen’s Vintage Swimwear. Between all of those things, I suppose that a week and a half went by without my noticing.

I’m starting to experiment with drafting patterns on the computer, and if I find the process to be satisfactory, then I’ll be able to post the PDF files of my patterns without too much trouble. It will also give me incentive to create more original designs.

I have lots of topics to write about, so hopefully I won’t let time slip by me like that again!

Summer of No Pants – Grunge

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The sewing portion of Summer of No Pants officially ended last week, but hey, better late than never huh?

I dyed and painted the fabric myself, which is why I finished this final project late — I had a bit of a hard time getting it to turn out in a way that I liked. I ended up dying a marbled blue base, then painted black over it with quick wide strokes, and finished it with black paint splatters (which was lots of fun).

The skirt was constructed with a wide waistband, pleats, and bright pink decorative stitching.

The Summer of No Pants challenge was lots of fun, though I can’t say that cranking out simple garments every week fits my style — I felt like I hardly had time to really get to know the skirt before it was done. Still, it’s very nice to have four unique skirts as part of my wardrobe now.

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Book Review – Vintage Lingerie by Jill Salen

41EKQcEEACL._SY300_ I recently got this book, Vintage Lingerie by Jill Salen, because I personally hate modern undergarments and am on the search for older styles to try, and I was very pleased with Jill Salen’s other book, Corsets.

The majority of the patterns are for brassieres, though it also includes corsets, pantaloons, knickers, girdles, garter belts, and slips, ranging from the 1850’s to the 1970’s, the majority of which coming from the 1930’s-50’s. In the back there are instructions for sewing two of the patterns, as well as a number of handstitches.

The lingerie included is this book is beautiful and interesting, and some degree of familiarity with altering patterns and sewing without step-by-step instructions is required in order to reproduce the garments, so I wouldn’t recommend it for beginners (unless you’re really ambitious, then go right ahead). It makes a good reference book on how the styles of lingerie have changed through the years.

The author’s descriptions, on the other hand, are rather annoying at times — on several of the garments, she gives the history of the decade that it was produced in, but fails to describe the item itself with satisfactory detail. The author’s attitude towards the lingerie is also a bit off-putting for those who are vintage-enthusiasts, looking for styles to reproduce and include in their own wardrobes, since she dismisses a lot of the garments as being pretty but impractical. It almost seems like the author has a love-hate relationship with vintage lingerie, since she has a definite attraction to it, but at the same time can’t let go of the notion that modern society is more “advanced.”

On the whole, I like the book and the layout, and I look forward to reproducing the styles. I’m definitely glad that I purchased this. I’d rate it a 4 out of 5.