Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thrift Store Thursday May 22 2014

I couldn't stop thinking about all the vintage patterns I left behind at the thrift store. I already sold two of them, so I think that qualifies as a good investment. Here's what I picked up this go round.
Extra Carefree! McCalls 3875, 1973
Simplicity 8500, 1960's
Simplicity 6276, 1965, w/4 blouse options that don't fit me
Simplicity 8503, 1969, Reversible! You guys!!!!
McCalls 8247, 1966, your whole work wardrobe, until you marry Mr.Draper
Simplicity 5664, 1964, aaah for petites 5'1" and under. I'm beginning to understand
simplicity 5701, 1964, One for Betty, One for Jane, and one for Joan if she totally lost her boobs
Simplicity 2831, 1960's, For when all your coworkers are pregnant and you're not

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Vintage Patterns from the Thrift Store

I picked up a few vintage patterns from my local thrift store. They are teeny tiny. Most of them are a bust size 28-31. One of mine would fit in that. I picked them up anyway since someone will be able to use them. I need to go through each one and make sure all the pieces are in the package. They will probably sell for about $10 each.
Simplicity 4188, 1960's
Advance Pattern 6023, 1950's. I LOVE this one. I would keep it if it was remotely my size.
Advance 6711, 1954
Simplicity 4645, 1954 HOW CUTE IS THIS!?!
Advance 5749, 1951
Butterick 9459, 1960
Simplicity 3542, 1960
Simplicity 5924, 1965
Simplicity 1797, 1956
They make my heart all aflutter.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Thriftstore Thursday May 15

It's the Ides of May and it is here in Santa Cruz. I found a somewhat frumpy, but well made Liz Claiborne dress in the thrift store.
If someone could please tell me why blogger makes some pictures horizontal, even though I uploaded them vertically, I would be very happy to have that information. In the meantime everybody lean to the right.
The fabric itself is a linen/rayon blend that is quite lovely.
Since there is no seamline up the front or back of the skirt, I may have enough to make a cute little wiggle skirt out of it.

A cute little hawaiian number like this one from Polyvore
There's a pattern for a dress similar to this in Gertie's Book for Better Sewing, which I already have in my hot little hands.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Houston we have a problem

I'm not going to be disingenuous and complain about the fact that I have a pretty good figure for a 50 year old. In fact, I've been working at it for a year now and I've lost 40 pounds. does make it tricky to fit things. For the lollypop dress, the size that I had to use for the bust is three times bigger than the size I needed for the waist. Then when I tried on the bottom of the skirt the waist was still too big. I ended up taking it in 4 inches.
If you look at the upper left of the skirt, you can see the gap
Taking in the skirt was easy because not only are there six gores, but there is also two darts in the front. However...because I am far from a fitting genius, there is now way more top than bottom. Um, yeah, and...

The camera is merely recreating the amount of vodka it would take to make this dress look right

 So, that space between the top and the bottom? Bad. See that big flap on the side? That's how much extra fabric there is in the top. I think the only thing I can do really is recut the top in the smaller size, and then, since it won't fit my toplayerhalf, I will have to refit the pattern. This is something I've never done. Sooooo, at least I didn't try to do it the night before I had to wear it somewhere.

Making crazy costumes is not nearly as hard as making things to actually wear in real life.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day and all I wanna do is sew

My wonderful talented (25 year old) baby girl asked me what I wanted to do for Mother's day. I told her. "I don't want to do anything or go anywhere, I just want to sew" So she ordered us some awesome breakfast from the place around the corner and went and picked it up for us. I got to pick the tv we watched, but we were on the same page and caught up on the two Orphan Black's we were behind and a Supernatural for good measure.
Watch Me
The Raindrop Lollypop Dress is coming along well. I haven't really taken any construction shots since I'm kind of learning on this one, but it's looking pretty good if I do say so.  Since it's Mother's Day, I want to pay tribute to my style icon. I give Mom.
Rockin that hat

This is how I want to look in the Lollypop Dress

At her wedding. I love this simple satin dress

While we're at it, how awesome are my Aunties.

My Mom used to sew me some pretty groovy threads too

Happy Mother's Day to you all, mother's or not. Gotta go sew now!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Working on my skillzzzz-Raining Lollypops

     Part of the reason I wanted to start this blog, was to document the new skills I am learning. I have always loved costuming, but my preferred method was to Frankenstein elements from the thrift store to make something else. This had a twofold benefit; saving money, and not involving patterns and sewing. As much as I loved doing this (and still do), it was always a little disappointing to me that I wasn't making things truly from scratch, I do have basic sewing skills, both hand and machine, but I haven't used them in a long time. Historical sewing has combined all the things I love; history, crafting, sewing, reading, computer research, and socializing with people with common interests.
     But I also want to increase my style in my day to day life. I love fashion, and I've always wanted to make my own clothes. I think I have an eye for it, so it's really a case of developing the skills. At some point, I would like to learn to drape and draft my own patterns steps.
   I've been reading a great book, "Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing" It has invaluable advice for sewing vintage clothing, using both reproduction retro patterns and actual vintage patterns. It even includes patterns you can use, with directions on how to sew them in the book.

Buy book here
You can Purchase here
     Not only have I been reading her book, I have been reading her blog. I like to go into the archive of the blogs I like and read them from the beginning. Sometimes it can be intimidating to read about such talented sewers, but when you read them from the beginning, you can see how their skills have developed along the way. This is definitely inspiring.
Because I never like to start in the shallow end of the pool. One of my first sewing projects for my actual wardrobe is this bit of loveliness.
Buy here
I haven't decided which view Im going to make. I really like the boatneck of the yellow, but because I am *ahem* gifted, if you know what I mean, "nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more, say no more", The black and white number may be more flattering. I'm going to make up a muslin mockup for each top to see what looks best. Right now, I'm thinking of using the bodice of the black and white, without the shoulder bows, but with the cute litte bow from the yellow dress added on. We'll see.
It's quilting cotton, which is not necessarily recommended for clothing, since is is not quite as drapey as cotton made for clothing, but since my dress is more tailored and I want to skirt to flare out, I think it will work fine.
I bought this lovely retro looking fabric at Hart's Fabric , which I'm lucky enough to have right up the street. They also have an online store and a great selection of cute fabrics.

Watch this space for more details on what I shall call the Raining Lollypop Dress.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Thriftless Thursday

Thrifting was a bit of a bust this week. I have so many project plates spinning, that I'm too distracted to focus on any of them. So, in lieu of giving you Thrift Shop Thursday, I will give you a little throwback. This was a a distressed bridesmaid's dress I made for a friend is a steampunk wedding. Based on the photo's she showed me, I went less Victorian and more generally distressed.Here are some thrift finds, and what I made them into.
Vaguely corsety seamed corset top
I fogot to take a picure of the jacket before dismantling it, but this was a cotton jacket with lots of cool piping
I handsewed the cotton jacket pieces to emphasize the seams
I really liked the serged rosettes on this tshirt top

I distressed and hand sewed a whole slew of different fabrics from thrifted garments into a tutu
Flowers made from petals that I made from melting acetate over a flame
I did add some little steampunky hardware pieces to the flowers but you can't really see them
Side, duh

Front finished

My favorite part, the back
100% Thrifted and one of the most enjoyable projects I've done.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Autumn Queen Crown Part Two

I gathered together all my mismatched gold button, beads and rhinestones for the fun part of making my crown for The Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge #7: Tops and Toes. The glue I used is E6000. It dries clear and has a flexible, permanent hold. It works much better than hot glue.
It's a little messy from the tube though, so I used a tootpick to apply it
I wanted the crown to look rough, not pretty pretty princess. The jewels and buttons I stuck on have an almost random quality, although they were all very specifically placed. I may in the future, dull down the shine on some of the plastic buttons. Right now, I like the way the different colors of gold and silver give it a mosaic quality.
To see how I started this project see Autumn Queen Part One
I really love it. I think I might just have to start wearing it all the time. I may need to add some hair combs to the inside to help it stay on.
The Queen spent all her money on her crown and is neglecting her bangs

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Thrift Store Thursday Throwback

For today's Thrift Store Thursday, I'd like to show you a little something I made from a thrift store find.
A beautiful, very historically correct water pistol

Spraypainted a matte black
Rubbed with a few different colors of Rub n Buff
Add some bits n bobs and Voila! a steampunk pistol

A few other thing I made and strung together on a thrift store belt, using curtain rings to attach
Everything on my body is thrifted
And that is your Thrift Shop Thursday Throwback Tutorial, or TSTTT. Catchy no?