Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Loveliest Old Spot on the North Shore

In just a few days I will be departing with my family to our favorite vacation spot which I've deemed "the loveliest old spot on the north shore." It is not Green Gables or Canada, but if you've been a blog reader for the last 4 to 5 years you may know where I'm talking about. (Yes, it has been four years since I've been on a vacation!)

I cannot promise any blog posts while I'm away, after all I'll be reading on lake shores, shopping in cute little shops, admiring the lilacs and flower gardens, and sampling fudge. There, that is a hint! ;) The shop will be closing this afternoon for the duration of a fortnight, and will reopen when I return.

Friday, June 14, 2013

1914 Edwardian Peony Garden Dress

I named this dress after my mother's peonies. Already owning four of these gorgeous bushes, and the one being older than the others, it has produced gorgeous blooms this June. Within the heavenly scented folds of pastel pinks, there are on the outer edges milky whites and ivories.

This dress is one of my dresses that I can add to the list of "burning the midnight oil" though it wasn't quite midnight when I finished it. What is it about sewing historical clothing that causes me to want to sew for as long as I possibly can without stopping? Probably because it's so much fun. ;)

I used three different patterns actually for this dress. Using the 1914 Afternoon Dress pattern from Sense & Sensibility, I greatly modified the bodice. Several years ago I made a white cotton lawn dress without ever making a trial mock bodice. The neckline and shoulders were far to big on me (even for a Norwegian/English build) and I sold it eventually, with even now regrets. It was a really pretty dress! Back to this dress: I grabbed some cotton fabric from my stash and began eyeballing how I thought the bodice should look like with the neckline/shoulders not to wide, and also squared off the neckline.

This beautiful picture has always been a favorite, and it was my main inspiration for this dress:

For the sleeves, I wasn't sure if I wanted straight or lightly gathered. Did I want them shorter or elbow length? Lace or no lace? Looking through my patterns, I found an original 19-teens blouse pattern and decided to use it. Nothing like using something period correct! And for the skirts, I knew I wanted straight skirts; no gathers or pleats. Anything that will slimline a person is greatly favored. ;) I used a modern skirt pattern that was based off of an original 1914 wedding gown.

This is the result!

Right off from the beginning, I knew that I wouldn't keep this dress. As much as this is a beautiful delicate pink, and the vintage lace detailing and vintage buttons kept tempting me, this freckled strawberry blonde looks dreadfully sick in pale pink. It pains me to have to sell it, but I'm sure whoever decides that they must own it will love it as much as I do.

This link will take you to more pictures and the listing. I'm off to teach a violin lesson, but if you have your eye out for some 1930s aprons, I'll be adding at least one to the shop this afternoon. To warn you, it is a very tempting piece of material that looks perfect made into a 1930s depression era apron! ;)

Friday, June 07, 2013

1930s "Decades of Style" Dress

And my dress is completed! It went together well, and I'm very happy that it turned out.

At one point I thought that this dress may have to be put up for sale since, ::ahem:: my body curves are slightly different than Arabella's (though I have my dress form set to my measurements, and yes, that is her name). But I slipped the frock on just a few moments ago, and it looks better than it did a few days ago.

With only having 1/2" seam allowance and then serged seams inside, it wasn't worth picking apart. The fabric still clings to curves that I'm trying to eliminate, but perhaps if I wore a full length slip it would help some.

Click these to see the "before" pictures

- The dress in the making
- Fabric choices
- The pattern I used: #3007 1930s Button Dress

Anyway, enough with those details and onto the pictures!

Front view

I used my serger to roll hem these sleeves. There was NO way on this earth that I was going to do any other method with this fabric!

I love the back neck tie closure. Despite great amounts of ironing, those seams refused to lay flat.

The back view

I was glad that buttons were on sale a few weeks ago at JoAnns. These looked the most "art deco" to me. Sorry for the blurry picture. My camera didn't want to cooperate this morning.

It has a size zipper closure. I've done hundreds (no joke) of invisible zippers, but never before in the side seam. It turned out perfectly.

And I had to grab a quick shot in my mother's bedroom. Someday I'll do better than throwing my hair into a ponytail, and do a nice photo shoot. Which reminds me that I still need to do one of my silk Edwardian dress. Goodness, that was over a year ago!

Next up on my table is a 19-teens Garden Party dress using vintage white laces, mother of pearl buttons, polished pastel cotton, and white airy fabrics. The design is still "on the drawing board" and I'm trying to figure out which patterns to use for it. No worries, I'll share all these things with you as they progress!

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Thursday, Tea, and Tidbits

This morning I woke up to my online newsfeed to hear of three deaths this week that effect three families from my church. Not knowing the deceased or those who experience loss very well, it still has a way of making one consider the brevity of life, and yet have hope that Heaven and our loved ones await us.

As I drove over to a violin student's home later this morning, I turned on the local radio station and the following song was playing. It sounded like an old gospel song sung from the 50s or 60s, but it was the words that stuck out to me:

The timeless theme, Earth and Heaven will pass away.
It’s not a dream, God will make all things new that day.
Gone is the curse from which I stumbled and fell.
Evil is banished to eternal hell.

No more night. No more pain.
No more tears. Never crying again.
And praises to the great "I AM."
We will live in the light of the risen Lamb.

See all around, now the nations bow down to sing.
The only sound is the praises to Christ, our King.
Slowly the names from the book are read.
I know the King, so there’s no need to dread.

No more night. No more pain.
No more tears. Never crying again.
And praises to the great "I AM."
We will live in the light of the risen Lamb.

See over there, there’s a mansion, oh, that’s prepared just for me,
Where I will live with my savior eternally.

No more night. No more pain.
No more tears. Never crying again.
And praises to the great "I AM."
We will live in the light of the risen Lamb.

All praises to the great "I AM."
We’re gonna live in the light of the risen Lamb.

Words & music by Walt Harrah

"I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." John 14:18

Monday, June 03, 2013

In Progress: a 1930s frock

You saw the beginnings of this dress, but I didn't tell you that it's a 1930s dress. What I like about it that it's modern enough to wear out in public and people won't look at you strangely or ask you if you're in a theater production (though it has been many years, I have had people asked me that).

One confession of mine as a seamstress with a new pattern: I greatly dislike following printed directions. Just SHOW me how to do and I'll do it, but trying to read a pattern is sometimes like reading another language.

My knowledge and skill of crocheting, knitting, tatting, and embroidery all comes from willing teachers (my grandmother, a mentor, and friends). That's why I know nothing of quilting or cross-stitch; the directions never make sense.

As a self-taught seamstress (lots of failures, ripping and re-doing) and a few people along the way who demonstrated how something is done, I will often come up with my own way or method of putting something together. That can be a good and bad thing. Good if you see something in the store or on someone that you want to recreate. Bad when you're working with an unfamiliar pattern. But like my college math professor instilled in me, "Do what it says," I was/am determined to get through this pattern!

I am pretty pleased that these shoulder corners turned out without puckers or anything weird going on that required seam ripping. Looking over the directions, I think I have "the worst" of the construction of this dress behind me.

Now I just need to go to the store and buy interfacing for the next step. I rarely use the stuff and never have it on hand. :)