Saturday, August 12, 2017

Vintage Chewbacca Cosplay - Skirt

It's been hotter than Hades out there (especially for this Oregon girl who can't handle anything over 85 degrees), so when my brain has been clear enough, I've been chipping away at the sewing to-do list. One of those things: my cosplay/Disney-bound for the upcoming comic con. 

I mentioned this project in my plans for the year back in January with just a horrible simple sketch for a brain-splat.  
The gist of it is simple: a circle skirt with an applique of Chewbacca's strap along the side, my vintage mink stole, dark shirt of some sort, and accessories to polish off the look. Last week, the skirt was (almost) finished. 
I used the wrap circle skirt pattern from this ensemble, made a white lining (so I can reverse the skirt and have a Princess Leia get-up too!), came up with an applique 'pattern' to go along the edge, sewed it all together, and voila! The skirt is done. Except for some hook-and-eyes. I still need to do that. 
As for the shirt - I'm not liking how the one I grabbed from my closet is jiving with the get-up. I'm thinking something like this one in black is what is needed. We'll see what actually happens. 

Until next time! 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Strawberry Sweetness

Well, this is long overdue in coming. Oops.

So you might remember the lemon dress that I made for one of my sisters. My other sister requested a strawberry dress around the same time, but we could not, for the life of us, find a strawberry print locally that wasn't, shall I say, kitschy? We were looking for a sweet print in colors that were softer with a vintage feel to it. I made sure to keep my eyes peeled for... something. Anything. 
And I finally found the perfect cotton while haunting a local quilting shop. 
ISN'T IT CUTE???!!! 
And it was begging to be used with this pattern. Sometimes fabrics talk very loudly like that. ;) 

But on the fabric shelf it sat (this is a very familiar tune for me). Once I finished school, I knew what my first project should be. Whipped out the dress in no time (since I've done this dress 3 times now it was all very familiar ground) and left it on my sister's bed for her to find. I think the first time she wore it was to church and then a date afterwards. I wasn't at that service, but apparently some people wanted dresses just like it. But doesn't that defeat the purpose of having a one-of-a-kind dress if others have the exact same dress? ;) 
Sorry, not sorry, about all the gushing. 
It's just a simple, comfy, easy-to-wear cotton dress that has already gotten a lot of use out of it this summer. 

Until next time! 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Box of Happiness

A friend messaged me asking if I'd be interested in a box of vintage patterns that she had. For free. Just pay for shipping. 
Then the box came. A brown paper package with my name on it (but no strings, so I couldn't sing the song - but this certainly is one of my favorite things) . 
Opened up the box to breathe in deeply the smell of antique patterns (yes, they have a smell) and to behold the beauties within. I couldn't stop smiling the entire time I was going through it; it felt like Christmas. 
The collection includes patterns from the 30's all the way through the late 60's (I also spied a children's dress pattern that could possibly be from the early 70's) - the time where you could pick up a pattern for $0.25 at full price. Some are in incredible condition, while others have seen better days. But what can you expect from old paper and is designed to be used again and again? Patterns are from McCalls, Simplicity, Butterick, Advance, Vogue, and more! 
 Want to see some of the patterns? Sure ya do! 

Here's some of the men's shirts. Admit it, you've always loved those vintage cowboy shirts. ;) 
 And there's quite a few children's clothes. ALL THE CUTENESS! I couldn't help but think, "Wow, kids dressed well back in the day..."
 And then there are some sub-teen patterns as well. Looking at the measurements, we would probably call them 'juniors' today. Can we see more of these in the juniors department please? 
 And now we continue onto women's patterns. Here are shirt patterns. These will definitely come in handy this summer. Maybe I could use one of them for my costume for comic con. That would be :amazing: 
 And pajamas in all their fabulous vintage glory
 And twirly 50's (and early 60's) dresses! Perfect for swing dancing. ;) 
 Lovely 60's mod. One of my sisters loves this fashion era, so I think some new dresses and separates are in order. 
 And these yummy patterns from the 30's and 40's. Personally, I love the 30's playsuit; I just don't think that I could pull off a silhouette like that with my thunder-thighs and food baby. :P I might need to make the coveralls for working around the farm though.
 And now for one of my favorite patterns. I give you: A VINTAGE SWIMSUIT!!! 
I might actually wear a swimsuit if I had one like this. ;) 
I just need to learn how to sew knits, and we're all good to go! And I'll need to alter the pattern a bit to fit my measurements better. 

Well, I better focus on other things now (like making dinner and doing homework). 
Until next time! 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

1975, Tiny Foxes, and a Stash-Busting Dress

My unofficial New Year's resolution was to use fabric and sewing supplies that I already had and not buy any more unless it is absolutely necessary and it had an end project in sight. No buying for potential projects. No buying because it's pretty. Only if it is needed for a current project. It's high time for some serious stash-busting. 

This project took care of one of the many fabrics that I've had on the shelf. :chuckles: Only one. 

A few years ago, a friend and I were wandering around the local quilt shop just visiting and hanging out. I wasn't looking for any material in particular. Just browsing. This is the sort of outing that is most dangerous for the bank account. Then I spied it: a gorgeous grey with tiny foxes and vines scattered all over it. In a heart beat, three yards became mine.
And on my fabric shelf it sat (sound familiar?). Waiting for the perfect pattern to make it become the perfect dress. Somehow some vintage patterns came into my possession (either given to me or I found it antiquing). I didn't really put two and two together until I was cleaning out my pattern collection, and then the inspiration struck.  
I was :really: hoping that this pattern would work. It certainly would fit me, but someone in its past cut the pieces to the shirt length. I didn't have it in me to draw out the missing skirt, so back to the pattern collection I went finding this 1975 Simplicity gem. Similar, but this one is a button up front. Oh well. That's no biggie. 
 Looking at the measurements, I wasn't sure how things would fit, so a mock-up was made. In all of it's funky glory. I had an old flannel sheet that had started to shred for the material. It all went together rather swimmingly. Almost too easily. Since when does that happen with a new-to-me pattern? Once 'finished,' I showed my mom saying that I had finished the project. She turned around expecting the tiny foxes and instead there was this snazzy flannel shirt. 
Lousy selfie skills
Since there weren't any alterations needing to be made to the dress (yay for loose fitting clothes!), I was able to jump right into cutting the adorable fox fabric. The only cinch? The pattern calls for almost 4 yards of fabric and I only had three. And it has a nap (directional print). Each piece was carefully laid out and pinned to ensure that the essentials would be able to fit. The only things that I had to sacrifice was the matching belt and the 3/4 sleeves that I was wanting (short sleeves are fine by me). Not bad for cutting that much yardage from a pattern. 

Everything was sewing together just fine. Until I got to the pockets. For some reason I had to pick those seams several times before my brain could wrap around the concept (and these aren't my first pockets either). I'm going to blame spring fever for this one. The garden was beckoning, but it was raining. Again. 
Not how a pocket is supposed to look
Then I finished it! Well, almost. I still needed to do the button holes and sew on the buttons, but I didn't have enough of the same kinds of buttons for this project. So Lady Catherine modeled the dress until I was able to get to the craft store. 
 Once at the craft store, I was very underwhelmed with their selection. I'm not sure if it's because I went to a different store or if they were changing out the product. Either way... I wasn't ecstatic about what I found, but they sufficed.  

Now it was finished. And it looked like a mumu. A very comfy mumu, but a mumu nonetheless.
Selfie skillz I haz not
 But it's nothing that a belt can't fix! 
I'm a dork. 
 To finish my 1970's librarian look, I added a sweater and some vintage-inspired shoes that I found at the thrift store. 
I hope to get better pictures once the weather plays a little nicer. 

I still can't get over how adorable the tiny foxes are. 
The lo-down:
  • Pattern: Vintage Simplicity 7050
  • Fabric: 3 yards of OOP - Probably $10/yard
  • Notions: 9-3/4" light grey buttons from Joann's - $6
  • Time - Could easily have been a day project if I had all the supplies on hand

Until next time!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Red Poppy Dress

 This entire project was thought up and supplies gathered together back in September.  Comparing that to other projects that I have stashed away, this dress had a rather quick turn-around. :P I was wandering around Joann's with 3 hours to kill between classes. Me + being left unattended in a craft store = bad idea. Or maybe it isn't. You be the judge of that. 
Because my self-assigned deadline for this project is at the end of March, it jumped to the top of the priority list. One afternoon, I cut out the pattern and the fabric, and marked out all the pattern notes. 
It was about this time that I discovered Angela Clayton's youtube video detailing how she made her 50's inspired dress. The construction of my dress is a combo of the directions that came with the pattern and following her techniques - especially in the skirt assembly. 
So the next afternoon, I sewed the skirt pieces together and left it to drape overnight to let the bias stretch out.
I then turned my attention to constructing the bodice. The pattern doesn't call for any lining at all, but I really like the idea of a lining, so made a lining out of old sheets I did. [/Yoda voice] Commence the dart making. All 12 of them. 
Darts and seams sewn together, I put on the bias tape binding and the bodice was done. Or so I thought. More on that in a bit. 
 After letting the skirt hang for a while, I laid it all out on the floor and stepped back. That is a lot of skirt. 
 To make sure that everything was where it was supposed to be, I laid out the pattern piece again and trimmed the hem portions that had stretched out from hanging out. 
I really like how Angela Clayton did the hem on her circle skirt. In all my sewing adventures, I've despised hemming circles. Bleh. So much bunching up. Not fun. What Angela did was sew the fashion fabric to the lining right sides together for the entire circle. Trim the edges, turn right side out, and top stitch everything to keep it in place. Thought it wouldn't hurt, so I gave it a try. 
That was a lot of sewing circles. Because it's a full circle skirt, it felt like I was hemming for ages. But my hipster music station on Pandora helped to pass the time. 

Attached the skirt to the bodice, sewed on some snaps, and I thought I was done. 
Please pardon the awful lighting and tired face. It had been a long day. 
Never mind.  
I had some fitting issues. 
In changing the shoulder seams, I also had to change out the darts. 
Lesson of all of this? Try it on before putting on the finishing touches. 
Making alterations and doing fittings on yourself is harder than doing it to someone else. :P 
Then I changed out some of the snaps for hook and eyes. I trust those more than I do snaps. I don't want a wardrobe malfunction while dancing. Not okay. 

Did another fitting, and I loved it. There are some things I could change about it, but I'm not worried about them at all. 
The cool thing in all of this? I have it done more than a month before my deadline! :fist pump: And it was finished just in time to head off to a swing dance with a friend (seriously, I put the last stitch in it the afternoon before the dance). I was going to wear something else to the dance, but after I tried it on, I wasn't about to take it off. 
Paired it with a belt and my dancing shoes for my new favorite outfit. I'm officially in love with ridiculously twirly circle skirts. 

Project details:

Pattern: Simplicity 8085
Fashion Fabric: Joann's
Lining: Sheets from Goodwill
Notions: Bias tape, thread. hook and eye, snaps
Time: If I were focused, probably could call it a weekend project

Belt- I've had in my closet for eons. No idea where I got it. 

I'll take my camera to the March ball, so hopefully I can have better pictures for you! Sometimes phone cameras just don't cut it in lower light settings, but the tiny ballroom setting was just too fun to pass up for a quick photo shoot. 

Until next time! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

More Snow Storm Sewing

Well, the snow stuck around for a week, and I was perfectly fine chipping away at the homework that I could do and sitting at the sewing machine whipping out more doll dresses. I'm only now just getting to posting about them because, well, school and work.

First up, this fun little ensemble.
It's inspired by Eowyn's shield maiden dress from the Lord of the Rings movies. 
I would have put more details into it, but there's only so much that you can do when a movie costume is scaled down to 18". ;)  

After all that 'serious' sewing, I felt like doing something a little more whimsical. I had some cheery scrap fabric in the box and some bits of vintage ribbon. They were meant to be together. 
My next projects are going to be much more pink. I have another bazaar coming up just before Valentine's Day, and I thought that it would be appropriate to break out all the pink fabric. 

Until next time!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Winter Cloak

With all the snow that blew the the Pacific Northwest, I found myself with plenty time at home. Our corner of the world was turned into a winter wonderland and made life's hustle and bustle come to a screeching halt.  
School was cancelled, I couldn't make it into work, I guess things just lined up perfectly to sit down at the sewing machine. ;) And with the winter-y weather came the inspiration for this little ensemble.
It reminds me of Thorin Oakenshield in the recent movie adaptations of the Hobbit.   
The faux fur was a clearance bin find. Michael's had it steeply discounted after Christmas. I couldn't imagine decorating with a faux fur garland, but it's the perfect size and scale for doll clothes. 
Weird stuff it is... Kinda reminds me of a cat tail. Or a squirrel tail. o.O 

In addition to the cloak, I was able to make a tiny muff to go with it since there was plenty of faux fur left. I quilted a small rectangle with the scrap material left over from the cloak, sewed in the ribbon, and tacked on the fur trim. Would have gone together rather quickly if I wasn't so easily distracted. :P 
Here's a peak at the construction. This is more for my own reference than anything else - Now how did I make that? ;)  
And all together!  
Can I have one in my size please? 

Stay warm, everyone!
Until next time,

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Year Ahead

To (hopefully) be better about getting my sewing to-do wish list completed this year, I'm assigning myself projects that will actually have an event that they will be destined for. 

First up, will be a red poppy dress. For some reason, I kept seeing red poppy dresses in stores and online this year, and I fell in love. I needed one but not badly enough to drop a pretty penny for it. Then, as I was meandering through the fabric store, I saw it. A gorgeous red poppy print! And ooh, look! Simplicity patterns were on sale too!  I had had my eye on this pattern for a while, so it was obviously meant to be. 
A friend of mine had a great idea: what if I wore it to the WWII/Peggy Carter/VE Day ball coming up in the spring? I think that it's brilliant. And it gives me a deadline. 

Next on the project list: what to wear to comic con in September? I hate to admit that it's something that I've been pondering since my sisters went last year. Almost completely out of the blue, I had an idea. What if I did a vintage inspired Chewbacca? It would be simple enough to be comfortable for the event, and I could wear the ensemble elsewhere (like church and school :P). Here's a quick sketch of what I had in mind. 
Please pardon the awful drawing skills. Certainly not my forte. It'll look better when it's made, I promise. ;) 

Next up is just a for-fun, no deadline in sight project. I'm hoping that this vintage pattern with fit (yay for mock-ups!), but if it doesn't, I'll use the same pattern that I used for the simple autumn dress
Isn't the tiny fox print just adorable?  I found it at a local fabric shop a couple years ago. 

Beyond these projects, I'm sure that I'll have more sewing to do for craft bazaars. If the muse strikes, I might try to squeeze in a regency dress and stays. But we shall see what actually comes to pass. 

Until next time!