bonita

I have been inspired by a lot of  vintage sewing enthusiasts {as well as seeing all the lovely 2012 round up posts on Sew Retro!} to write my own 2013 sewing schedule,.  It’s been great looking at all these fabulous handmade items, and I find myself drawn to the pretty, but practical pieces.  I need more of those!  Creating a sewing schedule could help me fill these “gaps” in my wardrobe I think, as well as help encourage me not to take so long whipping up one dress.

It generally seems to take me four to five months to sew one dress ~ my latest project, a maternity dress {that I haven’t posted about yet ~ naughty!}, being the quickest at just over a month and a week.  That’s because I worked on it regularly, in 15 minute blocks each day, rather than only when I felt like it.  I think it’s reasonable to say that if I finish one dress every two months, and a smaller item every month ~ that might be a good rate for me?  I do want to try and get faster at sewing up my own pieces.

So {sew ~ lol} without further ado;

January:

  • One circle skirt w/ elastic waist  {For after baby is born}
February:
  • One blouse {1940s style ~ I don’t have many tops that look 1940s and I love them, so I want to rectify that.}
March:
  • Erm, we’ll see.  Baby’s due on the 29th.
April:
  • Ditto!
May:
  • One staple 1940s winter skirt  {I love the simple 4-gore 40s skirt; I definitely need some!}
June ~ July:
  • One warm winter dress
August:
  • One staple 1940s summer skirt
September ~ October:
  • Pattern stash busting!  One summer dress from the collection of vintage patterns I have already!!
November ~ December:
  • 40′s Playsuit?
And while we are on this role ~ how about a knitting schedule?   As I really only seem to like to knit in the cooler months {Seriously, today it’s 37 degrees!! It’s been mid-high 30s all last week, and it’s supposed to be the same all week after….  I think you can see why!}, it’ll be a shorter list, but that’s ok.
April ~ May:
  • One short sleeved 40′s knitted blouse
June ~ July:
  • One long sleeved 40′s knitted blouse
And I think that’s it!  Do you have any sewing/knitting/crochet plans for 2013?  Do share!
xox,
bonita
P.S.  Feel free to stop by Depict This! for more vintage fun ~ sewing, photography, outfits, tutorials and more!  Hope to see you there.  ^-^  xox

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This post is all the behind-the-scenes details of my latest me-made project, which I recently featured in an outfit post ~ My Fall Fancies Dress.

I started this dress in February with an vintage Advance 9785 shirtwaist dress pattern I got off Etsy and some vintage thrifted cotton.  I think the Advance is late 1950s – early 1960s?  I’m not 100% sure, but I thought it was pretty anyway.

I had to tackle a few new skills with this pattern ~ doing to an FBA on a kimono sleeve bodice was just for starters.  The dart ended up looking funny, so I just moved it to where I thought it should go and thankfully it worked!

I also had to try my hand at my first on-the-bias project, as the bodice was bias cut, and to make the layout trickier, I had to pattern/stripe match as well!  This meant that it took me THREE hours just to cut out the bodice, and I wasted a fair amount of fabric which led me to the conclusion that, although pretty, bias cuts aren’t necessarily worth it.

Buttonholes and pleating were also two new skills to me ~ and I have to say I adore my Bernina 860!  It’s five step buttonhole program is the easiest, simplest way to do buttonholes and once I practised a few I just breezed through the three buttonholes on the dress’s bodice.  I never thought I would say this, but ~ I love stitching buttonholes!

The pleats were relatively simple, and I am positively ecstatic with how they look!  I think that they suit my figure far better than gathers, so I know I will be trying these again.

Of course, although I like the original pattern, I still made an alteration and took out the buttons/facing strip down the front of the skirt.  I think my reasoning for that was that the bodice buttonholes were scary enough without having to do more!  Plus, I find button-down skirts annoying.  They tend to pop open a lot on me for some reason.

I had trouble with the collar/neck facing and end up tacking and sewing that down in about a hundred different ways/places, as well as the collar being a pain to put on.  I had to re-apply it and rip it out at least three times, but even though the inside is a little messy, you can’t tell from the outside, which is good. I guess these things just take practise.

All these new challenges meant I did a lot of stop/start sewing; sometimes leaving the dress for weeks until I could summon up the courage and the time to pick it up again.

However, the thing that I am most proud of with this project is how perfectly my seams match!  The centre back seam and the shoulder seams are spot on and I love how the front facing has that lovely ‘bridge’ between the two front chevron-stripes.  Pattern matching is fiddley and time-consuming, but oh, so satisfying when it comes out right!

~ Project Details ~

Year:  Late 1950s – early 1960s
Pattern:  Advance 9785
Fabric:  About 6 yards/5.5 metres of thrifted cotton doona cover {$9.00} ~ this is one fabric eating pattern!
Notions:  Three buttons {$3.00}
Time to complete: I have no idea…
Make/Wear again? Definitely wear again!!  I am really happy with how it came out: I love the fit, the style and the fabric. However, I am not so sure that I’ll make the pattern up again.  I’m thinking that once was enough.  Although, I do love the skirt, so it does seem likely that I might use that part of the pattern again.
Total Cost:  $25.00 including the pattern

xox,

bonita

P.S. ~  For more posts, outfits, tutorials and more, please visit my blog Depict This!  I hope to see you there soon!!  ^ω ^


					

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Start with one vintage pattern ~ Advance 9785.

Add a dash of floral fabric ~

And one excited me…

And you have my next dress project in the wings!

It wasn’t long after finishing my last dress{The On My Way Dress} that I began to wish I had another project to do.  Then I was digging through my stash trying to find fabric and a pattern that went together before I knew it.  The McCall’s I sewed up last time was obviously my first choice for a pattern, being the easiest and newest of all my patterns{most of which are vintage} but I simply could not find a fabric that worked for what I had in mind.  So I picked the biggest length of fabric that I cared the least about, a vintage pattern that seemed easy enough for me figure out using logic and decided to go to town!

This is my attempt at draping the fabric on Elizabeth, my dress form, to figure out whether this stripy flower pattern will work. I only found out while tracing the pattern that the bodice is cut on the bias whereas the skirt is cut on the straight grain…  I think it will look alright, but it’s going to take some really careful cutting to match this up nicely!   : S   Eeek! Scary stuff!  So tell me, am I being stupid tackling stripes and bias at the same time?  Keep in mind that I have never matched patterns before and I have only sewn one dress to date!

That’s another thing ~ is it easier to start pattern matching with small or large patterns? I sort of feel large might be easier, but I could be so wrong about that, it’s not even funny….   : \

….On the other hand ~ how cute is Veiw 2 with the chevron pattern on the bodice?  I am planning to do View 1 with the long sleeves as I felt this fabric has a more autumn/winterish feel to it, and Veiw 2 gives me a fairly good idea of how this might look in the end.

Oh, I am so excited to start sewing this up ~ I have to do the muslin next and after a tricky FBA that didn’t seem to work, I wonder how it will turn out…. Don’t worry, I’ll let you know if it’s a win or a fail!

xox,

bonita

P.S.  ~  For more photos, posts, outfits, and tutorials please come and say hi to me at my blog Depict This!   I hope to see you there soon.   ^ ω ^

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Happy days!  I get to share with you the details of my very first me made dress!  Yes, it’s a shirtwaist ~ er, of sorts {you’ll see why  say that in a bit}, it’s got an A-line skirt, a self –drafted Peter Pan collar, cute buttons and pockets; and oh!  I should stop talking and just SHOW you.

I started out with the McCall’s M4769, in view C.  Yes it’s a modern pattern, but I figured that using possibly-vintage thrifted fabric and styling the dress in a 1940s manner it would pass for retro sewing?

Anyway, because I have never sewn a dress and have no idea how to do a tissue fit or anything I decide to trace the pattern pieces and then do the Full Bust Adjustment I knew I would need from the measurements on the back!  I found that this FBA tutorial on Sew L.A. Blog was EXTREMELY helpful, and I could actually understand what I needed to do. Yay for comprehension!

I didn’t take any photos of the construction process, unfortunately I was too focused on the garment and getting in finished ~ I had an end of 2011 deadline, so I was all guns blazing!  The fabric I was using was a pale baby blue with cute little three colour flower/teardrop things with with white diagonal lines.

Thankfully I was paying enough attention to notice as I cut out the first piece of skirt that the back skirt piece and the back bodice were “upside down” on the fabric and the pattern would have been going the wrong way!  A reshuffle of pattern pieces, and the disaster was adverted *whew* so that all the pieces were going the right way and would match.  After I finished cutting out, the dress seemed to come together quite easily.

My first sleeves set in really quickly, which was a pleasant surprise for me ~ but I think I was helped because I adjusted the sleeves so that they were puffed{using this tutorial} rather than a plain cap sleeve, so that meant I could have gathers to my heart’s content up the top of the sleeve and smooth out the underside so that it matched the arm scythe nicely.

I changed the button closure to a zip for ease of breastfeeding access by sewing the zip to the left hand front placket and then to the inside edge of the right hand front placket so that they overlapped and hid the zipper.  I also sewed two invisible snaps to hold the placket shut on the top of the bodice, and a hook and eye at the waist because all the vintage dresses have them so it seem right to do that!  I sewed the skirt shut so that the placket overlapped and couldn’t fly apart, as the zip was only 16” long.

Then I ran into my waterloo ~ the collar.  Of course I hadn’t been able to leave well enough alone, and had adjusted the shirtwaist collar into a Peter Pan collar.  {That’s why I am not sure if this dress technically counts as a shirtwaist at all!}  This changed the whole front of the bodice and the construction of the collar which meant I skipped steps 42 to 48 on the pattern instructions and just had to wing it.  I think if I had ever attached a Peter Pan collar before I might have been fine, but as it was, there was almost a meltdown of nuclear proportions, with a ton of seam ripping, fraying fabric and some holes as well as – well, swearing.   It did finally go on{although I had to mend it before I wore it as I somehow missed a bit and there was a hole already!}, and even looks quite alright for a totally made-up-as-I-went-along attachment.  The collar turned out to be quite deep which I also really love, even though it was a total fluke!

  

When I tried the dress on the bodice ended up being too large at the back, so I pinched out 2cm of fabric from the middle with a dart and made a belated Sway Back adjustment.  Of course I had already attached the bodice to the skirt by the time I figured that out, but it still worked out ok.   To finish off the dress I did a blind hem, which is a nice touch I like to do, popped my new pretty on and did an outfit shoot ~ On My Way.

Here is a sneak peak of the dress in all it’s glory ~

And that my friends, is the saga of my first sewing foray into Dressland, of which I hope there will be many more tales to follow!

~ Project Details ~

Year: Modern, 2005 styled by me to look 1940s
Pattern: McCall’s M4769
Fabric: About 2.9 yards/2.6 meters of thrifted cotton{?} doona cover {$9.00}
Notions: One zipper {$? ~ I think $5.00}, three buttons {$6.90}
Time to complete: About a week on and off ~ maybe 15 hours all up?
Make/Wear again? Yes! Now that I have a perfect fitting bodice, I am dreaming of all sorts of ways to mix it up.  I think I want at least two more of these dresses; I am planning to add a full circle skirt for a 50s shirtwaist dress, and another version with gathers at the shoulders for a really 1940s look and tulip sleeves.
Total Cost:  $20.90

I would totally recommend this pattern for beginners who want to sew a dress. I am a total beginner, and I did it, so you can know for sure that it’s a pretty easy pattern.  : 3

xox,

bonita

P.S ~ For more posts, outfits, and tutorials please visit to my blog Depict This!  I hope to see you there soon!  ^ ω ^

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