This year I participated in MeMadeMay for the first time. Since 80%-90% of my wardrobe is already me-made I could be said to participate year-round anyway, but now that I have a blog I wanted to do so more officially. However, MMM is supposed to be a challenge and just wearing me-mades everyday would be a cheat for me, so I gave myself the challenge of wearing clothes made with Indie Patterns at least once per week and sewing only with Indie patterns throughout the month. This means that none of the patterns used to make the dresses I’m posting today are vintage, but it turned out that a few were made from vintage fabric! Also, the Indie patterns I gravitate towards tend to have a vintage vibe to them.
All three that I’m posting here were made with Colette’s Macaron pattern, but modified to greater and lesser degrees.
This first one was made with one of my favourite cotton fabric sources – a vintage bedsheet!
The little green buttons are also vintage – oh – and so is the purse!
This second dress is basically a copy of the one above only with a somewhat less full skirt (fullness ends up depending on the width of the fabric as I’m lazy and just use selvedge to selvedge rectangles).
The print fabric is a piece of vintage cotton I scored at the Textile Museum of Canada’s annual “More than a Yard Sale” fundraiser last year. I’d had the solid cotton sateen for ages already and what a lucky co-incidence that they matched so perfectly! Incidentally, the green buttons are the same ones as on the dress above; I had 6 of them, they worked a treat for both dresses, and that meant no odd numbers left over!
The third one is the most modified and I even gave it a name: The Mod-Maca-Thorn. It’s inspired by a design I saw on Modcloth + a modification of the Macaron bodice + the skirt pattern pieces from Colette’s Hawthorn pattern.
And it’s another vintage bedsheet!
If you’re interested, you can see more pictures and more of my Me-Made-May’14 makes on my blog here, here and here
Sewing has slowed down to a trickle for me in the aftermath of the Tree Gown (I didn’t touch my sewing machine for a whole week after the ball! lol) so I thought I’d do a post on my blog about a project for my wardrobe that I’ve been pursuing gradually for a few years featuring past makes. It also seems especially appropriate for this (polar vortex – oooooOOOOoooo) year. That is, dressing for “spring” when it starts on the calendar in a climate where it doesn’t feel like it for another couple months: “Canadian” spring. Basically, what this involves is making winter-weight clothes in spring colours; for me, this primarily means wool fabrics. I’m sharing here because several of the pieces in my “Canadian Spring” wardrobe are made with vintage fabrics and/or vintage patterns.
This skirt is a piece of vintage wool I found at a thrift store. I used this 70s pattern to make it:
And this one (also fabric from Goodwill/Value Village):
This wool satin dress is based off a 1950s pattern that I’ve altered a lot over time:
The fabric for this green wool blend dress isn’t vintage (it’s from Fabricland a couple of years ago)…
but is made from another cute 70s pattern:
All of these pieces are warm enough to wear when there’s still snow all over the place, but help to perk me up when I’ve gotten really tired of winter by March 1.
More pics and info over on my blog
Back in October I posted on here an introduction to a big sewing project I was taking on: reproducing a version of Charles James’ Tree Gown:
My excuse for tackling this, apart from the challenge of it, was to wear at the 2014 Toronto Garrison Ball. Which was actually last weekend – yes, the dress was finished beforehand ;o)
This project was made possible/feasible by the generous loan of a pattern taken of the dress’ foundation made by a former curator of the Chicago History Museum for their Charles James exhibition in 2011.
I documented the process at each step along the way and blogged about it, but didn’t post all of those here because I thought they’d get tedious.
But now it’s FINISHED and I’ve caught up with my blogging (that lagged when it got to the stress-sewing point) so I’m sharing here again!
Here’s a brief(ish) retrospective on the process:
And finally I ended up with this:
A CHARLES JAMES GOWN OF MY VERY OWN!!!!
I cannot tell you how RELIEVED I was that it actually turned out well, lol. I was nervous about it right to the very end.
If you’d like to follow the process in more detail (there is some fun stuff in there) here’s a link to all the Tree posts.
You can go here if you just want to see more of the finished dress – and the “superhero” evening cape I made to wear with it!
I don’t have a finished garment to show for this post, but am taking the opportunity of giving a heads-up to anyone who might be interested in following my next big sewing adventure.
Because I’m married to a member of the Canadian Military (yup – we have one!) I have the opportunity to attend a rather large and fabulous military Ball each year in Toronto (the aptly named Toronto Garrison Ball). I’ve gone a few times so far, and am planning to ‘go big or go home’ for the next one at the end of March, 2014.
The reason some of you may be interested in this is because I’m going to be recreating an iconic piece of vintage couture: Charles James’ “Tree” gown!
Certain fortuitous events have put me in a particularly good position to be able to reproduce this amazing gown by one of my favourite designers of all time. I’m really excited about this!! And also pretty scared!!
The reason I’m posting about this here & now is that I intend to keep a sort of dress journal about the process of constructing my own “Tree” and I thought some of you might be interested in following along with some or all of my progress. To see my full introduction post, wherein I explain how it is that I happened upon being able to properly reproduce this dress, pop over to my blog! I hope you’ll stop by at some point – I’m sure to need some of your wisdom and advice at various points along the way!