Laura Mae

It has been way too long since I posted here, but I promise I have not given up my vintage sewing obsession!  I can always count on inspiration on these pages, not to mention all the new-to-me blogs I discover.  Thank you for keeping me motivated!

When I was contacted by Deirdre of Vintage Pattern Lending Library about testing this stunning Ceil Chapman pattern, I was ecstatic!  Ceil Chapman is a favorite of mine, and I was lucky enough to reproduce another one of her designs a few years ago, so I knew I was in for some fun, and a great challenge.

The biggest issue I had was figuring out the pleat lines on the skirt pieces, and once I had that I was off and running.

All of the seams were finished, including a waist stay, and a zipper guard made of grosgrain ribbon – and then the darn thing would not zip up.  Even with an extra pair of hands, the vintage metal invisible zipper would not make it past the waist seam when I put in on my body.  Aargh!!

I had a bit of a tantrum, and decided it would be best to put the project on hold.

Then the weather started improving and if I was going to wear the dress anytime soon (it’s made of wool), I needed to get to it!

A strip of silk organza and a standard nylon zipper came to the rescue (a similar fix can be found at the end of this post – what is it with me and invisible zippers lately!?!).

Now I have two Ceil Chapmans in my closet!  And if I ever find a spectacular fabric suited to the design, I just know I will be making this one up again.

More pictures of the finished dress may be found over on my blog, Lilacs & Lace.  I am so very glad I figured out a way to make this dress work!

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I have been very lax in posting my recent projects here.  One of the reasons is that I have been very busy in the sewing room.

The special occasion (and the perfect excuse to make something completely over the top) was the opening gala of a local symphony.

I used Butterick 6408 as my pattern.

Every few months I pull out my vintage reproduction patterns and feel guilty about all of the dresses I have not yet made.  Sometimes I even have the idea and the fabric on hand – all that is missing is spare time and, in this case, a suitable occasion.   Thankfully, I finally found the perfect reason to make up this full length gown.  One down, goodness knows how many more to go . . .

The project took an entire month, but I feel like all of the work and a few injuries to my fingers (thanks to all of the wire work) was worth it in the end.

The entire saga may be found on my blog, Lilacs & Lace.

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Advice Requested!

by Laura Mae on October 23, 2012 · 6 comments

in Vintage Sewing

I am currently working away on a Gala Gown that will hopefully be finished before next Sunday!

I am hoping to make myself an evening bag to match back to the dress, and would like to ask everyone if they know of an easy way to antique a purse frame that is currently bright gold?

If at all possible, I would like to avoid scary chemicals.

Does anyone have any suggestions, or know of any tutorials?

Thanks!

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I have been so busy sewing, I have not been keeping up with my posts.  But I have been enjoying all of the projects being posted – and they are keeping me inspired!

Recently, I have been trying to expand my vintage horizons, and heading even further into the past than my comfort zone (the 1940s and 50s).  I am currently having fun exploring the 1920s.

The Jean Harlow, bias white silk satin look  of the 1930s always had me steering clear because I did not think the look would work for me, but this day dress has changed my mind.  Turns out, there was success to be had.

That is not to say that I have given up on my full skirted frocks!  Now that Fall is just around the corner, I am sure to get some wear out of this one.

Oh, and did I mention that both patterns are from Mr. Male Pattern Boldness?  Which, of course, makes me love them all the more!

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