1960s

From Mad Men to Mary Quant…

I thought I’d give a little update on my Sewing for Vegas Sew Retro bombshell dress and my experience of using Craftsy for the first time.

I signed up for this course with a little trepidation, boning? yikes! But you never get anywhere unless you push yourself do you? And in some respects I have all too easily become used to doing what I can do and sticking with the “safe” stuff.

So first things first:

When I found out about craftsy I thought it would be marvellous for me. As you may know I am dyslexic, so looking at instructions in the written word are usually quite confusing.

Add with that mild dyspraxia and you have a whole heap of confusion when it comes to things such as left and right.

I learn so well when people show me physically how to do something rather than from reading instructions, hence the idea of video classes which I can access at any point seemed perfect.

So sign up I did.

I downloaded the course materials and pattern (easy enough) ensuring that the test square was the right size and then ordered everything I needed to make up the dress (apart from the boning – you really need to measure your bodice pieces for that).

I decided on a cerise medium weight cotton for the main fabric with the lining in a lightweight light blue and white polka dot.

I cracked on with making up the pattern.

Now, I know this should have been easy and it was up to a certain point but honestly, being told that it’s “fun, like doing a puzzle” doesn’t actually make it any more fun and less fiddly.

Oh, and if you’re like me and don’t have a table big enough, prepare for some backache.

This was however soothed by watching the amazingly trashy cultness of Showgirls while I was doing it.


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Next up was marking the pattern pieces on calico for the toile of the bodice.

When I first discovered that the pattern had no seam allowance I was struck by a little bit of fear, I completely didn’t understand how beneficial this actually would be and how easy it would make the whole process. Thread tracing is a new one on me but I feel like it’s something that might change my sewing life!

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After a short time I had my cups made and decided it was time to leave it for the night.

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The next day I began stitching the rest of the pieces together. It took me about 40 minutes of not understanding why the cups weren’t fitting into the bodice sections before I realised I’d sewn them on the wrong way round (dylexia-dyspraxia strikes again!). Once they were un-picked and re-sewn I had a bodice which looked pretty fantastic.

I just made a few adjustments to the height of the cups (these would make me blush in their original form, and I’m not shy by any means) which Gertie talks you through every step of the way, There’s also a section on a full bust adjustment, which I didn’t use but I did watch and it was very thorough. It will be a great reference if I make something for someone in the future who is bustier than me.

I added a little height to the back of the bodice too, in line with the height I’d added to the cups and then I graded this down towards the closure section where the zip will be inserted.

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After this I made the changes to my pattern pieces to incorporate the extra material and I cut more calico for the interlining, marked it up and used these pieces as a pattern for the main bodice material, which I then cut and tacked together.

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Then I made up the bodice as instructed, step by step, including inserting a bit of padding to the cups and a few other tailoring techniques as shown (I don’t want to give everything away).

This where I’m up to, an almost complete bodice. I am so happy with how it looks.

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My thoughts on the class and on craftsy:

I am really loving doing something new and more challenging with guidance from others who have completed the course and from the instructor. I would definitely recommend this type of learning to anyone who is talking up sewing. The instructions are clear and concise and it is invaluable to be able to see in motion what you can only read about in other respects. The little tailoring and hand sewing techniques and finishes and shared experiences from Gertie are well worth signing up for, never mind the fact you’ll have a gorgeous dress at the end of it.

I fully intend to carry on doing more craftsy courses after I have finished this one. What I have learned so far is so much more than I thought I would, and it’s great to find out little tips and tricks so that if (like me) you’re learning as you go, and on your own, you find speedier and more accurate ways to make garments.

Has anyone else made this dress or done this course?

Please link me up with your version, Id love to see it! 

 


 PLEASE VOTE FOR ME

8 DAYS TO GO AND EVERY VOTE COUNTS!

NVAs

 

If you liked this blog please vote for me in the NVAs as I’ve been nominated under the Best Vintage Fashion/Lifestyle Blog category. Voting is open throughout May and it’s a simple click to select Stacey Stitch and then enter your email address to confirm the vote (you wont be spammed). Clicking on the photo or links above should take you straight to the website.

I need to be in the top 3 and I’m currently in 4th place. Only the top 3 go through to the judges panel. Help a fellow vintage sewing enthusiast out?

It’ll only take a few minutes of your time if you have it spare! Thank you!

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I have been absent for some time in the sewing community, This year has just proven to be way too busy but :) I am getting back into the swing of things with…. 16 vintage inspired skirts :) I don’t have a picture of every single one of them but I can say the few that I do have I am incredibly proud of. I was contacted by a local shop a few months back to create some vintage inspired skirts for them and to be honest I was so incredibly nervous! I made so many little silly mistakes on my first few that I had to go back and fix I was ready to pull my hair out and give up! I took a deep breath, picked out my stitches and kept on truckin! The end result…16 beautiful skirts that I can be proud of.

I created my gored skirts using Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing pattern and they turned out beautiful!

The fabrics I used were a mixture of vintage and modern :) I created 4 of each style in an A-line, Gored, Drindl, and Pencil and I could not be prouder…I even have a few with lapped zippers! A technique that has often eluded me in the past! For more pictures and details check out my blog at http://frillz24.blogspot.com/

Not the best picture of all of them but it does give you a good general idea of what they all look like!

As always thanks to all of you contributors for being such amazing inspirations!

 

 

 

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Hello, I’m Mel from New Zealand!

It’s winter in my neck of the woods, so for my first post let me introduce Marian Martin 9388 – made in a gorgeous authentically vintage dusty pink wool crepe.



I purchased the fabric on TradeMe (the New Zealand equivalent of eBay). The woman selling it was cleaning out her stash, and this was from her Nana’s stash! (Queue school-girl scream). The only bad thing about the fabric is that it was quite moth-eaten in places. I managed to get the dress cut out, but I had to cut the pieces out in a single layer to avoid the damaged areas. It took for-ev-er. Totally worth it, though. I pre-treated the fabric using the Washing and Drying method, with no felting issues.
 
 
Vintage fabric of this quality deserved to be made into something equally delicious and vintage…. enter Marian Martin 9388. I purchased this pattern on eBay a few months ago. It was easy to put together, but I had to alter the fit quite a bit. The pattern is a size 14 1/2 and the measurements of this size match mine, almost perfectly. Once put together it was fine around the bust, but I had to take it in at the waist at least two sizes. I used an invisible zipper, as I prefer the finish of an invisible zipper.
 
I am in love with this dress. I’ll be wearing it to the office on Monday!

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Another dance party, another excuse to make myself something the week of the event…

Made for another edition of the ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody‘  (all divas- all night) dance parties organized and DJ-ed by a fabulous local DJ duo.

I wanted to evoke a classic look with dramatic sleeves. The end result is heavily influenced by late 60s early 70s mini dresses, and is actually 2 separate pieces that can be otherwise worn with different outfits.

The Diva Dress 2014 by HLB

The underdress is made from some lovely stretch suiting similar to fabric I’ve used before. I love the fact that it has nice structure and weight but also a good amount of give – perfect for figure hugging garments that you can move in! Frankenpatterned fitted LBD.

For the chiffon overlay I used this 1970 blouse pattern as a starting point – extending the hem, exaggerating the sleeve blousing, negating the bust dart, and lowering the neckline to a shallow scoop shape.

Simplicity 8494 (1970)

To give the waist definition, I added ties at each side that form a bow at the back. I wanted initially to have the overlay drape more, but it proved unflattering on my curves.

The Diva Dress 2014 by HLB. Back View.

I love that it was long sleeved but still pretty cool. The sheer sleeves let my arms breathe, I was pretty comfy all night and they were super fun to dance with.

More pics and details in the full post here.

p.s. Another blog post coming soon documenting my themed dance party ensembles!

~ Heather

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