Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The Drive Me Dotty Dress

Wow. This has been a loooooong project! I didn't start making it until earlier this year, but sources tell me I first posted about the possibility of making this dress in September last year for the Sew Weekly "Fall Colour Palette" challenge. Hmmm. I remember also thinking I might get it done in time for the UFO challenge this year....

Well, as I mentioned last week, it IS actually finished, and I even managed to get some photos of it on me! Here's what you need to know:

Fabric: Some sort of slinky synthetic, from an op-shop in Canberra ($4.50)
Pattern: Butterick 6730 from the 1970's, View B (50c)
Features: Faux-wrap front, gathers at shoulder seams, elastic waist, and, most importantly, pockets!
Alterations: I chopped off about 6 inches from the skirt length. Next time, I'd add a couple inches to the bodice length.
Notions: Elastic for the waist (cut from an old fitted sheet!)
Total price: $5.00

Overall I'm pretty happy. It is not perfect! The fabric is static-y and cling-y, the gathering on the shoulders is not even, and the bodice is a bit short, so every time I lift my arms up the elastic waist jumps up onto my ribcage, and I'm forever pulling it down again. I'm happy with the pattern though, it is a very simple dress to make, with no closures, and the wrap part doesn't even gape! (Maybe because of the shortness of the bodice though!!)

Next time I should remember to pose like the girl on the pattern envelope, for a comparison shot!

Monday, 27 August 2012

AHJ - August, 1950

Recently, I have started a new collection, and it has grown alarmingly quickly!! It started with an Australian Home Journal magazine I found at the op-shop, for $1. Now, I seem to spend increasing amounts of time on eBay, snapping them up whenever I can find cheap ones!

In case you haven't heard of this magazine, it was published in Australia until around the 70's, I think, and it was a magazine for the 'average housewife.' Each issue contains recipes, crotchet and knitting patterns, fashion tips, and at least 3 sewing patterns! My earliest issue is from the 30's, but I think it goes back even further than that.

Rather than keep all this vintage inspiration to myself, I have decided to post some pictures here for everyone to enjoy! And, if you would like your very own AHJ, with original patterns included, stay tuned! I will be participating in the Patterns and Postcards Swap hosted by the Perfect Nose, and have a few doubles of issues that I would love to swap with someone who can give them a good home! :)

Ok, let's get to the good stuff! Being the end of August, I thought I would share one of my August issues with you, this one being from 1950. Since this is an Australian magazine, this is an end-of-winter/start-of-spring issue, which I know is out of season for you Northern hemisphere readers, but I can't please everyone! :)

This issue has a couple pages of ladies fashion:

Cute bows on that coat, above, right? They look like they could be achieved with the "Bows into Darts" tutorial from Sew Vera Venus!

Love the skirt and bolero combo! And those scalloped pockets!

Polka dot dress = awesome!

There's also some fashion for younger girls:

Can you imagine young girls today wearing those suits? I wish they would!!

I think I have a pattern similar to the one with the lace yoke, above! (In an adult size!) Hmmm...

Cute, cute and more cute!

And these are some of my favourite advertisements:

Makes me want to play with paper dolls again!

Let me know if you liked these images and would like to see more! And, if you are interested, there are a number of digitised issues of the AHJ available online at Trove.

Then, since I'm obsessed with drawing on my croquis at the moment, I decided to see how each of the free patterns featured in this issue would look on me! Here they are:

They look a bit weird at first, right? After looking at the pattern illustration, these sketches looked like they had MASSIVE waists, necks and legs! But the more I looked at them, the more I realised it was the illustrations from the magazine that looked strange. Completely unrealistic proportions! But it does help me realise that the longer skirts are a little dowdy!!

Now I can photoshop in some fabrics from my stash, and see how it might look! I made did a set in cool colours:

And a set in warm colours:

Cool, right?! Which ones are your favourites?

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Weekend Review

Wheeeee, I'm back!

Sorry to have been missing for so long, I don't even have a good excuse, except that life got in the way! :) But I have some fun things planned, so lets get back into the swing of it with a review of life right now!

I finally finished my Butterick 6730 dress, also known as the "Drive Me Dotty" dress. Remember that one? Here is a sneak peek, I hope to get some better photos soon!

Next in the pipeline? I'm hoping to finish my smocked/pleated top soon, using a combination of the Colette Sorbetto pattern and Casey's sundress tutorial for the straps. I'm thinking of using black bias binding to finish it off, this is what I hope it will (somewhat!) resemble when I'm finished:

After that, I hope to get started on sewing my way through the Colette Sewing Handbook. I have a plan, and most of my fabric picked out for each project, I'll share all my scheming soon!

In the meantime, here are some interesting and inspiring things I've stumbled upon this week:

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and see you next week, I have something fun to share!