Tuesday, February 24, 2015

a second peter pan collar shirt

Here's my second variation on Simplicity 4888, a blouse pattern from c. 1963.

I have been bombarding you with so many white blouses because I often find myself wearing handmade skirts with cheap (but comfy) knit tee shirts from Target. This is a super versatile style that means I can easily step that go-to combination up a notch. Also I have a lot of white fabric available to chop up, so until I tackle knits, this is what you're going to get. You have seen a first peter pan collar blouse here (Butterick 3324), and then the first version of Simplicity 4888 here, and now this second version. Thanks to all these versions, I think I've managed to create a nice go-to blouse pattern.

Now that I have my pattern fitting better, my first two shirts will probably be tossed (after I rescue the buttons). I stocked up on shirt buttons at Joann's so I can play around with this pattern, but I know it can be boring to see the same thing over and over even if they are super useful to make (Renfrews, I'm looking at you) so I wont blog a million of them, I promise.

My issue with Butterick 3324 was tightness across the back, which I think is a lot better in this pattern (it probably helps that while the Butterick was a 30 bust, this one is a 32). It looks a little snug there but I think it's just how I have my arms.

And do you recognize my shorts? We've been having terrible weather (you can see the patch of icy slush I'm standing on) but it was warmer when I took these photos so I decided to wear my me-made shorts (looking not quite so short over tights)!

For this second version, I did a 1/2 inch SBA. The pattern is definitely designed for someone who is either much more well endowed than I, or wearing a different style of undergarment, or (quite possibly) both. My SBA ended up eliminating the bust dart entirely, which is a little unnerving, but I double checked an RTW top I have and it had not bust darts either, so I plowed on. 

Here you can see version one on the left (straight from the packet, no modifications) 
and version two on the right (1/2 inch SBA). 
I think I like the pointed flat collar better, what do you think?

Turns out that this shirt has like NO SHAPE without bust darts--the side seams are totally straight. A Granville this is not! I decided to cut the whole blouse body as one, pinning the front and back pattern pieces together at the side seam. Since I've been french seaming these shirts, this saves me 4 seams and some pressing. If you do this, just remember to mark where the bottom of the armscye is so you know where to match your sleeve seam to! I also sheared 5/8 inch off of the sleeve cap height. No more puff sleeves! I just did this by feel and it seemed to work out, but I probably ought to do it properly and make a new pattern piece for more consistency going forward.

I'm tickled by the fact that my go-to 50's dress is the ever-popular Project Runway pattern, Simplicity 2444 and this blouse pattern is Simplicity 4888, twice 2444! I suppose next I'll have to make Simplicity 1222--Girls' Frozen Coronation Day Anna & Elsa costumes! ...or maybe not.

Have you ever picked a pattern because of lucky numbers or anything?
My favorites numbers are 13 & 42; if I found a pattern numbered 1342 (or 4213), I think I'd have to check it out at least :)


ps: american readers stay warm during all these cold fronts and snowstorms! southern hemisphere readers, spend some time in the sun for all of us snow day sewers stuck inside!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Vintage Pattern Haul (video)

Oh heyyy...

My mom sent me a HUGE box of patterns she found while thrift shopping and I thought I would do something fun and make a video instead of just posting pictures. Recording yourself is awkward and weird but I think it turned out alright, except for introducing myself as Miss Allie like a dork instead of just Allie. That's how I introduce myself while working at the library, and it just slips out. You can watch all the awkwardness here or click through to youtube where I have a couple links, too.

If you want to see more non-tutorial live-action weirdness, leave a like on my haul video, and I'll brainstorm some more video ideas. Maybe I could do some video "modeling" instead of pictures in future blogs?

And here's a list of all the patterns you can see in the video, in order of occurrence!

McCall's 2082 bust 34 (1969)
McCall's 8293 bust 33 (1966)
Advance 9690 bust 34 (?)
Simplicity 7019 bust 32 (1967)
Simplicity 8381 bust 32 1/2 (1969)
Simplicity 7366 bust 34 (1967)
Simplicity 9030 bust 30 1/2 (1970)
Advance 8762 bust 34 (?)
McCall's 9711 bust 34 (1969)
McCall's 6655 bust 34 (1962)
McCall's 2146 bust 32 (1969)
Simplicity 8923 bust 32 1/2 (1970)
Simplicity 7133 bust 32 (1967)
McCall's 2432 bust 32 1/2 (1970)
McCall's 8351 bust 32/34 (1966)
Simplicity 8664 bust 35 (1969)
Simplicity 6970 bust 32 (1967)
McCall's 2421 bust 32 1/2 (1970)
Vogue 7810 bust 34 (?)
Simplicity 8098 bust 34 (1969)
McCall's 8151 bust 34 (1965)
Butterick 4799 bust 34 (?)
Butterick 6288 bust 32 1/2 (?)
Simplicity 9332 bust 32 (1971)
Simplicity 5567 bust 32 (1964)


Some other notes of interest:

SIX of these patterns are jumpsuits/overalls/skorts/things that have pants that should not. Even the Vogue evening dress is actually a short or long tunic with the option to wear either a skirt or pants underneath. I'm sure this was very cool when it was printed.

The last pattern, S5567 has what I would call the "overblouse" or more likely the "tunic thingy" listed as a "weskit." Weskit is a term I've never heard before but it apparently means vest and I presume its a version of "waistcoat."

Leave a comment (either here or on youtube) and let me know which your favorites are! I kind of love the crazy flower power overalls in Simplicity 7133 even though they are totally not the look for me!

Friday, February 13, 2015

"pointed flat" (???) collared blouse

As part of my quest for wearable vintage separates, I'm searching for a good tried and true blouse pattern. I showed you my wearable muslin (er, wearable under a buttoned-up cardigan with just the collar peeking out) of Butterick 3324 here but I thought it was too small. I posted a couple of sneak peeks of pattern option #2 on instagram so this isn't brand new if you follow me there (which you should #duh). Today I have for you Simplicity 4888:

Zzz new stuff 0017 copy3
As of now, it's still available in a 14 on etsy if you love it like me!

Vintage Patterns wikia has it as "ca. 1963." I didn't see a date on my pattern, but I would say that 1963 sounds reasonable--the hair and styling looks early-60s to me. Disclaimer: I don't really know what I'm talking about. For actual facts about 1963, see Catherine's post here!

As springtime approaches (slowly, slowly) I've definitely been gravitating towards more sweet and girly looks. I had lovely lavender nails (Essie's "Full Steam Ahead") to go with my coral skirt and my new little blouse and I feel quite springy despite my black tights and the fact it was 35 degrees out.

I don't have tons of garment photos since this is more of a wearable muslin, and because I forced my fiance to take them at night before a Doomtree show (you can watch their super creepy new music video here, oh man!) and he was feeling a little conspicuous I believe, so perhaps this post is toeing the line between "personal style" blog--yes, this is what I wore to a hip hop show--and sewing blogging so if you're JUST here for the sewing, #sorrynotsorry. Okay fine, here's some sewing.

The construction of this top is simple and easy, just what I am looking for in a TnT blouse.

I like that it doesn't have a neck facing, and I changed it a little bit to eliminate front facings too.

I like the collar I made, and I'm sure I will like the peter pan collar too. A lot of the patterns Cat has in her '63 post have the same collar as this one. I think it is called a "pointed flat" collar. This one's not a round peter pan shape, but its also not really what I would consider a "flat" collar. You can see it does stand away from the shoulder seams a little bit. I don't know! (I think I'm just confused by the terminology because some peter pan collars really are totally flat! I think Christine Haynes' sewing patterns have truly flat collars, and I have not purchased the Emery dress, despite it's popularity, as this type of collar is not one of my favorite looks. I have nothing against this style, this is just my personal preference, but I would have to redraft a collar, and at that point, I have dresses that look similar sans collar and I may as well just use one of those.)

The shoulders/sleeves fit fine, although I may take some ease out of the sleeve cap next time to eliminate those little puffs. I like the sleeve options and I think it will be very versatile, once I fix my fit issues with it. If you remember, the back of the Butterick blouse was too small for me. I think the back of this one fits better. I'm not looking for it to be very fitted, it's not a fitted type of shirt.

Please excuse the wrinkles as I wore wearing this all day 
and spent some time crawling on the floor as part of my fairy tale club at the library :)

However, look at that front! It's huge! Plan: SBA. Next time you see this blouse, it will be inches smaller in the bust. 

Overall, this is another wearable muslin blouse--but better than the last one. This one I can wear with an unbuttoned cardigan. Baby steps. And I did get a compliment on my outfit from a stranger.

Slightly off-topic: I find it very difficult to find peter pan shirts without puff sleeves RTW. I get why this is, but there are twee things I like (like peter pan collars and bows) and twee things I do not like (ruffles, generally), and then, in a third, special category, there are puff sleeves, which I detest. Peter pan collars and puff sleeves are always paired and they do not need to go together! Thank goodness for sewing :)

Questions for you:
Where do you think sewing blog ends and personal style blog begins?
How do you feel about puff sleeves and other twee details?
And what do you call one of these collars?! I would love to know.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

january sunshine!

January in North Carolina is a mystery to me. Just a few days ago it was freezing and then yesterday it was 45 and sunny! I suppose the ten degrees between 30 and 40 make a big difference. For those not-so-sunny days, though, I now have a cheerful yellow (YELLOW) skirt to perk myself up!

I don't have too much to say about the pattern or the construction. I used McCalls 7704 from 1965, and it's was a quick-and-easy project with minimal fuss. I didn't make any pattern adjustments. I'm wearing it with my t swift top.

Do you like my new jacket? NO I did NOT sew this (haaahaha), but I decided to include it in my pictures because it's upcycled! Plus it makes me feel like this:

I got it from Olga Road--I'm not positive about their production practices or anything but they make these jackets out of old leather trench coats and things. They aren't paying me to say this (although if they want to send me another jacket, I would not say no, duh).

Back to the sewing!

Some interior shots (inside the garment, and inside my house):

For the hem, I simply folded up twice and slip stitched it to the lining. This isn't really the best treatment for such a thick wool--really it would be better to use some hug snug and just fold it up once--but while hemming, I wanted to retain as much potential future length as possible. I was worried I had hacked off too much! After trying it on again, I think it looks good, but I guess there's no harm in having a little extra length in the hem, you know, in case I go through a growth spurt...

I decided to go with the pattern instruction for the zipper insertion since it was a new way I hadn't done it before. You snip the fabric and lining at the end of the zipper so that they work as one (like interlining) for zipper insertion and still look nice at the bottom. If I made and lined this skirt again, I wouldn't do it like this, I would just hand stitch the lining down or sew the lining and fashion fabric together the whole way down and hong kong bind it or something. As written, I ended up with raw edges, which I just zigzagged over (I don't have a serger).

I've officially adopted the lapped zipper as my very favoritest ever. It is easy, seemingly foolproof, and I love the way it looks with a button tab, as shown here. Mine look much neater than my centered zips, too, with only one sewing line to try and keep even.  

I originally saved this fabric to make a pencil skirt with. It is EXACTLY pencil yellow (for reference, the walls of my house below look blue, and that is because they really are blue, not blue-tinted white). I decided instead to try out this more a-line silhouette, which I don't think I have a single thing with. Now I do, and I love it. Next quandry: what colors would you wear with insane yellow??


Monday, January 19, 2015

a peter pan collar shirt

Instead of doing 2014 round-ups, I'm just getting on with it. I did an officially terrible job keeping up with any of my pledges, what with wedding planning, buying a house, general life, etc., so I'm not going to depress everyone by tallying them :) What do you say?

Today, however, I do have a left over bit from my vintage pledge last year: Butterick 3324, a cute little blouse pattern from that Mad Men era which I do so love. It is so convenient that Mad Men was created, since it gives everyone a great search keyword for those earlier 60s patterns. ;)

However, my copy is a 10, a size smaller than my usual vintage pattern size 12. It really is slightly too small, unfortunately.

The reason these pictures are all wrinkly is because I wanted to ask you--yes, you!--for help in fitting this top, so I wore it all day (the collar peeking out from my cardigan) to really get the wrinkles pressed in nicely :) I do think it can be modified to fit without grading up the whole thing--I think the front fits rather well (although I need to change the darts) but the back! It's tight through the back shoulders. If you can't see, there are shoulder darts, which is a great feature on a lot of vintage patterns (and fewer modern, in my experience). 

Can I add some width into the shoulder seams and then take it out in the darts so I don't have to alter the front? Is this the right way to go in fitting this? Should I add width in the front as well? How do those sleeve heads look to you? 

Here's my sweet collar, I just love a nice Peter Pan collar, don't you? Once I remake this blouse I'll pilfer the buttons off this one since these are not very well put on, I don't intend on continuing to wear this version once I have one that fits better!

So, readers, what do you think? Any suggestions as to how to better fit this shirt? 

Happy 2015!

UPDATE: I just read this new pattern hack to rid Colette's violet blouse from facings--I think I'll likely adopt this variation in my next version of this top.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

there's a first time for everything... literally everything, and all in one dress.

First time with lace?

First time with stretch?

First time with Burda's online patterns?

Finally made that Gatsby challenge dress pick from approx. 10000 years ago?
Check it out!

Happy Belated Christmas, everyone.

Sometimes I think it can be good to take on what would be strictly considered "more than you can chew" in a low-stress way, like a costume. That at way you can just dive in without worrying too, too much about whether you mess it up/it's not perfect/etc.

My bff Martha turned 26 this week and threw a 1926-themed party, so obviously I needed a dress. We listened to christmas music and the soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann's Great Gatsby, drank gin fizzes in beautiful vintage glassware, and pouted attractively in front of the camera. We also listened as the birthday girl herself did a dramatic reading of this instant classic (from last year) about Norwegians' deep concern for wood and wood fires.

I curled, teased, and pinned up my hair into a faux bob for that flapper thing, which is not what I typically go for. I watched some youtube videos on 1920s makeup, too (by the way, did you see the 100 years of hair & makeup video? it's swell) and I was quite pleased with my final look!

I wore a mish-mash version of this burda dress. It is vintage... wrong era, but I think I pulled it off as convincingly 20s-y, right?

Okay, that's the last instagram photo for this post!

RE: Dress construction, I threw the instructions out the window (not really, they were on my iphone!) and constructed it however the heck I felt like (spoiler: poorly). Plus, this dress isn't built for lace, so it doesn't have an interlining layer, just the fashion layer and the lining. I do what I want!

...but don't look too closely.

This gives you an idea of the construction: there's a normal, dress shaped lining (in a knit) and then a really wildly shaped outer layer. I opted to just ignore all the instructions because they were literally nonsense. I know burda is known for that but wow! They were really confusing! Plus with my using a lace outside meant you can see the raw edges if you look extremely closely. But no one was going to do that, and I couldn't be bothered to draft facings. (Ha! yeah right.)

Ahhhhhhhhhh! What is that?!

That's where the zipper is supposed to go. Zippers--who needs them? 
The instructions for this dress call for a knit lining and a bias cut velvet, in which case you may have needed a zipper, but I opted for NOT a zipper. The instructions don't have you inserting elastic at the waist, but otherwise my dress was very droopy. 

In conclusion: terrible instagram photos of a girl in a pretty dress, and pretty (or at least focused, you take what you get here) photos of quite possibly the ugliest dress guts ever posted to the internet. phew!  

Friday, September 19, 2014

needlepoint excursion

I have a LONG way to go.
Y'all know I don't knit. So what is a non-knitting girl to do between projects/when all her zippers are temporarily installed in wedding dress muslins? NEEDLEPOINT OBVI.

I sort of know how to cross stitch poorly, and (now) I sort of know how to needlepoint. I totally assumed these were the same thing, but they are not. FYI.

Because I live in The South (of America, for international readers) I am making a needlepoint belt for my lovely fiance. It's a thing. Because I am also sewing my wedding dress, this gift for him is not a secret--I already have one task that requires me to be locked up in the sewing room! Therefore, he helped me pick out the design. I got it from the Needlepoint by Laura Etsy shop. She was great to work with and helped me create this custom design.    

It has the main buildings of our university, the Colonnade, in the middle. Its fitting to post this today since it's Homecoming Weekend at the moment. Wish I were there!

I think it is pretty accurate! They will do any college campus just based off internet images. It also has the Washington and Lee Trident (our school symbol), and one side  says "W&L" and the other has his monogram (again, because its the south and everything gets monogrammed. you should see my wedding registry, ha). You can buy belts (and coasters and keychains etc etc) with just the trident on it at the school store but not with your initials on it!

Since I have never needlepointed before, I don't reeeeeally know what I'm doing. This photo of the backside shows my technique, If you can call it that. I used the Needlepoint for Fun (haha) website to learn some basic stitches and then I've just mashed them together however seems right. I've been doing the detail pieces in a tent stitch, and then doing a basketweave stitch to fill in the background. The basketweave stitch is worked diagonally, which is why you can see all those bits criss crossing diagonally across the parts I already did. Is this right? I don't know! I'm figuring it out as I go!

So this is what I have been doing in the textiles area. Have you ever done needlepoint (needlepointed)? Do think needlepoint belts are for old people?


P.S. More shots of that particular brand of prep that Americans call "Ivy League style" (I think Brits have a different name for it?) and our beautiful campus here, including lots of needlepoint belts.