Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Button Back Blouse

Joining in with the bloggers and sewists over at Elizabeth's place for needle and thREAD.  You can catch the other sewist bloggers there - it is a new sew and read along that anyone can participate in :)
So I have been seeing all the lovely button-back blouses over the web, and I really wanted one too.  I was very fortunate to spot a lot of four patterns on Ebay- that included 2 button-back blouse patterns,  a normal blouse pattern and a skirt pattern, from the forties and fifties.

Butterick 3694, approximately 1947
So I chose to make this one.  I had been eyeing up view A anyway... I love that look :)  So when it arrived, I immediately sized it up one size and made it from an eyelet fabric I got in a sale from  

And here it is.  It is not on me because it is rather sheer :)  It is teemed up with a 1939 book called 'Your Clothes and Personality' by Mildred Graves Ryan.  
First, the blouse.  Did you know that eyelet 4 1/2" wide is hard to find?  I had to fudge the sleeves a little because of it ;)  Also, with my recent issues regarding close fitting necks, I lowered the neckline slightly.
So... it looks really pretty, but it is very sheer.  I think I will need a camisole ;)  The eyelet is a pain to work with and frays terribly.  And I think I must have a fat back or something because all my vintage patterns seem to fit snugly across my back!
I can't recall how much the fabric cost me, but it wasn't a huge amount, so perhaps my total costs are around $20 for the lot.  Less next time because I have already done the pattern!
I know, I know.  It is supposed to be ONE photo- but you couldn't see the back of it!
I shall definitely make this one again.  The oddest part of the construction, is the weird triangle that goes into the sleeves to prevent people seeing down them.  I did make a couple of boo-boos.  Mostly in the hems which kept getting messed up- so some things that were supposed to be pressed in ONE direction, were pressed in another instead.  Only one is noticeable, and I will have to go back and fix it.
And now... the book.
I picked it up in an antique shop... it is a book all about the styles and beauty tricks from 1937-1939 (the two years it mentions as print runs).  The cool things I saw in it... how to do your makeup, how to pick styles that suit you, how to take care of your hair... how to spot quality clothing.  From 1939.  Very cool stuff.  It fits right in with my vintage housekeeping books (and I actually referred to my vintage dressmaking book while making the top).

Monday, April 09, 2012

Keeping a Home

Yarning along with Ginny again this week, you can check the blog for all the other yarn alongers :)

I was torn between making a new yarn along post this week, or just linking to my Easter post from yesterday, in which I display my knitting for this week.  Instead I decided on a new post with a link to the old ;)

I blogged about this bolero I made my daughter yesterday. It is from a 1930's pattern, and totally went with the outfit I made her for Easter (also blogged yesterday).  I found the pattern online ages ago, and since it was made in a chunky yarn, I took the opportunity to make something quick while I took a small break from my very fine gauge cardigan.  Which I am still working on ;) I hope that link for the pattern works for you because it is playing up for me right now!
Anyway, I used a doubled worsted weight acrylic yarn.  Acrylic is important- I can attest to the fact that the dress from yesterday needed to be washed because of chocolate on it, and all children's wear suffers that same fate.  So... acrylic!

The book is an interesting story all its own.  The housekeeping book was one I saw mentioned on another blog- it is a wonderfully comprehensive guide to housekeeping, from 1941.  There are a great deal of good ideas contained inside, and it was not the easiest book to get hold of (probably because it had been mentioned on other blogs!).
The garden book is another story.  Just this weekend, while walking through an antique mall, I ran across the book.  I recognised the cover instantly- it was a dead ringer for my new housekeeping book!  A matched set, obviously.
I snatched it up ready to read once I finish its companion!  I might test the cover's claims to be washable too, since it is looking kind of grubby...

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Happy Easter!

A very Happy Easter to you all!
I thought I would stop by with some Easter Dress fun ;)

Oh and some goodies :)  The hot cross buns came from this recipe over at the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day blog. The recipe is delicious, and makes a huge amount of dough, so you can eat these for a few days!  I served some homeschoolers who were here for an Easter Hunt (I found one of the missing eggs today, by the way, ladies ;)), AND for our breakfast on Saturday- with plenty left over for the next week!

I made my daughter's dress from 1939 DuBarry pattern 2325B.  It is a child's 2 piece dress.  The under dress is a skirt and camisole in one, with an over-blouse and contrast collar.  DD chose the short sleeved version for its 'puffy sleeves' and I insisted on adding the bow tie ;)

I used good old calico cotton for the blouse and cotton broadcloth for the skirt.  And blue is a tried and true colour that looks good on my little blue-eyed, strawberry blond :)
I had enough ribbon to create a hair clop to match for her too.  She loves the bow a LOT.  It is really easy to make too- I just hot glued a bow to a hair clip!
The kids were up early enough to get into their baskets before I could get photos.  My son is camera shy, so I made do with DD letting shoot photos of her.  This is after chocolate managed to get on the collar AND on her skirt!

 Bubbles were in the basket.  Bubbles were consequently blown ;)

I stayed up late Easter Saturday to finish this bolero for her.  It is from a 1930s pattern.  You can find it here in the Picasa web albums.  And you can see the embroidery below...

I finished THAT part this morning!

For as long as I can remember, Easter has been a time I associate with a new dress.  We always dressed up for Easter.  Mum has lovely memories of my grandad making her Easter bonnets.  My DD's bonnet was the Prairie one I posted about the other day.  She refused to wear it today because she wanted to show off her bow though ;)
But all this to say, she was not the only one dressed up.  Recognise it?

There is the collar, trim and belt I made the other week.  And my gloves- and the snood too... yes this is the dress they were intended for.  I love the skirt of this dress, but I have had such troubles with the bodice.  My collar and belt improved the look a lot... but the neckline rubbed my neck raw!

A shame.  I love the back especially- see my little buttons at the top.  Originally it was a zipper fastening.  I shall be cutting into the bodice to lower the neckline slightly so it will not rub against my neck.  You can also see in this picture my daughter's new basket- she really, really wanted a basket like mine!

But what a beautiful day it was today!  Our gardens are lovely this time of year, aren't they?  Of course, all you can really see is our lawn :)

Edited to add- there is now a SEW ALONG to go with the yarn along for those of us who love to sew :)
Many of you already know Elizabeth- go see the sewing!
 needle and thREAD