Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sewing along...

I've been a little preoccupied recently. Basically, homeschool started up again, and trying to write a blog got put WAY back on the back burner. You know- after sewing, reading and schooling ;). So I planned a few blogs in my head (in places where there was no laptop of course LOL) and had to settle for that!

Now, suddenly I remembered while I have time, so I shall go ahead and post some fun. Where was I?

Right, last time I posted, it was my shorts. Which I ruined just last week by splashing bleach on them :( I was pretty upset- because every handmade item is a priceless one of a kind. Well, that is not strictly true- because the shorts didn't fit quite the way I wanted, so I wasn't very fond of them, but I certainly didn't want to ruin them either!

There was a brief break after making the shorts- while we laid hardwood floors down in the house. They look awfully pretty, and have the distinct advantage of not having holes in them (unlike the carpet they replaced).

At some point after that, not sure when, I made both this button back blouse and the capris.

The capris are from Gertie's pattern. This pair I actually raised the waist a little on (I have a long torso). I think maybe too much! The first pair I made, are actually a little too low... so maybe a half inch lower. Either that or go down a size as the waist bags a little. Judging from these photos alone, I need to go down a size!

The blouse is a peasant style one from an old mail order pattern. I don't think it has a brand name.

I loved the styling from the moment I saw it, and the button back... yes, that was a must have!

You can't tell from this photo (many of the pictures in this post are taken with my iPad, which conveniently goes with me) but the buttons are cute little flower shaped ones. I've had compliments on the blouse too, one woman actually asking me where I got it! You might recognise my old circle skirt!

Here it is from the front, where you can see the peasant blouse styling. This fabric, a broadcloth, was actually chosen to go with my circle skirt, which has tiny blue flowers in this very colour! (Hey look, you can see those new floors behind me ;) )

Next, I decided to participate in the "Fall For Cotton" sewalong hosted by Tasha at By Gum by Golly and Rochelle at Lucky Lucille. I had originally planned to sew a skirt and top, but school kicked in and sidetracked me!

I started off with Hollywood Pattern 435, which was alarming because I would need to size it up a lot!

Instead, after looking carefully at the pattern, I realised it is a half circle skirt (link goes to a half circle skirt tutorial), all I needed to do after that was to resize the waistband and place the markings. The belt tabs I could use as is.

I chose to use a lovely large polka-dot fabric I discovered at Joann Fabrics some time ago. I picked it because it was so very retro all by itself. And I knew it would one day be a skirt!

It is a fabulous skirt, so sassy! At least that is what the lady at the library told me! I have had many compliments on it- and I think a good amount of the compliments are because of the fabric!

The cut is very flattering for me, I think. In fact I liked it so much, I actually made a second one later (more below).

I got kind of fancy here and used lace hem tape on the hem. I wish I could remember how I did it! However, the website says "Application: To finish hem, position lace 1/4" from edge of fabric (right side). Machine stitch in place. Turn up, press. Hand stitch free edge to garment."
I think it looks very pretty!

After the skirt, and once "Fall for Cotton" was completed, I had an urgent need. My sister was due to get married on October 5th (my birthday) and I decided (very last minute) to make myself a dress. My daughter had been sent a beautiful flower girl dress, and I, virtual bridesmaid extraordinaire, did not have a teal dress like the others! I did, however, have teal fabric and a dress I have been dying to make!

This is a 1950's Anne Adams (my favourite mail order pattern company) pattern- Anne Adams 4705. It is a wrap dress with rick-rack trim and really cool pockets. It took me one and a half days from tracing the pattern to wearing it for the wedding (which I attended via iPad).

The wedding occurred at 1pm BST, which was about 8am here. I was up early to finish my dress and try and curl my hair (I gave up on that, 6:30am is way too early for that LOL especially on a SATURDAY). It was hot here, too. The hottest birthday I have ever had, at a cool 95*F!

The first photo, shows us in the cool morning, where the fog has hardly burnt off. The second is later, after I put my hair up (because it was too hot) and purloined my daughter's flower hair ornament! I apparently never turn around in this dress, because I cannot find a photo of the back! It is a shame, as I have a fancy vintage button for the top closure!

Having finished the dress, I managed to get around to making the blouse I had originally planned for 'Fall for Cotton'. This is an old Butterick pattern, late 30's or early 40's, Butterick 8388. It was lacking a size on the envelope, and I took it out and guessed it was pretty close to mine. After making a muslin/toile, I found it was actually EXACTLY my size! How awesome is that? I chose to make the plain view (A) with the sleeves from B and minus the pocket. I hoped the fabric would provide all the great details I could ever want. I mean... it is a cherry print. Another fabric I picked for its retro appeal!

You will have to settle for a photo of my husband and me though, as I have not got any good ones of me alone! You can actually see my latest project there too- the skirt. This is the second one made from my half circle skirt pattern- the white dot on the side is where my zip has not been fastened all the way- I did not realise it at the time! I added a small touch of lace to the cuffs on the sleeve, and wore the whole thing to my husband's high school reunion last night!
The skirt is a lovely, heavy cotton twill.  It is almost the texture of denim, and will make a lovely addition to a winter wardrobe because of its nice heavy weight!
The blouse too will make it on my 'to make again' list- and watch this space for more skirts!


  1. Rachel dear, you're absolutely knocking my socks clean off with each and every one of these incredibly lovely handmade garments. I just about squealed when I saw you blue dress, it's pretty much the same shade as the great 1980s does 50s frock that I bought myself for my birthday this year (and wore on the blog for the first time with a rainbow crinoline a few weeks ago). You've certainly been sewing up a storm, my goodness! Awesome work across the board. I can't pick a favourite, or even two, I love everything and really think you look terrific in all of these classic pieces.

    ♥ Jessica

    1. Thanks Jessica :) I really do love the dress, my only wish is that I had made it earlier in the summer LOL as it would have been such a great addition to my summer wardrobe!

  2. I think the capri's and the peasant blouse are the only things I haven't already seen and I love them! They are so flattering on you. Great job!

    1. Thanks Jill :) Yes, I think I emailed most of them to you before LOL
      The blouse is a real favourite- except for the single button I can never quite do up LOL

  3. I love the Anne Adams dress with the pockets best of the clothes shown though they are all lovely. I love pockets and when buying clothes prefer items with pockets. The older fashions are so much nicer than most of the stuff sold today. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks Sylvia :) I love pockets too, and often add them in when I make clothes, because I love to keep tissues and things in them LOL Aren't the pockets on the dress great though? Such a thoughtful approach to their execution!
      I agree on the older things, by the way. A lot more thought and effort went into the designs back then!


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