29 January 2007

Twice Tagged

I got tagged again by LauraLo. So, here goes:
  1. I am an only child. My mother was never supposed to have children, so when I came along 9 years into my parents' marriage, I was, needless to say, a bit of a surprise. The doctor said my conception was a million to one shot. During my mother's pregnancy, my parents tossed around ideas for a name. My father, from whom I inherited the odd sense of humour, settled on Miracle. Yes, you read that right.
  2. When I was young, my father and I would dance around the living room with Harry Nilsson's "Coconut" blaring on the stereo. This is one of my favourite memories of spending time with my Dad.
  3. I am the last person in my family to carry the family name, as I will not be having children. I have never, even for a moment, had a maternal thought or instinct. I have always known that I wanted to remain child-free.
  4. My husband asked me to marry him on my 30th birthday. He came to my school and proposed to me in front of my class - it was very romantic. Approximately one year later, I lost the large, central diamond on my engagement ring. I tore the house and car apart looking for it. I was so distraught and upset over the loss of the diamond, that I was inconsolable for days. I was convinced that it was a bad omen (which is very odd, for me, as I don't put much belief in "fate" or "signs"). A week later, my husband went out to mow the lawn. A friend of his stopped by and he left the push mower running as they briefly chatted. When he went back to the mower to continue cutting the grass, he saw something sparkly bouncing around on top of it - my lost diamond. To this day, we cannot figure out how the diamond ended up on top of the mower - I guess getting it back was just...destiny!
  5. I have what my husband calls my 'seventh sense'. I can size up people and/or situations quickly. I know exactly who is lying, or BSing, scheming or plotting. I know when someone is sincere or when someone is hiding something. I am rarely surprised - even when others try to keep a secret. I always know when a situation is off or something is wrong. I've always had this ability, but I never really trusted it until I was in my early thirties. I guess with age comes the wisdom to listen to your inner voice.
I will not be posting for the next few days. A colleague and I are heading down south, to take a group of students to Sea Camp. Sea Camp (Newfound Harbour Marine Institute) is a marine ecology education facility in the Florida Keys (specifically, Big Pine Key). This is our second year going there. Please wish for good weather - last year it was cold and boy, was I miserable!

27 January 2007

Vogue 2934 - Re-released Retro Goodness

Pattern: Vogue 2934 - Vogue Vintage Model - Original 1950 Design

Size: Small (8-10) - I usually take a size 6 or 8 on top, so I was a bit concerned that a size 8-10 would be too large and sloppy looking. However, because of the loose, swing coat, style of the jacket, it does not look too big.

The chocolate brown melton is a wool/cashmere blend from Wazoodle and it was an insanely good buy at $9.00 CDN per yard. It is fairly lightweight, but it still has good body. I choose this fabric because it drapes well, which is necessary for the swingy back portion of this coat. If the fabric was too stiff, it would hang awkwardly.

The turquoise print is from Textile Studio. Last year, I had oohed and ahhed over this unique fabric for quite a while and in the meantime it sold out, as things often do at Textile Studio. I was lucky enough to pick up the last piece on the remnant page. These two fabrics work exceptionally well together. I love the juxtaposition of the fuzzy, natural wool and the slick, shiny jacquard.

Project Photo:
In the first photo, you can see the melton side of the coat - it is the "business" side of the coat. In the second photo, you can see the jacquard side - it is the "party" side of the coat. In the last photo, The front edges are turned back, so the swingy back portion of the coat can be seen. I am currently working on a suit (a skirt and jacket - the jacket is another muslin for SWAP) from this same melton wool - when they are finished, I will model all three pieces and post the pictures.

Each year there is a new challenge added to the SWAP contest. Last year, one of the garments had to be made from a morph of the pattern used for another one of the garments. This year, the challenge is that a reversible garment must be one of the 11 pieces. I have chosen to create a reversible coat, using Vogue 2934, which will be made in a faux Persian lamb, with a silk dupioni reverse. However, I first needed to make a muslin to check the fit, as the store where I purchased the Persian lamb no longer stocks it - so, mistakes are not an option.

The pattern is designed to have front facings and a lining. Since, I wanted the coat to be reversible, I ignored the facing and lining pattern pieces. I cut out the front and back pieces from both the melton and the jacquard fabric. I cut the cuffs from the melton only. This resulted in a coat that has one side completely made of the wool and the other side has the jacquard fabric as the body and the wool as the cuffs.

First I worked with the wool. A small dart was created at the collar, which allows the funnel neckline to stand up nicely. Then the centre back seam was sewn, followed by the shoulder/sleeve seams and the underarm/sleeve seams. The front and collar are stiffened with horsehair interfacing, for which separate pattern pieces were provided. The interfacing gave this area a crisp hand, while still remaining flexible. The jacquard fabric was put together in the same way, minus the interfacing.

Now, it was time to connect the wool and the jacquard. Placing good sides together, I stitched around the neck from centre back, down the right front edge, around the hem to the centre back. This was repeated in the opposite direction on the left side (I am an advocate of this type of directional sewing, so that the grain of the fabric does not get distorted on one side, compared to the other.) The two "coats" were now joined together, except at the sleeves - and this is where the fabrics were turned right side out, after clipping the curves and trimming the corners.

The cuffs were installed and the jacquard fabric was hand sewn to the cuffs to encase any unfinished seams.

At this point, I realized the jacquard side looked a little odd with the brown wool cuffs - the cuffs seemed out of place, as there was no other wool showing on this side. To remedy this, I decided to topstitch all the way around the perimeter of the coat. As I was topstitching, a small portion of the wool was rolled to the jacquard side to create a faux piping. This resulted in jacquard side looking far more "put together." You can see a closeup of the piping at the neck in the photo to the left.

Lastly, a buttonhole was stitched and two buttons were installed, back to back, on each side of the coat to ensure the garment is indeed reversible.

Great coat - I love this vintage pattern and I think my wearable muslin is just that - very wearable. If it wasn't such a distinct style, I would make a closet full of these coats. As it stands, I only have plans for the SWAP version for now. There is only one thing about my coat that deviates from the pattern. The coat is designed to have 3/4 length sleeves and apparently I have short arms, because the sleeves are full length on me (which I actually prefer).

P.S. I am still working on the black eyelet dress, but I was inspired to make up this coat muslin the other day and one cannot question inspiration. :)

25 January 2007

It Shirr is a Great Dress!

Pattern: Butterick 9690 - dress with a full skirt, a shirred surplice bodice and a shirred cummerbund.

: Size Junior 11 - bust 31", waist 24.5", hip 33.5"

I used a black polyester eyelet fabric from Timmel Fabrics (this was my required purchase). This fabric is fairly sheer and it has a wonderful drape. It was perfect for this project.

A few months ago, I saw this dress for sale at Vintageous and instantly fell in love with it. As usual I am drawn to full skirted dresses, as they tend to look better on me than a slim skirt. I also really like empire waistlines. My only misgiving with this style of dress is the surplice bodice - I have a very small chest and V-necks sometimes make me look a tad bony in the collar bone region. However, this dress spoke so loudly to me that I couldn't get it out of my mind. When I saw Butterick 9690 for sale on eBay, I knew it was fate.

P.S. I was surfing around Fabric.com the other day and saw two chiffon fabrics in coordinating greens. I may just buy some for the next version of this dress.

: Although the inspiration dress has the most amazing olive green skirt and cummerbund, topped by a lime green bodice, I was unable to find similar fabric. As well, I had pretty much planned out my SWAP and still had not decided on my required purchase from Timmel Fabrics. Julie (the proprietress) sells amazing casual and career fabrics, but not a lot of formal wear fabrics, so I was stumped. Then I saw the sheer eyelet fabric on her site. I don't normally wear much black, but I think every girl should have at least one little black dress in her closet. The eyelet seemed perfect for this project.

Although the eyelet is lightweight, it is not slippery, so cutting out was quite easy. In constructing the skirt, I used narrow french seams. To do this, I stitched the fabric, wrong sides together, with a 1/8" seam. This seam was pressed to one side and the fabric was turned right sides together along the seam. A second seam, 1/4" wide is sewn to enclose the raw edges of the first seam. The completed seam is then pressed to one side. Unfortunately, my pictures of this process are indiscernible due to the black fabric - if you would like a tutorial with photos go here. The measurements used for the two seams in this tutorial are different than I used, but the concept is the same.

Because the fabric is sheer I decided to underline the bodice with self fabric (since I had some left over after cutting). Each bodice piece was matched up with a underlining piece and the two were joined together using 1/4" seams and then the combo was treated as a single piece of fabric. The shoulder and lower bust shirring is accomplished by using a machine basting stitch and then pulling the thread to gather the area. When the area was pulled to the desired length and the gathers distributed in a pleasing manner, a line of regular stitching secures the shirring. The front criss-cross and the back V-neck are finished with a 1.25" self facing. I turned under 1/4" at the inner edge and hand sewed it to the underlining. It gives the inside of the dress a clean look.

The cummerbund is created by gathering a large piece of fabric onto a stay. The stay does exactly what it sounds like, it makes the large piece of gathered cummerbund fabric "stay" in place. When the front and back cummerbund are completed, they are sewn to the bodice, which was then attached to the skirt.

At this point, I still need to insert the zipper and hem the skirt. I hope to get to it before the weekend and then post a photo or two.

20 January 2007

Tanks for the Memories (Butterick 6886)

Pattern: Butterick 6886 - vintage pattern - no date

View C is a pretty basic tank top pattern. It is sleeveless and has a scoop neck. There is a bust dart that extends from the side seam and a waist dart that starts at the hem and ends just under the bust.

: One size in package - bust 30"

This is a black netting that has a flocked lace pattern on it and a sprinkling of glitter. The netting is affixed to a brown knit backing. The fabric, purchased at Fabricland, is very stretchy. Although it is a knit fabric, it is quite rich and dressy looking. I also used a black rayon/Lycra knit from Wazoodle to line the tank top from edge to edge.

Recall that my inspiration for this top and the black silk skirt, that is already completed, was this outfit from Darius Cordell. The simple, elegant lines of this ensemble appealed to me when I first saw it. I also like that I can wear the two pieces separately or together. As any good SWAPper knows, the pieces you make should result in multiple wearing options. Although this outfit is not actually vintage, it had a vintage feel to me. To stick with the retro theme of my SWAP, I made both pieces using vintage patterns.

Project Photo
The tank is on the hanger over top of the black silk skirt - you can see the black at the bottom of the photo. The black at the top is the back lining.

I was concerned about using a pattern that had been designed for wovens to create a knit top. I also had misgiving about all the darts in this pattern - although the waist shaping is necessary for me, the bust shaping most certainly is not. Also, I did not want all the darts to chop up the continuity of the paisley and floral pattern on the fabric.
  • Dealing With the Woven vs Knit Dilemma - Since the pattern was designed for a bust of 30" and I normally use a bust of 31", I had hoped that this would reduce the downsizing that would be needed to use a knit instead of a woven. However, I still needed to remove a bit of width across the upper back, so I wouldn't have any gaping at the neck.
  • Dealing with the Darts - I simply ignored the bust dart and eased the excess fabric in the bust area of the front when the front and back pieces were sewn together. As for the waist dart, I measured the dart width at several intervals along its length. This amount was removed from the side seam to give the waist and hip area shaping. Oddly enough, when I had completed this, I had basically reproduced my favourite tank top pattern , Kwik Sew 2948.
I decided to create a "reversible" tank top. I cut the front and back pattern pieces from the fashion fabric and the lining. Lay the fashion fabric and lining pieces for the front on top of one another, right sides together. Stitch along the entire length of the neckline and both armholes, leaving the sides and shoulder seams open. Turn the front right side out and press. Do the exact same thing to the back, but do not turn it right side out. Slip the front strap into the back strap on each side (be sure it's fashion fabric to fashion fabric and lining to lining) and stitch the two pieces together in a circle. Next, open out the sides and pin the front pieces together and the back pieces together on each side. Sew one long line of stitching, from the hem on the front, up to the armhole and then back down to the hem on the back. Press this seam open and turn the garment right side out. I chose to leave the hem unfinished as the knit fabrics will not ravel. Also, since the top is meant to be tucked into the skirt, I don't want a bulky ridge, caused by the hem, showing through the skirt.

This is such a simple top. It looks great with the previously completed skirt. Now, all I need to do is find or create a belt to link the two together. This is the third completed item for my SWAP - 8 to go!

18 January 2007

Tag - You're It!

Hey, I've been tagged! I've never been tagged before. Not once. Ever. And then I saw it - Mardel, over at Purls & Murmurs tagged me - me, little 'ole me.

So, here's the deal:
  • Get tagged by someone
  • Write down 5 things that have never been revealed on your blog before
  • Tag 5 others
Here goes:
  1. I have a strange fear of zombies. At each home that I have ever lived in, I actually think about how I would zombie-proof the place, should there ever be an outbreak of zombies. Yes, I know zombies aren't real - I'm not that crazy. Oddly enough, zombie movies are some of my favourites - hey, I believe in facing your fears - what doesn't kill you (and eat your brains), makes you stronger.
  2. When I got my dog, it took me two weeks to name him. I strongly believe you should get to know someone before you name him or her, so that the name fits the personality. I never understand how people can choose a name for their child prior to birth. Although I took a lot of grief at the time, it was worth it - I can't imagine any other name for him. His full name is Simon Freep. When he was a pup, he would find the highest point in any room and then fling himself off of it. This reminded me of Fearless Freep, from a Bugs Bunny - Yosemite Sam cartoon. The Freep character (Sam) is a vaudeville performer that dives into a tiny bucket, from a great height at the urging of Bugs.
  3. I love shoes. I am always on the quest for a beautiful, unique pair of shoes. At last count, I have 93 pairs (not including athletic shoes and winter boots). If I had more closet space, I'd most certainly have more shoes.
  4. My husband and I bought 4 acres of land a year and a half ago. We hope to build a house on the property next year. Oddly enough, the house that we want to build has a lot of closet (shoe) space.
  5. By training, I am an Organometallic Chemist. The chemistry research that I did during undergrad and grad school has been published in several scientific journals, like the Journal of the American Chemical Society. To get my M.Sc., I did 2 years of full-time research, attended classes, wrote an original 150 page thesis and defended that thesis in front of an audience. This was one of the most difficult, but rewarding times of my life.
Time to pass it on - I tag Marji, Stephanie, Barbara, Angie and Gaylen. If y'all feel compelled to play along, I will be interested to read what you have to say.

17 January 2007

Domb Luck - Part 3

After completing much of the dress, I put it on a hanger overnight to allow the bias portion of the hem to stretch out. The next day, after checking that the skirt bottom was indeed an equal distance from the floor all way round, I decided to do a double fold hem. Since this the skirt on this dress was quite full, I was limited to a fairly narrow hem. The fuller the skirt, the narrower the hem is the usual rule of thumb. On a skirt such as this one, I would normally try to keep the hem to about a 1/2". However, I decided to go with a 1" hem this time. With a 1" double fold hem, I think the extra weight and stiffness will help the skirt sit out from the body nicely. This is the method I used:
  • stitch 1" from the bottom of the skirt
  • press fabric to the inside along the stitching line
  • fold fabric up 1" again, using the previously folded fabric as a guide
  • hand stitch the hem, using a catchstitch
I prefer a hand stitched hem for several reasons. Since the skirt was underlined in organza, the hem is tacked to the organza and thus, no stitches are visible on the outside of the garment. Also, hand stitching allows the seamstress a greater degree of control. For this particular hem, I had a lot of easing to do to get the hem to lie nicely - by hand hemming, I was able to accomplish this with a minimum of puckering. Finally, to complete the hem, a good pressing with lots of steam gives a nice crisp edge.

Outer Finishing
Just under the bust, on the seam of the empire waist, a band and bow is affixed. The band is applied from the left front edge, where the zipper resides, all the way around the body and it ends back at the left back edge. This leaves an opening, so the zipper is still functional. A bow is sewn to the centre front, on the band. I love this little detail - it just looks so darn cute! The original dress had rhinestones sewn onto the bodice - I have yet to decide if I will add this embellishment. As of now, I am calling this dress finished. This is my second completed SWAP item. Only 9 more to go! Below are the front and back views of the dress. Although I strongly believe that a garment looks so much better on a real person than on a hanger, I have decided to wait on posting photos of me wearing the SWAP items until I get them all done. Besides, I want to get the petticoat done before I model the dress.

15 January 2007

Domb Luck - Part 2

Fabric Preparation - Washing, Drying & Ironing
For this dress, I am using silk dupioni and a nylon ruffle knit. I like to wash and dry all my fabrics as soon as they come into my home - that way I know that any fabric in my stash cupboard is prepared and ready to be cut.

When I wash silk dupioni, I fill my washer with warm water, to which a capful of Eucalan has been added. The fabric is added and pushed down into the water to ensure that it is completely soaked. I allow it to sit, without agitation, for 15 to 20 minutes and then it is spun dry. Depending on my level of patience, I either hang the yardage to dry or toss it in the dryer on the gentle cycle. Although the silk loses some of its crispness, I feel it is worth it because now I have a fabric that will not water stain. Considering I will likely be eating and drinking in the garment made from the silk, I think this is a prudent precaution. After the fabric is dry, I iron it with heavy steam - this usually restores any shine and most of the crispness lost in the washing process.

Nylon fabrics are also washed and dried prior to usage in my home. Although they are unlikely to shrink, I still like to remove any residues left from the processing and handling. I am always careful to dry any plastic-containing* fabrics on very low heat to ensure that no distortion of the fabric occurs. * The following info brought to you by your friendly neighbourhood chemistry geek: Nylon, a plastic, is actually a polyamide made during the condensation polymerization reaction between a diamine and dicarboxylic acid. Nylon is named for the number of carbon atoms found in the amine and acid. For instance, Nylon-6,6, is made from a diamine a dicarboxlic acid, each containing 6 carbon atoms, which link together through an amide or peptide linkage.*

Since this dress is a 50s design, I really wanted to have the full skirted look. One way to do this is to underline the skirt and lower bodice portion of the dress. I chose to use a cream silk organza for this purpose. I buy several yards of silk organza at a time from Thai Silks. They often have it on sale for a very good price (even after I figure in shipping, US-CDN exchange and any customs duties). I like having it on hand at all times - then when inspiration strikes, I'm good to go. The organza is also washed and dried on the gentle cycles and then ironed before use.

Laying Out
Each skirt piece had to be cut out twice. This means that all 4 pattern pieces (2 front and 2 back pieces) would be cut out of the dupioni and the organza using a double layer of fabric. If the dupioni had a distinct pattern, I would have cut out each skirt piece (all 8 of them) separately. This would allow me to match any pattern and place any motifs in appropriate positions on the body - you only need to make up a garment with a large flower right on a breast or bum cheek and you never make the mistake of blindly cutting patterned fabric again!

The dupioni was folded in half and the grain line was checked. To true the grain, try pulling a thread across the width of a fabric and then cut along the line left by the removal of that thread. The organza was also folded in half and laid very carefully on top of the dupioni, so that the open edges matched. The pattern was laid on top of the four layers of fabric and a ruler was used to ensure that each end of the pattern's grain line marking is equidistant from the fabric edge. I decided to pin the pattern to the fabric in this case, rather than using pattern weights, because I feel it gives me greater control over the slippery silks. I also leave the pattern pinned to the fabric until I am ready to sew - it is easier to transport this way and it causes less distortion and ravelling of the fabric.

Next the ruffle knit was cut out. I decided to line the bodice with another knit (a burgundy cotton jersey from Wazoodle) since the ruffle knit is a tad see-through. I used "pattern weights" to weigh down the pattern this time and the two knits were cut, layered one of top of the other.


I often use a method to underline and clean finish the inside of my garment at the same time. Each piece of the skirt fabric is matched up with an organza piece, which was cut to the same size. The fashion fabric and the underlining are sewn right sides together along each long edge and left open at the top and the hem, using a 1/4" seam (pic 1). These seams are first pressed open. I use a seam roll to avoid an impression of the seam on the fashion fabric (pic 2). The piece is then turned right sides out and pressed again (pic 3). Now, the skirt was constructed as usual, using scant 3/8" seams (the first 1/4" + the 3/8" = 5/8" seams). After each seam is sewn, it is pressed open, to leave a beautiful, clean seam that is quite strong (pic 4 & 5). I believe I learned of this technique from Thread's magazine.

In terms of construction, the front skirt was sewn together, then the back skirt. Each skirt portion was attached to the bodice. For this dress, I chose to use an invisible zipper - I find them to be the easiest, most unobtrusive zippers when I don't want the zipper to be a feature. The zipper was installed in the side and the remaining side seams were finished. I hand sewed the bodice lining down to the top of the skirt and this gives the entire inside of the dress a neat appearance. The next photos show the interior of the dress prior to hemming.

Next installment: hemming and outside finishing. Then I will tackle a petticoat to give the skirt just the right amount of "oomph." I have gotten some wonderful advice on petticoat construction from the ladies over at Stitcher's Guild, with a special nod to Kathryn.

14 January 2007

Domb Luck - The Making of a Dress

I have seen many vintage dresses for sale at various online retailers and one label always seems to catch my eye: Emma Domb. I love the elegant lines of an Emma Domb evening dress - I rarely see one that doesn't appeal to me. I needed to know more about this designer, so I went in search of information. Unfortunately, an Internet search did not turn up much. This was all that I could find in terms of historical information. If anyone can add to this, please enlighten me.

At Time Travel Gowns, I found the following:
A California dressmaking company that was active from 1939 through the 70s. Early labels read, Party Lines by Emma Domb, and then Emma Domb California. Designs mainly consist of cocktail and evening gowns with accentuated bodices and flowing skirts.

At Vintage Fashion Guild, I found this blurb:
Emma Domb was a California dressmaking company that was active from 1939 through the 70s. Domb Manufacturing Company was owned by Emma Domb and Lorraine Domb Steinberg. They specialized in wedding, party and prom dresses, and were also known for fancy date ensembles. They were headquartered in San Francisco.

One of my dresses for SWAP 2007 was inspired by an Emma Domb dress that was for sale on eBay by little*things. The seller describes the dress as follows.
The skirt fabric is iridescent sharkskin, copper and black. If you look at it from a different angle, it shows black. The copper is metallic, and really glows. It has a high fitted waist, with an empire waist detail and an asymmetrical bow. The bodice is lined with peach taffeta, strapless, and covered with pink tulle, ribboned and stitched onto more tulle, embellished with inset rhinestones. It closes with a side metal zipper, and there are hooks and eyes and snaps to close the tulle over the bust area. The skirt is very full, nearly a full circle, and is lined with heavy paper for body.

As soon as I saw this dress, I was enamoured of it. I absolutely love the lines of this 1950s evening dress. The play of the different textures of fabric used in this garment really caught my eye. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to knock it off. I realized that I would be unable to find a pattern to copy the dress exactly, so I went in search of something with the same basic lines. I was quite pleased to find Butterick 8020. It has the same high waist, empire bodice and full skirt. It even has the band and bow detail under the bust. The original dress is actually two pieces: a strapless dress with an upper bodice that attaches to the dress via hooks and eyes. As I never wear strapless dresses (I am a proud, card-carrying member of the IBTC and the boning required in the bodice flattens me out even more), I decided to make the dress in one single piece. Also, instead of altering the pattern to be a sleeveless V-neck, I will be keeping the wide round neck and the cap sleeve, as this look is more flattering on me.

Next, I needed to find appropriate fabric. Although I love the look of the satin skirt with the taffeta and tulle bodice, I was unable to find fabric just like it. For the bodice, I recalled that I had a copper coloured ruffle knit in my stash that I had purchased a year ago from Textile Studio. It would stand in nicely for the taffeta and tulle used in the original dress. Now, I had to find and appropriate fabric for the skirt. I looked high and low for a satin in a coordinating colour, but came up empty. However, my local Fabricland had a sale on silk dupioni recently and I found the perfect colour. Unfortunately, the photo of the silk is not showing the colour correctly - it is actually a deep rusty copper. The two fabrics work really nicely together.

I have begun work on the dress and I will post updates as I make progress.

13 January 2007

Petticoat Junction

I have always been enamoured of dresses that require petticoats. It always reminds me of pictures of my mother when she was in her teens and early 20s. She had a wonderful fashion sense and she looks so young and vibrant in those photos. I sure do wish she had kept some of those dresses - although how was she to know that she had a daughter in her future more than a decade later? I guess what I'm trying to say is that petticoats give me a warm and fuzzy feeling deep down inside. I know some of you out there understand.

Here are my two latest vintage pattern acquisitions, Simplicity 3815 and Simplicity 3780:
Not only are these two dresses absolutely drool worthy, but they also both require petticoats. And, if that wasn't amazing enough, the envelopes include patterns for said petticoats! These patterns give me such inspiration that I'm already thinking ahead to spring. S3815 (view 2) will likely be made up in a rust or autumn gold coloured linen with a cream cotton batiste petticoat beneath. S3780 would be perfect in a teal print Liberty cotton that has a small scale print with a white petticoat trimmed in lace. Aah, such possibilities, so little time.

8 January 2007

Oldies, But Goodies

I love patterns. I really love vintage patterns. I especially love patterns from the 50s and 60s. I think my love of patterns, all patterns, evolves from my need to create and to dream. I can't always get in front of my sewing machine, but I always have time to thumb through my pattern stash. I get an instant feeling of hope and a vision of what could be. I may never actually make a specific pattern, but I can fantasize about all the possibilities it represents. What fabric would play up the design to its best advantage? Should I add piping? Should the piping match or contrast with the main fabric? Would topstitching add a certain je ne sais quoi? Where will I find the perfect buttons? Is this the pattern from which I will create a garment that will make me taller, slimmer, prettier and more stylish? If the pattern is vintage, it only adds to the appeal for me. The 50s and 60s has always seemed like a simpler, more appealing time in history. With just the flick of my needle, I can be a go go girl, a Pink Lady, a Hollywood bombshell, June Cleaver or Agent 99. With the just the right pattern, I could be more demure, more fanciful, more mysterious, more elegant - well, just simply, more. I can spend hours in this kind of reverie and I can't imagine a better way to spend an afternoon.

Here are some of my favourites that I haven't posted before. These inspire me and ignite my imagination and passion for all the possibilities:

So, tell me folks, what do you imagine when you look through the pattern books?

7 January 2007

It's Official!

Yesterday I made the required purchase from Julie of Timmel Fabrics. I am now officially a part of SWAP 2007. While there, a few other fabrics caught my eye (actually, I've been drooling over them ever since the packet of swatches arrived in November). Take a look at my booty (hey, I mean the fabric!):

Black Eyelet (SWAP purchase)

Brown/Sage Wool Tweed & Dark Sage Wool - this is destined to become Butterick 4557 (the jacket & skirt respectively):

Gold Jersey - this will become Silhouette 125 (Lee Ann's Top) to wear under the above suit:

Mocha Lace - this wants to be a Loes Hinse Bergman Blouse: