Friday, March 30, 2012

Betty at the Bakery Dress

When Julie Bobbin posted about her Mad Men Challenge, I thought I'd be a crazy person and join in.  Sure I already had lots of other things planned, but why not go on Etsy, find and buy a vintage pattern and make a dress from it?  Why not eh?

I remembered this dress from Season 3 episode  "Seventy Twenty Three" when she meets up with her eventual new husband Henry Francis at a local bakery.  I loved its simplicity and that bright bold floral!  Totally not my normal silhouette, but something I was interested to try.


And the result!  Taken on a ridiculously hot day during a Sunday walk.  It was 25 degrees celsius.  Normal temp for this time of year? maybe 5.  It was gorgeous!

The pattern I used is actually from 1963, the same year that the episode takes place in.  

And just to add a bit to the vintage vibe, I tried to style my hair a bit like Betty's in the episode, It didn't stay in place too long, sans tons of styling product, but it still works I think.  Sadly, I had no shoes to go with it, so you'll have to excuse my pairing it with flats.

The pattern did vary a bit of course from the inspiration dress.  It had the bodice pieced, whereas the inspiration dress did not.  The neckline is also a bit different, which I wish in hindsight I had actually adjusted it for, I like the straighter boatneck and thinner shoulders of the inspiration dress.  The pattern did have the nice low back, but alas, not the lovely tie detail.

So I added them in.  I'm actually not sure how wearable the dress based solely on the pattern would have been without them, they definitely help keep the shoulders up and everything neat and in place.

So I'm pretty pleased with it.  I'm not 100% happy with the bodice fit, the band under the bust is a weird fit and had to be adjusted along with taking in the sides in a ton for my skinny self.  Vintage pattern dimensions are funny things.  The pattern is a size 12, and the waist was just perfect, but as I'm pretty boyish figured, my bust area definitely does not meet the pattern expectations.  But on the bright side, the skirt fit perfect!!  And I really like it.  I may use it with another future dress.

Oh and partway through our walk I found some cheap pearls to wear and got me an ice tea, just like Betty.

Other lessons from sewing from a vintage pattern are to sometimes just ignore the directions and go with what you know about piecing garments.  Some of the directions are way over complicated.  And while I suppose if you want to go for all the vintage details you could follow them,  but I got frustrated with some of them, and just did a simpler method the I already know. (i.e. with the waistline)  And sewing the back of the skit was particularly interesting with the little pleat, but once I laid it all out it made sense.

The whole dress is also fully underlined, a new experience for me, but definitely necessary for this lightweight cotton fabric.

So that's it!  I'll leave you all with a final photo from our walk.  It started to get a bit cooler so I had to add a sweater, and well, I was also carrying a small purse and occasionally a small child :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring has Sprung Minna Blouse

The week before last here in good old Canada was ridiculously warm, like 20 degrees above normal, which should have inspired me to finish this blouse earlier.  But instead I waited until it was 2 degrees to finish and wear it!

Yet it is actually spring now (note the beginnings of plants amongst the old leaves in my still to be cleaned flower beds behind me), so I say this blouse is to celebrate spring regardless of the temperature!   I actually had to wear it with a sweater, boots and my purple tights.  The whole combo isn't to much, is it?

I saw this pattern via good ol Pinterest a while ago, and knew I had to try it.  It had cute sleeves and was a loser fit, which saves me some of the fitting woes I have tailoring things down to fit my tiny self.

It's the Minna Blouse from Salme Patterns, and it's a pretty good one!  It was pretty straight forward, although it was the first time I sewed something where I had to add in the seam allowances.  That went fine, except I didn't realize you had to add 1.5 inches to the bottom seam, not just the normal .5 inches, whoops!  But it's plenty long enough, probably because I actually added in 1 inch to the main bodice to accommodate my tallness.  I also had to redo the front pleat, for some reason I had made it half the required width and from reading the pattern again, I'm not sure if it was me or the pattern.  Easily fixable regardless

But anyway, I like the little sleeves, and it's pretty easy wearing.  I'm not much of a blouse wearer, but it just might be something I'd make again.  As perhaps indicated by my ridiculous smile in the photo below, yeesh!

I do rather like this fabric though, previously used to make two scarves (one seen here) and originally intended for a dress I never made, I think it is just nice and soft/drapy enough for this.

And it will be my first ever entry into Rae's Spring Top Sewalong! yay!

Anyone one else sewing spring tops yet?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Springtime progress and plans

Please excuse the bad photos, laptop is in the shop, so it's iPhone posting time! I had the urge to post regardless of the fact I have nothing finished to show.

So instead you all can peek in on my Mad Men challenge dress progress. Bodice done more or less, one skirt to go!

And just to add more fun, it's time again for Made by Rae's Spring Top Sew Along! I'm hoping to join in for the first time this year and so I've got two tops planned.

First is Salme Pattern's Minna blouse, all cut out waiting to be sewn.

Second is Sew Liberated's Mariposa Tee. Fabric picked, but that's all.

And I want to finish all of them before March is done. Crazy? Maybe, but I'm still game!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sewing Famous, Kitchen Curtains and a Sweater!

Not much sewing these days, I think I'm not inspired to make anything aside from the dress for Julia Bobbin's Mad Man challenge.  And my pattern has not yet arrived.  Should I be worried?  I suspect it will be here this week.

In the interim, a few things have been happening, including this!

Yes, that's right, my birthday cardigan for the Mr. was featured as Project of the Week on Burdastyle's front page!  Woo, it sure was odd to go to the site and see ones husband staring back at you!  Pretty cool I say, and I believe I may have a few new followers because of it (welcome!)  I think I may just have to make more things for the Mr., and I have ideas a brewing!

In other sewing news, I finally whipped out these curtains for my kitchen cart to hide some of the clutter.  Sooo dead simple, and yet it's surprising how long it takes to finish such simple things!  Fabric is Alexander Henry's Farmers Market.

Lastly, I finally finished knitting my first sweater!

Turned out ok, although I'd make some changes in hindsight.  It's a bit too short for my taste (although its supposed to be) and I think the shape may make my shoulders look wide.

But I learned a lot!  It's super warm and cozy (maybe too much) as it's made from wool.  But it was a relatively quick knit being soo chunky.  Pattern is the One Button Wonder from Sirdar's Big Softie Knits for Beginners.

Now I think I might go back to spring sewing project planning!

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