Friday, October 24, 2014

Fashion Things I Don't Like

I've sewn my fair share of things to know what works on me and what doesn't. These are those fashion details I either look really bad in, or I just don't find them aesthetically pleasing. Let's start...

1920s drop-waist dresses. Not flattering on big boobs and hips, although I do have a few patterns I want to make up. This includes the "One Hour Dress" whenever I can find fabric for it.

Extreme gathering, pleating, and draping from 1936. Nothing about this would flatter me. I just feel like there is too much going on and it will always make me think of curtains. '36 was a transitional year for fashion. The long, slim silhouette was finally changing up a bit. By '37 the a-line skirt and puff sleeve look came in.

These sleeves. Not even sure what they are called. Kimono? I think they are ugly. Not only that, they make my bust look huge and my arms look fat! I usually think any pattern with these sleeves is ugly so I don't buy them, but I do have 2 or 3 lurking in my collection somewhere.... Longer kimono sleeves, though, I can work with :)

This neckline. Boat neck? Always feels like it's never in place and usually ends up either stabbing my throat or gaping wide open. And the super-highness never looks good on my bust!

Early 60s fashion. I'm not a huge fan of 1958-1964ish fashion. I just find it uninteresting. I don't like the shorter full skirts, the boxy cuts, and the collarless bodices of this time period. To me, this is also a transitional period; the full 50s circle skirt was falling out of vogue and something new needed to break (the mini in '65!) So, I don't sew much from this era.

1970s "Pants Outfit" long tunic/pants combo. I hate this look. It looks like too much is going on (are you a mini-dress or a maternity top?) I have a pattern for this outfit, but there is also an option to make a dress -- which is why I bought it!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Dress #30 -- Butterick 3138 (ca. 1974)

I didn't get any photos of me wearing this so the dress form will have to do.

TOTALLY a cute 70s-does-30s number! Even more so with my version! The picture on the envelope is kinda hippie-ish. Mine just looks like a short 1937 house dress! I followed the directions and pattern exactly -- even the pockets and buttons, which I usually free-hand. The result was perfection! I should follow the pattern more often! Nothing about the pattern was too difficult and it's good for advanced beginner/low intermediate (me) sewers.

And let's talk about BUTTERICK not putting copyrights on their patterns well into the 80s. Obviously, we can all see this is a 1970s pattern. The blonde on the envelope has the same haircut as an actress on a 1973 episode of The Brady Bunch I saw the other day so there's a clue. Another is my handy-dandy Sears pages. It seems like that cut and collar is on every other page of the 1974 catalog, so I'm dating this pattern to ca. 1974. Here's the "proof":

All pages with dresses very similar to Butterick 3138! And all so CUTE!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Dress #29 -- Hollywood 1391 (1937)

St. Anne really gave me her blessing with this one!

And for fun, a birdie in the sky!!!

My, oh, my did I love this pattern! Someone put it up for sale on a FB group and I was at the right place and the right time. I snatched this baby up as soon as it was posted! The envelope art is good enough, but I seriously think my rendition is better!

The skirt was easy enough to make -- it's 10 gores, which gives it that flouncey bottom! The bodice was a little bit of a challenge for me. The basic pieces went together nicely, and so did the sleeves, but I had some issues with the collar and front zipper. The collared version is supposed to button up the front, but I liked the zipper better. Putting in the zipper was no biggie -- I just ended up having to remove it and re-sew it more than once!

This is why: the collar gave me some issues. There is no neck facing in these 30s patterns. They have to do a lapped collar instead. While I can easily do that, I just don't like it that much. It also left a bit of raw edge between the collar and the zipper and it didn't look good. This dress was too perfect to just make it "passable" so I tore the collar off and made a facing for it. Aaaah! It sat much better and looked so perfect! But then the zipper sat up too All this and I managed to finish it from Friday to Monday. It was my baby and I became addicted to getting her just perfect!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Dress of the Century: 1940-1949

Time for the 1940s!











Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Dress #28 -- Simplicity 1253 (1944)

Hey! It took me a little while, but I made this 1944 Simplicity dress:


The bodice went together well with the princess seams and all. Then I sewed the skirt pieces together and gathered them entirely sewn together! The instructions called for it so I did it! It wasn't difficult, just annoying. This time I used TWO gathering stitches instead of one. I still need to work on it a bit, but it does look less "twisty." The points on the skirt/bodice seam gave me a little bit of trouble, and they are not even, but I added the little bows to cover them up!

The animal print on the sleeve band was my own addition. I thought something needed to set the neckline off. The neckline was the hardest part. Not so much the front, but the back where it overlaps the button facings. I had to make some stuff up at that point, but my hair hides it! To top the dress off, I decided on 13 small, dark green buttons. I like the complimentary color scheme and I think a long row of small buttons is more eye-catching!

Another thing I realized with this dress is that I fit size 18 in 1940s Simplicity patterns perfectly. No alterations. I made a size 20 Simplicity pattern from 1945 and it was way ginormous.

Friday, September 19, 2014

My Outfit From 1997

The 1990s. I graduated high school in 1993. I guess most of the 90s would be my "coming of age" decade. During the 90s I was painfully aware of everything being "90s" -- clothes, music, movies, TV, slang, etc. And as a result, I saved some of my 90s clothes because I knew one day they would be sought-after. One of my favorite outfits is this number I bought in 1997. I took very good care of it because I knew it was "90s as fuck" even then. Unfortunately, it does not fit me as well as it did in 1997, but here she is on my dress form. Let's have a look:

Isn't she adorable? I loved the bright, clashing orange and yellow paired with the 100% polyester fabric. It was definitely a 90s-does-70s look and I had to have it! I remember where I bought this -- Park City Mall in Lancaster, PA.

It's a cute two-piece with a cute little mini-skirt. The pockets are all fully functional. One day I wore this skirt with darker underwear and someone told me they could see through it....oops! So, the material is a bit see-through. I'd have to wear a Spanx under it if it still fit me -- just to hide my undies!

Design detail.

Care label.

"26 Red Sugar" was the brand. Not sure if they are still around, but I seem to recall seeing their items mainly in skating/surfing shops that were rampant in the 90s. I know I had other clothing items by this company, but this one was my favorite!

Ooooh, I found an overlock chain!!!

Overall, the dress is pretty nicely made. It's fully surged, The facings are neat, stitches are straight. The skirt has an invisible zipper in the back and the bottom is not sewn in (a pet peeve of mine!) The material used is a nice polyester that is wrinkle-free and snag-free. If it fit I would probably wear this! I'm pretty sure my body shape has changed a bit since I was 22 years old so this may never fit me again. But maybe it can be my retirement fund when 90s fashion is "all the rage" in 2034. LOL.

I found this picture of me wearing this from 1998! Soooo 90s!