Thursday, February 13, 2014

Dress #6 -- Simplicity 1609 (again!)

I loved this one so much and fit is so perfect that I made a second one. I couldn't resist making it gothy. I might as well just embrace my inner goth and accept it -- but not a stupid 90s "Spooky Kid" goth, more of a New Romantic goth. Lol.

Once again, from this pattern:

I made this in one day (today).

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Dress #5 -- Dirndl Skirt

With the help of Gertie's New Book For Better Sewing, I made my very own dirndl skirt. Ta-da!

I made this baby between my last two dresses. I was actually unhappy with it at first, but a few modifications and it's good to wear out! Here's how I made it:

I had 2.5 yards of that cherry material lying around. Not enough for me to make anything, really, so I figured I'd make this dirndle and if it failed, no big loss. I unfolded it and used the entire length. I cut it in a huge rectangle about 30 inches long. I put two gathering stitches all the way across the top and a'gatherin' I went!

For the waist band I measured my waist and cut a 3" rectangle of fabric of that measurement (made it a tiny bit bigger for a little bit of ease!) Gertie suggests a 3" waistband in the book, but when I sewed it on -- it looked really wimpy! It just looked like and afterthought and it didn't even properly catch some of the gathers (there was a lot!) Thankfully I still had some fabric left so I cut a 6" waistband rectangle. MUCH BETTER.

I then sewed the ends together except for the zipper slot, put in my zipper, and IRONED DOWN THE GATHERS! Someone suggested it on my FB because I thought they were terribly unflattering and poofy! Once I ironed them down it looked like a different skirt.

No pattern used or needed. Anyone can do this! It was fun once it started to come together (re: wider waistband!) Now I need a fitted red top.....

Learn how to make this Dirndl Skirt at Gertie's blog!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Dress #4 -- Simplicity 1598 (1945)

Finished dress #4 of 2014. This number from 1945. I know that because I got pretty excited when I saw a little copyright date! Yea, I got excited :/ Anyway, here is the end result:

I'm not really sure I like the white sleeves. Actually, I hate those kinds of sleeves period, but those white sleeves do look a bit like a raglan sleeve baseball t-shirt. I might change them since I have to bring in the sides under the armpit anyway. While this dress fits in the waist and hips, IT IS HUGE IN THE BUST. I am a 39 inch bust and this is supposedly a 38. I know it's supposed to have a little bit of bagginess to it, but this is ridiculous! It's like the top doesn't match the bottom. If the pattern wasn't still factory folded I would think a larger bodice piece had replaced the original. Fairly easy to fix, though -- especially with those type of sleeves.

Other than the excessively huge bodice, it's a decent pattern if you like 40s styles. I'm leaning toward NOT like mid 1940s styles. I absolutely hate shaping the bodice by gathers. I hate gathers everywhere. I like nice, smooth darts! If I can't fix the bodice, I might just make a waistband and turn it into a skirt!


I brought the dress in 2 inches under each armpit and it rests nicely now. When I brought the sides in, this also brought in the sleeves, which look so much better! Not floppy anymore!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Dress #3 -- McCall's 7731 (1965)

I have managed three dresses so far in 2014! I'm going into a bit of a lull right now, but my spark will come back. I finally finished McCall's 7731, which is copyright dated 1965.

Let's start with the fabric. I bought it at J&O and it's called Vera's Garden Jitters. Really, it looks way better in person. Neither my photo or the link do it justice. It trips your eyes out a bit if you look at it too long. I wanted that "psychedelic" vibe for this dress so this fabric was perfect.

I decided to go with the classic 60s collar/neckline AND make it sleeveless! I pinned the sleeves to it and I just couldn't help but think it looked a bit "Thelma Harper." It's way cuter without the sleeves. I used the armhole facing for View B on the pattern envelope. Came out just fine.

I also pinned the skirt up to a "mini" length, but it looked awkward. Since the mini skirt hadn't really made a huge impact when this pattern was made, the skirt is not in the right shape to be any shorter than it is. I needed that classic 60s "bell" shape and shortening it got rid of that bell.

I also sewed a size smaller than I wear -- 36 bust -- but there was at least 3 inches of fricking ease!!! I pinned it on myself to fit. So excessive ease started in the 60s? LOL. I don't make 50s dresses so I don't know if it started then. I know 30s and 40s patterns are the size they say they are!

I do love all my 60s dresses I've been making, but they won't be busted out until spring. I'm craving 30s or 40s for my next dress :)

Dress #5 -- Simplicity 8485 (1969)