Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mad Men Challenge 3: Betty Draper

My Betty Draper Dress.

I have followed along as others completed this challenge in the past from Julia Bobbin.  This year, I was excited to participate also. Taking a look at my sidebar you will see that I have already added many Pledges, Fasts, Sew Alongs, and challenges to my March-April sewing list. I think I was a little overly ambitious. It is easy to get caught up in to sewing all of the great new patterns and fun community sews.

This was a fun Challenge and I had many ideas and inspiration circling through my brain. I initially thought I would do a Joan wiggle dress in Navy wool, (from my stash) classic elegant and with Joan sex appeal.

I realized that in order to complete this in a timely fashion I needed to also double up on another commitment like my Vintage Pattern Pledge to use 6 of my vintage patterns this year. My plan was to sew 1 every 2 months, seems simple although, I am a little behind as I have yet to complete any, until now.

 Betty in her casual attire caught my eye, more everyday garments that I would get more wear but, then I would have to conquer my fear of real pants or shorts.

My search continued  for something rather fast and I found my inspiration from Season one.

 I looked through my vintage patterns and came across this one that was similar and something I could wear without looking too much like a costume in daily life.

Vintage Sewing Suite

 I have it for sale in my Etsy shop but had traced it for personal use. It's labeled Easy to make and I need enjoy some quick easy sewing in between tedious projects (Trenchcoat) I decided this dress could be made similar to the with Betty Draper, Season 1, episode 7 classic beige dress. The pattern shows the dress in a floral with small bows on the waist but that isn't really me. I did version 2 with the lower neckline and kept it sleeveless.
The pattern is a Junior size 11, Bust  31 1/2 Waist  24 1/2 . I know that will be a little small but since I almost always have to adjust for my narrow shoulders it will probably fit everywhere except bust and waist. I added 1" seam allowances to my muslin to allow room for adjustments.  I only needed to adjust the waist.

After creating a successful, colorful muslin from some free fabric, I went to search for my classic beige.
I originally had thought I wanted linen but, found a brownish taupe viscose/poly/lycra blend at my local Fabric Store which means no wrinkling:).

When I wear this I will style it differently with ballet flats and a cardigan, but since I was channeling my inner Betty Draper I decided heels and jewels were needed.

Machine lapped zipper, and back darts lined up nicely.
I plan to wear a thin belt with the dress to give it a little dose of color. I am noticing from the photo that the hem is n need of a good press but, when the teen photographer is available you have to make it work. Betty would have been more polished.

This fabric is rather this and I am wishing that I would have underlined it or lined it.
I will definitely need to wear a slip with this dress, I guess Betty would also. 

I hand stitched the hem, the only modern technique I used was to serge the side seams of the skirt.

This scene was just right for me, drinking wine in the middle of the day wearing a neutral toned dress. I am obviously not very practiced with my bubblegum cigarette. My Photographer kept directing me on my holding of the cigarette.

 I look forward to seeing all of the Mad Men inspired outfits in the big reveal on Julia's blog in a few weeks.
Happy Sewing!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Pattern Pyramid moves on.

I used the random number generator to get number 11. Comment number 11 was macskakatMarch 14, 2014 at 12:57 AM

Oooh, I love pattern pyramids! Always so much fun seeing what everyone chooses from them! :-) I'd love to be in the draw for this one please, there's some pretty patterns in there that have caught my eye. ;-)

Send me a facebook message or email with your address and I will post the package this week.
Happy Sewing!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Fasionably Late? Coco

Well I am a little late to the Coco Party .
One late night this week with a glass of vino I looked at the Pinterest Board and decided I too could use one of these cute coco tops to add to my basics. 

I usually love printed patterns, but I was feeling impulsive and wanted to sew this up now so I clicked add to cart and promptly received the emailed PDF pattern to print.  I looked through my stash of knit fabrics but did not have anything quite stable enough, Tilly recommends a fa medium weight knit fabric with little stretch (less than 5%) I made a quick trip to my Fabric Store and purchased 1 1/2 yds of Sophia double knit in Navy for the sixties funnel neck version

Washed the fabric and dried the fabric overnight. Yesterday, I cut the fabric and quickly stitched this lovely together following Tilly's excellent instructions on her Coco Posts. Voila!

It was too small, so we tried it on the cat.
Many of you can guess where I went wrong. I was initially confused and frustrated, but then realized my mistake. Be careful when printing off patterns at home and check the printers settings. I really liked the shirt and to not feel defeated, I decided I could quickly make another. I returned to Nancy's Sewing Basket for more fabric. and snatched up the 1 3/4 yards left of my navy fabric. While laundering the double knit I reprinted the pattern. 

I cut the size 2 in the neckline and shoulders then graded to a size 3 for the rest. Tilly makes this very simple and has a post specifically for this. I sewed the entire shirt on my machine using a narrow zigzag stitch as she describes. The second time around was even faster and I completed all but the finishing details of the hem and cuffs. This morning I finished the rest of it. I think the next time I will cut down the armscye a little to eliminate some of the extra fabric.

This is a fun easy sew,  great for beginners. I plan to sew the boatneck version in a stripe soon.

On a side note, I won this super cute vintage apron pattern from Seamstress Erin's Sew Grateful Giveaway. 

Don't you love the lady T Rex she used to prop the pattern? I am excited to stitch up a retro housecleaning look. Maybe it will make Spring Cleaning more fun.
Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Some Fun Selfish Sewing

I used Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing to complete two circle skirts.

I've seen so may of these on pinterest and in the stores.

The first one is a half circle from black cotton leftover from another project. I made it a little shorter than my inspiration photos. I was unsure of a full skirt being too young and girly plus I did not have enough fabric
to make it fuller and longer.

I did a simple narrow hem after serging the raw edge

This turned out to be such a simple satisfying project I decided I should make another, this time longer and fuller like the inspiration photos. I knew I wanted the fabric to have a nice drape and I found a pretty blue poly crepe from Nancy's Sewing Basket. I usually stay away from Polyester but found this to be really nice.

I paired the skirt with a orange silk blouse from my mother in law's stash of vintage vintage stash that she sent. It is part of her going away suit for after her wedding. I usually do not go for color, prints, and bows but, I rather like it with the skirt.

The skirt is exactly what I wanted full but not poofy, and if I wanted to twirl I can.

Don't forget to comment on my Pattern Pyramid if you would like to be in the running. The lucky winner will be selected on March 28th.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Pattern Pyramid


***********************************THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED*****************************

am so excited to share with you that I recently won a Pattern Pyramid giveaway. The pattern traveled from London to Houston and then arrived in Seattle on Friday 
(which happened to be my birthday). 


It was fun to open the package and look through them to decided on which one to keep. 
Cathy from Sew Your Heart Out held the giveaway and I won! I am showing you a few photos of the patterns to tempt you but, leaving a few for a surprise when the package arrives.

The patterns  are mostly multi-sized patterns, most range from 8 – 22/24 (US sizing).
I will be adding Burda Style Magazine 4/2012.

 and a peak inside...

Comment on this post indicating your wanting to take part, at the end of the period of time all names are entered into a random selection program, the name that is elected will be the winner of the Pyramid and will pass it along in a giveaway as the others have done.
  • This is NOT exclusive to the USA so please feel free to enter.
  • Anyone, anywhere can enter the giveaway by posting a comment below by midnight Pacific time March 28th, 2014 BUT you must have an active blog. 
  • I will randomly select a winner.
  • I will post the patterns to the winner.
  • The winner will pick one pattern to keep for themselves, (ok, so you can choose more than one, but please refresh the pyramid with the same amount that you took)
  • The winner must then host their own giveaway.
I have not sorted through the patterns to make sure they are complete.  Please feel free to add the below button to your blog’s sidebar. Let the fun commence!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Timeless Trench Part 1: Muslin and Fit

I decided to separate the trench coat into sections and tackle some fun quick projects in between because I tend to get bored with big projects then sometimes do not finish them. I will post weekly on my progress and if all goes well the coat will be completed on time at the end of the month for my The Monthly Stitch challenge.
After checking the measurements for the sizes, I decided I should make a quick muslin to be sure the fit through the shoulders and arms would be right.
I am exactly in between the size 10 and size 12 pattern measurements. I cut the size 12,going with the bust and size, guessing that I will probably grade to a size 10 in several areas especially the shoulders.

The pattern uses shoulder pads, so I stuck one in on one side to see if that made any changes in the fit.

I do like the shoulder pad, I have small shoulders and this fills out the shoulder space more but, not quite enough. I will do the size 10 in this area.

I am trying to decide if I want to grade the entire coat down to a size 10 because the size 12 is extra roomy.

 This pattern comes with many options. I decided to go with the classic version E.
The only design changes I have decided to make are to the pockets. I prefer generous pockets in the side seams of my coats.  The pattern shows the pockets on the front, I am not sure how functional that will be for me. I used the pocket pattern piece to check for placement and size.

I like a roomy functional pocket and the size of the pocket is small, too small for my hands. I will draft these larger. I am glad I sewed a muslin before I cut into my expensive fabric.
What do you think, should I go with the size 10?

Next week Part 2: Assembly of the front and back along with top stitching, pockets and side seams.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Pattern Giveaway Winner

************This giveaway is closed*************

 Again, I used the random number generator to choose the winner of Vogue 1235 and 1261 is....(drumroll)

Bri! My first comment on the post. 
Send me an email with your contact information and I will post it soon.