Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summer Essentials Sew-Along in Review

Since the SESA is supposed to be over around August(ish) and I'm going full steam on my Renaissance dress (with a few mini project detours for other people), I thought I'd go ahead and consider it closed for me. I had a lot of fun doing this. I had a really great revelation with respect to sewing practical pieces for my life (with Self-Stitched September in mind!) and I feel like I've gotten tons of stuff done! Plus, I worked in a lab the last three summers and was in serious need of cute summer clothes!!!!

So here's what I've accomplished:

LinkSweet and Sassy Skirts: 2, 6, 7 and the UFO pirate beignet (Am on the search for the perfect buttons!)
Calm Diggers & Co.: 8
The Sundress: 9
Tees, Tunics & Blouses: 1, 4, 8 and the yet un-photographed Pendrell #1 (EDIT: see here!)
Accessorize Me: 3, 5

The goal was to create 5 pieces and I did 10 so that was great even though I didn't exactly follow my summer sewing plan all that well.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Corsetry: Straightening Plastic Boning

Today, I bit the bullet and boned my corset. And it was a long day. I started at about 10 am and got done around 4 pm.

First I measured my boning channels and cut (and numbered) all of the pieces of plastic boning I'd need. But see how they are all curvy. That's from being stored wrapped in a circle at the store so I had to straighten them.

You'll need:

A pot of hot/boiling water and tongs (preferably metal) so you don't burn your fingers,

And some heavy books and towels. I knew these text books would come in handy eventually!

So, you remove the casing (and that mesh stuff which did remove when straightening later pieces) and throw them in the hot water. I'd read about this online somewhere, but, of course, forgot to bookmark the link so I winged it on time. You want the boning to get hot and really flexible but not melt it.

Then you flatten it between two towels (so your books don't get all soggy) and throw a heavy book on top. Since I labeled all of the casings, I set the casing next to the boning so as not to get them mixed up.

Continue stacking up your boning and let sit until nice and cool. For stubborn pieces, let sit in hot water longer on the second go around. For long pieces, you may need a book on each end.

Once the boning is cool, I removed the corners off of each end as per the pattern instructions. Then I filed the end smooth to help prevent damage to the corset by sharp edges.

And then I stuck all 46 pieces in their boning channels. There was still a lot of curve in some of the pieces, so I alternated the direction of the curve like this: ( )( )( ) so that they balanced each other out and the corset was flatter. I still have to finish the top edge, add grommets, and put in the busk (which is coming in the mail).

And the inside! I love the look of the bias bound seams with peaks of green on the inside!

I've also finished the smock which was one of the worst patterns I've ever worked with. Seriously, I would have been much better off drafting my own out of two rectangles. It was huge which sucked up fabric. And it kept slipping off of my shoulders hence the awkward neckline darts. And the sleeves are a bit snug. Yay for muslin on the bodice of the actual dress! I was not about to do a muslin on a cheap undergarment like this.

I also whipped up a bum roll-the smallest size in my pattern packet since I figure my butt is big enough already..... I've been working on the hoop skirt part too but I haven't gotten the hoop material yet, so it's basically a big white skirt at the moment.

And here are my fabrics for the dress! (I'm using the first pattern in this post.) From left to right: red for sleeves, gold for underskirt, red and gold patterned reversible fabric for main body of dress. I'm planning on using the gold background side for the bulk of the dress with strips of the reverse side along the opening in the front and as a contrast on the neckline.

So that's been my sewing adventures this week. What are you up to?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sew Weekly: Nautical

I was quite excited to find out that this week's Sew Weekly challenge was nautical. Not only was nautical my summer sewing theme, but I had the perfect UFO to whip up! I've been pretty busy and haven't gotten to do Sew Weeklies lately. And after this week, I'll be furiously working on the Renaissance dress and probably won't be doing any more for a while. :(

Anyways, here it is!

Fabric: same as the rest of the Sailor Playsuit
Pattern: Wearing History's 1940s Sailor Playsuit skirt
Year: 1940s
Notions: button
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: July 2011
Wear again? Yes! I really love this skirt! I was not planning on loving this part of the playsuit, but it really is a nice 40s shape! And I can totally see it non-nautical in a different color palette.
No bound button holes! I gave in and did machine button holes. H
I also finished another hat last week!
Fabric: 1 yd quilting cotton ($5/yd)
Pattern: Wearing History's Sporty Toppers view IV
Year: 1930s
Notions: 6 buttons ($3), millinery crinoline ($6)
Time to complete: 3 hours
First worn: July 2011
Wear again? Probably. It's really more floppy than I wanted, so I'll definitely look for more stiff crinoline next time. It also ended up a smidge tight around my head, so I'll make the head hole a bit bigger next time. Also, the print on the fabric is not terribly period, but it will be a good sun hat for this summer. I'll probably have another go next summer. And since my hair is so short, it likes to poke awkwardly through the holes in the top.
shirt: Walmart ($5!)
skirt: me made
hat: me made
jewelry: vintage from my great-grandmother

Monday, July 25, 2011

In which I play photographer

I thought I'd share some photos from horse clinic last week! My church runs a program called Adopt-a-Horse where kids can come and learn how to ride and care for horses for free. We also use this opportunity to teach them about Jesus and the amazing impact He has had on our lives. This summer, we put on a 3 day clinic during what just so happened to be the hottest week of the summer! I'm not usually involved with Adopt-a-Horse, but I volunteered to be the clinic photographer.

The kids were from a variety of horse skill levels from never having been on a horse before to girls who were jumping!
It was pretty awesome to see them all progress during the week!

Genius me decided that it'd be totally ok to learn a new flash and camera on the fly, but I still took tons of photos!

I did bring a set of all cute outfits to wear, but it was much too hot! In the upper 90s and wicked humid for all three days!

So there are not cute pictures of me, which is ok since we were all hot and sweaty anyways.

I just felt bad for the poor kids who had to wear pants while on the horses!

But we had water activities in the afternoon. I couldn't get wet since I was taking pictures though.

Most days I was just jealous of the barn cats who could lie on the cool floor and nap all day.

It was pretty awesome, but I'm glad it's done with so I can recoup!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Snap Shots

I managed to get a couple of old family pictures scanned a couple of weeks ago and I thought I'd share some of my favorites. Once I get more done, I'm planning on doing themed posts for you all but these are really random.

This was a loose picture with no writing on the back, but I believe that this is my great-great grandma, my great grandma and one of her kids (My great aunt Dot maybe since I think she's the oldest. My step-mom made a great family tree calendar and I need to get a copy from her!). This is another great picture where my great-grandma looks like me!

This cute picture is one of my favorites! These three girls are so stylish. It's labeled "The Three Musketeers" on the front. The back is dated 1927 with Elizabeth Spalding (my great grandma), "me", Eva Evnon. My great grandma is the one on the left.

This three some is also fabulous! Could it possibly be the same girls from above?? Or some of the ladies from the picnic photo?? My great grandma was close to her three aunts too. It had writing on the back. Unfortunately, it was torn out of a book, so the top of the message is missing and part of it is scratched out. It reads "..... the one of (scratched out) was not printed. Would love to see you. Write soon. Love, "Gene" ". I just love these little bits of history!

I also don't have any info on this picture but she's certainly all doll up to go somewhere!

This picture is of my grandmother in a stylish sailor blouse and a back buttoning skirt from 1957. I'm not sure who the guy is but I do have more pictures of her and sailors floating around. I love that my grandma also rocked the short hair and glasses.

Friday, July 15, 2011

SESA: Pendrell goes 30s

I finally got to try out Casey's tutorial for a scalloped collar on the Pendrell blouse. And it looks pretty awesome if I do say so myself!

Fabric: ~2 yds of quilting cotton reproduction 1840-1860s print ($1.99 /yd)
Pattern: Sewaholic Pendrell view c with 30s style scallop collar (Casey's tutorial based on a picture from this book)
Year: contemporary + 30s inspiration
Notions: button (from stash)
Time to complete: 5 hours
First worn: July 2011
Wear again? Yup, I want to make a self fabric belt but I'm looking for the perfect belt buckle on esty

Total Cost: ~ $4

This tutorial wasn't as difficult as I thought it was going to be. I'd never done scallops before! I think the key is to be as accurate as possible while sewing and to press and fidget and press again with your scallops so they look pretty.

Shorts: Banana Republic
Top: me made!
Hat: Forever 21 (seriously, the have good, cheap retro style hats! I have three from there!)

I still have not gotten tired of this pattern! I really want to do a 40s style with poofy sleeves, a peter pan collar and a pelpum! So be on the look out for more Pendrells!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Gettin' Crafty!

So this week, I let out my crafty side and finished up some crafty UFOs! And here they are:

I made a set of four embroidered mug rugs. Aren't they cute! The sewing was beginner level and the embroidery I choose was also rather simple. I did make them a bit close to the outside edge but such is life.

You can find the tutorial here or buy a pattern here.

I also did a bit of pattern drafting for Pendrell #3! I'm using Casey's tutorial for a 30s style scalloped collar. And I'm dreaming of a 40s style Pendrell (and possibly a tutorial).

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Pendrell a day keeps the doctor away

..... Or maybe that was something else. Anyways, yesterday I whipped up Pendrell #2! Seriously, I love this pattern. I was worried that it wouldn't be flattering on me since I'm used to more fitted garments, but it looks great!

Fabric: ~2 yds of something shiney and slippery ($1.99 /yd)
Pattern: Sewaholic Pendrell view b
: none! (best part about this pattern!)
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: July 2011
Wear again? Yes! I expect this blouse (like Pendrell #1) will get lots of use!
Total Cost: ~ $4

I really do love this blouse! It's so easy and has lots of options. And there are no zippers, no buttons, no snaps! I'd suggest this pattern for beginners or pros who want a quick flattering project. I did do an FBA, which is normal for me. Also, for those curvy gals like me, don't forget that the waist needs to go over your chest! I cut out a waist size that was to my bust measurement without any ease. I can feel where the waist hits my bust as I pull it on, but it doesn't get worn there and I do not need more fabric about the waist.

So far, I've worn Pendrell #1 belted every time, but I think I'm going to try leaving Pendrell #2 unbelted for today and see if I like it. This is a really comfortable pattern. Pendrell #1 got worn in the car on the way to Maine! And I've already got plans for #3 using Casey's Scalloped Collar tutorial.

And I'll get around to photographing Pendrell #1 sometime....

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Family History

I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite family history treasures I gleaned while at my great-grandmother's funeral. My great-grandmother's name was Elizabeth and she was born in 1913! She was 98 when she passed. She had four children from her first marriage (which ended in divorce), then married my great-grandpa Jesse, who died a couple of years ago. And they had one child together, my grandma Mary. My great-grandma was a very strong willed, opinionated person. One thing everyone knew about her was that she hated the color purple and she wasn't afraid to let people know about it!

This is my great-great-grandmother's class ring from 1902! She must have had tiny fingers because it just fit on my pinky! It's being donated to a local historical society but I couldn't leave without snapping a picture of it!

This is my great-grandmother's aunt Mary (so I think that makes her my great-great aunt). She didn't have any kids of her own and was close to my great-grandmother and her siblings.

This was by far my favorite find! It's a rather large picture of a picnic. There was no info written on the back of the photo, but given the clothing, I'd guess late 20s early 30s. There were several other pictures of the lady in the hat, whom we (my grandmother and I) think may be aunt Mary (pictured above). But check out the girl with the profile view! She looks creepishly like me! We have the same nose and chin, dark hair, glasses, and even crappy posture! It's quite likely that this is my great-grandma since the age would fit with my guesstimated date. I've been considering getting my hair cut like hers!

I have tons of other pictures including two labeled books from the 50s (one in need of dire repair due to tape!) which I will share with you once I get scanned (and not just snapped with my camera like these were). I also have some jewelry and home goods to share with you.