Friday, May 31, 2013

Those Crazy Edwardian Waistbands

Ok, so I know yesterday I said that I might not do any construction posts, but I did finished the skirt of my gala dress and got off my lazy butt and took some construction pictures. Construction during the 19-teens is very odd and complicated compared to any other period I've done. They had a thing for have each layer closing at a different place and never have one set of closures the same for the top and bottom of the garment. There's not a ton of people who do costuming between 1913 and 1920 so I thought that it would be good to contribute some photos for future sewists trying to figure out this crazy period.

In case you missed yesterday's post, this is the pattern I'm using for the skirt. It's an dinner dress from 1918. (Think dinner dress from Downton Abbey.) I'm doing the pink and yellow/orange style skirt with the side poofs/bustles/thingies.

Skirt! It does drape better when hanging up rather than laying on the floor but I've got a whole bunch of other stuff hanging up in my currently being worked on UFO spot so it was easier to just move this one piece. Instead of interlining the sheer layer with the white layer, I just made them separate layers and joined them at the waist band.

And now for the crazy closures:

The red "tunic" layer has seams in the center front and center back with the closure in the center back. It closes with snaps and a hook and eye. I used red bias binding for the snap placket since I was not going to try and make one out of this crazy poofy fabric (though it would have matched much better if I had!)

Now, the skirt portion has seams at the sides but not at the center front or back. So 1/4 of the tunic layer is on it's own separate waist band piece that connects to the main waist band with snaps. I just made the waist band from two layers of ribbon and it's pieced quite a bit as I was trying to figure out how to make all of the flaps and layers work. But that's ok since it's not going to be seen at all anyways.

The skirt portion then closes with snaps and a hook and eye just like the tunic layer. I did not add any closures to the sheer layer since it'll be covered by the tunic anyways. It just has a narrow hem.

And to add another layer of complexity to the garment, the bustle poofs are attached at the side seams which interferes with the side closure of the skirt part. So instead of being sewn down to the skirt, the gathers are tied off at each end and then snaps are used to hold the gathered sections in place. I just used one at each end and that was enough to hold it to my liking. In the picture on the pattern cover, it looks like there is some kind of decoration over the gathered part but I think I'm going to skip that because my dress is looking quite busy already.

Now, normally this wouldn't be on a separate waist band but would rather be connected directly to the blouse portion of the dress. I decided just to skip on that for several reasons such as I'm using a completely different blouse pattern and I really just didn't feel like bothering with it. The design of the blouse part *should* cover the waist band with no problem, but we'll see.

I was pleasantly surprised by the amount and quality of the directions that came with this pattern. I don't know if the Vintage Pattern Lending Library added directions or by this point in time pattern makers had started adding more directions to their patterns but there was a lot less banging of head against the wall trying to figure out how to get this to work. Some puzzling out was still necessary (especially since I wasn't doing the blouse part) but it went together quite smoothly.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Inspiration: Costume College Gala Dress

Thanks to all who voted on my Costume College Gala Dress poll! A lot of you really wanted an inspiration post so that's what you're getting today! Some of you wanted to be surprised and some wanted to see construction posts so I've not decided what to do about that. The surprise people may win out just because I haven't taken any construction pics yet!

Patterns from the 19-teens are hard to find! I decided on this pattern from the Vintage Pattern Lending Library from 1918. Originally, I was going to do exactly this pattern but I changed my mind and I'm just using the skirt part and I'm drafting the bodice that I really want.

with flash

Fabric was a big issue with this whole gala dress project. A lot of early ideas had to be cut because either I couldn't find appropriate fabric or I couldn't afford appropriate fabric. I ended up with these two home dec fabrics (plus the white crepe underneath the sheer).

no flash
They are all polyester but home dec fabric is soooo expensive even at 100% poly! I found these at Hobby Lobby. They seem to have the best prices I can find locally on home dec fabric. These two were in the $10-12 /yd range verses the $30-40 /yd stuff I found at Jo-Ann's.

The theme of this dress is go big or go home and I've decided to add pearls to all of the little fabric poofs. So far I've sewn on about 150 of these glass pearls that were originally destined for my Renaissance dress but never made it and I need to run out and get some more for the sleeves!

I do like the idea of keeping part of this dress a secret, so instead of showing you the actual inspiration dress I thought I'd show you some of the ones that didn't make it. (Though it is on my 19-teens pin board if you want to try and hunt it down. ;) )

 One thing on my list of must haves for Costume College this year was a bustle! And I was really drawn to this bustled 1913-1914 dress pattern from Past Patterns. also featured a bustled dress c. 1914 (left). This idea ended up in the discard pile because I didn't like the bodice that came with the pattern and I couldn't figure out what I'd do instead.

After my great-grandma passed, I was gifted her lace stash and in it was some of this type of gold embroidered lace. Alas, I'd need like 3x as much as I had to pull off this dress from 1916. I did find some new lace online but at $30+ /yd, it was waaaaay out of budget.

I was really hung up on this 1915-1916 dress for a long time. It still had that gold embroidered lace, but I totally had enough for this one! My biggest issue with this dress was finding a nice brocade that didn't look super modern or super Asian.

I also really liked this handkerchief skirt that was really popular in 1915-1916 too. This yellow dress was one of my favorites.

I also love love love the Russian inspired winter dresses popular in the late 19-teens. I really loved the yellow fur trimmed dress and the white military inspired dress on this fashion plate from 1916.

I also just adored this coral dress with fur and tassels! And check out the kooky hat on the gal on the far right!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Youtube: Skip to my Lou

If you've been reading my blog at all over the last couple of weeks, you've seen several variations of this do. It's my current favorite setting pattern! This 50s style features a skip and a wave while keeping my still growing out bangs out of my face!

Do you have a favorite setting pattern or do you like to change it up all the time?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bubble Gum

I posted back in April about the hand sewn hem debacle that happened with this circle skirt and I finally fixed the hem and got some outfit posts of it!

Tada! I went for a coral and teal color palette. I love these two colors together and I think it gives a more modern edge to a very vintage ensemble.

My much beloved teal hat! It doesn't exactly match the color of the skirt, but they are so far from each other that I can cheat. Shhh! Don't tell. ;)

I just adore circle skirts! This one is made from a teal cotton twill and I used a 1950s magazine pattern to make it. The only thing I did differently (aside from hemming it twice) was to add a waist stay. I really like my circle skirts with almost no ease in the waist so they don't sag from the weight of all of that fabric.

I usually love a red lip but this outfit just needed coral instead!

I love this color palette heaps and I'm wishing for a few more cool days so I can wear this combo again before summer really sets in!

What color palettes have you been loving lately?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Pinspiration: Steampunkery

Costume College is coming! I'm trying to stay focused on making things for Costume College rather than get distracted by all of the summer wardrobe pieces I still want to make this summer. So today's pinspiration is some pretty steampunk costuming.

I just love this outfit. The actual dress itself is pretty simple looking but the accessories-corset, gun and hat (!!)- make it really special.

I love the combo of the lace dress and gold corset. A 70s Victorian/Edwardian throwback dress would be great for this look.

Look at this AMAZING leather work! Drool!

 I love this sweet steampunk look. It's got a bit of a lady explorer feel to it.

And look at this! Dieselpunk! Oh so Victorian meets 1940s service woman with a dash of mystery.

Sources for these lovelies can be found on my pinterest.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Costume College: Thoughts and Plans

Costume College is just a few months away! Aaaah! With the Historical Sew Fortnightly going on, I have made some good progress as far as having something done (especially since I want to wear much more historical and much less vintage this year). Last year, I just went with the theme of use whatever I already have and make everything else super cheap. See last year's gala dress where the only bits I paid for were the zip and pattern (which I got for under $20).

Since I've been there and done that, I feel like I'm much better prepared to plan out more exciting outfits! Plus I've been budgeting costumes into my regular sewing spending money all year.

  • Travel: ??? probably something vintage
  • Pool Party: fabric-check pattern-picked out but not purchased, will be vintage

  • Classes: done, will be vintage
  • Ice Cream Social- currently a WIP, mostly done but waiting for the HSF challenge to come up, will be historical
  • Classes: secret project, fabric- check, pattern-check, just need to get started
  • Gala: WIP, will hopefully make loads of progress on it this weekend! will be historical

  • Classes: done, will be historical
  • Garment district shopping: ??? probably something vintage
  • Travel: ??? probably something vintage
Gala 27 (me)

So, that leaves me with 4 projects that I really want to get done and three outfits that I'll probably just fill in with something already in my closet. Plus I still never made a chemise for my Edwardian undergarments. :/ And I may need a petticoat for my gala dress.

Now that I'm working on my Gala dress, I want to know what parts you'd like to see. I'm going to reveal it before Costume College because I'm using it for a HSF challenge and I want to keep certain details secret until the reveal but I'd like your input on what else about it you'd like to see.

Poll time!! You may pick more than one answer and feel free to elaborate in the comments!

Gala Dress Posts free polls 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pink + Nautical

I just adore all things nautical! And I really needed another nautical dress. ;)

Fabric: pink cotton twill ($5/yd)
Pattern: Simplicity 2801
Year: 1949
Notions: zipper, nautical braid
First worn: May 2012
Total cost: ~$25

I've been trying to make some more simple pieces but this dress just needed a bit more than all pink.

At first I wanted to do embroidery. But I did a little test embroidery and I wasn't feeling it.

Then I remembered this cute nautical trim and voila! Pink nautical dress!

I was going to make a self-fabric belt but it was still too much pink so my handy white thrifted belt came to the rescue!

Add a hair flower for pop of color and that's it!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Youtube: Spring Beauty Hits and Misses

I've been trying some new beauty products over the past few months, so I thought I'd share my thoughts on them. Enjoy!

I'm also on the hunt for a new foundation, so please leave me your recommendations!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Pinspiration: Crazy Edwardian Ruffles

There was a really crazy trend for some crazy ruffles in the 19-teens. It was popular in 1914 and returned again in 1919.

Even more scallops! :D

Ruffles! I also love the jacket with bows!

More scallop ruffles. Also note the ruffles on the sleeve cuff.

These dainty ruffles don't go across the front but there are still loads of them.

So what do you think of this 19-teens ruffle craze? Crazy awesome or just crazy?

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Rainy Bolero for Spring

I've been knitting again! This is the Lavenda Drop Bolero from A Stitch in Time Vol. 2.

It's got this super cute drop pattern that looks just like rain drops.

I paired it with my favorite vintage spring dress. I finally got around to letting out the hem so now my petticoat doesn't peak out anymore.

The weather was so nice! Yay for no rain!

Happy Spring!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Birthday and Anniversary Swag

It just so happens that my birthday and wedding anniversary are just two days apart (and usually right up near mother's day for when we get to that stage). Which means May is everybody loves Stephanie month. :) And this year I got gobs of vintage and sewing related things from people who love me.

Patterns! These I picked out myself with birthday money. I love birthday money especially since the stuff I really like other people would have a hard time picking out for me. But I never ask for it because it's just awkward.

This little beauty I had spied a few months ago at a used bookstore. It's a huge 1951 catalog.  It was still there when we went back last weekend and my hubby sneakishly bought it for me. :D

And look at all of the pretties! I really want to make some scans to share but we'll have to see how the scanner behaves.

I also spied these vintage confetti earrings at a near by vintage store the same day I spied the catalog. They too were still there so they just had to come home with me! I like to do that sometimes. Wait and see if something is still there. If they are, great. If not, it's not meant to be. If I completely forget about it, then I must not have really wanted it that much in the first place.

A local sewing store called Sew Dayton was having a vintage fabric destash sale so I picked up these two beauties. The left one is a suiting and someone had bought almost the whole bolt because there's 7 3/4 yds here! The right fabric is possibly cashmere and it feels divine. Only 5/8 yd here but I couldn't pass it up! My dad also got me a Jo Ann's gift card. Yay for sewing!

And last, but certainly not least, Wearing History's 1940s overall pattern. The hubby and I weren't planning on doing anything big for our anniversary this year. (We did go to Disney for last year's though.) So this is what I asked for.

What kind of birthday gifts do you like? Do your friends and family buy you vintage or sewing related things?