Friday, April 29, 2011

Becoming a Princess

There have been a lot of lovely posts about Kate's dress, which I loooooove! I'll send interested parties over to Gertie's post, which is really great. All of this princess excitement has gotten me in the mood to wear a tiara.

I have three.

I'll start with the small one. I've had this since high school when I bought it to wear to prom. It's from Claire's and not the best quality but it's pretty cute. Great for the beginner princess. It's currently displayed in my living room with the slipper below on a matching sconce.

This one my husband bought me on our honeymoon in Disney world! I also got a mini glass slipper! I wore it every day in Disney. It did get broken though. :(

This one is my favorite! I got to be a princess on my wedding day too. It's a lovely 14k gold plated tiara from Princess Bride Tiaras. I highly reccommend them if you are looking for a tiara. They are even more gorgeous in person!

Did you break out your tiara today?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wardrobe Refashion in Review: Made by Me

Since I'm approaching the end of my Wardrobe Refashion (t-minus 11 days and counting!) I thought I'd do some reflection on the whole experience. I've not been very good at marking everything Wardrobe Refashion related, but I'll try to collect everything in a few posts as I'm thinking it's going to take more than one. Today I wanted to walk through the pieces I've made and think about how much of a success they are.

1. Wearing History Smooth Sailing Blouse

I love this blouse! It's so cute! The sleeve cuffs are a bit tight but not too tight that I can't wear it. I'm planning on making another blouse from this pattern soon.

2. Dress to Skirt Refashion

I have not worn this yet. :( I think it's just not my style anymore. Plus I don't really have any tops to wear with it! (Thanks to all who responded to my Blouse Quest post. I think I'm going to go with the Pendrell Blouse and have some fun with it later this summer.)

3. Wearing History Smooth Sailing Pants

These were super easy to make! The main issue is they ended up a bit baggy in the hip/backside area so I had to take the zipper out and take them in. Voila! Pants that fit. Then I lost 10 lbs (woot!) and they are baggy again. So I'm thinking that I'm going to wait till I'm off my weight loss kick and then fit them. Summers coming soon anyways, right?

4. McCall 5438 (My first vintage pattern!)

I learned a ton from making this pattern-pattern tracing, adjusting a single size pattern to fit my body, and self-covered buttons! It's really cute, although I think it ended up being a bit short. I sort of feel like a vintage ice skater in it. I may try it again in a different fabric.

5. Sew Serendipity Coat

I love this coat and wear it all the time now that it's not 20 out. I always get tons of compliments on it. :) I'm toying with lining it since it looks a bit messy on the inside.

6. Sew Serendipity skirt

Love this skirt! Again, I need to get a top to wear with it. Too many of my tops don't look good with skirts. :/ I actually have fabric already to make another version. This may be my go to skirt pattern.

7. 1940's Swing Dress

*sigh* I still don't know how to fix this dress. I'm seriously considering taking the top off and making it a skirt. I don't think I'll be able to fix it. It's been hanging wit my other unfinished projects since I took it off after this photo shoot. Must do better muslins! Lesson learned.

8. Runway Show outfit

I liked this outfit a lot when I made it, but it too has a couple of issues that keep me from wearing it often. The skirt has a sheen that makes it a bit dressy for day. I did a zig zag finish on the blouse and it came out rather itchy. I plan on doing some bias binding on the seams now that I know how to do it properly.

9. *in progress* Peacock Dress

This project is going great! I've been trying to focus on doing things correctly rather than just doing things quickly. It's paying off really well here. Just need to finish the hem and make a belt.

10. *in progress* Bow Blouse

Don't think I've ever blogged about this one as I don't have any photos of it, but this was my first experience sewing with a knit and it's coming along ok. Some of the seams look a bit wonky, but not that bad. It needs buttons but I keep forgetting to pick some up.

11. *in progress* Butterfly Dress

No pictures of this either, but I'm making Simplicity 2549 for this week's Sew Weekly Challenge. I'd love to finish it tonight but I'll probably have to work on it some more tomorrow. I had to make significant changes to the top of this pattern and I didn't make a muslin so fingers crossed that it works! I have most of the bodice complete and so far so good.

13 pieces in 4 months! Woot! I definitely did a lot of sewing these last four months and learned tons! Hopefully the next four months will have even more successes!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Trying out the golden rule

No, not that one! Today, I got my nerd side out and decided to apply the golden ratio to my peacock ensemble:

Steph from 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World did this with one of her sewing projects and I thought I'd give it a whirl. So, here's how I figured this out.

I measured from the shoulder to the hem of the top giving me a=22 inches. Then I plugged into the formula a/b=1.618 and got b=13.6 inches. b is the measurement from the hem of the top to the hem of the skirt, not the measurement from the waist of the skirt to the hem of the skirt. We only care about the parts that are visible. Plugging a and b into the other equation a+b/a, I got 1.618 back. That means the math was done correctly.

If you're not sure what should be a and what should be b, try swapping the values. If you assign 22 inches to b, you get a=35.6 inches (which is almost 3 feet!). Since 22 inches is still the top measurement, that leaves a=35.6 inches for the visible length of the skirt. As I'm only 5'4", that's not going to work.

Then I pinned the skirt up to see how I liked the length. (Please ignore the wonky side.) The bottom arrow indicates about where the unhemmed skirt hits me. It's loooooong! And I'm short. While I'm not a huge fan of my knees, I do like the length.

I'm really excited about this outfit! I just have to add a hook and eye to the skirt and do the hem! I'm also considering making a self fabric belt (see the line on the labeled image). The top is a bit loose from the waist to the hip so a belt will help show off my waist. I love my waist and feel odd (fat...) when it's not highlighted.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Bonnet

While most people choose to wear something extra special on Easter, I opted to stick with an old favorite-my brown and pink circle skirt. I've been wearing it a lot actually. Today I jazzed it up with my new beaded collar and hat.

My husband and I went to his parents' house after church today for dinner and an Easter egg hunt for the my niece and nephew. I took the opportunity to snap a few pictures in their backyard to take advantage of their lovely landscaping.

I tried out a new hairstyle from Lauren Rennells' book and it turned out quite well for a first go. I'm also sporting a new coral lipstick I picked up this weekend. I like it. :)

Check out my hat! It came out very nicely! I made it from this Wearing History pattern. It was actually pretty simple to make. I did have to get a bit creative when pressing the seams since I don't have a tailor's ham. (I've added that to my list of things to sew and already tracked down a tutorial.) I did add a strip to the front of the hat so I could attach different Belle Blossoms as the mood it me. The one I am wearing is January's Blossom of the Month.

I ended up wearing my beaded collar backwards as the overall impression was that it looked a bit odd the other way round. Eh. I'm not one for being super historically accurate anyways.

Blogging Mamas Who Rock

Happy Easter everyone! May is just around the corner and that means Mother's Day. I'm not a mom, but there are lots of great blogging gals out there who are. In honor of these ladies, I'm hosting a series of interviews with 'Blogging Mamas Who Rock' to learn what inspires them and how they manage to stay fabulous while being great moms. The first interview is set to air a week from today, so stick around! You won't want to miss these!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I love a good antique store!

There is an antique store in a small town out near my church and I've been wanting to go for a while, but it's always closed on Sunday when I'm up at church. Today, my husband and I were out there getting some work done and I snatched the opportunity to hit the antique store after we were finished. They had tons of cute tea cups. I'd love to start collecting vintage tea cups but, alas, there is no place to store them in my tiny apartment.

So here is what I did take home with me!

A little over 2 yds of this lovely landscape print on a knit. I think it may be Venice because of the gondolas but it's cute none the less.

I also found this piece of the same type of material but with a Chinese print. It's a bit larger than the other piece. And they were only $4 each!

I also found this lovely vintage beaded collar! The tag says it was handmade in Japan. It was missing the hook part of the hook and eye and the pearly coating has come off of most of the outer row of beads, but adding a hook was easy and it still looks lovely. Someone loved this very much. And now I do! I thought it was worth the $5. It will be making its debut tomorrow along with my new hat! Can't wait to share that with you!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter break equals time to get sewing

Life has been pretty crazy the last couple of days. I didn't have class Thursday or Friday and I only have one class on Wednesday so I've pretty much had the last three days off of school. Wednesday was a takin' care of business type day. I got a lot of administrative type things done (blah) and got a good portion of my homework done. I always like to get my homework done when I'm in school mode so I can enjoy the rest of my break! But Thursday was all sewing all day!

The top of my peacock outfit is finished! I also conquered the skirt zipper and cut and started to assemble the skirt lining. It'll definitely be finished in time. Woot! I also decided on the spur of the moment to make a hat for Easter. I knew I wasn't going to have enough time to make a dress but I'd just gotten two hat patterns from Wearing History so I was like why not? Most of the patterns called for some sort of special thing I didn't have in my stash, but I found one that had definite possibility. It got finished today and it is awesome! I can't believe I made a hat!

Today has been full of a lot of technical drama with our internet. It's all fixed now though. Our wireless router pooped out and we had to buy a new one. :( That's why there's no exciting pictures today. (And I needed to start an English paper. Second to last one ever!)

On the bright side, I still have the whole weekend to enjoy plus another day off of school on Monday! There will be lots more sewing. Next up on the project list is another Smooth Sailing Blouse and a cherry print circle skirt.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Middy Haircut

Last week I got a Middy haircut and today a whipped up a video to show you how it looks unstyled. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Life's crazy!

So I had planned a bit more serious of a post for today but it has been a crazy two days. Yesterday, I found some odd charges on my debit card that I had to spend several hours at the bank getting all worked out. Everything should be fine now but it was pretty stressful. And I also found out that two of my friends who I thought were blissfully happy are considering divorce. And I've been feeling quite unmotivated about sewing right now. I've never made as many muslins for one project in my life as I am for the peacock graduation outfit. Blah!

So here's a quick shot of my outfit from today. It's not vintage by any means but I thought you might like to see what I wear on my nonvintage days.

Shirt: New York and Company
Skirt: Banana Republic
Blazer: The Limited
Shoes: Target
Hair flower: Belle Blossoms
Necklace: Banana Republic

But I did have a little surprise at home to cheer me up.

After seeing how amazing Casey's hat came out, I just had to get these two Wearing History patterns. I'm already dreaming of Version 1 of the 30s pattern in a light green with forest green loops in the back and Version 2 of the 40s pattern in navy with self-fabric piping in a fun swirly design. *sigh* What loveliness!

I also got a hair cut yesterday in to a long Middy cut with some length left on the front so I can still do victory rolls and a pony tail. With all of the drama yesterday, I have yet to get pictures.


Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fashion and Film: Kiss Me Kate

Kiss Me Kate (1953) combines three of my favorite things-musicals, 50s fashion, and Shakespeare! Starring Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, and Ann Miller, this film follows the scuffles of a divorced couple (Grayson and Keel) who are putting on a musical version of 'The Taming of the Shrew' along with a beautiful young dancer (Miller) who, like character she plays, has no trouble attracting male attention. I do love this film, partially because I love Shakespeare! I particularly like 'The Taming of the Shrew' because I starred in a play based on it when I was in middle school. (Fun fact: I acted up through high school.)

Besides some Shakespearean costumes (I find vintage period films intriguing), there are some delightful off stage 50s costumes that are quite dreamy.

Miller and Grayson face off. I just adore Grayson's hat!

Another shot of the black outfit and hat! Plus she's got fur!

I also adored this yellow ensemble. I think it is a dressing gown as she's wearing it in the dressing room, but it'd also make a cute wrap dress. I am in need of a dressing gown or house coat. I love lounging around the house in my robe but it is getting kind of sad looking. :(

I usually pair my pink with brown but this gray and pink ensemble is so lovely! Check out the coordinating hat and purse.

This polka dot and scallop dress is by far my favorite! Love the hat too!

See, it has a scalloped underskirt too!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Collegiate Style: Part 2

My hubby returned home with the camera! Yay! So here is my attempt at collegiate style.

Blouse: Vintage
Skirt: made by me
Shoes: Payless

This sheer pink blouse was one of my first vintage purchases on etsy. Surprisingly it fits everywhere except the neck. Does this mean I have a fat neck?

I did my hair in victory rolls with a french twist in the back. I'm not usually too good with victory rolls, but I've been trying to practice more often. I think they'd go better if I had thicker hair.

Outtake! My hubby decided to be a smart mouth (or photographer in this case) and snap this shot of me before I was ready to go. Please excuse the messy house!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A survey of vintage bangs

Bangs have always for the bold and fashion forward. They make a definite statement that takes some serious commitment. They can take forever to grow out, you know! Bangs can also very strongly show a particular period. So here's a survey of bang styles over the years.

Bangs in the 1920's were a bold way to set yourself firmly in the flapper style. Several film stars adopted a severe bob with blunt straight bangs but wispier bangs were not unheard of either.

Bangs in the 1930's moved away from the blunt style and tended towards the wispy look. They were also often curly.

While the U-shaped Bettie Paige bangs first became popular in the 1940s, curly bangs were also popular. These bangs were fuller than looks from the 1930s. Most often, however, the bang area was a rather long fringe that was styled into the rest of the hair to give a peak-a-boo wave. The Middy haircut had this type of bang.

Bettie Paige bangs continued to be popular in the 1950s. Rolled bangs were an option for those who didn't want bangs every day. Softer bangs a la Audrey Hepburn also began to appear.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Gettin' Organized Giveaway!

Do you ever plan on doing something and just never quite get around to it? Today was a day for catching up on all of those things! There was quite a lot of cleaning that went on, mostly the kind of stuff that doesn't need done every week so I tend to forget.

I have a tiny bathroom and it gets quite cluttered with all of my stuff. So today, I put my handy man pants on and put some nails in the walls for my snoods, scarves and Belle Blossoms.

I've been pondering how to store my Belle Blossoms for a while now. I tied a ribbon between two nails and clipped all of my flowers on to it. Now they are up and out of the way.

I've also had a giveaway planned for a while so here goes! Audrey Hepburn is one of my favorite fashion icons! So, I'm sharing a little Audrey with you today! To win these two great Hepburn films on DVD, leave a comment telling who your favorite film star fashion icon is and why. Want more entries? Share on your blog and leave a link to your post in a comment. The giveaway will be open until 12 pm Eastern Standard Time on April 15th.

I love Audrey because she can pull off so many looks! Long hair, short hair, bangs, dramatic transformations all work for her. She also has such personality in her films. Audrey pulls off simple and fabulous whether she is the lovesick daughter of a chauffeur or the princess of a small European country. Plus she's a brunette! (I'll admit, I'm a bit biased. ;) )

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Why you need to make a muslin!

So I've been working on this outfit to wear for graduation (t minus one month and counting!). I decided to do a muslin for the top since I know I have narrow shoulders and since the sleeves aren't separate pieces, I thought there might be some issues fitting it on the fly. Boy, am I glad I did!

I didn't take a picture of me in Muslin #1 during any point in the process because the fit was terrible! It was too tight in the sleeve and at the bust and huge on my chest above the girls. This top was definitely designed for someone in a bullet bra! My girls are not that high and perky! Plus the shoulder issue caused extra poof the shoulder area.

When I took Muslin #1 apart to use as a pattern for Muslin #2, I noticed that the changes caused the fabric not to be flat in the chest area. Hmmm.... I wasn't sure how that would translate when I cut out the pieces, which would be flat. So on one side, I added a horizontal dart to help get that shape and to see how it would turn out.

The side without the dart had some weird poofiness where the top and sleeve joined. While I hate to have to add a dart to the pattern, that side fit much better. I also lowered the vertical darts on that side. That gave me some more wiggle room. Plus, the envelope illustration shows the darts lower with respect to the girls. (Not that that necessarily means anything.)

I'm going to finish the neckline and sleeve cuffs in Muslin #3. I may lower the neckline but I think it will work. The sleeve lengths also ended up weird so I'll make them match up again. And vacuum! Goodness, my floor is dirty!

Friday, April 1, 2011

I wish I was back in the Army...

Today's ensemble is military inspired all the way! I have had the song "I wish I was back in the Army" from White Christmas stuck in my head for the past few days. This is the result. I love this olive army green dress. It's just military enough without being over the top. I just need a really great military hat to pull it all together.


Dress: New York and Company
Shoes: DSW

I love the curves this dress gives me.

Today's hairstyle is victory rolls with a page boy look in the back from Lisa Freemont Street's tutorial.

Victory rolls have always given me trouble but having leftover curls from yesterday's pin curl set helped. Though with my issues with symmetry, I think I'd be better off with side part victory rolls.

And speaking of youtube, look out for a new tutorial from yours truly later today.