Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Vacation's where I wanna be

Vacation is going pretty good now that we are on the actual vacation part. The weather was lovely again today, but I'm so tired! I found changing color nail polish though! :) Yay! My old bottles got all nastly and lumpy.

Anyways, have you seen Wearing History's newest pattern?!?! I think I'm in love! There are so many possibilities with this pattern!

Oh! I just adore the ric-rac! Lauren has been putting out some really great patterns lately!

Monday, June 27, 2011

SESA: My idea of perfection

When you close your eyes and think of the perfect day, what do you see? A tropical island and a fruity drink? A house that cleans itself? Twenty-four uninterrupted hours of blissful sewing? When I close my eyes, I see this:

Not only is today the first really great day for weather we've had since arriving in Maine, it's also the first relaxing, nonbusy day we've had. And when the weather is nice at grandma's, we hop on down to the pond and a ride on grandpa's boat. And it was heavenly.

I just love being on the water-lake, ocean or pond. There is just this amazing smell of the wind over water. I'm not much for swimming but I do adore being on a boat.

There are heaps of lovely year round homes and summer campsites on the pond. My grandparents live just up the hill and have a bit of land on the pond where they dock the boat.

Seriously, if the weather was like this year round, I'd pick up and move here in a heart beat. But, you know, I don't do well with cold so.....

My grandparents' little beach! It still needs more cleaning out but there's enough for wading!

And here is what I wore on our little boat outing. Not nautical, but still super cute! This was a project I started last week right before I left to bring with me! I hemmed it as my parents arrived to pick me up and sewed on the hook and eyes this morning! I just love circle skirts!

Fabric: 3 1/2 yds black with embroidered cherries from stash ($6/yd)
Pattern: Elegant Musing's circle skirt tutorial
Year: from 1954 booklet
Notions: zipper ($2)
Time to complete: 1 day + 48 hours to hang
First worn:June 2011
Wear again? Yes! I love circle skirts and the cherries are just too cute! The pattern is super simple and I love it. :D
Total Cost: $23

top: New York and Company
shoes: ??? I've had them forever
skirt: me-made
necklace: Charming Charlies

Today is my last day with assured internet as we are leaving for a state park tomorrow. Be sure to check the facebook page for more frequent updates!

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Thanks for all of your condolences! It was a pretty crazy trip up into the wilds of Maine from Ohio (and my parents, who drove me, started in Kentucky), but we made it. The weather up here is unseasonably cold and wet and I've picked up some kind of funk, :( But it's been so nice to see tons of family that I haven't seen since I got married. I have also gotten to see some amazing photos. My great-grandma was born in 1913 and there are some old photos she had! It's been crazy finding pictures of my great-grandma and my grandma when they were younger that looked like me! I always assumed I was the spitting image of my mom (minus the nose). I think I definitely got my nose and chin from my dad's side of the family! Hopefully, I'll be able to share some of these with you some time.

Anyways, the funeral service is today so I'll be pretty busy for the rest of the day. If you haven't yet, like my facebook page for more frequent updates!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Forecast: Chance of Spotty Blogging

My great-grandmother passed away this weekend. She made it all the way to 98, which is pretty awesome in my book. I am leaving tomorrow for Maine for the funeral on Saturday. Since it's such a long trip (we're driving), we're going to also take a few days and visit some state parks. I know I'll have internet for part of the trip and I highly suspect that I won't have internet for the other part. So, in a nut shell, blogging will probably be pretty spotty around here for the next week and a half or so.

My great-grandma, grandma, dad and me back in the day. My dad has thankfully lost the mustache.

I've been crazy busy the last couple of days, not packing which I did about an hour ago, but sewing. I find out that I'm going on a trip and the first thing I do is think about what project I might be able to finish to take with me. Oy. I think I'm a bit crazy. Yesterday, I whipped up a circle skirt which is currently hanging to let the bias set. And today I made a Pendrell blouse from start to finish and even wore it out to dinner. Hmm.... maybe I'm a lot crazy.

Anyways, I'm planning on wearing a lot of me made stuff on this trip and I'm bringing my little point and shoot camera so hopefully that means I'll have some pictures to share at some point in time. Hope you all have a great week!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Closing the Gaps: Red Beignet

Yay! I finished my first Closing the Gaps project, a red Beignet. The pattern was very easy to work with and would have been completed very quickly had I not decided to do 12 bound button holes. They look good anyways.

Fabric: corduroy ($7) red lining ($4.50) blue gingham facings (left overs from The Perfect Summer Dress)
Pattern: Colette Patterns Beignet
Year: contemporary
Notions: buttons ($2)
Time to complete: 3 days-would have been much faster without the bound button holes!
First worn:June 2011
Wear again? I've already worn it twice! The first time I wore it with the same top but a self fabric belt. I think this is going to be a great wardrobe staple!
Total Cost: $13.50

Top: New York and Company
Skirt: me made
Belt: Cassie Stephens Beltmaker
Shoes: Payless
Hair flower: Belle Blossoms

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dreaming of sewing > Actual sewing

I've been sewing like crazy this week trying to get two of Colette Pattern's Beignet skirts finished. One of red corduroy turned out fabulous. I'm wearing it tomorrow so there should be pictures of it. The other went very smoothly, until I went to install the snaps that I opted for instead of doing another 12 bound button holes. Oy. First I couldn't get the things to snap together. So my hubby stepped in to do it for me. He got the fronts on and then it was time for bed. Sweet, I'll finish it in the morning. Hubby gets a couple of the backs on and then decides to test one out. The stupid snaps don't snap together. He bangs at them with the hammer to no avail. Luckily, the next couple snaps did work. Yay! Progress continued until we decided to pull some apart. The stupid thing pulled the front half apart instead of having the two halves separate. Grrr! Needless to say I didn't wear it today. So now I have no idea what to do with it, especially since it has 11 holes on each side of the closure.

Anyways, those of you who have been around for a while may remember when last September, having sewn only an apron, I decided to sew a dress for the Renaissance Festival at the end of September. Not my smartest sewing move ever, I know. But it did turn out pretty well, despite me having choose a completely non-historically accurate pattern. It was a fun dress. See more here, here and here.

I picked up a couple of the more historically accurate Simplicity Renaissance patterns to have a better go this year when I was out getting those pesky snaps.

My options are A) a Tudor style gown

Or B) a more Elizabethan style gown

My Renaissance Fair is 16th century England so either work. And, of course, I got underpinnings patterns too.

Both gowns have the square neckline and should work with this pattern. I'll do a bodice muslin first to double check.

And I picked up one for the man in case he decides he wants one this year.

I'll go with view b (left) for him since he refuses to wear anything "fru-fru".

So to console myself, I've been dreaming of Renaissance gowns, browsing others creations and searching for suitable fabrics that aren't $30/yd. I'm leaning towards the Tudor gown. The head piece is just lovely and convenient for my short hair. Plus it looks a lot like this dress up for sale in that huge old Hollywood costume auction going on (although I think either pattern could be used as a base to recreate this):

The man likes the gold Elizabethan gown, but I'd definitely take the shoulder rolls off.

Anyways, if you've ever historical costumed in this period, tips and thoughts would be appreciated.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tutorial: Adding a Side Seam Pocket to a Pattern

My very first sewing tutorial is here! I adore pockets in dresses but so many dress patterns come sans pockets! (Crazy people, always forgetting pockets! ;) ) But you can add your own pockets! Side seam pockets are a great option and are not noticeable from the outside of the garment.

Part 1: Adjusting the Pattern

This part shows you how to adjust your pattern for pockets, which is really not as hard as it sounds.

Part 2: Sewing

In part 2, I show you how to sew the pocket into the skirt. Just insert these steps before your pattern tells you to sew up your side seams.

If you use my tutorial, I'd love to see what you've made. Leave your link here or email me at girlwiththestarspangledheart@gmail.com. Questions, comments, suggestions-let me know!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fashion and Film: Summer Stock

I saw part of this film last summer and never got around to doing a proper post on it (at least I think I didn't). Anyways, it was on TCM today. They are having a Judy Garland day since today is her birthday. Happy Birthday Judy!

Summer Stock (1950) stars Garland as country girl Jane trying to run a farm and hold off the advances of her long time beau Orville. Things finally start looking up when her good for nothing sister Abigail (Gloria DeHaven) turns up with a troupe of actors who she's promised rehearsal space in their barn. Running everything is Joe (Gene Kelly) who, while invovled with Abigail, is more interested in keeping Jane happy so the show can go on. Tempers flare and sparks fly as the sophisticated actors rub shins with the simple country folk. Will the show go on? Will our couples make it to the end of the show? Will Jane's farm survive being invaded by actors? The only thing we can be sure of is a plethera of fifties fashion and great musical numbers.

There's a great contrast of fashion in this film. Jane and the towns people have great working class, country fashion like these great overalls.

The theater troupe and Abigail have a much more fashion forward look.

I just adore this pink dress with lace! Gloria DeHaven is stunning and I love her hair in this film!

Contrasting the two sisters.

The theater troupe

Check out the detail on her shoulder and sleeve!

Rehearsal clothes! I just love cute rehearsal ensembles!

Judy wore this stunning dress in a great scene where the towns fold did folk dances and the actors interrupted with some great swing dancing!

I just love this outfit worn by Gloria! Simple and chic!

Here's the dancing scene for you. There are tons of great outfits plus you get to see Judy's black and red dress in action!

On a side note, I finished a tutorial today for adding side seam pockets to a pattern that doesn't have any. It'll be coming to you most likely early next week.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Belle Blossoms Rock!

Check out my review of the fabulous Belle Blossoms!

Happy Birthday Blog!

So today is my 1 year blog anniversary! I can't believe I've been doing this for a year already! It's crazy! It just so happens that I've finished some fun projects to share with you today!

First up, the long awaited Wearing History Sailor Playsuit! Yay! I've finished the shorts and top with the skirt still on the to do list.

Please excuse the wrinkles!

Fabric: Something blue, a bit stretchy and wrinklier than I thought it'd be. full cut for entire project ($50) though it looks like I'm going to have tons extra (so ~$27 for this part)
Pattern: Wearing History 1940s Sailor Girl Playsuit Pattern
Year: based off 1940s pattern
Notions: zipper ($2.50), buttons ($5), trim ($2), bias binding (from stash)
Time to complete: The shorts I whipped up in 1 day. Not sure on the top as I had to wait for trim to arrive.
First worn:June 2011
Wear again? Yups. I'm terribly excited about the shorts in particular! They fit great. Just a couple of tweaks and they'll be perfect. I'm sure I'll wear the shirt too but likely not as much since it's too short for modern waisted bottoms. Guess I'll have to make more high waisted ones. ;)
Total Cost: $36.50
I opted for bound button holes on the shorts. They are not perfect but it's definite an improving skill, especially since there are quite a few more on the skirt! My machine makes crap button holes so these are the hole of choice.

I choose to finish the sleeves in bias binding tape, which is quickly becoming my favorite finishing for this seam. I only had red left in my stash, so that's what I used. It doesn't show anyhow.

This trim was a bit of a pain to get straight, but I'm pretty pleased with the results of the collar. The shorts pocket is a bit wonky, but c'est la vie.

Next go around with this pattern, I'll make the waist a bit smaller on the shorts. The front fits well, but there's a bit of gaping in the back. Like the Smooth Sailing pattern by Wearing History, there is a lot of ease in the shorts. I ended up making the shorts less curvy in the hip area and I was already two sizes smaller than the measurements given on the pattern would indicate I should use. So, if you are waffling between pattern packets due to your hips, you can probably go with the smaller one. I also raised the crotch by 2 inches. I really love how these came out and I'm planning on drafting them into pants. For pants, I'll probably narrow the legs a bit more.

The top fits ok. Next time I think I'll do a bit of a FBA. I really wanted to say with the blousey feel original to the pattern but I'd like a bit more ease in the chest. The neck hole is quite small. My head fits but there's no hope for my hair and I get make up all over it. :( I also added extra ease to the hip area, and I probably didn't need to. The sleeves fit great!

The blouse directions were pretty good. This pattern includes original pictures, which helps. The short directions are a bit slim if you've never sewn shorts or pants before. The Smooth Sailing pattern has more detailed directions. Having made those before, I was good to go, but I'd not suggest the shorts directions for a beginner.

Next is my first completed embroidery project!

It's a head band. The sewing part is pretty low. It's just a tube of fabric that gets tied around the head but the embroidery was time consuming! It took me about 4 days of at least 5 hours a day to finish. Hopefully I'll get speedier.

See, all of that blasted satin stitching took forever! But it looks good. :) I think this is going to be a great summer staple, even if the long ties look a bit funny with short hair.

Anyways, these three pieces are going to be part of the Summer Essentials Sew Along. Woot! The goal set for us is 5-ish pieces, so I think I'll be good. ;)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Blogging Mamas Who Rock: Ashley

This week's Blogging Mama Who Rocks is Ashley of Lisa Freemont Street! She blogs here and also regularly adds new videos to her youtube channel. In addition to her lovely vintage hair and makeup tutorials, she also does product reviews, movie reviews and even the occasional cooking video.

How did you first get into blogging and making youtube videos?

I started making Youtube videos when I noticed that there were very few retro styling tutorials on the site. Also, most seemed t be for longer and thicker hair than mine. I decided to make a 'Rita Hayworth' inspired tutorial for fine hair and ended up getting a large number of requests based on just that one. From there, I discovered that I had more to say than the videos allowed...so the blog was my next step.

What first drew you to vintage fashion?

I have always loved the style of 1940's and 1950's actresses on film. I never knew that dressing like them could be as simple as 'retro reproduction' clothing. When I got a computer, in 2004, I realized that I had a new avenue to shop for both Vintage and Vintage Inspired clothing. After that, I became even more inspired to recreate the styles I loved from the cinema.

For a more in depth look at Ashley's evolution in style, check out this post she wrote last month.

What’s the one accessory you can’t live without?

I adore flower clips. I couldnt go w/out them. I also adore my pearl necklace that was a gift from my husband.

Tell me a little about your kids.

I am a mother of three boys who are as different from one another as can be. The oldest is an academic, analytical type. The middle one is the high energy comedic one. And the youngest is the sensitive, sweet one. Now, I also have a girl and even as a young infant she is entirely different from the others when they were babies. It's a constant learning experience and an exciting ride.

What is the most difficult part of being a fashionable mom?

It can be difficult to find the time to set my hair or do my makeup if the boys are fighting or the baby is crying. But since I really enjoy it, I can usually make time for styling. I am also very routined. So I tend to plan our outings around 'getting ready' time as well.

If you could give your daughter one piece of advice about fashion, what would it be?

Though I'd love to see Ruby become attached to Vintage fashion, I mainly just want her to be happy with who she is. I want her to enjoy spending time with us as parents, even if she isn't into the music and culture that we love. But I do hope she'll always embrace her femininity and her independence. And I hope she'll always take modest pride in her appearance.

Thanks Ashley for being a Blogging Mama Who Rocks!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Youtube: Cute 60s Do

This is the last of the long hair youtube tutorials I'll be doing for a while! Enjoy!