Friday, December 30, 2011

Dressing Downton: Making Muslins

 A lot of the pieces I want to make for Dressing Downton are just not going to have a pattern out there, so I got drafting! Here is my first muslin for Edith's floral blouse.

Starting with Colette Pattern's free Sorbetto top and a spare sleeve pattern, I drafted in raglan sleeves, adjusted the neck line, and changed the darts to gathers along the seam where the sleeves attached.

The back was a bit big by the neck so I added gathers. The collar would hide them.

There was also extra fabric in the upper chest. I removed it from the sleeve piece and added the excess on the blouse front to the gathers. This worked out great since the gathers were a bit pathetic.

Muslin #2 was much better and I also added the collar. No more awkward excess fabric on the front.

The gathers worked out nicely on the back. Now it fits much better on the back of the neck.

I knot the design lines are a bit hard to see on the patterned fabric I used for my muslin but they are all there. And this is the fabric I'm making this blouse from.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Youtube: Fingerwave Tutorials


Merry Christmas to Me

I've been down visiting my folks for a few days so I'm a bit behind on the gift sharing post but here it is. I already spilled the beans about going to see Wicked and the hubby also got me tickets to see Tenderly (a Rosemary Clooney musical) and Jersey Boys.

My dad picked out this lovely book of Jane Austen's novels for me. I adore Jane Austen and pretty books!

This one wasn't technically a Christmas gift but I won it from Liz of Zilredloh in a giveaway and it arrived right before Christmas so it felt like a present.

And I've already started knitting up this 1930s sweater in some lovely mustard wool. I think mustard is my new favorite color.

Shoes! I love wedges. They've got all the comfort and practicality of flats but all the benefits of heels.

My mother-in-law gifted me with this Fossil wallet and key fob to go with my Fossil purse. And look, more mustard! My mother-in-law has excellent taste. :)

I've been looking for some good rain shoes for a while to wear to school when it rains. These red and navy loafers from were just the ticket. And they have a super comfy insert.

The other big gift (after Wicked) was this lovely Brother sewing machine from my dad. (Model number: PC-420PRW in case anyone is wondering.) It's a lot more high tech than my old Kenmore. It also came with gobs of feet! I think I've got it mostly figured out, but we'll see. I know a lot of people name their sewing machines and I think this one deserves a name. Any ideas?

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas. I also was lucky enough to receive quite a bit of shopping money and gift cards so I'm off to decide just what other goodies are in my future. Decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Violet's Closet: Grapes and Lace

Lady Violet has a fabulous selection of clothes. Her wardrobe is a bit older fashioned but she still looks stunning in fabulous frocks in jewel tones.


This outfit consists of a matching skirt and jacket in a lovely printed purple fabric and an ivory bow tie blouse. She completes the look with a fabulous purple hat with little "grapes", ivory gloves and a walking stick.


The sleeves and opening of the jacket are edged with black lace. In this shot, she wears a different ivory blouse and adds a brooch and necklace for a bit of a different look.


Check out the little collar on the jacket! Maggie Smith is always fabulous.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Lady Mary's Closet: The Bad News Blouse

One of the first costumes you'll encounter in Downton Abbey is this lovely blue blouse worn by Lady Mary to breakfast when the family learns of the Titanic tragedy. It was an early favorite of mine that I'd love to make.


It features a waistband that ties in the back and has seven small buttons. I'm not sure if these are decorative or functional but it is definitely possible to make this a pull over blouse. It has a V-neck and a cute accordion collar. The bottom of the blouse is shorter in front and longer in the back.

titanic paper

I adore the sleeves! They are not separate pieces but rather cut in one piece with the blouse. The cuff of the sleeve is made of the same kind of accordion fabric as the collar and is longer in the front than in the back.


Collar close up!

Looking to make this blouse? Look for blue fabric with darker blue spots like this one available at for $9.98/yd.

Have a costume you'd like to see? Send me a request!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Fashion and Film: Holiday Inn

White Christmas is my all time favorite old Christmas movie, but I also adore Holiday Inn. Holiday Inn (1942) stars Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, and Marjorie Reynolds. Jim (Crosby) is an entertainer who is fed up with always having to work on the holidays so he decides to become a farmer so he can take all of the holidays off. Needless to say, that idea doesn't last long. Instead, he opens the Holiday Inn which is only open on the holidays (The Holiday Inn hotel chain is named after this movie). Astaire stars as Ted, Jim's dancing friend and Reynolds is Linda, the blonde beauty they both fall for. Filled with holiday festivities, music and, of course, dancing, Holiday Inn is a fun film for any holiday. This is also the first film to feature the song "White Christmas", which was the #1 best selling music single until 1997.

Look at these lovely evening gowns!

What a cute Valentine's outfit.


 What a dazzling gold gown!

Fred's fancy feet.

There is a black face number, so if that bothers you, catch this film on tv as they cut it out. This movie is definitely not as P.C. with respect to race as a modern audience would expect.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday Baking: Edna's Bundles

Today was going to be the big knit along reveal but alas, I wasn't careful enough when I blocked it and it got really huge..... So I have to re-block it. :(

I've been doing my holiday baking today and, while I don't usually do cooking posts, this one is a family favorite so I thought I'd share.

Edna's Bundles

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Crisco
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ginger
2 tablespoons of molasses
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of milk
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 cup of chocolate chips

Cream together sugar and Crisco. Add molasses and egg. Alternate dry ingredients with milk. Stir in chocolate chips. Bake in cupcake pan at 350 F for 15-20 mins.

These are a particular favorite of my dad's so I like to bring some every time we go visit. I'm not sure who Edna was in relation to me other than she's from my dad's side of the family and also has an amazing roll recipe that my stepmother has absolutely mastered. Nom nom nom carbs!

Do you have a favorite holiday/winter treat? Growing up, we'd always make red and green sugar cookies in a really cool press with all of these different shapes you could do. As kids, we'd pour on the sprinkles too. Alas, I don't have that recipe or a press.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

1930s Holiday Look

Holiday makeup look #2 is a 1930s Nutcracker inspired look. Cupid's bows always remind me of china dolls and I love the dolls from The Nutcracker! There's one more holiday look coming and it's 1950s.

2011 in Review

With 2012 fast approaching, now seems like a good time to evaluate all of the things that went on this past year and ponder what is in the picture for next year. So let's start out with this year's resolutions.

#1. Do more vintage hair styles.

I think I did ok on this front. Chopping off all my hair at the beginning of the summer kind of put a dent this one....

#2. Sew more! Vintage and otherwise!

I sewed gobs over the summer! Yay! I've gotten so much better this year. I'm still working on getting the sewing while in grad school bit worked out but it's been a good year for sewing.

#3. Do more with my Youtube of the Week

This one definitely was a fail. Not only did I not do more, I completely got rid of youtube of the week entirely.

#4. Break out onto Youtube

My Youtube channel is up and running! It's really been fun doing youtube videos. I'm still working on having a more regular schedule for videos though.

#5. Be better about responding to comments

I'm still working on this one too.

#6. When in doubt, be BOLD!

I love this motto. It's really helped me jump in and try lots of new things including my newest passion, knitting.

Things I've conquered this year:

Vintage patterns



Costuming and Corset making


Red Lipstick



It's been a pretty awesome year. What have been your biggest triumphs this year?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cora's Closet: Lavender and Lace

cora for the duke

Today's Dressing Downton outfit is this lovely lavender and mauve dress Cora wears in S1.E1 when the duke arrives. (Seriously, I want every outfit worn in this scene.)

dressing for the duke 2

The undershirt is a lovely cream color with a lace collar and cuffs. She's also wearing a darling little necklace.

duke arrives 1 (2)

The dress has a collar and lace insert. There's a matching sash and overskirt trimmed with more lace.


See that pop of blue in this shot? A lining perhaps?

duke visits embroidery

I love the elbow details on the shirt.

Looking to make this dress? This pattern would be a good start. Use only one layer of the skirt and add a cute collar and cuffs on the sleeves. Wear with or without the undershirt.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Blackberry Fix

I picked up some lovely purple corduroy on sale for $4/yd. The color is appropriately called blackberry. I snagged 3 1/3 yds but now I'm kind of at a loss of what to do with it. I really want to sew with it right away because I can't wait to wear it and it even fits in my winter color palette.

A 1940s style fitted jacket.

Another Beignet.

Another rendition of this 1940s dress.

I've also been pondering trying to use it for this 1930s pattern. I don't have enough for both the skirt and the cape unless I shorten the cape quite a bit. I do have enough for the top and the cape lining but I'm not sure how that would look.

Which idea do you like? If this was in your stash, what would you make?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Green and Plaid Perfection

One of my all time favorite old movies is On the Town. I just adored the green and plaid combo of the Prehistoric Man dress so when I spied it on Heart My Closet, I had to snatch it up.

I got this last January, but when Mrs. Amber Apple posted about hers a while ago, I realized that I'd never blogged about it! What a shame!

It really is just ridiculously fun to wear. The skirt is full and swishy and it's fully lined in the plaid fabric- warm and fun!

While I do already have a Christmas dress, I couldn't help but snap some cute Christmas shots with my little tree!

I also did a little tutorial for the make up look I'm wearing. The eyeshadow didn't show up to great on camera but it looks lovely in person.