Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dressing Downton: Modern Mourning

 I have been sewing up more Downton Abbey inspired pieces. There have been a few hiccups but I'm still pushing through for these lovely costumes. This month, I replicated a blouse Mary wears in S1.Ep1. to the memorial service for the late heirs.

It features white trim along the top edge and another row right below. And there is a row of cute white buttons. She pairs it with a high waisted tuxedo looking jacket and a black skirt. I also adore Sybil's military inspired jacket and the scalloped collar of Edith's blouse.

For my version, I reached for the ever handy Sorbetto blouse. The drafting was very easy! I added piping to the neckline and across the middle of the shirt. I stole a sleeve pattern from another pattern and slapped them on there.

I was going to try and use the white piping as the neckline facing but all of that white was really distracting so I used black bias binding for a much cleaner look.

I covered buttons with some white bias binding (after lots of pressing!) so they'd match the white of the piping. I hate it when blacks and whites don't match.

Mary's has a straighter neckline and probably had long sleeves but I wanted a simple, wearable piece and I'm super happy with how it turned out.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Better Late Than Never

 I had planned on showing you guys my February Dressing Downton piece today but there's still a kitchen table in my kitchen and one in my living room and I have an exam tomorrow and my poor husband has caught some kind of funk. :( So instead, here are some pictures from Saturday evening post thrifting.

I made this rose print jersey dress a while back and never got around to photographing it. So when my husband surprised me Saturday night by taking me out, I made him snap a few pictures of it.

There's a little place where a chef teaches cooking classes and on Saturday night, there is live music and dinner. I'd eaten lunch super late so I didn't opt for the dinner but my husband gave me dessert. It was a yummy chocolate moose and I was sad when it was gone.

Wait-Is that another dress? Nope. This is Secret Agent Dress #2.

I accessorized with my purple suede wedges and keep it simple.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Antiquing Haul

 Saturday, my friend Laura and I went to an antique mall on Saturday and it was so much fun! There was tons and tons of stuff. It was quite overwhelming!

Laura had told me that the last time she went that there were lots of lovely hats so I was definitely on the look out for some.

Although my husband's comment as I was pulling them out of the bag was "How many did you get?!?", I really did restrain myself quite a bit and only brought home four.

The hat splurge of the day was this lovely straw sun hat with a velvet ribbon and bows at the front and back for $25. Not the steal of the day but much less than usually spend on hats on etsy so I was happy.

A lovely green and gold cocktail hat for $7. I suspect it may have had a few more feathers earlier in its life but it still looks nice.

This little white hat has pale pink flowers and a navy blue ribbon and was mine for $4.50. Spring , come soon!

I almost left this little feathered cocktail hat behind but when back and grabbed it at the last minute. At only $5, I couldn't resist.

Patterns were pretty scarce but reasonably priced. I snagged the only 3 non-childrens non-pj patterns that weren't 60s-now.



And more skirts! See the damage to the front of the cover? One of the workers taped my table tag to the front of it and my poor pattern was ripped when it came off. :( I haven't check any of these for completeness but at $1.50 each I figured it was worth the risk.

My find of the day was this lovely table on sale for $99. I don't know much about how vintage furniture should be priced but it seemed pretty fair to me. It wasn't in mint condition but it cleaned up really nice. It also has a leaf that can go in the middle. We've been considering getting a new kitchen table so this find was serendipitous. Just as soon as we get a new home for our old table this one will be quite happy in our kitchen. It didn't come with chairs so we have to find some. Any thoughts as to what would look good?

The antique mall was convinently located near a huge grocery store called Jungle Jims. They have EVERYTHING!!!! including my husband's favorite beer. So I picked him up a six pack of Hofbrau Dunkel and also grabbed some Sam Adams Winter Lauger (another but easier to find favorite) which was on sale cheap. He was pretty happy.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Pin Curls!

 I'm not an expert pin curler by any means but I did want to do a brief overview of pincurls and my routine. Feel free to leave any questions!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Winter/Spring Sewing Plans

 After a rather hectic weekend and my husband and I's first bridal expo (He's trying to start up doing wedding photography so cross your fingers that we'll be super busy this summer!), I just feel like I need a bit of refocusing to get me going. I also have a proposal due soon so I can get funding to do research this summer so time management is super important right now. And seeing as you'd much rather hear about me planning out my sewing projects than my research proposal, here's what I'm planning on making over the next few months.

1. Eva Dress 30s Skirt

 I'm making this skirt from that yummy herringbone I got in the fabric destash. I've actually started on a muslin for this so hopefully it'll be done soon.

2. Past Patterns Edwardian Skirt

I so need a black skirt to go with my Dressing Downton tops.

3. Sybil's (and Edith's) blouse

 I've already started drafting this top but I've run out of tracing paper and haven't made it out to get anymore yet.

 4. Sybil's Flower show dress

You guys just heard about this one but I'm planning on wearing this for Easter.

5. Mary's blouse

 I have fabric for this but haven't gotten around to buying a pattern to use as a base but I want to get it done this spring.

6. 40s pinstripe dress

 I'm also itching to make this pink dress! I have an adorable drapey twill with pink and grey pinstripes stashed away for this dress and it will get made this spring!

What are your sewing plans for the up coming spring (or fall for those of you down under) season? Or are you still in full winter (summer) mode? Winter here has been so mild that I'm just so in spring mode!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lady Edith's Closet: Flower Show Dress

Flower Show

One of my favorite dresses from season 1 is the ecru dress Edith wears to the flower show. Mary and Sybil's flower show dresses make a second appearance at the garden party but Edith's only appears once.

Edith Flower Show

It features some crocheted lace on the neckline and sleeve cuffs. I've spied some at my local Jo-Ann's but there are quite a few people selling lace like this on etsy.

downton abbey sisters on stairs

And it has a darling green sash that looks to be at or slightly above the natural waist. (It's kind of hard to tell where the natural waist is when you're wearing a corset! lol)

Edith and Mary Flower Show

I love her oval brimmed hat! It's trimmed with white ribbon tied in a loop or bow with a large pale pink flower over it.

More Downton Abbey-2

The look is accessorized with a pair of crocheted gloves. I could not find a picture of the back of the dress or a full length shot, but this pattern would be just the thing to copy this dress!

Find it on the Sense and Sensibility Pattern's website. I had some trouble with the last Sense and Sensibility pattern I used but I'm hoping a year's worth of sewing experience will make this one a success. I'm planning on having this made up in time for Easter.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Dinner

 The hubby and I went out for our Valentine's dinner last night to The Melting Pot. It's a fondue restaurant and always delicious!

We decided on a four course option (which is really two courses more than I needed to eat but so worth it!). I didn't get any pictures of #1 (spinach and artichoke cheese dip) or #2 (salad) but this is the main course. We had lobster, steak, chicken, pork, shrimp and mushroom ravioli. Nom nom nom.

And there were veggies but we didn't exactly save room for them.

Desert was by far the best. Bananas Foster fondue which the waiter pour flaming Bacardi 151 on top of.

The dessert spread! Now, by the time you get to dessert, there is really no room left but you just eat it anyways because it is soooooo good.

I went modern in a pink jersey dress (Macy's), gold cami (NY&Co.) and teal cardigan (Limited). I even managed to snag a pair of teal fondue forks for the dinner course, because I'm cool like that.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Dressing Downton: Costumes I hope make it into season 3!

 Boy, last night's episode of Downton Abbey was easy on the eyes. I feel like we've been seeing the same costumes over and over again, but then they just slammed us with gobs of lovelies all jam packed into the end here. I know there was a war going on (and I read somewhere that some of the costumes were destroyed in a fire) but still some of these pieces deserve more screen time. So here are a few of the pieces I just adored and really want to see again in season 3.

Daisy finally gets a new dress. I much prefer this one to the last one. It's a lovely shade of orange.

I just adore this shade of blue with pale skin.

Edith has another yummy and wearable blouse. And Mrs. Hughes even gets a fancier dress.

Cora's orange blouse was so yummy! The fabric had some kind of lovely print/embroidery on it too.

My all time favorite was Cora's floral wrap dress. *Swoon* I so want one of these. I do feel it could read a bit robe by today's standards (but it's not like people ever wear pjs out of the house.....)

What were your favorites from last night?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

It's a Party Dress

  And here's my party dress!
Hat: The Vintage Hat Shop
Shoes: Macy's
Bling: vintage
Belt: vintage
Dress: me made

The Facts
Fabric:  taffeta with velvet print, $5/yd
: Butterick B5559 view a
Year: 1955 reprint
Notions: zipper ($3), lining ($3/yd), interfacing (stash)
Time to Complete: about 10 hours
First worn: Feburary 2012 Dinner and a Movie
Wear Again: Yes! Love this dress! I'll also be wearing it to see Tenderly (the Rosemary Clooney musical) later this month. I still have to make the self fabric belt. I wasn't going to but the waist came out a bit big (despite a muslin) so it needs a belt.
Total Price: ~$30 + $10 for belt (when I get that far)

So that's pretty awesome for a party dress! Everybody loved it last night. I felt so fabulous.

This pattern was very easy to make up. I was a bit nervous about fitting the kimono sleeves but they worked out ok. I can't do cartwheels or anything but I can move. The collar worked out great just make sure you use stiff interfacing. Best part: pockets! I adore dresses with pockets. I think this would look great as a top and I'd also love to make a more day version using view b.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Fabric Destash Goodies!

 On Saturday, I went to my friend's fabric destash and came home with some goodies.

Top to bottom: Dark blue special occasion fabric (>5 yds) for next Ren Fest dress?, red velvet/velveteen (1.5 yd), Yummy green linen/linen look (3.3 yds) to make a hot weather/peasant-y Ren Fest outfit, grey suiting (1 yd), wine special occasion fabric (1 2/3 yd), pleather remnants to play with/make stuff for my husband's Ren Fest costume, white eyelet (1.3 yds)

This blue square polka dot fabric was partially made up into a dress. I'm hoping to finish it later this year for a fun summer dress.

I think my favorite fabric find of the day is this lovely rusty red herringbone wool partially finished cape. From what I can tell, it's mostly just two lengths of fabric stitched together with a neck tie. I'm not sure who my friend was making this for because she's tinier than me and this is HUGE! I'm planning on taking it apart and making this Eva Dress pattern.

Unfortunately, many of my friend's vintage patterns had been damaged by water but I did snag this Simplicity pattern. I'm not a huge fan of view 1 or 2 but 3 is just darling!

I loved the fun pockets and 40s feel of this 80s skirt pattern.

I choose this wedding/bridesmaid dress pattern to use as a base for Edwardian evening gowns. The neckline and back neckline need some adjusting and the waistline can easily be lowered but I think it's a good place to start from.

Yummy Elizabethan and Renaissance undergarment pattern by Period Patterns.

Look at all of the historical info included!

I also grabbed tons of bias binding and some lace.

She had probably 8 tables covered in fabric, one for patterns, one for notions and trims, one for linens and some other odds and ends. She wasn't able to bring all of her fabric (and there was lots still left over) so there is likely to be another destash day soon.