Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Youtube: Vintage Tag!

I still don't have a new camera but I decided to do this vintage tag just using the webcam on my laptop. Do let me know what you think of the quality.

1. Who are your style icons? 2. What is your favourite way to get inspired? 3. What's your most-used hair tool? 4. What's your favourite hair tool? 5. Updo, down, or half-and-half? 6. Is vintage something you do every day, on weekends, or for special occasions? 7. What's your favourite blush & lipstick? 8. Dress, skirt, or pants? Heels or flats? 9. Off the rack or homemade? 10. Do you swing dance? 11. Extreme vintage or subtle touches? 12. Favourite perfume? 13. Favourite skincare product? 14. What does your family think of your style? 15. Favourite accessory? 16. Do you find the vintage community welcoming or snobby? 17. What drew you to vintage style? 18. Favourite places to shop vintage? Yea....can't count here. LOL. Numbered wrong on my paper! 19. What vintage eras are your favourite? 20. Most glamourous film stars? 21. Favourite vintage object that you own?

If you'd like to do this vintage tag, consider yourself tagged! Don't have a youtube channel? Feel free to answer any (or all) of these questions in a comment. I love getting to know my readers!

Saturday, July 28, 2012


I've been crazy busy getting ready to leave for Costume College next week so sorry for the irregular blog posting. Instead of having guest bloggers like I did when I went to Disney, I've prepared some posts ahead of time so you'll have things to read. I'll suggest that you pop over to my facebook page and like it. I won't be on blogger while I'm gone but I will be posting updates on facebook.

We finally got rid of our old kitchen table so we can use the 50s table I bought way back in February. Now we just need to find some better chairs.

I've been planning and replanning outfits for Costume College. I'm sure this list will change again before I leave.

This is a wearable muslin for a Costume College project. Don't ask me why I thought it'd be a good idea to do a wearable muslin in a plaid. I do not have Lauren's plaid matching skills. The fashion fabric is a solid, thank goodness.

And I've been shopping around for accessories for the photo shoot today. So far, the dress itself has cost maybe $2 (for a zipper) but the accessories are piling up! Somehow, none of my dressy shoes or shiney jewelry from high school are still in my wardrobe......

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Keeping a Stash

After seeing my birds play with my stash book, Ginger of Scene in the Past wanted to know more. I did mention it back in January when I first made it, but it's never gotten it's own post so here it is:

Ok, so it's not so exciting to look at but it's really helpful. It all started when my dad wanted my help designing a fabric stash keeping iPhone app (because he's a nerdy programer like that) last Christmas. It's still a work in progress but it got me thinking about stash organization and then I remembered these great stash organizing sheets from Mena over at Sew Weekly.

So I organized my stash!

Each fabric gets a swatch and blanks for selvage width, yardage, type, cost, aquired, era and other notes. 

For a lot of my older stash, I don't have all of this info, but that's ok. I just filled in what I had. I bring it with me to the fabric store so I can just write all of this down off of the bolt. Some other info that I sometimes include are washing instructions and whether or not it's been prewashed.

Once a fabric is used up, I check the little "no longer in stash" box.

And because I'm a nerd and I like Excel, I added all of this info into a spread sheet so I can crunch numbers and make pie charts.

One day, I want to do something like this for patterns so I know how much yardage I need for a pattern while I'm out shopping but I can't draw and I haven't figured out how to get an illustration so no luck there yet. Maybe I'll have to get my dad working on an iPhone app for that!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

This and That

This past weekend, my husband and I shot a wedding. I adore weddings and this one was lovely.

For weddings, I like to tone down my style a bit so I wore a modern me-made dress and a 40s style hair do with dark pink lipstick.

I adore this dress and now that I've fixed the gaping at the back neckline.

Weddings for me always mean a bit of extra pocket money and it's been entirely too long since I had a new Wearing History pattern so I snagged the 1940s apron pattern and the Rita pleated shorts pattern.

Now that my gala dress is finished, I've been working on this 1915 skirt pattern. It's been.... interesting.

The directions are pretty vague and it took me a while to figure out how the closures went. Inside the skirt, I used some grosgrain ribbon for belting.

It hooks together and is covered by a flap. Then there is another flap on each side that close with hook and eyes.

Insanity! How I long for a simple zipper! The waistband ended up too big due to my haphazard attempts at grading so I made it work. Alas, the hook and eyes on this top layer still like to peak out. I hate them so much and can never get them to stay hidden. I'm sorely tempted to try and color them black with a sharpie and call it a day.

Here are all of the buttons for this skirt. Thank goodness they are all decorative so no buttonholes for me!

My birds had fun talking to their reflections in my scissors...

... and playing with my fabric stash book while I was wrestling hooks and eyes.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pink Pink Pink

I love this pink striped jersey dress!

 I wore it to my New Year's Eve party and it was fabulous!

When I purchased this dress on etsy, it was modeled with a great pink hat also for sale in the shop and I just had to get both.

I didn't end up wearing it on New Year's Eve because my husband thought it was too much for a small party at home but yesterday I said tough luck to "too much" and wore it out to church.

Dress and Hat: FabGabs
Purse: belonged to a friend's mother
Belt: from a vintage skirt

I have a friend at church who also loves old stuff and she told me that I was wearing this hat backwards! Eeep! I had assumed that the beading went in the front. She said that the beading went back to show off your hair and that this kind of hat was often worn with the snood. I did try out wearing this hat the other way around and it fits much better. Guess you learn something new every day!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

C'est fini!

Woohoo! The Promaballoona/Costume College Gala dress is done! I promised myself that I wasn't going to share any pictures of the dress once I got into the fashion fabric stage but I can't help myself!

I didn't end up buying any of the trims I posted....but I re-purposed a sparkly belt instead! It's an inch of sequin and beaded trim and it was almost long enough to go all the way around my hips. So I added a self fabric tie to bring the bow back into the design. Oh, it is so fun to wear that I just want to prance around the house in this gown but I have more stuff to sew for Costume College. The closer it gets, the more ideas I get so it's time to get sewing!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Promaballoona: Decision time

So, I'm making this dress for Costume College Gala and Promaballona:

I had originally wanted to do the black view with the giant bow in the back but I didn't have enough fabric! So now I need your help deciding what to do instead. I did some window shopping on etsy for inspiration.

This 50s black dress opts for a simple self fabric band just like the jumper view of my pattern.

This one is just a bit fancier with a bow. I probably wouldn't have enough self fabric to do any kind of bow but I could do something in a contrasting fabric. I was thinking silver.

This dress has some kind of pleated/gathered self trim.

I adore this one with the contrasting trim. So yummy. I think I'd stick to a simple band at the drop waist. I've sourced a couple of great sparkly trims (from most to least affordable).

Plain rhinestone trim. Very affordable and I could always do a couple of rows.

 A yummy vintage trim with rhinestones, pearls and sequins.

 A danglely pearl and bead trim. I'm not sure if I'm in love with the ivory color though.

 And last but not least, this scrumptious bead and rhinestone trim. My favorite and, of course, the most expensive option. At $37/yd, it's not the most expensive trim I looked at by far but it's definitely at the top of my budget.

I also spyed this adorable bow applique but I have no idea what I'd do with it.

My poor dress has no hanger appeal what so ever and it's kind of making me sad. I need to get the zipper in asap so I can try it on and stop thinking that I really do need that $100/yd Swarovski crystal trim.

Friday, July 13, 2012


I finished my new corset! The pattern I used is Simplicity 2621 in size 14 but I took 1" off the center back.

Yay for a nice columnar shape! I've been wearing it around and it's pretty comfortable. I still haven't figured out how to make this kind of corset with amazing gravity defying properties so I'll have to wear a modern bra. That works out for me anyways since I have to get dressed outside at the Renfest. I definitely can't wear hoops in the car!

This corset is a bit big in the upper back just like my last one. Not sure how to fix this problem....But this one isn't to bad. The sides touch but there's no gaping up there. I doubt I'll keep the purple ribbon for the lacing but that's all I had long enough laying around in my stash and I really wanted to try it on.

Now I just need to have my husband lace me up good one time so I can measure myself with my new corset and get on to fixing the rest of the costume. It's so hard to lace up your own corset!

Here's mine from last year. Very pretty but too big.

Do you keep any pieces that don't fit you anymore?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Promaballoona: Muslin the Second

So I actually got a second muslin in yesterday but really, how many muslin shots can I put you through in on day?

 I'm so excited because the shoulders are back on my shoulders! This is such a problem area for me. I always thought that it meant that I needed to do an FBA but maybe not....Before my weight loss, I would take a 36" bust size and do a 3/4" FBA on patterns cut for a B cup. This one is a 34" bust with a 1/2" FBA and I have taken about 2" of of the width in the shoulder area. I think I might try a 32" bust with a 3/4" FBA next time.

I removed 1/2" form the center back and made the seam allowance 1" so I can do a nice pretty lapped zipper and have some fabric to play around with in case weird things happen in the fashion fabric. There's less pooffing in the back but my body is actually shaped like this in the back.

Here's the back. I think I'm going to take maybe another 1/2" off of the very top of the center back and add about 1/2" to the bottom of the center back. There's still a bit of neck gaping and I want a bit more ease in the hip. I'm sure the weight of the skirt will help hold everything down but I want just a bit more ease there.

And the other side!

And me busting some dance moves.

You know, in case I get invited to a black tie dance party I have to be boggie ready.

Now, the skirt of this dress is just pleated to the bodice. The lazy me wants to just used the original pattern piece and just have a slightly less full skirt. My hips at least where this pattern hits are 5" (or 2.5 sizes) larger than the original pattern so I don't know if this would make the pattern entirely too unpooffy in the skirts. Also, this pattern uses facings. I hate facings. They are so fiddly.... Part of me just wants to line the bodice and be done with it. Guess I'll have to check my stash and see what I have.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Promaballoona: Muslin the first

I am making a fabulous party dress. I blame Oona. She had to go and throw a prom themed virtual b-day party for herself and I have nothing to wear.

 What I did have is 5.5 yds of fabulous deep midnight blue party dress appropriate fabric and since I had the fabric in my stashed, I splurged on a vintage pattern worthy of Promaballona.

I was planning on doing the black view with the huge bow in the back but the bow part is cut on the bias and I'm like 3 yds short so I'll be doing the other view with the small bow in the front. It's dated 5-18-55 on the front.

I also picked up this lovely because I couldn't help it I might need a back up pattern that used less fabric. The shoulder treatments read so 40s but the silhouette is so 50s. This one is dated 1951.

Anyone know where I can get trim like this? I salvaged it from one of the three ugly prom dresses last year so I only have a bit. It's like rhinestone piping almost. And I adore bling!

Ok, now I must warn you. Ahead, there are leggings, a very messy house and no make up.

Muslin the first:

So this is after grading up to a 34" bust and doing a 1/2" FBA. Not too bad for a first go!

There's some odd wrinkling going on on the side.

And there's some funky puffying out going on in the upper back.

More wrinkles.

I have a problem with tops gaping on the top so when I bend over, everyone can see straight down my top. There's a bit of excess fabric on the neckline but not too much.

 Changes: I then took 1" out of the center front of the bodice front and took a bit out of the center top of the back.

Much nicer. I will be adding that 1" back at the side seams in the hip area.

Still weirdness in the back. I think I needed to take more in further down.

And here's some slouching to test for ease of movement. I'm afraid of over fitting the back and not being able to move.

Yup, that upper back still needs some work.

And the hips are riding up again.

But the front neckline is all better! woot!

Thanks for hanging in there.