Friday, May 31, 2013

Those Crazy Edwardian Waistbands

Ok, so I know yesterday I said that I might not do any construction posts, but I did finished the skirt of my gala dress and got off my lazy butt and took some construction pictures. Construction during the 19-teens is very odd and complicated compared to any other period I've done. They had a thing for have each layer closing at a different place and never have one set of closures the same for the top and bottom of the garment. There's not a ton of people who do costuming between 1913 and 1920 so I thought that it would be good to contribute some photos for future sewists trying to figure out this crazy period.

In case you missed yesterday's post, this is the pattern I'm using for the skirt. It's an dinner dress from 1918. (Think dinner dress from Downton Abbey.) I'm doing the pink and yellow/orange style skirt with the side poofs/bustles/thingies.

Skirt! It does drape better when hanging up rather than laying on the floor but I've got a whole bunch of other stuff hanging up in my currently being worked on UFO spot so it was easier to just move this one piece. Instead of interlining the sheer layer with the white layer, I just made them separate layers and joined them at the waist band.

And now for the crazy closures:

The red "tunic" layer has seams in the center front and center back with the closure in the center back. It closes with snaps and a hook and eye. I used red bias binding for the snap placket since I was not going to try and make one out of this crazy poofy fabric (though it would have matched much better if I had!)

Now, the skirt portion has seams at the sides but not at the center front or back. So 1/4 of the tunic layer is on it's own separate waist band piece that connects to the main waist band with snaps. I just made the waist band from two layers of ribbon and it's pieced quite a bit as I was trying to figure out how to make all of the flaps and layers work. But that's ok since it's not going to be seen at all anyways.

The skirt portion then closes with snaps and a hook and eye just like the tunic layer. I did not add any closures to the sheer layer since it'll be covered by the tunic anyways. It just has a narrow hem.

And to add another layer of complexity to the garment, the bustle poofs are attached at the side seams which interferes with the side closure of the skirt part. So instead of being sewn down to the skirt, the gathers are tied off at each end and then snaps are used to hold the gathered sections in place. I just used one at each end and that was enough to hold it to my liking. In the picture on the pattern cover, it looks like there is some kind of decoration over the gathered part but I think I'm going to skip that because my dress is looking quite busy already.

Now, normally this wouldn't be on a separate waist band but would rather be connected directly to the blouse portion of the dress. I decided just to skip on that for several reasons such as I'm using a completely different blouse pattern and I really just didn't feel like bothering with it. The design of the blouse part *should* cover the waist band with no problem, but we'll see.

I was pleasantly surprised by the amount and quality of the directions that came with this pattern. I don't know if the Vintage Pattern Lending Library added directions or by this point in time pattern makers had started adding more directions to their patterns but there was a lot less banging of head against the wall trying to figure out how to get this to work. Some puzzling out was still necessary (especially since I wasn't doing the blouse part) but it went together quite smoothly.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Inspiration: Costume College Gala Dress

Thanks to all who voted on my Costume College Gala Dress poll! A lot of you really wanted an inspiration post so that's what you're getting today! Some of you wanted to be surprised and some wanted to see construction posts so I've not decided what to do about that. The surprise people may win out just because I haven't taken any construction pics yet!

Patterns from the 19-teens are hard to find! I decided on this pattern from the Vintage Pattern Lending Library from 1918. Originally, I was going to do exactly this pattern but I changed my mind and I'm just using the skirt part and I'm drafting the bodice that I really want.

with flash

Fabric was a big issue with this whole gala dress project. A lot of early ideas had to be cut because either I couldn't find appropriate fabric or I couldn't afford appropriate fabric. I ended up with these two home dec fabrics (plus the white crepe underneath the sheer).

no flash
They are all polyester but home dec fabric is soooo expensive even at 100% poly! I found these at Hobby Lobby. They seem to have the best prices I can find locally on home dec fabric. These two were in the $10-12 /yd range verses the $30-40 /yd stuff I found at Jo-Ann's.

The theme of this dress is go big or go home and I've decided to add pearls to all of the little fabric poofs. So far I've sewn on about 150 of these glass pearls that were originally destined for my Renaissance dress but never made it and I need to run out and get some more for the sleeves!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Youtube: Skip to my Lou

If you've been reading my blog at all over the last couple of weeks, you've seen several variations of this do. It's my current favorite setting pattern! This 50s style features a skip and a wave while keeping my still growing out bangs out of my face!

Do you have a favorite setting pattern or do you like to change it up all the time?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bubble Gum

I posted back in April about the hand sewn hem debacle that happened with this circle skirt and I finally fixed the hem and got some outfit posts of it!

Tada! I went for a coral and teal color palette. I love these two colors together and I think it gives a more modern edge to a very vintage ensemble.

My much beloved teal hat! It doesn't exactly match the color of the skirt, but they are so far from each other that I can cheat. Shhh! Don't tell. ;)

I just adore circle skirts! This one is made from a teal cotton twill and I used a 1950s magazine pattern to make it. The only thing I did differently (aside from hemming it twice) was to add a waist stay. I really like my circle skirts with almost no ease in the waist so they don't sag from the weight of all of that fabric.

I usually love a red lip but this outfit just needed coral instead!

I love this color palette heaps and I'm wishing for a few more cool days so I can wear this combo again before summer really sets in!

What color palettes have you been loving lately?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Costume College: Thoughts and Plans

Costume College is just a few months away! Aaaah! With the Historical Sew Fortnightly going on, I have made some good progress as far as having something done (especially since I want to wear much more historical and much less vintage this year). Last year, I just went with the theme of use whatever I already have and make everything else super cheap. See last year's gala dress where the only bits I paid for were the zip and pattern (which I got for under $20).

Since I've been there and done that, I feel like I'm much better prepared to plan out more exciting outfits! Plus I've been budgeting costumes into my regular sewing spending money all year.

  • Travel: ??? probably something vintage
  • Pool Party: fabric-check pattern-picked out but not purchased, will be vintage

  • Classes: done, will be vintage
  • Ice Cream Social- currently a WIP, mostly done but waiting for the HSF challenge to come up, will be historical
  • Classes: secret project, fabric- check, pattern-check, just need to get started
  • Gala: WIP, will hopefully make loads of progress on it this weekend! will be historical

  • Classes: done, will be historical
  • Garment district shopping: ??? probably something vintage
  • Travel: ??? probably something vintage
Gala 27 (me)

So, that leaves me with 4 projects that I really want to get done and three outfits that I'll probably just fill in with something already in my closet. Plus I still never made a chemise for my Edwardian undergarments. :/ And I may need a petticoat for my gala dress.

Now that I'm working on my Gala dress, I want to know what parts you'd like to see. I'm going to reveal it before Costume College because I'm using it for a HSF challenge and I want to keep certain details secret until the reveal but I'd like your input on what else about it you'd like to see.

Poll time!! You may pick more than one answer and feel free to elaborate in the comments!

Gala Dress Posts free polls 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pink + Nautical

I just adore all things nautical! And I really needed another nautical dress. ;)

Fabric: pink cotton twill ($5/yd)
Pattern: Simplicity 2801
Year: 1949
Notions: zipper, nautical braid
First worn: May 2012
Total cost: ~$25

I've been trying to make some more simple pieces but this dress just needed a bit more than all pink.

At first I wanted to do embroidery. But I did a little test embroidery and I wasn't feeling it.

Then I remembered this cute nautical trim and voila! Pink nautical dress!

I was going to make a self-fabric belt but it was still too much pink so my handy white thrifted belt came to the rescue!

Add a hair flower for pop of color and that's it!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Youtube: Spring Beauty Hits and Misses

I've been trying some new beauty products over the past few months, so I thought I'd share my thoughts on them. Enjoy!

I'm also on the hunt for a new foundation, so please leave me your recommendations!

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Rainy Bolero for Spring

I've been knitting again! This is the Lavenda Drop Bolero from A Stitch in Time Vol. 2.

It's got this super cute drop pattern that looks just like rain drops.

I paired it with my favorite vintage spring dress. I finally got around to letting out the hem so now my petticoat doesn't peak out anymore.

The weather was so nice! Yay for no rain!

Happy Spring!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Birthday and Anniversary Swag

It just so happens that my birthday and wedding anniversary are just two days apart (and usually right up near mother's day for when we get to that stage). Which means May is everybody loves Stephanie month. :) And this year I got gobs of vintage and sewing related things from people who love me.

Patterns! These I picked out myself with birthday money. I love birthday money especially since the stuff I really like other people would have a hard time picking out for me. But I never ask for it because it's just awkward.

This little beauty I had spied a few months ago at a used bookstore. It's a huge 1951 catalog.  It was still there when we went back last weekend and my hubby sneakishly bought it for me. :D

And look at all of the pretties! I really want to make some scans to share but we'll have to see how the scanner behaves.

I also spied these vintage confetti earrings at a near by vintage store the same day I spied the catalog. They too were still there so they just had to come home with me! I like to do that sometimes. Wait and see if something is still there. If they are, great. If not, it's not meant to be. If I completely forget about it, then I must not have really wanted it that much in the first place.

A local sewing store called Sew Dayton was having a vintage fabric destash sale so I picked up these two beauties. The left one is a suiting and someone had bought almost the whole bolt because there's 7 3/4 yds here! The right fabric is possibly cashmere and it feels divine. Only 5/8 yd here but I couldn't pass it up! My dad also got me a Jo Ann's gift card. Yay for sewing!

And last, but certainly not least, Wearing History's 1940s overall pattern. The hubby and I weren't planning on doing anything big for our anniversary this year. (We did go to Disney for last year's though.) So this is what I asked for.

What kind of birthday gifts do you like? Do your friends and family buy you vintage or sewing related things?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Spring.....or not

It seems like for the past several months, the gorgeous weather has been all on the weekdays when I have to work and it's either rainy or cold on the weekends and this weekend was no exception.

So I pulled out one of my favorite winter dresses to wear! Just goes to show you that you can never really rotate your closet if you live in the midwest.

I've been loving the cute 50s do's my hair has been cooperating with lately!

I also wore a new (to me) pair of vintage confetti earrings. I've never felt any desire to have bakelite jewelry because it's sooooo expensive for plastic costume jewelry but I'm in love with these confetti earrings.

Accessories can really make or break an outfit so I'm excited to add to my vintage jewelry collection.

Hopefully, this is winter's last attempt and spring will be here for good!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

1950s Summer Hat Hair

Summer is coming (if the winter weather ever decides to go away for good!). And my hair is long enough to really do some cute dos. So that means it's hat season! :D

This video features a darling 50s hat I found at a local vintage store. Enjoy!

Speaking of local vintage stores, I've been wanting to host a blogger meet up for forever! I know some of you local(ish) ladies have also wanted to do a meet up, so let's do it! If you're interested, please email me at girlwiththestarspangledheart [at] gmail [dot] com.

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Touch of Western

I'm not really big on anything western or country or farm, but I do go to church in a barn so it had to happen sooner or later.

I've wanted a blue chambray dress for summer for a while and I'm so happy I finally made one!

Fabric: blue chambray cotton ($5/yd)
Pattern: Simplicity 2851
Year: 1949
Notions: western style buttons, zipper, belt kit
Hours to complete: 6
First worn: May 2012
Total cost: ~$25

I just adore this pattern! Late 1940s looks are so flattering. I've also made a winter version of this dress. Don't you love reusing patterns? I've been keeping an eye out for patterns that have both short and long sleeved options so they'll work for both summer and winter.

I found a set of vintage "pearls" among my stuff that's still at my parents' house a while back and I really like them! They are a bit daintier than my other faux pearls and will be great for summer.

I bought these metal western buttons on a whim at Costume College. They go great with the blue chambray for just a touch of country.

I know that this will be a favorite all summer!

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Let's Have a BBQ Dress

I saw this fabric over on Bernie Dexter's site as one of her dresses and I feel in love! I spied it again a few weeks later on and I just had to snag some!

Tada! Retro 50s BBQ fabulousness!

Fabric: quilting cotton ($5/yd)
Pattern: Vintage Vogue 2960
Year: 1954
Notions: black piping, covered buttons
Hours to complete: 12
First worn: May 2012
Total cost: $30

I did make some modifications to the dress. It has quite a low back line so I raised it so I could wear a bra with this dress. I do recommend making a muslin for this pattern since the seam under the bust makes that area a bit different to fit. I did not make bound button holes like the pattern suggests (mostly because I was feeling lazy) but I did do the waist stay. I also added piping to the seam under the bust.

I had a lot of fun styling this outfit. Pearls were an easy choice but I went a bit bolder with my leopard print rose.

And my favorite polka dot shoes!

The event I wore this to was put on by a local group called Up Dayton who are working to revitalize the downtown area and get people involved in the city. This particular event was held to give exposure to the three candidates for mayor and to encourage everyone to vote.

It was held at a local bar called Brixx Ice Co. and they had some super tasty food.

Several local bands played too and it was really a fun evening. I've never gotten so many compliments on an outfit before! And a lot of guys complimented me too (in a non creepy way).

I can't wait to wear this dress all summer!

Have you ever sewn up a Vintage Vogue dress?