Monday, April 28, 2014

Sew for Victory - The Finished Dress!

My 2014 Sew for Victory dress, finished at last! I didn't have as bright and sunny a day for pictures as I had hoped. But at least it wasn't raining, which it did for most of the weekend. Ah well, we need to spring rain. April showers and all. :) So here we go, the finished dress!

Over all I'm very happy with how this dress turned out. The pattern was easy to follow and the dress went together rather quickly. The bodice is a bit "blouse-y" for my taste so if I make this dress again I'll take a little of the extra fabric out of the top. I would probably make the other collar option too. I love the double collar with the lace but I'm not crazy about it on me.

The next time I wear the dress I'll be sure to pick a longer slip to wear underneath. This was actually the first time I put everything on together and it was only then that I realized the slip was a little on the short side for this dress. Oddly enough, the vintage slip I first pulled out was going to be waaaay too long and I didn't want to hem it. I'm lazy, I admit it. Then I saw this one and figured it would be fine... but I was wrong. Ah well.

I look kind of dumpy in the first photo below but it was the best full length picture I had of the front of the dress. The other two I rather like.

And a few shots of the back of the dress. I was exploring the old wooden dog house.

I think this rock is going to be my new favorite spot of picture taking. :) I love the view from this spot.

A few weeks ago Joanna of Divided Vintage Moments host a giveaway for some vintage hair nets. Made from real human hair! The catch was that we had to use them and then blog about them. Joanna had enough of these to send to everyone who entered the giveaway. She very kindly sent me two - one medium brown and one dark brown. I used the medium brown which was a perfect match for my hair. So perfect in fact that I had some difficulty seeing in against my hair as I was placing it over my victory rolls! On close inspection of the hair net I noticed that there was a white hair woven into it! The hair nets are very fine and I think will take some practice to use. I usually do a pin curl set first if I want a vintage up do but I didn't have time before this photo shoot. I can see these hair nets working really well over my hair after styling with curly hair.

Some you may be wondering about my hat. I'm happy to say it's of my own creation and very much inspired by those darling doll and tilt style hats so popular in the late 1930s. I actually used a straw dolls hat as my base. After a quick soak in some warm water I re-shaped it, let it dry over night then added a bit of antique velvet ribbon. I think it needs a little something extra but can't decide what. What do you think, a small cluster of flowers or fruit maybe?

Would anyone be interested in a tutorial on making a hat like this? I have a second straw base that I'm itching to do something with. ;)

And the shoes! I adore these shoes, they were such a lucky find on Etsy. They are very similar to pair on the top left of page 35 of the March 18, 1939 addition of the Boot and Shoe Recorder. The Great National Shoe Weekly. (I posted a couple pages from these magazines back in February. See the post - "Ensembles in the Major" - Shoe Magazines!)

Be sure to check out the Sew for Victory Flickr album to see pictures of everyone's finished projects. :) Rochelle of Lucky Lucille will also be putting together a project parade video so be sure to look for that on her blog.

Pattern - McCall 3306
Shoes - Etsy
Tilt Hat - My own creation
Purse, Make-up compact - Thrifted

Summary of the Pattern
Fabric: Green cotton print, white cotton
Pattern: McCall 3306
Year: 1939
Notions: Snaps, thread, buckle, lace trim from the stash
How historically accurate is it? Very!
Any tricky parts to the pattern? The side placket but I always find these a little tricky.
Did you change anything? Not really
Time to complete: About 3 weeks, not sure the number of hours. I worked on it a few hours each night after work
First worn: April 2014
Total cost: Everything but the pattern came from the stash, so less then $10
Notes: The bodice is a bit "blouse-y" for my taste so if I make this dress again I'll take a little of the extra fabric out of the top. For me to wear this dress again and really be happy with it, I need to make a different collar. Oh, and wear it with a longer slip!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sew For Victory in the Home Stretch

Just a quick post today. I'm putting the finishing touches on my Sew For Victory dress. Last night I use my mom's awesome Bernina sewing machine to blind stitch the hem of the dress. So much faster then doing it by hand! The belt is done and the collar still needs lace trim. Oddly enough, the pattern does not say how the collar is attached to the dress. So I think I'll take a few stitches here and there to tack it to the neckline, otherwise I can see it shifting all over the place. The side placket is finished and looks surprisingly neat! I ran out of silver snaps so I might have to add a couple black ones to finish it but I'm fine with that. AND! I found a slip that will work under the dress. So yeah almost done! :)

Here's a quick look at the belt and bone (maybe it's shell?) buckle. Not a great picture because I used my cell phone. Hoping for some sunshine for Friday afternoon so I can try the dress on with my hat and shoes and take some pictures!!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Pattern Inspiration - Sew for Victory 2014

It took some time to decide what I wanted to work on for Sew For Victory this year. I'm really happy with the pattern and fabric I picked. So far the dress is going together smoothly. I'd say I'm about 3/4 of the way finished as of this week! Yeah! It's down to the finishing details - hemming, attaching bias facing to the neck and sleeve edges, side placket, etc. I'm not thrilled with how the gathering turned out on the bodice but that was partly my fault for not looking closely at the pattern before diving in. Ah well, live and learn.

I'm sure many of you have already picked your patterns but I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the 1930s and 1940s patterns in my stash. Some I have used but many I have not. But I swear I plan to!! Here's a quick look at the patterns I've made up.

I should really make one of these collages for the 1930s. :)
Du Barry 2413 - Here and here
Simplicity1469 - Winter Formal Dress
Simplicity 1668 - Dress for a Summer Wedding
Mail Order pattern 2588 and - Polka Dot Blouse and Slacks
Advance Pattern 4199 - The Red and White Swing Dress

Most of these I've uploaded to my Facebook album but a few I have not. I have a couple 1920s patterns to add as well. The Simplicity pattern below I started working on last year. The plan was to have the dress ready to wear for the WWII event in Stowe but the fabric I picked turned out to be a poor choice. The dress has pleats that extend from the bodice down into the skirt. My fabric wanted to shift all over the place and I couldn't get the pleats to look nice. Maybe someday I'll tackle that dress and try to finish it but I'll admit it's not very high on my sewing list at the moment.

These two I bought along with McCall 3306. Oh the hats!! I'm really excited about McCall 3143 because it includes both a dress AND coat pattern.

Dresses, pajama, and play suits, oh my! :)

Check out the novelty print on Vogue pattern 5643. It has horses! wish I could find some fabric just like it. :)

Vogue 5643
This was a very close second for Sew For Victory. Extra wide pj pants? Yes please!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Sew for Victory Plans

I've finally had the chance to work on my Sew for Victory project. I'm using one of my recently acquired patterns and some vintage fabric from the stash. The pattern is McCall 3306.  I found the date April 1939 stamped on the inside of the envelope. That was a nice little surprise. :) I am making the short sleeve version of the dress. I haven't decided which collar to make but I'm leaning towards the one with the double collar as seen in view B.

The fabric is very lightweight and sheer. I debated lining the whole thing, or maybe just the bodice, but I don't have enough fabric on hand. Plus I have several other projects on my plate right now and want to be able to finish this one in a timely manner. I have a couple vintage slips that should work under this dress so in the interest of time I won't be lining it. I've seen a few dresses from the 1930s and 1940s that were not lined so I feel comfortable skipping it for this project.

And look what I found stuck to the fabric! The original price tag for $.67 a yard!! I discovered this tiny tag when I unfolded the fabric to put it in the wash. Not sure the exact age of the fabric but can anyone remember paying less then $1.00 a yard for fabric that wasn't on sale?

The pattern is one size too big for me so I'm having to make some minor adjustments. The skirt is made of six pieces with both center front and center back cut on the fold of the fabric. The bodice front and back are each one piece of fabric, also cut on the fold. I have just enough fabric for the dress! I might be able to use the remaining fabric for a blouse if I cut carefully.

The bodice has little gathers at the shoulders which you can see in the close up picture below. There are also two little darts at the back neckline. The waist section of the bodice is gathered to fit the skirt and the dress will open with a side placket. So far all the piece are cut, the skirt assembled and the bodice is almost ready to attach to the skirt. I need to cut bias strips to face the neck and sleeves edges as well as a placket for the skirt. So far sew good!

I'm thinking of brown and white accessories. What do you think? I have a pair of late 1930s brown and white shoes that are to die for, a lucky find on Esty last year. They are very similar to pair on the top left of page 35 of the March 18, 1939 addition of the Boot and Shoe Recorder. The Great National Shoe Weekly. (I posted a couple pages from these magazines back in February. See the post - "Ensembles in the Major" - Shoe Magazines!) I also have a little straw tilt style hat trimmed in brown velvet ribbon. I don't think I've shared the shoes or hat on my blog so I'll be able to share both for the first time along with the finished dress. :)

Friday, April 4, 2014

GBVS's 1920s White Lightning Ball

As promised here are some photos from the Greater Boston Vintage Society's event last weekend, the 1920s White Lightning Ball. This amazing event was held at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum.

Lots of photos! :)

The British soldier and the aviatrix
The Larz Anderson Auto Museum is full of great displays, including this "barn find." Discovered in an old barn, the car placed on display exactly as it was found, dust and all. If you look closely you can still see the cobwebs.

Lots of fun photo opportunities during the night. The Carriage House, built in 1888, was transformed into a 1920s speakeasy complete with backroom gambling and a bar. There was even a prohibition era moonshine still set up and someone brought it a Tommy gun to use as a prop. You could even do a little shopping at vendors Bobby from Boston and Salmagundi. Music was provided by the Hot Club of Somerville Jazz Band. They were great!

Cori caught helping himself to another drink.

If you visit the GBVS's Facebook page you will see lots of great photos from the night. There are even some video clips!

Right, so outfit details. I started the morning looking like this. Super attractive I know. I used combination of hair gel, wave clips, and lots of little hair clips and bobby pins. I started with dry hair and only added gel to the front sections. I've blogged a little about finger waves and 1920s hair styles here and here. Once all the pins and clips were set I rolled and pinned the back section of hair up out of the way. I let it dry all day.

About an hour or so before the event I took all the clips and pins out. I used a comb to very gently comb the waves, just enough to break up some of the stiffness of the dried hair gel. I then re-rolled and pinned the back section of my hair so it was neater and more secure. The brown comb was mostly for decoration. This what my hair looked like at the end of the night.

I've made a couple 1920s dresses before so for this event I really wanted to do something different. My inspiration came from photos of women pilots and motorcycle riders. I find it really fascinating to study women who take on roles that are not the norm for their time period. The end result was sort of a Beatrice Shilling meets Amelia Earhart kind of look. My blouse was made using this pattern. It's just the top section of the dress. The boots (which really started my thinking process for this outfit) were steal on Ebay, the vintage jodhpurs and leather jacket were a great thrifted find as well.

I made a cotton flying/motorcycle helmet but I didn't end up wearing the helmet very much. I don't think I have any good pictures. Fortunately, I have these amusing photos of Cori modeling it shortly after I finished sewing it together. It's based off this one I saw on Etsy. I made the pattern up as I went along. I started by cutting the pieces really big then slowly took in seam allowance and reshaped the front section where it curves around the face forming the chin strap. Eventually I just cut that section off and decided it would be better to add a separate and much smaller chin strap. My first attempt looked something like a combination between a Roman helmet and a balaclava....

Cori wore his reproduction British WWI uniform. He just joined the 1st Bttn./South Wales Borderers Great War Living History group and this was the first time he has had the opportunity to wear the new uniform in public. They only thing he didn't wear were the boots. They have some serious heel plates and hobnails, not a good combination on old wood floors.

Here are a few more photos to finish out this post. Enjoy!

Don't worry, that's not a real cigarette! It's a candy stick. :) There were a couple well dressed ladies handing out boxes of "cigarettes" throughout the evening. I didn't even know candy cigarettes were still being made.

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