Thursday, November 3, 2016

TBT: Sewing with Pets

I have pets. Specifically dogs. More specifically, my bag of bones (a.k.a. Skinny, Skeletor, Pretty Girl, Crazy Whippet) that I typically refer to on the web as Daisy the Dog.
Last post she made it into my write up because she found her way into the office/sewing space. Normally I don't let her in to help minimize pet hair in the projects, but every so often she sneaks in.

While digging through my multitude of cell phone pictures recently, I found this fun gem.
Yes, that's a dog tail peeking from under the skirt.
When I lived in my apartment, I didn't have much room for a sewing area, much less a lot of room period. I was working on my calico bluebud dress and needed to put it on so I could make some self-adjustments. Daisy refused to move from the room (the largest since I had to accommodate an 1850s crinoline). No amount of coaxing could get her to move, so I adapted instead and stepped over her, crinoline and all.

Surprisingly, she did not move. I stood there for probably 10 minutes taking measurements and marking things, and still she did nothing. The incident would probably have been unmemorable, except I had her tail sticking out from under the dress and crinoline the entire time.

Hope you at least get a good laugh from this one! Happy sewing with your pets!


Monday, October 24, 2016

Heirloom Acquisitions - Buttons and 1920 Wedding Dress

Ugh I've been horrible this fall about staying up to date! August we had vacation, September saw us trying to start wedding planning, and October has just managed to fly by. After September, we did some number crunching for the wedding and my sewing habit is going to have to go through some budget cutbacks for a few months. Womp-womp :(

So yes, still not a whole lot of sewing happening - both in general and for my 1890s suit dress - but I have other fun things to show off!

For starters, my Aunt Dianne was recently going through stuff at her house and bequeathed to me a family button box!
There's some really interesting buttons in here that go all the way back to the turn of the 1900s probably, based on what I was told and what I found in the box (an old stogie box) as well. These were a few of my favorite finds:
Glass buttons, buttons on a card, iridescent glass/jet with animal claws, and someone's leather thimble.

Now the really spectacular part of this post started with a phone call from my Grandma Siegfried. They were also going through stuff at their house and found a box with a wedding dress in it (I need to get names again for who it belonged to), probably from around the 1920s. From what she described, it had been picked apart after being worn and there were just pieces of dress in the box. She wanted to know if I might be interested though because I could possibly use the pieces in other projects. I told her to send it along and I would take a look at it.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Going Gaga for Gertie

Oh I did the most horrible thing this summer! It started way back when I needed more fabric for my Hawaiian pleated skirt made during my retro binge. The local Joann's closest to me was sold out so we traveled down to another location that had the fabric. Lo and behold! This Joann's had WAAAY more apparel fabric than my local one, including the Gertie Collection.

I knew nothing about Gretchen Hirsch (the designer) apart from I loved all the fabrics (think border prints, bright tropicals, and quirky retro designs) and after leafing through the accompanying patterns, found them to be pretty easy for putting together.

Several sales, endless coupons, and multiple trips later, I accumulated this:
My horrible math skills tell me there is about 41 yards of material in here.

And this doesn't include ALL the patterns. Just ones I wanted.
Retro is quickly becoming a quick part of my everyday life because it's a fun way to jazz up my black wardrobe for work, and it's super comfy because in all honesty, I could live in skirts and dresses.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Young Girl's Crinoline Cage

Another year, another birthday, and another addition to Lexie's history wardrobe. Currently she has a calico dress, apron and bonnet, and some underthings. In the spirit of making a complete set of proper undergarments, I pulled Butterick B5901 back out to start working on the hoop skirt.
Butterick B5901
Everything went together well enough by following the directions. I made one alteration to the waistband - instead of fitted, it has a drawstring ribbon so that it is more adjustable. Easy enough to do with 1" grosgrain ribbon. I even got to do some stash busting as well.
This gathered trim came from a petticoat (My very first, horribly made one) that I tore apart a couple years ago. There just enough for the hem and it was a great way to re-purpose some materials that I had.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Further 1890s Suit Research

As I plan my vacation and do some small side projects, I'm continuing to look through some reference materials and dig through my stash for supplies that I already have.

To start, I dug up some fabrics that I already had. The first is a length of green-grey wool that I had bought down in the LA Fashion District during a visit home to Southern California in spring 2015. When I bought the fabric, I had already had this project in mind so I made sure to get several yards. I'm opting for the TV291 Walking Skirt, as that's what fits with the outfit in mind.
The fabric photos lighter than what it actually looks like.
I also have this cotton eyelet fabric that I chanced across at Joann's fabric a while ago. I already have TV491 Blouse Waist, but I may opt for TV494 Shirtwaist instead since I'm looking for a more casual appearance.
The eyelet is super lightweight and has small embroidered lines through it.
 Speaking of blousewaists and shirtwaists...