Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Spring Time Swing Time Fever

Over the winter holidays, I got bit really hard by the retro bug. Last October I had made my spider web flare skirt. We had a mild winter in northeast Ohio so we've already had several bouts of warm temps (meaning 55-65 degrees F). As a result, I've had warmer weather clothing on my mind for a while already. With no upcoming historical events to attend as of now, I'm deciding to go outside of my comfort zone and work on some - recently - historical clothing. Not to mention I'll be able to wear it on a more day-to-day basis (Crinoline hoop skirts are fun, but they're a b!tch to wear around town regularly and while driving). Plus there's the added fun of doing research about it.

I had bought Vintage Vogue pattern V8788 a loong time ago, but have never had an idea of what fabric I wanted to use for it. Recently I discovered a love of cotton poplin and shirting fabrics because they're super lightweight and still have a nice dressy look even though they're completely natural. Wanting be able to wear it into work (We have a black and white only clothing policy), I found this pretty floral poplin from Denver Fabrics.
Then I went and saw the movie Brooklyn with Saoirse Ronan close to awards season, and that retro bug became a full blown infection. As I sat in the theatre trying to ignore the packed audience around me, I fell in love first with the story of Eilis as she immigrates from Ireland to Brooklyn, New Work, during the early 1950s, then with all of the outfits that she wears (And if you haven't seen the film yet, do!).

Two dresses I absolutely adored were the separate blue and yellow ones Ronan wears several times.
Image via Pinterest
Image via Pinterest - Must find glasses too!
That very night I went home and started looking for vintage patterns that best matched the dress. I actually found one! Simplicity 5027. Although it's dated from 1963, I figure with some mocking up and adjustments, I can get it to match the dress very closely. I also found a basic blouse pattern (Simplicity 4238, dated 1953) to possibly make tops to go with existing skirts.

In terms of dress fabric, yellow is definitely not an option because that color and I do not get along. I liked the blue stripe though and while perusing Denver Fabrics, I found a lovely blue and beige strip poplin. I may have bought accidentally sent 4 yards to my house.
And then the fabric store decided to compound my sudden retro fever by putting their Simplicity patterns on sale too. So far, this company seems to be producing the most reprints when it comes to older patterns (They have a separate pattern book just for them!).

I immediately bought some plain black poplin for Butterick B6094 to make a basic dress for work, but we'll see how soon I get around to that since the fun prints and bright colors currently have me distracted.

Speaking of...

Going back to Brooklyn for a moment, the third costume I swooned over admired was the pleated floral skirt Ronan also wears for a good portion of the movie.
Image via Pinterest
I have a circle skirt pattern, but not one for a pleated skirt. Thankfully this is a little easier to find without perusing out of print patterns. I found it in the form of McCall's M6706. While I've not worked with McCalls before, the pattern itself looked super easy (It's even marked so), and gave several skirt options, all of which can be altered without too much work. Wanting a fun print to go with the fabric, I found a floral Hawaiian shirting material to make it.


I am so excited about all my projects!

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