Just Swimming Along...

I've been sewing and reading all of your blogs regularly, just nothing extraordinary to discuss over here. I'm looking into getting myself a serger, as I've gotten used to using the one in class and find it makes sewing much quicker and therefore more satisfying. I'm sewing a few Christmas gifts, and a few things that are more craft then sew, such as headbands and scarfs. I'll catch up with photos and project posts nearer the holiday, most like.

P.S. I LOVE repurposing fabric from old garments - it's fun and I get to think on my toes. I'll do a post on it soon.


Sort of Sewing...

Vogue 2811 (red version), official progress report:
-Fly zip is fully installed and topstitched to perfection. Only took 4.5+trillion tries
-Decided I wanted buttoned flaps on top of the back pockets, so I drew up a pattern piece for one
-back flap #1 is sewn and pressed, back flap #2 needs to be cut and sewn (...it was late, I sort of forgot to cut two!)
-fit forecast is promising, I pinned the sides together and tried it on last night, looks very good. 
-skirt is thoroughly covered in cat hair, courtesy Boston


Vintage Pattern Goodness + Fabric

I love this skirt - it's similar to the Colette pattern's bignet, but in my opinion even better. This skirt is perfect for my body type, too! I love highlighting my waist. A great 70's find.

Ok, it's a 90s pattern, not really vintage. But the back cutout is cute, nonetheless. 

This pattern is one of my favorite from this haul. The cut of the pants is super current - checkout Vogue's fall 2010 collection booklet - and I would love to make them. 

This reversible wrap skirt has a lot of potential, too. I'm going to keep my eye out for a fabric combination for it. 

A great 50's button up. 

Vintage slip pattern for knits. I'll probably use this for a tank or summer dress. I don't have much use for a slip right now. The princess seams are elegant though, right?

All of the above patterns are from elisesmommy on Ebay. I highly recommend this seller. Very quick shipping, huge selection, and her prices are very reasonable. 

I bought a few new cuts of fabric last month while I was in Sacramento. The above photo is a poly chiffon. I've never worked with chiffon before, but would love to try. I'm just not sure what I want to make from it. I bought the fabric because I loved the color combination - I don't have anything like it. 

I'm not really sure why I bought this Levi's print. Maybe because it's super soft, maybe because I love vintagey branding. Regardless, I can't decide on what pattern to use with it. I think I want to turn it into a casual, drapey top to wear with jeans. Sort of a gloomy winter day top, very simple. Maybe Vogue 8690 or McCall's 6241?

New Look 6873 - from UFO to FO in one evening!

I started this skirt almost a solid year ago. I didn't make a very good choice matching this fabric to a pattern. I used New Look 6873, which I've made it before here out of a lightweight swiss-dot cotton. This fabric is a Vera Lavender brocade from fabric.com last year, and it's gorgeous. Carolyn and Elizabeth have made gorgeous garments from this fabric. It's really pretty. Unfortunately, when I was working on this skirt last year I didn't know anything about working with thicker fabrics, so I was using french seams to construct it. This makes the pockets beautiful inside and out, but the waistband is unfortunately bumpy. 

Well, I pulled the project out Tuesday night and brought it to class. I ripped out the disgusting hem - I had pinched fabric along the way to accommodate for the curved hem, not pretty - and serged off about 2 inches to get rid of the damage. I also took out the bumpy lapped zip and installed an invisible zipper - my first! - and pressed the life of of it. The skirt looks tenfold better. I still need to blind hem it by hand, but blah blah, it's done. 

A close up of the side pockets. Boston threw her paw in, too. 

The less-than-perfect waistband facing. I used a french seam to attach the waistband, and that causes it to lay a little funny because of the bulk. I might go back and rip this all out later, but with a good press it's just fine for now. 

The pockets from the inside of the skirt - I love the french seams for this! They turned out very pretty and were smart for this ravely fabric. 

In Vogue 2811 news...

I resized the pattern and cut a new one out of a fabulous dark red cotton denim I almost missed at SAS. It's much darker than this photo shows, more of a burgundy. I was working on this at home and didn't have the serger like I do in class, so I spent a LOT of time zigzagging around the edges of all pieces with the shortest stitch possible. I have the front faux-pockets on and topstitched, the back darts sewn and pockets prepared, and the fly zip is halfway done. I hope to get the zipper and back pockets done tonight.

This is the original Vogue 2811 skirt. I abandoned this half way through after I accidentally cut off the zipper pull when shortening the zipper. It made me super frustrated, and I tossed it aside. It was way too small, anyway. I probably will finish this skirt and give it to Ashley for Christmas. She's tinnier than me, and leggier. 

My plan is to finish the Vogue 2811 skirts, finish a little knit top that just needs a hem, and then start on a jacket for myself. I'm still not in love with Vogue 8623 as a jacket pattern - so I'd love suggestions!


Senior Pictures!

Not about sewing, but I am wearing a vintage dress and a vintage suede coat, so that counts as fair blogging material right? The coat is from my Oma. I love it!

On another note, I just joined a great new blog called Crafty Christmas Club! It's all about gifts to make, be it sewing, crocheting, baking, whatever. How cool is that? I just posted a tutorial for these awesome baked-in-the-mug "coffee" cakes topped with homemade marshmallow.



My vintage pattern collection has been growing at a rapid pace.

Vintage Simplicity 5665 came from Carolyn. It's gorgeous! You can't see very well from the photo, but the pattern also includes an adorable button-back blouse. This blouse and coat is very high on my list. 

I fell in love with the peter pan color and front tucks. I'd love to make this in a sheer.  This is from eBay seller doowapmama, and I got it at a steal for only $1.04 plus shipping. 

I also bought five patterns from eBay seller elisesmommy, whom I highly recommend as a seller. Very speedy shipping. I need to photograph these patterns - they're great! 



The last month has been difficult. Difficult to find time to sew, difficult to work on projects that I have no motivation to work on, and frankly just difficult to do anything but sleep. My Opa, who has been severely disabled and has had a very poor quality of life for the past 5 years, passed away in early October. This has been a very melancholy event, but at 80 years old and with 7 children and who knows how many grandchildren (12 or 14?) he had a life full of love. My Opa kept diaries for 65 years almost religiously. They are very blunt and mostly just lists of things to do, or what he spent on dinner that day, or his flight logs. I am lucky and get to read through them. I have read 1967-1969. My Opa had 5 daughters and bought every single one of them a sewing machine, and from what I can tell was very comfortable with buying them patterns and material. He also bought my Oma a sewing machine just after they were married and insisted that she learn to mend his clothes and be able to sew for children. I never realized how much my Opa valued sewing, and I'm very tempted to make my dress for his memorial just for him.

My Oma and Opa had a very hollywood-esque love story. He was a pilot for Saturn airlines, flying to and from Berlin and Oakland several times a week. My Oma was a German stewardess, and by chance filled in for someone on one of his flights. They got married two months later. Thats fate, if you ask me.

I have been sewing, although poorly and reluctantly. I did not finish Vogue 2811 in time to turn it in for my skirt project in class, and instead turned in my pillowcase skirt. I got a decent enough grade on it. Vogue 2811 is an awesome pattern, and I decided to abandon the version I have shown in favor of one that will actually fit and be a more modest length. Plus, I found a fabulous dark red-purple denim for it. I am going to take my time and not be stressed with this one. I really dislike sewing class, and I'm unsure if I'm going to keep going.

I would like to start a coat for winter (it's Arizona, winter is a relative term!) but I just don't feel inspired by my previous pattern choice - Vogue 8623 - or my fabrics, grey and white worsted wools. I might choose a new pattern to get the ball rolling. Pattern suggestions for a lightweight jacket or coat?

It's pretty likely that the blog will be mostly "dream sewing" for a while. I have traffic court twice this week (Arizona's traffic laws are completely unreasonable and inconvenient, and there are speed traps everywhere. I was pulled over for going 19 in a 15, even though I had literally JUST turned from a street that was 45. Go figure). I also have to take my SAT subject tests (US History and Mathematics) and try to finish college applications this month. Oh, and halloween.

But in brighter news, I got my DREAM JOB!! I've briefly mentioned them before, but LUSH is an ethical company that sells fabulous natural and vegan cosmetic products. I have been a LUSHie for going on two years and believe in their mission statement completely, and adore their products. While on a little retail-therapy trip a few weeks ago, the manager (who knows me by name, go figure) asked if I was interested in a job there ("Since you're basically here in shifts anyway! lol!") Um... work for a company that supports fair-trade labor, does not test on animals, AND has super amazing shampoo? YES PLEASE! It was really daunting - there was a "hiring party" with about 35 girls and they were only looking to hire 5 for holiday help, 1 of which will get to stay on after. I was the first girl they called back after the hiring party and did my floor test on friday. I had so much fun! If there is any interested in LUSH's products, I would be totally open to doing photo-demonstrations on the blog, just for funzies.

In conclusion, buying vintage patterns on eBay is a better pick-me-up than a cup of coffee, and I need to go to the gym because I'm getting pudgey.