Sunday, July 17, 2016

Bringing Vintage Style to the Beach Bash

My husband and I have been enjoying dance lessons for the last few months! I absolutely love taking the lessons but I also love their occasional themed dance parties that they host. Not only are they extremely fun but they present me with great sewing challenges. This past week's theme was "beach bash". Rather than grabbing a fun Hawaiian print dress I decided I would infuse a little retro vibe into their party.

I have always loved the vintage playsuits and decided that I would finally make myself one. The only problem was the price of the patterns. Vintage playsuit patterns come at a steep cost. So I had to get a little creative. Luckily, in all my research I stumbled across a blog, Sew Weekly, in which someone else had used a modern romper pattern to create their vintage playsuit. The pattern she used was McCalls 6331. A quick search online led me to an etsy seller who had this pattern at a much lower price than the vintage ones.

However, as much as I love a pin up look, I felt it needed a bit of class for a dance party. So I started sketching up my plans to make this as functional as possible. It would be a playsuit for fun in the sun but it would have a conservative skirt for wearing beyond my backyard.

As you can tell, I mixed up a few of the views from the pattern I was using and added some of my own touches. The bust was the only challenging bit of this to sew, and that was only because it was my first time sewing this type of bodice. 

But once I had done it for the outer layer, it went rather quickly for the lining. I also have to note that I love a nicely lined garment, adds such a beautiful touch that you don't always get when you are out shopping for clothes. 

Once I finished the top, the shorts went very quickly. It wasn't long until I had the finished romper/playsuit. 

The skirt took another couple of hours to complete. Mostly because I decided to attempt piecing a trim to the bottom of the circle skirt and then fully lining that as well. I wanted something pretty to be showing if it was flapping open in the wind. 

The finished piece was exactly as I had hoped it would be. Although it does need a little bit of extra fitting done. Despite numerous try-ons through out the sewing process it still ended up too loose in the bodice. But because I am a procrastinator, this was finished just in time for the party. I will have to make the adjustments later this week. In the meantime, I just paired the romper with a halter top to be sure I was covered just in case. 

I am absolutely thrilled with how this turned out. I am definitely going to be making another playsuit with the other bodice very soon, when I am not too busy soaking up the sun in this one!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Sewing Fails and Vintage Finds

It has been a long while since I have taken the time to come and write a blog post. Part of this is due to a bit of frustration in my garment sewing lately. I seem to have more fails than successes lately but I suppose this is all just a part of the journey. I guess sometimes after a few fails you have to walk away for a bit.

My latest failure was an attempt at a Butterick skirt that had a 40's feel to it. I have been on an Agent Carter kick, so I was trying to channel my inner Peggy Carter. The clothes in this show give me major wardrobe envy! In any case, I had this Butterick 4859 in my collection of patterns that I have thrifted.

I chose some peach skin fabric from Joann Fabrics in her signature red and blue and grabbed some seam binding to try a new finishing technique I had seen online. My contrasting fabric seams were basted together and then backed with the white seam binding. 

I was so excited as the skirt came together. The flares at the bottom back are so pretty and the contrast is a fun twist. I put it on my dress form and it was looking lovely.

On myself, it is a whole other story. When will I learn to always make a muslin first. Apparently, I will need to a full butt adjustment on some of my patterns from now on (which is weird though, beacause my capris never needed that).

It is pretty to look at but I am worried I will never be able to get this adjusted now to fit me quite right. 

I also have been chugging away at Mccall's 7154, the 1930's gown. But I am going to wait to share progress until it is completely finished. I am not holding my breath on this one either. Technically it is my muslin as I am using some fabric that I scored for $5. 

After the failed skirt, I kind of shelved my sewing machine for bit. But doing so gave me a little time to get out and hunt for vintage finds. And I had two very good weekends doing so. The first resulted in plenty of good sewing material. 

And this past weekend surprised me with many beautiful vintage clothing finds. Some of my favorites include this Pomare Tahiti dress, I am assuming from the late 60s or 70s.

Okay, I know the front is kind of plain jane but check out these awesome sleeves! I just couldn't leave it to be passed up at the thrift store.

Another very cute polyester number:

And my two favorites that I have to keep for myself:

Who wouldn't feel like an old hollywood star in this number. 

The details are just stunning. Of course, I pick wounded items to save so there are some stains and some holes to be fixed up before I can rock this one around the house!

And this number which I am thinking is just early 90s but I just couldn't get over the ruching on the waist and the full circle skirt. I love anything that will swish and spin! 

Next time I will have to share the beautiful vintage dresses that my grandmother just passed down to me. I am in the process of restoring them all and can't wait to share them in all their glory!