Thursday, February 24, 2011

Progress on 1931 EvaDress Suit

I've made some progress on the 1931 EvaDress suit.  I was able to finish the skirt this week and I really, really like how it turned out.


The skirt is made of flannel wool.  It's the first time I've sewn with this material and I really like the weight of it.  It's a bit heavier than some of the wools I've sewn with but gives a nice drape to this length of skirt.


I got the hat from a Monsoon Accessories on sale for £4.  Isn't it very 1920's?

We also took some photos at the Cannongate area of Edinburgh:

Cannongate is the lower part of the Royal Mile heading towards Holyrood Palace.  It was named after the canons of Holyrood Abbey and the Scots word gait meaning "road".  These last photos are taken at the Old Tolbooth building.  The Tolbooth was built in 1591 and it was where the tolls or public dues were collected.  It has a fantastic clock on top of the building:

I'm standing on the steps leading up the building:


Here's a close-up of the skirt.  I wore it to work and it was very comfortable:


I'm also making good progress on the jacket.  I absolutely adore the details on the sleeves and the collar.  Here's the pattern cover again:

And here is how my jacket is looking so far:

I just need to finish the sleeves, some of the facings and the belt!  I won't be able to work on it this weekend but I hope to finish it next week!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Grandmother's hat comes back

I thought you would enjoy some hat scans from the April 8, 1939 Picture Post:


It's a crazy work week for me here...I'm trying to finish up a large report by Monday the 28th! eeeep! Wish me luck!!  I'm sorry to say there won't be much sewing going on but I am planning to take a few days off once it is finished so that I can: 1) sleep and 2) get back to sewing! ;-)  How's your week going?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

What I'm working on...

Thank you all for your wonderful comments on my dress! I really enjoyed making (and wearing) it!

This weekend I'm working on the first year of my Sewing through the Decades challenge--1931!  I am super excited to try out another EvaDress pattern:
There are so many things I love about this pattern! I think it is super classy looking and will be great to wear to the office or out on the town.  I love the unique sleeve and collar details and am planning to use some of my left over faux fur fabric for this!  The instructions are very minimal but hopefully if I take it slow, I'll figure them all out! :-)

What are you working on at the moment?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My 1934 Wearing History Gown

Here's the gown I made for Valentine's Day:
 

The dress is from the fabulous 1934 Wearing History Pattern called 'Manhattan Melodrama'.  It's a fantastic pattern--I did buy the last one!  However Lauren said she might bring it back if some of you want to give it a go!  Let us know in the comments!
I adore all the details on this dress!  I graded the pattern through the week and didn't cut out my fashion fabric until late Saturday night and sewed all day Sunday.  Then I raced home after work and finished it up.  I was literally hemming about 20 minutes before we walked out the door for our dinner!  I did omit the belt from the pattern but I think it looks fine without.  I'll still make it for the blouse and for future wear!

This was my first time ever grading a pattern (see this post) AND my first time ever making a gown! 

The fabric is a great crepe back satin (both the red and pink) and I really enjoyed working with it.  I would love to make something from the crepe side one of these days!

Here's more details of the back.  There is a neck zipper hidden under the middle panel:

Here's a clearer shot of the back.  I really adore how it is constructed.  I did make things a bit more difficult by making this dress into separates.  I really wanted to wear the blouse on it's own and to use it as part of the Sewing Through the Decades challenge.  So I added a zipper on the side of the blouse and made the skirt separate (with it's own zipper).

However, one of the things I hadn't anticipated in making the top separate from the dress was the ability to get the waist portion over my head.  When making as a full dress, there is a side opening that extends the length of the blouse and part of the skirt.  I had already inserted a small zipper (that didn't quite extend the whole length of the blouse side) as well as a zipper in the neck back (under the panel).  However, I went to put it on and I couldn't get the waist bit over my head! EEK.  I started to unpick the zipper and was going to put in a continuous lap with snaps down the whole side.  Luckily, David suggested I should put a zipper (upside down--i.e. with the head of the zipper at the waist bottom) on the other side of the blouse.  As luck would have it, I had another of the exact same zipper (from a great charity shop find).  So, that is why this outfit has 4 zippers! (3 in the blouse and one in the skirt).  That solved the problem perfectly with only a small amount of work!

We went to the Voodoo Rooms for our Valentine's Day dinner.  They have a fantastic space.

Here's a photo of the front of the building:

And inside the main bar area.  I really love the windows:

And the ceiling lamps:


We had an absolutely lovely dinner!  David made the matching bow tie and kerchief by hand!  Check out this post for more details:

We are so made for each other! I love this photo:

And David gave me a beautiful brooch from the 1930's as a sweet present....how lovely is that?  I am wearing it on the neck of the dress in the photos!  David is going to do a guest post 'Behind the Scenes' sometime this week!  That should be lots of fun!

As an added bonus, the faux fur jacket I made two weeks ago went together perfectly with the dress!
 YAY! I am super happy with the dress!  Have you ever made a fancy dress?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My beau's bow tie

One of the first things David said when I told him I wanted to make a special dress for Valentine's Day was 'I'll make a matching bowtie'!  How wonderful is that?  I think we are definitely made for each other!

He gathered the left over fabric from my dress (which is in red crepe back satin) and took one of his existing bow ties and cut out the fabric (there was barely enough!):


Then he sewed it together all by hand!!!!  Check out the amazing detail:

Here it is with the tux jacket:

How wonderful is that?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My first time grading a pattern...

For Valentine's Day I decided to make the Manhattan Melodrama dress from the Wearing History reproduction pattern line:

 The pattern is a reproduction 1934 gown pattern (pictures coming soon!).  The pattern was only in a B30 size.  But I love the design so much so I decided to just jump right in and learn how to grade patterns up!  I needed to adjust all the major pattern pieces by about 5-6 inches.

In the pattern instructions they had the place on the pattern to make it smaller...so I just followed their placements and instead made it larger by cutting the pattern and spreading it the approximate amount of inches I needed.  Here is a picture of the bodice front:

I must say that this was a very good pattern to try and grade up.  The bodice is gathered and that is a bit forgiving in terms of different sizes.  The bodice back is very small and the cape (i.e. sleeve bit) is also easy to gauge as it is mostly around the top of the body but is very loose.  The fitted skirt wasn't bad either because I just cut it a bit large and pinned it to me and then took out the extra width in the side seams.

Though I must say I just sort of tackled each pattern piece separately and tried to think through where I would add the extra width and length without messing up the design features.

I did go and make things a bit more complicated because I wanted to make this dress into separates so that it could fit within the Sewing Through the Decades Challenge.  I loved the bodice so much I want to wear it with pants and other skirts that aren't so formal.  I love this style so much!

Have you ever graded patterns?  Did you follow a set of rules or just wing it?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

I wanted to share some lovely valentines that my great aunt received...

This one is so cute...

And it opens up to read:

I think this one is adorable...

Then there is this cute Scottish valentine:

Sorry for the lack of posting this weekend.  I was sewing like a madwoman yesterday trying to finish up a Valentine's Day dress for this evening...It's still not completely done but I think I can finish it up post-work and pre-dinner! EEP!  Do you ever have dates sneak up on you and your sewing projects?

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Friday, February 11, 2011

McCall 8501: My 1935 cape

oh goody, oh goody, oh goody! I am super excited to show you all pictures of my finished 1935 cape!

I started this cape in December using McCall 8501:
You can see some of the design features from the cover.  It is basically a faux jacket (i.e. there is only a jacket front piece) attached to a cape.

I got the fabric in one of those bizarre charity shop experiences.  I am super happy I did--because it is a wonderful blue and grey checked tweed (I got 3.5 meters) AND I got the grey lining from the same fabric store!  How perfect is that?  Here's a close-up of the fabric:

This was my first time interlining AND lining anything! It was a great learning experience.  I think the cape took longer than I thought it would because I hemmed the cape, put in the lining and attached the collar all by hand!

Here's a close-up of the jacket front.  I used a belt pattern piece from another 1930's pattern.  I got the belt buckle for really cheap on ebay UK.  The buttons you may recognize--I used the exact same ones but in brown for my 1933 EvaDress outfit (there is a limited supply of vintage looking buttons at my local fabric store!):

I absolutely adore the way capes drape.  It is such a lovely feeling walking down the street with a cape...I don't know why but it feels very classic!

I matched the checks on the jacket front but not on the shoulder seams.  Tasia just did an amazing post on matching plaid!  Luckily, my plaid is muted enough that it's not really noticeable if it doesn't match perfectly.  And the back is in one piece (which makes it really nice for plaid)...


And capes are fun for twirling:
How amazingly beautiful is this alley/lane?  It's called a 'close' and there are tons of them off the royal mile in Edinburgh.  This is one of my favorites...it's called the 'Advocate's Close':


There are probably 30 different ones off the Royal Mile!  They are amazing...you walk through a small tunnel:

And come out on the other side!  It reminds of a place that Sherlock Holmes would be solving mysteries some dark night in the fog :-)  OR where batman might hang out:

This cape fits within the Sewing Through the Decades Challenge:
I'm making a blouse/top/jacket from each year from 1931 to 1949!  So far I've done 1933, 1935, 1940 and 1943.

Here's a photo out on the Royal Mile:

I was thinking it would be fun to slowly do a tour around Edinburgh through my outfit posts!  What do you think?

 It's such a fantastic city...
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