Finally Complete with the Holiday Treats

Starting late also means finishing late, i was reminded of this year unfortunately.  Alas i have finally finished the last of the holiday giftyness and am ready to pass them onto the parental units!  A scarf for each of the parents as they plan this year to start building a house in a cooler climate then where they live today.  Really i think anywhere is cooler than where they are in the Southern California area ... yep, another 80 degree Christmas this year.  So i decided to help build their non-existent winter wardrobes up with some cute scarves.  I am super pleased with how each turned out and it was only my third time blocking lace!  My first time blocking anything so wide (other blocking adventures were for Lace trim only a couple inches wide).

A Snowy Vintage Spring Dress

So i have this filing cabinet, which i have owned since i was 10.  It's a legal width 4 drawer filing cabinet.  I have never had that many papers but when i was offered one i knew it would all be put to use someday. Nearly 20 years later as i try to find room in it for just *one* more sewing/knitting pattern or cooking recipe I noticed too many things over the years have been purchased and promptly been filed away.  Since i am working from home over the winter holidays this year i saw it as an opportunity to make some of the things i have set off to the side for years.

My first project was an adorable Vintage Vogue Sewing Pattern - 1954 Bolero & Dress (#2267) ... i decided on just the dress for now as i have TONS of adorable sweaters to coordinate back i would like to wear more often.  I purchased this pattern years ago at a sale for a dollar.  It has a super cute fitted shape and a goregous square neckline.  What i did not notice until closer inspection yesteray morning were the bust darts and the side zipper.  Now i get that it might need bust darts if i was looking to make the dress in a stripe or some other type of vertical pattern to help keep the pattern straight at both the skirt and the upper body.  Since i was using a ditzy floral repeat i really didn't want the evil darts nor was i too thrill about a side zip since this meant an invisible zipper as no one needs extra giant zipper sticking out along the side of an extremely fitted dress making them look at least one size larger.

Saturday morning i traced off a copy of the original pattern and began to work out the problems.  First off i added to the bust circumference at the side front panels as when i measured the bust it was an inch small.  I played with working out the dart on the front side panel, but it wasn't cooperating.  The dart was stubborn and looked awful when i would release it into the body of the dress, oh well!

I cut out a muslin of the dress of the dress, did a quick sew up job, and got it on the form to see the damage.  Not bad Vintage Vogue!  I ended up tripling the dart depth at the bust, not suprising as i am much deeper than i am wide.  Also there was absolutley no shape at the back waist so a fair amount of scooping out there was also pinned out.  Lastely the shoulders were a bit too long.  After a bit of truing on the neck/armhole facings i felt i was ready for the real fabric as most of the change were pretty minor.


Pattern was adjusted by the evening and luckily i had already washed and ironed the fabric so i was ready to go.  I went with a medium weight brushed twill to flat line the dress as the base fabric was a quilting print cotton.  Normally i would not think to line something like this, but i wanted to ensure that the sweep really looked full and didn't just hang lifeless when worn.  I wanted a stiffer, more rigid 50's look to the dress then the recommended single layer of poplin.  After cutting everything out the serger made an appearance going around the edges of all size dress panels to secure the twill to the fashion fabric.  I love you serger!!!  If you don't have one and do a lot of knits or flat lining i highly recommend one as they add tremendously to your sanity levels, especially when you are trying to power through a project.  After an entire day of sewing i had finished nearly the entire dress, got it back on the form, and was totally in love.  It's so cute!  AND the invisible zipper went in on the sewing machine without any complaints. Either the zippers have gotten better or sewing for 20 years is starting to pay off.  This morning i awoke, popped in a movie, and began ironing the last portion of the dress, the hem.  After a couple hours i had a completed beautifully hemmed dress.


With a whole other week of the holiday break i am hoping to keep up the momentum and complete another project or two.  Some Christmas scarves and many even a button front shirt or two?  Also i have some fantastic White/Black printed Geisha fabric that is totally calling to me Goth Lolita with giant black satin bows...

Grateful for a Delayed Holiday

As usual i am a teeny bit behind on my holiday gift completion.  Just two scarves only 60% behind.  Luckily the two scarves are for mom & dad and i will be seeing them in January, so it didn't seem like the gifts had to get in the mail pre-Christmas.  The scarf for Mom is coming along beautifully!  I love how the cashmere feels to knit and the stitch pattern with a simple 6 stitch x 6 row repeat is super easy and allowing me to catch up on Dexter (almost up to everyone else...).

To the left is the scarf for Dad.  This will be my second ever gifted crocheted item, and i'm really like'n it!  I picked two colors that my father always wears in hopes that even living in SoCal with an 80 degree Christmas he may some day decide to wear said scarf.  Still no word if he ever wears the socks from his birthday last year...i'll totally have to harass him about them in January...hehehehehe.

Details about Dad's Crochet Scarf:
* Yarn = Rowan Lima
* Colors = Hunter Green - AND - Beige

* Chain 12 Stitches (Base Row)
* Chain 2 Stitches (Fake Double Crochet Stitch)
        (Double Crochet all stitches on every row)
* 10 rows of 2 Strands - Both Color A
* 10 rows of 2 Strands - 1 Color A & 1 Color B
* 10 rows of 2 Strands - Both Color B

Beginning a bit late..

I made the decision to start a couple of Christmas gifts a little late this tonight. It's nice to have a small family that is also super understanding that hand made = takes Andrea forever to make ;p

I just started a scarf in Cashmere for me ma using a shawl lace pattern from "Victorian Lace Today" Miss Lambeets Shetland Shawl. It's a super simple six row repeat with only six stitches across. So far so pretty; now I just need to figure out how to finish it before Tuesday night and somewhere also knit Dad a hat. At least the bro's is done, and adorable if I don't say so myself! Pictures to follow once it's been gifted away.

FIlling the need for somewhere to put my phone for dickens - AND - Making a VIctorian Purse

Dickens Faire!!!  Finally the time of year to dress up in your best walking costume and go stroll the fantastic streets of a time long ago.  Well it is super hard to look good while strolling if you're holding a camera and an iPhone.  So today as the costume was pulled out and accessories were gathered all together a gaping hole in my ensemble was discovered...i have no purse for the Checked Wool Costume!  It does have a couple of welt pockets on the front of the jacket, but not enough for all the goodies required for a day out.  The brain started thinking and decided that it would the perfect rainy day activity to whip up a Victorian Purse for all my strolling needs.

A dig through the fabric bin of things long since past produced more than enough of the Red Velveteen used on the Checked Wool Costume saving me the headache of having to try to match it.  Next a trip to Lacis to procoure a Metal Purse Frame and Chain.  I found a super cute Antique Nickle color frame with Rhinestones in the clasps that was adorable.

If you have ever sewn a reticule...this is even easier depending upon your Metal Frame type.  I went with a "Sew-on" type frame so i would not have to mess with trying to crimp down a frame.  There are also frames that will screw together to hold the fabric in place.  Another great method, but sewing was going to be the least intense for me and with trying to make this a couple hour project i was all about easy.  I found a fantastic website with simple instructions and pictures where appropriate for putting together the bag.  I opted against super cute trimmings and lace as the walking costume is on the clean side with very little trim.

i LOVE how it turned out and can't wait for Dickens tomorrow to show it off.  It was so quick i've already pulled out some bags to buy frames for and convert from drawstring and reticule type bags in the future.  I really enjoyed attaching the bag to the frame and prefer the clean and structured look of having the bag attached to a metal frame.

Pretty Woven Things from New York

During November i had a very short trip to New York and managed to squeeze in 30 minutes at Mood and find two things i could NOT live without.

"Spring Stripes and Flowers"
This was screaming at me to become some sort of short sleeved regency dress...i can't wait to pick a silouhette!!!

Spring Stripes and Flowers

"Cotton Grey Diamonds"
This was soft, dark, and had a great small ditsy diamond all over. Not sure what will come of it, but i got four yards just in case a knee length jacket with a shirred peplum comes to mind...again

Cotton Grey Diamonds

I did not find the things i was looking for, so if anyone knows a good place for corduroy please pass it along.  I can't believe how hard it's been to find the right fabrics for the Miss Hatter costume!  I am looking for a hunter green cord and a deep velvety black cord for a jacket and hat.  I will eventurlly need to come up with something for the dress as well...but that will need to match the jacket so cord is the top priority.

The Day Dress has Begun

After a few weeks of going back and forth i decided to work on what i will enjoy, so the 1880's Day Dress has been started!  Not sure if it will make Dickens this year, but so far so good.

This evening i cut out and sewed up a muslin of the bodice of the dress.  The skirt is a *very* simple shirred straight skirt so no need to mock it up.  I was super impressed!  The bodice fit very well for a first fitting.  The only corrections i needed to make were to the back scooping out some of the excess along the princess seams as i have a small back waist - AND - shifting the front armhole excess to the side panel, i'm deeper then wider and could use the width at the back armhole much more than the front.  The corrections only took a few minutes and now the pattern is ready to be cut out! 

The bodice fitting...


Unfortunately i am short on muslin for the bodice lining...and i don't want to cut anything until i know i have enough and everything fits!  Nothing worse then finding out you do not have enough fabric when you are already so committed and have cut most of what you do have.  It's not all bad as this means a trip to the fabric store tomorrow.  YEA!!!!

Finding out i don't have enough fabric :(