Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Vintage Notions

After browsing through my little pattern stack, I settled on making a lovely dress from the 1930's for my next project (I think).  In two views of the dress there is a belt, and I thought that it would be perfect to use Casey's tutorial to create a belt for my dress.

Views 3 and 4 use a belt.
View 3 is the one I want to make
Since I had none of the supplies needed, I thought I would first visit the little thrift shop where I picked up some vintage patterns a while ago.  I was hoping to stumble across a belt buckle.  Unfortunately, the shop did not have any belt buckles (or new patterns since my last visit), but I did stumble across a great box of vintage snap fasteners.  Snap fasteners are used in Casey's belt tutorial - as well as in a few of my other 1930s dress patterns.  I thought this was a great find since there are almost 200 snaps in the box, so I will be set for life on my sewing projects, and it was way cheaper than a box at JoAnn's.

This box originally went for $0.10, I paid a little more,
but not by much!
After arriving home I searched the web to see exactly how vintage they were.  I didn't come across anything definitive, but I gather that they are 1950's at the newest (based on information from this post).  I also found another post on vintage fasteners that made me wish I had found something more like this:

But then again, maybe not.  I would likely
think they are too pretty to use and they
would therefore collect dust somewhere.
From my research, I also found that Prym's was a German company, the first to bring the fashion world the modern snap fastener as used today.   Here is one of their advertisements from 1949 that appeared in the July issues of Good Housekeeping:

While I was doing some research, I made the connection that I had a few German pattern magazines, and wouldn't it be neat if there was a Prym's advertisement in one of those magazines?  To my delight, there was:

This magazine is full of lovely patterns that will need snap fasteners!

So wish me luck on completing my next project before we all get too old.  

Live the moment, love life!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Inspiration: Future Projects

My dear readers, I admit that now that my Swing Dress is completed I have been in a bit of a project funk.  While I am slowly knitting my sweater for Tasha's knit-along, that is the only thing on my plate.  

I wanted to start working towards something, knowing full well that I wasn't quite ready to jump into another sewing project.  So, I started a project that I have been wanting to do for a while now - an inspiration scrapbook.  While for some, their blog list is enough of an inspiration keeper, I wanted something that would hold ideas for specific projects that I wanted to work on in the future.

Casey's 30s Sweetheart knickers inspired me to consider creating vintage lingerie.  This led to my purchase of the   German pattern magazine and the Anne Adams slip.

My first step was printing out a few pictures of patterns I had.  These are patterns that I desire to use, but the timing is just not right for me.  I then gathered other images and tutorials that would relate to these projects.  Some of them involve complicated techniques or just things that I have not yet encountered in my short sewing career. 

Colette had a darling series on lingerie details.  They also have a great post on silk fabrics, which I plan to use for at least one of these lingerie projects!
Keeping everything to be in one place and written down is the key.  This way, if I don't get around to a certain pattern for another year I won't have spend hours searching the internet for that technique that I wanted to use or a picture of inspiration.

When I saw this pattern on eBay, I had to have it.  Lucky for me, I was the only bidder.  Since I was a little nervous about sewing a coat, I looked online for someone who could offer some advice - who better than Gertie?
The joys and convenience of the internet are great, but I am still very much a paper and pen kinda gal.  Writing something down and being able to hold it in my hands and transport with ease far outweighs what the internet has to offer.  However, this little project of my is a blending of both lovely worlds.
A sneak peak at the progress of my sweater for the knit-along!
Here are some of the links I mentioned for the above projects.
12 Lovely Lingerie Details - Colette Patterns
Silk Fabrics - Colette Patterns
Thirties Sweetheart - Casey's Elegant Musings
Wool Fabrics - Colette Patterns
Gertie's Coat - Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing

What do you do to organize your inspiration and future projects?  What are your greatest sources of inspiration?

Live the moment, love life!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Happy Swing!

I am so delighted that I was able to finish this project on time.  There were so many little obstacles that got in the way, but thankfully there were a few extensions and I was able to complete this dress - which I love!

The whole way through sewing this dress I just wasn't sure if it would be a good fit.  Now that it is done, it is so comfortable, flatters my figure and is even work appropriate (I work in an office wear suits are often worn).

I am also so excited that this is the only self-portrait session I have done where I like the pictures :)  Too many of the pictures I have taken of myself for this blog are with me setting my camera on some random solid surface and running to get in position before the flash goes off.  It's no difference with these photos, but they actually turned out.  (I would like to thank the Earle Brown fire hydrant for being so readily available to hold my camera).

 The other fun thing I have to mention about this dress is that I finally have a use for my brooch.  I received it as a gift while I was visiting my extended family that lives in Ukraine.  I have no idea if it is vintage, but my mom and I both agree that it is not new - so I'll tag it as vintage.  It is the perfect accessory for this dress.

Sorry for the redundant pictures, I am just so thrilled that my self portraits turned out.

Live the moment, love life!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Lovely Surprise!

Today I received a vintage pattern in the mail that I had ordered (I know, I'm doing a little too much of buying patterns and not enough sewing - more on that in another post).  The seller of this pattern was not only awesome enough to have a stash of lovely 1930's patterns that she was selling at a reasonable price with modest shipping charges - she sent me an little surprise with my pattern.  How sweet is that?

My little surprise was a six page Hollywood Patterns of Youth pamphlet from 1939.  It has some really beautiful pictures.  And what kind of blogger would I be if I did not share these images with you?

Debbie from My Sew Happy Place has been posting jumpers lately, perhaps that
is why the jumper on the far left has caught my eye.

The strapless number is darling, if you took off some length it would be a great sundress.

The jacket/dress combo second from the last is my favorite.
I love the way the bow peeps out over the collar of the jacket, and how it opens to show some of the dress.

I love the extra details that vintage patterns add - buttons down the front,
interesting sleeves, little bows, sashes . . .

I don't think I could pull it off, but the overall-shorts could be cute.
I was just delighted with my surprise today.  Hopefully I can put some of my time to good use and start sewing more - it is just a terribly  slow process for me.  (I tend to the enjoy the envisioning what I can make more than the actually making of it - that should change with practice)

Have you come across any wonderful surprises in your week?  What details of these dresses have caught your eye?

Live the moment, love life!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Missing: One Beloved Mitten

This past February I lost one mitten . . . from my favorite pair of mittens.  Everyday for two weeks I checked the lost-and-found for my mitten with no resolve.  February was a cold month and as part of my mourning I went to work everyday with only one mitten (okay, I wasn't mourning - I just couldn't find my other pair and one warm hand is better than none).

Normally to lose a pair (or half of a pair) of mittens isn't that big of a deal, find a different pair in your closet or go buy some.  BUT - these were the first pair of mittens that I had ever knit and it was my first project where I decided to buy some nice yarn, you know, at a yarn shop rather than Joann's.  I seriously wore these mittens every day during winter (which is about nine months in Minnesota).

For some reason I think of a bearskin rug when I wear these mittens.  They are not fur, they are polar fleece . . .
These mittens were a first in many other ways as well - my first time using DPNs and the first (and only) color work project I had ever completed.  So as you can see, upon losing my mitten, there was reason for some self-pity.  I really wanted to find the missing one!  Reality soon set in and I started wearing my only other pair of mittens.  They were a Christmas gift from my mom - and although they are warm, I don't particularly like them (sorry mom!).

My husband suggested just making one mitten to make up for the lost one - unfortunately I did not have any yarn left and the yarn has since been discontinued (I've had these mittens for years).

Just this week I checked out a yarn outlet (everything half off!!!).  I found the exact same brand of yarn as my mittens.  They did not carry the colors of the original mittens I had knit, but I found a new set of colors that I might like even more.  So there is some hope - next fall I will have a new favorite pair of mittens - and I am happy.

It was difficult to capture the colors on camera, but it is a slate grey, lemon yellow and lime green.  
Ever lost something handmade that you loved?  Do you have a favorite article of clothing that you made?

Live the moment, love life!