Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ric Rac Dress

This was my first foray into ric rac. I love the stuff! It added whimsy and color to this project. I had the fabric picked out for a while, and my friend, Heidi, recommended that I use red ric rac. I'm so glad I did!

My husband took these photos on a windy day, hence the look of surprise on my face as my dress did a Marilyn Monroe.

This dress is from a vintage pattern. It is a simple bodice with a gathered dirndl skirt. The gathers aren't quite even, which is why I wore the belt. I would have liked to make a matching fabric belt with a red buckle, but I ran out of fabric. I wish the dress fit a bit better (I didn't do a muslin or anything), but overall I'm so happy with how it turned out!

Happy sewing,

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

First 40s Dress

I have a crazy love of vintage patterns, and I desperately wanted to try something from the 40s. I stumbled across this pattern at a vintage shop in St. Louis, and dug through my stash to find the perfect fabric! The front center seam was just begging for a chevron design, but this presented quite an issue during cutting. As you can see, it turned out pretty darn good! The dress is a bit thin, so I had get to wear a slip with it.

This dress is a typical 40s silhouette with a snug neckline and broad shoulders. The top is a bit loose because there aren't any darts--just the pleats in the neckline and in the back. The pattern calls for shoulder pads, and at the risk of looking like a linebacker, I just might put some in.

In all, the dress took about 7 hours to complete (this includes the difficult cutting and redoing the neckline--twice). But hey, I'm still learning!

An added bonus--I went to the Springfield Antiques Expo this month, and found the perfect Bakelite jewelry to go with the dress! I was hoping for red, but the orange matched nicely (and was a bit less pricey).

I would like to make this dress again with longer sleeves and I might try wool or gabardine to make it a bit dressier. I also did not do any top-stitching,but I will next time I crank out one of these beauties.

Sew on,

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Dress

Fabric: Drapery fabric from FM (it has been in my stash for about a year or two)
Notions: Thread, invisible zipper
Time to complete: Not sure, but I would guess about 7-8 hours
Total cost: Probably around $10
First worn: Easter 2012
Wear again? Yes! It may be a bit fancy for work, but I wore it today, anyway. 

When I was young, my mother would often buy me a new dress for Easter. Now that I'm grown, I have somewhat continued the tradition. After all, what girl doesn't like to buy a new dress? Last year I made this Easter dress, so I decided to make one again this year. 
I also continued the tradition of staying up until the wee hours of the morning to finish the dress. Hopefully next year I will only stay up until midnight instead of 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning.

Sew Happy,

Monday, April 2, 2012

Oldie but Goody

Hi there! So, I dropped the ball this month, and did not do a March creation. Too busy. However, I thought I would dig into my recent past and pull out this lovely.

I made this dress about three years ago when I finally got back into sewing. There are a few things I would like to change (like the's a wee bit big), but overall I'm pleased with how it turned out.

Pattern: Simplicity 2591, 2009, I think
Fabric: Laura Ashley from FM, about $6.00 per yard (about 2.5 yards)
Notions: Invisible zipper, hook and eye
Time to complete: About 8 hours
Total cost: About $15.00
First worn: Hm...can't remember
Wear again? Of course...I wear this one a lot. 

When I make this again, I will size it down some (this one is a 10 and I could probably wear an 8 or even 6), and I would like to add piping to the pockets and neckline. I may also do a version with a Peter Pan collar because I think Peter Pan collars make the world a prettier place.

What are some additions that you like to make to patterns?

Sew Happy,

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rosie the Riveter

When I was in Kansas City for Christmas, my mom and I went shopping together, and my sister-in-law recommended Boomerang Vintage. That is where I found these.

They are a pair of vintage 1950s Levis. I did some scouring on the internet, and I found an image of the ad that originally featured these beauties.

Third from the left.

I also found a couple of pairs going for about $300 on And no, I am not planning on selling them...

Sew happy,


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Horse Dress

I'm posting a bit late, but I finished my February project on February 29th. Thankfully this was a leap year, right?

Fabric: Quilting fabric from FM, about $4 a yard
Pattern: Simplicity 4447
Year: Not entirely sure, but I'm guessing late 50s
Notions: 5 buttons
Time to complete: About 8 hours including cutting
First worn: March 1, 2012
Wear again? Definitely! I've already worn it twice!

This dress has been lovingly dubbed by my husband as "The Horse Dress" since it has a western theme. Once I saw it at FM, I fell in love with the vintage-inspired print and knew I had to make something out of it.

This was also my first foray into piping. I think it turned out rather nicely, no?

The hardest part by far was gathering the skirt. This sucker is FULL. Also, I would add an invisible zipper because right now, there is an opening beneath the last button and I am always paranoid that it is going to fly open and show everyone my undies. Other than that, I think this dress turned out fabulous!

On another note, my husband and I had some fun with this shoot!

Sew happy,

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

This Dress is Apples!

I know it has been a VERY long time since my last post. Since I started a full time job, I have come to the realization that I need to learn to budget my time better in order to continue to do the things I love to do. Which brings me to my New Year's resolution - a few weeks late, I know - to complete two sewing projects a month. My inspiration is The Sew Weekly. In 2011, Mena Trott and four other contributors completed sewing projects based on weekly themes. If you are a seamstress, you must follow this blog.

This dress is one of my favorites:

I decided on two projects a month because sewing a new item every week seemed a bit daunting to me - I have a full time job (and a full closet!) and friends and family that I like to see on a regular basis. So, every two weeks seemed to me to be the magic number. And, I've already made three items for the month of January!

So, since I celebrated my 32nd birthday this month, I decided to make myself a dress...a fun and vintage inspired dress.

Fabric: Quilting fabric from Hancock Fabrics, $7.00 per yard (about 2.5 yds)
Pattern: Simplicity 4447
Year: Not entirely sure, but I'm guessing late 1950s
Notions: 5 vintage buttons, invisible zipper
Time to complete: About 7 hours, including cutting
First worn: January 29, 2012
Wear again? Definitely! I've already worn it twice!

First of all, I love this print! I went fabric shopping with my mother-in-law, and she kindly purchased this for me. I kept waiting to make something because I knew I had just enough to make a dress...I just wasn't sure which one. Well, I went to Kansas City for my mother's 50th birthday party, and I snagged 26 vintage patterns from one of the local thrift shops, including the one I used for this dress.

Now, I did not make a muslin before starting with my precious 2 and 1/2 yards of fabric, but thankfully it all worked out. I added about an inch in the hips, and when I make this dress again, I will probably take in the top just a bit and lower the darts. You can't really tell, but the darts are about an inch and a half too high. Over all, I couldn't be happier with how this turned out!

Sew happy,

Outfit details:
Dress: Handmade by me from a vintage pattern
Shoes: MIA, thrifted for $1.50
Stockings: Vintage, thrifted for .50 cents.