Friday, March 28, 2014

Challenge six; Fairytale

For this challenge I was quite stumped at first. Fairytales are generally not my cup of tea, also a frou-frou princess dress does not fit my lifestyle at all. Since my goal, unstated until now, was to make an historical and wearable vintage wardrobe this challenge was doubly confounding. Eventualy I decided to do a Cinderella/Rosie the Riveter/land girl ensemble. These are some of my inspiration images:

I chose the color scheme of Disney's Cinderella's work clothes- a tealy blue, a light brown and darker brown. I used a vintage pattern, Simplicity 4161 from 1942, for the blouse.

My fabric is a very cool quilting cotton printed with sewing implements. I had just enough left over to make another of the 'bodice' challenge blouses too! My trousers are a pattern I made myself based on historical photographs, for these I used a light brown wide wale corduroy. Both fabrics are from the excellent Sew to Speak shop in Columbus. I had never been there before but they are a wonderful resource for fabric and independent patterns. In short a big yay for them! Here you can see the color scheme, I wore my dark brown sweater with it to get in that additional Cinderella color.

I had to change the story a bit of course, in my version of the fairytale Cinderella is not a servant but perhaps a housewife, (I think we can all agree that 1940's housewives lives were rather servile at times). She would dress her up mice in overalls, then make them have a victory garden, and at the dance she would meet Uncle Sam and become a WOW. Her prince charming was finding herself. A much more satisfying happily ever after!

I wanted to print a WOW bandana but never got around to it, though my blouse and pants took less than a week to make. In fact they were both very easy to sew! My main difficulty arose in fitting the pants, the butt is still a little unflattering, but frankly looks pretty period to me. I think my issues arose because I shortened the crotch length as many people say needs to be done to vintage trouser patterns. I ended up adding it back in plus some to get the waist to fall at my waist! I also had to do significant sway back alterations. My side pockets were going to be back pockets but I cut them too small, so instead I stacked them on my right hip. I like the aesthetics of the stacked v's and the utility of two pockets.

As you can see I get really odd wrinkles after a few hours of walking around. Standing still it looks normal, not like a wrinkled mess!

And here is a shot on Sally Stitch, the buttons are just pinned on here, I was auditioning my button options, also a lovely shot taken in the bathroom mirror at the end of the day. See no wrinkles when I'm still! My photographer had a hard time getting good pictures in the wild, that is, at the Ohio Historical Society's Lustron exhibit (which is awesome and everyone should go and visit!). Please note, I also made the awesome children in these images!

The Challenge: Fairytale

Fabric: Printed quilting cotton and cotton wide wale corduroy

Pattern: Simplicity 4161 from 1942 and my own

Year: 1942

Notions: Five vintage black buttons, one bronze reproduction vintage button, two skirt hooks and bars

How historically accurate is it? 75% because of the quilting cotton blouse and modern hooks

Hours to complete: Not sure, I worked on them for four days total, but two days were just for finishing

First worn: Thursday to the Lustron exhibit

Total cost: $25 to $35, I still have extra fabric left

Friday, March 14, 2014

Challenge five; Bodice

For this challenge I made blouses. Not technically bodices per se, but for me they are the bodices of my daily apparel, so it sorta works. I actually made both early last week and intended to make more, but instead I loafed around (read: got stomach flu, not fun!). I also neglected to press these before photographing.

I used this mail order pattern from the 1950s I have which is outside of our dates for the HSF, but I once had an older version of it that was unprinted and dated to the 1940s. It might not have been exactly the same pattern but it was almost the same, but sadly we shall never know as my original was the victim of a cruel mauling and munching by a one year old (luckily she's nine now and no longer eats my vintage patterns!). I also used some fantastic vintage buttons! And please not the very cool button band detail on the gold blouse! (Please don't notice that my steam away marking pen did not steam away!)

I used my ivory linen stash for the contrast tops, which also helps me be able to wear these colors! The pink is the stained seersucker from Etsy that I wanted to use for the pink challenge, and no the stains did not come out. The golden is a bit of quilting cotton I picked up as a remnant at JoAnns. I faced the hems with bias tape for weight, used no interfacing and cut down the crazy big revers to a more moderate size (I took off 2.5" on each collar). My earlier pattern definitely had smaller revers! I modified the back pattern to mimic the shaping on the front, I'm not sure if the original had this detail built in or not, it might have been a straight back panel with a shaped front.

As you can tell the contrast seaming is different on the two blouses, that is because I cut the pink blouse from view A, intending to modify the collar to be ivory with a scalloped edge in the pink. It was ugly, very ugly. So I chopped it up and did some reshaping and made another version of view B with some differences. There is no cb seam, The shaping is different, the cool button placket detail is gone and the bust darts are lower. I still like it though, in fact I love these blouses! I will post some modeled pictures soon!

The Challenge: Bodice

Fabric: Light weight linen, quilting cotton, vintage cotton seersucker

Pattern: Mail Order 9379, altered to look like a lost 1940s pattern

Year: 1940s or 1950s, depending on which pattern you use

Notions: Vintage buttons, thread, bias tape in peach and gold

How historically accurate is it? Pattern, fabric, notions are yes, polyester bias tape is no, so 95%

Hours to complete: 2, one hour per blouse

First worn: Antiquing last weekend for the gold, pink not yet worn

Total cost: $9 for buttons, but they are perfect and vintage and I have extras! Actually let's say $5.