Saturday, September 17, 2011

Birthday Dress

The shoes came!  They are even sparklier and more magical in person!  I wore them out for my birthday dinner last night, so now would be a good time to tell you about the birthday dress I made.

I have been stalking McCalls 6511 on eBay and Etsy ever since I saw it on Mena's blog.  I set an eBay saved search, and I checked Etsy every couple days.  Finally, I got an email from eBay.  It wasn't my size but not too far off, and only $4.99.  Problem was, I was going to be in the middle of the woods with no internet when it ended!  So I bid $20 and hoped for the best, and I won it for the starting bid!

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I had a piece of fabric in mind, but oddly, this pattern uses a TON of fabric.  I was surprised.  I think it's because the front of the skirt is gathered.  The pattern piece for the skirt front was huge and I was thinking "I must just cut one" but no, it was definitely two.  So I moved onto my second choice fabric, this mauve and blue rayon from the antique store.

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Putting this dress together was so easy!  I didn't even have to look at the instructions.  It was a really quick sew and I can't wait to make it again.  The pattern was a couple inches off from my measurements, so all I did was trace it onto an old sheet, make a couple adjustments, and use the sheet as my pattern piece.  It's not really "proper" grading but it worked. 

I used a metal zipper and some white hem lace I already had.  Total cost, $5 for the pattern and $7.50 for the fabric.  Pretty good deal for what is essentially a vintage 40's dress.

For my birthday dinner, I paired it with my glittery Miu Miu boots (!) and my favorite 60's jacket.

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My parents told the server it was my birthday, so they came over with cheesecake and a sombrero!

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Then Mike and I came home and had an impromptu dance party with the cat, who didn't have as much fun as we did.

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The hem looks like it's hanging lower in the front, but I think that is because there's more fabric and it's heavier than the back. Would a waist-stay fix that?

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Gratuitous shoe shots!

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I can't wait to make more dresses to go with my awesome birthday shoes!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I Did It.

I took the plunge.  These are arriving in 2-4 days.

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I feel shaky and sweaty palmed in a "what did I just do?" kind of way.  They have been selling out like crazy and I checked online for the hundredth time this week, and one website had the pink, and only in my size.  It's a sign, right?  So I did it.  My birthday is Thursday and I hope they arrive in time!

And just to prove even more of what a crazyperson I am, I got up early this morning and made a dress to go with them. I sewed a dress to go with shoes I had not yet purchased. 

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I will for sure post a picture of them together when they arrive, and more about the dress!

To assuage my guilt, I listed 12 vintage patterns and a yard of the leftover fabric on Etsy.  You can find them here if you are interested.  They are mostly 36 bust and from 1948-1965ish.

My Etsy Sales

I also made a sizable donation to the American Council of the Blind thrift store (clothes and shoes) and listed a pair of Nine West boots on eBay.  I feel happy and relieved!

Two projects I forgot to tell you about

I was a bad blogger in August and made a top and a blouse and didn't post about them.  I recently got to wear both, so better late than never, right?

The first is a 1968 minidress made with Simplicity 7689.

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I wanted to make it out of this vintage seersucker, but I baaaaarely had enough and it ended up a little shorter than I intended.

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I made view 3 which is mini-length and sleeveless.  Since it's a simple dress, I did my darnedest to make it the most well-constructed simple sundress ever.  I finished my seams:

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I skipped the instructions which said to use a grosgrain ribbon for the tie, and instead made my own of out the seersucker. I had to piece together scraps, but you can't tell.

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I needed to keep as much length as possible, so I made the tiniest hem ever with the help of some thick hem lace.

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I wore it to a BBQ yesterday! It is super short so I have jean shorts on underneath. Don't want to flash anyone if I have to bend over!

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I also made a lovely 40's inspired blouse out of some vintage rayon and Collete Patterns' Sencha.  I found this blouse half-finished in a drawer.  I must've started on it last year and got into a rut and set it aside.  It was cut out and the darts were marked.  It only took two more hours to complete it, and my buttonholer didn't even act up.  My only complaint is in the length - I wish it was an inch or two longer.  It comes just to the top of my jeans.  I wore it to work last Friday and snapped a picture for you.

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I think the 40's vibe is similar to the dresses I posted last week from the Miu Miu Fall 2011 collection. With some encouragement from my Mom ("Get the damn boots! You never splurge on yourself!") I am going to order the glittery boots if I can track down the pink ones in my size.  We were meant to be together...

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fall Inspiration

It's really hard for me to get excited about Fall.  The changing colors of the leaves aren't beautiful to me....they're dead.  I like fresh green leaves, sunshine on my shoulders, and cotton sundresses.  "Crisp" air is downright cold to me, I prefer bare arms to sleeves, and I'm on a never ending search for the perfect brown boots that don't exist.  All that, and it's only going to get worse.  So needless to say, I'm in a little bit of a funk.

Then I saw these:

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Which I am pretty sure are the most amazing shoes that have ever existed in life. I love them so much that I am actually considering (just a tiny bit) splurging on them even though they are $890. I know that sounds insane, but I am so frugal with every other aspect of my life that I have somehow convinced myself that I deserve them.

The shoes led me to the rest of the Miu Miu Fall 2011 collection, which is equally amazing. I could get excited about fall if these were in my closet.

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So my focus for this upcoming Fall/Winter is going to be 40's with Miuccia Prada in mind.  Hopefully I can make it through until Spring.

Sigh.....

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Monday, September 5, 2011

JACKPOT

Happy Labor Day, friends!  I hope everyone is having a great day off work and enjoying the "last" weekend of summer.  Who's grilling?  And what time should I be over?

My family rents a cottage in Minocqua, WI and we go up every year for Labor Day weekend.  It's a great getaway filled with relaxing by the lake, playing Rummy, eating more chips than you can shake a stick at, and best of all, ANTIQUE STORES.   The antique stores up there are amazing.  They're huge and packed wall to wall with reasonably priced treasures.  I have never left empty-handed.  Usually I am looking for vintage dresses and slips, rhinestone jewelry, and Jadeite kitchenware, but this time I realized it could be extra fun since I'm now on the hunt for vintage patterns and fabric.

It did not disappoint:

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TWELVE 1940's and 50's patterns all (more or less) my size and for $9.50? Holy crap. I have been looking for a playsuit pattern in my size and for a reasonable price since I started sewing, and right there is two in a bag for less than a dollar each.  Holla!  My favorite of the bunch though is the tiered Advance pattern in the middle picture.  I can't wait to make the version on the left. 

I also scored bigtime in the fabric department.  I am not sure if the seller didn't know what they had, or just wanted to get rid of it, but I found five huge (like 4 yards each) pieces of vintage rayon marked "silky fabric $7.50".  SHUT UP.  I look for vintage rayon on eBay and Etsy all the time and damn if it's not $45 for a piece that big.  Here's what I got:

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I'm sorry I've been such a neglectful blogger! I have so much to tell you all! I hit 100 followers (107, to be exact!) so I am definitely planning on having a giveaway. I also made a dress and a blouse I shamefully did not post about, so I will have updates on those soon.

Have a great Labor Day!