Wednesday, July 7, 2010

7 July 1956 “Sewing Dresses and Drawing”

I realize I have not discussed my sewing in awhile. I just finished my July dress. I wanted a vintage look like this.  This pattern has a similar look on the top.mcalls8413 Something along these lines.vintagehalterdress Only, I couldn’t find a vintage pattern, but I did find this.simplicity3823 Simplicity 3823. Now, this pattern has a full gathered skirt, which would look great with a petticoat. Only, I had wanted to use this fabric for my summer dress.julydressfabricI am not sure you can really tell the color, but it is lovely summery pink, yellow and brown on a white ground. I thought it very vintage and fun. Since I did not have enough to do a full gored skirt, I cut out the top and then used the remainder of the fabric and pleated the skirt around. I am quite happy with the result. Hubby snapped this shot of me quick before he went off to work.julydress1You can see it needs to be pressed and I wanted to show how it looked without my petticoat. But as I was home alone, I had to snap the shot of it with the petticoat myself with the timer and only got the skirt, but you get the idea.julydress3You can see it will not puff out like a circle or gored skirt, but still has a nice swing. I also left a very large hem, as it seems vintage clothes in person and photos always have a very generous hem. I wondered about that and thought, I am sure when your profit margin depends on pennies (as the mass produced chinese clothes that are sold at Gap, Walmart, Old navy heck most places) every little bit of fabric counts. So we are just used to really small hems or no hems on jersey or blanket stitching. I noticed, with a full hem (this fabric is even doubled under there and then hemmed at about 6 inches) it adds a nice weight to the skirt.
I think this vintage vogue pattern is a great way for me to ‘alter’ this pattern as well.voguehalterpatternDon’t you love the little Peter Pan collar on the top! I will make one like that I think.
My June dress was for the 4th of July. I altered my other dress pattern that I had made with the rolled collar, remember my March Dress marchdress3 I used that pattern but did a Peter Pan collar instead. I will share it later, as I have no pictures of it. It is,of course, red, white and blue.
I am so bad at getting pictures of myself. I also am not sure I really want to plaster pictures of myself up here all the time. There is something very MySpace about it. I don’t know. Maybe if I treat it like art photography. For example, I like taking the dress photo and making it black and white to look vintage.julydress2I was also inspired to do a silly up close photo of myself (again hard to do, not sure how teens do it all the time)closeupmeI was inspired by the model Jean Patchetts beauty mark and so did this shot with my ‘painted on’ mark and wearing one of my hats. The flash sort of went off in my face.
I am not sure why I am not 100% comfortable about many pictures of myself here. I should really think about why that is.
Well, besides not sharing my dresses lately, I have also not been sharing my drawings/comics. I feel my cartoon style has been evolving and feeling more vintage. Here is one I did yesterday.comic1You can click on it to see it larger. I have not felt yet ready to show any of my paintings, but I have been so busy with the yard and my chicken house project (that post is coming, I promise, in all it’s detailed boring glory).
Well, simple daily posts so I am off. I hope all have a lovely day and Happy Homemaking.


  1. For a good face self portrait, turn off the flash and stand next to a sunny window at a 45 degree angle. Hold the camera at arms length from your head and be prepared to take lots of pictures. You can just delete the bad ones.

    I don't think it would be "myspace-ish" at all for you to post pictures of yourself if it's you showing things you've made, especially clothing.

  2. I absolutely adore your dress! Thank you for modeling it for us. I hope it is keeping you cool during this hot weather we are having. You are inspiring me to learn how to sew.

  3. Miss M-thanks for the photo advice!
    Gabrielle-I am still such a novice, but I think about what I would like to make, research the style and then if there is no vintage repro or vintage pattern, use a modern one and make changes. After each dress you learn about darts and putting in zippers etc. I hope to one day drape my own dresses. I saw Gertie on her Blog for Better Sewing (the one blog I do look at occasionally) has a tutorial on draping that has my mind swirling. But I promised myself No draping until I can clean out and make over my barn to my studio/sewingroom/clubhouse. One step at a time. So, for now, my dining room is my sewing room. If you haven't already, get a simple sleevless full skirted dress pattern with a side or back zip and just read the instructions and give it a try. If I can do it, anyone can.

  4. One reason that full/circle skirts/dresses have a deeper hem is because it is probably a facing. Facings are much easier to hem because they are a mirror image of the bottom of the skirt--no need to ease in the fullness of the hem.

    To make a facing: Simply trace the bottom of the skirt pattern however deep you want the hem to be (in my case, I prefer 2"). Use that tracing to make a facing pattern. The cool thing is that you can make the hem facing in sections. For my recent circle skirt, I had four sections. Cut out the fabric (adding seam allowance so sew sections together). Sew the sections together, sew the facing to the skirt and then hem it. It saves A LOT of time in the long run and looks more tailored.

    (PS: I took a draping class last winter and a flat-pattern making class during the spring...totally changed the way I go about sewing!)

  5. Love your dress 50's Gal! You look super in it! And those shoes! *love* I like your hair color too. Very nice! Can't wait to see the dress you made for the 4th of July.

  6. Dr. Julie-Ann-I might do that next year. The idea of a draping and pattern making class could really make a difference. The more I sew the more I want to keep adding to my wardrobe. I would love to make my own dungarees, even though I use them for work and gardening, but the only pair of modern dungarees I found with a higher waist in the beginning of 1955, are now worn out already! Shows how cheaply they were made. I always eye the heavy deep indigo tough denim in the fabric store and wonder.
    Jenn-I had this blue fabric I loved but didn't have enough to make an entire dress, so I bought some pure white seersucker and used the two to make the dress. It is definitely a summer look.

  7. The dress turned out really cute! I bought fabric and a pattern to make myself a gored skirt, and I have two other patterns picked out to make, but I haven't gotten started on them yet. Keep getting sidetracked helping in the yard and cleaning the pool.

    Taking self-portraits is an exercise in patience. It takes at least a dozen shots to get a good one.

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  9. I love the full, summery clothes! So mcu nicer & more comfy looking than tight jeans & Ts. :)

  10. I like the drawing. You definitely have a vintage style. Maybe a little Ludwig Bemelmans?


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