3 Sep 2017 11:53 pm
mandie_rw: (shoes)
Went to a Fountains and Fireworks show at Longwood Gardens tonight - it was set to Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition/Night on Bald Mountain, and the slightly creepy drifting clouds in front of the bright moon were just too perfect! An autumn moon on a cool evening is very high on my list of enjoyment, and I got that tonight (yes it's still technically summer so there isn't that crispness in the air you get later in the season, but still, so nice! let me read you my love letter to fall weather...).

I wore one of my new pairs WKD of stockings with an old-ish dress, so I had to document it. ;) Fully-fashioned period-correct stockings appeal to the historian in me, but the fun-colored-seams on stretch nylons are half the price, and I've had to tell myself more than once that I don't have to be period-accurate in my everyday clothes if I don't want, sheesh. (Yes, self, it is okay to wear a hairnet with a 1950s outfit if you want, the world will not end. etc. etc.) Pink seams are decidedly not period, but now that I've bought a pair - OMG so fun, I want them in alllllllllllll the colors!
me in front of fountain garden  pink stocking backseams
A shoe aside: yes, I walked all around the gardens in those highly impractical shoes. But it's all paved...! Thus far in my life, I've got feet that have cheerfully worn all manner of cheap heels, for which I am very grateful! These were I think $8 on ebay. (I haven't been buying as many in the past few years, what with working retail so what's the point? but I am totally a Shoe Whore!) Almost always have to have some kind of strap, though, as I have a tendency to walk right out of regular pumps. I learned my lesson after dropping a cute little kitten heel down the stairs one too many times walking up to a second-floor class in college!


I did actually sew today, too; I hand-tacked down all the seam allowances on the chartreuse bodice and sleeves. Except for the side-back seams, because I think I should re-sew them with a sliiiiiiiightly smaller seam allowance, as I think I used a smaller allowance last time I made this pattern. But this silk is so damn fray-ish! Taffeta, my ass - I knew it wasn't taffeta when it showed up in the mail, and in case I had any doubts, my floor is covered in puffs of yellow silk thread to make me doubly sure. I've never met a taffeta that frayed like that! Fabric Mart, you are lying liars who lie. (If I hadn't been so set on the color, it would have gone right back, sale or no sale.)

mandie_rw: (sew all the things!)
Today I was feeling more modern sewing than Victorian, and who am I to question inspiration? (This is why I have an enormous bin full of UFOs, by the way.) I fiiiiinally finished the pin-dot dress for the Reading air show...I have decided to view it as being done well in advance for next year, rather than a month late for this year's show. Ahem.

I also cut out and assembled the bodice for a new dress, out of dark royal blue poplin embroidered with white anchors. It's been tempting me at work for over a year, but I steadfastly refused...til a couple of days ago when I unrolled two sizeable bolt ends when I was cutting it for a customer. Well, fine then. So I bought another yard, and came home with almost 3 yards for $11. Plenty 'nuff for the dress I have in mind! Gathered skirt and plain bodice with cap sleeves, easy enough. Except that I'm a masochist, so I flat-felled all the bodice seams by hand as I assembled it tonight, which made it take a little longer. (Hey, flat felling by hand looks so much nicer! Skirt seams will be felled by machine, because I care but not that much.) Well, you know I like all that fussy little hand-sewing stuff... ;)

And it's getting the 1950s tag, because, close enough.

mandie_rw: (chintz dress spring)
I was yanking out a very firmly rooted attempt at a maple tree, and when it gave, I fell back on my butt onto a stump. There is no doubt in my mind that I'm going to have a bruised ass tomorrow. (Yes, you can laugh, I am.) Damn nature!

1950s print voile dress: 6 skirt panels have been turned into 3. Progress! I also tried on the bodice mockup (partly to avoid doing something else), and, shockingly, it fit very well. This doesn't generally happen right out of the pattern envelope. I will say, though, that the line drawings (and the pattern description) show it as slightly off-the-shoulder. Nope, that is very decidedly on my shoulder, thanks. Still cute, but I did want the look of the line drawing, so I just tweaked the angle of the shoulder seam and called it good enough.

Event at the Indian King tomorrow - not one in which I feature heavily, but two of the gang are coming over to crash it anyway - so I dunno what sewing I'll get done tomorrow. I'll just enjoy it not being anywhere near 90F, thank you very much. Silk dress time! Hm, should iron that...nah, I'll do that tomorrow morning. ;)

mandie_rw: (rose1950s)
Since trying on the bodice mockup for the voile print dress seemed like sooooo much work!

I sewed together the voile print skirt lining (white Bemberg rayon, which I love for linings but is UGH so squeedgy) and the air show pin-dot dress skirt (which, as I mentioned, will be lined in lawn, but I didn't intend to flatline it, so might as well make the skirt now) - and since I like to finish the seams on my mid-century clothes, that was twice the seaming and hemming. Flat-felled the pin-dot, French seamed the lining, mostly to check and see if I still hate French seams as much as I used to. (Yes? Still stupid? Indeed. Okay, good, let's move on.)
1940 vogue pattern on top of polka dot fabri
I'm using V8812 for my WWII air show dress, and the pin-dot is a very lightweight cotton shirting. Yes - it's a 1940 pattern, no, this country was not involved in the war in 1940, if you want to be technical about it. I do not care to be technical about it. (I have a really hard time finding strictly 1941-45 styles that I like enough to sew; they're just not my Thing, and of course I'll wear this as civvies after the event! So I wanted something I actually would wear. I tend to be much more of a New Look-1950s kind of girl, so I had to do some digging!)

And I cut and started assembling the voile print skirt itself - and promptly decided to hand-sew it all. I half-sewed one seam three times, and the fabric was completely uninterested in not being gathered and horrible, no matter what I did. Not entirely surprised by this, considering how wifty it is. I could probably buy lighter weight machine needles or tissue paper to sandwich in the middle...but I have neither of those things on hand, and I've always got needles and thread. ;) It's six gored panels in the skirt so it'll take just a leeetle bit longer than planned! Although I was going to flat-fell the seams by hand anyway...
blue and white floral print fabric
(And I think I managed to cut the pieces with the print all going in the same direction. Amazing!)

mandie_rw: (rose1950s)
I did get the mockup for my new 50s cocktail dress all fitted, woo and hoo. (As I mentioned, it's to wear to the opera next weekend. I know, opera dress isn't technically a cocktail dress, but as we usually go to matinees I'd feel like a total asshole in an opera gown! People in Philly don't tend to "dress" for the opera, so cocktail dress is even too fancy. But I have some standards, haha.)

I'm using a piece of red/green/taupe striped taffeta that's been in the stash for a million years; I think it was de-stash from Maggie? Maybe? I'd mentally earmarked it for a 1780s/early 90s jacket and petti, but since I'll probably never make that, it didn't feel too blasphemous to use it for something 20thc instead. ;)

It's going to be a very fun exercise in Making It Work - there was a piece just under 2 yards and a piece about 1.5 yards, and I wanted a full circle skirt. Yes, it can be done, by piecing in a line of stripes onto the width of the bigger piece and just cutting out a giant circle from it! Good thing this dress doesn't require sleeves...

September 2017

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