Er ah, I see another trench coming up in some cutesy, girlie color. yup!!!
EN: A few weeks ago I was walking around the top floor of the Bullring in Birmingham, when I came across the most amazing blush lace trench coat by Burberry, needless to say it was way out of my budget, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I was in dire need of a new trench coat, my old one is 8 years old and way too small… so I started looking at different patterns from Burda to McCall’s to Vogue to the Robson Coat, but none of them really appealed to me. I think one of the reasons was, that thy all looked a bit too classic (and some looked a bit dated, to be honest…) Then Deer and Doe and wonderfully chic French sewing label released their new spring collection, and would you believe it, they had a cute, modern trench coat that ticked all the boxes for…
Lovelies, there is a new girl on the block. Charm Patterns by Gergie. I am so excited to witness the launching of this new independent pattern company. Notice that my pattern is signed! Gertie had a kick-off for her pattern company where people were invited to donate for start-up. If I recall, her goal was something like $8,000 by a certain date. Check it . . .in about a two week span her friends and fans donated something like $32,000. Yesss, talk about a blessing. Different levels of giving received thank you gifts. For a $25 donation in addition to helping Charm Patterns get off the ground I received the Rita Blouse pattern signed by Gertie! Click on the link and see what else Gertie has going on. I won’t spoil the secret.
Gertie is chock full of designs, professionalism and style as she features modern vintage with class and pizzazz. Truly you will feel ultra feminine and ladylike in her designs.
Let me dish the tea on this Rita Blouse. Miss Rita is a peasant style blouse. The kicker is . . . . the waist area is fitted! None of that blousy, baggy look as with normal peasant blouses. This adds a sleek, classy look to what I always felt to be a casual top. Gertie has taken the peasant blouse to a new high. For the daring gal in you try wearing this top off-shoulder.
It is super simple to make with less than two yards of fabric even with a 45″ wide piece! And, you know I’m a big girl. If I had to guesstimate it probably took about two to three hours to make this. It is difficult to tell when a body is doing more watching of Austen style videos than sewing.
The chosen fabric for this top is rayon challis purchased via eBay. There is a side invisible zipper that goes in oh so easy. I tell you I have fallen in love with the invisible zipper. Finally after all these years this morning I ordered the special foot for installation. I am wondering if the install will be picture perfect every time. Sometimes with my regular zipper foot I must rip and make adjustments (usually from me rushing or not paying attention).
The bottom line: Yes, I will be making more of the Rita Blouse. Oh, there is a sew-a-long being formed as we speak. You have GOT to get in on it.
A blessing was received last week that I just must share. Yaw’ll know I am feverishly working to get Skirting It! off the ground. Well, I set up a Go Fund Me account which is a platform where you may ask friends, family, whomever to support your dream. Well, while sitting around one day it occurred to me a couple of family members who are not on social media and whom I had not contacted with my Go Fund Me link. My big brother came to mind and I decided to ask him for some money to help with my venture. Then, I promptly forgot about it.
Some weeks went by and two weeks ago I sat down and wrote him a letter telling him my situation (described at the original post) and thoughts. I made sure to tell him this was not a pity party; no, that I have plans! Years of research has led me to know I would do well with a dressform and gravity feed iron. Therefore, specifically, I asked him to please send me the money for them and told him the price range.
After waiting a very short period of time I remembered that I had made the request, but I had not heard anything. Then, I got chicken so called a cousin to ask her opinion. “When I call him, I said, do I get right to the point or beat around the bush, make small talk, before asking IF he had read and is considering my request. Did he feel like being philanthropic?” She felt like me, “Don’t beat around the bush get to it”. Then, LOL, I made the comment, “If I were him I would have read the letter and immediately sent the check in the mail; or sent a declination letter.” Sew, I got up the nerve and called him . . . NO ANSWER! Geeesh, then I got really nervous.
What do you know about THE NEXT DAY a letter came in the mail WITH a check and his best wishes for my venture!
All praise to Jehovah God and thanks be to my big brother for his love and kindness. Now, I want to get a photo with “Riyaaz” (the dressform) and my unnamed gravity fed iron (a boy) and send it to him. He’s 81 so don’t know if he’s into getting photographs via his cell so I am going old skool and printing out a photo to send to him AND to place one in the Lady Lair, my sewing studio.
I am so happy, excited, and can’t wait to bring you pretty, lady-like, way cool skirts and more from Skirting It!. And, did you check out the motto/by-line? “Modest excess within control!” Yeah baby.
Much to-do is going on over here. My Precious ones I have some good news, no better than that, great news! But first, let me tell you the how and why of it all. Me and hubby left Florida to begin anew in southern Georgia the end of last year. He loves rural living so we went from one country town to another an even smaller kuntry town. Cost of living, okay. Jobs, not-so-much.
Imagine, having played the education game, earned a masters level degree, moved to the south, can’t even get a JOB at McDonald’s. It’s been 8 months and I am underemployed, working less than part time at a local hospital for . . . ready for it? Drumroll . . . $8.50/hr. Less than PART TIME!! Yeah, I’m screaming. No pity party here though. I absolutely refuse!
For years various ladies have been in my ear about the inability of finding modest garments to wear. And, for years various people have inquired about my sewing for hire. A concept I fought vehemently, LOL. Why even a couple of months ago my daughter asked what I would charge to make her a maxi skirt. With all the discouragement I could muster I turned that job down. Guess what, she went to a local to her woman and paid $80.00 for an Ankara maxi skirt! Between that, the promptings of a friend, and my pitiful prospects of self support where we now live, I have been persuaded to sew as a means of support. “Skirting It!” at your service.
I am at the beginning of this cottage industry venture. Busy researching web hosting (that won’t charge me for a year or more up front; ain’t got it like that yet), the dot com is in place, and just purchased a dressform and gravity fed iron so my garments will look crisp and professional. Keeping an eye out on what ladies are wearing. A strong presence on Instagram will be developed. Etsy is looking out of the picture for now because they would own the shop, not me, and that’s not the direction I want to go. Also researching and meditating on paid hobby vs. business status. No money for a tax attorney (right now) before anyone brings that up.
I am thinking of offering up to nine pieces, made in standard US sizing to ladies, teens, and little girls. Mommy and Me lines seem big and that is definitely something I can do. I will displaying a variety of fabric swatches from my suppliers for customers to choose along with the style garment they desire. Each garment will be handmade individually, expressly for said customer. Meanwhile I am building up my wardrobe of samples for daily wear so that local people can see what I offer.
The hope is that the styles I choose will be evergreen; i.e., skirts. Skirts are my chosen IT to feature. I will offer an accessory or top or two here and there as a little something-something extra for flavor. Have you seen an Ankara Obi belt? Lovely! I found this one online and went gaa gaa. Thought it might be a nice accessory to offer.
But, seriously, I want to focus on skirts. I will be the skirt lady! After Skirting It! gets off the ground I will add vintage style dresses in Ankara to the mix. That will be a special look for sure. Oh, I forgot to tell you Skirting It! will feature Ankara/African fabrics, Indian fabrics and Middle Eastern (if I can find them) textiles.
Here are two skirts I found on Pinterest. Personally, the one on the right has got me swooning. I must make one to show off. In case someone did not know what Ankara is and why I am crazy about it I thought I would share these.
Here is an Ankara garment I made for myself last spring. The fabric was given to me by a Christian sister of mine whom I have yet to meet face-to-face. We somehow got together via social media. Wasn’t that kind of her?
Here is my latest acquisition. She shipped today and I can NOT WAIT to sew her up.
This photo does NOT do the fabric justice. When I complete my garment I will have to do better! Anyway, I just wanted to give you a taste of what’s to come with Skirting It! fashions. How can you not be happy with such gorgeous, colours that pop?
I’m excited, a tad nervous, but on I forge. Any helpful suggestions are warmly welcomed as I embark on this creative venture.
I hate ironing. Don’t we all? I’ve avoided buying everyday clothes that have to be ironed because, ultimately, they end up at the back of the closet. It’s also tough when you’re used to apartment dwelling without enough space for a full sized ironing board. A few years back I bought an upright steamer which made the situation a little easier to manage. However, with frequent sputtering, I think the life of my steamer is coming to an end. So I needed a new solution. I immediately though of making a new ironing board. I could control the size and had a lot of the materials on hand already.
First things first, I needed slab of wood. I set out to Home Depot where I found a 2 ft. x 4 ft. board and had them cut it down to 2 ft. x 3 ft.
Check out my $8.00 score over at Etsy! Two way cool Marian Martin shirtwaist patterns. Two, mind you!!!!
Yaw’ll know I have a love affair going on with shirtwaists. Now to transfer that into a wardrobe of my own dresses. Actually, I have made a couple of them and sadly they both bit the dust. That is, I wound up giving them away to various thrift shops; no more! I am going to make a slew of these to wear as day dresses versus the sloppy cut off shorts, jersey sweat pants and the like that I have been subjecting myself and my dear husband to. Pair my shirtwaists up with some nice leather flats and I will be good to go with shopping errands, library runs, or even home duties. Yes!
9369: Shirtwaist day dress with contrasting collar and cuffs, short or three-quarter sleeves, and patch pockets.
9306: Marian Martin Mail Order 9306; circa late 1940s or early 1950s; Collared dress with button front and shoulder / sleeve yoke. Bodice is gathered along the front yoke and sits flat along the back. Bottom of dress has inverted pleat and large patch pockets located on hips with buttons. Self fabric belt. Here is a better photo:
Both my finds are vintage sized 14. Needless to say I will be enlargening this pattern a heapa bunch (as my cousin would say).
Every now and again I run into Marian Martin patterns and they intrigue me. Upon Googling information about the company I found this at Bizapedia:
Marian Martin Pattern Service, Inc. is a New York Domestic Business Corporation filed on July 29, 1931. The company’s filing status is listed as Inactive – Dissolution By Proclamation / Annulmen and its File Number is 41128.
For the most part I like most of the patterns I have seen by them. Too bad they are not still bringing us their style of vintage patterns. Then again, perhaps they would have updated with the times and not even be offering these type patterns. Hmm?
Move over June, your Mini You – The black June Cleaver is on the loose! Excuse me, let me get my pearls.
Another girl has been added to the family; Singer Model 347. Upon first glance the name was Charlie. He was found in a local thrift shop. Well, to my surprise, Charlie is a girl and so her name is “Charliezl”.
She was a particularly good find because I had just purchased a way cute brown and pink Brother on eBay that is not working to my satisfaction. The stitch length does not adjust properly and I do not have the wherewithall to sojourn over an hour away to a sewing machine repair shop. When I stumbled upon Charliezl, tested her in the store, and saw that the stitch length is in working order I just had to have her at the $19.00 price tag! Not to mention she is a jolly mint green ta boot.
She boasts being made of metal, 110-120 Volts, .95 amps, and was made in Great Britain. She joined us not too much more than a month ago and she has helped make at least four outfits. She runs a bit hard; however, I plan on getting a manual and seeing what I can do by way of oiling her among other things. A professional tune-up is to be had to as soon as I am able.
When I first spyed The Dottie Angel Frock had to have it. I thought to myself, “This is the ugliest cute dress I have ever seen”. Finally, I made my very own first one.
Shopping my stash there was no doubt she would be a bedsheet project. Save for the patch pockets I used sheets for the top and bottom halves.
Dottie angel employs french side seaming and a buncha bias tape. I love working with bias tape. The wider the better. Get this, it is all on the inside; no one will see it, but me.
Then again, I guess you will see it because I just posted it. I went with gold between sections and the sleeves and green for the hem.
When I read a review of this dress somewhere it seemed to be difficult or maybe fussy is a better word due to the french seams and the biased interior. Thankfully I decided to go with the instructions because it was not hard to make at all and was quite fun. May I label this dress whimsical even?
The one thing I did change was at the advice of a predecessor and doubled the pockets. She said it imparted strength for carrying things; i.e., cell phones. Will I do so for upcoming dresses, I do not know. I am leaning toward not doing so. Speaking of strength, I need to get into the habit of backstitching at the end of my seams for one of my pockets is coming loose where I did not do that. I’ll have to fix it when I take it off to get dressed for worship later.Project wrap-up:
This was a fun, easy, and inexpensive project. Every bit was shipped from my personal stash. That is always a plus. I highly recommend this dress to others. I will be making more of these.
Shortly after cutting the fabric I realized I was making it too large. Since this is a house dress of sorts I decided not to sweat it and simply make the next one a skosh smaller. Basically the hip area is fine, the upper portion is too large in the XL size that I cut. Also, I may lengthen it so that when I sit down my knees are covered. When I look at the sleeve area compared to the pattern and other lovely sewists’ projects mine are way too big.
The original is this lil cute cap-like sleeve. Mine feel like elephant ears! But, it sure is comfy!
The scoop on the front is too low also. I expect all this will be addressed with a smaller size Large cutting.
I can not believe I could not stand this pattern when I first laid eyes on it. Still not sure if it grew on me or simply the fact that I am experiencing a love affair with Sew Chic Patterns in general. Ms. Nash created a wedding gown with this pattern and it is divine. Go check it out at her web page.
Laura is a true educator and this sewalong will testify to that. There is going to be active learning, participation, and homework. No doubt I will not be having multiple WIPs while doing this project the month of June.
Umm, there are two outfits I need for July 27 – 29 so I may have to retract that, LOL. Maybe I’ll just have a sewing marathon in July to get them completed. If I recall according to the sewalong schedule we will be working on muslins and then after the course we are to make our frocks in chosen fashion fabric.
Get your muslin, scissors, marking paper, measuring tape, come join us and get ready to sew, learn, and share.