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.
Sew excited here (pun intended) to be writing about my very first Sew Chic pattern project – the Starter Skirt.
You see, I have been amassing Sew Chic patterns for probably over a year now with the Tia dress as my first purchase. Recently, I found out the owner/designer, Laura Nash has made herself available on FB via a creative sewing group dedicated to Sew Chic pattern projects. Truly, it is thrilling for me and good business sense on her part to be available this way. Her warm, friendly personality inclined me to purchase (and continue to purchase) Sew Chic patterns. As a matter of fact, the Petticoat shall be next to join my collection.
Psst, we hear Laura is working on a new design to debut early fall, I think. Try as we might she is not letting the cat out of the bag much on this story.
With all the buzz at our lovely FB group I was itching to do some stitching of a Sew Chic pattern. So, I decided on the Starter Skirt and shopped my stash to make a wearable muslin. Ahh, this will do nicely and I have enough yardage. Kinda sorta.
My no-name serger was used for the first time. Yay! Boy had I forgotten the joys of electronic sewing. Many of you know we used to live off grid last year before relocating here.
The panels of this baby went together lickety split with the serger. The skirt went together like a dream. I really must give her a name and soon. Sally Serger is goofy. Any suggestions?
The Starter Skirt pattern is a level 2 (I think); great for beginners. The 12-gore view tickled my fancy this time along with the wide waistband from the other view. I like the wide waistbands to have something for my cinch belt to cling to. I should be embarrassed to share that I sometimes do not add hooks, eyes, or buttons because they would be concealed by the belt anyway. I know, do better Lyric.
It seems with each if my projects there is a glitch. This one was no different. There was not quite enough bedsheet for this skirt. I believe this one was for a double sized bed. As it turned out there was only a corner of the pattern piece that was not covered. A 20″ narrow triangular shape piece of sheeting to fill the area did the trick. Since this is a full skirt the area is concealed where I sewed that patch of a corner. Way to go for a $2.00 skirt especially considering I just laid $35-$40 for a Moda by Sandy Gervais cotton to make my next Starter Skirt. Note: I combined two project posts – my Starter Skirt toile (the green and white skirt) and the second one the pretty Moda fabric skirt.
The Starter Skirt is easey peasey to make. I thoroughly enjoyed working with this Sew Chic pattern and look forward to additional projects by that indie designer. I even learned a new technique with sewing the waistband part.
Let me give you a heads up. In June, Laura Nash is hosting a Fantasia Sew-A-Long. It begins June 6 and is going to be heapa buncha informative. So get your hiney on over to Facebook and check us out.
This project was truly an interesting feat. Long ago I fell in love with African/Indian shalwars and kameez outfits. They were to be had economically on eBay which was a boon for me. They are so ornate that I would only wear them on “special” occasions. Thankfully I have grown out of that nonsense. Now, I wear them whenever I feel like it. Sadly, I gave about 20 outfits away some years ago. Well, I am on the mend and working to replenish my stock.
Seeing me wear them to work a Muslim co-worker was delighted and stated she would purchase me an outfit. Hey, who am I turn turn down a double blessing (her for the giving and me for the receiving). Time passed, I figured she had forgotten about it, no problem, right. Well, lo and behold, my girl Hazmat brought me this project to work one day.
So, check it out . . . I thought this was a salwar/kameez outfit, right? Well, it was sorta, kinda. I was all smiles as I opened the cellophane package. The seafoam green is truly stunning. My cell phone did no justice to this outfit. Anyway . . . as I am taking items out of the package. This is what I also found . . .
Hazmat had brought me a salwar/kameez kit if-you-will. I had to put the kameez together and make the salwars. I had to hide the surprise from my face. Thank gawd Mamma taught me to sew.
Now, I am a big girl (read that size 16 ready to wear, size like 20-22 big four pattern companies). Sew, there was not enough fabric for the salwars. Shopping my stash I found some ivory colored squares of fabric that I got from a house sale. They felt divine and have the feel of linen and silk. No clue as to their content. I sewed two of them together with a narrow hem and used them for the yoke of the salwars. I figured they would be under the kameez anyway. Who would know? Ooops, I forgot. Yaw’ll will know ’cause I can’t keep a sewing secret.
Really I should have pressed the stuff before photographing this, duh. It looked so pretty when I pressed it before actually sewing it. Anywho, you get an idea here of what I was working with. Yikes, slinky, silky fabric is not my forte. I have got to work on that I suppose. So, above is what I used for sleeves for my kameez.
The beautiful dupatta kept sliding off my shoulders last night at the Memorial Celebration event that we attended. Note to self: Next time you wear this discreetly pin it where you desire it to stay.
Shopping my stash again, I found a sleeve pattern piece that I thought would go well with this design. I also already have a couple salwars patterns. The next time I make salwars I am going to add a crotch gusset. I saw one on another African pant pattern and I think I could use one with my big behind.
From what I understand the word “salwar” means “baggy pants”. How cool for that is exactly what they are. However, being made with such exquisite fabric I like the term salwar better, LOL. Dupatta is Indian for “scarf”. And kameez is shirt.
Pencil skirt and a peplum. This blog post is being written as I construct this outfit. In my mind’s eye this project should turn out womanly, classy, with a bit of sass. My friend Cinnaspice sent this beautiful African fabric to me and I simply must do it justice. The only thing missing is a matching head wrap because I do not have the hutzpah to pull it off. Tis a shame too. A new pair of shoes would be nice to wear with it but one must not get beside oneself, eh.
Folkwear 255 has been in my stash for upwards of 20 years. This is the first time I cut the tissues. One day I will make the entire swing suit. Perhaps with dupioni or something fabulous. But, for now, let’s focus on the pencil skirt. The pattern goes up to an x-large, 34″ waist, 44″ hips both of which are smaller than me. Pattern grading is not my forte, but I did the best I could for now. You see, the goal is to wear my outfit on Saturday, April 1 and today is March 26 (1 week, ay yi yi).
The steps I took:
Compared numbers of envelope (knew I would be off the chart – yuk, yuk).
Measured the tissue minus the darts.
Tissue fit the skirt pieces, kinda sorta.
Added necessary measurement by taping additional tissue paper down the length of the back and front pieces and the waist band.
The toile shows that the top is too big overall. There is too much cleavage and check out the shoulders. The princess seam is not lying over the apex either. Simply too big! I always do that. Look at the pattern envelope, pick the size that I should fit, if in between I go up a size. Now, I was taught all patterns (well most) are for a size “B” bust. Yet, look at this. There was no way I needed a full bust adjustment. Right?
I realize I should finish my seams with binding. As you know, I have a hand crank sewing machine and quite frankly I do not want to use time binding them. So, I decided to pink the seams instead. While writing, it occurred to me that I should line this skirt. Hmmm, I may have something in my stash. I have yet to line an unlined skirt. I’ll bet it is simple to do, right?
Meanwhile, I hung the skirt at the end of a sewing session and it looks like a big rectangle; not a classy, sexy pencil skirt!
The next morning lo and behold Gertie is modeling one of her dresses and commented that she tailors the knee area to make it “Mad Men” style. That is it! I decided to chop away at my skirt. I should have written the measurements, but I simply put the skirt on inside out and commenced to pinning it next to my body where I wanted the new seam. Truth be told I re-sewed the waist area at least three times making it smaller. Now, think about it, I have cut away all the extra inches added from the tissue fitting. Obviously I need pattern fitting lessons for not only am I wasting fabric, but I am wasting time.
Sorry for the blur. Working on antiquated public library computers and programs! You probably can’t tell, but the top fit superbly. Fitted at waist and comfy. The skirt does not look “Mad Men”, but it is okay. Hiking it up to use the restroom proved to be interesting as it is. I don’t know how Gertie gets into all her way cool slim pencil skirts and dresses.
The skirt lining came out swell. Kinda proud of myself for attempting it. Now I will have to purchase lining fabric for most of my upcoming skirt projects. Sigh, who said sewing one’s own clothing is less expensive, LOL.
There is nothing like a way cool stumble-upon. Always in search of decorating and organizing tips the other day I found Wendy By Design who has a very good, practical fabric storage tutorial on YT.
I enjoyed learning from her so much that I clicked on her Facebook page and blog. I am hoping to take my pattern stash from . . . this
to something like what Wendy has done. As a matter of fact I have a slew of boxes being mailed to me right now. Seriously, that pic is when we first moved in and we were still unpacking.
My stash is nowhere near that of most sewists that I see online, but what little I have I do want to look decent and pretty.
Now, yaw’ll know I am all about vintage. As it turns out, Wendy designs “Sexy Vintage, one of a kind, hand made, fully functional APRONS”. Now I ain’t never been into aprons, vintage or otherwise. But humph, take a look at Wendy’s. Too bad I do not have her permission to post one here. Seriously, go check them out for yourself or your girl.