February 24, 2015

Vintage Pattern Pledge

There are some things that I get overly excited about when I discover them.  My elation will change to disbelief when I find out that someone else already knew about said awesome thing and failed to share the info with me (cuz the world can totally revolve around me sometimes, right?).  One of the times this happened to me was when I discovered vintage patterns (uh-oh, story time...).

I was at a garage sale a few years ago to acquire cheap sewing notions (zippers and trims and such) and came across a box of vintage children's patterns.  At the time, children's clothing was pretty much all I was sewing (cuz they have this lack-of-curves-therefore-easier-to-sew-for-thing) so I was pretty thrilled, especially since there were quite a few sizes I knew I could use for the nieces.  Those were my very first vintage patterns.

When I told my mom about them, her response was pretty much, "Vintage patterns? Oh yeah, I have all your grandma's old patterns- at least a couple boxes full."

Wait, WHAT?  You mean she kept me in the dark about the existence of easily accessible vintage patterns all these years?  Don't worry- no grudges were kept (especially if I hope to own those patterns myself some day- mwahahahaha!).  Next time I visited she pulled out the boxes and showed me a whole bunch of vintage patterns from the 60's and 70's, in an array of sizes, children's and adults, patterns my grandma actually used to sew clothes for my mom and my aunts.  My aunt told me a story of how she didn't even go clothes shopping for the first time until she was in Jr. High cuz my grandma made all their clothes.  How rad is my grandma?  

Anywho, looking at all those vintage patterns made me curious about what other kinds of vintage patterns are available or out there somewhere, maybe even from an earlier decade (cuz as my mom tells me, "Nicole, the 50's called, they want their style back.").  I started looking on Ebay at vintage patterns and even bid on some, finally winning a few, then a few more, and a few more on top of that.  I wouldn't say I have an obsession (yet), but I've definitely accumulated a decent pile in under two years.

Alas, as beautiful as they are, I've never opened one.  Not a single one- not even to see what the pattern pieces look like.  I know I didn't just buy them to collect dust, I actually want to use them.  There's even been a few vintage pattern challenges I've considered joining but didn't (call it fear if you like cuz it really was fear).  This year will be different (not regarding the fear- it's still there).  I'm making my public declaration- let it be known throughout all the land (or just a little bit of the internet) that I will participate in this years' Vintage Pattern Pledge.  Ahem-ahem-ahem, my official pledge:

I, Nicole of A Little Fabricated, will sew up at least 3 vintage patterns this year (one or more of them might be children's).

Phew!  The easy part is out of the way.  Now onto the doing part.  That only means different markings, tinier waists to enlarge, weird bust points to fix, fragile tissue patterns to attempt to not rip...  Yeah, I can do it (do I sound scared still?).

Has anyone else pledged to do something scary (to you) this year?  

February 15, 2015

Laziness Woes and Knitting

My laziness has finally caught up with me. I didn't renew my Antivirus on my laptop before it expired and now I'm having difficulty renewing it at all. Sigh... I have pictures already taken and ready for some posts (usually the biggest delay in my blogging- setting up the tripod during the right time of day then uploading the pictures onto my laptop and sometimes editing depending on how productive I'm feeling), but my lack of Antivirus means lack of posts as well. I had to get a new phone lately and decided to see if Blogger would let me upload photos from my phone (I couldn't on my last phone) so I could at least post SOMETHING. Guess what- it worked! And now you get to ignore any typos or autocorrect stuff cuz I'm doing this all on my phone (time for a tablet, yes?).

 My mom and I usually text each other photos of what we're working on. Today she covered some boxes in fabric to go in new cubby hole shelves she has in her craft room. I've been working on knitting (we had a mobile baby/toddler staying with us recently so all sewing had to get picked up for obvious safety reasons- both for the child and the projects). I've been trying to teach myself to knit, off and on, for about a year now, but would always work a few rows of a new stitch and abandon it. I decided to start an actual knitting project, just going for it (and making LOTS of mistakes) instead of trying to learn stitches individually first. While I'm incredibly slow at it, I'm sticking with it for once and enjoying it too. Yay for a project that can go to work with me/travel with me/wait in waiting rooms with me/etc... That's all for now, thanks for being my guinea pigs for testing blogging on my phone, you guys rock my socks off (if I ever wore them besides at work).

Any frustrating things that you totally could've prevented happen to you lately? Haha (my laziness is totally making more work for me).

January 22, 2015

New Look 6587 and 1000 Shirtdresses of Autumn

So, I totally admire people who take the time to construct and sew an awesome collared, button down shirt.  There's many examples to oooh and aaah over, like Lauren at Lladybird (I want this shirt), Andrea at Four Square Walls or Mary at Fancy Idle.  Speaking of Mary, she is finishing up her 1000 Shirtdresses of Autumn and I declare myself a last minute arrival.  Well, kind of, sort of, maybe...?

You see, I am truly in awe of people who sew collars onto clothes (seems like a lot of work) but I HATE to wear them.  It's like this: my former roommate tells this story of how, when she was little, her grandma let her eat as much cottage cheese as she wanted- no limit.  So she did, she ate cottage cheese until she threw up cottage cheese.  That's pretty much my story with collared, button down anything.  I threw it up.

Ok, so not TECHNICALLY.  I just feel like I could've. I had to wear them as part of my uniform for school, then as part of my outfit while traveling with a performing arts group, then to look professional at my first job that required me to fill out a W-4...  I pretty much threw them up then gave them all away 10 years ago (although I admit to having 3 in my closet for those times I have job interviews or meetings with my boss).  

Even with my total and utter dislike of wearing them, I still wanted to participate in Mary's challenge.  I might have cheated...  I bought a pattern off Ebay that I thought I could dig, collar and all, but the seller couldn't find the pattern and returned my money.  After that I finally found New Look 6587.  It has 3 views with a collar (but a fake button placket, let's be clear about my laziness) OR 2 views without a collar. Yes!  I figured if the pattern itself has lots of options for the (kinda) traditional shirtdress, it counts- regardless of which view I make, right?

Ignore my horrible, crooked top-stitching.  It was late and I didn't care.

I made view E, minus the lasce-on-edges-thing.  I went with a straight size 12 but adjusted the seams to get a little room to eat.  Then I put my buttonholes on the wrong side- it's SUPER awkward (maybe just weird) having to think about how to button my dress when I put it on instead of just using muscle memory.  Fun stuff, huh?

The insides are all finished nicely.  The fabric is a rayon that wants to be lots of loose threads.  Seam finishing was a must and time consuming but I like how neat and enclosed all the seams are (but in my laziness you not only get blown-out, unedited pictures, you also get no inside pictures).

I wasn't sure what I was going to think of this dress when it was finished.  I kept trying it on after each new addition and felt like I had a Harry Potter robe on (I haven't even seen Harry Potter and I still felt that way).  I kept thinking I should shorten the length or what the heck am I doing sewing 12 buttonholes and buttons?  Wanna guess what my final reaction is?

I love it!

I love the slight 40's flare it has and how it twirls and hits my natural waist perfectly.  All the reviews I had read said this pattern had a short waist and many lengthened it.  I know my waist is short or high or whatever so after carefully measuring and looking at numbers, I decided to keep it like the pattern.  I'm glad I did.  And even tho I was unsure about the length (5" longer than most of my dresses), I like that too.

Somehow the neckline is too loose, but I didn't make ant size adjustments there.  I have no idea, it just seemed floppy and big and loose when I sewed the bias tape on.  Anyone know how to adjust necklines that are too big?  I like the fit every where else, but I'm at a loss as to how to fix the neck.

How about you?  Make (or do) anything lately that you were sure you wouldn't like only to really like the outcome after all?