The Variety store dress meets a mouse

Tut, tut, looks like rain!

Fabric: 100% Cotton from stash, originally purchased for pillows : )
Pattern: Simplicity 2549
Year: Contemporary
Notions: 1 zipper, 1 bakelite buckle from stash
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: January 2012
Wear again? Yes!

Total Cost: $3.70 for pattern and zipper

Rummaging through the “Make this Look” archives took about 9 seconds – once I saw the polka dot dress from Modcloth I was done! And what better way to use some yummy polka dot fabric from my stash?

Polka dots!

To the store I went to look for the pattern, and thank goodness they had one left in my size! I so rarely buy patterns any more that this was quite an outing. Let’s just say that I hope I don’t have to do that again for a while. I’m delighted the way it turned out!

Love that clock!

I decided not to alter the pattern in any way, other than make the bust a little fuller since they draft those things for a C cup and I’m…not. The pattern calls for a bow to be placed at the waist but instead of the bow I looped a sash through a bakelite buckle and tacked it down. Much more elegant I think. I lined the entire top as I was too lazy to change out the overlock threads : )

I opted for a “simple” cherry necklace and earring set to finish off my look:

Cherries : )

This was the ultimate addition my bakelite collection – once I found these I was a happy, fulfilled cherry/bakelite collector. I buy buttons and buckles now but that’s about it : )

Just out for a walk

With such lovely comments last week I really wanted to try to kick things up for this weeks photoshoot. We had great plans for accessories and shots and then…it rained. Not only that but it’s COLD. So I went on a stroll in my parents back yard with their dog Otis, as if I was heading to market with no jacket on…in the cold…and the rain : ) But I’ve got a cha-cha umbrella! I found it at the Alameda Flea market a few months ago and have been waiting to use it! I also made my little polka dot market bag, using an old handle bag as a pattern. I feel quite accessorized.

Don’t cry for me…

I call this my “Don’t cry for me Argentina” shot – the clock behind my head reminds me of the sun that is part of the Argentinian flag. One of my favorite all time musicals is “Evita” and while she had some pretty fabulous clothing and jewelry I don’t think she ever had a bakelite cherry necklace : )

The Girl Detective button dress

Fabric: Sueded Rayon Gaberdine from the 90′s, Silk from stash
Pattern: Anne Adams 1527
Year: 1930′s
Notions: 5 Bakelite buttons!
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: January 15, 2012
Wear again? Probably
Total price: $5 for buttons, $1 for interfacing = $6 total

Growing up I LOVED to read. A neighbor of ours introduced me to the “Judy Bolton” Girl Detective series, similar to Nancy Drew except Judy ages. The series starts when she’s 15 and throughout she graduates from High School, marries the love of her life in a double rainbow wedding ceremony and settles into married life with Peter. The first book was written in 1932, and is “modern” meaning the illustrations and clothing descriptions are that of 1932. Margaret Sutton wrote 38 books, the final one in 1967. I adored Judy, wanted to be Judy, and this dress fulfills a Judy fantasy : ) This is the artwork on the end papers:

And here is my version:

Loran, Girl Detective!

Believe when I say that we tried getting me from the side. It just wasn’t my best angle : ) I knew when I started this challenge that picking out a weekly outfit to make wouldn’t be the hard part, even finishing it wouldn’t be too tough. The hard part comes when I have to put it on ME and have someone photograph ME and then choose the best shots! I’ve spent an entire career designing and building gorgeous outfits for others to wear. Build it, fit it, style it and get it on stage, go home to life, daughter and animals. To say this is traumatic may sound dramatic but I’d honestly rather go to the dentist. Ugh…anyone else feel that way?

Back to the sewing – I wanted something that would show buttons, especially my latest find! I met a fabulous button lady on our last outing to the Alameda Flea market-

These are BAKELITE!! Shaped like logs, they are drilled so that they go on at an angle, not straight. Here is an extreme close up:

Button : )

Since the challenge was about the button HOLES as much as it was the buttons I decided I needed to do bound buttonholes, never one of my favorites as they are extraordinarily time-consuming. I could have cut the time spent on the dress in half if not for these… and once the buttonhole is done from the front there is still the matter of the facing that needs to be stitched down:

The back, extreme close-up!

The fabric I chose was a little on the heavy side but I had in it my stash and it was the color I wanted to go with the vintage hat, hat pin and shoes. I love my outfit and definitely feel like I’m channeling Judy : ) Now I need to get myself to the gym if I’m going to keep this up!

It’s all about the Bakelite!

Fabric: Rayon from stash, originally purchased at Poppy fabric in the 90′s
Pattern: American Weekly
Year: Late 40′s
Notions: Zipper from stash, hook ‘n eye
Time to complete: 2 hours
First worn: January 2012
Wear again? Oh yes!

Total price: It’s been so long I just don’t remember, probably less than $10

What’s worse than not having fabulous bakelite bracelets? Not wearing them!! I have many, acquired through years of careful purchases, along with buckles and buttons…all just sitting in carefully organized boxes, waiting to be incorporated into some amazing outfit. There was no question as to WHAT accessories to use, the dilemma was WHICH specific ones.

I’m a red girl, if its red it’s in : ) I bought the gold to mix with the red but when I found this piece of fabric at the bottom of a box in a crumpled paper bag it just seemed ‘right’. Gold bakelite bracelets mixed with the carved black, round gold belt buckle and carved earrings made the PERFECT accessories! The skirt was so easy I may just make a few more. I left the buttons off the front figuring I had enough going on with my plastic jewels.

Now if I can only incorporate some of that red bakelite into my workday wardrobe…

Plaid from Mena to start

Fabric: Plaid I bought from Mena back in September of 2011, lining from stash
Pattern: Vintage Simplicity from stock
Year: 1950
Notions: Zipper and hook n’ eye from stash
Time to complete: 2 1/2 hours
First worn: To work the day of this picture, January 2012
Wear again? Absolutely!

Total price: $18.00 plus a tablecloth made from the left over fabric!

I am a HUGE fan of the plaids for both wearing and using in the home. My daughter suffered years of plaid skirts and dresses until she was old enough to say enough! Funny how as a teenager she took the plaid back into her wardrobe, adding a few safety pins here and there… When Mena did her back-to-school outfit using this plaid, and then selling off her extra yardage, how could I resist? Clearly I couldn’t : )

The coveted fabric sat until November when I was inspired by this 50′s pattern to make some new clothes for work. I cut it out, with the best intentions to sew it up that weekend and then life got in the way. On my table it at its scraps sat while I worked on my tablesettings blog, one night I even used the scrap piece for a tablecloth! I was more determined than ever to finish…until the holidays hit. FINALLY, after the nuttiness of the 12 days of Christmas I resolved one night to wear my PJ’s to work the next day if I didn’t finish so I buckled down and finished! The only change I made to the pattern was to replace the small pleats on the front of the skirt with a fitted dart. You get to a certain age where you just don’t appreciate pleats anymore : )

I also managed to dig out a vintage dark grey wool blazer that I found at Rockridge Rags for next to nothing and change out the hideous mis-matched and definitely NOT period buttons. Just before bed, as I laid out the shoes and dug out a pair of nylons with no holes I came across my light grey sweater and decided that the vintage red glass buttons I recently found at the Alameda Flea market needed to be included and a half hour later I hit the sheets smiling.

My perseverance paid off, I love this outfit! And my favorite part you can’t even see…

I lined the skirt with a diagonally printed fabric that is grey with red, black and white stripes : )