Sew for Victory Part 1

The Facts
: Cotton from JoAnn’s
Pattern: Wearing History Smooth Sailing blouse
Notions: 6 buttons, interfacing
Year: 1930’s
Time to complete
: 2 1/2 hours
First worn: April 2014
Wear again? Already have!


Quite a few of us liked this pattern for the Sew for Victory sewalong. Check out this version that Rochelle did!

This fabric is a piece I’ve had laying about for a while, I like the combination of colors and figured I’d use it as a wearable muslin to check out the features of this pattern. Here’s what I like:

The yoke is cute. I like the way Rochelle used the two fabrics, I may have to copy her idea at some point : ) I really like the way the yoke comes completely across the center front.

The collar is a tad big for my preference, I can easily cut it down in the future but it’s a nice cut.

The pockets over the boobs – I did the two like the pattern called for. One is coming off and in the future I’ll only do the single one. I need one more thing on my chest like I need another cat (not). I see a colored handkerchief addition soon : )

The sleeves are a nice cut, love the bias cuffs. I may make them shorter because, it’s supposed to be hot this summer and the less cloth the better.

The plants in my daughter’s backyard were very happy with all the rain lately, and had the courtesy to bloom in the colors of my shirt : )

I decided to top stitch everything in the berry color. You can barely see it but I like it : )

The only thing I’m not crazy about, and this is MY issue, is the puffiness of the sleeves. These aren’t as pronounced and the next blouse but in the future I’ll probably do darts like my other favorite 1940 blouse pattern. I also didn’t do the huge buttons like the pattern shows, I found some vintage buttons through my favorite button seller at the flea market last month:

And now my OTHER Wearing History pattern:

The Facts
: Polka dotty fabric from who knows where    
Pattern: Wearing History 30’s shirt pattern
Notions: 8 buttons, interfacing
Year: 1930’s
Time to complete
: 3 hours
First worn: April 2014
Wear again? Today as a matter of fact : )

Apparently the only thing you have to do to make me fall in love with a pattern is show a version in polka dots : )


And do I have plans to make a red with white polka dots skirt? Maybe…

I didn’t have time to do the fetching bow and belt as shown, but I WILL! When you see part 2 of my Sew for Victory post you’ll understand why I haven’t yet.

Things I like-

THIS collar and yoke!

I LOVE the way the yoke is done. It’s TOP STITCHED onto the front (it’s actually quite clever) and it lays beautifully. Don’t try to do it any other way than the pattern instructs. Just don’t. You’ll be sad. Follow the directions.

No buttonholes! Just loops. Which are their own challenge but I like them here. I ended up having to re-do them once I decided on my buttons since these are much smaller than I had originally planned on. Can you BELIEVE I’ve gone through my entire collection of red buttons in the last couple of years?? The only ones I have left are singles or two or three of a few styles, certainly not 6 or 8 like I need here! I’ve had to <gasp> BUY red buttons.

The sleeve is adorable but I ended up adding an extra pleat because it felt too big and sloppy without. And that puff…sigh…I think I’ve reached an age where cute puffy sleeves aren’t “me”. At work today I was told that I resembled a Carol Burnett character:

Mrs. Wiggins. Sigh. I just hope I’m more effective than Mrs. Wiggins : )

I didn’t do the gathers at the waist like the pattern suggests, I made a pleat on each side as I’ve done with so many other vintage patterns and it works GREAT! Those little gathers right there add to the mid-line bulge, if you know what I mean : )

If I hadn’t been in the middle of scraping down my dining room ceiling so I can transform the room from alien-green to boiled shrimp pink I might have had more time to make a red skirt. That will just have to be next on the to-do list…after the dining room is put back together.

Next up – Part 2 of my Sew for Victory projects! You just KNOW when you find a piece of fabric that makes your heart sing that the resultant outfit is going to be AMAZING!!

AND – as an added bonus – the UNVEILING of a NEW and WONDROUS project that you can ALL play along with (if you like) and an unexpected travel twist. Stay tuned : )

I did it! Mad Men, here we come!!

What’s a girl to do when she feels down? She makes a pretty dress and takes photos with a pretty car : ) THAT is a 1966 Gold Cadillac. No, it’s not mine, it lives in the same garage as the 1940 Packard. What can I say? I have friends with cool toys…

What else can I say? I love Joan, so I decided to take a crack at this dress:

Lo and behold, look what pattern just happens to resemble Joan’s dress:

The Facts
: Silk from Bay Area Sewists fabric swap (free), lining ($7.43)
Pattern: Butterick 5814
Notions: Zipper, boning all from stash
Year: 60’s inspired
Time to complete
: 3 1/2 hours
First worn: March 2014
Wear again? Yes, to the right event, perhaps some fund raising dinner : )

A few weeks ago, at the Bay Area Sewists fabric swap, Meg from Made by Meg (who is seriously adorable so be sure to check out her blog!) brought this lucious piece of silk dupioni. I had to think about it a LOT since the whole POINT of the swap (to me!) was to get RID of stuff, not bring armloads back home. I caved and I’m glad I did.

I had been wanting to try Gertie’s retro pattern, especially after I saw the version that Laura Mae did last year, and since I waited until the last minute to really DO anything about the Mad Men challenge, this is it!

All in all the pattern was easy to understand, a decent fit and I’m about 80% happy with it. What I need to fix, and had my suspicions about up front, are those sleeves. They’re a little too big on me but I’d rather have too big than too tight. Since my height is in my legs most tops are a little long and while the body of the dress hits about right I feel like I’m swimming in the sleeves. The horizontal “pull lines” you see in the photo above are equal parts arm position and a last minute pinning of the bodice pieces my photographer did so you wouldn’t see the top of my spanx : ) Yes, it needs to be tacked or, in the next version, raise the whole front so my boobs aren’t so INYOURFACE. The darts are in the right places, but the day was cold and breezy so some things/parts are *showing* that otherwise shouldn’t be – we shot these photos in between some very necessary storms. Still…

I know, I know, my shoes aren’t very cha-cha. At least they’re pointy. And then John said “Wait! I’ve got this great Christian Dior hat you HAVE to try!” and he hobbled/skipped off (for a man who broke his hip a few weeks ago he did remarkably well helping me out but I think I exhausted him).

THIS is what he came back with:

I feel a little like Liz Taylor here.

He also lent me the BEST hat to wear with one of my Sew for Victory creations. Now that I’ve overcome my “Oh my god I just HAVE to do the Mad Men challenge” hurdle it’s time to make the half a dozen or so 40’s outfits I’ve got rattling around in my brain…

Thank you EVERYONE for your very kind comments last week. You are truly all the BEST : )