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Adventures in amateur sewing


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The end of an era jumper

Pattern: McCalls 2075 (vintage 1969)McCalls2075

Oh!  Wouldn’t it have been great if I could have finished this right when Mad Men was ending!  Of course that was last May, almost a year ago.  As I watched the final season, I really wanted to make one of those vintage jumpers from the ’60’s.  I think I even had this pattern already.  But work ramped up and I never got around to it.  My mom gave me some royal blue corduroy last fall and I thought, “This will be perfect for this.”  But again things were busy at work and I only managed to cut it out.  As the year ended I started buying the buttons and some of the other notions I would need.  I started making the darts, but had to set it down as the holidays approached.  Obligations and lack of time again.  In January I began to chip away at it, step by step.  But I couldn’t quite finish it until mid-February, especially with all that hand sewing.

But this is called the “End of an Era” jumper for another reason.  A few weeks ago, I lost my job.  I have gone through this a few times, but it’s still never an easy thing.  Especially when it’s just due to some business deal that has nothing to do with you – some company buys another one and wants to clean house.  And suddenly I went from being busy every Continue reading

Venice Dress on dummy


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The garment of Venice: a tale of two fabrics

Pattern: Simplicity (vintage) 6216, view 2Simplicity Pattern

The search for the perfect pattern to match an idea in your head is a challenging one.  But sometimes it really works out!

Venice FabricI found this printed fabric by accident in the back room of one of my favorite fabric stores, Sewfisticated Fabrics.  It’s actually really nice quality cotton with a tiny bit of stretch to it. The print looks like the canals of Venice, Italy.  Really cool find, so I had to buy some, even if I wasn’t exactly sure what it would be.

Somewhere I got the idea it would look good as the top of a dress, with the bottom being just plain black.  I also figured it should probably have an empire waist – so the search began for a pattern I could use for this vision.

I started to look at some vintage patterns, because I couldn’t really find many modern patterns of the dress style I was looking for.  I settled on this Simplicity pattern because the picture had a similar look to what I was going for.  For the black skirt, I bought fabric that would dress up the look, but I’m not exactly sure what it is – some sort of polyester.  It’s a little on the thick side, so I knew I was going to have to use a serger so the seams didn’t appear too bulky.

Most of the vintage dress patterns I have used have been really easy to construct, and this one was no different.  For the bodice, it requires you to cut out a facing, which finishes the top and armholes without a lining.  When you cut out the facing and sew it all together, it is one long piece like so:

Facing

Then you sew it to the bodice with right sides together so it can be flipped to the inside:

Facing on bodice

This is before you flip the facing to the inside.  The raw edge is pressed and sewed as well.

I find this “facing” method a lot in vintage patterns and Continue reading