Thursday, August 30, 2012

An English Country Gentleman

Michael has a wonderful knack for scouting out and snagging some really great eBay finds, but I have to say when that houndstooth suit showed up I thought he had finally lost it ;)

The suit is loud and if you stare at the pattern too long it starts to move on you  I swear. and though i was skeptical Michael loved it and thought it would be the perfect piece for a summer picnic, and that he could go for the country gentleman/ shooting look.

Then I came across this book i hadn't yet seen in the research materials stash that is one of the bookshelves in Michael's back room:

And wouldn't you know it but right near the beginning was a man in almost exactly the same suit!
Now having seen this i could finally visualize the look he was going for and realized how great it would look with just a little sprucing up :) and he did look great in it when he wore it to the lighthouse picnic!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dinner plate hat

Or that little flat thing I wore on my head for the picnic ;)

It is actually a vintage 30s/40s hat, now wait before you panic because it's not in any way ruined and can quickly and easily go back to being vintage. As all the decoration on it to match my dress was very carefully sewn around the original decoration. So the vintage hat is just hiding underneath :)

I found the hat at a vintage shop in downtown Orange when there last month for my friend Beth's birthday tea party( which was an absolute blast!) 
the hat matched the dress I was wearing that day so perfectly I just couldn't pass it up.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Details of the lighthouse dress

My goal this year with my sewing has been to try and reuse as much of what I have already made when I want a new outfit rather then making a whole new ensemble from scratch. So for a new summer picnic dress I chose to reuse a skirt done for a ball gown last summer.
(See previous post for draping of the overskirt) 

The bodice was based on a couple different ideas and due to that it was made with a mish mash of pattern pieces from different patterns. and though it doesn't have the best fit because I was rushing to complete it in one day, I did like the overall look and some of its details like the big buttons on the false bolero

And the little white etched buttons on the false vest front

The little puffed cap on the sleeve was a fun easy detail but the best part of the sleeves was the gathered trim.

I used one of those new wavy edged rotary cutters to cut the strips (yes I splurged and finely bought one). I was surprised it actually worked and cut so well and am looking forward to using it again. So far it looks like it could be a really easy way to make pinked edges which are such a popular trim in almost every era. 

And while my bustling was giving me fits and I was not totally pleased with the shape they created, all in all it's not too far from the fashion plate :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Point Fermin Lighthouse Picnic

. . . Was two Sundays ago. And despite the suffocating heat we have been suffering under here in southern California, it was a beautiful day out on the coast. High 70s when we were setting up and cooling down to the low 70s by the late afternoon. And right around 3 in the afternoon the most refreshing breeze blew in off the water. 

We were a very small group, as a lot of the regular crowd was our of town. But it was still a very fun little event and in such a beautiful setting :)

As per previous posts i had made a new dress for the event using parts of an old dress. And Michael wore his new hounds tooth suit, he looked very countrified ;)

From one angle:

And now for the other:

And no picnic is ever complete with out the dogs!

Friday, August 24, 2012

A wonderful surprise

A friend of my mothers from work gave her a modest collection of items previous belonging to an old friend who had recently passed away. She gave the items to my mother because she knows I sew and am into vintage.

I received a huge collection of late 40s and 50s sewing supplies, two jewelry boxes full of vintage, a couple of lovely crocheted shawls and a very sturdy old hay box. Check it out! I am in little pig heaven and so grateful that she thought of me!!! :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

A dress for a friend

This weekend I made a dress for a friend of mine who is very involved in civil war reenactments. As usual she provided the material, trims and chose a style, I just did the making it into a dress part :) 

Based on the simplicity of the fabric, she went for a more simple style: 

The dress is all one piece with the bodice and skirt attached. The opening in the skirt also has a small pocket tucked into it  :)

The nice thing about this quick little project is that it put me in mind of sewing 1850 and 60s style for dickens, and I really need to get my but in gear for that!! :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

New sewing table

Michael bought a table for our old sewing machine on eBay two weeks ago and it arrived on Thursday! So when I arrived on friday evening it was all set up and ready to sew!! 

It's a great little table, very sturdy and it's so nice to sew on a long flat surface :) it made it very easy to sew my new bodice for the Sunday light house picnic!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Draping the over skirt

Using my sister as a dress form (mine is up at Michael's). I draped my blue material over the white skirt with its attached bustle train. This is the side you cant see in the fashion plate 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

More research for the lighthouse dress

So I have decided that I want to follow the style of this fashion plate: 

But since I can't see what the bodice front really looks like I get to have a little creative license . . . And for that I went looking at extant pieces and came across this dress:

What I really like about the bodice here is that it uses the white and blue in the same manner as the fashion plate. Not sure how the finished project will look compared to these to pictures, much will depend on how the whole draping process goes as this is a no pattern project :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Costume College 2012

Due to the inordinate number of events Michael and I do every year we have started to prioritize those that are more expensive or more time consuming then the little one day dances or picnics. In this case for me this year it meant I had to forgo costume college :(

But I was still able to show up on Saturday for some shopping!! I did my usual stock up on patterns, more then I would like to admit to currently so don't bother asking ;) and I picked up a trinket or two also. 

The really fun part was spending time with all my friends from out of town who come down for the event! And just so I wouldn't feel too out of place, I dressed for theme this year which was the golden age of Hollywood. I wore my favorite early forty's dress that gets a lot of wear because it is so comfy and cute. The great new part of the outfit was my hair. I attempted the style with rolls on top of the head (the easy part) and then the long roll of all the remaining hair at the nape of my neck (the really hard part). 

It actually worked, I can't say I had any tricks or technique yet, just a lot of fiddling and copious quantities of bobby pins and hair spray :) these pictures were from the end of the day so the center back is starting to fall down . . . 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Thoughts on a new bustle dress

Michael and I have a picnic coming up toward the end of the month and I was thinking of trying to through something together using parts of a dress I already have and just making modifications, ie less sewing ;)

Since the picnic is in summer and at a lighthouse I want to go with a blue and white theme using these fabrics 

And utilizing the skirt and train from this dress I made last summer.

Here are some of the fashion plates I am looking at for inspiration:

Comments and suggestions are totally welcome btw :)