Friday, October 28, 2011

1940 Vintage Illustrations

In my Creative Design Analysis and Collection Development class, my instructor brought in a couple of vintage books to share with the class to give us some inspiration and a look at vintage pattern drafting.  One of the books she had was falling apart, but had the most beautiful illustrations in it.  Luckily, I was allowed to scan a few images.  I went down to the Annex, where students have access to a ton of computers, crappy printers, and a couple scanners to scan the images real quick in the middle of class.  No scanners were available and I had to wait.  I got annoyed and nicely told some girl, who was looking at her facebook, NOT SCANNING, to move and that the scanner stations were 15min only.  Facebook, I mean, come on!  She was pissed, but moved anyways, and I got my beautiful illustrations. I think I can scan more next week.

In other news, I'm working on my Red Dress and not loving it or my class. I expected more instruction and feedback on my design, but it seems like the class is more of a free for all. I regret not taking Industry Pattern instead.  I think I would have learned more.  I haven't learned a thing yet in class, just using what I learned from other classes. And the class is a waste of time too.  For the first 3 hours, nothing happens.  It shouldn't take 3 hours to talk about individual designs.  It didn't in my other pattern classes! It's ridiculous.  We spend most of our time wandering around, looking at other people's designs, chatting, or waiting for feedback.  To add insult to injury, there is absolutely no room to work on patterns.  Oh, and we don't get to keep the dresses.  We are paying for fabric with our tuition, but the dresses get donated to the American Heart Association.  Thats all fine and dandy.  I'm all for charity, but the dresses should be auctioned off, not kept crammed in the directors office for YEARS.  I'm not happy about that.
The longer I attend FIDM, the more I would not recommend the school.

On to new Followers!

Thank you:

Ms Hepburn  I think this vintage blog is great!  I was referred here because Ms. Hepburn featured the hat pattern I was inquiring about a few posts back.  It was so weird because I designed my red dress before school started and then found this blog. My dress is very similar to one of the 1930's patterns displayed on the blog!  Her post was almost 2 weeks after I designed my dress, and I swear I had never seen that pattern before!  I should have been a designer in the 30's.

Kimberly, who's been blogging about corsetry and boxers.

Kelsey.  She has a sewing blog, and a tea blog! I heart tea!

I can't believe I have almost 150 followers.  Thanks everyone for following!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Vintage Hat Pattern Vogue 6121

My mom and I found this cute 1960's head scarf pattern at the flea market today.  It was such a good deal that we didn't even bother to open it up to check for all the pieces and instructions.  Well, we should have because the instructions are missing :( Views A and B seam pretty self explanatory from the pattern pieces, but Views C and D confuse me.  I think I could figure it out, but my mom could not and she was hoping to make a hat/scarf today :)  Bummer, huh?

Does anyone have a copy of this pattern and could scan the instructions for me? I'd be forever grateful and the good karma fairies will make a visit I'm sure :)  The wonderful pattern site Blue Gardenia has a copy of the pattern in mint condition, but it is too pricey for me.  

I also got this sweet children's book "Love is a Special Way of Feeling"
I love the illustrations in it

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend.  It's back to sketching for me..... :(

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Textbook Recap

I figured out a different way to link to them with a picture. I would recommend pretty much all of them.    If you have any questions, feel free to comment or email me :)

Thanks to everyone who voted for Fritz the Leopard.  He got 3rd place.  Next year, we'll try harder. 

The FIDM adventure begins...again...

Thanks for all the coat comments.  The weather heated up and I haven't even had a chance to wear it.  It's too darn hot!  Tomorrow it is supposed to be almost 100 degrees.  All my new Fall/Winter clothes are sitting lonely in my closet.

School started again last week and I'm already pooped.  This is my second to last quarter, but I wish it was my last.  Most of the other Professional Designation students are done this quarter, but I chose to take it easy and take 4 classes/quarter instead of 5.  Oh well, at least I get to use the Trend forecasts and the free printing a little longer.

This quarter I'm taking Creative Design Analysis and Collection Development.  This class is basically the same as my other class Creative Design Applications last quarter, but with fewer projects, more tech packs, line sheets, and cost sheets.  I also get to use the computer instead of hand draw all my technical flats.  We only have 2 assignments all quarter, a 12 piece group for a brand, and a 36 piece collection for our own hypothetical line.  This week we broke into groups and decided on a brand that we would design for.  My group chose Kate Spade (Hooray! It was my first choice).  We each have to design a 12 piece group for Kate Spade based on a common theme.  I'm kind of excited about this one, but the work won't be all that much fun.  The teacher seems nice and informative, but she is very, very repetitive.  I've already had 2 classes and she has told the same story about 6 times.  Its going to be a very long quarter.

I'm also taking Computer Pattern Drafting I.  In that class we use the Gerber software to draft patterns.  So far it is too easy.  I really want to be challenged, but when I finished the cuff in about 5 minutes (the first time) I asked my instructor what to do next and he said do it again.  The next time it took 1 minute.  Yes, it is a rectangle, but still some students couldn't figure out the program.  The great thing about class is that there is NO HOMEWORK!  Just minor studying for quizzes and midterms.

My last class is the Red Dress Special Project.  I applied and found out about my acceptance at the end of last quarter.  I get to design, pattern, and construct a dress from exquisite (hopefully) fabrics and then the dress gets donated to the American Heart Association.  I was unaware about the donation part.  I understand it is for charity, but so far in the last 5-7 years (I'm not sure) the dresses from the class have been sitting in an awful storage facility or the office of the head of the Fashion Dept.  It is one thing to auction them off, its another thing to hoard them.  If they aren't going to do anything with the dress, I'm going to want it back.  I'm paying for it.  Rant ended....
So far the class is going well. I'm not loving my group.  We all have different design aesthetics.  They obviously don't like my aesthetic, and I really don't like some of theirs.  I was nice though, unlike some people in my group.  Ugg, another 9 weeks.  I'm going to make what I want, even if my group doesn't like my designs.

This quarter, I received very few new supplies.  No new textbooks.  It makes me leery about how they calculated the $5000 supply fee....I'm going to ask about that this quarter for sure.

Once my Amazon Widget starts working again, I 'm going to post my previous textbooks that I like and highly recommend.

And Finally thanks to my newest followers!

Mellacita, Scared Stitchless, Carol, Sunitha, and Doobee64.

Baby Pearl almost 4 yrs ago in a crocheted dress I made for her.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Purple Coat Pictures and a Review!

I found a cord to transfer photos from my camera! It's not my cord, but it works!

I made a few mistakes. but I'm not telling.  Let me know if you notice the glaring one.  I was so upset I almost cried.  

So things I would do differently if and when I make another coat/jacket:

  • Interface the collar better and maybe even tailor it.  It wrinkles badly, and it makes me sad. 
  • Interface the hemline of the coat
  • Interface the tie.  It did not call for it, but it would be nice if it had more body.  
  • Use Polar fleece instead of hair canvas to set in the sleeves.  I used a method I found online and it worked well, but left the wrinkly marks of the curling hair canvas inside the sleeve. Because the self-fabric is not very thick or lofty, I can see the canvas rippling at the sleeve cap. 
Things I'm happy with:

  • I'm pretty happy with the fit.  It fits as well as other coats I own, so yay!
  • I love the color.  I feel very unique.
  • The retro look.  Peter pan collars are in for Fall (I just spent 3 hrs. photocopying international magazines at my new internship and I saw a whole lot of peter pan collars)
  • The covered buttons! These are my favorite (and the sleeve bands).  Making the buttons was so easy.  I used 1 1/8" buttons because that is all I had. I barely had enough and used two different vintage brands. I have a huge stash of buttons to cover I got for $3 at a flea market.
  • My top-stitching is pretty amazing!  Not gonna lie...

The front. Oh I love the buttons!

The side, with the belt tied in back.  
The back.

The 3/4 view. I love the pockets too!
Speaking of pockets....
So exciting.....
Sleeve bands, and buttons!

The lining!  It wasn't difficult to figure out at all!  

Pattern Description:

McCall's Misses coat/jacket pattern with various lengths, collars, and sleeves. I made view A but with added sleeve bands.  
Pattern Sizing:

8-14 I made a size 8 with some modifications. 

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yup, pretty much. 

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Very, very easy.  I did mess up the collar though.  I think I interfaced the wrong piece and then put it on backwards so it folds left over right instead of right over left.  Oops. 

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

It was very easy to fit.  My first muslin of M6246 was AWFUL!  I switched patterns as a result.  

Fabric Used:

A wool woven coating or suiting.  It is kind of in between weights. I got it at the LA Garment District.  The poly lining is from Jo-Anns.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I added the sleeve bands.  The coat folds over left over right like a man's jacket.  Oops.  I took the CB in an extra 1/2" total from the notch and then blended back to zero.  I needed the ease in the upper back, but the lower back needed some fitting.  Also placed the buttons where I wanted them, not quite according to the pattern.  

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Yup.  One day I will make the the other collar version.  I have some RTW trenches that I love, so I probably won't need a new coat any time soon.  
I highly recommend this pattern.


In the future, I would interface the collar better.  It is wrinkling annoyingly, but everyone I've asked says it looks fine. I'm just being critical.  Also, I would interface the bottom 4 inches of the hem.  It needs some more stability.  

 More pics...The Boyfriend, who is A-ma-zing, took so many!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My First Fall Project: M5525 Purple Pea Coat

Hooray!  I finished my coat yesterday, a day before school started!  Yes, FIDM classes have started again.  Boo hoo.

I didn't take pictures as I went along because there are so many great step-by-step pictures  on the web on how to make a coat and I am no expert.  This was my first, and I'm pretty proud of it.  There were a few minor hiccups along the way.

I really wanted to make a ton of things on my break,  but only managed to make my sister a knit t-shirt for her birthday last June ( forgot to take pictures of her in it) and hemmed a pair of The Boyfriend's jeans.  And the coat of course.  I still owe my sister a dress and have to hem more pants.

Including the 2 muslins, the coat took about a week.  I didn't work on it every day and I took FOR-E-VER cutting out the coat.  That took a couple of days.  Then I sewed the lining in a night.  It took 2 more days to put together the coat.  Last night I finished the coat by making self-fabric covered buttons using vintage button kits, buttonholes and sewing on the buttons.

The Boyfriend took pictures today, but I CAN'T FIND THE CORD THAT TRANSFERS PICTURES FROM MY CAMERA TO MY COMPUTER.  It disappeared like yesterday!  UGG.  So I can't show you pictures just yet!

I'm really bummed out, but when I find the cord I'll post ASAP.

Sorry for the picture-less post.  

Thanks to Nicole A for becoming my newest Blogger Follower.  Her blog is here. :)

Pearl in Pants!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pattern Review Costume Contest!

Hi Everyone!  I entered Fritzy in the PR costume contest this year!  He's the little leopard dog!  Vote for him if you are a member of PR!  You can vote here!


Coat Update:

My purple coat (M5525) is almost done!  I'm hand sewing in the should pads right now and then I have to insert the lining (which is already sewn).  Once the lining is in, its hand sewing the hem, making buttonholes and sewing on buttons.  I still haven't found the right buttons.  I  hope I do soon!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Quick Sewing Machine Cleaning Tip

I learned this little tip during my serger class a couple years ago and thought I would share since I was cleaning the dust bunnies from my sewing machine.

The best thing to clean out the uglies is an old, fluffy make-up brush.

For some reason, make-up brushes attract the lint better than anything else I've tried.

So go buy yourself a new powder brush and clean out your machine with the old!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Not so Fugly Muslin : M5525

I ditched the first jacket/coat pattern I was attempting.  I'm sure if I cut a smaller size it would not have looked so bad, but the sleeves were awful.  Such a weird 80's style that was totally unflattering.  Last night I cut out M5525. I cut view A with the overlapping peter pan collar.  I decided to cut a size 8 at the bust and graded to a 12 at the hips because in my first muslin of the other pattern, the 12 at the hips fit fine.  I definitely needed the ease there.  Here are the results:

I think the front fits pretty darn good.  The apex points are where they should be and so is the waist.

 I'm concerned a little about how the front is rising up in this picture.  The two front pieces are shorter as per the instructions, but I may need a FBA.  What do you all think? The sleeves are set in rather quickly and poorly so I know they will look better in the final.

And the back...Its better than the first time around, but I wasn't happy.  I need the ease over my shoulder blades but not from the mid back down.  Also I think shoulder pads would help.  I took in the CB seam 1/4" (for a 1/2" total from the mid back and then I blended back out to zero in the picture below this one. 

Unfortunately, I didn't press if before my photographer took the picture. A few minutes later she left and I had to attempt taking pictures of myself.

Here's one...It's not all that bad!  I think I might just go with it!

I also noticed that the left side is frumpier than the right.  I think it has to do with how I set in the sleeves.  I set in the left first by pin-easing very, very quickly.  Lots of puckers, but it went in...The right was done by crimping.  Much better and even quicker!  

If you have any advice, please let me know :) I'm thinking of just going for it and cutting into my purple wool!  Aww, so scary! My first attempt at a jacket!  I figure, the coat will be belted and be crumply (I made this word up) anyways.  

I'll keep you all posted on my next step.  

Thanks to my newest followers Temporary Cat and Tifia Gabrielle!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Welcome to the Jungle...

Remember the Halloween costume I made for Pearl last year?

Well, this year for the Pattern Review Costume Contest, I made little Fritz a LEOPARD OUTFIT!

 In "captivity."

In the "wild."

On the prowl.

Scavenging for food?

Lions and Leopards and...

 Roxy...oh my!...

Pearl got second place last year, this year Fritz should take 1st!  Vote for our cute little leopard dog cat thing.  

The pattern Review:

Pattern Description: 

Dog costumes in 3 sizes: Elvis, Bumblebee, Cow, Lion
Pattern Sizing:

S - M- L . I started with a small and shrunk it down to 60% on a xerox. Because I made the pattern before, I increased the size of the pattern by slashing and spreading (which worked, to an extent).
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

More or less. After I shrunk it down, and the graded the pattern up a bit, it ended up still being too small. I made this version a shirt as well and did not include the tail. I decided the problem with the fit was in the back legs. Maybe it was in reducing the pattern on the copier that did it, but the back legs are drafted poorly. There needed to be even more ease between the my dog's rear and his leg.
Were the instructions easy to follow?

I did not use them, but they seemed okay.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I think the pattern is cute, but not drafted well. I thought it was me the first time around, but I am more experienced now and I think it is the pattern. I wish the pattern companies made patterns for tiny dogs :)
Fabric Used:

Leopard print polar fleece from the swapmeet.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I shrunk the pattern down to 60% of the original and added back 1/2" seam allowances. I then slashed and spread and added an inch to the circumference about an inch to the length and split the legs open a bit for some more room. It still didn't fit in the back so I made it a shirt instead of a jumper.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Nope! I think I'll just use my self drafted dog pj pattern the next time I make a doggie onesie. I'll probably use the hood pattern piece and the ears again though.

Try something else if you have little dogs. It may work for larger breeds. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Fugly Muslin M6246

I started working on a muslin for this jacket.  I'm making view B, the pink jacket in the corner.  

For the muslin I used a winter white wool I bought at a Goodwill for $3.00.  I think there was about 5 yards and I used 1.5 for the muslin.  :)  

I measured a jacket that fits me well and flat pattern measured.  I decided a size 12 would be a good starting point, but I think its huge, especially in the back.  I also HATE the sleeves.  The darts are just weird.  I have very sloping shoulders and did not do an adjustment because the princess seam to the armhole was making things extra complicated. I did put in a temporary 1/4" should pad, which didn't do much.  Since I've been drafting my own patterns for school, I discovered I hate seam allowance.  I think I'll start making Burda patterns.  It is so much easier to manipulate the pattern before the seam allowance is added.   

I need help! The princess seams are in the wrong place, the body is huge, the sleeves are huge, the back looks awful... How should I adjust this muslin?  I'm thinking I should start again with a 10, but I'm not even liking the sleeves. I'd also need to shorten the pattern.  I might just switch to this pattern:


At least this jacket/coat has reviews on PR. Well, everyone and their mother has made it so I assume its a good pattern.  What do you think?

The Fabric Haul (Picture Heavy)

Thanks to everyone who commented here and on Sew Retro about the stinky fabric.  We washed the last few batches of fabric with vinegar, but the smell didn't come out completely.  I think I'm going to have to wash it again and try laying out small batches in the sun.  I do not have a clothesline, but maybe I'll have to rig one up in the backyard.  We are too lazy to wash the fabric again and lay in the sun, so I think we are going to make a "stinky bin" and put all the fabric in there.  When it is time to use it, I'll just wash it again.

Now to the fabric! I did burn tests for almost every piece of fabric and we did really well!  Cottons, SILKS, and a wool! I think some of the cottons could be rayon, but there is no real way to tell unless I put them under a microscope.  Too much work!

I love the little birdies embroidered on the yellow cotton.  I want a little house so I can make curtains out of fabric.  My mom likes the border print floral.  I think it would make a great little vintage sundress or better yet, a pretty skirt!

The rose print is adorable, but I LOVE the silk and the sheer embroidered cotton.  I think they were meant to be used together.  The blue fabric pictured is interesting, but I can't figure out what to do with it.  Probably a muslin.

A really pretty, soft wool plaid and a cotton olive green corduroy.  There is just enough plaid for a skirt and tons of the cord.  I think I want a cord skirt as well.

BEAUTIFUL SILKS from China.  They were in a paper package with Chinese written on it.  The inhabitants of the estate were big travelers.

A gorgeous, funky polished cotton!  I love the sheen. Weird, but cool! I don't know if I would ever wear it, but its nice to have.

LOVE the cotton plaid!

A fun stripe and a red silk my mom has claimed.  I'm not a huge fan, so I'm cool with it :)

Another bundle I just didn't want to photograph. The yellow dotted swiss is best piece of fabric in the bundle! Oh, and there were two rather hefty tricots in nude.  I'll definitely use them to line knit!

Super fun fish print! I'm going to use this one day.  Even though it is crazy.

Cutest fabric from the lot! I hope I get the diamond fabric before my mom does :) hehe.  We think the printed gingham would make a  great apron.

 The patterns were $5 each which is usually a lot for me, but I didn't have anything like them and they were in my size.

I had to post this too.  My mom got this travel kit for $3.  It has never been used, and I think it's just adorable. 

We also bought some cute trims, 2 pairs of funky shoes, interesting costume jewelry, and a beautiful necklace gold and amethyst from the turn of the century 1900 (not 2000). I get it at Christmas.  :)  Oh, and a gorgeous custom sheath dress and coat made for lady of the house.  It is white and beautifully embroidered in black.  The embroidery is also cut out.  I'll have to take pictures and share some of the details.  My favorite part is the quilted coat lining and the hidden pocket.  I get the dress and my mom gets the coat :)

My mom paid for everything, so thanks Mom!