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|Friday, October 18th, 2013|
|Antique Sewing Machine
So, my grandmother moved out of her house and into an apartment and told me I could have whatever I wanted from the house. In addition to a pretty snazzy chair, I got her old treadle Singer sewing machine, complete with table. It was bought used by my grandfather, probably in the mid-to-late 1950s. The serial number dates it to 1924-1936. Further online research revealed that it is a model 128. It works, but it needs servicing and a new belt. Here it is:
The decals are the Memphis design, which means there are sphinxes. :) Sadly the one on the base of the machine has been partly worn away, but the others are in great shape.
I'm pretty excited for the time when I can get it all fixed up and actually learn to use it. Although, I don't exactly know when that'll be. For now, I'm just happy to have such a pretty machine with a great history.
|Monday, October 14th, 2013|
| Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!
My family had a big family dinner yesterday. It was great seeing my baby cousins, one of whom is about 1 year and a half and recently learned to walk. She was so much fun running around the hallways yelling boo at each other. And I have an 11 year old cousin who wants to learn how to sew so that she can make a quilt. I ate way too much food and had some fantastic leftovers for lunch. Now I am super stuffed again. :)
|Saturday, October 12th, 2013|
| A Birthday Present (from February)
My dad got me this really neat birthday present (way back at my birthday in Feb.) that I wanted to share. It's a reproduction Victorian sewing kit in silver. It's embossed all over with a really pretty daisy pattern.
It's in a fuzzy brown case, like jewellery comes in.
And when you open it, voila!
There's a needle case, a thimble, and a bodkin.
And the needle case has a needle in it.
I thought it was a really neat gift. :)
|Wednesday, October 9th, 2013|
|More Vintage Patterns
I bought these patterns from Vintage Martini
about a month ago when jenthompson
said that they had put up a number of patterns at very low prices. The low price combined with very reasonable shipping up here to Canada made up my mind about purchasing.
This one is from 1942. I got it because I really like the design with the pleats and pockets lining up. I also decided I needed some vintage patterns of practical dresses (meaning casual ones with pockets). I think this one fits the bill.
This one is from 1949. Another shirtdress with pockets. I have really been craving a shirtdress (or several) lately, in case you couldn't tell. I also really like the New Look and wanted to try my hand at kimono sleeves with gussets.
This is the last one. It's from 1951. Tailoring is another thing that I want to start learning about. Even this one is significantly too big for me (the other two are pretty close to my size), I have been wanting a New Look suit pattern with both a flared and straight skirt.
I don't have any fabric that I specifically want to use with these patterns, but they were just too good of a deal to pass up and I am really happy I got them. I took some pictures of a couple other things, so hopefully I'll be good about posting for the next little while and be able to share some stuff.
|Tuesday, October 8th, 2013|
I have a number of sewing-related things that I want to post about but still need to take pictures of (and write posts for), so I am going to list them here so that I don't forget.
- Stuff I got: new-to-me vintage patterns, fabric, sewing kit, antique sewing machine
- Vintage dresses that belonged to my grandmother
- Snow White costume (from last Hallowe'en... man, I'm bad at posting stuff in a timely manner)
- Green wiggle dress
- 1790s stays in-progress
Hopefully I can take pictures of all these things soon and get some posts up in the next few weeks. I'm not sure what my next project is going to be. I wanted to have my plaid shirtdress done for the Fall for Cotton Sewalong but life totally got in the way of that. Being a graduate student is very time-consuming. I think it'll have to be my Hallowe'en costume which, this year, will be Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz (if I manage to get it done in time). I have a white cotton shirt that will be passable. I just need to make the pinafore dress (I'm thinking a gingham dirndle with bib+suspenders temporarily attached) and get some red shoes. I had some other fun Hallowe'en ideas but I just don't have the time to sew anything that involved this year, so I decided to try and keep it simple. Keeping my fingers crossed that I can whip this one up without any problems!
|Friday, August 23rd, 2013|
|Fall for Cotton
Since I've had the idea of making a cotton shirtdress for some time now, and have the right fabric and a couple of vintage pattern options, I decided to take part in the Fall for Cotton Vintage Sewalong.
My fabric is a slate blue and white plaid and I want to use either an early 1960s pattern that I bought a while ago or a 1940s one that should be here soon, which I ordered from Vintage Martini. Here's option one:
This doesn't start until September 1st, so I still have time to get a couple other projects out of the way. These include a pair of pyjama pants for my boyfriend because it will be our first anniversary this Monday. They are made out of flannelette printed with Animal from the Muppets. They are already over half done. A super quick project, since I only started them yesterday. My other project in the works is a dress for my friends' wedding which will be on Sept. 21st, but that I want to have done before starting the shirtdress. The fabric is a dark green synthetic with a woven-in print of roses. I'm planning on making a simple wiggle dress with straps, so that shouldn't take too long since I already have a workable bodice pattern. I'm still plugging away at my stays and am almost done the eyelets. Only five more to go! The only other project that I really want to do some work on soon is a corset cover using jennil
's pattern. After these things, it'll be time to get working on a Halloween costume. With grad studies starting up in September, I don't think I'll have much time during school to be sewing so I want to make some good progress now.
|Tuesday, August 20th, 2013|
|Friday, August 16th, 2013|
|Life and Costume College Appreciation
I feel like I've been so busy this summer that I haven't had time for anything. But life is good, especially the life of a research assistant at the university. I mean, they pay me to read! How awesome is that? I've been doing a little bit of sewing, which I will have picture proof of some time. I'm trying to get my plum silk stays done and have sewn all the pieces together by hand after taking them apart. I had originally sewn them by machine, but after holding them up against me, they looked too small. The tiny bits in the seam allowances that have been released by whipping and opening the seams by hand has made them a little bit bigger, and I hope it's enough. Up next is eyelets (by hand) and boning channels (by machine).
I've really enjoyed seeing everyone's Costume College pictures this year. It's a highlight every year seeing the finished products of all the weeks and months leading up to the event. Even though I've never been and may never get to go, it's still fun to live vicariously through the fabulous pictures on my friends list. So thank you all for sharing!
|Monday, May 27th, 2013|
I went to an event the city was putting on called Doors Open. They open a bunch of historic buildings to the public, there are tours and, best of all, it's all free. I got to see a number of different, beautiful buildings. It was a lot of fun. The highlight was the display that the Costume Museum of Canada set up. It had clothing from 1900-1915, the historical heyday of the city; there was an economic boom and tons of the really spectacular buildings were built then. The clothing was set up on mannequins in the lobby of a building that used to be an old bank headquarters. This meant that I could get very close up and go all the way around the garments. Needless to say, it was a wonderful photo op, especially for fans of Downton Abbey and Mr. Selfridge. I took over a hundred pictures. Here are some of my favourites.( The venueCollapse )
My very favourite gown in the exhibit. It reminds me of the 1908 dinner dress in Costume in Detail. I think I need to make a copy of this one someday, minus the time-consuming embroidery. I already have the right corset.( More dressesCollapse )
A gorgeous blouse with colour insertion. Reminds me of the sheer, white dress Rose wears in Mr. Selfridge with the colour embroidery on the collar, cuffs, and sash.
These collar stays reminded me of jenthompson
. I guess that originally the big lace collar stood up at the back. Must have been rather dramatic. I think this one might have been aesthetic dress, so makes sense.( Some lacy gownsCollapse )
You can check out the rest of my pictures here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/76958742@N03/
I took lots of detail pictures. There are some pretty interesting things to see on the dresses like closures, collars and cuffs, piping, buttons, et c. All the things that are near and dear to costumers' hearts. Sadly, no pictures of insides, but that may not last forever. A lady who works for the Costume Museum of Canada saw me taking pictures and told me to write down my name and email so that I could become a volunteer. Being a volunteer would mean helping to put up and take down exhibits such as this, as well as giving me access to the collection, and it is a big collection. Pretty awesome!
In other news, haven't been doing much sewing. I did make a dress out of Power Rangers fabric (yes, that's right, Power Rangers!), but it needs some major adjustments and fixing, so no pictures. I got lots of compliments when I wore it though, because who doesn't like Power Rangers? The rest of my time is being taken up with work and social life. Being a research assistant is a great time. I get to look up writers and read their works and I get paid for it. Definitely the best job I have ever had. :) Current Mood: chipper
|Sunday, April 21st, 2013|
I have both of my exams this week and spent the past month writing final papers, so it's been a lot of homework the past while. I've been able to do a little bit of knitting recently, which is good. Unfortunately, the front of my sweater has looser tension than the back of the sweater, which will be interesting when I try to put the two together. I think it will turn out ok. At least I hope so. No sewing though. However, my grandmother is moving out of her house and into an apartment and is giving away pretty much all of her stuff. I got some lovely old dishes, really heavy duty restaurant dishes. (Our family used to have a restaurant.) But the coolest thing is that she wants to give me her sewing machine. I didn't even know she had one. It was a gift from my grandfather back when my dad was a baby, so late fifties. It's not electric powered though; it's a treadle machine. One of those beautiful old Singers, black with the pretty painting on it. The finish is mostly worn off the wood. And I'm curious about the age of the machine. I don't know if it was new in the 1950s, or if they bought it used. I would have thought that by then most machines would be electric. I guess I'll know more when I get it and I can look up the serial number. Pretty excited though! Current Mood: excited
|Friday, March 1st, 2013|
|Summing up my trip
It was pretty great. Thanks for the suggestions, they were really helpful. I got to see so much. It was incredible!
New York was a little overwhelming at first. But after finally mastering the subway and getting used to all the people, it became a lot of fun. My boyfriend and I did lots of touristy things like going to the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, eating New York Style pizza, and checking out a couple of museums (American Museum of Natural History and The Metropolitan Museum of Art). The views from the Empire State Building were incredible, but it was SO WINDY!( More New York stuffCollapse )
We rented a car and drove to Hartford, CT to watch a hockey game, since our AHL team was playing the Connecticut Whale. It was a lot of fun. There weren't a lot of people at the game but the kids straight up screamed, so that was amusing. And because we were sitting immediately behind our team's bench and we were wearing our jerseys, the Whale mascot (a green whale) noticed us and mimed questioning us about our team loyalty. He did not approve of our cheering for the away team.
Next up was Boston. Sadly, we were not able to make it to the Museum of Fine Arts. Our first day got pretty confusing and overwhelming. Jenni (jennil
) I totally understand why you don't like driving out there and have anxiety. It is crazy! However, we did manage to find our way to a certain awesome fabric store. Thanks for the recommendation, Gloria (quincy134
Needless to say, I bought things. :) That is (left to right) a lightweight linen (for a dress), double-sided silk (too pretty to pass up), and wool twill (which may become a couple of different things, yet to be decided). I am so jealous of all you Boston sewers. I would have tons of things made of wool if I lived there. I couldn't believe the prices. Everything was about a third or a quarter of the prices here. When I got home, my mom told me I should have bought more lol. She's a bad influence.( More Boston stuffCollapse )
After Boston, we drove back to New York and had a relaxed night at the hotel before flying out the next morning. It was an unforgettable experience and I'd love to go back some time. After all, I didn't buy enough fabric the first time around, nor did I even get to the New York Garment District!
Speaking of fabric, there's a big sale on at the local fabric store. Gonna pick up some lining fabric, since I have acquired a pretty large stash of fashion fabrics. And all the discount fabrics are a further 50% off. That deserves checking out because there are sometimes some very nice fabrics in there... I think I have a fabric addiction problem. I haven't made a single project this year, but I keep buying! Oh well, there are worse problems, right? ;p
|Thursday, February 14th, 2013|
|Travel and things
I can't believe I leave tomorrow morning! Unfortunately, I hit a snag on the pants. The crotch depth is not right and I may have remembered the seam allowance incorrectly. Luckily, the pants are just machine-basted right now and I think the problem is fixable. If I have time this evening, I will try to power through and get them done.
In other news, it was my birthday the other day and I got a really cool gift from my dad. It's a reproduction silver Victorian sewing kit containing a thimble, a needle case, a gold embroidery needle, and a bodkin. All the silver parts have a really pretty daisy pattern embossed on them. I will definitely take pictures... just not now because I am currently trying to finish an application for an award to be a research assistant with a professor of my choice. So busy!
|Sunday, February 10th, 2013|
I'm off to the States at the end of the week. I'm hoping that the Boston weather will be kind to me when I get there. I need another pair of jeans and had some leftover denim so I got to work, in hopes that they will be finished in time for the trip. They are cut out, front pockets are in, back pockets are decorated and waiting to be sewn on, and the the inside leg seams are sewn, but still need top-stitching. I want to fit the jeans first before going to the trouble of all that top-stitching though. Last time I had to seam rip at least twice. Re-sewing the same seam that many times and with that many lines of stitching is not fun. Really though, a day of solid sewing should get them done. And then I will have made a pair of shorts and a pair of jeans out of some denim that was originally meant for a jacket. Sometimes it's convenient being short; it's economic on fabric.
|Tuesday, January 8th, 2013|
|USA Here I Come!
So at university here, we don't get Spring Break. Instead, we have what is called Reading Week. Same deal, just happens in late February instead of actual spring. The reason I bring this up is because my boyfriend and I are going to take a Reading Week trip down to New York and then drive up through Connecticut to Boston. Since so many people on my friends list are from that general area or have traveled around there, I am asking if you have any tips, ideas, or suggestions about things to do or see. I know that you'll have lots of great ideas. Thanks!
|Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013|
|Better Late Than Never
So I'm a bit late on the 2012 sewing recap, as well as on posting to Livejournal in general, but I've been crazy busy these last two months and haven't been doing anything other than schoolwork, work, and holiday festivities. Now that everything has slowed down, I can get back to being productive on sewing and updating here.
The recap for 2012 sewing:
January - 1912 corset
- 1912 petticoat
February - emerald shirt
March - hunter green shirt
April - Hollywood/Veronica Lake dress
May - jeans
- cardigan embellishment
June - baby blanket (knitting)
- 1908 corset
At this point, I stopped keeping track of which months things were done in.
Summer & Fall - 1960s cotton print dress
- Snow White costume (pictures will eventually appear at some point. Hopefully before next Halloween.)
- fox Robin Hood costume: pants w/ tail, shirt, and hat
- Little Mermaid tail
- Aladdin costume: pants, vest, sash
- Esmeralda costume: skirt, overskirt, and girdle/belt
Some things that I did last year that I fixed or put the finishing touches on this year:
- tucked petticoat was re-hemmed
- 1840 corset: grommets were set
- 1940 knickers: snaps were added
Projects that were started but not finished (a list that actually isn't too long):
- corded petticoat
- sweater (knitting)
Overall, I think I was pretty productive for most of the year. I burned out a bit with all the Halloween sewing and never got back on track because of all the busy-ness that followed soon after. But I think I'll be able to get a lot done in 2013 and have some good plans for that. I really enjoy having things in my wardrobe that I can wear every day and so some pants and a blouse are on the list, as well as a couple more cotton print dresses made from some older, awesome prints that I found in my mom's sewing room (Power Rangers and Peanuts!). I want to finish off my unfinished projects that I started this year, as well as the plum jacket and plum stays that I started the year before and never finished. And hopefully, finally, get one real historical outfit made. That would be awesome.
|Friday, September 14th, 2012|
A bunch of my friends and I are doing Disney cartoon characters for Halloween. Now, since none of us wants to spend too much money, it has resulted in my volunteering to help make a lot of people's costumes. I am slowly plugging away at my own Snow White costume. I have the fashion fabric bodice mostly sewn together and the bodice lining, which is made of a heavier cotton twill which will be boned. I still need sleeves and skirt and trim/finishing. I spent a couple hours yesterday making my friend's Ariel tail using this tutorial
from Marisa Hopkins: Living the Creative Life. It was made from stretch velvet, organza, and sparkly net. I ended up getting covered in glitter. I really should have taken pictures, but I didn't have time, so I guess you'll see some pretty awesome ones at Halloween when the whole group is dressed up Disney. Should be fun!
Sorry for the lack of posting lately. School has started back up and my social life is also busy at the moment. Sewing and knitting have sort of taken a back seat. Plus, I think I was a little tired of making stuff for a while and now that I will be a Disney costume sweatshop for the next month or two, I don't really feel motivated to get any other sewing done at the moment. It's alright though, because I am really enjoying both school and friends, even though it cuts into sleep time a little. ;p Current Mood: tired
|Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012|
Look! It's the back of a sweater. I casted on the front yesterday and have started the ribbing.
I also made a belt the other day out of grosgrain ribbon to go with my cotton dress. It has a tuxedo bow to conceal the snap closure. Considering that the ribbon only cost me $0.45 and I had snaps on hand, it was pretty much the cheapest belt ever. :) Current Mood: chipper
|Monday, July 30th, 2012|
|A new dress
This fabric (repro print quilting cotton) has been sitting around in my stash for a while now, originally earmarked for a 1930s style dress. However, at some point it decided it didn't want to be a 1930s style dress. With all the hot weather we've been having lately, a mid-century inspired sundress seemed just the thing. This was a nice, quick project and it also made use of one of my early 1960s patterns. I used the bodice from the pattern, modified, of course, to get a deeper scoop on the neckline front and back and to add straps. I used pleated rectangle widths for the skirt, making sure to include really deep pockets. It's a lot shorter than an actual vintage dress because I found that the bodice hitting at the natural waist makes me look really, really stumpy and the shorter skirt balances this out. (Next time, it'll be a drop-waist.) I made a mock-up of it before sewing the real thing, and so the fit is great. Unfortunately, I was lazy, so the pics are just on the dress dummy. You'll just have to take my word for it that it fits well. Also, the zipper went in perfectly the very first time! :)( More pictures!Collapse )
My sweater is coming along, but I forgot to take pictures of it. I've got the back done up to the armhole shaping. I'm also really enjoying (as always) seeing everyone's prep for Costume College. I can't wait to see the pictures from the weekend! Current Mood: accomplished
|Thursday, July 19th, 2012|
|I'm still here!
Geez, I've been bad about posting. I guess it's because I don't have much to show in the sewing department. I've started working and been really busy with family stuff (family keeps visiting from out of town) and just ordinary summer socializing, so I haven't gotten any sewing done. I have been knitting, working on the pink blanket and my sweater, but it's not very exciting to show. I've also been feeling a bit less than inspired at the sewing projects I lined up for myself. I think I may need to mix it up and sew something that I'm excited about instead. Current Mood: busy
|Friday, June 29th, 2012|
Because if there aren't any pictures, it didn't happen, right?