Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sewing Project: The Butterfly Skirt

Hi friends! At long last I'm sharing my project for Tanya's "Dress Like Your Grandma" sewing challenge, where you find an outfit that your grandmother (or other relative) wore and re-create it. Like I mentioned in my last post, I wasn't able to track down any good family pictures, so I took the opportunity to re-create one of my favorite vintage fashion photos.

My first task was creating the fabric design to order on Spoonflower. I wasn't able to find any other photos of this skirt while I was working on re-creating the design, so I sketched it out as best I could and then brought my sketches into Adobe Illustrator, traced them, added color, and made it into a repeating pattern. Later, I came across this blog post by Dividing Vintage Moments where she also re-created this skirt with some of the original 1940s fabric. You can see by her version that the colors were actually a bit lighter than the way they look in the photo.

I had the design printed on the organic cotton sateen, which is turning into my go-to fabric for skirts. It is 56 inches wide so I am able to make the design on both borders and then cut it in half lengthwise. It did end up a teensy bit shorter than I would have liked by the time I took off some for the waistband. I ordered 2 yards which I cut in half so this skirt has a total of 4 yards in sweep.

I didn't use a pattern for the skirt- it's just a simple dirndl skirt with a side zipper and hooks at the waistband. I did add pockets, which was a bit tricky to figure out with the side zipper. I used this tutorial to help me figure it out.

For the shirt, I used vintage Simplicity 2127, which I had in my stash, and some of this rayon voile from Unfortunately mine is missing the envelope, so I had no idea what size I was working with (it isn't marked on the pieces either). I was in a bit of a time crunch so I just went ahead and made it without any grading and luckily it fit just fine. I love how forgiving peasant blouses are! The only thing is that it's a but sheer so I'll probably wear a cami under it.

Well, thanks for stopping by! You can check out all of the other entries for this challenge on Tanya's blog. I hope she does this challenge again so I can find a real family photo to re-create!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Sewing Project: The Watches Skirt

Hey friends! I know it's been awhile, but I wanted to pop by today to share one of my recent projects. I acquired this amazing vintage fabric with watches on Ebay. Actually, I had Phillip bid on it for me because I have total Ebay anxiety and I hate bidding on things at the last minute, which is what you have to do if you really want to get something. I was so relieved when he won it!

I had just enough to make this simple pleated skirt. I had to do some creative piecing to get the waistband long enough. Luckily the direction of the print makes it hard to notice.

 I finished the hem with bias tape- this is my favorite method for skirts-especially when you don't want use up too much of the length. Also you can pick a coordinating color which adds a bit of extra detail.

I'm so in love with this print! Maybe one of these days I'll make a repro of it to add to my Spoonflower shop. What do you think?

Thanks for stopping by! Until next time...

Monday, March 27, 2017

Dress Like Your Grandma Challege Inspiration

(Image Source Here)

   Just to get it out there right now: no, this is not my grandma. In fact I have no idea who this lady is. I'm cheating a little on this one.

  I haven't had the time to go and track down some old family photos for Tanya's Dress Like Your Grandma Sewing Challenge, but I still really want to get in on the fun, so I've decided to use the challenge as a good excuse to re-create the outfit in a photograph I've been in love with for awhile. 
   I've decided to attempt to re-create this gorgeous 1940's-era butterfly skirt and yellow peasant top, which was published in a 1942 edition of Harper's Bazaar, according to the source website. I spent the better part of the weekend trying to draw the butterflies in Illustrator, which I thought would be straightforward but was surprisingly difficult due to the folds of the fabric. Anyway, I did my best and now I'm awaiting the fabric from Spoonflower.

More to come soon!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Dress Like Your Grandma Sewing Challenge

I just wanted to let you all know about a fun sewing challenge my friend Tanya is hosting on her blog, Mrs. Hughes. It's called the "Dress Like Your Grandma" vintage sewing challenge. Here's the idea:

"This is a vintage sewing challenge where family history can inspire your wardrobe.  Take a photo of your grandma (or your grandpa, great-grandma, mom, aunt, someone else’s grandma —  you get the idea!) and re-create an outfit or piece that they are wearing.  Many of us don’t have vintage garments to remember our loved ones by or perhaps we can’t fit into what they left behind.  Re-create that image with vintage patterns, reproduction patterns or modern patterns.  If your style is different from a family member’s or you want to evoke a different era, find a vintage photo with a garment that suits you and re-create that.  The idea is to study a vintage photograph and transform that photo into a garment or outfit that you’ve sewn yourself."

You can get the rest of the details here on her blog and get some buttons for your own blog.

So much fun! I'm off to find some old family photos!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Free Download- Valentine Illustrations

I made you all a little present for Valentines day! It's a set of digital illustrations you can use for cards, emails, or anything you like!

You can download the set of PNG set here:

Download Valentines Graphics Set

(Personal Use Only)

Enjoy and have a wonderful Valentines Day!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Sewing Project: How to Enlarge a Vintage Circle Skirt

Hey guys! I'm back again with another post about re-sizing vintage skirts. Today I'm going to show you how I enlarged this great vintage skirt I found on our mini-honeymoon in San Francisco last year. Like the last skirt I shared that was much too small, this one was also not wearable as-is. Luckily, these are also a (relative) cinch to re-size so you'll ever leave a great skirt behind again.

 I put together a little diagram below with the general outlines of the process I used:

The nice thing about circle skirts is that you really only need to take off a small amount from the inside to make the circumference much larger, and it usually won't affect the length much. Just be careful and measure twice before you cut because it's harder to size down than up!

How awesome is this print? I just couldn't leave it behind despite the bit of work I had to put into it before I could wear it.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you found this post useful. Let me know if you have any questions.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Sewing Project: How to Re-Size Vintage Gathered or Pleated Skirts

So, a few months ago I got SUPER lucky at the swap meet. I scored this amazing chicken novelty print skirt for a mere $3! I was seriously giddy for the rest of the day and I probably used up my good luck for the rest of the year. Not surprisingly it was way too small for as it was, but never fear... I can sew!

A lot of people don't realize how simple and straightforward it is to re-size a skirt like this with just some really basic sewing skills. It can open up so many possibilities for your wardrobe and means that just because an amazing vintage find doesn't fit you as-is doesn't mean you have to leave it behind.

I removed the waistband and replaced it with a new one, which was easy to do since it's plain black. I then re-pleated the skirt to fit the new waistband and added a hook and eye closure above the existing zipper.

For those of you who might be wondering, I created this handy-dandy little graphic with the basics of how to go about re-sizing a skirt like this. I tried to make it as clear as possible but please let me know if you have any questions.
Next time... how to resize a circle skirt! Stay tuned!