Wednesday, 30 October 2013

A Trio of Dresses

Today, I bring you three vintage dress patterns from a wonderful blog I like to follow for inspiration.

Erin over at A Dress A Day has now posted a hundred dresses that she`s made.  (Take a moment and let that sink in.  100 dresses she has made. Anyway...)  She usually accompanies the dress with the pattern she used as well.  Which means I have a small list of patterns she`s shown that I`d somehow like to acquire.

So, today I present to you three of my favorites!

Vogue 9670:

This dress looks super cute, but also pretty casual.  It seems like something I could wear all day while I do whatever errands I need to do, but could also wear to the office.  Erin posted about it first here, but went on to post quite a few more.

Mail Order Pattern 4946:

I certainly couldn`t pull of the seersucker with yoke stripes going the opposite direction from the bodice stripes.  But, that`s exactly what Erin did, which I`d say is suitably impressive.  I think I`d be far more likely to use either a solid and a print, or use the same fabric for the yoke and the dress.

Simplicity 1577:

This dress is adorable.  It`s another dress that I could see being perfect for doing errands in or going out for coffee or lunch.  It`s even got pockets!  Erin had a bit of an obsession with the dress, starting here.  There`s a long list of posts where she`s shown this dress.  I`d be hard pressed to pick a favorite, which I`m taking as a sign that I should make this for myself.

And this concludes today`s Trio of Dresses.  If you`re ever in the market for some pretty dresses, you should definetly go check out the hundred dresses as A Dress A Day.  I know I`ve started a vintage pattern wish list!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Every Girl Needs a Cape

At least, I'm pretty sure I need a cape.  Welcome to A Coat Thing Part 2.   Today's coat, I'll admit, isn't technically a coat, but it definitely falls into that category.

Without further ado:

Coat Number 2:
New Look 6227

This pattern doesn't seem quiet as popular as Coat Number One from Friday.  I found one review on PatternReview.  However, just because it isn't popular doesn't mean it's not wonderful.  I mean really, go take a look at her View A.  That, is one gorgeous cape.

I'm a little torn between Views A and B.  But, like she said, do I really need more than one cape?  I could probably do View A in something lighter, light a trench-weight cotton and then View B in a mid-weight coating wool.  Then I have something for the warm days and the cool ones....

Still, not likely the most pressing thing I need for my wardrobe... but only if I'm thinking logically.  This might be the top of my list of Most Wanted Patterns right now...  (Dear Santa, ... )

Friday, 25 October 2013

A Coat Thing

Perhaps the weather turning cold has gotten to me (You can't prove I saw snow this morning.  I'll never admit it!  You can't make me!!), or perhaps its just that time of year, but I've been very fascinated by coat patterns of late.

I've picked two of my favorites.  Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be sewing any coats this season... its a little too late, and I'm not certain coats are the most pressing thing in my new wardrobe quest.  I'm not sure that this means I won't end up with a coat pattern or two in my stash though...

Coat Number 1:

Butterick 5824 by Gertie

I like Gertie.  She's not only profound in the vintage sewing scene, she's also hugely inspirational.  She's doing pretty close to what I want to be doing, sewing for a living.  (For me right now, that's still a pretty far off dream, but that's really not what we're looking at).

I also really like this coat.  The length is something you don't see as often any more.  It's nipped in a little at the waist and then flares out into a glorious swing skirt.  It's got a wide collar that I'm pretty sure could be snuggled into, though it does look like a scarf will be required, given the low V-neck.

My only hesitation, is the kimono sleeves.  They look good on the model, with her arms down.  But the review over at Edelweiss Patterns has a number of pictures that show some extra fabric there.  Which, is totally to be expected with kimono sleeves, but probably won't enhance my already-large bust.

The Options:  Attempt to draft a gusset.  Possible,  scary, and would definitely take a couple muslins before I could do it in any nice coating fabric.  Option Two:  Make it as a lighter Spring / Fall coat.  With a lighter fabric the bunching fabric will be less obvious.  Option Three:  Look for similar coats.  This is sad, because I'd really like to make Gertie's coat, however if I don't think it'll look good on me, it seems kind of like a waste.

And, since this has gone on for longer than expected, stay tuned next time for: Coat Number 2: The Cape!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Emotional Energy

Real life can be a bit of pain sometimes.

I've been feeling really drained recently.  At first I thought I was just tired, and then it was just my cold and then ... and then...  Not too long ago, I realized that I was slipping back into depression, which I've fought with before.

Now, I realize that, yes I was slipping into depression, however that was not my only problem.  More than just the depression, I lacked any stores of Emotional Energy.  This is the kind of energy that fills you with that Get-Up-And-Go, with the motivation to get you through the day.  More relevantly, it's also the energy I use for sewing, and writing and blogging.

Now, I love doing those things.  But, there's only so much gas in the tank, and recently, my Emotional Energy Tank has been leaking.  This week, I came to the startling, yet blatantly obvious realization that work was the leak in my tank.  Well, not work itself, I actually rather enjoy secretary-HR-management.  However, the current work environment is rather hard on me.

I'm constantly pulled between my Mother-in-Law and everyone else.  Be it, my darling boyfriend, the other staff members (who are usually unhappy and in my opinion not treated very well), or just the general public.  I've also had increasing contact with the Handy Man, who is now dating my Mother-in-Law.  He's not only drunk or drinking more often than not, but he also reminds me very strongly of my mother's abusive ex-husband.  Then there's of course the drama of my Mother-in-Law (not so quietly) waging war on not only the previous owner of the hotel, but also on her business partner (more quietly, as far as her partner is concerned, though everyone else and the cat next door knows).  And finally there's the fact that I'm constantly on call, to not only my M-i-L but also to the Handy Man and every member of staff.

Drama drains my emotional energy.  And I'm not sure if you can tell, but there's a lot of drama going on in my life right now.

Step one to a solution is identifying the problem.  I think I've sorted that one out.  Step two, is finding a way to stop the problem.  So at the moment I've started looking for a new job.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.

In the mean time, I might be a little more absent around here that I'd like.  I'm not getting much sewing done to be honest, so I'm not really sure what I can show you.  What I am going to try and do, is find some patterns that I either like or want to try, or just feel like showing off / pointing out.

Thanks for sticking with me!

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Lacey Goodness!

I finally wore my Rago Girdle to work yesterday.  If you remember, or rather, if you've forgotten, I ordered it from Lady Grace a little while ago at the same time as I ordered my longline bra.

Rage Style 1359
I do quite like it, especially now that I've worn it.  I had a bit of an ordeal finding thigh highs to go with it.  I did pick up a pair from the local Walmart, but when I originally tried them on together I didn't think that the tights came up high enough.

Luckily, I was able to pull the girdle down a touch and the tights up, and it worked.  By the end of the day I was having some pretty serious issues with my tights cutting into my thighs.  Now, this was deeply uncomfortable, but it was also no fault of the girdle.

I did find that the girdle cut in a little bit at the waist, but it only took a quick adjustment each time to fix it.  Other than that, the fit was spot on.  I found my tummy firmed up, not flat, but firmer.  I didn't find much of a lift behind, but it did firm up my derriere up nicely. It also gave me that 'wiggle' when I walked that girdles are known to provide.  Even with the constriction around my legs though, I found that there was enough stretch that I was still able to do everything I needed to.

All in all, it was an excellent purchase.  I quite enjoyed wearing it, though I will not likely wear it every day.  It will certainly be making a re-appearance when I wear the wiggle dress I'm hoping to make soon!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Morality vs Legality

I'd like to prefix today's post by saying I'm not a lawyer.  I have no background in copyrite law (or any other type.), and that I've not done all of the research I'd like to do on this subject.

There seems to be some debate in the internet-sewing world as to the acceptable and legal use of store-bought patterns.  There are some people who firmly believe that any use of these patterns for anyone besides yourself, and especially for sale, is a violation of copyright.  And there is the opposite camp who is convinced that once you've bought the pattern you're free to make it for whoever you want, and charge whatever you want, from now until the end of time.  Naturally there are some camps in between: the Make-100-per-Pattern camp, and the Each-Customer-Buys-A-Copy camp, the With-Designer-Permission-Only camp.  There's probably almost as many versions of 'Acceptable Use' as there are people in the debate.  The argument that I find most interesting is that it is legal to sell things you make, but it is morally wrong.

I'm in the camp of if it is legal to do so, then there is no reason I shouldn't.  To start, don't confuse this with Because it is legal, it is not wrong.  That's a different debate.  What I'm saying is that as long as it is legal, I don't see why it would be morally wrong to sell something I make.

I think it is wrong (and illegal) to photocopy the pattern and sell that.  I think it's wrong to claim that the pattern is mine.  However, I believe it is my right to sell things which I make.  I am putting in my time, effort and knowledge.  There is skill involved in sewing, you can't just sit down one day and whip up a coat.  And I don't think I'm taking anything away from the pattern-maker by doing so.  People who are going to buy already sewn items are not as likely to buy a pattern.  And, when I'm selling things I've made it will involve posting pictures of items to the internet.  I would think, seeing well made items from a pattern would make other sewers more likely to buy the pattern.  I know I at least look around for some finished examples and pattern reviews before buying a pattern.

So, that's my view on the matter.  Don't sell someone else's pattern.  But if you want to make something to sell, store-bought patterns are free game.

P.S. Again, I haven't finished my research, and I'm not a lawyer.  I should not be quoted in a court of law.