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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

· Deepest Coral 1930s Dress ·

I'm pretty excited about today's post! :-)

This dress has turned into one of my favorite creations- although I'm not sure how much of my admiration comes from the amazingly complementary Art Deco background we found for these photos. ;-D

But in all honesty, this dress did end up being all I ever hoped it would be, and more!

I purchased this novelty-weave, suiting-weight wool last year and pondered what to make for a while.  This color is rather uncommon and was hard to predict while purchasing online- it's not a true red, isn't rust, and isn't orange.  I finally decided that it looks like the deepest shade of coral.  And after all, Deepest Coral is so much more interesting to say than plain old Red. ;-)  It's also a much more flattering shade for my coloring than most reds, so it turned out to be a very fortuitous online purchase!

I've made several 1930s dress so far, but I had several quintessentially 30s elements on my list of "must do"s.  I still have a few, but this dress was able to cross some off the list. ;-)

- I wanted to finally do a really long skirt- I've talked in the past about how my skirts always end up shorter than I want, and so many 30s illustrations show skirts reaching almost to the ankle!  It seems like such an elegant, unique length, and I LOVE it.

- I wanted to do some fun angled seaming- the 30s are iconic in that way, and a plain fabric is the perfect way to showcase that.

For all the decorative seaming on this, I used the period method of lapped seams.  Let me tell you- it's brilliant!  Makes all those intricately seamed 30s designs seem magically possible and even easy!

- I've never made a raglan-sleeved 30s dress!  Shocking, since raglan sleeves tend to be rather flattering for me and I really love them. :-)

- Those fun "fitted at the cap, full below the elbow" sleeves (thanks to Tegan for the info- these are officially called Bishop sleeves ;-) - they're another iconic 30s style and I love them!

- A "blousy" fit- I tend to over-fit everything, but I managed to achieve the blousy look while still being fitted enough to feel comfortable. :-D

These sleeve buttons were fun!  I used vintage buttons from our stash and it worked out perfectly to have them slightly graduate up in size as they extend up the sleeve.

I love this corde clutch!  It is perfect for taking to church, weddings, and other special occasions.

Wool suitings are one of those fabrics that I desperately want to love, but they make it so hard!!  Those annoying easing marks drive me bonkers! and I can't figure out how to get rid of them (or prevent them)!  I also reaaaaally love ironing with high temperatures and with tons of steam.  Which.... gives me little shiny patches all over my wools.  Sigh.  Thankfully, I (almost) completely avoided that on this dress.

Another thing though- anyone have great tips for hemming fabrics like this?  I serge the edge, turn it up once, and then hand-hem it.  I try so hard not to pull the thread tight, but the hem always shadows through!  Do I need to use hem tape?  It seems like I'd still have the same problem, though...?  Anyway, let me know if you have any tips! :-)

I recently realized that I never show my side zippers!  This one might not be the best candidate since the bodice is supposed to be blousy, but you get the idea. :-)  I prefer regular zippers and setting them by hand and that's my default for all my garments.

I used McCalls 6993 for the skirt.  It is such an amazingly cool pattern!  McCalls' new "Archive Collection" is a bit hit-and-miss (and the dates on some of those patterns seem so odd!), but this one is definitely a win!

A fun bonus is that I recently came across this vintage pattern- Simplicity 1384.  It's the same skirt! :-)

For the bodice, I used this Mrs. Depew pattern, adding long lower sleeves.  I love the concept behind those patterns, however I had some issues with mine.  I think I might have picked the wrong size, but it was nothing that couldn't be solved with a few mock-ups. ;-)

This velvet hat is a favorite, and falls into the category of "hats that work ever so much better with my hair short".  I've been enjoying short(er) hair ever so much!!! :-)

· Photos by Kathryn ·

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

· 1950s Candy-Striped Blouse ·

Well.  It certainly looks like I've turned into Little Miss Blouses and Skirts lately, doesn't it?!  Never fear, I should be reverting back to my usual All Dresses All the Time phase soon. ;-)

In the meantime however, this blouse was a fun one to make!  We had this stripey fabric leftover from a different project, so making the last bits into a blouse seemed so gratifyingly stash-busting!  Never mind the fact that the fabric only originally took up a small space in the stash... the important thing to focus on is that I completely used up another fabric!

That *is* the most important part, right?! ;-)

I used Simplicity 2154 for this blouse too, it's my new favorite blouse sloper pattern. :-)

I changed the neckline to be a boatneck like a 1950s dress I was inspired by and the stand collar/band extends into ties in the front.

Oh, and of course vintage suitcases are the ideal accessory!

This blouse paired so nicely with a white sweater and my grey wool skirt. :-)

I had just the right amount of vintage buttons for this- hooray for more stash-busting!!

I love the details on vintage hats.  This seems like a plain grey hat, but the demure bow with little rhinestones adds just the right touch!

A funny trivia for this one- the fabric is actually printed with diagonal stripes.  That means that the entire body of the blouse is now bias-cut, while the neckline detail is on the straight-grain!

· Photos by the inimitable Kathryn! ·

Saturday, April 18, 2015

· More Shoes for Sale! ·

Hello, there! It's Kathryn, the girl behind most of the photographs on this blog and who occasionally shows up wearing some of Lily's fabulous creations. :-) I'm popping in today with the second installment in the "Shoes for Sale" series. I have a pair of dyeable white leather American Duchess "Astoria" Edwardian reproduction shoes for which I'd love to find a loving home! I could have posted this on my own blog, but Lily's readers are much more the sort to appreciate it!

These shoes are new; they have been tried on and walked on indoors only (the soles do look a tiny bit speckly on that account). They are size 8.5, and they are the earlier version that have leather covered buttons instead of the crystal buttons that come on them now. Comes with the original box (which has endured a little bit of smashing about the corners, but is quite functional :-).

Perfect for Edwardian, Titanic, Downton Abbey, etc. impressions! And if you don't like them white, you can dye them any color you want!

· EDITED - Sold! ·

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

· Red & Cream 1770s Jacket ·

When we purchased the fabric for my robe a l'Anglaise, it only came in pre-cut increments.  Therefore, there was enough fabric for a gown and petticoat for myself, a round gown for my mother, and lots of leftovers.  Several years ago, I realized that a jacket would round out my 18th c. wardrobe nicely, so I used some of the fabric for that.  It has kind of turned into the "widow's oil" of fabric, as we still had enough for a modern tote bag, and still have over a yard left.  But I'm not complaining!  I have yet to tire of this fabric. :-)

I've admired the jacket from "Costume Close Up" for years, but after seeing it on a large portion of Colonial Williamsburg employees, I was wary of making my own version.  I like to be as unique as I can (limited at times by my knowledge or lack thereof...), but that can sometimes be a hindrance.  I'm glad I didn't let the distaste of being "just like everyone else" stop me from making this jacket, because it is so fetching!  I love the style. :-)

I already had J.P. Ryan's jacket pattern and found that it fits me rather well as a base, so rather than start from scratch, I decided to use that as my starting point.  View D is rather reminiscent of the CCU jacket, so I used that as a reference to make the necessary changes.

Problem number one that I ran into with the JP Ryan pattern is that the back piece is too wide, therefore the angled peplum seam only hits at the side.  This causes wrinkles in the back peplum, since there isn't any allowance for skirt fullness.  I wanted to minimize my fabric usage with this jacket, so I made use of piecing and unique cutting.  The jacket should have a side back seam, but my fabric-saving measure was to put in a godet instead of having an angled seam.  It adds the necessary fluffiness- one of my favorite aspects of 18th c. jackets. :-)

The jacket also needed slits at the front, which also end up helping to allow for skirt fullness.  I believe I shorted the whole jacket a bit too, but I can't quite remember. :-)

As always, my much-loved, much-complimented American Duchess "Kensingtons" accent my outfit perfectly!  Has anyone else noticed how red shoes pop perfectly with all my 18th c. outfits?!  Totally unplanned, but I love it. :-D  Red is the perfect contrast!

While the front of my robe a l'Anglaise was a great example of matching designs, this jacket is a good example of a more common 18th c. frame of mind- utter disregard to pattern matching. ;-)

After making my first entirely hand-stitched garment earlier that year (my Polonaise), I was inspired to make another hand-sewn garment.  A jacket is much quicker gratification. ;-)  I've continued the tradition of hand-sewn jackets (mustard and block-print), and I'm a big fan.  There is something about visible hand stitches that makes me so happy inside. :-D

(For a great step-by-step tutorial on constructing this jacket with 18th c. methods, check out Rebecca and Ashley's tutorial here)

I took a diversion from my normal straight-pin closure to do lacing on this jacket.  It takes considerably longer to get ready in the morning, but I adore the look!!

This jacket also benefited from the (much needed) assistance of that ever-so-handy pair of socks.
But really, all that cute flounciness needs a little extra "oomph" to showcase it. ;-)

One of my favorite petticoats to pair with this jacket is my green one, but I do always get several "what a very festive outfit!" comments when I do. :-P  Green and red are two of my favorite colors, and they pair so nicely, but I wish they didn't have the automatic Christmas implication.  However, visiting Williamsburg in December this past year was the perfect opportunity to wear it with confidence and smile off all the "festive" comments. ;-)

· Photos by the fabulous Kathryn! ·

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

· Early Spring 1950s Separates ·

This outfit is perfect for those early spring days where no leaves are out, but it's still nice and warm!

Which basically is just a nice way of saying that my outfit has the colors and textures of mud and dead vegetation.
That just really doesn't have the same ring to it, though... ;-)

All that to say- brown can be very appealing, despite some of its connotations! ;-)

The sweater is just a cute one I picked up from Kohl's years ago, so I can't take any credit for the cute neckline.

The skirt is made from a wonderful herringbone wool blend I found at Hancock Fabrics last year.  It is just perfect- I love it!!!  I know I have a tendency to say this about everything... but really- I don't know how I got along without this skirt!

I used a conglomeration of patterns and added the back pleats and button tab (inspired by a 1950s example).  Even if it didn't turn out *quite* like I hoped, it still is a nice way to add interest to a neutral staple. :-)

Instead of my usual hook-and-bar closure on the waistband, using a matching button seemed appropriate. :-)

My blouse is made from Simplicity 1278, using a rayon print.  We had about 1 1/2 yards of this fabric left from a previous project, so it was just right to make into a blouse and successfully stash-bust!

I loved the shaped hemline on the blouse, and I wanted to echo that element on the sleeves, too!

When I saw that Simplicity came out with this pattern a while ago, I was so excited!  This neckline is So Cool!!  And totally something I wouldn't want to go to the headache of drafting myself. :-)

· As always, the lovely photos are all thanks to Kathryn! ·

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