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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

My Own 1940s Simplicity 1587 Dress · Re-vamped

Well, this is technically the second post about this 1940s dress.  I posted back in December about it and, if you'll recall, I gave the impression of being rather underwhelmed by it.  I was.  I wore it a couple times in the fall without a sweater covering up half of it and hated it.  I wore it in the winter with the accessories you can see in the other post and was reasonably pleased with it.  But by the time spring came along and the sweater was pulled off.... I hated it.  It made me feel stupid.

Sigh.  I hate it when that happens.  You try to step outside of your comfort zone... and are rewarded by reminders of why you *have* that comfort zone in the first place! :-P

I tweaked the fit.  Changed the bodice gathers to darts so it was more fitted and a bit closer to my usual styles.  That did nothing.

Eventually I had an epiphany- I hated the sleeves!  I used the short sleeves that came with the pattern because I loved the way they looked on Kathryn and my sister but let me tell you- all sleeves do not flatter all arms.  I substituted the short sleeves from Butterick 5281 and I'm so pleased I did!

I have narrow, sloping shoulders so if you're in the same predicament, I'd highly recommend steering clear of the Simplicity 1587 short sleeves!  Even with shoulder pads, they emphasized my sloping shoulders. :-/  My theory about these new sleeves is that since they don't fit closely at the bottom and they're pretty short, they give more illusion of width at the shoulders- a much needed feature for me!

This dress is still rather atypical for me- shorter skirt, blousy top, and shoulder pads.  I'm reconciled to it, and I *almost* even like it.  I do however have a reputation amongst certain circles of hating the 1940s to maintain, so I won't admit that I'm actually pleased with this dress. ;-)

Keyhole opening in the back- always a great use for those "loner" buttons that seem to be far too common in button collections! ;-)

A vintage buckle from our stash ended up being the perfect shade of berry and even matched the button used for the keyhole opening.  Score!

Here are some fun estate-sale accessory finds!  This bracelet is a major favorite of mine!  And... just happens to match the dress perfectly.  Score!

The clutch doesn't quite match as well, but it was so fabulously fun that I just had to buy it (ok, only being $1.50 helped that decision too....) and had to include it in this shoot. ;-)  It makes me feel like Esther Williams!  Which is about the best feeling ever, in my opinion.

It even has a fun little strap in the back so you can hold it without covering up any of the embroidery!
For photos of this outfit however, it was giving a rather disturbing illusion of a magic trick so I held it like a normal clutch. ;-)

Without a doubt, the turning point to liking this dress was due to a wonderfully fortuitous antique mall find!  This hat (and 2 other 1940s hats!!) were just waiting for me one day at the beginning of spring.  I had just been bemoaning the fact that my one-and-only 1940s hat was felt (black felt, no less) and would be unsuitable for spring attire.  This color goes wonderfully well with the dress!  Ok, that might be a stretch.  But it does coordinate quite nicely, AND it's a good color for me.  So that amounts to the same thing. ;-)

I love this hat SO MUCH.  Basically the dress is just an excuse to wear the hat. ;-)

My first pair of Miss L Fire shoes.  Man, I still love these shoes!!!

We discovered on this shoot (yet again) that I am SO AWKWARD with posing.  Ugh.  I wanted a "1940s girl in the city" kind of look.... and wow, am I ever challenged in the "look natural" department.  These photos are as good as it gets, folks. :-P  I'm glad you all keep coming back despite my awkwardness. ;-)

· Photos by the ever-wonderful Kathryn- thanks, dear! ·

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

· A Gold Dotty Birthday Dress ·

When I first saw this Michael Miller Glitz border-print, it was love at first sight. :-)

I dreamed of getting it, but the price tag was quite a bit more than I usually like to spend.  Plus, there was that little detail about a New Year's resolution I made to "use 5 stash fabrics for every 1 new fabric purchased this year".

(I know.  I make absolutely ridiculous New Year's resolutions.)

However... true love conquers all- even silly resolutions. ;-)

I had a momentary set-back when I saw Charlotte's dress from this fabric (also a birthday dress- funny coincidence!) and decided against buying the fabric- I didn't want to be a copy-cat, after all!  And so the life of a Certifiable Agonizer continues....  I eventually decided that buying the fabric for the dress would be my consolation gift to myself for my upcoming birthday.  I justified the expense by using some hoarded birthday/Christmas gift money from past years. :-)

I debated about going into the drama on here of reaching my first "dreaded" birthday, but I decided to go ahead and touch on it briefly. ;-)

For a variety of reasons, I had a rough year.  And it just kept getting worse.  With my birthday fast approaching, it also happened to mark the beginning of a new phase- the mid 20s.  So essentially, my life was moving on much more rapidly than I expected and I was depressed.
I also have illogical, preconceived opinions about a certain numbers.  And I just don't like the sound of 24.  I know, it's weird.  And inexplicable! ;-) But there it is.

All that compiled to make me rather dread August's approach!  But, 24 comes to all of us and it was rapidly approaching me.  This fabric seemed like a good way to soften the blow and give me a reason to look forward to my birthday despite myself. :-)

As it turns out, God was faithfully working, even throughout my struggles- which really isn't surprising after all... but the timing was wonderfully perfect. :-)  At the beginning of August, I began to feel much better about this whole Birthday thing. :-)  It seems unreal to think that I'm already in my mid-20s, but now I'm encouraged when I think back to all I've seen, done, experienced, and learned in all the years I've been given, and I'm so thankful for the many personal reminders of God's care and leading.

I've still got a long path ahead of me, but I'm thankful for the fresh page that Four and Twenty is bringing. :-)

Enough of all that- back to the real reason you stopped by! :-)

I used Butterick 6927 (a reprint that has since gone out of print) as a base for the bodice, and added a full skirt onto it.  The skirt included in the pattern is stunning, though- I really need to find the perfect project to make the dress in its entirety!

I love the practicality of this fabric!  It's a cotton, so it's breathable and comfortable as well as easy to wash and maintain.  However it also has metallic accents so it's perfectly dressy enough for just about any situation. :-)  It's a great dress up/dress down fabric. :-)

We found this triple-strand of gold pearls at an estate sale earlier this summer, and they're the perfect match!  Score!

The surplice bodice has pleats that are sewn down and release at the bust for a fitted, flattering look.  I decided to go with pleats on the skirt to keep a cohesive theme for all the elements of this dress. :-)

I'm absolutely adoring the craze for all things gold dotty this year.... I could just buy it all!!

This neckline is so super clever!!!  I love it!  The sweetheart shape is formed by a pleat that releases toward the shoulder- I'm so pleased when patterns include details like this that are so difficult to draft on your own!

I was obsessing about exactly how to position the bodice on the fabric- I felt that placing the bodice right along the densely-dotted selvage would make the bodice too densely gold and that would upset the overall proportions a bit.

I placed it a couple inches from the selvage, which in turn meant that I had a strip of border *just* wide enough for a matching belt- hooray!

Birthday shoes!!  We recently found, and we're sold!  Leather, several vintage-looking styles.... and cushioned insoles. :-D  These rank among my most-comfortable shoes now!

I always take advantage of hiding pockets in my full skirts!  After all, you never know when it'll be handy!
Actually, you do know.  They will *always* be handy.

The ribbon binding finishing off the inside of the neckline and sleeve hems was part of the splurge that was this dress. :-)  I do love an excuse to buy gold dotty things, and since I needed ribbon to bind off the neck anyway.... why not just use something frivolously appropriate?!  Since I had leftovers, I used them to finish off the sleeve hems, too!

If this ribbon is anything like my other polka-dotted ribbons, the dots will come off in the wash.... So I'm just making sure to enjoy them extra much before then. ;-D

When I first spotted this fabric, I knew it would be a perfect candidate for an "upside down" border-print skirt!  I've admired the look of border-print dresses that have the border at the waist, radiating out toward the shoulder and hem, but most of the prints available are only intended to be used with the border at the hem.  I'm so, SO pleased with how this skirt turned out!

Another perk to this print is that I was able to cut the skirt from Simplicity 1459- the pieces are flared and pleated, and I love the effect that gives!

· Photos by Kathryn- thanks dear! :-) ·

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

· See you later! ·

I wanted to let you all know that in lieu of my usual posting,  I'll be MIA for the next 2-3 weeks while I'm jetsetting with my family over to Europe!

We're all excited about the itinerary- several different countries and lots of castles and mountains! :-)

via · via
It's a new area for all of us to explore and (eek!) foreign languages for all of us....  It'll be an adventure!

I'll see you again in 3 weeks and until then, I'm planning on posting to my instagram so follow along there and say Hi!

(Caveat- As you may know, I'm really rather technologically illiterate.  So I'm planning on posting- we'll see how well the plan succeeds. ;-D )


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