Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Merry Christmas!

Christmas is a great and crazy time of year. After faulty lights and running around like a chicken with its head cut off it's finally here. I made amazing gingerbread cookies last night (M almost bit my finger trying to eat the rest of the cookie I had in my hand) and we went to his aunt's house for Christmas Even dinner. It was wonderful and full of family. I got JoAnn's gift cards (M is going to warn the store before I get there) an Etsy.com gift certificate which has already been used to buy myself that lovely pattern you seen on the side there. It has front pocket and.... BACK pockets. I have never seen a dress with pockets in the back like a pair of jeans but I can't wait to make this up and see what people say. My grandmother and I spent a lot of time together and I'm soo happy that she is feeling good and is in good health because this time of year is a great time to count your blessings because everyone has so many if we only take time to look. Enjoy your Holidays and your crazy family because sometimes we all need a break from trying to be normal and just need to be ourselves. Update on the Merry Making. Christmas is now over but that doesn't mean the warm fuzzies are =] For Christmas my grandmother bought me Gerty's New Book for Better Sewing and can I just say Swoon? I've been reading it and I can't get over how awesome the book is. It includes patterns and directions on how to do just about everything when it comes to sewing. I can't wait to go fabric shopping with all of my JoAnn's gift cards. She also got me earings to match the locket M got me last year for Christmas. M got me books, Disney dvds which we will watch together (you are never too old for Disney) and a 1950's petticoat!!! I'm super excited to wear it underneath the dress I'm making now (Butterick 5556) which is a 1955 reprint pattern. My grandmother's boyfriend got me McCall's 9615, a 1950's teen dress (possible 1953) I also got three bags from  my aunt and two new sets of pjs.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Christmas came Early!!

This is a grainy picture of the newest addition to my sewing space!! She is a Singer 150G Adjustable Dress form, and for $99 she became my early Christmas present from my grandmother. I asked for suggestions for a name from my friends and I do believe she will be named Audrey. She modeled almost my whole collection for me today so I could get a feel of how close she is to my body shape. We're pretty close I just have to figure out how to lock in her height better because she keeps getting shorter each time I put something on or take it off. Audrey is going to be extremely helpful because over winter break I hope to learn (teach myself) to draft/ drape my own patterns. I'm so grateful that I have an awesome grandmother who supports my sewing, I'm working on a suit for her and doing of the mock-up of the jacket and I can't wait to have something to give to her for a change.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I am so lucky

This isn't a sewing related post but I thought it was important to document this amazing day. Tonight I will be attending Alexz Johnson's concert in Philadelphia. She is an amazing artist who has been working to make her own music and go on tour for years. That day has finally come and now M and I are going. Because he is so sweet he is taking off work a tiny bit early so I can meet her! I can't explain how excited I am to be able to meet Alexz. Her music has gotten me through some very tough times in my life and I feel so lucky that I can go up to her in person and tell her that. This is her website http://alexzjohnson.com/ you should go and check out her music. Some of you might know her from her part in Final Destination 3, Devil's Diary, Superman (some newer season) and Stranger with my Face. She was also the lead in Instant Star and was in   So Weird for the last season. She is an independent artist with personality and drive to succeed no matter what. Oh I did make a tee shirt for the concert (is that still cool?) so it kinda ties in to my blog. I'll update this post when I actually have a good picture of it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Butterick 4919

This dress was a dream to sew up except for hemming the circle skirt. The shoulders of the front gather and give the dress detail along with the wrap around bodice. 4919 is a much better Butterick pattern than the "walk away dress" B4719. The walk away look horrible on and doesn't drape nicely at all but 4919 fits wonderfully. The only changes I plan on making to this pattern is to bring the shoulder up a little because the neckline is a little bit too low for someone who doesn't have a well endowed bust. The ties when tied correctly don't show the wrong side of the fabric too much, I did contemplate lining them too but then the ties would be too thick to drape nicely. Because of the skirt being a full circle skirt this dress does eat up a good chunk of fabric but twirling around in it and watching it flare out is totally worth it. I hope to buy a petticoat to make the skirt puff out more but the skirt's drape looks great as is too.  As you can see by the updated pictures I now own a petticoat, it was a gift for my birthday from M

The Scoop:

Fabric: 100% Cotton Quilter's Premium Fabric - Sprigs Brown

Pattern: Butterick 4919 a 1952 reprint

Year: 1952

Notions: One zipper and two hooks with bars

Hours: One week of on and off sewing

First worn?: M's birthday dinner

Wear again?: Yes!

Make again?: In pink and yellow striped fabric I do believe.

Total cost: Pattern approx $8.50  Fabric approx $27.47 and Zipper $3.29. The thread and hook/bars were from my stash, so the total comes to approx. $39.26

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Make Do and Mend

Believe it or not this dress was made out of an old fitted bed sheet, the elastic was shot but it only cost $2.48 at Goodwill and it turned into a fantastic dress. The pattern is Hollywood 1271; the only change I had to make to the pattern was to shorten the hem but I plan on opening up the collar because it is a little to high for my claustrophobic side. This was my first attempt at bound button holes and some turned out better than others.  The facings for the dress were a little funny especially with the bound buttons but they turned out well enough to wear the dress. My grandmother made me a snood to match my dress. It turned out beautiful with a scalloped front. I wore my dress and snood for WWII weekend at the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum.  
There was a downpour while M and I were waiting in the car for the shuttle but it stopped so we had overcast skies for the rest of the day. It's always amazing to see all of the airplanes out and all of the reenactors who really love what they do. We sat a bit for the live radio show and walked through all of the encampments. I found a new sewing pattern Du Barry 2347d (which I can't seem to find a picture of on the internet). It said it was a 40's pattern but I wanted to confirm the date. It's a shirtwaist style with buttons and a zip closure plus you can add pockets to the center panel. (Have I mentioned how much I LOVE pockets?). M was looking for a rifle while we were in the flee market part but he couldn't find one. Oh and did I mention that he was dressed as a British soldier and we spoke with an accent to each other all day? Yeah we're goofy like that but I really wouldn't have it any other way.

The Scoop:

Fabric: 50% cotton / 50% Polyester fabric; cream with orange and yellow flowers
Pattern: Hollywood 1271
Year: 1944
Notions: 8 cream buttons with gold around the edges
Hours: I honestly don't want to think about it. (Let's just say the shoulder ruffles and I didn't get along...)
First worn?: June 3rd 2012 for WWII Weekend
Wear again?: To WWII weekend again for sure, and maybe out and about if I'm feeling ruffly...
Make again?: I want to make the second version with the sailor collar, but I have to decide if I want a red, blue, white, or black dress with all the possible color combos for trim.
Total cost: $5.00 for the pattern, the fabric was a gift, the buttons were in my button jar and the thread was in my thread box

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

McCall's 3378

This is the pattern I used to make my ill fated jumper. Why is it ill fated you ask? Well after making a mock up that fit it's disheartening when your finished product is too big. I figure I can solve this problem with a thicker sweater underneath. Then as in my other post I mentioned the invisible zipper. It's not perfect but because it's my first one I can let the imperfections go. I had to rip that one out because I realized I used the wrong size, the zipper I used was meant for another dress. The inside seams are all encased in bias tape aka a Hong Kong finish. I had to use white instead of brown because Joanns was out. Oh well just another little imperfection that I can live with because no one will see it. I am making the red skirt on the front with the pockets. It's coming along nicely even though I've never done pockets before. I added some rickrack along the bottom of the pockets just for some detail. I hope to have it finished by the end of the week and then I can ask my grandmother to take some pictures of me in both. I do need to make a fluffy petticoat so the skirt has the right shape. (Hmmm so many options, any pointers on making a 50's petticoat?) I finished the red skirt and once again forgot I didn't re-size the pattern so I had to adjust it the day before I was supposed to wear it and I made it too small. Both the skirt and jumper are on my sewing table waiting for me to finish the so expect another update on both of these crazy projects soon. (I hand finished the hem in the car and then ripped it out when I got home because it looked so bad.)
In the meantime here is a picture of me and M at his graduation. You can't really see the skirt but I think it's a cute picture of us. I wore the too small skirt for the event and it worked out ok because of the belt that I had made (and secured with safety pins because I didn't have time to put on snaps)


Soo it's 11:30 and I can't sleep. I just got home from college two days ago and I have so much I want to do. I received 4 more patterns from the Vintage Lending Library which I am sure will pop up in a later post. I finished the jumper I was working on, which pictures will follow soon once I replace the zipper. I used the wrong one so I had to rip it out (again, this was my first invisible zipper and it didn't go quite the way I wanted) I'm finishing up a skirt made from the same pattern except the skirt has extra large pockets. I can't even begin to explain how excited I am about these pockets! I have to put an invisible zip in this one too so hopefully this time it goes better. I went on a printing frenzy at school and have more patterns than I probably need (plus the ones I bought from Etsy) but then can you really have too many patterns? Plus in the midst of my jonesing to sew I have to clean up/out my room (which is half the basement) and organize all of the stuff in there so I can actually sew down there. I usually use the dining room table, and also I want to update the furniture. My bedroom set is about 6 years old and a bit too young for me anymore I think, so I'm working on getting a futon and a dresser to match. I have some ideas for making a two sided desk from a table top my aunt got me plus some old bookshelves that our in the garage. I want the room separated into a living space and a sewing space so I see some lightweight curtains in the future of this room too. Well I think that is enough rambling about pointless things. Maybe I'll go work on my skirt for a bit before I turn into a pumpkin....

Monday, April 9, 2012

The 1912 Project

So college totally cuts into my sewing time but it's almost summer and I couldn't let a great opportunity like this get away. The Vintage Pattern Lending Library is hosting the 1912 project where they are recreating patterns from 1912 issues of La Mode Illustree, which was a weekly pattern magazine that included a few patterns in each issue. I just requested my first pattern, a slip with lace insertion and a very wide pleated hem. I'm not sure a) when I will get the pattern or b) when I will get the chance to sew it up but I'm super excited. I have 3 weeks of class and 1 week of finals standing in my way but hopefully I can start sewing when I'm home. Maybe once this is done and I find a summer job to get money I can make up a corset and then start on some skirts and blouses.

Friday, March 30, 2012


Hello All
My name is Chastity and I'm a college student who loves to sew, read, color, watch movies, listen to music, and cuddle with M. (For all you Sherlock Holmes fans no my boyfriend's name is not Moriarty) College is cutting into my sewing time but I figure I could do something to relieve my creative stress with a blog. I spend hours looking for the right patterns and the right fabric and I recently went on a pattern buying spree so I hope to have some posts about those soon. Etsy is an amazing to find patterns and I've found other sites and blogs that I hope to share with you. Well here goes nothing....