Friday, August 31, 2012

Vintage Apron

I had about a yard and a half of fabric leftover from the tie dyed bridesmaid dress and I was just dying to make something else with it. I thought an apron for the bride would be just the thing. After all I knew she would like it because she picked out the fabric.

I wanted to try one of my latest finds from the auction; this 1955 apron pattern. Aren't they all so cute. Each one only uses one yard of fabric even 35" or 36" fabric which was common in the 50's. My fabric was 45" and tie dyed which makes this project span a few decades. For some reason that makes me smile.

The apron itself was not an easy project as you would think an apron would be. The bias binding around the pockets and the top edge gave me fits. I am not that happy with the way it turned out but hey it is just an apron so all is good. The pattern had some tricky design details that I had to redo a few times. The picture looks like a simple design but the gathers at the side and the dart and the contrast waistband were more complicated than they appear. But I think it turned out nice overall. It is a good thing the person I made it for is quite small because this apron is tiny. The pattern claims one size but people must have all been tiny in the 50's or only tiny people wore aprons. That's why I modeled it on my mannequin. I would like to try the other two aprons in the pattern maybe I can figure out a way to enlarge them a bit as I don't have that tiny of a waist. Or I could just wait for Simplicity to reprint the pattern for different sizes.

Basket Lid Monogram

A few weeks ago I attended a county fair.  There were all kinds of businesses having free raffles and giving away things like pencils and pens and note pads and such.  Well this farm store was having a contest that I thought would be fun to try.  They gave away a basket lid like this.  The rules were to decorate it or find a unique use for it and bring it back to the store by Sept. 1.  All the entries will be judged at the store and there will be a first, second and third place.   First place = $75 gift card  Second place $50 gift card Third place $25 gift card.

My entry was turned in today.  I decided to use some of my buttons to create a monogram.  I enlarged a letter and printed it out for my pattern.  Then I just sewed the buttons on a piece of silk to fill it in completely.  I used some of my crocheted lace to give it a little more interest.  I cut a circle of foam core board to fit into the lid and I used three layers of batting to pad it out some.  Since the lid isn't perfectly round there were some spots where gaps appeared.  To make it look more finished and less like a basket lid I hot glued some ruffled eyelet around the edge.  And to finish it and fill in any more gaps I twisted a piece of this loose weave tan fabric over the eyelet and hot glued it in place.  I think it turned out pretty and I have been wanting to make a button monogram for a while now.  I wanted to tea dye the eyelet because it seemed a bit bright for the rest of more toned down vintage lace and buttons.  I didn't have time to do that and because this bright newer lace is at the back it works okay.  I tried some vintage lace that I had but that needed to have some starch to make it stand out and I didn't have any starch either.  This was definitely a project of use what you have.  Who knows maybe I will win a gift card.  I will let you know.

Bachelorett Accessories

This is my daughter modeling the accessories I made for her friends bachelorett party. I already had everything I needed in my stash except for the $2.00 plastic ti era. The veil is made by simply sewing a gathered piece of tulle the ti era. I suppose I could have glued it on but I had thread and needle handy and that seemed easier to me at the time. Hand sewing was the way to go here and it only took a few minutes.

For the sash I embroidered the words "Bride To Be" on a piece of white polyester using my trusty Bernina 200E. I haven't used the embroidery unit in a long time. So it was kind of nice to use that feature again. Made me want to think up something else to embroider. Then I just cut two long strips the width of the fabric, one with the embroidery and one plain. I sewed some gathered lace all around the edge and finished it off with a large snap at the end.

This is the kind of sewing I call down and dirty. Meaning it is not fussy and doesn't have to be perfect. It is just for fun, fun to sew and fun to wear for a fun night with the girls. I won't be going to the party but my daughter will tell me all about it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bridesmaid dress

Next week my daughter is going to be a bridesmaid in a friends wedding. The bride picked out the fabric for the dress and told all the bridesmaids they could pick out their own style of dress to sew. Fortunately my daughter has a mom who can sew quite well. However the fabric choice gave us quite a challenge. When we received the 2 and 1/2 yards of fabric in the mail we wondered how we were ever going to make a dress much less a bridesmaid dress with it. The fabric is a very large scale swirl tie dyed quilting cotton. And it has just about every color of the rainbow in it. The brides only request was that the dress be knee length and use this fabric. My daughters first thought was to use this fabric for the lining. She was allowed to pick a coordinating fabric to use with this main fabric. So we picked out this bright pink batik fabric.

For the pattern we chose McCall's 5094 view F. We used the tie dye fabric for the skirt and the straps with the bright pink for the bodice the waistband and the lower band on the skirt. The dress was very easy to put together which was a good thing because I didn't have a lot of time to make a complicated design.

This dress took about three hours to sew together except for the hem. But when my daughter tried it on the neck was to large so I had to make some alterations to get it to fit. I had to add some darts to the front and move the zipper in a bit at the back. Because of the way the dress was constructed the alterations took a bit of time because I had to unsew several parts to get to the area I needed to alter. If I had thought to do a bit more measuring before cutting out the pattern I could have cut the neckline smaller in the first place.

I think the dress turned out much better than I anticipated. And it does look adorable on my girl. But she has decided that she will only wear it for the wedding and will never wear it again. I guess that is the case with most bridesmaid dresses you never have an opportunity to wear them again. She does like the style of the dress if it were made with different fabric. Maybe we will try it with a fabric of her choice next time.