Month: April 2013

Silk Twill Laurel

I pinned the hemline of my Laurel dress, preparing to sew a blind hem, and then peaked out the window.  The sun was dipping below the apartments to the West, so I put on lipstick and ran outside with my camera.

So here she is, Laurel, with a pinned hem.

I used this silk twill from Harts Fabric, with silk chiffon sleeves.

I think I’m in love with silk.  At least this silk.  It wasn’t as scary to work with as I had feared, and it has just the right amount of drape and body.  I love how it feels on.

I’m not in love with the sleeves, but I kinda ran out of time to experiment with different styles, seeing as I wanted to enter the Collette Laurel contest which closes at midnight.  They are gathered at the bottom with elastic, and pleated at the shoulder.

Although this is a simple pattern to sew up, my schedule has been very full, and it’s taken over a week to get the dress together.

I’m preparing for a trip to Europe in a couple weeks, and I’m using every spare moment to sew, which leaves me no time for blogging.  To make life even more busy and exciting, we are moving to Texas days after we return from our trip.

So… I’m a little stressed right now, and I don’t think I’ll be blogging much between now and June/July.

But when I return, I hope to have some photos and me-made outfits to share from my Mediterranean Greek Isles cruise–maybe even a swimsuit or two.

I’ll be reading blogs when I can, so we’ll talk soon!


1940’s Dress-Part 3 (the photos)

I lost a little sleep this weekend, but I finished my 1940’s Du Barry 5947 dress for the Sew for Victory sewalong.

I’m pleased with the way the dress turned out. The fabric is light and comfortable.


I did a fair amount of hand stitching, which I hadn’t counted on. Mainly, the hem. I wanted a blind hem, and because the skirt is curved, I didn’t want to mess with a blind hem on the machine. I haven’t had success with easing and blind hemming at the same time. So I stitched it by hand while catching up on Mad Men.


I successfully raised the armscye and reduced the sleeve cap ease. The original sleeve had 5″ of ease–no wonder I had trouble setting it! I reduced it to a little over 2″ of ease, which took the poof out of the sleeve cap, but I don’t miss it one bit. I was able to set the sleeves without any gathering stitches. And my range of motion is much improved.

Scout leader Qui.

I thought this lovely silk scarf matched the dress beautifully, but I really don’t know how to style it! I feel like a scout leader and at the same time over-dressed.

Maybe the hardest part of this whole project was taking the photos of myself–it isn’t so easy. First I went to the park, but it was quite crowded and I chickened out. I settled on this vista overlooking the Capitola village. It’s a pretty view, but I’m not sure it’s really the best spot for photographing a dress. I made the best of it, and I practiced with some different settings on my camera.


Now that it’s all said and done, I’m so glad I joined the 40’s sewalong!  Working with the vintage pattern turned out to be not so scary at all.  In fact, I’m really pleased with the drafting of the pattern.  It went together nicely and fits great.  I like the pleated skirt now that it’s hemmed–it lays nice and flat around my midsection, but it flares out to a comfortable size.

I think I’ll probably avoid patterns with vestees in the future.  I didn’t really like putting in the vestee–I think I’d prefer a regular button up shirt dress with a collar.  I topstitched in dark green to accentuate the green-ness of the fabric, but it’s hardly noticeable in the photos, so I’m not sure it matters all that much.  Up close I guess it’s a nice detail, and it does help to outline some of the pattern design.

The sewalong motivated me to finish this detailed project, and also to try new techniques.  I’ve decided I love pinking seams!  Thanks Rochelle for organizing this event–I hope to join more sewalongs in the future and try more 40’s patterns too.