Friday, 24 October 2014


A Picture Heavy Update for Fall

I feel bad for pretty much neglecting this blog but because so many of my sewing projects right now are alternative, Bien Aimée is getting all the attention. I do have some vintage sewing projects planned for the future, in particular I'd like to finish the blouse top that I wanted to do back in August. I also want something special for Christmas as this is me and my fiancé's first Christmas while living together and I want it to be special. So there are vintage things to look forward to. I'm also going to do a vintage Halloween post next week for Halloween. If you're a Halloween fanatic like me (if you aren't already following Bien-Aimée) I have a series called Frightful Fridays that you might want to check out. I even included a simple pirate costume tutorial!

As for vintage finds, I didn't think this was worth posting an entire Thirft Store Score post for, but I purchased two brightly coloured petticoats for five dollars each! That's a real score. The pink one is photographed in the main photo for this post. I normally don't like petticoats sticking out from underneath dresses, but in this case it looks HOT! The other petticoat is a very light cyan blue.

So just to give a simple update, I've been enjoying the fall weather. My fiancé and I went on vacation on Thanksgiving weekend and I loved it. The foliage was beautiful. I don't have the pictures from my vacation with me but I do have some pictures we took on our walk the other day. So if you're wondering what's going on in sunny Southern Ontario, this is what it looks like.

I really hope I can one day get a DSLR because the camera on my phone has this obnoxious tendency to over-saturate the crap out of things! I'm proficient in Photoshop now and I still can't save these pictures from being super saturated. It doesn't seem to know what green is... or blue. It can be really frustrating. None the less, the foliage here is gorgeous! You can click the images to enlarge them.

Other than that, I love my job and I'm still seeking additional employment. I'm told my hours will pick up for the holiday season, which is exciting news. I've also had time to relax and enjoy being with my fiancé, which has been a blessing. I went fishing and caught one bass and one sunfish. I haven't done much crafting but really hope to get into that soon. I missed the boat on Halloween crafting but I think I'll start the Christmas projects as soon as November hits.

I hope you're all having a lovely fall! What have you been up to?

Happy Sewing ♥

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

New Patterns!

Butterick 7763 - 1956 Misses' Playskirt, Shorts and Tops

My Prize Selections!

As I mentioned in a previous post I was the recipient of the first place prize lot in The Vintage Contest from Pattern Review. The prize was hosted by So Vintage Patterns. Their selection is quite immense, so I had a lot to look at. Happily I settled for a dress pattern, a playsuit pattern (pictured above) and a petticoat pattern. They're all super cute and I'm so happy to have received them today!!

I have to say that the packaging was perfect for this delivery. I'm also very impressed by the condition, it looks as though these patterns have never been opened! They're immaculate. I'm very excited to get started on the playsuit, it's perfect for summer. 

Simplicity 3251 - Misses' One Piece Dress 1950

Advance 6468 - 1953 Misses' Skirt 

Thank you So Vintage Patterns and thank you Pattern Review members! I'm excited to add these treasures to my collection and to sew more beautiful clothing. 

Happy Sewing! ♥

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Good News!

First Place in The Vintage Contest

Some of you may be aware that I won first place in Pattern Review's "The Vintage Contest". I'm very happy about this and I'm thankful for all the lovely comments I've received on my gown. You might be wondering why I haven't reviewed this dress on this blog yet... I want to save it for when my dress actually fits me. Sadly, I gained weight during this project and the dress doesn't fit around the waist. I'm either going to have to wait until I can wear it or I'll have to sew a new bodice. Either way it will be awhile before you see my full and in depth review because I have our foster cat living in my sewing room. I want him to be nice and comfortable with the rest of the house before I move him to another room. With my sewing room off limits I've taken up making crafts again and I'm hoping to open an Etsy shop soon.

I do want to sew very badly and I feel that in another week or two that will be possible again. I'll be going on a short vacation soon, which I'm really looking forward to. I just need fresh air and a change of scenery. I also hope to get inspired while I'm out, because I've been running low on new ideas for my art. It'll be nice to go on nature hikes, go fishing and get back in touch with my family.

I do have many plans for upcoming sewing projects. Of course after winning the contest I received a gift certificate for patterns. I chose three in total. I purchased a 1950's playsuit pattern, gown pattern, and a petticoat pattern. I ended up spending a little over my gift certificate amount, which I sort of regret but I realize it would have cost me the same to buy it off of Etsy what with shipping and all that. I couldn't pass up on the vintage petticoat pattern, it's something you would think I already have in my collection but I actually don't! I have a petticoat pattern from the 80's and it just isn't the same. So I'm looking forward to these patterns, they're really cool. Unfortunately I forgot to save the images before I ordered them, so now I can't show you what I ordered, but in time you'll see!

I'd like to give a special thank you to all who voted for me and thanks to So Vintage Patterns for supplying the prize. : )

Happy Sewing! 

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Modern Day Twist: Simplicity 4529

Upcycled Floral Pencil Skirt

Recently I reviewed Simplicity 4529, a pencil skirt from the 1960's. I praised this pattern before and after using it once more to create this floral pencil skirt, I'm praising it again! It is a super easy sewing project. In this case, I used material from a dress that I had purchased from Pacific Mall in Markham, ON. If you've never been to Pacific Mall it's a mall that deals specifically with Asian goods. If you're an anime fan or like Korean street fashion then this place would be your paradise! At the time I bought the dress I was making the transition into wearing more girly clothing. When I graduated high school I dropped a lot of weight but still struggled with being comfortable with my body. When I was shopping at the mall I had this cute little sales associate sucker me into buying a twenty dollar sun dress. I tried it on but felt it was somewhat on the smaller side. Well, as is the reality of shopping at Pacific Mall, their stuff is pretty much always on the XS side. I don't think I've ever seen anything for a large or plus sized person. I bought the dress hoping that it wasn't as short as I thought it was, but I never felt all that comfortable in it. Even when I was careful enough to crouch instead of bend over, I always felt like my butt was showing. 

I decided earlier in the year that I would make something else out of it so I threw it into my UFO bin. A few days ago the temperature was climbing and I realized just how badly I need more skirts, dresses and shorts. I decided that the old baby doll dress would be very easily converted into a skirt. I seam ripped the dress and laid the pieces flat. As I mentioned in my previous review, this pattern uses one main pattern piece for the skirt. Instead of side seams it uses darts to create shape. Well, this would not work on my dress due to the fact that the dress consisted of front and back pieces. I had to redraw the pattern so there would be two back pieces and one front (like most pencil skirt patterns). I cut them out and assembled them, I was very pleased that the skirt fit well and looked good. I didn't have enough material to create the waistband so I used some hot pink bias binding instead. I also made use of a pink metal zipper that I picked up for 10¢ at a thrift store, and it looks great (photo below). It's shorter than the original pattern which is much more comfortable for casual wear. Unfortunately the fabric wrinkles like nobody's business, but I don't think it shows in person as much as it does in photos. What's important is that I have a new skirt to wear in this humid thirty degree weather.

I'm very pleased with the final product. I love to upcycle old clothes! And with this pattern it's so easy. If you can find a copy of Simplicity 4529 I strongly recommend you purchase it. : )

Happy sewing! ♥

Monday, 19 May 2014

Pattern Review: Simplicity 4529

Pattern Make: Simplicity
Pattern Number: 4529
Year of Publication: 1962
Size: 28" waist with 38" hip
Type of Garment: Misses' Skirts in Proportioned Sizes
Suggested Materials: - Both views: Cottons and blends; cotton crepe, duck denim, sailcloth, homespun, broadcloth, pique, cotton satin, poplin. Linen. Rayons, silks, synthetics; shantung, silk linen. Wools and blends; flannel, worsteds, knits.
Suggested Notions: - View 1, 2 and 3: Thread, 9" skirt type zipper. View 1: One 3/4" button. View 2: Belt.

Briefly describe your garment: It is a pencil skirt from the early sixties. It features a kick pleat at the back center seam and darts at the waistline and sides. I chose the plain skirt without the button tab or belt carriers. The pattern provides three different "sizes" to choose from. It only comes in one waist and hip measurement, of course, but it gives options for different heights: Small 5'3" and under, Medium 5'4" to 5'6" and Tall 5'7" and over. There is no real difference between the sizes other than length, really you could cut the tallest and adjust the hem but the sizing makes it easier.

What materials were used in the creation of this garment? That's a good question! This is another stash project for me. I believe the fabric is a poly-spandex blend and it was a dream to sew with.

Did you make any alterations to this pattern
? Yes. My waist measurement is 26" not 28" so I took the skirt in slightly to accommodate my measurements. I also made the side darts slightly longer than marked. It fit rather loosely in my hip area and I wanted to correct this. I also did not sew the hem as directed in the instructions, however, I don't consider that an alteration, just a personal preference.

Were the instructions well written and easy to follow? Fairly well written and easy to follow. The diagrams were alright and there was one step I had to reread once or twice. The zipper installation was a dream and I will be using that technique on all my skirts from now on.

Why did you use this pattern? I liked that the skirt is made from one solid piece (plus waistband and button tab or belt carriers). I have never seen that done before. I wondered how it could possibly have shape without side seams but it does work!

Are you happy with the final result? It is very 1960's and by that I mean it has that kind of bubble hips effect, where everything from the waist down is super puffy. I made my skirt a little more modern in appearance by elongating my side darts. I'm happy with how it looks. :)

Would you recommend this pattern to others and if so, what skill level? 
This is a very easy skirt to sew! I would recommend it to beginners. It doesn't require a lot of material at all, which is awesome. You could easily get this done in a day or maybe a few hours, depending on your skill level.

Would you sew this garment again? Yes, the skirt I made is rather "dressy", I consider it business attire. I may try to sew this pattern again sometime using a more casual printed fabric.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Sew For Victory: The Finished Blouse

Complete 1940's Blouse using Simplicity 3715

Sew For Victory - The Final Results

Well there is good news and bad news. Allow me to start with the good news, I have completed the blouse for submission in the sew along. It is very pretty. It's a chiffon blouse with a detachable collar. What's the bad news? After attaching the sleeves and the shoulder pads it doesn't fit comfortably any more. It creates too much friction under my armpits (and although chiffon is usually fun to touch it can get pretty irritating when rubbing against the skin). I suppose if I make this pattern again I'll be making an alteration in the back, near as I can tell there isn't enough room across the back which is causing the pull beneath the armpits. It's my fault, I didn't make a solid muslin to detect fit issues.

There is hope, mind you. I will be removing the sleeves and binding the armholes, turning it into a sleeveless blouse. I will remove the shoulder pads too, so it will look a bit "slouchy" but I rather like it that way. I also plan on sewing a detachable collar out of satin, because the chiffon collar doesn't sit correctly and looks rather plain when paired with my snazzy little buttons.

I put a lot of work into this project and aside from fit and design issues I'm happy with the results. I learned new tricks and I'm not as terrified of chiffon as I used to be! I'll be posting a review on this pattern as well as sharing my new knowledge of chiffon on my new blog, which I will launch within the next day. I hope everyone had fun during this sew along! :)

Happy sewing. ♥

French Seams, Lace Hem and Chiffon Bias Binding

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Sew For Victory: The Incomplete Blouse

Unfinished Business

Sadly today is the last day for Sew For Victory and I'm officially out of time. It has been a long and crappy month for me. Let's start at the beginning...

When I first heard of the Sew for Victory sew along I was really stoked about it. I had just received two 1940's patterns and was eager to put them to use but sadly I didn't have enough material for either of them. Not wanting to spend more money on fabric (finances are tight) I ventured to the thrift shops and picked up two beautiful meters of vintage floral printed chiffon from 1995. I got it for three dollars. I was instantly in love with it but I was stuck without a pattern. Being ambitious I decided I would self draft a pattern. The design I came up with is pictured below this paragraph - pardon the weirdness, I felt she looked like Alice in Wonderland. I did complete my pattern drafting and so far it works well for jersey but I kept having issues when altering it for chiffon. The darts and gathering at the waistline didn't show as well on the dark chiffon as it did on the jersey. I decided to change the neckline to a deep-v neck with gathering around the bodice, this worked alright on my first muslin but when I added a measly inch to it all hell broke loose. When I realized I had a whopping three days left I decided to abandon the idea. I will make my original design one day out of polka dot jersey, but I will have to purchase a walking foot for my Kenmore. 

I was really disappointed and it didn't help being freakishly ill for the majority of April. : ( After biting the bullet I found another way to utilize my material. I have a vintage blouse pattern from 1951 that I felt could be easily altered to look more 40's in appearance. I knew I wanted a contrasting collar and sleeve bands, so I created a new collar for the blouse, but forgot to add the extra .5" that I altered in the bodice. So after assembling it and then fumbling around with it for a few hours, I'm finally at an end. The collar is done for, because it is chiffon (with a sew-in facing) it is still very fragile and has been frayed far past the seam allowance. I was just too aggressive with it. I will have to draft another one at the appropriate size. I also still have to attach the 3/4 sleeves and the sleeve bands, finish the hem, finish the button holes and sew on the buttons. It's a lot of work and I know it isn't happening today. I'd also rather not rush things and have this go to shit because I really want it to look good. I am kind of bummed that all I had for the front interfacing was sort of white (it shows a little) and I had to use a bias binding that is a little heavier than what I desire, but it's all I can afford and use right now. I hope it doesn't show too much. : /

I will get this done and when I do I'm going to wear it with pride. I will be launching a sister blog very shortly, it will chronicle all of my other sewing projects. I'm going to keep Feeling Sew Good strictly 50's and 60's, maybe 40's too, we'll see. Until then, I hope that everyone else's sewing projects are going well!

Happy sewing!  

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Free Stuff: The Simplified Sewing Booklet from 1953

Simplified Sewing Free PDF
Simplified Sewing
Click the image above to open a PDF!

From my collection to yours, here is the Simplified Sewing Booklet! Printed in 1953, this booklet features a variety of sewing techniques and tips. From cutting patterns to handling and caring for fabric, you will find a wealth of helpful information in this cute little booklet! 

Enjoy and happy sewing! ♥

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Movie Review: Ziegfeld Girl 1941

Title: Ziegfeld Girl
Year: 1941
Produced by: MGM
Directed by: Robert Z. Leonard
Starring: Judy Garland, Hedy Lamarr, James Stewart and Lana Turner
Costume Design by: Adrian
Genre:  Romance, Drama

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Pattern Review: McCall's 6277

Pattern Make: McCall's
Pattern Number: 6277
Year of Publication: 1962
Size: 11 - Bust 31 1/2"
Type of Garment: Misses' and Junior Dress with Overskirt
Suggested Materials: Dress - Lace, Printed Silk or Cotton, Shantung, Embroidered Linen, Linen, Pique, Cotton Damask; Lining for Lace Dress - Taffeta, Satin, Polished Cotton; Overskirt - Peau de Soie, Polished Cotton, Cotton Damask, Pique.
Suggested Notions: Thread; Dress - Ribbon Seam Binding, 20" or 22" Neck-Type Zipper, 1 Hook and Eye; Overskirt - 2 Hooks and Eyes. 

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The Sewing Space - Where dreams come true!

How to create a sewing space

As a seamstress, you should have a space that is dedicated to sewing. You may choose to set up a space inside a closet, use a desk in your living room, or you may even be lucky enough to have a whole room devoted to sewing. Wherever you may choose to do your sewing, it should be organized and free of clutter. If you can keep that space strictly a sewing area,  you will find it less stressful.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

A happy beginning

The Nightmare Before Christmas Dress
My Nightmare Before Christmas Dress

Nightmare Before Christmas Dress!

Well this is my first blog post and what better way to start than by announcing something big; I won second place in a contest on the beloved site Pattern Review! You can view my entry and their lovely article by clicking here. The competition was awfully close, I had some great competitors. To give a brief run down, I created a Nightmare Before Christmas dress from scratch  {photo above - minus the leather cincher}. I had a bunch of pinstripe fabric in my organizer that was just dying to be something. It was such a bold and striking pinstripe, however, I couldn't imagine what I'd use it for. It wasn't until this contest popped up that I became inspired, and The Nightmare Before Christmas Dress was born!

What a lovely notion, sewing something from the movies. Isn't that where we all fell in love with fashion? The movies? After all, we recall vintage films for their Hollywood glamour. I had strongly considered sewing a vintage garment for the contest but I sew vintage normally and I didn't feel I was challenging myself enough. I mean, what's the point of entering a contest if you aren't challenging yourself?