Sewing Cafe

Patterns, Tutorials and Works in Progress from the Sewing Studio of Lynne Williams

Friday, December 31, 2010

A year of re-styling

A blog by the name of A Beautiful Mess" is organizing a year of re-styling. It can be fashion to furniture. Take something you have, or purchase a used item and re-style it, giving it a new life in your life. I have signed up and would like you to join me. Do you have items in your closet, that you are bored with, a re-style might be the answer, what about shoes?, jewelry? etc.  This time of year you can pick up some great deals at year end clearances..I am just saying...$2-6 clothing items are pretty hard to pass up, if you like the color, but not the style,or if the size is a size or two to large, snag it, and let's re-style it!

 Check out the site, let me know what you think...are you in

Through out the year then expect to see some posts and possibly tutorials on the re-styling of garments and maybe some more unusal items...they will be fun and quick projects no doubt.

I just wish I could figure out how to add their button to my sidebar...can anyone help with this?

Some possible ideas to get your creative juices flowing...

Grosgrain another fabulous blog I suggest you visit just completed 30 days of embellished knits.  Every day for the month of Dec. she re-styled sweaters.  Lots of good ideas there, including the one you see here.

Stencil a skirt, t-shirt, a old pair of jeans, even a button down shirt.

Remember shoe clips? They are back in style, and a fun and easy thing to do to jazz up your shoes, and thereby your spring outfits as well.

Needle felting Reverse applique, or thread painting?
Any of these choices could liven up a tired garment.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mad Men: Completed

 The completed Mad Men Sew Along Dress! 

I completed the handwork around the sleeves while watching a Midsummer Mystery with my husband.  This is my favorite time to do handwork, in the evening, in a comfy chair, with the addition of my close up glasses..alright maybe a glass of port, possibly tea as well.

Could not resist showing it here styled as I am planning on wearing it for its debut.  I have a beautiful pair of spectator pumps that look fabulous with this combo.  Additionally I tried my burnt red wool crepe jacket with it....also very nice.  A girl has to have options.

Sadly it will be a few months before the weather allows the wearing of this dress, but its so nice to feel ready for spring. 

Here she is unadorned, for the purists out there.

 Any thoughts on jewelry.....anyone?

And the back....not much to say, except that my tush is apparently fuller then my dress forms.

Needless to say I am contemplating future projects..... I have a beautiful piece of silk chiffon to make a blouse very similar in style to the bodice of this dress.  I have at least 3 pieces of wool that I could make pencil skirts from, again using the skirt of this dress. But I have my sights set on spring now....and of course yoga pants and tops...did I mention a new quilt for my bed.....yeah....

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Active Wear Sew Along - knits

Look what I found in my stash.  On the far left I have a batman blue polyester spandex(top weight), next a cotton Lycra stripe(top weight), then two pieces of nylon supplex(bottom weight) in slightly different shades of ...yes you guessed it batman leotard grey.  Additionally one of my current favorite work out shirts in a hot pink which was a gift from a very talented artist who developed a action girl character by the name of Tuff Girl.  as you can see they all work well with my there you have it.  I did order some more pink Lycra from Sawyer Brook as potential piping on something.

This is an early post so that we can all begin to purchase fabric unless like me you have it all in your stash.  So this will be our knit education post.  What kind of knits should we purchase, What is wicking? What is a stretch chart? What is Lycra, Don't all knits stretch? Do I need special tools? 

Still with me I hope.

To begin with not all knits stretch, but most do.  Double knits for instance generally have very little stretch to them but they are still made using a knitting machine and not a loom, and are on of the few knits that can be made up from a pattern suggesting woven fabrics. Most t-shirts are made from a interlock or jersey, and have a comfortable amount of give. When Lycra or spandex is added this supplies added stretch plus memory and these knits are called stretch knits.  Memory means that the knit returns to its original shape after stretching.  Knits that do not have Lycra or spandex in them will return to their original shape to some degree but not entirely...think of bagging knees on winter tights, or socks that will not stay up.
The Pick a Knit rule: What you will need to insure is that the knits you choose have the required amount of stretch the pattern calls for.  If you look on the back of the pattern envelope you will see a stretch guide which will look like one of those shown above. 

To use the stretch chart, fold over the crosswise edge of the knit fabric 3".  Hold 4" of the folded fabric against the chart and gently stretch to the outer line. 

In this photo I have folded the fabric over 3 inches and placed pins along the fold 4" apart.  The stretch chart for the top pattern is sitting above the fold.

If the fabric stretches easily without excessive rolling to the out line or slightly farther, the fabric has the correct amount of stretch for the pattern.

Okay this was hard to do while holding a camera, but as you can see my white pin which was at the 4" mark can stretch to the outer line of the guide.

Be sure to look at the suggested fabrics for your pattern.  If it uses the term stretch knit, this means it will require Lycra.  My New Look Pattern 6160 requires a stretch knit for the top, but suggest a woven for the pants.  I plan on using the Nylon Supplex for my pants and will adjust the pattern for the stretch in the fabric.

Stretch knits also stretch in 2 ways, or 4 ways.  When a knit is a 2way stretch it generally only has spandex added on the cross grain, which gives you additional stretch around your figure.  When a knit is a 4 way, it has spandex in both the cross grain and lengthwise grain, used mostly in dance wear and bathing suits.  Your pattern will specify if it needs a 4 way stretch, but for our purposed a 2 way should be sufficient.

Enough about stretch.  This brief article explains wicking for us, but the basic issue to understand is that cotton absorbs water well, which means it can cause chaffing.  The new micro fibers in nylon and polyester though are made to move your body moisture from the inside surface to the outside where it can evaporate thus reducing chaffing and skin irritation.  The nylon supplex I will be using for my yoga pants has this wicking property, but the cotton Lycra stripe will not, and I might consider making it sleeveless then. 

Laundering - Certainly laundering active wear is a frequent occurrence, but be aware that you want to avoid detergents with perfumes or additives, as well as  liquid fabric softener and dryer sheets because they clog the pores of your fabric inhibiting their wicking ability.

Notions -
     Thread: Buy an all purpose polyester thread for sewing your knits.  If you have a serger and you want the ultimate in comfortable seams you can treat yourself to some wooly nylon thread.  This thread supplies superior stretch and is probably what you are accustomed to seeing in your store bought active wear, but it is not essential to sewing with knits.
     Needles : Micro sharps work well for knits size 10 and 12
     Elastic:    My pattern calls for 1/2" elastic for the drawsting in the pants.  I plan on replacing the narrow casing with a wide one, which will require 3" wide elastic, enough to go around my high hip. Additionally you might still want to pick up some of that  1/2" elastic, its always good to have on hand when sewing with knits. A few yards will be plenty.

Resources:  There is some reasonable priced appropriate fabrics at  They have a poly pique stretch knit that would be great for tops.  Dry flex a good choice for pants or shorts, and  Nylon Lycra Tricot
a medium weight 4 way stretch suitable for tops or bottoms.  Another good resource is Seattle Fabrics, they even have a stretch knit in camoflage!

 Looking forward to seeing everyones choices.

 Our current Active Wear Sew Along participants are:
  •  Paula H,
  • Judy T,
  • Michelle H, and
  • Candy S.
  • yours truly.  
 Of course its never to late to join in. please feel free to ask questions and leave comments.
Until next time,

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mad Men: The Lining

The patterns we purchase rarely have seperate pattern pieces for the lining, this saves on printing costs, but means that we have do additional steps if we want our garments to look professional.  For our lining on this dress it simply means removing the 5/8" seam allowance from the center back seam all along the bodice lining and just to the notch on the back skirt.  Scary I know... but bear with me.  Sew your dress lining together except for you center back seam and do not sew the sleeves in.

After sewing your dress lining together pin(with right sides together) the center back seam of the lining to the center back seam of your dress and stitch at 1/2" from the neckline to the end of the zipper.  You will be sewing through the zipper tape.

  Next we will sew the neckline. 

 With right sides together pin the shoulder seams of your dress to the shoulder seams of the lining, continue pinning the front neckline.  When pinning your back neck line your lining will be shorter then the dress, this is as it should be, lay the center back seam allowance to the lining side. 

Sew your neckline at 5/8"

After sewing your neckline, trim and clip the seam allowance.  Turn right side out. Understitch the neckline.  The zipper is neatly sewn in and the neckline is ready to be pressed. 

 Baste the armhole lining to the the dress.   

To sew the sleeves, you sew the underarm seam on the fabric sleeves as well as the lining.  With right sides together sew  the lining to the sleeve along the hem line, understitch.  Sew sleeve into bodice being careful to not catch the sleeve lining.  Trim the seam allowance under the arm to about mid way up the armhole back to 1/4".  Hand sew the sleeve lining to the bodice lining around the armhole.

Thats all for today.  I need to sew that sleeve lining in and then I will post pictures of the finished dress.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mad Men Sew Along - the zipper and beyond.

After preparing the center back seam with interfacing you are ready to install your invisible zipper.  You can see a  basic video tutorial on YouTube.  As some of you may know instead of pinning or basting my zipper in I like to use Wonder Tape, its very secure and there is no fussing with pins.  Apply the tape to the right side of your zipper tape just along the outer edge, slightly away from the teeth. Peel the paper backing off of one side of your zipper and place on right side of fabric so that the teeth are sitting on the 5/8" stitching line and the top of the tape is sitting at the edge of the neckline. After sewing use a pencil to mark where the waist seam crosses the tape.  Now repeat the process for the other side of your zipper being careful that your pencil line  matches the waist seam on the other side. 

Your completed zipper should match beautifully at the seam line, your zipper gotta love an invisible zipper.

 Finish sewing your center back seam from top of skirt vent to where you stopped sewing your zipper.  I do the majority of this with a regular foot, and then switch to a zipper foot for the final few inches.   
 I also like to reinforce my vent fold with a strip of interfacing.  You can interface the entire vent, or use a strip, as I did.  You want to place a straight edge along your marked vent fold line, being careful not to fuse your tailor tacks in.

 Press along this fold line.

Now we need to sew the vent extensions together across the angled top of the vent to the center back seam.  Clip close to the stitch line and press the center back seam open and the vent towards the right as you are looking at the wrong side.

That's what I call a sewing hump.  Now I get to sew the shoulders and side seams together, finish and press those seams open...getting giddy now...Are you ready?

Ta Da!!
Well the shell is together at least.  Next will be the lining, sleeves and the hem.  Of course I had to pin the belt buckle on there, and I have ordered two velvet ribbons, one in black and one in navy.  Looking forward to their arrival I am hoping the navy is dark enough to use.

Oh Yes and lets not forget the movie selection for the day....which was...."How To Succeed in Business Without really trying"

Think I may need a pillbox hat for this dress now.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Mad Men Sew Along

Wahoo! My lining and zipper arrived from Sawyer Brook which has allowed me to spend the day sewing my dress.  After much debate with myself I ordered a poly anti static lining, even though I would have prefered using a silk.  The poly lining will help the silk from wrinkling on me, a concern with this style because of the snug fit through the hip. I pre-washed the lining, silk, and zipper in cold water, line drying the silk, then pressing.  As you can see the lining is a bit warmer in color then my silk, but I am pleased all the same, as I was worried it would be to bright, or on the green side. 

Talk about a close call, or is that a close fit?
  As you see my pattern pieces just fit on my fabric. 

 With a great deal of optimisim I simply kept rearranging the pieces until they fit. 

This did mean that my pocket flap had to be cut on the straight of grain instead of the bias.

I was considering cutting down the seam allowance to help, but did not end up needing to go quite that far.

 Marking:  I used tailors tacks in two colors for most of the marking of pleats, darts, and even notches.  Normally I cut a snip into the center of my notches, but I am concerned about raveling on this silk, so felt a tack would be a better choice. 

Due to the curved shape of the dart I needed more then tailors tacks. so I used wax free dressmakers carbon only after I made sure the color would not show/bleed through to the face side.  After sewing I trimed the seam allowance down to 5/8"  and pressed open.  I then sewed up the rest of the darts, 2 on the skirt front, 4 on the skirt back, 2 on the bodice back, repeat for lining.  I also basted the pleats on the front bodice neckline with 2 lines of stitching, one at 5/8" and another at 3/8".  Thats a lot of darts!

The pocket flaps have 3/8" seam allowance.  I folded the pattern in half to create the interfacing pieces.

For interfacing I used a soft fusible knit designed for silk.  Silk is notoriously difficult to use fusible interfacing on.  This product works quite well.

After sewing the edges of the pocket flaps I trimmed the the seam allowances and used my gorgeous point board to press the seam open.  The point on this board is so nice and sharp it gets into even tiny areas like this with ease.
My completed pocket flaps.  I did choose to top stitch them because I plan on hand sewing them onto the skirt front instead of doing them by machine as the directions suggest.  You probably cannot see it in these pictures, but the bottom edge has been zig zagged to finish the raw edge.  I do own a serger/overlock which I could have used as well.  I debated between a 2 thread overlock or the zig zag, as I want to minimize the amount of bulk added to the seams which a heavier overlock would create.  In the end it just seemed simpler not thread my serger/overlock, but to just use my Bernina for everything, especially as it will be fully lined.

Time for lunch!  Holiday weekends are great!  They are my guilt free sewing time....kind of sad I know, but when you sew for a living your clients come first...except on Holiday weekends. Hooray!  Not to mention you can only have wine for lunch when your sewing for yourself.  For the fine diners out there, the cheese is a aged english cheddar with a dollop of fig preserves. 

A word about the pattern directions...which I did not follow, not because they were bad, but because I chose to fully line the dress which changes the construction path from the directions.  The pattern  calls for only the bodice of the dress to be lined.  You will learn more about that later. 

 To stabilize the neckline lining I created a pattern in the same way I would if making a facing. 

Trace the neckline and shoulder edge and then create a 2 wide facing following the neckline curve.  I cut the outer edge of the interfacing with my pinking rotary blade to help soften the edge. Do this for both the front and back bodice.  Fuse to the wrong side of the lining.

  After sewing all of the darts I sewed the back bodice to the back skirt pieces repeating with the lining.

After sewing my bodice to the skirt at the waistline  I added a 1 1/4" strip of fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the centerback seam ending just beyond the end of zipper notch to prepare it for the zipper installation. 

Goodness does this mean the zipper is next?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Active Wear Sew Along

Earlier I had asked all of you about doing a Sew Along in January due to us not having classes at Nicolet on Friday.  The clear favorite was active wear, which is great because I could really use some nice pieces to do my morning workout in.  As an added bonus Pattern review is running a contest in January for Active wear, which means one of us might win a prize.  You can check out the rules and discussion here

My active wear journey started with a search through my pattern and fabric boxes. I had 3 New Look patterns that caught my eye.  This 6160 has a basic drawstring pant which can be modified for a snugger fit and although I am not a fan of a jewel neckline I did like the shoulder detail and sleeve options.  I can always change the neckline to a more suitable "V".

 Chuck returned from running some errands for us just as I was pulling all of this out, which prompted him to tell me that he would not object to some sweatpants....Really I replied, it just so happens that I do have a nice sweat fleece in my stash that would do the trick.  I will use this 6657 for his sweatpants, and the cami pattern for me.  Never satisfied with the way things are..I will widen the straps on the cami so it looks more like a yoga shirt and less like lingerie.
Last but not least is this top.  New Look 6405 (out of print) Have always like the wrap and sleeve options on this tee.  For the purposes of our sew along I would suggest you pick up the 1st pattern mentioned New Look 6160.  You can get it at Walmart, order it on line or if you happen to be in a city that has a fabric shop snag it there along with some appropriate knits. I will post in a day or two about how to use your stretch guide, moisture wicking properties, Lycra vs. jersey. etc. along with pictures of my fabric choices.   Now please do not despair over all of my choices.  For the purpose of this sew along I will be pleased to complete one pair of pants, and one tee.  That having been said knits sew up so quickly that I just thought if I made a larger plan, more pieces might happen, but then again maybe not after all I have my Mad Men sew along, and Wonder Women and clients...oh my.  Well you get the point right?    Who all is going to be joining me? 
A note about commenting, please do as much as you like, but be aware that you will not see your post immediately as it comes to my mailbox first before it gets published to the sight.  I understand this has been a bit confusing in the past. 

Looking forward to sewing with you all.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Michael Kors Dress

This dress is from Vogue American Designer series.  It is by Michael Kors and the pattern number is V1117.  Due to the dark navy color it is difficult to get a decent picture of it. I kept moving the dress form around the studio looking for the right lighting conditions(very high tech).  We probably all say this about our pattern purchases, but "I just fell in love with this design as soon as I saw it"  This is my first garment designed by Michael Kors that I own, but it may not be the last.  I used a lovely piece of Italian wool that was in my stash.  It has a soft pinstripe in it and a touch of lycra.  I lined it with Ambiance rayon.  

The Vogue pattern was very precise as most of the designer patterns are, and the directions were quite complete and you do need to follow them closely. This pattern is for a more advanced seamstress, and if you decide to tackle it I suspect you will learn some neat new tricks.   I do suggest that you mark your stitch lines as accurate seaming is a must on this design.
One downside to this pattern is the low front neckline....if I wasn't so short this would not be a problem, its not as if I am exposing cleavage, but everyone is taller then I am which makes this neckline revealing. I thought about raising it, but part of the beauty of this design is in the wide dramatic curve, and I really didn't want to mess with that. It would work at a cocktail party with some low light, but for modest daytime wear I came up with a solution. What could it be.....

Really how simply fantastic is this wrap?  I had to knit it twice, but it was worth it.  The yarn is a silk and wonderful to handle.  Why you may ask did I knit it twice?  Yours truly failed to change to the larger needle as directed...oops.  I am merrily knitting along and come to the end and the directions read " change to smaller needles"  Oh ____! really? heat flush, sigh, unravel and begin again.  It was worth it though.  The only change I made in the wrap pattern was to hand sew some clear elastic around the inside upper edge to help it keep its shape.  Silk, even knit has little elasticity, and no memory.  Now before you all start thinking I am some kind of miracle worker I will mention that this dress was finished at the end of the summer, long before the beading began on Wonder Woman.  I am trying to catch up on my pattern reviews and garment talk.  Hope to improve at this in 2011. 

Please let me know what you think,  what color would you make it in?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wonder Woman

The Eagle has Landed! 
 After an all day hand sewing marathon the Eagle on the Lynda Carter replica Wonder Women costume was completed.  I say that a bit tongue in cheek because as soon as you take photos of it you can see where a bit of tweaking needs to happen.  But overall I am pleased with the results.  Thanks again to our wonderful client who not only provided this opportunity but also supplied an abundant amount of well organized research material.

 This close up shot helps you to see the the unusual texture and beading. 
 The Costume designer  Donfeld stated that the Tiara was constructed out of leather but due to the limited amount they had, the rest of the gold was something else.  The color match on the leather to the lame is so well done you are easily fooled into believing that all of the gold is leather.  I believe they used a gold lame flatted to an under structure to give it the same appearance as leather...a neat trick. I replicated this by fusing the lame to felt.  Below you can see the individual feathers that were created, tried and rejected.  It required a lot of finessing to acquire all of the correct lengths and shapes.
The bodice and trunks are both made from a poly duchess satin.  The trunks are lined with a flesh colored moleskin and boned along the back princess seam to help keep the seat from creeping up on her.  This is a detail we noticed from some pictures of the original costume on a hanger, where the  casing for the boning is apparent.  The bodice is built over a custom made  steel boned corset.  This corset is what provides the breast support along with allowing lots of physical activity without upsetting the apple to speak.  The back closure is a bit of a mystery, the research we did seemed to indicate that it is hook and eye tape and so that is what I used which was a new technique for me, but the results were successful, it seems to replicate the look of the original quite well, where a zipper did not. 

I will post pictures of the inside corset in a few days.  The Tiara will be the next item to tackle followed by the infamous cape.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Additional Classes for 2011

I understand the new continuing education catalog has been mailed and many of you have already received yours.  I have not....cannot tell you why, and unfortunately there were none on campus, at least not in the Birchwood center.  I have been notified though by our new coordinator that the self paced sewing classes are now under their own heading, titled "Sewing Cafe" which I think should be helpful.  Less helpful perhaps is an oversight that omitted our Friday classes!  Yikes!  Do not despair Friday classes have been scheduled and you can see the additions in the sidebar under " Friday's schedule"  We will not have Friday classes in January or May, but they will be available in February, March, and April.

I realize I always encourage you to sign up as early as possible, but once again due to this oversight, it is of paramount importance.  It may be confusing to the registration office, and we want to give them all due time to make their job easier. 

All of the Saturday classes are present and accounted for in the catalog, so no changes there.  If you have not received a catalog you can find the  pdf file here.

Hope to see you there, and feel free to bring a friend along,


Friday, December 17, 2010

The Final Friday of 2010

It was shockingly quiet during class today.  To begin with we had a quiet morning with Liz, Candy and I sewing along to movies. Then after lunch we failed to get the usual influx of sewing enthusiasts.  I guess the Holidays have people pretty tied up with other commitments. So you know ladies you were missed.  Lisa join us around 3pm to cut some bias for the 30 yards of cording she needs to slipcover her sister's giant chair.

She has a lot of bias to cut and then a lot of cording to sew.  She had to leave early though to look at a used Bernina machine that her local shop had just gotten in.  So maybe the next time we see her she will be using a "new" machine.  Always exciting!

Our first movie of the day was Young Victoria a beautiful costume extravaganza and while gazing longingly at jewel toned silk taffeta's Liz worked diligently on some warm winter gifts for her family. 

Liz made these from old wool sweaters, which she felted and  then cut apart.   The red mittens have needle felted polka dots applied prior to sewing them into mittens.

Fantastic Right?  If those aren't warm and toasty enough check out the cap.  Just love the pom pom on the top which is also made from a recycled wool sweater.

Our next film of the day was a Roy Rogers film from 1951 "Down Dakota Way".  I wonder if young boys would still enjoy these films? we certainly did.  Light hearted fun indeed.

Candy made wonderful progress on her coat. She is using McCall's 5717, now out of print.  The pattern she had purchased was one size to small for her so pattern adjustments were expected.  She began by making a muslin using craft felt to mimic the drape and weight of a coat. This is a trick I learned while working as a pattern maker for a furrier.  We tried her muslin on over a heavy sweater and determined that the fit through the neck and shoulder were ideal, but she needed a little more room through the body and sleeve to be comfortable over the bulky layers.  Adding 1" to the side seams and sleeve was the determined alteration.  By the end of Friday having previously cut the wool pieces out, she had completed two lovely pockets with flaps on her coat fronts. 

Nice yes?  Well done Candy. I think you are going to get a lot of use out of this coat, and no fear of the weather warming up before you get a chance to finish it. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wonder Woman

  The eagle which spans the bust on the Wonder Woman costume has a total of 32 feathers along with the center eagle which is perched on a pedestal.  You all probably realize by now that I am creating the pattern using a great deal of reference material which was sent by our wonderful client.  It still required a surprising amount of trial and error to determine all of the correct shapes as there are 16 unique feathers on each side.  I have a sad bag filled with rejected feathers that didn't make the cut.  It has been an interesting process.  A slight change in one feather would require changes in the surrounding feathers.  You just keep at it until each change becomes slightly less then the last one and then POW it's right! 

The feathers are made by fusing a woven gold lame onto felt.  Then a very narrow zig zag stitch is done around the edge.  Next each feather is beaded around the edge with a opalescent bugle bead and additional beads are place down the center in two colors, a gold and a bronze.  After making and beading all of the feathers I place them across the bust while the costume is on the dressform and carefully baste around each feather shape.  Below you can see them pinned into place.

POW.......I told you!

Next they need to be permanently sewn down by hand.  This isn't a bad project to be working on while the weather is so miserable.  Most of the beading took place in my comfy chair while listening to old movies.My eyes have gotten an extreme workout though and I will admit to my shoulders being so tight,  they are impairing my hearing.  I should get back to it, but thought you all might enjoy another look at the progress. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Elizabeths Rogue sewing

As some of you may already know Elizabeth has the audacity to sew when she is not in class!  Its shocking I realize, but we need not feel left out because she taunts me with photos of her creations.  The first were sent from a spa and resort...yes you heard correctly.  Apparently between facials and hot rock massages she started on her dolls, but the dolls only had appropriate spa wear and can not be shown to the general public without the proper undergarments on.  Once she returned home she was able to focus on a more public wardrobe.   So, let me properly introduce you to Laura and Mary Ingalls.  These precious sisters have hair made from wool felt and their aprons are cleverly made from old hankies.  I am told they will be presented on Christmas morning in their own special case, with the book "Little House on the Praire" and doll bed lovingly made by dad.  Which of course means they need bed clothes............
And here they are all ready to be tucked into bed.  Elizabeth you do our little sewing group proud.  Keep up the good work, especially your rogue sewing.   What little girl wouldn't treasure these?  Do you have a doll from childhood that brings back fond memories?  I know I do.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

For the love of yellow.

Do you have a favorite color? A color which you can spot at 60 paces across a sea of fabric or racks of clothing?  For me that color has always been Yellow, think butter, sunshine, and liquid gold.  I have grand memories of hot Californian days with the dust rising up from the ground with shafts of warm light slicing through.

In my pursuit of inspiration for the Mad Men Sew along I recently opened a box of clothing my mother saved for me. (yes Dorothy I was a child born in the early 60's) Enclosed is her maternity wear, beautifully made,with bound buttonholes and exciting details.  Dresses from childhood,lovely made by mom(as seen above) and some garments I made or embroidered on as a child.  What a treasure of.....yellow.  All of this just proved to me that this love affair with yellow has been going on a long time, and certainly explains why I simply could not resist the yellow silk I will be using for my Mad Men Sheath Dress.   These pants were my favorites around age 7 , that beanstalk must of made my legs look miles long - lol.

This dress has a label which reads Sears Roebuck co. It barely fits my size 6 dressform and I love the smocking and the elegent cut of the back neckline. Summer anyone?

The smocking is done by hand and the seams are simply pinked.  The waistseam is covered with a narrow piece of rayon seam tape
Personally I do not recall my Mother wearing this dress, but she no doubt looked beautiful in it.  Such a tiny waist.  Are you thinking about lemonade, lemon squash, or daisy's perhaps. I am wondering what the gloves, pocketbook, belt and jewelry looked like.  My goodness winter has hardly begun and I am yearning for the long hot days of summer.  Sigh...

None of this though gets me any closer to the actual sewing of my yellow sheath dress.  I still need to order the lining fabric for it and the more I think about it the more I think I will change the back skirt dart..but more on that later.

What color do you love?  Does it stem from your childhood?
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