Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sew in Love... McCall 6021

Hello lovely readers! I'm sorry for my blogging absence this month! In Norway a few years ago, I was diagnosed with a permanent and very painful nerve condition... which I recently found out was a misdiagnosis! The real culprit was a childhood injury that had left my ribs completely misaligned for nearly 20 years. The treatment is a weekly excruciating rib adjustment that leaves me tender, tired and completely useless for days. The upside is, I'll only need about 6 months of treatment, as opposed to a lifetime of medication and pain.
So that's my recent crazy...
Today though, I surfaced from my useless stupor to get the mail and to my delight, I found that a much anticipated pattern had arrived for my collection and I just had to share!

McCall 6021 Ladies' and Misses' Set of Underwear from 1929.

I had no idea when I bought it on Ebay if it was even complete. I was thrilled to open the envelope and find that the pattern was still in its factory folds! (a jackpot for us pattern collectors - it means the pattern has never been used, never even been unfolded in the last 90 years!).

But even better than that, nestled inside one of the folds was this!

One of my absolute favorites is the little found objects in patterns and books. Valentines, drawings, pressed flowers and four leaf clovers, and pretty, pretty advertisement cards always make my day!

When I do find things like this, all I can think is, I wish these never expired, and you could go back in time, get your subscription at that stellar price.

But back to the pattern, what do you think of it? I bought it for the bra mostly. The tap pants from that era, while beautiful, are so long they're practically skirts, and not super sexy. However, for costumers and anyone who wants her lingerie for that Gatsby even to be spot on, this is perfect. Should I make a reproduction of it, do you think?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Super-Secret Christmas Robe from 1951

A couple of years ago, I found an amazing vintage Mens' robe pattern on Etsy and fell in love. I snapped it up, ordered some amazing rayon fabric and some ultra-soft micro fleece to line it with. When the pattern arrived  I was so excited... and then somehow I never made it. You know how it is, projects pile up, work gets too busy and then before you know it, it's two years later - no robe.

Vogue 8753

So this year I was determined to sew it for my husband for Christmas, and I was determined that he wouldn't even know I was sewing something for him. In the middle of finals project and a really busy month at Mrs. Depew Vintage I was sewing this robe like a crazy person. And let me tell you, lining rayon with micro fleece is about as easy as getting a puppy to hold still during a cat parade.

I sewed between assignments and studying, before and after work, at midnight while he was working night shifts and every time my husband rode his motorcycle into the driveway I madly dashed to stash everything into my studio closet and delint the threads from my clothes to hide any evidence of my undertaking.

The flat felled seams with the added bulk of a lining fabric, no matter how much I graded, were insanely hard and I ended up hand binding all of my seams inside just to keep everything clean. I was determined to use every skill in my playbook to make this robe the nicest thing my husband ever owned.
2/3 of the sewing was by hand to get everything just right and after about 70 hours of work, it was finished with just one day to spare! I even had time to embroider his initials on the cuff before wrapping it.

The rayon had two beautiful sides to it so I made the cuffs, pockets, sash, carriers and lapels with the lighter, contrasting side.

The black micro fleece lining looks really sharp in contrast to the grey and is so soft and warm that I have to resist stealing the robe for myself every morning when I let the dog out at 6 a.m.

The rayon has just the slightest metallic sheen to it on one side.

Of course it's about 4 sizes too big for Lusty Lulu (love her new name!) but it looks great on the man himself. (I don't make him pose for blog photos, he's shy.)

I also finished the inside with a hilarious "This took Forever" label by Sublime Stitching that makes my day every time I catch a glimpse of it.

And now I'm quite relieved to be done working on this giant project and back to sewing for myself. This week I'm making myself a few bras using this pattern.

How about you? Did you make any of your gifts by hand this year?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Sew Expensive... Millinery For Every Woman Sewing Book

Hello my dear readers! For you today I have another Sew Expensive moment brought to you by the internet and people with too much money!

For today's installment, I have a stunning book that recently sold for an equally stunning price!

This beautiful, and painfully rare book sold on Ebay recently for a sum that made me quite literally squeal. I scared the hell out of the dog.

This original Millinery for Every Woman by Georgina Kerr Kaye sold for an incredible $587.90 (that's 427 € or 354 £!).

Why would this amazing little tome go for so much, you might ask? Because it's full of hat patterns and very rare millinery knowledge that is slowly dying out. Very few people make their own hats any more compared to the average woman of the 18th century who often knew how to make just about anything. That sort of knowledge is rather scarce these days so a book like this would find a very welcome home among those who wish to preserve that kind of knowledge.

If you're interested in making your own hats, there isn't a lot of info readily available and books like these are not easy to find!
But don't fret, my dears, there is an alternative to spending half your rent on antique millinery books! There are several re-prints of this book currently available on Amazon for as little as $25.

In other news, Happy New Year! Another year has gone by and I find that as a whole, I'm just as content with life as I have been for the last 7 or 8 years.  So no resolutions for me, just happy business as usual.
How about you? Any grand resolutions you hope to keep?