(Skip this section if you don't want to hear unrelated rant, actually I would suggest skipping it)
Things have been a little crazy here. I still never really got the house clean clean from when my husband lost his job and started staying at home with the kids. Actually that is putting too much blame on him, I never got the house clean clean from when we moved into it (I still have some boxes that never got unpacked). The situation did get magnified when he stayed at home though. Well, he has started his own business now, so the kids are not at the house until I get home from work, so that has helped slow the mess in the house; however, now we have a friend who is staying at our house while he "looks for a place to stay" (said in quotes, because I don't know if he has even looked at anything yet, but that might just be me being grouchy, sorry) because he got a job in town near us and lives several hours away. I feel uncomfortable doing the type of cleaning that needs to be done with him here. So ugh... Do you ever feel like you would like Clean Sweep or some other TV show cleaning team to come in and reorganize and clean your house (or at least have someone to watch the kids and several strong people come in and help you clean everything out in one or two days)? It really makes me feel like a failure as a wife and mom and I work on a little at a time and end up not really getting anything done. Way more than you wanted to know.
So, since I already got the feeling bad part of this post out of the way, I am not going to feel bad about the fact that my sewing machine has been covered and turned into a catch all so I have not had the time nor effort to clean it and start sewing.
Sorry about that I just needed to get it off my chest.
(Okay non-vintage or sewing rant done.)
What I have done...
I started on a blouse. That is one of the main things I need in order to wear most of my vintage stuff. I decided to start with a free blouse (because for some reason I feel like I am not good enough to deserve spending money on a pattern yet, I am weird I know).
Sorbetto top from Colette patterns. I had this blouse in my plan, but I had originally planned on doing the scalloped edge without the center pleat. Like shown here
tutorial, but for now I decided to just stick with the directions that come with the pattern. Which I have to say are much easier than the directions of many store bought patterns I have attempted. Are all of Colette's patterns like that. i hope so because I want to make many Clovers.
Being as that I am too cheap or self conscious to try this with a bought fabric or even some of the lovely linen I have in my stash (yes I have a stash, I am not sure how). I decided to repupose something. Actually I think the way it went down was that I was cleaning the attic (because of course the place no one goes in is the place to start cleaning my house LOL) and I found my old graduation gown. Now the gown is 100% polyester and something melted (?) the sleeve so it would not be able to be used as a graduation gown again (not that I know anyone who needs one). It is white and pretty sheer which I think is pretty good for a top even if it is polyester.
Please ignore the fact that it needs ironed badly. I could not find my iron at this point and really wanted to get started with the pattern before I lost momentum gained from downloading. printing, and cutting out the paper pattern pieces.
Now the problem (or one problem) with working from an already constructed garment is that the fabric can not necessarily be used in whole pieces. because of seams (and zippers) that are already in place. In this case there was not enough fabric for both the front and back of the shirt to be cut on the fold.
So, I decided since there was already a pleat in the front of the shirt that I would hide a seam behind the pleat. I found this to be creative on my part (I needed something to fee3l good about LOL).
Anyway, so I cut the front one side with double the pleat length and one side with no pleat that way the seam would be behind the pleat and not in the middle of the pleat.
This is the front pinned together where the seam will be. I tried out using a new marking pen I got for my birthday. The idea is that you mark on your fabric and then it either fades away in 24 hours or that it washes away. I had to move the fabric because I made a mistake cutting and had to reposition. You can see that clearly with the marks and the marks did not fade within 24 hrs, actually it has been over 48hrs and they are still just as bold, hopefully they will wash out (though getting them a little wet makes them even brighter).
I didn't end up sewing up the seam like this, and I didn't bother taking pictures of what I did do, oops. But what I did was I decided that since there was going to be a seam to make the pleat I might as well sew both seams at the same time. I folded on the pleat lines and re-pinned and sewed. This was not the was the pleat was sewn in the directions, but it seems to have worked OK. I didn't have any problems with there being a fold in the middle of the pleat either because the fold of the fabric was not on the pleat and I never folded it really hard on the pleat.
(another random story that you can skip)
That is where I stopped for a few days. But on the way home from work one day I stopped at JoAnns to look at pinking sheers (I didn't have any and Walmart which is close to the house doesn't carry them). Pinking sheers are kind of expensive I mean compared to regular scissors (or at least paper scissors). I saw that there was a Fiskars pair for $21 and then some cheap pair for $13. I decided to go with the cheap pair, though I really was thinking that it would be good to get the others because they wouldn't break, or get dull as fast and I know it is a good brand. That is when I remembered about the JoAnn iphone app which I looked at and it had a coupon for 40% off one non-sale item. I loaded up the coupon and went back and switched scissors. As I checked out I found that the scissors were on sale and I couldn't use the coupon. I asked how much they were on sale for. They were 40% off! Yay! So, Fiskars pinking sheers for the same price as the cheapo brand (they were probably also on sale, but I am ignoring that).
I had never used pinking sheers before, but it worked out OK.
Continuing then I did the darts. Yes I know the darts were the first step in the directions not the pleat. I am terrible at following directions apparently. I was just so excited about figuring out a way to conceal the extra seam. Oh well. I don't follow directions very well in cooking either (substituting all the time) which is probably the main reason I am a terrible cook.
Oh I forgot to show you the pleat which is a little smaller than expected because I didn't think of adding seam allowance for the extra seam, oops. Again ignore the purple mark.
And again not following the directions I sewed up the sides first and not the shoulders, really can I not do anything right?
Okay so that is all of the pictures. I did finish up the shoulders with french seams (pinked in the middle) and I was able to do the bottom hem (also not in the correct order of the directions, because I needed to buy bias tape for the head and arm holes).
I did go and purchase the bias tape. I decided to stick with white to make this the most versatile (so I might actually wear this, woot a wearable muslin). I even tried sewing it on following the directions, but I obviously did it wrong because it didn't fold over correctly. So I used my handy dandy seam ripper (the most used sewing tool in my house) and am back to putting on the bias tape. I pinned it in place but was having sewing machine issues.
The sewing machine will not stay threaded. I noticed that the upper tension was wrong so I fixed that, but it didn't help for long. I don't think the problem is cheap thread because the thread isn't breaking. What happens is that the string comes out of the needle. I tried turning it by hand and it is fine, but when I hit the peddle out comes the thread. I have no idea what I have done wrong, it was just working previously when I did the rest of the project, but then again one of the kids did turn the upper tension knob (because I noticed it was off and my son was trying to sew his rubber snake back together).
Oh and hopefully I will get my house cleaned and have a place to take pictures of all of the vintage clothes I was given lately (they are mostly winter and too big, so it will be a while before I actually wear them)