The Evolution of a Suit Dress, Part 2: Details, Details

How can something which is taking so much time to make still be so much fun? It must be because of all the delightful details to consider, to execute, to alter, and to research. One of the most important details for the jacket of a project like this is the choice of buttons.

Dress Suit - front of pattern envelope

One of the advantages of having my blue windowpane-checked cashmere for a couple of years before sewing with it has been the opportunity to find just the right buttons. When I came across these buttons in an Etsy shop, I knew they would be perfect.

These buttons are 7/8" square.

These buttons are 7/8″ square.

The size is right, as is the shape – which picks up the “square” in the fabric. How I was so lucky to find them in navy blue, I’m not sure. Additionally, and this is very subtle, but the depth of the buttons allows a curvature to each edge, which mimics the curved front edge of the jacket and also the curved cuffs. Of course, when making bound buttonholes, one must have the buttons in hand before beginning the project, since the buttonholes are one of the first details to execute.

ne can never have too many markings basted in place for bound buttonholes!

One can never have too many markings basted in place for bound buttonholes!

Because I need only three buttons for the jacket, the fourth button has been rattling around in my brain. I think  I might possibly be able to use it as a coordinating detail on the sheath dress I have planned for this ensemble. Back to my vintage pattern collection I have gone to look for some suitable inspiration. What I have found is this pattern:

Dress Suit 2 - blouse pattern-2 Although I have yet to work out the logistics, I am thinking that I can turn the collared blouse with the one-button detail (lower right) into a sleeveless sheath dress. The button may not really show (I think) unless I take the jacket off, but I kind of like the subtlety of it all. Once I make a muslin (toile), I will have a better idea of how it will look, so stay tuned! One thing I do know, is that such a collar on the dress will need to lay very flat, with no bulkiness. One way to achieve that will be to back it with the silk charmeuse I will be using for the jacket and dress lining instead of backing it with another layer of wool.

So what am I using for the lining? When I bought the lining for my color-blocked coat last winter, I purchased extra yardage of the silk charmeuse (from Britex). Now I can’t remember what my reasoning was, but once I got it home from San Francisco and I saw how complimentary it was with the navy blue cashmere, I knew I should save it for this project. Fortunately, I have enough of it to line both the jacket and the dress. Not that anyone is ever going to see the lining in the dress, but I’ll know it’s beautiful – and oh, so wonderful to wear!

Dress Suit 2 - lining fabric There are always lots of details in the construction of a rolled collar. At the risk of boring some of you, I’ll quickly go over a few tricks I learned from Susan Khalje last year when I made my color-blocked coat. First, here is a picture (by request from some of you) of the lightly pad-stitched and interfaced jacket front.

Here is an inside look at the interfaced right side of the jacket showing the underside of the buttonholes.

Here, too, is an inside look at the underside of the three bound buttonholes.

The undercollar is also interfaced with black silk organza. It is basted onto the body of the jacket in order to establish the roll line. Once I marked the roll line with pins, I removed it and basted along the roll line in preparation for heavy pad-stitching of that section.

Establishing the roll line of the undercollar.

Establishing the roll line of the undercollar.

Suit dress under collar

The roll line is marked with pins; then I basted along that pin line.

Once I finished the pad-stitching (impossible to see here on the black organza), I then placed it on the dress form, pinned it in place and steamed it. This process reinforces the “memory” of the roll.

A dress form is indispensable for steaming the undercollar.  You can see the basted roll lie in this photo.

A dress form is indispensable for steaming the undercollar. You can see the basted roll line in this photo.

The back of the undercollar after steaming.

The back of the undercollar after steaming.

As I make progress on this jacket, I am reconsidering the amount of top-stitching I want to do on it. The pattern calls for double rows of top-stitching along seam lines, front edges and sleeve edges. I plan on modifying this somewhat.

Dress Suit 2 - topstitching detail-1

This diagram clearly shows the extent of proposed top-stitching. I will definitely not be doing this much!

Top-stitching always makes me nervous. It may be my least favorite part of sewing. I’d rather sew on buttons than top-stitch! Let’s see how well I do with it – in my next post – before I can get back to more fun-stitching.

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Filed under bound buttonholes, Buttons - choosing the right ones, couture construction, Suit dresses, Uncategorized, vintage buttons, vintage Vogue Designer patterns, vintage Vogue patterns from the 1970s, woolens

The Evolution of a Suit Dress, Part 1

“Suit dress – Used in 1960s to refer to a jacket and dress ensemble that resembled a tailored suit.”   (The Fairchild Dictionary of Fashion, Third edition; Fairchild Publications, Inc., New York, New York, 2010)

Although the inspiration for my current project does not have its beginnings in the 1960s, it is certainly influenced by that era. The actual beginning was about 1974 or ‘75, although I did not know it then. That was when I first laid my eyes upon this Jo Mattli Designer pattern from Vogue:

Dress Suit - front of pattern envelope

I loved the tailored, but feminine, look of the jacket, with its high, notched collar and its sleeves with gracefully curved slits. (I was less enamored with the style of the skirt, but skirts can easily be substituted, of course.)

This diagram of the jacket  back better shows the interesting treatment to the cuff edges of the sleeves.

This diagram of the jacket back better shows the interesting treatment to the cuff edges of the sleeves.  Click on the picture to see a close-up view.

I admired this pattern on a regular basis while it was listed for sale in the Vogue Catalogue at my local fabric store, but in the end I didn’t buy it. That hefty $3.00 purchase price, and not knowing for sure that I would actually end up making this outfit,  kept me from its purchase. Now I am not nearly as practical – or maybe I have learned from experience. One must get these things which speak to them while they can! So when I found this pattern a couple of years ago on eBay, I knew it was time to fulfill a long-delayed dream (at a much higher price than $3.00, I might add!).

Shortly thereafter I found this navy blue, windowpane-check cashmere fabric on one of my trips to Britex Fabrics in San Francisco. I purchased what I was sure would be ample yardage to make a two-piece suit (jacket and skirt, with this Jo Mattli design in mind) and to compensate for matching the plaid. Then I set it aside, knowing that the time to start this project had to be right.

The feel of this wool is best described as like soft butter.

The feel of this wool is best described as like soft butter.

I am so glad I waited. As I have grown in my sewing and dressmaking skills (with so much credit in that arena attributed to what I have learned in classes with Susan Khalje), I came to see this fabric and this suit taking on a slightly different appearance. I knew I wanted to make the Mattli jacket, but more and more I felt that this fabric was too special to mix it up with a blouse, no matter what color or how simple that blouse might be. I began to envision the jacket paired with a sheath dress – in effect, a classic 1960s’ inspired suit dress.

But would I have enough fabric? Britex has always been very accommodating when cutting yardages for me, adding inches to compensate for the layout of plaids and designs, and simply being generous in adding a few inches to my requested amount. (I have found most fine fabric stores to be similarly inclined – Mendel Goldberg, for example, also adheres to this customer-friendly practice. Have you found this generally to be true as well?)   Well, those of you who read my blog know that a little shortage of fabric has never kept me from my intended goal. Of course, I would have enough fabric… And so I do, especially with those few extra inches courtesy of Britex added on!

Fitting the muslin (toile) for the jacket took more thought and planning than usual. Much of this is because the pattern I found on eBay was actually one size smaller than what I usually buy and wear. For some reason I find it easier to size down patterns than size them up, so I’d rather, if necessary, start with a too-large pattern than one too small. Adding length and width to the body of the jacket, fitting the sleeves (which also needed a little more circumference) into those new dimensions, and adjusting the front/neck facing, which is part of the notched collar, was quite a puzzle. It took days!

I transferred my final changes from the muslin to silk organza, and then I was in business. I love a challenge, and it’s a good thing I do! Do you know how nerve-racking it is to make sure all your plaid lines match up vertically and horizontally? Also, I knew I could lay out only the jacket pattern pieces initially. There are two reasons for this: one is that I have not yet determined which sheath dress pattern I want to use. The other is that the plaid on the dress is going to have to match – perfectly – the plaid in the jacket horizontally first, with the vertical match being as close as it can be, taking into account darts and the curves in the body of the dress. So – I have to finish the jacket before I can lay out the dress. That fortuitously gives me some more time to think about the dress, which is still taking shape in my mind!

I chose to use white silk organza rather than black, as it is much easier to see the windowpane lines through the white, and easier on the eyes, too.

I chose to use white silk organza underling rather than black, as it is much easier to see the windowpane lines through the white, and easier on the eyes, too.

This photo better shows my markings on the silk organza underlining.

This photo better shows my markings on the silk organza underlining.

With all the silk organza underlining basted onto the wool, I am ready to sew.

A pile of prepared pieces!

A pile of prepared pieces!

But hold the horses there, Fifty Dresses! First, there are interfacings to be pad-stitched and bound buttonholes to be made.

I am using black silk organza for the interfacing.  This is what I did on my color-blocked coat, under Susan Khalje's tutelage, and I was delighted with the results!

I am using black silk organza for the interfacing. This is what I did on my color-blocked coat, under Susan Khalje’s tutelage, and I was delighted with the results!

It is clear there is no hurrying this jacket, nor should there be. Some dreams just take a little more time.

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Filed under couture construction, Dressmaker suits, Mid-Century style, Suit dresses, Uncategorized, vintage Vogue Designer patterns, vintage Vogue patterns from the 1970s, woolens

Frigid February

For such a short month, February is certainly making itself heard loud and clear here in the northeastern United States. Windy, snowy, bitter, bitter cold. The only way to push through it is to try to have some fun with it. So – in that vein, I am delighted to announce the winner of my February give-away, who is Adecia!

Frigid February - winner tag Adecia, I’ll be sending you an email so that I can get your mailing address. And a warm (emphasis on warm, mind you!) thank you to all who commented and added so many wonderful additions to my “hopeless dressmaker” list.

Of course, another way to have fun with winter days which keep us housebound is to spend those days sewing. And so I have! In anticipation of Valentine’s Day, I did some sewing for my almost-two-year-old granddaughter, First I made her a little apron to wear when she is playing with her little kitchen – or helping her mommy in the real kitchen:

I found the red gingham in one of my fabric drawers, and I purchased yards and yards of the heart lace when Waechter's (sadly) went out of business.

I found the red gingham in one of my fabric drawers, and I purchased yards and yards of the heart lace when Waechter’s (sadly) went out of business.

Next, I made her a white flannel blouse, using a pattern which I had used 30-some years ago when I was sewing for her mommy (my daughter).

The best view of the blouse is in View B on the left.

The best view of the blouse is in View B on the left.

I made the blouse out of flannel so that it would be warm and practical, and I lengthened the sleeves so that they would reach to her wrists. Next, I changed another pattern, also left over from my daughter’s toddler days, and made a red jumper, embellished with rick rack (of course!)

I started with the yoke part of the yellow dress and made it into a jumper.

I started with the yoke part of the yellow dress and made it into a jumper.

Frigid February

With adjustable buttons on the jumper...

With adjustable buttons on the jumper…

The back view.

The back view.

More fun sewing was spent on two baby bags. One baby bag was for a new little girl, so I chose a pink and navy blue color scheme.

Frigid February

Frigid February
 The next one was part of a shower gift for a little baby boy, expected in April. I chose an orange and navy “sailing” theme for this little one.

Frigid February

Frigid February

Now it is back to some serious sewing, as I have finally started work on a cashmere wool suit dress. One way to get the weather to improve is to spend these final weeks of Winter sewing with wool, right? By the time I have it completed, the days will be longer and the sun warmer. But if Mother Nature continues her wrath, I may be able to wear it once this year – and that is what I am hoping for (I think)!

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Filed under aprons, Sewing for children, Uncategorized

Are You a Hopeless – or Hopeful – Dressmaker?

The other day I was rushing around getting ready to go to a meeting. I pulled some heels out of my closet and by the time I had arrived downstairs, ready to put them on, I realized I had picked up an errant white sewing thread, hanging tight onto my stockings. The first word into my mind was “Hopeless!” I really can’t go anywhere in my house without dragging little snippets of thread and fabric with me. This made me start to think about how pervasive dressmaking and sewing are in my day-to-day life. So, of course, I had to make a top-ten list…

You know you are a hopeless dressmaker when …

1) you arrive at your destination, only to find that aforementioned sewing thread clinging to your skirt , or you find a straight pin still holding tight to a finished garment.

2) a sale on Gutermann thread makes your heart go a-flutter.

3) you receive a bar of soap in the shape of a dress form in your Christmas stocking!

Wrapped in pale pink paper, this scented soap might be too pretty to use...

Wrapped in pale pink paper, this scented soap might be too pretty to use…

4) you instinctively check plaid lines and design placement in the clothes of everyone you meet to see if they match.

5) a new issue of Threads Magazine or Vogue Pattern Book Magazine (or Burda Style, etc.) arrives and it becomes your nightly reading until you have gone cover to cover.

6) you look for greeting cards with a sewing and/or fashion theme (sometimes just to keep for yourself!)

A birthday card for a fashionable friend!

A birthday card for a fashionable friend!

7) you can’t wait to study the instruction sheets in new patterns (in my case, new-to-me vintage patterns).

8) one of your favorite cookie cutters is a Little Black Dress.

Hopeless Dressmaker 9) you maintain a steady supply of muslin and silk organza underlining, because you never want to be without these building blocks of couture sewing.

10) your pets wander into your sewing room asking forlornly for their supper, as you have lost complete track of time.

So then – how do you know you are a hopeful dressmaker?

A friend or acquaintance who doesn’t know that you sew, said to you when last you met, “I want your wardrobe!”

It doesn’t get much better than that! Well . . .  in an effort to share a bit of my hopeful hopelessness and have some fun, I’m having a giveaway of duplicates of 1) the dress form soap, 2) the Little Black Dress cookie cutter, and 3) the Little Black Dress birthday card.

To be entered to win these three items, please leave a comment by Saturday, February 14th; I will draw the winner on February 15th

Heart lace

Happy Valentine’s Day to each and every one of you!

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Filed under Dressmaker forms, Little Black Dress, Love of sewing

Good Bones

Can a pattern have good bones? I think so. When I purchased this blouse pattern a while ago, I did so knowing that I would not be making a blouse that looked exactly like any of the three illustrated on the pattern envelope.

Blouse pattern - PP collar

I have always liked a feminine-looking blouse that opens in the back, and I have always liked Peter Pan collars (which seem to come in and out of fashion). I also like a blouse that is fitted with darts through the body of the blouse. You can easily see the darts illustrated above. The thumbnail views of the blouses also show the darted fitting in the backs of the blouses.

Blouse pattern - PP collar - rear views I found it interesting that these blouses are constructed with zippers in the backs. I am not fond of blouses that are zippered up the back, but I knew that I could easily make the back into a buttoned closure.

January Jumper blouse Interestingly, this pattern is from a narrow period of time when Vogue initiated their “new” sizing, which added a half-inch to sizes 8 and 10 in the bust and in the hip. I believe this new sizing was only in effect from about 1968 through about 1972 or ’73. In any event, it helps to date this particular pattern.  When I decided to make my blanket dress into a jumper, with a blouse matching the yellow lining, I went to this pattern for its good bones: darted fit, back opening, and pretty sleeves.

I re-cut the neckline so that it was wider, following the neckline on my completed jumper. The Peter Pan collar was too wide to my thinking, so I narrowed it by about an inch. Instead of using facings, I bound the raw neck edge with self bias binding. The hand-stitching on that is hidden beneath the collar.

January Jumper blouse

You can see the wider cut of the neckline of the blouse in this photo.

You can see the wider cut of the neckline of the blouse in this photo.

IMG_1073

I added two inches to each of the the back seam lines so that I could button , rather than zip, the back, and I took a bit of the width out of the sleeves so they would be a bit less flow-y (is that a word?)

IMG_1069

The slightly fitted bodice helps it to lay without bulkiness underneath the jumper. I found vintage mother-of-pearl buttons in my button box, two smaller ones for each sleeve and five slightly larger ones for the back. Why it always give me satisfaction to use buttons I have on hand, I don’t know, but I was feeling quite delighted with my finds!

IMG_1077

Unfortunately, I am having problems with the main lens I use for my camera, so I had to resort to my old “point and shoot” for these photos, which makes them adequate, but that’s about all. Also, I’ll have to add photos of me actually wearing my new jumper and blouse at a later date, due to this inconvenience. My apologies…

January Jumper and blouse

Less than a month ago, when I was “planning” out 2015’s sewing, I did not envision that January would also produce a blouse to wear with my blanket dress. But that is one of the charms of fashion sewing – the spontaneity of a project that says “Me, Me, choose Me!” And so I did, and I am not only happy with the result, but delighted to have a tried and true “good bones” blouse pattern to use again and again, whether in the plan or not.

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Filed under Blouses, Buttons - choosing the right ones, Love of sewing, sewing in silk, Uncategorized, vintage buttons, vintage Vogue patterns from the 1970s

January Jumper

My blanket dress has morphed into a jumper. Not that that means it is going to look any different. Probably the biggest question I had when deciding to make my Irish blanket into a dress instead of a skirt was “how practical is this”? A sleeveless “everyday” dress for Winter? It was a given fact that I would be wearing a cardigan sweater with it, but I wasn’t sure I could find a suitably hued sweater to go with the bold plaid of the blanket. I had visions of taking up knitting (which I still should do…) in order to get the correct sweater match for this dress.

And then, last week in the Style section of The Wall Street Journal the lead article was entitled “How Dresses Lost Their Sleeves.” The sub-caption was “Women Want to Cover Their Arms Comfortably, but Designers Say That is Asking too Much.” It seems that many designers consider sleeves to be “frumpy”. Apparently, it is “so tricky to make a flattering sleeve that is roomy enough to offer a full range of motion.” (I can’t help but insert here a MEMO to current designers: take a hint from styles in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Sleeves were often designed in two pieces to create extra give without bulk, many sleeves had two or even three elbow darts to add ease of movement, and of course, kimono and dolman sleeves were stylish and their roominess added to the overall look of a dress or coat.) But – back to the sleeveless dress dilemma. The three solutions offered in the article are, of course, first, pairing that sleeveless dress with a cardigan sweater; second, wear a coordinating blazer or jacket with the dress; and third, “layer a thin T-shirt, turtleneck, or blouse under the dress – taking care to choose a neckline that looks graceful with the dress.” Of course! This solution makes the dress into a jumper! The term “jumper” conjures up visions of school uniforms, little girls’ attire, and bib aprons for many people, but for me, it reminds me of a look I have always loved and enjoyed wearing.

This entry from The Fairchild Dictionary of Fashion, Third Editiion, Fairchild Publications, Inc., New York, New York, 2003, defines various types of jumpers, including the A-line jumper.

This entry from The Fairchild Dictionary of Fashion, Third Editiion, Fairchild Publications, Inc., New York, New York, 2003, defines various types of jumpers, including the A-line jumper.

About the time I was reading this article, I had already cut the lining for my blanket dress. I had (very proudly, I might add) found some yellow crepe de chine in my fabric collection which I knew would be perfect for the lining. Not only did this mean I would not have to buy another piece of silk, but this particular color of yellow also had a slight brownish-greenish tinge to it, making it a pretty and pretty perfect complement to the plaid of the blanket.

Not sure the real color of this silk comes through here, but it's close!

Not sure the real color of this silk comes through here, but it’s close!

Now a woman with a mission, I checked on the remaining yardage of the yellow silk. I pulled out a vintage blouse pattern which I thought would compliment the lines of the dress and the neckline. I laid the pattern pieces out to determine if I had enough fabric to make a long-sleeved blouse. Yes, I am sure I do if I am “creative” when laying it out.. (When do I ever not have to be creative in my pattern lay-outs?)

And that’s how my dress turned into a jumper. Talk about frumpy! But seriously, how frumpy can a fringed-hem jumper be? I don’t think it will be, but I guess we’ll see for certain after the “ensemble” is complete. In the meantime, I’ll share the details of the finished jumper/dress .

January Jumper

January Jumper

1) I used brown thread to sew the fashion fabric, and it blended in beautifully.

2) The dress is underlined in white silk organza.

Here are the silk organza pattern pieces arranged on the fashion fabric.

Here are the silk organza pattern pieces arranged on the fashion fabric.

I cut the silk organza the full needed length of the dress in order to know exactly where the fringe should be placed for the hemline.   Then I trimmed off the excess later in the process.

I cut the silk organza the full needed length of the dress in order to know exactly where the fringe should be placed for the hemline.

I trimmed the organza about an inch from the beginning of the fringe and catch-stitched the edge of it very carefully to the fashion fabric. The tight weave of the blanket allowed me to do this without stitching or pulling showing on the right side of the dress.

January Jumper

3) I cut the armholes a little deeper than I would for a sleeveless dress, in order to accommodate the sleeves of the still-to-be-made blouse.

January Jumper

4) After trying it on to check the fit, it felt funny not have more weight at the hem other than the single layer of fringe. So I got the brainy idea to double up the fringe if I had enough left in my scraps. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do this, but I thought I could somehow figure it out. Sure enough, with piecing and matching, I had enough fringe to add another layer directly underneath the existing layer. When I found a long piece of brown rayon hem tape (vintage, no less, complete with rusted pin holding it all together!), I knew I had a plan. I stitched the pieced sections of fringe onto the rayon tape, and then hand-applied it to the dress. First I attached the upper edge to the lower raw edge of the silk organza , and then carefully slip-stitched along the “hem” edge to make the two layers of fringe act as one.

January Jumper

 

Another look at this!

Another look at this!

5) Of course you already know the dress is lined in yellow crepe de chine!

January Jumper

January Jumper 6) I saved the label from the blanket and sewed it into the back neck edge, so I’ll always be reminded of our lovely trip to Ireland when I put this on!

January Jumper

I guess on really cold days, even a blouse may not be enough to keep arms warm. I just may have to be really frumpy and wear a long-sleeved silk under-shirt underneath it all. Or maybe I really should take up knitting?

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Filed under couture construction, Jumpers, Uncategorized, underlinings, woolens

The Year of Magical Sewing

“Just around the corner in every woman’s mind – is a lovely dress, a wonderful suit, or entire costume which will make an enchanting new creature of her.”                                                               —  Wilhela Cushman

For those of us who sew, this statement takes on extra meaning, as it is in our power to create that lovely dress, wonderful suit or entire costume. But have you ever thought about the process of sewing – and how magical it is?   Magical in the sense of being “mysteriously skillful, effective, and enchanting” (as Webster defines one meaning of magic).   I love that I can start with a piece of fabric – or a pattern – or an idea spawned by something I have seen and admired – and, using skills I have learned, proceed to actually make my own interpretation. It’s a remarkable process, when you really take the time to think about it. So I am dubbing this year, 2015, for me, as The Year of Magical Sewing, with emphasis on the transformational qualities and joys inherent in fashion sewing.

So what do I have planned for my year of magical sewing? I am beginning the year with several new vintage patterns in my collection, which are inspiring me no end. Add to that some amazing fabric selections, both vintage and new, and I am already certain I’ll never complete every thing I’d like to!  So – here is a general outline for 2015:

It is always easiest for me to segment the year into its seasons as I think about what I’d like to sew. Starting with Winter, I have two wool projects which will take me into March, I am sure: One is my fringed “blanket” dress, currently underway in my Sewing Room. After that I will be sewing with a piece of navy blue cashmere, from which I hope to squeak out a dress and jacket. (Valentine’s Day will find me interrupting my wool projects to make a sweet treat or two for granddaughter Aida.)

With any luck, I'll soon be wearing my blanket dress.

With any luck, I’ll soon be wearing my blanket dress.

Spring is especially enticing to consider. Somehow I have become obsessed with dress and coat ensembles. Here are two patterns which would make up into “Spring” coats and coordinating dresses. I definitely will be using vintage linen for one of these two-part looks.

I love the knee length coat, although I may substitute another pattern for the coordinating dress.

I love the knee length coat, although I may substitute another pattern for the coordinating dress.

Or I may decide to use this Madame Gres design fopr a coat and dress.  The coat has very unusual darts along the side, which you may be able to see here.

Or I may decide to use this Madame Gres design for a coat and dress. The coat has very unusual darts along the side, which you may be able to see here.

Another Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress is also on my agenda for late Spring/early Summer. Thanks to one of my readers, I was able to purchase some authentic Cohama DvF fabric, so I am excited to contemplate the beginning of this dress.

Circa 1976, this fabric is still soft and lovely.

Circa 1976, this fabric is still soft and lovely.

Summer will find us traveling quite a bit, so I am trying to be realistic about the time I’ll have to sew. If I can get one “fancy/formal” dress made, I’ll consider it a success. I might be using this By Hand London “Flora” pattern with this fabric, unless, of course, I change my mind.

Aspects of this pattern remind me of classic Balenciaga.  I'll have to make the skirt longer, however...

Aspects of this pattern remind me of classic Balenciaga. I’ll have to make the skirt longer, however…

I watched this fabric on the website of Britex Fabrics for months, and finally decided I had to have it.  It is silk charmeuse, very soft with the abstract design woven in.

I watched this fabric on the website of Britex Fabrics for months, and finally decided I had to have it. It is silk charmeuse, very soft, with the abstract design woven in.

Fall will once again find me thinking coats and dresses. One of these two patterns will probably get the nod for a Fall/Winter ensemble:

I love both the coat and the dress (with two variations) featured in this pattern.

I love both the coat and the dress (with two variations) featured in this pattern.

This Jacques Heim design has very unusual seaming in the skirt.  And the short jacket looks like it would be very flattering.  However, this pattern needs just the perfect fabric to showcase the design.

This Jacques Heim design has very clever seaming in the skirt. And the short jacket looks like it would be very flattering. However, this pattern needs just the perfect fabric to showcase the design.

And I am still looking for the perfect fabric with which to make the coordinating coat for this dress which I completed last Fall:

The Year of Magical Sewing

And here is the Mattli pattern showing the coat...

And here is the Mattli pattern showing the coat.

And then there is that baby quilt I want to make for “number 2″ grandchild…   And more little dresses to make…

Perhaps the real magic of the year will be in completing even half of all I’d like to sew?  Here’s hoping that what is just around the corner for you, my readers, in 2015, holds its own magic and enchantment!

 

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Filed under Coats, Love of sewing, Uncategorized, Vintage fabric, vintage Vogue Designer patterns, vintage Vogue patterns from the 1960s, Wrap dresses