Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bridging the Fourth Wall

I never look into the camera, but perhaps that's a bit impersonal of me? So if you have ever wondered what it would be like to have me staring you down, it might look a bit like this.

Blogging tip: bridges are such great spot to get photos of outfits! Those lines along the edges of the frame draw the viewers attention to the center and really add a great almost graphic element to photos. Which is why you may notice, I take photos on bridges quite a often! I am always keeping an eye out for nice photo spots around town, but I have several reliable old favorite spots at this point. However, sadly, I have still yet to find the perfect large brick wall that is often a stereotypical blogger background. One day I hope to find the perfect local solid colored wall of brick, but alas it eludes me.

I made this suit a few summers ago, and though I have tried wearing the jacket with other skirts, it really goes best with the matching pencil skirt. I decided I wanted to wear these amazing new gloves (well, they are vintage, but they are new to me) that arrived as part of an amazing birthday present (thank you again!). I choose the brooch to match the gloves, as both are a warm almost honey yellow color. These Chelsea Crew heels, which you may have noticed I wear quite a lot, have yellow piping so I thought they would work with the other yellow tones, and then the cognac leather of the shoes meant I could pair my tooled leather clutch with the ensemble. These are the calculations behind my styling choices ha! I pulled out my huge navy straw hat and pinned several vintage silk flowers at the crown to bring some extra visual interest to what is a rather color blocked outfit.

I'll be re-making a jacket pattern similar to this one soon for a new safari inspired suit. I've had the skirt finished for weeks, but as the jacket will be much more time intensive I have been putting it off. I have to get going on that project however as summer really is the season for safari fashions and before we know it fall will be around the corner. Of course fall is the best so that's no bad thing ;)

Oh and there is a new video up on my YouTube channel this week about how to start wearing vintage if you are thinking about making the switch to a more retro style of dress. Check it out here if you'd like! Happy Friday everyone!

Suit: Made by me
Hat, Flower pins, Brooch, Scarf, Clutch, & Gloves: Vintage
(The gloves were an amazing birthday gift and I am so in love with them!)
Shoes: Chelsea Crew

Monday, July 24, 2017

Blue Roses and Lavender Lilies

I hadn't worn this skirt in ages, and sometimes you just want to throw an outfit together you know? Perhaps I didn't take my usual amount of care putting this look together, but you know, it's summer and it's hot out there.

This outfit feels oddly casual to me, perhaps it doesn't look that way, but patterned skirt+solid top is an old standby formula that usually works. I just need a big natural colored straw hat to wear with my other wicker and straw accessories, I'm always on the hunt for the right one! This necklace has natural colored straw beads too, and is a Miriam Haskell (!), one of the only branded pieces of costume jewelry I have in my collection. I do have a straw clutch on my wishlist as well, but for now wicker handbags do the job of matching straw colors admirably. I particularly like this embellished handbag as an alternative to my more plain wicker bag I have had for a few years. Like all vintage accessories, I'd love to have a rainbow selection of wicker handbags someday!

I hope you all had a great weekend. I didn't get any sewing done sadly but I have been working on writing a lot lately, but any time I can get a good amount of writing or editing done I still feel accomplished. It's easy, when I always have so many different creative outlets going at once, to feel uninspired in one area and procrastinate with my sewing by writing, or my writing with sewing. Switching around projects this weekend meant I didn't finish any one thing, but progress was made so I'm calling it a win!

Skirt: Made by me
Top: Thrifted
Shoes: random store in San Diego I don't know the name of
Handbag, Bracelet, & Necklace: Vintage

Friday, July 21, 2017

How to Move Darts and Change Necklines : Slashing & Spreading (Pattern Drafting)

Alright, after the last few posts you now have got a basic 2 dart bodice block pattern (you do right?). So what can we do with that? We can use the bodice block as is, with one dart at the waist and one to the side, it works great and I myself use this basic bodice style for nearly all of my dresses. Often I use this 2 dart bodice pattern but modified to have a kimono style sleeve instead of a set in one, which is a modification I explain here. The different fabrics, necklines, sleeve styles, and other details can make this same very standard 2 dart bodice pattern look very different or work for a verity of eras.

For my white eyelet dress I used my basic 2 dart bodice pattern. The only change in the pattern for the dress above from my basic bodice block was to draw on a v-neckline, super simple!

Still, you don't have to stick with one waist dart and one side dart, you can move one or both of these darts to create some different style lines! Or perhaps instead of a dart you want to use gathers instead? Darts are used to make the fabric curve to the shape of the body, taking in fullness to create shape, but of course this fullness does not have to be controlled with a dart. You can use pleats, gathers, smocking, or darts to reign in fullness and using the slash and spread method of moving around fullness means you can move the area where fullness is controlled around too. For example the dress below is again a variation I created from my standard 2 dart bodice pattern, first I used the slash and spread method to move the side dart to the neckline and then instead of actually sewing the dart I instead used gathers to control the fullness.

The red lines here show where the darts are on the pattern, but while I sewed the waist dart as usual, I gathered the fullness of the dart at the neckline instead of actually sewing the dart.

Most if not all bodice styles are created by manipulating the excess fullness created by fitting the fabric to the body with darts or style lines. You can transform the standard darts of a pattern into a style line or princess line quite easily, but I'll be showing you that another day. Today lets simply look at how to slash and spread to move darts around.
Endless possibilities!
So the darts, and in turn fullness, radiates from the apex (bust point) on women's patterns. All darts usually point to the apex, and gathers usually radiate back to the apex as well. Different style lines or additional added fullness can go against this basic principal, but when starting with the 2 dart basic bodice block pattern, you are usually going to be moving darts around the apex.

Lets start by tracing a copy of the front basic bodice block.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Auburn Summer

I lightened my hair up a bit, and as the color fades it is becoming more and more auburn. To be honest I am speeding the fading along as I want it to get a bit lighter and then go pink...but we'll see. I've never had pink hair before, it could be a disaster with my skin tone, or it could be really fun! I may chicken out, you'll know if you see me with dark brown hair again soon then I probably didn't like the pink and dyed over it ;)

This red circle skirt is surprisingly versatile in my wardrobe, I wear it more and more! I suppose a fun bright color is pretty standard for summer, but as I only started wearing color again a few years ago  after years of devotion to nearly all black, I still find bright colors surprising in a fun way. The blue striped top makes the whole look a bit patriotic looking so I tried to cut that by adding some yellow accessories. Not only do I really like all three primary colors together, but I'm also not too keen to look patriotic just about now when the US is driving me mad. The less said about that nonsense the better here in this space devoted to nice things like sewing and fashion, but goodness, what a mess. I think it's time to add another colorful circle skirt to my wardrobe since I have been wearing this one so often, so I have some "shell pink" cotton sateen on the way to make a new skirt!

I was going to pick up some pink fabric from my local Joanns, but the store was a mess! I asked an associate what was going on and they said they will be launching a ton of fabrics in mid August and were shuffling everything around for that. I'll certainly be interested to see what that means, hopefully they will be adding nice new apparel fabric but most often changes at big stores like this mean even more quilting cotton and less and less for apparel seamstresses.

I'm not going to lie, this week has been weird so far you guys. Monday started with driving my dad to the airport at an early hour and having woken up with too little sleep I felt almost ill and it really really shattered me. I was useless until I had a nap and lost the first half of the day essentially! Then I have been having nightmares the past few days that wake me up early too! I didn't get a video together in time to go up Tuesday which broke my nice streak of uploading every week, so now I feel behind and like I've let myself down there. Then I realized my drivers licence had actually expired on my birthday and I hadn't noticed so I spent the day at the DMV renewing that. Just odd things knocking me out of sync, but hopefully I'll get back on track this weekend and also get some nice sewing done. TGIF right?

Skirt: Made by me
Top: Charming Charlie
Shoes: Chelsea Crew (Royal Vintage Shoes)
Handbag, Belt, & Scarf: Vintage
Brooch & Earrings: Luxulite
Sunglasses: TJ Maxx

Monday, July 17, 2017

Flowers and Chocolate

Doesn't this Plastiflex clutch look like a giant chocolate bar? ;)

This dress is another favorite (don't I always say that? I like my clothes I guess!) every summer. I hope you all don't get too bored with my repeating outfits, but I suppose it proves I don't really have a super crazy sized wardrobe just yet ;) Hopefully the fact that I try to style things differently each time I wear them helps add some semblance of variety. Last year I paired this same dress with red accessories and this time I decided to base everything around the dark brown in the print instead. Mostly I just wanted an excuse to use this chocolate bar purse! You all know how I love Plastiflex style clutches, and this is the third of my small collection. I'm not sure if it has been featured on the blog yet, so this may be it's debut even though I have had it a while now.

Even though I opted for a brown belt and clutch, I chose white for the jewelry and shoes because I wanted to wear these really fun white flower heels. I got these floral strap high heels on super sale from Modcloth last year (the year before? I don't remember!) and though they are rather modern in style I just had to have them! I quite like the look of vintage dresses and modern heels together. It's interesting to me how many of the biggest fashion bloggers actually have really vintage influenced style but they just mix in more modern pieces or styling. If I wore my hair straight and got myself a name brand handbag could I be sitting front row at fashion week? I think I'll stick to my retro curls and love of more authentic vintage styles, but I do wonder sometimes why people seems to like vintage style pieces on their own but not all together. Vintage blogs after all are infinitely less "popular" than regular fashion blogs. I really enjoy following both, but perhaps I am an anomaly!

I did finally finish sewing together a new dress this weekend so I expect you'll be seeing that soon as I can't wait to wear it! Unfortunately this focus on sewing will mean the first break from a new Tuesday video in a while, but I am determined to get something together for next week. I hope you all had a good Monday!

Dress: Made by me
Belt, Clutch, & Jewelry: Vintage
Shoes: Modcloth
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