~ Mimi's Adventures in Crafting ~

The musings and adventures of a "forty-something" wife and mother whose inner-artisan has been reignited. Enter my realm and enjoy....

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Morning Musings

With a cup of herbal tea in hand I sit and ponder my path for the day.  My weekend has been spent working on my 1912 Princess Slip pattern for the VPLL Project as well as adjusting a corset pattern by Festive Attyre.  Being as I am not the diminutive type that these patterns were made for I have had to adjust them for my 5’ 10” frame and build.  Teeny, tiny, I am not!

So…what is in store for today and the remainder of my week?


The Voice of Fashion I am anxiously awaiting the Frances Grimble book The Voice of Fashion which I won in a Give-Away on Gwen’s blog After the Dress.  I just purchased Frances Grimble’s book The Edwardian Modiste several weeks ago and fell in love with all the fashions and patterns in that book.  As a winner in Gwen’s give-away you were given a choice of one of four of Frances Grimble’s books and in choosing one I decided on the book directly preceding the Edwardian Modiste which includes the Gibson Girl Era of fashion.  How wonderful it is going to be to have this reference in my library!  The other portion of the give-away included a membership to the VPLL(Vintage Pattern Lending Library) which is associated with the 1912 Sewing Project.  I am just aching to get my hands on some of their patterns.  I’d like to offer Gwen of After the Dress a heart-felt thank you for offering such a wonderful give-away.

Well…enough Monday morning musings…onto cutting a mock-up for my Princess Slip and corset and a little bit of sewing.

Happy Sewing….

Mimi O_2

Monday, March 12, 2012

Give-Away on Wearing History

1910's Blouse Pattern available on Wearing History's Pattern website. Good Morning fellow sewists….I have my coffee in hand and am surfing the net and came across this lovely give-away on Wearing History’s blog.  In this give-away you will win ONE copy of the upcoming 1910s Blouse Pattern in the size pack of your choice.  If you are sewing for the VPLL 1912 Project this pattern might be of special interest to you.  So head on over and read Lauren’s post requirements and enter the give-away.  I am entering and keeping my fingers crossed.  Good Luck…

Click to be taken to Wearing History Patterns.

Happy Sewing…

Mimi O_2

Friday, March 9, 2012

Mail Call: Up Next the VPPL 1912 Project

The Edwardian Modiste by Frances Grimble and Patterns of Fashion 2 by Janet Arnold. Lookie-lookie what the mail lady brought me today!!!

What a haul!!!  I have been waiting patiently for two books from Amazon, The Edwardian Modiste and Patterns of Fashion 2 as well as lace trim from Deb’s Lace & Trims and my patients has finally paid off with a box from both UPS and the Postal Service yesterday.   The final piece to the puzzle, my Challenge Pattern – Princess Slip, was received today.  These items will get put to good use all in preparation for participating in the VPLL 1912 sewing project.  I am so thrilled to have the main Princess Slip Materialscomponents to get this project underway, all that is left is the fabric which I will hopefully acquire this weekend.

The books were ordered in preparation for this project and I have quickly perused their pages and am very excited to find that the authentic patterns have been included along with the accompanying instructions, fashion plates and period sewing techniques.  There are also directions for converting the pattern illustrations in the books into the actual size pattern.  In the Edwardian Modiste there are scales in the back of the book that will aide you in drafting a pattern for your individual size based upon the American System of Edwardian Modiste Collage of the American System of Cutting Rulers, basic measurement how to page and one of the fashions with pattern illustrations. Cutting Rulers.  It is rather interesting seeing how these patterns were designed during this time period and what the seamstress utilized to enlarge them.  As for the Patterns of Fashion 2, this book also has patterns based upon actual dresses that have been studied in museums and galleries.  The garments have been graphed out with accompanying notes on fabrics, trims, etc.  There is an evening dress I am eyeing up on page 58 (c1909-1910) that will be a future project.  Both books are well worth the money paid in the information that can be Patterns of Fashion 2, page 58, shows a beautiful evening dress (c1909-1910) from The London Museum. Patterns of Fashion 2 by Janet Arnold.gleaned from them.

Onto VPLL…

Allow me to give you a little background information on the VPLL 1912 project.   I was reading an interesting article on the Threads Magazine website which lead me to a blog post on Vintage Fashionista that had made a request for test sewers for a special project.  The VPLL Library is transcribing patterns from the 1912 editions of La Mode Illustree in hopes of making the patterns from that year available to the public for lending/purchase.  As a test sewer I will receive patterns over the next year and will construct the clothing, post photos and blog about my experience sewing  on these vintage fashion patterns.  There are over 400 test sewers for this project and each has been designated a group based upon their geographic location.  As patterns become available they are assigned to a group.  As it stands right now not all groups have received a pattern but each sewer is given the opportunity to sew a “Challenge Pattern” that will be offered each month.  Officially I am now a member of Group #28, of The 1912 Project and am thrilled to have received the challenge pattern and am looking forward to receiving my regular group pattern once it becomes available as well.

I can’t wait to begin sewing vintage fashions!

Happy Sewing…

Mimi O

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Resolutions Revisited….

Snow Day in the Northeast! Well…I did it!!!  It has only taken me a year and two months to finish blogging about my Lady Grey jacket and the sew-along that took place on Gertie’s blog back in August/September of 2010.  Whoooo Hooooo….Yippy-Ki-Yay!!!  As it was I didn’t start the sew-along until October of that year so I was behind from the get go but I am not going to use that as an excuse for my lackadaisical attitude in regards to blogging about it.   For the record I did complete my jacket right before Christmas but once the holiday's hit I was caught up in the fervor of the moment or should that be plural, “moments” considering how long I have been away.  You could say I took a “mental health day” that lasted a whole year.  C'est la vie

The sense of accomplishment is incredible.  I am flying on the wings of elation with the anticipati0n of completing all my resolutions before 2012 is through.  Note the sarcasm in my voice!  Imagine that….REALLY…if that happened it would be one of those “aha moments” but before I get ahead of myself I should get my feet back on the ground and put the proverbial nose to the grind stone.   Those darn UFO knitting projects will be the death of me.  I have some sort of “block” or maybe it’s a boulder, in getting the ambition up to see these projects through.   With one resolution down and two more to go one could say “not bad…slow and steady wins the race”.  Seriously…I have been a wee bit on the slow side in my artistic pursuits  but I will keep on course and complete them before the year is out!  Wish me luck and until then…

Happy Sewing…

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Lady Grey: Hooray the Finished Jacket

Lady Grey Finished....Yes!!!Well here she is…my version of the Lady Grey using Butterick B5401.  I wish my picture had turned out better…a photographer I am not!  Trying to take the picture, see how it turned out and retake it aren’t the easiest things to do with the sun in your eyes and the weather being a wee bit brisk.  On top of that, the photographer forgot to tell me to smile. ;-) All in all I do love how this jacket fits me and what a difference the tailoring made in the looks and drape of the coat.  I will most definitely take on another tailored jacket project in the future.  Below are some views of the finished jacket hanging out on Myrna.

Finished back view. Finished front view. Finished side view.

And of course, according to Gertie, we had to offer you an accessorized version as well.  Every Lady Grey needs to be adorned;  mine is with a beautiful Celtic Brooch my mother gave to me for my birthday.

Lady Grey accessorized with a beautiful Celtic Brooch.

I am totally loving the look!!!

Onward we go to our next sewing adventure…

Happy Sewing…

Friday, March 2, 2012

Lady Grey: Final Construction Part 2

Wow…this has been a tremendous project to work on and it is hard to believe that it is finally winding down to where the jacket will be getting unveiled. 

Removing basting in back, lining placket. Basting removed.

Prior to stitching the jacket hem and lining together the basting stitches for the back lining placket needed to be removed.  The jacket hem was turned up and eased in then catch-stitched down.  I didn’t want my lining hanging loosely so I chose to stitch it directly to the jacket hem…darn…no one will every know that the jacket was under-lined with those cute little flannel circles!  Once the hem and lower jacket lining were in place the lining was also attached to the inner sleeve hem.

Catching lining to hem.

The jacket was placed on Myrna where I then hand basted diagonal stitches along the front of the jacket, lapels and upper collar.  This allowed me to steam press the jacket slightly and kept all the layers together prior to top-stitching.

Diagonal basting along lapel.  Diagonal basting through all layers on the front, lapels and upper collar.  Showing back upper collar basting.

I used the seam guide to assist me in having even top-stitching all the way around the coat.    Once complete the hand basting was removed and I steam pressed the jacket again.


Continuing onward with sewing that lovely button that I had picked out from my Great-Grandmother Netties’ button tin.  I used a toothpick to keep my button raised away from the coat while also stitching through a second button underneath to help prevent the lining from getting damaged due to the stress of buttoning and unbuttoning the coat.

Great-Grandma Netties' Button.  Button is sewn in on the underside while button sewn to the front.

An additional snap closure was sewn on as well. Update 3/6/12: I found this “sewing tidbit” on Threads this morning and thought it might be of interest to you.  I will now use this technique in the future when sewing on snaps and hooks.

Additional snap closure sewn in.   

….next post….the finished product!!!

Happy Sewing…

Mimi O_2

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Lady Grey: Final Construction-Part 1

Pocket placed on the front jacket.

Moving along to completing the outer jacket construction was the pocket placement and installation.  Due to my having adjusted the jacket for my height I also changed where the pockets would fall along the side seam.  I lowered their placement so that they would be more comfortable for me.  Once complete the jacket was then sewn at the shoulder and side seams in preparation for setting in the sleeve.  The quality of this picture isn’t the greatest but you can see some of the top stitching I have done along my seam lines as well.




Stabilizing the sleeve cap with fusible interfacing. The lower edge has been pinked.With all the lining and jacket pieces sewn together the next step in the process was tailoring the sleeves.  The sleeve cap on the jacket was stabilized  and bias cut stripes were fused onto the lower hem with fusible interfacing.  The sleeve head was installed according to my previous posting on the lining.  The sleeve was then stitched and the hem turned up and sewn in place.



The wrong side of the wool jacket sleeve showing the sleeve head sewn into it. Turned sleeve hem and stitched it to the bias cut fused interfacing.

 Shoulder pad placement and installation.Here is a picture of the shoulder pads that were sewn into my jacket.  Due to my various adjustments and the fact that I have complications due to my scoliosis I had to sew in two different thicknesses of pads to make the jacket hang correctly on me.  It is more than obvious in this picture due to using two different colored shoulder pads.  The left front required a 1” thick pad while the right needed a 1/2” pad.  It sounds strange but it works for me and allows the jacket to hang evenly while accounting for me curvature.

With this completed, the jacket and the lining were stitched together along the front edges, the lapel and upper collar areas, seams were graded, pressed and turned.  Prior to any topstitching it was necessary to now mark the placement of the opening for the bound buttonhole onto the front facing piece.  Here pins were stuck through into the facing and then I marked with chalk onto the facing.  A square piece of black organza was stitched, clipped and turned to create the hole for the back side of the bound buttonhole.  I think it turned out lovely and no frayed areas!

Pushing pins through to mark the placement for the hole in the facing for the bound buttonhole.  Marked sewing line for the facing side of the bound buttonhole.

After sewing and turning the organza to the wrong side of the facing you are left with a wonderful looking hole to complet your bound buttonhole with. Finished bound buttonhole.

Next post Part 2-Completing the remainder of the jacket.

Happy Sewing…

Mimi O

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