Thursday, February 21, 2013

I Dreamed a Dream

Red Sateen Party Dress
from Blue Velvet Vintage

Once upon a time, on a far off blog called Male Pattern Boldness, someone did a lovely post pondering the merits of the shelf bust. And what is the shelf bust? Well, I'd tell you but Peter did a much better job than I ever could of answering that question, complete with pictures to boot so why don't you take a quick peek over there and then come right back.

Are you done yet?

Yes, he sews and he does a wonderful job of it too. Stop gaping at Cathy's fantastic legs and come back here so we can talk about Butterick's latest pattern release.

So anyway, the shelf bust. I fell in love with that look the minute I saw it on MPB and just had to own one. Fortunately, for mr man's wallet, I've not been able to find on etsy for a price I was willing to pay or rather I couldn't justify it in the light of all my other fabric/pattern wants and wishes. But it seems Gertie of Blog for Better Sewing fame, heard my cry and convinced Butterick to release this little wonder.

5882: Gertie's shelf bust dress

I have no words for how exciting this is to me so I'll let Jonah Hill express glee on my behalf.

The other new offerings aren't too shabby, including this cute little shorts and shirt pattern, also by Gertie.

5895 Vintage top and pants

This sweet little knit dress,

5885: Maggie London knit dress

And these two Victorian antebellum reproduction for little miss ma'am's current throwback obsession. I'm still working on the stays for our Austen era dresses. I might get hives if I have to contemplate a corset. Okay, not really. I'm loving working on the Davenport ensembles. It's simply taking a bit of work to have it come out the right way. Eventually, I'd love to put that kind of time into a few different eras, primarily Federal and yes, Antebellum.

5901: Children's Antebellum underthings

5900: Child's Antebellum dress

So in conclusion, I'll be making a mad dash for Joann's as soon as I hear the glorious sound of a Butterick sale.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I can't find my stupid grocery list

So let's look at pinky's Easter dress in progress instead, yes?

It still needs sleeves, buttons in the back, embroidery on the front, and the neckline needs to be finished but that should all be finished by Tuesday when I have my last class. I'm really going to miss going to class every week so I think I'm going to go to their sewing bee on Wednesday mornings. Keep your fingers crossed that sewing mojo is contagious.

Now, let's discuss my Easter dress, shall we? I had plans to finish the vintage dress I cut out last year but I might have a slight obsession with coordinating outfits for the holidays. The vintage dress, while beautimous (is so a word) is ivory and robin's egg blue and much different than the tone, style, and techniques assorted with pinky's dress. So I went hoping around the interwebs and pinterest to see if I could come with something heirloom-y for my person.

What? You don't like those??

For the record, there are a few better options out there.

Like this beautiful heirloom inspired camisole for which I'd need another camisole to hide my bra. However, as much as I love this, it doesn't quite suit my needs/wants. The wonderful thing about heirloom sewing is that it's quite adaptable to any pattern. You just create your "fabric" from various laces, insertions, and strips of the primary fabric and then lay your chosen pattern pieces on top. So I went digging around and came up with Simplicity 2147.

There are quite a few versions of this pattern floating around the interwebs, ranging from adorable little tops.

via Barefoot in the Kitchen

To sweet little dresses

via mklittle

I've decided on view B and to give it a similar feel to pinky's dress, I plan to do lace work in the yoke along with a lace fancy band in the hem of the skirt. My friend A is quite concerned that such a shapeless tunic will look like a sack on me so I need to figure out something for the belt. I think a commercially available belt will be too heavy a look for this dress but lacework or fabric seems too flimsy.

Any thoughts?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

I didn't die.

I've just been useless. Allow me to distract you from my hot mess behind.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

And the winner is . . .

I had a lot of sappy words to type up here but I made myself gag so uhm, yeah, just know that I'm really grateful and appreciative for all of you who read my ramblings, comment on them, and harangue me to blather on endlessly. My already over inflated ego is busting with love for you all.

Between the two posts about the giveaway, there were 15 submissions. Because I'm a ding ding who can't figure out simple things sometimes, I have no idea how to copy the generator dealio that lead to today's winner so you'll just need to trust me when I say that number 8 was our winner.

And who was number 8, do you ask?


So drop me an email here and I will send you your Valentine's towels. Of course you better hurry if you have any hope of using them on valentine's so make it spiffy, lady. 

And don't look at me like that, people. I know her, okay? And she loves it when I threaten her life.

Before I go threaten some short lives, (because really, how many times do I have to tell a child to wipe out the bathroom sink??) here's your Color of Love for today.

 I wonder what they were listening to. Personally, I've been playing Beast of Burden on a leap lately.


Friday, February 8, 2013

Today's Color of Love

African American Couple
via Black History Album

French Hand Sewing by Machine

Quite the contradiction in terms, don't you think? Long story short, it's the method of recreating the lovely details we associate with Edwardian fashions into modern clothing, not that you'd know it from the book I'm using for my class.

Holy 80's!

I would be remiss if I didn't address the hot mess on that kid's head. Even in the era that brought us day-glo and acid wash, that business is unacceptable. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, what exactly does one do with French Hand Sewing by Machine?

It's primarily used in children's clothing, particularly frilly, frou frou baby things with delicate embroidery, swaths of lace, and general hard to find in stores sweetness.

Daisy pattern by Susan Stewart Designs

Sweet baby dress from Old Fashioned Baby

Creations by Michie baby dress

Lest you be tempted to dismiss this as a girls only thing, here are some adorably sweet boy versions.

sewn by AuntSchonie
You can make your own with this pattern

Available at Orient Expressed
or create your own with this Primrose Lane Pattern

And of course, the christening gowns.

The Little Blue Bird by Wendy Schoen

If I were Catholic, pudding would have worn
this sweet yet masculine little gown for his christening.
Pattern from Creations by Michie #112

Another name for it is heirloom sewing and let me tell you, the southern ladies looooove their heirloom sewing. What else are you supposed to wear your Big Ass Bows with? And don't look at me like that, mommy. They call them big ass bows, I swear. Just ask my friend E and her adorable little Scarlett.

At her Gone with the Wind themed birthday party

These techniques can also be used in women's clothing, primarily lingerie and blouses but now I've strayed so far from the original point of this post thanks to all the beautiful heirloom sewing images out there that I'm going to have to abruptly yank you back.

I'm taking a class, that's the point, yes. I'm sorry. I get lost sometimes. Anyway, French Hand Sewing by Machine is the name of the book I'm using and I'm putting together a beautiful Easter dress for pinky. White with a blue lining, bits of lace, and a cornflower blue slip. I've taken two classes and have three left. To be honest, I'm not learning much I didn't already know besides the proper pronunciation for words like batiste and entredeux. (bateeeste, all fancy French-like and on-tray-doe a deer, a female deer if you were wondering.) But it's nice to escape the baby, hang out with people who love to sew, and have a definite time frame for finishing a garment considering what a procrastinator I am.

Sneak peek!

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! She's going to look beeeeyyyyooooooooooooootiful! And she better considering how much this bad boy is going to cost at the end of the day.

And if you haven't already, run, don't walk to end my first ever blog giveaway, these purrrtemous dishtowels, handmade by little ol' moi. Okay? Okay.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Color of Love

I wish I could remember where I found this pic but I love it.

Once again, call me slacker

Bet you're wondering why it's Thursday and you're just seeing this on my blog, yes?

Yeah. If you didn't know why I refer to myself as the hot mess housewife, this would be a huge clue. I'm a day late, and a dollar short which is the story of my life but we're going to keep on keeping on anyway. Pretend it's Monday and Monday is giveaway day. I have two things up for the taking, one you've heard but not seen and another came from another sewing blogger.

Are you ready?

First up, the dishtowels I mentioned in this post. Since I was never able to post a proper picture before the original close of the previous giveaway, I hope you won't mind if we bolo the other one and start over. I could lie and tell you how fancy the fabric is but dude, I bought some wallyworld dishtowels that were under $4 for the pair. They are some kind of blend of polyester and other mixed bag lab created fabric whatever who. BUT they are so soft and so absorbent that you'll forget where they came from and love them just as I do. Also, look at that argyle? Right??? So perfect for Valentine's. Sweet but not sappy. The crochet trim wanted to fight with me but I won.

And now I have to go pick up the pinkermeister from dance so you'll be waiting about an hour or so for the details on the other giveaway. In the meantime, leave a comment to enter and I'll pick a winner Sunday at 3pm. For additional entries, share this post on Facebook, twitter or both and let me know in the comments.

All good?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Not quite what I was planning

As I was attempting to find a nice vintage or antique picture to tie in with my heirloom sewing class, I came across something much more awesome.

These beautiful images were captured by James Van Der Zee, one of the most respected photographers of the era and a prominent artist of the Harlem Renaissance. 

The subjects of his portraits came from all walks of life. He photographed mothers and their children,

College athletes

Celebrities like Jean-Michel Basquiat

and Marcus Garvey,

and ordinary people, including this picture of a glamorous couple dressed up for a Sunday drive.

His life spanned nearly a century of our history.

James Van Der Dee as a young man

And cataloged it ever so beautifully.

He wasn't just a studio photographer. He was an artist with a fantastic eye and the technical skill to elevate a simple portrait into a lasting testament to a society and an era so often overlooked.

Monday, February 4, 2013

A plague on both your houses

Sometimes, I don't like the people I live with.

Mr is never sick. Peteybird only gets headaches now and then, sometimes the occasional fever. Pinky somehow manages to only get a case of the sniffles. However, every.single.time homegirl brings home a case of a slightly runny nose, pudding and I take to our beds for a week with the downright miserables. Poor baby is cutting molars too and generally suffering from an unfun life which means I'm suffering from an unfun life and have accomplished preeeetty much nothing in the last few days.

However, as February is Black History Month and features Valentine's Day, I have fought through the fog of congestion and stuffy ears to post this sweet picture of a couple in love. I hope you'll stop by every day this month for a fresh picture of black couples throughout history looking all sappy-like at each other.

Also, stop by later today so I can tell you all about Sew Grateful week and make fresh excuses about my procrastination.

Friday, February 1, 2013

A belated birthday wish and a new tumblr

Yesterday was the birthday of Jackie Robinson, the first black man to play for the MLB since the 1880's. And yeah, I didn't know anyone came before Jackie Robinson either. But someone did and his name was Moses Fleetwood and apparently, some douchecanoe golden boy named Cap Anson had a problem with this and helped make it so that we didn't see another black man in the major leagues until Branch Rickey decided to look for a few good (black) men wherever they may be.

Well boo on Cap Anson because I've never heard of his racist behind until today while everyone and their mama knows who Jackie Robinson is, or at least I hope they do. If somehow you haven't heard of Jackie Robinson, there's a biopic set for release on the 101st anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic called 42.

And uhm, I really want that blue argyle sweater little Jackie is wearing in that trailer, okay? Also, check out little man's saddle shoes in the header pic after you get done taking in your fill of the glorious Rachel Robinson. Did you know that after Jackie retired, Rachel went into nursing? She became an Assistant Profession at Yale's nursing school and later went on to become the Director of Nursing at the Connecticut Mental Health Center. Wanna bet Jackie beamed with the same price Rachel showed him during his years with the MLB?

That's love, baby.

Speaking of black folks in love, check out the tumblr where I found that beautiful pic of Jackie, Rachel, and Jackie Jr, Love Letter To Sepia.