Monday, August 30, 2010

Love...1970s Style

Yikes! I really fell out of the habit of blogging during these past two weeks...too many things to do and way too little time, as usual. Sadly, I'm going to have to withdraw from Self-Stitched September (insert frowning emoticon here). I signed up with the best of intentions, but life with an 11 month old baby-soon-to-be-walking-toddler makes sewing and taking photos very unpredictable. There's always next year, I suppose....

Now for the new post!

I have a small collection of 1960s and 1970s "mini magazines" that were published by Simplicity, Butterick and McCall's and given away at fabric/sewing shops as a really cool marketing tool. This is one of my favorites from McCall's; there's no copyright date, but it's definitely from the early 1970s! I like the theme of this one, which seems to be "Love 1970s Style" with the oh-so-happy couples modeling butterfly collars and wide-leg pants with the usual pattern company styling and sincere enthusiasm that I find so endearing. Be sure to click on the images to see them full-size!

And since the theme of this post is "love 1970s style" I wanted to post this gem, which I found in a Redbook magazine circa 1975 which tries to sort out the complicated cross-relationships between a handful of celebrities:

And here's a collage that I made of my favorite 1970s couples (click to enlarge):

(First row from left to right): Ali Macgraw & Steve McQueen, Todd Rundgren & Bebe Buell, Sid Vicious & Nancy Spungen, Diane Keaton and Woody Allen.
(Second row): James Taylor & Carly Simon, Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, Vivienne Westwood & Malcolm McLaren, David Bowie & Angela Bowie.
(Third row): Angela Houston and Jack Nicholson, John Cazale & Meryl Streep, Maureen McCormick & Barry Williamson, Julie Christie & Warren Beatty.

Lastly, here's a new (vintage) pattern that I added to my collection last week! I've been looking for this particular pattern for a really long time and had to break my "no pattern buying" rule to get it. The 1970s John Kloss Butterick patterns are sexy, simple and amazing. Plus this particular dress pattern has only 3 pattern pieces. Yes - only 3 pattern pieces! With my extremely precious and limited sewing time, I should be able to make this within a few hours so it's going to be my next sewing project. Hopefully, the next post will be of me wearing this dress!

Monday, August 16, 2010

"Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans...."

I don't know which John Lennon song this quote is from ("Beautiful Boy", maybe?) but it kind of sums up my sewing activity as of late - tons of plans to sew like crazy, but no time to follow through because, well, life doesn't just conveniently pause for a moment (or several hours) just because we want to make a dress, does it?

While rummaging through a box of patterns that I have queued to put in my shop, I found a cool 1970s Vogue poncho pattern with a list that was jotted down by the original seamstress, as well as a newspaper ad for a big sale on Pendleton wool fabric:

Like myself (and many other home sewers out there), I'm sure that this person had the best of intentions to start and finish this project. She made a detailed list of notions, fabric and lining that she needed to purchase to complete the project. She even clipped out a sale ad for Pendleton fabric, (which would have been a stellar choice for a poncho, by the way). How do I know she never made the poncho? Well, the pattern is still factory folded and the list and ad were both neatly tucked inside, never to see the light of day until 40 years later. It makes me wonder what happened? Why didn't she follow through or even begin the project? Like many of us, I suspect that the answer is simply: LIFE.

Here's a scan of the Vogue poncho pattern, by the way! Isn't it lovely?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Completed Project: Burda "Marilyn" Trousers

I was able to steal a few minutes today to finally take photos of my completed Marilyn trousers (taken outside in the 100 degree heat, no less)! I used a lovely brown herringbone wool/rayon blend suiting to make them - a steal at $6.00 per yard at Jo-Ann Fabrics. This is the first time that I've used a Burda pattern and, even with the limited diagrams, the trousers were pretty simple to make and I am anxious to use Burda patterns again! I'm really pleased with these and will definitely be wearing them often this fall and winter.

The only alteration I did add was to an extra inch to the length because I think the cropped version from the original Burda photo looks quite awkward:

Monday, August 9, 2010

1970s-Inspired Chloe 2010-2011 Winter Collection Ad Campaign

I'm really taken with the ad campaign for the Chloe winter 2010-2011 collection! The photos look like they were taken from a 1970s high fashion magazine, especially the first one. I love-love-love the high waist wide leg pants!

Here are a few vintage patterns that I found on Etsy this morning. Now you can make your own version of the laid-back 1970s style designs that are featured in the ads!

$14.00 from thevintagebungalow.

$10.75 from ZipZapKap

$14.75 from pintucksew

Yes, it's safe to assume that I have fall/winter clothing on the brain. There's a heat index of 107 degrees here in Springfield today! I am so ready for cooler weather! Are any of you longing for the crispy coolness of fall? Here's a sneak preview of my Marilyn trousers, which I completed last night:

They are made from a not-so-summer-friendly brown herringbone wool/rayon blend suiting. Ironically, they are the polar opposite of the wide leg pants featured in the Chloe ads!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Pattern Giveaway at Rhinestones and Telephones!

To celebrate the announcement of her charming and ambitious fall/winter sewing project, Sarah at Rhinestones and Telephones is having a giveaway for a bunch of cool vintage and retro sewing patterns! You have until August 11th, so click here to visit the original post to enter!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Miss Dandy Designs at iNDie Boutique!

Here's another reason why I don't ever have time to sew for myself....I'm currently consigning one-of-a-kind clothing that I make to an amazing local downtown Springfield boutique called iNDie! All of the clothes that I make for iNDie are specifically made from pieces of upcycled vintage clothing. Here are a few of my most recent designs (which I dropped off at the shop today!):

1970s style mini dress. The skirt, decorative button and armhole trim are are made from pieces from an upcycled 1970s floral corduroy skirt. The sweetheart bodice is made from organic cotton and the flutter sleeves and belt are made from a really pretty green cotton.

This pullover top is made from a chopped up rainbow striped vintage 1970s top. The original top had a seriously pointy butterfly collar that just had to go! The cuffs, neckband and waistband are made from white cotton knit and the back of the top is made from vintage lime green butterfly print knit fabric.

Babydoll top with puff sleeves and a wraparound belt. I used fabric from the most amazing vintage 1970s African print maxi skirt to make this top! I found the skirt at a local estate sale a couple months ago. I don't wear maxi skirts and bought it with the ultimate intention of using the bold print to make something else.

I plan to finish my Marilyn trousers this weekend but, after that, I'll have to put all sewing for myself on hold for a while because the Apple Cider Days festival is just around the corner! Camille at iNDie has reserved two booths there where she will sell things from local designers and I want to have lots of things made for it!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Completed Project: 1960s Plaid Mod Blouse

I actually finished this blouse several days ago, but put off taking photos until yesterday. Taking photos is one of my least favorite things to do. My camera is an older one, and if I try to take photos without a flash, the resulting photos always turn out blurry (thus two mildly blurry photos below). The finished garments always look much lovelier in person, so my photos never do them justice. Sigh!

Here is the mod blouse that I made from the pattern and fabric shown at the end of this post. This is an almost perfect blouse! I successfully lined up all of the plaids at the front and the sides. I did, however, manage to mess up the cuffs at the very last minute. Instead of affixing the button to the under lap extension and the buttonhole to the overlap, I switched them. I didn't realize the error until after I had made and cut the buttonhole. So the cuffs are backwards (and are sticking out and look like men's dress shirt cuffs). However, unless you are a sewer, I think it's pretty unnoticeable. It has rather boxy fit and will look much better tucked into a fitted skirt or a pair of trousers (both of which I have yet to make!).

Photo taken with a flash to show the details of the fabric, which has a lovely color combination. There are sparkly gold lines that are a part of the plaid that you can't see in the other photos. A flash is good for something, I suppose!

Showing off one of the backwards cuffs with a contrasting button that I made from bits of the leftover plaid fabric.

The one addition that I had to make. Since the fabric is pretty lightweight, the top corner kept popping out from under the collar. I had to sew on a snap to keep it in place and it's invisible under the collar.

It only took me 4 hours from start to finish to make this blouse. The fabric is a lightweight cotton plaid cotton that I purchased from Jo-Ann's for $3.00 (labeled as a juvenile novelty fabric!) and the collar and cuffs are made from mustard yellow quilter's cotton. Total cost, including buttons: just under $6.00.

And here is a wrinkled muslin that I made of the Burda Style Marilyn trousers! Amazingly, the only alteration I need to make is to let out the waistband by 1"! Everything else fits perfectly...I was pretty shocked! For anyone who wants to make these, the construction is super-easy. Although it's a muslin and I quickly machine sewed what I would usually finish by hand (like the waistband and the hem), they only took 2 hours to make.

I'm in love with the pleats! These have a very low vote on Burda Style right now - only 2 out of 5 stars. I don't understand why since they are a classic trouser design. The tapered legs, which are the trendiest thing about them, could be easily adjusted for a fuller fit. I have a curvier figure and the high waist and pleats work for me. In other words, they don't make me look huge which is what I believe a lot of others think these trousers will ultimately do.