RSS Feed

Embroidered 50s Dress, Vintage Jewelry, and Other Finds

I’ve been doing a lot of small tasks lately, like mending, replacing buttons, adding trim, cleaning jewelry, etc. so I don’t have a big sewing project to share. Instead, I am showing you some beautiful vintage items I have recently found.

First is this really cute embroidered 50’s dress!

IMG_5387 IMG_5389 IMG_5391 IMG_5392Unfortunately it needs a lot of love and attention. It has many stains and damaged areas, although the embroidery is in good shape. The zipper has some rust, and the bodice lining and outer nylon layer has some holes and tears. There are some tears at the top of the dress so I can’t hang it up until I sew in some hanging loops. The dress fits me perfectly though, so I hope I can rescue it!

I finally got around to cleaning the jewelry I bought at Costume College, either from the bargain bazaar or a vendor, and here are the pieces.

First is an adorable dress clip with a happy couple. I’m not sure what to wear with it yet, but I’ll figure it out. Next is a brooch featuring carved coral tulips and green stone leaves. I have some other vintage coral tulip jewelry, although not in such a deep pink color.IMG_5378

This heart-shaped pin features a little ivory flower. I am in love with this tiny millefiori pin!IMG_5380You can see how tiny it is compared to this other millefiori pin I bought years ago from the Alameda Antiques Fair.

IMG_5385

Next are these two little pins that are probably not vintage, but cute anyway. I am going to put some green thread on the artists’ palette to fill in the missing part. Isn’t the little dangling button on the needle just perfect?

IMG_5382

The enamel pin is missing its center stone. I’m not sure what it was originally, but I am adding in a faux pearl. The shiny brooch on the right is a piece of modern costume jewelry, but I liked the fun colors, even if it’s missing a few stones. I can repair it, but until then, I don’t think it’s very noticeable if worn at night!IMG_5383Lastly is this pair of hand-embroidered pillowcases. I have a friend who loves to embroider, so I am going to pass these onto her, since I know she will give them a good home.

IMG_5376

Costume College 2015 Sunday

Sunday was the last day at Costume College (and the last post in this series). Soon  we can get back to the regular business of sewing!

Sunday morning was the Breakfast with the Bennets event. I brought a Regency dress and originally planned to attend, but I decided to eat breakfast in my room and then line up early at the bargain basement. (On the last day of CoCo, there is a huge garage sale of donated items that benefits the CoCo scholarship fund. There is always a ton of fabric and trims, and various other things like clothes, accessories, and books).

I didn’t have time to make a new dress, so I wore an old one that’s been retrimmed once before. I really should make a new Regency dress. I’ve sold/given away the other ones, and this is my only one at the moment! My matching bonnet also had an unfortunate mishap in the week leading up to the event, so I am bareheaded.

DSCN1918I didn’t take a lot of photos on Sunday, because I was in class for the bulk of the time. In the morning I was in Mela Hoyt-Hayden’s wonderful millinery flowers class. (Afterwards so many of us wanted to get together to make silk velvet flowers!) I also took Kendra’s amusing class on 18th century hats.

DSCN1908

The ladies from Colonial Williamsburg had a great class on 18th century mantua-makers, and draped a mantua right in front of us! I was impressed that the cutting was eyeballed, instead of measured.

IMG_5111 IMG_5112 IMG_5113I had a few favorite outfits on Sunday. First, there was this wonderful Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell group.

DSCN1915Look at these cute regency outfits by Abby and Nicole (and check out the dagging on the spencer!)   IMG_5105I love outfits that are simple, but well-done and accurate, and Natalie did a wonderful job of recreating Liotard’s Chocolate Girl painting.

DSCN1927It was an exciting CoCo, and I am looking forward to next year! I already have some outfits planned . . .

Costume College 2015 Saturday

Saturday at Costume College was another great day for seeing lovely costumes! I spent a lot of time chatting, taking photos, and browsing the marketplace. I would have taken more classes, but never underestimate how long it takes to make several costume changes, and feed yourself in between!

I had been thinking of taking the “Haslam System” classes, but slept in, and took my time getting dressed and socializing. Saturday morning I wore my Game of Thrones Kings Landing dress.

DSCN1705DSCN1710 In the middle of the day I attended my limited class “Mysterious Illusions: Creating Seamless Lace Garments,” taught by Rory Cunningham. I also wandered around and ran into many lovely garments, such as these bustle dresses by Merja, Elizabeth, and Jen.

DSCN1746There were mermaids by the pool, and Kim helped one back into the water.DSCN1756I was very excited to see Jenny Rose’s black chemise gown, since I have been planning to make one of my own. I loved making my white chemise so much I want more in other colors!

DSCN1739Before changing into my gala dress for the evening I had one last outfit change: getting into my AAGPBL Kenosha Comets baseball uniform with my teammate Monica!

IMG_5076There were many stunning gowns at the Gala and in the line on the way in. Natalie’s gold and black teens dress is just like a fashion plate!

DSCN1771This Queen of Hearts costume was really awesome in person.

DSCN1796   Lauren and Kaila looked so pretty in their 18th century gowns.

DSCN1767Kendra’s court gown was just faaabulous.DSCN1804And the other court gowns in attendance were quite lovely, too!

DSCN1897At the Gala dinner there were these kooky flower costumes.

DSCN1881I really liked the use of beetle wings on this gown.DSCN1785The green and black looked great together, and the silhouette is just perfect!DSCN1788For the Gala dinner I wore my silk chemise a la reine. I forgot to bring along my blue book, to appear more like the portrait the dress is based on, so I used the purse I had for my Friday Night Social outfit. My wig got a little smashed on the trip down, but I like how the whole ensemble turned out. I am looking forward to making more chemise dresses in various colors of cotton voile!

DSCN1814 DSCN1816More photos from Saturday can be seen on Flickr.

Costume College 2015 Friday

Friday was the first day of classes at Costume College! For the morning several of us dressed in our Downton Abbey maid costumes, and attended our very first class, a panel hosted by Lauren Stowell of American Duchess, Abby Cox of Colonial Williamsburg, Cathy Hay of Your Wardrobe Unlock’d, and Mela Hoyt-Hayden, milliner and costumer.

DSCN1602 DSCN1603I previously posted more pictures and details about my outfit here.DSCN1616I was very excited to see Jen Thompson’s Grey Lady of Ravenclaw costume!

DSCN1628And Loren’s Rita Skeeter costume, complete with a moving Quick Quotes Quill, was another great Harry Potter costume!

DSCN1635I only wore my maid outfit for a few hours, because I changed into casual clothes for my Pomatum, Powder, Cushions, and Caps! class, taught by Abigail Cox, Janea Whitacre, and Nicole Rudolph. It was a great class, and we all left with a cushion for an 18th century hairstyle of our choosing, and powder and pomatum supplies. Plus, we had hair ready for the Friday Night Social!

The lighting washed out the details on my dress, but it is a silk dress inspired by 18th century fashion, but in a shortened version. It has faux pearl beading, lace, and silk and ribbon flowers, with a sack back super hero cape! I wore it with brand new, super pretty Dunmores from American Duchess. Abby helped me a lot with my hair.

DSCN1664Here is a slightly better photo, taken at home. I made this dress a while back, but this was the first time I wore it with panniers instead of round petticoats.

IMG_4996There were so many gorgeous outfits worn that Friday night!  Here are Rebecca, Breanna, and Lauren, spanning several time periods.

DSCN1646

Gretchen’s bustle dress was so sporty.

DSCN1656

Amanda, Natalie, and Kaila always look lovely.DSCN1687 DSCN1694

Abby’s large hat was full of awesome.DSCN1645Aimee and Loren wore beautiful Game of Thrones dresses.DSCN1649It was great to see Nicole’s jacket in person!DSCN1644Katherine’s entire ensemble was quite pretty.DSCN1662More of my photos can be seen at my Flickr account.

Costume College 2015 Thursday

I am back from Costume College, and all unpacked! There were so many wonderful things that I will have to make multiple posts to summarize the whole event.

We drove down Thursday morning, and 4 of us met up partway down for lunch, and then again at FIDM to check out their costume exhibit. There were a lot of outfits from Emmy-nominated shows (most of which I had never seen), but what we were there to really see were the historical gowns on exhibit. Here are a few of my favorites.

IMG_4999 IMG_5012IMG_5005Check-in at the hotel was an adventure, since their computer system decided to go down on one of their busiest days of the year! Luckily, we did not have to wait too long for our room, although some people who got there earlier had to wait more than 2 hours.

Right before the annual pool party there was a special taping of the Frock Flicks podcast, hosted by Kendra, Sarah, and Trystan. It was a lot of fun.

IMG_5052Effie Trinket (of the Costumer’s Closet) also showed up.

IMG_5054Our Bevy of Bathing Beauties group assembled at the podcast before going down to the pool. We made Victorian bathing suits and took some silly photos!

IMG_5030 IMG_5031Maybe next year we’ll have more than one Bathing Dude.

IMG_5032

IMG_5026More details about my outfit were posted previously.

IMG_5038 IMG_5040 IMG_5051

Curtis was the only one brave enough to go into the pool. Some of us feared drowning.IMG_5065Stay tuned for Friday!

Victorian Bathing Suit

Costume College is just days away! Yesterday I finished my Victorian bathing suit for the Thursday night pool party.

I was inspired by this bathing suit from the Met Museum.

IMG_4848I made mine out of a gray and black wool/polyester blend. I didn’t have time to order red petersham, so I used grosgrain ribbon for the trim. It looks nice on straight lines, but doesn’t curve as well as I would have liked for the collar and sleeves.

Here are a few quick photos of the outfit!

IMG_4932Oops, I didn’t notice I put my belt on off-center.IMG_4934 IMG_4936 IMG_4938I didn’t have time to make bathing shoes, so I bought some cheap $6 flats from Amazon and used up the rest of the ribbon I had left. This photo looks like it was taken by someone else, but really I leaned over, then turned it upside down!IMG_4941I used Ageless Patterns #1410 to make the dress and bloomers.

1410The pattern isn’t awful, but I can’t really recommend it. Ageless Patterns are traced from extant patterns and magazines of the period, which makes them historically accurate, but lacking in directions and specifics about size. This pattern was simply listed as “medium.” (I think it fits more like a large). The arm holes are also strangely big, the shoulders are rather low, the sleeves didn’t quite fit right, and the collar piece was completely useless. It was a bizarre shape and didn’t fit. I eventually gave up and just bound the neckline.

The good thing about the pattern, aside from the sleeves and collar, is that it is ridiculously easy to put together. The dress consists of one back piece and 2 front pieces, and you gather at the waist. The bloomers consist of a front and back for each leg.

Since the pattern was large on me I was able to cheat on the closures. I put an elastic channel into the waist, which is covered by the belt. The dress from the waist down is sewn shut, and the top half closes with hooks and eyes. The buttons are false! No making buttonholes! I just pull this dress over my head, put the belt on, and then hook up the top. Super easy, and comfortable, too!

Project cost:

  • 4 yards wool blend: $54.35 including tax (hooray for the clearance table at Britex!) – I still have more than 1 yard left
  • 3 yards Kaufman Duet Linining: $6.86 including tax and shipping (with a coupon and free shipping from Fabric.com)
  • 2 rolls of grosgrain ribbon: $5.23 including tax (with a coupon from Michael’s)
  • 10 buttons: $0, kit left over from my maid dress
  • shoes: $6.27 including free shipping from Amazon
  • pattern: $15 + $4.85 shipping from Etsy

Total: $92.56

(Edit: Post updated! I forgot to add in the price of the pattern).

Midsummer Night’s Ball and Tulle Fairy Tale Skirt

Last night I went to the Midsummer Night’s Ball, hosted by Sam and Monica of Overattired.  I made myself a tulle skirt filled with flower petals that I am calling the fairy tale skirt. IMG_4895I originally intended the skirt to be worn with a mint green petticoat and top, so it was made with a green waistband matching sash. However, since I am busy sewing for Costume College I did not have time to make a mint green top so for the ball I decided to go with a cream coordinate, and wear the skirt over a H&M chiffon dress I already had in my closet. This is what the skirt looked like at home.IMG_4787The tulle and chiffon are from Fabric Wholesale Direct, and I wrote a step-by-step tutorial with pictures for their website. Tulle skirts are easy and fast!

My antlers are from Sweet Mildred, and are lovely both from the front and back.IMG_4916 IMG_4919The shoes are an eBay find from a few years ago. I’ve also worn them with a 20s tea outfit.

IMG_4915The belt is also from eBay, and the acorn necklace is from LOTV Designs.IMG_4921A silly pose!

IMG_4897At the ball I delivered a dress I made to Jean, editor of San Francisco/Science Fiction Magazine. I made this for myself years ago, prior to this blog, so I don’t have any construction photos to post. I am glad the dress has found a new home! It is a damask dress based on Italian Renaissance design, and trimmed with gold and white twist with gold beads. I also made the puffed-sleeve blouse worn underneath. IMG_4910

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 74 other followers