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Decades of Style 1930s Beach Pajamas Pattern Review

My last completed project (actually done before Gatsby but not photographed until later) was a pair of 1930s beach pajamas, using the Decades of Style 1930s Last Resort Beach PJs pattern.PHOTO 7.JPG

When deciding if a pattern is good I have these criteria:

  • Is the sizing chart accurate?
  • Do the pieces fit together?
  • Does the finished item look like the pattern envelope?
  • Does the garment fit and flatter?
  • Do the instructions make sense?

Um, check, check, and check! I’ve used Decades of Style before and once again I’m impressed by the quality of their work and highly recommend this pattern.3015_webart_final

I did not make the jacket so I can’t comment on that, but the beach PJs themselves went together nicely. If you’ve made pants before this should be easy for you. It is a pair of high-waisted pants with a top that doesn’t have too many pieces. I made the backless version because I didn’t have a long zipper in the right color, but there is an optional triangle pattern piece for the back if you want to be able to wear a regular bra.PHOTO 8.JPG

I made a small change in that I made and used bias tape to bind the neckline and armholes, and added a bow. The pattern includes facings and I did not use those since I wanted decorative binding.

The pants legs are also really long! This is great for tall people, or someone who wants to wear high heels. I had to cut a few extra inches off my hems, but that is a very easy fix, and better than finding out near the end that the pattern runs short.

The pockets in the pattern are a nice touch (even if I accidentally made one of mine higher because I was sewing late at night)! They are a functional size, and are a cute detail.

Just for fun, this is a picture of a mockup I did in a flower fabric I picked up from the CoCo Bargain Basement. I just roll-hemmed the raw edges, but it’s good enough to wear around the house as a lounge outfit.IMG_3606

I used rayon challis for this project, so mine are nice and soft, just like real PJs!. I see this being a very comfortable outfit for a future Gatsby picnic, or the beach! IMG_4105.JPG

Project costs:

  • 8 yards navy rayon challis: $30.32 from Fabric Wholesale Direct. (You only need 3-4, but I doubled up because i wanted a thicker garment).
  • 1 yard red rayon challis: $3.99 from FWD
  • 4 cones serger thread: $10.36 from FWD. (Since I was doubling up the fabric I sealed the layers together with a serger during flat-lining).
  • 1 blue zipper: ~$1 from eBay (part of a lot)
  • Pattern: $27.75 from Decades of Style (including shipping and tax, bought during a sale)

I got the first three items from FWD in exchange for a tutorial on their website, so my actual out-of-pocket cost was less than $30, instead of $73.42!

I like this pattern a lot, and would love to make it again if I find the right print.

Summary: Buy this pattern from Decades, and see you on the beach!IMG_4445

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1940s Star Trek TNG (Film Noir Costumes)

Last Saturday was the 1940s PEERS Ball, and my “crew” and I wore our 1940s Star Trek mashup outfits! (From left to right: Riker, Data, Troi, Red Shirt, Dixon Hill, Wesley, Dr. Crusher, and Geordi).IMG_8018

I was very worried that I couldn’t get the hair right, but with some tips from friends, a lot of foam curlers, and the magic setting lotion Lottabody I felt fabulous!IMG_8058

My hair was so fluffy you can’t see the vintage Bakelite dome earrings I’m wearing. They are mustard-colored and match the ring.IMG_8010IMG_8011

Here we are all so serious! IMG_8021

I had enough leftover fabric to give to Breanna so we could match! Her use of silver netting for Geordi’s visor was so clever!IMG_8038

Dr. Crusher made a dress and a coat!IMG_7997

Although Wesley was not so impressed by Mom.IMG_8029

Troi and sexy Riker got a little frisky!IMG_8055

Riker had to do the signature weird chair leaping!IMG_8067

And every away mission needs a Red Shirt!IMG_7993

All the ladies in our group made their own dresses from vintage or altered patterns. We had a wonderful time and I definitely want to wear my outfit again to Costume College!

See the rest of the photos on my Flickr account.

You can read about how I made my dress: Part 1, 2, 3.

1940s Star Trek Dress (Part 3) Finished

My 1940s style Star Trek dress is finished!  I am looking forward to wearing it to a 1940s party this weekend. (I will post pictures of the event next week).IMG_7949To summarize, the dress is made from 2 layers of rayon challis. The neckline is piped and has several gold buttons for “pips.” IMG_7939

I modified the Dahlia blouse pattern from Wearing History. I added in the extra seams in the front and back to create color-blocking and drafted the skirt myself.IMG_7944

The front is gathered at the shoulders with a puffed sleeve head.IMG_7945

The elbow is gathered, like many 1940s dresses, and the sleeves are extra long.IMG_7946

There is a curved seam where the bodice meets the skirt.IMG_7951

The rayon makes for a very nice, drapey dress. It is very form-fitting, especially around the hips. I’m afraid the construction shows off every bump and lump so proper vintage undergarments are required: a Rago girdle and a slip.IMG_7952

The dress closes on the side with a side-lapped zipper, hand-stitched in. (Originally I used invisible zippers, but this is more accurate to the time period).

I actually thought I completed it a few weeks ago, but when I put it on I wasn’t completely pleased with the way it hung, so I redid it – twice. Originally I made this as a 2-piece outfit, with a somewhat A-line skirt. I decided to change to a pencil skirt, which I felt would work better with the top. Also, I converted the outfit to a one piece, thinking the skirt would weigh down the bodice and keep the edges from flipping up. This meant I had to completely dismantle and recut the skirt, and remove 2 zippers.

Originally I prick-stitched the bodice to the skirt, which made the peplum front stand out, but the back looked a little odd. I took the dress and zipper apart again, and stitched everything together. There’s still little things I’m not 100% happy about, but overall I am very pleased with how it came together!

Final cost $87.93:

  • From Fabric.com: 3 yards black rayon challis, 2 yards mustard rayon challis, 1 spool black thread ($41.10 including tax and free shipping)
  • From Wearing History: a digital pattern bought on sale (I highly recommend you pay to get a paper pattern instead; I bought mine digitally because I needed it right away, but the paper ones are worth it!)
  • From the stash: gold buttons and zipper
  • From Thinkgeek: TNG communicator pin ($19.99 plus $6.95 shipping)
  • From Amazon: TNG phaser ($10.89 plus free Prime shipping)

I especially pleased with the communicator. It’s a quality reproduction that is on a strong magnet so I won’t get pin holes in my dress. The communicator is now available on Amazon (affiliate link) so if you have Prime you can even save on the shipping:

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I bought a TNG phaser just because it was fun and cheap. (It makes noise!): IMG_7953

I purchased some incredible Miss L Fire shoes, but sadly they are a bit big for me. I might see if I can get some inserts that won’t show in the peep toe, but for now I’ll have to wear plain black pumps with the dress.

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I also own these Capezios, which are very comfortable dance shoes, so they might be better for the event I have in mind this weekend anyway.

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Read Parts 1 and 2.

Next step is to figure out how to do hair and make-up, which are not things I excel at. Wish me luck!

1940s Star Trek Dress (Part 2)

I’ve made some progress on my 1940s Star Trek dress. I still need to do some finishing touches, but the major parts are done. (The skirt, sleeves, and bodice bottom need to be hemmed, the zippers need finishing, and I need to make piping for the neckline. I’d like to fuss a bit with the front gathers as well).IMG_7809

Obviously it will need a good ironing once it’s done!IMG_7811

I am also trying to decide whether to buy official TNG pips or to use these fancy buttons I have from my stash.IMG_7813

You can read about Part 1 here.

Mustard and Black 1940s Dress

I have not been sewing or blogging much because I am in the middle of a kitchen renovation, and we are doing what work we can ourselves. However, I’m taking a break while waiting for a coat of paint to dry to give you a sneak peek of my next project, a 1940s dress.

Is the color scheme familiar?IMG_7514

How about now?IMG_7517

I and some fellow nerdy costumer friends have taken inspiration from the film noir episode of the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation to make uniforms in 1940s style. Our goal to to make them from historically accurate fabrics and patterns, but using the color schemes of characters from the show. I am Data!

We were also inspired by this awesome art deco blouse found on Etsy:

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Photo by Guermantes Vintage

I am modifying the Dahlia blouse pattern from Wearing History. There is no yoke and I needed color blocking so I added extra seams in the front and back to piece together the rayon challis I am using.

The bodice will be flat-lined. I cut out all the pieces twice and serged them together before sewing. Right now I have some seams sewn together and the rest are pinned.

I  fitted my mockup at a friend’s house and started picking it apart while I was there, so I don’t have a dress form photo, but here it is lying flat on her floor. (I happened to have some scraps of gold and black fabric to use for my patterning!)

IMG_7187

The dress will have long fitted sleeves with a slight gather at the shoulders and elbows. I haven’t decided yet whether to make the dress a one or two-piece, but the skirt will be black, possibly with a yellow lining.