Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Made by Me File: Vintage Simplicity 7984. The Little Red Dress that Could.

UPDATE (10/1/2014): Voting is now open.  :-)  If you so desire, send a vote my way!

Tonight's post will be twofold--first will be the "red dress" story as required by the Fabric Mart Fashion Challenge for week four (read more on it here).  The second part of this post will be more on the construction of this dress (fabrics used, pattern info, changes and alterations, etc.)

Here I am attempting my best impression of a 1960s pattern model.  I feel like I look so jaunty.  LOL.

This dress is based on a 1969 Simplicity Pattern, 7984.  You can view an image of it here.

I don't wear much red.  At all.  I am a spring colored kind of lady, so spring greens, yellows, and oranges are much more my speed, so when I read that we would need to make a little red dress and have a good story on where we would go to in the LRD, I was *just* a bit freaked out, to be honest.

The one red dress I own is a gorgeous J. Crew dress from a few years back*, and it seems to be in the one color of red that suits my complexion, that red that has a lot of yellow in it.  Unfortunately for me, I had only one yard cuts of any red that was similar in hue and that meant that any dress I would be making would have to be a LRD with some red printed material thrown into the mix.  Fortunately for me Julie's Picks (a subscription swatch service at Fabric Mart) included this very pretty poly charmeuse in an abstract animal print that is the same red as the red solid fabric I had on hand.  Score!

And since I am a bit wary of wearing solid red near my face (barring that one red dress from J. Crew and this top), I figured a pretty two fabric dress would be just the right answer to my LRD dilemma.

*I almost forgot this red dress--also a winner, but again, not a traditional blue-red.

So where am I going in my little red number?  Well...and this is freaking me out a bit to admit this...my hubby and I are at #13--that's right, 13 years of marriage, this October 13th.  (13 on the 13th! Hey!)  So like all my red dress in the past, and the red blouse of the same year, I am going to do something darn special while wearing it.

The J. Crew dress was worn out in Paris, the red top was worn to a French restaurant, and this lovely red frock will be worn out (I am hoping!) to a nice dinner out to a steak restaurant where I can get some amazing cut of meat AND a glass of red wine in the same exact shade as my dress.

I wish I could go to Paris in this, but I will settle for someplace nice here in DC or Alexandria.  ;-)

Of course, why limit a dress that I spent (countless, yeah I stopped counting) hours on to one special occasion?  Why not go out for another?

Since I didn't make this in time for my reunion last year, I think I should plan another get-together with all my high school friends this year so I can show it off.  LOL.  Well, and see all my buddies again.  ;-)  I am thinking it would be pretty great to have another dressy event, maybe drinks and dinner out?  Tysons Corner is halfway for most of us, and they have some pretty great restaurants we could all meet at and catch up.

(And laugh a LOT.  Turns out all those times I lamented not getting on with some folks at my kids school, etc., it was because I really need people in my life like my old high school friends.  I miss seeing them everyday.  They're good people.)

But of course what would I be if I didn't manage to at least try and make a piece that could also be worn to mass or teaching?  Yep, add a cute jacket or cardigan and you have a work appropriate look.  Yay!  LRD multi-tasking.


These instructions are what I wish all companies would do nowadays.  Print the details all on one page, clearly, with great line drawings.  I never get confused using vintage patterns.  They also print one size per envelope, so if you are a straight size in one garment (fortunately this one I was a straight size 12, with some tweaking), you only have to use one pattern envelope, and don't have to fiddle around with a gazillion size lines.  What is in the envelope is exactly what you need.

Since I am a short-torso, wide-hipped, yet small-chested lady, this dress pretty much fit everything I needed in one go.  It featured a fitted bodice, an empire waist (which actually falls closer to my real waist, so yeah!), and an a-line skirt.  It is a very sweet pattern.  Though many patterns today are nice enough, the detail and little extras in this one make seeking out vintage patterns worth it.  Even though I didn't end up adding a button to the collar or sewing on belt carriers, it is nice to have that option.  I did add the sash, though, and even made it double-sided so it could be worn two ways for two different (sort of) looks.

I LOVE any pattern that includes back neck darts.  I know I could just add them myself to modern patterns, but for easiness, it is good to have them there ready to go.  Necklines almost always fit me better with neck darts.  The Burda 7137 I made in week two features back neck darts, as well.

Though the pattern didn't include lining pattern pieces or instructions, I knew to wear this in winter with tights would necessitate the sewing of a lining.  So I cut the bodice and skirt pieces out of an acetate, sewed them up, and carefully attached them to the dress after installing the collar.  I would like to act like I did it, no problem, but I am not a liar.  It was HARD.  The neckline was easier for me to attach the lining to, but I got all confused at the armholes.  I figured it out, but ended up having to stitch part of the armhole shut by hand since I couldn't work out how to completely machine sew the armhole lining to the armhole main fabric.

I also hand-stitched the lining to the zip.  It takes a long time to do that, but I watched the awesomeful show Sleepy Hollow with my hubby while sewing.  Have you all seen that show?  As a history teacher I was a bit mortified.  But I laughed my you know what off...

For all of the problems the lining gave me at the armhole, it did turn out well, so yippee! 

I do want to mention that I did a square shoulder adjustment on this pattern and I have to say this may be one of the best fitting bodices I have ever sewn.  I am so stoked to have something fit me so precisely!

Fabric Used:

1. Julie's Pick Abstract Animal Print Poly Charmeuse in a red/black/silver/white used for the bodice and pockets.

2. Red Stretch Corduroy from Fabric Mart (remnant) used for the skirt and half of the sash.

3. Black Textured Cotton Canvas from Fabric Mart (remnant) used for half of the sash.

4. Ivory Acetate for the lining.

I mentioned this in the other post today, but this dress reminds me a lot of the Vestiges Dress from Anthropologie, which I do own and love.  I guess I was inspired partially by that.  I look at Antrho catalogs and think, "hey, how can I make that myself?"

I am a sucker for pockets, so even though there was no instructions or pocket pattern piece, I used the same one I used for the first challenge for this dress and it worked very well.  I love little surprises, so I made the pocket from the same material as the bodice.

Okay, that's all for tonight.  By tomorrow the blog post with all of our creations will be up.  Voting is now open here!  I haven't won any challenge yet, and though that is never my goal (really love being challenged, because hey why not?), this week's prize is pretty darn good, so there you go.  ;-)

Have a great night--talk soon!

Boden: Not Giving Me Any Time Off! Sale and Spring Preview 2015 News!

Edda!  She's in a pretty dress!

Hi, all!  Well this would have been published this morning except that I had to finish up some last minute details on my red dress for the Fashion Challenge over at Fabric Mart.  I was all sure that I was doing well during this week's challenge, all caught up, BUT NOOOOOO, lol.  Anyhow, for those of you curious, I included a photo of me in it at the end of this post.  I will do the made by me file tonight or tomorrow morning. 

Extra 30% Off Clearance:
ANYHOW.  Turns out that Boden may be sneaking in some "American" type ideas in their business model since this morning my affiliate program let me know that *for two days only* (today and tomorrow), they would be giving an additional 30% off all clearance items.  SO *that's* why the prices went back up.  Sneaky.  If you see something in clearance that you love that is a good price after the 30% off, definitely go for it, and hopefully it is at the same price it was when they had their awesomeness sale a few weeks back, when the clearance items were up to 80% off.

(Just checked the link, btw, below, and I can't seem to make it work.  I will email the affiliate manager and ask what is up, but if you manage to make it work, would you let us know?)

Link to the Extra 30% Off Clearance:
Shop Boden for an additional 30% off clearance!

Spring Preview 2015:
Lou, and CC through her, let us know that the spring preview is live.  *Yes, cc, that is really early.*  Geez, if the items were in production now, I could buy them and wear them for an additional month around here, lol.  But, still, PRETTY SPRING ITEMS!  The email with the 20% off plus free shipping/returns came while I was writing this, and it is F9Z8 (the code expires October 13).  Enjoy!  Boden Preview is here.

Okay, there's more out there to talk about, but I have to get going, so I am going to wait to talk about other Boden news for a couple of days.  ;-)

This is my red dress.  This is based off a vintage 1969 Simplicity pattern (7984, here).  I chose to make the sash double-sided, one side is the same red fabric as the skirt, while the other side is black.  I will show off images of the dress worn without the sash, with the black side of the sash, and more in the made by me file.  But that won't be for a bit, so here's a sneak peek.  BTW, after sewing it up, I realized it reminded me a lot of the Vestiges Dress from Anthropologie, which I still have and love.  I guess I just really like the "it looks like it could be a skirt and a top with a big ole sash kind of dress."

Okay, off to go to do parental duties!  Have a great Tuesday afternoon!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Boden Weekly Review Roundup: Yummy New Arrivals and the End of a Sale!

I hope all of you are well.  I am doing my best to get my dress done in time for Tuesday's due date over at the Fashion Challenge at Fabric Mart's blog, and it is looking good so far.  For those of you that are curious, I am doing the sleeveless version of this dress in two different red fabrics (one printed, one solid) and a sash (no belt carriers, though).  We'll see if it's enough to keep me in for another week.

Before we start this roundup, I want to make sure you know about two things:

1. Boden started a sale either Friday or Saturday (found out on Saturday, but it could have started Friday).  I wrote up more info on the sale here at this blog post.  FWIW, the sale is 20% off everything.

2. My giveaway (which was sponsored by Boden) for $125 to Boden ends this Friday, October 3, 2014.  Make sure you enter.  Sadly, it is for US residents only, but I do know that they definitely have giveaways for those of you from the other side of the pond, and if I read about those, I will make sure to let you know.

Onto the roundup, and some pretties!

Regular Boden:
Sorry about the exposure.  It was a dark day outside and try as I might, I couldn't quite get the right lighting. 
Everyday Sweater, Eliza Coat, and Hartland Dress.  The Everyday Sweater/Jumper is a size 6R, the Eliza Coat is a size 8R, and the Hartland Dress is a size 8L.

The Everyday Sweater and Eliza Coat are definitely available at the website, but the Hartland Dress is MIA.  This COLOR of the Everyday Sweater is not on the site, though, even though they have a photo of it in yellow on the model.  I assume the Hartland Dress is proving popular in preview and they needed to wait to roll it out to get more stock?  But I could be completely wrong.  :-)  I don't know what is going on with this sweater.  Just weird.

Hartland Dress.  Size 8L.  This dress is so cute!  It does run big, but I can't size down, since I really like the way the hips fit me.  I think I will just take in the side seams above the waistline to narrow the bodice to my proper size.  The neckline may still be a touch too large, and if that is the case, I will add some neck darts (in the back).

The material is a really soft stretchy cotton corduroy, printed with the world's most adorable squirrel print.  Up close it is a wonder this could translate well into a women's dress, but it does.  It is likely because it is a more muted colorway and the pattern doesn't read so cutesy from far away.

Eliza Coat.  Size 8R.  There are no longs in this coat, but this one fits well in the 8R as far as length.  I do want to note that I normally purchase size 6 when purchasing coats from Boden, but this year, the two coats I ordered have come up small in size (this one in the shoulders, oddly enough).  If you carry your weight up top, you may end up having to go up two sizes, just a word of warning.  In the size 8R, the coat fits me the way it does the catalog model, which was the look I was going for, so I am pleased. 

This photo doesn't really show the color properly, but if you go to the Everyday Sweater item page, the sweater in the color Allium is a good representation of what the color looks like in real life.  I really like this kind of dusky pink color for myself, not as pastel and stark as baby pink nor as bright and in your face as fuchsia (though I do love fuchsia). 

This coat is not the best coat if you need or want a coat for super cold frigid and windy days.  It is good for what we get a lot of here in VA, those kind of cool, mid-40s as a high, days that we have between November and February.

Everyday Sweater.  Size 6R. I had no idea that the everyday sweater had this cute hem detailing at the side seams, but wasn't displeased upon discovering it.

The sweater hits at the high hip, which means it may be a touch short on you if you have a longer torso (I have a relatively short torso for my height).

The material is a luscious merino wool and cotton, so it is soft and warm.  The print is very pretty in a retro way, which is my "thing," so of course I wanted it.  I have enough yellow in my wardrobe, so I went with the blue/evergreen color instead.

Millie Skirt, Glamorous Knitted Dress, and Rainy Day Mac.  The skirt and dress are in size 6L, while the mac is in size 6R.

All three of these are available on the website.  For a brief moment, it appeared this color of the rainy day mac had sold out, but it was back in all sizes in less than a week, so maybe it was a snafu?

Rainy Day Mac.  I should have ordered the 8R when originally ordering, but *only* because it is a touch tight in the mid-hip, and because the zip is not one of those awesome double ended zips, where you can unzip from the bottom, too.  If it had one of those zips, I would keep the 6R since it fits wonderfully everywhere else.  Oh, well.  Will be exchanging for the new size soon enough, and if a bit big everywhere else, I guess I'll live, since I don't know that I have the technical skills to alter this one on my sewing machine.

I just love this print.  I am a sucker for all things British (hey, mumsnet ladies--a bit of anglophile, lol), and this called out to me in preview.

I am sad to read that it may not be as waterproof as I hoped, but I love the fleece lining and how wind proof it is...will be wonderful for those days I go to the city and need the protection from the elements.  (I rely far too much on my van's heated seating most of the time.)

Glamorous Knitted Dress.  I think the 6L was the right call, it is just fitted enough, but because it is knit, in no way is it too tight.  It reminds me a lot of this knitted dress I own from them from a few years back, with the obvious difference being the color and pattern.

What attracted me to this was the pattern and color...it is more than appropriate enough to teach school in, but is also dressy enough to go to a party or out to dinner.  The gold in the photo above is metallic gold thread, so it is a bit shiny, but in a subdued way.

The reviews (two of them) online are funny.  One lady LOVES hers, while the other one HATES hers.  I love mine, but I think it could potentially be scratchy if you are sensitive to that, and it may be too high-waisted for some of you.  Just some things to keep in mind.

Millie Skirt.  Yeah, yeah, two British items.  It is a sickness.  :-D

The skirt is made very well, lined in a poly so it can be worn with tights in winter, and with a nice thick cotton fabric for the outer fabric (not quite canvas--but close).

The one gripe I have is the waistband.  The skirt fits and fits very well, but I have to get it over my head since I can't extend the waistband enough to fit over my hips to bring it up the way you would normally put on a skirt.  Not really a big deal, but I have to be careful when doing that so as to not get makeup, etc., on it.

Everyday Sweater
Eliza Coat
Millie Skirt
Glamorous Knitted Dress
Rainy Day Mac
Everyday Sweater, Eliza Coat, Millie Skirt, Glamorous Knitted Dress, and Rainy Day Mac.  The Hartland Dress is not on the site, when it is, I will make sure to update the blog and let you all know.  As far as I can tell, the Everyday Sweater in the pretty rose pattern is not there, either.  Everything else is on the site, and in stock, though some may be backordered in some sizes.

Pattern Sweater
Pattern Sweater.  I wore it as part of a "not quite ready for fall" outfit.  Thank goodness our summer is back.  Phew.  ;-)

Amy dress
Amy Dress.  I am nearly 100% sure that all of you have seen me in this, but just in case, here is the link.

Cambridge Skirt
Cambridge Skirt.  Lou wore hers as part of a "warm weather" look recently.

Animal print top
Animal Print Top.  Lou gives us a review of this top here.

Hotchpotch Pattern Sweater
Hotchpotch Pattern Sweater.  The Pear to Remember blog shows off an outfit featuring this sweater in the yellow color. 

Clearance Boden (be aware prices have gone back up to higher prices from what they were a couple weeks ago):
Soho Blouse
Soho Blouse.  Avril wore the cute navy spotted version recently in a smart casual daytime look.

Okay, I think that's it for tonight!  Thanks again to all my blog friends for their great reviews!

In order to get the 20% off, you need to make sure to click on the link on the homepage that says: "Click to apply the code 47A2."  Remember the sale ends tomorrow night!