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Made with cloth, needle, and thread.

We are all travelers in time

Chairing the IWC’s first Time Travelers’ Ball  (TTB) has been interesting and fun. However, we need to sell some more tickets.  I think some people may be frightened by the theme.  There is nothing to fear. It’s the easiest costume ever. The hardest part is choosing. Waxing philosophical at the February meeting, I blurted out “We’re all travelers in time”. Rather than getting too metaphysical, we are always physically moving forward in time and mentally moving backward through our memories. I’m sure everyone has their favorite decade. I was pretty hot stuff in the 70s and 80s,if I wasn’t such a historical costume nut, I’d pick those eras. Half-joking, I said something about a silver jiffy pop dress that is hanging in someone’s closet would be perfect for the TTB if you came from the future. Or maybe a Barbarella: Queen of the Galaxy bikini? A lovely piece of Hawaiian print would make a sarong, or a white fabric for a ...

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Juan y María didn’t cover this stuff.

Answering my phone during painting class, I was confused to hear Husband say “I don’t want to spoil the surprise but I have someone here you should speak to”. My mind raced, a surprise is usually a good thing, so the first thing I thought was “Do we have visitors? Is one of my kids here?” There was silence on the line and an unfamiliar voce asked me in Spanish what I wanted. Really confused now, I replied that I had no idea why I was speaking to him. Turns out that Husband had decided to surprise me and buy a dressmaker’s dummy! Telling him about seeing them for sale,I had mentioned the price being around $2400. My big dilemma was deciding what size I needed. Husband went to the shop and said that he wanted to buy that particular mannequin for me, he knew it was the one because it was the correct price. His Spanish gave out when ...

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Not going as well as expected

My VPLL 1912 project isn’t going as well for me as I expected, mostly due to inattention on my part and my printer being cranky. I fully expect to be a much more skilled seamstress when the project is over. I also feel a bit intimidated by the blog posts that I have been reading. That said, here is my report. I used some very inexpensive blush colored cotton broadcloth from my stash. I think I originally bought 10 meters because it as $9.99 a meter (about 99 cents US at the time). So including the lace, I might have spent $80.00 not quite seven dollars. Living in no-pattern land, I have downloaded a few patterns. This time wanting to do everything correctly, I re-read the directions and noticed this phrase, Check to make sure that your print preferences for page scaling are set to none. If they are set to “fit to page” or anything other than none – ...

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Stitching in Mexico

This is mostly a sewing post, consider yourself warned. It’s been awhile since I joined the Vintage Pattern Lending Library’s 1912 project. January 4,2012 to be exact, I did a tiny blog post about it. Today, I received my first pattern, # E0336!! It’s a princess line slip. Mexico is a great place for the budding seamstress, there are fabric stores and notion stores but patterns like we are used to NOB are few and far between. There are however pattern magazine, Telas Parasina even sells their own version. In the streets near the mercado you can buy  Patrones ,there is even a Patrones Niños.If you are really fashion forward, Dantes and Sanbornes sell the European sewing magazine Revista Burda or Burda style, it’s usually a few months out of date,but still very fashion forward for Merida. Minimal sewing directions is the rule, it’s assumed that you know how to sew. No step by step directions. I like that, I ...

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Can I play too?

The 1912 project is looking for people to sew. They are transcribing patterns from La Mode Illustree and want volunteers to test out the patterns. I love,love,love Titanic era clothes. My garden party dress was inspired by the era and I am no stranger to historical costuming though my eras tend to be much earlier. Anyway, I would love to volunteer for the project. I’d really love to make some of the girl’s outfits for my granddaughters.

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Crazy idea? Just my style.

Quilting is not my thing. The idea of quilting is intriguing but the reality of it is that I don’t have the patience, precision nor persistence to plan and pull it off. Quilting started as a way to save money, piecing scraps together to make new blankets and has evolved into an art form. It’s all gotten rather expensive,in my opinion. The fabrics aren’t cheap by any means, but if you’re going to put that much energy into something, you want it to last.  However, there is one type of quilt that does call out to me, the crazy quilt. I have bits and pieces of crochet, embroidered handkerchiefs and blouses and other bits and pieces. I am thinking of making a quilt out of all those things. Not a big one, just a small one.  It’s another way to whittle down my fabric stash.Even though the turbans and pantaloons took up quite a bit. There is still more in ...

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Shrug is not always a verb

Remember the $10 ( that’s about seventy-five cents those of you still thinking in dollars) tank tops that I bought for Tuafor?  Adapting the directions that I found on Cut out and Keep, I made a shrug for Tuafor. One of my favorite things about this shrug is that I incorporated a pair of lace sleeves that I saved from one of my tops.While I was removing the lace trim on a nylon top that had wasn’t worth saving I decided to save the sleeves too. I’ve been trying to temper this tendency of mine to hoard scraps. Saving lace trim didn’t seem too outrageous but I felt a little guilty about the sleeves. They sat on the end table for a few days while I argued with myself about keeping them. While hacking apart the tank top, inspiration struck! The shrug needed sleeves, the brown looked good next to the burgundy tank top, it all came together with the ...

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Costume revealed

Breaking with my longstanding tradition of stitching on costumes until the very last second, I finished my costume a few days ago. There is a sizable dent in my fabric stash, some of it went into a sultan costume for BK’s husband. I cut out the vest, but she decorated it and made his pantaloons. Our turbans were created for the event by skillful tying.The sultan sat patiently while BK stitched a large jewel to his recently wrapped headdress. BK and I gilded the lily by adding more bangles and bracelets to our outfits.The sultan got a sash and a sword. Said sword was featured in a dance that I performed after drinking two glasses of wine. I am sure that there are photos out there of that! BK had an Indian Shalwar Kameeze with a matching shawl that she borrowed the pantaloons from. The shawl was reincarnated as a popper and veil. Her top is a purchased coin decorated ...

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Busy Bee, that’s me!

In honor of the Borg, I have new nicknames for the granddaughters. They are now Juannafor, Tuafor, Threeoffour (formerly known as la nieta) and the once and future baby girl due in January who will be Fouroffour. La Primera mentioned to me that Tuafor was suffering from a serious case of handmedown syndrome.  I offered to make her a few things. She is still small enough that I can whip up stuff for her pretty quickly and young enough to like girlie stuff like twirly skirts. I have a friend who is heading NOB soon, which means the sewing machine has been whirling along. So for I have these things made. I planned on some simple skirts then I found a total deal on some sleeveless tops. At $10 each, I bought 6, so far I have combined one with fabric from my stash to create a long sleeve dress. I count stash fabric as free so it’s the seventy-five ...

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Here is my prototype for my tunic top. I raised the waistline to make it empire. The cap sleeves just looked silly by the way. Instead of using facings I made bias binding. This is some fabric that I bought and kept saving for just the right project. I tend to do that, buy fabric and not use it. Sort of like all those blouses and sweaters you find in Grandma’s closet that she is saving for “good”. I need to adjust the shoulder a little bit but other than that the fit is pretty good. The next one will be a tad shorter and have a bit of trim. I think I might interface the belt to make it crisper since it looks like it got scrunched up in the photo.

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