Vintage Guts part 1

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Hey Guys!

I bring to you the first installment of my Vintage Guts series!

I'm excited - I hope you are!

So the first dress I'm bringing you is my blue Wrap Dress. I bought it in April in a shop called Retro Fit in San Francisco. The shop I bought it in was really awesome, the best part being that the changing room had a submarine door to climb through.
It appears to be made of a chambray, and I think it cost me $103 with tax.

 There was another dress I liked too, but the lining was shredding and I thought it would need to much work. Also, Mr.G was all 'you don't have much room in your case and you don't know what else you're going to find'. To be honest, that was true, it was our first day. But it was super cheap because of the repairs needed.

So as you can see, the dress kind of has a dungarees feel about the straps. The wrap-ties button at the front, and there are MASSIVE pockets on the front, with appliqued rose baskets. These pockets are amazing, they hold so muc, and even better, half the time you can't tell there's anything in them.

It looks to me like the rose baskets are all one print - cut out of a print in one piece, and then appliqued around each piece to make it like like patchwork. The roses are quilted, and puffy with wadding.

The pockets are edgestitched at the top centre front. And for some reason asymmetrically.
Which is probably why the pockets sit differently sometimes. I might rectify it, as it bugs me sometimes.

A I mentioned, the wrap-ties button at the front.

And there are two sets of buttons for, you know, if you've had a big dinner.. I like how you can't tell the second set are there! From doing this post I have realised that the placement of the buttons on either side and centre front of the skirt in relation to the darts, is completely off.

There are three darts shaping the bust, which I definitely appreciate! Gives less of a boxy pointed bust, and I enjoy the fact that one of the darts goes into the arm.

The straps have a dungaree feel about them. The whole neckline is faced, and the staps are just topstitched on. The straps travel down the wrap back into the waist, and enclose the side backs in the process. It is topstitched all over.

The back skirt seams utilise the selvedge. The selvedge of this chambray is basically the exact same as the rest, which is awesome, and it isn't obviously the selvedge, but you get that finished edge with no fraying!

The outer wrap has folded in the selvedge by about two inches, and it is simply pressed, but the inner wrap isn't folded at all!

The under wrap comes through the side seam, where a gap has been left, and topstitched around. 

Now going inside out...

The company brand label is still intact! It looks like they trademarked at the end of 1959, so the dress is Early 60s probably.

As you can see, the straps enclose the side back on the inside too! the waist is pinked and topstitched up. You can see the selvedge edge of the skirt.

I love how the dress looks almost the same inside out.

The hem has a small turn and then a deep one, and is handstitched. It's a little uneven but hardly visible from the outside.

Some of the seams are pressed oped in parts and some aren't. The skirt sides are pressed open for the waist seam but pressed to the side at the hem. The bodice sides are a little erratic too!

As you can see theres a small red mark in the fabric at the waist front which was pointed out to me when I bought it. I had already seen it, but I couldn't leave it behind.

The front neckline is faced, understitched and topstitched. The edge of the neckline is turned under and stitch, although a small bit needs to be repaired. The centre front of the facing V is seamed.

You can see the edges of the straps are turned in and topstitched.

I think one of my favourite parts of the dress is how the straps enclose so many seams. If I want to replicate the dress, I will really need to think about the order of construction!

I don't think there's anything left to cover in this one!

Hope you guys enjoyed it, and if you notice anything that I haven't - let me know!!

Emmie xx

The Chicest Kid on the Block

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Hey Guys!

Who doesn't like exciting news round these parts??

Not me - and believe you me, when I heard this gossip a short while ago, I was squealing!
Actually, more accurately, I was swearing :)

One of our most honoured Spoolettes, Sally, has only gone and done it.


And beyond that, BEYOND THAT, she hasn't launched just one pattern. 

There's SIX - a whole collection!
Now, I don't know about you, but I love a collection.

We all know and love Sally in her CharityShopChic persona. Her skill for transforming everyone else's cast offs into high style pieces is second to none. Even more than this, I have always been in awe of her pattern drafting, which has been showcased especially in her high fashion inspired makes.

The words that have always come to my mind when I think of Sally, and the clothes that she produces, are clean lines, simple elegance and sophistication. Clothes that you would wear with a cocktail in your hand.

And of course the other thing that springs to mind when I think of Sally is cocktails - Fitting therefore that her each piece in her collection is named after a different cocktail! 
I'm sure I've seen each one of them in her hand at one time or another :)

The six patterns are modern, contemporary looks with interesting details inspired by both high fashion and street style. The collection features work wear and cocktail wear, but most of the patterns could transition from day-to-night. Many of them work together to mix and match, and there are lots of pattern variations to sink your teeth into. My favourite is the Martini dress, and I also need to get my hands on the Bellini blouse too! They are aimed intermediate sewists, and those who want to learn some more advanced techniques.

I've seen both Bellini and Martini in person, and can vouch for their brilliance!

The patterns come as downloadable PDF files, but Sally has gone the extra mile to ensure that each of the patterns are printed with minimal pages. That's a detail I'm sure everyone will appreciate! She has also included a copyshop file - and if anyone finds a shop who does them in London, let me know! They are also available in both side of the Atlantic's paper formats :) I've had a sneak peek at the instructions, and they are very detailed, with illustrations for each step.

So what are you waiting for?

There are four more patterns for you to check out!

I hope you will join me in congratulating Sally on all her hard work, and wish her every success for the future! I, for one, am very excited!

So when's the next collection??


Emmie xx

Spoolettes on Tour! Epic

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Hello All!

I am back from what was an absolutely awesome weekend, and I have finally had enough sleeps to tell you all about it! I swear, I've been asleep before half nine the past two nights :)

So, in case you were totally oblivious to the Instagram frenzy, a big bunch of Spoolettes (and of course, many of them Minerva bloggers) took the long journey up north to visit the craft Mecca that is the Minerva craft centre! 

First of all, I had to travel up to London on Friday night, and join Clare and Sally to meet Christine Haynes in Raystitch. Unbeknownst to us, Fiona and Roisin turned up too. We're like magnets to each other! Christine was so sweet, and I finally got to meet Tilly too - who was also lovely. Raystitch have a beautiful back patio, and it was glorious to stand in the sunshine and sip cocktails. Unfortunately, we had to leave all too soon, as we had an incredibly early start (*cough* 4.30am *cough*).

Thankfully Clare had the wherewithall to organise with Sally to book a minicab to pick us up at 5.30am instead of us trapsing around the tubes at that unholy hour. I have never been so grateful. We met Alison and Nicole at Euston, and drowned out tiredness in a welcome cup of coffee. We may have also picked up some treats for the journey. (AHEM pain au chocolat...)

In all honesty, the journey passed so quickly with all of us so excited. I'm sure the other people in our carriage were silently cursing us.

We arrived at Darwen at 10.12am and as Minerva is right outside the station, we got to get in on the action instantly. We were met at the door by Phil with glasses of Buck's Fizz, and got a sneak peek at the incredible warehouse while we abandoned our bags. Next time I'm gonna get a better look!

I spent AGES wandering about the centre, admiring the colour organised fabric. Who doesn't love that?

 Courtesy of What Katie Sews
Courtesy of What Katie Sews

I had one of those overwhelmed moments, it was hard to see the wood for the trees! I've never seen so many crafts in one place, from fabric and knitting, to Proggy and needle felting. Amazing.

After watching Karen's awesome talk, I decided to get myself booked onto one of the workshops. It would be dangerous to spend too much time near the fabric! As I had always wanted to make covered buttons, I decided to join Clare-Louise's covered button necklace workshop.

Courtesy of What Katie Sews. (Little Glimpse of Drew and his Cute baby boy)

And it blew my mind! I love covering buttons!
It uses up every tiny scrap of fabric you have, which of course is brilliant.

Me, instagramming! Courtesy of Nicole Needles

I ended the day buying one of those button covering tools. So awesome, and so much cheaper than I thought! I hit a massive wall during the class and got very wobbly (think my blood sugar had plummeted) so I don't have a finished necklace to show for myself yet. I had an egg sandwich instead - but it was for the best.

After the workshop, we all gathered to listen to Elisalex and Victoria from By Hand London speak about their experience starting their company. I've known the girls for a little while, and it was awesome to hear how it all started, and what their day-to-day work life is like. To be honest, it sounds awesome to me!

After their talk, I decided to make some final decisions on some fabric that I had my eye on. But out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of a bolt being carried through the crowds. I proceeded to stalk the bolt, and decided to ask the man carrying it what the price was before I wasted anymore time!

At £6/m there was no way that I was leaving this piece behind. It is the most un-me fabric on paper, but I love it. Its drapey (nope). It's satin (nope). It's a digital print (nope). It's electric green (nope again!)

But I f**king love it. 

I just need to figure out what to make with it... I'm thinking maybe a Midsummer's Night Dream for the Summer? There's nothing else I can think of. Either that or a one shoulder Burda pattern I have. Not gonna be entirely vintagey but I got go where the fabric takes me.

About 3.30pm we were all pooped and needed a little rest before the evening's festivities. And of course the heavens were opening, so we skedaddled to the hotel, and had a little rest before getting ready.

I was the last one ready due to some uncooperative hair, but thankfully it all came together, and I managed to get out just in time! Me and my dress weren't in love until the moment I put it on - but now we are soulmates. I felt awesome as soon as I put it on, and I don't regret a second of work that went into it.

We had a drink before we left, but I was so distracted by the beautiful girls and their dresses that I ended up having to down half a glass of red. Ulgh. Waste not, want not.

Let us proceed to the dresses. I'm gonna do a separate post on construction as this post is already mega long and eating up all your data :) Also known as, warning - more pictures!

 Courtesy of What Katie Sews

Doing our best Rachel - She was with us in Spirit! Although there was a funnier pouting one!

Courtesy of What Katie Sews
Courtesy of Nicole Needles
Courtesy of What Katie Sews

A photographer took our photo as we arrived at Blackburn Rovers FC for dinner in a VIP box :)
I never noticed the red carpet!


 Courtesy of What Katie Sews
 Courtesy of What Katie Sews
Courtesy of What Katie Sews

I think these pictures describe the evening better than I could! We ate till we were bursting and danced till our feet fell off. Perfect.

Thank you so much to Vicki and to the rest of the Ormerods for their hospitality and for the day itself.
We all had an awesome time, and look forward to when we meet again!

I'm ready for bed again!

Emmie xx
Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs