Sunday, 19 April 2015

McCalls 6560

Sooo, a maxi dress to add to my collection.  I do love a maxi but I think because it became so popular in recent years I was put off by seeing a lot of them about town.  I liked this particular pattern because of the varying length options. I was originally going to make up the shorter version for a nice summer top. 

I previously bought this green drill cotton, which I used  to make a Simplicity frock that turned out to be a major fail.  I really really liked the colour and the fine white polka dots in this material so I bought another few metres for this dress.  A pretty easy frock to make. I don't recall having any real issues constructing it. Having said that the fit is a little poohouse.  Maybe it's that the fabric is a little stiff. The back area grabs around the bottom, while the front is nice an loose with the empire line and some gathers.  There are also some issues with the straps on the front bodice. I think with crossover straps it's hard to position them so they sit nice and flat across the shoulders.  You can see it raises up a bit on the inside.

My other major issue was that the fabric is super hard to iron.  I did leave the dress on my spare bed for about a week and a 7kg grey feline might have slept on it, and some lovely creases formed down the front. I have now tried to iron this dress about 3 times and it still comes up looking like I've slept in it. Terribly frustrating. I think I will just have to admit defeat and say that this fabric is cursed. 


I was so happy with the lovely buttons I found for the back. Just a shame the overall dress doesn't work. I will possibly wear it. Maybe when I'm just heading to someone's house for a visit.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Retro Haul

A friend at work recently lost her elderly mother.  She kindly thought of me when sorting through her mother's large collection of things which included mountains of old sewing patterns, fabrics and general sewing bits and bobs.  It is amazing how much stuff people accrue in one lifetime.  They could have opened a secondhand shop with all of the amazing vintage furniture, homewares etc. in this one home. 

I spent a few hours going through boxes and bags with materials and patterns. Such an interesting selection of patterns from the 40's through the 80's.  Plus bags and bags of material.  Mostly a lot of off-cuts amongst the material but I managed to find a few good pieces. There were also some smaller pieces of material perfect for cushion covers. So all in all my haul was pretty fantastic. 

I got this small selection of 60's and 70's patterns. The sizes vary a bit but overall sizes I can work with.  Probably a few double ups on styles I already own, but I took them anyways.

Now for the true vintage patterns.  These ones from the 40's and 50's look like an interesting challenge if I ever do give them a try.  I haven't looked inside the packets but some had handwritten notes on them about the amount of material and the sizing.  Unfortunately the condition of the most of the patterns was a little ratty.  But it looks like there is some organization and hopefully all the pieces will be there. There is a bridal style gown in there which looks like it could be the 30's.

And a bit more 50's with the 60's thrown in. May try making the pajamas as they look pretty cute.  Not sure many people would wear the retro maternity clothes, but I think I know of one person who might.

I also found a number of Home Journals and other magazines with patterns at the bottom of a box.  Unfortunately most of them weren't in very good condition and were falling apart. 
There were also jars full of buttons which I started sorting through on Saturday afternoon when I got home separating the colours.  Already I've found some beautiful vintage style buttons with beautiful designs. There were even some glass buttons which I have never come across before.  I still have more to sort but I'm already super pleased with the ones I've discovered.  

Finally there was a bag of trims. I guess you'd use these for formal frocks. I thought at first it might have been to do with underwear, perhaps? There was also a bag full of just white broderie anglaise trims. Must have been about 20 metres of the stuff. Most of that was disclosed but I managed to find one roll which was pretty clean.


I also had great fun finding wrapping paper from Gardams Fabrics from the 1980's and also an old department store, McDonnell & East which closed its doors probably 20 years ago. 

I've left going through the material for another day. I don't think my allergies could cope with more dust mites this weekend.