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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Inspiration · Plaids

Otherwise entitled: What Have I Gotten Myself Into??

On our last excursion to the Land of Stash Feeding (commonly referred to under the unassuming title of JoAnn Fabrics), I couldn't resist the siren call of the clearance section.  Yet again.

This time however, I came home with plaid.  And 2 different plaids, at that!  If you'll recall, my distaste for plaid has a long and prosperous history.   There seems to be a change in the wind however, as these 2 fabrics positively begged to be loved!

Actually, when JoAnns first got this fabric 2 years ago, I horrified myself by actually liking it.  It is a light-weight poly taffeta (much nicer than the stuff that usually comes to mind!), and it would be ideal for a fall/winter church dress since it's dressy but also washable. :-)  However not only is it plaid, but they're rather obnoxious ones at that!  Why in the world would I like something like that?!

I resisted purchasing it at that time, since I was certain I'd soon wake out of my uncharacteristic and unexplainable Plaid Affection.  Well, it persisted, despite all odds.  Every time I went to JoAnns, I'd check back- surely this time I'd realize how ugly and unappealing that fabric really was, right??  Eventually it went on clearance, but it was still too expensive to justify making a dress out of something that seemed like it was just a "fad" for me.  Until this time. ;-)

I thought it might be fun to do something a bit different from my normal blogging routine, so I'm sharing a bit of my inspiration/design process before I dive into these projects and I might be sharing a few in-progress posts. :-)  Hopefully it also might provide me with some motivation to get these finished sooner rather than later *cough*.... so feel free to keep reminding me for an update if it's taking too long. ;-)

There was only 2 1/3 yds left of this butter yellow/rust/purple plaid, so I'll have to be a little creative with my dress design.  I think it's begging to be made into a 1930s dress, with an accent fabric to help stretch the yardage.

It seems like 30s evening wear doesn't usually feature large amounts of contrast fabric like day attire can, so I might go with a more "nice" day dress instead.  This one is still very early in the idea aspect, so I'm keeping my eyes open for inspiration. :-)  Here are the most probable ideas at this point. ;-)

All photos taken from Pinterest- original sources here.

I really love the plaid/bias details going on in this one!  But it doesn't have any contrast material...

I love this one, but I'm hoping for long sleeves, and I don't think I'll have enough for a full-length skirt.  Also, there's the lack-of-contrast issue.

You might wonder why it made it into the inspiration list then.  Good question.  I think I just really liked it. ;-D

I think this dress is my current favorite!  It features a long-sleeve idea, as well as being one of my very favorite pins for years. ;-)

This rather, ummm.... colorful fabric is destined to become a 1950s dress.  I'm thinking something pretty classic- full, flared skirt and 3/4 length sleeves, maybe a V neck?  I'd like some interest as well though, so I need some good ideas. :-)

This sums up my original idea.  After pondering it for a while though, I don't think a high neck and wing cuffs will make me happy in the long run.  So I need some different ideas now! ;-)

I do love how the center front skirt seam is on the bias, so I think I'll make that a priority.

I like this one for the neckline, although I'm not convinced I want a contrast fabric... like the bow though!

This bodice is so simple and classic- I love it!  The boat neck/bow combination is a favorite of mine, I also like the bias bodice.  But those sleeve cuffs are so fun!  I might try to incorporate those into my design.

Lest you think that I just contradicted my "no wing cuffs" rule, I do consider these cuffs to be different- they don't stick out like the others did, so I think they're better. :-)

This pattern has been a *huge* favorite of mine for a couple years, and I'd love to finally make a copy-cat version of it!  This also has potential for contrast material, but it would be interchangeable and smaller, so I think it has an advantage over the other "contrast" option.

This dress.  Oh my.  I LOVE it!!!  But I really don't think this is the right inspiration for the fabric. :-(  This dress is made from organdy, which makes the bow so dreamy!  I'm afraid my taffeta wouldn't give the same effect.  Sigh.  Inspiration for a different day, I suppose...

Example of bias bodice with straight-grain skirt.  Now I'm conflicted about the skirt, because I like this, too!!

Idea for another boat-neck/bow option.  This would be pretty simple to do, although I would make my version higher.

Ever have times when you wonder why an image made it onto your inspiration board?  That's kind of how I am with this one...  I'm not sure why it made the cut??  I really don't like the skirt, and it's hard to see what's going on with the bodice...

(At any rate, it's an unrelated project- but her coat is so fun!)

I like this skirt, and the contrast between bias and straight grain on the bodice and skirt is fun. :-)  But what I really like is the unique neckline!  I'm not sure my plaid is quite right to give the same effect, though.

I'm still on the lookout for more ideas in both of these categories, so if you come up with any other good ideas, please pass them on! :-)

· Check out my Pinterest board for more ideas! ·

Saturday, October 18, 2014

· A Gingham Dress for Kathryn ·

Fall has officially taken hold here and the trees are starting to get gorgeous!  Consequently, this post is a bit out-of-season now.... so try not to notice that this post is much more suited to summer. ;-)  That's one problem with posting just once a week- sometimes the end of the season comes far too quickly!

For Kathryn's next dress, she wanted a simple gingham dress to go with a "theme day" we had conjured up. (If all goes according to plan, you'll get to see the theme next spring or summer.  If it doesn't, well... Kathryn can just enjoy her dress anyway. ;-))

She wanted a very classic red gingham, in a simple, classic shirtdress style.  We used a 1990s pattern they had languishing in their stash for the bodice (proof that you never know when you'll use those ugly, outdated patterns!).  Since all we wanted was a notched collar and darts, it didn't matter that the rest of the pattern was vastly unsuitable for our desires. ;-)

I was really happy with the skirt from Simplicity 1459 when I made it last- it's gathered and flared, so it seemed perfectly suited to this style of dress. :-)

The dress is made from a 100% cotton gingham and is wonderful! :-)  I was concerned it might wrinkle more than the usual cotton/poly ginghams, but even after wearing for long car trips it looks great!

This dress was a great opportunity for practicing my plaid-matching skills, since it only required matching in a few places and came together smoothly. :-)  The only "failure" of sorts was the collar- I need to have a better plan next time for planning that all out! :-P

Her belt is from a different dress she made years ago- and it matches perfectly! :-)

Oh, and isn't her new haircut adorable?!? :-)

This style is so great- wear it without a crinoline for a perfect Audrey Hepburn/picnic look, or with a petticoat and pearls for a quintessentially 1950s look!  It can be dressed up or down so easily. :-)

I am offically convinced that my Summer 2015 Wardrobe is in dire need of a gingham dress.  Now to choose a color and style that doesn't look like I'm trying to copy Kathryn exactly. ;-)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

· Remembering WWII Event ·

Two weeks ago, we traveled down to Linden, TN for the Remembering WWII event!  We first heard about the event months ago from the hosts, the Courter family, but due to a few factors, our decision to attend was put off until just a couple weeks before the event.

Our dear friend Kathryn was able to come with us, and while it would have been enjoyable without her, she made the trip a rousing success! :-D

On our drive down to TN, while we weren't talking, laughing, and watching movies, we occupied ourselves by looking at the atlas and searching for amusing town names.  Let me tell you- Tennessee does not disappoint!  I don't know if we were just in a laughing mood (entirely probable...), but with town names like Dancyville, Nankipoo, Skullbone, Manlyville, Soddy-Daisy, Only, Difficult, Burnt Church, and Bugscuffle we were entertained for quite a while! ;-)

Our first 10 hours in TN were decidedly more eventful than the trip down.  Between a hotel reservation that never went through, a much-later-than-expected night once we found a replacement hotel, and a (surprise!) flat tire the next morning, we decided that uneventful is much preferred. ;-)

We did end up making it to the event safely, and only an hour late. ;-)

We arrived just after the first battle "reenactment", so we had time to mingle around and explore before the next scheduled event.  The town of Linden all pitched in for the event, and it was so well done!!- you could tell they put so much thought into even the small details! :-)   There were cute vintage-styled posters on all the businesses downtown (even the ones that weren't participating in the event) and newsboys going around the event with newspapers and later earplugs for the loud reenactment.

During the course of the day, we were able to hear from several WWII veterans about their experiences and how the war shaped and changed them personally.  The whole event had the theme of "Remembering WWII", and that sums it up well.

There were several old cars parked along the street, and we all enjoyed dreaming. ;-)

Yep, I think we need a car with a cute pop-up seat in the trunk and luggage rack on the back. ;-)

A red pickup!!!!  Oh my.  I'm sooooo jealous.

I think I'll just try not to think about this anymore.

We never got a photo together on Saturday, but managed to rectify that on Sunday after church! ;-)
Photo courtesy of Boyer Family Singers- thanks! :-)

One of the highlights of the weekend was getting to know the Boyer sisters. :-)  I first heard of them last year through blogging, but other than exchanging comments, we hadn't been in touch.  I never know what to expect of a blogger vs. the person in real life, but we were all so pleased by the Boyers in person! :-)  I'm naturally quite pessimistic, so I wasn't sure if we'd hit it off- but we most certainly did. :-D  They were so kind and didn't seem to mind all of us constantly joining their table for meals. ;-)

We were also able to meet several other followers and commenters from the blogging world- I'm always so touched when people say they read my blog. :-)  Even though my stats tell me otherwise, it still surprises me when I hear that someone reads my blog. ;-)  After years of being off the internet radar, it is an enjoyable change to have people already know about me! ;-)

We had lunch at the old hotel downtown, and it was SO good! (the balsamic flatbread is highly recommended!!)  It felt great to sit back and enjoy the air conditioning for a while, too! ;-)  The weather overall was gorgeous that day, but it was on the warm side...  We had been having cool weather the week before, so it was a bit rough to transition to the heat again so suddenly!

In the afternoon after the last speech, we all felt the need to take advantage of the refreshments at the "Canteen"- particularly the root beer floats. ;-)  It really is the little things that make an impact, and the floats were made and served with glass-bottled root beer!  While Kathryn and I were enjoying our afternoon treat, we were informed that the reenactment would be taking place where we were seated so we'd have to move.  We decamped to a table in the canteen where Atlanta and her little girl were seated, and were able to chat with them until the shooting became too loud.  We ended up being in a not-quite-ideal location for viewing the battle, but we did end up right near the thick of things by the end, so it made for a memorable time anyway. :-)

In the evening, we went to a USO-themed dinner at the Courters' house.  The whole set-up was SO CUTE!!  It looked like it was straight out of Pinterest- buntings and lights strung up and patriotic banners hung on their barn-inspired house.  So cool! :-)

Also..... there were old cars for posing.  So of course we did. ;-)  

The Boyer Family Singers performed a concert for us that evening, and we were all so impressed!  Kathryn, Gretel, and I all decided that we want to be them when we grown up. ;-)  We were all in a swing/Andrews Sisters mood after that!

All in all, fun times were had by all and we're so glad we made the trip!  So much effort was put into everything, and it was very memorable!  Thanks so much for hosting, Courters! :-)

· Photos by Kathryn ·

(Despite the appearance, we did not actually bring Kathryn with us just to be our personal photographer.  Although that was a nice added bonus. ;-))

Saturday, October 4, 2014

· Kathryn's Maroon Dress ·

Last weekend, we traveled down to TN with Kathryn to attend the Remembering WWII event down in Linden.  It was a blast, and I look forward to sharing more about it later!  For now, here's a post on the dress Kathryn wore to the event. :-)

This is the second version of Simplicity 1587 that I made Kathryn (first one is over here!), and we made a few slight tweaks to the fit on this one to get the shoulders to fit better. :-)

Also, Kathryn wanted a 6-gore skirt on this one instead.  

The dress is made from a maroon rayon fabric that Kathryn found at a local quilt shop that was going out of business and snagged it for just $2/yd!

Elasticized shirring on the sleeves

Ugh, and her hair!!!  I really want to be Asian. ;-)

The dress features a pleated yoke with a decorative bow, and closes on the side with a zipper and the back neck has a keyhole opening.

Kathryn says this is her favorite 1940s dress so far, and I can see why! :-)

This pattern looks so cute no matter what fabric is used!!
(Well, it doesn't hurt that Kathryn can pull off the 1940s so well! ;-))


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