Melody’s Sunday Outfit- Butterick 6265

Melody got her first hand-made outfit!  Melody got a lined jacket and a dress from Butterick 6265.  It is a reprint from 1957.  I did a quick internet check to see if the style was still around in 1964 girls sewing patterns.  I was able to find some examples so I went ahead with my plan.

I have half a yard of this lime green daisy print quilting cotton that would work well for the skirt.  The pattern shows the jacket and the skirt matching, however, my print was just too big for the jacket to look as nice.  So for the jacket, I decided on a coordinating solid (probably a little more of a contemporary look since it isn’t matching).

Lets start first with the lined dress.  I think the main reason the bodice is lined is for a clean finish at the neck line.  The instructions have you sew the neckline and end of sleeves of the lining and outer fabric together.  Side seams I finished off with my serger.  Skirt and petticoat are sewn on after the side seams are finished.

I did cheat on the netting petticoat.  I bought one of the 6 inch wide rolls of tulle and just used that.  I didn’t follow the pattern piece but just took a length off the roll and baste stitched it.  Then I matched it up to the skirt piece; gathering as needed.  The skirt was basted and gathered to fit the bodice.  To be honest, with the amount of gathers in the skirt, one probably doesn’t need the netting petticoat that is included in the pattern if you use a quilting cotton.

 

On to the jacket, the lined jacket was actually easier than I anticipated and I had it completed before dinner the day I cut it out.  It is just 2 pattern pieces the jacket front and jacket back.  In the end, I decided to construct all the outer blue fabric together as one time.  Then after a break, I cut out the lining and put it together.  The lining and outer fashion fabric are sewn together on the outside edge, then slipped through the opening you leave at the bottom.  That opening is hand sewn closed.  So after a good press, it was on to attaching the sleeve lining to the outer fabric.  It was not able to be machine sewn so it was hand sewn also.  Lastly, I decided to just sew in a snap so the jacket can close but still have the simple front.

To be honest, I think this jacket would look so cute with jeans and a t-shirt also.

Molly’s Floral Dress- K&R Vintage Patterns (S3234)

I was able to sneak another doll outfit in between items for my dad. This time it was Molly’s turn for a new dress.  For Molly’s new dress, I decided to try out a new pattern designer, K&R Vintage patterns.  The patterns are scaled down children’s sewing patterns.  It was nice to be able to say you made a real 1940’s dress for your doll. The one I chose was Simplicity 3234 (rough estimate of 1940-ish).

This was another time that my fabric stash let me down. I just couldn’t find anything in it that fit my vision of what Molly’s dress should look like.  So it was another trip to the fabric store.  There I came across this lovely aqua floral quilting cotton that ended up being perfect.  I decided against trim for the collar of the dress and opted for letting the print be the main focal point.  I figured the dress could be trim-less because Molly didn’t have enough rationing coupons for lace.

I only made the dress, but I did notice that the cutting layout has you include an item for the pinafore (Pinafore Belt N) on the dress layout. If you are just making the dress, it isn’t needed.  If you are making the pinafore, you probably should decide whether you want it out of the pinafore fabric or the dress fabric.

I didn’t do any pattern alternations even though I know Molly is on the larger size of dolls. However, I knew that I was not going to keep the button back closure.  I inserted the collar.  For the lining I only stitched the neckline seams (I didn’t continue it down the sides).  Then the bodice and lining were ironed flat.  Sleeves were stitched to both outer fabric and lining then ran through the serger for seam finishing.  I really didn’t want to hand sew the lining to the sleeve.  Bottom of bodice (and lining) were basted for gathering into the “belt” waistband pieces.  The bodice was attached to the waistband.  Skirt was attached to waistband.  Then I measured to find where the center back was on the pattern piece.  It was half-inch from raw edge.  My Velcro is quarter-inch wide, so I subtracted that out from the half-inch and used a three-eighth seam allowance for the back.

Overall, the pattern was fairly easy to put together.  Since, it is a scale down of the 1940s children’s sewing pattern, the instruction may confuse a new seamstress.  In the center is the original pattern instructions.  The instructions along the sides is how you put together your doll dress.  I did print out the instructions just because I was not certain about the instructions layout.  But otherwise, it was easy to follow.

Slowly working through my dolls, next up will be Melody.  I have a Butterick pattern picked out and some fabric.  I just need to decide what fabric to use for the jacket.

 

 

Learning from History- Part 1 Followup

Here is the follow-up on what I learned last time.

As for closet organization, I took some measurement of the shelves that are in my closet.  After looking around, I dragged my dad to IKEA (we were probably the only two there that don’t care much for IKEA).  There I was able to pick up six larger plastic boxes and three smaller plastic boxes with lids.  I didn’t remember my closet correctly and am short two big tubs and one small tub.  I thought I had 3 shelves not 4.

Just something to note, the lids never really clicked or snapped into place.  It seems more of a topper instead of an air-tight lid.

Next up on the list to tackle was moth prevention.  Everything on the internet stressed the health risk of using mothballs and that it is a danger to pets.  I decided to use a combo of cedar and lavender.  As for cedar, I went to the laundry care aisle and bought so many cedar disk.  For the lavender, I decided to try using reed diffusers since I do have a fairly large- sized closet.  However, it seems like reed diffuser are going out of style because I couldn’t find any reasonable priced.  I decided to try to make my own.  As of right now, I have bamboo skewers for the reeds in a small bottle filled with diffuser oil from Walmart.  I am not sure if it was meant for reed type diffuser or a warming pot sort of diffuser.  Plus I also am trying out a solid air freshener in lavender too.  As of now, with an allergy induced troubles, the solid air freshener seems stronger.

I have seen that you can make your own reed diffuser oil on the internet and will try that out too.

One interesting item to note is the moths that eat clothing don’t like light.  So I may consider the option of a touch light later in my closet but I need to get things clean up and organized how I want it before considering lights or not.

So far, the closet is only about half way cleaned.  I still need to work on finishing it up but it will probably be put on hold until after the siding/ windows  are done.  The siding company called yesterday saying they are ready for installing and would start today (like two days before a snowstorm).  Fortunately, my dad told them no way, that they need to wait until beginning of April.  So I have a little bit of time to move stuff away from windows and doors (and get the bunny packed up for an extended visit to grandma).

 

 

 

Spanish Fan (#S-897)

dsci0144After making some doilies for my mom’s Christmas, I decided to start one for my craft/ guest room to put on the pattern file cabinet (but then was sidetracked with the crochet animals for a month).

I originally started off with another pattern from the Coronet from Coat’s & Clark’s #197 (same book as my grey Brocade doily).  I only got to row seven then was stuck.  The row really didn’t look like the picture at all.

So abandoning the Coronet, I searched through the other crochet patterns I had and settled on the Spanish Fan (#S-897) from Coat’s & Clark’s #324 Priscilla Doilies to Crochet (circa 1956).  The main deciding factor was that the caption above the picture stated “The elegance of simplicity… a charming design that is easy to crochet, even for beginners”.  It didn’t hurt that there were also, 5 other doilies listed in Ravelry.  At least I knew others had made it.

I used Aunt Lydia’s Classic crochet thread size 10 in coral instead of the size 30 thread requested in the pattern.  I also used a B sized crochet hook (2.25mm).  In the end, my doily was about 21 inches wide.

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This is one time I may have to agree with the pattern book.  This was a fairly easy doily to crochet.  I had the first 5 rounds completed before Christmas.  So when I recently re-picked up this project I did have a little trouble trying to figure out where I left off at. But after that was sorted out, I was able to follow the pattern very easy.  I didn’t complete round 34.  I did start the round which has picots in the chain between the double crochet stitches.  My picots looked so messy that I decided it was best to finish it at round 33.

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Upcoming crochet projects include a doily for my mother for Mother’s day and making Emma the bunny from “Edward’s Menagerie”.

 

 

Learning from History- Part 1

Recently, I had to get new siding and windows for my house. That is a much more expensive up-date then I had originally anticipated.  Saving money to be able to pay for the siding will become a very important consideration especially in the upcoming months (years?).  I know that owning my own home is a very large investment and the siding and windows were very necessary and important investment in my home.

But another significant investment is clothing.   With today’s world of fast fashion, clothing is looked at as disposable.  Even though I sew, I probably still have that mind set.  However, I will have to put forth a more contentious effort of making what I have last longer and reducing cost.  Strategic sewing will help reduce cost like sewing bras (there will be a significant savings).  But, what I really need to focus on is making what I have last; especially those items I don’t really make right now like sweaters or pants.  The only age I know where this was essential is World War 2.  There are probably others, but those time periods didn’t advertise it as heavily or put out as much public information.

In the end, I may only end up with learning how to mend as the only applicable to my life option from this little excursion to the 1940s.  However, there may be other ideas that I can apply to my life to hopefully help me with the care of clothing.  Also, I may expand this effort to other areas of my home and blog it here in case anyone is looking for ideas.  I will start with Ministry of Information’s 1943 leaflet Make Do and Mend.

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This post will only cover the To Make Clothes Last Longer sections: “Tips on Taking Care of Clothes”, “How to Store Clothes”, and “The Moth Menace”. First off, my overall impression from this section is planning and organizing is key.  So it may be worth my time and money to invest a little here in organization while I still can so that I have the basics.  As of right now, my closet probably falls under the category of being a mess.  It would probably give a 1940’s housewife a heart attack.  I thought about putting a picture of my closet in the post, but in the end it just felt too personal and unsafe thing to do.

I understand that a typical 1940’s housewife may not have the option as I do to right now of investing in organization, but hopefully it will end up being money well spent.

“Tips on Taking Care of Clothes” is probably the most useful part right now from the three. The one I never really thought about was mend your clothes before washing.  I don’t always make time to mend something so I will often throw it in the wash; so it can be clean while it is waiting to be mended.  Tip three was don’t throw your clothes in a heap.  I will have to try to work on this one.  Right now, I will admit I am very guilty of putting clothes in a pile on the dresser and putting them away later when there are more items.

Tip five was removing stains when they occur and tip eight is never let any clothing get really dirty. Usually for my clothing, I just pre-treat then put the item in the hamper.  Another helpful hint was using clean white blotting paper and an iron to get out grease stains.  Right now, if a stain doesn’t come out after wash (usually grease related), I soak the item in Oxy-clean.  An iron and blotting paper may be gentler on the fabric.

The last tip was using dress shields. After a quick look on the internet, it looks like most of the dress shields ready available now are adhesive based.  I honestly am not sure if the adhesive would pull fibers out of the fabric and cause wear and tear on the fabric.  If that happens then you are looking at having to mend wherever the adhesive is at.  This tip may just be obsolete based on our modern convenience society or require more searching.

“How to Store Clothes” stresses that you need to make sure everything is clean before storing it, do not store in a damp place, and tacking down features like pleats, pockets and plackets.  The other tips included storing clothes uses newspaper to protect the clothing from creasing when it is folded or hung which don’t make much sense to me.  Wouldn’t ink from the paper get onto the clothing and ruin them?  I know that there are occasions where ink gets on my hands when I am folding up the newspaper for Lala’s litter pan.

“The Moth Menace” section kind of made me wonder if I really don’t realize that I have moths ruining my clothes or that moths just don’t live in Kansas. I keep envisioning an army of moths waiting for the 1940’s housewife to close the wardrobe door before they invade.  As I have severe allergies, I cannot follow the recommendation of airing your clothing out in the sunlight outdoors.  It also recommends cleaning out and scrubbing the closet and drawers.  Make Do and Mend doesn’t give exact guidelines on how often to scrub down closets/ drawers, but going off the first bullet, is it supposed to be once a month when you air your clothing outdoors in the sunlight?  Only the second tip was very useful as it gives a general description of moth grubs and eggs plus how to remove them from clothing.  Overall, this section wasn’t as helpful for me and I may look more towards modern methods of moth control.

Before moving on to the next section, I will need to look into some more organization for my closet, modern means of moth prevention, making a laundry folding aid ( I will try to post how I made it), and a general closet clean out.

Felicity’s Jacket- Thimbles & Acorns 18th Century Hooded Jacket

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After Rebecca, Felicity was up next for a new outfit.  I had seen Jessa’s version of Thimbles and Acorns’ 18th Century Hooded jacket so that plus that the pattern is rated as easy seem to seal the deal as that is what Felicity was going to get for the new outfit.

My friend Annette had given me some lovely scraps of fabric at one of our Christmas parties for KC Pinheads.  If I remember right, I think she said that the fabric I ended up using for Felicity’s skirt is an Italian wool?.  Anyways, the skirt was very simple to make.  It is gathered rectangles on a waistband.  Now, I determined I don’t care for the instructions of sewing ties into the waistband and then tying the skirt shut on both sides.  So I decided to use Velcro on one side only.  The other side’s waist band was sewn closed and the pocket opening sides were stitched down.  So the pocket opening is still usable (if Felicity had pockets).

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As for the jacket, I had planned on using the skirt fabric to make the hood.  But the more I thought about it; the more I came to realize that doing that would limit the versatility of having separate pieces.  In the end, I decided to use the blue cotton voile for the collar and outer fabric and the white quilting cotton for the lining.  Maybe if I scour my fabric stash some more, Felicity could have another skirt to coordinate with her blue jacket.

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Again, I changed the closure of the jacket from laced/ hooks to Velcro.  Since I made that change, I used a narrower seam allowance on the front of 3/8 inch instead so the fronts would overlap.

Lace was subbed in for the soutashe on the sleeves.

I had a little bit of trouble with the sleeves.  I was under the impression that the whole jacket was being turned through the bottom of the sleeve then hand sewing the bottom of sleeve closed.  So it would be making complete outer and complete lining then put them together.  But the instructions have you turning through the armhole at the shoulder area.  I had to remove my sleeve and redo them.  Then after everything was finished, the arm shoulder/ sleeve seam was hand sewn shut.

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In the photos, Felicity is wearing her original shift (chemise) from American Girl under the jacket and skirt.  To be honest, the jacket is a bit tight in the upper arm area because of it.  I almost wonder if I had finished my seams with the serger, I may have been able to skip the hand sewing and maybe get a little extra ease at the armhole.

Felicity was so fortunate that my friends at the New Lancaster General store let her have a photo shoot in their lunch area/ overflow tasting room when my parents and I visited before Valentine’s day.

One three more dolls are waiting for new hand-made outfits: Samantha, Molly, and Melody.  But for now, they will have to wait until a few other projects are completed first.

 

Rebecca’s Blue Dress- Simplicity 1179

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So moving along in my American Girl doll collection, it was Rebecca’s turn for a new dress.  So Simplicity 1179 is another of the Keeper’s Dolly Duds patterns for Simplicity.

I honestly don’t know what the light blue fabric is, but based on drape, I think there is some rayon in it.  This was probably a bit light for the pattern.  The white fabric used for the sleeve accent and collar is a quilting cotton.

 

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The pattern instructions are well done and easy to follow.

I probably err on the side of simplicity as I didn’t use all the buttons that the pattern request.  My version is missing the buttons on the sleeves, and on the collar.  I reduced the number of buttons on the placket to three because I used a 3/8 inch buttons instead of 1/4 buttons.  That was mainly because I wanted gold buttons.

I used Velcro to close the back of the dress instead of buttons which are mentioned on the pattern.  I have probably about 20 yards left from the 25 yard roll of Velcro I bought from Etsy last year.

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As always with Keeper’s Dolly Duds patterns, the pattern is well drafted.  However, it may just be me, I feel like the waistband is a little low.  I know it is a dropped waist style; but Rebecca looks like she has a saggy waistband in the back.  I think the next time I make this pattern I may take in the waistband to see if that helps out the saggy backside.

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As Samantha is still needing a new dress, I may come back to this pattern and try out either view C or view D.