Wednesday, November 25, 2015

70's Velvet Bell-Bottoms-Cosmic Wolf Vinatge Review

 "faith, hope, love, abide these three, but the greatest of these is love"

Funny thing, I never thought I wanted, or would ever find myself buying, a pair of velvet bell-bottoms. Did not really even know they
existed until two weeks ago!

I have loved the new 70's fashion trends coming into the stores, the fringed suede boots, the  boho bags.LOVE the boho bags! I received this fabulous birthday gift from my parents, it has lace and fringe! Classy and eclectic!

But it wasn't until I was told in my dance class that we would be performing  a 70's line dance (as part of our "dancing through the decades" show)  that I seriously started looking for 70's style pants. I found a pair of mens polyester pants at a thrift store that I tried taking in, but when you have to take in more than 4 inches on something, sometimes you find that they WHOLE garment has to be taken in. I got the waistband to fit, but not the hips! My mom and I about died laughing when I tried them on. It was bad!
The blouse was super easy, I found that at the thrift store and loved it! No tight fitting silk button down blouses for me! Sorry John Travolta- not impressed by your wardrobe choices!

Modesty is always a huge concern for me, and I was not going to compromise on any pants that I felt were inappropriate.
It can be a little unnerving purchasing a new item from etsy, especially when considering sizing and fit. 
I had a TIGHT deadline I needed these by, and the owner of this shop, the very helpful Kristin Chivers, not only sewed my pants up fast, she mailed even quicker! They are super high quality, I could never sew stretch velvet with such professional-ism!  
 (maybe I just came up with a new word?)
So five stars on costumer service.
You can wear these velvet bell bottoms at hip level, or on the natural waist-the latter is how I like to wear them!
They come in sizes:

Small 37" 30"

Medium 37" 32"

Large 37" 34" 
Note: The first measurement is length, the second is waist.  ( aka-where you want them to sit on  you! May not be your natural waist!)

I wear a size 10/12 pants, and the size medium fits perfectly....I  do mean PERFECTLY! My waist is exactly 32inches. To give you a length idea, I am about 5 feet, 6 and 1/2 inches tall. I can wear these both with a heel, (as shown in pictures) or barefoot. They are really fine either way. If you are on the shorter  side, you may want to plan on hemming them, or wearing nice platform heels!. 
In conclusion, they fit as described! 

The price is $35 dollars, which is incredibly reasonable for such well made, hand made pants! 
Shipping is very reasonable as well! These are unique, and very worth your money. And this is from someone who has never paid more than $15 for pants in her life. These are special, and you will want to wear them for a long time!

Very high quality sewing, stitching and fabric!
Five stars on construction quality!

All the finishes are lovely!

Look at the front detail? Is not that beautiful?
 Here is the inside view of that same bit, see the nice serging at the point?

I wanted to show you this hem, so nice!

So, I would recommend these wholeheartedly! 
A great alternative if you are not a skinny jean, leggin person. I always have preferred some sort of flare at the hem.  ;)

Final thoughts
Keep in mind, the nature of these pants, and this style, dictates they work best on people who are more on the slim/average side, not overly hippy (no pun intended) or full waist-ed. They are cut to fit snugly in the thigh/hips, so keep that in mind. I plan to wear these with the long shirt above to cover my rump region, but I have not been blessed with hips so the close fit is not an issue for me personally. 
I plan to wear these for my dance, and then for the rest of winter!
A great alternative for sweats! I can move freely in them, and they are stylish and very cozy. 

You can buy them in various other colors, although these ones and the blue ones, are my favorite!


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Mid-19th Century Work Dress

Pockets! Oh pockets! 
We cannot work without pockets!

My Aunt Didi called up. She needed a work dress. She is a docent don't you know. She sent me fabric.
I sewed.
Three weeks later-ta da!
A very nondramatic dress tale. I wish all dress tales were so simple!
The dress itself is nondramatic and simple, no fuss'n'feathers.
It's made for work.

It has been snowing so excuse the lack of outdoor photos!
I am happy to say I fit into the dress to model!

 We made it to work for an expanded number of years. It has basic features and it extremely versatile.  
It is pre Civil War in the sense that the shoulders on not dropped too much. 
The fort she volunteers at with my cousin is pre 1860's.  
I did not really do my own research for this dress, she knew what she wanted and what the events she attends require, so I followed her orders. I believe she was aiming for an 1840's impression. This dress, I imagine could pass for several eras since work dresses did not reflect passing fashion trends.

It has silver buttons, 
a fitted, double dart bodice (although gathered waists were more common for work dresses-she requested a fitted bodice),
 a waistband, 
knife pleated skirt, (pleated directional toward the back) 
and is made from 100% cotton reproduction fabric.   

My first dress I've made with REPRO fabric! Ahhh! It was such a fabulous feeling!

The back and piping details!

My BEAUTIFUL pleats, if I do SO SAY ! I started with my usual  inverted back pleat (which I sew kinda dart-like a few stitches to anchor), and then branch off all my pleats from there!

The hem has four tucks along the bottom for detail as well as practicality! (Say she gives the dress to a taller person someday when my cousin can drive himself to events and she doesn't have to participate anymore!)

Ah sleeves. 
She wanted narrow wrists with no cuff, (I am used to gathered wrists with cuffs on C.W. work dresses!) but the generic pattern we used called for cuffs, so in order to make the sleeves long enough, I did a little binding magic!
Inside sleeve detail.

My token scandalous shot -showing the lining fabric within!

The interior-including inside waistband shot that covers all raw edges!

Buttons and machine button holes.

Love this inside skirt shot, showing what the tucks look like from the other-side!

Sleeve gathers! Pretty!

Waist-band hooks....

I hope you liked this post!
While this dress is not 100% historically accurate (it was machine stitched and has some contrast color piping on the back etc.)  I think it's close and looks very nice and will certainly serve my Aunt well.

I hate to part with this beauty! I would keep it in a heart-beat!

Happy ThankGiving to you all if I don't post again before Thursday!
Blessings and God-bless!


Monday, November 2, 2015

Sewing Post-Into Wonderland

"Am I MAD?" asked the Mad Hatter. "Yes. Absolutely bonkers."  said Alice.
"But don't worry all the best people are!"
(a reworked versions of the quote from the book 
Alice in Wonderland)
Hello folks! Well that "National Day of Dressing-Up and Eating Too Much Candy" is past. The day some people absolutely hate, and others wait all year for. 
I personally am just a lover of costumes, sewing and dressing up (not nasty spells or evil things) , so I beg you to bear with me if you fall into that former category. 
I have a feeling this next year our church will be throwing a literary or story-book themed tea party, so I wanted to make something I could wear to that. I help organize these fund-raiser teas, and so I am excited to help pick out the theme! Last year was a Regency Tea!
I have wanted an Alice costume for awhile now. 
Yeah...I know...I am not blonde. 
And no, I don't do wigs. (Shudder)
Moving on.... 

The hard part, is too MANY adult Alice costumes are risque and inappropriate. I always want to honor Christ with my body. So, creativity had to kick in...
When I decided I wanted to make an Alice outfit (which I decided about a year and half ago) I wanted something spunky without being immodest or tasteless. I am a lover of dolls and the original inspiration came from a doll I saw at the store.
She wore some epic black and white striped stockings.
So, this year I really wanted to make it happen. 

But time was an issue. I knew I couldn't sew it from scratch. (too many other projects for work and relatives....and oh yeah, I am teaching a class...)
Happily,  I found a vintage lace dress at the thrift store (praise God for blessings when trying to be frugal!) and pinned the long hem to the waist for the proper length (couldn't hem it that much because the skirt is narrower at top than at the bottom).  I opted  to not cut the long hem off either, the fabric was TOO pretty!

Any other seamstress have a hard time cutting off large-quantities of gorgeous fabric from a skirt or dress?
It makes me cringe. I feel like I am somehow being destructive and wasteful!
Too things I never want to characterize me.

 So, handy dandy safety pins came to the rescue!!
I like the unexpected lace on an Alice dress, with ruffles. It throws a twist, doesn't it?
Still has those classic puffed sleeves though! And the right color! 
And who doesn't love to wear vintage?
Okay, some don't, but I sure DO!

 The apron was an easy 45 minutes project a couple Sunday afternoon's ago. Made from a thrifed bed sheet.  I added a brass key and a black bow to the front for extra Wonderland-ish-ness.
The apron is a true "pin-a-fore" style, it pins on the dress under the ruffle.

 I went ahead and just made the apron ties fitted, so I wouldn't have to deal with tying a fussy bow. 
I will probably make a (pre-tied)  bow and tack it to the back of the fitted band at some time for a more cartoony effect. 

Here is how the back looks fitted. I assure you the apron is not attached to the zipper of the blue dress!

My bow is a cartoon style bow (it sticks up animated style) which I  made in ten minutes flat from felt and elastic. Easy, peasy, pie!

 The quirky stockings were ordered early in October from online. I paid  no more than $8 dollars for them and hopefully I can wear them for future projects or give them to someone else who needs a a pair. When ordering thigh-high stockings online, be sure you purchase them from a reputable company! =) Just a note of caution! Sometimes the reputable companies take longer to ship out, so plan ahead! And, always pair them tastefully and with extra caution!
I wore my simple dance shoes-although technically, Alice's shoes should be black!

Alice and the White Rabbit!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sewing Post-Ren Faire Outfit

"Are you going to Scarborough fair? Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there He once was a true love of mine"

Tell him to make me a cambric shirt
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Without no seam nor needlework
Then he'll be a true love of mine

Tell him to find me an acre of land
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Between the salt water and the sea strand
Then he'll be a true love of mine

Are you going to Scarborough fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
He once was a true love of mine

 Hello dear Readers! I am back safely from my travels to Houston and I have these pictures here to share with you of my costume!
The dress is actually really old! I originally made it about 4 years ago-it has gone through so many changes since then! I had to take it in about four inches last year, and another 3 this year! It now has a pleated skirt instead or a gathered skirt, and the under gold dress has a drawstring around the neckline to keep it from falling off my shoulders! 
I needed an easy an effective way to take this dress in . I knew this was going to be no super neat, clean job, because it had to be taken in SO much!

 Now it fits like a dream!
 The best way I found was to detach the skirt from the bodice, and cut the back and side back bodice open,  then resew the seams with large seam allowances, serge everything nice and tidy, and then re-pleat and reattach the skirt. Last year I had opened the back seam up to do this, this year I took in the side backs. I did not bother to separate the lining and the bodice and do them separately, because the grommets made this impossible. I also knew, this dress is on its last leg of life.
Overall, the inside is tidy. I made this dress back eons ago, when I was still learning to sew, so the lining does not match up perfectly, but you can see the clean finish. 

I sewed some very expensive french lace I had on hand, temporarily on the hem.
The idea is, I  will remove the lace from this dress when the dress goes into storage again. I plan to use this lace on my wedding dress someday!
(outside view)

I used rough, basting stitches to attach the lace,  and folded all the excess lace on the inside, so I would not have to cut it! That would be a shame!
(inside view)

  Here is what it looks like in natural sunlight!
 And a chain belt to complete the dress as well. 
You can also notice the unusual gold sleeves in this shot!

Here is a final picture of me in my room after I made the wreathe to finish off the costume!
I was really happy with the outcome! I like this dress more and more every time I rework it!
Somethings just get better as time goes on!
I do hope you enjoyed this post!
Give me a comment and tell me what you think!

So, what have you all been up to? Any harvest festivals or bonfires?
Did anyone ever attend the Houston Ren Faire?
Let me know!

 (and Serendipity from the Clan Tinker show! It was awesome!) 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fall In Focus-Lovely things

 Happy October Lovelies!
How Have you been? 
I have been dandy! Life is speeding up over in my neck of the woods, and beauty is everywhere to be found. God Is so good to me. I spend my weeks helping at church, teaching a Civil War class, dancing, sewing for friends and work, sipping tea and adoring my cute dog.
Here are some snapshots of my life this fall.
1. I danced in our State Fair Parade!

2.Received a FABULOUS handmade necklace from my friend Rachel in P.A., and found a FEATHER belt at the thrift store! They pair nicely I think....

3.Olaf was crowned with his own wreathe...he looks less than impressed...but don't feel to bad for him, he got a bone after this abuse...

 4.Preparing  an Alice In Wonderland costume...

5. Vinatge thrift store finds, isn't this lamp sweet?

6. Made some alterations to my old Renaissance Faire dress to take to the Houston Ren Faire this weekend! I had to take in about 4 inches, added a belt to the waist and lace to the hem (not pictured) and lastly made a wreathe. (That matches Olaf's wreath!)

7. Sewing a mid 19th century work gown for my Aunt out of reproduction fabric! *squee*
  8. My Granny got me some comfy fall soft! I am a big lover of Moccasins!

 9. Vintage floral apron score, with inserted lace detail. Say WHAT?

 10. Got official Folklorico pictures, and it is hard to tell its me in my traditional outfit!
At least, some people think so!
What say you?

 I am packing up and heading to visit some newly wed friends in Houston. 
I will see you all when I come back!
Blessings to you!
What have you been up to lately that you love? 


Images by Freepik