Happy New Year!
It's truly amazing how fast this year has gone and I when I look at this image it seems crazy that I made so many things. I've virtually created a brand new (but vintage inspired) wardrobe. It's been so fun making things for myself and a long time coming. I haven't really done anything like this since High School. Since then, sewing has meant mostly business - pattern making, fashion education and custom design work with a little bit of sewing for the home or for friends on the side.
People used to ask me, ALL THE TIME, if I sewed for myself, and I sheepishly said no, FOR YEARS. No so, for 2017. It all started by having a goal of attracting more adult students with my BLOG. So that meant i needed to have content. I wanted some new clothes, so why not start blogging about that? I'm an adult and I sew. And next thing you know, I've created 50 blog posts, mostly about clothing I've made, and mostly about this vintage style that's inspired me to create a whole new look for myself.
But my favorite part of all this sewing has been rediscovering the JOY that comes with the empowerment of CREATING that whole new look and SHARING it with others. Some of the Vintage Fashion & Sewing Blogger's that I follow have really inspired me to branch off in new directions this year, make/take better photos of my projects and encouraged me personally. The resources, inspiration & encouragement have been particularly helpful, so I want to send a great big Thank You to Cate over at Vintage Gal Blog, Tanya over at the Mrs. Hughes, Chuleenan from CSews , Emileigh at the Flashback Summer Blog, and Instagram faves @frolickingfrocks, @duchessofhutch, @makethislook, @mariabordoysbourdoir , @AmericanDuchess and also all the contributors to the We Sew Retro Blog, where I post some of my projects. Yay! to you all! Oh, and I don't want to forget my favorite place to buy vintage repro patterns - Vintage Pattern Lending Library. Thank you to Dierdre for reproducing some of the best ones!
Here are a few of my favorite looks from this year:
This one is my "Vintage Inspired Professional" look -
Blouse - Colette Patterns - Sencha Top. I've made 4 of these this year, one of which sadly got washed and shrunk and kept snagging. It was a pain in the butt, but I liked the print a lot so that was a bit of a bummer. There is a solid white rayon crepe version and also a greenish-teal jacquard version, both of which I like equally. This one, by far, is the most successful in my opinion. The plaid on the bias adds a whimsy and makes it really fun.
Pencil Skirt - made from the Little Black Dress Book by Dolin O'Shea from a pink wool tweed that my friend Kelley Flynn gave to me. She is an interior designer and it's left over from a project. I could really use about 8 if these in different colors.
These two dresses were made from the same pattern - VPLL - 1931 Ladies Dress With Asymmetrical Detailing - Reproduction Sewing Pattern #T6617 with a few detail changes that you can see in the two different posts (see links above) I created for these styles.
I actually adore the first prototype (right) photo and am excited to wear it to an upcoming party with a vintage hat I purchased this year and a velvet coat that was gifted to me. I've yet to wear it out in public. The floral version is equally as pretty but certainly gives off a more casual look which was totally appropriate for The Gatsby Summer Afternoon.
My Chanel Style Couture French Jacket
Well this one took over 5 years to complete, but I really buckled down to finish it this year and wear it quite often. I started with a Quick Sew Pattern and altered it to fit my figure and the style lines I wanted. Maybe next time I'll try the Claire Shaeffer or Susan Khalje patterns instead. We shall see.
I'm extremely proud of this one on many levels, but mostly because it was the biggest UFO in my list of things to finish. And guess what? Now I have a gorgeous black jacket to throw on at any given time. Yay!
These 3 blouses have really served me well this year especially the blue, orange and white paisley version, pictured in the center. This was my first real foray into the Miss Fisher Wardrobe that I'm building. All were started from the VPLL pattern, pictured left and you can read more about how I put them together here.
2017 Preservation Ball Gown
This dress was self draped from a beautiful Yellow and Purple Ombre silk. It is probably one of the more complicated dresses I've assembled since my days as a bridal designer. I'm quite please with the results and it will be a great evening dress to take to Miss Fisher Con! You can read about how I draped it in the following posts:
Smooth Sailing Sport Togs by Wearing History
This is by far my most worn outfit of the year! I was a little afraid of the puffy sleeves, but I've really come to love them. The trousers fit impeccably and I'm looking forward to making more in the new year. I wear the pants with my breton sweaters and t-shirts and the top layers well under pullovers and cardigans too. You can read more of my pattern review in this post:
And this was by far, my absolutely FAVORITE look of the year. The whole look is pulled together - belt, shoes, coat, hat and gloves. All that's missing is a handbag, but I think I might have something in my arsenal of accessories. I have not actually worn this complete outfit in it's entirety, but I have worn each of the pieces individually and combined with other me-made pieces on many occasions so far. My neighbor, John, was so kind to let me photograph it in his garden.
Thanks to all of your for reading through this and getting to the bottom of this post! Whew! Can't wait to get started on a whole new set of projects this coming year.
Wishing you a happy, healthy, creative and productive New Year!!!!