Friday, April 29, 2011

The Missing Novice

Egads. Sorry that I've been neglecting my blog as of late. Been very busy planning and executing my daughters birthday party (she is two years old now) and I'm also just getting over Easter and Mister's birthday as well. Now my birthday is coming up next weekend. Sheesh. Between you and me I really don't like birthdays. Enough about that. I wanted to show you my sewing room work in progress. Drum rolls please:

Behold, my sewing room in progress.

Cabinets and countertop
This is just one half of my little sewing station that Mister has allowed me to build in my daughter's play room. The bottom cabinets (ready built from Lowes) that you see here are actually to store away her toys, but the countertop area belongs to me. What's missing is the three wall cabinets that will be placed above this (with my Father's help), which I will use to store things like this.

Vintage Lace from Ebay
Yes, that is a whole lot of lace. This picture doesn't even include the other lace, ribbon and trims that I have been purchasing and hoarding wrapping and storing away. I have discovered a new place to feed my need for vintage sewing: EBAY. I know I'm pretty late on figuring that out, but oh well. I will show more pictures of my additional Ebay finds later.

Lastly another must have that I had to have in my new sewing room/playroom is a big table to sew and cut patterns on. Here it is in all its messy glory.

My sewing/pattern cutting table
Close up of the mess on the table.

As you can see I've already set up some of my daughter's (Buni) toys around it. Buni has made the area under the table her makeshift play house. She loves to hide underneath and play with her toys. Hopefully when my wall cabinets are set up I'll have a spot to put the additional lace I have in the basket and my box of trims.

So will this end up to be the sewing room of my dreams? Will Buni be willing to share her playroom with the Experienced Novice? Is the Experienced Novice secretly an Ebay obsessed vintage sewing monster? Stay tuned!

The Smock Dress circa 1972

Front View 

Back View
Another weekend sewing project that ended up so-so. I seem to have a very bad track record with my pattern selection. *sigh* I guess everything will always be a trial and error when it comes to sewing. I mentioned that I was going to work on this pattern below. Simplicity 5154 Smock Dress circa 1972. I was drawn to the dress because of the really cute sleeves and simple construction. While I was making the dress I realized that it was loose enough that I didn't need to put the zipper that they said was needed. Of course the lack of zipper should've given me an inkling on how loose the dress was, but my "spidey senses" just weren't tingling since I was so elated that I cut out 20 minutes of zipper sewing.  The final dress looks more like a Mumu dress that my Grandma "B" from the Philippines used to wear. I looked at my dress and the dress pictured on the pattern and the only thing I can think of is that they must have taken in the dress quite a bit for the pictured version and that is probably why they needed a zipper. Strangely my version is very flowy and A-line and not straight like the pattern version. Hmmmm... I'am not daunted. I can still wear the dress, but I would need to wear a belt to make it look less Mumu-ish. Anyways, here is my pattern review:

Pattern Review (The Pros): Very easy to put together. Only four main pieces (front skirt, back skirt, yoke and flutter sleeves. Also I was able to omit the zipper and still fit into the dress. The dress has a lot of give and is very forgiving.

The Cons: When I tried on the dress it just wasn't flattering. I think I will blame the flutter sleeves. The sleeves were just too fluttery. Of course it may also be my notoriously bad fabric choice again, but I just wasn't liking it. Now that I looked at the picture I wonder if its because its meant to be worn with something underneath?? Hmmm.. Another possibility is that I don't have very svelte model arms and I just hate the way this highlights might my very unsvelte arms. Naaahh. I'll just blame the sleeves.

Sleeve and Yoke Detail

Did it come out like the pattern picture? Yes. I added some rick rack on the sleeves to "jazz it up" and I really like it. 

Do you need to make adjustments? Yes, read above.

Pattern Level: Beginner. I would change it to super easy if you are able to not use a zipper and still fit into the dress. 

What could I have done better? I think if I make this dress again I would like to make the butterfly sleeves bigger. I would also like to make it in a drapier fabric such as rayon or perhaps a knit to see how it looks like.

Would you sew this pattern again? On the fence with this one. The dress is super easy to put together, but not as fitted as I would like. My answer is maybe.

Pattern: Simplicity 5154 circa 1972 purchased from Historically Patterns on Etsy.
Fabric: 100% cotton from Joanns. 
Trim: Dark brown ric rac from Sweet Peas Treat Shop on Etsy.
Techniques: Lining, gathering and trim application.