Lanvin Reproduction

Okay, this was THE MAJOR PROJECT of spring! Heritage Square holds a fashion show and tea every spring. In previous years I worked the event, but this year I asked if Lu and I could walk in the show. Then I lost my damn mind and spent way way way too much time trying to figure out something that met the theme that also worked for our ages and was a known mother/daughter duo. I also needed to find something that was achievable.

I ended up finding 5 or so options and then asked the organizer which she preferred. And she was very unhelpful by telling me to choose. Darn it! In the end I selected Jeanne Lanvin and her daughter Marguerite.

Here is the fashion plate I selected.

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From the Museum of Fine Arts Boston

And here are our finished ensembles!

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I’m pretty darn proud of how nice our dresses look. Not exactly like the original design, but certainly close enough for real life.

I drafted both dresses from a basic bodice. Lu’s was based off the bodice block in the Building Block Dress. I used the pattern I fit for Christmas and then added cut on sleeves. It is a little tight to get her arms in, but it works! Then I added a densely gathered skirt. Mine is based off my sloper with a very slightly dropped waist. I’m sure on a slim woman there would be no bust darts and the waist would be lower, but I altered those things to better suit my figure. I love trying to be historically accurate and making clothes fit is an accurate direction to go. People have always preferred clothes that look nice!

I also drafted Lu a simple slip to wear underneath. I used cotton lawn for the top and organdy for the skirt. Jokes on me though, organdy is…sheer! I had to go back and line the slip with more lawn. On the plus side the slip organdy was a freebie my boss brought me years ago. She was so pleased to hear I’d used it. I had enough to do both our slips, but mine is not fully lined I think. My memory is kind of foggy on the details at this point. I made my entire ensemble in less than a week and did not have the time to sweat the small stuff!

Both dresses are made with organdy I ordered all the way from India. I’ve never ordered fabric from so far away, but I found the recommendation on Historical Sewing and figured Jennifer wouldn’t recommend a crummy business. Pure Silks‘ website was a tad clunky, but they had organdy of various stiffness and in colors, glorious COLORS! The prices were also really good even with international shipping.

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Our ensembles were topped off with hats I purchased off Amazon. I had such anxiety over hats. Finding the right shape, color, and size is so darn tough, but I haven’t learned to make my own yet. So two plain straw hats were ordered and then I trimmed them to match our ensembles.

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I’m most proud of the appliqué on the front of the dresses. I had planned to do it by hand, but that would have been so time intensive. A friend suggested appliqué and she was so right. Much more realistic in a time crunch. I used left over baptism dress fabric for Lu’s and some silk organza from Renaissance Fabrics on mine. Then I embroidered the stems by hand.

My mom (and two of my aunties) were able to attend the fashion show and captured this sweet video. Lu had such a blast that she is already thinking about next year. And I’m so happy to see my girls love the museum as much as I do. Next year maybe Chi Chi can join us?

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Tropo Camisole Nightgown

Over at the Curvy Sewing Collective I have a full write up of the Tuesday Stitches Tropo Camisole. It’s a really nice wardrobe basic and I hope to make many more as pajama and work out tops. However, I thought I’d also try it out as a nightgown because summer is here and it is so hot at night!

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Erin has a tutorial to make the Tropo into a dress so that is a great place to start if your thinking about lengthening the design. One thing to keep in mind is there a lot of negative ease at the hip of the tank. This is great for anchoring a shirt, but not so great in dress form.

As you can see my nightgown is pretty tight across my midsection. I freehand cut the skirt section with about 4 inches more in ease, but it was not quite as much as I’d like.

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It won’t stop me from wearing this nightgown. It’s made from a soy blend knit I picked up on my trip to Portland back in January. I’m definitely considering ordering it in a couple more colors because while it is a little snug, this nightgown is incredibly comfortable. I need to see how much yardage I would need. Maybe 1.5 yards?

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I made this second nightgown from a firm cotton jersey from Sahara Fabrics and this time I swung out the hem more to add a bit more room. It is also a bit more snug than I’d like, but that is partly because the jersey is a little on the heavy side for the pattern. I’ve come to realize I need to shorten it above the waist. If I pinch out about 1 inch in length suddenly the whole bottom half fits. Whoops! This is also the first version I made without a shelf bra because I ran out of coordinating fabric.

In fact after making two tanks and 2 nightgowns I’ve run out of fold over elastic and the soft elastic I’d bought for the under bust band. This was a good little stash busting project, but I really feel like I’m not done. Just too perfect as a useful and quick project!


Otherwise in our lives we are settling into a summer routine. Though we’ve had some sort of virus rip through the family this past week. As the kids have gotten older we are experiencing fewer illnesses, but when something hits us, it hits us hard. Oh well. Thankfully we are all on the mend and 6 days of being house bound have given me plenty of time to catch up on my sewing to do list.

Ottobre Norma Blouse and the Dress Like Your Grandma Challenge

 

This year I just barely managed to participate in the Dress Like Your Grandma challenge Tanya (of Mrs. Hughes fame) made into an annual event. I aspire to sew as many vintage patterns as Tanya manages to produce! Anyways, I didn’t have a ton of time available to tackle this look and so I’m not quite pleased with what I was able to put together.

My mom’s mom is on the left looking saucy and rocking those ankle strap shoes. I’m not sure when this was taken, but my grandmother’s always been a bit of a ball buster. Definitely not one of those soft and sweet grandmothers who bake cookies. She’s more likely to ask me when I’m going to lose weight and can I sneak her some Jack Daniels? But she loved my grandfather and they are so adorable in the photos from their youth. Based on their wedding year and the fashion in this picture I’m guessing this is when when they were dating. (Any idea mom?)

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Trying to find a blouse pattern like Grandma’s was really tough. I didn’t have time to draft my own and I didn’t see anything readily available to download. Ottobre Magazine sent me a couple magazines to try out so I flipped through the pages and found the Norma Blouse. It’s a really cute little 1940s style shirt with a yoke at the shoulders, gathers at the shoulders, and fish eye darts for some subtle shaping.

I’ve never tried an Ottobre pattern before this, but the blouse turned out really nicely. Maybe a tad big in the shoulders, but I was trying not to do too many adjustments. Aside from blending sizes (44/48/50) I also did a full bust, sway back, and full bicep adjustment. I feel like I’ve been overly picky with fit lately and it was nice to just step away and accept the finished project instead of over analyzing it.

I also haven’t made a blouse in years. Or frankly anything with a button front. Unfortunately I probably need a touch more bust room, but otherwise I think I did a pretty good job making a professional looking shirt. I feel like my breasts look SO BIG in this and yet I probably do need to go down a size and do an even larger full bust adjustment.

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The Norma blouse was super easy to sew together. Ottobre sells magazines in English and that’s a big plus! I’m working on a project from another European magazine and it is just not as smooth trying to translate sewing terms.

The fabric for this blouse is the leftovers from the girls’ Baptism dresses and it was just perfect for a blouse. I’m really getting my money’s worth out of this purchase The Fabric Store. I still have even more!

So what do you think of the fit of this blouse? Does it look okay? Or is it worth narrowing the shoulders and doing an even bigger full bust adjustment? I think it is worth keeping this pattern and using it again. My husband said this is his favorite thing I’ve made in a long time and it is a pretty wonderful shirt.