Monday, November 3, 2014

The Misadventures of a Nervous Seemstress

1950's winter skirt
I've spent some time with my sewing machine lately and even though I've made many mistakes, I'm glad I have.  This amazingly warm flannel circle skirt, although far from perfect, is my new favorite wardrobe piece. 

I'm sure my Mother's jaw will hit the floor when she hears that I'm feeling like a very new and novice seamstress.  Thanks to her, I was working a sewing machine before my feet even reached the foot peddle.  I remember my first machine sewing project being a small 9 square quilt "blanket" for my dog.  I sewed my own Halloween costumes for years, aced 8th grade home ec, and took another sewing class in high school.  I have sewed off and on for as long as I can remember.  So why do I feel like I have no idea what the hell I'm doing?  I just haven't used this set of skills in way to many years.  Use it or loose it, maybe?  I'm hoping that it'll be like riding a bike (so they say), and my first time back on the bike was just a bit wobbly. 

For not following a pattern and winging it, I won't complain too much.  I used the circle skirt pattern piece that I had altered in order to use an elastic waistband.  Only this time, I used a regular waist band and a zipper.  The zipper is the best part of the skirt, by the way, I'm impressed with that.  So, now there was too much fabric at the top and I had to improvise pleats, which went all right other than the fact that one of them is backwards, darn it.  Plus, I made the waist band too big (better safe than sorry) and had to add 2 more small pleats in the back. 
vintage winter wardrobe
These are just some rookie mistakes that I'm sure wouldn't have happened had I followed a pattern and its directions.  I hope this is the case, as I have bought a few more patterns and will be starting them soon.  My goal is to expand my vintage appropriate winter wardrobe.  I've been reading tons of blog posts about cold weather vintage wardrobes, and founds some great inspirations.  I was, at first a bit skeptical of wearing a skirt in the winter, but having all this flannel wrapped around my legs was very warm.  Paired with leggings and winter boots, I was warm enough.  Although, at 22 degrees and no jacket, I hope you enjoy the photos, cause I was damn cold for the few minutes it took to take them.  This is a great winter outfit, but a jacket is still warranted, I am in Alaska after all.
Vintage winter hat she knits in pearls
I paired this skirt with a simple vintage cardigan with a hand embroidered pattern on it (sorry I didn't think to showcase it in a photo) and my most favorite hand knit hat.  I've never showcased the hat before because I had no pattern to share with it.  This was completely made up as I went.  I really wish I had written down what I was doing.  It turned out so well and is a staple in my winter wardrobe. 
Back to the sewing adventures, (hopefully not misadventures) I'm trying out my first vintage pattern here really soon.  I am participating in the Vintage Pajama Party sew-a-long.  Hosted by the adorable Carla over at Tiny Angry Crafter

I ordered my very first vintage pattern from Recycledelic on Etsy and received it yesterday.
vintage pattern She Knits In Pearls
I hope to go fabric shopping soon and look forward to getting started on Nov. 7th.  It's been many years since I've sewn anything more complex than a simple skirt and I'm a bit nervous, but I'm excited as well and hope to re-learn old skills and push myself to the next level.  The wardrobe of my dreams depends on it.
Seamstresses and vintage lovers out there, if you'd like to join in on the fun, head over to Tiny Angry Crafter and join our pajama party.
What additions have you made to your winter wardrobe?  Do you find it easy to add the garments you like?  Do you have your particular style of dress easily accessible to you?  If not, how do you work around that?
Until next time, stay stylish and warm my friends.

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