Saturday, 31 March 2012

Finished Project: Butterick 9973

So a day later than normally scheduled, here's my finished plaid dress inspired by Peggy Olson.
I've been attempting to re-create this dress -

but I decided to leave the buttons out as they're just not worth it for this dress I think. However as you can see I did make the bow to hide my terribly matched plaid stripes!

The weather this week has been unseasonably warm, but as luck would have it when it came around to Saturday it had disappeared, typical! This did not deter me from having the photos taken in our lovely garden though.

The dress itself came out nicely although I had to cut roughly 2 or so inches from the hem as it came to my calves, although depicted as knee length on the cover?! This in turn made the kick pleat a lot shorter too, so that's something to remember for next time.

The neckline is also a little loose so I could probably do with shortening the bodice a little maybe?

I was also a little unsure of exactly when I would wear this, as it's not exactly a subtle print? But after looking over this pictures I think it would make a perfect work dress. I like it with my grey tights, and I have a green cardigan that would suit it too.

So that's it! Mad Men Challenge accepted and executed X2! I can't wait to see what everyone else has made. Thanks again Julia Bobbin for setting it up!

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Sew Cinematic Inspiration Post: Top

To follow on from my last post here, this week I wanted to share what I'm planning on making for the 'Top' part of the challenge.
How on earth to you choose what top to make, and from what film? I found this much more difficult than the dress part. Dresses tend to make more of an impression, tops or blouses, for me anyway, tend to be a bit bland?

To make it easier on myself I chose a film that is so iconic & inspirational for many reasons. Grease.
A perfect excuse to make a 1950's blouse. So now comes the decision of 'which character do I wanna be?' The prim & proper Sandy? The bad Sandy? Tough girl Rizzo? Quirky Frenchie? The best dancer at Saint Bernadettes?

The answer -

It had to be Rizzo, c'mon how cool does she look? However, it's not this top that I'm making. I decided to go with the green shirt she wears at a scene in 'Frosty's Palace', the 'hickey from Kinickie' scene.

These are the best photos I can find of the outfit which is a shame as it's a cute outfit for Rizzo. The shirt is actually tied up at the waist, and she wears it with some high waisted jeans.
I've already got a pattern in mind too which is Style 1136.

I'd be making up version B which is the white collared shirt in the centre.
I'm curious to know, whether you're taking part in the challenge or not, are there any famous movie 'tops' that spring to your mind?

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Butterick 9973: In Progress

As promised here are a few snaps of the dress in progress..

Ok so moment of truth, matching up the stripes was quite hard for me, especially as I didn't have a ton of fabric to work with, plus the skirt is gathered at the sides. Look at the waist line! Oh dear :(
Luckily I do have enough fabric left over to make a bow to cover the front like Peggy's!
All that's left is to shorten the length to just below the knee & hem.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Old Hollywood Inspiration: Grace Kelly

Grace Patricia Kelly worn born in Philidelphia in 1929. After her high school graduation in 1947, Grace struck out on her own, heading to New York's bright lights to try her luck there. Grace worked some as a model and made her debut on Broadway in 1949.

Not content with the work in New York, Grace moved to Southern California for the more prestigious part of acting -- motion pictures. In 1951, she appeared in her first film entitled Fourteen Hours (1951) when she was 22.

In 1953, Grace appeared in only one film, but it was another popular one. The film was Mogambo (1953) where Grace played Linda Nordley. The film was a jungle drama in which fellow cast members, Clark Gable and Ava Gardner turned in masterful performances. It was also one of the best films ever released by MGM.

Although she got noticed with High Noon, her work with director Alfred Hitchcock, which began with Dial M for Murder (1954) made her a star.

Her standout performance in Rear Window (1954) brought her to prominence. As Lisa Fremont, she was cast opposite James Stewart, who played a crippled photographer who witnesses a murder in the next apartment from his wheelchair.

Grace would forever be immortalized by winning the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Georgie Elgin opposite Bing Crosby in The Country Girl (1954). In 1955, Grace once again teamed with Hitchcock in To Catch a Thief (1955) co-starring Cary Grant.

In 1956, she played Tracy Lord in the musical comedy High Society (1956) which also starred Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. The whimsical tale ended with her re-marrying her former husband, played by Crosby.

It also turned out to be her final acting performance. Grace had recently met and married Prince Rainier of Monaco. By becoming a princess, she gave up her career.

For the rest of her life, she was to remain in the news with her marriage and her three children. On September 14, 1982, Grace was killed in an automobile accident in her adoptive home country. She was just 52 years old.

Biography taken from IMDB
Photos sourced from here

Monday, 26 March 2012

Butterick 9973

So I have a confession.... I couldn't help myself!! I decided to take another stab at re-creating an outfit from Mad Men. After making my Peggy Olson skirt, as much as I LOVE it, I kind of felt like I should hang my head in shame at not being more creative with the challenge.

Bad seamstress.

So to make up for it I decided to try and create this dress..

For this I'm using Butterick 9973 which is from the 1960's and comes with a basic scoop-neck bodice and a choice of either a gathered or fitted skirt. 
Naturally, I'm using the fitted skirt, and the sleeves too.

To make this similar to Peggy's dress I'm using some plaid rayon that I got off Ebay. I will warn you now, I'm not really used to working with stripes in such a big way. Because of my serious lack of attention & inexperience I may have got some of the stripes slightly off from matching. But hey, you gotta start somewhere right?

So this isn't in the same colour scheme as Peggy's but you get the idea. I'll post some more photos of the dress in progress on Weds so you can all laugh! :)

Friday, 23 March 2012

Finished Project: Simplicity 5285

So as promised here's my finished blouse from earlier in the week..

And because this is super easy & quick to make up, plus I had some spare time I also managed to make another 2 versions of the same pattern!
Both are using the white cotton my hubby picked up when he bought the fabric for his shirt. One is with a black collar & sleeves....

And the other has a pastel striped collar with matching self covered buttons....

I think my blouse obsession is almost over, but I do have some spare black cotton that I could probably squeeze a sleeveless version of this out with, and i'm thinking either a polka dot or another striped collar?

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Things I Love Thursday: Pin Up Art

I'm gonna start this post by saying that I love art. Like, really love it. My favourite kind has always been portraits, I think it shows true skill and talent to be able to draw people accurately. I think that's why I've always been drawn to artists that draw pin ups, it combines a lot of what I love, vintage & art.
I'm sure you've all seen at least one of the following  images before, and you may even be a lover of this type of art yourself? My favourite pin up artists are of course Gil Elvgren & Alberto Vargas.

Seriously, these guys are masters of their craft, I could only dream of being able to produce stuff like this!

Gil Elvgren creates such beautiful scenerios for his pin-ups, and always includes subtle innuendos into his work. A little lift of the skirt here, a perfect pout there, I could look at his art all day!

Vargas on the other hand uses a lot less colour, and is less playful with his girls. But this isn't such a bad thing, it lets you focus more on what he wants you to. I love the image above of the blonde in the swimsuit, I actually have this hanging in my sewing room.

And of course no post about pin-ups would be complete without a cameo from this lovely lady...

This one of the many, many, 'Betties' that has been drawn by Olivia de Bernadis.