Monday, 30 April 2012

Palette Challenge: Burgundy Pencil Skirt

I've been wanting to make another pencil skirt for a while now, my first attempt was blogged here and was made using a self draughted pattern. As much I like the outcome, and the skirt is in constant rotation for work, I've decided to use a ready made pattern I picked up very cheaply on Ebay.

The pattern is Butterick 2115 and is dated 1963
I'm going to be using some of the burgundy suiting I picked up at my local fabric shop at £5 a metre.
I came extremely close to actually using this for a circle skirt as it has a very nice drape, but as much fun as circle skirts are, I know I will get more wear out of a fitted skirt.
At the moment I'm going to be sewing up the red version which has a plain front and 2 inverted pleats at the back, but we'll see how well this fabric behaves.

Friday, 27 April 2012

That's Sew Cinematic: Introducing The 'Rizzo' Blouse

Using Rizzo as my inspiration for this challenge I've finished re-creating this top that she wears in a diner scene.
Just to recap, I've used Style 1136 (undated) for this blouse in a plain bottle green cotton.
And here it is!

The blouse is super comfortable and I love the collar, although it does sit quite far back? I decided to have black buttons for a bit of contrast, and if you can spot it, I added something a little 'extra'
As soon as the shirt started coming together my husband mentioned that it looked similar to a bowling shirt, I then remembered that Rizzo wears the above red shirt at the end of the movie with her name on it. It was a match made in sewing heaven!
I'm not particularly great at embroidery so I very carefully just traced over some faint pencil line I drew on, with a needle and thread.
This is a really nice pattern, and I love the simplicity of it. I'll definitely be sewing this up again!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Something From The Weekend

This past weekend as the weather cheered up a bit, the husband and I decided to take a walk along the canal. This walk is becoming quite a regular for us, we decided to go in the opposite direction this time heading towards the centre of our village .
There are some truly stunning gardens that are alongside the canal, I am so jealous of the people that live in these houses!
A very random picture of a cow on someones shed?!
When we got home, we discovered that our cat has found a new hiding place...the tree! I do wonder about him sometimes??

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

That's Sew Cinematic: Update

My Rizzo blouse is finally starting to shape after a bit of a false start. Me being obviously SUPER eager to get this going cut the wrong version so I would have ended up with a chinese-style collar instead of a shirt collar, DUH!
Anyway, that aside the blouse has been pretty straight forward, and most of the construction is done. I just have the sleeves to sew in, the hem & the buttons, plus a bit of suprise embroidery!
Here's a little sneaky peek!
So excited to finish this now! 

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Old Hollywood Inspiration: Olivia De Havilland

Olivia Mary de Havilland was born to a British patent attorney and his wife on July 1, 1916, in Tokyo, Japan. Her sister, Joan, later to become famous as Joan Fontaine, was born the following year. Her parents divorced when Olivia was just three years old, and she moved with her mother and sister to Saratoga, California.
After graduating from high school, where she fell prey to the acting bug, Olivia enrolled in Mills College in Oakland. It was while she was at Mills that she participated in the school play "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and was spotted by Max Reinhardt. She so impressed Reinhardt that he picked her up for both his stage version and, later, the Warner Bros. film version in 1935.
She again was so impressive that Warner executives signed her to a seven-year contract. No sooner had the ink dried on the contract than Olivia appeared in three more films: The Irish in Us (1935), Alibi Ike (1935) and Captain Blood (1935), the latter with the man with whom her career would be most closely identified, heartthrob Errol Flynn. He and Olivia starred together in eight films during their careers.
In 1939 Warner Bros. loaned her to David O. Selznick for the classic Gone with the Wind (1939). Playing the sweet Melanie Hamilton, Olivia received her first nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, only to lose out to one of her co-stars in the film, Hattie McDaniel. After GWTW, Olivia returned to Warner Bros. and continued to churn out films.
In 1941 she played Emmy Brown in Hold Back the Dawn (1941), which resulted in her second Oscar nomination, this time for Best Actress. Again she lost, this time to her sister Joan for her role in Suspicion (1941). After that strong showing, Olivia now demanded better, more substantial roles than the "sweet young thing" slot into which Warners had been fitting her. The studio responded by placing her on a six-month suspension, all of the studios at the time operating under the policy that players were nothing more than property to do with as they saw fit.
As if that weren't bad enough, when her contract with Warners was up, she was told that she would have to make up the time lost because of the suspension. Irate, she sued the studio, and for the length of the court battle she didn't appear in a single film. The result, however, was worth it. In a landmark decision, the court said not only that Olivia did not have to make up the time, but that all performers were to be limited to a seven-year contract that would include any suspensions handed down. This became known as the "de Havilland decision"; no longer could studios treat their performers as mere cattle.
Returning to screen in 1946, Olivia made up for lost time by appearing in four films, one of which finally won her the Oscar that had so long eluded her. It was To Each His Own (1946), in which she played Josephine Norris to the delight of critics and audiences alike. Olivia was the strongest performer in Hollywood for the balance of the 1940s. In 1948 she turned in another strong showing in The Snake Pit (1948) as Virginia Cunningham, a woman suffering a mental breakdown. The end result was another Oscar nomination for Best Actress, but she lost to Jane Wyman in Johnny Belinda (1948).
As in the two previous years, she made only one film in 1949, but she again won a nomination and the Academy Award for Best Actress for The Heiress (1949). After a three-year hiatus, Olivia returned to star in My Cousin Rachel (1952). From that point on, she made few appearances on the screen but was seen on Broadway and in some television shows. Her last screen appearance was in The Fifth Musketeer (1979), and her last career appearance was in the TV movie The Woman He Loved (1988) (TV). During the hoopla surrounding the 50th anniversary of GWTW in 1989, she graciously declined requests for all interviews as the only surviving one of the four main stars. Today she enjoys a quiet retirement in Paris, France.

Biography taken from Imdb
Images taken from here

Monday, 23 April 2012

That's Sew Cinematic - Rizzo Blouse (Style 1136)

The next item I'm planning on sewing up for the Sew Cinematic challenge is the top. For this I decided to stick with the Grease theme, and am re-creating a top that Rizzo wears.
It's going to be a slight mix of two, but I'll get onto that when it's done!
The main inspiration is the scene where Rizzo talks about 'looking like a leper' thanks to Kenickie.

These are the best photos I could find of Riz in this scene which is a shame as the rest of her outfit is really cute, and is different to what we see everyone else wearing during the film. The shirt is actually tied at the front, and is paired with jeans and of course (for some of the scene) Kenickies leather jacket.

To make this look I'm using an undated Style pattern 1136. I'm guessing by the illustrations that this is possibly late 1950's?

I'm sticking with ordinary bottle green cotton for this, but as suggested before I may add something a little extra to it!

Friday, 20 April 2012

Palette Challenge Finished Project - Simplicity 3688

After sorting through everything for this challenge, it really spurred me on to get something started. I thought i'd start with a simple blouse, and instead of making a shirt I opted for this instead.
Simple, versatile and quick to sew. I decided to use the orange and blue squared polyester I had, which was originally intended for a dress. I soon realised however, that I don't wear a lot of white or cream and I knew it would be such a waste of fabric to make a whole dress that I probably wouldn't wear that often.
You'll have to excuse my face in some of the snaps, I look a little washed out/tired!
I also once again, had a little visit from Milo who was totally engrossed in sniffing that particular part of the lawn. We get a few cats hopping through our garden time to time so I'm guessing someone enfringed on his 'territory'!

The top itself is super easy to put together, and has a button closure at the back. You might be able to see that the front of the blouse features 4 small pleats, and there's the obligatory yoke and gathering of the bodice that's so popular in 1940's clothing.
To give myself a more 'authentic' look I tried out this tutorial on how to create a faux bang, which is surprisingly easy, even with a side fringe!

I also had a bit of time to make the same blouse in the last of my polka dot fabric which was spare from this dress.
I had to leave it sleeveless however as there wasn't enough fabric, but it's still perfect as a work blouse and it fits in with my colour palette!