Vintage Wedding Dress

This is going to be the last post to catch up with what I did this summer. And what better to finish this chapter than the biggest project I had this year. And actually the project, that started off this summer’s sewing:-) And it was THE project of this year. So far. :-) But I don’t think anything will top it anymore.

My beloved brother got married this June and brought a lovely new sister into our family. I was very much honoured to be able to make her wedding dress.

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It all started with me doing some sketches. Originally, she wanted a different type of dress. Besides trying to make some designs of elven-inspired dresses that would capture what she might like, I made some sketches of something quite different, what I thought would go well with her body shape.  They were inspired by the fashion of 1910s (titanic-era, if it helps for those who don’t know what was worn that time). I was glad she liked what I came up with and we decided to go with it.

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We bought some beautiful off-white satin (which I used wrong side out, because I liked the matt-side better than the somewhat glossy right-side) and off-white chiffon to go over it. Plus we found some beautiful (also off-white) lace which we both absolutely loved, to go as a tunic over the dress.

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The main dress-part out of satin and chiffon was strapless, having the lace tunic over it with short sleeves, which actually holds pretty much the whole dress. The tunic is attached to the rest of the dress of course in the waist, as well as on some points on the neckline.

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Since the short sleeves of the tunic are out net-fabric, they were quite perfect for this very hot day they had on their wedding day. After a rainy spring, summer came quite quickly and intensely this year and the heat did not elude the hill with the romantic castle ruin, where their wedding took place. I think it was a really good decision to make them as they were. So airy (and even if not, you wouldn’t see ;-), yet elegant and also giving the dress a good halt, so the bride didn’t have to worry about anything dropping or showing what she didn’t want to.

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The tunic had seemingly loose top and went into a ruched short skirt with a lower hem at the back, adding some volume and curves on the lower part as well as a little bit on the upper part of her body. I meant to make the whole upper part even more loose, as in the original 1910s silhouettes, but then we gradually took away most of the volume because it just looked more “right” at the moment. But we still left it quite loose so she would feel comfortable in the dress for the whole day. Which she really did and I was so glad!

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Her waist was highlighted by a light yellow chiffon waistband. Since they had a white-yellow-(with black accents) wedding theme, this was the part where we wanted to bring in the yellow. Originally I thought we would go into a deeper hue of yellow, but then this shade just went better with the rest of the dress.
This waistband is actually the only small regret I have about that dress. I should have first stitched the folds and then added it to the waist, instead I made it the other way around… after which I found it didn’t hold as I imagined and I had to hand stitch it on a few places so it would stay where we wanted to. But then again I guess it’s a detail which I see and maybe a few others, but the rest of people will be ignorant to it (or so I hope). And next time I do something like that I’ll know better.

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As to the lower hem in the back, this was of course supposed to emphasize on the long trail the dress had, which I have to admit I am very proud of how it turned out! :-)

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The dress had a closing with little buttons and loops out of elastic band in the back.

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Out of the little bit of rest fabric from her dress, I then made a little flower girl’s dress for Liv.

I was really glad I could add to the wedding with what I knew and could best at that moment. Now I wish the new couple every happiness and may the bond last… I love them both very dearly!

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Black Fishtail Circle Skirt

When I saw Delia’s tutorial on Delia creates for this fishtail circle skirt I immediately loved it and thought I must give it a try.
It just looked so simple, fast and good looking. And I have to say it really was!

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I chose to make it out of a black jersey fabric I had at home sitting in my fabric-closet for ever since I remember… Who knows who bought it and what for. Anyway it never got used. I wanted to make something out of it for several times but they were always some of those projects for myself that never got to get made. Sooo this time I finaly took it. And used it. And made that skirt with that dramatic twist.

The tutorial was really well written, so easy to go with. So fast to make. Did I say that too many times already? Seriously. And there are no seams. And no hemming. I did insert that happy dance in there as Delia suggests ;-) The only sewing part is where you attach the waistband.

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It really has a nice feeling, walking around in that skirt. It swirls around and behind you when you walk and you feel so… well, dramatic :-D

Another great thing about that skirt is you can dress it up with something more fancy, even though it is a knit fabric. Or make it casual, depending what you put on with it. Also, you can wear it with the short hem in the front… or on the side… or anywhere inbetween. And it looks pretty cool. And it’s seriously so fun to wear.

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My only regret is I made it about 5cm shorter in the front than I would like it to be (maybe a little bit more). And 5cm too long in the back. But that is easily fixed, as opposed to the front. And that’s more because the jersey stretches quite a bit in the back since there’s a lot of fabric. And as to the front… well, I’ll just have to live with it. And make it longer the next time I make one. And there will be a next time for sure :-)

I actually exactly know where I made the mistake with the front hem. I have a skirt I wanted it to be the same lenght. Just below the knee. But since it was another evening when Liv was finally sleeping and I was pretty tired, but I just so wanted to make something (quick and easy). And when I was measuring the lenght of the other skirt I somehow didn’t realize it had two layers… and I measured just the upper one. Oh well. Shit happens. Especially in the evenings when one is tired. Next time it won’t happen. Hopefully. :-)

Tank Top With Birds And Polka Dots Shorts

This is one of the last posts where I am trying to catch up with my summer creations. Soon I will turn to more current things. It almost feels inappropriate to write about summer clothes for hot weather when it is already cold, rainy outside and the landscape is turning into this magnificient yellow-orange-brown kingdom of the autumn season. I love autumn most of all seasons. But let’s go back to summer for just a moment longer.

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I’ve had this very lovely cotton fabric at home, which I ordered in spring already, by Robert Kaufman with the name Kokeshi Birds Sweet. Liv loved the fabric immediately and handed me the fabric a few times, which I took as a sign that I should make something out of it for her. I think it’s so sweet how she loves to play with my fabrics… take them out of the closet, go through the stashes, put them around her… :-)

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So I made this summer tank top for her. I used the Burda Style’s pattern from 05/2015. It was really easy and fast to do and the result was great. The only issue was, that the pattern was made for stretchy fabric. And since I made the top out of patchwork cotton, it was missing some some width when putting on and off, even though there’s the closure in the front. But luckily enough, it was not THAT bad and Liv liked the birds on the fabric that much that she would choose it to put on even by herself anyway. Also, lucky me, she’s not very fussy about getting dressed, at least most of the time.

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I liked to pair the tank top with those mint green with raspberry Polka Dots Bio-Jersey shorts, I made. Here I used a pattern from the same Burda Style’s edition.

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Admittedly, I did not play around with those too much. Liv just really needed more shorts for summer, so I just took what I had at the moment and made something quick. They seem to be super comfy though. And in the end I loved how it went with that tank top. The mint was just like the light turquoise/mint birds and the raspberry dots were almost the same shade as the pink birds on the shirt.

Truly Retro

When I was a baby I had a blue dress with tiny white hearts. My little girl wore that dress this summer.

I love vintage things. Clothes, furniture, anything you can think of. Vintage/antique/historical/retro. Whatever you may call it. Plus, isn’t it just a nice thought that your daughter is wearing something you used to wear? Even though, I don’t remember it any more. I always wished my mother would have had more of her clothes from her youth stored away somewhere, so that I could find it and wear it. I was quite disappointed not to find anything. And I dearly love those few precious interesting pieces I have of hers.

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Who knows if she will ever feel the same about my old stuff. Sometimes I think she probably will be rather sick of my love for vintage things and will want something quite different…

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Funny thing… that shoe she’s playing with in the first picture- we got that second hand from a friend, who I guess bought it second hand from someone who had it for who knows how long… anyway it looks pretty old :-) and that ladybug hair clasp in her hair is one that my little sister wore at least 15 years ago when she was little. So really… everything there is truly retro ;-)

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Just as a proof that I wore that dress when I was a baby..

Mother-Daughter Matching Summer Shirts

This summer I made another shirt, using the same pattern as with the emerald lace back, just with some alterations. I actually made this one first, not that it would matter.

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I made it out of a bright green jersey I bought in the spring… spring usually makes me want to wear/buy stuff in nice bright and light and happy colours… Just as much as autumn usually makes me really want to wear mustard yellows, dark red, brown and dark green (ok, this one I could wear anytime) colours. Does anyone else have such strong seasonal feelings about your clothes? :-)

So to soften this really bright green, and also to make the shoulder pieces stand out nicely, I used a very light yellow jersey I had at home in my stash of fabrics. Here too, I used fusible interlining in the shoulder pieces, so they would hold better. I actually meant to put it in right away, but wanted to try it out without… only to find out it wasn’t a good idea not to put it in, because the jersey stretched too much and it looked bad without. So I had to add it afterwards. I should have put it in right from the start and it would have saved me a lot (ok, just some) trouble. Well, sometimes you have to learn things the hard way…

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After I was finished, there was some fabric left… Not too much, but just enough for a tiny person. :-)

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So I couldn’t let it be. Liv got a shirt from the same fabrics too.

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But I’m not that much into same-same or too matchy stuff. So I changed the design of her shirt a bit. Instead of shoulder pieces, I made her a circular neckline with two lovely green buttons as closure.

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I really liked her shirt. Probably even a bit more than my own. And I was really happy, she liked her shirt too and she would choose it sometimes by herself that she wanted to wear it.

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It also was pretty fun to have matching clothes with my daughter. It felt really nice, showing we belong together. And people on the street would sometimes stop us and tell us how lovely we looked :-) Although, I have to admit, I didn’t wear mine as often as Liv did hers. The bright green was a little bit more bright than I usually like to wear, so I had to be in the right mood to put it on…

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Top With Emerald Lace On Back

In between all of the sewing for Liv I also made two tops for myself this summer. Ever since I am a mother (of a small child) I find it is not as easy to find clothes that meet all of my expectations.

As a mother (I find) you really want something to feel comfortable in, no matter if we are at home or on the playground or in the city, running errands or whatever else you have to do. I am still breastfeeding, on demand, so I usually want something that has an easy access to the source, if you know what I mean ;-) Also, I gained quite some weight when I was pregnant and  it still hasn’t gone much back to the way it used to be and most of my old clothes are far too tight unfortunately. So there’s also the question what suits my new bodyshape and what I feel comfortable in, in that sense.

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So here we are. I took two shirts I really like and feel comfortable in, drafted them and made a pattern for those shirts.

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For this I used a cream-coloured jersey. I bought it quite cheaply, but it’s really nice and soft and great to wear. It looks somewhat brighter on the photos than it is in real life. In the back I added an emerald stretchy lace I had at home for some years already, waiting and waiting to be used. I love dark green colours. It always catches my attention and I struggle not to have everything dark green :-D But since I don’t want all of my clothes to be dark green, I then try to “save” those fabrics for something special… and then it waits… and waits… and waits… Because, of course, my own projects always take a hundred times longer to make than those for others.
So here- at last! I used this wonderful lace-y fabric to add a nice surprise in the back of my rather normal shirt :-) I like nice twists that spice up the ordinary in everyday things…

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I was happy how it turned out… it’s everything I described in the beginning of this post. Comfortable, for everyday use, but with an interesting twist…. (breastfeeding friendly with the wide enough and stretchy neckline)… not to mention it was fast and super easy to sew :-)

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Btw, as far as sewing goes, it was really fast and basic jersey sewing. The only detail that needed a bit more attention were those shoulder pieces. I made them all double and added some fusible interlining on all of the parts from the inside, so the jersey would not stretch on the shoulders, but hold the form I wanted it to be.

Little Monsters Hoodie

My dear little nephew turned one last month. So I really wanted to sew something for him and there was this one fabric I had already at home I thought would be perfect… I was saving it for him ever since I bought it. My sister and her husband wear almost only black (and white) clothes, so I thought this would go well with their aesthetics. Plus, the monsters are really adorable, so they soften the grey/black on a little one-year-old creature. :-)

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Originally I wanted to make some pants for him. But the fabric was really crying out “HOODIE SWEATER” to me… so I had to obey, right?

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The fabric is a grey sweat by Farbenmix called Best Buddy- little Monster.

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I reused and altered a pattern I used some time ago for one of Liv’s sweaters. I added a hoodie and changed the front to a kind of U-overlapping closing, which you unfortunately can’t see on those pictures, because he doesn’t have it closed. There’s a closing with two buttons and elastic loops.

Isn’t he just cute…? :-)

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