Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sewing A Swing dress

vintage singer sewing machine is up and going finally! We had it serviced and now my sister and I are loving it for heavy duty sewing, such as slat bonnets we are putting up for sale on our website soon. Sewing through cardboard would not go well on my Janome modern machine. :)
 Hello everyone! I have been sewing up a storm today and since Monday. I decided to sew myself up a 1940's swing dress. I watched this movie here- and this movie- and that was dangerous! Now I just really badly want a swing dress. :) Both very fun movies by the way! I would recommend them to older viewers though, both have romance scenes in them that are a little intimate. And of course in the era drinking and smoking were both very prevalent, of course its that way today too. Basically if you are under 18 ask your parents permission before watching. :) They were pretty enjoyable though and gave me a lot more insight into what it was like during world war 2 in Britain that is. Wonderful dresses in both movies! great inspiration!
My yellow roses have been doing so so well! I will post a tutorial for doing rose water later. It smells wonderful!
I have the bodice finished now, except for the waist band. In these photos I was in the middle of hemming the sleeves with some lace an older woman just gifted us with! I was so excited as its so much easier to hem with flat lace and its so much prettier. :)

I studied for psychology while hand sewing the inside seams with french seams and hemming the sleeves with lace as well as pinning the sleeves into the bodice and then sewing them up. I am trying to finish the dress so I can wear it on Sunday morning for church, but we will see if that works out because I am not the most timely seamstress. So many other things to do besides sewing. :) Also it may just be hideous and I might not want you all to see the finished result. :) But I believe that will not happen Lord willing! :)
I have not sewn a dress in about a year because every time I tried to sew a modern dress by myself or any dress by myself it turned out unwearable. Civil war gowns I have usually had help to sew them. But I have never sewn a 40's dress before. But it seems to be going well so far. I love love love my fabric! I bought it off the red tag table at our Joann's in April and its a polyester/rayon blend I believe. Its gotten humid these past few days in the high 90 degrees Fahrenheit, so I hope to get it done for Sunday before we get 100 degree Fahrenheit weather!
The lovely lace above! I just loved using it for hemming! It was so much easier. I also received these vintage scissors from the nice older lady who gave us some sewing supplies. They are nice and sharp and great for seam ripping. I hate seam rippers because they are never sharp! So small scissors are much better for me. 
The pattern I am using is from Sense and Sensibility patterns and you can find their website in the side bar under my favorite web sites list. The bodice above as well, its hard to see with the busy print the details, but I love that because you can't see my mistakes as well. :)
The fabric up close and personal above. I thought it was funny because some of the flowers seem to resemble spider webs, but you did not notice that right?? I will just look as if its a bit of lace in between the roses. :)
I hope your day has gone well! Its been lovely here. I will be sharing some outfit posts soon and progress on the swing dress as well as a tutorial on how to make rose water Lord willing soon. I tried it Tuesday and its wonderful! Also some thrift store finds as well will be shared soon. :) Do head over to Casey's Elegant Musings to see her finished swing dress in the mean time. Its so cute! :)

In Christ,


Anonymous said...

The fabric is so cute! I can't wait to see the finished product! :)


Stephanie Ann said...

I just got a vintage singer and can't for the life of me figure out what is wrong with it. It seems like it should work but I press the knee lever and nothing. I bought it more as a plain sewing table anyway though.

I can't wait to see your dress. Swing dresses are so pretty.

Miss Linda said...

I absolutey *love* the picture of you sewing with the cat in your lap. That is truly adorable.

Could you (if it's not too late) do a little tutorial on how you are using the lace tape on the hem? I feel silly for asking, but I can't figure out how people are doing that. I'd like to start doing that for my own hemming, but I'm not sure how to use it.

Actually, I think the print on that fabric has a very vintage feel and I really think it is very appropriate for a 1940's-inspired swing dress. I know EXACTLY what you mean about not wanting to post pictures of a project until you are sure you are happy with the outcome. "Been there, done that" as they say! :)

Your dress sounds truly lovely and I am excited about your finishing the project. I hope it turns out even better than you had hoped. And I hope you can get it done for Sunday services!

I gave up using commercial seam rippers a couple of years ago. Guess what I use now? A scalpel that is used for removing stitches! It is extremely sharp--dangerously so and must be used with great care. But you literally have to just barely run the blade over the thread and the threads part like the Red Sea before Moses. Here is where I bought it: (Havels is a medical supply company, but they also run the sewing supply company.) If you wind up getting the seam ripper, be VERY CAREFUL with it. It is so sharp that you don't realize you have cut yourself until you see blood on your fabric. Trust me on this.

Another medical-supply item I use in my sewing room is surgical tape. It is *perfect* for taping pattern pieces. The adhesive is firm enough to hold the pattern pieces but light enough that it can be removed gently from the pattern tissue and re-positioned if needed. If you do any kind of tailoring or altering with pattern tissue where you have to cut a pattern piece and move it into a different position, this tape is a must-have.

I really need to do a blog post on some of the non-sewing related tools I use in my sewing room. You'd be surprised at what I have in there.

SinginginHisName said...

Ashley yes I loved the fabric when I saw it and yes Miss Linda I thought it had a vintage feel to it. :)

Stephanie I hope you can get your vintage machine fixed! I know its expensive here to have been fixed, this one just needed to have a basic service done and I believe it cost $75.00, but now it works like a charm. :)Maybe having yours looked at by a repair man would be able to have the problems figured out. We found our repairman online and have to drive an hour though to get our machines fixed, but he does a great job.

Miss Linda what an ingenious use of medical supplies! :) Yes I find sharp scissors do the job for me, but those sound really sharp!! I will try and do a tutorial about the hem tape sometime. Not sure I will get to it very soon though. When I get to the hem of the dress I could take some photos and try to explain it as best I can. :) I am so expert, but I sure can share my technique of doing it. Its quite easy!

In Christ,