Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sew Expensive... Wealthy Knitters Unite!

 Today for our semi-regular (when I feel like it) installment of Sew Expensive we have a knitting/ crochet book instead of a sewing pattern.
Last night (night for me, at least) Worth's Hand Knitted Creations sold on eBay for a sum that made me spill my morning coffee all over the damn place.

The 72 page booklet from 1936 sold for a painfully exciting $213.58. Why? Hell if I know. Maybe it was because it looked like this:

And had a pattern for this in it:

Wow. I mean, WOW.

It's beautiful to be sure, and very rare. I would pay $213 for this dress, but I'm not sure I would pay that for the pattern.
How about you? Is there something that you would pay almost anything for, that might not seem very valuable to others?
Philosophical answers are welcome too.

Monday, August 27, 2012

1930's Draped Nightgown... in cut velvet.

I recently finished digitizing an amazing vintage pattern for a Draped Neglige. I knew the second that I finished it that I was going to have to sew several of them over the next few months.

1930's Draped Neglige Digital Pattern

 In May I was in Virginia visiting family and I stopped into a fabric shop to raid the discount table. The table was covered in bolts of beautiful sheer cut velvet that was marked down to 75% off! When I asked the woman who worked there why it was marked down so far she replied, "Oh that stuff, we just had so much of it, no one was buying it and we really just wanted to get it out of the way."
He he he, like there's such a thing as too much velvet. I bought way too much of it and used one bit of it to make this draped night gown.

This project literally only took me 2 hours to make. I'm very fond of instant gratification so this was right up my alley!

I'll post more tomorrow about the details of making this particular neglige but for today, here are some pictures of the finished project.

I enjoyed using a multicolor thread to edge stitch my raw edges and the pink hues in the thread match the ribbon on the straps and sash perfectly. Like I always say, it's the tiny details that matter.

One of my favorite things about the neglige is that the sides and front are open almost to the waist-line so a saucy glimpse of thigh or calf often makes an appearance. This is not your "wear around the house while you have relatives visiting" kind of nightie. It's more of a "wear around the house to celebrate the relatives leaving" kind of piece.

The back can be made in several shapes with this pattern.

I just ordered three large matching silk scarves online and when they arrive I'm going to make a shorter, even sheerer version.

How about you? What is your favorite instant gratification project?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The hat that made my day.

A customer recently sent me a picture that made my day. She purchased my Flight Cap pattern a while back and was kind enough to send me a note about her plans for the hat, and who was going to wear it. She promised a picture in the near future and today, I received it.

A little background on the hat: This is one of my very favorite patterns. I made it by studying my husband's Air Force flight cap and referencing it with a pattern from WWII provided, oddly enough, by 4H in a vintage magazine.

Flight Cap Digital Pattern

My gorgeous husband was kind enough to model the cap for me, all the while giving me a lengthy lecture about the history of the hat, also known as a garrison cap, and lessons on how to wear it at just the right angle to be within "regs." ( I swear he's the reason the pattern sells. This picture positively makes me drool.)

He then took pictures of me and I got lessons in making the perfect salute. A skill which I might ad, comes in very handy when mockingly used while acquiescing to the silly bossy orders of a certain military husband.
But back to the original story, the flight cap was sewn up and is to be used in the costumes of three very lovely "Andrew's Sisters" performers at a retirement village production.

I think they got the look spot on and I would give my left arm to see this performance!

For those of you who haven't seen their famous performance, or for those of you who love to watch it again and again, here are the Andrew's Sisters singing "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy"!