Thursday, February 18, 2010

Private Lives

Last night, I went and saw Private Lives by Noel Coward at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. So far, I have seen four shows there and each one is better than the last. The acting, sets, costumes - brilliant, all of it. It's refreshing to see truly great theatre every once in awhile.
I was a bit distracted, though - the costumes were unbelievably fantastic. I mean - vintage silks, scarves, suits, shoes, hats, jewelry, hair - and so I spent the majority of the show trying to figure out how I could make such costumes for myself and everyday wear. Today, I started doing research:

(side note: the styles of the last two dresses and shoes were not seen in the show, but I had to share them because they appealed to me greatly.)

So, being inspired, and noticing that one of the patterns was Vogue, I browsed the Vogue pattern website. They are having a sale, so I was doomed from the beginning. I purchased:

Vogue 1162 (I LOVE the sleeves)

and Vogue 2859 (because what woman doesn't need a slinky black dress?)

I should inform my readers that I have never made a dress before (!!!), so the adventure of making clothes for myself will be well documented and hopefully enjoyable.
While we are on the topic of vintage, one of my favorite sites in the whole world, choc full of vintage images that are copyright free:

Some of my favorite images from the site:

My best friend, Steph, made photo pendants for me that incorporated these images. I wear them constantly!

My favorite image, of course, is the background of my blog header - to me, it's artistic and peaceful, beautiful and vibrant.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My New Obsession

First off, I love living in Chicago. The thrift stores here blow away any I might have encountered in Ohio. My boyfriend and I went into one on the North Side, and he spots this:

A Singer sewing machine, complete with cabinet that it tucks into when it needs to sleep at night. (Sorry - I didn't get a picture of the cabinet, but I will post one soon). My boyfriend talks me into buying it, since we don't have much room at each of our places and we are trying to move in together. After plugging it in and seeing it work beautifully, I bought it. Price tag for the amazing sewing machine and cabinet: $15!!!!

Secondly, I love the internet. Where else could we find out the machine was made in June of 1950 in New Jersey?? (Thanks to my boyfriend for hunting that information down). Even better, we found the manual for the sewing machine online:

While I haven't gotten to sew with it yet, we did take the time to shine it up and clean the gears. It has the most musical humming noise when running (does that sound entirely too cheesy?). My goal this weekend: sewing on said machine...or at least learning how to thread it.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Projects and more projects...

Hello hello! Welcome to my blog. Currently I'm working hard on my 2010 resolution to sew or craft everyday. I figured I should start a blog in order to better chronicle the work I'm doing, as well as offer handy tutorials for those who are big on crafting (or just looking for something to occupy a rainy Saturday). Here are some images of the work I've been doing:

This is a Doctor Who scarf, worn initially by the wonderful Tom Baker. I'm still in the (very) beginning stages of learning how to knit, and so, this one was crocheted. Halfway through the pattern, my boyfriend decided he finally wanted his Christmas present (in February) and I ended it at a grand length of 21' 8".

I made these fingerless gloves/mittens in about two hours out of a sweater that had seen better days (tutorial coming soon).

The sweater before...

The sweater gloves with mitten attachment and cuffs rolled down.

With mitten attachment buttoned back onto cuffs.

Since my "sewing studio" is really my boyfriend's guest bathroom, I have to keep my storage mobile and compact. I made a roll for my scissors, seam ripper, measuring tape, etc. It travels well! I based the pattern off of one I found in "One Yard Wonders" by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins.

My new yoga bag (made with leftover orange fabric because I love orange)

I found some really fantastic Celtic-ish military buttons for this corduroy coat. It definitely doesn't look like a hand-me-down anymore.

I have a hand-me-down shirt that was too tight in some areas, but I loved the writing on the back. I decided to make a tote bag out of it. Here is me modeling my final product (tutorial coming soon)

I made an elephant for my boyfriend's niece's 1st birthday. I used this fantastic pattern from "One Yard Wonders" by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins and some pink flannel I had leftover from another project. I really loved the end result.