Musings of a Lady

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Done! A pretty good success, too!

The dress got done and it fit! Hurrah!  I have had a lot of fitting issues in the past year, but I think I have the swing of things now.  In any case, the dress worked out well and I am pleased with it.  Here is a shot from the event:

by Michelle Diane Smith

Here is one of those self portrait shots of the whole dress at home:

Yes, I know terrible shot but I forgot to get a good picture at the event.  Sigh.

I ended up with different buttons than the ones I was working with but over all the whole outfit came off great.  Now if I can only find seamed hose in tights or pantyhose rather than stockings....

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Buttons and fabric with a grid pattern

I have just been able to cut and begin sewing on my dress for...yikes... this coming Sunday.  Once I got started, I had to ask myself,  "Why did I pick a fabric with a grid pattern?"  Mmmmmm...not sure this is going to work but we shall see.  You can do your best to line things up when your cutting out but some how things go wonky when your sewing with a soft weave fabric.  Okay, the next question is about what buttons to use.  I am making a grand effort to use material and notions I have on hand not go out and buy more.   With that said, I am looking at 4 different sets that I have of vintage buttons.  The dress has 4 buttons with two of those being functional. Do I want them small?  Large?  Do I want the color to contrast?  Blend in?  Here is what I have so far:

The ones to the far left I like because their texture goes well with the cloth I am using.  The off-white with dark blue decorations are cute but they are really small.  The blue with the grey centers are actually a faux leathery pattern with a metallic center.  I like those and I have them in two sizes so that I can place the smaller on the bib front of the top and the larger size on the bib front of the skirt.  The black with a silver center (bottom of the image) are nice - simple but black.  Any suggestions?

I had thought to pipe the dress in a contrasting color like red or white but time, time, time is not on my side.  Then I thought to top-stitch with a contrasting color but my top stitching isn't the best so I don't need bad stitching to show.  I think this is just going to be a plain, simple dress this time around.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

1940's Day dress

The Art Deco Society is having their membership appreciation party on January 24th in Alameda at the Elks Lodge.  I have several garments in my closet but....yes, a new one is on the cutting table.  I am using the Decade of Style pattern, #4007 1940s New England Dress.  The fabric is a charcoal grey closely woven linen-like fabric with a chalk white grid pattern.  I have some vintage buttons as well - part of the collection of many bits and pieces I use to detail even modern clothes to make them interesting.  

I have used Decade of Style patterns before with mixed success but I find that may be more my fault in plowing ahead and not making mock-ups, etc. The last garment, referred to in my previous post, came out perfect.   In any case, I have the fabric cut and I just need to get the machines ready to rock and roll and have at it.  

Here is the link to Decades of Style:
Also here is the ADSC calendar page:

More to come.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Welcome to my new blog.  I am thrilled to have made the decision to share my love of sewing, cooking and domesticity!  Other than my love of the subject matter, I have been dabbling in living history for over 20 years and decided that there is a community of like-minded folk with whom I can share what I am currently working on.

Currently, I belong to two active organizations or groups. The first is The Art Deco Society of California.  I am currently on the board of governors but I have participated in their many events such as the annual Gatsby Summer Picnic.  In anycase, its all about the clothes!  I love 1930's and late 40's styling.   So, there will be projects to share in the near future. Like this one posted on my other blog:

I also belong to La Société des Lumières.  It is a group of fabulous people who love all things French and 18th century - right up my alley as my family roots are in the gen coleur of Louisianna and Georgia, and I am a Franco-phile in many ways.  The group gathers in period dress at member sponsored events.  For example, we are gathering, in February, at an 18th century coaching inn called the Pelican Inn.  There we will assemble for luncheon and a walk on the sea shore.  Yes, a traveling ensemble is in the works - more to come.  There are other organizations that I belong to but these two are where I am most active right now.
A part of my new year's resolutions is to embark on a regular attempt to try period recipes for modern use, play around with historical craft projects and share as many tips and hints with you all.  So, please visit often!