Monday, February 17, 2014

The glorious 1970s, decade of my birth.

70s Pattern for Mags


Stash fabric and pattern busting!! I bought this pattern from Etsy a while back with a fall/winter outfit for Maggie in mind. With the pressure of the single-sized pattern upon me, and brown thread in the serger, I decided to whip it up using the last scraps of brown corduroy I had leftover from this ancient project (oh my, how my sewing has improved in three years!!). And when I say "last scraps," I mean, it was a very close fit, especially given the directionality of the corduroy.

See, I do use fabric pieces that have been sitting around for years! Sometimes.

So, this entitles to me to a fabric shopping trip, right?



70s Pattern for Mags


I hemmed and hawed a bit about what fabric to use for the contrast sleeve, and whether to incorporate any of the 1970s-style trim. I considered using a peachy floral for the sleeves with an eyelet ruffle at the neck. But in the end, I opted to make a very minimalist version of the pattern, skipping all of the eyelet lace, rick-rack, and all the rest of it, letting the little ruffle sleeves take center stage. I showed all of my sleeve options to Steve and he said, "the plaid, there's no contest." So I went with the plaid, and I'm really happy with it! It's retro without being too prissy or precious.

70s Pattern for Mags



Turns out I needn't have felt quite so much pressure from the single-sized pattern, because the size 1 is actually a bit too big on little 19-month-old Maggie, especially in the shoulders. Yes, she's a little peanut, but also, some of these "vintage" (in quotes because we are talking about after I was born!) patterns do seem to run a bit large. Well, hopefully it will work as a top next winter.

70s Pattern for Mags


Maggie loves her bubble maker. Despite us telling her it's an "outside toy" she is constantly picking it up and bringing it in the house. Sometimes we indulge her by letting her make a few bubbles in the kitchen (even though the soapy bubbles tend to make the floor slippery). Her joyful shrieks of "BUBBA! BUBBA!" are pretty much irrestible.

70s Pattern for Mags


Here she is saying "need help!" which sounds kind of like "eee-elp!" She wants me to turn on the "bubbas."

Okay, baby. It is so hard to say no to that face!

70s Pattern for Mags


70s Pattern for Mags


Back to sewing geekery: Like many vintage patterns, the finishing of this dress is really simple - bias tape is used to finish off the neck. I also used bias hem tape for the hem, and tacked all of the bias down by hand to give the dress a very clean look from the outside. Hemming an a-line skirt like this can be pretty challenging, but bias hem tape makes it a breeze as well as reducing bulk in a heavy fabric like corduroy.

I did a centered zip just as the instructions call for. I considered an invisible zipper, but I just happened to have the exact right length non-invisible brown zipper in the stash. Zippers are not my forte, but it turned out okay. One of these days I really want to master the lapped zipper, which I think looks nicer than a centered zipper, but every time I attempt it, it's a total wreck. Centered zipper it is!

Centered back zip


What better backdrop for this 1970s, brown and orange dress than my yellow and "avocado" kitchen, right?

70s Pattern for Mags


Maggie's leggings are mama-made as well, of course. This girl never seems to have enough leggings to keep her legs warm under her dresses, so I whipped up a couple pairs of Playtime leggings for her. I have several leggings patterns, and they are all pretty much easy and great. I love the ease of the one piece pattern, and these whip up super fast. I finished the waists and ankles with good ol' zig-zag. It seems to me that zig-zag gets a bad rap in the sewing blog world, with most people preferring a coverstitch or twin-needle finish for hems. I do use a twin-needle to hem shirts for myself, but for my kids, I admit I usually go with the much easier and faster (set-up wise) zig-zag finish. I usually use a shallow, narrow zig-zag (2 stitch width and 2.5 length), and I think it looks fine, and that's if you are scrutinizing my hems, which most people don't do.

Sometimes I think we home sewists worry too much about having a "professional" finish, like everything we make needs to look like it was purchased at Target.

To which I say, "Meh."

Plus, from the distance of two feet, they do look like they could be purchased at Target.

Speaking of my 1970s themed kitchen, I have wanted to reconfigure the cabinets, install a stove hood, and repaint it almost since we moved in seven years ago, but the size of the project is daunting, especially with small children underfoot, and we've just never had the budget for it.  So in keeping my "something is better nothing" motto, I have decided to make the best of the space I currently have. To that end, I decided that I must have some Julia Child inspired pegboard (embrace the 70s!), for more vertical storage space. And maybe a pot rack. I spent the hours between midnight and one last night pinning pictures of kitchens with a lot of vertical storage (this is what happens when I fall asleep with the kids at 9 p.m. - I find myself wide awake at midnight). Here's the "before."

_MG_8223

Yeah, yeah, all of my pictures are crooked and the clock is in a weird place. That's just how we roll. I still don't know what the "after" will look like.

Off to shop for storage possibilities!!

13 comments:

  1. The plaid sleeves are pure perfection! I love the combo and I'm a huge fan of vintage patterns, I even consider some 80's patterns "vintage". Can't wait to see what you do with the kitchen!

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  2. Maggie looks so darling and 'vintage' even! :) And now I need to buy a bubble maker!

    I use my regular machine for knits - not my serger. It's not by definition a zig-zag stitch, but it looks like one. it looks great. a zigzag hem looks fine on my leggings, though i do plan to try the double needle because I'd like to start venturing into shirts or even things for me and leggings make great trial-run projects. :)

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  3. I am a little intimidated by vintage patterns but really I have no idea why. This turned out cute! My machine recently went on partial strike - it simply will not do zig zags or most variations thereof, on knits. That rules out twin-needling too. Though it will do a stretch stitch, so that is what I use for knit hems now.

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    1. WHOA. No zig-zag? That's a serious issue! Sorry to hear that!

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  4. Oh wow, that totally looks like something I would have worn at about age three :) LOVE it, and Maggie rocks the whole look. Maybe you could make her another version with the wee little bloomers in summer?

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    1. Yes! I also think it would be easy to line the upper part of the dress and make it sleeveless.

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  5. Brown cord and plaid - perfect fabric combo. And yep, you are definitely entitled to a fabric shopping trip ;-)

    Also looking forward to the after pics of the kitchen!

    (btw - 1970s = decade of your birth? Surely you must be a very late 70s babe? You look so much younger than me!)

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  6. This is so sweet, Inder! I love some good 70s fashion, too :) And her curls, adorable! Glad you got to make it before she sized out of the pattern. These kids grow so fast.

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    1. With my first, Joe, he grew out of size 1 clothes when he was like 5 months old. Maggie can still wear them at 19 months. She's a tiny peanut, but it's kind of nice, because she is getting more wear out of her homemade clothes! Also, my arms and back thank the universe for this little girl every day. :-)

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  7. Wait, are we vintage?!?
    And I completely agree with you about the zigzag stitch. People seem to hate it but I definitely think that there is a time and place for it. It's not as evil as everybody makes it out to be :)
    And those little flutter sleeves are just adorable... Or is it Maggie who makes them look so adorable?

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  8. Maggie looks fabulous in brown. Not a common color to put on a toddler. I used to dress your sister in brown corduroy (she let me choose her clothes as a toddler, you didn't), and I loved brown on her too.

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