Thursday, December 18, 2014

On My Wishlist: Fully Fashioned Stockings

After putting together my last post about vintage fully fashioned stockings I have set out to find some modern versions. As mentioned, fully fashioned stockings are becoming increasingly hard to manufacture, which can mean high prices. But if you simply must have a pair (and I think I do!) here are a few noteworthy ones to add to your list.

Of course we can rely on Dita Von Teese to have an authentic stocking line. Her collection is available at Secrets in Lace. I adore these diamond backseams!

Cervin stockings are still made in France and are the real deal. These French heel "Swing Time" stockings are classy! 

What Katie Did puts a lot of effort into keeping the fully fashioned stocking dream alive. These Empire, also known as Manhattan, heel stockings are a must have. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Fashionable History: Heel Appeal

This time of year means party dresses and high heels which is not to be complete with out stockings! What a wonderful time of year! 
 I've recently been looking at vintage stocking ads and am enamored by the selection of different types of heels associated with the ever glamorous back seamed fully fashioned stockings. Before they had machines that could knit in the round (tubular) seamed stockings were all you had. While FFS still exist, they are becoming harder to produce as many of the original factories and hosiery mills have closed. Most modern designs are stitched on over the tubular stocking. 

Of course there are the classic style heels: 
 Cuban: Reinforced heel design ending in a square top. 
Havana: Same as the Cuban but wider. 
French, Point, or Pyramid: Ending in a tapered point. 
 Manhattan: Similar to the Cuban but ending in a point with an outline.

See below for some classic heels as well as some party essential fashion choices that were available!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

Retro Looks In The Modern World: Ex Fan des Sixties

As much as the modern fashion world looks forward it also continually looks back in time. Here we explore Retro Looks in the Modern World.

L'Officiel Paris takes us to the 1960's with a European flair. Louis Vuitton vies for center stage. 

Model: Sophie Vlaming
Photographer: Sophie van der Perre


Thursday, December 4, 2014

My Projects: Pattern Rub-Off Tutorial

Pattern rub-off skills can be quite handy! The idea here is not to copy but rather preserve a pattern of either something that fits you really well or something that is destroyed beyond repair. 

Last Summer, I made a pattern rub-off of one of my favorite pencil skirts. I love the fit of this skirt and was deeply disappointed when the brand didn't offer one in simple solid black. Really? Therefore, I decided to make one myself! I also made one in army green and am currently working on one in a lovely charcoal wool with herringbone stripes. 

 Finally, here is my tutorial. This pattern is really simple, and I suggest starting with a simple item like this from your closet. Let's get started, shall we?

1. Tools you will need:
* favorite item from your closet
*measuring tape
*pattern paper
*tracing wheel (pictured below)
* Ruler (pictured below- hey I don't do tutorials very often!)

2. Find your center front and center back. Mark with a pin at both the top and bottom of the garment.
3. Put pin markers where darts end, or anything of interest. It could be area of shirring, or pleats.
4. Mark your muslin. In design school we used to have to pull the warp out. Now I mark with pencil. Dig that lead in the groove of the weave and mark your long grain. This will help you see that your fabric is straight. If it is crooked, block your fabric to get that grain line straight! 
5. Place that line on your muslin on your center front (or center back, center side etc.) and then start to define areas of interest, like this dart. Pin in the amount to keep your fabric flat. 

6. Number 5 is so important, I have repeated it for No. 6. Did you get that? This is what will shape your garment and a huge part of why this garment fits you so well. Go back and make sure your darts are perfect!
7. With your pencil mark those pins and mark the edges of your garment. Hence the term rub-off. You can use chalk as well. 
8. Everything marked? Make sure before you un-pin! Take your muslin and lie it on top of the pattern paper. Label your grain lines so you know what piece is what. They will all look the same! 
9. Time to mark your paper below with the tracing wheel. The teeth will make marks you can trace over. 

10. Look closely and you will see the teeth marks. Pencil over those marks but with your ruler and "true" them up.  They might be wavy, so you need to make sure you have straight lines with natural body curve. 
11. Mark your pattern pieces. Are you cutting 2 or 1 on the fold? Is it the center back, center front, side front? You will need to know this later.
12. True up your darts and add your half inch seam allowance, or 5/8" if you prefer. Also add notches, so when the pattern comes off your fabric later you will know what is what. 
13. Choose your fabric and lay out your pattern and cut out your new dream item! May be best to try a muslin version first and tweak your pattern if necessary. Especially if your project is much more complicated than a 2 piece pencil skirt pattern. 

Finished pencil skirt #2! Army green stretch cotton! Soon my closet (pictured behind me) will be full of these pencil skirts in many fabrications! 
Oh, and the peasant blouse I am wearing was handmade too, from a vintage pattern. More info on that here

Let me know if you have any questions and what patterns you make. 
 Good luck!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Shop News: Happy Holidays!

Thank you my dear blog readers, for a wonderful 2014! 

Enjoy 15% off my Etsy shop; The Sparkling Cocktail, on handmade and vintage goodies! Valid now through the end of the year. Simply use coupon code HOLIDAY2014 at checkout. 

Enjoy this holiday season! xo

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

On My Wish List: Yarns & Patterns

It's the time of year when we start compiling shopping lists and wish lists. I have to say, I can't seem to get enough yarn. I keep stockpiling new yarns in new textures and colors and my project queue has increased in size dramatically in the past year. Well, that doesn't mean I can't keep dreaming of more yarn and projects! Here's a couple yarns from my Halcyon (a wonderful yarn store in my home state of Maine) wish list and the pattern I would use them for. You can see my full Halcyon wish list here.

This is Cascade Eco Duo. It comes in glorious two tone colors and is made up of Baby Alpaca and Merino wool. I've been super curious to see how this will knit up! 

I'd like to try the Cascade with the lovely Big Herringbone Cowl from Purl Soho. I'm not sure if I'd use the contrast two-tone yarn shown above or a more tone on tone coloration. Either way, I'm sure I will love it! This pattern is also free! 

This yarn is Plymouth DeAire Merino. It's a super bulky weight which will make it a quick knit or crochet plus it's super soft. I love the cream color but it is also available in several vibrant colors. 

I've recently just discovered the Crochet Brioche Sweater from Karen Clements and am in love! This would be perfect in the Plymouth DeAire! I've yet to do a bulky weight crochet project, this might have to be the one. I should add a size Q crochet hook to my wish list, too! 

What crafty supplies, patterns, kits, or otherwise are on your wish list this season? 

Images from Ravelry and Halcyon Yarns.