I hope you had a splendid Valentine’s day! (If you are from neighboring Malaysia, I’m so surprised and sorry to learn recently that celebrating Valentine’s day is banned over there).
After a lovely lunch date, hubby took me fabric shopping in Chinatown and bought me a surprise present! I said surprise because I’ve already received my presents- two pairs of Irregular Choice shoes. Yay! Before I reveal our surprise find, check out my new shoes! The first is a super cute pair in bright red, blue stitches, floral ribbon and orange lace and faux fur on the back.
The other pair is very tame in comparison, a simple black with ribbon and ribbed heel. Rather vintage looking.
Okay, back to the surprise. Hubby and I have been searching for a reasonably priced dress form locally for quite a while now and besides the adjustable one selling at Spotlight for almost US$425 (*faint*), there seemed to be no other options besides buying online and getting it shipped here. On Valentine’s Day, we found a fabric dress form mannequin exactly my size at US$100 in a Chinatown notions store! While it isn’t adjustable, I’m thrilled to finally have a body double to sew with. I have to not put on weight though. LOL. Here’s the beauty. Yay!!!
So, what did I get for darling hubby? He has been a pencil enthusiast since I got to know him eighteen years ago. Last month, we watched a Korean drama series called ‘Coffee House’. The protagonist-a novelist by profession, had a perfect wooden holder for all his immaculately hand sharpened pencils and my hubby commented how nice it was. Here’s a very similar handcrafted one I got him from this etsy seller for Valentines’ Day.
In conjunction with this lovey dovey day, the gals at TSW created our own versions of the valentine’s day dress. I love love love all the girls’ gorgeous creations so do check them out here.
The bathroom close ups…
Back view without belt
I used a vintage 1942 sewing pattern by Du Barry (5357). To be honest, I’ve never heard of Du Barry so I did a search to learn more about them. These patterns were manufactured by Simplicity Pattern Company in 1931 for selling exclusively at Woolworth Company Stores (Are these the equivalent of Woolworth supermarkets?). The latest date on patterns found is 1947 so it is possible that the brand was only around for 17 years. I did a search on Vintage Pattern Wiki and realized it does not have an image of this pattern so I uploaded one, my very first photo contribution:)
I chose this pattern for Valentines Day as the sweetheart neckline and the inverted sweetheart seam below the waist reminded me of two joined hearts on a dress. And, what made it truly attractive, I have never sewed from an unprinted original 1940s sewing pattern!
- Du Barry 5357 (1942)
Despite them being cramped on one page, the instructions were easy to follow and diagrams were of great help in enhancing my understanding of the steps. There was however no instruction on how the self fabric belt was made though it provided an estimated dimension for the fabric requirement for the belt.
Yay to my first completed project for ‘Sewing through the Decades‘. One down and nine to go:)
The fabric I used is the silk/cotton blend bought during our December trip to Phuket Thailand. I have never sewed with silk or silk blend and having used this material, I have to say that this is a completely different ball game. The fabric is the toughest that I have cut so far because it is so slippery. The good thing is, after I underlined it with poly lining, stitching it was not as difficult as I had imagined. Nonetheless, I took much longer than expected to complete the dress and when that finally happened I was excited (can’t wait to snap away) and exhausted (didn’t want to leave the house) at the same time so I decided to just have the photos taken in my living room. I am also deterred by the hot weather these days. Yes, we are officially back to the days of sunny (or rather scorching) 34 degrees Celsius and I would have probably melted even before I set up the tripod if I were to venture outdoors. I kept the fan blasting in my living room the entire time and now I remember the reasons I depended on the white walls all the time!
Not to worry though cos’ hubby was around to take some photos for my next project… and yes, outdoors! Sure beats setting up the tripod anytime! Gotta get my lil prince better trained with the camera:)
Easy to make fabric belt
Note: I used this method as I purchased a belt interfacing which I realized is very much thicker and tougher than normal interfacing. Hence, turning the interfacing out with the right side of the belt didn’t seem possible. Unlike, ordinary interfacing, the belt interfacing comes with a standard width which usually fits perfectly into belt buckles.
Step 1: Loop the belt interfacing (BI) around your waist and ensure there are some excess for looping through the belt buckle.
Step 2: Pin the BI on the fabric fold and add seam allowance to the unfolded sides and at both ends of the BI. Cut fabric.
Step 3: With right sides facing, stitch close to the BI width down the full length of the fabric, leaving a 0.2cm allowance
Step 4: Trim allowance and clip edges before turning fabric right side out.
Step 5: Attach a safety pin to the end of the BI and pull the BI through the fabric tube.
Step 6: Turn the seam allowances at the edges into the wrong side of the fabric at both ends. Top stitch fabric to BI if you wish.
Step 7: Loop ends into belt buckles on both sides and pin. Ensure that the belt buckles meet. Try the belt on to ascertain fit. Trim BI as necessary.
Step 8: Stitch ends of belt close to back of buckle. You can use a zipper foot to get closer or you can hand-stitch like I did. All done!