Month: April 2015

70s Tunic Update!

I previously chronicled the creation of the 1976 Flannel Tunic. As well as it turned out, it wasn’t a great fit on me. I decided to offer it to my mom. I mean, I did make it from her pattern! It fits her great and she even wore it when we went out to dinner one night. Here she is modeling:

Huh, mom’s look is kind of familiar….

She also gave me a chest full of her old t-shirts so I can make her Wizard Robes. My mom is awesome.

Friday Night Viewing: La Grande Bellezza

Tonight I watched La Grande Bellezza (“The Great Beauty”) directed by Paolo Sorrentino.

I’d never heard of this film but it won the best foreign film Oscar a couple of years ago. It’s definitely atmospheric and meandering but it rewards with beautiful imagery and some very witty and cutting dialogue. It starts Toni Servillo, in a virtuoso performance as Jep, an aging playboy who wrote a great novel in his 20s but then devolved to living a party fueled society life in Rome. He has some demons and regrets that play out in fabulous Roma locations.

The film is surreal but in a way that is not creepy or disturbing, which seems unique these days. It plays in some ways as a love letter to Rome itself. The scenery isn’t just set pieces, but a character in itself. Also, as a fashionista, I couldn’t help but appreciate the sartorial splendor of Jep’s endless parade of colorful and natty shirts, coats and shoes.

This kind of film falls into my category of a “coffee movie”. That’s a film that can be well enjoyed either late on a calm night or on a rainy afternoon with a pot of coffee. It’s long at 2 1/2 hours but I found it worth the time.

La Grande Bellezza is available as part of The Critereon Collection on Hulu Plus. (That’s where we found it.)

More Adventures With Vintage Patterns: 1976 Flannel Tunic

I’ve really been enjoying the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge. It’s really fun to work with the old patterns and it’s certainly helped my shopping needs as I’ve been searching the internet for vintage patterns that I don’t have to resize or resize significantly.

For my 3rd make I decided to take a look in my file cabinet and see if I could find something to sew from the family archives aka my mom’s old sewing patterns. The bad news is that most of the older patterns I took from her are not close to my size. In addition to being much skinnier than me when she was at the height of her sewing career, we do not have the same build. I am an hourglass with the wide hips of my Nana. Tangentially, I was also looking for a pattern to make a flannel shirt. I had 5 yards of flannel that I bought when I was considering making my OctoRobe reversible (which would have been a horrible, heavy and hot as hell garment). Enter Simplicity 7446 from 1976.

Check out View 1 popping’ her collar!

My mom made View 2 from this pattern but View 1 was still uncut. I’d love to find a photo of her wearing the tunic but I don’t know if it exists or if she could find it soon anyway (as she is moving in just a couple of weeks). Based on the pattern envelope measures, the pattern was just a bit too small. I graded it on the fly as I cut my fabric. Having the tunic finished, I probably didn’t need to grade the bust (or only needed to grade it a little) but I would need to increase the hip more significantly. Yes, the hip fits, but I’d like it bigger than it is. I don’t really prefer the gut enhancing silhouette.

Did I use a yellow filter on all these images? Of course I did!

Is the garment a success? Well, kind of? I think the tunic is really fun and super duper 70s. I mean, check out the serious collar action!

I just happened to be wearing that groovy Fossil necklace.

But I don’t exactly like how it fits. Some of that is my grading, but some of it is the pattern. The neckline is awfully low on me. I think the fit is exacerbated the stiffness of the flannel. That may improve after I wash the garment. I know — I’m not always so great about pre-washing my fabric. I’d be willing to try View 1 again in a gauzy fabric and with the pockets omitted. I’d also give View 2 a shot. I wouldn’t do either with any fabric I was really invested. I’m not sure if I will get much wear from this tunic.  I could see it as a fun shirt to throw on after yoga or something. But it’s way too hella warm for springtime in Atlanta.

The other big thing about this make — it was the first project I started (I actually completed another vintage dress in the middle of this project) on my new precious, my Bernina 710!

Top Stitching with the Bernina 710

With all the top stitching and fussy bits, this was perfect to put the machine through some paces. I’ve been considering a new machine for quite a while. My last significant sewing machine purchase was a Pfaff that proved to be a completely maddening lemon. I’ve been sewing on a very basic non-digital Brother for several years. I did a bit of sewing recently on a friend’s Bernina. She’d been singing their praises to me but it took actually using hers to really get me fired up about them. I got my machine as a demo from the quilt show that just happened in town. I got significant deal on it and it is barely used. I’m thrilled. It will raise the presser foot for you and cut your thread. It’s made of magic.