Happy Valentines Day with Simplicity 5556!

One of my 2016 Vintage Pledge goals was to finish all of my Vintage Pledge UFOs from 2015. This includes both half sewn garments and ones that only managed to be cut. So behold, my first vintage sew of 2016: a better fitting version of Simplicity 5556 from 1973 — with hearts, for Valentine’s Day, or something!

70s heart dress on form

I cut this out about this time last year after I had made a first run with this pattern. The fabric is a lightweight sweater knit from Fashion Fabrics Club. My copy of this pattern has two printed sizes. This time around I cut the smaller size for the top and graded out to the larger size starting at the waist. It fits a lot better but is still a little too big in the shoulders / bust. I’ve also changed in the upper body (thanks to working out with a trainer 2x a week since July 2015) so that also has to be factored in. I did the majority of the stitching on the overlocker. Because of that I probably didn’t take the full 5/8 inch seam allowance. I’d make that change before I would consider cutting it even smaller.

70s heart dress CU

The pattern calls for finishing the neckline with facings. Ugh, what is it with the facings? While I know I have leftovers of this fabric, they were separated from the cut pattern pieces. I decided to just go ahead and use the facings but not exactly as the pattern suggested. I sewed the facing on with the serger and turned it. When I made the turn I wrapped the facing over the allowance made by the overlock stitching forming a sort of makeshift binding. I topstitched the facing down and then trimmed it down with my appliqué scissors. I got a little over zealous with the trimming and ended up cutting a couple of small holes which I then had to mend. I did a pretty good job dealing with the stripes. I was really befuddled with the hem. My side seam stripes pretty much lined up so I thought that I could just hem straight across but no, that was not working. Maybe it had to do with the bust darts? I don’t know. Good thing that I had to cut off three or four inches anyway.

70s heart dress 1

Accessorized with heart earrings, a vintage scarf and boots from Modcloth.

I did the sewing of the dress on the afternoon of Super Bowl Sunday and wore it out to two (!) different Super Bowl Parties. I even managed to show up to the 1st one before half time. That’s kind of an accomplishment for me. I didn’t even know who was playing. I don’t think I’m “too cool” for football. Actually, if you held me down and forced me to pick a sport to watch, I’d pick football. But, it’s just not a thing I get into unless Chicago or Atlanta is involved.

I had a couple of people ask me where I got my dress. Once I replied that I made it, but another time I said “Off my sewing machine”. I thought I was being all witty!

I’m going to keep playing with this pattern. I like it a lot and I think it can be refined just a little more. Simplicity 5556 also includes the ubiquitous tunic & pantsuit version which I am kind of interested in trying just for funsies.

IMG_9649As far as the actual Valentine’s Day, I’ve had a lovely one. My husband just returned from three weeks in Asia. He made me this awesome card and got me a really fabulous and hilarious gift that I will have to show you in a different post. The soot sprites are pins that I can wear! And soon I will have a delicious steak to eat. He’s a fabulous chef.

I hope you all had nice Valentines too.



First make of 2016

New year, new energy. Or maybe I was just getting itchy to make something. I had to put my sewing and machine away in preparation for Christmas. Man, did that make me antsy! Really, I’m still finishing things up from 2015 as my first sewing project of 2016 is a belated 2015 Christmas present.

After I had put everything away until after Christmas, Facebook reminded me that I made my uncle a hawaiian shirt as his gift for Christmas 2009.

hawaiian 2010

As I hadn’t actually yet managed to get Uncle Ronnie a 2015 present, I thought that maybe, after six years, it was time that I make him another shirt! Of course, Facebook reminded me this when it was basically impossible to do before the holiday. But Uncle Ronnie won’t mind too much, I think. Also, he’s not a social media guy, so I can still post this before I mail it off.

I used the same pattern for both shirts, Simplicity 3852. It’s not a particular difficult pattern although I always feel like the collar assembly is kind of wonky.

hawaiian 2016

The fabric is disco (I assume) Michael Miller. It’s actually a really lovely cotton. I’m tempted to see if the shop has more to stash away for a future dress.

I used some of my many sewing Christmas gifts including my Gingher spring loaded shears from my inlaws. And this tower of badassery, courtesy of Mom, provided me with the perfect shade of purplish-brown thread. thread

That’s 80 spools! Now I’ll always have some color close to whatever I’m sewing — even if I have to get more later. I love just giving it a spin. So decadent, yet useful!

Beyond the burst of sewing, I’ve been enjoying a stretch of quiet time with the dog and the husband. I get that a lot with the dog, with the husband not so much. We’ve kind of just been chilling like this…

bear head

best paw friends.jpg