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.



Oh Baby, Quit Stalin!

You might have seen these “Dictator Valentines” floating around recently. I first saw them last year and they came around again this year. The concept of the photo meme was borrowed / stolen from original works by Ben Kling.

Dictatorial Valentine’s Day Cards

But guess I digress because guess what? That Josef Stalin?

Well just start drooling ladies…


panty wetting Josef Stalin!

He could be serving you hipster coffee tomorrow morning! Too bad about all that gulag and oppression business. Maybe it was cause he was only 5’5″ or 5’6″ (according to photographic evidence and Wikipedia).

Seeing the young hot Bolshevik reminded me of my very first historical hottie, Swiss psychologist Hermann Rorschach. Is that an inkblot on your trousers or are you just happy to analyze me?

Hermann Rorschach is ready to analyze your panties.

If you want to add more images to your vintage spank bank then put on the slow jams and set your phasers on Historical Hotties .