Tag Archives: 1960s

“Gemini IV, get back in!”

Quote at the entrance of the Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibition at KSC Visitor Complex

I already told you that we spent two weeks of June in beautiful Florida in the US. One stop was the Kennedy Space Center. We were lucky to even experience a rocket launch, a Space X Falcon 9 rocket loaded with two satellites. As it was amidst the US school vacations, we could overhear a Space-Shuttle-Program-technician talk to a group of kids about her work, what problems they faced, how dangerous the fuel used in zero gravity is and how astronauts use the toilet. I really envied her and imagined for a second what my life would look like now if I had studied “rocket science”. The next second I thought that it might sound pretty cool talking about handling high-explosive fuel all alone in the assembly building, but that it for sure is not when you are maneuvering a bucket full of some liquid that could kill you in an instant and won’t excuse the tiniest mistake. After all I feel very happy and comfortable in my job and to be honest, 50 year old insecticides are not that harmless either, so I’ll stop complaining about the apparent harmlessness of my job.

getting hold of the sky
getting hold of the sky

One fate connected with the history of manned space flight that really touched me was that of Edward White. He was a NASA astronaut and pilot of the Gemini IV mission in 1965. This mission saw the first American  space walk, executed by White himself. He reportedly was so over the moon (haha) being outside the space ship that he had to be ordered back into the ship by mission control several times.
He and the Command pilot James McDivitt came back to earth as celebrated heroes and because of the good work he had done, White was selected for the first Apollo mission 1967. Everything went as planned, but a rehearsal a few weeks before the scheduled launch went terribly wrong. Due to a technical failure a fire broke out inside the pressurized cabin that was filled with pure oxygen. All attempts to open the doors in time were in vain and all three Apollo 1-astronauts lost their lifes in a test that had been considered completely harmless until that day.
And the man that had experienced zero gravity flying in space as one of the first of all human beings on earth died, tied up in a seat that was meant to bring him back into this endless and hostile space and what killed him was no extreme condition outside our earth’s atmosphere, but a simple cable fire whilst being safely on the ground.

What do I learn from this story? That we never know what will be, but that we can cherish the moments in life we love. 🙂
The shop in KSC offers all crew patches ever used in NASA history (and some more fictional designs, as the early missions did not have official ones) and so I did not chose the Apollo 1 patch, but the loved moment, the (fictitious, as the mission had no official patch) Gemini IV patch.

To infinity and beyond
To infinity and beyond

When I was back home I started searching for a new sewing project. I hoped to be able to include the patch as I didn’t want to bury it in my stash for I-don’t-know-how-long. And when I got my hands on a red cotton velvet leftover I had had for years, I knew it had to be as it matched the patch perfectly. As a pattern I chose an 80s pencil skirt Burda-pattern (4868). I had already made it once and I knew it fit. This really is my tried and trusted pencil-skirt pattern when I need one. The first version had been made of a printed cotton fabric that was much too thin for a skirt and therefore didn’t survive very long.

I lacked the matching notions, apart from a button and the zipper, so I bought yellow grosgrain and aqua-coloured satin ribbon to use as piping. To prevent the velvet from pushing the skirt around, I only used it on the outside of the waistband, the inside is covered by a white satin ribbon I found between some other notions.

Long story short: I love it. I was already told it would resemble a school uniform, but I really don’t care. And as this is a NASA-patch, a certain reminiscence of a uniform was maybe even wanted 😉

Wie ich euch ja schon erzählt habe, war ich im Juni zwei Wochen in Florida. Einer unserer Programmpunkte war das Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. Es war sehr eindrücklich, wir hatten sogar das Glück, einen Raketenstart mitzuerleben, eine Space X Falcon 9 Rakete brachte zwei Satelliten in den Orbit. Und da es mitten in den Schulferien war, hatten wir das Glück einer Space-Shuttle-Technikerin zuzuhören, die einer Gruppe Kinder Geschichten über die Tücken eines Space Shuttles und die gefährlichen Treibstoffe in der Schwerelosigkeit  erzählte und wie man als Astronaut im All auf Toilette geht. Für einen kurzen Moment stellte ich mir mein Leben vor, wie es wohl aussehen könnte, wenn ich “Raketenwissenschaft” studiert hätte. Im nächsten Moment dachte ich dann aber, dass es wohlmöglich im Nachhinein ganz cool klingt, wenn man begeisterten Kindern von seinen Erlebnissen mit hochexplosivem Treibstoff erzählen kann, dass es aber wohl alles andere als lustig ist, mutterseelenallein mit einem Eimer voll Flüssigkeit zu hantieren, der dich beim kleinsten Fehler ins Jenseits schickt. Also kam ich zu dem Schluss, dass ich in meinem Job doch sehr zufrieden und glücklich bin. Im Übrigen sind auch 50 Jahre alte Pestizide alles andere als ungefährlich, also so sicher wie mein Job klingt, ist er dann doch nicht.

Ein Schicksal der bemannten Raumfahrt hat mich schon vor unserem Besuch im KSC beschäftigt und betroffen gemacht, das von Edward White. Er war NASA-Astronaut und 1965 Pilot der Gemini IV-Mission und auf dieser der erste Amerikaner, der einen Weltraumspaziergang machte. Offenbar war er davon derart begeistert, dass ihn das Kontrollzentrum mehrere Male auffordern musste, wieder in die Raumkapsel zu steigen. White und sein Kommandeur James McDivitt landeten wohlbehalten wieder auf der Erde und wurden als Helden empfangen. Aufgrund seiner guten Arbeit wurde er für die erste Apollo Mission 1967 ausgewählt. Alles lief nach Plan bis zu einem Probedurchlauf wenige Wochen vor dem Start. Ein technischer Defekt liess in der mit reinem Sauerstoff befüllten Kapsel einen Brand ausbrechen, der künstliche Druck im Innenraum sorgte dafür, dass alle Versuche, die Kapsel rechtzeitig zu öffnen, erfolglos blieben. Bei einem als harmlos geltenden Test verloren alle drei Astronauten der Apollo 1-Mission ihr Leben.
Der Mann, der als einer der ersten Menschen des Planeten die Schwerelosigkeit frei im Weltall schwebend erleben durfte, starb in dem Schalensitz, der ihn in dieses kalte und lebensfeindliche All zurückbringen sollte, nicht durch die Gefahren des Weltraums, denen er sich freiwillig aussetzen wollte, sondern durch einen simplen Kabelbrand auf der guten alten Erde.

Was ich auf dieser Geschichte für mich mitnehme? Dass wir nie wissen werden, was uns die Zukunft bringt, aber die wertvollen Momente, die wir erleben dürfen, geniessen sollten. 🙂
Im Merchandise-Shop des KSC konnte man die Crew-Patches sämtlicher NASA-Missionen käuflich erwerben, auch wenn einige fiktiv sind (da die frühen Missionen noch keine offiziellen Patches hatten). Und so wählte ich nicht den Apollo 1-Aufnäher, sondern den wertvollen Moment, den Gemini-IV-Patch (der einer jener fiktiven bzw. nachträglich designten Patches ist).

blouse: tommy hilfiger - skirt: ette/burda - David-Bowie-brooch: Victoria & Albert museum shop - shoes: some small shop in Vienna
blouse: tommy hilfiger – skirt: ette/burda – David-Bowie-brooch: Victoria & Albert museum shop – shoes: some small shop in Vienna

Zuhause juckte es mich in den Fingern, ein neues, kleines Projekt anzufangen. Den Patch wollte ich ungern liegen lassen, denn dann würde er doch irgendwo vergraben werden. Als ich dann auf ein Stück roten Baumwollsamt stiess, der irgendwann einmal einer Restekiste entstiegen war, reifte der Plan. Beim Schnittmuster griff ich auf altbewährtes zurück, Burda 4868, ein schlichter Bleistiftrock aus den späten 80er Jahren. Das hatte ich schon einmal genäht und wusste, es passt und gefällt. Die erste Version war aus bedruckter Baumwolle und hielt nicht wirklich lange, da der Stoff einfach zu dünn war.

Reissverschluss und Knopf waren vorhanden, gekauft habe ich das gelbe Ripsband sowie das als Paspel verwendete türkise Satinband. Da es ein Rest war, musste ich den Bund quer zum Fadenlauf schneiden. Das könnte bei Samt zu einem etwas wanderwütigen Kleidungsstück führen, daher ist die Innenseite des Bundes mit einem breiten Gewebeband gearbeitet, welches noch im Nähschrank lag.

Tja, was soll ich sagen: ganz grosse Liebe! Er sitzt gut, er ist bequem und er ist genauso geworden, wie ich ihn mir vorgestellt habe. Eine der ersten Kommentare war zwar, dass er wie eine Schuluniform aussähe, aber selbst wenn, ein NASA-Crew-Patch darf gerne Uniform-Assoziationen wecken, vielleicht war das sogar ein wenig gewollt.

Ich hoffe er gefällt euch auch, alles Liebe

see you soon,
ette

Silk flowers don’t age

Some projects do take their time. This is definitely one of them and that definitely not because of its complexity, but my fear and afterwards my lazyness.

First there was the fabric. I showed it on this blog when I bought it (in march 2012!), but this was under a different name and a different URL, the post doesn’t exist anymore and I doubt anyone will remember.
It is a border-printed pure silk satin, beautifully shiny and soft and…so expensive! I can’t tell you the exact price anymore, but I know that it was the most expensive fabric I ever bought (I think it was something like 80 CHF for the pattern repeat). I had no idea what to make from it and wanted to avoid cutting it. So my initial thought was to turn it into a dress, something like a simple gathered layer on top of a boned bodice. But this dress never left the planning level.

In march 2015 I spent my holidays in Iceland and visited the largest fabric shop I have ever been in, Virka in Reykjavik. But apart from two fat quarters for my English quilt I didn’t buy any fabric. Instead they had a lot of patterns on sale and also a lot of american sewing books that are not easy to come by on the continent, so this is what I spent my money on.

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One of the patterns was this Burda vintage re-issue. And as we got a wedding invitation for the following September, I knew that I needed to sew something for this event. Searching for the right fabric I stumbled across my treasured satin and thought “why not?”.  To avoid cutting it, as I still feared that, I did close the fabric to a tube, matching the pattern in the centre back, and only sewed the darts without cutting them (but unfortunately I used a coloured chalk that is still visible). Due to this the upper fabric is a little wider than in the original pattern, but as the upper edge was meant to be gathered it didn’t alter the dress , but made it only a little more blousy. The silk is very thin and I had to add a lining which, unfortunately, is 100% synthetic fibre.
For the belt and the yoke I used anthracite coloured silk I still had in my stash (and that I bought together with the printed one). I still have enough left if I decide to make the matching jacket.

As the silk for the yoke is very stiff compared to the printed silk, I thought I wouldn’t need interfacing. That was a mistake, as I discovered later. When I wanted to give the dress its final press, my iron spit some not so clean water on it an I panicked. I didn’t want the stains to dry, so I put it in the bath tub and washed it cold. It helped, the stain was gone, but as a result I had to iron the dress again and the water had caused the silk gum in the stiff silk to vanish, therefore it is now kind of wobbly. I am still not sure wether to replace it with a new, interfaced yoke.
Another downer after this was when I finally tried it on. The shoulders just stood up and looked ridiculous. I didn’t want to undo the yoke before the wedding, but I wanted to get rid of these wings, so I threaded some elastic in between the outer edge and the topstitched seam and pulled it down a little. Now it looks kind of unevenly gathered but I can live with that.

Since the wedding I haven’t worn it again, that’s why I never came to blog about it and only show it now, only 10 months after I finished it.

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Manche Projekte brauchen ihre Zeit. Dieses hier jedoch nicht weil es so anspruchsvoll ist, sondern weil ich ängstlich und faul bin.

Am Anfang war der Stoff. Gekauft habe ich ihn bereits vor einigen Jahren (März 2012) und sogar hier im Blog vorgestellt. Damals hiess er noch anders und war auch unter einer anderen Adresse zu finden, lang ist es her und wahrscheinlich erinnert sich niemand mehr daran.
Es ist ein bedruckter Seiden-Satin, er ist weich und glänzend und…er war sehr teuer. Ich weiss es nicht mehr genau, aber es ist der teuerste Stoff, den ich je gekauft habe (ich meine es war etwas um 80 Franken für den Musterrapport). Ich hatte keine Idee für diesen Stoff, aber ich wollte ihn ungern zerschneiden. Also schwebte mir vor, den Stoff als Kleid über einer Art Korsage zu drapieren. Über die Planungsphase kam dieses Projekt nie heraus.

Der zweite Akt begann dann in Island, wo ich im März 2015 Urlaub machte. An einem Nachmittag besuchte ich Virka in Reykjavik, wohl das grösste Stoffgeschäft, in dem ich je war. Und obwohl ich kaum Stoff gekauft habe (nur zwei Fat Quarter für meinen Quilt), habe ich doch etwas Geld da gelassen. Zum einen weil sie einen Schnittmuster-Ausverkauf hatten, zum anderen weil sie eine ganze Reihe amerikanischer Handarbeitsbücher hatten, die man in Europa nicht so einfach bekommt.

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Eines dieser Schnittmuster war Burda 7253. Im September bekamen wir dann eine Einladung zu einer Hochzeit und ich wollte dafür ein neues Kleid nähen, da kam mir der Schnitt gerade recht. Und auf der Suche nach dem passenden Stoff fiel mir wieder diese Seide in die Hände und ich dachte “warum nicht?”. Um ihn nicht zu zerschneiden, nähte ich ihn mustergerecht zu einem Schlauch zusammen, so war er etwas breiter als das Schnittmuster, aber das macht das Kleid nur etwas weiter und ändert nichts gross am Schnitt. Die Abnäher sind nur eingenäht, nicht aufgeschnitten (dummerweise habe ich die mit oranger Kreide angezeichnet, die bis heute nicht rausgehen will). Da der Satin recht dünn ist musste ich ihn füttern, an dieser Stelle kommt leider ein Polyester-Futter ins Spiel. Für die Passe und den Gürtel nahm ich einen anthrazitfarbenen Seidenstoff (den ich lustigerweise zusammen mit dem bedruckten gekauft habe), aus welchem ich wenn nötig auch noch die Jacke nähen könnte.

Da diese dunkle Seide sehr steif ist dachte ich, ich könnte auf Einlage verzichten. Nun, das war ein Fehler. Beim finalen Bügeln entschied mein Bügeleisen, dezent dreckiges Wasser auf die Seide zu spucken und versetzte mich leicht in Panik. Sofort wusch ich das Kleid in der Badewanne kalt aus und der Fleck war zum Glück weg. Dummerweise aber auch der Seidenleim, der die Passe so schön steif gemacht hatte. Jetzt ist es leider etwas wabbelig und nicht mehr so schön glatt, mal sehen, vielleicht ersetz ich das nochmal.
Bei der finalen Anprobe kam dann der nächste Supergau, die Schultern standen ziemlich unschön ab. Da ich so kurz vor der Hochzeit die Passe auf keinen Fall abtrennen wollte, habe ich stattdessen ein Hutgummi zwischen der Steppnaht und der verstürzten Naht am Armloch durchgezogen. So sieht es nicht ganz perfekt aus, aber es ist ok.

Da ich es seit dieser Hochzeit nicht mehr getragen habe, hat es dieses Kleid irgendwie nie bis in diesen Blog geschafft, aber jetzt, 10 Monate danach dann endlich.

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dress – ette/Burda pattern 7253, shoes – vintage/Amuse Brocante Bern

See you soon, love

ette

Sorting through my stuff…two things become one

Nothing big going on right now, I’m busy and oftentimes it is too warm to do anything, sorry for the lack of showstoppers.
At the moment I am going through my stash, looking for new projects, finding old and abandoned Ufos and long forgotten shirts I loved to death but couldn’t bear to part with, so they went into the “maybe I can use it someday”-drawer.

Two items that have lived with me already quite some time: a Souvenir-handkerchief from the Swiss Museum of Transport from the 1960ies or 70ies I always thought too beautiful to use and a dark-blue velvet pillowcase that only needed one small part of a seam re-sewn. I had bought it in an antiques shop with a special shelf: grab a bag, fill it and pay 3€ for the whole, no matter how much stuff you managed to get into it.  As you can imagine, only being interested in a few items led to at least one full bag in the end, you can never know when something could be useful and hey, its paid! That’s how I came into the possession of a not particularly beautiful and slightly damaged 70ies velvet pillowcase.

hanky-pillow. parvasedapta.ch

Because the blue in the print of the hanky matched the velvet so well I thought it would be lovely to combine the two. I quickly repaired the damaged seam on the pillowcase an ironed some interfacing to the back of the handkerchief. Why this? I had some reasons: The fabric is very thin, so the dark velvet was shining through and it didn’t look white at all, second the fabric is very thin and I wanted to give it some support and third I feared the velvet’s pile could cause the thin fabric to move, this would have caused wrinkles on one side of the hanky and I wanted to avoid this risk. Oh and because it made things a lot easier. The fabric could easily be stretched and shifted in all directions (did I mention it is thin?), supporting it with the interfacing helped a lot while sewing it onto the pillowcase by hand.

Don’t know more I could tell you about such an easy and small project. So if you have some beautiful hankies lying around, why not decorate your pillows with it? Upcycling at its easiest 😉
And no, it usually doesn’t sit on this step stool, but on the stool in front of my sewing machine, even though I try to find a place in my flat where it is treated better, it is so much more than a seat cushion 🙂

hanky-pillowIII.parvasedapta.ch

Auf Deutsch

Zur Zeit läuft hier leider nicht so viel. Ich habe recht viel zu tun und in der Hitze nähen macht auch keinen grossen Spass. Also sorry für die eher mageren Projekte derzeit.

Momentan gehe ich ein wenig meine Bestände durch und finde neue Ideen, alte und verlassene unfertige Objekte und alte Lieblingsshirts, von denen ich mich lange nicht trennen konnte und die deshalb in die “ich finde sicher noch eine Verwendung”-Schublade wanderten.

Zwei Dinge die sich schon länger mit mir eine Wohnung teilen: Ein Stofftaschentuch aus dem Verkehrshaus der Schweiz aus den 60er oder 70er Jahren welches ich immer zu hübsch fand um mein Näschen damit zu putzen und eine Kissenhülle aus blauem Samt, der lediglich ein kleines Stück defekte Naht fehlte. Diese hatte ich in einem kleinen Trödelladen mit einem speziellen Regal gefunden: eine Tüte mit Dingen aus dem Regal für 3€, egal wie viel man reingestopft hat. Ihr könnt euch vorstellen, das Interesse an wenigen Teilen führte trotzdem zu prallgefüllten Beuteln, kann ja immer nützlich sein und hey, es ist bezahlt! So kam ich in den Besitz dieser nicht unbedingt schön zu nennenden und leicht angeschlagenen 70er-Jahre Kissenhülle.

hanky-pillowII.parvasedapta.ch

Auf die Idee, diese beiden Fundstücke zu vereinen kam ich, weil das Blau in dem Druck des Taschentuchs so perfekt zum Samt passt. Also reparierte ich schnell die beschädigte Naht und bügelte Vlieseline auf die Rückseite des Taschentuchs. Warum? Aus mehreren Gründen: Der Stoff ist recht dünn und das dunkelblau schimmerte durch, was das Taschentuch ziemlich grau erscheinen liess, zweitens wollte ich den dünnen Stoff ein wenig stabilisieren und drittens hatte ich Angst, der Samtflor könnte das Taschentuch in eine Richtung schieben und damit Falten an einer Seite des Tuchs werfen, wenn dieses aufgenäht ist. Ausserdem machte die Vlieseline das Aufnähen sehr viel einfacher. Weil der Stoff so dünn ist (erwähnte ich das schon?) konnte man ihn in jede Richtung verschieben und ziehen, die Vlieseline hält ihn in der zugeschnittenen, quadratischen Form.

Tja, was soll ich euch sonst noch darüber erzählen, ist ja wirklich ein sehr kleines Projekt. Aber vielleicht hat jemand von euch auch alte Stofftaschentücher rumliegen und weiss nicht wohin damit, dann nehmt das hier als kleine aber feine Upcycling-Idee.
Und nein, eigentlich wohnt es nicht auf dem Tritthocker, sondern auf dem Hocker vor meiner Nähmaschine, auch wenn es langfristig einen besseren Platz finden soll, als Sitzkissen ist es mir doch ein wenig zu schade.

See you soon, alles Liebe

ette

My new sewing machine – It’s 1969

logoneutral

So, welcome to the first post in my serie “My new sewing machine“. As you might have already imagined, I was eager to sew something with my new Bernina. I won’t talk much about the machine again, as I have already written a whole post about her.

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The attachment list of the Bernina dates from 12/1968, the machine itself was made in early 1969, according to the serial number. So, what was 1969 like?

(all information from the above linked Wikipedia-page)
Looking back 1969 seems to have been all about space. In early  January  the Soviet union sends probes to Venus and Soyuz spaceships  into the sky, the US sends Mariner probes to mars only weeks later and uses Apollo 9 and 10 as test runs for the lunar mission. The hightlight of course being the moon landing of Apollo 11 on July 20, followed by the moon landing of Apollo 12 already in november.

While the Beatles give their last public performance in January and John Lennon marries Yoko One in march, Elvis is in the middle of his comback and Led Zeppelin release their first Album. In August the famous Woodstock Festival  turns three days into an immortal part of music history. “The Godfather” is published and the “Sesame Street” comes to american living rooms, both influencing pop culture until today.

Technical progress can be marked by the first implant of an artificial heart, the maiden flight of the Boing 747 and the first test flight of the Concorde in France, while inMoscow the Tupolev TU-44 had had her first flight already on New Year’s Eve of 1968, two months earlier. These two are the the only commercial supersonic aircrafts until today.

Politics: Richard Nixon becomes president of the USA, Georges Pompidou of France, Willi Brandt chancellor of West Germany (in the same year, Muammar Gaddafi takes over power in Libya, imagine how long all the other politicians had retired and how recently Gaddafi was ousted). The Vietnam war is present age as still is the Cold war.

Born in 1969: Michael Schumacher, Marilyn Manson (interesting side note: the Manson Family was very active later in 1969 and Charles Manson arrested for the crimes he had commited), Dave Grohl, Alexander McQueen, Cate Blanchett, Steffi Graf, Oliver Kahn, Jay Z, Richard Hammond and so many more

Died in 1969: Boris Karloff, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Judy Garland, Walter Gropius, Otto Dix, Rocky Marciano, Ho Chi Minh and so many more

So, this would be in your mind or in the near future if you had got a new sewing machine in 1969. While history knows no copyright, magazines do, so I won’t be able to show you a bouquet of 69’s fashion, but limit myself to some links: here’s what you find when you search the V&A’s online database for fashion from that year, see it as a little “défilé de mode”. The seamstress might be more interested to sewing magazines of the said year, here you can find the Burda issue of march 1969, the issue I made today’s project from.

First I thought of this project as a complete fail. I mean, when you get a sewing machine that can do so many interesting and decorative stitches, my project maybe wouldn’t be your first choice. But on the other hand, maybe I first wanted to test the sewing before I headed towards the more fancy bits, no-one said I can only write one post about each sewing machine 😛

So, this is the project I went for:

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I don’t wear trousers that much, but if, I mostly wear jeans. simply because that’s all I have, I didn’t own one single pair of trousers made from another fabric when I started this project. So I thought, why not sew something I could use better than a fancy late 60ies dress I would most probably never wear. In my stash I found navy blue trouser-fabric, a polyester-viscose-spandex-fabric with a little stretch.

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I can’t tell you much interesting about the sewing itself. The hips were much too round and I had to alter them more than once, I am still not happy with them, but it’s ok. The trousers close with a zip in the front, the belt is completely seperate and optional to wear. I lined it with some patterned Ikea-fabric, the same fabric I used for the facing inside the waistband. A leftover of plastic boning gives it the stiffness it needs, I assume the original was made from sturdier fabric.

The pattern was surprisingly short. I am shorter than the average woman and the hem was even higher as you see now and I still would like it to be a little longer.

Well, not the best fitting project, but wearable.

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And to save the best for last: Each day you can pick up a free newspaper on Switzerland’s stations (not very high journalism, but well, it’s for free), each friday the same boxes contain a fashion and lifestyle magazine. This friday said magazine told me, that the 70ies will be very “en Vogue” this year. And look what was featured in the photo gallery: Navy blue flared trousers in a polyester-acetate-cotton-fabric by miu miu. Price? 650€. Considering that my fabric cost me 15CHF I still have plenty of room (meaning money) to produce the perfect fitting navy-blue-trousers for this season and will be, for once, totally fashionable.

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Auf Deutsch:

So, es hat ein Weilchen gedauert, aber endlich, willkommen zur ersten Folge meiner Serie “My new sewing machine“, was wäre wenn meine Nähmaschine neu wäre?
Da mein letzter Neuzugang die Bernina 730 war, lag es nahe, mit dieser Maschine zu beginnen. Viel zu ihr sagen muss ich glaub ich nicht mehr, sie hat ja bereits einen eigenen Post bekommen.
Während die Packliste im Koffer von 12/1968 datiert, ist die Maschine laut Seriennummer vom Anfang des Jahres 1969. Also, was passierte denn damals so? (ich habe als Grundlage für die Daten die englische Wikipedia-Seite genommen, daher verlinke ich hier zur englischen Version ).

Das Jahr 1969 stand ganz im Zeichen der Raumfahrt.  Während die Sowiet Union Soyuz-Kapseln startete und Sonden zur Venus schickte, machte die Nasa ähnliches mit Mars-Sonden und startet die Apollo-Missionen 9 und 10 als Testläufe für die Mondlandung. Die Landung der Apollo 11 auf unserem Trabanten am 20 Juli ist wohl allgemein bekannt, bereits im November landete dann die zweite Mondmission, Apollo 12, ebenfalls dort.

Im Januar gaben die Beatles ihren letzten Live-Auftritt und John Lennon heiratete Yoko Ono, Elvis war mitten in seinem Comeback und Led Zeppelin veröffentlichten ihr erstes Album. Das Woodstock-Festival im August ging in die Musik-Geschichte ein.  Mario Puzo veröffentlichte sein Buch “Der Pate” und  die erste Folge der Sesamstrasse flackerte über amerikanische Fernsehbildschirme, beide haben bis heute ihren Einfluss auf die Popkultur nicht verloren.

Auch technisch tat sich einiges. Das erste provisorische künstliche  Herz wurde implantiert, die Boing 747 hatte ihren Jungfernflug und die Concorde hob das erste Mal zu einem Testflug ab, zwei Monate nach dem ersten öffentlichen Flug der Tupolev TU-44, beide bleiben bis heute die einzigen kommerziellen Überschall-Flugzeuge.

Jaaa, Politik: In den USA wird Richard Nixon Präsident, in Frankreich Georges Pompidou. Westdeutschland sieht Willi Brandt Kanzler werden (um sich mal über die Verhältnisse klar zu werden: Alle drei Politiker sind schon so lange Teil der Geschichte. Im selben Jahr übernahm Muammar  Gaddafi die Macht in Libyen und dass er entmachtet wurde ist ja nun wirklich nicht lange her). Der Vietnamkrieg gehörte ebenso  zur tagtäglichen Wirklichkeit wie der kalte Krieg zwischen den Blöcken.

Wer wurde geboren:
Michael Schumacher, Marilyn Manson (interessant übrigens, dass 69 ebenso das Jahr der Manson-Family-Morde und der Verhaftung von Charles Manson ist),  Dave Grohl, Alexander McQueen, Cate Blanchett, Steffi Graf, Oliver Kahn, Jay Z, Richard Hammond und viele weitere.

Wer starb:
Boris Karloff, Dwight D Eisenhower, Judy Garland, Walter Gropius, Otto Dix, Rocky Marciano,  Ho Chi Minh und viele weitere

parvasedapta.ch-whoneedsdesigners.

So, das wäre also die  Gegenwart bzw. die nahe Zukunft Anfang 1969. Während Daten und Geschichte kein Copyright kennen, tun es Zeitschriften durchaus, so dass ich euch keinen bunten Bilderbogen der 69er Mode zeigen kann.  Als kleine Modenschau soll euch diese Auswahl der Mode-Sammlung des V&A dienen. Für die Hobbynäherinnen natürlich interessant, was nähte man denn 1969?  Hier ein Link zur Burda-Ausgabe vom März 1969, der Ausgabe aus welcher das heutige Projekt auch stammt.

Am Anfang dachte ich,  ich hätte eine totale Fehlentscheidung getroffen. Wer so eine Maschine mit Zierstichen bekommt, näht doch keine Hose?! Nun ja, vielleicht mag ich sie erstmal kennenlernen, die Zierstiche kommen dann später 😛 Sagt ja niemand, dass jede Nähmaschine nur einen Post bekommen darf.
Da ich nicht viele Hosen trage, aber wenn dann Jeans (einfach weil ich nur Jeans habe) , dachte ich es wäre an der Zeit für eine Stoffhose.  Einen dunkelblauen Polyester-Viskose-Spandex-Hosenstoff hatte ich noch da und los ging es.

Über das Nähen kann ich gar nicht viel spannendes verlieren. Die Hüften waren viel zu rund, ich musste die Naht mehrere Male ändern, inzwischen geht es, auch wenn perfekt was anderes ist. Die Hose wird ganz normal mit Reissverschluss in der Mitte geschlossen, der Gürtel ist optional. Mit dem gleichen Blümchenstoff  wie innen im Gürtel habe ich auch den Beleg in der Hose gemacht. Damit die Ecken nicht umknicken ist er mit einem Rest Plastikkorsagenband verstärkt.

Der Schnitt ist auffällig kurz. Ich bin ja schon kurz geraten, aber die Hose wie ihr sie seht ist schon unterhalb der eigentlichen Saumlinie umgenäht und ich hätte sie sogar gerne noch ein Stückchen länger gehabt.

Im grossen und ganzen nicht perfekt, aber tragbar.

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Und das Beste zum Schluss: Jeden Tag gibt es hier in der Schweiz an den Bahnhöfen eine Gratis-Zeitung. Nicht grad die hohe Kunst des Journalismus, aber dafür eben gratis. Freitags liegt anstatt dessen eine Mode-Lifestyle-Zeitschrift in den Verteiler-Boxen. Diesen Freitag sagte mir das bunte Papier, dass die 70er in diesem Jahr absolut im Trend wären. Und was war auf einem der Fotos zu sehen? Dunkelblaue Stoffhosen aus einem Polyester-Acetat-Baumwoll-Gemisch von miu miu. Der Preis? 650€
Der Sitz von meiner Variante mag nicht perfekt sein, aber da ich für den Stoff auch nur 15 Fr. gezahlt habe, bleibt mir reichlich Spielraum um  das Höschen zu perfektionieren und nur ein einziges Mal komplett auf Höhe der Mode zu sein. Wahnsinn…

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blouse: Nine Bird (via Fizzen) – trousers: made by me using Burda magazine 3/1969 – shoes: vintage (via Fizzen)

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Soviel für heute, alles Liebe

So much for today, see you soon,

ette

Me made Mittwoch with Jackie O.

A few weeks ago, Klara showed how she styled her summer dresses in winter. And last week, a colleague asked me if I could wear the dress I had made at the public sewing in the bookshop in september, she hadn’t been there and had never seen me wearing it since.

These two things alligned and when I had to work last wednesday, the outfit was quickly chosen. Irony of fate? Said collegue had her day off…

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A black shirt seemed too simple, additionally I only have purple shoes with heels, unsuitable for work. Black shirt, tights and shoes? Booooring.
Alternatively, I went with different shades of purple and violet and used black accesoires to calm it down a little. I love this outfit very much and am sure to wear it regularly in the future (it is always so great to find new ways to wear the old garments 🙂 )

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Vor ein paar Wochen zeigte Klara, wie sie ihre Sommerkleider auch im Winter trägt. Und letzte Woche bat mich eine Kollegin, doch einmal das Kleid anzuziehen, welches ich letzten September bei einem kleinen Näh-Event im Buchladen genäht hatte, damals war sie nicht da und hatte es seitdem auch immer wieder verpasst.

Diese beiden Dinge kamen also zusammen und so war mein Arbeitsoutfit letzten Mittwoch schnell gefunden. Ironie des Schicksals dass besagte Kollegin frei hatte…

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Ein schwarzes Shirt darunter schien mir zu einfach, zudem habe ich zwar lila Schuhe, aber nur mit Absatz und daher ungeeignet zum Arbeiten. Shirt, Strumpfhose und Schuhe in Schwarz? Laaangweilig.
Also entschied ich mich für verschiedene Lila-Töne und schwarze Accessoires, um das ganze doch wenigstens etwas zu erden.
Ich mag diese Kombination sehr gerne und werde sich in Zukunft sicher öfters tragen (ich liebe es, neue Alternativen für alte Kleider zu haben 🙂 )

Und weil der Post damals nur auf englisch war: Der Schnitt ist aus dem Buch “Stilikonen“, das Jackie O.-Kleid in der modernisierten Variante (tieferer Ausschnitt, die klassische hat einen hohen, stehenden Ausschnitt). Was ihr seht ist eine mir viel zu kleine Grösse XS mit maximal herausgelassenen Seitennähten. Immerhin kann ich es inzwischen tragen, auch wenn die Taschen immer noch aufspringen. Die Schnitte fallen wirklich klein aus, also schaut auf die Masstabelle.

dress: ette/Stilikonen - shirt: switcher - belt: charity shop, shoes: bought in Vienna - fragrance: 4711 Acqua Colonia Lavender & Thyme
dress: ette/Stilikonen – shirt: switcher – belt: charity shop, shoes: ?,bought in Vienna – tights and headband: ? – brooch: gift from mum – fragrance: 4711 Acqua Colonia Lavender & Thyme

Wenn auch von letzter Woche, so ist es doch ein Mittwochs-Outfit und darf damit hoffentlich beim Me-Made-Mittwoch mitspielen.

see you soon, love,

ette

A dress…well, yes, a dress!

Besides the stacks of patterns and sewing magazines that are stored in boxes on my bookshelf, I always have a small number lying around, either because I like them and really want to make them or because these would be garments my wardrobe is lacking or that could help getting rid of some special fabric.

This pattern had been lying on this stack a little while. I like it because it is such a simple and yet beautiful design. It seemed to make a good wardrobe basic made from solid coloured fabric but could also be a stunning showpiece if made from an interestingly patterned one.
When the Monthly stitch challenge for February was announced I very quickly decided to finally try this one. The challenge was “solid colours” and you were given a colour depending on the first letter of your first name. My name gave me purple to work with. I had already considered trying this pattern with a very stiff purplecotton  tabby I had in my stash and now the time had definitely come.

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Dating the pattern was a little difficult. The line as such looked 60ies enough, but the length of the dress and the hairstyle looked more 70ies to me. With the help of some dear sewing-friends on facebook we settled on late 60ies for this one.
Sewing went very easy and straightforward. I cut the smallest size, which was 38, and it fit without any alterations. In hindsight I would say the bust darts could sit a little lower, but they don’t look too odd up there, so it is ok for the first try. Unfortunately it tends to climb up even higher than the bust darts, maybe this is due to the pattern or my body  needs something like a shoulder adjustment (but why didn’t I face this problem in other patterns?).
Neckline and the sleeves’ hems I faced with lavender coloured bias binding, more layers of the purple fabric would have been too thick and too stiff. The strap in the waist I faced with a cotton leftover, white with yellow flowers. Unfortunately the white is showing on the edges, I really should have used a darker shade.
The fabric was very cooperative when it came to sewing, it didn’t shift and my sewing machine coped with it very well. But the dense weave caused two problems. The first only a minor one, it was a real pain to pin it, I really had to force the pins into the fabrics and soon my fingertips hurt. The pinholes are still visible everywhere but I assume they will vanish when I wash it the first time. The second one is more annoying: Because of the density of the threads it was next to impossible to gather the sleeve caps, as the pattern demanded. Therefore I couldn’t avoid some small wrinkles when attaching the sleeves.

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The boyfriend kept me waiting a little while, that’s why the dress is a little wrinkled, complaints may be adressed to him.

Well, what more to say? It took me one episode of “The great British sewing bee” and a half of “Bargain Hunting” (yes, BBC-addict, I confess) to handpick the zipper, I really hope Patrick would approve, I had to use a thimble because you can imagine how painful hand-sewing is when the fabric already refuses to let pins pass through it.

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To conclude: It’s a dress! It’s funny, I like it very much but on the other hand it is so neutral. Give a child the task to draw a woman, it would draw her in a knee-length a-line dress with short sleeves and a decently-sized neckline. This dress has all a classic dress features and lacks everything that could stand out or be interesting. It really is a great basic, paired with a cardigan, a brooch and ballerinas you could do anything, from going to work to buying a house, to me it is classic everyday elegance.

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In fact, despite its vivid colour, it is a piece of cake. Which is great because as most sewers I tend to produce way more frosting than cake, which doesn’t really help to build an everyday- wardrobe. So this challenge and this pattern really helped me to produce an unexpectedly unagitated dress, well done!

Auf Deutsch

Neben den Stapeln von  Schnittmustern und Nähzeitschriften welche ich in Schachteln auf meinem Bücherregal aufbewahre, habe ich immer ein paar Schnittmuster herumliegen, entweder weil es Schnitte sind, die ich sehr dringend nähen möchte oder weil ich damit ein Loch in meinem Kleiderschrank füllen oder einen Ladenhüter in meiner Stoffsammlung loswerden kann.

Dieses Schnittmuster lag schon eine ganze Weile auf diesem Stapel. Ich mag es weil es ein einfaches und gleichzeitig sehr schönes Design ist. Es schien als könnte man damit ein schönes uni-farbenes Basis-Kleid nähen, aber ebenso einen richtigen Hingucker, wenn man den passenden Stoff nähme.
Als die Februar-Challenge bei “The Monthly Stitch” verkündet wurde, war mir schnell klar, dass ich diesem Schnitt nun endlich eine Chance geben würde. Die Challenge lautete “Solid colours”, also einfarbige Stoffe, keine Muster, keine Farbkombinationen. Die Farbe wurde nach dem Anfangsbuchstaben des Vornamens festgelegt, was bei mir in lila resultierte. Ich hatte bereits länger mit dem Gedanken gespielt, dieses Kleid aus einem eher steifen  lila Taftgewebe in meinem Vorrat zu nähen und nun schien die Zeit dafür endlich gekommen.

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Die Datierung bereitete mir etwas Sorgen. Die Linie sah mir schon nach den 60ern aus, aber die Rocklänge und vor allem die Frisuren deuteten für mich eher in die 70er. Mit der Hilfe von den wunderbaren Menschen in der “Nähen im Vintage-Stil”-Facebook-Gruppe wurden die späten 60er als wahrscheinlichstes Entstehungsdatum festgelegt.
Das Nähen ging dann schnell von der Hand, ich schnitt die kleinste Grösse, 38, zu und es passte mehr oder weniger ohne Änderungen. Im Nachhinein würde ich die Brustabnäher vielleicht ein wenig tiefer setzen, aber sie sitzen nicht viel zu hoch und sehen daher nicht komisch aus, für’s erste Mal also ok. Beim Tragen neigt es allerdings dazu, hochzurutschen, dagegen sind aber tiefgreifendere Änderungen am Schnitt nötig. Also heißt das Motto bei diesem, ja nicht die Arme bewegen. 
Weil der Stoff so steif und dick ist entschied ich mich gegen Belege und benutzte stattdessen lavendelfarbenes Schrägband am Halsausschnitt und den Ärmelsäumen. Der Riegel in der Taille wurde mit einem Baumwollrest verstürzt, weiss mit gelben Blumen. Leider sieht man ihn an der Kante ein wenig, ich hätte doch besser etwas dunkleres nehmen sollen.
Beim Nähen erwies sich der Stoff als sehr kooperativ, er rutschte nicht und auch meine Nähmaschine meldete keine Beschwerden an. Doch die sehr hohe Webdichte brachte auch Probleme mit sich. Erstens, das ist sicherlich das kleinere, es tat weh! Stecknadeln liessen sich nur mit relativ hohem Kraftaufwand einstechen was schnell zu schmerzenden Fingerkuppen führte. Zudem sieht man die Einstichlöcher immer noch, aber das sollte sich beim Waschen geben. Das zweite Problem ist etwas störender. Weil die Fäden so dicht liegen war es so gut wie unmöglich, die Armkugel einzuhalten, daher hab ich an der Naht doch einige Fältchen.

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here you see the climbing problem, up, up to the sky… hier sehr ihr das Hochrutschproblem….

Was gibt es noch zu sagen? Den Reissverschluss habe ich in Begleitung einer Folge “The great British sewing bee” und einer halben Folge “Bargain Hunting” (ja, ich schaue zu viel BBC) mit der Hand eingenäht, ich hoffe Patrick wäre stolz auf mich. Der Fingerhut war dabei mein treuer Begleiter, ihr könnt  euch vorstellen dass es sonst nicht angenehm gewesen wäre.

Zusammenfassend lässt sich sagen: Es ist ein Kleid!Irgendwie lustig, einerseits mag ich es sehr gerne , andererseits ist es wirklich sehr neutral. Es ist ein Kleid, in welchem ich als Kind eine Frau gezeichnet hätte: knielang, kurze Ärmel, runder Ausschnitt. Es hat alles was ein klassisches Kleid braucht und lässt jedes interessante Detail vermissen. Damit ist es ein sehr schöner Basis-Garderoben-Bestandteil, gepaart mit Cardigan, Brosche und Ballerinas kann man darin so ziemlich alles machen, zur Arbeit gehen oder auch ein Haus kaufen.
Damit hat mir diese Challenge sehr unerwartet zu einem  Allroundtalent verholfen, sehr gut!

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Couldn’t help, I felt like Peg Bundy with this hairdo.

Sorry, aber ich musste bei der Frisur an Peg Bundy denken.

Let’s do it the good old way

Short notice: Because the number of readers asking for a german version is increasing I will try to type all posts in both languages. Below the english text you’ll find the german one in italics.

Kurze Anmerkung: Da immer mehr Leser bedauern, dass ich auf Englisch schreibe, werde ich versuchen, alle Posts zweisprachig zu tippen. Unter dem englischen Text findet ihr die deutsche Version in Kursivschrift.

While the number of sewing machines in my posession stagnates another small collection is constantly growing. And as with the sewing machines one could argument that I only have two hands, two feet and two eyes. But, as all sewing machine collectors might know, every machine has its advantages, this one makes a perfect straight stitch, the other one is quiet, the next is useful if you want to make buttonholes and so on.

The same applies to cameras. I love how cameras from different epoches with different films make different photos. Therefore everytime I see an interesting or cute or somehow appealing camera for a good price I can’t do different but have to buy it.

At the moment I own three different types of cameras: standard 35mm ones, roll-fillm cameras and Land cameras. I am still learning and many of the photos I shoot are far from being good, but I still I like the process of photographing as such, the feeling of holding a negative in my hands, knowing this is the only copy of the moment I captured days or weeks ago.

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For the last few years my true compagnion has been a Voigtländer Vito CD, a camera produced from 1961-66. It is a cute camera with the big advantage of a built-in photometer. It works with standard 35mm-film, the one you can still buy today everywhere (in contrast to roll-films you have to buy in a specialized photo-shop).

Here are some photos I shot in the two years I have owned it now. I didn’t do any photoshopping (except for the watermark), black-and-white photos were shot on black and white film.

Während die Zahl meiner Nähmaschinen stagniert gibt es da eine andere kleine Sammlung, welche stetig wächst. Und ebenso wie bei einer grösseren Anzahl von Nähmaschinen könnte man argumentieren, dass man doch nur zwei Hände, zwei Füsse, zwei Augen hat. Doch wie mir jeder Nähmaschinensammler beipflichten wird, so hat doch jede von ihnen ihre Vorteile. Diese macht einen sehr schönen Stich, die andere ist sehr handlich, die dritte ist nützlich für Knopflöcher etc. 

Das gleiche darf für Kameras gelten. Ich mag es zu sehen, wie Kameras aus verschiedenen Zeiten mit verschiedenen Techniken/Filmen verschiedene Arten von Bildern produzieren. Daher kann ich nur schwer nein sagen, wenn mich, wo auch immer, eine niedliche Kamera zu einem vernünftigen Preis anlacht.

Zur Zeit besitze ich drei verschiedene Systeme, 35mm-Kameras, Rollfilm-Kameras und Sofortbildkameras. Ich steh immer noch ziemlich am Anfang und viele meiner Fotos sind nicht vorzeigbar, aber ich mag trotz allem den Prozess des Fotografierens und das Wissen, ein Negativ in den Händen zu halten, welches die einzige existierende Kopie eines Moments ist und der nun bereits Tage oder Wochen vergangen ist.

Seit knapp zwei Jahren ist diese Voigtländer Vito CD mein treuer Begleiter. Produziert wurde sie von 1961-66. Das praktische an ihr ist, dass sie einen eingebauten Belichtungsmesser hat.
Sie frisst normalen 35mm-Kleinbild-Film, den man bis heute in der Drogerie oder im Supermarkt kaufen kann (im Gegensatz zu Rollfilmen, die es nur noch im Fachgeschäft gibt).

Heute nun ein paar Fotos, welche ich in den letzten Jahren mit ihr geschossen habe. Abgesehen vom Wasserzeichen haben sie kein Photoshop gesehen, schwarz-weiss Fotos wurden also auf schwarz-weiss Film geknipst.

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Schafhausen i. E.  2014
parvasedapta.ch - analogue III
Krauchthal 2013
parvasedapta.ch - analogue V
Hindelbank 2014
parvasedapta.ch - analogue VIII
Krauchthal 2013
parvasedapta.ch - analogue XII
Burgdorf castle 2013
parvasedapta.ch -analogue I
Schafhausen i. E. 2013
parvasedapta.ch - analogue IV
Kandersteg Oeschinensee 2013
parvasedapta.ch - analogue IX
Kandersteg Oeschinensee 2013
parvasedapta.ch - analogue X
Bern Meret-Oppenheim-Brunnen 2013
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Hettiswil 2013
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Krauchthal 2013
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London, Regents canal 2013

See you soon, love,

ette

Principles and how to overcome them

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I don’t like altering clothes. I like to sew new ones and I have no problems with fixing a lost button or a broken zipper. But I don’t anymore buy things to remodel them. I used to do but somehow it never turned out how I wanted it and was always a lot more work than expected.

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Additionally, I don’t like to alter old clothes. I mean, these things have survived 40 or 60 years without manipulation and I know how valuable unaltered things from previous centuries are for costume historians because they are so rare. A large shop in Berne selling Vintage and modern clothes alters vintage dresses on a grand scale, because most clients want their skirts to end above the knee and not at mid-calf length. The vast majority of these altered dresses dates from the 80ies, but every now and then you see something older amongst them, too. This altering makes the dresses uninteresting for me (because I like my dresses to end below the knees), but it also means less and less dresses in their original state. Because of this I do not buy these altered dresses and I only buy dresses that fit me. Even if a little shortening or two centimetres less circumference would make them look perfect, usually I don’t buy them and hope they’ll find a more fitting client, in the truest sense of the word.

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But this spring another user of my favourite sewing board sold a beautiful late50ies/early 60ies wool shirt dress I wasn’t able to resist, despite it being too large and I threw all my priciples overboard. Because the sleeves and the bodice were made from one piece of fabric that made fitting issues at the shoulders nonexistant, this seemed to be a pretty easy one to be altered to fit me.
And so I did. All I had to do was remove the skirt, shift the side seams to fit my size and re-attach the skirt. Because the wool was so easy to gather I didn’t even have to remodel the pleats.
It was obvious that the skirt had been altered before, there were multiple seams in different threads at the waist. So I wasn’t the first to manipulate it and I was, I admit, a little relieved not to have destroyed something completely untouched (because of the thick fabric and the curved seam underneath the arms I had to cut away the fabric, too. I know, something you never ever should do, shame on me).
Because one button was missing I had to remove the one at the bottom and sewed the buttonhole close so it would be less obvious. Grace to this fine striped pattern it works quite well. I added a small hook and eye to  the waistband because the dress tended to gape, as there wasn’t a button to hold this narrowest part of the dress.

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I thought this quite weird and it took an accident to solve this mystery. A few months later the same woman sent me a whole set of hemming feet for my 1932 Pfaff. Before she sent the parcel she asked me if I would be interested in a belt to match the dress, she had found it and hadn’t even known a belt existed. Yes, of course I was! And obviously, with a belt you have far less concerns with a gaping waist 🙂

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It has been finished and in my wardrobe quite some time now and I love it. The hem looks a little pointy in the centre front, I think I will add a little press fastener to keep it in place.
The fabric is, as you can imagine, quite scratchy, fortunately I own a shirt with the exact same sleeve length to wear underneath.

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Dear Ravna, thank you so very much for selling me something that has already become one of my favourite dresses!

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dress: Vintage/altered by me – tights: Fogal – Shoes: wonders – handbag: made by Goldkind – scarf: belonged to my grandaunt – gloves: Vintage/Fizzen – brooch: Antique/Flea market – fragrance: Nina Ricci-L’air du temps

See you soon, love

ette

PS: Forgive me to have skipped this sunday’s Christmas dress post. My weekend was equally parted in work, meeting friends from my favourite online sewing board and being sick. Needless to say the latter third was the time I had planned to use for sewing instead of sleeping and whimpering. I am trying to catch up but the pattern needs more adjustments than expected which makes me progress slower than expected. At least the plaid isn’t the problem 😉

They call me nightshirt

Today let’s talk about how you should not treat an old dress and how you should not buy anything that looks cute.

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Many many years ago (must have been 2006 or little earlier), I bought one of my first vintage dresses: A pale pink shift dress of pure silk taffeta. If I recollect correctly, I bought it as a 50ies adolescent dress without ever checking this information. And if I recollect correctly as well, I only wore it once, to wear to a goth disco with satin corset, gloves and black laced boots. I stood out, but I loved it (oh, and pink clip-in extensions)!

what things you still find on your myspace-page...
things you still find on your myspace-page…

I never considered giving it away (hey, it was old and pink!), but I never really wore it. I feared it could be too fragile and when on earth could you wear a pink silk dress?

Meanwhile it moved with me three times and I have learned a lot about fashion and historical sewing techniques. I never know how to style this thing and my boyfriend always says it looks like a nightshirt and I shouldn’t wear it outside. So it lurks in the back of my wardrobe and never really sees the light (if it is really a nightshirt it is also a creature of the night, maybe it’s manipulating me and doesn’t want to see daylight? Help, it’s alive!).

But once in a while I try to wear it, play around a little to defuse this out-of-bed-look and in November I dared to wear it to a concert  (Mozart’s Requiem, a very dear colleague participated and generously invited me and my boyfriend, check out the choir’s website if you life in Switzerland and like classical music). I took the opportunity to have a closer look at it.

an awful lot of handsewing going on inside
an awful lot of handsewing going on inside, the buttons are secured with a thin pink ribbon.
The front. The bow is just decorative, the rest of the band is bias binding made from the same fabric.
The front. The bow is just decorative, the rest of the band is bias binding made from the same fabric.
are these buttons handmade? it looks as if, don't they? To me it seems as if they consist of a ball of wrapped yarn and invisibly attached silk fabric.
are these buttons handmade? it looks as if, don’t they? To me it seems as if they consist of a ball of wrapped yarn and invisibly attached silk fabric.

Coil zipper in the centre back as well as the absence of any old seams or other traces of manipulation make me date this dress into the 1960ies. But I am still amazed of all the hand sewing and old techniques used (I have never seen such a perfectly hand-sewn zipper. You need a magnifying glass and have to look at the back of the seam to see that it isn’t machine sewn). Maybe this was made by someone who had learned sewing already years or even decades ago and still used all this techniques when making a dress for a granddaughter?

Now, back to the dress as a whole. It is a little too large, not the best premise to make a pink shift dress look NOT like a nightshirt.

oh, wait until you see the front, this is going to be fun!
oh, wait until you see the front, this is going to be fun!

And my boyfriend is right, styled wrongly it could really look like “oh, hello Mr. Postman, sorry, I just woke up”

yeah, the hilarious shoes again!
yeah, the hilarious shoes again!

This is how I wore it this evening. Paired with a black cardigan with pink and red embroidery and patent leather high-heels (I switched later to black smooth leather t-straps heels, these somehow felt a little too…*ahem* kinky to wear in a church).

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And yes, lots of make-up. Idea is that nobody wakes up with perfectly shiny red lipstick applied.

dress: antique/Das Puppenhaus, cardigan: Voodoo Vixen, high-heels: Christian Louboutin/2nd-hand Secondo Bern, handbag: flea-market, necklace: gift from mum
dress: antique/Das Puppenhaus, cardigan: Voodoo Vixen, high-heels: Christian Louboutin/2nd-hand Secondo Bern, handbag: flea-market, necklace: gift from mum, fragrance: Prada, Amber

Now, what do you think? Nightshirt or wearable? I am still convinced that it really was meant as a dress because of the zipper and the globular buttons, both wouldn’t be very comfortable in bed. But still, it has this air of lingerie….

Dare anybody of you to pin this photo :-P
Dare anybody of you to pin this photo 😛

Now that you have managed to read everything I might reveal that I wanted a “styled” photo to appear in this post first. My idea was that the verdict could be different, depending on what of the two stylings you see first. I would have loved to post this in two different blogs, one with nightshirt-photos first, the other with styled photos on top. I bet it would have made a difference. So are you sure you decided how you wanted to and not depending on what you saw first? 🙂
(I fear I have been reading too much Daniel Kahneman in the last time, but his book is really interesting)

See you soon, love

ette

 

Lavender O.

Well, I promised a report on my SIAB-night, the Sew-In-A-Bookshop-night 😉

To understand what will happen next, a short explanation: Normally this bookshop, as most shops in Berne, closes at 7pm, on thursdays the majority of the city is opened until 9pm, that thursday was Ladies Night, takes place only once a year, shops closed at 11pm.

We installed my table with sewing machine, a little decoration and the book I was presenting at around 6pm. And until 7.30 everything was fine, lots of people in the shop, many curious clients asking what I was doing and so on.

Then it became a little quiet, still some people were passing by, maybe because I sat right next to the doors through which you can leave directly into the railway station. Some stopped and looked interested, I chatted a little, about my sewing, about the book, about whatever they wanted. It was sad it was comparably quiet, I had really hoped for a roaring night.
Only few were interested in the sewing, even less in the book. Most only gazed at the sewing machine and noted that her grannies had machines like this or asked if it was already electric.

At 9pm we had to close the doors to the station (contract conditions) and the last two hours were very quiet, because I sat literally at a dead end. The sentence I had to repeat most often in the last two hours was “No, sorry, exit closed, please use the main exit on the ground floor”. Every now and then somebody spotted me from the far end of the shop and screamed something like “oh, mum, look there” *teenage daughter with mum approaching*staring*smiling*leaving*.

At least this left me plenty of time to sew and I really nearly finished, only the zipper and the hem were missing.

That's how it looked. You will recognize my Bette Davis Dress.
That’s how it looked. You will recognize my Bette Davis Dress I chose to wear that evening.

To conclude, I assume a couple of things went wrong,making it less successful than we all had hoped it to be.

First, the event itself wasn’t promoted enough, neither the presenter nor the bookshop succeeded in making people aware that this night was to be meant as an event. A friend who lives in the city of Bern told me she wouldn’t have known of this Ladies Night without me (and this true friend stayed with me the whole five hours and made the long hours past 9pm appear much shorter as they could have been). So I fear the whole event hasn’t grown big enough yet to attract large crowds of clients and ladies, strolling through the shops on high heels buying lace underwear whilst drinking prosecco (we wouldn’t discuss this cliché here, would we? 🙂 ) The few clients who came were not what I would call the target audience of Retro sewing, in contrast, most knew the sewing machine or the dresses in the book from their own childhood or youth (one middle ages woman was gleaming with joy when spotting Farrah Fawcett in the book. Not because she liked the dress, but “Charlies Angels”) and had no interest in buying such a book.

Second, I chose the wrong approach. Promoting a book that is all about how cool, modern and timeless vintage and retro sewing is, well, you can’t properly do this when sewing in full 30ies attire, looking as if you stepped right out of a time capsule. The group of people interested in the latter one is even smaller than the few people interested in retro sewing. So a more Gertie-like approach with a stunning bombshell dress or a cool modern looking 60ies style would have been more convincing.

On the far right you see the book I sewed from.
On the far right you see the book I sewed from.

Which leads me to this night’s project. Because I was a little scared this would all end up in a catastrophe I chose a really simple design from the book without too many tricky details to pay attention to (well, I had hoped to chat a lot more with clients than I had the chance. Did I mention I did not sell a single book?).

Lets talk about the book for a second (I bought this copy already when it was published in German some time ago, this review isn’t sponsored by anybody. I just think when talking about a pattern in it, I can as well give you a short summary and my opinion on the book itself). The book Famous frocks, in German Stilikonen, presents ten women of the 20th century which are connected to a special and distinct style of dress and became iconic for the fashion of their time (the Link to the German version allows you to have a look inside, just klick the “Im Buch blättern” button left of the cover). It starts in the 1930ies with Bette Davis (now you know why I bought it 😉 ), the 40ies are represented by Rita Hayworth. Marilyn Monroe’s iconic 7-year-itch dress is included as well as Audrey Hepburns little black one from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Jackie Kennedy and Twiggy complete this 50ies/60ies group. The younger dresses are inspired by Diana Ross, Farrah Fawcett and Stevie Nicks (the only pattern I had realized from the book until now, you saw it in my Sicily-Post). The last and most recent one is Madonna’s corsage-and-petticoat-style. Each woman is accompanied by one dress pattern, that was inspired by her style. So you won’t find an exact reproduction of an Audrey-Dress in this book, rather the authors took what they considered the distinct features and lines of a style and translated it into a pattern. This makes a total of 10 different patterns, all of them come in a closer-to-the-original-version and a more modern variation.

The only photos in this book show the icons that inspired the patterns, the patterns themselves are only shown in drawings, a technical and a fashion illustration for each version.

All patterns are included in their original size, but because the sheets are printed from both sides, you have to copy the cut pieces. Sizes go from XS (79cm-62cm-88cm) to L (94cm-77cm-103cm) (so really not a wide range, in my opinion, you will see later that XS is already too small for me).
The instructions are very detailed with many drawings, so even beginners could cope with the simpler ones, as long as they know the basic sewing vocabulary.

To conclude: patterns are easy to work with, good instructions, nice layout. Unfortunately size range is very limited and the dresses are only inspired by historical patterns, some stay pretty close but some don’t (don’t expect to sew a 30ies gown with this book, what you get is a knee-length bias-cut dress, for example). The patterns are modern, not based on historical ones, at least that is my impression and I didn’t find a hint that they used actual contemporary patterns for this book.

So much about the book. The pattern I chose was the, who would have guessed after the title 😉 , Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The classic variant comes with a very high and stiff neckline I don’t like that much, so I chose to sew the modern version with a slightly lower neckline and pockets. Pockets not because I needed them (well, I do need pockets, but I try to avoid dresses with them because I tend to bury my hands in them and stand quite crooked), but because I feared to finish early without them.

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As already mentioned, I chose to cut size XS, stupidly enough looking only at the waist- but not at the bust-circumference. Because I had no chance to try it on in the shop I only realized it was too small when I had inserted the zipper the next day and wore it for the first time.

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Fortunately, the pattern included 1.6cm seam allowance, so I shifted the side seams of the bodice as far as I could, approximately 1cm. These additional 4cm were what it took to fit, thankfully. It still fits quite snug, you see the pockets are slightly gaping, but it is ok, considering that I already had given up hope because it seemed to be so very much too small.

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I don’t like  the fit in the back, but I don’t quite know how to get rid of these wrinkles. I tried to pin in different ways (normally I would remove some fabric from the waist seam in such a case), but still more wrinkles show each time. Now I will leave it like that, it is not that bad when standing upright, at least I’am trying to convince myself about this.

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As a fabric I chose a lavender-coloured cotton (or viscose, I am not sure) from my stash. Facings and pockets I made from a gingham of the same colour, printed with little flowers. A leftover I had bought years ago, I used it to make headbands from it and sold them via Internet. It wasn’t that successful, so I quit and went back to work as a shop assistant to finance my studies^^

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The matching bias binding was an old unfolded one that had lurked in my stash for a very long time, I must have bought it once with a sewing basket or something similar. It was quite narrow and, as I said, unfolded and I always considered it being too narrow to work with it properly. But then I saw the bias binding foot in The Sewing Machine Attachment Book, asking for 24mm wide, unfolded bias binding. That was exactly the size I had. It worked really well, only the very sharp curves around the armholes caused some difficulties.
But this explains a lot: When sewing machines do not come with these feet anymore, no-one will buy unfolded, 24mm-width bias binding in consequence. Or, vice versa, if you can only buy pre-folded bias binding, why should a machine include a bias binding foot? I don’t know what happened, I only know that such a foot is not to be found with modern machines anymore and that unfolded bias binding has become quite rare, I assume a connection 🙂

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Rhinestone-Pendant: a gift – shoes: antique/Amuse Brocante, Berne – fragrance: 4711 Acqua Colonia Lavender & Thyme

The upper bust darts end a little too high, maybe this was meant to be a really historic pattern after all and I should have worn it with period appropriate undergarments? Or maybe they just don’t fit my bust and I should adjust them ;-).

See you soon, love

ette