Tag Archives: prints

Two Christmas Dresses (with proper pictures)

6 Jan

A Sewing Machine and an Umbrella is proud to present… much better photos that should have been in that last post.

This was my first attempt at Victory rolls, and I have to say they are much more difficult than I had hoped.  I am not really a ‘hair’ person.  I usually spend my time putting together an outfit and then stick my hair on top of my head and swipe on some mascara.  I really love this hair style though, and I hope to one day be competent at it.  I spent a bunch of time looking at internet tutorials, the best of which, in my opinion is by Fleur over at Diary of a Vintage Girl.  Does anyone do this on a regular basis? Any tips?

vintage inspired look

vintage inspired cotton dress


Fleece lined Pockets!

Fleece lined Pockets!


I used some brown and white fleece to make the pocket bags and do the binding on the inside.  I think warm fuzzy pockets are a very important feature in a dress that is going to be worn in December in Vancouver.  Not that is gets that cold here, more so depressing.  I think that is the best way to describe winter in Vancouver two degrees with a chance of depressing.  Fuzzy pockets help.

vintage chtistmas dress

IMG_4922Stupid tag sticking out the back! That particular tag is the most persistent little bugger.

IMG_4931The fabric close up.  The colour is truer in the other pictures, it came out a little more red here for reason that only the camera gods can understand.

So that’s Christmas dresses.  Now onto spring!


Scarlett O’Hara or Woman on the Verge

5 Sep

I, like most people*,  spend a lot of time trying to discern if I have in fact lost my marbles or if there is any chance that this is how a human being might actually behave.   I wonder if I am pawning behavior off on an ‘artistic temperament’ that is actually nothing more than stone cold crazy.  If I am indeed crazy should I do anything about it?  Medication? Vacation? Years of therapy? I don’t believe that I can afford any of those.  What I can afford is Ikea fabric that was left over from my new curtains.  Can I pawn crazy off on poverty?  Probably not.

Crazy or no.  Here is my new skirt.  It is very bright green.  It has massive flowers/ cabbages/ pod people on it.  It has a dwindling number of Geisha buttons (stupid crowded bus).  It is kind of crazy.  But it is also awesome. I’m not going to be one of those people who seems normal but then screams at you in a hasty mart at 3am for taking too long to pay for cheezies.  Nope, I am going to wear my crazy on the outside.  With pride.

green ikea fabric half circle circle

Not the best picture, but waiting for photographic perfection was not turning out a whole lot of blog posts.

closeup of green skirt with geisha buttons

I am extraordinarily fond of these buttons.  I hope the one that got lost on the bus was picked up by a curious child or a magpie-like old lady and not merely vacuumed.

curtains made from green Ikea fabric

Here are the curtains.  The first and last pair I will ever sew.  And yes, I do own a gumball machine.  I gave it to the boyfriend for Christmas one year.  I believe he would have been happy with a sweater but I felt like a gumball machine was the more practical choice.

(* No? Really? Darn.)

Water Lillies

1 Dec

I finally finished this dress!  I say finally not because I was strapped for time, or it was that labour intensive (which it was a little), but because I went to the fabric store three times before I remembered to buy black serger thread, which is, of course, what I went there for in the first place.  All three times.  Seriously am I getting senile?  I hear older people talking about  how they went upstairs to get something and then forgot what they went up to get and I’m like ‘oh don’t worry I do that all the time’.

I made this one out of an a sarong someone gave me a long time ago.  I like the idea that the fabric has been to warm and sunny places.  I think that’s the reason I like vintage so much, I love to imagine all the places that a garment has been and all the things it has seen.  This one is a little big in the bust for me so I am releasing it Etsy in the hopes that some more well endowed gal will take it home and love it.  This will be the first dress I post on Etsy, and if someone buys it the first dress I sell as a graduated fashion designer.  Exciting!

Also check out this post and many more over at http://www.sewcountrychick.com/

Bangers anyone? Mash?

27 Nov

Yesterday I found myself unable to resist the gravitational pull of the fabric store and ended up purchasing this.

When am I going to learn to walk six or seven blocks out of my way in the pouring rain so as not to go anywhere near purchasable fabric?  Must work on that.  I am also not sure when I became such an anglophile.  I lived in London for what, a summer?  Although I have been obsessed with the phone booths since I was a small child.  I just don’t see why ordinary things can’t also be aesthetically  pleasing.  Life would be so much more fun if people put the kind of design into things that they used to (ok grandma moment) but lets take a moment and talk about cash registers.

Look how pretty!  How much fun would it be to work with one of these?  But I am wandering off the point.  I want to make this dress with a back cut out that will close with two buttons and the top.  So clearly I need to stay on theme, thus begins my perilous and unending search for union jack buttons that I can afford.  Etsy turned up these from seller titchables

These are so awesome, but not affordable if you are me and make as close as one can get to no money without actually being a houseplant.

Ebay had these tidbits of gloriousness, but once you add shipping from Great Britain, again too many monies.  Perhaps I shall retreat to that old standby of the cash strapped and try to make some myself.  Maybe get white buttons and paint them?  Do something tricksy with ribbons? Give up altogether because if I don’t I will not wear this dress until the next ice age and it will not be weather appropriate?  So much to ponder.

The Night Has a Thousand Eyes

26 Nov

Apologies to anyone who now has that song stuck in their head, but it is a necessary evil as I have finished the crazy halloween eye fabric dress.

I wanted to make a very demure LBD with this because of the fact that it’s, y’know, crazy halloween eye fabric.  I also plan to wear it with pearls.

There is a kind of weird glare coming from stage right, a ghost perhaps?.   But there she is.  And I am totally done making this pattern, I am moving on.  Ok I have one more dress cut out (purple with huge yellow flowers) but then I am definitely going to draft something else. I did have a better picture of the belt but WordPress is being tricksy tonight (I blame the ghost), so I give up.  The belt was super fun to make although I might re-do the bow so I can get a large eye centered on each side so my bow can stare down with malice anyone I find annoying.  Watch out world, I’ve got me a blog ghost and a lurking bow.  If only I had some sort of foe to defeat.  Must spend more time as a character in juvenile fiction.  ‘Tassie Vicars and the Bow of Malice’?  I could be a kickass pre-teen outcast who has to do battle with some evil spirits she encounters while cleaning her grandmother’s potting shed.  I could wear different dresses that have magical powers like the one with eyes could see into the future and the one with roosters could scare off basilisks.  On second thought perhaps I’d better stick to my day job.

Rose Coloured Contacts

16 Nov

I bought this fabric in NY for TWO DOLLARS A YARD!  And I know I am systematically opposed to type shouting, but this was six months ago and I am still so happy about it.  Naturally I bought a ton of it, and naturally I felt bad about how heavy it was when I had to ship it back to Vancouver, and naturally the resulting dress has a very  large skirt.  Lets face it, I am well aware that my love of circle skirts is the only thing between me and all out hipsterdom and I am going to cling to that fact like a fat guy clinging to the last bag of Cheetos.

I may still make a belt for it.  I am a sucker for a good belt and for some reason none of the fifty-something I already own seem to work.  Ah first-world problems.  I think this will be my new ‘happy’ dress.  You know that one thing you own that makes you forget all your problems and go twirling around a dirty subway station like it’s a meadow in the Alps?

Disclaimer: Absolutely no offense was meant to any fat guys or their Cheetos, I have myself at times been known to cling to snack foods with an unholy vice-like grip.  It was just a convenient simile.