Tag Archives: vintage

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!


A Post By Any Other Name

22 Feb

Do you remember this dress that I posted about a looooong time ago?

Well, when I made the dress I also started making a matching jacket to go with it but of course that didn’t get done.  The poor thing sat the ‘I’ll do it later’ basket in my sewing room growing more and more morose.  Occasionally I would spare it a few words of encouragement such as “oh right this, I should finish this”, but generally it was a pretty depressing time to be a half finished jacket.

Basically the idea was to turn my sleeveless dress into a not-so-sleeveless dress for occasions of incliment weather.  I used some white vintage rick rack with gold threads in it for the sleeves and neck which was almost as fun as saying ‘rick rack’ but not quite.

Extra karma points to anyone who spots my neon chartreuse panda print PJ pants sticking out the bottom of my skirt but doesn’t comment.

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/

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.