Friday, September 28, 2018

White and Black Gingham (Check) Dress and Hat and Video

Today I finished my black and white gingham dress which I've been talking about, and made a matching hat. It took me several weeks to make this, since I had to do it in increments instead of the usual marathon sewing I've done in the past. I decided I needed to live a sensible life and keep my house well organized and clean, so I was only able to do a few stitches every day on this. That is why it took me so long to show it here.
The hat is made with another  pattern, and has iron-on craft weight (heavy) interfacing for stiffness.  The pattern called for bendable wire to be inserted in the brim but I found the interfacing worked sufficiently and I did not want to fuss too much, as the hat was just a fun thing to go with the dress for the pictures.

The pattern is McCalls 8183 published in 1996.   I used sleeves from another pattern, since I like big roomy sleeves, below the elbow. Notice the tie at the waist is wide at the side and gradually tapers to a narrow tip at the end of the sash. You might be able to zoom in on the pattern picture and see.  There is a better picture of this on an Etsy site here.

Halfway through the project I had to get a new sewing machine. The other one had tried my patience too long and it had to go, since I was not interested in stopping every 5 minutes to repair it and spend another hour or two un-picking the terrible stitching job.  It is amazing how fast I finished the dress with the new sewing machine. I was so used to babying the old sewing machine and correcting all the mistakes that I had not noticed how much time it was taking to sew.

 The best sewing machine is a new one.  Mr. S. got this new one for $75.00.  I just didn't want to spend a lot of time looking for the perfect machine, so I settled for one that worked!  Some day I will study more on it and get a better model. This one works just fine and I'm very happy with it.

In this photo I am wearing the stretchy gingham headband from Dollar Tree that just matched the dress. But as you can see from my expression,  this selfie thing feels really ridiculous.

 I'm not happy with the tie in the front, and if I had to do it again I would make the ties only one layer  (the pattern called for doubling each tie strand) and a lot longer.

I must tell you the dress style would be best made up in rayon or some very lightweight, fluid like fabric that moves easily.  Even with this thin gingham, the dress does not have much "give" to it and so the next time I sew this pattern I will try some of the other suggested fabrics from the back of the envelope.

I do like the matching shoes.

In this one I am thinking, "Hmm. Not so sure about all this picture stuff."
Here the dress is tied in the back. I like it better that way, but the picture on the pattern envelope looked so good!  Things don't always turn out the way it is pictured on the envelope.

The dress and hat have large size rick rack trim.

The hat is reversible but I really like wearing the matching side underneath, as you will see in the video.

This is the hat pattern:

In my early days of sewing there were patterns for what we called "frocks" that were so simple they could be sewn in a matter of hours. The sleeves were already on the pattern piece. Some of these patterns were described as "one hour" or "two hours" and many of us as teenagers had the time and freedom to do just that. Because these dresses were so plain, we used colored rick-rack to embellish the hems and sleeves, the necklines or the front of the dress.  Rick-rack was about the only fancy trim we knew about, and I still enjoy using it, especially with gingham.
This is a sketch of those plain, two-pattern-piece dresses, including a drawing of the way it was placed on the fabric.

They were so easy to sew, we got in the habit of sewing untill the garment was finished, so we could wear it the next day.

Here is a video explaining some things about the dress, hat, and things of interest to those who sew, or who just want to see how much I aged  since the last video was so long ago ;-) By the time I got ready to make a video the light was nearly gone and that is why my eyes look so blurry and dark. I am still recording from an old laptop, and not a phone, so the quality is not as I would like it.

I do not usually wear black, but I enjoy wearing this outfit.

Thank you to the two dear sweet ladies who sent me contributions I hope to have more to show you soon, and perhaps do an instructional video. I haven't sat still long enough to learn how to do that yet.

Expenses for this outfit:

Hat interfacing: heavy craft iron-on - 1/2 yard  approximately $2.00 (left over from other projects)
Rick-rack trim: 1 package $2.00. I used half the package.
Black check gingham cotton fabric: 4 yards - $28.00
22 inch zipper - $2.50
Thread: $2.00
Shoes: $1.00 (end of season, soft cloth shoe sale)

Total cost: $37.50

This was twice as much as I usually spend to sew an outfit but I wanted the cotton gingham, which is now very hard to find in stores. I was happy to get it and it was high quality, so much that it was very easy to sew. I am hoping to buy higher quality fabric in hopes the sewing machine will work a lot better.


Feminine Belle said...

I was just thinking of you today!! My notification went off tonight and you look lovely in your new outfit. :o)

Enjoyed the sewing story. Maybe talk more about your sewing projects on YouTube?

So true about having something made makes one feel wonderful, especially when we wear our new product out and someone is kind enough to leave us with a warm compliment that stays with us.

Raw or awkward with the video? Nah, you were fine. Being yourself is the best as your thoughts come through clear and complete.

FYI: finished my purse and shoe clips tonight! Shawl is the only thing left!

Christine said...

Love the video! I feel like we are sitting down for tea and a chat.

I just got back my sewing machine. I was having trouble, too. I would have to stop and repair it... frustrating.
I’m making Christmas presents and needed to get it fixed.

Seeing Hint: After every seam, iron it open. I found thus yo be so helpful.

Unknown said...

Your new dress is just dandy....I love the sleeves too. And those old patterns of one piece I remember vividly...I used to sew them too and recently thought of making my own pattern like yours that you showed us. I love too the idea of hanging the cut out pieces on a hanger...great idea, Lydia. Sewing just one step a day is also a great that I will also try. I had given up on sewing due to the pressure of time it takes...but realizing other people have 'relaxing' techniques, I will utilize those and maybe enjoy sewing again! Thanks for all you do for us are an inspiring helper..~! I am so glad you were able to get a new sewing machine. too!

Amelia said...

I sew on the same Brothers machine. I just love them! I just wanted to offer a hopefully helpful tip for those on a budget or just frugal...You can order this machine refurbished from and it will be free shipping right to your door. I sew on the refurbished models and they arrive sealed and like new.

I like the cute black and white gingham and sewing pattern as well! Cute!


Lydia said...

Thanks for the lovely tip! I'm going to order one for my granddaughter. It sews like a dream and you don't have to keep threading it and correcting the tension. I'm so happy. Also it was so simple to thread and operate that all I needed to read was the one page diagram included. There is a video with it too but I have no time to watch it yet. I've had machines before that are so complicated and time consuming to set up and get familiar with. But with this machine I easily took up sewing where I left off.

Lydia said...

...and I like Brother brand sewing machines also. The last two Singers made me cry.

mgh said...

Agree the videos are great!

Adelaide said...

I love the black gingham, and the feminine form of the dress. Black gingham makes me think of Paris in the springtime...The tip of breaking sewing projects into small steps along with the regular housework is a wonderful idea. Also, how to find which patterns those misplaced pieces belong to using the internet. Someday I would love to get back to sewing, and in this small step fashion - to learn to enjoy the process that way, without a deadline in my mind, instead of feeling rushed and impatient and stressed. I will need a new sewing machine at that time, too. I would never have considered a Brother before. Thank you!

Lydia said...

It just glides like an airplane; that sewing machine is great. And it is good to see new sewing machines down to $75.00 instead of the unearthly prices we have paid over the years. Now if I were to get a really good machine, I would buy a Genome, from Georgia (I think) because I used one before and the lady who owned it said they are indestructible. But I do like the inexpensive ones for taking in the car when on a trip and for heavy use. The other machine I considered was one at the fabric store called Heavy Duty but it was a Singer and the last two Singers I owned had so many problems I ended up in tears and tears. Those two words should not be spelled the same. Someone should change that in my lifetime, what little there is left. Somewhere there are some cute emoticons for that expression: singer, microphone, tears, etc.

Nadege said...

I teally enjoyed the video - thank you. You are so very talented. The gingham check dress is just beautiful.

amulbunny's random thoughts said...

Looks lovely. Glad you got a new sewing machine, that makes things so much easier. My mom had to finally replace her age old Singer with a newer model, the bobbin wouldn't turn and stitches were awful.

Happy Fall!

Evelyn Edgett said...

Quite lovely.

Dawn said...

You look so lovely in your new outfit. You should have Mr. Sherman take a photo of you under the arbor, holding a basket of flowers. It would look like one of the romantic paintings you post here.

I very much enjoyed your video and thank you for the sewing tips.

Amy B said...

The dress came out lovely! You are very talented at sewing. It is also good to have a video from you again. I think putting a bit of sewing time into the schedule is a brilliant idea. Thank you for sharing.

Lydia said...

We are going to have to get a regular digital camera with a chip, in order for Mr. S. to take pictures. He finds the phone cameras too sensitive to get a good picture. They move so easily without a tripod or some kind of stand. It is too time consuming to set that all up and having to stop him as he walks past , to ask for a picture, is inconvenient, as he usually has his hands full of books and papers, or is cutting down a tree, digging in the garden or something to do with dirt, so I gave up having him take pictures. I might try today, when am am dressed for worship, to get him to take an arbor picture.

Lydia said...

Ann, I usually go the second and third mile with sewing machines, sending them to the repair shop every year, but eventually they will not work. The new ones really sew well, and this $75 one is very simple, apparently without computerized things on it.The computerized machines are hard to fix by yourself, and cannot be taken apart and cleaned, like the older models. However, I like a machine that works when I need it to work. I would suggest having two machines, just like two cars: once in awhile one of them will work. Another advantage to having two machines is if you want keep one of them with colored thread and one with white thread,and one on a zigzag stitch or buttonhole stitch. But that would be workable if you had two places to put the machines. I use one machine but I can see how two of this particular model would be good, as one machine would get a rest from heavy sewing.

Roxanne said...

Oh, that looks great. I'll have to try a Brother machine. I threw my Singer away. Brand new piece of junk.

Lydia said...

the last singer I had made me cry

Jeanie said...

I really enjoyed your video. It gave me much needed inspiration to get out my sewing and get started again. Fall and Winter are great times to sew quilts and garments. You speak of singers ...I got my mothers after her passing and had lots of problems. and it stopped my sewing for about 10 years ( had no teachers and to scared to self teach) until I wanted to learn to quilt after a nursing back injury rendered me disabled. I wanted something to do with my hands so i set out to learn to quilt. My husband bought me a computerized sew/embroidery machine and it is wonderful until i went to class and had lots of bobbin problems. A lady sitting across from me had a tiny black machine that looked vintage and she said it was a singer featherweight 221. She let me sew with it and i got one for Christmas that year 7 years ago and now she travels with me to all quilt classes and I do my piecing with her as well. She sews like a dream and very few problems. If you get a chance try one. I love her Seraphina. My computerized machine? A brother and they bobbin troubles were operator not machine lol :) Sew with both all the time.

Tricia said...

Lydia, your gingham dress is lovely! I have my grandmother’s computerized Husquvarna Viking.
I also have 2 sergers from her and NO idea how to use them! Maybe some day!

Unknown said...

Quite lovely Lydia! And I must say this inspires me to sew. Im looking forward to sewing some pretty spring things