Monday, March 28, 2016

Retro Montreal Museum Visits

Hey all! I've been doing a spot of spring cleaning, digital and otherwise, and have just discovered a stash of great photos that I took last August in Montreal, thinking of all my sewing friends -- but then forgot to share here. Let me remedy that! Please join me for a retroactive tour of the Museum of Costumes & Textiles of Montreal.

On my summer getaway, I made sure to schedule in a trip to this small museum in the basement level of the Marche Bonsecours, conveniently right in Old Montreal. It really is small, and only takes a short visit to see everything - which is great when you're holidaying and trying to fit everything in! The exhibits are always changing, and it's so worth a stop if you're in Montreal.

Anyhow, when I was there, the exhibit was "Leitmotifs", about pattern. You've got to click over to see the image of the "tie chandelier" at the begining;  I didn't get a picture of it myself, but it was visually stunning.  I really enjoyed it - the writeups for some of the pieces were informative and quite fascinating too.

Without further ado, here are some of the dresses I just had to record for posterity.

Just so pretty

Front of a modern-looking dress
And the back - this shows the more 50s details
I finally saw a real live DVF wrap dress!

Pretty in pink...well, more coral-ish

Love the sleeve ruching & look at that bust dart
Great use of the stripe in this full skirt

This sleeve detail was interesting - gathered drape at the underarm!

Cute ruffle!

And interesting story behind this polka dotted dress

Like the use of lace and gingham, but hard to photograph

Lovely 40s silhouette & fabric

Fantastic shirtdress

A closer look

And look -- novelty fabrics were a hit then, too!

One of my favourites - so elegant
All those self-fabric belts. And this charming fabric
I love this 'cape' effect. Couldn't get close enough to figure out how it was done

Thought this funky 60s tunic & pant was great!

I hope you've enjoyed the tour -- be sure to visit this cute little museum yourself if you're in Montreal. The Marche Bonsecours is also a centre for Quebec designers so you may see some of their new fashions in the boutiques there too.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

A Simply Luxe Sweatshirt with Simplicity 1317

This was a simple, scrap busting project. I had some sale table remnants -- a grey velour & a black quilted piece that I'd bought with another project in mind entirely. So I decided to combine them in a quick sweatshirt; not my usual style but I thought it might be fun. And Simplicity 1317 was staring at me from my pattern overflow basket on the top of my work shelves.

Simplicity Misses' Pullover Knit Top 1317

Because I was using bits, I didn't have quite enough black to cut full sleeves. So I cut them as long as possible - to just below the elbow - and added on wide cuffs. I like the length it gives. It's probably where I would have scrunched up the sleeves to anyhow.

This was supposed to be a quick & easy project, however, I gave myself more work than necessary by adding in too much ease around the hips. I thought it would be too form fitting so added in way too much extra, and by the way, that just looks worse than having something fit. I had to unpick the bottom band and resize the shirt, then stitch the band back on. I love the final result. If I'd just stuck with my plan to cut Med. at the neckline/bust and taper to Large -- no more! -- at hips it would have been fine.

However, as I hate fixing things, even immediately after I've sewn them and realized my mistake, the original oversize monstrosity sat on the back of a chair for 3 weeks before I spent the half hour required to fix it. Sigh. Mending is my Waterloo. Anyhow, without the mistake of adding in a way too generous amount of ease, this was a straightforward make. Clear instructions, and now that I know my basic fitting issue with raglan sleeves, I had no problem getting this to sit nicely. My right shoulder is shallower so I take out 1/2 inch at the raglan seam from the neck, tapering to nothing by the armpit area, only in the front. It works like a charm.


This was an unusual choice for me, and I enjoyed trying it out. It's influenced a new project, which I'm also making out of a quilted polyknit, though a much brighter one. Hope to have that done soon. And then on to some summer dresses!

I haven't been sewing or posting as much as usual, though, as I'm working on a new stitching project that I am hoping to share here in the next few weeks. I've been spending a lot of time on it, even dreaming about stitches and colours lately! It's been really satisfying, and I look forward to sharing it.