The Same but Different

Earlier, I blogged about going to OMSI to see the traveling exhibition on mummies, and what I wore, as some mentioned in the comments, was reminiscent of Evy Carnahan from the 1999 film The Mummy, and subsequent sequel, The Mummy Returns (2001).  The truth of the matter is, she is one of my fashion icons (I don’t often mention it, because outside of my close group of friends, The Mummy films are a bit of a joke).  Then my friend Anna, of Anna in Technicolor, invited me to her 1920s themed housewarming party. Since my 1920s wardrobe is practically non-existent beyond what I wore to OMSI and Gatsby, I felt a need to make something.  So, to expand upon my Evy inspired wardrobe, I chose to re-create the outfit from when we first meet Evy in The Mummy (which takes place in 1923) when she finds herself in a rather terrible predicament in the library inside Cairo’s Museum of Antiquities…

My version is not exact, but it wasn’t important for me to be exact, since she was a bit more of inspiration for everyday wear rather than a serious cosplay recreation.

Blouse: Made by me, Simplicity 4356, slightly altered.
Skirt: Made by me, McCall 7153
Scarf: Made by me, pattern created by me as well
Earrings & Purse: Antique Alley, Portland, Oregon
Brooch: Coburg Antique Fair, Coburg, Oregon
Belt: Buckle from Brownsville Antique Fair, Brownsville, Oregon, belt replaced using ribbon from Fabric Depot
Bracelet & Stockings: Don’t remember
Shoes: Miz Mooz, Johnny Sole, Portland, Oregon

Read on for party pictures!

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Sombreros Again

Awhile ago I blogged about a blouse I made with a sombrero print, and mentioned that the fabric had come in other color schemes, and bought another scheme for a dress. Well, boy am I glad I bought the fabric when I did, because now all of the fabric is gone! Not cool, I know. But here is what I made…

This dress really stressed how much of a novice seamstress I still am.  Some of you are aware of my difficulty with/fear of side zippers, and this pattern originally called for a side zipper (or slide fastener as they were called back then) so I changed the pattern slightly to accommodate a back zipper.  Additionally, I decided to added to the bodice length, since I have a lower than average waist, and more often than not end up with garments both from patterns and ready-made with waists above mine.  I held up the pattern piece to my body, and thought an inch would do it.  But an inch turned out to be just a little too much for this pattern.  This was also the first dress I made that featured pockets, and the instructions had me quite perplexed.  Eventually I figured it out…whether or not it was the right way or not, I don’t know.  But the point is, they are in there!

Up next on the sewing table is an outfit I’m making for a friend’s 20s themed housewarming party.  I’m making what is really a costume from a film, because it is an outfit I’ve been dying to own since I saw it way back in 1999, I figured it’s a good time to make it!  It may appear pretty similar to something you all have already recently seen, but whatever! That’s okay!  The party is this Saturday so I better get back to sewing! After this project, I’ll be taking a bit of a sewing break and refocus my energy on my much neglected Etsy shop.

Dress: Made by me, using Simplicity 2074 from my grandmother’s collection.
Copper Earrings and Bracelet: Brownsville Antique Fair, Brownsville, Oregon
Copper Belt: Buffalo Exchange, Portland, Oregon
Shoes: Wanderlust, Portland, Oregon

Sun and Sombreros

When I was at Fabric Depot buying fabric for my hearse dress, I stumbled upon some pretty gosh darn marvelous fabric that I couldn’t help buying as well.  The print came in three different color schemes and I selected two, one to make a dress, and the other to make this blouse…

Patrick found these buttons and I quickly approved of them.  I thought they were perfect because they reminded me a bit of a Mayan pyramid.  Normally I don’t go for anything Mayan in flair (or Inca or Aztec for that matter), but I felt it worked well with the print as well as the color scheme.

It’s my first blouse, and I ran into a few problems, and while I’m not 100% happy with the construction, I still adore it.  I’m in need of blouses and hope to conquer more blouse patterns in the future.  But next on the sewing table is the dress using the other color scheme of this print.

I also purchased my first pair of Minnetonka moccasins!  I had been avoiding them, since the hipsters really love ’em, but I was in desperate need of a comfortable, casual shoe that worked with my western and Mexican themed wardrobe. I adore them and am thinking I need a pair in every color.

Blouse: Made by me! Simplicity 4356 (slightly and unintentionally altered)
Silver Palm Tree Brooch: Living Threads Vintage, Portland, Oregon
Earrings: Antique Alley, Portland, Oregon
Western Themed Charm Bracelet: Gift from my dad, always being added too.
Jeans: Freddies of Pinewood
Belt: Thrifted by my dad!
Moccasins: Thunderbird by Minnetonka, by way of the Portland Outdoor Store

“Cross Yourself in Front of the Hearse”

A few years ago, when I first started sewing, my mother and I went to Fabric Depot so she could buy me some fabric and notions to get me started.  I came across some fantastic fabric printed with little hearses on it. “Oh! I want to make a dress out of this!” I squeed clutching the bolt.  My mother gave me a look, “Really, a whole dress? How about just an apron?” I sighed, and agreed.  And I made this wonderful apron.  The years went on, and I moved on to other projects, but when my dad bought a hearse a few months back, I finally felt justified in making a hearse dress.  Multiple pattern designs in hand, I trekked out to Fabric Depot, giddy with excitement over making such a ridiculous dress.  I skipped over to the Halloween section to discover the fabric was gone. And I mean gone. Not just that it was in someone’s cart, or at the cutting counter, or out of stock, but gone. Out of print.  I was devastated.  After throwing a tantrum a five year old would be proud of, I slouched back home where I designed this…what I am calling “The Julie Grave”

Taking inspiration from my apron, I selected the design of a coffin falling out of the back of a hearse, and figured a slim cut wrap dress would be the best option for getting such humor across, and selected Simplicity 1685, from 1956.  The pattern offers a short sleeve or three-quarter length sleeve option, but I felt that a sleeveless dress was more vampy.  The hearse and coffin are giant appliques I designed and sewed together.  The wheels, door handle, scroll emblem and RIP are embroidered in metallic thread, while the bounce dots are embroidered in plain black thread.

When it came to buttons I couldn’t get the idea of coffin shaped buttons out of my head.  I checked Fabric Depot when I bought the fabric, also visited the Button and Ribbon Emporium, and searched the internet and I could not find any! Seriously? Skulls, black cats, spiderwebs, bats, pumpkins and ghosts, but no coffins.  I would have settled for headstones, yet the only headstone buttons I could find were too tacky.  As I was nearing defeat, Patrick had a brilliant idea to have the buttons 3D printed!  Ooohh…Technology! Patrick then thought it would be nifty to off-set the button’s holes just enough so when sewn on it would appear that they have a cross on them!  He designed them in a 3D modeling program, then uploaded his design to Shapeways who printed and shipped them.

I’m still no brilliant seamstress by any means, and this dress tried my patience and sanity quite a bit, especially with the neckline.  And while I can find a lot wrong with the dress,  (I still haven’t reached the capability to make a muslin or cotton mock-up first.  I hardly have the patience to make the dress in the first place! Let alone two!)  I’m still very happy with it.  Also I know I’m making progress as a seamstress because instead of thinking “THANK GOD that’s over! I don’t want to see my sewing machine for five months!” I’m actually really excited to start my next project!

Springtime Tea

To make a very long story short, a huge array of plans went south over the weekend, including my birthday plans. Complications with headaches and last minute necessary events happened and ultimately Patrick rescheduled my birthday celebrations.  But the one thing that did go very well was a small tea hosted by Solanah of Vixen Vintage.  She baked a few of us gals delicious treats and brewed tea as we enjoyed a peaceful afternoon of chatting and kitties.  The afternoon was so much of a delight, I forgot to take pictures of the afternoon, except my outfit!

A few days prior to the tea I picked up these fabulous Lucite handles at Antique Alley and promptly went home, pulled out some barkcloth I had also purchased at the Alley ages ago, and whipped together a purse!  And I couldn’t resist bringing it to the tea, so I revolved this whole outfit around it.

What I love so much about the fabric is that it allows me to incorporate brown (a color I have a lot of) as a spring color, which I did with this glorious 40s jacket.

Earrings: Expo
Jacket: Puttin’ On The Ritz (which sadly suffered from a fire and closed-their salvageable inventory went to FabGabs)
Sweater & Gloves: Don’t recall
Deer Brooch: Thrifted
Purse: Made by me! Which items found at Antique Alley
Skirt: Coburg Antique Fair
Stockings: Retro Seams – Coffee, What Katie Did
Shoes: Aerosoles by way of Buffalo Exchange

Costume Construction

So, it may be August, but I’m already thinking about Halloween (to be fair, Fabric Depot already has a display full of costume patterns out).  I had tossed about many ideas, but many required sewing skills I do not yet have (and don’t wish to tackle yet) and/or would be quite costly.  And then I found myself having quite the nervous breakdown on what I was to be.  This year, I feel that I have somewhat settled, although it will still be quite the undertaking (and it is still from a film I adore).  This year’s costume requires embroidery. And lots of it.  So, it’s a good thing I’m starting now.



I tend to sew while watching television, mainly movies…it helps me keep track of how long making a costume makes.  So as you can see, I’ve watched The Librarian (all three in fact, and, yes, I do like them, as bad as they are) and all three original Star Wars films.

Many people, especially those who follow me on Instagram, have been asking what I am going as this year, but even though I consider it a fairly common costume, I’m kind of keeping it under wraps.  I tend to do that, unless it’s an obscure costume like last year’s showgirl mouse from The Great Mouse Detective, in that case, I shared my idea early.

Have you given any consideration to Halloween yet?

Titanic – 100 Years Later

Unless you live under a rock, you’re aware that today marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.  I’ve been interested in the Titanic prior to the 1997 film, and it is this interest that spurred my desire to attend Solanah’s tea commemorating the sinking.  Earlier I blogged about the dress I was making for the event.  Well, I can now proudly present it!

Dressed to the nines, we all met at the Grant House along Officer’s Row in Fort Vancouver area for a lovely sit-down tea and gossip of course.  We had the whole house and grounds to ourselves and we were able to explore, and, of course, take pictures…

I hitched a ride with Rhiannon, of Garb-Oh Vintage, who dressed up as an Edwardian child in this adorable sailor inspired outfit.

Julie of Fab Gabs attended in an amazing dress she actually picked up from Rhiannon!

The lovely Margorie of Reviving Vintage, who I met at Expo, also attended with her friend who is into the regency scene.  There is an event planned for June at the Pittock Mansion that Solanah and I may get together and sew some outfits for the event.

After the tea we had a lovely stroll around Officer’s Row, enjoying the sun.  I had such a wonderful time, and was so pleased to meet other like-minded people, and of course play dress up.  It isn’t often we get to dress in fashions pre-1920…