Blogging · Personal

Hanging in there


Just a quick note, readers, to let you know that I am, indeed, alive. Life has just been super-busy since the ball, and now, all of the sudden, I have so many sewing deadlines looming (like the Sew for Victory challenge, then the Mad Men challenge. Oh, and the application for Project Runway just came out and I’ve decided to apply for that, as well, cuz I’m a masochist. So, samples need to be made, and off course, in true PR style, they give you like no time to complete the 25-page application) in addition to catching what seems like the plague (the photo above is what I look like blogging right now, lol). Anyways, I hope to have some finished items to show you all this week. For now, I hope you all have had a nice weekend! Drink some tea for me!

1850s sewing · Blogging · Contemporary Pattern · Finished! · Holidays · Modern Sewing · Musings · Pattern · Personal · Reenacting · Reenactments · Regency era costuming · Vintage

2012 – Sewing Year in Review

I thought it would be fun to do a sewing year in review, and when I saw the Top 5 of 2012 idea  on Kim-ing (who in turn got it from Crafting a Rainbow) I knew that would be a perfect way to reflect on my sewing projects from this year! So, here we go . . .

Top 5 Favorites

photo shoot 4

1. Red suspender skirt. I wore this one twice. Once at the 1938 picnic, and then again for my vintage photoshoot. I’ve always wanted a suspender skirt, and to have one in red that I made myself from a vintage pattern just puts a smile on my face.

Lauren 1

2. Graduation dress for Lauren. This was my first modern dress commission, and I’m so pleased with how it came out. Best of all, Lauren loves it and says she got so many compliments during her party, so yay!

Regency short stays

3. Regency short stays. So proud of myself for venturing into another era in terms of costuming, and I love that I used all natural, nerdy historic textiles for this one and made my own hand-made eyelets.


4. A frock for the end of summer. I love this little dress, and when I wore it downtown this past summer, I got so many lovely compliments.


5. My sheer-yoked Macaron. Love this cute little dress and I can’t wait to have another occasion to wear it to.

Top 5 Sewing Fails

1. Rachel Berry Halloween dress. You think I would have started this one sooner, but no. In my defense, I was still adjusting to working full-time.

DSCN4535 - Copy

2. Speaking of work, my next sewing fail is the skirt I made for work. I’ve only worn it once as the fabric has stretched (that’s what you get for using a cheap poly-blend that’s on sale).

corset laid out

3. Mid-19th century corset I made this past summer. I used cheap cotton sateen from Joanns and some of the bones were too long, so they kept popping out (despite the fact that I used cotton twill tape to bind it).

4. Not altering that red vintage dress in time to wear for my Christmas party. The bodice is a bit too big and will need a bit of work, so I wore a polka-dot dress instead.


5. My Regency dress for Bastille Day. I wore this one once and it looks like I’m being choked.

Top 5 Lessons Learned

1. I don’t need to have a new dress for every reenactment. This used to be a huge thing for me, and I would stress myself out the week before a reenactment to finish a new dress. I’ve learned this year that well put-together, historically accurate dresses (like my green wool fan-front) are worth the effort and will get more wear then something hastily thrown together.

2. You can’t care somebody into caring or love somebody loving. Not sewing related, I know, but it’s one of the huge lessons that I learned in 2012.

3. On a similar note, sometimes it’s best to let things go and do what’s best for you. I know that sounds selfish, and maybe it is, but, at the end of the day, you only get one life. I guess what I’m trying to say is: don’t give up your dreams for a boy. 😉

4. Ok, back to sewing now. I’ve also learned that I have too much fabric and will never have time to sew it all into fabulous things. I’ll probably be giving a lot of it away at some point . . .

5. Sorry! I can’t think of another lesson I’ve learned (I’ll blame it on the 3-day sinus headache I’ve had). If/when I do, I’ll add it to the comments, okay? Okay. 🙂

Top 5 Blogs/Bloggers that Inspire

1. The Fashionable Past by Katherine C-G. Katherine is an amazing costumer and I’m continually inspired by her productivity level!

2. Gertie’s New Blog For Better Sewing. Basically, this is my dream. Blog takes off and you get a book deal. Oh, and Gertie is also on sewing tv shows and wears fabulous repro vintage items that she’s sewn herself.

3. Vixen Vintage. I had the privelege of getting to meet Solanah this past summer at the 1938 picnic and she is every bit as fabulous in-person as she is on her blog. Solanah dresses vintage every day and she’s been one of my big style inspirations since I started getting into vintage style back in 2009.

4. Elegant Musings. I just adore Casey (in a fellow seamstress, vintage-enthusiast way).

5. And, finally, My Friends Are Married. Not necessarily a sewing blog (ok, it’s not at all a sewing blog), but it’s so hysterical and makes me not feel so bad about being single. 😉

Top 5 Goals for the New Year

1. Finish my UFOs! This includes the Rachel Berry Halloween dress, which is currently still in pieces.

2. Host a giveaway.

3. Wear more vintage and sew more with vintage patterns. I sorta got my feet wet (so to speak) with the suspender skirt, but I have a plethora of vintage patterns in my stash that I would love to use.

4. Write/film more tutorials. I have a ton of ideas for hair tutorials, which I’m really hoping to get filmed in 2013.

5. Move out of my parents house! 😉

Finally, this will be my last post of 2012 (fitting, don’t ya think?), as I’ll be taking a bit of a blogging break. If all goes to plan, I should be back next year (which is also coincidentally next week) with a giveaway! Until then, Happy New Year!


Seriously, this is how you found me!? Vol. 1

Readers, today I thought I would offer you a “behind-the-scenes” look at the inner-workings here at anna in technicolor. No, I don’t mean all of the pinning, basting and unladylike language that goes on during my own personal sewing process. 😉 Rather, a small glimpse at what I go through as a blogger.

So, WordPress has this handy feature in their stats where you can see the exact search terms that people used to find your blog. For the most part, I get things like “1850s dress,” “sewing,” and “draping tutorial”  which totally make sense. Occasionally, I get some weird ones, and I’ve decided to share some of these with you for your amusement.*

“i want my diamond back and you will not hear from me again until i re” It stops here. I can only surmise that this person got their diamond back and therefore could stop typing.

“why is mary todd thin in abraham lincoln vampire hunter” I was wondering this too! It’s probably because she had to fight vampires at the Battle of Gettysburg. 😉

“hot reenactor” Why, thank you. 😉

“white chicken fabric yards” Sorry, I only use brown chicken fabric . . .

“cute cat dog pictures together titanic pose” Yeah, don’t know how to respond to this one . . .

“love women who wear petticoats and slips.” Really!? Are you perhaps a single 20-something British man, by any chance? 😉

“free images of corset and fire.” Don’t know why you would need this, but here ya go! I made it so that the corset looks like it’s catching on fire, hope that’s ok. 😉

“Keep out of my room posters.” Yeah, cuz I’m totally known for being a moody teenager. Well, I did just post a picture of a corset on fire . . .

“clothing with half of yard.” No. Just no.

“school marm costume.” I actually get this one a lot, for some reason.

“mens technicolor bathrobe quilt” Is it a technicolor quilted bathrobe, or a quilt made out of bathrobe fabric? I’m confused. See, this is exactly why I was wary about using the word “technicolor” in my blog name. I knew it would create confusion!

“were there cars in the 1850s” No, there weren’t . . .

“michael pitt in a dress” Ok, now this one sorta makes sense. I mean, I talk about dresses like all the time, and I have talked about Michael Pitt before. But Michael Pitt in a dress? Haven’t covered that topic! Yet. 😉

*Please note: this is totally meant to be a tongue-in-cheek post! I’m grateful for every view and comment I receive, even if the way you got here was through searching for corsets and fire. 😉

Blogging · Personal

Just for funsies: a blog meme

No in-progress or finished sewing projects to show you today, readers! Instead, I’ve been tagged by my dear friend, Danusha, to participate in this really fun blog meme. Danusha runs two blogs, one about Poland, and another one about her latest published work, “Save, Send, Delete.” She’s a very gifted writer, and I highly recommend checking her out!

The rules for the blog meme are this:
1.) The person who’s nominated must post eleven facts about themselves.
2.) Answer the eleven questions the tagger has given you.
3.) Choose eleven people and link them on your blog post. (I’m not tagging anybody, so if you want to participate, please do!)
4.) Create eleven questions for the people you tagged.
5.) Tell them you’ve tagged them on their blog.
6.) No tag backs!

So, if you want to know 11 random facts about me, my answers to Danusha’s questions about writing, and my 11 questions for any sewing bloggers that would like to participate, please read on!

11 random facts about me:

  • I’m half Polish, and half American (my father is from Poland, having immigrated in the late 80s and my mom is from California).
  • My favorite color is red.
  • I’m a complete Anglophile.
  • I became a fabric hoarder at the age of 19. 😉
  • Despite joking that I’m going to wind up as an old lady cat spinster, I’m actually more of a dog person.
  • I can’t drink coffee. I’ve tried so many times to drink the stuff, but I can never finish a cup.
  • I have the biggest sweet toooth.
  • My favorite book is Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates.
  • I’m a complete klutz and at the age of two, ran smack-dab into the wall and had to have stitches (I still have a scar, btw).
  • Since we’re on the subject of embarassing childhood things, I was chubby as a kid.
  • I’m a total stress cleaner. My apartments throughout college were always the cleanest during exam weeks.

Answers to Danusha’s questions:

1.) If you could not be a writer, and you had to be some other artist – a singer, a painter, a mime, a puppeteer – what kind of artist would you be and why?

Probably a singer, but I would be a 20s Vaudeville performer and only go on stage in beaded evening gowns and t-strap heels.
2.) Who would be the dream interviewer to quiz you about your work? Sixty Minutes’ Mike Wallace? Fresh Air’s Terry Gross? Johnny Carson? Larry King? Entertainment Tonight?

Hands-down, Oprah Winfrey. I grew up watching her and really mourn the fact that she cancelled her show. That being said, I admire her abilities as an interviewer so much, both her ability to be humourous and also get you to reveal soul-crushing secrets you normally never would. 😉

3.) Your favorite childhood fictional hero or heroine.

Jane Peck from Boston Jane. She was smart, sassy, and still a lady despite ending up in the wilds of Washington Territory in the 1850s.

4.) Have you lived up to what you dreamed when you read about your favorite childhood fictional hero or heroine?

I like to think I have through reenacting. 😉

5.) Your happiest moment as a writer.

Hmm, this is a toughie! At least as a blogger, reading comments from people that have read my posts and find them helpful is incredibly fulfilling.

6.) Are you a tuxedo / evening gown writer, a broken-in jeans writer, a nude writer, a flowing caftan writer … ?

Hmm, well I definitely have to be comfortable to write my blog posts! Right now, I’m in my red pedal pushers, but oftentimes, I’m writing blog posts in the mornings or evenings in my jammies. I know, glamourous, right? 😉

7.) Your personal writing deity?

Sylvia Plath. I know a lot of her stuff is morbid, but she just has this uncanny ability to connect with the audience. I remember reading a quote from a professor somewhere that said that after her students read “The Bell Jar” they felt that Sylvia Plath was writing their life experiences, or that they were somehow the reincarnation of Sylvia Plath. I think this really speaks to her ability as an author.
8.) Hard copy, screen, handwritten in ink, typewriter & whiteout?

Screen! I’m so 21st century in that way, but I love having the ability to backspace and copy and paste. 😉

9.) If you had to choose between your writing moving people deeply, or your writing educating people factually, which would it be?

Probably educating. I don’t think there’s anything deeply moving about basting or pin-tucks, but if I can teach people a new sewng technique or  help explain one that they were afraid to try before, I’d be a happy camper.

10.) Has being a writer helped or hurt your romantic life?

Neither. It’s just sort of like Switzerland, neutral.

11.) How do you reward yourself?

Food or fabric. 😉

I’m not tagging anybody, so if you’d like to participate, I’d love to hear your answers to the following:

  1. How did you learn to sew?
  2. Do you prefer hand or machine sewing?
  3. What is your dream project?
  4. Favorite fabric to work with?
  5. Sewing for others: love it or loathe it?
  6. Favorite thing that you’ve sewn (either for yourself or somebody else)?
  7. Biggest sewing disaster you’ve ever had?
  8. Do any of your friends or family sew?
  9. Favorite sewing notion?
  10. Do you prefer working with store bought sewing patterns, or drafting/draping your own?
  11. Do you have a dressform?
1930s · Blogging · Finished! · Vintage

The 1938 picnic!

Yesterday morning I headed down to Vancouver (the one in Washington, not Canada!) for a fabulous 1938 picnic hosted by Solanah of Vixen Vintage!

Readers, there truly is nothing better than spending the afternoon with fellow witty history nerds, discussing topics from estate sales to wearing girdles on planes while dressed to the nines in vintage and reproduction clothing. I met some super fabulous vintage gals at the picnic, including Julie of Fab Gabs, Janey of Atomic Readhead, and of course Solanah!

In true annaintechnicolor style, I finished my suspender skirt ensemble the morning of. The pattern was originally printed in 1946, and I had to grade it up a bit to fit me (you can check out my tutorial on how to do that here!).

The suspender skirt is made of a red linen-rayon blend, and despite prewashing it three times, it still bled (mostly onto my whie blouse, unfortunately). It even bled onto the edge of my sewing machine, which I discovered this afternoon when I used it for the first time again since Thursday evening when I was frantically hemming while watching Project Runway. 😉

The hat is an original from the 20s or 30s. It’s made of this gorgeous leather, and fits me like a glove! I got it from Realm of Regalia at the Civil War Reenactment last month. And the shoes are actually a modern pair that I bought in Berlin 3 summers ago. 😉

Unfortunately, I had to leave early to head over to the Pendleton Mill in Washougal for my annual wool fabric shopping trip. I restrained myself and only bought 4 yards of fabric and a cute sweater (they also sell clothes!). No photos of my haul, but I did snap a quick close-up of my hair while mom was looking at blankets. I have to say, that I’m quite proud that I achieved at least one vintage fingerwave!

Alright, that’s it for now. Hope everyone is having a lovely (and relaxing!) weekend so far.


Mini blogging break

Just a quick post to let everyone know that after what proved to be a hectic weekend (Crafts of the Past went splendidly, although on my way home on Sunday I was rear-ended by a driver who had no insurance and a suspended license. What’s wrong with people these days!?), I’ll be taking a break from blogging this week to concentrate on finals and moving back home. Hard to believe that I’ll be completely done with college in less than 2 days!

I’ll be back to regular blogging next week, when I become an unemployed college graduate. 😉 Have a nice week, everyone!

Blog sale · Blogging · For Sale · Modern Sewing · Pattern

Spring Cleaning Blog Sale!

So, with Spring in full swing (nice alliteration there, huh?) and the end of the school year exactly one week away, I’ve been cleaning up my sewing area in preparation to move back home. As usual, I have way too much stuff for a 20-something, some of which I really don’t use or need, so I’ve decided to have a little Spring Cleaning sale!

So, here’s how this works: Leave a comment about what item(s) you want. Once you’ve done that, I’ll e-mail you with your total and a shipping estimate (you do have to leave an e-mail address to comment on any posts, but don’t worry, these are never shared!). Unfortunately, at this time, I’m only able to take cash or checks. Sorry for any inconvenience that may cause!

Alright, onto the goodies!

Reenacting clothes:

Quilted hoods: $45 each, or $80 for both

Purple Wool Quilted Hood – 100% hand-sewn hood made out of purple wool, lined with green polished cotton and quilted with cotton batting (click here for a view of the inside).

Grey wool quilted hood with red silk turn back – 100% hand-sewn hood made out of grey wool, lined with green polished cotton, quilted in a square design with cotton batting, and red silk taffeta on turnback, ties, and curtain binding. Click here to view a shot of the exterior.

Whitewaist – Young ladies sheer bodice made of white cotton lawn with a half-high lining made out of pima cotton. Bodice closes in the front with hooks and eyes and is accented around the neckline and cuffs with white cotton lace with a woven-in black ribbon. Very fashionable when combined with a wool or silk skirt. 29″ waist and fits a 34″ bust. $52

Fabric – Wool:

Grey Wool– this wool has an unusual but lovely square design woven into it. 1.5 yards and 62″ wide. $7 for the piece (I also have a remnant of a little under a yard available, too, if you are interested) SOLD

Grey and blue plaid wool: this wool would make a variety of lovely things, from a neat circle skirt to plaid gentleman’s pants, to a basic shawl for mid-19th century reenacting. Piece measures ~ 2 yards X 60″ wide and is $7 for the piece. SOLD

Black wool jersey – I have up to 5 yards available of this fabric, which is around 54″ wide. It is 100% wool,  and has a slight stretch. It would be great for a modern dress. $5 per yard SOLD

Fabric – Cotton and Cotton Blends:

Blue and white floral lawn; 100% cotton, 54″ wide. Piece is 2.5 yards, $10 SOLD

Blue, green, and yellow tie-dye fabric with a woven-in diamond motif. 46″ wide and a little over 3 yards, $5

Cotton/poly white glitter fabric with embroidered motifs. 58″ wide, 1 3/4 yards, $7

Yellow home dec remnant. Not sure of the fiber content, but it’s probably a poly cotton blend. Piece is 29″ x 64″, $5.

Green and cream poly trim, 3/4″ wide. A little over 3 1/2 yards, $3

Patterns, $5 each, or $8 for both:

Simplicity 9764, Martha McCain “Fashion Historian” Hoop and Over-the-Hoop Petticoat pattern, Size 6, 8, 10, 12

Simplicity 7215, Martha McCain “Fashion Historian” Chemise and corset, Size 6, 8, 10, 12

Modern Clothes I’ve sewn:

Hello Kitty Pink Fleece Hats, fits a 22″ head, although there is some stretch. $8 each or $15 for both

Hello Kitty Fleece scarf, 8″ x 63.5″, $6

Vintage clothing:

Red plaid skirt – Vintage Pendleton skirt made out of plaid wool. Closes in the back with a zipper and button (seen here); Waist: 32″, Length: 27.5″. $16