Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I know she would have liked to have continued sewing until the bag was done, but she had at least three more hours of sewing time left and I had wrap it up for the day. I offered to send my Elna sewing machine home with her since I rarely use it, but she said she'd rather sew under my direction this time.
That's okay. She's picked up on sewing so quickly that I'm guessing when she comes back to finish this bag I'll be able to convince her to take the Elna home. At least until she decides what sewing machine she wants to purchase. Because you do realize she's now hooked.
Knowing that she only lives minutes from Crafty Planet, I'm pretty sure she's going to soon be developing a serious fabric stash... Pin It
Sunday, August 24, 2008
You know how it is when you've been out of the sewing sync for a while. I went through fabric and patterns trying to decide what would become my new fall wardrobe additions. I cut a few skirts out. I completed a few mending projects.
Nothing too exciting or worth showing photos of. I mean really, do you want to see me replace an invisible zipper in a pair of pants ... can you say b-o-r-i-n-g?
One thing I really do need to do is get back on track quickly with my coat for the Great Coat Sew-Along. I've been reading and watching and learning from all of the information and photos that everyone has been posting, but have been absent from the discussions and from sharing where I'm at on the project.
Why you ask? Because I need to start all over. Oh, not because I messed up my muslin so badly that it couldn't be salvaged (which I admit could have happened) but because I've dropped about 15 lbs since the Great Coat Sew-Along began back in May.
It's enough of a weight loss that my clothing size has changed. That, in turn means all of the pattern alterations I knew so well - and could complete in minutes - have also changed. I haven't quite figured out all of my new alterations so I've been procrastinating about redoing a muslin.
However, if I keep pretending to myself that I can easily catch up I'll never finish the coat in October along with everyone else. And believe me, there's been years when a winter coat was needed by October. Now that I've come out and admitted it, I guess I'll need to find time to cut out, alter, and sew another muslin sometime this week.
By the way, I was planning on sewing Vogue 8346, but since I need to start over, I am seriously considering a vintage 70s vogue (non-designer) coat pattern from the collection. Pin It
Saturday, August 23, 2008
But tonight was a night for celebrating dear hubby's 50th birthday. He didn't want any big party (unlike other people in this household), but a nice quiet dinner with family.
So the kids and I took him for a fabulous steak dinner at Manny's in downtown Minneapolis.
The relaxing atmosphere, fantastic food and outstanding service combined with great conversation created the perfect celebration for his birthday.
Now, back to sewing. Pin It
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Most of my time has been spent working on projects that I had planned to post as tutorials in the near future. However, when I read about Crafty Planet's call for submissions (in the Textile Center's newsletter) for their new book (One-Yard Wonders) I decided to submit the projects instead. So, depending on whether or not they're interested in my ideas, you may or may not see a whole lot of gift idea tutorials in the near future.
You still have time to submit your own ideas - just check the website for the details. Deadline is August 31.
By the way, I did get around to purchasing a replacement camera. Now I just have to find time to figure out how to use all the new features... Pin It
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Since discovering the site, I've mentioned Pattern Rescue to quite a few people who have sent me emails looking for a particular pattern.
I've donated a couple of flat rate boxes crammed with sewing patterns for them to add to the recycle section. The recycle section is an area where anyone can get vintage sewing patterns - up to three at one time - for as little as the cost of postage. I like knowing that by sending them my unwanted patterns they won't end up in landfill - they'll eventually find a new home.
I've been the recipient of a number of the recycled patterns listed on their site. postage.
The other area I always check is the post section. This is an area where people are looking for a specific pattern they want to purchase or a missing pattern piece or instructions from a pattern they own. You can even submit a request with a description of the pattern if you don't remember the specifics (like the pattern company or number).
I know it works because they were able to locate two of my Hollywood patterns and scan the envelopes for me. Although it might have been quite interesting to sew them up to find out what the end design looked like.
I was excited when I realizedthat someone was looking for pattern pieces from a 1957 stuffed toy pattern that I own and that I'd be able to help out.
So if you haven't visited Pattern Rescue yet, why not?
By the way, I'm still looking for the cover of these Hollywood patterns and I wouldn't mind one bit if you owned one of these patterns and scanned the cover and sent it me. Nope, I wouldn't mind that at all...
990 2-pc dress or suit pattern from 1942
1024 2-pc dress or suit pattern from 1943
1026 1-pc dress pattern from 1943
1118 2-pc dress or suit pattern from 1943 Pin It
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Vogue Paris Original Designer Pierre Balmain
Misses' Evening Dress
As I eagerly browsed through the latest pattern offerings by Vogue Patterns, this design (Vogue 1056) by Tom and Linda Platt caught my eye. Reading other sewing blogs (here, here, here, and here) I realized I wasn't the only one who was drawn to this pattern.
The neckline on the front bodice is the detail that I, and so many others, found so appealing. I considered purchasing it during the recent $3.99 Vogue pattern sale at Hancock Fabrics, but I am thinking twice about any unnecessary purchases. I even thought about getting it as my free pattern from Vogue patterns.
That's when I remembered abut this vintage Vogue pattern in my collection. Why spend $4 for a pattern when I already own one that is even more fabulous than this new release?
Sure, there are differences, but I think they are good differences. This 70s dress has back waist and shoulder darts and separate bodice and skirt pieces. The sleeves are quite interesting - they are bias and cut-in-one with the upper front but set-in into the back bodice. There's also a sleeveless underdress that is attached at the neckline. One of the suggested fabrics is a lightweight knit so I'm going to pull out a cheapie knit from the stash and work this up to determine if I want to invest in a wonderful piece of fabric to create this dress for the fall season.
Extra bonus: I'm certain the 2-page instruction sheet will provide much more detailed sewing instructions than this new release would have.
So which would you choose? Pin It
Friday, August 15, 2008
Mid-August in Minnesota means it's time for the annual Renaissance Festival to begin. This year it will begin on a sad note with the passing of actor Joe Kudla who played Thomas Snot of the infamous Puke & Snot.
I first saw one of their performances in 1980 when I made my first visit to the festival. I never laughed so hard in my life. Well, actually my brother Steve is pretty funny and he's been known to make all of his sister's laugh so hard we cry, but that's another story. BTW, Happy Birthday Steve!
Joe Kudla will be missed, not only by his family and friends, but by his many, many fans.
In 1992, Suzonne, my adorable friend from the south was visiting and my best friend convinced us to dress in character for the festival. It took a bit of coaxing, but we eventually pulled together a hodge podge of items and off we went. One time was all it took and for years I would sew a new outfit for the upcoming Ren Faire. And of course I'm wearing something I sewed - the white poet blouse - after all, what would my Flashback Friday be without something sewing related?
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
The 94-page book is filled with many fun and creative ideas geared towards the interests and skill level of tweens and teens. We all have our own sense of style and this book is designed to help a teen expand on hers. The 18 projects can be created just as shown or used as inspiration.
The projects has both sewing and crafting techniques and includes not only clothing but accessories and fun home decor items.
The book begins with a section on what to include in your sewing basket, jewelry box and craft tote - complete with photographs to help you identify what some of these things are - and moves on to explain basic techniques that are referenced in the books.
Each project begins with a full color photograph as well as a list and photograph of every item needed to complete the project. The step-by-step instructions are clearly written and also include photographs. As a plus, there are bonus projects as well as embellishment and adornment ideas and tips scattered through out the book.
So what projects can you expect to find?
Alter your style
- Convert favorite jeans to capris - plus bonus purse project
- Summer's over T - I like this one - there are different options for combining two tees together. They are absolutely adorable
- Denim Shorts to skirt
- Beach wrap and back back - plus bonus scrunchie project
- Sweatshirt to shrug - plus bonus ID tag
- Moody T and emoticon tote - plus bonus cami hanger
Alter your stuff
- Multitasking charmer - plus bonus beaded zipper pull project
- Make your own beads
- Friends facebook
- Photo booth mini scrapbook - plus bonus lunch bag project
- Tote-ally my bag - plus bonus journal cover project
- Remember it bracelet - plus bonus soda-can bands (gotta be honest here, love this one too - so simple, so "duh, why didn't I think of this?"
- Snappy embellishment - I scanned part of this page because this is a project that I'm going to find a way to use somewhere.
Alter your space
- It's all about you (mirror) - plus bonus frame project
- Modern wall art
- Recycled jewelry window hanger
- Window ribbons - plus bonus bangle project
- Jewelry tree
- Your bright idea (lamp)
So are you ready to buy your own copy? The paperback book is published by Kalmbach Books and has a list price of $19.95. The book I reviewed was a preview copy. It's currently available at Amazon. com
I'm going to hand this book over to Kait (remember her? My niece that sewed that great 70's retro halter dress) and ask her to write a book review also. I think it would be great to hear a teen's perspective also.
Side note: Sadly, a few of these ideas are similar to ones I had been working on for submissions for the one-yard wonders book so imagine my dismay when I saw the ideas published. Of course I scratched those and submitted others.
Update 08/21/08 - watch for a review by Kait - although the girl is incredibly busy with dance line practice and of course preparing to begin her senior year in high school, she has agreed to do review this cool book. Let's hope she can stop those moves long enough to sit down and do a few projects for us.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
A couple of tips for you to keep in mind before I get to the list.
Etsy provides an RSS feed button on the home page of each seller's shop. This makes it easy for you to be notified when your favorite seller adds an item to their shop. The RSS feed is the last item on the right side of the page.
You can also heart a seller or a pattern, but you do need to set up an Etsy account to do this. I'd recommend it because it makes it easier to find a pattern or favorite seller again.
As a seller I can see who hearts my shop as well as who has marked any of my items with a heart. But, as a buyer, if you dont' want that information public, you have the ability to keep your hearts private. It just shows up as a secret admirer. BTW, feel free to heart my shop as I only have 42 so far and I'm feeling a bit like the last kid in gym class picked for team, if you know what I mean .
Finally, when you do shop for patterns on Etsy, keep in mind that Etsy defines vintage as anything older than 20 years. Okay, now that you've stopped giggling you'll understand why you see patterns from the 80s coming up in your search for vintage sewing patterns. Also most of these shops sell OOP (out of print) patterns in addition to vintage.
This list is in no particular order - except my shop is first, but hey, it's my blog so I get to be first if I want to.
Patternshop (I've purchased from this seller)
VintageStyle101 (I've purchased from this seller)
SnippetsofTime (I've purchased from this seller)
CraftRage (now I haven't purchased from her, but Rachelle commented that she uses her shop to clear out her extra vintage patterns, but is "hopelessly addicted, so I actually buy more than I sell. *sigh*" Yea, I can relate to that ...)
OhSewCharming (she was my first customer)
I'll come back and alphabetize these for you and save them to the sidebar for easy reference in the near future. In the meantime, if you know of an Etsy pattern seller that I've missed, leave a comment or send me an email so I can add them to the list.
Happy sewing! Pin It
Monday, August 11, 2008
However, did you realize that Etsy has a multitude of sellers that sell vintage items - including sewing patterns? With a little bit of searching, you can unearth treasures, such as this vintage Simplicity pattern Linda recently purchased.
You just need to know how to search. You see, the default search function for Etsy is to search for items listed under the category "handmade", because, well, that's what's Etsy is known for.
That means if you type in "vintage sewing pattern" because you just want to browse and see what's available, you won't see all of the vintage sewing patterns that are for sale. Oh, you'll see some, but those are the ones that weren't tagged correctly.
You need to make a simple change so you'll see more patterns. Just change the default setting to "all items: tags, titles" which will broaden your search.
Etsy pattern sellers put tags on their patterns which make it easier for you to find what you're looking for. Perhaps you love 70s fashions - search under all items for 1970s sewing patterns and this is you might find...137 pages with patterns tagged with sewing, patterns, and 1970s.
If you're looking for a specific pattern type in the pattern number under the all items search to easily wade through the hundreds of pattern listings. For example, if you're looking for Vogue 1819 you'll soon find out that there are two of them listed.
Pattern prices range from 99 cents for a vintage 70s shift dress all the way up to $55 for a vintage Vogue DVF wrap dress pattern.
Try it out and see what you can find. Warning, it can be a bit addictive as you'll stumble across items you never would have thought to search for.
Tomorrow I'll provide a list of all of the vintage pattern vendors that I've located on Etsy. Pin It
Friday, August 08, 2008
This was the day of my latest piece of junk vehicle breakdown. They were so darn many of them, which is what happens when you don't have a lot of money available to purchase a reliable car. Oh how wonderful it would have been to have a cell phone back then - or even a good public transportation system.
I had just received an offer of assistance to go help me retrieve my abandoned car. Unfortunately it was after the two toddlers had been put to bed for the evening and I had to wake them up as there was no one to watch them. This little guy just curled back up on the couch for some more shut-eye while we waited for my friend.
I sewed the little footie pj's he's wearing - and if you look really close you'll see they have that cute little back flap on the rear. Pin It
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
My choice was Vogue 1068 - love the neckline on that dress and top.
You choose the pattern you want (restrictions apply - including all designer patterns) and when you check out you only pay shipping charges. In my case shipping came to $4.
Now would be a a good time to head on over and get yourself that Vogue pattern you've been craving. After all, you can't beat the price! Pin It
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Except for this weekend. We were invited to spend the weekend with one of my sister-in-laws who just happens to own lake front property just a few hours north of the Twin Cities. Whoo! hoo! I had forgotten how much fun playing in the sun and water can be! Especially combined with a gracious hostess who not only fed us but had frozen strawberry daiquiris and margaritas ready for us.
Abby was also invited and we were excited to see how quickly she took to water. After all she is part Black Lab and part Newfoundland - both water dogs.
Well, you can see for yourself how skittish she was. She was unsure about the waves from the boats and the splashing from Laura, my sister-in-laws 100 lb black lab.
Unfortunately, soon after this video was taken the camera was dropped in the lake. Less than three seconds immersed in lake water was all it needed to cease operating.
*Sigh* So much for a cheap vacation...
And Abby? Well, once she realized she could swim we could barely keep her out of the water. In fact at one point we had to keep her from swimming to the middle of the lake where she had spotted some loons. Pin It
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Looking for ways to cut back on spending is why we just spent our vacation at home working on low-cost home improvement projects rather than spending a week traveling to a vacation spot.
As part of my fabric diet I've been digging through the stash and rather than tossing those one yard or less pieces I've been looking for ways to use them up. You may recognize this knit fabric from a previous project - the Hotpatterns butterfly top - which I never, ever liked. (I've since handed that one off to someone who will look fantastic when she wears it. ) The leftover fabric was perfect for a summer top using McCalls 4716 (out of print). One of my TNT faves (sewn in May 08, Oct. 07 and Nov. 06.
Rather than make this sleeveless I added a small cap sleeve - perfect for the summer climate.
Speaking of summer climate - this is what I'll be wearing today as we travel to my sister-in-law's lake home for a weekend of fun and relaxation. Abby is coming with us and we hope her first experience in a lake in an enjoyable one. Sophia will be staying home with the house sitter and I'm certain will be eager to welcome us back home tomorrow.
Happy weekend! Pin It
Friday, August 01, 2008
There, I've said it. I know many, many, many people who do quilt and do so beautifully. But I'm not one of them. Honestly? I just don't have the patience for it, I don't know the "proper" way to do it, and when I have visited local quilt shops they haven't exactly been the most welcoming to someone (me) obviously stumbling around looking lost trying to figure out what I need for a quilt project.
It's not that I've never quilted. Quilting and patchwork was quite popular in the mid-70s when I was in my teen years. I vividly remember spending hours cutting up all of my fabric scraps into small squares, sewing them together to create yardage of patchwork fabric and then sewing a pair of pants using that fabric, which I wore often and proudly. Anyone that smirked or giggled I ignored figuring they were just envious that they weren't as creative as I was. Oh how I wish I had a photo of the pants to share with you.
But I don't.
What I do have is a photo of the second quilt-type project I created. A baby quilt for my firstborn.
When I was pregnant with my daughter I had a rough pregnancy and was instructed to do very minimal work, which meant no heavy lifting or long periods standing on my feet. Fortunately I was able to sew and read - two of my favorite at-home pastimes.
One day as I was browsing through a woman's magazine I came across a pattern for a baby quilt and decided to give it a try. It wasn't a traditional patchwork quilt. Instead it consisted of muslin blocks with a puppy hand-appliquéd on each block.
I happily spent hours and hours and hours working on this quilt. Each piece of the puppy was cut out and sewn onto the muslin block separately using a blanket stitch. The puppy consisted of mostly green calicoes, which I figured was a neutral baby color. A baby blue gingham was used as a corner accent and as the backing. The pink ruffle was added after the birth of my daughter - otherwise I would have left the ruffle off completely.
This is one of the few pieces left from that period of her life. I kept it all these years because I remember sitting on the floor of my tiny apartment, excited for the birth of my baby, patiently cutting out and sewing every puppy.
There was a lot of love that went into each stitch on that quilt. Someday her children will have this treasured baby quilt as their own. Pin It