Friday, April 11, 2014

Vintage Patterns

Along with the old lady stash that I found at the thrift store, I also came across a ton of vintage patterns.  I'm such a glutton.  I bought almost all of them.  I didn't take pictures of all of them -- just some favorites.  I don't even know if I will be able to use any of them, because who knows what size I will be after this baby.

Without further ado:

Circa 1973, Simplicity 6161, Size 12, Bust 34:
I love the red and white striped shirt with the tie in the front.  

Circa 1978, Simplicity 8698, Size 12 or 14 (there seems to be some confusion on the pattern envelope and I have not yet explored its contents):
Again with that bow tie thing in front.  I really like that.

Circa 1973, McCall's 3542, Size Small, bust 31 1/2 to 32 1/2:
This will never fit me.  It's more a dream pattern for my future teenage girls who will love vintage as much as we do.

Again, dreaming of what my girls will someday let me put them in.  If this lady can put her daughters in these outfits (seriously, that neckline irritates me) or this shrug (how does she stay warm with that neckline?), then maybe I can dress mine as a young Sally Draper:
Circa 1967, Simplicity 7370, Size 10 Girl, Breast 28.

No date visible on envelope, Simplicity 5052, Size 16, Bust 36:
This is a good candidate for my bust, but not the hip...
Blah.  I'll have to figure out vintage resizing on the hip portion.

And how could I resist this Hubba Hubba pattern:
Oh, yeah, check out those dudes.  Circa 1979, KwikSew 1003, all sizes (I think).

And here's a list of the other patterns I found:
Simplicity 6299, junior Size 9, Bust 30 1/2, One-piece dress with simulated smocking, Circa 1965
Simplicity 6578, Size 16, Bust 36, One-piece dress, Circa1966
Simplicity 6651, Small 10-12, Ponchos, Circa 1966
Simplicity 7485, Size 12, Bust 34, Jacket/Blouse/Skirt/Pantskirt, Circa 1967
Simplicity 7684, Size 12, Bust 34, Pantdress/Pantjumper, Circa 1968
Simplicity 8256, Men Medium, Robe, Circa 1969  -- this will fit my husband
McCall's 8666, Size 14, Bust 34, Two-Piece Dress, Circa 1967
McCall's 4557, Sizes 10-12-14, Dress or Top
Butterick 6216, Size 12, Dress/Top/Skirt/Pants, No date visible on outer envelope

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Old Lady's Stash

My sewing machine is still in the shop.  I dropped it off on a Thursday, with the understanding that the repair fella picks them up on Fridays.  Wrong.  He had been by that same day, so it had to wait at least a week before he returned.  Did he return?  Who knows?  I haven't heard anything.

So, machine-less, I have been at a loss.  I tried starting some hand sewing projects, but the swelling in my feet was pretty bad.  The water retention was so bad that it started to impact my right wrist.  I think it's some sort of pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel.  By the end of the day, I could not chop veggies for dinner or press soap out of the dispenser.  Ouch.  There seems to be some relief over the last two days.  I'm not sure why.  Perhaps my water intake has finally flushed some of the bad stuff out.  

Where am I going with this?  I haven't done anything crafty at all.  However, at my last OB appointment, I stopped by the thrift store and picked up some vintage fabric.  It was packed up in little bags, so I wasn't even sure what I was getting.  I picked three bags up and I chose those specific bags, because I was interested in a piece or two in each bag.  After getting home and opening them, I came to realize that they had all come from the same lot.  I think some little old lady croaked and her family donated all her fabric.  


Dotted Swiss, hearts, florals, etc.  Nothing too exciting and the pieces are not huge.  Plus they need a good washing.

Spread throughout my three bags were these pieces of fabric covered in flocking on the flowers.  It was kind of neat to find them all.
I don't know how this stuff will hold up in the wash.  

And then scattered throughout the three packages were little gems of fabric:
Look how fun that is.  There is not very much of it at all, but it's so nifty and not something I would ever buy.

Pretty!  Again, there's not much of this.

This just makes me laugh:
Do I need to make a doll dress?  If it didn't have those lines on it, maybe I could find a use for it.

This is one of the fabrics that drew my attention when it was stuck in the bag:
It's the front or back panel of a half-made pencil skirt, though, so it's a bit limited.  I'll find something for it, because it's lovely.

Not so lovely, this:
This fabric is hideous.  These are a pair of half-made shorts and the seams don't line up at all.  Blah.  Maybe I should just do this a favor and throw it out.

Oh, the last piece of fabric is just about a yard, so there may be enough for a shirt.  It has a lovely drape to it.  I never really knew about drape when I first started sewing, because my sewing teacher never explained that to me.  My first skirt was made out of quilting cotton, then my next dress was okay, but the next thing I made was a shirt out of the stiffest stiffest fabric.  She never explained to me that it wasn't going to work. In fact, she encouraged me to use it.  Nutty lady.  Anyway, here's the fabric:
Just some little flowers and dots on white, but it's nice.  It needs a wash.

That was it.  Well, there was also a wrinkled scarf and an ugly, polyester doily, but they're going back to the thrift store.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Mad Hatter

My niece needed some bigger hats, so I made her four for her birthday last week.  I made her a bunch of different styles last year, but it was the Oliver + S Bucket Hat that seemed to work the best for her.  I made a total of eight hats, four for her and four for my kid.  

I had a few mishaps with getting the brims to fit:
But by the end, I had figured out that I needed to really, really trim the seam allowances to get the two parts to fit together.  

I actually used up a lot of fabric on this project.  Awesome.  I even came up short on one hat, so I had to improvise:
It looked pretty plain, so I added a little embellishment:

I made this next one with the intention of having the blue on the outside and the strawberry as the lining, but the strawberry was pretty cute as an exterior.   These hats can be reversed, so either way works.  I tried to add some red ribbon (was an inch or two shy) and then some velvet ric rac, but that took too long to sew on.  In the end, it's just a plain hat:

This next one is a favorite.  I love that soft yellow lace trim:

And then there's the white polka dot hat with some fun trim:

I made the size up (Medium) that is supposed to fit 3-5 year olds, so hopefully this works.  

Friday, March 28, 2014


I mentioned earlier this month that I wanted to start to make a dent in my scrap fabric pile.  I saw a tutorial via pinterest for Happy Together's fabric alphabet and thought it would be a good way to use up some of those scraps.

Well, I don't think I made a dent, but I did use up some flannel for the backing.  I also used some saved batting that had been trimmed off of some quilts (quilt smegma?) and I put that in the middle, so I used up some of that, as well.

I ran out of blue flannel, so I had to make like five or six letters with some yellow calico flannel.  Oh well.  I still need to make one of these sets for my own kid.  She's playing with her cousin's birthday set.  

I tried to make a drawstring bag for their long term storage, but it was just a disaster.  First I mis-boxed the corners of the bag and then I tried to string it with rope, but the rope got all messed up.  And then one of the grommets popped off.  Blah!  I just gave up and used a holiday bag that they can either reuse for its original, intended purpose or they can keep the letters in it.  That's up to them.

Also, things that I learned during this project:

1.) Pinking shears are a bitch to work with.  I used them to cut through the three layers and it was miserable.  I really don't know why I bought them, but I thought they were what I'm supposed to have in my sewing box.  I rarely use them.

2.)  Fabric marking pens have disappearing ink.  I thought the ink disappeared with water, but apparently air will do it.  Useless.  I marked letters at the start of the month and most of the tracings vanished.  Grrrr.  The chalk tracings were intact, but the purple lines were gone.  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


My friend sent Z a bag for her birthday:
So cute!
Fishy straps and lining.

She said that she used this tutorial.  Fun!  Thank you!!

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Most Useful Word

I think that the most useful word is "smegma."  If you don't know what this word means in real life, then you should google it.  It's a pretty gross thing, but it really is a very handy word.

We use it all the time.  When we lived in California we used it to describe palm trees that had not been know, with all the old, dead fronds layered under the green ones.  Palm smegma.  Now, when the plow comes through, it leaves a pile of snow at the bottom of the driveway and then we have to dig ourselves out...again.  Plow smegma.

After finishing two projects recently, I realized that I can also use it for my sewing.  Below is my sewing smegma:
Last time I was pregnant I left all this smegma all over the craft room for like 2 months after birth, because I was too swollen to get down and clean it up.  I haven't swollen that much yet, so it looks like I'll have to take some time and crawl around to collect it.

Oh, and I also have a serger smegma collection cup:

Anyway, pictures of the projects will come later in the week.  They are birthday gifts, so I have to pack them up and send them off.  They may be late.  (Sorry!)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

300,000 Stitch Tune Up

My sewing machine is currently screeching when the needle plunges into the fabric, much like a Psycho film.  Blah.  I don't know where to oil it, which is what I'm assuming it needs, but my manual says not to oil it.  Boo.  And then there are tension issues, problems with the quilting foot, and skipped stitches when I try to zigzag:
I'm assuming it needs a check up.  Its last one was about four years ago and I have since made tons of things, so I'm definitely overdue.  I've got about two projects to finish up this weekend and have begged for some time away from the kiddo in order to do this.  I could sew during her naptime, but that screeching is sort of unbearable and I don't want to wake her up.  

I'm going to drop the machine off at Treadle this week and it will take a week or two to get it back, so I've got to work on some hand sewing projects in the meantime.  Plus it will give me an excuse to keep my feet up.  I noticed some ankle swelling over the last few days.  Stupid pregnancy.