Sunday, August 13, 2017

Stuffed Animals = cuteness overload!

I impluse-bought some reproduction vintage stuffed animal patterns on Etsy the other day.

Then I had to make some up in 8 year-old flannel scraps!

Deer in fall print leaves

Puppy in fall color print, duck in mallard colors

Side view of brown flannel deer

Cute flannel deer butt!

Dig those eyelashes!

Embroidery in progress

nose and mouth also embroidered

Then I had to do the deer properly in brown with embroidered eyes.

I plan on adding eyes to the duck and eyes and a tongue to the puppy. There is also a cat, but I need to make whiskers and features for that before I show her off.

Deer is "Dear Little Deer" a mail order pattern #2023. 1950s, I believe.
The dog and duck are Simplicity #1404 about 1955

Ah, once a year - needed or not!

No, I'm not talking about bathing. I'm talking about posting!

My darling husband fixed my increasingly balky PC  (mobile just does not work for blogging for me) so it no longer uses 100% of the disk trashing aimlessly for an hour after starting up (I'm not exaggerating). It was some unholy combination of a mechanical disk writing error (it writes 100 times faster now), a 16 bit (we both thought it was 32 bit, it was at one point I SWEAR) OS ignoring 60% of the available disk space, and various other Windows' weirdness.

Anyway, I'm still struggling with losing weight, and I've been 10 months in a new job (fabric and crafts store - part time) which is immensely fun and satisfies many of my crafting itches.
But, it is not a venue for much vintage wear.
Although I do sometimes wear my trusty early 50s Advance pattern buttoned, collared blouses to work.
Advance blouse blog post
However, it is really easier to pop on a white knit polo - which are cheap, don't require ironing, and meet the "collar and sleeves" requirement of the dress code. I sweat through my clothes every shift (slinging fabric is a very physical job) and would rather sweat through a $13 dollar polo then a blouse it takes a day to make.

So, I'm a member of a FB group for vintage capsule wardrobes and after a year of pondering, I've finally decided on a color scheme for my wardrobe:

My color palette

Black and white (a creamy white) and red always. Add dark teal and intense royal blue for fall and winter, and replace those with dusty blue and pink for spring and summer.

It is going to be fall here soon (although today was 98 degrees) and I've picked up some nice dark teal for a pair of wide legged pants and another version of the Anne Adams' jumper. The poly/rayon blend is visible in the above picture. It does a nice job of imitating wool and I can wash it at home.

Previous blog post: Anne Adams' jumper and blouse

I have done some vintage sewing - a Burda reissue of a dandy sheath.

Burda sheath dress
I did it in a lightweight cotton shirting fabric, lined with a poly anti-static. There are some fit issues but the busy print disguises them nicely (low butt and sway back). Pattern 7178.
Don't you love when a tall person takes a picture from his eye level? NOT. I look like I have stubby legs!

I have also been enjoying making aprons for work from a reissue Simplicity vintage pattern #1221

The pink flowers are the original version of the pattern (with an extra pocket).

Original vintage apron version

Simplicity 1221 pattern cover
Wonder Woman!

I reduced the skirt by quite a bit, just making a couple of small pleats on either side of center, as a full gathered skirt is not practical on a work apron.

I also added a pocket to the skirt, and a pen pocket on the bib. I like to make them in superhero colors: so far I've done Wonder Woman, She Hulk, and Singularity. I have Captain Marvel in the planning stages. I've also done a reversible spring apron, and a non-reversible fall is in the works. I'll probably make a separate post all about aprons in the future.

So, there is your hasty catch-up. I do hope it will not be a year before another post!

Sunday, October 18, 2015


I've been working very hard on other sewing projects (I design, make, and sell custom doll clothes for resin ball jointed dolls).

And it has massively cut into my me-sewing time.

I have a pattern drafted out for a pair of 1930s beach pajama pants. Somewhere.

I just ordered two more patterns. A great shirt dress with nifty details, and a box coat. I have a large triple (doll sewing) commission to get through, then two more singles. And nothing more in the pipeline, so I think I can squeeze some sewing for myself in before the end of the year.

Here is an image of the two most recently purchased patterns.

And that's all the time I have right now.

tin tin.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Anne Adams 4857 (jumper and blouse) Updated w/ blouse

There are a number of Anne Adams patterns out there with this number, but very few I have seen are this jumper and blouse pattern.

According to the pattern information, this jumper and blouse were only published in half sizes. A 20 1/2 would have been exactly my measurements (perhaps a bit short in the waist) but the 18 1/2 that I scored from Etsy was easily altered.

With a 1954 Mcalls blouse pattern in green silk!
A proper photo with the matching (black) blouse.

It took me the better part of a day to copy over the original, perforation only, pattern pieces, then alter my copies by about a size up in the bust, two sizes in the hips. I added 1 inch in length to the bodice pieces.
I knew I should do a muslin, but I was pretty confident of my alterations, so I dove into some goldenrod wool in a fine, tight gabardine. I bought a lot of this years ago but just never found the right project. The picture with the blue bedspread behind is a better representation of the color than the pics with the dark green blouse.
Going into the cutting process, I figured at worst I'd have to recut the bodice of the jumper due to length miscalculations.  I cut everything out with pinking shears, to avoid any time consuming seam finishing.
I sewed the major seams and the fit was good. I tried it on over a white blouse from a different vintage pattern, and decided that white was meh. Boring. Dull. Yawn-worthy. 
And I noticed that I had not gotten the front edges of the bodice lined up with the points on the skirt.

I decided that black was the way to go. However, I have no black fabric so I wore a previously made dark green blouse for my DIY photoshoot (blouse is a 1954 McCalls pattern that has gone missing!)
The pattern calls for seam binding the inside edges of the bodice. I have a whole reel of Hug Snug in medium blue. Well. Ha ha ha.
AFTER I had stitched on the Hug Snug, I discovered that the blue made a slight shadow on the bodice. Since the turned under edge was very wide, I just trimmed the binding off with my pinking shears, then stitched the pinked edge down. Waaah! This is what I get for sewing at night under artificial light.
The back neck of the jumper calls for bias binding. Having no suitable color of premade tape on hand at the time, I used a self bias. A bit bulky, but I steamed it into submission!
Honestly, this inside of this jumper is a hot mess. That's OK, it looks good from the outside.

 I stalled out for a few days, for lack of a zipper or premade bias for the waist, but eventually got that done as well. I bought some nearly matching pre-made bias tape for the waist.

I tried the pattern instructions for a lapped zipper (I've never done one, unless modern jeans count) and it was not exactly lapped. But it is neatly stitched so I'm not worried.

I tossed out a question to the We Sew Retro Facebook group, seeking a better understanding of the pattern instructions for the bias facing on the waist. It is mitered, which I understand how to do, but I've decided to sew facing, bodice, and skirt together in one operation next time, flipping the mitered facing down in place. 

The instructions ask you to refer to step 4, where I think they really mean step 3.
You can decide if you like.

I did not add any length to the skirt, figuring that the 3" hem allowed would give me enough wiggle room for adjustments. In the end, I turned up the 3 inches anyway, as the longer length made me look dumpy. (The pic with the white blouse is the unhemmed length).

Could I consider smiling?

Advance 5909, blouse: Updated w/ sleeveless version

I love a classic blouse, and I don't think it gets more classic then this.

I'll apologize here for the lousy pictures. But I keep waiting until I get really good pictures (in my picky opinion) before I'll finish a post. And I am so behind! So cope! I will!
I made two of these in a sleeveless version last summer, and this season I finally got around to trying out my re-sized long sleeve pattern. It was good!

I generally followed the pattern instructions, but used an overcast seam finish to neaten the inside.
At a 40" bust measurement, which is my _high_ bust measure, the shoulders, collar, and armscye fit well. The bust shaping comes from gathers at the front yoke and tucks at the waist. 
I compensated for my larger-than-pattern waist by leaving out the waist tucks, although I did pin them in while admiring the blouse on the dressmaker's form. The dressmaker form never sits down, and so never encounters the splodge effect of excess pounds at the waist!

I had not added length to my sleeveless versions, and they were just too short for modern rise pants. So I added some length to the body as well as the sleeves for this version. 
I used some modern embossed plastic buttons, and buttonholes made with my Singer Featherweight buttonhole attachment. The buttonholes, despite adding interfacing, are a bit floppy in this fabric, so I think in the future I'll make proper bound buttonholes. Or maybe the thick embossed buttons were not a good choice.
I might lengthen the sleeves another 1/2" but they fit well enough now. The cuffs could stand to be an inch larger, so I stitched the buttons very close to the end of the cuffs.
I left the pockets off the long sleeved version since my pocket placements on the sleeveless ones somehow seem not perfectly placed.

I used a nice Swiss dot fabric, which will be cool and comfortable for summer (or hot flashes!) but is more sheer than I usually choose.

I'll make this again at least one more time, perhaps in a 3/4 sleeve length.

Here's a shot of my sleeveless version (I just used a self bias binding on the arm holes). You can see that this is a shorter version of the body. And I got a SHORT haircut in the meantime!


Saturday, January 31, 2015

My tiny pattern stash

As part of the Vintage Pattern Pledge, I thought I would show you my small collection of vintage patterns. (I also have a lot of reissued Vintage Vogue and others but I really prefer working with the real thing, even if it means I have to resize.)

These are from my mom.

Vogue 8114

Vogue 9259
These I bought in a local thrift/antique store

McCall 7260

Simplicity 4650

These I bought on line

Advance 5909

Marian Martin 9154

Simplicity 2926
And that's it!

I'll be looking for more patterns online as the mood strikes. But I have to really really love them to bring them home.

Friday, January 30, 2015


Well, this is disturbing.

I return to my blog after a summer, fall, and part of winter away and find that many images are missing.

I will replace them soonish. And I'll update this post when I've replaced all the broken links. All the broken images are fixed, except for one blog post. I can't find those images. I will search my phone and tablet and see if I can find them there.

I've pledged to make 5 garments from vintage patterns this year, as part of the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge, over on A Stitching Odyssey. See the badge in the sidebar.

And I've pledged to BLOG about them. At which I stink.