Tag Archive | vintage

Another jam session

Summer is upon us in the Pacific Northwest! Actually, we’ve had an unusually nice June (kinda makes me wonder when the other shoe is going to drop) and the girls ditched their fleece jammies weeks ago. The problem was, they have outgrown the spring nightgowns that I made them. That was four years ago, so I suppose some growing is acceptable. {sigh} Kids. If they’re not messing up clothes, they’re growing out of them. Whatchagonnado?

Sew new pajamas, that’s what! I found this pattern from 1982 at a thrift store some time ago and snapped it up for Just Such An Occasion. After considering her options, Rana chose the babydoll set with the little top and bloomers.

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Simplicity 5949 from 1982

It was a cute pattern to work up and nothing overly tricky. The best part of all was that I had fabric in my stash that perfectly suited this little pajama set. It’s a white lightweight cotton with pastel stripes — another thrift store find that I’ve been hanging onto for years. In the pattern, the yoke of the babydoll top is cut on the same grain as the rest of the outfit. I didn’t feel like trying to match up all those skinny little stripes and have them still come out just off enough to make your eyes buggy. My solution was to cut the yoke on the cross-grain instead which sends the stripes running parallel. No matching involved and no buggy eyes. Win-win!

Ribbon shoulder ties and a sweet little ribbon rose below the yoke

Ribbon shoulder ties and a sweet little ribbon rose below the yoke

By sheer luck, the stripes on the little bloomers met just right and make me look like a genius. Thanks, stripes!

Of course I did that on purpose

Of course I did that on purpose!

On the inside of the bloomers, I sewed a little ribbon tag so that Rana could tell front from back. You can also see my French seam which I did on both garments. Rana tends to have some sensory issues when it comes to clothing and anything I can do to smooth things out and make it more comfortable is worth not having to listen to her cry and complain and eventually wear said clothing inside-out. Even though I’ve used French seams in many articles of clothing, I still have a momentary freakout when I begin sewing pieces right sides out, like I’m about to monumentally screw things up. I get a little neurotic about that.

Ooh la la

Ooh la la

And here is the full babydoll set, sans girl inside because, internet pervs.

Soft and cool for summer nights

Soft and cool for summer nights

Granota has told me that she prefers the full-length nightgown. I was hoping to make another stash bust for her, too, but I’m having trouble finding suitable fabric. I may have to break down and go buy something, but I hope not! We shall see…

December 11: Blessings

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Vintage O’Keefe & Merritt

I easily could have just recycled the pic of my kids for “blessings,” but there are plenty of other blessings to choose from, so why not highlight one of those?

Yep, my oven. Having lived without one for two years in the cabin, I’m grateful everyday to have one now! And I went ahead and left all the used pots and pans up there because I was in a hurry to represent the blessing of ample food for my family.

UFO —> FO #1: Retro baby booties

Betcha thought I had forgotten, didn’t ya? Nope, nope, those UFOs are still looming over my head. But I got one done! Like I talked about in my first UFO post, I felt like the baby booties needed to be completed first so that, y’know, the baby might get a chance to wear them. I dug them out and wow. I had barely done a thing to them when I put them away 4+ years ago. And why did I put them away 4 years ago? I have no idea. It really only took about four evenings of embroidering and about ten minutes to pin and sew the soles on. Sometimes I think I mentally construct these giant obstacles just to feed the procrastination monster.

The pattern is Simplicity 2867, originally from 1948. There are three different styles, all adorable.

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The booties are made from wool felt. That stuff is not cheap! Good thing these booties take only a miniscule amount. The little laces are just crocheted embroidery floss.

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Now that the booties are finished, we may have a problem. Sprinkaan has square little feet — they are already the width of the booties, while of course being nowhere near the length. By the time his feet get long enough to wear them without looking like little vintage clown shoes, his feet will be too wide to cram into them anyways! If I had finished these for Konik like I had originally intended, I doubt we would have had this dilemma because he has long, narrow feet. Procrastination comes back to bite me.

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Well, they’re cute. And the baby is cuter.

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As for the rest of my UFOs, I wrote them on slips of paper, put them in a jar and I pulled one out at random, with the goal of completing one per month.

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And the winner is…

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The last successful sewing project

Remember that wedding I went to this summer? Remember how I told you that I had sewn a new dress for it? Remember when I used to blog three times a week? Yeah, I suck. But hey, I’m here now.

So about that dress. I had fallen in love with a vintage Vogue reprint.

Vogue 8789

It looked like a good wedding-y type of dress for a summer wedding. But it was also an evening wedding, so I felt like the fabric needed to have a little sparkle. I chose an Asian print — cherry blossoms on a plum background with a touch of shimmery gold here and there.

One thing I particularly loved about this pattern was that the facing was actually part of the bodice piece. Sheer genius. Why aren’t all V-necks made this way? Tell you what, from now on, that’s what I’m going to do. I just had to finish the edge and then fold it in and tack it down. Brilliant.

One thing I did not like about this pattern was the armhole facing. The pieces are weirdly shaped and continually want to flip out, even with understitching. I think I would have been better off just binding them in bias tape. And that’s what I’m going to do if I ever make this pattern again.

But I may not because this thing is a fabric monster. 5.25 yards. That adds up fast. This dress turned out to be much more expensive than I had intended. With the look Mr. Gren gave me after I bought the fabric, I kinda feel like I should wear it everyday just to make it worth it.

I’m also coming to the conclusion that, while I like the idea of this style of dress, this particular silhouette is perhaps not the most flattering on me. To really give that dramatic look I need a tiny wasp waist and, let’s face it, after three kids, that tiny waist may never come back. I’m thinking princess lines are going to be my go-to from here on out.

As I said, this thing takes over 5 yards of fabric, and obviously, the majority of that is in the ginormous skirt. But one can’t just leave those swathes of fabric hanging from the body. If you’re going to do that, you may as well just pin Miss Ellen’s portieres over your shoulders and call it a day. So, I am wearing not one, but two petticoats under this sucker (both of which I made myself and I will write about some other day). I probably could have even gotten away with a third, but in this day and age, people just aren’t accustomed to dresses that poof, so I figured it was best to go the conservative route. Or something.

Even big girls like to twirl.

You may have noticed in the pattern drawing that there is a cummerbund as part of this look. And you may have noticed that I am not wearing one. I made it, I did. It’s gold. Remember how I don’t have a wasp waist? Yeah, Vogue, your one-size-fits-all cummerbund: bad idea. Even with the couple of extra inches that I added on. Even with it being cut on the bias (that gives it some stretch). At that point, it was the night before we had to travel and I was out of fabric, so… ya get what ya get. I made the executive decision that zero cummerbund was a better look than being slowly sliced in half. Personal preference. You can do what you want. I won’t judge.

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In other news, today is Rana’s 7th birthday! No homemade presents this year, but I did buy her a tiny little sewing kit of her very own. Singer has these cute little pink and black tackle boxes that come with a few sewing “essentials.” I had already bought a few a la carte and decided to swap out some of the ones that came in the box with the ones I had chosen because I liked them better. I also included three fat quarters so that she will have her very own fabric to work with and not just my scraps. I hope she loves it!