06.18.10 {cotton candy}

Hello, dear friends! My apologies posting has been utter rubbish this week; I was visiting my sister and helping document an event she was hosting and that got me a bit distracted for a few days! But I wanted to pop in this morning to let y’all know that I contributed to a group guest interview over at Already Pretty. Perhaps you’ve already seen it, so it’s old news? I was honored when Sally asked me to chat a bit about my love of vintage style and how I incorporate it into my wardrobe. I don’t consider myself a “hardcore” vintage dresser, but someone who likes to add bits and pieces and give the overall “look” of vintage. So I hope you’ll enjoy reading what I had to say (along with two other snappy dressers)!

In discussing vintage style for this guest post, I also was mulling over the topic of why someone would or wouldn’t choose to adopt vintage into their look (providing they even find it an attractive aesthetic)? If you find yourself drawn to vintage style (whether you’re someone who enjoys a more authentic or derivative look), why have you chosen (or not!) to dress this way? I’m always curious what motivates others when it comes to their stylistic choices…

Hope you’re having a lovely day! (And I think maybe Sunday I shall have a peek at some of the photographs I took at my sister’s party! I’m quite tickled with how they came out…)

May 10, 2012 · 31 lovely thoughts
posted in links · tags: ,

Have you heard about the Sew Grateful Week event Debi is hosting? Such a brilliant idea! Lots of giveaways, reflections, tutorials and projects are pouring in from sewing blogs. I think it’s a fantastic way to celebrate the amazing sewing blog community, so of course I wanted to participate. Unfortunately, because this week has been insane for me and my mind has been elsewhere, I didn’t get my ducks in a row as I would have liked. But I thought I’d combine a reflection post with my weekly vintage inspiration anyway!

It’s rather funny how Debi’s event falls right after I passed the eight-year mark of blogging; in a way it’s made me realize how much the online sewing community has changed in less than a decade. We’ve gone from a tiny handful of blogs scattered across the internet, to an enormous community spanning a variety of sewing interests, countries, ages and skill levels.

I can honestly say that without the internet community, I wouldn’t be at the point where I am with my sewing. While I’ve always been the bookish sort and loved to raid the public library for sewing books, the amazing variety of knowledge shared on other sewing blogs means that there is something new crossing my radar all the time! I have learned how to padstitch and the fundamentals of tailoring thanks to Gertie, beading from my (real life!) friend Jenny Rose, pattern drafting techniques from countless individuals, clever fitting and construction from Sunni, embellishment touches from the team at Colette Patterns, and clever techniques from Tasia.

But it doesn’t end there! The inspiration from sewing blogs is another vital componant to our little community. People like Lauren M., Jane, Tilly, Lauren T., , the entire group of Sew Weekly contributors, and Patty. Even when I’m feeling a bit burnt out or indifferent to sewing (usually when life gets too busy to have time to sew!), these blogs excite me with ideas, fun details and fabrics, and new patterns.

The amazing thing is this is just a small sampling of all the informative and inspiring sewing blogs out there. We’ve gone from just a handful (literally!) of bloggers writing about their handcraft of choice, to thousands. So I’d just like to take this moment to thank all the fanastic blogs out there who have influenced, taught and inspired me over the years. I can’t wait to see what the sewing community will be like in another eight years…

What are a few of your favorite sewing blogs that you’re “Sew Grateful” for?

(And just so this post isn’t completely pictureless, I decided to continue posting a few more of my favorite patterns from my grandmother’s collection! Enjoy the sewing eye candy!)

Be sure to check out the back of the envelope for full details!

This post is part of an ongoing series cataloging a collection of my grandmother’s patterns. To view previous posts, please click here.

February 8, 2012 · 18 lovely thoughts
posted in sewing,vintage inspiration · tags: , , ,

I fully intended to finally put the ideas of making your own petticoat that had been floating through my head into an actual tutorial for the sew-along. But the general busyness that seems to have taken over my life the past two months pretty much pushed a lot of my sewing to the wayside. So for now, my sincere apologies that this tutorial never reached fruition (though eventually I’d like it to—I’ve filed away all my notes for later!), and I decided to round up a number of links from around the web on making your own net petticoat.

Petticoats are one of the quintessential components of 1950s dressing; and if you want to add a bit of authentic “pouf” to your circle skirt, are a much. (You don’t have to wear a petticoat with a circle skirt though—I wear mine without all the time to no ill effect!) You can generally find them online (Ebay is a great place as well as the many vintage reproduction stores online) and in costume shops. But if you have a specific hue, length or size in mind, then making your own is probably the way to go. Let me just say here as someone who attempted to make a petticoat years and years ago: you can not be afraid of dealing with miles of netting. These garments use a lot.

This tutorial at Sugardale is probably my favorite out of the bunch, and approaches petticoat-making in a similar way I would.

BurdaStyle has a pattern you can download for a net petticoat. I haven’t downloaded and looked at it, but it looks nice from the picture and several members have made it.

Someone sent me this link ages ago, but it has a few loose details from the 50s on making a petticoat and how to achieve a very full, fluffy effect.

If you have access to it, the June/July issue of Vogue Sewing Magazine had a how-to on creating a net crinoline petticoat. I bought the issue and was impressed with the article (though like Gertie, I thought the resulting petticoat was a bit short for most of my 50s dresses and skirts—but easily adjustable!).

Speaking of the amazing Ms. Gertie, she also has a pretty fantastic petticoat tutorial here, using organza or organdy instead of net. (Also less scratchy!)

For a less poufy look, check out this how-to on BurdaStyle for making a petticoat from a sheet.

I think these links cover the various methods of petticoat-making out there! Best of luck for those of you tackling the project (wish I could… but again it’s the specter that is looming of late called Time. lol.)

Don’t forget that the Circle Skirt Party is this coming Monday! I’ve already received a handful of entries (and will be emailing you back to confirm shortly). Don’t forget to send yours if you haven’t already! I’m also extending the deadline to 12pm Saturday afternoon as well, so that gives you a bit more time!

October 6, 2011 · 13 lovely thoughts
posted in sewing · tags: ,

So, there’s a hiccup in the blogging scheme for today. I didn’t get the second half of the 50s dress tutorial finished in time to schedule a post today, and now I’m out of aforementioned time. As my sister would say: epic fail. Instead I’m going to distract you with some links, videos and promises of the final post on Monday. Sometimes these things happen… in fact, life just seems to be happening at a rather alarming rate this week. lol.

I get a ton of emails and comments about sewing books I recommend. My lovely friend Megan (I adore her blog so much–she inspires me to no end!) asked me earlier this week to share some of my favorite sewing books in a collaborative post. She’s divided it up into several segments (I’m kind of scared to see how many books we’ve listed between the two of us!), but the first one is up today: Beginner Sewing Books and worth a look!

I also recently uploaded a new thrifting show and tell video to my YouTube channel; and it includes things I don’t think I’ve shown you all here yet. Including some beautiful 50s sweaters I found back in March. It makes me so sad it’s far too warm to even think about sweaters right now–I want to wear them!

I’ll be back Sunday both with my usual links roundup post and an announcement about a little group project/blog tour I’m cooking up. Have a lovely Friday and Saturday friends!

July 8, 2011 · 31 lovely thoughts
posted in links,thrifting + vintage · tags: , , ,

singer sewing centers

image source.

My apologies that there is no sew-along post up this afternoon as promised. The last couple days just whizzed right by, and unfortunately I ran out of time to prep everything this morning as I had hoped before I running to an appointment. So the post shall be up tomorrow instead! I’ll be touching on lengthening or shortening the bodice and sleeves. There was also a question in last week about doing an SBA on this particular bodice. I’m hoping to tackle that this week as well, time permitting. If you’re itching to get going on adjusting your pattern, I highly recommend using Gertie’s method for adjusting a bodice for a smaller bustline: trying on the tissue pattern (or tracing in this case) and pinching out the excess fullness as needed, and then translating that to the flat pattern. Keep in mind that this design is not meant to be skin tight; the bodice should have a bit of blousiness. There is also a great illustration of where to slash the pattern on a similar surplice bodice here (scroll down to Simplicity 3775).

Finally on a different note, reader Alli emailed me last week about the flooding in Queensland, Australia. I am so sad by the news of the destruction and loss of lives caused by this disaster–my thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this. Alli sent a link to the RSPCA Queensland and kindly asked me to post about it, as they are in need of help to care for animals in the flood-affected areas. Of course, having an adopted bunny in the house, this caught my attention. She wrote: “I don’t know if you have heard over your way, but the floods here in Queensland, Australia, have been devastating. There have been 20 people killed, many missing, and thousands are homeless. One of the places that was badly hit was the RSPCA Qld. They help rescue, heal and rehome hundreds of animals (both wild and home friends) per year. Unfortunately, they do not receive any government help as they are a charity run organisation, so they are going to have a hard time getting back on their feet again after this horrible disaster. They function on donations.

Until tomorrow, dear friends!

January 24, 2011 · 12 lovely thoughts
posted in sewing · tags: ,