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Category Archives: Vintage Finds

The Monthly Stitch Miss Bossy Patterns March Challenge

There is a twist on the March challenge over at The Monthly Stitch and I need your help! The normal process is for the collective to vote on the theme then stitch whatever theme the majority chose. I haven’t had a chance to complete any challenges since my Date Night dress entry for the Frocktober Challenge but that hasn’t stopped me from cutting out the dresses and getting them ready to stitch.

This month requires each sewist to have their blog readers choose between three patterns in their stash that are new to them. I have A LOT of patterns I haven’t sewn but actually want to complete one of my never sewn “hibernating” projects so my March Monthly Stitch entry will be one of the following. Please post a comment and let me know which one you think I should stitch up for the challenge and the pattern with the most votes will be my entry!

First up is Vintage Pattern 9387 which is a sleeveless, princess seamed dress that I originally intended to make for the September Vintage Patterns Challenge. I chose an emerald green marbled fabric and have all the pieces cut and ready to sew.

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The second option is the Licorice dress from Colette Patterns Sewing Handbook and was supposed to be my November From a Sewing Book Challenge entry. The fabric is the lovely Liberty of London Tana Lawn Alma in black and red. This one is also cut and ready to sew.

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The final option is Simplicity 2017 which is a sleeveless shift dress with a square yoke. The fabric was a prize from Anneke of Annette Tirette.  This fabric is an African wax print and should suit the pattern quite nicely!

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New Dress, New Challenge & New Giveaway

Greetings from the SNOWY south ya’ll! I have been stuck inside for two days with my husband and very bored teenager so you can imagine how happy I am to be able to share my latest make with you.

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This is my third version of the Peony dress from Colette patterns. I used short sleeves on the first one and the second one was a sleeveless version but I wanted this one to have longer sleeves so I could wear it through the winter. The fabric is from Art Gallery’s Splendor 1920 collection and is called Adorneament in Royal. I love the vintage Downton Abbey look of the fabric and plan to wear it for a Valentine’s Day dinner with my husband if the weather eases up long enough for us to get out of the driveway! I bought this fabric last year from Hawthorne Threads along with the fabric for my Date Night dress.  I also still have three lengths of fabric from that order waiting to be stitched up so I hope to show you some more lovely dresses soon!

I did my normal modifications to the pattern:

  • Graded up to fit 47″ bust
  • Used bias tape instead of facings for the neckline
  • Lengthened the skirt by 4 inches
  • Sewed a lapped zipper instead of using an invisible zipper

This time I also opted to add the contrasting sash which was a pain to get a good fit. Since my waist-to-hip differential is so large and I am short waisted, it is hard to get belts wide enough to accentuate without riding up above the hip fluff. I did manage to get this one to fit after a couple of attempts by using snaps instead of a single button.
Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge

Another thing I did when the power and internet were restored was visit my favorite blogs for new sewing inspiration. What I found was not “new” inspiration but “vintage”. Marie of A Stitching Odyssey has decided to challenge herself to finally use some of her vintage patterns instead of merely collecting them. She challenged other sewists to also use their vintage stash and I have decided to join her Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge by committing to use at least three of my vintage patterns this year.

While searching through my vintage pattern stash to determine which ones I plan to sew, I realized I have way TOO many and will not possibly get around to sewing them all. I hope to finalize my vintage sewing list soon but in the meantime, there is a good way to share my love of vintage sewing with you by sending these four patterns to one lucky sewist. Just leave a comment by Wednesday, February 19th and I will choose a winner next Thursday.

Congratulations to the winner of last week’s yarn giveaway: Cathynd95! Cathy, please email me your address and I will get the yarn in the post!

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The Sew Weekly Reunion

The Sew Weekly Reunion

Mena Trott’s The Sew Weekly site was the first blog I found when I started sewing in 2011. The premise was simple…sew each week and document the finished garment. Mena’s site quickly expanded to include 4 other sewists then in 2012 The Sew Weekly had over one hundred contributors posting their garments. Unfortunately Mena did not continue the challenges in 2013 which left many sewists, myself included, without ongoing inspiration.

Luckily the original 4 ladies that sewed along with Mena in 2011 have decided to host a reunion. Instead of having a challenge every week, there will be yearly reunion where everyone can join along and sew a similar challenge for one month. The Sew Weekly Reunion 2013 challenge theme requires the Pantone Fall 2013 colors to be the inspiration for the garment. Everyone has until the end of August to submit their makes and the winner receives some beautiful silk chiffon fabric.

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Along with the reunion challenge is an optional pattern and notions swap. Kat from Modern Vintage Cupcakes is hosting and participants received an email with the person’s interests, blog site, and address. As an added bonus, there will be a prize for using your swap items during the Pantone challenge. I sent a package to Z from Gladys and Viv. She recently posted her goodies and I am so glad she liked them. I can’t wait to see what she makes!

swap goodies

I received a package from Amanda and I absolutely love it. Not only did she include patterns very close to my size (which is rare to find in vintage patterns) but one even included a pattern for a knitted jacket meant to coordinate with the dress pattern. Even though it is running about 90 degrees every day this week, I couldn’t help myself and have already cast on. I hope to finish both the dress and knitted jacket in time to submit before the end of the month.

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Are you taking part in the challenge?

Cabarita RIFF Pattern Review

Posted on

My vacation resulted in many completed garments but the Cabarita  is by far my favorite. The blouse is designed by Cake Patterns and was a quick sew. I had intentions of sewing this a week ago but ended up starting it just a few hours before I needed to wear it to the ballpark with family for the holiday fireworks and still had plenty of time to eat and socialize with the family.
Cabarita Collar

Highlights of this pattern include:

  • Thick pattern paper instead of tissue. Steph designs her patterns for tracing so they can be used over and over.
  • Minimal instructions. The RIFF line of patterns are intended for more advanced sewists and do NOT include pattern layout grids or much in the way of assembly illustrations and directions. However, the patterns are typically very straightforward so even a relatively new sewist like me had no problems getting this one completed in a few hours.
  • Large range of sizing and tracing lines that easily accommodate significant waist to hip ratios like mine (nearly 12 inches)
  • Reversible styling for stripes. This to me was the coolest feature of the pattern and though the collar version is actually the one Steph initially designed to wear in the front, I preferred the chevrons so wore this way instead. In addition to chevrons being a slimming look, they also showcased my latest vintage pin quite well!

Cabarita Chevron

Overall I am super pleased with this pattern and will definitely make it again. The one thing I will change for next time is to make the upper arms with more ease. I made the pattern in 47 bust but need probably another 1-2 inches of ease in the upper arm to prevent pulling at the shoulders. Upper arm tightness is often a problem for me so I should have automatically made this alteration. Even so, this version is still definitely wearable due to the thin knit fabric but would be uncomfortable in anything thicker. Other than that, the Cabarita pattern is perfect and coordinates wonderfully with my red Hummingbird skirt!

Patriotic Flower

Fab Find Friday #3

This week’s fab find hails from the late 60s but coordinates with lots of my current wardrobe. This groovy daisy pin is about 3 inches in diameter so it is no shy wallflower! I grabbed it for a steal off ebay at $10 (including shipping). I have several other daisy pins like this one in different colors including a couple my mom gave me that she actually wore while she was in high school and college from 1967-1970!

The sweater in the background is currently on my needles. It is the P90 Diagonal Tee pattern from Artyarns and if I could ever get the darned thing finished, it matches perfectly with my pin.

What is your latest fab find?

Daisy Pin

Fab Find Friday #2

This week’s fab find is another lovely vintage handbag from my coworker Jenny. She is fast becoming my best option for vintage handbags. This gem is a mid-1960’s navy and white spectator style Jenny picked up for $1.39! She finds these at the “last ditch effort” clearance center of the Charlotte area Goodwill stores. When items don’t sell in the regular Goodwill stores, they will be moved to the final selling area of this big clearance store. What is wild about the clearance store is items do not have individual price tags. Instead everything is sold by the pound which is how this wonderful example of vintage Air Step handbags only cost $1.39!
Fab Find Friday #2

Vintage Handbags

After showing you my latest handbag in the Fab Find Friday post, I thought I would share my entire collection. It isn’t large by some standards, but all of the handbags are in relatively good condition and are used regularly. I am picky regarding style, brand and vintage so when I find one that meets my criteria, I usually snap it up!

I found over the years that I tend to prefer the Hermes Kelly bag style made popular in the mid-1950’s by Grace Kelly which was carried on your arm instead of the shoulder. Since I can’t afford the original Hermes version, I stick to Air Step, Life Stride and Naturalizer brands which were sold in department stores to middle class consumers.

Most of these bags were sold from the late 1950’s through the early 1970’s and you can usually find good examples in the $30-$50 range at antique malls and online auctions. My current “in search of…” versions are a red and white spectator Air Step and a solid black faux alligator Life Stride. If you run across either option, please let me know!

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