Friday, April 29, 2011

Thrifted Treasure

We almost didn't go to Goodwill this evening. But we did, and look who
I found there! After a lot of oiling and some de-gunking, it sews
reasonably well. I tried it with a class 15 because I don't have the
Elna bobbins, and it did prove functional. I am going to sell it...or
order bobbins for myself...or sell it...arghhhh! It's SO CUTE! And it
barely takes up any space...I'm starting to wonder if my good luck
finding machines is a blessing or a curse! :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Day, Pattern Score, Coloring Eggs, More Potted Luggage, the Sew-a-thon....

Today is Easter, and tomorrow my hunny goes back to work, as his spring break is coming to a close. We three have had a great time just spending time together- sharing meals, talks, naps, thrifting, and snuggling. Only a bit over a month and he'll be home for the summer. 

We have had family visiting, and you'll never guess....we went to the BILTMORE! Ha ha! We are getting our money's worth out of those season passes. I won't post a gazillion pics of flowers, just a few more neat vintage luggage shots. 

On the way over there we hit some secondhand stores, and a thrifting/sewing dream of mine was realized when I happened upon a shop that had a whole bunch of 40s (most in my size) patterns as well as some very cute 50s/60s stuff for $1 each. I bought twenty some-odd patterns- quite a steal! (It's a slightly better view anyway, Portia! It's okay- I like to see the goodies you hunt out too!)

The next day, we colored Easter eggs. I haven't done that in years, and it was a lot of fun! 

And, as if there weren't enough going on, I decided to sew new dresses for the bunny and I! I had already begun her dress, but as for mine, I disassembled a dress I found thrifting, recut the fabric for my new pattern, and decided to fully line it. 
It began life as a Jessica McClintock for Gunne Sax style 80s does 50s dress
Add McCall's 9746 from 1969 (borrowed pic- buy this pattern here)
And we ended up with this! 

This dress has a "bra top," it is interfaced, lined, and fitted very snugly. As I said, I decided to line the whole thing, and it was my first time doing a fully lined dress. I also made fabric covered buttons for the front. I like the style a lot, and the empire waist/a line combo allowed me to cram in the maximum amount of my MIL's yummy Easter food! Gremel's little dress has lace on the collar, bunny applique', and I hemmed both dresses and inserted the zippers by hand. In fact, with the lining in mine, I did a fair amount of hand stitching, and all in all it came out pretty well.
Seems harder, but it's actually easier for me to get a nice, unpuckery result
The pattern for Bunny's dress-
I used an applique from another pattern that I found yesterday thrifting- what luck!
Excuse the wrinkles, I took this after she wore it

Yeah, it was kinda crazy. I sewed until late last night, and then I woke up and sewed for a few hours today!  It was fun though, and well worth it because we got some really nice Easter family photos. 

I really hope you had a wonderful holiday as well- with loved ones, in your part of the world, with your special traditions. Now to rest my hands and arms up for some more stitching, gardening, and baby hugging. Goodnight!  

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My hands are shaking as I snap this photo...

I just got super lucky at a local thrift store! 40s patterns for $1
each! Swoon! Someone pass the smelling salts! This is less than half.
I bought 23 patterns. Yaaaay!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Funny Little Sewing Projects (Repost with links and actual formatting!)

By now, any of you who have read about my other sewing projects know that I am a little less than practical. Perhaps you may have also realized that I have my own eccentric tastes, and I wouldn't know current fashion if I hit it with my car and got out to inspect the damage. 

Concerned Husband: Oh my gosh! Are you okay? What did you hit? 
Me: Oh no! I don't know! I'm fine. Let me get out and take a look. [A minute later] Honey...could you come here? What on Earth is this? I've never seen anything like it before! I just don't know. Something seems vaguely familiar about it, but I can't place it for the life of me! 
Concerned Husband: Oh sweetie- that's current fashion! You know, the year 2011? You silly little thing. 
Me: You don't say...well, who knew!

Today I will nail those impressions of impracticality and eccentricity home by showing you photos of the cape I made. It's a rain cape. I finally came to realize that the trench I started as part of Gertie's Lady Grey Sew Along was never going to happen. When I started sewing it I weighed close to 15 lbs more than I do now, and I had started a size and a half large. Plus, the iron on interfacing was all bubbly. Plus, I just didn't want to sew it anymore. So, the UFO that had literally been hovering over my sewing area for months (I thought putting it on a hanger where I could see it would motivate me to finish it) was hacked to bits and became a very necessary spring cape.
Photo courtesy of the Vintage Pattern Wiki

The dog ate my pattern instructions.
Okay, okay, I don't have a dog.  I just didn't follow them.
 I added pearl beads and a hook and eye instead
Even the welt arm slits are so necessary. Without them, I would have to reach through the front opening, or even under the cape, as I am pictured doing here. Can you imagine the hardship?

I used the directions from the Threads tutorial, and I am starting to get the hang of the hook and eye. They could be neater, but holy cannoli, you should have seen the rat's nests I was sewing on my garments before! You could either hook the eye, or hook the tangle of threads- your choice! I think next time I sew these on something with a facing, they will look pretty neat (I can hide the knots). 
Yaaay! So that's my cape. I am sure to get lots of stares wearing it around my small, southern town, population 8. 

On to the next thing. I have a cute apron that my mother in law gave me from Grandma's pretty vintage linens. I love it, but it is a little bit delicate, and I didn't want to trash it. Yes, I do use aprons when I cook and clean. I have had enough little grease spots on my clothing to last a lifetime, and I especially don't want to risk stains on my home sewn clothing. So, I made a pattern from Grandma's apron, and I sewed a sturdy version. 
Everything old is new again...

The scalloped hem was a bitch to notch, turn, and press, but it was worth it!
 Cute! (If I do say so myself)
The apron has a pretty little top that folds over and kind of frames the bow. And I used a fishing lure fabric that I have had in my stash for 5 years! Points! I have a crazy friend- when I asked her what she wanted for her birthday (5 YEARS AGO- POINTS!) she told me she wanted an apron with fishing lures on it. Figures. Do you know what a pain it is to find something like that? So, I made it with my (future) MIL, and now I have made another. Fun, fun. 

Well, that's it for now. I am working on a dress for Gremel-Lynn to wear for Easter. She has popped a tooth and is truly living up to her nickname, growling and grumbling, and keeping us up all hours of the night. As the Paul Simon song says, "that was your mother, and that was your father before you was born, dude. When life was great. You are the burden of my generation. I sure do love you, let's get that straight!" Now, I'm off to wake the little bunny from her nap so she doesn't party all night again! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Biltmore Part II- Vintage Luggage & Flowers

I went to the Biltmore with the fam again the weekend before last. I wanted to see the tulip garden in bloom. As this is an important time of year in the flower gardens, they had already changed out some of the displays in the greenhouses. And, Mother Nature had changed them up too, as some flowers had gone by and others burst into bloom. I almost skipped the last greenhouse, as we were a bit tired and ready to head out, but I ducked in and found a beautiful room arranged with vintage luggage which had been potted. Now that is my cup of tea! That would be a really neat use for some of the really smelly old luggage one encounters from time to time while out thrifting. Here are some photos. 

I love these pointy tulips 

My loves relaxing in the grass

This is my favorite! I love how the flowers reflect in that old, mottled mirror.

They filled the pockets! Love, love, love!

And again, a good time was had by all!