Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A look back, 2011 sewing projects

Today as a way to say goodbye to 2011, I wanted to look back at some favorite sewing projects. Here are my top ten from 2011. In no particular order.

1. This 50's blouse I sewed this past summer, has made getting dress a snap. I love the square neck/collar. It's so easy to accessorize with jewelry and a belt.

2. Little pink dress you will always remind me of my lack of understand about stabilizer and fabric weight. I did it all wrong, but I still love this dress and feel a bit wiser. I can be found running around antique stores in it.

3. This top makes me happy. I am glad I made three of these. I see more in the future.

4. Casey's swing dress sew-along was just plain fun. This dress took a lot of doing, but I am so glad I got to accomplish it.

5. This 1950's dress with decorative stitching still is not completed! I had an issue with the lining and needed to straighten it out.  Can't wait to wear it again with some different shoes please, yuck!

6. Love this 40's dress.  In the spring, I plan on making it again in a stretch fabric.  I made it up twice. It's a favorite for sure!

7. My 40's Easter dress. I just love a square neckline.  I really want to make this dress in a everyday, causal style fabric in 2012. 

8. Ginger skirt, love was born. I have really enjoyed wearing this skirt a lot. I love the green colored fabric and the shape of this skirt is a friend to the pear shaped gal.

 9. This little skirt has a flared style. I really like the length of this skirt and it's been worn over and over again.

10. This is my favorite skirt and blouse combo. I made them both and enjoy this 70's/80's style.

11. Okay I said ten, but I couldn't leave off the pants. They are wonderful compared to what I have found in the store.

Thanks for sharing this year with me. I am ready for 2012 to start. This coming year I hope to sew more, fit a better garment, and use more fabrics with stretch in them. Of course with you dear readers! I am so thankful to the online community of creative folks!  May you have a wonderful holiday season and may God be with you in the coming year.

Have a wonderful vintage day,


Sunday, December 18, 2011


Cold weather has hit our area and it was time to dig through the wardrobe. What I found is that I am lacking bottoms that fit well. So, I am determined to make a good fitting pair of pants. I can honestly say that I have never had a pair of pants that I felt fit well and looked good on me. Anyone else have this problem? According to the standard size charts, you know the ones that predict bust, waist and hips measurements. Well, I have never "fit" into one size. I am a pear shape, carrying most of my weight lower on my body. My thigh circumference is much larger than the norm. For once in my life I want a pair of pants that fit nice at the waist ( no gaps please!), but are also loose in the thigh area. I think I am close with these pants. I did adjust the pattern a lot in the rise, inseam and of course the thigh area. The pattern calls for a side lap zipper, and  I added a vintage button. It felt really good to be sewing again. I feel like I am breathing again. Thanks for your prayers and good thoughts.

Have a wonderful vintage day!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Robbed, tips for being prepared

I know it's been awhile, sorry for my silence. What I am about to share is not a vintage post, please forgive me. I feel the need to express these things in the hope for healing. We were robbed. There I said it. Home doesn't feel the same to me, as I look out my window I feel a bit blue. Among the items taken were most of my fine jewelry, including my wedding ring. These pieces that were stolen were like old friends to me. We spent  years together, some pieces were engraved, they all were very personal, intentionally bought and meaningful.  They were given to me, on our wedding day, for my college graduation, and at the birth of my sons. The feelings I have are hard to work through.  I am doing my best to wipe off every tract of the word "victim" that has embedded into my forehead, for I know that what happens to me is not who I am.  I refuse to live with that word plastered across me in neon lights. I know it will take time to recover. I learned the hard way, the cost was great. I made a list for you. Here are a few tips for hanging onto your stuff and being prepared just in case.

1. Like in real estate, Think LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. Find a good place to put your jewelry and valuables.  It's best not to hide your jewelry inside your bedroom. Most theifs will  look there first.  My stuff was in my dresser drawer, under the bed and in my closet. A better place for these items would be a safe or a hidden compartment within a wall.

2. Keep your business quiet. If you have money hidden somewhere, don't tell anyone! It's takes only one person to leak out information that can cause you to become a target.

3. No matter how long you have done business with a company, their employees can change, so remember to watch them carefully while they are in your home. You may consider a video camera. The police told us that a man just last week had 50,000 dollar of jewelry stolen from him, but he had got it all on tape.

4. Please keep your receipts for any jewelry you buy. This was my BIGGEST mistake. I  am still looking for certain receipts that my insurance requires for proof. The amount of time getting "proof" that I owned anything is turning into days.  Your are busy, so get that stuff in order now. One file in your cabinet can save you a lot of grief.

5. Take pictures and video. I have a lot of pictures of me wearing my jewels, but not one straight on, close up shot of my emerald ring that was stolen. It's good to do this every couple of years for good record keeping. This is also good proof to an insurance company that you really owned a item.

6. Get appraisal and have them on file. Thankfully my wedding ring has an appraisal and hopefully I won't need to fight with the insurance to pay for another one.

7. Insure your things with a replacement policy. I brought a gold chain 8 years ago for 400.00 dollars, that same chain at the store is 2500.00 dollars now. I could never replace anything with 400.00 dollars. Gold prices are skyrocketing.

8. Decide if the real thing is worth it to you. Sometimes it's better to own costume jewelry and not be a target. As I look back, my family could have been hurt because of these few items that I owned. They are my true treasures for sure.

My hope is that you all have a safe Christmas season and that this post was helpful to you! I should be back soon with some vintage pajamas and sewing projects.

Have a wonderful vintage day!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Regency dress

Well friends, it's been a bit since you have heard from me, in a word homeschooling is taking much of my time. I am finally getting back into a routine of sewing again. I've been on a quest for a long, winter dress that is easy to wear and warm.  Last spring,  Casey had a sew along for a swing dress from Sense and Sensibility patterns.  Looking around the web site I couldn't resist the idea of making a winter dress from the 1700's regency style. This dress was a lot of fun to put together. I really like the high waistline, it's very comfortable. The material is heavy linen and it's lined for warmth. I really love this dress, my husband really loves it too.

 I also wanted to give a short review of the pattern for those of you who may be considering making this dress. The overall pattern is printed and packaged on heavy paper. The instructions are fairly simply, she also has step by step instructions (with pictures) for this pattern on the web site. The biggest problem I had with the pattern was fit.  The bodice is on the short side for me, it fell  above my bra band. In addition to it being short, it came down too low in the front. If I bent over you could see my whole entire bra. So I took the challenge to fix these problems and drafted up a new pattern using the pieces from the original. I added about 3 inches too the bottom of the pattern. I have narrow shoulders, so I  brought the shoulders in, which helped the dress from felling off of me. It was worth making a muslin for this dress, I highly suggest it. I had three goes at it before getting it right. I am 5'6 so the length was great and no adjustments were needed, if you are taller you will need to cut more length for your dress. I will be making this one again. Do you ever wear dresses in the winter?

Have a wonderful vintage day!


Thursday, October 6, 2011


We have been on vacation, sorry for my silence, but I was having a lot of much needed fun! My birthday was in September and I have always wanted to see the Biltmore house.  So my family took me there.  It was just beautiful, like traveling  back in time. I felt like a character from a Jane Austin's book running around the estate.  While we were there I found this ring.  As part of being a vintage gal, I have always wanted an antique ring. So everyplace we go I look for one. My hubby bought this one for my birthday, it was a bit expensive, but I really love the retro styling of it. We also went to Gatlinburg, Tennessee and stayed in a cabin. I found these second hand shoes and felt they go with a lot of long skirts I have. It was really nice getting away.

The last few day I have been doing some sewing. Pants have been on my sewing table. I am hoping to have something to show you soon, but I don't like the outcome so far. The rise is always an issue for me, so I have a bit of adjusting to do.

Have a wonderful vintage day!


Friday, September 23, 2011

Closing another gap! Red skirt!

I top-stitched this skirt!
I am thinking about these for fall.
I am thrilled to have a red skirt in my closet now. It was so needed! This lonely 1960's blouse was without a match for the whole summer.  I will be honest, the making of this skirt came to a haul because of the belt hoops. They are made from gaberdine fabric and wouldn't iron flat without a fight. So, it took me awhile to get them in shape and looking right. I am pretty happy with how this skirt turned out. The pictures are not the best, they were taken with a low battery, so sorry for the bad lighting. How are things with your sewing? I have been thinking a lot about culottes, I wore them back in the 80's and loved them.  My closet is full of some great winter fabrics, that are begging to be pulled out.  It's getting cold here in Ohio. Oh, I think I hear  my sewing room calling!

Have a wonderful vintage day!


Monday, September 12, 2011

40's dress

I often come out to our pond to think, it's full of huge fish!

No, I didn't make this one. I bought it a while back at our local antique store.  I fell in love with it. My dream was to wear this dress some summer evening while on a date with my husband. Sadly, I never did, so I thought before packing it up for the fall I would get a few pictures.  This little white dress has a metal zipper and shell buttons. For it's age it's in great condition, I am guessing it's 40's or 50's. I don't have any plans to change it at all. I can't get myself to even shorten it. Someday, I hope to pass this dress on to another in the best condition possible! Until then, I will wear it gently. Do you wear your vintage clothing or keep it for admiring?

Have a wonderful vintage day!


Thursday, September 8, 2011

The chickens on our farm

We love our chickens. They fit well into our "vintage" lifestyle. I thought you might like to see them in this short post. Sorry I have been so quiet! This last week we started our second year of homeschooling, so not much has happened in my sewing room yet, but I am gearing up for a fall wardrobe. Be back soon!

Have a wonderful vintage day!


Monday, August 29, 2011

Sewing mishap!

This pattern doesn't look interesting, but I feel the lines may yield something rather pretty. This fabric is a stretch from the thrift.

If you have been sewing for very long, you know there are wonderful sewing days and hard, frustrating days. Even with the best intentions, a project can quickly turn to disaster in one misstep!  That's what has happened here. Sometimes I struggle with interpreting a patterns instructions, mostly because I am a self taught seamstress.  I have learned to mull over a pattern's instruction before jumping in, but still can be caught off guard by an arrow or dot.  Today was one of those days. I had to laugh at this little bump that was created by my mistake in sewing up the seams. Somebody find me a seam ripper please!  So it's time for a little laugh and a restart button. Take heart if you have had a sewing day like this. It can happen to anyone and the "fix" most times is a seam ripper and a good read of the instructions one more time.  

Have a wonderful vintage day!