Tag Archives: Vintage


The mending charm. What I wouldn’t give for a mending charm. Split your pants? Reparo. Make a weird skirt? Reparo. Get drunk and start a fight with your boyfriend? Reparo.

Anyway, no matter how much I yell at things, nothing seems to get fixed unless I get out the sewing kit. Well, except for Trent. He actually responds to yelling. He listens, tries to calm me and then tunes me out, but c’est la vie, it’s more than the pants would do. We’re good now.

So  I went back and finished fixing up a handful of projects I had laying around the house… A few dropped hems, taking up a pair of pants that were too long, fixing some of Trent’s clothes that had split at the pocket seams. I also tackled fixing the “pleats” on an old project…

Yeah, I dunno.

And here it is good as new:

Proper pleats. Boo-ya.

Up close and personal.

Last weekend, I went to a clothing sale at this chick’s place in my neighborhood. According to the craigslist post, she was a fashion buyer for years and was selling off some of her massive collection of clothing. There was some incredible stuff and some really not so great stuff. Not as many high end items as I had hoped but I got there a bit late, maybe I missed out on some goodies. Still, I spent $20 and ended up with this with these vintage pieces:

Weird thing is, last time JoAnn’s had $.99 patterns, I bought one for a shirt just like these and I haven’t started it yet. Now I guess I don’t have to. Turned out the skirt had a tear and needed to be repaired as well, so I did that the other day and got to rock it at work on Friday. I am obsessed with skirts these days. My new office is way too hot for pants and sweaters most of the time, especially with the comfy temperatures we’ve had (‘cept this weekend, darn it) and I don’t have to carry around keys and a walky-talky and a bunch of other crap all day, so I can wear things that look nice and don’t have pockets!

I also got some great vintage fabric (like 10 yards of it!) from my sister-in-law. I’m pretty sure her basement is a fun house of craft supplies. Every time I go home she’s dug out some other fabulous thing that she picked up here or there for a couple of bucks. It’s incredible.

This scene (and some other people) is replayed around the bottom of the fabric.

As the fabric gets closer to the top, it's just flowers.

It seems like it would lend itself to a great retro styled dress in this style: 

In the Good-News-For-People-Who-Like-Old-News department, Instagram is super fun. Indulge me while I pretend that I know how to take an interesting photo:

My dad actually has worn this hat, in this condition (yes, that's dog bite in in the lower left corner) up until last week. It is also exactly as filthy as it looks.

So I've lost my mind but Trent still loves me. He's great.

That’s it for tonight. This coming week, I’ll cover a couple of old things that I’ve finally completed and probably some gifts for new babies in my life.



Filed under refinished & reloved, sewing, Uncategorized, vintage looks

pattern chop: top.

So I’m trying to get this up before midnight, it’s going to be short and sweet. Special thanks to the Steelers for playing an exciting game that I feel obligated to watch and to yahoo fantasy football for wearing out the “ctrl + R” on my keyboard.

This week I realized that I need to do a little advance planning. I started out with no idea for a craft. Then I had an idea: I felt like knitting and still owe my buddy Andrew a hand knit tie. The first tie was a proper craft fail so I ripped it apart and left it alone for a while. Anyway, I thought the tie was a perfect idea, especially since I just found out that, you know, ’cause Andrew’s super talented and stuff, he’s just gotten a job working on a documentary and won’t be around much for the next long-ever. Then I thought it would be REALLY cool if I could try my hand at double knitting and make him a zebra print tie, based off of this chick’s pretty sweet knitting blog.  Then I looked through all my knitting supplies and only had a few colors to choose from, so I decided to make it baby blue (the original tie color) and peach. This seemed like a good idea.

Wow. What bad lighting I have. Holy moley. Sorry.

It wasn’t. The zebra-print tie is the most time-consuming, least satisfying project I’ve done in a while. Because there’s a pattern, I have to pay attention only to knitting and I can’t say… watch TV while I knit or knit in a bar without taking my computer. I only got about 3 inches done on this thing. Oh, and while I tried to knit at a bar one night, I ruined it and had to pull it all out and start over. So I decided that’s going to be an ongoing project for when I have the flu this winter or something. Andrew, you’re going to get a flu tie. You’re welcome.

That brings us around to today. I had no idea what I’d do. I thought maybe I’d take the opportunity to finish some projects that I had laying around the house. Or repair Trent’s pants. Or pretend I was in a horrific car accident and just couldn’t craft while I was laid up in traction. In a last ditch effort, I sorted through some of my bins of fabric and came across this really soft, sheer, cream colored crepe de chine fabric. It was probably a scrap left over from a skirt lining or something, but it seemed perfect for a simple blouse. ‘Cept that I didn’t have a blouse pattern, but I knew exactly what I could do!

1981. That's right, people made these dresses before I was born. I like to think my mom was wearing this dress when... wait. no I don't.

I’ve gotten a ton of mileage out of this pattern. It’s simple, it’s versatile, I already have it so I don’t have to go buy it when I want to sew something.  I thought I could use the top portion of the pattern only to make a blouse. The top of the pattern is pretty short, on account of the waist, so I added 4.5 inches to the length and 1.5 inches on the arms’ length as well (I find that the look is a little summery, I wanted something I could wear with or without a jacket through the fall).

I moved my "craft kitchen" into the "craft living room" temporarily

I didn’t really take any photos of the construction beyond this point. I don’t have a tripod, so photographing myself sewing is damn near impossible. Which is also why I had to take photos of the shirt on Peggy, and not myself. That and my house was sweltering tonight for some reason and I was too sweaty for the internet to see.

It turned out about 90% as good as I had hoped. I used french seams to prevent the fabric from fraying too much, but it made it just a smidge too tight in the arms. Also, the fabric I was using just doesn’t have the natural stretch of knit, which was what the pattern intends to be used. I would add an inch or so the whole way around this pattern, were I to try this again. The sleeves would look prettier if they were a bit flowier.

Here’s the finished product.

Oh snap, untucked. This shirt is gettin' versatile.

I actually have my plan for next week’s craft and will go shopping tomorrow for the supplies. But, while I’m trying to put together a calendar of my projects ahead of time (so I don’t repeat this week’s headache), I’m open for suggestions. What would you like to see?






Filed under sewing, vintage looks, vintage pattern

form before function.

I can already see that this is going to be a harder task than I originally envisioned. The blogging, that is. Not the crafts. All the free time in the world at the moment and I look at cat videos and knit.

Anyway. So I have this sister-in-law who is pretty brilliant at balancing work, raising three kids and finding amazing deals at junk shops. Oh, and she farms and cans all her own fruits and vegetables. She gets down with some Suzie Homemaker shit like no one I’ve ever met. So last year, at a garage/church/estate sale of some type, she happened to stumble upon this strange beauty:

Before. Totally before. After, however, the kitten learned to climb it.

It’s a vintage dress form, exactly what I had been looking for. And I’m pretty sure she got it for a buck.

Trent and I happen to like to punish ourselves by collecting things in many states of disrepair and decay that we ultimately find will take more time and money to fix than just buying new in the first place. That made this dress form even more perfect. It’s from the 1940’s-50’s, Fairloom brand produced by Sears, somewhat common to find on eBay and shopgoodwill.

Despite the fact that it kind of looks like hell in this photo, it was structurally pretty sound. These old dress forms are fully adjustable using wing nuts inside the form itself. I’ve discovered that it’s impossible to set it correctly, but it was still in pretty much perfect condition inside. The cardboard wasn’t even too torn up. The outside, however, was another story entirely, which you can see in these photos:


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Filed under refinished & reloved