I hope to inspire and entertain you with a lot of sewing and a little of everything else!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Drew's Bubble for Andy!!

**At the end of this post is one of the Walmart photos of Andy in the vintage Madeira bubble.

I just finished Andy's birthday bubble! It was originally supposed to be for Easter, but I missed that deadline. It worked out perfectly, though, because now I am ready early for his first birthday.
The pattern is one I have wanted to try for a long time: Martha Pullen's Drew and Erin's Bubble. I made a size 1, but the pattern goes all the way up to size 5 in boy and girl versions. It also offers a cute pleated version with no smocking. This is based on a vintage 1940s bubble.
Here's a close-up of the collar; I really like its shape. I saved a lot of time by purchasing the piping ready-made to match my fabric. Yahoo!

Here's a view of the cuff and sleeve. I noticed that the sleeve piece was an inch wider than the cuff piece. There was no mention of gathers in the pattern directions, so this may have been a mistake. My friend Lillian suggested a little tailored pleat, which is what she did when she made this several years ago. I like pleats for boys, so that worked out well.

Finally, a close-up of the smocking. I ran into a few snafus here. The plaid is always tough to pleat without getting the secondary stripes, but I don't mind it too much. To avoid that, I would have had to pleat it by hand and I just didn't have the extra time. Also, somehow I smocked too close to the middle, so the smocking continues under the V, but I don't mind that either. Though the piping isn't perfect, I am satisfied with how it looks.

Today I picked up the CD of images of Andy in the vintage Madeira bubble. This photo is one that they edited to make him black and white, but the romper is still in color. I love the effect.
Please leave a comment and have a wonderful day, friends!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Vintage-y Bits, Bobs, and The Curl

When I posted the little boy's Madeira romper last week, Cynthia of California Stitching left a comment asking to see "the curl" which she said they called a "pipeline" in Southern California. Here it is:
I also thought you'd like to see the vintage baby shoes he wore for the picture. I'll be picking up the pictures tomorrow and I can't wait to see them!
I was also inspired by Janice at Janice Ferguson Sews this week. She shared some of her hankie collection, along with her interesting stories to go with them. She commented, "What good is a collection if you never look it over?" She inspired me to go look through a bin in my closet where I keep a small stash of old lace, crocheted items, pillowcases, tablecloths, collars, yokes, etc. I use them occasionally when I have a tea party, but there are many things in there that need to be made into something. Janice, thanks for inspiring me to dig through and re-discover the treasures in there. I pulled out a few interesting things to share today.
I have 3 yards of this embroidered insertion.
Here's a pretty embroidered insertion. I believe it was made by machine, but sometimes I have a hard time telling when looking at the back. Does anyone know in what year they started making embroideries and laces by machine? I'd really like to learn more about the different types of lace: how is Irish crochet different from regular crochet? I don't think I'd recognize bobbin lace, hairpin lace, etc. I do know what tatting looks like, though I've never learned to make it.
These crocheted buttons were given to me by a friend who knows I love vintage things. The crochet covers solid wooden buttons. They are either an ecru thread or have aged to this color. They are really pretty, but I haven't been able to think of what to put them on. Any suggestions?
This lace galloon is a light pink color. It doesn't show up too well here. It feels like cotton lace. I have about 10 yards of this and again, I have no idea what to make from it. Jeannie B, I bet you'd have a great plan for this!!
This crocheted edging is only about 36" long and it is joined in a circle. Perhaps intended for the edge of a pillowcase? I am not a big fan of variegated thread, but this would be pretty on a pillowcase with lavender embroidery.
This is another old embroidery. It is about 2" wide and I have about 10 yards of it. It would probably be pretty on a baby dress as both a yoke ruffle and an edging. Or it would be perfect for some special bedding or even a baby blanket. It would also be great on the bottom of a petticoat for a historical garment.

I am nearly done with Andy's romper. I just have to put the elastic in the legs and do the buttons and buttonholes. Hopefully, it will be done for my next post. Have a lovely long weekend and thanks for the inspiration I get from all my blogging friends.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Piece of American Girl History

I was really excited to find this interesting lot of American Girl clothes on ebay a few years ago. It is a set of Felicity's clothing made by a lady who was a pattern tester for Pleasant Company. She made these from the test version of "Felicity's Pretty Clothes" patterns that they sold around 1990.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

1930s Madeira Embroidered Boy's Romper

I have been on a run of sharing vintage items with you lately. I haven't finished anything lately, but I will be showing you my next row robin in a few day, and it's cute. 4 blocks with the theme, "Autumn in New England." Then I will be finishing the Drew Bubble for Andy's first birthday in a couple of weeks!
Today I had to run errands at Walmart and I had some extra time, so I thought I'd have Andy's picture taken in this vintage romper. I even have a few pairs of old baby shoes, so I put those on, too. I wanted to put a little Kewpie curl above his forehead, but I didn't have any hair gel, so when I got to Walmart, I went to the hair products section and I found something that really worked!! It's called "Monkey Brains Psycho Sticky Hair Glue: Extreme Hold" and it's for "gravity defying styles." Well, they aren't lying. A drop of that stuff kept that curl cemented in...and it's still there!!

This romper is so sweet. It has a blue collar and cuffs. There is a Madeira appliqued swan and a little shaped pocket. The collar, cuffs, and sleeves are edged with hand-worked scallops. In fact, everything on this romper is stitched by hand. It has no tag, so I don't know if it was homemade or purchased. It looked so sweet on him, even if everyone thought he was a girl! Continue down for detail pictures and one of Andy wearing the romper. Back soon with more. I'm planning to share some American Girl clothes and antique patterns. Thank you to the friends I met this week through email. I'm sorry it took me awhile to answer you, but I was thrilled to hear from you!! Linking this post to White Wednesday at Faded Charm.
The little pocket

The Madeira swan

The collar detail

Here it is modeled. I ironed it...really I did!! This picture was taken after our photos at Walmart, riding in the car, eating lunch, and playing. The little romper looked so cute!

Monday, May 16, 2011


I can't believe it has been more than a week since my last post! We have been "struck" by "struck throat" as my little Davy calls it (you know it as strep throat). Katie has had it 3 times; Pete, Rosie, and I have had it once, and Davy is on round 2. We are usually pretty healthy, but this winter has been a tough one. Hopefully this will be the last time we are struck!
Today I took a few pictures of Andy in a vintage button-on suit. It is a nice blue cotton broadcloth. I love the double-breasted front and the shaped collar.
It doesn't have a tag, so I don't know if it was purchased or home made. I'd guess it's from the 1940s or so. It must be a size 1, because it's a perfect fit on Andy, 11 months.
The only thing wrong with this little suit is that it is missing its belt. I think it looks sweet without a belt anyway.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Scalloped Rompers for Girls and Boys

This little side-scalloped romper is one of my favorites. As you will see, I have made it several times in both girl and boy versions. The pattern is Maggie's Classic's #110. She also has a pattern for a dress version. I think Maggie's patterns are an under-discovered treasure. Every one that I have tried, I have loved. The drawings don't do justice to the final product. She also has a wide variety of "basics" patterns that are a great place to start to draft your own designs.
So, these first pictures are sister rompers I made several years ago. So cute for pictures!
Keep reading for the boy's version!