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

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fashion in the Family Tree

I have been thinking about historical fashion a lot lately. I've been preparing to make one of the vintage romper patterns I showed a few posts ago. I have mentioned before that my Dad is creative. Well, several years ago one of his Aunts died and she left a large collection of family photos. My Dad's cousin let him borrow them to scan and put on CD for the family. He sent them to his aunts, uncles, and cousins to try to identify the people in the photos. He included a catalog listing names, dates, and occasions when known. It is sad how quickly that information is lost. The photos are from the late 1800s to the 1940s. Most of them are Weddings, babies, First Communions, Confirmations, and Graduations. Today I am sharing a few of my "unknown" relatives.
Wow! Look at the Mom's dress. Is that a cutwork panel down the front? It is gorgeous! I wonder what fabric the little girl's dress is made from?
 I love the white high boots on the girl. The Mom's dress has pretty beading.
 The little boy's suit is adorable. I wonder if those bunchy white things on his legs are socks or long underwear?
These little ones are so cute! What were they thinking? I like the use of rosettes on the girl's dress and the top of the little boy's socks. This picture says 1920s to me.

I hope you enjoyed a little Fashion from my Family Tree today!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cake Pops...A Yummy Little Treat!

 A friend who also loves sewing and cooking told me about these delicious treats. They are called Cake Pops and they are almost as much fun to make as they are to eat (but not quite!). I made these for my Quilt Guild and they were a hit. Inside, they are cake mixed with frosting to make a dough. Outside, they are dipped in chocolate melts. If you want to try making these fun treats, there are terrific directions and loads of clever ideas at Bakerella. These are fun to make with kids, too! And they are great to bring in to school. Make some for your next party! Back soon with more sewing. I have a lot of projects I'm working on, but nothing is done- a common situation for me!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Only Read this if You Love Harry Potter!

In preparation for the second movie of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows coming out, our family (minus Davy and Andy) watched the DVD of part one the other night. Katie and I went to bed before it was over, so the next day at dinner, we were talking about it. Rosie said her favorite part was when Luna's Dad was telling the story of the 3 Brothers and how the Deathly Hallows came to be. She told Katie about how the brothers met death and each requested something: the resurrection stone, the invisibility cloak, and the ELDERLY wand.
Next we started talking about the child Voldemort, Tom Riddle.
Davy (6) piped up and said "are you talking about the guy who's like DARK VADER ?"

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I Love Vintage Rompers!

Today I am sharing a little treasure. It has taken me years to collect a small number of nice vintage patterns. Four of my favorites are these little rompers, circa 1915. People always think that you can sew cuter things for girls. I think boys have some exceptionally cute styles. Romper legs, whether loose or gathered, are adorable on chubby baby legs. Here are my favorites:
This romper is so sweet. I love the drop-seat backs. I guess they were supposed to make potty training easier, but with all those buttons, I'm not sure it did! I also like the cuff at the bottom of the leg. This style was available in sizes 1,2,3,or 4 years. Mine is a size 2. It is a Butterick pattern with a "Deltor" which was their name for an instruction sheet. It was a shortened version of their fashion magazine, the "Delineator."
 Here's a close-up of this style. This pattern has a few options for neckline, collar, sleeves, and cuffs. It's original price was 25 cents.
 This next pattern is also a size 2, originally 25 cents. Notice that it's "The New McCall Pattern". They didn't change it to McCalls till 1951. This one is interesting because the front and back are cut in one piece and the back gets brought around through the legs and buttoned to the front at the sides. Most of these rompers came with short and long sleeves, so they must have been intended to be worn year round. I can picture them with the heavy stockings people wore then. 

This pattern is special inside, too. 
It was one of the early "printed patterns" which means that the pattern pieces had words printed on them. The earliest patterns were unprinted, pre-cut tissue paper. I'll do a post with examples of this sometime. 
This pattern gave ideas inside.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Vintage Redwork Children Done!

Little boy Gardening
 I finished the redwork blocks for my 30s quilt. These all stitched really well. I used just one layer of Pellon Wash 'n Gone in my 6x10 hoop. If you want the link to these wonderful freebies, check my previous post.
The simple quilt I plan to do only needs 5 redwork blocks. I originally stitched my 5 favorites (though it was hard to choose just 5; all 8 are adorable!). When I showed them to my Mom the other day, Katie said, "Mom, why did you make 3 girls and 2 boys?" DUH. I immediately realized that I should have made 3 boys and 2 girls, just like our family!! So, I stitched one more little boy and now I have an extra girl for a pillow or something! I have already cut my strips for the pieced blocks, so if I have some free time this weekend, I may be back with a finished quilt top.
Keep going to see all 6 blocks, below:

This little sewing girl is so cute. Those polka-dots were a jump-stitch trimming challenge!

This little girl reminds me of Ramona!

When I was little, I loved fishing with my Dad, even though I am a girl!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Starting Another New Project!

Oh, my goodness. I need a new project like I need another case of poison ivy. But my sewing friend Lillian is making a baby quilt for her new grandbaby, due in December and she invited friends to sew along. The pattern she chose is the perfect canvas for 5 machine embroidered blocks and I had some that I've been waiting to stitch, so...

I stitched the first block this morning. It stitched flawlessly! Whoever digitized this did a fabulous job. It is nicer than many sets I've purchased and it was FREE. That's a word self-control cannot resist! You can get this ME design and 7 others of vintage boys and girls on Sew Forum.
I also bought the basic Embird software recently and re-sized these designs to fit my 6x10 hoop. I'm pretty proud that I figured it out. Once I know how to use the basic Embird, I'd like to try the digitizing module.
Here are the repro 30s prints that I'll use for this little quilt.
I chose these at a great quilt shop while I was at the beach. I went with blue and red with a bit of yellow, since those are good colors for boys and girls. I will do all the ME in red. I can't wait to finish the ME and start putting this sweet little quilt together.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dainty Thread Crochet

Posted with permission from sctatepdx on flickr
I ran into this adorable baby on flickr while looking at Victorian children. His name is Charles Holt and at 7 1/2 months old weighed 23 pounds (a pound more than Andy at 13 months!) Isn't he the sweetest little guy? After noticing how cute he is, I noticed the gorgeous crocheted dress he is wearing. The whole dress is filet crochet and must have taken some Mama or Grandma many, many hours to make. I don't know if I'd have the patience to stick with a project like this until it was done, but it did get me wondering about thread crochet. I made 4 crocheted edge blankets for Andy before he was born and I loved working on them. 
I decided to see if I could find a pattern for a crocheted bonnet like the antique ones I often see. 
There are many antique repro patterns on ebay and the crochet thread varies from size 10 (bedspread weight) to 100 (almost like sewing thread). I made the blanket edges with size 10, so I thought I'd start there. I made this little bonnet and booties this week and both were supposed to be newborn size, but they are even tinier (perfect fit on a Bitty Baby).
I usually have to use smaller crochet hooks or knitting needles because things come out too big, but I guess this was an exception. If I make it again, I'll have to size up the hook!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pages of the Past

"How to Make Children's Clothes the Modern Singer Way" from 1927 is a booklet I purchased for about $1. It is a great glimpse into the past and provides inspiration for today's old-fashioned Mamas and Grammies.
For the babies, we have several pages of little dresses. They are sweet and dainty! If you want to make dresses like this today, the place to look is the Old Fashioned Baby.
If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I'm a sucker for rompers! I love the way they pouf around those fat baby legs. They are a great place to do a little hand work or smocking, too! The drop seats are just adorable. So, this is one of my favorite pages from this book.
Here's something sweet for little girls. "Bloomer Frocks" are short dresses with matching bloomers underneath. This is still a great style for today. I love the button waists that held up undies in the days before elastic.
With the hot weather we've had lately, everyone loves to put little ones in sun suits and play clothes! Wouldn't these styles be cute in the repro 30s prints? The bias bound edges are an inexpensive way to embellish these little bubbles.

These are just a few pages from this wonderful old booklet. I'll share more in another post. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July from the Beach

The kids and I have been on vacation at the beach this week. With my new laptop, I thought I'd have time to post while here, but we have been busy every minute! Swimming, mini golf, museums, shopping, and delicious meals have been on our agenda. I brought some smocking and crochet to work on, but I just haven't had time. The girls and I had fun going to some thrift shops, antique stores, and yard sales one morning. I had some great luck finding treasure. For $10, I bought a trash bag sized bag of old linens. Some are great and some are not!
These are napkins and handkerchiefs, some with hand crochet or embroidery. The purple pansies are 3D embroidery; really pretty!
 These are embroidered runners and doilies.
These runners have beautiful filet crochet around them (top).
 Two old dishtowels with primitive hand embroidery.
 Two 50s printed tablecloths; a nice large size.
 This is a hand crocheted tablecloth. It's about 60"x60" and in great condition!
 These are machine made tablecloths that were in the bag.
 A bag of doilies and random pieces of crochet. That's all from the yard sale. I have already soaked the lot in Biz and hung it on the line. Many of the pieces are nice and white now. I'll have to sort through them when I get home.
 This cutwork tablecloth is done by hand (but I don't know if it's old). It was $3 at the thrift shop.
 But this was my best find of all!! I am 99% sure that this is Liberty of London Tana Lawn. It is 36" wide and has the "feel" of LOL. Does anyone recognize this print? I bought the 3 yard piece for $3 at the thrift shop...can you believe it??
Today we will celebrate July 4th with a parade, cookout, family, and fireworks. I hope you all have a blessed, fun Independence Day, too!!