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

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Little Pooh

You may remember my post about the Winnie the Pooh vintage pattern a few weeks ago. Well, I finally had a chance to make it. I scaled the pattern down by 50% to make a Mini Winnie. 
The pieces were tiny! 19 pieces make up this little bear, which is only 7" tall. It was a challenge to stitch everything together with 1/8" seam allowances. I could hardly reach in to pin things together. The fabric is called "furry felt." The 1/4 yard I used for this was only $1 at JoAnn's and I think the color and the pile are just right. A bit of furriness, but not too fluffy.
I made a little bib instead of a red shirt, because this Mini Winnie is destined for my friend's new baby girl. Did you notice the Classic Pooh sheet Winnie is sitting on? The girls and I are dressing up a bassinet that we bought at a yard sale and I made the sheet from flannel. The girls are stitching things for it, too, and I will share it when we are done.

Making the face gave me some trouble. I originally embroidered it by hand with black floss. It was hard to cover the pile and my stitches did not look as neat as I wanted, so I ripped them out. I finally just glued on a felt face as called for in the pattern.
One funny note about the vintage pattern I used. When I checked if all the pieces were included, everything was uncut for Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger, Kanga, and Roo. Then there were some pieces neatly cut from brown paper and labeled "Bunny". Clearly the former owner wasn't into Winnie the Pooh, for she mistook little pink Piglet for a bunny!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Embroidered Yellow Button on Suit, Vintage 1940s

When I found this little suit, I knew I had to buy it for Andy. I like the style, the fabric, the soft color, but the embroidered suspenders are what put me over! It also happened to be a size 3! 
Here's Andy enjoying the swing. It's interesting to me that when he is dressed in antique or fancy clothing, he still plays just the same. He was throwing a ball, picking tomatoes, and swinging just like a regular day. I've always wondered how children used to play in such fancy clothes, but I guess the Mommies just had more work keeping them clean!
 The details on this suit are lovely. There is a hidden button placket under the 4 tiny decorative buttons on the shirt.
 The brand is "A-LAD-N-TOGS" which I have come across before.
Don't you love the Swiss embroidered edging? It is a pretty square pattern, very nice for boys.

Here's the detail of the hand embroidery on the suspenders. Very simple, but very attractive, too!

I just need to take photos of the girly, ruffled sun suit I've been working on, so I'll be back to share that soon!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Infant of Prague Memories

While browsing vintage patterns on ebay recently, this little gem was up for auction:

It is a pattern to make vestments for Infant of Prague statues. The cover looks just like one my paternal grandparents had. It reminded me of visits to their house when I was little. They lived in NYC and were very Catholic. They had a cabinet in a dark corner of the hallway with the statue on it. When I was very little, I called it the "Jesus Doll" and I wasn't sure why adults had a doll. It seemed a little spooky to me then. 
Sometimes, we would go to the North End of Boston to eat out and I would see shop windows with these statues. I never realized (until I saw this pattern) that the clothes were removable. I thought about buying this pattern because one of the reasons I chose a pattern is if it has memories attached to it. This one is also pretty rare, I would guess. I did not buy it, though, because it sold for about $34. I wonder what memories it evokes for the person who did buy it?
I have several projects "in the works" and I keep thinking I will have one done to post, but the days just fly by! I also have an adorable vintage button-on suit to share: I just need to photograph it on Andy. I hope you are all enjoying your summer as much as I am!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Vintage 1950s Puppy Sun Suit

I made this sun suit in under 2 hours, including the puppy embroidery. It is a variation of a 1950s pattern. The original used a single layer of fabric and then faced or bias trimmed all the edges. I thought that would take way too long, so I trimmed the pattern pieces and lined the suit instead. I think that was a good way to do it and it gives the suit some body.
I used a poly/cotton chambray for the suit and felt for the puppy applique. The puppy is from a set called Baby's Friends by A Bit of Stitch. I have been wanting to try it since I bought it a few months ago and I was not disappointed. The small blanket stitched edges look like hand stitching and I think the puppy is very cute. The set also has a kitty, 2 teddies, and a bunny. Here's a close-up of the embroidery, which took about 5 minutes- super easy!
The back of the sun suit has elastic at the waist and the straps criss-cross and button to the front. Even accounting for the bulky cloth diapers of the 50s, the fit is huge! The bum is very full and the straps are a good 5" too long. I don't know why it turned out so big. It will definitely fit Andy next summer when he is 3 although we can get away with wearing it now.

 Here are a few shots of Andy playing with the hose and a ball in the little suit. I like the buttons up the sides. It makes it easy to open up to iron, but with the blend I used, I won't have to!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Quick Pocket Keychain

I love the Monogrammed Pocket Keychain I made a couple of years ago, BUT it was getting very ratty. I made a new one yesterday and it is great!
Old one on left- new one on right!
I had used the old one so much that the fabric was frayed and it had holes on the corners. This time, I used a pretty vintage-type print in light blue. My favorite thing about this keychain is that the pocket holds my license, credit card, YMCA card, etc. I don't like to carry a purse, so I just take my keys and cellphone and I have everything I need. 
See how the credit card slides into the pocket

The design is from Five Star Fonts and I highly recommend it. I like that it's made in one hooping, in the 4x4 hoop. The PDF directions are excellent and it comes in 3 styles: stipple, channel, or diamond quilted with the monograms all ready to go! It only takes about 10-15 minutes to make this pretty, useful keychain.
Today I made a sunsuit from an original 50s pattern, but I want to take pictures of it on Andy, so I'll try to do that tomorrow.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Winnie the Pooh

At the same time I found the Raggedy Ann pattern in my last post, I bought this Vintage Winnie the Pooh and Friends pattern. The reason I was interested in this one also has to do with a childhood memory. My best friend Karen had a stuffed Winnie the Pooh toy her Mom made (probably from this pattern) and it was one of her favorite toys. She will be having her first baby in December and I'd like to make one for the baby. Do you remember the "good luck onesie" I made for her? Well, it worked! She is having a little girl and I thought it would be fun to shrink the pattern by 50% and make a mini-Pooh. I could also embroider the baby's name on Pooh's shirt- do you think it would be cute to make a pink shirt? Then again, I think Pooh is a boy, so maybe I'll stick with red. I also tried digitizing a Pooh for a blanket. It turned out great, but it needs heavy stabilizing for the outlines to line up.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Raggedy Ann Tradition

 When I was a baby, my Mom made me a Raggedy Ann doll. I loved it and played with it so much!
Here she is today. She lost her pinafore and pantaloons, but she has her original dress. 
When my girls were born, my Mom continued the tradition by making my girls Raggedy Ann dolls, too.
 They are in better shape! My Mom hand-embroidered the faces and "I Love You" hearts on all of the dolls.
The original heart.
One of the newer hearts.
 Recently, I found an original 1940s Raggedy Ann & Andy Doll pattern. I had to get it, even though my Mom started the tradition in the 1970s. It should be much easier to find the 1970s pattern, which would be nice to add to my "collection." Here's the original transfer for the face and heart. I love family traditions!!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!!

Happy 4th of July! We had a great time today- a relaxing day visiting my parents at the beach. Andy quickly figured out about catching candy at the parade and he loved it! He also looked adorable in his red and blue crab jon jon. I literally finished smocking this just before the parade. It was a ready to smock from MP and it's a good thing I had it, because the sunsuit I intended to make never even got cut out! This is a size 18 mos, but fits just-turned-2 Andy perfectly. I like the way it's made, too. I chose the crabs because they looked festive for July 4, but will work all summer without screaming "4th of July" like a flag would! I hope you're all having a wonderful day enjoying the freedom of this great country!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Can You Spot the Difference??

When I was little, I loved the "spot the difference" puzzles in Highlights for Children magazine. I still enjoy them in the back of People when I'm at the dentist's office (they have an adult version- it's very hard!)
I bought several old layette patterns, which arrived in the mail yesterday. I was looking through them and noticed that I had 2 of the same pattern: Simplicity 4704 from the 1940s.
Can you spot the difference??

They both have the same picture. They both sold for 15 cents. It's not that one envelope is more tattered than the other!

The difference is that one is unprinted (on the right) and one is a printed pattern (on the left). I have made both types of patterns. It is certainly easier to know what you are doing with the printed patterns, though the unprinted are not impossible to navigate.
  This picture really illustrates the difference! These are both piece T, for the bootie. Grainline, buttonholes, notches, etc. are all marked with perforations on the unprinted piece. 
Another interesting thing about this pattern is that the unprinted one has 3 pieces cut from newspaper. It doesn't have a year on it, but it mentions the war, so it must have been the early 40s.
Here's the clip about the War Production Board.
Are you ready for 4th of July? I'm not! I have a ready to smock navy gingham jon jon that I'm hoping to finish for Andy today!