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

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

MAS to Participate in "Lost Arts of Sewing" at a Jennuine Life!


I was very excited to be invited to participate in the "Lost Arts of Sewing" series at A Jennuine Life.

According to Jenn, the series will be:
"Beginning on May 20 and running through May 31, 11 fabulous sewists and I will be bringing you the lost arts of sewing.  We're talking embroidery, smocking, and some techniques of which I hadn't previously heard!"

I am thinking about what to feature. It will be fun to make a project and share it as part of a series. This will be my first time doing this. Thank you, Jenn, for inviting me!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Vintage Pattern Love: I Feel Like a Woman!!

 For today's pattern love, see if you can guess what these lovely ladies' dress patterns from the past:

-keep scrolling down-

Have to do with Caillou's Mother?

Well, it's not that she wears dresses. It's not coloring or fabric. It's probably not obvious. It is that they all have real figures. Not all of the vintage patterns had realistic body shapes. They had Barbie forms even back then. But I have noticed that most "New York" brand and some mail order patterns had really good artwork. I am not a size 10 and I can't look at a size 12, 32 bust and imagine how that dress would look on me. I love finding an old pattern in a larger size, modeled on a woman who looks like me! Well, OK, maybe my hair isn't always perfect and I don't wear heels around the house, but...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Swimsuit

I was very excited when the Peyton Pretties Swimsuit pattern was released by Mimi's Kids. I really wanted to try it. Today I spent the day doing things with my kids, so I figured I deserved a couple of hours to do something fun. This suit took about 2 hours, but it's hard to judge with interruptions.
I have wanted to embroider "Berry Cute" since I got my machine, but my girls were already too old and I couldn't justify it for a boy. I had this green cotton seersucker left over from swim shorts I made for Andy, so I was trying to find a design that would coordinate. The green on the strawberry picture is accurate. I've always likes strawberries, so I used this one from Britt and added the wording in Embird.
Here's the back. It has elastic at the back and legs. I'm not sure these legs will fit Ella's chubby thighs, but we are getting together tomorrow, so if she's willing to try this on, I will see. The straps you see tie around the neck. It is a super cute pattern!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

MAS is on Pinterest!

I am exploring new ways to share my blog with others. You may have noticed the awesome new icons on the top right (thanks to my talented friend Ashley). One of the things I am setting up is a Pinterest page. I have also added "Pin It" buttons to my images, so you can share anything you find adorable or amazing! The Mommy's Apron Strings Pinterest Page is here, or just click on the Pink Pinterest Icon!
I have been working on a fun project that I think many of you will enjoy. I have scanned all of the patterns that were included in Sew Beautiful magazine from the very first issue! With each pinned photo, I have included which issue it was in, what the pattern is, and sizes available. This is something I have wanted to do for myself for a long time, but now I can share it with everyone. Check it out- I think you will find many things you would love to make and most back issues can be found on ebay if you don't have them. 
Some other "boards" you will find will show all of my creations in one place, my machine embroideries, inspirations, and even the PDF patterns I have. It is so nice to be able to browse through your patterns so easily!
If you have any comments on my Pinterest page, please let me know. By the way, I haven't finished adding the SB patterns yet- it takes some time to post each one (never mind how long it took to scan them!)
By the way, I have been sewing, but it's for a review, so I can't post it- yet.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Vintage Pattern Love: Sun Suits

 Sun suits must have been the order of the day for comfy summer wear in the 30s, 40s, and 50s, because adorable patterns abound for them.
 They are some of my favorite patterns. Sun suits came in so many styles and were suitable for boys and girls, from infant up to size 6 or so. Occasionally, you'll see them right up to size 10!
 They often came with coordinating jackets, boleros, or dresses. Bonnets and caps were also a common accessory.
This yoked style is especially pretty and also included designs for hand embroidery. The beautiful, sunny days we've been having make me want to stitch up some sun suits!

Monday, April 15, 2013

PR&P Week 4: Formal Wear

Project Run & Play is highlighting formal wear this week!
This romper was Andy's Easter outfit this year. I made it from a 1940s Advance pattern, size 3.
I love the high-waist; not quite overalls, not just shorts. This pattern had only unprinted pieces and the directions were missing, yet it went together beautifully.
I used a cute bunny embroidery that I thought would work for Easter, but also carry the outfit through spring.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Vintage Pattern Love: Tiny Patterns

This pattern is a recent acquisition. I did not realize its size when I bought it. When the tiny envelope arrived in the mail, I wondered what was inside. I was shocked and delighted to find the smallest pattern I have ever seen! You can see in the scan how it compares to a credit card. 
This is an actual pattern with unprinted tissue pieces to make a middy skirt and dress for a 14" doll. Here's the back of the envelope next to a tape measure. I don't think these pictures get across the tiny dimensions like holding it in your hand does! This text is all you get for directions! Do you want to see the pieces?
 These scans have a field equivalent to a piece of paper, so you can see how small the middy pieces are. The skirt has perforated dots for marking the pleats.
 I am guessing that this pattern may have been a sample or give away for little girls or their Moms. It probably dates to around 1908 judging by the style and the envelope. I am excited to have it in my collection. Thanks to your comments last week, I have decided that Thursdays will be Vintage Pattern Love days at MAS.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

PR&P "Details": My First Shirring!

Project Run & Play's Theme this week is: It's All in the Details. I wanted to do something fun and different this week. I have been wanting to try shirring, so I thought it would be a good choice. I chose the Sew Adorable pattern by Footloose and Fancy Free on etsy. I decided to make the 6-12 months, so that it might fit Ella this summer.

 I went to JoAnn's, thinking of a cute popsicle fabric I had seen last summer. Luckily, they had some! It is a really nice cotton poplin by Lisette. I wanted to make something with it last summer for Andy, but even I couldn't justify this as a boy's fabric!
I had read that the Dritz elastic thread doesn't work well, but it was all I could find (at first). I made a sample and it didn't gather much, but when I hit it with steam, it gathered up beautifully! Then I found Gutermann elastic thread, so I used that for this top. I found that it gathered much more when sewn, but didn't have as much reaction to the steam. I was surprised that I used a whole spool of elastic thread on this little top! I can't believe I was afraid of shirring; it couldn't have been easier!
I decided to shorten the dress to a top and make shorts to go underneath. JoAnn's had some really cute cotton twill prints, including this pink one. I used a bloomer pattern, but added cuffs to the legs instead of elastic. I love the way the outfit turned out, though it looks like it will be big for Ella this summer!

Monday, April 8, 2013

A "Gregarious" Give Away!!

My friend Sarah who blogs at Gregarious is having a terrific Give Away for 2 cute vintage kids' patterns. She hasn't been blogging very long, but she has made some sweet things for her baby girl and even shares about her life on a farm! I know it was hard to get visitors when I started my blog, so I'm sure Sarah would be thrilled to have a bunch of people enter her Give Away (and become a Follower if you like what you see!). You can enter here: Gregarious!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Bonnet Pattern Coming Soon!

Ever since I posted the pink smocked bonnet, I've had requests for the pattern. I have been working on it and am getting closer to a finished product. I made another version of the bonnet today, with no smocking. Here it is:
And here's the back:
I am planning to offer this as a FREE pattern as soon as it is ready!

Thanks for all your comments on the Vintage Patterns post. It will be a regular feature starting this week!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Vintage Pattern Love: McCall's Girl's Dresses

I'm thinking of making "Vintage Pattern Love" a regular feature here at MAS. What do you think? 
Today I am featuring some recent acquisitions. I got these 3 patterns as part of a lot and I really love all of them!
I love dresses with a shaped yoke and this one does not disappoint! This little charmer is from 1955. Mine is a size 6, though I think I would like it better in the smaller sizes without the belt. It would be cute short with panties underneath, like View A. I also like the pleats and the fact that it closes with just one button. It would probably be easy to make (other than attaching the yoke to the skirt). I have never seen this pattern before, so it is probably fairly rare.
This pattern, on the other hand, is very common. It's a cute little pleated dress from 1956. It also has very ruffly panties and some cute trim suggestions. This is another one I would enjoy making. I think I enjoy the beautiful artwork on these patterns as much as the patterns themselves!
Another size 6 dress, this one is from 1957. Notice the price went up from 35 to 45 cents. What do I need to say about this one? If you have read my blog at all, you know I am a sucker for any sailor outfits! 
These 3 patterns are in excellent condition. I was really excited to find them! There are so many wonderful vintage patterns out there. Butterick had amazing romper patterns in the 20s, Simplicity made some gorgeous women's dresses in the 30s, and the 40s mail order patterns are charming. But if I could only choose one winner, I'd have to say I love McCall(s) patterns from all decades. My oldest McCall is from the 1900s and they go right up to today's. Their artwork is definitely the best and they were one of the first printed patterns. They also had an extensive line of beautiful transfers which are worth looking for!
So, do you think Vintage Pattern Love should become a regular feature?