Friday, May 27, 2011

1950s-Style Shorts, vintage 1940s Belts

1. 1950s-style shorts I made using vintage fabric, pattern.
2. Close-up of vintage buttons on the back of the shorts.

3. Assortment of vintage belts, two of which I made. Guess which ones are really from the 1940s?
1. I'm back with my sort-of-Memorial Day edition. The shorts I made from a tattered 1950s bermuda shorts pattern. I had this fantastic 1940s-era fabric that I bought from a now-defunct vintage clothing shop in Oak Park, ll. There wasn't quite enough for anything else but a pair of shorts. So I cut and sewed this, I think on my old Singer sewing machine, the one that's now sitting in my storage locker. I don't know where the vintage buttons came from, but they work on here. I must have used the button-hole attachment on my machine. The only thing I'd do differently today would be to make corded buttonholes, making cording by twisting three threads on my Viking Husqvarna using the bobbin winder (this only works on Vikings - the winder has to be external and front-facing). Then I slip the cording onto the little loop behind the buttonhole foot, making sure the cording gets caught underneath the stitching. The cording makes the buttonhole more three-dimensional and professional looking instead of lifeless and sunken as it appears here.

2. I'd also probably sew the buttons on using my machine. They appear to be hand-sewn here, and the stitching's not very strong. I think I could do a better job on the sewing machine. I'd hand-crank the machine for the first few stitches to makes sure I don't break the buttons, then off I'd go!

3. Here's a fraction of my vintage belt collection. A fraction. I have a lot more, most of them I've sewn using vintage buckles and fabric. I don't wear them as much as I should, but mostly because I'm not wearing skirts and pants suitable for them these days. Now guess which two I sewed? I'll give you a clue. The faux suede version is not one I could make on my machine, and I believe it's from a long-gone 1940s suit. It looks so much like the belts I see in my vintage Sears, Roebuck catalog. The boxy buckle with a circle cut-out was a popular shape during that time. Okay, so that leaves with the other three, two of which I made. The other is a bonafide 1940s belt, probably from a dress. That's all I'm going to say for now. Have a good weekend, I plan to sew and knit some of the time in no particular order.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Textile Studios Santa Monica Tee pattern, Worn Three Different Ways

Santa Monica Tee pattern Worn With Anthropolie-Inspired Bolero Jacket
 Anthropolie-Inspired Bolero Jacket, Back View.
Front View of Anthro Bolero, with Vogue Fabric buttons.

Crochet Detail, Anthro Bolero. Santa Monica Tee pattern, Spandex House stretch lace
Santa Monica Tee top worn with RW summer top

Another view. Shot Taken at Vogue Fabrics, Evanston, IL
Same Deal. Selvedge become sleeve and bodice hem. No hemming!

Worn With Stitch in Time Sweater Sun-Ray Ribbing, which I put on backwards
Quick Note on the Santa Monica Tee pattern:
  1. Textile Studios is no longer in business, but you can still find the pattern online. Google it. I think it's still at Vogue Fabrics in Evanston, IL. At least I hope it is because I cut this pattern out in size XS...and I need to bump up a couple sizes for more ease.
  2. This pattern is serger-ready. In fact, are in "serger-ese," however I sewed it using the Viking Husvarna in Vogue's sewing room. I rented the room as part of the store's Sewing Salong. $5 for the entire day! 
  3. This top could easily be sewn in an hour. Yes, an hour. There's a dart at the top of each sleeve, once done, you attach sleeves to the bodice, stitch up the sides. Done.
  4. Speed up the process by using scallops or selvedge edge as your hem.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Yarn U iPhone App v1.3 available - 140 yarns with URLs for Free Patterns

Chickadee yarn, courtesy of Quince & Co.

For those of you have iPhones, iPads and the Yarn U app, I'm very excited to announce the latest update, version 1.3, which has more than 140 yarns with links to free patterns. More than a few users have asked me, "Where are the patterns?" Since I don't have any patterns to offer myself and I can't publish other patterns without permission, I found a work-around: supply the URLs for free patterns already online! I hope you'll like this new feature, which is available in the drop-down menu on the app. If there's a free pattern out there that you would like to see linked, give me a holler and I'll see what I can do.

Here's a round-up of some other new features/items on Yarn U:
  •  Berroco yarns. Several of you aficionados out there wanted these listed...and I've been working with Norah Gaughan to get as many as possible listed as quickly as my nimble fingers can type and upload.  Right now, there are only two, but there will be many, many more in the next update, which will probably unleashed to the world by the end of the month.
  •  Lorna's Laces. Ditto what I said above. There seems to be almost a cult following for this yarn company, which happens to be based here in Chicago. Lines form outside the door when there's a warehouse sale (which isn't often) and email inboxes explode when there's a naming contest for a new yarn. (A new sock yarn comes to mind.)
  • Hyperlinks Embedded in Slideshow. We're not quite at the tagging stage (although I've requested this feach), by you can use the slideshow to link you back to a yarn. Let's say you like the Design 10 top by Jenny Watson. You want to know what yarn to use...well, touch the words Silk Garden Sock at the top of the screen. Bingo! You're back at the Silk Garden Sock entry, where you can learn the pros, cons and more about this woooonderful yarn.
That's all for now. Download the update and enjoy.