Friday, January 29, 2010

Antique Vanity

     I spotted this antique vanity in my grandmother's (the same grandma I got the drawer blank to build my jewelry box from) garage this summer. Isn't it cool? Apparently she painted it for my mom and her sister when they were little. It has a mirror too, but I didn't get a picture of that. It was white, and I'm planning on painting it white again, but for some reason I started stripping it. I really really REALLY wish someone would have told me that I should have just painted over it, but oh well. It is mostly stripped and I am going to just sand the rest of it. I don't know about which color white to use though. Should I use a pure white, or an off-white, or...? A good friend of mine came over and helped me work on it some more last weekend. Hopefully we can work on it some more later on! It's so much more fun when somebody is out there to talk to!
     It has a mirror that attaches to the top of the vanity, but I think it is just a tad bit too old fashined for my taste. So I am planning on finding an oval mirror instead. I'm keeping my eye on craigslist! :D Something similar the last picture. 
     Another thing I am wanting to do to this desk is add a drawer right behind the front panel. It's kind of a pipe dream, but we'll see! :D It's hollow behind there so I don't THINK it would be too hard. Of course....I didn't think stripping it would be too hard either. ha! Oh well, live and learn. Additionally, I am wanting to add dividers to a drawer, preferabbly the one in the middle, but otherwise it could be one of the top side drawers. I want to build dividers like I posted in my inspiration post earlier.
    One another note, it has been snowing/icing/sleeting all day today, so I hope to get a bunch of creative things done! I've almost finished Butterick 4919, all I have left is to sew on the hooks/eyes and hem it! And maybe add some lace to the bodice for modesty....I haven't decided yet. :)
     Oh, and cupcakes! My brother and I just finished baking some cupcakes that are due for some filling some time today!

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Hunt for the Perfect Jean....

Who isn't always on the hunt for another pair of jeans? Jeans are my least favorite thing to shop for....until I discovered wide leg jeans! I found a pair of jeans at Target and they were so perfect.....except they were a size to small. They were on the clearance rack and everything, but alas, they did not have my size. So back to the drawing board I went. Maybe my problem is that I don't want to pay full price for anything.....yep...that's probably the problem. Anyways, I found a pair of pants today that are dressier. They are more of a gray twill, but I LOVE them!!!! I love the way wide-leg jeans fit me! They look kinda like the ones on the right (that is not me). They look like dress pants, but are made of a more casual material. They are made in denim too, sometimes. So that is what I'm on the hunt for right now! I'll need to hem them up, as they are about 4" too long. haha!

P.S. They do not look like this picture (or at least that's what I tell myself) as those are just a tad bit too 60's-70's for me. :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Skirt Inspiration

 I LOVE skirts! I wear them almost everyday! Especially during the spring/summer! Here are a few of my favorites that I would like to make at some point.

This skirt is so cute! It's a fairly plain a-line skirt, but the cargo pockets and the VERY cute godet in the back just make this skirt! The original pattern is here: So cute! I'm going to add that to my list! It closes with a zipper AND an elastic waistband. I thought that was interesting.

Simplicity 4188
This is a cute skirt too! I love the really full versions. I'm more likely to make this skirt this spring since it is cheaper and I can get it locally. It takes either 3 1/4 or 3 3/4 yards of fabric, I can't tell on the digital copy.....too fuzzy. Mmmm....all those gores! That would be a design challenge, I haven't done any gores before, and the end product....oh la la!

This pattern is Butterick 6858. It's a vintage pattern that was made sometime during the 50's. I can't find the pattern; although I would definitely buy it in a heart beat! It comes with a pattern for a crinoline! I love the pattern illustration though. It's so dreamy. It is a full circle skirt. I hope to come up with a tutorial for a knee length circle skirt sometime VERY soon!

image from Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing
Gertie has a really cool blog! She is sewing through a vintage book. It's really cool! Anyways, she made this crazy awesome full gathered skirt. I really want to try it! The tutorial is here: Part 1 Part 2
And those shoes.....yummy!

image from Altered Cloth
This looks like a cute comfortable dress! It would be so simple to make too! It doesn't have any yardage requirements, so you would have to figure that out, but it should be pretty simple. The tutorial is here: Gathered Knit Skirt

So those are just a few things on my list! Hopefully I will have some finished skirts to show you eventually!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

B.O. Anyone?

     As much as I LOVE this pattern, surely they could have drawn a better illustration! The lady in red looks like she is trying to be as graceful as possible while checking for body odor! Haha! This dress is so pretty though! It looks like a halter from the illustration, but if you look at the line drawings, it actually has a full back. Butterick 4919 is a retro reprint from 1952 :swoon:, but I wonder what the original pattern looks like.....hmm...
    I am making it in a teal polyester satin. It is coming together rather quickly. I think I'm fixing to hit a road block though. I'm not sure where the side seams are supposed to go. Do they just hang loose? I'm not sure. I will try to take pictures of that step and post them as I know others have had the same problem. I think it will be cute though! I thought the neckline might be on the low cut side, but I think it will actually be just right. It has a full circle skirt too!! I'm really excited to finish it up!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Triple Word Score Anyone?

While searching some blogs, I ran across this! Isn't that cool? She found a huge lot of scrabble tiles at a flea market and glued magnets on them. Then she created a magnetic board for them to stick to. I really want to make one of these. I think it would look great in our kitchen! Goodwill anyone?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Butterick 6937 - Vintage Dress! :D

This is the third vintage dress I made. It's Vintage Butterick 6937. It has a sweetheart neckline, and a half circle skirt. It is really pretty! I definitely plan to make this one again! It's great for showcasing a fun fabric. This fabric has tiny little hearts, but they look like little flowers until you get closer. I love vintage patterns! I added the ruffle on the bottom because I didn't think it was long enough. Then it needed a little something extra so I added the sash. When I make this pattern again, I think I'll cut it a little longer (actually I just trimmed too much off, it was long enough in the first place) and I will use a lighter weight interfacing for the bodice facing. It is a little too stiff. I'm so excited about spring now! :D

Monday, January 18, 2010

Vintage Shirtdress....and it's PINK!!!

So I made this dress sometime last year. The pattern is Advance 8365. I got this pattern off ebay. Isn't it lovely? I think I might eventually make another one with the lace and a more subtle fabric. My mom gasped when I brought home the fabric, but I like it! All those buttonholes though....whew. I did bound buttonholes since my machine only does 4 step buttonholes. I think next time I will borrow somebodies machine that does automatic holes. I really like it though, it is - in my mind at least - the epitomy of the 1950's. Soft feminine fabric, full skirt, and fitted bodice. I have a crinoline that I need to tweak to make it work, but I think it will look good with a crinoline too!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


After looking through this blog: (which is TOTALLY awesome by the way!!) I have discovered that there is a Pottery Barn Teen. So I've been looking through their stuff, and it is all really pretty! Soooo over priced though! I think it would be easy to replicate some of it though! Here are some of the things that I thought especially neat.

Image from Pottery Barn Teen

Image from Pottery Barn Teen

 Image from Pottery Barn Teen

Monday, January 11, 2010

So You Think You're Crafty?

I am trying out for the crafty challenge at! There is a new craft theme once a week and all the competitors come up with something crafty. Anyways, everbody votes on their favorite craft, and then the winner submits a tutorial for their craft, and the loser person with the least amount of votes is eliminated. But first you have to make it through the auditions! ha! So anyways, head on over and vote! I can't tell you which one is mine, but my loyal followers (few though they may be) will know! :D hopefully.....Anyways, go on over and vote! :D

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Spring Fever

 I've always wanted to do a post with bullets, so here we go! :D
  • Spring Fever.....I've got it....bad! It's been so cold down here in the south! We've been blessed to get some days over freezing. I can't remember when it's been this cold! We had a snow warning, which down in the south means we buy out the bread and milk department at Kroger. 
  • I wonder if Kroger is paying the weather men?
  • :teeth chatter:
  • I saw my first frozen lake! It was G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S.!!!!!!!!!!
  • :teeth chatter again:
  • For some reason I keep making spring dresses even though there is NO way I can wear them right now.
  • This dress is Butterick 5319 with a full lining, gathered bodice, and cute little puff sleeves. :D
  • It's the first fully lined dress I've done! :D Yay!
  • I had to make some alterations to the dress....It was designed for a slightly more :ahem: well-endowed lady! :P So I mostly just took up a total of 3" out of the shoulders. Of course I didn't think to do this until AFTER I got the sleeves sewn on. rgh.
  • Can't you just see this with a cute white or cream cardigan? yummy!
  • Invisible Zippers.....LOVE!!! 
  • Excellent Invisible Zipper tutorial here: 
  • Pockets.....two of them! heehee!
  • School starts again tomorrow. I'm taking a couple Dual Enrollment classes......Calculus I is one of them. I'm really dreading it. :P
  • My cousin wants me to copy off a pattern from his Civil War jacket that he uses for reenacting and make him a new one. 
  • Next project....Butterick 4919. In a teal/turquoise satin. Spring fever...I'm tellin' ya'!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Reading the Back of a Commercial Pattern Tutorial

I know that reading patterns covers can be difficult, so here is a tutorial on how to read them.

  1. These numbers indicate the size ranges available in this pattern. This specific pattern is sized for sizes 8, 10, 12, and 14. Vintage patterns do not include this size range, instead they list only a size and a bust measurement (for women's patterns).
  2. These are the different styles of the pattern available in this pattern packet. There are only 2 styles included in this pattern: with or without sleeves.
  3. This is the pattern number. These numbers are re-used by the pattern-maker after several decades, but this is generally how the pattern is identified.
  4. This is the area that holds the magic measurements! Take your measurements and check them against this area. Keep in mind that if you are making a skirt that you don't need to measure your bust. :) (Here is a good tutorial on how to take measurements: Your measurements may not match up exactly. Also bear in mind that the pattern designers have already factored in some ease (extra room in the garment) to allow you some room to move around in the finished garment. Find the set of measurements that match up the best and follow the column up to the dress size that you will be using. Sometimes the pattern includes a set of finished measurements and it is helpful to look at these measurements. That way you can see how loose or tight it will fit when you are done.
  5. Some patterns (mostly Butterick) include a difficulty level. This pattern is ranked as "easy"
  6. This area gives a description of the dress. It will also tell you what the differences are between the different views (A, B, etc). For this pattern, both views are fully lined and have an A-lined skirt. Both views also include a contrast sash. View A has 2-piece cap sleeves with gathers, while view B has a sleeveless bodice. You will need to decide which view you would like to make. I will be making view A.
  7. In this section, all the needed notions are listed. For this particular dress, I need a 14" zipper, hooks and eyes, and 1/2" seam binding.
  8. Here is listed the recommended fabrics. Now you can always use a different fabric, but it may not look how the designers intended, and it may be harder to use, but it can also look fabulous! It just depends on the fabric and the pattern. Just use common sense. :) When it says with or without nap it is referring to fabric that looks or feels different when viewed from different angles (e.g. velvet and corduroy)
  9. These are the different range of sizes available. BB is the one that I have purchased.
  10. Locate the size that you have determined that you wear. Make sure to follow that same column all the way down!
  11. This is the fabric section for view A. For 45" wide fabric (standard size) and a size 10 I need 2 yards of fabric, and 1 7/8" yards of lining. Always look over the whole fabric area, just to make sure that you didn't miss anything. For instance, for this pattern, there is the contrasting midriff and sash that require additional fabric to complete the dress. Interfacing may also be required. 
  12. Fabric section for view B.
  13. Fabric requirement for the contrasting midriff and sash.
  14. Interfacing requirements. This pattern calls for fusible interfacing for both views.
  15. This is the width of the dress at the lower edge. This gives you an idea of the fullness of the finished skirt.
  16. This gives the length of the dress starting at the back of the neck.
  17. Line drawings of both views, front and back. These drawings can often give a better idea of the style. For instance, I wouldn't have known that the dress had a V in the back if I hadn't looked at these drawings.
  18. Certain knit fabrics are "stretchier" than others. Since the designers had a certain knit in mind when they designed the pattern, they include guides to help you choose a knit fabric. The fabric must be able to stretch from the first marked point, to the second point when doubled.
I hope this helps some of you! Once you get acquainted with commercial paintings, then you can easily breeze through this process. If you can't see some of the numbers, then you should be able to click on the pictures to make them bigger. Let me know if you have any questions!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

ANOTHER Vintage Dress

     Here is yet another vintage dress. I promise this is the last one for awhile. ;) At least until it warms up a touch. I am not sure what the number on this pattern is, but it is really cute. The actual dress didn't turn out as well as I would have liked though. Something about it is just not quite right. Maybe with a cute light blue cardigan? I think part of the problem is that the dress is too close to my actual skin color. I like the yellow dress on the pattern illustration. It looks like it has a sheer overlay, which would be so gorgeous!
     I recently found the cutest vintage pattern in the same antique shop that I found this one. It is a junior size, and it's a shirtdress on top. It's so cute, but I opened the pattern and there is not an instruction sheet. So....I need to figure out what to do about that. Vintage patterns are pretty easy to sew from though. So we'll see. I have some other projects in the works right now that I need to finish first! Ha! I don't know if I will ever finish all my unfishned projects. Oh well. :D

Friday, January 1, 2010

Brown Dress part 2

Happy New Year to everyone!!!!!!!!! Hopefully 2010 will be a productive happy year for everyone!    I just thought that I would throw out what I was thinking about to clarify. My sister didn't understand it when I was telling her hopefully this will help. I am going to be adding a bodice to make it into a different dress, I am just not sure how to do it yet. 
Option 1  -- Make the bodice out of cotton....not sure about the styling.
Option 2 -- Sew-in a tank top for the bodice (illustrated in pic on left)
Option 3 -- Sew-in a tank top, but add flutter sleeves in a brown eyelet fabric
Option 4 -- Option 4 is somewhere in my head....I just haven't found it yet. ;)
I'm gonna set up a poll on the side for everyone to vote. Or you could chime in with your opinion! :D