Category Archives: etsy

>Sewing, sewing, sewing!

>First off, thank you all SO much for your super sweet comments on my Queens of Vintage nomination! Hooray!  You are all so very sweet, and I was very blessed by your encouraging comments :)

I’ve had a few sewing projects up my sleeve! After a while of not having an excuse to make something silly, nonsensical, or on a whim, I whipped up two quick projects in the last few days.

After finding some awesome dresses for the Etsy store, I realized I needed a light colored petticoat to photograph them with- my bright orange or black and polka dot skirt just wouldn’t cut it, so I whipped up this little off white petticoat in an evening using fabric and lace I had in the Stash of Doom.

I used Simplicity 3813, which I actually have up in my etsy store right now.  I didn’t follow the guide for the ruffles, however, and just made mine up out of straight lengths of tulle edged in a narrow lace.

Last night’s project was a fun wrap dress made from McCall 3514, from 1955.  I actually bought this pattern especially for the fabric.  The print is called “Housework Whenever” from In the Beginning Fabrics.  When it arrived my husband actually asked if I designed it! Hehe- guess it’s very “me”.  It’s printed all over with vintage gals like shown in old ads with funny sayings like “A clean house is a sign of a broken sewing machine” and “When I learned how to sew I forgot how to cook”. So fun!  For trim I have another fabric from that collection that I cut into bias strips and used for the pockets. The ties are trimmed in a twill tape printed to look like a tape measure that I picked up at a local quilting store, Fat Quarters.

I purchased this pattern from KallieDesigns on Etsy, and it has since become one of my favorites!

And finally, the project that never ends.  I put this down for a while because of Christmas prep, but I’ve been slowly ticking away at Matt’s Regency tailcoat.  The inside fronts are almost finished- which is good, cause I’ve got less than a month until the event and still don’t even have a ballgown for myself!

Guess that’s it here! Hope everyone’s having a lovely week so far!


>a quiltin' and creatin'

>Kind of like Feudin’ a Fussin’ and a Fightin’ but less athletic? (Dorothy Shay, the Park Avenue Hillbilly, how I love you).
My honey got me a quilt frame as a belated birthday present! Hurrah!  Just to please  my twenty-nine going on ninety status I now can quilt in front of the TV.  Oh yes, and I do, too.  We don’t actually have TV anymore, but DVDs do the trick.  I’ve been working away teaching myself to hand quilt on a Log Cabin quilt I finished last autumn.   Why is it that October equals quilt inspiration?

I feel so thankful to have already sold the little halter top I put up yesterday!  Woohoo! Inspired by my sale I started a project that will  hopefully be done and up tomorrow- and here’s a sneak peek.  Ok, back to sewing for me!

>Some changes and such


After a lot of thinking I have decided to discontinue my custom sewing services with the exception local clients in the San Diego area. I realize my fees can seem high when compared to purchasing ready to wear and in order to give my customers complete satisfaction I’ve decided to require fittings in person so that they can get the complete fit and feel of a custom made gown. I have removed my sailor play suit from Etsy- I had lots and lots of bookmarks but no purchases yet, and instead of making them when I receive orders I have decided to periodically offer one of a kind reproductions made from period patterns. I have had a lot more success on etsy with my vintage reproduction patterns and with original vintage items- and to be honest making reproduction clothing when you’re not sewing for yourself is a lot of work! I often undercharge because although I have pretty much figured out my body’s little quirks and such that it’s really difficult to gauge time for patterning for others- and more often than not bodies are more complicated for fit than simply bust-waist-hips. I realize that not everyone is as nit-picky as I am- but if I make something custom I really want to make sure that it’s perfect- especially if I have my name on it! Occasionally when I will put up a repro dress the cost will actually be less than dealing with custom orders because no additional pattern changes will be made and the item will be available for immediate purchase.
It’s been a hard decision to make- having gone to school for fashion design I still dream of someday being able to have my own line- but I have come to terms with my shortcomings. If I can hire seamstresses to create a line from my design it will be a lot more exciting and productive than my sitting and sewing the same design over and over. For me the joy is in the creation- not necessarily creating the same thing over and over. So someday, if I get a financial backer, there may be a Wearing History clothing line with dresses to order at costs that are less than a one woman show doing everything from start to finish.

>Cigarette Pants and a New Suit!


Well, I tried my hand at cigarette pants over the last few days. I have always adored the look Audrey Hepburn has in Funny Face when she’s dancing in the philosophical bar. I made these from Butterick 7557- the pic above is not actually of my pattern, but is the same number. I bought mine from Selvage Shop on Etsy. My first shot were the gray ones, but being that gray isn’t really my color I made some dark denim ones today and like those MUCH better. I have a heck of a time finding pants that fit or even making my own, so I made up a muslin, then had to fix and fix and mark them up, and still had some tweaks on the final pair, but by the time I made the denim ones I knew what to do. I’m actually quite pleased, but the hardest thing is going to be finding shoes and tops to wear with them. I want to make a top like on the cover of the pattern, but I’ll have to wait until I find the perfect stripe- I’m actually thinking pink and gray would be really cute, which is funny in itself because both of those generally aren’t my colors. Here’s a couple of really dorky pictures of me wearing the pants.I also grabbed my husband to take a shot of the cute suit he bought me for our anniversary! I just love it- it’s a black and white check and looks very Lauren Bacall to me. It’s probably early 50s and is by Colony Casuals of California. How fun is that name? I love the pleating on the skirt- I added one close up so you can see the pattern. Please forgive my makeup-less hair messy self- I’ve been cutting out plaid on the bias today on my hands and knees and usually don’t care that much if I’m put together.

And I guess as a last thing I uploaded some things over the last week or two to the etsy store so here’s a little widget with a preview. I’ve got a few more things coming- hopefully I’ll start my vintage magazine destash in the next few weeks.
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>50s Cropped Jacket

>I have Sabrina in this afternoon (and thinking of Casey, actually, and wondering how she’s getting along with her dress!), and I’m taking a sewing break- finishing up a jacket that I started two days ago.

I found this wonderful embroidered wool at an estate sale- it’s a vintage length and still have the original cut tag stapled to it. When I was going through things for my fabric de-stash I considered letting it go, then talked myself into keeping it. Now, of course, I’m eying the pile in the sewing room wondering if I should take some lengths down and make something from them! Never mind the bins and bins of fabric in the garage… I think if you can’t see it, you can’t be inspired by it! I had JUST enough to squeeze this out, minus collar and cuffs. I showed it over a 30s dress I made last year, but since the 50s was influenced a lot by the 30s I figure it would work! It’s the color of the dress peeking out the top. I’m thinking if I can find a vintage white fur collar that it would suit this little jacket well! I’ll just slip stitch it on if I ever run across one.

I love the way these 50s cropped jackets flare out a the back- it’s almost a cape-like effect. I think the first time I fell in love with them was seeing Three Coins in the Fountain, and actually after a quick google search I found this blog post at Sweet Sunday Mornings, with an image of the slate blue suit I’m talking about! Someday I’ll make one as refined as the one Maggie McNamara wears.

Many thanks on the nice comments on my big fluffy petticoat! The pattern I ordered from Etsy got here yesterday and I’m itching to get the dress started. This weekend, however, we’ve got a brief bit of time travel to the 1870s, so it may have to wait. I admit I’m feeling totally uninspired to cover a parasol I’ve got waiting. Maybe I’ll just bring it as-is, in it’s lovely plasicy glory. Isn’t it funny how you want to always be working on something that’s not what you’re supposed to be doing?

I did update the etsy store this week with quite a few goodies- some vintage clothing and some Halloween inspired things. I admit I had a bit of fun with some of the pictures, and I look very silly in quite a few that my husband took of me, but oh well. It was fun playing model for an evening down at the park.
That’s about all the news here. Happy friday and hope everyone has a glorious weekend!

>playing hookie

I totally ditched my man sewing yesterday in favor of the thrift store. Oops? But I found some fun things to update my etsy store with, and bought myself two dresses that I think do 40′s style very well! They’re EXACTLY the same dress, but one in the color I pictured and one in white. I really wanted some little cool rayon dresses for when the weather here gets warm, so I really lucked out, and they fit like a dream! I probably couldn’t even buy the fabric for that much!
Today, to those pajamas? Possibly, but I got an email about an estate sale in the next town over, so that’s more than likely where I’ll be headed. I better get cracking, however, because we’ve only got a little more than a month til we leave and I still have a long sewing list! Eep! Pants and a red, white and blue dress for me, pants and pjs for him- and I’m sure I’ve got more on there, but that’s what I remember from the top of my head.
Just for kicks, here’s a makeup ad from 1943 to help inspire your thursday!

Click on the pic for a bigger image

>Tut, Tut! It looks like rain!


I spent all day working on patterns and making a sample dress! I have been hording this fabric for years, and finally came up with a worthy dress project. Its not quite finished yet, but this is one for me and I have JUST enough left to make one to sell on etsy, in size XS or Small, unfortunately!
Here’s my little dress, not quite finished, but you get the idea! It was not the right time of day for photos. Will have better ones when finished :)

>Inspiration strikes again!

>I have not had much in the way of inspiration lately in my dealings with sewing. Perhaps it is a loss of motivation because of just finishing my daily job of sewing away at the Opera, or perhaps it is simply that I found nothing inspiring enough to make me take needle to fabric and begin! BUT when I saw these pockets that were found from an old 40s clothing factory, inspiration struck in spades! These are from Etsy seller masheri, and she says she has slews more if anyone is interested. Of course, a pocket as fabulous as this could not be alone in fabulousness, so I happened across these sombrero buttons from sandisstuff, and it is a marriage made in heaven! These had also been in my favorites and in a moment of pure inspiration my brain put two and two together!

If you know my hat fetish you might as well know I have a hat already in mind for my new ensemble- one that actually arrived from Ebay this week! Yum! This little beauty set me back only $7, including shipping.

And, of course, the pattern in question. Picture it in natural linen without buttons all the way down, but a shirtwaist style with two large pockets on the skirt, two large pockets on the bolero, and the sombrero buttons up the front, and that’s what I want!


>A lot of nothing, and a lot of something

>All quiet on the Western front, but I have so many projects in the works my head is spinning! Work at the San Diego Opera is nearing it’s finish, and I have several prototypes of my new lingerie line made up. I have a billion vintage patterns to list on etsy, and have found many more vintage treasures for there that I need to prep and photograph! This summer I hope to put my best foot forward to my Etsy store. I have some lovely vintage finds to share that are for myself as well, but it seems by the time I want to post it’s already dark and too drab for photos! In the meantime, here’s a peek at some new Etsy offerings, but hopefully sewing news will be forthcoming next weekend :)
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