Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Vintage Workbasket gems

In the recent batch of embroidery patterns and suchlike sent to me by my Mom -- as she was clearing out her craft space by shifting it into mine ;) -- there were a couple of old Workbasket magazines from the late 60s, early 70s. I don't know if you remember these, but I was addicted to reading my Mom and Grandma's old issues when I was a kid. I loved all the craft ideas, even if they were out of date even then.

I never really noticed the sewing content when I was young, as I wasn't yet an active sewist like I am now. But it was super fun to look through the four issues that were in my parcel and remember all the crafts I'd made from them...even if we might now label them as crafts of the "Pinterest fail" kind! Great memories of non-perfectionist fun in my childhood.

Something I noticed this time around, though, was the hilarious advertisements lining the pages. The delicious recipes. And of course, the sewing. While there are craft instructions, recipes, and knitting patterns included in the magazine, the sewing element are just line drawings of the latest dresses with instructions on how to order. Sadly, it seems none of the women in my family ever ordered any. But they are lovely to look at for inspiration, nonetheless. Take a peek!

Knitting for a sporty look

Important concerns...

No mincing words here

Delicious jello molds!

Who knew accordions were such a hot item?

Dial yourself a dress!

One look at the sewing tips and options for fashion
(more to come...)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Simplicity 2560 : Divinely Purple

Since it's still cool here -- with variable temperatures, and icky freezing rain today -- it's still a great time to sew up some transition pieces. Something colourful to take away the grey winter/spring blahs, something comfortable to wear as a sweater on cold days or outside as a simple cardi on warmer days.

I also needed an easy make to recover from some more fiddly projects, and I found one: Simplicity 2560 made up in a very fine, very soft purple knit that I've been hoarding for a while, just waiting for the right project.

I"m wearing this with my favourite
 Maria DenmarkKristen Kimono tee,
 & some great purple tights
Fortunately it was sunny out, and warm enough at least one day, to sneak out to the back parking lot for some quick photos! Issues with taking pics into the sun though...

I cut this one pretty much as is, at size 16, except for shortening it by an inch (I am short). Once I had it laid out to sew, I thought that the sleeve might be a little close fitting to slip over other shirts, so I sewed the lower arm seam at 1/4" instead of 5/8", angling out to reach 5/8" at the point where I'd join the bottom parts on. It worked out perfectly.

I chose to make View B for its length and straight hem. I didn't like the poufy sleeve endings though, so was planning on simply hemming the sleeves instead of adding the pouf. When I tried on the finished garment, though, I thought the sleeves weren't long enough, and a basic hem wouldn't have looked quite right. So I cut the lining piece from the pouf, folded it in half and sewed it on as a sleeve band to finish. That was perfect -- right length, right weight on the sleeve, and it echoed the front band too. And I also love the way that the back and front sides are gathered.

I loved this pattern for its simplicity and flow. The front band which goes around the neckline and gathers as it falls is simply lovely -- my fabric is really lightweight and drapy -- in a heavier or stiffer fabric I might narrow it a little bit, as the gathers likely wouldn't fall as smoothly. I was so pleased that this pattern worked out without any fixes or massive alterations needed, and that it went together so quickly and easily. It feels wonderful to wear and the colour is divine. Or royal, if you prefer.

I love this cardigan! Definitely one I'd make again if I find another great fabric for it.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Aurifilled with glee!

I was lucky enough recently to win an Aurifil giveaway! I'd entered because it was their new "Linen & Lace" collection of embroidery threads (I wouldn't enter for their exquisite quilting threads, because I don't quilt and a quilter should really win those...) but since there were tons of names I didn't think about it again. Until I got an email...

I was pretty excited. I don't win things very often and this was pretty amazing. My cute parcel arrived:

It's really beautiful thread, and I can't wait to use it!  Thank you Aurifil!

This was also great timing, considering the package I received from my Mom at nearly the same time. She'd been cleaning out drawers in her craft cupboard, and found a few vintage embroidery transfer patterns that she thought I'd like. The really neat thing is that they were originally sent to my grandmother, some as early as 1943, and some have never been used. Take a peek at these very vintage designs:

A variety of designs...there is even a dragon in that red Victorian looking set

They even suggest which colours and stitches you should use

Check out that postmark

Happy Easter everyone!