Monday, March 23, 2015

Helpful Hints for Plaids!

Today's sewing tips came in Simplicity 7052, an apron pattern. One of the aprons is shown in a gingham, none in real plaids. Hmmm. I wonder why Helpful Hints for Plaids was chosen for this pattern?

If you are interested in apron patterns, I have this one and more for sale on

Back to plaids.... Know Your Plaids. There are even and uneven plaids. Seeing the difference easy in a picture.

When working with a plaid fabric, there is one thing to do that makes all the difference!

The next step is to determine where and how to match your plaids

And of course, the last step is to sew the plaids so they match where you want them to!

I hope these tips from Simplicity help with your next plaid project, apron or not!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Dolls and Dwight!

Doll clothes, Dwight Eisenhower, elections and military physicals. What do they have in common? Someone in Corsicana, Texas, used a bit of newspaper to cut out a doll clothes pattern that she wanted to make just a little modification to. The result, tucked into Simplicity 3729, is a bit of history!

Who won those elections? Charles C. Sapp became the mayor of Corsicana for one term. Walter Erwin served as City Commisioner and later as mayor. Albert Fullerton was a Corsicana City Commissioner and has a park named after him (Fullerton-Garrity Park).

In other news: Bill Hill won the "Ugly Man" contest. "Chip" Bohlen was named Ambassador to the Soviet Union by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. No info available on the service of the 16 men who passed the military physical exam.

I'm glad this doll clothes pattern crossed my path so I could find this clipping!

Neckline "How To"

Today's "how to" on finishing necklines comes from Simplicity 1283, a 1955 blouse pattern.
Whether the blouse has a collar or just a facing, this Simplicity "How To" gives valuable info for making your creation look great!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

How To Reinforce Kimono Sleeves

I'm going to share the tissue pattern instruction sheets I see in vintage patterns. Simplicity did a How-To-Sew series of patterns. Today, the pattern is Simplicity 5532, a cute 1960's pajama pattern.

Kimono sleeves are easy-peasy compared to set-in sleeves! The down side is that with less structure comes a tendency to rip open. Simplicity came out with some fixes and included them as a tissue paper insert in this pattern. Here's the 4-1-1 on How To Reinforce Kimono Sleeves.

I prefer A and D - both are easy to do and will not show if you use matching thread. B seems a bit complex. And a Zigzag Attachment? Most of us aren't sewing with vintage machines - kudos to those who are! I don't like the use of seam binding shown in C. I think it would result in the edges of the bias tape sticking out and rubbing skin. Which one do you prefer?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

McCall's 3922 Dress and Coat Ensemble

I love finding newspaper clippings in vintage patterns. Reading incomplete scraps of stories, then using the information to date the clipping (easy with Google!) can help to establish the publication date an undated pattern. Even better, it is a brief look at history and the events which were news-worthy on a long-past day. This clipping is from September 1958. I know this because the only complete article on the back of the dress clipping was about a man named Leo Turck, who was jailed when he claimed to have killed Serger Rubenstein in 1955. Online copies of various newspapers dated September, 1958 say he was not the killer. Another incomplete article quotes sources that say President Eisenhower will appoint Lieut. General Elwood R. Quesada to head the new Federal Aviation Agency. Quesada was, in fact, the first head of the FAA, which was formed in 1958. There is another incomplete article about Chiang Kai-shik, Chou En-lai and the Formosa situation.

The front of the clipping is a dress - an empire sheath trimmed with French rose lace. I found the clipping inside McCall's 3922 - dated 1956.

The dresses are very similar, even though they are 2 years apart. McCall's was quite fashion forward, right? It is a beautiful dress!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Apron Patterns! They Are The Best!

I love apron patterns! To be honest, I say that about almost every category of pattern. I love costume patterns. I love toy patterns. I love hippie patterns. I love swimwear patterns. I love patterns for toddlers. And the list goes on and on. But apron patterns! They are the best! m

These are just two apron patterns I've found recently. Both were published around 1955.

The black "Mammy" face on Mail Order 534 is a stereotype which was used frequently in the 1950's. Interestingly, the pattern was published with the same face in a "white" shade as well. I've never come across that pattern. It seems rarer, maybe because the women making aprons didn't want a bland white girl face.

Both patterns and more are available for purchase at DellaJane Apron Patterns.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Are Ewoks Cuter Than Pandas?

The great debate: which is cuter, an ewok or a panda?

Pandas are Cute. Very Cute! With a capital C! I traveled to China a couple of years ago and was lucky to see live pandas at China's Taihu Lake Wetland Park. My guide thought I was nuts to watch the Giant Pandas doing nothing. And I took tons of pictures, you can see more on Pandas by Alice on Flickr

Even stuffed pandas are cute. I've never seen a pattern for a stuffed ewok, so the panda wins Round 1.

Costume pandas, maybe not so cute. So un-cute that they have to share a pattern with other animals.

But Ewok costumes! Woo-eee! Again, Very Cute! With a capital C! The Ewok costume rocks!

Round 2 to the ewoks! Tie Game!