Sunday, September 23, 2012

If it is September......

Halloween is just around the corner and it's time for costumes! I love adore costume patterns! I sewed lots of costumes for my kids as they were growing up. And lots of patterns have passed through my collection. Here are a few favorites...
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. My daughter's TMNT costumes weren't made from a pattern because there were no patterns. I combined a couple of patterns to get the look I wanted. One Halloween she was a TMNT; the next year, we added a long overcoat from the thrift store and she went trick-or-treating as a TMNT disguised as a man. One father, out with his son, didn't get her costume and made a snotty remark. His son, who DID get it, called Dad on it right away. "Dad, don't be so dumb. She's a Turtle disguised as a man. Duh." Making everyone but DD (Dumb Dad) happy. Butterick came out with a pattern for the Turtle costumes in 1990.
Clowns. I can't resist clown costume patterns. Even if I know I already own 3 copies, I have to buy every one I see. This 1965 Simplicity pattern for Happy the Clown, Bobo the Clown, Bubbles the Clown and Jingles the Clown is my favorite.
What Halloween is complete without a witch or two? I made this witch costume around 2000. Still love it! I may have a scrap or two of that black and silver fabric around somewhere!
Not only did I sew costumes for my girls, I also made matching costumes for their 18" dolls. I usually had to modify an existing doll pattern. This Pumpkin Costumes pattern for the entire family includes a costume for the 18" doll AND the family dog!
My last "favorite" costume pattern is another I made. Three girls, 3 M&M's. I still have at least one of these costumes in the Halloween tubs. Maybe someday, a grandchild will wear it.....
The last costume I sewed was for myself. I made two (if one is good, two is better!), one purple for "dress", one black for everyday. Simplicity 9887 is an easy pattern to make if you want to whip up a wizard's costume with a little pizzaz!

If it is September, Halloween is just around the corner. Time to find your favorite costume pattern and start sewing!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ahhh.... the smell of line-dried laundry!

There are two kinds of people, those who LOVE the smell of line-dried clothes and those who HATE it. Put me on the "love that scent" side! I spent many hours doing the family laundry at my Grandmother's house. Yes, laundry was a chore, but it meant I got to go to Grandma's house and be ALONE! Not a minor thing when you come from a big family who lives in a small house!

On my recent trip to China, this house on the Grand Canal in Suzhou, Jiangsu, China, was just one of hundreds I saw with clothes hung out to dry.

Back to laundry! Hanging clothes on a line requires clothespins. And clothespins require storage and easy access.

My favorite is the Clothespin Apron. This pattern, McCall Kaumagraph No. 777 is from the early 1900's. It is fabulous! The clothespin designs are stamped onto fabric, then embroidered.

Clothespin aprons are back in vogue as many people are finding the scent of line-dried laundry to be irresistible and thrifty. Here is a link to a free Clothespin Apron pattern.

Make an apron, hang your laundry outside, inhale deeply!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

1954 Fashion - David Crystal

This newspaper clipping, advertising a David Crystal suit, perfect for Easter, was tucked in the envelope of McCall's 9888 (1954). The store, Mindlins, was a Topeka, Kansas department store well known for their fashionable clothing. The suit being advertised looked almost exactly like the pattern illustration. Compare for yourself!

My immediate thought was that the original owner of this pattern must have chosen it so she could sew the latest style. When I checked the pattern pieces, the skirt was cut, but not the jacket! Just a straight, slim skirt, not even shown in the advertisement. Leaves me wondering..... Did she make the skirt and not like it? Why didn't she cut out/make the jacket? Why did she tuck this ad inside the pattern?

Read more about David Crystal on the Vintage Fashion Guild website. Interested in Mindlins Department Store? Read a bio of the founder, Rose Mindlin Jacobson .

See this and other 1950's patterns for sale on DellaJane Cloth and Patterns.