Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s: A Buckle Accent To Trim Blouse, Hat, or Pumps

In the quest for "newer, smarter, easier", Ruth Wyeth Spears provides a clever tip for creating a
cute buckle accent made from folded grosgrain ribbon. With her usual excellent illustrations, Ruth make these accessories very easy to make indeed!


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Scraps from the Past: 1960s Gingham Apron

The pattern: Butterick 2515, from 1963, featuring two styles of smocked apron with a detachable bib and smocked cafe curtains, sewn from checked gingham fabric. Charming and very popular back in the 1960s!

The scrap: Tucked inside this envelope was a scrap of black and white checked cotton gingham fabric. I think the original sewist took her inspiration from the envelope cover! I love the variations in smocking the apron, and the cafe curtains look inspiring too.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s: Preventing Saggy Hemlines

In this tip from 1920s, Ruth Wyeth Spears provides smart and practical advice when hemming garments that are sewn together on the bias.  Due to their stretchiness, bias-cut garments are at risk of sagging after being sewn. To prevent this, Ruth has a nifty tip for pre-stretching the seams before hemming. If you don't have a darning ball or egg with a handle, substitute with whatever you have on hand that would weigh approximately 2 ounces (what my wooden darning egg with a handle weighs). For example, a serving spoon or a couple of teaspoons from your kitchen would weigh about the same.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Scraps from the Past: Banish Winter Thoughts with a Pretty Cotton Summer Nightgown

Pattern: Simplicity 8198 from 1977 features lovely summer and winter nightgowns and robes, with slim and flattering A-line silhouettes.

The scrap: Tucked inside the pattern envelope was this soft, lightweight cotton print, a pretty and dainty floral in pinks. It appears to be the facing piece for view 1, the sleeveless short nightgown. I can envision it, and the lovely warm days one would wear it! Which is a cheery counterpoint to the snowy scene outside my window today.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

In Search of Style: 1960s Chic Evening Tunic

This Vogue 6177 sewing pattern from 1963 is a marvelously versatile pattern, going from beach cover-up to robe, to dress, to hostess or lounging gown. It is one of those patterns that is only limited by your imagination!

Tucked inside the envelope was this clipping that features an elegant gown and an evening skirt and long tunic that was clearly the inspiration for the sewist. The Vogue pattern matches the long tunic on the right extremely well. With its side front tie closing, collarless V-neckline, slim silhouette, and touch of oriental mystique, it's a very close match. And very inspiring!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s: Smart Treatments for Pleats

In this tip from the 1920s for home sewists, Ruth Wyeth Spears provides some tips for adding smart details to box pleats. As usual, she provides wonderful illustrations that leave no doubt as to how to implement the tips.

 I especially like the second tip on creating extended points of the box pleats. Do you have a favorite? Would you ever use these tips?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Scraps from the Past: Sewing a Season's Worth of Girl's Blouses

The pattern: McCall's 9563, a set of classic blouses for a growing girl from 1953.

The scraps: Cut pattern pieces of the short sleeve and peter pan collar were the scraps inside this pattern envelope. The multiple cuttings in green and white plaid and pink and blue plaid tell me that this sewist was efficient! She was clearly cutting fabric for multiple versions of the blouse at the same time, as she prepared for spring and summer wardrobe needs of her young girl or girls. These scraps are a lightweight cotton, soft and yet durable for summertime fun. The big question is.... why didn't she sew these pieces? We will never know, but we can admire her efficient approach to sewing!