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Busting through the FBA Hurdle! And Some Exciting Vintage Pattern Finds!

Excitement! Enthusiasm! Exclamation points galore!

Thanks to my amazing teacher Claire Kennedy, I can do an FBA for myself!

It turns out I was doing the FBA correctly, as I thought, but I needed to do a second FBA to the piece, moving it only 3/4″ instead of a full inch, and add a second dart in order to make it fit. I was soooo close and definitely on the right track, so that was a relief to know. She also very confidently and sincerely stated that I can do this, which meant a lot to me. We talked a bit about adjusting princess seams, and while those are a little intimidating, I think I can handle it.

My “homework” is to do a double FBA to the blouse I’ve been working on and make a muslin. I think I can make it fit this time!

In other news, I’ve just acquired some more vintage patterns…all for free. It’s kind of a funny story. The other day at a fabric store, I was considering getting a reprinted Vintage Vogue pattern and a sweet elderly lady commented on it. We started talking about vintage patterns and she mentioned that she had a bunch of them at home. She said she wanted to get rid of them, and I asked her how much she wanted for them. She said I could have them for free because she was thinking of just taking them to a thrift store.

Yes, I nearly passed out.

She gave me her contact information, and I went over to her house last night to check out the patterns. She had three file cabinet drawers full of patterns! Many of them were from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s — styles that I don’t particularly like — but I rounded up two grocery sacks full of patterns from the 1950s and 1960s! Almost all of them are too small for me, but I don’t mind. I can grade them up or set them aside for my daughter when she’s older, especially the ones that are too “youthful” for me anyway.

Here’s a sampling of what I found.


And this is the grand prize of the entire haul.


I did a happy little dance right in the middle of this lady’s sewing room when I found this one! I’ve been wanting a dress like this for quite some time. It’s very 1950s — a la I Love Lucy — and the lines are quite flattering. According to the back of the envelope, you can make it up in almost any kind of fabric: cotton, shantung, rayon, crepe, linen, gabardine, and much more. So, it’s a very versatile pattern. Dress it up for a go-to-town or church look. Dress it down for a summer picnic or relaxing at home. It’s in my size and it should fit well once I do an FBA. Look at the buttons all the way down the front! Look at the little pockets! Wouldn’t they be lovely with contrast piping? Look at that collar! And the little cuffs on the sleeves! I can just picture this one in a pretty little print with solid color piping on the pockets (and maybe the cuffs and collar as well) and a matching bakelite buckle and button set. Add shoes, a purse, gloves, and a broad-brimmed straw hat and the look will be complete!


Go Sew Yourself in 2013!

January is just flying by, but unfortunately it’s not because I’m having fun. January is the worst month of every year for me for many reasons; some are too personal to share, but I can say that January is always cloudy, bitterly cold, dreadful, and boring. January is when we pick up the wreckage from Christmas and plunge into the cold shock of a new year. It’s too cold to go anywhere, so we end up spending a lot of time indoors and missing out on much-needed sunlight. No wonder January is so awful! This year has been especially terrible with the flu epidemic. Many of my friends and family members are sick or have been sick with the flu this year.

That said, why not make the most out of being stuck indoors with nothing special to do? January is the perfect time to sew!

Continue reading ‘Go Sew Yourself in 2013!’

Sew Mama Sew’s Giveaway Days!

I’ve been participating in Sew, Mama, Sew!’s Giveaway Days by going around and commenting on different blogs to enter different giveaways. It’s a lot of fun and there are soooooo many good prizes this year! I don’t have anything to give away this year and I’ve been too busy lately to put anything together. Maybe next year!

If you clicked through to this blog because of a comment I posted for a giveaway, thanks for dropping by. There’s not much on this blog (yet), but I have some posts planned out. If you read through what I have, you’ll notice that my writing is a bit snarky — even blunt and harsh — at times. That’s how I am. I’m quite cheerful and friendly (though it may not show in my writing sometimes), but I am opinionated and straightforward.

If you clicked through looking for a way to contact me because I’ve won a giveaway or you need to reach me for another reason…I have to apologize. I thought that WordPress would have an easy way for you to contact me, but I can’t seem to get it to work. Honestly, I can’t even get commenting to work on this blog. I’ve been poking around WordPress for a bit so I’m hoping that maybe, JUST MAYBE, I pressed the right button or flipped the right switch that will make things work. I’m rather new to the whole “comment on other people’s blogs and let them comment on yours” thing.

EDIT: Comments seem to work on this post, so leave a comment if you have anything to say about my blog or if you need my contact info.

GoSewYourself on Flickr!

By the way, I have a Flickr account now for this blog and I posted some photos of my collection of vintage patterns.

Bonne année!

It’s 2012! I regret to say that I didn’t get much sewing done as 2011 wound down aside from my husband’s Halloween costume and starting some new curtains for my daughter’s room, but I had some very good reasons. After five years of searching, volunteering, worrying, and hoping, I finally landed the job I’ve been wanting for so long! I now work in a museum doing tours, reenactment, and education, and I’m very passionate about it. Of course, my new job has some sewing projects in store for me: lots of historical clothing!

Now that we’re homeowners, I’ve been trying to figure out how to organize all my sewing goods in the new place. I had to sell my old sewing storage area — a 1930s buffet — because it wouldn’t fit anywhere in our cute little 1920s bungalow. Instead, I’m going to use my great-grandmother’s century-old washstand. It will make a nice little sewing cabinet, but I do need to find some suitable containers for organizing my fabric stash, notions, and patterns inside it. I also need to sell off some of the bulky and unneeded things in my stash.

Speaking of patterns, I dropped by a chain fabric store the other day and found myself in the middle of a moving sale! Unfortunately, everything was very picked-over and the discounts were a measly 33%. I found a couple of bolts of fabric I liked, but 33% was not enough of a discount to convince me. The real treasure was in the pattern section! All of the patterns were going for 25 cents each, so I spent a good 45 minutes or so picking through the disorganized drawers. I ended up walking out with $200 worth of patterns for less than $3! I got eight of the Butterick retro reprint patterns and a couple of good curtain patterns. In addition to having some lovely things to sew up to wear to work, I also have patterns to make curtains that would be wonderful in my living room and dining room.

2012 certainly seems to have some good sewing in store for me. Though I’m not a fan of making resolutions or setting big goals, here’s what I would like to sew up in 2012.

  • 1880s/1890s day dress (for reenactment purposes at work)
  • 1950s day “housewife” dress and apron (for reenactment)
  • Some 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s blouses, skirts, and dresses to wear to work
  • A shirt for my daughter and a matching play purse using some adorable fabric that has pink robots on it
  • 1940s dressing gown/robe
  • Curtains galore!
  • Coordinating Easter dresses using 1940s patterns for myself and my daughter
  • 1860s dress (for reenactment)
  • Colonial dress (for reenactment)

Yes, this is a sewing blog.

People keep saying that I should start a blog, so here it is. It’s actually something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while, but it helps to have friends cheering you on (or goading you).

One of the things I’d like to do on this blog is talk about my sewing projects. I tend to share pictures on Facebook and talk about my sewing online and offline, but I don’t have online space to talk at length about my work, so this blog seems to be a good medium for it.

Another thing I’d like to do is post some pattern reviews. I’ve always known that some patterns are better than others and I’ve always believed that commercial patterns are inherently superior to homemade ones. That belief has been challenged over the last several months, however. I’ve been finding weird flaws in commercial patterns — not just sections where I can do something differently and that makes it work better for me, but errors and poor design decisions.

My goal is be to blog from a different sort of perspective — one that’s honest and straightforward without all the fancy-pants artsy frippery you see on some sewing blogs. Nothing against them, but after reading through a lot of sewing blogs, they really start to run together in a cheerful brightly-colored smear of fancy fabric, neat stitches, and dreamy photographs. I would like to write candidly on certain aspects of sewing. I don’t know how far I’ll go with that. There are times that I want to outright snark on some of the idiocy, saccharine perfection, and weirdness I see in the sewing world and I’m not opposed to calling people out, but I don’t want to be mean and I dislike creating drama.

I might offend people with my approach, but that’s not part of my goal. If someone has that perfect fancy-pants artsy frippery life and they want to put it on the internet, that’s wonderful for them. I don’t have that kind of life. I don’t want to copy someone else or to make them feel bad because they aren’t like me. I just want to live my life, to be myself, and to go sew myself.