Archive Page 2

More Thoughts on This Maddening Pintuck Blouse Project


This is a follow-up to yesterday’s lengthy post on a pintuck blouse project. This will be a bit rambling and almost stream-of-consciousness, but it’s all part of the process!

This morning I realized that the cream crepe has a light vertical texture to it, so I don’t think I can do anything bias-cut with it. That means that #3 isn’t a good idea. I’m also starting to think that pintuck fronts are just a bad idea in general for me because they create a long flat front panel that makes me look frumpy. Tucking the blouse in would show my waistline, but I hate tucking in blouses because that makes me look frumpy too.

So…I’m running out of options very quickly. Vogue 8857 is out, New Look 6104 is out, Sorbetto probably won’t work with this fabric, and that leaves me with New Look 6107, which I had set aside for two other fabrics. If I make 6107 in cream, I’m going to have three blouses in that style, and that’s too much devotion to one pattern without much variation.

#4 is starting to look like the easiest route right now. I could put the crepe in my stash and save it for a more suitable project, like a different blouse pattern (no pintucks or ruffles) or using it to line a sheer dress or skirt. I’ve got a couple of knit fabrics that I can try out. Both were inexpensive so I won’t feel awful if I botch the project.

Or…I could make a very basic shell or fitted button-up blouse from the crepe. No pintucks, maybe some ruffles in the right places, but overall very simple in construction. New Look 6104 would work if I add those vertical darts, and I have another pattern in my stash that might work too.

Ugh, I don’t know. Maybe I should just back away from this project for a while and make something else. Heaven knows I have other projects I could do, and shifting my focus for a while might help me figure this project out down the road.


Pattern Adjustments: New Look 6104 and My First Full Bust Adjustment

Lately, I’ve been trying to make a pretty vintage-ish pintuck blouse to go under a lovely 1950s angora cardigan that I bought a while back. I’m planning on making it in a nice cream-colored polyester crepe I found at a local fabric shop (the very last one here that’s not a big box chain store!), and I have a few modern patterns that might work. I also want to include some small ruffles on the front, just like many of the delicate vintage pintuck blouses from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. It’s a classic feminine look and I think it will be pretty with the cardigan.

The first one on the cutting table is New Look 6104. It’s a very basic pattern with ruffles and pintucks down the front. I decided to make a sleeveless version because I never intend to wear the shirt without a cardigan or a jacket over it. The pintucks were very easy to make. I had to practice on scrap fabric a little before I figured out the right settings for my sewing machine. Surprisingly, my Janome’s pintuck foot wasn’t very helpful.

Continue reading ‘Pattern Adjustments: New Look 6104 and My First Full Bust Adjustment’

Sewing Project: Blue Watercolor Easter Dress

Yesterday afternoon, I finished making my daughter’s Easter dress. For once, I actually finished something several days ahead of schedule instead of the night before the event, so that’s a major accomplishment for me!

Continue reading ‘Sewing Project: Blue Watercolor Easter Dress’

New Look 6577 – Pattern Adjustments

I’ve been working on my daughter’s Easter dress using New Look 6577 and gathering the materials here and there. I had to make two muslins before I found the right fit for her. The first muslin was in size 2, and while it fit her through the shoulders and chest, the bodice was very short. The bodice was 2 – 2 1/2″ above her belly button instead of only 1 1/2″. I made the second muslin a size 3 so that she would have a tiny bit of room to grow. I also extended the bottom of the bodice an inch. I’m very pleased with the length and mostly satisfied with the fit in the chest and the shoulders, so I’m ready to make the actual dress.


Now for the fabric! I will be using a lovely blue and green floral cotton print for the bodice and the skirt, and I’m using a coordinating deep blue cotton solid for the yoke and the flounces. I’m planning on making a blue sash as well. The dress looks so lovely in my head, so I hope I can make it just as lovely in reality!

Sewing Project: Fun Cat Print Zippered Pouch

A while back, I found a fat quarter of some really cute cat fabric at Joann Fabrics and decided to get it and use it to make something for my daughter, who loves cats. I recently realized that it’s perfect for making a zippered pouch to hold all kinds of fun things!

It only took me a couple hours from start to finish to make this bag, which I loosely based on the origami bag design from Amy Butler’s Style Stitches. It’s the easiest project in the entire book, it has some smart design decisions, and it turns out quite well if you are careful with the zipper installation and ignore a few of her directions (such as shortening the zipper…just make the panels 1″ wider than your zipper!). The gussets help the bag stand up, and they also help prop the bag open for you.


I used a hot pink zipper, a fat quarter of pink fabric for the lining, sturdy fusible interfacing, and contrasting turquoise blue thread. I’m really pleased with how the zipper turned out. It looks so neat and pretty. I guess I’m finally getting the hang of basic zipper installation!


The bag is just the right size for stashing lots of goodies to distract a fidgety preschooler — coloring books, crayons, stickers, play jewelry, toy cars, and snacks — and it also fits in my purse!

By the way, I am going to be very careful about buying fat quarters from Joann Fabrics again. The cat fabric was fine, but the solid pink fabric felt cheap and it was cut very crooked — like a rhombus with two very curved sides. I ended up with less fabric than I paid for because I had to cut off those curves to square up the edges. In addition, the pink fabric tried to tear in a few places and the fabric’s weave shifted out of alignment in others. I think I’m going to go with quality Kona cotton or Moda solids in the future!

When Vintage Patterns Go Wrong

Time to chalk up another learning experience.

I’ve been working on a muslin of this adorable 1940s Mary Dunbar toddler dress. I love the sweet little scallops! I could just see it made up with a pink and white stripe fabric for the main body and a light breezy floral print for the scalloped sections with coordinating buttons down the back. I almost used this pattern last year, but I decided that the scallops looked too intimidating and I put it back into my pattern drawer. This year, armed with new knowledge about sewing curves, I decided to give it a try.

1940s Mary Dunbar 2013-02-24 003

Unfortunately, this pattern is more flawed than any pattern I have ever used — and believe me, I have used some really crazy patterns.

Continue reading ‘When Vintage Patterns Go Wrong’

Preserving Vintage Patterns

My current project is a 1940s toddler dress with scalloped overlay (more on that later), and it has made me think about preserving my vintage patterns. I hate to admit it, but until now I’ve been keeping my vintage patterns in a pile in a drawer. You’d think I’d know better, being a historian and all! I’ve also been using the physical patterns while cutting instead of making copies. Shocking! Scandalous! Shameful!

Well, I have repented and I want to testify about the gospel of preserving vintage patterns.

I hope you read that in a twangy Southern accent.

Continue reading ‘Preserving Vintage Patterns’

Sewing Project: Modern Baby Quilt

Time to cross my first project of 2013 off the list! The modern baby quilt is finished! I took some photos of it to share before I ship it off to its recipient, who is due to be born in a few weeks. I hope this quilt provides plenty of warmth and comfort for him in the future!

Continue reading ‘Sewing Project: Modern Baby Quilt’

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!’

Sewing Project: Curtain Do-Over

I’m finally feeling well enough to focus on blogging again. The flu is absolutely evil and January is the worst month of the entire year, so I’m still feeling pretty down. I’ll survive, and I’m determined to stay focused on my work so that I can power through this bleak month.

I meant to cover all of my 2012 sewing projects before 2013 arrived, but that didn’t work out. I’m going to get caught up as quickly as I can and then outline my 2013 sewing goals. At this rate, I might be done by…oh…February.

One of my goals was to redo the curtains I made for my daughter’s room. After we bought our 1920s bungalow in the fall of 2011, I decided that the curtains I made for her at our old house just wouldn’t do. I was never happy with them anyway. The only fabric I liked, Simply Sweet by Barbara Glass, came in quilter’s cotton, not home decorator weight fabric, and quilter’s cotton only works with certain types of curtains. Roman shades are not one of those types! Continue reading ‘Sewing Project: Curtain Do-Over’