Aunt Emily

Emily Bowyer Hammel was my father's older sister. She was the dearest person I've ever known. Over several adolescent summers, she patiently taught me how to sew and how to cook. I loved her. Sadly, she has been gone these few years and I miss her very much. However, I am carrying on her legacy of sewing and trying to carry on her legacy of caring.

Monday, April 27

Its been a nutty, nutty week

Oh man I have been busy. Last Sunday I was up until 6:15 a.m. to get a grant finished. I've been running a marathon ever since - seven state grants due on Thursday and another federal grant due today. But right now, the federal grant is uploaded and received, and the drafts on the other projects are out for review, so I have a few minutes to breath easy!
So I thought I'd share these old patterns. I picked them up on a wild run through an antique store last weekend - literally 1 hour after I got my hair cut. Eight patterns for $8, where can you get a bargain like that?
First the apron pattern is really great, isn't it? I especially like the pink one with the ruffles. But any of them would be great. The envelope is in poor shape, but it looks as though all the pattern pieces are there and it is not used.
Then there are the two dress patterns. Be sure to click on each of the photos so it will enlarge and you can see more detail.
The Vogue on the left is from 1950. It is a raglan sleeve dress with inset pintuck trim - I just love it. How about sea green silk?
The Simplicity has no date, but must about the same date. I like the white dress on the right - sort of Lana Turner-ish, isn't it? My waistline would not support such a nipped in silhouette, but, who knows, maybe someday???
Anyway, have a great week and keep on sewin'! With any luck, I will have some time this upcoming weekend to do a bit.

Saturday, April 18

Too Busy to Sew

Well as I suspected, grant season started in all its craziness just the day after I posted last time. I've been working day and night to meet deadlines coming up in the next few weeks. But right now, I have a littl downtime as I've got everything out to my clients for review.

Even though I'm not sewing, I still manage to steal a glance at patterns now and then. These two are patterns I bought off of Ebay back in February, that got buried in my office.

McCalls 8038 is dated 1950. Something about that austere grey jacket and skirt just attracted me. I have some silver grey wool that might make it up quite well. Or what about a more luxurious bucle? I hope to make this one sometime in the next year or so.
No date on Simplicity 2495, but my guess is about the same age as the suit pattern. I can see the navy dress (without the bows - just what I need, bows to make my chest stick out further!) in a pink cotton sateen or light cotton for summer. I might have to extend those cap sleeves a bit as I don't like to show my fat arms, but it would be great and really retro!

Wednesday, April 1

2009 Resolutions Quarterly Report

Wow, April 1st. The year is 1/4 over already! Who'd of thought it, although it did seem like a long, long winter. I thought this would be a good time to review my 2009 goals, and my progress against them. The original is in plain type, and the progress in italicized. No photos in this one - sorry!

+ No new fabric purchases!!!!!!
[3/31/09 - Well I haven't done so well as I'd hoped, but I have cut down considerably. AND instead of purchasing and stashing, for the most part, I've been sewing what I've bought. Except for the quilt fabric. I did go a bit nuts at a clearance sale at Homestead Hearth, but I have recovered. Lets see if I can do better next quarter! No total of the amount purchased - more than 10 yards, less than 50!!! 8-)) specific enough for you?]

+ Learn to Quilt on my New Used Quilt Designer Machine!!!!!
[3/31/09 - Making progress on this goal. In the past few weeks I replaced the stitch cards with the machine - both the quilting and utility card - and am feeling excited about the possibilities. I am getting good at using it - it makes a lovely 1/4" seam - but haven't tackeled actually quilting. With spring break coming up next week, maybe I can try then.]

+ Make One Item from Each Burda Plus and/or Burda World of Fashion Magazine Acquired!!!!
[3/31/09 - Some progress here, although not to the actual making stage as yet. I traced out four patterns from different magazines, but have not cut them out as yet. So . . . Step one done, several more to go.]

+ Make at least one item for myself from the vintage patterns I've collected!!!!
[3/31/09 - I have not done this a yet. I have several ideas, but no action. Maybe a summer dress?]

+ Finish the Unfinished 2008 Projects!!!!
[3/31/09 - Doing well here. I actually trimmed up the 8 pointed star blocks and made a first pass at sewing two together. I started trimming the Paris Flea Market hourglass squares. I am making progress on the geisha round robin that is actually from - ummmm, 2007? (See post below about the little kimonos blocks.)
As for unfinished clothing, I have two pieces cut and ready to go, but never made them. The first is a dress out of the Kaufmann mermaid fabric from last summer - I didn't have enough for the sleeves, and by the time I found it, it was fall, so packaged that up and hung it in the sewing closet. The second is a stretch twill skirt in pale lime that I cut out, but I fear I may have made a mistake with. So these are in the wind, but will be finished.]

BurdaStyle has a new plus sized dress

If you aren't familiar with BurdaStyle, click the title above and you will wing your way to their website. They have patterns for download that range from free to $4.00, and posts from people around the world who have made the piece.

This Monday, BStyle has a new plus sized dress pattern for download. The Katherine is described as:
Our fun, simple Kathrine dress is easy to sew and easy to wear. We love the fitted back with pleat and the full, loose movement in the front. Have fun accessorizing it, perhaps with multiple, brightly colored silk sashes, trendy bow ties, or piles of chunky necklaces. The Plus version of the Kathrine has bust darts to better accommodate the Plus figure.

PLUS Size Pattern Link (SIZE 48-60)

Misses Size Link (size 34-46)

The same technical drawing is presented for both patterns. The photos of the plus size version do not show the dress off as well as they could. I'm not certain of how I feel about this dress - I might consider making it, but the way it is shown doesn't thrill me at all. The technical drawing looks interesting, so there may be a possibility there.