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.

Friday, July 31

200th Post!!!

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Wow, in less than two years, I am on my 200th post!

I am having camera issues (it is lost somewhere) so no photos as yet. But I plan to post just as soon as I can. Meanwhile, that is me, above, relaxing in my summer home, waiting for that camera to be found!

Thursday, July 23

Daisy, Daisy, Pansie Too

Another vintage pattern from the recent collection. This is dated 1971 - daisies, pansies and - maybe roses in the middle?? - laid out to adorn your pillowcases and sheets. I've never made a set like that, although I've thought of it before. I may have to do some "spot" embroidery on my sheets. Maybe the daisies in yellow on green sheets? Or not.

Wednesday, July 22

Doll Clothes from 1950's

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Here is the ideal doll's trousseau from the 1950's. For your 22 inch high fashion doll. I think I had a ballerina doll that was that tall, but I'm not certain. I know I didn't have a bride doll, but I always wanted one. My aunt, who was 5 years older than I was, had a bride doll. And she would hide it whenever I came to visit.

I think I may have to watch at the antique malls to find one of those dolls and make her a fabulous new outfit.

And, I have my summer sewing projects all finished, finally. I'll be posting photos in the next few days - two tops and one dress from one pattern, a dress from a second and another from a third. A skirt and a top from Connie Crawford patterns. And a top based on the owl tunic I made in late winter. Stay tuned.

Monday, July 20

Here's something funny - my friend Paula in England says that the sunsuit from the pattern featured on Saturday is the second thing she ever made in sewing in grammer school, about 1950 or 1951! Small world, etc. Will have to see if she can give me some pointers.

So in the spirit of more children's vintage patterns, there is this small girls dress. The envelope is battered and the number is missing, but it is a McCalls pattern in 6 month size. Perfect for embrodiery or trim on the yoke, or some smocking?

Sunday, July 19

Sunday Special -BH&G 1977 Craft Magazine

Here's a blast from the past! I ran across this Spring/Summer 1977 Better Homes & Garden's publication: 100's of Needlework & Crafts Ideas.
There are several photos with directions. The quilt is quintessential 70's colors - gold, brown, green. Thanks goodness, no orange in this one! The chair with the small pagoda is an article on Punjabi Weaving, giving several examples of summer lawn chairs re-woven in bright color jute or wool.
And there is a lot of "fashions". Now I love this shawl with the galleons on it - embroidered in wool on a wool shawl. I might make one for myself and it would still be good. Not with that Toni Tennile (The Captain & Tennile - Muskrat Love - another oh, no).

But look at that next outfit - loud colors (oh no, the orange!) in a "country" skirt, with a peasant blouse. And the Brunhilde braids! I don't think anyone really wore this, at least not in that level of color.
And, if it is the 70's you know that macrame has to be included. The best item is this purse, with a macrame strap and front.

Let's see, Spring/Summer of 1977, where were you? I was at university in Windsor, Ontario. I was taking summer classes to "catch up"for the two years I lost working instead of going to school. The following year, I graduated from the University of Windsor. Seems like it is a whole lifetime away.

Vintage Pattern Snags=Part Eleven


A cool cafetan for relaxing. An eighty inch hem, so it should fit everyone - as the envelope says, proportioned to your height and one size fits all. I think I might need one of these - it takes six yards of 36 inch material, so maybe 4 of 45? Will have to figure out how to convert.

The height of fashion when it came out, this pattern really seems like a relic!

Saturday, July 18

Vintage Pattern Snags=Part Ten

Brother and Sister Sunsuit with Bonnet. No date, but ca. 1950. Size four - just right for the oldest grandson. Would he wear it if I made it? I can see it in blue gingham cotton with a puppy or some other sort of applique on the leg.

Friday, July 17

Vintage Pattern Finds - Part Nine

The return of romance? I always loved the Gunne Sax line, and the Laura Ashley feminine fashions. These two patterns represent that sort of femininity that I wish were more prevalent today. The Gunne Sax pattern is from 1979 and the Laura Ashely from ten years later. I didn't make either of these patterns, although in the mid-80's I had a Laura Ashley pattern that I loved and used over and over again. Bring back romantic fashions!

Thursday, July 16

Vintage Pattern Finds - Part Eight

What can you say about this men's suit? I found the pattern for $1 and thought it would be good for a laugh. The beginning of the Leisure Suit. These were popular mens wear and this early version isn't so objectionable. BUT by the mid-70's it had degenerated into jokes about light blue polyester suits. Still, if you took the jacket and left off some of the pockets, it might not be too bad.

Wednesday, July 15

Oh yeah, I forgot

Dill Buttons for 25 cents a card - pearls included.


If you are within 100 miles of Cincinnati, drop everything and get in the car.

The Textile Studio is have a bankruptcy sale until Friday. ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC BARGAINS!!!!

Their upholstry fabric is $4 a yard if you take the whole bolt, but they will cut for you for $6 a yard. I saw all types of wonderful fabrics. The flat fold fabrics are $1 a yard - I bought 2.5 yards of a great black and beige wool for upholstry that will make a spectacular jacket.

TRIM is $1 a yard or less - not just little fringes, but big giant ropes of fringe, braids, etc.

There are some smaller reels of trim for $1 a reel. I got 36 yards of a ivory and lavendar trim about 1/2 yard wide. Now what I will do with 36 yards of this, I'm not sure, but I've got it to do whatever!

It iis on Jonlin Road (only about a block long) just off Wooster Road, across from the Frisch's Mainliner Restaurant. This is supposed to be going on just until Friday, so hurry hurry hurryl

No affiliation, etc.

Pillow Cases for Reuse!

I've seen quite a few projects on the internet using old pillowcases. I found two matching pillowcases ideal for a project. The hot pink, turquoise and aqua colorway is unusual but striking. I'd say late late sixties early 70's.

Tuesday, July 14

Vintage Pattern Snags=Part Seven

Another pattern that might not quite be vintage! Dated 1991, this Jumper style is loose, but gathered by the partial belt. I can see this in a patterned corduroy for the fall. Not something I'd usually go for, but I just loved it for some crazy reason!

Monday, July 13

Crocheted Handbags from the 1940's

The photos show several of the crocheted purses in the instruction booklet I picked up in my travels. They are designed to be made of jute, but I am wondering about regular yarn. Also each has what might be a lucite bobble added to it.

Not sure when this is from as there are no dates, but I'd have to say later 1940's from the photos. What do you think??

I'm torn between the fan purse in the right hand photo, and the fan purse in the middle photo as my favorite. Be sure to click on each to see the larger image and the details.

Sunday, July 12

Vintage Pattern Snags=Part Five

Here is another kicky vintage pattern I picked up. If you are a first time visitor, you may want to visit my previous posts for more.

This is an undated Simplicity pattern, S4886. It is a housedress or a robe, and in the description says it is a maternity dress. I didn't see that until after I'd purchased, but you'd never guess it from the drawing, would you? It is an unprinted pattern, so I'd say it might be later 40's??

I thought it would be fun to make a robe like this, in a vintagey fabric - maybe lawn - for summer. I'll put it on my list - for 2015 by the time I get all my list completed.

Vintage Pattern Snags=Part Six

Here are three patterns that I am sure were the same woman's selections. Two are dated 1950 and one 1951. Same size and by same vendor at the antique mall.

That jacket is just the classic look, don't you think? Grey wool would really do it, exactly as pictured. The dress pattern in the middle just looks like a comfortable summer dress. I love the yoke/shoulder treatment and am going to figure out how to use it. And the third, what we in North America would call a jumper, is listed on the pattern as a skirt. Again I like the neckline treatment.

These are not the high fashion looks of the day from what I've been able to determine. But they are typical fashions for the woman of the day. I just really liked the three, and the three together made a great homage to the turn of decade fashion.

Vintage Fabric Picks

Let's switch to vintage fabric snags for a bit! The top is a piece of rayon. Not sure how old, but it is only 35" wide, so it must be older. It will make a fantastic summer blouse.

The second fabric is a piece of cotton just less than a yard. It is a grey and pink "ATOMIC FLOWER" design. It has a fairly significant fade line along the fold, but I got it to use for a yoke or collar, or a bag lining, and for only $1, what the heck?

The third is a navy and white seersucker. I wondered how it would wash up, as it had a bit of a musty smell. But it is apparently fine and will get made into a 60/70's dress. Have I become my own grandmother???

Saturday, July 11

Vintage Pattern Snags=Part Four

OK here is something kicky from 1968! A set of girls hats. I love the flower hat in the upper right corner. And the others are great too.

I'm waiting to hear if grandchild #5 will be a girl. First sonagram seemed to indicate so. Next one won't be for another three weeks. Please, a girl! So in preparation, and to send out good vibes, I picked up this hat pattern. Can't you see a little 18 month old or even four year old in that little yellow flower hat with a little sundress to match? Such are the dreams of grandma's who have too many little boys around, even though they love them dearly.

Friday, July 10

Vintage Pattern Snags=Part Three

Ah, 1974. I must have made this outfit the first year it was out. I made the top and long skirt on the right in black satin crepe with black lace. Thought I was hot too.

I know I made it while I lived in Toronto. I wore it the first time going to a party - took the subway out t0 the burbs, then my date picked me up. Always thought I'd like the same outfit in red. Ah, the 70's!

Thursday, July 9

Newer Fabric Found at Antique Mall

Here is some fabric that I snagged from one of the antique malls in my wanderings. It is a cotton woven and I don't think it is very old. I just really liked that sort of Art Nouveau look of the vines and the flowers. I got four yards for $7, so a deal.

Vintage Pattern Snags=Part Two

This is the second vintage pattern I snagged, and it is also a transfer. The envelope dates 1956. It provides four transfers each of197 girls names.

As a Boomer, I expected to see Cindy, Linda, Debbie, Karen, Donna, Barbara, and even Joanne on the list. I went to school with lots of girls named those names. I didn't expect to see Arabella, Clarabelle, Isabelle, Priscilla, or Yolanda. And Sally is on the list too, even though I only ever met one other Sally - and she was in my homeroom in jr and sr high - Sally Blackwell. Whatever happened to her?

Anyway be sure to click on the photos to enlarge them so you can see the list. It is a mix of Boomer and older names, and some names I think of as more modern.

Wednesday, July 8

Vintage Pattern Snags=Part One

I picked up quite a few vintage patterns on my vacation. I have two that I think are particulary interesting. The pattern above is the first.

There is no date on the pattern. From the drawing I'd say 20s/30s, but I don't know for certain. This was produced by Butterick and is not technically a sewing pattern as such. It is directions to create the "negligee or bed jacket". It gives the fabric amount needed, and directions for cutting the fabric. The actual contents of the envelope are transfers to quilt the fabric to create the item.

The back of the envelope reads: A negligee or bed jacket of this kindmay be made ofcrepe de chine, satin, taffeta, flat crepe, or any of the ligher woolen materilas. The quilting should be lined with cheese cloth and the whole grament lined with china silk.
The negligee will take all the transfer design, the bed jacket only Sections A and B and the sleeve ortions of Sections C and D. In either case the used transfer shouldbe saved as a pattern for the lining.
For the development in Italian Quilting you will need yarn for padding. The design shouldbe stamped on the cheese cloth which should the be securely basted to the wrong side...

I guess they are talking about what we would call Tarpunto. As far as I can tell, the transfers are unused. The envelope is yellow with age. There is a spill and dots of what must be nail polish in a dark mauvy-brown. At the cost of 75 cents, I imagine this was on the verge of a luxury item.

Monday, July 6

2009 Resolutions Half Year Report

Half the year is over. How did I do on my resolutions in the last three months - oh not so good!
+ No new fabric purchases!!!!!!

(7/6/09) I've totally forgotten about this one. I've purchased fabric at the vintage malls, the internet, the fabric stores - I have reduced somewhat, but still bringing in a lot. So that is a NEGATIVE in big letters!

+ Learn to Quilt on my New Used Quilt Designer Machine!!!!!
(7/6/09) Have been using the new used machine quite a bit. But not for quilting. I guess that is about a neutral, not a negative.

+ Make One Item from Each Burda Plus and/or Burda World of Fashion Magazine Acquired!!!!
(7/6/09) Have made some progress - I've traced out several of the patterns from the magazines - a few tops and a few dresses, but not to the point of sewing as yet. So another neutral.

+ Make at least one item for myself from the vintage patterns I've collected!!!!
(7/6/09 - I've got my pattern picked out and the vintage fabric acquired (and washed) so now I just need to make something! That is a small plus sign.

+ Finish the Unfinished 2008 Projects!!!!
(7/6/09) - Not much action here. I haven't done anything more on the Paris Flea Market quilt. But I did start sewing the 8 pointed star blocks together - got two strips of 10 each sewn together. I have the dress in the mermaid fabric on the work table in line to be done soon. So I guess this is some action and worth a medium sized plus???

So, to sum up - a little progress. GOT TO WORK on not getting fabric - absolutely cut down.

Sunday, July 5

Oh boy it is already July!

Oh gosh it has been great to have nearly three weeks off. AND I don't have to go to work in the morning, although I do have a meeting with a client. Nope, don't have to be at the office until Wednesday. But it will be busy then - two reports for funders, negotiations with providers, etc.

I have amassed a wide range of "stuff" from my travels a few weeks ago. Old patterns, fabric, Torquay ware, dutch things - and a dressmaker's form that is sort of out of sorts, but it won't matter since see is a size A and I am - well beyond that. I can put my paper double on it and it will be great to have it to hem things.

I have done quite a bit of sewing in the past few months, but nothing to show for it as yet. I've got a pink linen dress that needs to be hemmed, a brown linen skirt that needs to be hemmed, a cotton dress that needs to have the tucks redone, and a tunic top that needs to have the sleeves hemmed. I did finish two tunic tops, but haven't gotten them photo'd as yet.

I took my office apart - literally - and in putting it back together, my monitor for my desktop, to which my camera software is connected, is not working. I need a few minutes to get it working again, then I can show you all photos of my finds and my plans for those finds.

I will be much more strict about posting from here on in as the deadlines are going to be fewer, and you can always find me on TWITTER!! In the upper right side column.