A friend has been going through her grandma’s sewing supplies from the 60s-80s, and passing many of them onto me.  I’ve gotten some great things from her – patterns, about 500 hook-and-eye closures, fabric, seam binding…as well as some notions I cannot place.  I thought I’d post pictures on here to see if anyone can help me figure out what they are.

These little things feel kind of like something you might embroider onto a garment, but there are about 25 of them in a bag and they don’t look like anything someone might want embroidered onto something.  They can be folded in half.

I know the package on the left is collar stays (though they’re kind of long), but I’m not sure about the one on the right.  The white bands are elastic, and the writing is in German.

I’m very confused by these items.  They’re all the same thing, just different lengths and colors.  The packages say “Zig Zag Wire Supports; Braces the fabric, supports the collar flare.”  All of those words make sense…but where and why would you use them?


These packages say “shoulder strap guards; pin-in nylon; snap ends around shoulder strap.”

And finally, these strange things.  They look like buttons, but are made up by threads pulled to the center of the circle.  A friend suggested they might be the buttons you use in the middle of pillows.

The pictures below are items I recognize but have no need for.  If anyone could find a use for any of the items in this post, let me know.  Especially the hook-and-eye closures.  I have enough to last me many, many years.

Thanks for the help!  It’s been fun looking through all those notions and trying to imagine what they might be used for.


I’m currently making plans for my ordination (assuming I pass my final ordination interview later this month), and have been looking at robes/cassocks/albs to decide which one I want.  However, they are ridiculously expensive!  Since I’m unwilling to pay $400+ for a robe made from “linen-look” fabric, I thought I would look into making my own robe.  That was when I found this lovely vintage pattern, McCalls 2079.

I think it’s from the ’60s, and it’s exactly what I’m looking for!  Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find a physical copy of it anywhere!  Has anyone seen this, or does anyone happen to have it in their stash?  Or has anyone seen a similar pattern anywhere?  I will take any size.  Thank you so much for your help!


We’re iced in here in Texas, so yesterday I spent the day designing a dress.  I’ve made plenty of 50s era dresses from patterns before, as well as several skirts and a few blouses.  I’ve also designed my own skirt pattern using How to Make Sewing Patterns by Donald H. McCunn.  In my opinion, the book is a little complicated.  I think I prefer altering existing patterns to creating my own from scratch.

Using the peplum blouse pattern from Simplicity 1590, I made a princess seam bodice with buttons in the back.  You can read more about the altering process on my blog.  Let me add that I have never done anything like that before!

Here is the dress so far.  The skirt is basted onto the bodice, and the “belt” is actually my husband’s tie.  There are mostly-invisible pockets on either side of these skirt.  My torso is about 4 inches longer than the dress form’s, so the proportions are not quite right.  I also realize the skirt is not sewed on straight.  But something seems to be missing.  I am not sure where to go from here.  Any suggestions?

Thanks for reading!


Mrs. Depew Patterns

by restlessweaver on October 11, 2013 · 4 comments

in 1920s

This year for Halloween, I’m hoping to make a 1920s flapper-style dress, preferably something I can wear again.  I’ve been looking around for inexpensive pattern options, and stumbled across Mrs. Depew’s patterns on Etsy.  After doing a search for pattern reviews, I only found reviews for her lingerie, bras, and bathing suits.  Has anyone made one of her dresses?  Was it complicated to do so without a printed pattern?  I would love to read a review if someone has posted one!

Here are the two dresses I am considering:

Option 1:

Option 2 (not exactly flapper, but so pretty!)

Thank you for your help!