1940s | 1950s | Applique | Blouses | Embroidery | Shirts | Vintage Sewing

Gingham blouse with western appliqué!

By on January 19, 2013

Hello fellow sewers!

I just finished sewing up a fun little project that I want to share!

I used Simplicity 1093 to make a simple cotton blouse. I chose “style 3” because I wanted the most basic shape as I planned on adding an appliqué.

simplicity 1093simplicity 1093 style 3

The blouse was a fairly quick project to sew up, mostly because there were only five pieces to work with! The front and back bodice pieces are both cut on fold and the sleeves are part of the bodice, so there are only the two big pieces to worry about. The remaining three are a neck facing and two sleeve facings.

The blouse opens by a tiny side zipper that runs from about the bust down to the hem. I inserted the zipper by hand with a pick stitch, which is a technique I’d been itching to try for a while. There are also two buttons at the neckline which aid in slipping the blouse over your head.

hand sewn zippergingham buttons (close-up)

As you can see, I liked the hand picked look so much that I did all of the topstitching by hand as well!

gingham 3

I paired my new blouse with a red button-front skirt and tooled leather belt.

gingham 1

gingham 5

Now for the appliqué…my favorite part!!

gingham 4

I cut this little design out of felt and attached it to the blouse with a blanket stitch. Next, I embroidered the details (horse’s bridle, mane, etc.) with a variety of  embroidery stitches.

horse appliquéhorse appliqué (close-up)

I’m really happy with this project, it was such a fun one!

Now I leave you with an “out take” in which my dog Herby decided to make an appearance….

that's my "excuse me....tryin' to take photos here" face.
that’s my “excuse me….tryin’ to take photos here” face.

xoxo,

Tina

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1950s | Applique | Embroidery | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

Felt cactus applique skirt! (using Simplicity 1659)

By on August 12, 2012

Hello fellow sewers!

My boyfriend & I just took a road trip from Northern California to Austin, Texas and along the way we drove thru Arizona. I had never visited Arizona before and was extremely excited to see the saguaro cactus & gorgeous desert landscape! I instantly had the idea to make a cactus skirt for the occasion! I drew inspiration from vintage tourist items, especially the Mexican tourist jackets!

I used Simplicity 1659 (again) as my basic skirt to start out with…

Simplicity 1659

I knew that I wanted to cut the cactus from felt & appliqué them to the skirt using a blanket stitch. Here is my quick sketch of the basic idea…

Before i cut the cactus out of felt, i drew on my skirt with chalk to get a basic idea of the layout.

Next, I drew the shapes of the cactus on my felt with chalk & cut them with a rotary cutter.

Then, I pinned my cactus to the skirt over my chalk layout & began to blanket stitch them to the skirt. This was very time consuming, but also very relaxing.

Finally, I added some details to each cactus by top stitching with my embroidery floss.

 

Here are some finished shots!! I just loved wearing my skirt in Arizona! Some of these photos are taken at the Hotel Congress in Tucson, AZ…if you haven’t been there, i highly recommend it! It is decorated in an art deco southwestern theme & the rooms are as they were in the 1930s..amazing!

 

I can’t wait to use this technique for another project!

-Tina

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1950s | Embroidery | Pants / Trousers | Vintage Sewing

McCalls 5263 (1959) “Short Shorts”

By on June 20, 2012

I decided to give these shorts a go, since I’ve always loved the look of high waisted shorts but don’t actually own any! Im usually NOT a shorts person, but these have converted me! They were easy to sew up & came together quite quickly (which i know we all love!).

I chose the "short shorts"

I chose a light weight wool in dark brown that i had laying around & even added a personal touch by hand embroidering a little bow design on the waistband!

Here are some photos of the finished product! Im quite happy with how they came out & it just so happened to be a nice warm day here in Berkeley…perfect for my new shorts’ debut!!

My Finished Shorts!

close up photo of the color & embroidery

my little hand embroidered bow!

I highly recommend these shorts to all of you gals who are looking for nice summer patterns…they’re great!

xoxo,
tina

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1940s | Mens | Shirts | Vintage Sewing

Men’s Western Shirt 1949 (simplicity 3054)

By on May 2, 2012

I just finished sewing up this fun western shirt for my honey (the handsome model in the photo below) from Simplicity pattern 3054 from 1949.

I used dark brown & tan lightweight wool and a plethora of cream colored piping for this project. I also added pearl snaps instead of the buttons which were suggested for a more traditional western look.

the finished product!

I’m really satisfied with the result aside from a few tiny details that no one will ever notice except me.

back view

While sewing this up, I learned how to do these nifty arrowhead tacks on the pockets…aren’t they fun? Of course they are and guess what? They’re easy too! I referred to an awesome tutorial that I found on the Coletterie website ( http://www.coletterie.com/tutorials-tips-tricks/arrowhead-tack-tutorial ), which i love!

hand sewn arrowhead tacks & tricky welt pockets!

My honey loves the shirt & even wore it for a recent show with his band! 🙂

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1940s | Dresses | Modern Patterns | Vintage Sewing

vintage inspired!

By on March 4, 2012

hello all of you lovely retro sewers! this is my first post & im very excited 🙂

i just finished this dress using the Decades of Style pattern called “1940’s New England Dress” & im pretty pleased with the result!

for this dress, i used a fun printed light-weight cotton fabric in some lovely muted colors & vintage ball buttons i thrifted recently.

i really love the panel details that this pattern has on the bodice & skirt…and guess what?!? there are even POCKETS in the skirt panel! i just love pockets!

overall, im really happy with how this turned out & i got a few compliments while wearing it which made me so proud!

such a cute silhouette!

 

awesome vintage buttons
a much better photo than in my original post! (aside from the wrinkles...)
back view
side view

 

love my new dress!!

i took a few years away from sewing and im just getting back into the swing of things. now that im sewing again, i realize how much i love and missed it. this site has been very inspirational for me..thank you all for your posts!

happy sewing,
tina

(-now with better photos!)

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