Children

I named this past year’s Christmas dresses after the Johnny Cash song because they’re frankenpatterned from three vintage patterns each.  The collar and cuffs are done with Victorian fagoting stitching, the pinafores are thirties for the bigger one and forties for the smaller one, the bodice and skirts and collars are fifties dresses, and the sleeves are late sixties-early seventies.

 

 

The red and white ribbons are bias cut, hand-dyed silk and a sort of a nod to candy canes.  :) I also inserted entredeux into both the bodices and the pinafore skirts and the dresses underneath have beading lace on both the skirts and bodices.  Gracie requested a Christmas dress that wasn’t “itchy” and didn’t have puffed sleeves and had a twirly skirt, so this was my answer.

 

 

Once again, I used CRIN in the hem, and had a crinoline to go underneath to make the skirt nice and full.  I learned that you need to use a size 70 needle because the 80s and 90s can lead to hitting parts of the CRIN and runs in it.

 

 

The pinafore or as Gracie calls it the “fancy apron dress” is made so that with a slip, it can be worn as a separate dress when the weather gets warmer.  It’s hemline is also finished with CRIN.    I made matching bows from silk satin ribbon, which I really don’t recommend because they were so limp!  (Plain old polyester grosgrain has much more body and stiffness!)

 

Grace claimed that she’d rather wear baby sister Nicole’s dress because it was cuter!  (And here I thought I’d gone to great lengths to make them matching dresses!)  I’m afraid I don’t have pictures of the girls wearing them because all of the more affordable portrait studios have moved out of town, so we gave Sears a try and only came out with one portrait, which was a Christmas present to Mommy and Daddy.

 

The fabric is red with gold stars, but aside from the color, it’s a non-Christmas Christmas print.  I’m hoping they’ll get more wear out of them that way.

 

Nikki’s bow is on a headband because she’s rocking the baby mullet right now and doesn’t have enough hair in front to hold a bow yet.  I’m starting to look for vintage boy patterns now, ’cause they’re getting a baby brother, but since I know it’ll be a year to 18 months before he’ll fit into toddler 6 months patterns, I’m just not in a hurry!  More on this project on my blog, Granny Lane Sewing.

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Hi all! I haven’t posted anything in a long time but I hope to catch up soon. We are in the midst of moving so most of the sewing stuff is either packed or in boxes and there seems like no end in sight. So, to keep myself somewhat occupied I have started to “organize” all of my piles of mystery pattern pieces I got from a barn sale this past summer (I have tons of pics on my blog). When sorting through them initially I found several chunks, for lack of a better word, of pieces pinned together. They have no envelope, no picture, no labels, and all are unprinted pieces. The first pile I was able to easily discern is a little girls princess seam dress. I’m guessing late 30s or early 40s based on most of the other small sized patterns in the stash. The only part I cant figure out is the shoulder. I think the funny sticking out piece is a pleat. But what in the heck is the inserted piece (#5) that goes with it? I haven’t made anything that resembles this and I don’t have any other patterns that have a piece like this (I don’t think, it’s so hard to keep track).

I have traced the pieces so they are easier to see and marked everything too. I know everything fits together and I’m not missing anything. There are two sleeve variations, a waist tie, and a collar. I also have no idea how to close the dress. There are no dot or notches indicating a closure area and I don’t think it can slip over the head. The neckline seems too high for that. I was thinking of just doing a back button and loop since its a little girls dress. My best guess is that is around a size 3 or 4. My daughter is almost 3 and she is very tall. This looks like it would fit loosely. The SA also appear to be a 1/2 inch. Any help is most welcome!

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Little Betty toy sewing machine

I bought this adorable “Little Betty” toy 50s sewing machine on ebay this week, because for $25,I couldn’t resist it!

After playing with it for a bit, I was able to thread the top of the machine, and by cranking the handle, I got some sort of “sewing” happening. (Yes, it has a proper needle, and the foot raises and lowers like a “real one). Only problem is, it looks like something has to be done underneath, in lieu of a bobbin arrangement, and this is the part I can’t work out. No instructions came with the machine, and it is made in Britain.

top side of work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know, it’s actually just an ornament for my sewing room, but it’s bugging me!

I’m wondering if anyone else has come across one of these, and knows how to thread it?

underside of work

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This is the coat I have made for my daughter in time for the colder weather. It is made from Butterick 9955, a late 50s/ early 60s pattern, and a thick wool blend tartan fabric.

I gave her free choice for the lining, and this is what she went with, a cotton print with flowers and butterflies. It clashes like crazy, but she loves it. I added a brushed cotton interlining, sewn as one layer with the lining fabric, for extra warmth.

 

I did bound buttonholes, and made the collar in cotton velvet. It also has a detachable hood, which buttons on below the collar, though I have yet to add the buttons. The hem is all hand sewn. First I finished the edge of the tartan layer in bias tape, which I slip stitched down. I then catch-stitched the lining hem onto the outer hem, between the layers.

More details of the construction can be found here and here.

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