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.
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?
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.
Grace has been asking for an “apron dress” since last August. I’m not certain this was what she had in mind, but I loved the idea of two dresses for the price of one, and since her track record for actually wearing pinafore dresses is dismal, I thought it would be a good idea to make something that could be a dress all by itself! Enter Simplicity 1703. The information I’ve found says that it’s 1953, though I’d just say early fifties from the envelope style and the illustrations. I obtained the fabric for this last year–it’s Moda’s Girlie Girl and I was extra careful to match the stripes! (The colors are more vibrant in real life.) I made the pinafore in a bright turquoise cotton/poly batiste.
Gracie’s initial reaction was, “But Aunt Laura, it’s not pink!” I pointed out that there was plenty of pink in the print, and that I’d already made her two pink dresses! She allowed herself to be talked around to my point of view. (Besides, with her coloring, she looks fabulous in blues!) Pictures are a bit hard because all she wanted to do was twirl. She’s wearing a single crinoline half slip I made last year underneath.
That’s baby sister Nikki behind her. Because Nikki is so little, (we’re just barely getting into size 6 months even though she’s 16 months old) she hasn’t gotten a vintage dress yet, though that’s going to change soon!
I’ve made my standard changes here. The neck has had the seam allowance cut off, and this one was lengthened to a bit below her knee. It’s pretty much tea length here! I also slimmed down the darts to give her a bit more room.
I’m afraid that these are the only non-blurry pictures I managed to get of Grace in this one. She wasn’t into holding still long enough for them, or even holding still long enough to let me button everything! I love the sash on the pinafore, and the fact that it doubles as a sundress.
There’s also some room to move the buttons on this one so that if she gets a little bigger in the next few months (and she’s measuring in between sizes now) she should be able to wear it. We love this pattern so much that because kids patterns are fairly easy to come by that I’m now looking for it in a 4!
More on my blog.
I used this pattern to make a party dress for a one year old.
The older patterns certainly used more fabric. Look at this layout.
Detailed finishing inside. Nice!
And the finished dress
And two sunsuits from the same pattern