rick rack

 

I have had this pattern, which is Simplicity 1944 from 1947, in my collection for a while. My cousin just had a baby girl, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to make up this cute little sun suit. The pattern is a size 3, so it will be awhile before she grows into it, but it was so darn cute I had to give it a  whirl. I used plaid lightweight cotton, and went with a rickrack trim in fuchsia. There is a fuchsia stripe in the fabric, but it is not showing up well on camera. This is View 1, which has self made ruffles. View 2 uses purchased trim. I also contemplated using elastic in the legs, but in the end I went with the self made bias tape that is called for in the pattern. I did some quick and dirty hand bound buttonholes, which look less than great but do the job. Definitely more practice needed in that department. Unfortunately, the brim pattern piece for the matching bonnet was missing. I contemplated drafting a new one, but decided against it because I already have a giant pile of stuff in my sewing stash I need to get to, so I kept in simple with just the sun suit. Enjoy!

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Do you ever get a really crazy idea? About a week before I left for vacation, a friend gave me some old curtains left in their new house by the previous owners. They were a bright sunny yellow and I just knew it would be perfect for a 1950s patio dress. And I decided that I just had to have it done before vacation so I could wear it on vacation.

Now, the basic pattern for the skirt is pretty easy-it’s just three long rectangles gathered together with an elastic waist band. But vintage patio dresses take heaps of trim!

Aside from hours sewing on ric rac and other trims, my sewing machine decided it needed to break down. Thank goodness all it needed was a new bobbin shuttle but I lost a few days of sewing time waiting for it to arrive.

So, in the end I was only able to get the skirt portion finished, but I do have a vintage blouse pattern cut out to match. Luckily, I had a Mexican peasant top that worked well too!

I ended up wearing this outfit to a bird sanctuary and one of the ladies working there said it reminded her of the outfits she wore growing up in Mexico which just made my day! More photos (and photos of birds!) over on the blog.

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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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