1940s | 1950s | Blouses | Skirts

Black and White

By on August 14, 2014

I thought I’d post pictures of some of my favorite handmade retro clothes.  I never posted these in the first place, probably because they were in the laundry or being worn!  It just so happens that they’re all black and white!

This skirt is one of my favorites!  It’s a full circle skirt made from some lovely wool houndstooth.  I used a super wide black ribbon for the waistband and along the edge of the lining.  I love love love it!  Unfortunately, it’s a bit too hot right now in Texas for me to wear it.

Another circle skirt!  I’m a little obsessed with them.  This is made out of some sort of linen blend that DOESN’T wrinkle every time you sit down!  I recently finished it (after wearing and washing it several times) by hemming the lining, replacing a lost button, and a little added detail to the waistband.  (I couldn’t resist…my new machine is awesome!)

Finally, not a circle skirt!  This is my second attempt at Simplicity 1590, and definitely more of a success.  The fabric is a weird polyester that is stiff enough to hold the peplum out.  I used tiny black buttons down the front, and added a tie in the back.  It looks great with a black skirt, or with jeans.  A great addition to the wardrobe!

And for those of you who helped me out with my recent sewing machine crisis, thank you!  So many of you told me how wonderful your Janome machines were that I decided to get one of my own!  It is the Magnolia 7330, and I LOVE it!  So, thanks!


Happy sewing, everyone!

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1920s | Sewing Machines | Vintage Sewing

Reassembling a Singer 66

By on June 13, 2012

Hello again! I’m back with an update on my adventures cleaning my Singer 66. As I mentioned before, it’s from 1923 and quite dirty, gunky, rusty etc, so I’ve slowly been disassembling and scrubbing everything.

Most recently I took apart everything on the bottom of the machine, cleaned it, and put it back together. I’m a little exhausted from doing the tutorial over on my blog, so I hope you’ll forgive me for just posting a quick before and after here.


I’m not exactly a clean freak, but seeing all the parts shined is extremely satisfying. If you want to see the process, head on over to my blog post!

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Singer 66

By on May 27, 2012

Hi everyone! I can’t contain my enthusiasm, so I have to share this purchase I made with you…

It’s a Singer 66, and the first antique sewing machine I’ve owned. I’ve been teaching myself to sew for a few years on a machine that I think is from the seventies. It works fine, but lately I’ve been admiring vintage sewing machines more and more… and becoming increasingly curious about what it’s like to sew on one. I love Peter’s blog over at Male Pattern Boldness and seeing the different machines he finds and fixes up. I suppose I can owe it to him that I took the plunge and bought this machine after seeing it on Craig’s List.

As you can see, this machine needs a lot of cleaning. Happily, though, all the parts seem to operate quite smoothly. It even came with most (or even all?) of the original parts. Check this out:

I haven’t actually tried out any of these attachments yet, nor have I even threaded the needle and given it a go. I’m going to try to give it a thorough cleaning first, which it really really needs. It has been in a smoking household for many years, and I’m not sure if all the grime is from that or from something else. It’s pretty dirty though. I used Peter’s helpful list of vintage sewing machine resources as a starting point for the cleaning process. You can find it here.  I also found this amazing website: My Sewing Machine Obsession, which has wonderfully detailed photos, diagrams, and instructions detailing how to disassemble, clean, and reassemble several types of vintage sewing machines. Elizabeth of My Sewing Machine Obsession recommends using Dr. Bronner’s almond oil soap because it is very gentle, and cleaning the outer body of the machine with q-tips – so I started on this yesterday. Here’s a quick before and after…

Getting this far took a lot of q tips and the better part of the afternoon. I guess I have my work cut out for me! I won’t go on for too long here, in case not everyone is interested in seeing many many photos of this lovely new acquisition of mine. But if you are interested, I am going to try to document the whole clean up process over at my blog: errantpear.blogspot.com. Feel free to drop by!

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