Sew Say We All...

Today I finished the two piece vintage skirt/midriff top (except for buttons). I'm saving the buttons for TV time. See? I can multi-task. One thing though... Simplicity 9978 only calls for FOUR buttons for that outfit. For the top. It's plain to see that the skirt buttons, but I guess we're just supposed to *guess* how many we need for the skirt. Meh. I bought some lovely sand infused ones that are semi-transluscent and they totally go with this better than the mere FOUR buttons I purchased earlier that there were no more of today. I guess it was meant to be since I wasn't really keen on the first set anyhow.

I also started on the Vintage Vogue 2636 I posted about earlier. Because I've got a weird shape, of necessity I must pin-baste the thing together FIRST and then go back and sew it. Which is PITA but oh well. I'm 98% done with that step and tweaking the fit. I will say that it looks very nice on the dress form. Better than I anticipated. The backing of the fabric is super silky polyester knit. No slip necessary, yay! The skirt on it isn't nearly as full as some of the others, but it's got plenty of ease.

And in other news, I bought a new pair of scissors. But this time, instead of buying the "chipper chicken" (name the movie this references & win a prize), I sprung for the spring action knife edge Gingher scissors. Sure they were a mere $44 & change. But I was SICK TO DEATH of having to find the doggone "sweet spot" on my POS spring loaded scissors so as not to mangle whatever I was working on. And did I mention I got 40% off? WOOHOO. So they only ended up being $26 + tax. Not too bad, really.

Also, I've begun conceptualising my oldest's First Holy Communion Dress. That's for Easter 2010. I've already got the fabric and the pattern and the thread. I've had those for years now. Today I scored (on my button run) a pearl headband for the veil. Tissues out... I'm going to use the pearl enhanced netting from my wedding veil for hers. Sniff sniff. My baby is getting so big. And I got 40% off the headband, too. I had a dream about it last night actually. And there it was.

Last week I got the most adorable cuddle fleece for oldest daughter's winter coat. Again 40% off. Which since it was already $13/yard was VEEERY helpful. It will be lined with cotton interlock fabric that is super soft so it has a little extra warmth and body. I found the perfect pattern for ONLY $1 folks. A BUCK!!!! Crazy, no?

I'll post pictures of all this madness later on. Right now, I'm too pooped to pop, so I'll sign off and check you on the flip side.

Hidden Treasures

It's funny how the Universe gives you little surprises.

I've been cleaning out my pattern stash. Not the "good" ones that I keep in acid-free envelopes and protected from wind, rain, sleet, snow, fire-breathing monsters from outer space and small children... You know the ones. The ones that you have no idea how you got them, where they came from, or maybe even they were the ones from when you were a kid and now they're missing pieces and parts.

I realized as I was cleaning out my last bin - hacking, coughing and wheezing all the way - that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I had NOT intentionally bought them. Nope. Because if it's a vintage pattern, I'd have all the bits-n-bobs that go 'long with. Then it came to me... There was ONE pattern envelope that didn't contain what it was supposed to. I only paid a quarter for it, so no big, BUT! Goldmine!!! THREE vintage patterns in varying stages of completeness... All Simplicity...

Simplicity 3335 which is either from 1940 or 1950. My money is on '50 based on the style. See?

Next is Simplicity 1790 which again could go either 1946 or 1956. Since S3335 has more stuff printed on the pattern paper, I'm going to say that S1790 is from '46. It also has these AMAZING little transfers for embroidery. I wish I had a picture of this one....

The next one is from 1972 - Simplicity 5214. Again with the "no envelope/cutting directions" stuff. This one is an easy pattern to figure out though. I've got 6 out of 7 pieces which means it's definitely functional.

Strictly speaking, ALL of these patterns are functional because I can always redraft what I'm missing. I can't wait to make these up. Except for one small problem... None of my kids are small enough anymore. I guess I'm going to have to wait for grandchildren. Which had better not happen ANY TIME SOON. Otherwise I'll have to kill someone. And then it will end up as an episode of Law & Order: SVU...

Armchair Archaelogist

I always wanted to be an archaeologist in the grand style of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and dig up ancient cultures. Alas, I was born about 150 years too late and with too much of a love of air conditioning. However, I still love to seek out new worlds and new civilizations and boldly go where no man has gone before: vintage sewing patterns.

I've been archiving my collection in Silver Comic Book sleeves with acid free cardboard backers. $3.99 for 100 sleeves and $7.99 for the backboards. I've been labelling away and had a little trouble with a couple of patterns' dates. I knew from the styles that they were without a doubt from the 30s, but other than a decade, I couldn't get much farther. One was a Ladies' Home Journal pattern sold by Ed. Sarrazin of Fayetteville, TX at his general store and the other was a New York Pattern. Both LHJ and NY Patterns' information are hard to come by since not much detail is known about them.

However, both of these patterns had something in common... A strange little symbol of an eagle holding something and the initials "NRA". Now in modern parlance, NRA means the National Rifle Association. But in the 30s, notsomuch. In 1933, FDRs New Deal was supposed to help ease the effects of the Great Depression through the creation of numerous federal entities that would oversee different aspects of industry and commerce. There's a little blurb on this at History Matters. I'd say history is repeating itself right now...

But aside from current politics, the symbol intrigued me. I looked up the slogan "We Do Our Part" in Google and was led to Wikipedia's entry. Basically, that little emblem and slogan narrows down my patterns' ages to between July of 1933 and Spetember of 1935. That's less than a two year spread!

Once I'm done archiving these patterns, I'll be scanning them and fixing them to upload to the Vintage Patterns Wiki.

I meant to post this on Tuesday

but I got to feeling ill and then forgot...

So better late than never...

As I promised earlier, Simplicity 9978:

I'm actually a bit farther along than the pictures attest. I've got the sleeves sewn and pinned to the bodice and the skirt is complete except for... BUTTONHOLES. I figured I'd better quite while I'm ahead. I was afraid to manage buttonholes while I'm sick with the flu. I mean, I'm good, but I'm not THAT good...

The hem of the skirt and the lower edge of the bodice and sleeves are finished with bias tape in a nice "bright pink". Who comes up with those names anyway? Shouldn't it be called "Hibiscus" or something? "Bright Pink" is just so... ordinary... Henceforth, "bright pink" shall be called "Hibiscus".

Anyways, I'm just about done with this one and then on to the next project...

Vintage Vogue 2636

But not the jacket part. This dress will be an actual challenge for me because of my body shape. And I'm up for the challenge. I got this pattern like a million years ago from Lanetz Living.

I have made buttonholes!!!!

To some people that may seem like no big deal. Prior to completing this dress, though, I had gone 35.75 years (granted not all of them sewing years) without ever having to make a button hole. I don't know why they were so scary. Maybe it was my defective sewing machines that didn't like me. Who knows. Here is my "bumblebee" dress in all it's buttonholed (6) glory:

Now all I need is a WIDE black belt so I don't look so WEIRD....

I will say that it's got a LOT of ease. I'm finding that to be the case with most patterns even though I'm substantially larger than the patterns...

I've also started on the two piece retro Simplicity number (bottom left)...

From Musings from the throne room

I'll post pics of it soon, I promise!

Going back to my roots for ICE

IronCupcake:Earth's challenge for May is SAVORY. What has that to do with my roots, you ask? Let's just say that I'm going to channel my bio dad's enthnicity for this one. So in honor of my bio dad's ancestors, I'm pulling out the spices and taking a lesson from the cuisine of India. That is, to take imported ingredients and put a local twist on them.

My entry has a special surprise in the center - not unlike a Tootsie Pop.

Here's the "Bollywood, Florida Cupcake" - a Curry cupcake with Scotch Egg inside. The whole affair is baked in a King Size cupcake liner to accomodate the hardboiled egg.


Our May ETSY PRIZE-PACK is from artists:

•A sweet cupcake ID bracelet by INSANEJELLYFISH

•something sweet and dangly from CHERRYCREEKCHARMS at

•a sweet surprise from Sweet Cuppin' Cakes Cupcakery,

•PLUS, IronCupcake:Earth can not forget our good friend, CAKESPY,, who is now going to be doing a piece for our winner each month until further notice - sweet!

Last and certainly not least, don’t forget our corporate prize providers:


HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson,




Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers,

Wardrobe Refashion - Ready, Set, Sew!

You know those items of clothing you never ever wear? The ones lurking in the dark recesses of your closets and the depths of your dresser drawers? And don't tell me you don't have at least ONE item you never wear for whatever reason. Well, those are the items I'm going to get started on during my 2 months of WR. Bear in mind I'm also sewing from scratch a wardrobe of outfits, so if the Closet Refugees don't get gotten to before the 2 months is up, don't sue me.

The first candidate is the sort of neat denim skirt. It's just HUGE in the waist. I mean HUGE. It rides so low on my hips, it could fall right off if I suck in my tummy. It also has these side button slits with brass buttons that dig into my rump and thighs if I sit down wrong. Tres Uncomfortable. So that's going to be my first victim.

To begin with, I'm going to revamp the waist and put the zipper in the side. Front zippers are mannish. Side zippers (or back ones, even) are sexay. Then, I'm going to rotate the skirt around so that the button slits are front to back not side to side. The back ones will be removed and the front ones will be expanded to get some sexyfront (as opposed to SexyBack). The inset pockets will be removed and either replaced with patch pockets on the front or foregone altogether. It depends on just how much fabric is left when I'm done frankensewing this thing backtogether.

[Forrest Gump]

One thing is for sure: those brass buttons are never going to dig into my but-tocks again.

[/Forrest Gump]

Before & After Pictures Coming Soon!