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Vintage Inspired Sewing Projects for Beginners

 

Sometimes its fun to get back to basics.  With the long, hot days of summer upon us, having a simple and fulfilling project to complete in the cool air conditioning is all a person needs to feel refreshed.  Here are a few of my favorite (easy) vintage inspired sewing projects!

 Click title to be taken to website for project instructions.

 Retro Drawstring Bag by A Spoonful of Sugar Designs

Make these little bags up in various sizes to fulfill all your needs.  I love having a few little bags like these for quick trips to the library or farmer’s markets.   And of course my one year old loves toting bags like these around to hold all sorts of random toys!

Sewing Machine Pillow by Quilting Digest

This little project is a quick way to get a quilting fix without having to commit to a larger size.  Go stash diving to use up all those odds and ends you know you have lying around!

Camper Pincushion by Crafts Beautiful

This little camper is the epitome of summer vacation!  Let this little cutie grace your sewing table and help you keep track of all those rogue pins.

Creating a Vintage Blouse from a Modern Sewing Pattern  

If you want a little more of a challenge, why not take a pattern you already have and mix it up to create something more vintage.  In this video tutorial, I’ll show you how to create two different blouses using one modern sewing pattern!

 

So don’t let the dog days of summer get you down!  Grab some ice tea and head to the sewing room!

I am now accepting custom orders on select items for August and September.  To see current offerings please click HERE.  To see my online portfolio click HERE.

 

How Retro do you go?

I will never, ever, and I mean NEVER EVER get sick of looking at and admiring vintage kitchens!  Even though I have personally just redecorated my kitchen into more of a farm style, I know that it won’t be too long before the vintage look makes its way back.  Anyone who loves or appreciates anything vintage will understand exactly what I mean.  But when trying to write this post, I found myself struggling to put into words just what it is about the vintage kitchen look that I so much love.  Upon thinking, I have found that it contains both physical and mental attributes.  The idea of family, homey-ness, and just good old fashioned cooking makes up the mental appeal. But to describe the physical, I had to find some examples…..

First off,  take a look at this kitchen below:

 

Ahhhhhhh!   It looks so appealing, clean, sunny, and fresh!  From the striped cushions, the plate rack above the sink, to the geranium in the windowsill, everything oozes welcome and home.  But what is stopping me from creating a kitchen just like this?  Well besides the fact that I would have to do some major reconstruction, the idea of a tiled wall just seems a little out of date.

But what about this kitchen?

 

I mean a cozy siting area in the kitchen complete with fireplace!  Sign me up!  The glass cabinets and breakfast nook all add to the overall appeal….but again, something stops me.  Perhaps it is the commitment to one and only one color?

So you see, no matter how much I love the kitchens of the 1920’s, 30’s, 40’s 50’s, and yes even 60’s, I just can’t seem to recreate the entire look in my own home.  So I have to ask the question: How retro do you go?

When looking for images for this post I have discovered that there are two major types of retro home decorators out there.  One type that loves to replicate and the other that likes to use a touch.  So I gathered some examples of each to see what you all thought!

Let’s begin with those true-to-form decorators out there!


From color, to pattern, to accessories, these kitchens look as if they have been plucked right out of a 1950’s Better Homes and Gardens magazine!

And then there are those that let color hues or accessories bring a gentle vintage wash to the room…


I debated where to put the bottom left hand image…that one really could belong in both categories.

So, where do you fall?  Which style speaks most to you and which one do you use to decorate your home?  I flip flop almost on the daily…. 🙂

Have a wonderful day everyone!!

Peekaboo!! I’m back!

Hi everyone!!  

My goodness but it has been quite a while since I have posted anything here on my blog!  It has been for good reason, and I’ll explain that a little later on, but boy, is it wonderful to be back!!!  Not to mention that the warmer weather is finally, and I mean FINALLY, starting to show up!  I don’t know if any of you have been suffering for want of warmth like us in the northeast, but it has been a most painfully long, cold spring so far.  I have found that the older I get the more the drab, rainy, and cloudy spring days get to me…but I guess I’ll worry about that depressing future another day!

So where have I been?  I looked the other day and saw that I haven’t posted since December!  Yikes!?!?  I by no means intended to take such a long break from blogging…it just sort of happened.  I, like many of us, got caught up in the busyness of the holidays and the start of the new year.  A wonderful influx of custom orders with limited sewing time compounded the issue.  And then there was the fact that I had a little baby girl who struggled sleeping at night.  Between night feedings, midnight crying sessions, and one whopper of a cold for the whole family,  I spent my days just trying to function.  There were times when I tried to sit down in front of the computer and write, but the words just got stuck.  I realized that I had to be relaxed and rested to write otherwise I was just staring at the computer screen watching the precious minutes of a nap tick away with nothing to show for it.  So I just let the block stay as it wanted and focused on enjoying mommy-hood and sewing for my daughter as well as my business.  Two things that really kept me sane and provided a much needed creative outlet.

Well, as of a week ago we have successfully weened off of night feeds (a little late for many babies, but right and proper for my now ten month old little nugget) and a full night sleep has been added back into my day.  I’m still enjoying the novelty of not having to get up every three hours…its wonderful! 🙂  And as a result I have found the rest greatly increased my desire to write and create blog posts again.

So I’m back with a goal of trying to post four times a month.  A goal mind you.  🙂  I have found that with many creative aspects of my life, to just relax and embrace the dry times as much as I do the days when creativity oozes out of my fingertips!

So thank you for your patience and your continued support and readership!

Have a wonderful day my friends!

~Aimee 

Creating a 1750’s Gown…For Me! Part One

There comes a time when all business sewing needs to take a pause, and personal sewing needs to take over.

You see, I don’t often sew for myself.

I think the last time I created a gown just for me was at least a year ago.  Most of the time, whenever I sew it is either for a client or to sell on my shop.  But with a little more free time on my hands (thanks to longer naps by my little one), I wanted to try something new and different. …something for me! 🙂

After thinking about what I wished to create, I decided on an outfit to wear at next year’s French and Indian War Reenactment…in July.  The tricky part about making a gown to wear in the summer while it is still winter is the fear that I am going to sweat like crazy!  More about that later!

So, as always, whenever I begin a brand new decade or project apart from the norm, I begin with an inspiration board.  This is where I gather images of actual gowns, paintings, or pieces of a gown I want to try and incorporate.  The problem with this particular gown is I wanted to include WAAAAY to many aspects and techniques, so I had to really cut down.

Here is the inspiration board of this particular project:

I decided on a short – ish jacket (around upper thigh length), a petticoat (with a hole to include a side pocket), and a slew of trims and details…of which only a few I think will make it to the gown.

I took pattern inspiration from Janet Arnold’s Pattern of Fashion book and began mocking up the bodice of the jacket.  Notice the sharp line of the neckline of the bodice over the soon to be stomacher.

Side view showing the bum roll I plan to also wear.

Once I was happy with the basic look, I cut out the lining and main fabric pieces.

Then, I stitched felt to the lining along the”skirt” portion of the jacket and along the front.

This is the part that makes me nervous.  Sure the felt creates a very crisp, stiff look…but will I be sweating up a storm?  Only time will tell!

 

I then stitch all the jacket pieces together, lined it, put in the sleeves, and began trying to figure out how I was going to close the thing!

I decided it would be different to lace it up the front with buttons…so I covered some metal shank buttons I had on hand and stitched them to the bottom portion of the jacket at the waist.

 

And this was where things began to go terribly wrong.  

The buttons are just not strong enough to hold the lacing tight and secure.  The lacing just pops right off.  If any of you have any ideas of what I am doing wrong, please let me know!  Otherwise I may just have to stick with pinning it to the stomacher….

So here is where Part One ends.  I hope to put out Part Two next week, as I continue working on the petticoat, stomacher, and the trim of the jacket.  Overall this has been such a fun project and challenge!!!
Have a wonderful day everyone!!

 

 

On My Inspiration Board: Coral Gowns

Happy Thanksgiving week everyone!!  

I can’t believe we are already at Thanksgiving!  While I feel that the summer went by at a normal pace, this fall has simply flew!!

I have been very busy sewing these past days, not only getting ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday on my shop (click HERE to see all the deals), but also with some fun projects just for the heck of it!  One such project, was this 1810’s day gown in such a fun shade of coral-ly pink.

Now I know, that like so many colors, what one person may think is coral may not be what another person would describe it as.  So if you are sitting at home thinking that none of the gowns in this post are coral…that’s okay!  Agree to disagree! 🙂  Regardless, something about this happy color just sent me on a coral-hunting mission, and while there are not very many historical examples out there in coral, there are a few!

Lets start with this lovely painting called La Jeune Musicienne created in 1788 by Michel Garner.  I mean the color, the gown, the gauze-y overalay, the flowered hair piece….drool!!

 

 

 

Could you call that color apricot?  Sure.  Could you call it coral, or pink?  Of course….remember, color is often in the eye of the beholder.  But no matter what color you call it , I think we can all agree it is stunning!

So that takes us to this edition of On My Inspiration Board, where I put my absolute favorites into one delightful collage!!  From 1810-1950, there is something here for everyone!

To see more coral gowns, feel free to hop over to my Pinterest Page!

So no matter what name you give it, these gowns are worth more than a passing glance to appreciate the fine design and craftsmanship that went into creating them!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!!

 

 

 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales and Promotions

Hi Everyone!  

I looked at the calendar and couldn’t believe that next week is Thanksgiving!! WHAT?!?!  Despite the apparent shock I felt that it was coming so soon, I got equally excited as I just love Thanksgiving!  

I also am a fan of Black Friday Shopping…within reason! 😉  So this year, I am offering some wonderful sales on my shop that will run all of Thanksgiving weekend, beginning on Friday, 11/24/17 at midnight.  With special deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this once a year sale is not to be missed!  

Here is the rundown!  



Thanksgiving Weekend Long Sale

Save 15% on orders of all Ready Made items and SELECT Custom Orders from November 24, 2017 – Monday 27, 2017!

Sale begins midnight (eastern standard time) 11/24/17 and runs until 12:00 pm 11/27/17

Black Friday Deals ONLY –

Deals begin at 12:00 am (eastern standard time) on 11/24/17 and end at 12:00 pm (eastern standard time) 11/24/17

Save 15% on all orders of Ready Made Items and SELECT Custom Orders

+

Buy any Ready Made Regency Gown and receive a FREE Bum Roll – $25 Value

+

First three customers who order $150 or more receive a FREE apron! – $45 Value

Cyber Monday Deals ONLY

Deals begin at 12:00 am (eastern standard time) on 11/27/17 and end at 12:00 pm (eastern standard time) 11/27/17

Save 15% on all orders of Ready Made Items and SELECT Custom Orders

+

Several surprise Ready Made gowns will be marked down 50%

Look for these gowns to be featured on the Home Page of my Online Shop

on Monday, November 27, 2017



READY TO SHOP????? Click HERE to start!!

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!!

New blog post on Coral Historical gowns will be coming out later this week! 🙂

Until then, 

Creating an 1850’s Bloomer Gown

A few weeks ago, The New York State Museum reached out to me to acquire a Bloomer Gown I had created to display in their upcoming exhibit Votes for Women: Celebrating New York’s Suffrage Centennial which runs from November 4, 2017- May 13, 2018 in Albany, New York.

I was thrilled and honored to be apart of such a wonderful exhibit and celebration that I thought I would share a some details of not only the gown I made, but also the women who made the outfit popular.

To start with the Bloomer gown, as we know it, was not first worn by Amelia Bloomer but actually by Elizabeth Smith Miller of Geneva, New York.  Elizabeth Miller, who advocated for dress reform using the Turkish style of pants, quickly caught the attention and support of Bloomer.  With her newspaper, The Lily, which focused on women’s issues, Amelia popularized the look to the point where her name became associated with the gown.

The outfit itself is composed of a gown with a short skirt which hits around the upper shin, and a pair of long, poofy pants.  A bishop or pagoda sleeve is commonly used with either a blouse or under sleeves used to provide the needed modesty.  The bloomers themselves are gathered in to a cuff that hooks around the ankle and, like the majority of bloomers at this time, are crotchless.

Here are a few examples of various takes on the Bloomer Gown.

I love how the drawings show such elaborate takes on the gown while the photographs have a more muted look.  Ahhhh fashion versus reality! 🙂

So now for my look.

 I used the pattern #811 by Past Patterns which includes instructions for both the Bloomer gown and an 1850’s gown..which is pretty much the same thing with just a longer skirt. Instead of using under sleeves, I put a Garibaldi blouse in white underneath and also included a sash.

 Here is the original gown the Past Patterns company based their design off of:

It is a green silk gown with ruching along the bodice, sleeves, and the cuffs of the “pants.”

 For my gown, I opted not to do the rushing as the cotton I used just wasn’t working quite right.  The gown hooks in the front with hook and eye closures, has sewn in boning, and also features a skirt apron of sorts which consists of a mini waistband that is free of the bodice, covers the center front, and hooks to the side bodice.  ***see picture below***  The skirt itself is cartridge pleated and hand stitched to the bodice.  The bloomers are held main fabric and half lining fabric, gather into a waistband and hook in the front.

 

**** Free hanging waistband***

This outfit was such a fun and different project!  I am so glad that it will get some great use at the exhibit and will help educate others on the heroism and fashion sense of some wonderful historical women!

In case you missed my previous post, I am currently looking for historical seamstresses and tailors to create ready-made and custom historical clothing for both men and women!  If interested, please click HERE.

A Quick Update

Hello my dear friends!!

I know it has been so long since I published my last post that I wanted to reach out and let you all know I am still alive! 🙂

I have been very, very busy with my sewing including a fun piece for the New York State Musueam Exhibit  – more details about that later!!! 

I am also looking to expand the Shop portion of my business to include both men and women’s historical clothing.   So if you know someone, or are interested yourself, please check out the Employment page on my blog for more details!

I have many fun posts planned for the upcoming holiday season that I can’t wait to share with all of you!

Thank you all so much for your patience and support!!

Happy Sunday and Happy Sewing! 

Aimee