Inspiration Board: Sky Blue Gowns

On a summer trip I took with my dad years ago, we drove across the midwest on an adventure that took us through some pretty unique parts of the Great Plains.  But one thing I distinctly remember was how large and blue the sky was.  If any of you live near mountains, you, perhaps unknowingly, have become use to the close, almost comforting, feeling of the sky.  Your eye pleasantly rests upon hills, forests, and mountainsides on a daily basis.  Transplant that same person into the heart of the plains, where the sky is a giant expanse above you, and you are amazed at the realization that the curve you see isn’t a hill, but the earth, and that can be quite overwhelming.

That landscape was a unique freeing experience where nothing seemed to be in your way as you traveled mile upon mile.  But the sky…that sky was the bluest I think I have ever seen.  Not a baby blue, or a navy, but a true blue.  And that, in my humble opinion, is what a summer sky should look like.

Blue is a calming and flattering color.  It is amazing at how many women have blue in their wardrobe, in both the past and the present, and therefore we are so fortunate to have so many examples.  Despite the slight fading the years have brought on, many of these gowns are still stunners.

Therefore, in honor of summer, in honor of the sky, and in honor of those lucky midwesterners who get to enjoy that sapphire beauty, this month’s gown Inspiration Board is all about Sky Blue!



june blue

To see more, feel free to visit my Pinterest Board.

Accessories: 1950’s Tulip Capelet

I came across a picture of this adorable little cape in a 1950’s sewing magazine a few weeks ago and simply fell in love.  I knew I wished to recreate this look and was very pleased at how easy and quick this was to put together.  From start to finish (including cut out time) it took just under an hour and with some pressing, this little capelet is the perfect cover for any 1950’s summer dress!


1  1/2 -2 yards of fabric (depends on width of fabric)

Pattern:  1 square equals 1 inch

Tulip Capelet Pattern

You will also need to cut out one 36″ x 2″ strip for the tie that goes into the casing around the neck.


1. Stitch together all ten pieces of the capelet, right sides together, but make sure not to stitch into a circle.  Repeat with lining pieces.

Place the two pieces right sides together and pin.


2.  Stitch around all outer edges, but leave the front seams open.  You will whipstitch these closed later.


3.  Turn right side out and press.


4.  Pin the location for the casing and stitch.  You can also turn under the front seams, pin, and whipstitch.




Stitch the ties, turn right side out, press, and then insert through the casing.

I was also honored to be interviewed by Jessica from Chronically Vintage.  Please visit her amazing sight to check out not only my answers but her  as well!

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Designing and Decorating The Front Porch

Decorating and furnishing one’s front porch can be viewed, in my opinion, two different ways: coordinated and classic, or eclectic and refurbished. Both are modes in which the homeowner can portray not only their personal decorating style, but also can create an inviting space for family and friends. Mornings spent chatting with old friends, or afternoons enjoyed catching up on some reading or handwork, are all better enjoyed on a comfortable and colorfully decorated porch.

Read on for some advice in porch decorating from 1920’s experts:

“As you ring in the summer when the family living room is transferred out-of-doors, it means a great deal to have the outside so furnished that it is a pleasant place to spend one’s leisure hours. By furnished, I mean not so much the chairs, settees, or tables, but the accessories that go so far toward creating out-of-doors an atmosphere of sunny welcome both to the members of your family and to the guests who by chance come to visit your home.

Because color is so much a part of summer, it may be used more freely on porches and decks that would be possible indoors. Once you decide on a color scheme, be sure it is carried out in the rug as well as the materials used for cushions or chair upholstery. These materials should always be durable and sunfast, if possible; so you will find cretonne, gingham, chambray, and cotton duck fabrics best not only for their color choices, but also for the ease with which they can be laundered.

To carry out your plan of beautifying your outdoor living room, you must consider the furniture, too. The work of painting a chair is not all that difficult, so even if you have not had any previous experience, do not delay your first step for you will find this branch of reclaiming furniture truly fascinating. A miscellaneous collection of chairs, when painted all one color, are surprisingly improved, and when you finished the cushions of harmonizing colors, they will fully repay you by their appearance for the time you have spent on them. The list on this page provides ideas for colors to be used for your furniture as well as provides ideas for colors to be used for rugs, cushions, and upholstery. select a scheme that is harmonious with the color of your house if it is possible to do so. “

june porch colors

By Margaret Murrin – Inspiration, June/July, 1925

Historical Housekeeping: Creating Your Own Old-Fashioned Garden

When you picture your perfect summer afternoon, what do you see?  For me, it is relaxing in the shade of a lovely park with perhaps a nearby pond with tiny fish darting about, robins bopping along looking for a snack, and of course the delicate aroma of flowers wafting in the warm smelling breeze.  Can a summer breeze smell warm?  Of course it can!

The warmth of summer brings with it a jolt of life which, if you look carefully, touches every living thing around us.  The crickets sing louder, the birds chirp livelier, and the children run faster and play harder (of course, the end of the school year could have something to do with that.)  Our bones respond to this new change, and crave the outside as we collectively meander into our gardens, both large and small, to pull out the old, and plant the new.

While I may not be a great gardener, I do love the feeling of dirt under my fingernails, and the earthy scent of soil, fertilizer, and roots.  For one living thing to help another living thing grow and prosper is a unique gift that should be treasured and cultivated.  The sign of a well-loved garden, in my opinion, is one where the plants are allowed to grow as they please with only mild intervention as time and nature pass by together and where even the bees and butterflies view the plants as old friends.

I remember this one painting my mom had hanging up in our house for years of a mother and daughter wandering together through what had to be the most beautiful flower garden I had ever seen.  Perhaps you have seen such a garden?  One where all colors are present and lush, and where tall hollyhocks and iris watch over their flock of the smaller bachelor buttons and pansies.  Oh, to have such a garden myself…. 🙂

The beauty of an old fashioned flower garden is timeless.  It speaks of love, care, and a sense that time does nothing but add to the beauty of the flowers and their caretakers.

The size of the garden isn’t important, nor the amount of money one spends.  It’s the thought and care one takes into creating a beautiful spot for humans and animals alike.  Remember even the ladybugs have outdoor picnics…and I bet they have them right underneath the golden heliotrope!

Wish to start an old fashioned garden of your own?  Here are a few links to get you started!

Old-Fashioned Inspired Garden Sources

To learn about various types of “old-fashioned” flowers, Frances from Fairegarden gives a wonderful overview.

Looking for that classic “old-fashioned” flower collection?  Try this seed kit by CheapSeeds or these unique Heirloom Stock seeds from Natures Potions Ltd.



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From My Sewing Table – June

Sitting on my front porch is like sitting in a beloved bistro or cafe.  Instead of small tables littered around a restaurant, each little house on my street with their porches, creates a delightful blend of mutual isolation.  Communally out and enjoying the nice weather, yet focused on private conversations, private thoughts, and private observations.  My front porch is where I write best.  A problem since I live in the north east and therefore only get to enjoy the outdoor weather for a few months.  But I love the muted background noise of my street, as old and young take their daily lives outdoors.  I am apart of it, and yet a silent observer on the outskirts….my personal favorite place to be.

The front porch is a sacred part of American living and my anonymous haven amidst the fray.  It is a place where friends can meet casually and chat, where one can watch the sunrise, or retire at the end of a long day and listen to the cricket’s song take over for the buzz of the bees.  Creating a living space that extends out of one’s home and onto the front porch has been the goal of many a homeowner over the years, along with the delightful activities that one can also do outside.  Therefore, this month will focus on porch living, outdoor fun, and summer fashion.

So take time this summer to create a little retreat where life can delightfully exist around you and with you!


A few upcoming posts to look for this month:

  • Summer Games and Summer Parties (1920’s)
  • Creating an Old-Fashioned Garden
  • Finding the Perfect Fragrance (1910’s)

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