Five Recently Discovered Sewing Hacks

sewing hacks

I tend to be a bit behind the times.  I think that is one reason why I enjoy the past so much.  🙂  

So when it comes to sewing, I am truly a trial and error kind of sewer.  I encounter a problem, and then I sit and think about how to fix it.  I am a very “keep my eyes on my own paper” type of person.  However, I will often miss out on tricks of the trade that other experienced sewers have discovered which could help make my sewing easier and more efficient.  So, I spent a little time searching out some of these little tips and thought I would share my favorite five.  Many of you may already be very familiar with these ideas, but in case you are like me, you may have never found them on your own without a little bit of help! 🙂

Tip #1 – Use two or three pencils rubber banded together to add in your seam allowance when tracing or designing your own pattern.

sewing-hacks-1

Photo credit: Sew McCool

Tip #2 – Wrap a large rubber band around your sewing machine arm to keep seams very straight.

Hack-7b-w

Photo Credit: Yesterday’s Thimble

Tip#3 – To avoid frayed ends, wash fabric in a pillow case with the end tied in knot.

Pre-wash-Quick-Tip

Photo Credit: The Mother Huddle

Tip #4 – This tip hits home as I have ruined many a gown with ripping through a buttonhole.  Place a pin on one end of the buttonhole to avoid tearing through the fabric.

Button-Hole-Tip

Photo Credit: Simple Simon and Company

Tip #5 – Keep pins in a bar of soap to help them slide through fabric easier.  I imagine this would be wonderful when pleating large amounts of fabric into a waistband.

sewing-tip-stubborn-straight-pins-11

Photo Credit: Make it Love it

I hope these little tips will help make your sewing more effective and enjoyable…I know they have mine!

Happy Wednesday!

signature

Did you know that I have begun creating more 19th century clothing to sell?  

Curious?  

Feel free hop over here for a little peek!!


Three Cheers for the Red, White, and Blue!!

2aa5673a63a0570da26bfde587a2305b

Happy Fourth of July!!!

Today is the day to eat as much BBQ food as you can hold, spit out as many watermelon seeds as your lips can handle, and keep the neighbors up late with firecracker after firecracker!  It is also the day to take out all your red, white, and blue and slap them all together in one glorious outfit!  Of course it is probably an outfit that you would never wear on July 3rd or July 5th.  🙂

To celebrate not only our nation’s birthday, but patriotism in general, I have collected a series of images that show national pride!  So enjoy…then go outside and have a blast!!

This 1903’s Sailor suit is adorable and very comfy looking.

8107355817fbc5d94be79be806f31895

While this photo is in black and white, one can imagine the bright stripes and crisp white of these 1940’s teenagers’ dresses.

ec3f8ae76580e081e0e144b4a1096d63

I love the all-white dress this 1950’s model is wearing…including that amazing hat!

2e82a894a7e351ad60d8d9e6a521386b

Another very fun 1930’s dress, I love the two toned belt on the blue dress.

525a66ef731383063357db57048d3801

Lena Horne looks stunning in this polka-dot-esque dress that I can imagine in a happy blue!

d3aa6dfcaf1f2c8ad734a3e7d1161537

One length, but four beautiful necklines in a wide range of flag colors!

c2fda5ef29133b851776491c6c053235

Stunningly simply, this dress is the perfect picnic dress!

fabba6e0dd39e6fbd6d28674f6d6a426

Happy Fourth of July and happy summer!!!

signature


From My Sewing Table: July

July cover

Versatility and multi-tasking.  These are two terms which we as women today are very familiar.  We understand the concept and the need to adapt to the daily pulse of our lives while still making sure that nothing falls through the cracks….and if things do, we have the versatility to forgive ourselves (or at least we should.)

With this in mind, take a look at this 1950’s Simplicity Pattern Cover below:

09156720fdd58b98a1dd2352653d5e03

What do you see?  

If you see one woman in the same dress wearing some slightly different accessories, you are almost right.  If you see a woman wearing the same dress with slightly different accessories, and looking absolutely glamorous in each outfit….ding ding ding!  It isn’t the fact that the dress is so stylish (of course that helps), or that each accessory is custom designed to coordinate, it is the fact that the woman herself, pulls the look together.  And isn’t that the way it should be?  We recognize that there are things in our life we can’t change so we we find ways to accommodate and adjust.  But the real trick is doing all that and totally rocking it!  So take all those little changes that life has thrown your way, and create one awesome outfit!

Now that I have fully expanded on my dress metaphor, I am ready to share with you other fun things that have been showing up in my sewing studio with plans to head them your way!

My sewing has been a delicious carnival ride where I have visited so many side shows, all of which have been throughly exciting.  A little 1860’s here, some 1940’s there, and a jump back to 1810’s.  I really find my creativity thrives when I embrace this type of sewing as it keeps my mind and my skills fresh and honed.  Many of these little beauties will make their debut here on my blog, or will be available for sale on my Etsy Shop….I can’t wait!

I am also working on more video tutorials.  The one I created last month, while still a bit rough, seemed to be a big hit, so more is on the way!  I am currently working on one for a 1950’s overskirt….super fun!!

So as we sail further into the warm summer months, embrace life’s changes as a new accessory to complete your ensemble….as long as it isn’t in the color puce! 😦

signature

Have you signed up for my monthly newsletter? Click HERE to enter your email so you can begin receiving fun updates!


The Lipstick of Summer: Coral

coral lipstick

I have exactly one tube of coral lipstick.  I wear it maybe once or twice a summer and only on occasions when I am feeling bold or adventurous.  I am not sure where the hesitation comes from, but I find coral to be a brighter color to wear than red.  Sometimes I feel the need to talk myself up to slathering on a layer….a problem I never have when it comes to wearing hot pink?

But apart from my own oddities, coral truly is the happiest of colors to wear during the summer months.  It speaks of sun, health, and (in my case) courage!  But just like many colors, not every shade of coral works on every skin shade.  You have to play around a bit to find that perfect blend which adds to your overall glow… not the other way around.

To help you on your search, I have found four lovely shades of coral in differing color tones, finishes, and prices!  I hope they encourage you (as they have me) to embrace this happy, “beachy” color!

Maybeline Coral Ambition   $8

35a__15682.1433998966.500.500

Maybeline Color Whisper – Coral Ambition

 

MAC Ablaze     $17

mac_sku_M2LP82_640x600_0

MAC Ablaze Bright Apricot Cream Matte

Rich and Famous  Coral Lombard     $26

Margarita_Bloom_Coral_Lombard_and_Box_Layers__35700.1417039673.500.659

Rich and Famous Coral Lombard

 

Besame Cosmetics  Carmine $22

lipstick_Carmine_NB_grande

Carmine Lipstick

So go and let your lips match the wonderful summer fun around you!

signature

Pattern Ad


The June Bride

june bride

One of my favorite songs from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (which also happens to be one of my favorite movies) is the song “June Bride.”  It is extremely catchy and can pop into my head at random times…even when I haven’t watched the movie  in months!  If you haven’t seen/heard of this musical before, than close out this post and go find yourself a copy!!!  You won’t regret it! 🙂

In the meantime, feel free to click the link below to watch the song!

June Bride

And while getting married in June is not as common today (as I am a May bride), I still thought it would be fun to take a little look back at the do’s and don’ts of bridal wear!

One of my good friends is getting married, and watching her go through the fun of finding a wedding dress makes me feel just as excited as if it were for my own wedding (well, almost!)  She finally found a dress through Alfred Angelo after much debate and what seemed like an endless stream of gowns.  But she did it!  And as I was researching for this post, I came across this wonderful advertisement for Alfred Angelo gowns from the 1950’s.  After viewing this gown, I thought about how much wedding gown designs have changed…and not changed, as I feel like I saw this gown on display….just maybe not as fluffy!

e01e5536766fa9f56be2034522790557

But one thing that that hasn’t change too much over time is the color of the gown.  This excerpt from a book written in the 1870’s explains what goes into a proper bridal ensemble…and it seems like quite a bit!  And just in case you are interested, all sources quoted are listed at the bottom of this post.

“The dress for a bride will admit of such immense variety in materials, style, expense, and fashion, that it is difficult to give general directions.  Yet from the millionaire’s daughter to the mechanic’s child, there is always one rule, that the dress must be white throughout.  Dress, veil, gloves, slippers, wrapper, or bonnet all must be pure white for a full bridal dress.  The material varies; moire antique, alpaca, muslin, or fine bishop’s lawn, are all suitable for the wedding-dress.  The veil may be of illusion, lace, or very fine tulle, but should be long, very full, and fine.  It is fastened by the wreath, but whether to fall over the face or not, is a matter left to Fashion.  

Picture 499

Picture 499

The slippers should be of white satin, and the gloves of white kid, trimmed with white lace or white satin ribbon.

No jewelry is suitable for a bride, excepting diamonds or pearls.  

The same variety of selection of material, quality, and quantity, that applies to the wedding-dress, is equally applicable to the trousseau, but for a person in moderate circumstances, we give the usual quantity, which may be varied indefinitely, according to the purse or taste of the fair bride, or her parents.” (1)

4e42e0a99c657a13698f582db09acc61

Here is a 1920’s chart on bridal wear as created by Mary Brook Pickens.  I adore this chart as it gives instructions on what to wear based on location and time of day!  Fascinating!! (2)00000231-s

Taking inspiration from the chart, one can see the changes in these two 1920’s gown pairings based on location and time of day!

ed7a2da309cfaef821ae0aa158c1f0bc

And while many brides look back with pride on their wedding day and the choices they have made…one has to wonder if the other members of the bridal party feel the same way.  Like this florally group:

dfb1c910ae7c2234705215885a7ec13f

To all you brides out there planning your wedding, no matter what month it happens to be in, I wish you happiness and great gown choices!

signature

Sources:

(1)The Art of Dressing Well: A Complete Guide to Economy, Style, and Propriety of Costume by Annie S. Frost, 1870

(2)Guide to Correct Dress for the Bride: Harmony in Dress by Mary Brooks Picken, 1925

 

Have you signed up for my monthly newsletter? Click HERE to enter your email so you can begin receiving fun updates!


Is it a Match? 1910’s Jewelry and their Modern Counterparts

1910 jewelry

How many times have you wanted something and just couldn’t have it?  If you are anything like me it has happened only about a million times.  And when you realize that you are one of those individuals that can trace some ancestry to a raccoon (as I too love shiny, sparkly things), than you may have to embrace a strategy I like to call “finding an alternative.”  If I can’t find it, I will try to make it.  If I can’t afford it, I will try to find a really good look alike.  And if I can’t have anything but the original, than I will save and wait patiently until I can.  The last option doesn’t happen all that often.

So when it comes to trying to find reproduction pieces, it can be rather tricky to locate an affordable and suitable option.  But with a little bit of time and energy, you too can make all your sparkly dreams come true.

So with that in mind, I decided I wanted to write a post on late Edwardian jewelry and some modern alternatives.  Edwardian fashion is such a wonderful dichotomy of simplicity with traces of its Victorian heritage, but not quite the art deco that will replace it.  So, I have found three of my most favorite examples of this simplistic style with some lovely adaptations that all seem to hover around the $35 mark.  So, if you love all things Downtown Abbey but can’t afford the real deal….than this post is for you!

To start with is a lovely young lady wearing a modesty brooch.  I found a stunning example through Overstock.

65c2c43871ca9e2cbb85b2431c6b9ded

Silver Brooch from Overstock  – $34

Silvertone-Downton-Abbey-Clear-Glass-and-Simulated-Pearl-Oval-Pin_600_600

This stunning necklace features a large medallion on a long black cord.  While difficult to find an exact replica, I believe I found one that is the essence of the style.

a1a5fbfe5f6339bac6757d10b7fa27cd

Long Cord Necklace with Medallion from MarKi Jewelry  – $34

il_570xN.698265002_84rk

I adore this necklace and love the dress that goes with it.  Sigh…..  The necklace I found features more beads than the original but I feel would be a perfect piece to wear with this dress.

503ccbba21726e67fa98626bca014fd5

Three Strand Hampton Necklace from Shoptiques  – $38

fornash-three-strand-hampton-necklace-white-493e84e0_l

So whether you are looking to accessorize a 1910’s outfit, or simply to bring a little nostalgia into your modern life, these pieces would fit like a glove!

Happy Hunting!

signature

Did you know that Aimee’s Victorian Armoire Shop now features several instant downloadable patterns?  Click HERE to see the current options available.


A 1920’s Look at Sun Protection

sunWell, the sun is out and that means so are my legs which haven’t seen a UV ray in about six months.  While I am very excited to soak in all that lovely Vitamin D, I still need to be very cautious about how much of it my winterized skin is getting.  And even though we are still in a society that values a golden tan, getting it in a healthy way is very important.  Of course, this wasn’t always the case.  We have had a past with cultural traits that have valued a complexion which appeared to be as blemish and sun free as possible.  In fact I distinctly remember reading Little House on the Prairie as a young child and laughing at the scolding Laura received for not wearing her sun bonnet.

Of course, it was easier back in the 19th century to avoid too much sun simply by the length and layers of clothing that was worn.  However, once skirts became shorter and sleeves disappeared, sunburns became more common.  So how was sun protection shared and encouraged?  Well, I decided to take a little look back and find out!

First on my journey was researching past articles.  I found a fabulous one in a 1919 Good Housekeeping article entitle Health and Beauty by Nora Mullane.  An excerpt follows:

“It seems quite superfluous to urge upon women and girls the necessity for giving the most serious consideration to the care of the skin during the summer months when from exposure to wind and dust, the scorching sun and sea air, blemishes are sure to come if the skin is not properly protected, but much anxiety may be avoided by a little care and forethought.”

So how did one go about protecting one’s delicate outer coating?  Well, in the early days of sunscreen and skin creams, many brands worked to address this topic specifically:

9b6a8b5c266457822da1dc447df66856

232bb1913564989e4650f5aac0db4714

Hats and umbrellas, much more than today, were encourage and widely used as protection from the sun.  Although fashion in the latter half of the decade greatly reduced the size of the brim, the early 1920’s head coverings were wide brimmed and ready to protect!

df5703ea6ad5c6690b478a06be869900

00000954.tifs

The same protection is also offered by the wider, more substantial parasols featured in the next two images

182a895f79143e1acddf60b4dc7575ef

a1bed975613eee3f81491330db7ec620

Too help make the thought of wearing a summer hat more attractive and affordable, tutorials were often included in magazines to revamp old hats.  Here is one for adding a velvet band to the edge of a summer hat!

00303d4ef61903f25ed1a04e8def8742

While loving the sun is something that hasn’t seemed to dim with time, it is still something that (like many things) should be handle with moderation.

And women of the 1920’s, just like today, seemed to have understood just that!

signature

book purchase

 

 

 


Finding and Creating Your Own Vintage Perfume Bottle

PErfume

I have an absolute love for small glass bottles, especially if they are full of wonderful smelling perfume.  However, I have noticed that, like many things, they just don’t make them like they used to.  Vintage perfume bottles were ornate, colorful, and, at least in my opinion, made you feel as elegant using as you did wearing the scent.  Just look at the following examples to see what I mean:

1e5084456ffc5ddb4dc9226052608cbf

27d9ace8e5557274138e1fa39c1c41da

b46b846942d4f2658624d3959ce29a0a

I simply adore the green one!  Sigh…..  And while there are some absolutely stunning scents offered today, the bottles are not as feminine as the above examples.

However, there are many ways, and examples, to create your own elegant perfume bottle if you don’t mind not having a spray pump.   While it is difficult to find such ornate examples as shown above,  I have gathered a few of my favorite choices.  Many of them come with more than one bottle…perfect for makeup remover or body oil!

Simply click the link below each picture to purchase the bottles.

4954

Vintage Glass Bottles from Lights and Decor

CG76D-clear-vintage-set-of-3-bottles.jpg&lr=t&bw=1000&w=1000&bh=1000&h=1000

Clear Vintage Bottles from Luna Bazaar

ac344eb5add765721132bb8fbe9982221d

Small Perfume Bottles from Office Supply

il_570xN.921104353_n8p9

Vintage Cut Glass Perfume Bottle from Lo and Co Vintage

Of course, after you have found your perfect bottle, why not use a lovely vintage inspired label?  Simply print out and decoupage onto a bottle of your choice.

2

Free Downloadable Images from Luna Girl 

Enjoy!

signature

Have you signed up for my monthly newsletter? Click HERE to enter your email so you can begin receiving fun updates!