Couch Pillows and Needlepoint Intestines

There’s only so  much time and energy in a day, and doing things around the house feels like it takes FOREVER because there always seems to be a domino effect. We can’t decorate the TV room until we get a credenza for the TV but we can’t get a credenza for the TV until we have the floors redone but we can’t get the floors redone until there’s pavers down in front of the basement doors so they can get supplies in and the pavers can’t go in until… Oh my. Well, enough dominos have fallen at this point that we have new “luxury vinyl” floors (instead of really nasty carpet) in the basement and I’m saying to heck with everything else because I don’t want to begrudge how unfinished the room is every time we snuggle up for a movie in here (and, honestly, every day since I have …

5

Passover/Easter/Birthday Dresses

Vintage floral mother daughter dresses on Tuesday Stitches

I suppose now that Fall has well and truly set in that it’s about time I get a blog post up about my favorite Spring and Summer outfits! I made my dress in time for Passover/Easter this year and finished Evelyn’s matching dress in time for us both to wear them for her birthday the next month. Words cannot describe how much I love our outfits! This dress is seriously everything I love in a dress – pattern clashing, bright colors, bold florals, empire waist, sundress and apparently even ruffles (a trend I was very late to jump onto but I seem to have embraced wholeheartedly). For Evelyn’s dress I used Simplicity 6184 from 1983 (though it could easily be from any number of decades). Since I cut and sewed my dress fist, Evie’s dress fabric choices were constrained by what I could fit on the scraps I had left …

3

Carpet Bag Knitting Bag

Carpet bag style purse handmade from vintage needlepoint chair seats

You know those projects where you have a great idea and the bits and pieces for sitting around for, oh, say, several years before you get around to sewing them? And then you’re like “that took me one evening why the heck did I wait so long?” Yeah, this is exactly that kind of project. Many years ago my great grandmother Roseada gave me a carpetbag that was hers that I adored and used to carry my knitting. I can’t actually remember when I lost it but I do remember being sad that it got lost. Since then I’ve carried my knitting around in various little zippered pouches which is great for lace and socks, but bigger knits really deserve something prettier than the ziploc bags they end up in when they outgrow my zippered pouches! My mom found these pretty vintage needlepoint chair seats in an antique store and bought …

9

Aladdin Sane Shirt

Aladdin Sane vintage WilliWear shirt by Tuesday Stitches

Generally, my style philosophy is “go big or go home.” I designed this fabric with that philosophy in mind but it has sat on my shelf for a few years as I never quite seem to figure out how to pair it with a pattern that does it justice. I had thought of a fitted shirtdress when I designed it but it turned out a little too large scale. And then, while digging through my men’s pattern collection while looking for something else entirely, I found McCall’s 9628 by Willi Smith for WilliWear from 1985. And a lightbulb went off. I find androgyny really sexy on other people, but it’s not a style that I’m very comfortable in myself, despite (or perhaps because of) having a body type that suits androgyny. I tried to style this shirt femme. I tried it with a little skirt. I tried it with a big …

1

Vintage Simplicity 9722 Toddler Jumper

When you ask my toddler to smile, this is what you get. I have no idea why she thinks this is smiling, but we’re just gonna run with it because, while it may not be smiling, it’s certainly cute. I also have no idea why she thinks a dryer ball makes a good photoshoot prop, but she insisted on it being included. So this is my toddler “smiling” while holding a dryer ball. #parentlife When I bought the notions for my railroad stripe overalls I bought the overall buckles in a couple different sizes. I went with the larger for my overalls and decided to use the smaller to make Evelyn this vintage Simplicity 9722 overall dress from 1980. It’s a pretty timeless pattern, other than the fact that I used glaringly 70’s ditsy floral twill that I found at the thrift store. #noregrets. (Okay, one regret – that it …

8

Baseball Outfit

I’m not sure why Evelyn likes my Baseball Staple Dress so much. Maybe because she knows her Nana and Baba like baseball a lot? Regardless of the reason, when I was sorting through my scrap bin to sew her some summer clothes, I knew that the last beloved bits of this silly fabric needed to be sewn up for her. I used vintage Simplicity 9238 from 1971 for the dress and bloomers. There wasn’t quite enough fabric to fit the flare of the dress pattern piece so I inset a contrast strip at the side. The bloomers are oddly long but they ride up her legs into one giant puff which may not look cute on an adult but frankly anything is cute on a 2-year-old so I’m not going to try and fix it. I did make one gaff when sewing the dress – somehow I lost the collar …

7

80’s Floral Blouse – Simplicity 5818

vintage 80s floral blouse - Simplicity 5818 - by Erin of Tuesday Stitches

Ready for some ruffled ridiculousness? floral fabulousness? eighties excitement? (awful alliteration?) Because I’ve got all of that in spades with this new blouse! Sidenote: Did you know that the phrase “in spades” is likely to have originated as a reference to the card suit thanks to the game of Bridge? I’ve been reading a hilarious memoir of a man who read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica (The Know It All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World) and it’s littered with ridiculous trivia that he pulled from his reading which seems to have inspired me to pepper my own life with useless trivia. I recommend the book, regardless. When I found this blouse pattern at the thrift store I have literally no idea why it so captured my heart. Of all vintage fashion decades, the 80’s are probably my least favorite. I’m not a big fan …

3

Evelyn’s Girly Vintage Knit Dress

Adam’s grandmother Nanny Sheila (who is no longer with us) had a dear friend named Dorothy who we still make a point of visiting every time we are in Santa Barbara. Dorothy is a lovely woman who I bonded with about knitting as she was quite an avid knitter when she was younger. She has given me many patterns over the years and the last time we were there she gave me a bag of Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere yarn. Dorothy was enamored with Evelyn in the way that every (great-) grandmother figure should be so I thought it fitting that I knit a special dress for Evie out of the yarn that Dorothy gifted to me. I knit the dress a bit large so that it would last for as long as it could. I knit the largest size of the pattern which is sized for 24 months (which …

3

70’s Leopard Print Wrap Dress – Vintage Vogue 7705

Vintage Vogue 7705 - 1970's leopard print wrap dress. Sewn by Erin of Tuesday Stitches.

I like to sew a new dress every year to wear for winter events. This year I got this dress done just in the knick of time to wear to a secret surprise date night I planned for Adam in December. We dropped Biscuit off with her grandparents, got a hotel room in the city for the night so we wouldn’t have to rush to catch a ferry home, went out to a fancy dinner, and went to see Elf: The Musical. For the years that Adam and I were dating, my mom would always let him pick the Christmas movie that we would watch as a family when we were home for the holidays. Every year he picks Elf. So it has kind of become a running joke between us and it seemed the perfect, silly, fun thing to surprise him with. I did make a quick muslin of …

3

Full-On Monet Vintage Vogue 8551 Caftan

This caftan is a full-on Monet. (For those of you that don’t immediately know the Clueless reference, it’s something that’s beautiful from far away but up close, well…). Rather than pick apart what’s wrong with it (and why it went wrong and what I’d do different next time around) as is my tendency, I’m going to just take a step (or two) back. We went to Hawaii a couple of weeks ago and a side effect of trying to get a toddler to make a 3 hour time zone change is some pretty dang early mornings. But taking a step back from early-morning crankiness, it sure made for a pretty photoshoot! I felt to exotic and luxurious in my beautiful caftan watching a beautiful sunrise. I used vintage Vogue 8551 from 1973. I found it at the thrift store on the same day as the pink fabric and it seemed …

9

Plaid Flannel Pajama Set – Vintage Butterick 5744 and Simplicity 6664

Every year on Christmas Eve I would get to open one present before going to bed. Somehow it took me something like 15 years to figure out that that one present was always new pajamas. I want to keep the tradition going for my own daughter (and time will tell if she’s quicker on the uptake than I am). Last year (her first Christmas) I bought pajamas for the family but this year I felt like I had the time and bandwidth to make them. I don’t want to give myself pressure to make them every year, but, instead, celebrate the years I do get to make them. My friend Marissa recently brought me a stack of fabric that she had inherited – she picked out everything loud and/or pink to give to me (she knows me well). I’ve been wanting some pajamas for myself that are cozy but still …

Pink Retro Undies Set

I love the fact that this bra, while 70’s inspired on its own, looks like it could be decades older when paired with the high waist panties. The panties themselves are a Sew Lovely pattern from 1969. I’ve had an itch to try the (what we think of now as “granny panty”) pattern since finding it at the thrift store (last year?). And I’m glad I finally tried it, though I must admit they probably won’t get much wear (though they’re comfy as all get-out, so maybe I’ll just wear them when husband is out of town). Speaking of, my dear partner is the most wonderfully supportive person and always praises my creations and how I look in them (and out of them too ;) That being said, he took one look at these and said “hmmmm, I’m having a hard time imagining what you’d have to do to those …

3

Katie’s Vintage Inspired Wedding Dress

This summer I had the pleasure of making Katie’s wedding dress. I don’t do a lot of custom sewing these days and I generally avoid wedding dresses because drama, stress, and drama. But I made an exception for Katie and I’m so very glad I did. My step-mom is friends with Katie’s mom. My step-mom told me that the daughter of a friend was a lovely, laid-back woman who was planning a small garden wedding and wanted to use part of her grandmother’s wedding dress to elevate a ready-to-wear dress she had already purchased. She wanted a dress that had a bit of vintage flair that would flatter her tall frame. How could I say no? We were working on a pretty short timescale (less than 2 months!) so I didn’t have time to construct a whole dress. Fortunately, Katie had found a ready-to-wear dress that fit her. It was …

15

Folkwear Afghan Nomad Dress

This dress needed to be sewn. I don’t know why. I have so much plenty of other fabric calling my name. I have a giant list of sewing projects that range from very necessary (it would be really nice to have more than 2 long sleeve shirts now that cold weather is here) to completely impractical (though I actually take offense at myself for saying this because I do wear every weird thing I sew so therefore it’s not really impractical is it? I digress). This was not on my list. Until I woke up one morning and needed to make it. I don’t actually know why but it had to happen. So this dress is what I sewed over the last couple of weeks. The pattern is Afghani Nomad Dress (now called Afghan Nomad Dress to be in keeping with modern terminology) from Folkwear patterns and oddly enough I’ve …

7

Quilted Velvet Puffer Vest

When winter set in and I started thinking about what I wanted to wear, vests were at the top of my list. I tried a quick-and-easy vest and it was a hilarious flop, so I started working on making myself a quilted velvet vest. And I slooowly worked on it, and worked on it, and worked on it. It’s finally done (just in time for the weather to warm up, of course) and I don’t want to take it off, inside or outside. I think it’s the perfect blend of unique, comfy, practical, and pretty for me. I’m kinda obsessed. Before you get too gaga about my velvet puffer vest, I have to admit that it’s not actually a silk velvet. It’s an upholstery velour or velveteen (I so remain perpetually a bit confused about the nuances of difference between velvet – velveteen – velour) which sounds decidedly less glamorous, …

7

70’s Muted Funfetti Knit Wrap Blouse and Skirt

Once I got the idea into my head to sew this fabric into a 70’s wrap dress (when I was talking about it in my Sunday Stash post) I had to drop everything and make it happen. I rushed to get it done in time for Thanksgiving and used all my free time the week before (including a bit of my work time. Shhh. Don’t tell.) and I’m glad I did. It was comfy and cute and felt nice to wear something festive that actually fit and was nursing friendly. The fabric is from Girl Charlee and is a hacci knit (so very lightweight, drapey, and stretchy). I don’t know quite what I pictured when I ordered it (because it was the middle of the night and I was making an I’m-feeling-sorry-for-myself purchase), but this wasn’t quite it. I guess I pictured it being brighter – more like funfetti cake. It’s a …

9

VintagePledge July Dress (Butterick 3068)

To celebrate #VPJuly, I sewed a 1970’s dress (Vintage Butterick 3068) from 1970’s fabric.  To read about the pattern and the vintage aspects of the dress, pop on over to A Stitching Odyssey. (And while you’re there, look at the other inspiring vintage makes she has gathered over the course of the month!) Here, I thought I’d a personal account about why I chose the fabric and pattern. I agonized about whether or not to use this fabric. You see, I totally adore this floral fabric. Like massive #fabriccrush. It’s vintage (from a stash I inherited from a friend who inherited from an elderly friend who probably bought it new back in the day) and the flowers are a combination  of printed onto the thick, loose-weave linen and then painted on top of the print. And it seemed like it would be perfect for the bodice of this dress. So why not use …

4

Vintage Pink Gooseberry Pyrex Inspired Tea Towels

While the the majority of our house is decorated around a mid-century modern style, I’ve opted for straight up mid-century with a nice dose of kitsch (e.g. my chicken tea cosy) for our kitchen. I think it adds quite a bit of needed cheer to what is otherwise a pretty gloomy room – the small windows don’t get much light, the countertops are dark, and there is dark wood floor, cabinets, and ceiling. Someday we’ll do a major remodel, but in the meantime I’m adding in things that are bright and happy (and by bright and happy I usually mean pink) and it’s already making a difference. My Aunt got me started on a collection of vintage pink gooseberry print pyrex bowls. I’ve kept my eye out at thrift stores and have added a couple more to my collection. They definitely fulfill my kitchen requirements of being cheerful and mid-century, and of …

20

A Mess of Baby Clothes

A bunch of baby clothes has a nice alliteration to it, but it seems that the proper term for “lots of baby clothes” must be a mess, since that’s what they are all going to turn into once they actually get worn! I started working on this pile of baby clothes during my first trimester. Since it’s been a crummy pregnancy the whole way through, it took me weeks to cut out the clothes and then months to get them sewn. But that’s okay. Each bit of sewing stemmed from a small burst of energy, and I was able to pour that energy into tangible bits of love and excitement for baby’s arrival. I made a range of sizes from newborn to 9 months so that she doesn’t outgrow my work all at once and used a pile of different patterns as well, including several vintage patterns. All the fabrics …

9

Red and White Stripe 80’s Dress (that’s surprisingly au courant)

When Minerva Crafts sent me this gorgeous red and white stripe knit I knew I was going to do something with it, since it was exactly the shade of red that I adore and a great stretchy knit. However, I had a giant list of ideas and couldn’t settle on any of them. I thought of making some super basic tees in no-, short-, and long-sleeves because I could really use some wardrobe staples. And then I thought of finally making a Drape Drape garment that would show off the stripes to their full advantage. And then I thought of a pattern that I’m currently working on, but it’s not far along enough that I’m ready to offer sneak peaks. And somehow I settled on a vintage dress pattern from 1981. I willingly chose to make a 1980’s dress even when faced with a plethora of other ideas. Never would …

7

A Summer Ensemble in Yellow Cotton

I’m not sure why, but this was a summer of yellow clothes for me. I made and adored this outfit (and then took forever to get photos onto the blog) which is obviously very yellow. And I wore any little bit of yellow I could find out of my existing wardrobe. And then bought a dozen yards of a yellow and white stripe knit that I’m sewing up as samples for a someday-to-be-released pattern. And I find this all very amusing because I’ve never actually liked yellow that much before (probably in good part because it’s honestly not the best color on me, but let’s not go there). The super-high-waist and crop top is a recurrent theme for me this summer too as I started the summer with my red and white versions of this same outfit (top is Simplicity 1426 and skirt is Simplicity 1166, both 1950’s re-released vintage …

4

Vintage Chicken Tea Cozy and Some Pot Holders

I really needed some oven mitts and pot holders for our new kitchen. I used the scraps from the strawberries and gingham dress I just made as well as some pink hand dyed fabric that was my grandmother’s. (The square potholders also got the scraps of the black floral lining from my first presidio purse demo).  The edges are finished with red bias tape from my stash and they are interlined with two layers of interfacing – some basic cotton batting and insul-bright insulated lining. Cute, easy, and functional. I was talking with my mom the other day and said “I don’t really like kitsch” and she laughed in my face. So I had to amend my statement. “I’m very selective about my kitsch.” This scrappy chicken tea cozy in pink and red and strawberries and gingham? My kind of kitsch. Since I was sewing up the potholders I kinda …

11

Pink Anchor Dress I Will Never Wear

I guess the title kinda gives away the punchline, no? I do adore the dress in the photo above. But before I zoom in on its faults, let me step back a bit and tell you why I sewed this dress. Everyone has their least favorite tasks when sewing. Many people complain about cutting fabric, which I actually happen to love. My least favorite part of sewing is fitting. I do not have a straight-from-the-envelope body which is one of the major reasons I started sewing, so I spend a fair bit of time fitting every new pattern that I sew. I also tend to sew a pattern once and, even if I love it, never get around to a next time. Well, recently I had this revelation that if I sewed a pattern more than once, I wouldn’t have to spend time fitting it on any future versions. Duh! …

11

Red & White & Retro Summer Outfit

We’ve had some sunshine and warm weather the last few days that make it feel like summer is definitely on it’s way, and I can think of no better way to celebrate the arrival of summer than with this sunny outfit! I sewed the outfit from vintage reproduction patterns from the 1950’s – Simplicity 1426 and Simplicity 1166. The fabric was provided by Minerva Crafts for being a part of their blogging network. I made the top from a lovely polka dot print cotton poplin. The poplin isn’t opaque, so I lined it with a white muslin since if I self-lined it, the polka dots would have showed through. I made the skirt from a solid cotton poplin. The color was called “claret” which I think is a good description of the true color, although I was hoping it would turn out a bit more true red like the polka-dots since …

14

Purple Wool Jersey Vintage Simplicity 6934

This luscious fabric, given to me by Minerva Crafts, is a wool blend jersey. I originally had visions of making the world’s comfiest harem pants (Don’t laugh! Every other tourist was wearing them on our trip in SE Asia and they got into my psyche. Okay, go ahead and laugh.) to wear around the house, but the fabric was just too nice to never be worn in public. Then I had visions of a wrap dress, but I hemmed and hawed about buying a pattern or drafting one and I’ve always felt that wrap dresses were hit or miss on me. So finally I ended up on a vintage Simplicity pattern from my stash – Simplicity 6934 from 1975. The pattern is written for wovens, but I knew that it would look lovely in a knit. The only thing that gets lost in the knit is the slight gathers above …

14

Spring for Cotton Farm Animals Dress

When some people think of spring, they think of budding flowers, or sunshine, or lengthening days. Nothing says spring to me like baby farm animals. Now that we live in a rural area, I find myself squealing when I drive past a neighbor’s yard full of baby sheep and goats (much to Adam’s dismay). I even took a chick-raising class at the hardware store (although actually getting chicks is going to have to wait until we have a home of our own!). For the Spring for Cotton sewalong, I knew that I was going to have to sew a dress form this amazing/ridiculous farm animal print cotton that I found at the thrift store recently. I used vintage Butterick 4309 from 1966. A fairly basic shift dress I had in my pattern stash, but I was drawn to the oversized asymmetrical collar and contrasting yoke. And even better, the dress has pockets! It’s a kangaroo …

19

Southwest Eyeblinder Dress

Occasions often inspire my sewing, and there’s no occasion quite like traveling to Borrego Springs, in the middle of the Anza Borego Desert, in SoCal, to visit my mom for a week. I love visiting the desert and I will admit to some slight disappointment when I arrived in the middle of the worst week of weather they’ve had all year! Fortunately, it warmed up by the end of the week and I got to wear my new dress. Of course I had a great time visiting my mom, regardless of weather. Just for the occasion, I sewed Vintage Simplicity pattern 6926, from 1976 (so it’s another Vintage Sewing Pledge). I bought the pattern this winter in New Zealand and happened to find the ridiculous/perfect cotton fabric at the thrift store two weeks ago. It’s so bright and patterned that it’s a little harsh on the eyes, which is exactly what …

10

A Couple of Sweatshirts

When I ordered both solid grey and maroon fleck sweatshirt fabrics from Minerva Crafts (free as part of their blogging network), I had grand visions of a colorblocked sweatsuit. When the fabrics arrived, I changed my mind because I didn’t like the two colors together like I thought I would (it’s so hard to order fabric online sometimes) and I realized that, now that I work at home, I really don’t need any more excuses to not actually get dressed for the day and sweatpants barely count as getting dressed. So, I rattled through about 400 different permutations of what these fabrics could become and I am absolutely thrilled with where I ended up! For the grey fabric, I used a vintage Butterick pattern from 1976, Butterick 6336. Although the pattern calls for a woven, I thought that a stable knit like the grey sweatshirt fabric (which has almost no …

18

Vintage Rayon Crepe Pleated Dress (Butterick 6927)

I feel pretty in pink. And not just any pink, this daring fuchsia is a dream come true for a girl who dreams in bright colors like I do! A light and floaty crepe rayon with a silk habotai lining means that this dress is as yummy to wear as it is to look at. The vintage silhouette is a little bit demure and the sassy color is anything but, and oh boy do I love being a walking contradiction. I used Butterick 6927 vintage reproduction (currently out of print) from a 1951 pattern.  I used a delightful rayon (viscose) crepe from Minerva Fabrics that they supplied for me as part of their blogger network, although it has unfortunately since sold out. They called the color cerise which I think is a prettier word than fuchsia (just as aubergine is prettier than eggplant. I need to learn the British-isms for all …

12

Betty Bowler Bag in Pink and Green Floral Vintage Barkcloth

I feel a little greedy to admit that most of my sewing is Selfish Sewing.  Sure, my mom gets blouses and dresses, Adam got a Newcastle cardigan, my girlfriends are getting quilts (oh yeah, and then there’s all the sewing and knitting I’m gifting for my wedding that are still in progress). Hmmm… Maybe I’m not so selfish. That’s a nice realization! To celebrate Selfish Sewing Week, I was given the Betty Bowler bag pattern by Swoon and promptly sewed it up for myself! Proudly selfish on this make! I love the fun shape and perfect size of this bag (yes, I like big bags and I cannot lie). The vintage-y shape seemed like the perfect use of this gorgeous pink and green floral barkcloth that I had in my stash. It was clearly once a pair of curtains and had snags, stains, and fading. But boy-oh-boy does it make a …