Archive for May, 2010

Every once in awhile I like to go out looking for interesting vintage patterns at a low price.  I am mostly interested in men’s shirt patterns, women’s slip patterns, and embroidery patterns.  Here are two that I found last week:

This one is complete but missing the instruction sheet.  I like the idea of bed jackets for cold winter TV watching and reading in bed.  This one is decorated with lace and embroidery.

I like this old McCall Kaumagraph transfer.  It is undated, but the envelope suggests the 20’s or 30’s.  I don’t actually iron the old transfers on anything, I just trace the pattern using a light desk.  That way, the designs are saved for future use.

I am working on the white top, but this weekend we are putting in the vegetable garden, so not much time for sewing.  The spouse rented a tiller yesterday and got most of the tilling done, but we are still busy with seed starting and weeding.  The weather is finally starting to warm up.

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It is hard to get used to a borrowed sewing machine, but I am finally moving along on the white peasant top. This time I am trying gathers instead of the pleats, and now I am putting a row of crochet trimming around the neckline. It is hard to get the crochet hook through the many layers of fabric so I use the awl to make a hole. It pushes its way through the cloth, hopefully without breaking any threads, and gives me a place to put the crochet hook for the foundation row.

I found another repair shop that fixes both sewing machines and vacuums, so I am trying it out with my old Kenmore, a real favorite of mine. Years ago I lost the foot pedal, so he is going to order another one for me, clean up the old machine and make it work for me again. All for about half the price of the other shop in the upscale town. I hope he is as good a repair guy as I think he is, because if so, it could be the start of a beautiful friendship that will be profitable for him and wonderful for my machines. If this works out, I will next take in Mrs. Pastor B’s machine. The thought of having my favorite machine back is making me very happy, and I hunted up the box with all the attachments and the manual. I guess I never gave up hope that I would find the foot pedal and never got rid of the machine and all the extra stuff.

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I’m about to start another top for A using the wide crochet edging I just finished:

I am still deciding which fabric to use, but I have been wanting to sew with the dishtowels again, so that is probably what I will do.  The only trim will be the pineapple edging I just made, placed across the yoke as in the drawing above.  I measured the top and needed an edging about 2 1/2″ wide, so I kept adding to the edging until it was about that size.  I added a row at the bottom and the scallop edge.  A mentioned that she would like a top in a one-color version, so I made her the dark red one, which she wears a lot, and now will make a white one, which can’t help but be useful in a wardrobe.

Spring is very late and cool this year, and I am just getting my seeds started.  When we had to put in a new deck, the workers really tore up the area where my poppies used to grow, and I was afraid that none would come up this year.  I was wrong:

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I am still working away on the white crochet pieces.  I finished the first one, which, contrary to my usual boredom after 1/2 yard, is a whole yard long!

I am using up the rest of that bamboo crochet thread that I used for the neckline of a Mexican top for my daughter last year.  I wanted to try another edging with the hairpin lace base so I am now working on this one:

You can see the pattern I am using in the vintage crochet book on the right.  I started with a length of hairpin lace instead of the chain called for in the instructions.

It is rainy here today.  Rain, in May.  In a normal year, the hills would be starting to turn brown by now, announcing the impending end of the allergy season.  This year we are having the Spring That Never Leaves.

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Both the machines are in the shop waiting for attention from the machine doctor.  They have about a three-week wait, so I was trying to get along with the old machine, but I needed a zigzag machine.  I remembered the machine that my SIL gave to my daughter a few years ago when she stopped sewing (!), so I borrowed it.

I have spent the last two days reading the manual and am now ready to get started.  It seems like a very nice machine so far.

I was also looking through my collection of old crochet booklets and publications and decided to give hairpin lace another try.  I wanted a very small hairpin, so I made one out of a paper clip.

You can see the purple paper clip in the photo above.  I still have one more row of crochet to do to put picots on the scallops.  I find that starting with a length of hairpin lace as a base for crochet is much easier than trying to crochet into a little chain.

I like the way the unscalloped edge looks a little like hemstitching.

I have some Amy Butler fabric that M wants me to sew into an overnight bag using the same pattern as the dotty bag I made for A, and I need to cut out some more skirts for A.

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We’re Back

We just got back from a mondo roadtrip to Wisconsin.  My inlaws were married in my MIL’s hometown 65 years ago, and though they have lived in California ever since, she wanted to go back to celebrate it.  We drove across country, running into bad weather outside of Salt Lake (ice storms and snow) but managed to get to Wisconsin in one piece.  I did, however, lose one of my favorite earrings somewhere along the way.  This earring has always had the wanderlust, so I hope it is happy somewhere in the farmland of Iowa.  We also had both of our big pieces of luggage decide to disintegrate – three handles on my husband’s suitcase broke within a day of each other, and the handle on mine broke too.  We found ourselves shopping for luggage right before we had to pack up again for the plane flight back home.

Now that the trip is over, I have to get my sewing machines into the shop and repaired, quickly, I hope.

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