Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Another odd cover

This one is for my friend Pam.  Does this remind you of a certain person in grad school?  The one whose poor husband would follow her around carrying her books, and who typed all her papers.

McCall's step-by-step sewing book

Friday, March 25, 2011

A remembrance

Today is the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire which killed 146 young women and men.  Thank them all for the union protections and "government interference" that largely keep such horrors from happening today.  Though unfortunately, not completely.  So this afternoon at 4:40 (EST) let's stop our machines and remember.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A little hint

For those of you who are new to sewing, I thought I'd drop a little hint on how to stitch two pieces together when one is pointed and the other squared.  In this case, it is a seam attaching the sleeve to the front bodice in Louise Cutting's shirt pattern By Popular Demand.

What you need to do is overlap the two pieces like this:

To get it right, have the seam exactly at 5/8" on the pointy piece:

And when you're done, you will have a nice rounded edge like this:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sewing Expo

It's over and I'm feeling the same kind of let down I used to feel the day after Christmas.  Boy, it was fun!  Sis and I went together on Thursday and Friday.  First we went to Marta Alto's two hour shirt class, which was as expected excellent.  Then we shopped, oh did we shop!  We spent hours at Marcy Tilton's booth pouring over beauties.  I was looking for something I had seen on her website, and wow! she not only brought it, but it was half off!  I'll post pictures of the fabric haul later (I have to re-do them all, they're so washed out), but here are the patterns I bought:

Sis was wearing a top she made from this, with embroidered net (with zoo animals!) on the sleeves.

I am actually going to make some jeans.  Maybe.  I don't know what's gotten in to me.  I also bought the Palmer/Pletsch Jeans for Real People dvd.

I had such fun last year with Louise Cutting's Relax a Little pattern (Orange You Glad and Conversation Print blouses) that I wanted more of her patterns.  I've already traced this one out and I'm going to muslin it today.  More on that later.

They gave me a free set of toggles with this one!  It's designed to go with a couple of her shell patterns, which I will pick up later.

I do like a good camp shirt!

Altogether we had a great time.  Our expo outfits were complimented and we saw wonderful things that other people had made.  We ate scones.  I was glad to see the Dutch lace man back this year, but I missed Mary Lou Rankin and Diane Erickson.  And most of all I missed La Fred.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Not your ordinary sewing book cover

I own a lot of sewing books  (please see my page on old sewing books), most of which have nice sensible covers that convey authority and reliability, good no nonsense books.  But a few are waaaayyy out in left field and I thought I'd share some of my favorites with you.  Like this charming book from the 50s:
Sewing magic for teen-agers
I love her big head, tiny waist, and that tiny triangle of a bosom under her right arm.

This one is undated, maybe from the 60s?  I don't know about you, but this one really makes me want to grab my needle and stick a thimble on my head.  She appears at the head of each chapter to cheer you on, or maybe give you a jab with that needle.
Adventures in sewing

I know the war was hard on everyone, but was it really necessary for Vogue to change from this in 1936
Vogue's book of smart dressmaking

To this, in 1942
Vogue's book of smart dressmaking
What were they thinking?  It looks like Ms Vampirehands just ripped a hole in the cover of what would have been a fairly sedate book.  It's so black, it's so red, it's so fascist.  Hmm, when did the Germans seize Paris?

And here's my all time favorite.  I know I have seen this cover scores of times. I'm sure I shelved it dozens of times.  But it wasn't until just recently that I actually looked at it.  As my friend Steve would say, weird with a beard, man.  Here she is, Edwina Scissorhands!  The hand is bad enough, but what's with the open mouth?  Is she trying to tell us something?  She doesn't seem unhappy about having been "altered."  What do you think? 
Simplicity sewing book