Vintage News

Vintage Sewing Gold ... guide to regrading vintage patterns

Vintage Sewing Gold … guide to regrading vintage patterns

I have previously mentioned but I have to share more news with you.

On my quest to find inspiring and beautiful things to make from my stash of vintage fabric and vintage haberdashery I ordered a pattern for a 1940’s hat and clutch purse.

They arrived today and yet again the info booklet that has come with it is perfect for the translation from 1940’s speak and standards into our 21st century world.

This time however, in addition was some information on a 60 page guide that they have put together for those of us who love vintage patterns but sometime struggle with regrading to our modern day figures. The guide is in a friendly format and explains how to make the appropriate adjustments to your vintage pattern in an appropriate and professional way. WOWZA! 

Vintage sewing gold …… these can be purchased on ebay and the attached picture provides the information you need should you feel the need to reach out to the helping hand that is Sonny!

S S S S S Successful Saturday

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Woke up with the bit between my teeth this morning. Having had creative meltdown in the week…. you know the sort when way too many ideas are popping into your head. YEP! One of them. My great new long distance friendship with Del of curlsnskirls is turning out to be an education. This week I learned that in a Martin Luther King speech he speaks of Analysis Paralysis …. did the great man sew I wonder? Us creative lovies know all too well the analyse, analyse and analyse again. I loved the new found knowledge, it was a “Yes, Yes, Yes that sums it up” moment.

So up with the lark a little project to test; a simplicity pattern 1706A  for a possible workshop was the oredr of the day.

Little fleece poncho, nice for beginners as it has a hood and hoods always seem difficult or too technical to the newly initiated and of course in practice they are a breeze.

Had the pattern cut, pinned, tailor tacked and fabric cut in 30 minutes ….. excellent start!

Should have kept going at that point but I let myself get distrcted by the most distracting person I know, The Husband! A cappucino and natter later, oh and a few comments on the horrors of morning TV I regrouped and went back to the task at hand.

The fleece sewed really nicely and the pattern was lovely and easy to follow which is a must as I so want to encourage my students to use commercial patterns and to not be afraid of them, this one fits the bill perfectly!

My only minor, really mini grumble is the amount of bulk around the neck line as the hood is lined in a fleece as well so got bulky quickly, other than that very happy and am sure it will be hit with beginners.

I made the large (age 7-8) and yet again lack living model of required age so after a charm offensive Big Ted agreed again to model for me, need to be careful there….. his demands could start to become diva-ish if I’m not too careful 🙂

So here is the poncho for your appraisal and comments …..


Ta Dah!

The vintage pattern from (who also trade on e bay) after some studying worked out beautifully. You can see I made modifications as I was keen to use the ric rac. 

The pattern being circa 1946 and from the USA took a little fathoming as they used very different ‘shorthand’ symbols but Sonny at the vintage pattern shop sent out a fantastic guide which I will use for many more projects. It shows how to size up and down patterns and gives excellent advice on fabric choice, To name but a few. Something intermediates will find invaluable!

Where Did Sunday Go?????

Following a lovely family party on Saturday night, merriment and dancing (no booze, I don’t drink), I was looking forward to my Sunday sewathon.

Big GAFAWF at this point….. Not a stitch was sewn and as a result no blog happiness that follows each Sunday Booooooo!

I believe the technical term for what happened yesterday is ‘getting old’. 

There was a time when a 2am finish was an early night, nope not now. I floundered all day and landed up in my PJ’s lazing in front of the TV in and out of conciousness and before I knew it Sunday was no more! What a waste of a day, so with renewed vigour I have made a list for today given I am home for the day.

I have rooted around for a vintage pattern that I bought a couple of months ago (obssessed all night over it), well victory is mine 🙂

Vintage apron broderie anglais from stash and beautiful red ric rac from my swap partner Jacq are sitting awaiting my attention in the living room. 

Just a couple of boring old house chores and then I’m on it! Of course dear reader will post here the finished result and as ever will welcome your comments……. Better get the boring atuff done, then its fun, fun, fun! 

Expertly Modelled By Big Ted

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Lacking a 4 year old for the job I whispered in Big Ted’s shell like (ear) and suggested that although he’s an old boy he would rock the halloween look. 

I think you will agree he really does, kindly throwing some excellent shapes like an old pro so that I could share with you, as promised possible cape for my coming Halloween Hoolie workshop.

What do you think?

Halloween Hoolie

Having added the idea of a workshop for my fellow creative souls in Bedfordshire to create something for Halloween under the banner of Halloween Hoolie I this evening put together some Halloween bunting

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and I am chuffed to pieces with it. The fabric is so fun and was a joy to sew, so I intend on using another design in the same fabric and put a little cape together for inspiration, I think it will make a great trick or treat outfit that can then be used in the little persons dressing up box, of course the beauty of a cape is it will fit for a couple of years too!  

Always a plus to have something that can be used over and over rather then getting hidden in a cupboard or God forbid hit landfill!

I’m not altogether sure how this workshop will be received as Halloween isnt as huge as with our American cousins, that said it really is building year on year so maybe there is a little market for this workshop! Ever mindful of the growing skill set of my fellow creative souls the workshop needs to be on topic, challenging enough to get the sense of achievement but not so challenging that my lovelies run screaming for the hills never to return because it all got too testing!

I will of course post pictures of the cape here first as I welcome your comments and suggestions as we don’t DO Halloween as well as you just yet given your years of experience 😉 

Am guessing it will be the weekend before it gets made as I have just had it announced that ‘we’ that would be the royal we of course are driving to Norwich tomorrow to look at a car for my man. Can hardly grumble given the number of haberdashery hoolies  I’ve had lately without a word of protest from this wonderful man who lets me fill our little house with beautiful booty!

Happy sewing and crafting dear reader and thanks for stopping by. 

Who Let The Lunatic Out Of The Asylum?

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Dear Reader

You can firmly place the blame at the foot of DD1 (Darling Daughter 1). She’s a teacher you know? A so called professional yet she deems it appropriate to totally encourage the Bank of Mum to get down to the Old Smoke (London).

As if my previous Walthamstow jolly wasn’t enough I have (confession time) had another complete spendathon. Not as big as last time BUT a bender nevertheless!  How many concealed zips does one woman need? Well at 20 pence each LOTS I hear you join me in chorus :0)

The intended purpose of visit to the wonderful East End was to do a reconicense mission as we intend to take a stall at a vintage fair at the Old Spitalfields Market in November and try to sell our wares (of which I will tell more when I actually have something to show you). It’s called Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair and is held once a month at Spitalfields.

My recent haul of totally poptastic vintage buttons, lace and trim from the 1920’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s are to be turned into a variety of hopefully desireable items. Wherever possible we will also be using vintage fabric’s when we find them. Partly to cater to the vintage lovers market but also in a nod to the Planet, upcycle something that may have hit landfill and turn it into something beautiful and of course unique!

They say an army marches on it’s stomach and this army truly does. When I saw the cost of a good old bacon sandwich in this boutique area decision made to go off road… 4 wheel shoes intact we trundled off down Brick Lane. There are many asian restaurants here, apart from the fact they weren’t open at this time of the day, I don’t eat spicy food, so onwards and upwards. On our travwls we saw some incredible street art. Brick Lane is clearly an area where the talented come.

Just by chance we stumbled upon a little place whose name I didn’t get….DANGIT!  They had bagels in the window. By now my tummy thought my throat had been cut so food is food and in we marched. It was packed with locals (always and excellent sign, my darling Father in Law taught me this tip). Hot Salt Beef????? Never heard of it but in for a penny, in for a pound. Ordered up 2 rolls with hot salt beef and mustard. While waiting I was mmore than slightly dazzled by a beautiful smiling face coming across the road toward the shop. As this beautiful mixed race man walked in, still smiling as though the smile were for me and me only I was lost in the warmth of this lovely face. I am a firm believer in credit where it is due and as he walked past us in the queue I told him ‘what a beautiful face’. “Thank you” with an extra flash of smile. Could this experience get much better?  YEEEEEES, by gum the hot salt beef and mustard roll was just GAWJUS! I am a convert thats a fact.

Given that this part of the mission went well and we were if I do say so myself uber efficient there were choices to be made. Choice 1. Sensible but boring, go back home Choice 2. Go check out Goldhawk Road in West London (many fabric shops).

Now for those of you who are not familiar with our fantastico capital. It’s small, really small compared to other capitals of the world BUT it is build on a foot print hundreds of years old. Therefore, best way to travel is by foot or tube. Tricky when you have your car with you!

SatNav at the ready, our 8 mile journey took 50 minutes. Not that this was a problem. Excellent car company and superb views from the traffic jams. Our architecture in London is phenomenal. We arrived to another micro climate having had mizzle in the East End it was bright and pretty darn warm in the West of London. Enthusiastically we dove into the shops, less than 30 minutes into our jaunt we looked at each other……. it was apparent that this was not matching our Walthamstow experience. At thhis point my expectation of DD1 was to be the grown up and say Mum we’ve had a lovely time lets go home now but NO! The single most dangerous question ….. what do you want to do now. Well quite frankly I’d say that is blindingly obvious.  Drive all the way back to the East End to Walthamstow. Planet friendly NO, lunatic friendly hell YES!

Yep, you’ve got the drift. Another excursion, SatNav chose a new route for us strangely but it was cool, new stuff to look at in the traffic jams. So all in all traffic jam quality was excellent.

Walthamstow was superb even those we had to do it at double pace as time was a ticking. An amusing sight for on lookers as I have a full hip replacement so have an interesting gait but motivated by fabric I can be speedy gonzales albeit I pay big time for days after (who cares when booty has been bought)?

Given we have been very recently it helped tremendously as we knew exactly which shops we wanted to head for. Mateen, superb selection, wonderful staff and even better prices! A couple of stops in between but a no brainer for our last stop. The lovely Jay at New Fabric Shop. He has lots of end of stock and the like, but in a demonstration of how we buy from people nearly as much as buying the item, Jay is such a cool, easy guy…. it would feel rude to go to Walthamstow and not visit him!

All in all an excellent day, productive and not too costly. Today however my hip is paying the price, small price to pay I’d say!!

Drawers…. The Wooden Type, Not The Frilly Sort!


Dearest Reader,

You will recall my near melt down recently on visiting Walthamstow Market where I bought what some would consider WAY too much fabric. Fellow Creative Souls wil of course there is no such thing as TOO much fabric.

This has however presented somewhat of a challenge in my dinky little house, where to keep it?

Just a few weeks ago I discovered on facebook a wonderful small start up business quite close to where I live called Vintage Heaven. Heidi takes old wooden items of furniture and with great skill, care and love gives them a new lease of life. She has a real talent and love for it. Well serendipity visited and a chest of drawers just the right size to squeeze into my bedroom came up and between us we agreed on a price and a colour scheme.

Today Rachel escorted me to collect them. I say escorted … I have odd bursts of agoraphobia which means I go through just brief phases of struggling to go out alone. She being the wonderful bossy boots that she is gave me little choice in the matter and she arrived at quite frankly stupid o’clock. I guess her reasoning being ‘get her before she can build up a head of steam’. Well it worked and Bedford bound we were.

Boy! Am I glad we went. They are perfect!  Every bit of fabric fits in so I now have space in the corner of my living room. HOORAH!

All that said I really can’t promise that corner will stay spacious…… off to Spitalfields Vintage Fair tomorrow and we all know what happened that last time I went to the East End!

Devonshire One Beautiful County

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On a mission to source some wonderful vintage haberdashery I found myself in beautiful Devon. Worth the 4 hour drive dowm some tiny winding lanes.

Mission accomplished but goodies are being kept under wraps for the time being as I have some rather grand ideas that will take a while to pull together but of course will post here when I am ready for the big reveal…… so keep watching.


Wonderfully Wide

Wonderfully Wide

How can they not be comfy with this much room in!


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