Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dear Nerdy Swimmer

I think you're awesome - seriously. 

My co-worker found your note and it made us smile.  It reminded me of something I would've done (although, I wasn't as dedicated a student in high school and I certainly wasn't any kind of athlete)

I love your attitude, especially the way you want to share the things that make you happy with other people.  You seem like a rad person - I really hope you make it to state this year!

Just wanted you to know that your thoughts didn't go unheard.

Your friend,

**I save a lot of the scraps of paper I find at the library because they're funny or interesting.  But this is probably the best discovery ever.  I love it so much.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Happy!

photo found here

Hope your Christmas have been very merry!  It's been a great holiday - my dad and I made dinner last night, which the fam ate by candlelight (tradition!), and we read Luke 2 and sang Christmas songs.  Christmas Eve is always really lovely.

This morning, I found a sewing machine under the tree!  I'm so excited to have one for my very own (I've been borrowing my mom's for too long) and can't wait to get stitching!  :)

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cover Judging: Lord Nightingale's Love Song

The first truly fantastic cover I've seen in these last months:

First Glance: Ah, the Regency romance - fancy estates with extensive gardens, men in jackets and cravats, ladies in empire-waist gowns, horse-drawn carriages, and of course, pet parrots.  All the classics of the genre on one cover.

Another fun aspect of this cover, as pointed out by my co-worker Kat: the proportion of the parrot to the horse.  The parrot is at least the size of the horse's head, if not larger.  That is one killer parrot.  Score: 4 out of 5

Title: Lord Nightingale's Love Song is pretty straightforward for a romance novel; we've none of us any doubt that the couple pictured will fall in love.  It's not terribly creative, but it'll do.  Score: 3 out of 5

Tagline: Hooray!  I haven't found one with a tagline in awhile!
Can a spinster strike the right note with an eligible bachelor?
Pretty great - is hits on the great pun-ery that is the stock-in-trade of taglines.  Will she strike the right note in a book about a love song?  I think she will.  Score: 4 out of 5

Back of the Book: 
A Grumpy Gentleman . . . No one can make the Marquess of Bradford smile - except his favorite horse.
Uh, okay.
He avoids dancing at London balls.  He scowls at the marriageable misses in drawing rooms.
He scoffs at any woman who speaks - he'd rather converse with his dear horse.  At least the horse had interesting things to say.
And his gruffness scares shy Miss Eugenia when she meets him on a dark balcony. . .
Run away, Miss Eugenia!  He hates women!  I've watched Law & Order - it's only a short step from that to serial killer!
. . . before an instant attraction between them lights up the night.
Right.  Maybe she reminds him of his horse?
But she is off to Kent for the summer to care for the irascible Lord Nightingale and her young cousin Delight, and she never expects to see him again.
What?  Is Lord Nightingale another young child?
In fact, Miss Eugenia's London season had been a disaster . . . so she has resigned herself to spinsterhood when the Marquess of Bradford appears on her Kent doorstep - covered in mud and quite enraged.
No seriously, girl.  Run.  No good can come of this dude and his woman-hating anger issues.
Of course she suspects Lord Nightingale is behind Bradford's complaint!
Of course!  The irascible Lord Nightingale that's possibly a small child!  I still have no idea.
But she also believes a secret sadness had made him a curmudgeon.
No, he's probably just a jerk with a long-held grudge and you can't fix him.
His horse knows the truth . . . 
 . . . and so may Lord Nightingale.
What?  How?  Who is Lord Nightingale and why does he know random things?  Can he talk to horses?  Is the horse a talking horse?  Is that why the Marquess of Bradford is so fond of the horse's company?

I was so baffled as to Lord Nightingale's identity that I actually cracked open the book - something I've never done in the course of all my Cover Judgings.  And I can reveal to you that Lord Nightingale is the parrot.  A match-making parrot, to be precise.  Apparently, the incorrectly-named Lord Nightingale brings together couples by eavesdropping on one person and repeating the information he uncovered to the other.  By this method, he becomes the catalyst for four separate love matches over the course of the Lord Nightingale trilogy (plus Christmas special!). Straight-up truth.

I'm simply at a loss.  I already dislike the dude, no matter what his "secret sadness" is, but a match-making parrot?  That's golden.  Score: 5 out of 5

Final Score: 16 out of 20, meaning Silver Deveraux, but I'm giving Lord Nightingale an honorary Golden Fabio for Conceptual Mastery.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A bit of mid-century for your mid-week blues

I'm a big fan of Casey's weekly Flickr favorites posts - she always finds pretty things to look at and be inspired by!  I thought it would be fun to show some of my own favorites that I've found recently:

Early 60s fashion illustrations: these come from a catalog called Rigas Modes and I'm totally in love with them.  I particularly love the lady with the fur-collared coat and awesome black hat!
Mademoiselle winter fashion 1957: of course the red coat is adorable, but check out the blue hooded cape!  Also, I want to hang out on a sleigh.
"The American Kitchen" ad, 1956: my mom is re-doing her kitchen - she's going to have similar creamy yellow cabinets, so I had to include this for her.
Pink record player: because I want one.
Aqua radio: because I love this awesomely mid-century color.

Monday, December 13, 2010

How tu-tu

I made this girly little tutu as a Christmas gift for my girly little 3-year-old cousin.  I'm so excited for her to open it!

There are dozens of tutu tutorials around - I've made the no-sew version before and they're cute.  I wanted to use tulle, but have a similar look to these pettiskirts from Martha.  I couldn't find what I was looking for, so I ended up making up my own pattern.  I thought I'd make a how-to (which I haven't done before) in case anyone wanted to try my way. 
Here's what you need:
about 8-12 yards* of tulle
about 1/2 yard of matching lining
9-12 yards* of ribbon
3/4" - 1" wide elastic
matching thread, scissors, pins, ect.
*The lowest yardage is what I used for a 3-year-old size, but I added the higher yardage for older kids.

 . . . and here's what you do:
1. Take waist measurement and add 1" seam allowance for width; measure for desired length and add 1" seam allowance.  Mark measurements on lining and cut out.  Fabric will be a large rectangle.
2. Place elastic along top of lining & mark 1/4" below.

3.  Fold along marked line and stitch to form elastic casing.
4. Fold fabric in half widthwise and sew with a 1/2" seam allowance to elastic casing.
Finish seam with your preferred method.  Hem bottom of skirt to desired length.  Set skirt aside. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Aw, thanks.

The super-nice people at The Experts Agree featured one of my flowers on their blog:
I made these into pins that I gave my co-workers last year.
My Etsy vacation was so long that I'd forgotten how nice it is to have your stuff featured randomly. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

An unexpectedly lengthy personal history of winter boots

This was a tourism poster for Germany in 1932.  But who wants to go there? 
So, Utah.  We've been known to brag that we have the "greatest snow on Earth".  Were I into winter sports, I might feel more loyal toward yon powdery peaks.  However, I am no skier and all this sickly slush is messing with my footwear situation.  Despite my 25 years of living in this state, I have no great love for winter boots (though I did once own some kick-a Minnie Mouse snow boots with a Minnie head on the zipper).

Attending Utah State required some kind of winter footwear and I felt an unnatural degree of disgust whenever I saw a girl walking about in a pair of Uggs*. Thus the only boots I own: a pair of super-puffy white moon boots that I wore every day to that wretched campus.  And I looked awesome (until I wore them so much they became less puffy).
Behold: the moon boots. 
My days of trudging along snowy campus sidewalks are far behind me and moon boots would look rather strange on a library employee.  But as I slushed about today in my Top-Siders, I realized I needed to set aside my distaste and sift through the boot category on Zappos.  And amid the gross booties and hardwear-heavy, high-heeled leather, I found a few gems:

Top row: cute white Wellies, pretty gray ankle boots with a cute oversized button, and navy suede chukkas (whatever that means).  Of this row, the grey boots are my favorite, mostly because I love the pearly-gray color.
Middle row: mid-calf leather boots with a cool wraparound zipper, gorgeous Frye riding boots that I'll never be able to afford and wouldn't be very warm anyway, and some cute ankle boots with a sweater cuff (probably the only pair I can see myself wearing on a daily basis).
Bottow row: These white Patagonia boots are basically a grown-up version of my moon boots and not at all practical, but I'm kind of in love.  They're at least three kinds of fabulous.  Next to them are some great Patagonia nature-girl boots.  And just because of brand loyalty, some Top-Sider booties, which claim to be waterproof as well as super-80s preppy.  Lastly, a pair of heeled boots that I like to imagine I would wear if I were a schoolteacher on Prince Edward Island and my name were Anne with an 'e'.

*Uggs aren't even waterproof! They are made for surfers who don't want their feet scorched by the hot sand! Why are you wearing a Muppet on you feet if it's not even keeping them dry?! This is a rant you may have heard from me if you ever met me for lunch in the Hub during winter. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Christmas apron!

Awhile ago, I mentioned that I'm making Christmas aprons for my sister, Mom, and me.  Sadly, all sewing was put aside when the house addition started and the sewing room became the depository for displaced furniture, clothing, boxes, and books.
Oh, look!  I am stirring a bowl of mime food!
I've been itching to keep sewing, so I snuck the sewing machine down to an empty corner in my room and made my apron yesterday!

The fabric deserves its own close-up:

When I saw the colorful 50s-style illustrations, it had to be mine.  It's too perfect.  The polka-dots fit with the cute housewifey feel of my main fabric - I'm really happy with the way they worked together for the finished product. 
*As a side note, I think apron-making has become so popular because of the proliferation of quilting fabric.  It's hard to go to JoAnn's and find a nice wool or silk for a dress, but cute quilt fabric is available in abundance.  Oh, small towns.  I both love and hate you at the same time. 

I ended up using the "Twirl, Girl!" pattern from the A is for Apron book (available at the Logan Library!).  It's a super easy pattern - there's only two pattern pieces that are cut out five times.  The pieces are sewn together to form one section and the five sections are sewn together, forming a swingy gored apron front.  After that, you just add the waistband and ties and you're done!  The whole project took about an hour and a half - such an easy pattern with such an adorable result!

I can't wait to wear it while making Christmas treats!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Book Report: Bright Young Things

You already know that I loved The Luxe books, Anna Godbersen's YA series set in Edith Wharton's turn-of-the-century New York.  Now, Ms. Godbersen turns to F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald's 1920s New York with Bright Young Things

Our cover girl is Astrid Donal, a young society girl with loads of flapper style and a boyfriend who's the son of booklegger-to-the-rich Darius Grey.  Along the way, Astrid meets Cordelia Grey, a gal just off the train from Ohio, who came to New York in hopes of meeting her long-lost father.  Cordelia ran away with her best friend, Letitia Haubstadt, now Letty Larkspur, who fully expects to see her new name in lights very soon.  Drama and romance ensue, along with plenty of clothing description (which I've been a sucker for ever since the Baby-Sitter's Club).

I really liked the two different worlds represented in this book: Cordelia and Astrid find themselves in the country clubs and all-night estate parties of White Cove, Long Island, while Letty moves in with three roommates and works as a cigarette girl in a downtown speakeasy.  The upper-class stuff is done well (unsurprising after The Luxe books), but I found myself really loving Letty's life as an every day New Yorker: sharing a tiny basement apartment with three other girls, eating breakfast at a local diner, working all night until her feet are sore, circling auditions in the trade papers.  It's every bit as romantic as Cordelia's new life as a wealthy bootlegger's daughter. 

While I like Letty the best, the other girls are well-written characters, too.  It looks to be a fun, exciting series and I can't wait to find out what happens next (and what was worn when it happens)!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The New Encyclopedia of Modern Sewing

This is what I was hoping to find at Books of Yesterday - it's a sewing reference from 1943.  I'm hoping that it would be useful when sewing from vintage patterns.

The book has some nice basic patterns for clothing and home decor - the decor is a little frilly (well, a lot frilly), but the clothing patterns are good.  There's a great pattern for a basic dirndl that I can't wait to use, as well as some cute, basic apron patterns.

I'm most excited for the "Flossy Touches" chapter, which contains a reference for basic embroidery stitches, as well as some cute ways to combine these stitches.
Also, it has instructions for applique and some sweet, very 40s floral applique templates, as well as monogram templates for all your handkerchiefs, pajamas, and linens.

I think the illustration style from the 40s is so cute, but the way everything has a face is a little funny to me.  A few examples:
And finally, a bit of pre-feminist imagry:

She's an angel, you see, because she made the table cloth, napkins, and the meal.

I've posted more pictures from this book on Flickr, so have a look!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cover Judging: The Blue Rose

If you ever want to get lost for a few hours (and you live in Logan), I recommend Books of Yesterday.   When you walk in, you'd think it was a normal, if a bit crowded used book store.  And you wouldn't be wrong, if you kept your wanderings to the first floor.

However, if you were to venture into the vast basement, you would find yourself surrounded: books on closely-spaced shelves, books piled on tables, books stacked underneath tables, books strewn about the floor, books hidden in a tiny old storage room.  It's a labyrinth of used and vintage books - the sheer volume is overwhelming.  You could spend an entire day there and still you wouldn't have sifted through half of the paperbacks in the basement.

Yesterday, I went in, hoping to find some vintage sewing or knitting books (which I will discuss later).  I was going to leave after I'd found a fab 1940s sewing manual, but the pull of the Basement was too strong.  Which is why, a few hours later, I found myself sitting on the floor, sorting through hundreds of Harlequin romance novels - five shelves' worth!  There was a dearth of Cover Judging material, to be sure, but I only bought one:

First Glance: I want her hair.  And her coat.  Also, I think I might need color contacts.  This edition was published in 1957, which seems about right, insofar as I'm in love with the fashion on the cover.  Compared to the other passionate embrace-style covers, The Blue Rose is decidedly cute.  It's also part of a trend I noticed: all the pre-1980s books prominently featured our girl on the cover.  Her fella is seen either in profile, as here, or in a smaller background illustration.  It's interesting, because it's the exact opposite now - often, the heroine isn't even featured on the cover, the better for her to be your stand-in.  I'm not sure where or why the tide turned, but it would be interesting to look into.  Anyway.  Score: 4 out of 5

Title: The Blue Rose could be any number of things: a boat used to run away from a domineering father who is arranging an engagement to that awful Percy Danforth; a restaurant where the lovely and quirky waitress catches the eye of a super-strict business man who just needs a little love to bring him to life; an off-off Broadway theater where our girl stars in a sparsely-attended play while a shy fellow sits in the back, holding a rose and working up the nerve to talk to her every night.  I like it when the title inspires me to make up corny plotlines.  Score: 4 out of 5

Back of the Book: 

Oh.  Another girl named Rose.  I think that brings the total up to four.  I'm trying to decide if this blurb is implying that Stephen has some dark, dangerous secret - it does say that Rose "feared" they may have made a "terrible mistake".  And yet the cover is so darn cute!  Maybe Stephen's dark secret is that he is already married, but he keeps his mad first wife locked in the attic, an unhappy reminder of the time he spent in the Caribbean.  And maybe Rose will run away and have some kind of odd relationship with an emotionless minister who wants her to go with him to India, but she'll return to Stephen and find him blinded as a result of the housefire created by his insane first wife.  And he'll be all deformed, but she'll decide to love him anyway.  And maybe that's why we only see his face in profile - because the other side is burned and craggy!  I think I just figured this all out.
But I feel like this story might exist somewhere else . . . Score: 3 out of 5

Final Score: 11 out of 15, qualifying for the Silver Deveraux, but with special awards in Adorability and Styling.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's Utah Halloween!

Happy Utah Halloween, everyone!

This is my witch costume that I wore to work yesterday.  We had a NON-PARTY social gathering which was Harry Potter-themed - complete with a golden snitch, the Hogwart's house banners, and candles hanging from the ceiling.  I made chocolate frogs for the non-party - unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures, but you can buy the molds on Amazon here

I threw together my costume the night before: black skirt, shirt, and cardi, nearly every necklace I own, tie-dye scarf, blue tights (which I knew I would wear eventually when I got them for $2 at Target), and my star shoes (which are far too small, but very witchy indeed).  I borrowed my brother's jazz hat and pinned some feathers, lace, and a brooch to the brim - it ended up being the best part.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Iona's closet doors are open again!

I've started missing my flowers, so after an extended break, I've decided to re-open Iona's Closet: Etsy edition! 

At the moment, it's full of all the old favorites - colorful felt headbands and fancy ribbon flower necklaces - but there may be a few additions in coming weeks, so be sure to check in.

In the meantime, stick around these parts and look forward to more sewing/knitting posts, inspiration walls, and of course, more Cover Judging! 
xx, Maren

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New Dress Sunday

My new fall/winter dress is done!  (Mostly)
The Grandma Carole Pose - all the 50s/60s-era pictures of her and her sisters show them standing like this, all in a row.
It's taken me so long to complete that I had to wear it today, even though I've not finished the belt. I found some old fabric-covered buckle kits on Etsy and I'm excited to have a ladylike, perfectly-matched belt for this dress.  I just haven't had the time to finish it yet!

The dress pattern itself wasn't terribly complicated - it was all the details that took so long. The pattern I have is made for a gal about a size and a half smaller than me, but I was actually excited to learn about pattern grading.  The article I found most useful was from Threads Magazine - it has a good reference picture for cut lines and a chart with common "spread" amounts. 

This is the first time I've made a muslin, also.  For the most part, I've just done a pin-fitting with the pattern pieces and for simple modern patterns, that's fine.  However, since I had to grade this pattern and transfer the pieces onto muslin anyway, I thought I'd give it a shot.  I was glad I did, because the waistline needed to be let out more and the bust needed taken in (those 50s girls with their tiny waists and big busts!).  Also, the sleeves ended closer to the shoulder than I wanted, so I was able to adjust that and make them into a longer cap sleeve.

The pattern had no instructions for a lining, so I just made a second dress out of lining and attached it at the neckline interfacing.  It ended up working and made the dress feel "finished".  Other time-consuming, but ultimately good things I did: twill tape at the neckline to help the notch lay flat, hand-stitched the hem and the arm openings, and "hand-picked" the side zipper for an added vintage touch. 
The wool gabardine is just the right weight for fall - it's heavy enough to be warm, but it's not so heavy that I couldn't wear this into spring.  I ordered too much, so I might make a skirt with the leftover.  Overall, I'm really happy with this dress - I think it's lovely and I'm proud of myself for learning a few new things in order to make it!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Harry Potter e la pietra filosofale

I love seeing the different editions of well-known books.  Even when they get it wrong (yes, I mean you, The Twilight Saga: Wuthering Heights), it's interesting to see different interpretations of stories I know.  Which is why I love the various translations of Harry Potter that the library owns:

These are the Spanish and German translations of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, respectively.  It's fun to see the different Harrys, but it's so interesting to see what events from the story make the cover.  In the Spanish language version, we see the golden egg that's a clue in the Tri-Wizard Tournament as well as the horses from Beauxbaton.  In the German version, Harry is flying around the dragon, trying to get the golden egg.  (Also, his glasses are that super-tiny, super-cool German style.)

However, the version that's most perplexing to me is the Italian version:

Obviously, wizard chess plays a part in the Philosopher's Stone, but where does ROUS come in?  And why is Harry wearing a rat hat?  And perhaps most disturbingly, why is Harry wearing Slytherin house colors??

The cover is kind of off, but the Italian Harry Potter offers something the others don't: illustrations!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cover Judging: Jamaican Sunset

From the author of The Pirate and His Lady comes . . .

First Glance: Clearly, our fella is the centerpiece of this cover and I'll get to him in a minute, but first, let's talk about his lady. It's rare that the heroine appears on the cover - even more rare that you can see her full face. Of course, the purpose of the lady in these novels is to be a surrogate for the reader - often you'll find that while her clothing enjoys rich descriptions, her actual features do not. Which is why our girl on the cover deserves some notice: were I to read this book, I would not be able to place myself in her role, as I do not have dark, curly hair nor do I have a lobotomized stare.

Now, on to our hero . . . LOVE HIM! When this book came through, I immediately fell for those well-defined features, accented with the world's best mustache (perhaps those who make it a life pursuit to study mustaches can tell me what this one is called). Not only does his facial hair recommend him, but that hair: falling in dark, sculpted waves past his collar. Clearly, this is a romantic hero for the ages. Score: 4 out of 5

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Still in Circulation: Art Nouveau Typographic Ornaments

Some books remain shelved, hiding amongst more relevant or popular titles. Even the well-versed staff are unaware of their existence, though they are Still in Circulation.

Earlier in the week, the cover of this little oddity caught my eye:It may have been the colors, which are even more garish in person. The font also intrigued me - I always pause for interesting or old-timey lettering. It seemed like such a strange book for us to have; most of our books on typography are relatively new, with chapters on Adobe Illustrator and the like. I'm not sure why we've kept it, when other books from its era have phased out. But it turns out, I'm glad it's there.
Isn't she beautiful?
Moving past the hideous cover, the typographic ornaments (aka clip art) are really lovely - and copyright-free, as the intro page informs me!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Found in my mom's sewing cabinet

Absolutely true!

I love this ad so much. The slogan is my favorite part because knitting is fun - and easy too!

From a booklet called "Beginner's Manual of Knitting," Star Knitting Book No. 77, published in 1950. Part of my great-grandmother's vast sewing and handwork collection.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

To-do list

My sewing queue:
Butterick 6448 (vintage): I was excited to find this pattern on ebay - I ordered some navy wool gabardine from Fashion Fabrics Club for a fall dress and this pattern is exactly what I had in mind! The square neckline with the notch is a huge selling point for me; in general, it's just a lovely dress with a silhouette that works for my body type (love the 50s nipped-waists!). This will be the first vintage pattern I've actually sewn, so wish me luck!

New Skirt Sunday

I wasn't happy with the last skirt I did (Simplicity 2416 - do not get me started on the pocket situation in the instructions for that skirt!), so I took a break from sewing for a couple weeks. However, a good ol' fabric sale brought me back!

I went a taaad overboard, piling up bolts and bolts of fabric for Halloween and Christmas, but at least I've got a good to-do list going (more on that later). Further, I found a lovely green linen/rayon blend that's the perfect weight for a fall skirt:
skirt: made by me, Simplicity 2315
top: Elle (yes, it's from Kohls)
shoes: Steve Madden, thrifted
earrings: Liz Claiborne
"M" initial necklace: Etsy
I used Simplicity 2315, which was an exceptionally simple, straightforward pattern. The construction is really basic - simple seams, a back zip, and a little bit of detail work at the waist. It's a good starter pattern if you're new to sewing (or a nice quick project if you're more experienced).

I have to admit, I was late for church and didn't have a whole lot of time to come up with a complete, cute ensemble. I'll probably wear a different top next time (and hopefully, my hair will look less spinster librarian-ish!). I've got a long-sleeved white shirt that I want to wear with it, once the weather starts acting like it's fall!
Overall, I'm happy with how this one turned out. The fabric is such a great color and I adore the bow at the waist. Also, it's got me excited about my upcoming projects!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Late-summer pastels

click photo for larger view
It's been a warm September so far - I've been dying to pull out my sweaters, but it looks like I'll have to wait. In the meantime, please enjoy this gorgeous 1960s photo from My Vintage Vogue - I love the combination of gauzy white with a pastel embroidered cardigan. It looks very September to me: still very summery, but with a bit of fall thrown in.

Other pretty things are from Queens Wardrobe (lovely pleated-skirt dress and fab shoes) and Anthropologie (cute gathered skirt, gorgeous embroidered cardi, and adorable bow belt).

Cover Judging: Stardust of Yesterday

I've not done one of these in awhile. This one is pretty great, though.
First Glance: I'm thinking tale of a lost love - there's a hazy overlay on top of the portrait of this man's eyebrows, plus it seems that a rose has been laid, possibly on his grave. Causes of death? Perhaps Sandra Bullock wasn't there to push him out of the way of a train. Or maybe that Orange County car wreck turned fatal. Or, most likely, that ballerina freaked out after he told her she didn't have great feet and she attacked him. Feel free to extrapolate on any other Peter Gallagher roles I'm forgetting. Score: 4 out of 5

Picture from last week.

Me and little brother on a short Labor Day jaunt to Bear Lake.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Another DI find post

In which I display the remainder of my vintage pattern haul:
probably mid-1950s
McCall's 4344: This is the illustration from the instructions - I couldn't find the cover picture anywhere. I probably won't make this dress - I've nowhere to wear it! - but it's such a classic 50s silhouette that I had to buy it.

Monday, August 30, 2010

DI find of the week!

Trips to the DI (Utah's Goodwill) are a good Monday adventure. Sometimes I go through the whole women's clothing section or I browse through the records and books. But Deseret Industries Adventures always include three stops: the dress section, the furniture section, and the sewing pattern section.

Most of the time, the patterns are from the 80s-early 90s, occasionally going back to the 70s. Rarely, I'll find a pattern or so from the 60s. But today, this day of days, someone cleared out their extensive collection of patterns - someone who probably owned a fabric store during the 40s and 50s!
pattern copyright 1948

Simplicity 7260: This might be my favorite, because it's so wearable. Just a simple dress with some cute detailing at the top - it's kind of summery, so I might need to wait until next year . . . unless I can find the perfect fall/winter fabric!

probably early or mid-1940s
Simplicity 2676: This one is in the most delicate condition - it's falling apart pretty badly and the pieces are traced copies of the originals. But I picked it up because I really like the top right dress - I'd do the skirt knee-length, but I'd leave the rest because I love the princess-seaming.
pattern copyright 1950
Simplicity 3215: I love a poufy skirt and I think all skirts and dresses need pockets. I couldn't leave this one on the shelf, even though it's missing the instructions. This one is pretty versatile, too: it would work with a summer or winter-weight fabric. I'm liking the separates option - the top is cute and the skirt is everything I love about skirts!

Most of the patterns came in manila envelopes, so I found the corresponding images at Vintage Pattern Wiki and glued them to the front of the pattern (Simplicity 2676 is my copy, though). In all honesty, I'm having fun just looking at them. Vintage pattern illustrations are so sweet!

I have several more, so look forward to those later - one is a Gidgit-style swimsuit!