Tag Archives: simplicity pattern

gay plaid fruit appliqués

On Saturday my mother-in-law dropped by a pile of crafting and sewing goods that she no longer wanted and even a few things that she inherited from her mother. I’ve just begun the ‘Christmas morning’ activity of sorting through all of the ‘gifts’ she’s passed onto me– eternally grateful I’m the only one in the family that cares about this sort of thing. A gift like this is better than any Christmas if you ask me.
20120604-130920.jpgThere are loads of embroidery, quilt and crafty patterns from the 1980′s and beyond (I’ll get to those later) but the most intriguing visually, and the oldest is a Simplicity applique pattern from 1946, I want to frame the pattern and hang it in the kitchen- and see who pays attention to the fine print.

The inside actual pattern piece has never been used, I should make some fabric on Spoonflower with the sheet, it’s so pretty in it’s entirety.

By the way, don’t you think the word ‘motif’ is under used and appreciated in these times? Don’t be afraid to bring it back. Here’s the definition, so we can all sound smart:

mo·tif   [moh-teef]


1.a recurring subject, theme, idea, etc., especially in a literary, artistic, or musical work.
2.a distinctive and recurring form, shape, figure, etc., in a design, as in a painting or on wallpaper.
3.a dominant idea or feature: the profit motif of free enterprise.
1840–50;  < French; see motive

teach your children well

I wish I could make the claim that I sat down with the single minded cheerful focus of a private sewing tutor, but it was probably more like… despite me and my distracted and disjointed hints and advice, my 12 year old daughter made this dress by herself.

The dress is a girls size 12, so it doesn’t quite fit across ‘Linda’s’ (the nickname for my dress form) bust, and that’s OK.

Here’s the 1958 Simplicity pattern she picked out of the pattern library. I couldn’t talk her into the playsuit (lower right corner) she had her heart set on a dress- the practical choice, good job. Actually, the sizing was right on even for a vintage pattern. Apparently it’s the full grown women- myself included- whose figures has been ‘increasing’ over the past 40 years or so.

I fell in love with this rayon fabric with it’s bright colors and retro aspects at Joann’s a few months ago. It was on the clearance shelf and I think I ended up paying $1 a yard- I took home the rest of the bolt –how could you NOT??

The texture- a fluid moving rayon and complicated pattern on the fabric helped and hindered the construction.  It is easy to hide flaws with a pattern but some patterns, like plaids or stripes, need to be matched from piece to piece (ex. front to back). The rayon is harder to cut out as you are preparing the pieces and doesn’t move through the machine as easily as a cotton might so you have to take your time while sewing so the seams don’t pull or bunch. Also, watch the iron temperature.

She did a great job, and first on her list after school today is sewing on the buttons and finishing the hem. I think we’ll make a few different colored sashes for the waist- pink, white and avocado green to add some versatility. A perfect dress for a jet-setting get-a-way planned for this upcoming Spring Break week.

She and I are off to Washington D.C. next week with her Soldier Hollow Charter School 6th grade class. They have been planning and fundraising for this trip for nearly 2 years now (good job guys!). I get to tag along as a ‘chaperone’ and I can’t wait either, it’s been a long time since I’ve wandered around in D.C. city. We’ll share some dress-in-action pictures in-historic-places next week.

If you have any tips on places to visit such as unique/eclectic shopping & dining- beyond the historical sights already on the agenda, drop me a comment and share! We have a few days on our own to wander and discover before we meet up with the other kids.

vintage sewing patterns

vintage sewing patterns, Simplicity 6542
Thank you so much to my friend Kanani for this box of vintage sewing patterns. It may seem like an unlikely or boring gift to most people out there, but I couldn’t be more excited. There are some fabulous possibilities in this box. I haven’t sewn very many items of clothing for myself in the last few years so maybe it’s time to try.

vintage sewing patterns, simplicity 2602
Here are a few of my favorite patterns from the box. I love these dresses. But then I wonder if the reason I love them so much is because they look so “Barbie” with their 13 inch waists. Would these dresses really look as cute on me? Maybe with a corset or Spanx…

vintage sewing patterns, mccalls 6752
I think, with the right fabric this scalloped neck dress could be darling. Maybe I’ll make it in the Fall- when I’m more motivated to actually get something done. It’s summertime and I’m all about relaxing… while I can. See more vintage sewing patterns here.