Poppin’ Tags

DSC03240I picked up this dress a couple of weeks ago at the Goodwill bins for like 75 cents (they had a broken keyboard, I bought a broken keyboard… HOLLA). I’m a sucker for old fashioned lace embellishments and I thought I could make something cute out of this. The care label said it was 100% rayon, so I decided it was worth my time to resurrect this.

photoI didn’t do anything much to save this dress. It just goes to show how little tweaks can totally change the look of a garment. I really like how this came out. I think it looks very Modcloth/ Shabby Apple-esque now.

DSC03242I hacked about a foot off of the length. I also cut out the HUGE shoulder pads and used my seam ripper to remove the sleeves. I made two little darts right at the underarms to bring it a little bit closer to my body to conceal my bra. Then I turned and stitched around the armscye. I also stitched up a new hem. That’s all.  I hope this inspires you to try to make something old new again. I threw in this last photo because it made me laugh, I’m like, “no more paparazzi”

DSC03254xx, Cynthia

Laurel…. and Some Tacky Underpants

DSC03099I’m finally blogging my Colette Laurel. I was able to squeek this one under the deadline for the Laurel sewing competition.

I entered this into the self designed fabric category. I had been wanting to hand stamp a dress with french bulldogs for over a year. I had seen the cute pony dress over on the blog A Beautiful Mess and really wanted to make a version for myself. When I saw the Colette competition, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try out this technique. I found a bulldog silhouette on the interwebs and used it to make a stamp with craft foam.

DSC03092I cut a size 4 (which is my standard size in Colette). It came out HUGE. I ended up shaving this down to a size zero right under the bust to the hem. I’m still able to pull this over my head without a zipper even though I shaved so much off of the side seams. I omitted the sleeves and drafted a Peter Pan collar.

DSC03082It didn’t came out as cute in real life as it did in my head. It’s a little *too* homemade looking. I don’t want to look like I’m wearing something made by Patricia on Project Runway… LOLZZZ. I think this is going to end up in the never worn part of the closet. I’m not ready to give up on this idea yet. I want to try screen printing some smaller scale bulldogs on a future version of Laurel.

In other news, I made my first pair of panties (ewww…. I know that’s a fairly universally hated word). This is the most ridic item of clothing I’ve ever made. These are made from an old T-shirt that was thrifted and destined to be underpants. I used Zoe’s free pants pattern. I finished the edges with fold over elastic and these are very comfortable hipster panties.



I’m currently working on making my first bathing suit. I hope it come out cute 🙂

XX, Cynthia


I swear I wasn’t intentionally fishing for compliments, but they really did make me feel better about my new hair-do. So Thanks!!!!!! I really appreciate this community of lovelies :). I feel like our little corner of the internet is the only one devoid of trolls and nastiness. You’ll are sweethearts.

new skirtI thought I’d share some eye candy in the form of vintage patterns recently acquired for only 50 cents each. If you’re in the Portland area and remotely interested in *anything* crafty head to Scrap! You’ll love it, I promise.

My absolute favorite pattern, is also coincidentally, the oldest one of the bunch. It’s the top right pattern, a swim suit pattern from 1940. It’s amazing to think I might make something over 70 years after it was first made. My great-grandmother and I could theoretically share a hand-made wardrobe. We’re all connected to each other aren’t we?  I also love the shirtwaist Hollywood Patterns dress. It also won’t require any grading as it’s my size. Bonus!!!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season. I’ll be holed up in my bedroom making Christmas presents.

xx, Cynthia

Back Home!

So, I had every intention to finish my cape before I left for my Christmas vacation. Yeah right! That didn’t happen. I’ll get back to work on that this upcoming week.

I did make a few handmade Christmas gifts. Chris and I picked tons of blackberries this summer on Sauvie Island and made jam. Truth be told, he did almost all of the work while I read The Hunger Games trilogy and laid in the sunshine. Our next batch will have a little more sugar and less seeds (I’ll probably help a little more).


I also made a few doll clothes for my little cousin’s American Girl doll. I bought 3 different doll patterns when Simplicity patterns were on sale, so I think I’ll make a few more outfits when the mood strikes. Doll clothes are pretty fun to make. It was nice how quickly it came together, but setting in tiny sleeves can be fussy.

Chris and I traveled to his mom’s house in North Carolina for the holidays. I had gotten it in my head that I would find hundreds of sewing patterns from the 1940’s at the antique stores in town. No such luck, but I am happy with what I found. I bought this delicate beaded collar at one antique store. I’m on the hunt now for a pretty high necked navy sweater to wear with this. It’s so darling! I can’t imagine the hours that went into making this.

I also bought 16 yards of antique lace, a large jar of buttons, and this neat little snap setting tool. It was a very nice trip with family and I have some fun new sewing notions to play with. Bye!

Holiday Cheer Skirt

Merry Christmas ya’ll! I found a pile of Christmas napkins at the thrift store for $2 and thought I could make something festive for the holidays. There were 16 napkins in total. Half were trimmed in red ric rac and the other half in green. After playing with them for a bit, I decided that a box pleated skirt would be the best way to showcase the large poinsettias.

I used the waist band from Simplicity 2512 as a starting point, I used super crazy stiff fusible interfacing to hold the waistband up. I then folded and pressed the napkins until I found a way that looked pleasing to my eye. I added some red piping between the waistband and skirt (because piping makes everything a million times cuter). I used the remaining three napkins to make a lining, but I goofed majorly on that. I rush head long into things without taking time to plan out the best course of action. I had it hang straight down from the waist leaving no room for my hips or bum. There was no way it was going to fit. Since I didn’t want to undo the piping and invisible zip, and spend even more time on something I can only wear for the next week, I cut up the sides of the lining. This is the most inelegant skirt from the inside. The lining hangs like a loin cloth, covering my front and rear end only. Oh well, the outside is all that counts, right?

This skirt came out a lot cuter than I originally thought. Looking at the napkins, I was thinking it’d be a super cheesy skirt, only acceptable at an ugly Christmas sweater party. This is totally wearable though. I decided to go for a punk-rock Christmas cheerleader look. I paired it with a plain black tee, sheer tights, and my Doc Martens.

New Vintage Patterns and a Blouse

I picked up this blouse at Goodwill about a week ago and I thought I would do a quick outfit post. It’s from the 80’s, but is very Edwardian in style. I’ve been watching Downtown Abbey, so that look is in my mind right now. I paired it with some jeggings to balance out the proportions and did a half-tuck to tame the baggy fit. I wore this to a concert and then again the next day to run errands. I love this blouse even if Chris thinks it’s granny-esque. Duhhh, that’s the point.

Now onto a sewing related topic. I don’t care for the nearest fabric shop to my home. It’s very expensive and snooty. The second I walk in there the shop ladies stare at me as if I’m going to shoplift a bolt of wool. It’s also creepy quiet. It has a weird vibe fo sho. Therefore I only go in there when I need to pick up a quick zipper or some thread. Today I had to do just that. I’d run out of plain white thread. How does that happen? Instead of my usual bee-line to the notions area I got distracted by the Burdastyle Sewing Handbook and flipped through it. Boy, am I glad I did. If I hadn’t I wouldn’t have seen the basket of vintage patterns for $2 each. They were  hidden in a dark corner waiting for me. I actually squeeled while flipping through them. I picked up 8 of them. It was hard for me to show that much restraint, but I’m broke yo. They’re all unused and in their factory folds.

The Butterick pattern is the oldest. It’s from the 1950’s, but I can’t find an exact date on it. I want to make the little bra top and shorts to ride my bike around Sauvie Island. I’m imagining it in a yellow seersucker. I’ll look like Annette Funicello. Adorable!

These three are from the 60’s. The swing coat is from 1962. I love the cover illustration, but I don’t have any immediate plans to make this up.  The long gown is from 1966, I love the strap detailing on the back of view 1 with the bow. The tent dress (Simplicity 7310) is from 1967 and I’m thinking this might need to be my birthday dress. I’m picturing it in a midnight blue with sparkles and my hair piled high on my head.  It’ll be an homage to what Betty wore in the episode of Mad Men when they went to Rome.

These three are from the 70’s  and I love the silhouettes on all of them. The wrap coat looks so cozy and warm. I love the hair on the girl wearing the white coat. I might have to get my hair cut like that soon. I like the ruffles on the yellow version of the McCall’s dress. It looks like an easy to wear casual dress. I adore the third pattern. I like the 2 mini dresses on the lower left corner. I’m not sure if I’m going to make the version that ties at the neck or the mandarin collar. Eek, so many possibilities!

The last pattern is a romper from 1967. Now that I’m looking at it again it’s my least favorite. My mind might change about it when it’s crazy hot again outside. I’ll revisit it again in the summer.

Now I’m off to read the instructions on all of these and lovingly stroke them (that’s what she said!).

Current Projects and a little Thrifting

Last night I decided to make my mister a tie to match my holiday cocktail dress. I used the free pattern available as a PDF from the Purl Bee. You can get a copy here, if you’re so inclined: http://www.purlbee.com/fathers-day-ties.

It came out super stiff and really short. If I were to make it again, I’d add several inches to the middle. I do love how skinny it is. We’re going to look straight out of Mad Men. If only I could convince him to wear a pair of vanity horn rimmed glasses. I still have enough of this fabric to possibly make a clutch purse. Do you think that is too matchy-matchy?

This was the first time he's "successfully" tied a tie.

Today, I went over to my friend Sofia’s and we had a sewing party. I helped her make some little aprons for her nieces and I was able to cut out my next project. I HATE CUTTING! It’s so boring. I was able to get over my fear of the rotary cutter, that does help speed things along.

I’m making Mr. F this sweet 70’s western shirt out of this super cozy plaid flannel. I’m making view B, with the rodeo announcer yoke. I think I’m really going to enjoy using vintage patterns, because they are usually cut (have I mentioned how boring I think cutting is?).


I told him I was going to make him a shirt for his birthday (in September) which I never got around to. I really need to get this done before we leave for Christmas vacation. It’ll be the most badass Christmas shirt ever!

In other news, I went to one of the thrift stores near my house and scored 4 yards of this 60″ wide upholstery fabric. It’s camel colored and will soon become a cape. I’ve been lusting over capes recently. Today I saw someone wearing one and she looked so chic. That will be me. I also have 16 holiday napkins which I plan on upcycling into the most obnoxious Christmas skirt an ugly-sweater-party has ever seen. I’m stoked.

I also found a picture of a beaver.