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

Gidget Playsuit Completed

I finished my 50’s playsuit ya’ll!!! Just in the nick of time too, summer finally *really* hit the Pacific Northwest. It was 100 degrees today (gross), my poor French Bulldog is breathing so heavily.

I’ve had the shorts done for a while but the top had me stumped. To recap this was made from vintage Butterick 8197 from the mid 1950’s. My pattern was for a vintage size 16 and was too bodacious up top, not to mention pointy. I made 5 different muslins (honestly not that much time due to how small of these pieces are). I was definitely winging it. I made a sort of awkward SBA, and decided that it was close enough. Mostly I just shrank the darts.

This is the same green and cream seersucker and lime colored bemberg lining used on the shorts. I had to remove the snaps I had used on the waist band and get over my fear of my buttonholer attachment. These cute floral buttons were in my growing thrifted button stash.

If you’re new to this blog, I recently went from a big-box modern Singer machine to a 35 year-old Kenmore. Elsa (that’s what I named the Kenmore) and I are getting to know each other and I was feeling a little bit intimidated by setting up the buttonholer. I was so used to the automatic 4 step buttonhole the Singer did. I don’t know what I was so afraid of. It makes beautiful tight stitches and took hardly any extra time to set up. I made a little sampler of all of the available buttonholes and sizes so that I can quickly gauge which size will accommodate my chosen button.

I think I’ll wear this tomorrow when I look for a lake to escape the heat.

xx, Cynthia

50’s Shorts and a New Tattoo

This is part one of, hopefully, two posts detailing vintageButterick 8197   (available at the Blue Gardenia if you’d like your own copy). I picked up this pattern for $2 and squeeled, I was so excited about the bra top and high waisted shorts. This screams Annette Funicello or Doris Day at the beach to me. The shorts were easy and fast to make. The bra top is a little more tricky. While not difficult to sew, I’m having a hard time getting the cups to fit right. I need to do a SBA to remove some excess pointiness, and honestly I’m starting to lose interest.

I used some green and cream seersucker I found at Joann’s. I fully lined these shorts with some lime green rayon bemberg. I did this for modesty reasons, not because the instructions called for it. These look so pretty on the inside, just like RTW. I inserted an invisible zipper and closed the tab with some pearl snaps. I still haven’t figured out how to use the buttonholer on my new/ old machine.

I love the fit and style of these shorts! I feel like a vintage pin-up in them 🙂 Hopefully, I’ll get the top made before summer is over. I’ve got the Macaron sew-along on the brain, and also need to sew up a birthday prezzie for my little sis.

Now, I’m sure you’ve noticed a new decoration on my collarbone. On Monday I went to Oddball Studios and had three spools of thread and a sewing needle tattooed. They’re my favorite colors and adorable. I’d like to get a tomato pin cushion and thimble on the other side if I can work up the nerve.

Yikes, I still can’t believe I actually did it. I’m quite smitten with the results and have become a vain creeper. All I want to do is look at it in the mirror.



Somebody Loves Me!


My husband went away for the weekend, to go surfing, and came back with this vintage lovely for me. I saw this machine  and cabinet a few weeks ago in a little sewing and vacuum repair shop in Newport, OR and fell in lust. The guy that owned the shop was very knowledgable and talked with us for a quite a bit. I even dropped my serger off to him to get serviced since I haven’t been able to use it yet.


I’ve been wanting to upgrade to a solid workhorse and I think this fits the bill. This machine is all metal, and has just the stitches I need. The machine was barely used and all of the accesseries and owner’s manuals were included. The buttonholer is even still in plastic.


The cabinet is great as well! I can drop my machine all the way down and use it as a table top for cutting fabric. The machine can also sit even with the desktop for an extra large work surface. It also can sit above the cabinet so I can use the free arm. Every drawer includes thread holders. I’m so stoked!

This makes up for the fact that tweakers stole the front wheel off of my bicycle last night. I had to figure out how to get me and my significantly less portable bike home last night at 1 AM. Anyways, I’m going to go play with my machine now 🙂

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!

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!).