Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Flour Sack Towels

My Nona (grandmother) told me once that the best dishtowels she has ever owned are the ones that my Bis Nona (great grandmother) gave her as a wedding gift.  They are hand-made out of old flour sacks, cut up and embroidered around the edges.  Flour-sack towels are perfect for drying dishes as they are super-absorbent.  

Ever since Nona told me about her towels, I have searched everywhere for old flour sacks.  You can find them online, but as they are very trendy right now the prices are through-the-roof.  Well, I stumbled upon this HUGE flour sack at an antique store yesterday for only $20!  It's actually 4 flour sacks sewn together. 

So this afternoon I washed it:

Then I ripped the seams:

And then I cut each sack into 4 squares to make 16 towels:

Next step:  Press, baste & embroider! 

I'm so excited! :D

Sunday, May 17, 2009


You can find this one here

And this one here

So the lovely satin I bought yesterday and this pattern I posted from the 80's up on my ebay the other day have gotten me in the side-swoop-with-a-bow mood.   Delightful!  (isn't that French pattern stunning?)  By the way, have you ever noticed some of the fashion parrelells between the 40's and the 80's?  Things that make you go hm....

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Buttons, buttons, who's got the buttons?

I do!!!

So I swung by a few rummage/yard sales today and just look what I found:
TWO jars FULL of old buttons and belt buckles!!!!!!  

Be still, my beating heart.

About 4 yards of absolutely STUNNING vintage hunter-green satin...for $5.00!  (can you see a fantastic 50's style wiggle dress with a side gathered skirt, vee back and a big bow on the hip???)

AND a copy of one of my favorite books by Oswald Chambers to give to a friend. :D

Right now Sylvie, Esme, Eli, John (my younger siblings) & I are sorting all of the buttons by color.  Fun fun!  Eli (5) is very serious about sorting out the colors exactly right, while John (3) just wants to dump them all together and mix them up when we're not looking.  Little boys crack me up.   (For some reason this picture keeps loading sideways.  Oh well, you get the picture.)

So all in all, this was a very  fun day.  :D  I hope yours was as well!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fantastic 30's Fashion

So I finally sat down and put together this A-MAZING blouse by DuBarry.  Why did I wait so long?  I was missing out on some major summer cuteness! 

                                    Pardon the sweatpants...                                     

                                 Little appliqued flower.....added this as an afterthought.  Aw!

The fabric is just an inexpensive gingham from JoAnn.  Here is the pattern I used: 

I'm working on another blouse from this same pattern.  I had actually begun that one first, but sewed the "underarm flounce" on backwards and had to put it aside for awhile to save my sanity (I couldn't face ripping all of those stitches out of the delicate chiffon I chose.  Ah!).  SO, I'll come back to that one later. 

You know what I love about this pattern?  The possibilities are endless!  You could make this up in many different fabrics and colors and it would still look darling.  Also, it is easily incorporated into the modern wardrobe.  I wore this shirt today with some jeans, gladiators, and a vintage silver belt.  Looked great!

By the way, have I ever mentioned how much I love DuBarry patterns?  Aren't they fab?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Dress For Jenny

Today I finished this lovely little sundress for my sister Jenny:

I used a New Look pattern from the late 40's:

And THIS repro feedsack print cotton from Reproductionfabrics.com.  

I am so happy with the fabric.  It is from Windham Fabrics' "Feedsack V" collection, excellent quality cotton and very reasonably priced at reproductionfabrics.com! 

I am also very happy with the finished product, and so is Jennifer.  The dress is just darling!  I love the back kick pleat, the faux button look (it has a side zipper) and the contrasting scallops on the upper bodice.  It's just darling!  

Next I am going to make a dress for my sister Skylar.  She also chose a Feedsack V print (this one), but we are going to use a bohemian-style sundress pattern from the 70's.   Hooray for sundresses!  

Hair Woes

 Quite frankly, I am undergoing a serious case of hair envy.  

It's really very vain of me.  I mean, I have great hair --- it's healthy and a nice color and all that --- but I reeeealy wish I could make it do this: 

(the lovely Judy Garland)
Trust me, I have tried pincurling, hot irons, rag curls, massive amounts of hairspray and/or gel, but my hair simply will not hold a curl!  How would I have survived in the 40's?  There really must be some trick.  I am determined to find it out and have a wonderful 40's 'do.

Such a silly think to worry about, isn't it?  In the scheme of life, who really cares what your hair looks like for crying out loud?  

Have a fantastic Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

1950's Wrap Blouse...LOVE IT!

So I put together this fantastic summer blouse over the weekend using an old simplicity pattern from 1953 and this beautiful cotton fabric from Yuwa's "Live Life" collection.  The angle at which these pictures were taken is a little awkward (I was down the hill and my sister, the photographer, was up the hill) but I think you can get the basic feel of the blouse.  

  So far my favorite thing about this design is the shape of the front panels.  Instead of coming down diagonally in a straight line, the fronts are a bit "L" shaped, to accomodate for a woman's natural shape.  I have a wrap dress from Gap that drives me crazy sometimes (though I do love it) because the fronts cross over and get bunched up beneath my chest.  Not very flattering.  

Anway, I must log off and go to work.  Sigh.  Tis' life.  Have a glorious day!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Next Dress Project

                                                                  The Fabric (@ Purl Soho here)

                                                        The Dress (basically) (thank you Boden )

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Look what I found!!!

I followed a trail of yard sale signs today on a whim and here is what I ended up with:

                                                                 (sorry, fuzzy picture)

It's an antique Singer sewing machine that dates back to the early 1920's (between '21 and '23).  The greatest thing about it is that it still works perfectly!  The power cords are in great shape (this is an  early electric machine).  Even the little light turns on.  It came with the original case and everything.  Needless to say, I am quite excited about my find and can't wait to give it a spin tomorrow!  

I was looking around on ebay for pictures of other old Singer machines and found a store that sells reproduction manuals for these machines for $6.95.  *Put that on the list of things to buy...*

Thank you Lord for the glorious rain today!  I truly did not think I could survive another day of humid, pollen-infested air.  My poor face was itching and watering and running in all sorts of inconvenient places.  Now the rain has paid us a visit and washed away the crummy pollen for a few days relief.  Hallelujah!

Well, 'tis late and I must to bed.  

Friday, May 1, 2009

Best Dress Ever. I mean it.

This adorably wonderful dress was finished about a month ago.   I cannot say enough about this dress.  I LOVE IT!!!

Why I love this dress:
~It sports two amazing, roomy, convenient pockets (which I lined with a cheery red kona cotton)
~The front pleats are cute and flattering
~It is very comfortable and fits like a dream
~Can be worn with or without a belt
~I can wear my boots with it
~The sleeves have an underarm lining that
 I find particularly cute and nifty
~The pattern dates back to the mid-forties---my favorite time period (as far as fashions go)

The picture was taken in Texas in early April at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Texas Baptist Men's disaster relief program.   Here we are standing with some cowboys from the Cowboy Church ministry.  L-R:  a cowboy's wife, my uncle Bob Dixon (one of the founders of the Texas Baptist Men), cowboy, my Aunt Jean Dixon, my brother Ben, Me, my sister Sarah 

I made this dress up in a pinstriped linen-look fabric with embroidered white flower bunches scattered allover.  Linen-look fabrics are just about the best thing since sliced bread---the beautiful, light-weight, organic look of linen fabric without the horrid wrinkles!  Yes, please!

It is difficult to see the details of this dress in the above photo.  I'll try and take some close-ups soon. :)