Thursday, February 25, 2016

Merry Hull - 1940's Fashion Accessories - Free Pattern

 1940's Merry Hull Fashion Forward Accessories

Merry Hull is best remembered for inventing a modified gusset for the fingers and thumb in women's gloves. It was revolutionary and allowed the hand and fingers to move with ease.

She was also instrumental in creating what we now take for granted.... matching accessories. This 1940's Merry Hull pattern, first appeared in This Week magazine as a mail order pattern. It is reproduced for you here to recreate the bolero, handbag/muff, belt and hat. Download here.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

1960's Crocheted Bikini and Cover Up Pattern - Free Download

1967 Crocheted Beachwear Pattern

Spring break is fast approaching. This 1960's crocheted bikini and cover up will be as fashionable and hip as it was in the era of Gidget and Surfside 6. Download and get working on this easy to follow pattern in three sizes.

Monday, December 14, 2015

DIY Hostess Gifts - Quick and Easy Coasters

Are struggling to find an appropriate gift within your budget for someone special? Or perhaps you are determined to have your holiday gifts handmade to convey how much you care about that special someone? With a few 5" x 5" squares of fabric you can mix and match your way to making these awesome little mug mats.

They can be dignified and uniform or mismatched and whimsical. Either way, with very little sewing, these can be whipped up in an hour or two. Tied with a bow or tucked into a gift bag with coffee beans or tea, they make a thoughtful hostess gift that's a bit more creative than the usual bottle of wine. 

With leftover scraps, simply follow this ever so easy tutorial from SoChick! The Blog

We found the tutorial for these Boxy Bags from SoChick! featured in our last DIY Gifts to Make post.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Boxy Bags - Quick DIY Spa Bags for Guys or Gals

Gifts made from your hands are the best and will be the most cherished of gifts. These easy to sew toiletries bags make the perfect spa bag for her or shaving bag for him. 

They make great use of fabric scraps or remnants with brightly colored contrast zippers and tabs for variety. Pretty floral patterns for the girl's bags and rugged camo or denim fabric for the boys.

This year I had 35 on my list so the assembly line was employed to make quick work of the job. I filled the Spa bags with my hand crocheted wash cloths, scented soaps, bath salts an aromatherapy candle and herb tea bags. The guys bags were filled with shaving stuff and hand knit wool socks. The possibilities are limitless. 

And so easy to wrap! Just tie a ribbon around the bag and you are good to go!

Find the tutorial to make these wonderful little bags at SoChick blog. Her visual tutorial is so easy to follow you will be a pro after the first try.

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Humble Applique - Using Scraps for an Elegant Embellishment

 I found this little crop top years ago in a thrift shop. Being an admirer of all varieties of textiles this little top with it's applique figures was most intriguing. This Chinese or Japanese embellished cotton fabric is probably from the 1940's or 1950's. Though piecing and applique have been used in some of the earliest textiles, this particular form was a popular post WWII technique.

 The figures and their clothing are cut-outs and appear to be attached with no more than tiny stitches all around the edges with embroidered details.

The thread pony-tails are a particularly delightful embellishment. 

The figures are engaged in butterfly catching and enticing a cat to play with a ball and string. When I examined it closely it appeared to be re-purposed from something else.

These delightful little children lighting firecrackers and catching butterflies were found on a tablecloth available on ebay. Perhaps a tablecloth is the origin of my red crop top?

Available on Etsy

Available on Etsy

These two vintage tablecloths are another example of the  fine art of applique and embroidery and are available on Etsy.

Simplicity, as well as the other major pattern companies and Mail Order sources as well, printed transfer patterns to help form more uniform shapes. The pansy motif in this very well used 1946 Simplicity pattern was very popular and you can find examples of these motifs on vintage linens of that time period in antique shops or even your grandmother's attic.

This exquisite example of pansies in applique and embroidery is a sleeve to carry ladies hankies. 

But there are no rules when it comes to applique. These ladies hankies with very modern looking motifs are from the 1920's and 1930's. Simple color blocks are used to create wonderful accents. And what an amazingly economical embellishment.

But don't underestimate the creative potential of applique. The delicate hankie, a blouse or apron is no less a ready canvas as the iconic "Poodle Skirt". Whatever you choose, explore the possibilities and make your mark.