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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

· Patterns for Sale, Also, My 100th Post! ·

We have a burgeoning collection of patterns, and the time has come to clean out!  I put up over 40 listings on eBay this week, and I wanted to give you all a heads-up.

Historically accurate, costumes, vintage, and more- there's something for everyone! :-)

Prices are competitive, and many are rare out of print patterns.  If you do end up purchasing any, drop me a note to say you're a blog reader- I'd love to hear from you! :-)

Oh, and in other news...... Today is a momentous day- this is my 100th post!  Wow.  In person, I am a woman of rather few words, so I never thought I would have 100 things to talk about.  But, I guess when I get a captive, interested audience the time flies! ;-)

Thanks to everyone for following along so far- whether you've been here for all 100 posts, or just stopped by this week- I love hearing from each and every one of you! :-)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

· A Quintessentially 1930s Outfit for Kathryn ·

OK.  This outfit turned out to be absolutely fabulous!!

For our next installment in the "Decade Project", Kathryn, Tara, Gretel, and I needed 1930s outfits.  It took some convincing to get Kathryn and Tara onboard, but it was eventually successful!  Of course, then we haven't actually all been in the same place at the same time to have our party. :-P

In the meantime, Kathryn has a fun 1930s outfit to wear. :-)

She wasn't too sure about 30s styles last year when I started her outfit, so she chose a sweater and skirt to ease into the style.

(As for her other dresses, I make her fun clothes in exchange for the fabulous photographs she takes for this blog- such a great deal!!)

I was confident in my fabulous sweater re-fashioning skills, and confident to take on anything!
After this sweater, I think I'll be a bit more cautious next time. ;-)

Everything worked out well in the end, but a word to the wise- don't choose bulky cotton knits, if at all possible.  The waist seam was almost a disaster, but I found that stitching elastic to the seam after serging it helps keep the knit in place, looking good, and still stretchy enough to pull over the shoulders!

The skirt is based on one from a 30s ad- a basic skirt pattern (the 1980s had lots of wonderful 30s-appropriate skirt patterns!) was dressed up with some seaming details to keep the 1930s aesthetic.

It was Kathryn's first time doing finger waves, and I think it turned out charmingly! :-)  She is so, so suited to this decade!!  It's almost not fair.

Oh well.  I'll just live vicariously.

The V-neck sweater was dressed up with a rayon fabric detail.  Amazing how such a simple change makes such a huge difference!  

She's now reconciled to the 1930s and is eager for more.  I'm glad. :-D

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

· Pi Day Party! ·

Did anyone else have festivities for Pi Day last Saturday?  Math and science (particularly chemistry) were my very favorite subjects in high school and since my Dad is an engineer, our family takes lots of opportunities to have nerdy math fun. :-)

As you all probably heard last week, March 14th (3/14) is officially acknowledged as Pi Day.  Pi is the mathematical constant for the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter.  The number is infinite, but is commonly abbreviated to 3.14159.  Our family has celebrated Pi Day for years, but since this year (3/14/15) is as close to "Ultimate Pi Day" as we'll ever get in our lifetimes, it called for more than usual celebration. :-)

We had Chile Chicken Potato Pi(e), Apple Pi(e), and Chocoroon Pi(e) to celebrate the day.
Thankfully the day corresponded with a visit from Kathryn, so we have photogenic proof of our fun. :-D

This was the first time we tried this recipe, but it was a resounding success!!  Definite must-try!

An ultimate favorite pie of our family- Chocolate Macaroon Pie.  Soooo good.  And soooo easy. ;-)

Per request, here's the recipe!

Chocolate Macaroon Pie

3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 c. butter
3 eggs
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. vanilla

Heat oven to 350°. Coat a 9" pie plate w/ nonstick spray.  Melt chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over low heat.  Stir together rest of ingredients then add to chocolate mixture.  Pour into prepared pie plate.

2/3 c. sweetened condensed milk
2 2/3 c. coconut

Combine. Spoon over chocolate mixture, leaving a 1/2-1" border.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, until center is firm but still moist.  Cool completely before serving.

Enjoy! :-)

Apple pie!  We discovered earlier this year that Costco makes wonderful apple pies, so this seemed like a great excuse to get another. ;-)

This was one of those "Pinterest win" sorts of moments- I finally had an reason to do one of those banner things! :-D

We had a laid-back celebration with just the 5 of us, but we made sure to include plenty of bunting. ;-)  After all, what's a party without it?!

We had tons of bunting left over from my sister's graduation party last year, so it ended up being a very easy-to-prep party!

Around the circumference of the cake stand we made pennants with the first 15 digits of pi. :-D

A good time was had by all! :-)  We're already planning for next year!

· Photos by Kathryn ·

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Re-fashioning · Purple Wool Sweater

This sweater was a fun re-fashioning project this January!  I've been on a "sweater altering" kick over the last few years, and this cardigan was in dire need of a little attention and aesthetic help.

Poor thing.

I won't tell you how long this sweater has been waiting to be loved, but I'll just say that it was squarely in the "UFO" camp. (BTW, I still do intend to finish all of those!  Maybe this year....)

After taking it in considerably and shortening it, there still remained the problem of the shoulders.  There were really bad wrinkles emanating from them and after briefly considering taking up the shoulders I realized that my best bet was going to be adding shoulder pads.  Sigh.  Again with the shoulder pads!  I hope I don't regret this trend later.... :-/

I do think it helps quite a bit, though!

I'm not a big purple lover, so this sweater needed some serious cute help if it was ever going to become an active member of my wardrobe!  This embroidery design was detailed in a 1950s crafting book.

Buttonhole stitch, fern stitches, and sequins combined to make a charming pattern!  It was looking a little odd in the middle of the process, but the whole is very much better than the sum of the parts! ;-)

And my 1940s polka dot dress makes the perfect backdrop for this dress! :-)

This painted metal brooch is perfect for adding a spring-ish touch to even wooly sweaters. :-)

· Photos by Kathryn ·

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

· Stripes and Buttons 1930's Dress ·

This 1930s dress was a fun challenge!  It started out yeeeears ago as a piece of less-than-3 yards of cotton.  It's kind of a drab color, so it never clamored for sewing and thus was relegated to the further realms of the fabric stash.

Being less than 3 yards, every time I came up with an idea, it was too little to accomplish.

Eventually, I became fond of 1930s styles, and discovered how much I loved this stripe fabric (also from the stash), and how well they'd work together!

I was able to eke out a dress from the fabric, with only the barest scraps left over!  I used a Vintage Pattern Lending Library pattern and was very happy with it!

Bound buttonholes, because I need all the practice I can get!

This dress makes use of one of my favorite 1930s fashion themes- buttons!  And not just some buttons, LOTS of buttons!  Exactly zero of these buttons are actually necessary, and only two are functional ;-)

The sleeve detail was not originally in the pattern, but the sleeve flounces that were part of the design didn't seem very practical for an everyday dress.  This was my compromise.

Vintage 1980s shoes- gotta love the 80s for bringing back so many 1910s and 1930s styles!

I have to enjoy these shoes as much as possible in pictures, because they are juuuust on the verge of too small.  They really only like being worn for 5 minutes at a time. :-/

The openings for the neck drape are also bound- more practice!

This fabric is kind of funny- in most lights, it ranges from brown to olive.  However, it also registers as positively green in some lights!  Thankfully, I'm happy with all its incarnations!

· Photography by Kathryn ·

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