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Saturday, May 30, 2015

· 1950s Embroidered Sweater Tutorial ·

After posting about my Embroidered Sweater re-fashion last March, I got a request to share the vintage tutorial I used for my embroidery design.  Well, I may be a little slow in replying, but I have finally gotten around to it! ;-)

This "Learn How" book from 1952 came from my great-grandmother and is chock-full of wonderful projects and beginner advice for starting from scratch!

For only having 50 pages, this booklet covers everything from various types of Embroidery to Knitting, Crochet, and Tatting!  I recently came across an edition of this book from the 1940s, but neglected to purchase it- still a bit bummed about that...  It was fun to see how many of the projects were very similar, but styled so they were distinctly 1940s rather than 50s! :-)

At any rate, the whole book is charming, but our focus today is the "Embroidered Cardigan".

The pattern calls for blue, white, and orange embroidery on a rust sweater which sounds like a fun color combo!  However, the "china blue" suggestion seems like it would... clash a little.... with the rust.

As you can see from my version- this pattern lends itself nicely to V-necks as well! :-)

(I tried to make this photo extra-large when opened in a new tab, but let me know if you still have trouble reading it and I'll be happy to type all the instructions out :-))

For the ambitious (and knitting-gifted), in the Knitting section, the pattern for the cardigan is included as well as a pullover pattern!

I hope this helps inspire someone else to breath new life into a "plain Jane" sweater, and please drop me a line here so I can see your version!! :-)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

· Perfectly Parisian ·

If you've been following Kathryn's blog, you'll already know that she recently got back from a trip to France!  Yeah, I know.... I'm jealous too.

At any rate, I get to share fabulous pictures of the Eiffel Tower on here too, because she requested a new outfit for the trip! :-)

(For newcomers to the blog- we work on the barter system: she takes photos for my blog, in exchange I sew her clothing. :-)  Check out the "Kathryn" tag for other outfits I've made for her!)

This outfit was inspired by this 1950s Hallmark card and as you can see, it works just as smashingly for posing in front of the Eiffel Tower! ;-)

The red flared dirndl skirt (is flared dirndl an oxymoron?? I think it might be... ;-)) is made from a polished stretch poplin from JoAnns.  It has great body and looks really nice for skirts!  Since it wasn't really clear what the inspiration skirt was doing, I did box pleats like a different skirt Kathryn liked.

There is a pocket (of course!) on one side and the skirt closes with a side zipper.  Hand-picked, of course!  My favorite method for zipper sewing. :-)

It was kind of hard to tell what exactly the inspiration's collar was doing!  In all actuality, it might have just been defying all laws of physics and fabric manipulation... :-P  Instead of a direct recreation, Kathryn decided on a collar like my Fruit and Lemon dresses.  I combined a total of 3 patterns to get this blouse- Simplicity 3706 for the collar (with minor modifications), Simplicity 2154 for the body, and my own kimono-sleeve draft for the sleeve.

The blouse closes with pearl buttons.  The original inspiration has gold dots, but JoAnns only sells silver, so a gold dotty blouse will have to be another addition to her wardrobe at a later date. ;-)

All in all, it is a rather perfectly Parisian sort of outfit! :-)

Thanks for having such great taste that makes it so fun to sew for you, Kathryn!!

· Photos by Kathryn and her mom! ·

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

· Pink 1770s Round Gown ·

Well, it's been far too long without an installment in the 18th c. category, don't you agree??

About 7 years ago, I made this pink linen/cotton round gown.  It's been well-loved since then, and it's a fun one to change up with accessories!

This dress was an early creation, but it's benefited from several updates over the years.  After a few years, I decided to dress it up a bit with self-fabric trim and I'm SO glad I did.  I was ready to call it "quits" with this dress, but that renewed my love for it. :-)

The dress went through another stage of almost-neglect, until I discovered how much I loved it when paired with my ruffly apron and silk sash. :-)

Pink is one of my favorite colors (although it's been strikingly lacking of late!), so I'm glad I could restore this one to the "love" pile. :-)

American Duchess "Kensington" shoes, embroidered clocked stockings from Colonial Williamsburg.

It is funny how you notice things more in pictures- I feel like these sleeves really need to be lengthened, so I guess that will be an update before the next wearing!  Also, I think I really need a new shift with shorter sleeves. :-P

En fourreau pleats are so fun, but shockingly this is my only garment to have them!
The en fourreau pleats release into the skirt, while the rest of the skirt is pleated into the waist seam.

I used JP Ryan's pattern for this one- pretty much without alterations, I think!

Pleated trim and ruffles around the sleeve edges.

My miniature is a favorite, and I've almost discovered a way to keep it from flipping to the wrong side all. day. long!

Almost. ;-P

· Photos by Kathryn ·

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

· Literary Ball! ·

Back in February, our family decided to host a ball of our own!  We've been attending quite a lot over the past couple years, and it seemed like high time to host some festivities for everyone else!

Years ago, we hosted a few "Twelfth Night" parties and requested everyone to dress as a literary character.  It was always great fun, and worked well for large groups!  We don't know tons of people who have extensive historical wardrobes, so have a non-era-specific theme allows for everyone to have something already in their closet that's appropriate. :-)

We were able to rent a local historic building for the dance, and it was so charming inside and out!
We'll definitely have to host another event here! :-)

We asked everyone to bring a copy of the book they were representing- we had a group of 70, and had everything from Shakespeare to E.B. White to Charles Dickens to modern fantasy authors!  It was so fun to see the creativity and vast variety!

My sister came as Alice in Wonderland, 1930s style.  She already had a dress in the perfect shade of blue and the striped stockings- it was just too perfect to pass up!

We danced a variety of English and Scottish Country Dances through the evening that reference classic literature- "Alice", "Great Expectations", "Once Upon a Time", "Felicity", etc. 

After coming as various historical characters over the years, I felt like it was time to break out of the expected and embrace my more quirky side. ;-)

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type has been a family favorite for years, and somehow it just seemed like a great option!  Apparently, cow fabric is a Hobby Lobby standby, so it seemed like it was meant to be.  I took the opportunity to make a fauxlero (faux bolero) dress like I've been wanting for years, and it ended up being a very easy design to draft on my own!

The dress went together so well and it will end up being handy for "Dress Like a Cow Day" at Chick-fil-A and, you know... all those other reasons I'll want to (literally) look like a cow...

I happened upon a cow bell at Hobby Lobby the week before the ball, and it seemed like the perfect touch!  Well, it was.  Except for the fact that alllll through the bouncy Scottish Country Dancing, I was, ahem, clanging rather loudly.

I must say, for someone who doesn't like to be the center of attention, I have quite a propensity for picking rather loud (sometimes literally...) and attention-grabbing outfits.

Kathryn and I- the Farmyard Girls!

Which is hilarious, considering we aren't really the farm-y type....  Kathryn wore her gingham dress and came as Fern Arable from Charlotte's Web

OK, so I feel a bit bad about posting another picture of just me.... but is my blog, and I was having such a great hair day!! ;-)

My friend Susan (on the left) has been a dear friend for years, and I just have to point out her wonderful dress!  She came as Agnes Wakefield from David Copperfield and made a wonderful 1840s gown.  She inspires me with all she's able to accomplish, and her ambition to tackle big, crazy things I would be too scared by!

We had guests from 5 different states, and it was so wonderful to catch up with so many of them! :-)

· Photos by Brandon and Kathryn- thank you both for taking time out of the evening to capture it so well! ·

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

· Hats, hats, hats! ·

First off, thank you all so, so much for your interest and advice for last week's post!  It was a favorite post of mine before I published it, but I'm so humbled and encouraged at the response it got. :-)  You are all the best readers ever!!

Now, onto the latest!

With my mom, my sister, and I all wearing vintage hats every single day, we understandably have built up quite a... ahem, sizeable collection!  But really, given the fact that we have over one thousand opportunities a year to wear hats, we really don't have all that many.


All that being said, our collection is out-growing the space we can allot to it.  So, this means news for you!  I'm trying to sell off all the little-used, wrong-sized hats we have.  Some of these are the wrong size, are an unflattering style for our heads, are colors that don't suit us, or just aren't our style.  We positively adore hats, and this is the perfect opportunity to make sure they continue being loved by someone!  I'd be so happy to know the hats went to appreciative owners! :-)

These hats range from the 30s to modern, and there is a lot of variety!  I have 33 listed here, so brace yourself for a long post!

Most of these hats are in good condition- I've noted any issues in each description.
All hats are $5 each.
Truly- spring cleaning fever has hit hard, and I'd like to move these out as quickly as possible, while passing them on to someone more appreciative than Goodwill. :-)

Shipping costs dependent on location and package size. (I do international shipping, too!)  Payment through PayPal.

Contact me through modedelis(at)gmail(dot)com to reserve any of these!  Once your payment has cleared, I'll remove the photos from this post and ship out your hats ASAP. :-)  Hats will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.

With your email, please include:
-Number and Title of hats desired
-Email address used for PayPal so I can send you an invoice
-Shipping address

Edited to add- the hats are now ALL sold!  Thanks everyone for your interest!


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