Thursday, August 17, 2017

Things I Didn’t Buy 48

I thought these old slides were really interesting. They looked to be religious in nature—lots of buildings of churches.

I thought this round cutting board was awesome. Okay, I just like the packaging…but you can’t use the cutting board with the packaging still on it.

Cute Kellogg’s breakfast bowl. It looks more retro than it really is—it’s from 1995.

A Suzy Homemaker oven.

A Polaroid bag—cute but in poor condition.

And a wooden box with leather straps. This I considered buying. I love wood and I love boxes, and here it is—all in one! But I resisted…good for me! [Pat on back.]

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Thrifted for $5.98

For $5.48, I got a few items. First up, this H&M black and white top. I actually recall seeing this top in the store and thinking that the pattern was interesting. But of course didn’t buy it because buying full-price for clothing is something I rarely do. It does need some mending; the button for the back closure is missing, and thread on one of the sleeves has come undone, but these are pretty easy fixes. I think the top might be a little large (but it’s hard to tell until I fix the button so I can close the neckline properly).

Next up, this Banana Republic green top. Truthfully, I’m not terribly excited about wearing the color green. But the top fit me and I thought it would work well with some skirts I have, so I decided to get it.

I also got two pieces of fabric. The navy is about a yard. The floral fabric…I didn’t try to count. It’s a lot—probably a bolt’s worth.

I also got two patterns for 25 cents a piece. I’ve been trying to cut down on buying sewing patterns (as I have too many), but I really liked these two. The first is this simple dress from 1972 that I thought would be easy to make.

The second pattern is a dress from the 1971 that I really like the cut of. I love the collar and the buttons down the front. Admittedly, this looks too complicated for me to make, but maybe one day…

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Things I Didn’t Buy 47

I liked these two prints by Margo Alexander. They were framed (and rather banged up), but the art was really pretty. Very 1950s. I liked the colors and the brush strokes.

A couple of Kentucky Tavern ads.

I like that this ad has this line at the bottom: There’s only one better buy in bonds…savings bonds!

An Old Dutch Cleanser ad from The Ladies’ Home Journal from 1924.

And a Pepsi ad from the 1950s. On your wedding day, choose Pepsi over champagne. Okay, the ad doesn’t say that, but it does want you to have a “light” refreshment with fewer calories. [Pause.] It’s my opinion that counting calories is the last people want to be doing at a wedding.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Things I Didn’t Buy 46

I love this 1950s dress. It would take a lot of fabric to make this dress—the skirt has a lot of pleats in it.

This 1950s dress is pretty cute.

I liked the full skirt on this 1950s skirt pattern.

These 1960s tops are nice and simple.

And I liked these 1960s tops as well.

Finally, this 1960s top, skirt and jacket are quite nice.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Bright Geometric Pullover Dress

I’ve made this pullover dress before—it was an easy dress to make and had wanted to make another one for quite some time. I finally got around to it. Since the pattern is so simple, I thought a more interesting fabric would be nice to use. For the bodice, I decided on using a bright geometric fabric that I got at a thrift store. For me, a little pattern goes a long way, so I picked a plain black crepe fabric I had in my fabric stash for the skirt portion to balance things out.

I didn’t run into any problems sewing the dress. But I’ll admit that I was too lazy to fix the seams where the pattern doesn’t meet itself properly. It was my intention to do it right, but I wasn’t paying too much attention when I was pinning the fabric together and sewing it. I realized my mistake after the fact, and truthfully didn’t care that much. I mean, how often are people looking at your side seams?

The one improvement I made was that I added pockets this time. The pattern doesn’t have pockets, so I took a pocket pattern piece from another dress and just added it in. It didn’t take too much extra time to do and was totally worth it.

Overall, I’m satisfied with the dress. I like the pop of color and interest the pattern brings—which is pretty vibrant in comparison to most of the clothes I wear. I also like the dress when I use a sash that I made some time ago (and is the same black crepe fabric as the skirt).

Thursday, July 13, 2017

DIY: Voodoo Doll Pincushion

I saw different voodoo doll pincushions online and thought it would fun to make my own. I made voodoo doll pincushions (and travel sewing kits) for Christmas gifts. 

  • Felt fabric (I used cream and black)
  • 2 buttons (I used different sizes)
  • Embroidery floss
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Pins
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Water soluble pencil/chalk
  • Stuffing


— 1 —
Sketch out desired voodoo doll shape on paper. Draw where the eyes and mouth will be. Draw the heart as well.

Note: I added about 0.25 extra space around my initial drawing of my voodoo doll—this was to compensate for the edge stitches on the outside of the doll that took about 0.25 inch. I initially didn’t do this, and I felt my doll looked too “thin.”

— 2 —
Cut out the paper doll. Also draw a heart and cut it out from the paper.

— 3 —
Cut two pieces of felt that is a little larger than the height and width of the paper doll.

— 4 —
Place the two pieces of felt on top of each. Pin the paper doll to the felt.

— 5 —
Cut around the paper doll. Remove pins and paper doll. If necessary, smooth any rough edges of the felt doll pieces.

— 6 —
On one of the felt doll pieces, mark where the eyes, mouth and heart will go. (Keep in mind the space the edge stitching will take up, so don’t get too close to the edge with anything.)

— 7 —
Sew the buttons to the doll. (I used the embroidery floss to add a pop of color.)

— 8 —
With the embroidery floss, sew the mouth. For the horizontal line, I made three stitches across, trying to keep my stitches close together so there was a minimal gap. Then I made about five vertical stitches across the horizontal line.

— 9 —
Using the paper heart as a template, cut out a felt heart. Then cut it in half in a zigzag line.

— 10 —
Place one heart piece on the doll piece and sew it. Repeat for the other half of the heart.

— 11 —
Pin the front and back felt doll pieces together. Use a blanket stitch to sew the two pieces together, leaving an opening of a couple of inches.

— 12 —
Stuff the doll.

— 13 —
Finish blanket stitching the opening. Voodoo Doll Pincushion complete.

This is the completed sewing gift I made. I sewed a simple drawstring bag to put the Travel Sewing Kit and Voodoo Pincushion into. I didn’t create directions for a bag here, as there are many places online to find instructions.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

DIY: Travel Sewing Kit

I decided to make sewing kits as Christmas presents this past year. I wanted to reuse Altoids tins I had for a small travel case.

  • Cotton fabric
  • Felt fabric
  • Steam-to-Steam
  • 3/8 inch ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Altoids tin


— 1 —
Cut a piece of felt that is the dimensions of the Altoids tin’s top. This should be about 3.75 inch length by 2.375 inch width. Round the corners to match.

— 2 —
Cut a piece of fabric that’s about an inch longer in length and width to the Altoids tin’s top—about 4.75 inch by 3.375 inch.

— 3 —
Cut a piece of Steam-to-Steam that is about 0.25 inch longer in length and width to the Altoids tins top—about 4 inch by 2.625 inch.

— 4 —
Using the directions of the Steam-to-Steam, adhere the felt piece to the wrong side of the fabric.

— 5 —
Cut the corners of the fabric.

— 6 —
Add glue to the fabric. Carefully fold over each fabric side to the felt. Add extra glue if necessary. Press gently. Let dry.

— 7 —
Add glue to top of Altoids tin. Adhere the fabric felt piece on top. Let dry.

— 8 —
Add glue around the outside of the tin lid.

— 9 —
Carefully place ribbon along the side of the tin lid (to cover where the fabric felt piece and the tin meet). Cut the ribbon when the ribbon overlaps. Add a little bit of glue to the overlapping ribbon. Let dry. Travel Sewing Tin complete.

To fill the tin with sewing supplies, I bought sewing supplies and divided them among the number of kits I was creating. This is for one kit.

  • 4 needles (different sizes)
  • 4 pins
  • 4 buttons (different sizes and colors)
  • 2 safety pins (different sizes)
  • Travel scissors
  • Thread (I used five colors: white, black, red, navy and gray)

  • Chipboard (Could use the back of the drawing pad, or food box packaging like cereal)
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Felt fabric 

— 1 —
Cut out of piece of chipboard that is 1.75 x 3 inch. On the long side, measure and mark at every 0.5 inch (there should be a total of 5 marks). Repeat on other side.

— 2 —
With scissors, cut little triangles out at each mark. I eyeballed this—they triangles are about 0.125 inch deep.

— 3 —
In the middle of the chipboard short end, cut about .0375 inch deep with scissors. Repeat on the other short end.

— 4 —
Wrap the thread around the chipboard, catching the thread between two triangle notches. I wrapped my thread around the chipboard about thirty times.

— 5 —
Then take the thread and put it through the slit on the short end of the chipboard. Cut thread. Repeat this process for the other thread colors.

Note: On the two bottom threads, I used the bottom slit to put the thread through.

— 6 —
Cut two pieces of felt fabric about 1.75 inch by 2.5 inch.

— 7 —
On the first piece of felt, slide four needles though.

— 8 —
On the second piece of felt, slid four pins through.

— 9 —
Put all components of the sewing kit inside the tin. Travel Sewing Kit complete.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Things I Didn’t Buy 45

This lamb is so adorable.

McDonald’s clown toy—not exactly sure who would want to play with this…

This Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head kit is just silly.

There’s nothing particularly interesting about this Pigmania game packaging. I just took a photo of it because I remember playing this game as a child.

This vintage Stratego game is awesome (and was in good condition). I like the packaging…but I just didn’t need it.