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Inspiration

  • Inspiration

    Fabric Finds: Silk Butterflies

    I recently acquired the gorgeous vintage dress, which appears to be handmade (looks like the early 1940s?). There are many reasons I love this dress, but first among them is the beautiful, bright, silky butterfly fabric. Excuse the wrinkles, it had just had a bath. So now I’m a bit obsessed with butterfly fabrics, especially …

  • Inspiration

    Vintage velvet pin cushions

    I recently picked up a really pretty vintage pale blue velvet pin cushion with a base of scrolling brass vines (not pictured here). That has set me off looking for pretty velvet pin cushion. There’s so much that can be done with the design of pin cushions, yet everyone seems to have the same little …

  • Inspiration

    Fabric finds: Vintage modernist botanic print

    One of the fun things about buying vintage fabric is that the sellers often have stories to go with them. This gorgeous modernist botanic print, in a light rayon-nylon blend, was purchased in Paris to make curtains for an art studio. It’s so fresh and pretty. There’s enough yardage to make a blouse or skirt …

  • Inspiration

    Vintage Details: Fabric covered buckles

    Back in the day, dresses often came with matching belts covered in the same fabric. What’s more, home dressmakers could buy kits for making their own belts to match every dress they sewed. When I first started sewing, these buckles were available in most fabric stores. Unfortunately, this old fashioned touch has fallen out of …

  • Inspiration

    Women’s Wear of the 1930s

    I want to introduce you to one of the most amazing sewing books I own, Women’s Wear of the 1930’s by Ruth S. Countryman and Elizabeth Weis Hopper. The late 1930s and early 1940s is, by far, my favorite era of fashion. I love the soft femininity of the 30s and the simplicity and sleekness …

  • Inspiration

    Fabric Finds: Find fabrics by color at More Cloth!

    Ok, this is pretty amazing. At least it is if you are like me, both addicted to fabric and addicted to Etsy. Catherine of More Cloth has created an index of fabrics available on Etsy, sorted by color! Catherine says on her blog that it’s far from comprehensive since there are so many wonderful fabrics …

  • Inspiration

    Modern Seamster

    Have you guys seen the online magazine Modern Seamster yet? It’s a wonderful new digital magazine for the sewing enthusiast, and there’s a little story by yours truly in the latest issue, a free download!

  • Inspiration

    Haberdashery: an intricate butterfly

    I am in love with this huge, intricate, handmade butterfly applique. It’s a full 8″ by 6″ of black felt, and I think it would so amazing on a simple white or cream skirt. Only $7 from etsy seller kutz.

  • Inspiration

    Urban Weeds

    I really love street fashion. It all started when I was maybe 16 or 17 and first discovered the Japanese magazine Cutie. It’s filled with page after page of adorable girls on the street in quirky styles and I would go back and to my old issues for years when I was looking for inspiration. …

  • Inspiration

    Fabric Finds: Drafting

    Wow, another incredible Japanese fabric from chokichokifabric, this time with images of drafting! Something about this reminds me of the Eames’ workshop, and that just makes me happy.

  • Inspiration

    Haberdashery: Red, white, and blue

    There is something just so crisp and summery about red, white, and blue. This set seems like a pretty rare find, a gorgeous vintage belt buckle and matching buttons. Wouldn’t it look so amazing on a crisp white or navy summer dress?

  • Inspiration

    Fabric Finds: Sewing Machines

    This Japanese sewing machine fabric from chokchokifabric is pretty awesome. I really like its 50s retro flavor. It would make a great sewing tote or sewing apron, or just a super awesome dress or skirt.

  • Inspiration

    Photos from Crafty Wonderland

    Crafty Wonderland was a lot of fun yesterday, and it was lovely to meet some of you nice blog readers! I did a little bit of crafting for the show, as I’d never done one before! To show the prices, I made these tiny silk and cotton pin cushions, and little flags with pearl head …

  • Inspiration

    Patterned Bias Tape

    Bias binding is neat stuff. You can use it to finish sleeves and necklines, make easy waistbands, use it instead of a narrow facing, or in place of a hem. It can add a real dash of color and/or pattern to solid colored garments. If you want a really beautiful finish for the inside of …

  • Inspiration

    Vintage Details: Daisy applique

    I am lucky enough to own this very pretty vintage Nelly Don dress (the pictures are from the seller). I really love the way the embroidered vine snakes down the side of the dress, and the pretty little daisy appliques stick out a bit. It would be a really lovely way to embellish a simple …

  • Inspiration

    Fabric Finds: Swing novelty print rayon!

    This novelty print rayon is pretty amazing. The seller says it’s from the 80s, but I think it’s not a bad repro, and it’s rayon too! I think it would make the most adorable 1940s style silky blouse.

  • Inspiration

    Saying Hello with Buttons

    Look at this counter sign. It is made from individually glued buttons! The maker is Jo, who has a fabulously obsessive blog called Button Candy. She’s my new hero, I think.

  • Inspiration

    Singer Manual Silhouettes

    I am loving these illustrations from old Singer sewing manuals, again from the lovely rhiannonmars. I especially like the last one: Success. That’s always my favorite part. ;) I’d like to imagine that I always look this poised when sewing. In reality, I’m usually wearing pajamas, have a mouthful of pins (I know, awful), and …

  • Inspiration

    Haberdashery: Vintage Needle Books

    I love old needle books, and there are some great ones available on etsy right now. Doesn’t this sewing club look sinister somehow? They seem to me to be scheming. The insides are often just as pretty. I think these would look great just framed in a sewing room, the graphics are so pretty and …

  • Inspiration

    Fabric Finds: Gorgeous summer prints on silk!

    I actually gasped when I saw this amazing print over at Thai Silks. First of all, the colors! Red and pale aqua is one of my absolute favorite color combinations, and these shades are just perfectly vibrant. And those adorable ladies in their bathing caps! The whole thing is so graphic and simple, it actually …

  • Inspiration

    Adorable Belts

    Check out these ideas for making belts, from Good Needlework, 1935, courtesy of rhiannonmars. The first belt is made with dog collars (!), the second is knitted, the third with upholstery braid, and the fourth with silver cord. For the full instructions, view the image on flickr and click “all sizes.”