Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Workbasket Wednesday Junior: Make a Chick and An Egg Race

Today's Workbasket Wednesday is a Junior edition and just in time for Easter a chick to make and an egg race game. 


Monday, April 14, 2014

Easter Sewing: For the Boys

I love little collared shirts for little boys!
So far I've completed the shirts I had planned on making my boys for Easter. Yes, they're matching, but since they are ages 3 and 1 and will likely never let me do this for much longer, I'm going for it while I can still get pictures of such cuteness.

I also used two patterns that would totally fit in for Sew for Victory, so whenever I get the time and take the effort, I'll be posting them there, too.

Simplicity 2049 in a size 4 for the 3 year old son.
These shirts were oh so easy and quick to make that I already have plans for a few more possibly matching shirts for my boys. I didn't really alter anything, except for leaving out some of the topstitching, and I like how they don't look modern nor do they look vintage. It's amazing how styles for boys don't really change as much as girls do.
Advance 5881 in size 2 for the 18 month old son. 
I also have barely enough material to possibly squeeze out a matching shirt for my husband, but I'm not sure whether or not I'll have the time or bravery. Something about sewing clothes for my husband terrifies me.
Side by side, won't they be cute?

I've also started sewing on my daughter's Easter dress, which also happens to come from a 1940s pattern, so yay for Sew for Victory! And I have my Easter/Sew for Victory dress cut out and it will be coming up for sewing next.

Plaids almost line up completely. *Sigh*
Now whether I get all of these things sewn up before Easter is another question, but since I've got until April 30th to finish up for Sew for Victory I'm hopeful I will at least meet that deadline. I think sometimes I do better with a deadline for finishing things.

Until then, I'll be sewing, sewing, sewing, and then sewing some more in a mad dash to finish everything by Easter Sunday without making crazy-in-a-hurry mistakes along the way! *Scream!*

In some ways I'm amazed at how I do under pressure with crazy deadlines, but during the insanity, I'm just stressed about finishing on time.

Are you more productive with a deadline or do they just stress you out? 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Blue Skies And Teardrops

Blue skies and teardrops got me down,
As the weeks draw in the wind keeps blowing 'round and 'round.

The title for this post is taken from one of my favorite songs from my teenage years. The version I particularly loved was by Lynn Morris. The weather we've had lately definitely reminds me of this, but I would replace "teardrops" with raindrops, as that would be more accurate for our weather. 

However, today was at the very least sunny with blue skies by the afternoon, even though the cold wind blew right through me at times. I think I'm really starting to get spring fever now.

I took the opportunity of going to church to wear a new spring hat I'd purchased off of eBay. It's a light golden straw beret with a velvet green bow in the back. I used a fairly substantial hat pin, but it was still prone to slide off my head, which reminds me that I need to learn how to better secure a hat with a hat pin. Right now I'm kind of willy nilly about the whole thing and am hit or miss as to effectiveness.

Outfit Details:
Hat-vintage purchase off eBay
Earrings-purchased from an Etsy seller that makes vintage inspired jewelry made to order.
Blouse-Maternity top purchased at Burlington Coat Factory two pregnancies ago
Skirt-Made by me and seen before here
Brooch-vintage dogwood blossom brooch from the Haggle Shop
Sweater-Old Navy purchase about five years ago
Shoes-Brown suede pumps I've had for years

I am officially halfway through this pregnancy and long for it to hurry along a little faster, and yet am nervous and feeling a little daunted at the prospect of being a mother of four. (That still sounds crazy to me!)For one thing, it makes me feel really old to know that I have four kids, and yet I wouldn't have it any other way.

My middy is also growing out, which is good and bad. Good, because I like the thought of having longer hair again. Bad, because I'm entering that netherworld of growing out a haircut, sort of a twilight zone where every day is an iffy hair day. So, I suppose I will need to start experimenting again with what will work now. I just don't like how my pin curl sets have been turning out, but then it could have a lot to do with the fact that no matter how it looked initially, it will look different after walking the four feet from my house to the car. *Sigh*

Do you have any tips for growing out a cut? 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Workbasket Wednesday: Molding Candles & A Tatted Cross

 Today's Workbasket Wednesday is an article interviewing a housewife named Mrs. Gilbert Brown who handmade beautifully intricate molded candles to sell and a bonus tatting pattern to make a small cross bookmark.

I do understand the plea of feminists from the 1950s for women to be more than a mere housewife, especially as a modern day stay at home mom. After all, it's not exactly the most respected or praised role for a women in today's world. But I think there have been a lot of things lost through some people's radical refusal of all things domestic. 

I once asked my mother why her generation didn't pass on many of the homemaking, sewing, baking, knitting, and basic crafting skills that seemed so prevalent with their mothers generation. My mom knew many of these skills learned from her mother, but didn't really teach me anything I didn't specifically ask her to or pursue for myself. I did learn much more than many of my friends and peers, but still look at my own mother in awe at the beautiful things she can create from seemingly nothing. Her explanation as to why the baby boomer kids didn't pass on what they had learned was that they expected to be professionals and for their daughters to be as well and that they didn't need such knowledge to pursue a career. 

Unfortunately, I have a friend that when she moved out on her own didn't even know how to clean her own toilet or literally boil water. I'm not saying everyone has to be a housewife or even a stay at home mom, but we have lost a lot of skills by assuming that all women have to have a career outside of their homes and they don't need to know anything save what their career requires.  Seriously, male or female, everyone needs to know basic cleaning and cooking, and my sons will learn these as well as my daughter. 

I read about someone like Mrs. Brown and see how free she was to pursue her art and craft. Many women I know would love the opportunity to leave their outside jobs and pursue a creative passion like this. Sure, she was a housewife, too, but that doesn't equate drudgery or slavery(I've found that has a lot more to do with who your husband is and how you use your time), and the freedom to have such a creative outlet and the ability to pursue it is way more than many of us who have worked for large corporations can boast. After all, when she succeeded, she directly benefited from the success. When I worked for a large corporation, the main beneficiary was the corporation itself, and I didn't see the direct results of it. Not to mention when I left, I had nothing to show for it save the experience itself. 

Just an opinion, but I think true feminism is allowing women the freedom and choice to pursue what they love without neglecting responsibilities (i.e. if you have kids, you will have to be responsible for them, regardless of your career choice). I think in some ways our modern society has forced the idea of a woman's working outside the home as the only responsible and logical choice to the point that women are pressured into that lifestyle regardless of their true desires. Is that any different than women being forced into marriage as a career 80 years ago without any other really desirable options?

Sorry for the soapbox, lol. It could just be the pregnancy hormones talking, but take it for what it is, an opinion. ;)

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Flower Garden Maternity Dress

This maternity dress was sewn from a vintage 1950s maternity dress pattern and again it's just so incredibly comfortable to wear! Seriously, why does modern maternity have to be so bland, and I assure you the waistbands on pants or skirts are NEVER in the right place for comfort. This is my fourth pregnancy and I can tell you that everything is always either too high, ending up in the middle of the bump, or too low, pushing on the bottom of your uterus. Meanwhile, all vintage maternity is either a super high waist (above the bump) or free flowing, so the ultimate in comfort. They also keep all your curves a little more under cover, which is also comforting to me. I've never been a fan of the my t-shirt is so tight that you can see the complete outline of my weirdly stretched out belly button, or worse my popped completely out protruding belly button look.

The dress has a button placket down the entire center front of the dress, and like much maternity from the 1950s is shown worn either belted or loose and flowing. For obvious reasons, I always belt it. This time I wore a skinny green belt I got from Hannah Jane Boutique when they were having a crazy awesome sale on all their belts. Oh, and this dress has pockets! And our newly three year old boy decided to pop in for a few of the pictures.

I wore some vintage bakelite bangles and vintage green sunburst earrings. I realize I wear a lot of the same accessories, but that's because I actually have a limited amount of accessories. In some ways I figure that gives me more of a connection with the everyday women of the past who had to make do with whatever accessories they had with all their clothes. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with having more accessories, I just don't, and I thoroughly enjoy getting to see others enviable  collections of vintage accessories online. 

I've also included a couple shots of a pin curl set now that my middy is growing out some. I just realized that all of the outfit posts I have done for a while have has my hair unset in them, although I have set my hair, I just didn't take outfit pictures with it. There are some drawbacks to letting my middy grow out and one is that the hair is getting a little heavy to hold some of the pin curl sets that used to work so easily. I won't say the temptation to maintain the length hasn't caused me to almost get a trim, but I really like having longer hair, and I miss things like ponytails and buns for when I'm exercising or just plain hot. I simply hate having hair on my neck all the time, too. But don't worry, I'm super fickle about my hair, and will undoubtedly cut it short again in the coming year or two. 

Please excuse some of the messy counter view and things like art easel and handvac and bananas.
I just couldn't bear to cut out this little guy from the picture. 
 My photobomber showed up a lot today, but I wanted to share a belly shot as I am 20 weeks in this picture which means I'm halfway through this pregnancy!!! Bring on August already!

One thing I really admire about the style of women in the past is the fact that motherhood was embraced, but personal style and appearance were expected to remain. My grandmothers both changed clothes before they went out anywhere and would change back as soon as they got home usually. This kept their nice clothes looking nice and ensured they looked put together and "respectable" when out in public. This is something that I'm trying to adopt for myself, and I'm hopeful that after this baby I can get back to sewing and collecting a very practical vintage wardrobe that includes the fancies, but also things I can wear around the house and clean in. Sure, I still go out in a modern t-shirt and jeans sometimes, but my vintage is a work in progress and I'm moving towards my goal of a complete vintage wardrobe, one item at a time. And honestly, I think it's more fun that way, because I get to enjoy and savor every piece I purchase or sew.

What's something you enjoy about collecting/wearing vintage styles?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Art Nouveau Maternity Maxi Dres

I don't know why, but when pregnant, I have a real affinity for late 1960s and 1970s maternity styles, giant collars and all. This maxi dress is super comfy and especially in later pregnancy is essential for covering up any swelling in your legs or ankles. 

I chose a vivid printed cotton from M'Liss a few years ago and I love how it's swirls and natural motifs remind me of art nouveau designs, which I love.

I purchased this pattern at a local charity thrift store for about 10 cents. A great deal, but it was missing the facing for the back of the neck and the collar. I think it turned out okay, but it was hard to get the collar to lay right and if you flip it up, you can look like The Count from Sesame Street.

 It was raining and a little cool when I wore this, but I didn't care too much, because it's what I felt like wearing that day. Do you ever feel like that?

I paired it with an old jean jacket, a couple bangles, and some vintage green clip on earrings.

Outfit Details:
Dress-Made by me from vintage 1970s maternity sewing pattern
Jean jacket- I've had for about twelve years, so I've no idea where I got it
Bracelets- One is a vintage green bakelite and the other is a cheap fake I bought years ago
Earrings - vintage purchased from eBay.

I think I could get away with wearing this after the baby is born, but I probably won't even try it. I know that since I have been pregnant fairly regularly in the last few years (sons born in 2011 and 2012 and now), I'm not in a hurry to look remotely like I'm wearing maternity clothes if I'm not pregnant.  The first think I want to do when I have any waist at all again is to define it.

Wearing your regular jackets with maternity clothes, I think does give you a little more definition of some kind of shape, even though you can't button them. So, that's something I will commonly do and this time around this jean jacket is getting a lot of wear. It's like I have pregnancy cravings for certain clothes.
The Mister giving baby belly a kiss <3
I so want to get busy with sewing up Easter clothes, but have only cut out one of the boys shirts so far. I'm hoping I'll have more to show on that front fairly soon. Until then I plan on taking some pictures of some dresses I've sewn up for my daughter and some vintage pajamas I made for my oldest son's 3rd birthday.

Do you go through "cravings" in your wardrobe where certain pieces are more appealing at certain times?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Workbasket Wednesday: Crocheted Basket

Today's Workbasket Wednesday is for making a crocheted basket.

I've never crocheted anything like this, as most of my crochet experience has been limited to hats, scarves, afgans/blankets, and simple motifs, but my mom assures me I would be capable of such crocheting feats. I keep saying we'll see if I ever finish one of the sweaters I keep starting, lol.

But in all seriousness, I think this would be a really cute Easter gift for someone. Sure, maybe you don't give out gifts for Easter, but I think it would cheer anyone up at any time of year. And if you gave them flowers or some treats in the basket, I think it would be nice to have the basket as a gift for when the flowers die or the treats have been eaten.

I hope you make it with more confidence than I. Enjoy!