Thursday, November 29, 2007

Advent calendar!

Advent calendar

I finished this advent calendar a few days ago. I've been working on it in semi-secret for a few weeks now.

The background is cream cotton (plain and a small calico print.) The tree is various soft green fabrics (a velveteen, some babycord, flannel) I had in the stash of scraps, I quilted the background and the trees using my sewing machine.

The pockets are random red fabrics that I embellished with the days of the month. Some are embroidered, others are beaded. There are some with sequins.

The ornaments are made of felt. I tried to make them Christmasy but not snowy (because I've always disliked the idea that Christmas = snow because I grew up in and currently live where it does not snow at Christmas.) There are no snowmen! boo!

I am missing two ornaments in this pic. There's a tree in my sewing room and something else is missing but I don't know what! Maybe I'll make a little dog or cat to go with the mouse/rat.

check out my flickr for more pics (very high res versions so you can see the ornaments.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Don't sew so much

Don't sew so much
Originally uploaded by vespabelle

My daughter wrote me this note last night after two frustrating attempts at making her some pants. I finally figured it out late last night! And I made her some knit pants (the wovens were not happening!) that she actually likes!

She likes them! yay!

They're a cheapo grey heathered muslin so we might dye them or just use them as PJ pants.

Don't sew so much

Don't sew so much
Originally uploaded by vespabelle
Sewing has caused a rift between my daughter and I! Of course, she got over it and is now happy about the pants I finally made for her after three frustrating attempts yesterday. (the attempts that caused my cranky, hungry child to write me this love letter.)


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Goth Bride

Originally uploaded by vespabelle
I made Greta a "Goth Bride" outfit for Christmas this year. Basically it's a long white dress! I used a vintage pattern and made it floor length and added a godet because the skirt wasn't too puffy and I thought it needed some walking room.
The sleeves and skirt of the dress are made from an eyelet I used this summer to make a shirt (that I still haven't put buttons on!) The eyelet fabric had scalloped selvedges so I used that as the bottom: NO HEMMING! ha ha The bodice is a terrible white satin (fray fray fray!)

I used some old white shirts to make some leggings and a top to wear underneath. Greta ended up leaving the house wrapped in a piece of red fleece. Hopefully she'll be warm enough!

I made the veil using some swiss dot from my stash (sadly, not enough of this to do much of anything, so it was sacrificed for the cause!)

Friday, October 19, 2007

what's going on

I'm not seeing my flickr pics. hmm, must investigate.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

1943 dress

Originally uploaded by vespabelle
Here's the 1943 dress I made to wear to Chris's wedding this weekend. (still need to make a hotel reservation!)

I found the PERFECT hat at an estate sale on Saturday. $14 (which is more than I usually pay, but I figured it was okay since I also bought an armload of patterns for $.25 each. I also bought some Vogue knitting mags which have sold pretty well on ebay which also helps justify the price of the hat.

I need a haircut though. The hat does not work with hair this long.

My review is up on

I entered it into the vintage sewing contest but there's no way I'm coming close to winning. There are some really gorgeous couture dresses!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

vintage sewing contest

vintage sewing contest
Originally uploaded by vespabelle
I finished the first item in the Vintage Sewing contest at Pattern Review.

This is a late 1950s/early 1960s (it's hard to date since this style didn't change much) dress by Simplicity. It's a pretty basic style. I really like the way this pattern went together. I didn't have the instructions, so I used the ones for another similar (Butterick) pattern.

Greta is 7, yet she fits just fine into a size 4. I lengthened the hem by 2 inches. I like the higher waist on this (so different than her usual pants around her hips look.)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Tissue Fitting Simplicity 4949

I did a tissue fitting of my vintage pattern. (I tissue fit it on me, but that's a photo I do not want posted on the internet!)

I added some room to the top using the slash and spread method but I think I added to much. I took off a bunch when I made my muslin (which I will not post since it's quite ugly fabric)

I really need to learn not to add so much when doing a FBA. I've got big boobs, but I also like less ease than many patterns call for! I added a bit to the sides, but took that out too since it seemed to flair out on the sides too much.

Theres's a recommendation in a sewing text I have that has a technique for chaning the shape of the skirt so that the crossgrain isn't straight across your hips, which causes that outward flair. I don't know if I dare do it on my fashion fabric or not? I may make a small 1/2 adjustment.

Pattern for Vintage Sewing Contest

I've decided to enter the vintage sewing contest at Pattern Review. This is one of the dresses I've decided to make.

I'm also going to make a basic dress for Greta using a vintage pattern I have. I have to figure out how to make a crinoline so she gets that super poofy vintage look! I think I'll just wing the slip/crinolinefor her

My plans also include making a purse and a slip (my fabric is a sheer rayon) and I might attempt to make a hat using instructions from the book It's Fun to Make A Hat (love that title!)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Cutting out for my SWAP

Two days ago, I cut out the eyelet for my princess seamed top. And Last night I layed out my printed eyelet for my dress. (I have enough fabric! yay!) I want to sew them at the same time since they're both cream.

However, I can not find the thread I bought recently! I big spool of cream and a regular spool of olive green. I'm sure they're floating around somewhere in my house!

adding to my Threads collection

I scored 10 late 80s-early 90s issues of Threads at an estate sale last weekend. The knitting and weaving (and basketry!) articles don't do much for me, but the sewing tips (despite the now-dated fashions and makeup!) are still great.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

This is my first project in my SWAP:

Vogue 9614


The fabric is a cream floral eyelet.

Sewing With A Plan

I've entered the SWAP contest at

Here's my storyboard for the SWAP (aka Sewing with a Plan) at Pattern Review.

After working on the storyboard. I made several changes. (I'll try to update my storyboard as well.)

1) The green dress will be something different (a vintage patttern from my stash) This vintage green gingham is too cool to use on a newish dress.)

2) The green knit will become a cowl neck sleeveless top

3) The cream eyelet will be made into a princess seamed top.

4) I'm not going to make the olive green wrap top. I need to figure out something else for that one!

The pants, jacket, skirt out of denim remain the same. I think I'll still make the floral eyelet dress (although, I wonder, will I really wear it? I don't know how I feel about a light colored dress.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Defunct Airlines skirt

Originally uploaded by vespabelle.

I found this funky fabric at SCRAP. I didn't have enough to make the whole skirt out of it, so I used it for the front and back panels only.

Maybe having a white seat area on a skirt is a bad idea?

Most of the airlines on this fabric (copyright 1973) are defunct such as Eastern, Western, Pan Am, and Ozarks.

There are a few more pics on my flickr.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

delicious cords

Originally uploaded by vespabelle.

Some cute cordoroy fabric I bought a few months ago. Plus some calicos and a cute rayon print.

I love baby-wale cord!

party banner

I've seen several versions of similar banners on different blogs lately, so I thought I'd post mine.


I was inspired by a banner that a local kids store was selling. I liked the banner, but not the price: $45!

This one cost me close to nothing since it's mostly made from scraps and bias tape from an estate sale. So, my total cost was less than $5 (and I think I'm being conservative.

I first made a template of a triangle.

Then I folded my fabric and placed the short side of the triangle on the folded edge.

I cut out the triangle using pinking shears.

I cut out letters from felt and sewed them on one side of the triangle pennants.

Then I sewed the triangles over the bias tape. (I think twill tape or ribbon would work a bit better.)

Nothing comes between me and my Calvins!


Here's Greta looking crabby in her new Calvin Klein jeans! I finished these a few days ago.


The pattern is a bit different than most kids patterns in terms of size. There's 4 inches difference between the waist and the hips (for this size 5, the it was a 19" waist and 23" hips!) Frankly, I don't know any kindergarteners who have waists that much smaller than their hips.

At first, I made the waist too small (too tight elastic) and had to let out the elastic on the back yolk. (You can't see it in the picture here because my model was being uncooperative.)


The changes I made:
Lengthened the legs a bit
Added a little tab on the back.
Used a rivit/button instead of a sewn on button.

What I did wrong:
The back pockets are not even. I think you can see it in the back view but it's not so noticible considering she's in constant motion!
I put put the buttonhole on the waistband too high. It worked out, but doesn't look so great.

I think they're pretty good looking jeans. I plan to make these again in some of the soft baby-wale cord I got at an estate sale in December.