Thursday, February 24, 2011

Vintage Pattern Finds

1950's pattern - I would love to sew up the little bolero.

Oh my!  I have not been doing much blogging - mostly that's because I haven't been making a lot of progress in any of my sewing or knitting projects.  My attention was also diverted by trying to win some fantastic patterns on eBay.  Unfortunately I was not as aggressive or ambitious as some and missed out on two patterns that I would have loved to have (Seriously though - patterns going for $40?)

I was a little dumbfounded at the popularity of these two patterns that I was after.  (They were pattern magazines from the 1930's that included multiple patterns and the ability to make them in multiple sizes).  The few ventures I had previously had on eBay maybe involved one or two bids in addition to mine, although I have often been the only bidder on some of the patterns that I really wanted.

However, being aggressively outbid on some of the recent desires of my heart, I decided to check out a thrift shop where there would be no competition (and no shipping charges!).  The first one I went to didn't have much of anything - I even asked an employee if they had sewing patterns and I was informed that they don't really get those kind of donations.  So onto the next store.  This one was an antique thrift shop, I felt my odds would be a little better here.  

When I approached an employee about sewing patterns, I was handed a small stack while another employee went to grab the "box from the back."  A whole box, there must be hope that I can find something.

While most of the patterns in the box were from the 70's I did find two patterns from the1950's and one from the 1960's.  The best part, he only charged me $0.50 a piece!  What a great deal.  The patterns are a little small for me, but there is some potential and I would love to find some time to sew these up.

I'm not sure I will make the entire dress, but I would like to try using the bodice piece to make a blouse. 
a 1960's pattern that I think would make a nice shift dress for work.
Any ideas for what you would do with these patterns?  How do you make vintage sewing fit into a modern world?

Live the moment, love life!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I’d Like to use a Lifeline . . .

Oh the pains of unraveling one’s work!  Recently as I was making significant progress and feeling really good about my vintage sweater – I noticed a mistake.  It was small enough that probably no one else would ever notice it; but to me it stood out like a ketchup stain.  I had knitted 10 rows in my pattern instead of 9 before switching to purling. 

My heart sank to the bottom of my stomach and panic set in I can’t take out all of these stitches, it will take forever.  Really, we are talking sock yarn on size two needles, not to mention some complicated cris-cross detailing.  I began the process of slowing removing one stitch at a time . . . after a long time I could hardly see my progress.

I decided to put a lifeline in my knitting.  I know of several knitters from my knitting club who have put these in their lace projects.  The only problem is this is typically something that is put in as you work on your project – not once the mistake has already been made. 

What joy, it worked wonderfully!  I figured I would post a little how to, since my go to methods were starting the project over from the beginning (if it was a big mistake, or several rows back) and reverse knitting/taking stitches out one at a time (if there weren’t too many rows involved). 

So in case there are any knitters out there who have made a mistake or two ten rows ago, there is hope.  Aside from the pain of unraveling your work, this solution allows you to unravel quickly without having to worry about losing your stitches.

Tools needed:
·         Your project
·         Yarn needle
·         Spare yarn that has a larger gauge than the project you are working on.

Start out by threading the needle with the spare yarn.  Find the row before your mistake and thread the needle through each stitch.  Make sure you are picking up the stitches, rather than going in between them.  Remember to appropriately place stitch makers if your project calls for it.

Once you have made it all the way around (or across if your project is not in the round) pull your project off your knitting needles and begin unraveling.  After unraveling down to your lifeline, begin inserting the stitches back on your needles.

Now you can begin again, careful not to make the same mistake twice!

Once I had my project unraveled down to my lifeline, I decided this was a great opportunity to make sure that the sweater would fit!  I first checked it around my bustline, since there is not waist shaping, it is the same width at the bust and waist.
Yes, this picture was taken shortly before bed and those are my pajamas :)
Then I made sure it fit around my waist as well.

It's always good to know that your sweater will fit before you complete it.   I should have done this earlier, but I was lazy and couldn't find my yarn needle.  So the mistake was a good thing!
Yeah, good news the sweater fit :)

Live the moment, love life!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Swing Dress Muslin - Coming Along

I finally got around to making time to finish my muslin.  I can tell that there are a few areas that are going to need changes before cutting the fashion fabric.  Mostly decreasing the bust area a little and taking some off the length of the torso.

Yeah, it looks like a dress!

Here is a close up of the excess fabric in the bodice area:

So there is some work to be done, but overall I am happy with how this turned out and I am really looking forward to making the final dress.

I thought you might like to see why I was a little delinquent in getting my muslin finished:
Go Pac Go!
Live the moment, love life!

Friday, February 4, 2011

What I'm Working on

I thought it would be nice to share a little of my knitting progress.  Currently I'm working on a lovely 1950's sweater.  I found the pattern a while ago on Faded Splendour - and I am so glad I downloaded it because the website doesn't appear to be up any more.

Here is a picture of the original, it was knit in white with red accents.
I think that this pattern is so sweet and lovely, I can't wait to finish it.  However it uses a size 2 needle with sock yarn (which is typical of vintage patterns) so it will take me a while to finish.

My progress so far . . .

I have this sweater and my swing dress to finish by the end of this month so I can be ready to start to 1940's Briar Rose knit along with By Gum By Golly.

A close up of some of the detail.  I think that blocking will help bring out the cris-crosses.

No sure if I can do it all, but I am going to try!

Live the moment, love life!