Category Archives: sewing

Sew-Along Challenge: Your Help

(No, you didn’t miss any of the posts that I promised were forthcoming. I’m just skipping around. Consider this a bonus post.)

And we shall call this blouse, Dot.
Matches the pleated wool skirt perfectly, yes?

Once upon a time, I bought a vintage blouse that is a very flattering cut but which is damaged-beyond-wear. That is to say, the seams are all intact, but the fabric itself is starting to fall apart. However the price was right (probably just a few dollars, I don’t exactly recall) and I planned to deconstruct the blouse and make myself a pattern. Planned.

Fast-forward a couple of years and I’ve once again tipped over the overflowing box of patterns that is not yet listed in Winkorama’s live inventory. I stack the patterns back up and on top of the pile now sits Butterick 5074, dating to 1949.

Hmmm, Butterick 5074. It sure does look an awful lot like the blouse I’ve been meaning to deconstruct. I could leave the vintage blouse alone, and use this pattern instead. Easier!

Naaahhh, the old blouse is already at the end of its life. It would be nice to let it be useful one last time. I’ll sell the pattern as planned…oh, but maybe I can have a one-on-one sew-along with the buyer of the pattern!

Naaahhh, that means finding the right customer for the pattern and who wants to play along. Okay, okay, what if I deconstruct my old blouse, and post the pattern online as part of an anyone-can-play sew along! Which means that the bulk of this challenge is in getting me to finally deconstruct the blouse. So I need YOU, my dear readers, to inspire (i.e., pester) me to continue with this plan.

Butterick 5074, ©1949

Since they are so similar, here are the blouse details for Butterick 5074: “This surplice blouse fits snugly into the midriff. It sweeps across the front to the shirring at the side. Cropped kimono sleeves. A ‘Quick and Easy’ blouse for suits. With complementary skirt, a perfect background outfit.”

What’s a “background outfit”? Anyone?

What I do know is that either blouse would be nice for warmer weather and also work well for layering under cardigans or jackets. While both are excellent patterns for novices, I think the Dot Blouse (as the vintage blouse shall now be known) might be even easier to sew because A. there is less gathering to fuss with and B. the true wrap style makes for a more forgiving fit. The end result isn’t as tailored, but that’s the trade for less effort. Another nice feature of the Dot Blouse is the short “tail” along the back, which lets you tuck the back side of the blouse in to a skirt or trousers. No surprising breezes!

So, for those of you who want to sew along because you’d like to add a classic staple to your wardrobe, or who want to learn to sew with a pattern more versatile than an A-line skirt (yawn), please comment below and give me some encouragement! The hardest part of this sew-along will be on my shoulders; deconstructing the blouse and drafting a new pattern. The pattern is simple, but drafting is something I rarely do and I’m sure to goof it up a time or two before I’m ready to have you guys join in. This means that we won’t start until after the first of the new year, when time is more plentiful. If you simply must sew up a blouse for a Christmas dinner or New Year’s Eve party, you can buy Butterick 5074 here (while it lasts).

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Public Service Announcement: Why don’t I simply copy and post the Butterick pattern for this sew along? Just because a pattern is old, does not mean it’s out of copyright. Copyrights can be renewed, thus protecting the copyright for 95 years from the original publication date (provided the original publication date is 1923 or later), and believe me, companies like Butterick aren’t going let their patterns go into Public Domain if they can help it. You can not (legally) sell or otherwise make available copies of their patterns. Some pattern companies have more lenient rules about the sharing of their intellectual property, but Butterick isn’t one of them.

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Filed under collections, fashion, sew-along, sewing, vintage

Future Past, Tense

I’ve been Way Too Hella Busy To Blog for a while. Still am, really. But I feel bad for neglecting Shoes & Pie, and you, my dear readers! Rather than catch you up with one painfully long post covering an unrelated variety of subjects, I’m going to try to break it into bite-sized chunks that I’ll post as the week progresses. In no particular order (as I’m writing this as much as a reminder/outline for myself as I’m writing a Table of Contents for you), I’ll try to cover:

  • WABAC Wednesday vintage recipe: Applesauce Meatballs and Easy Rice Ring (1949)
  • Kitchen Pr0n: Yes, it’s possible that I added more stuff to the Shoes & Pie Test Kitchen
  • Vintage Food Propaganda/Ephemera (scans)
  • How To: Shop An Estate Sale (subtitle: Myths, Truths, and Don’t Be That Person)
  • Crafts ’n’ shizz. Oh man, do I have so many crafts (sewing, painting, drawing, assembling) lined up, and not enough time!

So until next time (this afternoon? tomorrow?), see ya!

EDITED TO ADD: Oh right, I should write a post about what has now been dubbed Holy Shit Pie, as in, “Holy shit, this pie is good!” Which was the actual text I received when I packed a slice in the boyfriend’s lunch one day.

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Filed under advertising, collections, day job, food, Is it safe to remove the gas masks?, kitchen, life-threatening clutter, packaging, pet peeves, sewing, shopping, vintage

Christmas (if you’re crafty)

Christmas is in the air! Too soon? Too soon. But, if you’re the crafty type, you’re gathering ideas and materials for making gifts and decorations with a personal touch. Coming tomorrow to the Winkorama storefront will be these (and more) vintage crafting magazines, dating from 1962 to 1978. There’s noooo Christmas like oooold Christmas like noooo Christmas I knooooow… ::jazz hands::

I’m trying out the Gallery feature for this post, so you’ll have to click each image to see the complete (and large!) view. Please let me know in the comments below if you like, hate, or are indifferent about seeing the photos this way. Thanks!

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Filed under collections, holidays, jewelry, life-threatening clutter, nostalgia, sewing, vintage

Sewing Lesson: Drawstring Pouch

I’d mentioned in Monday’s post that I have recently purchased a, um, personal care device that allows us chicks to…well, in the words of the manufacturer, to “go in style.” Let’s get to the point: it allows me to pee while standing, and dressed. If you’ve ever gone camping, on a long road trip, or spent an entire weekend at a drag strip, you’ve wished you had one of these. I’ve practiced with it twice now, and I can see how this could be very handy. However, it’s a bit bulky to carry around and doesn’t fit into any pocket.* What’s a lady to do? A crafty lady sews up her own custom waterproof pouch from materials she already has on hand!

First: gathering supplies. I have a scrap a monster fabric left from a previous project (::waves hello to Daniel::), a slightly torn, clear vinyl shower curtain, a short shoelace, and a tiny carabiner that fell off one of my reusable shopping sacks (see note at conclusion). I’m pretty sure I can whip up a drawstring bag!

Step one: measure the zip-top bag in which the device is packaged. Step two: cut fabric and vinyl to size, plus a little extra for seam allowance. My fabric scrap is long and narrow, so I left it folded on the bottom and cut the vinyl to match. One less seam to sew! Step three: pin in place, right sides together. NOTE: I’ve found an old spaghetti strap, removed from a dress, to use as a loop to which I can later attach the carabiner. It’s pinned into place, and will become part of a side seam.

It stitches up on the machine pretty well. This vinyl is more slick than upholstery vinyl, and doesn’t stick to the throat plate but does need some manual assistance to help it feed. Okay, next step: I need to sew a channel for the drawstring. While the pouch is still inside-out, I fold over about ¾” of fabric and hand-sew it into place.

Now to turn it right-side-out and use my seam ripper to open a few stitches in the new channel area, along a side seam. I use a bodkin to help push the shoelace through, but you can use a safety pin attached to one end of the string and feel your way through the channel.

Hey look, the pStyle will fit!

I did have to run to JoAnn to buy the cord stop ($2.79 for 2) so while I was there, I priced out tiny carabiners. If you want to make your own clippy pouch and don’t conveniently have a carabiner around, they’re sold in the Kids Crafts department in packs; $4.99 for 8 assorted “fun” shapes. If you find yourself shopping at JoAnn with any regularity, I advise you to download their mobile app (Android, iPhone, iPad) so that you always have a coupon handy. I saved 50% on the cord stops, bringing the price of this project down to $1.40!

Yes, I could have taken a few extra steps to make a nicer finish on the drawstring cord channel. But you know what? It’s a pouch for something I pee into. I’d rather spend that time talking to a friend, or reading a few pages in a book. Priorities: check them. ;)

*There are a few competing devices made from more flexible materials which fold and/or roll up to fit in a pocket, but I chose this one for myself after reading reviews of every brand I could find. It was a very close race, this one happened to win for me. Your choice might be different.

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Monday Rounderp

The Whip, Lakeside Amusement Park, 2012

I’m going to try something new here, and will list out the things that I plan to write about this week. This will both force me to actually have a plan, and encourage me to stick to it. In addition, you can choose in advance which days to skip. But you’d never skip a day of ShoesAndPie, would you? NO OF COURSE YOU WOULD NOT. Right? Right?

Now, while this means that some Mondays could conceivably be as simple as a To-Do list, we all know how I run at the mouth…erm, keyboard. And Mondays invariably occur after Saturdays and Sundays, during which I don’t write posts, so there’s bound to be something to write about which happened over the weekend. Maybe.

WEEKEND IN REVIEW

After a few false starts this season, I finally got an evening in at our local Lakeside Amusement Park. Woody’s own tagline for the park is, “Where The Fear Is Real.” This once-stunning amusement complex still has a unique beauty, but I’ll readily admit that I avoided it for more than a decade after moving to Colorado because the entire place looks as though it will fall down any minute. My first visit wasn’t until the 2010 season, and I now try to make it at least a once-annual adventure. If you follow my Instagram feed (If you don’t use Instagram, you can view my feed via that link. Hover over a photo to read its caption.), you’ll see that the rest of this week’s daily #signporn posts will all be from Lakeside.

My mom bought me a coffin. I bought her an urn. (Long story.)

Also a weekend thing: my mom brought over this little coffin and so far the only use for it I’ve found is as a not-very-convenient case for my eyeglasses. Any ideas?

Plymouth Fury fender badge, 1965–67

Another weekend thing: A Plymouth Fury emblem that I ordered arrived, and now I need to figure out how to attach it to my currently favorite vintage (leatherette) handbag. I’m guessing that I’ll have to trim, if not outright remove, the original mounting posts. But of course I hate to make a permanent change like that if there’s another way! Do any of you have experience with this?

Okay, on with the week’s schedule!

MONDAY: You’re soaking in it.

TUESDAY: I acquired another small stack of vintage cookbooks over the weekend (thanks, mom!), including a Royal (baking powder) cook booklet from 1937. While skimming it, mom found a dubious recipe that seems to be custom-tailored for the ShoesAndPie Test Kitchen. Let’s try it!

WEDNESDAY: I now spend a few weekends every summer camping at dusty, dirty, noisy, primarily-male-dominated drag strips. There is nothing in that sentence that inspires thoughts of clean, well-lit, convenient bathrooms, amirite? After discussing the problem with A Friend Who Knows About These Things, and much reading of reviews, I wound up buying myself a device called a pStyle. My lone (so far) test has gone well, and I’m sure I’ll, um, “get better” with practice. However, carrying this item on my person at a race track will hardly be discrete. It’s not as though I tote my purse around with me, and it sticks out about 4 inches from even my roomiest cargo pockets. But lo! I am Creative! And I plan to sew up a cute little drawstring pouch that I can clip on to whatever I’m wearing and most people will probably assume it’s a sack for sunglasses. Let’s see how it goes!

THURSDAY: Let’s keep the creative juices flowing and see if I can’t make a replica of an unaffordable (for me) vintage necklace from new supplies found at a craft store.

FRIDAY: Kitchen p0rn! A look at some of the newest (and some merely new-to-me) acquisitions in the ShoesAndPie Test Kitchen.

Poodles and polka-dots!

ALL WEEK: I hope, I really really hope, to have enough time to get a whole stack of vintage aprons steamed, photographed, and listed at Tiddleywink Vintage in between all of the cookbooks that I’ve been listing. Keep your eyes peeled!

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Filed under amusement parks, camping, collections, family, food, kitchen, life-threatening clutter, sewing, vintage