Category Archives: sewing

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.


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!


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

Household Hints (1944) AND VOTE FOR ME

EDIT: Just as I was about to publish this rather dry little post today, a text came through on my phone: “Are you aware that your website is listed as a contestant for Lulu’s Vintage people’s choice top 10 vintage clothing websites?” NO, NO I DID NOT. I realize that any ol’ person can write in any ol’ shop, but it is SUCH AN INCREDIBLE HONOR to know that one (or more) of my customers or colleagues submitted Tiddleywink for this annual competition! To be mingling with such fabulous company is just blowing my mind right now. And hey, yeah, vote for me! I do my best to find you pretty, affordable items, to research them thoroughly, and to list them with honesty and integrity. My shop is pretty terrific. :)

I now return you to today’s regularly scheduled programming.

Handy Hints from The Work Basket, Volume 9, No. 4 (January, 1944)

  • To prepare sour milk quickly for use in baking soda recipes use 1 1-3 [sic] tablespoons vinegar in a cup, adding the sweet milk until the combination of milk and vinegar equals the quantity of sour milk required. Mix well. The resulting sour milk will react with ½ teaspoon soda. It can be used in place of sour milk or buttermilk in any baking soda recipe.
  • When buying buckles or buttons to be used on wash dresses, don’t get the kinds that are glued on to the shanks. They will come off in laundering.
  • After towels have been wrung out of last rinse, fold them as you would to put away on shelves, then run them back through wringer. Unfold once and lay towel over line, with crease of fold running along the line. They dry straight and are ready to be put on shelves.
  • To avoid wrinkles in the legs of trousers caused by hanging across wire clothes hangers, cut a piece of fairly stiff cardboard two inches wide and two inches longer than the rack. Notch in one inch from each end and fit to rack. Trousers hung over this do not wrinkle even when left on for months.
  • To make sure fudge will reach its destination in a good creamy condition, pour the warm candy into the box which you have previously lined with waxed paper. Allow to harden without cutting. Seal the top with Scotch cellulose tape.
  • Cook liver first over high temperature to sear. This keeps in the juices. Then lower heat.
  • The flavor of an apple pie is greatly improved if the juice of half a lemon is squeezed over the apples after they have been placed on the lower crust.
  • Buttons which have been torn off children’s rompers or underclothing can be replaced by sewing the button securely to a small piece of strong tape. Push the button through the hole, leaving the new square on the wrong side of the garment. Fell this down to the garment beneath the button. Thus you are patching as well as sewing on the button.

Tomorrow: Christmas in July! A delightfully awful mid-century “glazed” ham that should never grace any holiday table. 


Filed under collections, food, Forgot To Tag, sewing, vintage

Prominent Designer Series: part 10

Ta-da! We’ve reached the 10th and final installment of this here Prominent Designer Series of vintage sewing pattern illustrations. Our final day brings us dresses designed by Alan Phillips, designer “for the well known house of Rembrandt,” and John Weitz, winner of the 1959 Designer of the Year award for his achievements in designing sportswear. Weitz also won the prestigious Coty Award in 1974. His men’s style book, Man in Charge: The Executive’s Guide to Grooming, Manners, and Travel, made bestseller lists the same year.

Alan Phillips M380 – Dress and jacket (1960)

John Weitz A723 – Easy to sew, drawstring waist dress

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series. Tune in next time, when we bring you, ah, something! There’s a delicious recipe in store for Monday. À bientôt!

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Filed under collections, fashion, sewing, vintage

Prominent Designer Series: part 9

We’re almost at the end of our Prominent Designer Series, folks! Just a few more vintage sewing pattern illustrations for you to admire, study, search for to add to your own collections. Showcased today are dresses by Harmay, Don Loper, and Mr. Mort. The only archival information I can find for today’s patterns is the original 1960 “advertorial” for the Mr. Mort pattern:

Mr. Mort’s Day-to-Dinner Success Is Crisp in Cotton, Gala in Silk
From Mr. Mort—favorite designer of America’s young fashionables—comes a gay, full-skirted dress that “takes” to almost any fabric. For a crisply-pretty sun style, sew it in handkerchief pique, dacron, cotton, or linen. For evening, choose gleaming silk or shantung.
Little straps join to a deeply scooped camisole that molds closely to your figure above a wide belt and whirling skirt. It’s truly a lighthearted, feminine, flattering style. And it’s so delightfully easy to sew that we suggest you make both a day and an evening version. If you wish, fill one of the pockets with a bouquet of daisies. Hurry, take out pen and paper—send for your Printed Pattern exclusively through this newspaper now!

Harmay A732 – Pretty sun or city costume

Don Loper M247 – Shapely sheath with flattering neckline

Mr. Mort A999 – Full-skirted style for day or evening

And, as always, click on each image to see it magnificated.

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Filed under advertising, collections, fashion, sewing, vintage

Prominent Designer Series: part 8

Omigourd, do you follow the Tiddleywink Vintage fan page? Did you read about my altercation last night with a persistent Attack Centipede? Hor. Ri. Fying.

And with that interruption finished, back to our show! Today highlights sewing pattern designs by Esterel, Estévez, and Ed Gerrick. It’s not often that we run into a dress designer named Ed! Ed, it turns out, was a specialist in designing dresses for fuller figures. “Ed Gerrick has a definite touch of genius, exhibited everytime [sic] he designs clothes for the mature woman with mature measurements.” – The Deseret News, Apr 9, 1959. Notice that his pattern design starts at a size 12-1/2 (that would have been a 27″ waist) and goes up to a 22-1/2 (37.5″ waist). Those are definitely Plus sizes!*

Do I really need to tell you that clicking the images will open them biggererer?

Esterel A537 – Sun and fun dress

Est̩vez M130 РDaytime or evening dress

Ed Gerrick A528 – Eye-catching capelet costume

*Yes yes yes, you can find larger sizes from the period. They are, however, rare and were specialized cases. The largest size I can find in a Sears catalog of the time is a 20, but most of the dresses only go up to a 16 or 18. A more generic “large” of the time fit a 30-32″ waist, and Sears didn’t readily offer anything bigger. If you couldn’t get your size at Sears, the mail-order-for-everyone source, you were really looking for specialty departments!

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Filed under collections, fashion, sewing, vintage