Saturday, December 19, 2009

From Vintage Barkcloth Samples to Wristlets

My lastest sewing project has centered around a group of vintage barkcloth fabric samples. I acquired these about 4 years ago, and although I didn't know at the time what I would do with them, they were just too pretty to pass up. There was a variety of different textures, colorways, and prints, but all featured the romantic florals so popular during the 1940's.
The floral and scroll print below is my favorite. There's a deep blue colorway, too.

The average size of the samples is around 7"x11", which turned out to be a perfect size for making wristlets! I've paired the barkcloth with natural linen and made some of them with zippered tops....
And others have a front zipper style... So, the next time you come across small or odd shaped vintage fabric pieces and think, "I don't know what I would ever use them for", get them anyway! Inspiration will come eventually. :-)
Happy sewing everyone!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Day at the (Vintage) Salon

I just wanted to share photos of some fun vintage Beauty Shop items. I was a hair designer for 25 years, so I enjoy finding these old salon collectibles. Gram also kept some of them for me.

Here's a small group of curling and crimping irons.
And I LOVE these two business cards! The top one advertises $5.00 permanents and was perfume scented to encourage ladies to keep for their purse. (Brilliant marketing!) And the bottom one plays off the Mae West quote, "come up and see me sometime". I think both of these are from the early 1930's.

Hair pins were a must in the 1940's.
I hope you enjoyed this little peek at vintage Beauty Culture. We've come a long way, baby. LOL

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Treasures from Grandma's Attic~ Around the House

For this , the fifth, installment of "Treasures from Grandma's Attic", I'm showing some of the wonderful items I see and use on a regular basis around the house. I feel very fortunate to have these daily reminders of my grandmother and her interesting life.

The most prominent item is no doubt the large armoire in the living room. Although Gram did have a couple of furniture pieces that may have been considered "nice antiques", it was the more rustic/shabby/cottage/quirky items that lived in the attic that I was drawn to.

This particular piece was in a corner of the attic with a broken door and painted three different colors...but I could see it fitting right in at my house. :-) It did eventually receive some additional crown moldings and a coat of cottage white paint.On the inside of the door are scribbles made by my dad and his brother when they were youngsters, this just made it all the more special.

On to the dining room... In here I have a fun old kitchen cabinet that houses my cookbooks, wine glasses and serving pieces. Extreme care is needed when moving this piece as the top and bottom appear to be attached by only a thick coat of paint. LOL

And in the bedroom...

Atop the vintage dresser sits a lovely baby picture of Gram tinted the most beautiful robin's egg blue. And in front, an antique bisque baby doll. Gram had quite an impressive antique doll collection. Although I'm not really a "doll person" (even as a kid, their fragile nature made me nervous), I do like this sweet little girl. Thankfully, the majority of that collection is being curated by other family members.

I also have a fun trio of vintage alarm clocks on the mantel headboard.I'm not sure if Gram kept these because she knew of their potential collectibility or if in her frugal nature she thought someone might fix them to use. Either way, I'm glad she did! :-)

Thanks for sharing another walk down memory lane with me!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Vintage Fabric Gift Tags ~ Put Scraps to Work

I know I've mentioned before about my inability to throw away even the smallest pieces of vintage fabric. Because of this, I'm always looking for ways to use these little scraps in projects.
Recently I've started using my tiny pieces for gift tags. With just a pack of blank tags or a few sheets of card stock, a hole punch, and some fabric glue, they are super easy to make! First I pinked the edges of a variety of fabrics. Then used a small paint brush to spread a bit of fabric glue on the back, focusing on the edges.
Then just center the fabrics on the cards and tags. I punched a hole in the top of the folded cards and added string. I chose to keep mine simple and just let those pretty fabrics shine. :-)
I've also been using these as little "extras" to slip into fabric orders .

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Vintage Inspiration ~ Sewing Patterns

I definitely spend more time sewing in the winter months. Once the gardening work is over for the season and inclement weather forces me inside, I start looking through my vintage goodies for project inspiration.Today I'm showing my collection of vintage sewing patterns. Although most of mine are skirts and dresses, I glean wonderful ideas for other smaller projects from the decorative details.

Like this stunning Vogue pattern with an asymmetrical neckline...
Or the pretty rick rack and ribbon trim used on these Butterick skirts...
And I'm trying to find a way to translate this sheer over solid window effect into an evening bag....

This one is so sweet as a toddler dress, but it might also inspire an idea for a frilly lamp shade cover...
And of course, some are just wonderful vintage eye-candy. :-)

Looking for vintage sewing patterns to add to your collection? Be sure to check out these websites...

Mom's Patterns

Fuzzy Lizzie

So Vintage Patterns

Also, take a look at the selection on Etsy. Here are just a few of the sellers that I found ...


Nana's Sewing Basket

Glass of Fashion

Sew Vintage Ladies

Friday, November 6, 2009

New and Vintage Fabric Destash Sale

Help! My shelves are over-flowing with fabric. I'm trying hard to reduce inventory before the end of the year. Lots of newer quilting and decorator weight fabrics are being listed in my Etsy shop this month. Also look for many vintage fabrics to be listed in the Sale Items and Clearance sections of the website.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Kitchen Towel & Potholder Gift sets

This project proved to be the perfect way to repurpose a hopelessly stained and faded vintage tablecloth. My sweet neighbor offered me a cloth that belonged to her mother. It was obviously too far gone to be used for its original purpose, but she thought I might like it for one of my projects. After cleaning, I could see that only one of the side borders escaped the damaging stains and holes, so I had to find some way to use these pretty tulips. When I found a multi-pak of these wonderful plain white huck towels at Bed Bath and Beyond, I knew that a kitchen set would be perfect. I used the longest piece of the salvaged border for the towel, and the smaller section for the hot pad. I hope it will be a sweet reminder of her mother as she's working in the kitchen. I also had enough left to make a small make-up bag for her sister. I was so pleased with how these turned out, I decided to take a cue from SewMamaSew's Scrap Buster month and make some more using up some of my small scrap pieces. These are on their way to one of my dearest friends. I think I need to stop by the store to pick up another pak of towels and make myself a pretty kitchen set, too. :-)

Oh! I almost forgot...I want to give a big THANK YOU to Rachel at Craftzine for featuring my Cherry Cream Cheese Danish post on their blog. Thanks Rachel!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Colors of Autumn

The fall colors as seen in our yard...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cherry Cream Cheese Danish ~ Yum!

Hubby and I were craving something sweet the other morning and I threw together these fast and easy cherry cream cheese danishettes.

Since I was just kind of winging it, I don't have any exact measurements, but its mostly to taste anyway. Makes 9, but we already ate 3 before I took the pictures. :-)

Ready made Puff Pastry (1 sheet)
Cherry pie filling (or fruit of choice)

Cream cheese mixture:
Half block of cream cheese (4oz)
1 Tbs sugar
vanilla extract (few drops)
lemon juice (just a splash)
Soften the cream cheese in the microwave for 10 seconds and mix in the sugar, vanilla, and lemon. The amounts are really just to taste.

Drizzle icing:
1 cup of powdered sugar
2-3 tsp orange juice or until you get the right consistency.

I cut the sheet of thawed pastry into 9 squares. Then spread the cream cheese mixture on a diagonal.

Added a few cherries...

And pulled the opposite corners up and pinched them together. Brushed with a bit of egg wash and baked at 400-425 until golden brown, about 15 minutes in my oven.
Let them cool slightly before drizzling with the icing.Pour a cup of coffee and enjoy. These would be great for a brunch table, too!