Monday, July 26, 2010

Lena Sommermode Shirt, Modell 5

One of the gifts DD#2 brought me from a recent trip was this German Lena Sommermode magazine. The format is very similar to Burda. The styles are basic and, of course, the text is German. Thank you, Google Translate.
I have organized my fabrics a bit and when I came to the leftovers of the Butterick 5219 top, it looked like there might be enough to put together a muslin of Modell 5.
While tracing the front I noticed that the largest size (the size I needed – 46/48) of this pattern included bust darts. I’m not sure how I feel about a darted t-shirt, but as I have already cut it out, I am now committed. The pattern fit on the dress form. For insurance, I went ahead and added a bit to the waist.
By the way, the Singer 403A fit perfectly into the new-to-me (maybe/maybe not Horn) cabinet. The hinges had been attached upside down. It was a simple chore to install the machine once I figured that out.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Clue?

In preparing the cabinet for its new home, I took the vacuum cleaner to it, wiped it down with a soft towel and then again with furniture polish.
I removed the thread/accessories tray from the drawer and washed it with warm, soapy water. I found this hiding in the corner of the tray. Do I assume then that this is a Horn cabinet? Or, did the previous owner purchase a Horn tray that just happened to fit in the drawer?

A quick Google search found a few photos of older Horn cabinets with keyholes similar to the ones on this cabinet. It lacks an airlift that the new Horn cabinets have. However, of my machines, the Singer 403A is the only one that fits into the cabinet hinges and the cut out. So, is it safe to say that the cabinet is intended for a standard vintage, pre-electronic machine and therefore pre-dated the need for an airlift - late 1950s/1960s?

If it isn't a Horn, what is it?

Thrift Store Happiness

For the past few weeks, my visits to a local thrift store have involved pacing and contemplation in front of this sewing cabinet. Each time, I think about how it is in good shape and how handy it would be, but I know that I have no space for it. Eventually, reason wins and I walk away, sulking and muttering to myself all the way home.
Today, however, was different. This time, I took the key out of the paper envelope that was taped to the top and unlocked the cabinet. I opened the top-drawer; saw the plastic insert and I turned to mush.
Two helpful volunteers quickly loaded it onto a dolly and pushed it out to my car. Try as they might, it would not fit in the trunk or the back seat. Plan B involved a call to DD#1 and she came to the rescue! We were able to poke it into her car. So, here it is. I haven't a clue what brand or model of sewing machine it was designed for.  There are no labels, stamps or other identifying marks on it. The thrift store ladies told me that the person who donated it had said that it was German made and from the 1950s. It looks 1960s/70s Scandinavian to me. Please feel free to comment if you know.

The hinges on this cabinet do not look the same as the Singer cabinet hinges. I hope that one of my machines will fit into it.

If nothing else, it will serve as a giant sewing box!  Now, where am I going to put it?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bernina My Label T-Shirt – The Alien Version

I sewed this t-shirt last night. This is the same Frankenpattern t-shirt from posts in February. Basically, it is the Bernina My Label T-Shirt pattern with a gathered center front and sleeves shortened to ¾ length. I used the My Label t-shirt sleeve pattern this time, not the Simplicity 4076 bell sleeve.
The fabric, purchased back in February from, is a stretch jersey ITY (Interlock Twist Yarn). Yes, the print is a bit much, but I am going to wear it anyway.  It will be fine for the office.

I have a few other pieces of loud ITY fabric. Expect that they will show up here in one style or another.
I found this book, A Vintage Affair: A Novel, written by Isabel Wolff, on Amazon while looking for some light reading. The reviews were good (mostly). The Booklist editorial review on Amazon says that “Readers with a passion for couture fashion will appreciate (and feel vindicated by!) Wolff's well-researched and intricate descriptions of beautiful, significant vintage pieces.” As a result, if I am not sewing - this novel is why!

May this new week treat you well!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Simplicity 5303 - Tammy’s Summer Camp Shirt

I chose to use some of my Mother’s Day $.80/yard cotton broadcloth for the Simplicity 5303 muslin. I measured off a few yards and sent it through the washer and dryer. Right there, it tells you that I was really contemplating creating a garment and not just a muslin. It wouldn’t take that much more fabric for the facings, collar and pocket, so why not? But, I also wanted to use only what was already here. No desperate trip to JoAnn’s for thread, buttons, etc.
The floral pattern printed on the fabric is fairly small, but I was considering matching it at the seams and possibly the pocket. To see if it was worth it, I got out my trusty framing square and it quickly proved that trying to match the print would be futile.
For me, the off-grain print is not that big a deal. My only complaint is that this fabric is not silky smooth. Whining? About $.80/yard fabric? Yes. I hang my head in shame…..

Since the print was off-grain, I cut the pocket on the bias (as the folks at Simplicity had intended). To give a bit of interest, I turned the upper facing to the outside and added a button and buttonhole.

My interfacing stock is limited to a few yards of Pellon Shir-Tailor and some Pro-Sheer Elegance from Fashion Sewing Supply. I opted to use the Pellon. Overkill. Of course, it made a crisp collar but the front facings would have benefitted from something less structured.
I love the little pleats on the sleeve. What a great way to incorporate a bit of style. And, the gathering below the back yoke is feminine without being billowy and baggy.  This is also where the off-grain print shows off.
For buttons, I used these tan ones that I found in the stash. No, they don’t really match, but it was the best I could do. Besides, I think they add to the kitschy nature of my shirt.
I did not modify the size of the pattern. I cut a size 20. The shoulder/armscye was not a problem. Could it be due to a narrow sleeve cap?

This basic pattern can convert from "camping in the pines" garb to professional office attire depending upon fabric and style options used. Tammyriffic!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Clash V – HP Weekender Sunshine Tops vs. Butterick 5219

I bet you thought I had forgotten about these tops and this blog, too!  Sorry, I had not, though I’m not sure why I haven’t been sewing.  I want to blame it on the heat.  Only, I spend no time evading the sun so that excuse doesn’t fly.  When I finally sat down to sew, it took only a few hours to sew both of these tops.  Easy.
Like the Clash muslins, I used stretch jersey knit and block fused the interfacing to the neckband fabric. Without further fuss, here they are:
HP Weekender Sunshine Tops

Of the two patterns, this one has a more fitted shape. The gathering/draping cleverly molds the fabric to the bust area.

Butterick 5219

The Butterick pattern is more modest than the Sunshine Top. It doesn’t fit as closely to the bust.

So, which top has won the Clash?  I have to say that I like them both.  Both fit me better than anything I can find at Chico’s or Talbot’s.  Not only that, these tops were inexpensive to make and this basic style can easily be changed by varying the sleeve lengths and/or embellishing the neckbands.  So, in my world, they both win.  And by that, I really mean that I win!
Next up? I am sewing Simplicity 5303, a shirt with collar and trim variations.  The copyright date is 2003. Needless to say, it is now out of print.  I am going to sew the short-sleeved version, View E (the white one on the left), for my muslin.
If this becomes a TNT (tried and true) pattern, pintucks and embroidery will be added to the pockets and collars of future models.  The Bernina 930 has a few pintuck feet.  I'm looking for a reason to get to use them!
I have fitted the pattern pieces to the dress form and it looks like it might be too big in the armscye/shoulder area (what else is new?).  Let's see what happens.....

Monday, July 5, 2010

Canine Neckerchief Fashion

In the past few weeks, our cairn terrier has had infections in both ears.  He is on the mend but in taking him to the vet, DD#1 determined that his leash was worn and no longer suitable for use in public.  So, she bought him a new one.
Well, put a new leash in the mix and everything else looks sort of tired and shabby.  Before this new leash, the poor dog hadn't had anything new added to his wardrobe in a very long time.  DD#2, home for the Fourth of July weekend, decided an update was necessary.
She took matters into her own hands and sewed a new neckerchief for him using a cairn approved TNT pattern, McCall's 5016.  This pattern is now out of print.  The copyright date on the back of the envelope is 2005.
Our dog weighs about nineteen pounds and the medium size (10½” x 11”) fits him well.
Unlike standard canine neckerchiefs, this one doesn’t have tie ends.  Instead, the dog collar slips through the casing.  I like this method as you don't have to be concerned if it is tied too tightly or if it becomes too loose and catches on things.  Plus, it always looks tidy even if the dog doesn't!
DD#2 did a great job. I see more sewing in her future. Don’t you?