After a busy week of buying fabric, sewing, and taking photos out in the cold, I am happy to announce that I have made several additions to my Etsy shop. The fabrics are so beautiful and comfy! Even better than I first imagined. They are called “Margaret Infinity Scarves” because they are an elegant but everyday kind of thing. In my mind, Margaret is an elegant but down-to-earth kind of gal. Laugh at me if you want. Don’t you ever place a name with a certain personality? Maybe it’s just me. If you would like, head on over to check out the updated Margaret and Alice Shop!
The title tells the whole story about my new pair of overalls. This summer has seen me in little else. The entire spring and first bit of summer I scoured Etsy, garage sales, and thrift stores for a pair of denim shortalls that were long enough to roll up and loose enough to wiggle in. I had very little luck till I found a pair of baggy overall pants for $6. I cut them to the right roll-up length… and now they are almost the only thing I wear. They can be worn for a work-day around the house or on a warm day at the farmers market or to a simple lunch outing. (Yes, I have worn them on all of these occasions in the past two weeks.)
Time is precious right now. There is hardly enough to go around! My many projects– recovering a chair, painting an old bike, figuring out new curtains, making bread weekly, blogging…ever– have all been tossed to the wind. No time. This lovely little refashion, however, was so quick and easy that I found enough time to make it happen. Like most of my refashions, this vintage dress started out at an estate sale with a 50 cent tag attached.
Though it was pretty to start with, the waist was a bit too low for my taste; so I seam-ripped the skirt off and reattached it a bit higher. Then I added another panel of white lining under the second tier of lace to make it decent. So easy! Perhaps what I love most about this one is its versatility. Today at church, I wore the dress with a chambray tank over it, a leather belt, and cowboy boots. It would also be adorable with a cardigan and topped of with a cloche for an ultra Twenties look. Anyhow, I am looking forward to trying out options!
This fabric thrilled me when I first found it. It was in an old cabinet stuffed with all sorts of material at an estate sale that, honestly, did not smell that great. And that is where this lovely skirt began. I knew from the beginning that I had to make a skirt with this fabric– it was the perfect weight, cutest print, and pure comfort. So when I ran across this tutorial I had to use it. This pattern met the comfort and cute requirements I had for the skirt. What I love about this particular pattern is that it took two hours; and I probably could have done it faster. So, there is the story of my new favorite skirt… Oh, and did I mention that the fabric was 25 cents? And also, the shirt I’m wearing was a recent estate sale find. I was deprived of estate-saling for an entire winter! Can you tell I’m glad it’s spring?
That is- the color “wine.” Making this dress was my first experience with a vintage pattern. With double darts, a faux button-up front, and the fit-and-flare style, this pattern is one of my favorites, even among the ones I have drafted. I am amazed how well it fits! What could be better than a dress that fits perfectly? Fabric for $1 a yard, of course! And wine-colored rayon challis at that, which is the color I have been loving for this fall and winter (please don’t call it maroon… that takes away from the whole elegance of the look) and my favorite material of all time. To top it off, I used a lace collar from a garage sale, which I have been saving for the perfect project. This ought to be just the dress for casual occasions throughout fall and winter. A cardigan will layer nicely over it, or tights under it, and boots beneath it! Also, for anyone wondering, my new (vintage) sewing machine stitched up this dress like a dream.
I just bought an a old Singer 301 sewing machine! For 70 bucks, I got the machine, the cabinet it was in, and various accessories and feet attachments. This entire summer, even with kicking off a business, I have been without my own sewing machine. My Brother sewing machine decided to stop working after two years of hard sewing; so, I was forced to borrow my mother’s machine regularly over the past few months. But, yes, it has paid to be patient in the search for a new one. I was on the verge of paying another $125 for a Brother just like what I had before, when I stumbled across this perfect old-timer on Craigslist. Reading up on the Singer 301, I found that it runs on gears instead of a belt drive. This makes it a dependable machine that will last through years of rigorous stitching. Another thing that makes me smile when I look at this machine: no plastic. It’s all metal, making it a 16 pounder. It conveniently snaps out of the cabinet for easy portability. But, the cabinet makes for a great sewing table in my room (not to mention a cute addition of furniture). This darling machine works perfectly, sewing even stitches quietly and smoothly. In case you can’t tell, I’m sold. Well, actually, it’s sold…… to me! Hip hip hooray!
Perhaps the first project this machine will get to make under my guidance will be this sweet vintage pattern. Generally, I don’t use store-bought patterns; but seeing this one in an antique store, I just couldn’t pass it up.
Here is my lovely lace and blue creation! I made this dress fully out of fabric I already had (the lace was my granny’s). So the total cost was about 3 dollars, the cost of the invisible zipper. This was my first peter pan collar to draft. It was far easier than my last collar, because I actually drafted it correctly. The rest of the pattern is a modification of my polka-dotted dress, which has been perhaps my favorite pattern. The skirt is a pleated half-circle. I guess this dress reminds me of that light blue, white-sleeved dress that Maria wears, because every time I put it on I feel like I came straight out of The Sound of Music. It will be a suitable dress for church, weddings, and the like. This may well be he best-fitting dress I have ever made. Now if that doesn’t convince you to draft your own patterns, I don’t know what does!
Oh, and the lucky winner of the lace infinity scarf is…. lucyducy! Please give me your email address in a comment, which I will not publish/approve, that way I can send you the scarf!
I’ve been anticipating this project for some time, now. Last summer, I had this idea on my mind, and so I searched and searched for doilies. How could it be that hard to find doilies? You would think that, for several estate sales, doilies would be their main feature. Yet, estate sale after estate sale, I found nothing… At the very end of summer, I went to my last estate sale of the season– then I was going to buy some doilies off ebay for a fortune. This last sale had a jackpot of doilies; and they were only 50 cents each! And that, perhaps, is one of my happiest moments as a garage/estate sale-r. What you see on these curtains is a combination of some of my grandmas’ doilies and the ones I bought. The other bargain of the deal is that the coral fabric behind the doilies was a sheet before it came into my hands. So, that is my doily curtain analysis. Oooh, and a thought for the future: when I get tired of these curtains, I can cut out the doilies in squares and turn them into a quilt!
For this refashion, I started with a pleated-all-over 70’s dress.
As you can see, it has some long, flowing sleeves (hmmm, that seems to be a common characteristic among many of my refashions), an ultra high neck, and a bit of an awkward length. Oh, and I got it at an estate sale for 50 cents! Somehow that always makes the final product even better. Anyways, I bought it so that I could remake it into a winter church dress; I know, it has short sleeves, but you couldn’t have paid me to leave those sleeves on! I think it will actually work great for winter, as long as I wear a jacket or cardigan with it. So, it’s makeover consisted of chopping part of the sleeves off, hemming the dress to a slightly shorter length, and (the hard part) lowering the neckline a little bit. To succeed at this neckline business, I ended out having to hand sew my bias tape onto the dress. The whole process took all afternoon, but now I have a perfect dress to wear this winter! P.S. How about those pleats?!?!