Monthly Archives: June 2007

My Growing Library

On my recent trips to the thrift shop I found more children’s books (I keep looking for The Golden Egg Book but don’t find it). Notice my growing collection of Little Golden Books; I love reading them because of the classic stories, and because they are short. I now have two copies of Prayers for Children, but not on purpose; I don’t always remember what is at home! I love Eloise Wilkins’ artwork of children in this book especially.


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Filed under Collecting, Thrifting

Wardrobe Advice

I found this gem of a quote on another blog (Pleasant View Schoolhouse), and I thought it was hilarious. Wardrobe advice from 1922:

“Always select or make designs that enhance your daintiness, your femininity, your exquisite delicacy and tenderness. Do this with every stitch of clothing you have, from bungalow aprons to bathing suits, from sport costumes to ball gowns. Endeavor to provide yourself with an entire wardrobe of dainty and cuddlesome garments, each piece as bewitching as the wearer herself.” —Fascinating Womanhood, St. Louis: Psychology Press

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Filed under Homekeeping, Sewing

I Bought An Ancestor for $1!

I’m always amazed what I can find at the thrift. Greta and I popped in the other day because she was looking for vinyl records for a friend. As I made my usual circuit of the store, I found a really nice tablecloth for our dining table when it is fully extended. Then I found some old picture frames. One I liked especially because of the wood; it looks like mahogany. This isn’t a shabby old frame to paint, like I usually buy. It’s quite nice. But it had an old photo of an old guy in it. When I got home and took it apart to wash the icky glass, I looked the old man over more carefully. Who would donate their grandpa to the thrift store? I felt sorry for him, so I decided to adopt him. I tentatively named him George since we have quite a few Georges back in antiquity. That’s how I came to buy an ancestor for $1. What a deal.

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Tablecloth Blouse

I almost finished a blouse I made from a vintage linen tablecloth, circa 1930. The Professor’s grandmother gave me the cloth years ago, and sometime later, I used a corner of it to make a dress collar for daughter #1. I’ve wanted to make something with the remaining parts of the cloth, and I finally got inspired by a post on a blogsite. Someone made a peasant style blouse from a tablecloth, but hers had cutwork and embroidery throughout the body of the cloth. Mine has cutwork only at the corners.The first photo shows the pattern pieces in place. I laid the sleeve piece on the bias to use the cutwork. I really could not think of any other way to lay it out and still incorporate the cutwork areas. In the upper right of the photo you can also see the area I previously used for the collar.


The second photo shows the almost-finished blouse. The lace trim edging the plackets and trimming the sleeves previously edged all sides of the cloth. I just cut it off and zigzagged it on the blouse.


Everything is now complete except the buttonholes because my buttonhole dial decided to have a fit this afternoon. I may have to find a friend with a better behaving machine!

The last photo is a close-up of the cutwork area on one sleeve.


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Sheet Dress

My first project for Wardrobe Refashion is complete! I found this sheet at the thrift for $1.48. I decided to make a dress because the floral print is so large; here is the pattern I chose:


But I had several problems with it: Firstly, the flutter sleeves didn’t flutter; they flew! Straight out! That’s not exactly the look I was after. So I tried cap sleeves, but my oversize arms and shoulders looked terrible. I just about decided it would have to be sleeveless (not my favorite look) when I opted to try the short sleeves from my favorite blouse pattern. To make the cap fit smoothly, I had to cut the bodice armhole bigger.

Next, the waist wasn’t working. On the pattern you can see the shirring at the waist; that is created with two rows of casings and elastic. Every time I breathed, the elastic took a hike north. So I had to pull the dress down every few seconds. My fix for that was to rip off the waistband from the skirt and the bodice, cut it down to fit my waist, then add gathering to the bodice under the bust and across the back. For the skirt to fit the waistband, I added 1/2 inch tucks at the center front and at both sides of the back. I really love it now.


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Thrifted Frames

I often find really ugly, beat up old frames while I’m poking around the lowest shelves of the thrift shop. Some have awful “artwork” or hideous stitchery in them. I pull that sort of thing out, clean the frames, and give them a coat or two of white paint. Some end up being quite charming.

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Filed under Crafting, Thrifting

Austrian Trachten

Trachten $15

I made a quick stop at a garage sale the other day, just to see what was there. It didn’t look all that promising as I drove up, but I got out to look anyway. You never know what goodies might be hidden under tables or heaped in a box. I saw a clothing rack (yawn) full of frou-frou, and walked on by. But something caught my eye. Two looks more and I saw just the jumper part of this authentic Austrian costume. On inspection, it was perfect, but missing the blouse and apron.

On closer inspection, it was my size! I asked about the blouse and apron, and the owner dug them out of big boxes. She told me that, since I knew what it was, I was supposed to have it (even though her mother didn’t want her to sell it). She had worn it only once, to a wedding in Austria. Her ex-boyfriend had purchased it for her. No wonder she didn’t want it anymore! It was mine for $15.

The cotton skirt has a tiny green and white floral design on the blue background; the bodice is linen. I don’t love the print of the apron, but it does coordinate with the skirt. I may make a new apron someday.

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