Archive for the ‘Vintage’ Category

New Jacket!

I have recently finished a jacket, Burda 7304, and it turned out really well.Burda 7304 I took the time and effort to do everything the way it was meant to be done. I had my first attempt at bound buttonholes, though I did a practice buttonhole first to make sure I wasn’t going to screw it up. I wasn’t sure if I could pull these off, but gave it a go anyway, not because I am a huge keener (that is debatable) but because my old beast of a machine does not make particularly elegant buttonholes and I didn’t want the final step on the lovely jacket to be Fubar Buttonholes, thereby ruining the whole thing.

So, here is the jacket:


jacket front

jacket front

jacket back

jacket back











The fabric is vintage yardage that I scored in a thrift shop, black and grey almost-houndstooth-weave wool (I’m fairly certain it’s 100% wool). I lined it with grey rayon Bemberg lining. I used a heavy sew-in interfacing on the lapels and collar, which I hand-stitched allover to the fabric with long catching stitches (invisible from right side). I made the buttonholes before that piece was sewn to anything else. Luckily I had enough extra fabric to cut another piece if I messed that one up (I didn’t though). I cut little patches of fabric on the bias and machine basted them to the right front piece. (The patches are on the right side.)

buttonhole facings

On the wrong side, I stitched them about 3/16″ on each side from the center buttonhole cutting line, securing the ends of stitching (starting and stopping exactly where marked). Then I cut open the buttonholes through both layers with a punch (it’s like a chisel, don’t use scissors), poked the patches through to the wrong side, and folded them so that they make the bindings, and basted everything in place. I basted the buttonholes all shut until the jacket was finished.

bound buttonholes basted closed

bound buttonholes basted closed










buttonholes seen from facing side

buttonholes seen from facing side




Once the jacket was further assembled, I made the matching buttonholes on the facing, but used pieces of lining fabric to bind the edges.



pleated shoulder

pleated shoulder


One thing I love about this jacket is the shoulder detail. It is so awesomely vintage-looking.
These were some crazy-looking pattern pieces for the sleeves, it was actually really cool when they get all folded and basted up and then presto! it turns into this amazing shape. That piece in the foreground is a part of the sleeve.
I’ve been sewing a lot lately, I have a ton a fabric in my stash that I am trying to use. I made some nice skirts as well, I’ll show those next.

sleeve piece

sleeve piece

Thrift shop goodies

I nipped into the local thrift shop to see if there was anything cool, and got some interesting finds today.

silk_tiesI’ve been wanting a tie for several months now, so I was very happy at this:

Three silk ties, from left to right: Hardy Amies, Lanvin, and John Rodd for Holt Renfrew. The first two are vintage, and the third I’m not sure if it’s vintage or contemporary but the pattern is really awesome.

Looking forward to mixing up the gendered clothing. I think I’d like to wear a tie with a shirtdress. I have a friend who wears bow ties and she looks so cool in them!

mugsI always check out the dishes, today I found two very cute matching mugs.

A little garden scene is depicted, on one side a rabbit hops along, and on the other  there is a squirrel on a branch and mushrooms grow all around him. I LOVE anything with mushrooms on it.

These are marked Churchill England, which is a common stoneware manufacturer.

blue_fabricI also had a look at the fabrics, and found some yardage of vintage printed cotton canvas fabric. There is about two yards of 54″ wide fabric. I’m not sure exactly what I’ll do with it yet, but it is lovely heavy fabric without any flaws and the large tonal brocade-print pattern is quite attractive.

I have enough to re-cover the seat of an interesting wooden chair I have, or to upholster a footstool, or make some cushions or something.

When I see a vintage piece of good quality fabric with a print I like, I buy it even if I don’t have a definite plan for it, because I won’t see it again. I think if you have a good-sized collection of fabrics that you really like, they will eventually come together in a decorating scheme.



Vintage textile finds

The other day I was out on a little “treasure hunt” at the local thrift store, and luckily I found some interesting textiles. I used to pick vintage clothes and accessories for a friend’s shop in Toronto, and I admit I get way too excited over vintage kitchen linens, fabric remnants, and the like.

So here is what I found:

Vintage Vera tablecloth with a pattern of ferns and cosmos in tan, orange, brown and coral. Very cool! I love Vera designs!


Also, a piece of floral chintz with dahlias, and thorny vines, and big orange poppies. This sort of thing is a bit much on its own, but I think piecing it with some solid colours would provide a nice counterpoint. Perhaps you will get to see what happens to it? Or perhaps it will go live in the fabric cupboard and wait for the right project….

I also found another tablecloth, 60s heavy linen with a very attractive bold pattern in cobalt, tobacco, brown, and cerulean. The center is an orderly grid of flowers on a white background,and there is an organic floral border all around.linen_tablecloth

Now, the number of dinner parties I host is not high, so my need for multiple tablecloths isn’t great, though my desire for them is insatiable. The vintage ones are of such better quality than what you can purchase new today, and the patterns are so interesting that I cannot resist. I think that these tablecloths could make nice throws on a bed or over a chair (and you could change it often if you tend to get bored of the same thing).  There is also a lot of yardage here if one wished to sew something from it. We’ll see…