Stitching Spotlights 6.25.2010

Summer is beginning to settle in around here. It brings to mind a trip to Europe I took a few years ago. With that brings yearnings for sandals, long walks along a dirt road with fields of sunflowers on each side of me, long bohemian skirts and billowy silk tops and extra creamy italian ice cream. I can almost taste it…

This week’s spotlighted creation comes from Petite Josette. This is just one of her creations. She creates beautiful clothing in such a tasteful way. I just came across some of her creations on Burda Style and was completely blown away. The photographs of her creations are so inspiring too! I simply love her style and the way she gives her creations a little pizazz with her wonderful accessories, like here, with her black tie. Simple, sleek and sexy.

And just look at what Jennifer made! The most darling ironing board cover from my “How to Make an Ironing Board Cover” tutorial. It’s a good idea to go over and have read at what she says about the “breathability” of the cotton cover as opposed to the “non-breathable” covers that typically come from the store. I also loved the fact that even though she’s relatively new to sewing, she gave this tutorial a try and found it to be easy and useful for future sewing projects! It’s the sweetest ironing board cover ever Jennifer! Kudos!

Two really amazing giveaways came through my reader this week and I suppose it’s only fair that I fill you in. It’s a little hard not to get really excited and keep this kind of stuff to myself. Make sure you enter Grosgrain’s giveaway for this amazing Streamer Frock! Oh I want it so badly! The perfect dress for summer. And don’t forget to head on over to Gertie’s Blog for her anniversary giveaway. She’s giving away two $25 gift certificates to Colette Patterns. And hurry up! because Gertie’s giveaway ends tonight at midnight eastern time!

Happy Weekending!

  • Jennifer - Ahhh! Thanks for putting my ironing board cover in your stitching spotlight! It is a great tutorial! I am singing it’s praises everywhere now! :)
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  • Stacyverb - I need to make my own ironing board cover! My old one was looking gross, so I took it off to wash it, and the drawstring broke. Now I can’t get it back on, booooo. Thanks for the tutorial!
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  • Tasia - I made an ironing board cover once, my sister has it now…
    Jennifer picked an awesome fabric for hers! And thanks for unselfishly sharing the giveaways with us :)
    Have a fantastic weekend!
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  • Kristin P. - I need to stop being a bum and break out the sewing machine. I keep telling myself I’ll do it tomorrow. I really need a “breathable” ironing board cover though, so I’ll seriously contemplate making one tomorrow. ; ) More realistically, it’ll probably be at least a month or so.
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  • Abby - Oh my that is the cutes est est ironing board cover I’ve ever seen! I love it! Drat! I missed the giveaway!
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Yet More Info on My Boysenberry Pastry Frock

You really don’t even have to tell me that you wanted to hear more about this blouse. I mean, come now, it is the best thing since sliced bread. Tell me you don’t agree. Ahem….

So I realize now that I’ve posted about this top that I forgot to tell you more about the 1980′s pattern it came from. What’s even more sad is that someone asked me what pattern it was that I did the blouse from and then I actually took the time to locate the copyright date on the pattern and what to my dismay, but the date actually read 1978! Hardy har har. So sorry. For those of you wanting to know, this is McCall’s 6367. There are several on Etsy (click here) for $6 and under, if you are interested in making one for yourself.

  • A Sewn Wardrobe - I am so glad you posted the pattern because I was wondering! I really love this top. I may copycat if you don’t mind…
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  • ~Sherry~ - I think the sleeveless version looks great! Love your fabric!
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  • Tasia - Cute – thanks for sharing and for the handy ‘buy it here’ link!
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  • Miss Dandy - I saw your amazing blouse on Burda Style and just had to fawn on it some more over here! The illustration of the blouse on the pattern envelope makes it look so plain, but your choice of fabric and the small details really transformed it to something that’s truly special. I’ll be adding your blog to my blog list! xoxo
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - Totally don’t mind. Shouldn’t everyone have one in every color? He he he.
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - Thank you! I love meeting friends from Burda Style!
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  • Christiana - Awesome!!
    It’s great to see this pattern again. View D was one of my high school sewing projects. I love what you did with view B, I may have to dig through my boxes of patterns to see if this one is still in my collection.
    Christiana
    sewamusing.blogspot.com
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  • Havilah M - I love this pattern…need to try it someday. Your version is lovely!
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  • angie.a - Your top is so cute! Love the color. I recently made a similar one from a 1940s pattern, and when it was finished and I tried it on all I could see in the mirror was my mom in the 80s. haha! So I did a little research and tons of 1940s styles were recycled in the 80s, albeit a little funkier. And while I HAD sworn off all 80s styles (been there, done that), I saw Murphy’s Romance on Netflix a few weeks ago and loved nearly everything Sally Field wore. She had several of these little tops like yours! So cute.
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Liar Liar

Ok, so I know I said that I’ve banned myself from buying patterns online for awhile. And then Sandra from Selvedge Shop found another Katherine Hepburn pattern, and in my perfect bust size, no less, and sent me an Etsy conversation saying she had found another copy. And then the sweet Tasia from sewaholic.net sent me an email saying that she saw that Sandra had listed the pattern again. And then I saw it all over again and fell in love all over again and then something came over me and I was no longer in control of what I was doing as I nervously clicked “commit to buy” and actually payed for it.

And then Sandra sent me a message saying she had shipped the elusive little devil of a pattern. And then Monday, I opened my mailbox and nearly fainted. Yes, I nearly fainted. And I never faint. There it was, in my hands just screaming to be opened by me. And then I opened it. I’m sure you are awaiting some sort of clinch to this story. Something like, “and it was the wrong pattern” or “it started to spontaneously combust” or even “it was completely torn to shreds.” But that’s the thing, it wasn’t. It was perfect and I was transported to complete nirvana.

I do believe this might be the dress that the pattern refers to, Katharine Hepburn Desk Set 1957 (Thank you Isaspacey for the links)

And you know what’s even better? When I walked in the door, my phone was sitting there on the charger with a message saying that my camera, which I took in last week, was finished with its servicing. And there you have the happiest tale of a girl, a sewing pattern and how she was able to take a photo of it.

Story credits

  • Sandra from Selvedge Shop (a great source for vintage sewing patterns AND vintage fabric)
  • Tasia from sewaholic.net (a true kindred stitching sister and great enabler of purchases you probably should not make, but know will, in the end, make you completely overwhelmed by happiness)
  • Forster’s Camera (who serviced my camera in much less time than they said they would, thereby bringing you a photo of a sewing pattern that eluded me once, but is now in my hands in my perfect bust size)
  • Cherri Porter - What a fantastic pattern. I’m so new to patterns I didn’t even know they had Katherine Hepburn patterns. But I so see the appeal. (BTW, All of that gathering in the chest is exactly what I think Cousin Cathy needs. Maybe she should ask Peter to try this pattern for her.)
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - Hi Cherri,
    This is actually a Spadea pattern, however it says in the description that “Katharine Hepburn wore it in a film.” Ha. Then it doesn’t give you what film she wore it in. The thing with Spadea patterns is that they are usually “designer” patterns and were actually designed by a well-known designer, in this case Charles LeMaire who was the wardrobe designer for Desk Set. The only reason I mention this is because I had no idea either when I first started looking into vintage patterns.
    I actually bought this pattern once before and it went missing in the mail. The horror. And now I’m ecstactic that its in my hands! I agree, a very good choice for Cousin Cathy!
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  • Amy - Oh Sunni! I am so happy for you! It really is a wonderful pattern. I am mildly jealous and want one too! I can’t wait to see it when you’ve stitched it up. I also must thank you for starting my day with such a great story and Kate. Kate is probably my favorite person in the whole world.
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  • Pattern Junkie - YAY! That’s so great — I had just hopped over to your site to let you know that it had appeared on eBay! And here I was fearing that the one that had disappeared in the mail was THE ONLY ONE LEFT IN THE WORLD….!
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=360275015074&category=4161&emailtemplateid=23399008&sellerid=FpRekKD1aqCRz+Kv0AE2iw==&buyerid=FpRekKD1aqACI3x/2cWR2Q==&refid=store&ssPageName=ADME:B:SEMK:US:LISTG#ht_3036wt_906
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  • Marybeth - I always loved that movie! What a great story – sounds like you were meant to have that pattern! Enjoy :)))
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  • Tasia - Yay! So glad my ‘gentle encouragement’ led you to purchase the pattern and SO glad it worked out this time. It was just meant to be! Gorgeous, gorgeous dress. What a timeless style! I absolutely can’t WAIT to see the finished dress.
    And thanks for the shout-out, you can count on me to be your fabric/pattern/sewing enabler any time!
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  • Tasia - PS. I like your new layout and blog design! Love the pale turquoise and red colour combo :)
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  • lsaspacey - Yay! I’m so glad you were able to get and yes I believe that is the right dress from Desk Set. I wasn’t sure if it was that one but those particular pics make it seem more likely. Though I hope you’ll wear yours open at the neck like the pattern model and not like Kate (who hated her neck as she grew older). By the way, I love doing research so if you have any more movie and/or fashion mysteries, let me know.
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  • Rachel - To die for! I love it. What fabric and colour will you make it in? I can’t wait to see it made up – you will look just gorgeous. What a good blogging friend Tasia is!!
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  • Hillary - Oh hooray!! I’m just delighted that this story had a happy ending– that pattern is absolute heaven and I can’t wait to see what you make with it!!
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - I really do love the things you say! This was my fear also! And then when I read your comment I laughed OUT LOUD, really hard! Thank you so much for the link!
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - Thank you Tasia! Really if it weren’t for you, I might not have dared purchase the pattern again. You are a true kindred sewing sister!
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - Thank you! I had absolutely no idea really where to look, even though I have seen Desk Set. And I actually wasn’t sure about the dress, because of that button at the top. Thank you! I definitely plan to wear it without a button closure at the top! And I will definitely be in touch about movie mysteries!
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  • Angela - Yay!! What a beautiful pattern! I’m glad things are going your way!
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  • Pattern Junkie - We’re infected with a peculiar madness, aren’t we? :)
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - Um yes. And it’s rather nice to know that I’m not the only one in the straight jacket (and padded room)! he he he.
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Stitching Spotlights 6.18.2010

Isn’t June such a splendid month? The days start warming up and those Spring flowers are in full bloom, well, at least around here. Summer wear starts creeping into the wardrobe and before you know it, its time for sandals and painted toes. Ahhh…. This week I thought it would be fun to have a little trip down memory lane. It all started with this pattern.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a flute player and this is something I never thought I would see on the front of a sewing pattern. It makes me wonder if they went through all of the instrument families. Here we have a little girl with a flute, what about a dad with a trumpet or mom with a violin or brother with a clarinet. Hmmmm….All I can say is, I really wish I had that outfit when I first started. I’m sure my technique would have been even that much better.

Flutes really are the coolest things. I’m quite sure Mr. S would agree, even over bass trombones (which as anyone knows, is his instrument). I mean he married me (a flute-essa) right?

As we are wandering down this little memory lane, I thought it might be a good opportunity to show you these photos of my sister and me when we were cute little things. My mom made these outfits for us. This is us on Easter Sunday. Whenever my mom made us outfits, they were always from the same pattern, but in different fabrics. It was rather sweet, I think. My mom never missed a beat either. Not only are we sporting bloomers here, but gloves and ribbons in the hair, and it’s not even 1896, but more like 1986. You don’t have to tell me that all fashions come back around sometime.

A small spot of silliness to start your weekend off right. I would say, “I’m sorry this spotlight is all about me,” but as I’m not sorry, well what can I say? There you go. Thank you for indulging my vanity.  Happy Friday Cupcakes!

  • peter - What a lovely flute piece — you’re terrific!
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  • Belly - I’m not sorry either! Thanks for a piece of sweetness in the middle of the day.
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  • Tasia - My mom did that with my two younger sisters – same haircuts, same outfits but different colours. Aren’t you two adorable!
    No speakers here so I’ll have to check out your flute piece later…have a lovely weekend!
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  • Cherri Porter - I played the flute too, for about four months. I wanted to play the drums, but this was back when they gave us a written test to check our aptitude and then picked the instrument for us. Apparently they needed a flute player and I hated it. I did find a vintage johannes adler-magnamusic recorder at the thrift store two days ago though, and I couldn’t pass it up.
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  • Cherri Porter - I meant to ask and got distracted by my own wanderings–do you still play professionally?
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  • Just-chic.blogspot.com - Flute playing and sewing – how do you share your free time between the two?
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - Hi Cherri,
    Unfortunately no, I do not play much anymore. The constraints on my time are too great. I do love picking up the instrument though, it always felt like gold in my hands.
    Congrats on your recorder! What a find!
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - I’m very immersed in sewing at the moment. I don’t play flute much anymore, but hopefully someday my schedule will change to the point that I’m able to sew and play all day! I very much look forward to that day!
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  • Becky H - I got linked over here by a fellow sewing blogger (apparently one of my current sewing projects reminds her a little bit of your Naughty Secretary dress), and I’m glad I decided to take a look at the rest of your blog! I’m a flute player too–I don’t get to perform too terribly often anymore, but I do teach it on a part-time basis. I had to smile, because I never thought I’d see a picture like that on a pattern front either! (And then I had to laugh, because it reminds me of my beginner students who don’t know how to hold the right hand yet.)
    You played the Ibert beautifully, by the way. And I like your sewing style!
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  • Abby - haha! I love the picture of the flute player on the pattern! That’s funny. And I love the memory lane pictures. We were so cute! I should start making matching clothes for my girls, ironically a red head and a blondie. History repeating itself? Look out world.
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  • katy - such beautiful playing!
    my sister and i were always decked out for easter sunday as well, complete with gloves, bloomers, bonnets, and tights… always way too hot for the southern california spring! oh the 80′s ;)
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  • Kristin P. - Pantaloons?!?! Ha ha ha!!! You girls are so cute. My baby and I are listening to your lovely playing right now and enjoying it thoroughly.
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My Adventure with Handmade Buttonholes

I’ve done handmade buttonholes before,  but not ever quite like I did on my Boysenberry Pastry Blouse. When I’ve done them before, its always been just one on a jacket or something, more as a decorative touch to finish the garment. Then I decided that I needed to at least given them a try on a blouse. These were rather involved and mostly because it took so long to find the ingredients I needed to do them.

I read here on them and decided, as I was not sewing a jacket, I would do the simulated buttonhole. Some turned out better than others, I grant you, but this is my first time doing all of the buttonholes on a shirt, by hand, so cut me a little slack please. I was rather thrilled at how they turned out, thank you very much.

The Details: The supplies for these babies were not readily accessible to me. I had to make do with what I could find quite frankly. They just don’t make sewing supplies like they used, do they? I could not for the life of me find buttonhole gimp so I decided I would use Coats and Clark buttonhole thread for the gimp. Though I’m sure it is not the exact same thing, it has many of the same properties I read about that actual gimp would have. I found this at my local fabric store, though could not for the life of me find a link for it, but just know, it’s there. I found the buttonhole twist here, and though I loved the colors these came in, I would be even happier if you could pick the weight of the thread. By weight, I mean the denier. The weight was fine for this project, however when I tried a buttonhole on a heavier weight fabric, denim to be exact, the thread was definitely not fat enough.

Something you absolutely cannot live without (in my humble opinion) if you decide to try your hand at these, is beeswax to coat your thread. It’s magical how it detangles threads. Simply magical. In fact, I will never be without beeswax again. I also used fray stop on the edges of the buttohole slit. Quite frankly I don’t love this product, but I didn’t want to be messy with wax or the like.

These are a beautiful complement to a garment I think. I do love a bound buttonhole too, but was ready try something different this time around. What do you think? Have you ever tried these?

  • Peacockchic - Those buttonholes are gorgeous!! I always forget these little handmade additions when I am at the final leg of a project. I hope I remember next time because they just look fantabulous!
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  • karen - They look amazing. I dread to think how long this took you. I really must get my hands on some beeswax, as I curse violently at knotting thread every time I hand sew.
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  • Jennifer - Gorgeous! You are very talented! I wouldn’t even know where to start to do this by hand! You should be very proud of yourself!
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  • Tasia - Gorgeous! Very nicely done! I learned how to do hand buttonholes back in school, but haven’t done them since…I love how tidy and tight they look though!
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  • clare - those buttonholes are so neat! I loved the blouse and want your hair :-)
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  • DreinPA - I have often used either 3 strands of embroidery floss or some pearl cotton as the gimp thread in a machined buttonhole. Perhpas the same effect could be managed by hand.
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  • Debi - Wowza! Those are AMAZING! great job!
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  • peter - Wow! How long did each of these take to do?
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - So do I karen! I swear they have wizards who put magical “anti knotting” spells on the beeswax. It works like a wonder every time. You will not regret this purchase.
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - Thank you! And they are more durable than machine made I’ve noticed. They are very “fat” too, which is kind of fun.
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - This is a great idea and one I’m going to try. I haven’t tried using gimp or gimp substitute in a machine made buttonhole, but I can definitely see how they would be more durable and stronger with the gimp.
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - Thanks peter. The time went faster as I was watching old movies at the time I was stitching them. All in all it took about 3 hours to complete each of the 6 buttonholes. Not too bad, but still much longer than what I’m used to.
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  • Angela - They’re beautiful! Thanks for the tips and resource information!
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  • jerry - Excuse me, i am very interested in the threads of the buttonhole. do you know where i can find ? by the way, i am in shanghai China. thank you
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