Tag Archives: 1920s

shirt hacks & wish lists

yoke pleat & matching sleeve top

cuff are offThe shirt renovation continues.   Slo-o-o-wly.

Took a page or two from Diane Ericson’s YouTube video, and removed cuffs, then pinned in pleats on the yoke, just atop the sleeves.

Am still thinking about them, and trying on from time to time to see if anything else comes to thought. Meanwhile . . .

D’you ever make a list of very important stuff, file it, and forget about it for months?

I do.

Clearing out files last weekend, I found another.

Saw a book that looked fascinating, researched it a bit, and discovered my library had a copy. Whee!

Just Pockets by Patricia Moye, [🇬🇧 Amazon UK & 🇺🇸 Amazon US] published by Taunton (a good U.S. crafts publishing house).

After looking through it, I decided to put a clean, used copy on my Wish List.

Then I got a wee bit sidetracked . . . into Colette’s blog. She’s got more reference books.

Categories include Beginners, General Reference, Fabric & Textiles, Fitting, Home Pattern-making, Details & Embellishments, Menswear, Lingerie, Other Specialty Techniques

There’s another list just for beginners.

Just had to share ~ hope everyone enjoys!


Left & below is one of several shirts bought from a charity shop, and not put on a hanger until this time of year.

Very appropriate colours in this men’s shirt, don’t you think?

It jumped out at me, and I had to have it – recycling for $2 couldn’t be beat. 😉

Below are some of the matchey details. (Click to go to all the details & captions.)

My apologies for any confusion the other day at the bottom of that post. Hope below will clarify.

The Great British Bake Off – The original series from Great Britain. Click link for more details.

  • It started in 2010 in Britain with Season 1 containing 6 episodes
  • It’s continued every year in Britain, with increased numbers of contestants and episodes
  • Currently, Britain is seeing Season 6 containing 10 episodes

The Great British Baking Show – the re-titled, Americanized reruns of The Great British Bake Off

  • Reruns began in America in January 2015 with repeats of Britain’s Season 5 (10 episodes) renamed in the U.S. as “Series 1”
  • Currently, America is seeing reruns of Britain’s Season 4 (10 episodes) renamed in the U.S. “Series 2”
  • Note: All episodes in “Series 1” and “Series 2” are shown in proper order.

in other words…  The world waits whilst Britain sees each new season.  That’s fair ~ they created it!  😍

other shows America sees later

Antiques Roadshow  began in Britain in 1979.  18 years later, PBS bought the idea and created an American version. To further confuse Americans, PBS also bought the rights to replay some of the old British Antiques Roadshows, and renamed them Antiques Roadshow UK.

Agatha Christie’s Poirot We always waited at least a year to see Poirot, and then not necessarily in the order they were originally shown in Britain, and with edited bits. (Americans get edited versions of maaany overseas programmes.)

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is an Australian TV show with great 1928 fashions. Aussies have just seen the 3rd series.  America is waiting.  siiigh . . .

Midsomer Murders US fans: MAJOR spoiler alert in the first paragraph if you click the link. Ohhhh, don’t get me started! The reruns in America are so old & mixed up that one week John Nettles (and only he – you Brits know what I mean & please don’t reveal!) has Sergeant Jones, and the next week Sergeant Troy.

Downton Abbey somehow got a very brief delay between British and American viewings. In Britain, they’re about to begin viewing the newest season. America will probably see it in January.

Other outstanding programs have also been purchased and shown in America on independent network MHz, including Montalbano (Italy), Wallander (Sweden), and Maigret (France).

I wrote a piece about Montalbano over on my other blog with behind-the-scenes videos available from MHz.


Also submitted for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

new year vintage fancies

Discovering the Cheapside Hoard in London

Monday was the first working day of 2015, and I sooo couldn’t.   Did a bit of a cheeky cheat and started  looking at Lizzie’s recommended “Anatomy of a Suit” from the Museum of London.

That got me energized, and I was off & running… a-hem, researching.  😉

From a 3-minute definition of why a bespoke suite costs $$$$$, to a centuries’ old jewellery haul being re-discovered by today’s jewel experts, to iconic fashion and make-up explained by experts, to vintage Biba… all this, and more is available.

Dare you not to find something you fancy!

recipe for a delicious treat

War Cake Recipe

Have you vowed no more trips to the market for special ingredients, but are looking for  something different for a New Year’s Eve treat?

Here’s a recipe used in many countries for many years, sometimes called War Cake, sometimes  Depression Cake.

The ingredients are relatively simple, and you can vary all of them if you don’t like or have a particular ingredient.

There are similar recipes all over the web, and even Wikipedia has a listing. The chocolate variations are sounding good to me just now . . .

Happy baking & Happy New Year!

july/august ~ calm before storm

my latest bookshelf bookfrabjus eye candy!!!
my latest bookshelf book
frabjus eye candy!!!

I’ve been having great fun reading.

Ever had a week when you just didn’t want to face WordPress writing?  I did, but curiously it didn’t stop me from putting this together.

Recently purchased a Kindle app version of Elizabeth Hawes’ Fashion is Spinach, and it’s keeping me eyeballs glued to the screen.  That means a lot of interest, as I don’t like to read books on screens.

But that was the most economical way to ease the niggling thoughts created whilst reading snippets from Lizzie’s The Vintage Traveler blog that made the book sound sooo interesting. (Thank you, Lizzie!)  See here, here, and here!

Hawes’ writing is as up-to-date as tomorrow’s internet posts. However, she misses the point about home sewers.  At that time many/most women sewed, or knew someone that did!  (Remember my fav Mary Brooks Picken?)

Currently almost half way through “Spinach,” getting to the part where Hawes is about to leave Paris and go back to New York City.  If you’re at all interested in fashion versus style, or Paris fashion houses in the 20’s, this is a great book to start with.  Hawes was an excellent writer!

  • “Fashion is a parasite on style”
  • “Style in 1937 may give you a functional house and comfortable clothes… Style doesn’t give a whoop whether your comfortable clothes are red or yellow or blue… Style gives you shorts for tennis because they are practical…”

That’s what I’ve been realizing this summer, whilst contemplating my nearly-empty closet, my fabric stash, and pattern collection.  Have said it before: heat & humidity are my least favourite things, and it’s always been tough for me to decide what to wear.  Wouldn’t matter if I didn’t sew (gasp!) and just bought – horrors of a different sort!

The other book I’m also reading on-screen is a free download of a dissertation on American sports clothing’s evolution, When the Girls Came Out to Play, by Patricia Campbell Warner.  Boring?  NEH-vah!!!  Here’s another excellent writer who’s dug up plenty of tidbits from history and managed to weave everything together in a quite readable style. Again, I thank Lizzie for the information on her post here.

Feminists shouldn’t be put off by either book, as they are compatible.  When the Girls is both the history of the women’s movement in the United States and the ramifications on their attire whilst becoming more athletic (equated with a more healthy lifestyle).  Typical for a thesis, Warner includes lots of footnotes for further research.

In Spinach, published in 1937, Hawes was writing about what she did in the fashion industry in Paris and New York, as an emancipated woman in the 1920’s and 30’s.

paul poiret, mantle. yellow wool with black chiffon lining. french, c. 1913. might be my fav from Lussier’s book
paul poiret, mantle. yellow wool with black chiffon lining. french, c. 1913.
might be my fav from Lussier’s book

Then I bought the icing on the cake, so to speak:  Art Deco Fashion, by Suzanne Lussier.  A beautifully illustrated and way-too-small sampling of fashions in the late 20’s – early 30‘s, my favourite era.  Again, after much soul-searching and scouring local libraries I decided to purchase a good used copy. (I think Lizzie had also written about it, but a search with “Lussier” didn’t yield a match, so you’ll have to take my word for it!)

The photo I’ve made and included here illustrates to me that Orientalism was influencing fashion much earlier than I’d originally thought.  No wonder there were so many kimonos being worn in that British mini-series, The House of Eliott. I think Lizzie had written about it, but a search with “Lussier” didn’t come up with anything.  So you’ll have to take my word for it!

All-in-all, July’s final week wasn’t quite empty of fashion, despite my not posting loads of finished garments.

Am now thinking about it as the calm before the storm.  More on that anon.  🙂



weekly photo challenge: room

Let’s talk about clothing for hot, humid summer day wear.  As in room to be comfortable.
(with thanks for the suggestion from me Sydney-sider mate!)

Vogue 1236
Vogue 1236

Room, n. [… prob. to L. rus country … wide, free, open; ravan a plain.]  Unobstructed space…

I’m about to make my 3rd, and possibly 4th, versions of DKNY Vogue 1236 (left), with maybe one or two more knits out of a lengthened #B from Butterick 5432 (below).

Why, or why didn’t I do this last summer, as soon as I’d made the first versions and wore them continually?!

Butterick 5432
Butterick 5432

Simple. I very mistakenly thought I should be doing different styles, mixing and matching.  Never gave a thought to the concept of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’

With thanks to Kerry Greenwood’s couture maven, Phryne Fisher,  who’s always donning a cool cotton or silk shift in 1920’s Melbourne summer heat, I’m finally allowing del to do the same.

Nothing restrictive in summer.  And nothing that requires restrictive underpinnings either.  No belts, no fitted anything anywhere!

Phew!  I feel sooo much better. . .

What makes you feel comfortable when it’s 100 degrees F+100% humidity?!



Link to WordPress Challenge here.

Another of del’s posts here.

contemplating hats…

last summer's crocheted hat - too ruffley?  need to replace??
last summer’s crocheted hat – too ruffley? need to replace??

Inspired by Vintage Traveler Lizzie’s mentioning Susan Langley’s book, Vintage Hats & Bonnets 1770-1970, found at my local library, I was hunting through the 1920s-1930s section for inspiration for a new summer hat.

Langley’s book is full of colour photos, as well as vintage adverts for hats and dresses.  Left me drooling, gave me lots of ideas, and held a big surprise…

I found an excellent example of my last summer’s hat, ripply brim and all – it was an actual style. Who’d have thought!  There’s even a sample, which I’ll leave in the book for copyright reasons.

The “real” ruffle brim hat appears to be a stiffer straw, while mine is loosely crocheted, ripples varying according to gravity & wind. But I’ve temporarily postponed rushing to make another hat. Come summer’s heat & humidity, I know those crochet holes are  excellent ventilation!

weekly photo challenge: threshold


Amy Barickman’s book, Vintage Notions, opened the door to my finding out about Mary Brooks Picken, which led me to reprints of ome of her booklets from the 1920’s and including the Singer book from the 1950’s.  How’s that for a book being the threshold to a wonderful world of vintage sewing ideas/!

Thresh”old, n. [OE. threswold, þreshwold, AS. þrescwald, þerscwald, þerscold, þrescold, fr. þrescan, þerscan, to thresh; akin to Icel. þreskjöde, þröskuldr, Sw. tröskel, Dan. tærskel. See Thrash. 1.]  The plank, stone, or piece of timber, which lies under a door, especially of a dwelling house, church, temple, or the like; the doorsill; hence, entrance; gate; door  2. Fig.: The place or point of entering or beginning, entrance; outset; as, the threshold of life.

Link to WordPress Challenge here.

Link to del’s other stuff here.


Finished those green mittens over the holiday.  Solved the elastic problem by sewing a fleece casing inside the gloves at the wrist  and threading elastic through.

Discovering a bottle of puffy paint, did a bit of doodling on the mitts’ palms.  Hope that will stop some of the slippage, an annoying characteristic of all fabric gloves & mittens.  Leather is better, but not as warm as fleece.  😉

McCall's 3677, 1993
McCall’s 3677, 1993

Have added McCall’s P461 (6377), 1993, to my collection, thanks to Erin B at Vint Hill.  Will do skirts for all seasons with it, as it’s for woven fabric, not stretch. I’ll try both, just to push the boundary, and add pockets.  If I’d had the pattern last summer, would have used the green floral print for it, instead of the dress, but am glad to have the dress.

Lots of gift sewing going on, so posts may be less frequent.  Got a copy of Emma Brennan’s Making Vintage Accessories and am busy trying to choose which one to make  first, and for whom.  It’s a gorgeous book with exciting projects.  Am getting up my nerve to make  that Harris Tweed handbag in 2014… still nervous about cutting into such wonderful fabric.

There’s also the Monthly Stitch project for December, Party!, to make.  Have several things in mind ~ will see what gets done.  Does everyone do that – plan lots of projects and actually make maybe half?

Which reminds me, last night I looked at Franklin H’s knitting blog and saw heavenly Erté.  Found the dress I’d looove to make for Monthly Stitch, but can’t find faux ermine for the skirt.  Drat.  (Tongue-in-cheek, as I’d freeze, and canNOT visualise all that fur at hip level.)

Do read past the dresses to find the knitting bags he includes – as in bags to carry your knitting.  Seems it was all the rage after WWI.  Who’d have thought?

Must thank knitting friend Lynn for telling me about the blog, suggest knitters check out her original designs, and consider joining the Lacy Knitters Guild (international membership) if you use those teensy needles!

Happy sewing, Dear Readers!