Tag Archives: 1930s

mccall’s archive collection


jacket – M6995, circa 1933
click to go to diagrams
skirt – M6993, circa 1933
click to go to diagrams


McCall’s “Archive Collection” is out, starting with a skirt and jacket (2 separate patterns), labeled “circa 1933.”  Is it me, or could those photos lead someone to believe each pattern has both?

Currently they’re lumped in with the other new patterns, for “Early Fall.”  With current regional weather in heat extremus, I can’t wait for real Autumn weather!

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.

sew grateful week ~ thursday, project day

As mentioned at the beginning of the month, some of my latest projects have been winter hats for friends… using some of that bright fleece originally used as a blanket at the start of this fierce winter.

Am slowly cutting strips off the bottom of the blanket – hehe!  Although sadly it’s still needed as an extra blanket, when Spring comes (if?) it might be down to shawl size.

Trying to be smart, I put the side pattern piece along the least stretchy portion of the fleece. Not the best idea, I discovered after making 2 hats and then trying one on.  That stretch is very much necessary.  Will find smaller heads for these 2 hats, and try again.

The red hat’s pieces are placed differently on the fabric, and it turned out well.  The fleece is I used is light-weight Polartec® fleece, purchased several years ago & used as a wrap.  But it’s not really my sort of red, being cool rather than warm (blue rather than orangey). My faithful pattern for this was Folkwear’s #269, of course!

That’s what I’ve been up to lately… which means those trousers for The Monthly Stitch got put on hold.  Might have to skip this month, as pants are just not my thing right now.  We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.  After all, it wouldn’t be the first time I made something just before deadline.  Know what I mean?  🙂

Those are the projects I’ve been working on this month.  How about you?

❤  ❤  ❤  ❤  ❤  ❤  ❤  ❤  ❤



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!

weekly photo challenge: layers

3 layers of different fabrics in different sizes, + 3 trimmings, and snaps from est Germany - all vintage & decades old... except the library piece at top
3 layers of different fabrics in different sizes, + 3 trimmings, and snaps from West Germany – all vintage & decades old – except the library piece at top

LA”YER, n. la”er. [from lay, the verb; L. loco, whence locus, Eng. ley or lea. The primary sense is to send or throw…]  1. A stratum; a bed; a body spread over another; as a layer of clay or of sand.

Sewin Love sent another package that arrived last week.  She is such a lovely & generous soul, and a delightful friend.  If any of you Dear Readers are interested in participating in a pattern swap, please see her blog.

It was a lovely box with layers of goodies!  The silky dark green velvet ribbon is almost black, and the 2 trims are exquisitely detailed.  The green & teal fabric used to be a bedspread. You’ll never guess what I’m doing with 2 little triangles.

Will post an update once the hand sewing is complete.  😉

Link to WordPress Challenge here.

first little project almost completed!
first little project almost completed!

huge pattern sale by We Sew Retro’s Katherine

“From now until Monday (November 18), the coupon code BUBBLES will get you 20% off everything in the WeSewRetro shop and a massive 60% off everything in ZipZapKap. On Monday, both pattern stores will be closing until I return to the States so don’t miss your chance to snap up some beauties. Everything purchased before the shops close will ship within 24 hours of payment.”  As noted on We Sew Retro.

Dear Katherine & her family must return unexpectedly to England to care for her mum, and she must temporarily close her shops.   Let’s all make certain they have the funds for their unexpected trip.

We Sew Retro – 20% off
Includes several overseas companies with normally high shipping costs for Americans.  NOT from Katherine’s Middle America location!

ZipZapKap – 60% off
These great patterns are practically being given away, so hurry on over!

a ‘duh’ moments week

autumn skirt, from CA super stash, at least 12 years old
autumn skirt, from CA super stash, at least 12 years old

Have had a few of those this week, starting Monday whilst ironing the unruly facings of a RTW Stewart plaid flannel top.  Don’t particularly care about it being pretty, just want to be able to button it.

Then it hit: I own a needle & thread.  And a sewing machine.  And my home-made facings are always sewn down.  Duh!

My mini cape is now was in season; but, because it’s lined, it slipped off, and my closure was more decorative than functional.  Fixed.  Of course, now the weather’s warm.  😉

Then a tough decision:  Lengthen trousers probably in their last season, or leave them?  I was good.  Also got a green scarf’s hem mended.

That fall rayon skirt is completely picked apart, rewashed, ironed, and ready to become a mobius-style scarf.  But another project is threatening to intervene with a problem.  Heeeeelp!  Need opinions/suggestions badly!

Meanwhile, the rayon’s siren call doth beckon…


decorating the whither the weather hat ~ buttons!

My favourite play toys, buttons, should help me ease into Monday morning, November, and the time change a bit.

When doing groups of anything ~ flowers, fabrics, jewels, buttons ~ it’s always best to use an odd number (1, 3, 5, 7, etc.).  It’s probably a Rule of something.

Sometimes 1 is enough, if it’s a big enough 1, but that 1 red button on the hat isn’t, is it.  In my opinion, even the group of lovely vintage silver buttons or the red group of buttons aren’t enough.

Like the buttons?  He-hee!  Samantha’s Ultimate Vintage Upcycle may still have some.

Now look what happens with Laura P’s caramel buttons as they start multiplying across the brim of the hat.  If you count the individual buttons, I’ve put an odd number of buttons in each group (3, 5, 7), as well as used an odd number of groups (3).

Ah, maybe that little added bit of lace balances eveything - what do you think?
Ah, maybe that little added bit of lace balances everything – what do you think?

trivia: Coco Chanel began her empire 100 years ago with HATS!
Her hats became so popular and so many women admired her personal style of dress that she was able to expand the hat business into a major industry encompassing everything from perfume to jewellery to clothing, even in the midst of war.  Quite a story, sans the cinematic spin.

saturday spitalfields update: colour!

Samantha of Ultimate Vintage Upcycle reports, “Have been moved to stall number 38 for Spitalfields Market on Saturday. 

We should be easy to spot as it will look like an explosion in a paint factory COLOUR COLOUR and a tad more COLOUR!”

Everyone near London head over, give Samantha a hug, & start looking at the buttons, ribbons, vintage upcycled items, ribbons, laces, and haberdashery from across Europe over the last 100 years.

WOWser, has she got gorgeous things!   Do send us a piccie of your finds.