Tag Archives: woolens

The Calm before the Storm

Starting the new year with a “simple” project seemed like the way to go, knowing that I plan to spend the remainder of the winter on a coat and “related apparel.” More on that in my next post. I thought that if I didn’t get this “skirt that was meant to be” cut out and sewn in the first couple of weeks of January, it might not get finished this year.

I found the fabric on eBay – dubbed as a medium-weight wool in good condition – 58” wide, 1+ yard in length, which I figured was enough for a skirt.

Navy and white houndstooth.

Navy and white houndstooth.

There is always a bit of the unknown when one is bidding on fabric online, especially when it comes to the feel and hand of the fabric. For that reason, I kept my bid fairly low, especially as I seemed to be the only one bidding or even watching this lot. So, you can imagine my surprise when I was OUTBID! I was disappointed, but clearly it was my own fault for not making a stronger bid.

I went on with my day, trying not to think about how much I liked the look of this fabric. And then – eBay sent me a message saying I had a second chance at the fabric – it could be mine for the amount I had bid originally. Hurray! I will never know what happened to make this possible, but clearly the skirt I had planned in my mind was meant to be.

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When the fabric arrived, it was lovely, although a bit heavier than I thought it would be. I decided it would make up better if there were few – or no – darts. So I settled on the paneled skirt from this 1958 pattern.

The calm before the storm - pattern

These small drawings show the seams and shaping of the skirt quite well. Obviously, I shortened the length of the skirt.

These small drawings show the seams and shaping of the skirt quite well. Obviously, I shortened the length of the skirt.

The shaping is in the seams, and even though there are a lot of seams (6 of them to be precise), I knew I could control the bulk by using couture techniques.

I underlined the skirt with silk organza, and secured the raw edges of each seam with catch-stitching.

I underlined the skirt with silk organza, and secured the raw edges of each seam with catch-stitching.

I also lined the waistband, thereby reducing bulk in that area. I used Bemberg rayon for the lining.

It is a little difficult to see, but this photo shows the inside of the lined waistband.

It is a little difficult to see, but this photo shows the inside of the lined waistband.

Another look at the waistband.

Another look at the waistband.

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I believe this skirt is going to be a staple in my winter wardrobe – classic houndstooth in navy and white wool is versatile, timeless, and warm. This was a calm and simple way to start the new sewing year. Now I can dig into something much more complicated, and I am excited to do so!

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Filed under couture construction, paneled skirts, Uncategorized, Vintage fabric, vintage Vogue patterns from the 1950s, woolens

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod

“. . . and the wooden ship that sailed the skies is a wee one’s trundle bed.”

Do you ever see a fabric and feel captivated by its charm, its design, its ambience?  That is what happened to me when I saw this fabric on the website of Britex Fabrics:

Wyncken, Blyncken and Nod - fabric

It is a moderately heavy-weight wool blend, made in Italy (the source of so many beautiful and exquisite fabrics), and its friendly jacquard-woven deer, set amongst the bold pink checks, with that subtle gold woolen thread traversing its expanse, seemed to be a blend of Tyrolean style, buffalo checks, and frontier whimsy!  I loved it, but I could not quite imagine it made up into anything wearable – at least for me.

So I decided not to buy it.

But then I did.

What can I say?  I had to have it.  Of course, by the time I reversed my decision, I had determined it was the perfect fabric from which to make a small blanket – just the right size for a “wee one’s trundle bed.”  The small trundle bed, which we purchased years ago, has been patiently waiting to be used by a wee one – and although our little granddaughter is still in a crib, it won’t be long until this little bed will be the perfect place for her to snuggle and sleep and dream when she is with us.  So of course – a warm, whimsical blanket was in order.  Since it is almost impossible to find linens to fit such specific little beds, making one was very much on my agenda.

The first thing I did was go to JoAnn’s Fabrics to see if I could get blanket binding.  I could not believe my eyes when I found this bright pink color.

Wyncken, Blyncken and Nod

Then it was just a matter of measuring, deciding where in the plaid of the fabric to place the binding, and sew! One thing that made the application of the satin blanket binding much easier was using a walking foot.  Nice and easy and fun.

Cut and ready to be bound.

Cut and ready to be bound.

The binding sewn on, blanket finished!

The binding sewn on, blanket finished! 

I mitered the corners and used a fell stitch to hand-finish them.

One of the corners.

One of the corners.

It fits well  . . .

It fits well . . .

. . . and is nice and warm.

. . . and is nice and warm.

I had ordered a bit more fabric than I thought I might need – enough to make a doll blanket – and maybe a jacket for a teddy bear one day.  Who knows – we’ll wait and see what our wee one asks me to sew.

pink blanket

I fringed the edges of the doll blanket and added rick rack for fun!

I fringed the edges of the doll blanket and added rick rack for fun!

pink blanket

Too pretty to go completely out of sight - and easier to pull out for" wee ones".

Too pretty to go completely out of sight – and easier to pull out for” wee ones”.

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Filed under Blankets and doll blankets, Uncategorized, woolens