McCall’s 1462 — Pattern contains 13 different designs from 4 to 8 1/2 inches high. May be stamped on heavy paper, then traced around on colored material. Delightful for nursery curtains, quilts, etc.
Click to enlarge individual images below
This is my favorite style of dress for little girls — no bodice, just free and loose, gathered at the shoulders or yoke. They’re comfortable for the little wearer, easy to make and fit, and can be worn with pants when they become too short. Another plus is that when sewn with today’s fabrics, they can look very modern.
These 1920s McCall’s patterns with their adorable illustrations show up pretty regularly on Ebay and Etsy, but they are crazy expensive. Sometimes the sellers include a photo of the pattern back, which can be helpful when trying to draft your own pattern. As you can see in the photo, there are usually only a few pattern pieces which are illustrated, although the scale never looks quite right to me. Drafting the pattern probably requires a child’s dress form or, even better, a real little girl. I’m going to try making this one, and if it turns out okay, I’ll write a tutorial.
These little dresses often have tiny embroidered details, which is the best part.
My sister and I stopped by our favorite Goodwill last week, and I spotted a vintage Singer machine in a cabinet that I recognized as a 15-91 because of the distinctive potted motor on the back. It was a little dusty, but otherwise looked super clean. There were lots of accessories and bobbins in the drawers, and the price tag read $30 — I freaked out! When I got home I removed all the hardware attaching it to the cabinet, because I don’t have room for another piece of furniture in my sewing room, and Gordon used the wood from the cabinet to make a base.
Although it looked good and was running nicely, I’ve read enough to know it needed to be completely re-wired. Gordon ordered the items we needed (round terminals, new motor brushes, grease wick material and wires), and then we set about taking the machine apart. I was a little nervous (especially when we broke open the motor), but fortunately we were following this amazingly detailed, 20-step online tutorial that walks you through every step with gobs of photos.
After the wiring and greasing was done, I took apart the bobbin and tension assemblies (following directions in the 15-91 manual), and oiled the whole machine. The only thing left to do is polish the two chrome pieces. It sews like a dream and, a fun factoid — it was made in 1947, the year I was born.
I still have 3 sewing machines (Bernina 1000 Special, Bernina 540-2 Favorit, and the Singer 15-91). Last year I gave my Bernina 830 Record to a quilter I met online whose 830 had just died, and she could not afford to buy another one. I found that even though the 830 was a wonderful machine, I was so used to my 1000 (which I’ve been sewing on for 25 years), that I wasn’t really using the 830, and I didn’t need both of them since they are very similar. Plus, it felt great to be able to help out another quilter.
And, because it’s still Free Pattern Friday, here is a cute cottage which was part of a small lot of British transfers purchased on Ebay. The pattern was too rough to clean up in Photoshop, so I just ended up tracing it. Click the image to enlarge.
I freaked out when I read the theme for this border. I couldn’t imagine how I was going to make log cabin blocks when the vintage scraps I selected for this project are all small squares and triangles, with only a few larger pieces, and No Strips!
Then I remembered the good old pineapple block with its short strips — my pieces were just long enough that I could pull off a 6″ block. I gave them green centers and plain muslin lights to coordinate with the rest of the quilt. With this border, the top is 34″ square.
I don’t think it’s very Gwennie-looking, but stitching a wonky pineapple block is beyond my capabilities. Since I don’t paper piece, these blocks were sewn without a foundation, and most don’t match up perfectly. Also, I mixed in a few newer stripes and plaids. I guess that’s as liberated as I’m going to get.
Now I’m excited to see all the other wonderful borders on Lori’s blog (Humble Quilts).
This is one of two tops that I recently purchased from a seller who bought them at an estate sale (the other top was featured in an earlier post). She thought they were made by the same person, and I suspect that’s true. The hand piecing is similar, and several prints are repeated in both quilts. Like me, this scrappy quilt maker made up some rules for her design — 9 patches containing 4 darker and 4 lighter squares with a double pink center. Of course, the eye-catching detail in this top is the colorful cheddar cornerstone in the unusually wide double-pink sashing. The top is 73″ x 89″, and there are two narrow double-pink and cheddar borders on the sides of the quilt, but no borders on the top and bottom. I like to think this was intentional, and not because the quilter ran out of fabric. Either way, I intend to keep it like this.
There is a huge variety of brown, madder, double-pink and shirting prints in the nine-patches, and the fabrics appear to be stable. There are 3 small nine-patch squares with stains, which I plan to replace, but it won’t be noticeable because this is a true scrap quilt, with many fabric substitutions.
Turn dish drying into a rollicking show with glassware, dishes, pots and pans staging a gay outline-stitch revue on your dish towels. Here are saucy dancing girls (plates and teacups), an urbane vaudevillian with high hat and cane (the pot), a boy and girl dance team (glasses), the scatter-brained comic pair (skillets), and the sure-fire fat comedian (tea kettle). Work trims mainly in outline stitch in bright colors. Finish towel edges in fancy buttonhole stitch in a contrasting color.
From the Winnipeg Tribune, 1923
Humpty Dumpty sitting on the wall can be adapted to a variety of uses in making gifts for the little ones. This motif can be developed in either filet crochet or cross stitch.
The little Mother Goose shepherdess, whose picture in filet crochet appears here, will be very much at home in nursery or play room, and will make herself useful on bedspread, curtains or cushion.
These politically incorrect “squaw dresses” were a fad in the 50s, and my mother made elaborate versions for me and two of my sisters. This involved sewing yards of rick-rack on blouses and 3-tired skirts made with vibrantly colored wrinkly cottons marketed, of course, as “squaw cloth.” When I was growing up in Oklahoma, and living in a neighborhood where all the streets were named after Indian tribes, I didn’t realize that this was an offensive term. I still like the style, though.
From the Louisville Courier-Journal, 1925
For the children’s room, here is an interesting filet pattern adapted from the old reliable Mother Goose. If you are very ambitious, you might consider making a crocheted spread of Mother Goose medallions, but for most people, one medallion in the center of a spread involves labor enough. The pattern will also serve as a guide for cross stitch.