Saturday, August 29, 2009

New Toy!

I'm in love with our local Goodwill. I'm both a closet tree-hugger and a poor student so the idea of getting used but still good stuff for great prices with the proceeds going to good use? Score! So we've been doing a lot of our shopping there this past week. Got a desk, chairs, storage stuff, all for a good price. But yesterday was the definate gold mine. Looking around for a chair for my sewing are I noticed a long, slightly beat-up, rather dated box. Looked closer.

A Bond Knitting machine. From the early 90s. With all it's pieces. For $7.99. Gorgeous! Mine!

I brought it home and last night we got it set up on the one table it fits on (the kitchen table - guess we're eating at the coffee table for a while) and tested it out and I'm utterly amazed and overjoyed. It took some annoying-to-knit boucle yarn I had and turned it into a foot of gorgeousness in just half an hour with no problem. All I had to do was get it set up (admittedly rather time consuming and fiddly) and then slide the cartrige back and forth. And that's it! Love!

I need to spend time over at the bond site for project ideas - unfortunately the ones the machine came with are ... dated. To say the least. Lots of amusement value, though! And a fun, fun new toy to enjoy while I'm up here in sweater land. :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Very vintage doll pattern: or, A Taste of Things To Come

We've moved in, most boxes are unpacked, and hopefully next weekend I'll finally get a table for my sewing area and be up and running! I even managed to find the only Joann's within an hour's drive without deliberately looking for it - just turned off the highway for a mid-day treat and there it was. And so impressive - all the fabrics I loved from my Dallas Joann's plus many more! And the clearance section! And the yarns! All swathed in wide, clean aisles and nice bright (albit florescent) lights. Happiness!

Anyway, more of all that later. For now, a taste of the long-promised photos of my mother-in-law's grandmother's sewing treasures.

The treasures included a couple embroidery patterns, a small trouseau of entirely hand-sewn lingere, all from the same basic pattern, and, my favorite, a doll dress pattern dating from the early days of patterns.

Unfortunately the best of the pics are still trapped on my home computer which lacks internet access and will have to wait for the weekend to get any. But until then, this is a taste of what I got to see:

This shows the back (sorry, no pic of front at present - coming!!) of the pattern envelope which was, if memory serves, from the early 1920s. It's far smaller than standard pattern envelopes today - maybe 5" in hight and 3" wide? One thing I didn't do was measure it, though I know I have a picture with a penny for comparison. Somewhere. If you look you'll notice how excited McCall's is to offer printed directions. :) And look at all those pattern pieces! The pattern is for what seems to be a very basic little dress and bloomers for an 18" doll - apparently the definition of "basic" has changed over the years. :)

The directions and, I believe, the pattern pieces themselves were printed on one long piece of tissue paper in blue ink. I took a panoramic series of photos to capture every last line but, naturally, in the short bit of time I had to upload to my photo album only a few made it. The rest are waiting patiently and I promise you will get to see them! Click on this photo to get a far larger view and enjoy all the wonderful little details!

Here's part 4 of the directions with the most gorgeous illustrations. And look at the techniques apparently used on a basic doll dress! So amazing.

Like I said, this is just a taste of the treasures I got to see and preserve digitally over the week with the in-laws. And MIL was probably very happy to have someone as excited about all the items as she was. :) I've also been commissioned to make a beautiful day dress for her grandmother's doll, something I'm very much looking forwards to as it's a great chance to really have fun with some vintage styles and nice fabric. I think a trip to Gayfeathers is in order!

Monday, August 03, 2009

How's summer going?

Busy here!  Hopefully in another couple weeks I'll be back in the land of regular internet access and I've been storing up things to share - fabrics acquired, a few gorgeous 1920s patterns MIL has passed down from her grandmother, hand-sewn chemises from the same grandmother, and my attempt at getting by on just 20 or so patterns for a year.  And, I'm sure, more but that's what I'm most excited about at the moment.  Unfortunately that'll have to wait a tad until said regular internet, computer, and I are all together at the same time.  Until then hope that everyone else is having a great, productive, and fun summer!