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Kwik Sew 3121 with Faux Ribbing

Kwik Sew 3121 is pretty much my go-to pattern when I want a dartless, boxy fit pullover. It makes a great starting point for interesting designs. This particular design features a full cowl neck of self faux ribbing adorned with a decorative buckle, and long, full sleeves ending in thick cuffs of self faux ribbing.

For this make, I used a soft poly sweater knit with just a touch of metallic gold from Fabric Mart.  I made the faux self-ribbing from the fabric by sewing pin tucks, following threads in the sweater knit.

The faux ribbing is one of those fun projects I will never do again!! It was difficult to get right and very time consuming. At first I tried following the suggestions I found online and in an old issue of Threads Magazine to use a twin needle and a pin tuck foot. No matter what I did to the tension, stitch length or any other setting, the tucks came out messy at best. Worst still the thread from spool # 2 kept breaking. I tried rethreading, I tried different spools of thread, nothing helped.

Eventually I gave up and started looking through my stash for an acceptable alternative ribbing. I toyed with the idea of abandoning the ribbing altogether. I had no suitable alternative ribbing, so I decided to give it one more try.

This time, I used a single needle and a zipper foot, following the pattern in the sweater knit. To keep the ribbing even and avoid twisting, I stitched every tuck in the opposite direction. The resulting tucks were wider and deeper than the results from the twin needle and pintuck foot. And it took a little practice to get each tuck neat. It took a very long time, going up one tuck and down the next, and a lot of thread, to actually gather the material into the tucks. The faux ribbing also used a lot of material. The cowl neck is made from a strip of flat fabric a full 60 inches long! But with all the pin tucks, it gathers into a piece of faux ribbing just big enough to finish the neck!

NOTE: In the photos the sleeve is pinned to the front of the sweater so it’s easy to see the deep self faux ribbing on the cuffs.



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Butterick 6487 The Real Make

SilkblouseoneI rarely make samples or mock ups, but I’m glad I did with Butterick 6487. I did it because I was afraid the design changes I made would cause a problem. Instead, I made several silly mistakes, and I’m glad I got them out of the way on the sample blouse!

For this make I used a floral print silk crepe de chine from Fabric Mart. The piece was barely enough for blouse and long ties, even a tiny cutting mistake could ruin the project completely!

Learning from my sleeve mistake on the previous make, I double checked each pattern piece to be sure it was the correct piece. The ties are rectangles cut on the cross gran from the little bit of fabric left after cutting out the blouse.

I also remembered my vent mistake on the previous make. This time I used a piece of super light weight fusible interfacing on the spot where the sleeve is slit, to prevent raveling. The pattern suggests a narrow hem on the slit, but I prefer faced slits. So I cut a piece of scrap into a rectangle, and interfaced it with the same super light weight fusible. I placed the facing face down on the right side of the sleeve. I stitched along the stitching lines, using a shorter stitch (1.8) near the top and taking two stitches across the top. Then I cut the slit as close as I could possibly get to the two top stitches. I didn’t have to worry about anything fraying or raveling because both sleeve and facing are fused to interfacing. Then, I pushed the facing through to the right side, pressed it in place, and topstitched.

The rest went together so easily there isn’t much to say. The ties are slightly wider than the neckband, and slightly gathered where they are attached to the neckband.

I LOVE the ties! They are so much fun. I wore it with a bow tied on the left side, but it could easily tie on the right as well. The photos here show the blouse with the tie as I wore it, with a bow tied low in front, with a bow tied low in back, and with the ties wrapped once around the neck and draped dramatically over the shoulders and down the back.

In the photos, the ties sort of blend into the top. IRL the ties stand out more clearly.


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Butterick 6487 Test Run

Inspired by a designer blouse, I wanted to make Butterick  6487 with a couple of potentially complicated alterations. I wanted to move the zipper from back to left shoulder. A zipper on the left shoulder is easier for me to do than one in back. My plan included long ties at the neck that could be tied many different ways, including at the back of the neck and draping down the back. So moving the zipper to the left shoulder keeps it out of the way.

The other potentially troublesome alteration was an FBA. Following the advice from the helpful members of Sewing Pattern Review Forum, I added side darts.

If I was doing just one alteration or the other, in a moderate or cheap fabric, I’d just dive in and do it. But, I planned to use a piece of silk crepe de chine from Fabric Mart. It was a pricier fabric, and no more was available.

So for this make I used some floral rayon challis from my stash, leftovers from a different project. To dress it up a bit I decided to cover the collar and cuffs with scraps of black lace.  I skipped the ties on the sample top.

The FBA went smoothly, and inserting an invisible zipper in the left shoulder seam was surprisingly easy. In fact, everything went together smoothly, until it came time to apply the cuffs to the sleeves. And then I realize I omitted the vent in the sleeve, and the cuff is huge. It flops over my hand. Adding a vent at this stage is trickier than installing a vent while the sleeve is still flat. A vent is a lot of extra steps; cutting the facing or binding, interfacing the opening, installing the vent itself, then the cuff. I’m not sure how easy it will be to put a buttonhole in lace covered fabric.

Throwing caution to the wind I decide to make faux cuffs, permanently sewn closed, just big enough for my hand to slip through. I’ll use the same technique used to attach a ribbed cuff to a knit sleeve, by gathering the end of the sleeve, slipping the sleeve inside the cuff, lining up raw edges and notches, serging the cuff to the sleeve and finally flipping the cuff down.

I start by pinning the cuffs to the proper size, with a red pin holding the inside lap, a blue pin marking the outside overlap, and a white pin matching the button position. I’m not going to do a buttonhole, I’ll just sew the button to all layers of cuff.

Lace band inserted into the sleeve

I start with the sleeves right side out. I mark the notch on the outside/backside of the sleeve with a blue pin. I turned the cuff inside out, slipped it over the sleeve, and lined up the blue pins. I adjusted the gathers evenly around the cuff, and sewed it to the sleeve.

Amazingly, it worked! Then, I closed the cuff and sewed on a permanent decorative button.

Next I attached the sleeves to the bodice, and tried it on. That’s when I discovered Big Mistake Number Two.

The sleeve was way too short and a little weird. What went wrong?? Well, me, of course, I used the WRONG pattern piece!!

I wasn’t giving up on this top! I picked a spot about 4″ about the cuff, and cut the cuff off the sleeve. I used the very last bit of black lace scraps to make wide bands that I inserted into the sleeve. The band extended the sleeve enough so that it fits comfortably. And because I used the same lace on the cuffs and collar it actually looks intentional!

Invisible zip in left shoulder. The zipper tails are not sewn down yet

In spite of the mistakes, the odd corrections, and the fact that the lace and fabric are scraps from other projects this blouse came out nice.

<b>Pattern Description: </b>
Misses blouse with gather detail mock neck, cuff or ruffle sleeve, and optional contrast yoke

<b>Pattern Sizing:</b>

<b>Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?</b>
Yes, in spite of all my errors, it does look like the pattern envelope!

<b>Were the instructions easy to follow?</b>
Yes, the instructions were clear and correct

<b>What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?</b>
I like the gathering at the mock neck. I did not like the zipper in the back seam

<b>Fabric Used:</b>
Floral rayon challis and black lace. Both are scraps from previous projects

<b>Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:</b>
FBA by adding side darts. Moved the zipper from the back to the left shoulder. The cuffs are mock cuffs, due to my mistake. I added a wide lace band on the lower part of the sleeve, again to correct my mistake

<b>Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?</b>
Yes, I would sew this again. As a matter of fact, this particular blouse is actually a test make for another blouse from this pattern

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Butterick 5954 knit pullover top

Butterick 5954 is an easy, elegant pullover top. I was drawn to the wrap effect with a cowl neck. Cowls are big this year, and I’m happy about that! I missed the full, deep cowl necks from the 1970s.

I used an Aegean blue jacquard knit from Fabric Mart. I made the long sleeved version with the cowl neck. I love it! It’s soft and comfortable. I love the high-low hemline and the super full, swishy back.

This is a very easy pattern, especially views A & B . Views C & D are very easy too, but the construction sequence is a little different. The side seams are sewn and the bottom is hemmed before the shoulder seams are sewn. This is so the finished hem edge is tucked neatly into the shoulder seam. The front is essentially two front pieces, one over the other.

I used my coverstitch machine to finish the hem. The only seams I machine based were the shoulder seams and the armhole seams. Everything else I serged on the first pass. I must say construction goes a lot faster this way!

But I’m glad I basted the shoulder seams, because on the first try, I mixed up the right and left sides. I have dyslexia, so sometimes that happens. I just undid the basting, and tried again. The second time I got it right, so I serged the shoulder seams.

The full swishy back. It’s much nicer in person

I serged the sleeves, and finished them with a coverstitch.

I used the two pass method to attach the cowl. First I lined up one raw edge of the cowl with the raw edge of the neck and stitched it. Then I folded the collar, and stitched in the ditch

Pattern Description:
Easy knit pullover tunic. Close-fitting and flared, pullover tunic has front variations, high-low hemline and narrow hem. Wrong side shows on back hemline. A, B: Scoop neckline. A: Sleeveless. B: Three-quarter sleeves. C: Short sleeves. D: Long sleeves. C, D: Cowl collar and overlapping tulip hem.

Pattern Sizing:

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, it did. Except prettier!

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, they were easy. Views C & D use an unusual construction sequence because of the wrap front, but it’s logical and easy to follow

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
The long full swishy back!

Fabric Used:
Poly knit jacquard in Aegean blue

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes to both! I would sew it again (in fact, I already did) and yes, I would recommend it to others

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Kwik Sew 3121 Revisited and Revised

I love the clothes in the Soft Surroundings catalog. Many of the pieces inspire me to use stuff from my stash. This velvet asymmetrical tunic was my inspiration for a remake of Kwik Sew 3121.

Butterick 6058 and McCalls 7194 were candidates for the starting point to recreate the Soft Surroundings velvet tunic. Kwik Sew is a loose fitting boxy long sleeved dartless Tee pattern.

This pattern might have been a little too boxy to be the best starting point for this tunic, but, I chose it because I had already traced out a full front and full back piece, AND modified those pieces into an A-line shape. All I had to do was cut out the side insert, and add a tail to the insert. And, maybe, slightly modify the cowl neck.

I sketched the tail insert free hand. I decided it wasn’t quite long enough, so I sliced the pattern apart, and added a two inch patch.

I use a single lay, where I laid the fabric out in a single layer, velvet side up, and cut whole pieces (not on any folds). Making the long asymmetrical tail by inserting a separate piece saved a lot of fabric over simply extending the existing pieces.  In fact, this is when I decided to trim off the little tail I’d added to the other side of the tunic, because it gobbled up a lot of extra fabric. I did not cut the collar yet.

Here’s how I assembled it. 1. Sewed shoulder seams and stay stitched around the neck 2. Sewed the front insert to the front and the back insert to the back 3. Sewed the side seams and tried it on. 4. Sewed the sleeve seams, then installed the sleeves into the armholes. 5. Sewed the hem and sleeve hems in a coverstitch using my Babylock Evolve, with blue variegated thread in the looper.

At this point I put the top on and played around with the remaining velvet and a tape measure, and the cowl pattern from Kwik Sew. I knew I wanted my cowl to be thicker and longer than the pattern, so I cut the collar in a <=> sort of shape. When the collar is folded in half, the folded edge is longer than the raw edges.

It’s easy to just stitch the collar to the neck with a serger. But, it seems like when I use this method with cowl necks, that serged edge always manages to work it’s way front and center, not just visible, but framed neatly by the cowl like a focal point. So, I opted for the harder method of stitching one side of the collar on with a serger, then turning under the raw edge and stitching in the ditch to secure the other side of the collar, concealing the seam inside the collar.

Pattern Description: Misses pullover top with long sleeves and three different necklines. A, B: Side vents. A: Shawl collar sewn to a V-neckline. B: Fold-over wide turtleneck collar. C: Boat neckline with a ribbing neckband. It has a dartless, loose fit.

Pattern Sizing: Misses

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Nope! I changed it quite a bit

Were the instructions easy to follow? I did my own thing with this make, but from previous makes, I can say Yes, the instructions are logical, clear and easy to follow.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? No dislikes. I like the simplicity and loose fit

Fabric Used: Stretch velvet

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added a diagonal inset that tapers into a “tail” on the left side. I made the cowl wider and deeper. I made the sleeve a little slimmer

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes and Yes

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McCalls 7240 Knit Dress Test Run as a Top

Line Drawings and Fabric Tag

A recent McCalls release included several knit dress patterns that caught my eye. The little contrast yoke with asymmetrical neckline  is just the right touch this simple dress needs.

I need sweaters and tops more than I need dresses. I had a piece of grey and black animal print Hatchi sweater knit from Fabric Mart, and some leftover black stretch velvet in my stash. I decided to use these fabrics to make this pattern into a sweater top.

The line drawings show a wide neckline. I usually don’t care for wide necklines, but I decided to try it as drafted anyway.

Somehow I managed to cut the contrast yoke piece to sit on the RIGHT side of the top instead of the LEFT. Luckily, I also got the front bodice backwards, so my sweater has the contrast yoke on the right. I think this mistake is mine, not the patterns, because I tend to mix up right and left.

My Sweater Top Version

Other than the right-left glitch, the pattern went together quickly and easily. I used my Babylock Evolve to coverstitch the neck, sleeve hems, and hem. Usually I sew major seams with the machine, test the garment, then finish with the serger. This time I threw caution to the wind and serged the seams, which sped up the sewing process.

The neckline came out Wide. Very Wide. It’s elegant, it’s feminine. It’s chilly for a sweater. It exposes my bra strap and a scar. It’s just not right for me.

I used scraps of the animal print knit along with steel grey and solid black knit jerseys to make a swirl scarf. All three fabrics I used were close to 72 inches wide, so the scarf came out a little longer than expected, but looks nice looped twice, covers my neck, and keeps me warm,

I like the look of the asymmetrical neckline and contrast yoke, I’ll a little sad that the scarf partially hides these fun features. I think I will make this again as a dress, maybe in a floral print, but I will make the neck much less wide.

Pattern Description: Loose-fitting, pullover dresses (close-fitting through bust) have left front yoke and narrow hem. A: Short sleeves. B, C: Long sleeves. D: Three-quarter length sleeves and contrast yoke.

All views feature a wide neck, Views C & D have an asymmetrical neckline

With Matching Scarf

Pattern Sizing: Misses

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, except I made mine top length instead of dress length. And, I mixed up my right and left, so the contrast yoke is on the right side instead of the left

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, the instructions were clear and easy to follow

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the contrast yoke and asymmetrical neck line. I dislike the wide neck line, it’s too wide for me.

Fabric Used: Hatchi sweater knit and stretch velvet

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made the pattern top length, because I need tops more than I need dresses.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes and yes! I do want to make this in a dress version.


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Classic Breton Tee Free Pattern

Brenton Top


Dropped shoulder

This fun shirt is a classic Breton Top.  The pattern features a simple, slightly scooped, sort of boaty neck and dropped shoulders. The pattern is free from Simply Sewing Magazine and I think it is from a Great British Sewing Bee. I downloaded it from http://www.simplysewingmag.com/downloads/simply-sewing-issue-17-templates/

I chose a gray and wine striped cotton knit from Fabric Mart. Because it’s 100% cotton I washed the fabric in hot water and dried it on hot in the dryer before cutting out. I plan to wash the finished Tee in cool water and dry it on low.

I made the largest size and it fits comfortably. I raised and rounded the neckline a bit. I don’t mind scooped necks, but I’m really not fond of boat necks, so my shirt has a jewel style neck.

I lengthened it to almost tunic length, and made the sleeves long. I didn’t use the front and back facing pieces, instead I used a narrow bias strip to finish the neckline. This method works much better for me on most light and medium knits than facings do.

The download came with several craft patterns, including a coastal doorstop, bunting and fish decorations, dog pincushion, girl’s sun dress and hat, denim crossbody bag, stitched flag, and whale toy. If you’re printing on your home printer, you may want to print only the pages with the Tee pattern. I had the whole file printed at Fed-Ex Kinkos, where I have my Lekala patterns printed, and so I printed everything.

The pattern includes a front, a back, a sleeve, a front facing and a back facing. Instructions are not included in the download, I don’t know if they are available anywhere on line. The Simply Sewing site says they are available in a printed issue of the magazine. I’ve never seen the instructions, so I can’t comment on them.

Here’s what I did 1. Sewed the shoulder seams. 2. Sewed the sleeves to the armhole. 3. Sewed the side/sleeve seams. 4. Stay stitched the neckline. 5. Sewed a narrow bias band to the neckline on the outside of the Tee. 6. Flipped the neckline to the inside and topstitched it in place using my coverstitch machine (a Babylock Evolve) 7. Sewed the hem and sleeve hems with my coverstitch machine 8. Trimmed away any excess on the inside of the hem, sleeve hems, and neckline, and any stray long threads

Pattern Description: The classic Breton Top featuring a slightly scooped, boat neck and dropped shoulders

Pattern Sizing: Regular Misses. I used the largest size

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Except for my changes, yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow? No instructions were provided on the pdf file. The website indicates they are available in a back issue of the magazine, so I never saw the instructions

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It’s FREE! I like the dropped shoulder. I didn’t use the facings, instead, I used a narrow bias strip. I think bias strips or neckbands work much better than facings on light and medium weight knits.

Fabric Used: Cotton Jersey

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I don’t care for boat-ey necklines, so my neckline is more jewel. I also lengthened the sleeves to the wrist and the bodice to almost tunic length

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I recommend this pattern to anyone who feels comfortable assembling a Tee without instructions. The dropped shoulder feature is fun. I do plan to sew this Tee again!


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McCalls 7538 Knit Bandage Dress

This is a flattering, easy to make and comfortable to wear dress. With careful color choices, the bandage wrap style can make the waist look slimmer, creating an hourglass shape.

My inspiration for this dress were these two designs by Proenza Schouler. These Proenza dresses have a dramatic one bare shoulder look that I could not pull off. I knew mine would have both shoulders covered and two longish sleeves. The Proenza dresses have a peek-a-boo effect built into the wraps, my dress will provide full coverage. McCalls 7538 matched the wrap portion closely. When comparing my finished dress to the inspirational images, it looks like the wraps on the Proenza dresses are more vertical, and the ones in this pattern are a little more horizontal, but it’s not a barely noticeable difference. I copied the Proenza lettuce finish on the hem and sleeves. I think the Proenza dresses are made from a softer, less firm knit.

I chose an easy to sew rayon ponte in a middle blue. I wanted the bandages to be darker, so my waist would (in theory) look a little thinner. And I wanted an extra accent stripe. Once I settled on the middle blue and a dark blue, choosing the final strip was a lot harder. I planned to layer the thinner strips over the wide base bandage stripe, so the more layers, the thicker the bandage. Two layers of ponte, middle blue and dark blue, was already thick. Another ponte would have been too thick, so I started picking in my scraps and leftovers. I found two potential options, and settled on the striped ity knit.

This is an easy to make dress that went together quickly without fuss. But, the skirt was SHORT!! Usually I find myself cutting off inches at the hem before hemming. This time the skirt was cut just long enough, turning up anything more than an inch or so for hem would be too short. So, I borrowed from the inspiration design and used a lettuce finish on the hem and sleeves. I’ve never tried this kind of finish on a fabric as thick and firm as the ponte, but it worked.

The end result is a comfortable, flattering easy to wear dress. The rayon ponte is comfortable and wrinkle resistant, so it’s a good garment for traveling.

It’s also something that could be worn to the office under a jacket or cardigan. Take off the cardigan, and you’re ready to go out for dinner and drinks, or to the theater.

Pattern Description: Knit dress with Bandage Wrap design

Pattern Sizing: Misses

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, except I used different color blocking

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, they were clear, notches matched up, etc

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the wrap section at the middle. I did not like the length, this skirt is SHORT. I was a little surprised at just how short it was. I like my skirts to reach the knee at least, even with a lettuce hem that takes up no extra length the skirt is barely long enough. I’m also not thrilled with the way the shoulders/sleeves fit. The only reason I can move my arms is because the fabric stretches!!! When I first tried this dress on I was afraid that would be a big problem. I wore the dress anyway. It bothered me for a minute or two, by the time the evening was over I had forgotten it was a problem.

Fabric Used: Rayon/Lycra ponte knit, with contrast polyester ponte knit and a little bit of poly ity from my scrap bin

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I used a different color blocking design and added extra strips on the “bandages”

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes and yes. With careful color choices, this is a slimming style that’s comfortable to wear.

Inspiration dress one

inspiration dress two

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Simplicity 1694 – Number 3

I  like Simplicity 1694. The soft A-line is soft and airy, and helps this shirt stay cool and comfortable.

This is my latest make of this pattern. It’s a mystery print from the stash that’s been hanging around for a while. I’ve picked it up several times, but there wasn’t enough for the projects I had in mind. Then, on a whim, I tried this fabric with Simplicity 1694 and plain black rayon for contrasting pieces like the collar, the tabs and the facings.

It almost worked. Almost! In desperation, I turned the pattern pieces onto the cross grain. It worked! And, it didn’t look bad, either!

I was still short just a teeny, tiny bit, so I decided to use plain black rayon shirting as an accent and to give me just enough fabric to squeeze out this shirt.

I’ve made this pattern several times already, so this shirt went together quickly and easily. I used shiny, black, faceted buttons from my button stash.

Pattern Sizing:

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, but I’ve made this shirt a couple of times already, so this time I didn’t pay much attention to them.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the loose, comfortable fit. It’s perfect for hot, humid weather.

Fabric Used:
A woven fabric in a floral print. I don’t remember when or where I got it. The burn test indicates that it’s a poly blend, I assume with cotton (or maybe rayon) because it’s still cool and comfortable, as well as fairly wrinkle resistant.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Used black rayon challis for contrasting collar and cuffs


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Sew Retro: A Stylish History of the Sewing Revolution Book Review

Grab a cup of coffee, or tea, or cocoa. It’s time for another book review

Sew Retro – A Stylish History of the Sewing Revolution by Judi Ketteler

Sew Retro is a combination history and how-to book. Patterns for the projects are included.

DISCLAIMER: I have not actually made any of the projects using the provided pattern pieces or instructions. My pattern pieces are still sealed in the envelope bound into the rear of this hardback, spiral bound book.

The book covers roughly 150 years of history, from the 18000s to the 1980s. I guess anything newer than that is too new to be retro!

A fun timeline marches across the bottom of the pages through all the chapters, noting important sewing related events.

Each chapter begins by talking about the changing role of women, major events and circumstances that affect the United States and their impact on the home sewing industry. Biographies of key women in fashion history and interviews with contemporary women in the industry pepper this section, and advertisements from the era provide rich, intriguing illustrations. The history portion is followed by several projects that (are supposed to) reflect that time period.

Chapter One – 1800s – Victorian Pin Cushion, Elegant Shawl, Sweet Sewing Basket, Charming Needlecase

Chapter Two – 1910s; 1920s – Opera Bag, Flapper Apron, Smart Felt Hat

Chapter Three – 1930s; 1940s – Patchwork Potholders, Pinch a Penny Change Purse, Cafe Curtains, Tea Party Tablecloth, Ribbon Embellished Napkins

Chapter Four – 1950s -Hostess Apron, Mod Gathered Pillow, Pretty Little Purse, Birds of a Feather Table Runner, Handkerchief Bag

Chapter Five – 1960s; 1970s – Not So Mini Mini Skirt, Cool Coasters, Easy Elastic Headband, Groovy Patchwork Throw

Chapter Six – 1980s – Saturday Afternoon Skirt, Farmer’s Market Bag, Catch-All Caddy, Almost Effortless Scarf

Every project includes a photo of the completed item. Many of these projects are (or could be) quite useful items, for example, the Thrifty Thirties Patchwork Potholders, or the Victorian Sweet Sewing Basket. Others, like the Mid Century Modern Birds of a Feather Table Runner and Almost Effortless Scarf, are just not my taste at all. And some, like the Mid Century Modern Pretty Little Purse, are actually quite cute, but not in the fabrics and colors chosen for the examples.

All the projects are Easy or Very Easy. A few, like the Easy Elastic Headband, a fabric tube with an elastic insert, are easy enough for children. The Patchwork Potholders would be a good project to introduce kids to quilting, and the Groovy Patchwork Throw could make an easy project for a beginning quilter. Some projects, like the Cafe Curtains or the Elegant Shawl, are simple projects that an intermediate sewist could probably create on their own without the book (I know I’ve been making simple curtains like for over 30 years, often out of sheets).

Each project includes a list of needed supplies, the pattern pieces used (if any), a list of what fabric pieces to cut, and assembly steps accompanied by illustrations with a hand-drawn quality.

Will you like this book?

If you are looking for a how-to-sew book, this probably isn’t for you. It does include some sewing information, and a couple of projects could be good introductions to quilling, but the how-to information is largely limited to how-to do each project, not sewing in general.

If you are looking to recreate authentic items from a specific era of history, this book is not for you. The projects are all modern interpretations inspired by the mood and feeling of a specific era.

If you are looking for Easy or Very Easy sewing projects (including some that can be done by hand, or by children, or by hand by children) you might like this book. If you dislike the way an item looks in the project photo, do not be put off. These items can be made in different colors (or in prints or solids) and different fabric, producing different results.

If you enjoy vintage advertising, sewing history, interviews and biographies of fashion industry figures, you might like this book.


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