Vintage Sewing Books

I recently had a spate of vintage book buying, and I’ve finally had a chance over the last month or so to properly digest them. Most of them were purchased from, which I’d used and loved years ago and then promptly forgot existed until they sent me a “come back to us!” voucher out of the blue. Well, it worked because I ended up with Kwik Sew Method Swim Wear and Kwik Sew Method Lingerie, both by Kerstin Martensson, plus The Complete Book of Sewing by Constance Talbot, and a reproduction of the famous WWII pamphlet Make Do And Mend (bought from Bletchley Park‘s gift shop).

Reddy, Set, Sew!

When I visited the States last summer, I bought lots of fabric but did very little clothes shopping, despite everything being so cheap on the “dollar discount”. The only garment purchase I did make was a simple black top from the Issac Mizrahi for Target range, and I’ve absolutely worn it to death in the past year. I was really excited to see that Vogue 8305 contains a shirt absolutely identical to my Target one, so I thought I’d give it a go in some inexpensive red cotton jersey to check the fit and construction before cutting into anything more expensive in the future.

London haberdashery shopping

Since we can’t really afford to take a proper holiday this year, what with the boat renovations and wedding to save for, I’ve opted to take a few days off here and there to just spend at home or around town. My first “holiday at home” day I took on Thursday, starting with a decadent breakfast at The Chop House (which I walk past every single day and drool over) and then moving on to pick up a bunch of haberdashery supplies at the stores around town that are normally best visited (or only open) during the work week.

I did really well, starting at McCulloch & Wallis around 10, and finishing up at Borovick around 1, with a quick jaunt around Uni Qlo‘s sales (navy chinos and a white cotton/cashmere jumper for less than a tenner total!) and a pit stop at the Japan Centre thrown in there, too. The shops were nearly empty and at some points, there were more staff than customers. It was a revelation that shopping can actually be fun if you go on a midweek morning, as it’s usually the 9th circle of hell in that area on the weekends…

Two duds in a row

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve had a pattern that just did not work for me at all, but strangely, I’ve just had two in a row that I’m giving up on entirely.

I fell in love with the chic styling of the Hot Patterns Monaco Top – the slit opening, the slim lines, the angular bib, the pieced bottom, and all sweetened by the cute gathered sleeves. At least, that’s what I thought the pattern was for…

I should have really listened to the earlier reviewer of this pattern (who also didn’t make it past the muslin stage) and just cut my $18.50 losses and run far, far away.

Shopping Time

First of all thank you to each and every one for you for all the congratulations on our engagement! I should be getting the measurements and detail photographs for my Granny’s 1949 wedding dress in a month or so and I’ll share them then…

Meanwhile, I actually made a big purchase earlier last week, before I got the ring!

Yes, it’s a Bernina 800DL serger/overlocker! I have been lusting over this exact model for well over 9 months now, waiting for a still-delayed bonus, when I saw one come up on eBay for £100 cheaper than the cheapest retail price here in the UK. It was being sold by a lovely sewer who was selling her overlocker and coverstitch machines since she upgraded to a combine machine, and she kept ALL the original packaging and accessories – even the Bernina-branded needles!!

Been up to…

Phew! It’s been a very busy week, both in my sewing room and elsewhere on the boat. Parties, film nights, more deck grinding, music selection for a friend’s wedding, gardening, broken water pumps, gifts, muslins, and BIG shopping, but to name a few!

The deadline for the finished instructions and my bio for the “Pillowcase Challenge” book were also due this week, so I devoted a big chunk of Sunday to getting that perfect, and then the rest of the weekend was spent making a twin blue KnipMode shirt for my mom:

S'Update (Spring Update)

I had the day off yesterday, but I did not sew a single stitch. Yes, I am feeling okay, but I was looking a bit green yesterday…

This week I’ve been mostly busying myself with gathering materials for future projects. I ordered some gorgeous charcoal grey, 100% wool coating fabric from Rosenberg’s (they’ve got lots more fabric than what’s listed on the site!) which will be made into a new, long overcoat for next winter (I doubt I’ll be ready in time for Marji’s coat sew along, sadly!):