Friday, 17 March 2017

Vintage sewing notions - Bias Binding

I have just uploaded some more Vintage Sewing Kits to my Etsy shop.  They are small collections of vintage sewing notions in a variety of colours.  It has inspired me to do some research!

I came across these lovely packets of bias binding complete with their original labels:

Rayon Bias Binding
Rayon itself is a fabric manufactured from cellulose.  Cellulose comes from wood pulp and goes through several stages of manufacture to become rayon.  First it is purified, then dissolved and forced through a spinaret to produce filaments.  The filaments are then chemically solidified, resulting in synthetic fibres of nearly pure celloulose. 
Rayon can be tricky to sew, as it is very light, drapey and slippery!   
Here's a blog post on the Colette blog about sewing with rayon challis, a luxurious, silky form of rayon.
Nowadays, Hug Snug make a rayon seam binding.  Here it is on Amazon
Laura Mae uses rayon seam binding here. It is very light and makes a lovely finish for inside your garment.

Nainsook Bias Binding
I had never heard of Nainsook before!  Wikipedia tells me that 'it is a soft, fine, lightweight form of muslin.  The word 'Nainsook' was first documented in 1790, and derives from the Hindu and Urdu 'nainsukh' which literally means 'eye's delight!'  Nainsook was often used to make lingerie items and babies' clothing up until the 1920s.  It was often used to make bias binding in the 1950s and 60s.  
Thus, it would be another lovely light binding for the inside seams of your garment.  
Here's a blog post with more information about Nainsook.

You can find the yellow rayon and the yellow nainsook bias binding in this kit for sale here.

And the green nainsook binding is in this kit available here.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Tilly and the Buttons Cleo pinafore dress

Every Tuesday morning I go to a sewing drop-in at my local sewing shop More Sewing.  As we sit sewing, drinking coffee and chatting, we are surrounded by the most beautiful fabrics!  I spied this gorgeous baby cord fabric sometime ago, and wondered what I could make with it.  When I saw Tilly and the Buttons Cleo pinafore I knew I had a match made in heaven!

I have to say I was a little hesitant as to whether as a woman in her 50s I would get away with wearing a pinafore like this, so I didn't want to make it look too 'little girly'.  I decided to skip the top pocket and just have the hip pockets at the back and front.  I also opted for the longer length.

The fabric was easy to sew - here's my flat felled seam, about to sew the pockets on.

I ordered the dungaree buckles and jeans buttons from Tilly.  They were really easy to fix, no pliers needed!

Here's the final garment:

And me wearing it!

It felt a bit strange at first, as it so loose around the waist.  I love it!  My one slight little niggle is that I think I stretched the baby cord a  little across the top of the bib, and I could have placed the buttons in a little.  But no matter, I love wearing it!Such an easy pattern, I would make it again, maybe a plain one?

Friday, 11 November 2016

Inspiration for Christmas party frocks

Do you need some inspiration for your Christmas party frock?  How about sewing one of these gorgeous evening dresses from the 1960s?



Or maybe 1970s is more your thing?



There is even the possibility of machine knitting your evening dress:



All these patterns are available in my Etsy shop:

I am offering a 10% discount for the rest of the month.  Please use the code NOVE10.

Happy sewing!  And happy partying!

Monday, 24 October 2016

Are you a Strictly fan?

I love this time of year when Strictly Come Dancing arrives on our tv screen!    I love the colour, the glitter and the glamour!

So imagine my delight when this pattern turned up in a bundle of vintage patterns I acquired recently.  It is a 1960s pattern for a ballroom dress, with variations on neckline and sleeve.  It has been partially cut, but is complete and in good condition.





The pattern is recommended by Bill and Bobby Irvine.  Here’s their wikipedia entry.  They were dancing in the 1960s, and won 13 world titles during that decade.  Here they are dancing:


I can’t find anything out about Theatreland Ltd.  All I can find online is a company with the same name which provides theatre guides and websites which began in 2003.

Just fabulous!

It is for sale in my Etsy shop:

Monday, 17 October 2016

One pattern, Three looks

With the price of patterns so high nowadays, it’s great to use a pattern more than once.  I think people call it TNT, tried ‘n tested.  I fell in love with this Kwick Sew pattern, K4026


My first attempt at making this dress was for Christmas last year.  I bought this gorgeous printed jersey from More Sewing.  The rich velvety look to the fabric suited a Christmas dress.  It was a very straight forward make, the only alteration was to grade out at the waist.  I love the skirt on this dress!


The next iteration of this pattern was a top.  Another gorgeous jersey fabric from More Sewing, but this time much more drapy.  Indeed, I had to alter the cowl neckline as it was so low!  But I just love the colours in this fabric.


Finally, a dress I made this summer for a friend’s 60th birthday party.  This is my least favourite of the 3, as it is a very bouncy fabric and it feels like the cowl neck sticks out!  I am not sure about the sleeves either, maybe it would look better sleeveless?  I made this one longer in length, and the skirt is very swishy!


Finally, talking about saving money, here’s a plantain top (Deer and Doe free pattern) I made with the leftovers from the Christmas dress.  There is a seam down the back, and the sleeves are made from a lovely tweed look fabric.  The only problem is that the sleeves are a little bit tight as this tweed is a woven fabric.  If I do it like this again, (which I am sure I will!) I will either use a stretch fabric or cut them a bit bigger!  I do love the elbow patch detail on this top!


Monday, 10 October 2016


Are you thinking of sewing a coat this autumn?  Well, if you are, here’s some inspiration from my stock of vintage patterns:


Here’s a closer look at 3 patterns,1950s, 1960s and 1970s.


See them all on my Etsy shop

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Autumn Hollyburn

As soon as I saw this autumn fabric made up into culottes in the window of my local fabric shop, More Sewing, I knew I was going to have to make another Hollyburn skirt!  I decided on a midi length, so lengthened the the skirt by 4 inches.  It went together really easily again, straight out of the envelope.  I love it, it’s so swishy!  (Sorry about the photos, the light is so bad at the moment and as you can see I was using my phone)