sewing tips

Let’s Make Circle Skirts!

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Circle Skirt with Pockets

As a young teen obsessed with vintage clothing, I dearly wanted a circle skirt. I’d seen them in old magazines and thought the felt ones with appliques like poodles or the Eiffel Tower were just too cute for words. When my grandmother realized how much I loved vintage fashion, she gave me a beautiful ruffled petticoat she had made in the mid-1950s and two felted wool circle skirts she was still wearing as late as the 1970s (she kept her 23″ waist until her death by doing nightly sit-ups on a slant board!). I was 14 at the time, and the clothes were a perfect fit. I was on cloud nine. Read more…

Let’s Make Colonial Costumes for Girls!

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Girls' Colonial Dresses

Out of all the patterns I’ve designed in the past 18 years, the Girls’ 1780s Portrait Dress pattern is, hands down, my own daughters’ very favorite. I’ve made them so many dress-up dresses from this pattern in toiles and stripes and prints, and they want new ones as soon as they outgrow them! But this year, both girls asked if I could make dresses that looked more like something “Felicity” (the now retired–sigh–American Girl doll) would wear. Read more…

The Sewing Book by Butterick (1913)

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1913 Sewing Book Sample

Beneath the unassuming cover awaits a treasure trove of sewing knowledge! This wonderful 1913 sewing book was created to instruct girls in basic to advanced sewing, beginning with simple hand stitches, then advancing through projects that increase in difficulty–from simple hems and repairs to aprons, a nightgown, underthings, a middy dress, and more.

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