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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…

It’s Time to Mention Unmentionables!

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Shocking!

Ladies, if you’ve ever struggled with what goes on before you put on your clothes, it’s time to fix that. If you spend the day tugging up bra straps or end the day dying to be released from bra bondage, then, reader, this post is for you. We’re doing a first on my blog: going deep into the confusing world of bra-fitting (and, yes, this will have a historical connection and repercussions for at least one of my patterns!). Read more…

Mimi’s Vintage Beauty Philosophy

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"Going Out" by Norman Rockwelll

I so enjoyed writing about my paternal grandparents in Part I and Part II of this series, and I promised to share at least one more post about my grandmother’s beauty regimen. Well, as I got thinking back over my memories of Mimi, I realized there were actually quite lot of things to write about, so I’ve got at least three posts before I’ll finish off. Today’s will be my grandmother’s general philosophy of loveliness. It’s one that rings true with me all these years later, and I think its wisdom is timeless. I hope you enjoy this blast from the past that still resonates today! 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…

Trace those master pattern pieces!

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tracing_paper

I’ve received several questions about what to use when tracing pattern pieces for repeated use (paper? tissue? interfacing?). My absolute favorite choice is Swedish Tracing Paper, which is washable, reusable interfacing (“paper” is a bit of a misnomer). You can even make your fitting toiles from this stuff, as it will stand up to sewing […] Read more…