Tag Archives: 1970s

Sorting through my stuff…two things become one

Nothing big going on right now, I’m busy and oftentimes it is too warm to do anything, sorry for the lack of showstoppers.
At the moment I am going through my stash, looking for new projects, finding old and abandoned Ufos and long forgotten shirts I loved to death but couldn’t bear to part with, so they went into the “maybe I can use it someday”-drawer.

Two items that have lived with me already quite some time: a Souvenir-handkerchief from the Swiss Museum of Transport from the 1960ies or 70ies I always thought too beautiful to use and a dark-blue velvet pillowcase that only needed one small part of a seam re-sewn. I had bought it in an antiques shop with a special shelf: grab a bag, fill it and pay 3€ for the whole, no matter how much stuff you managed to get into it.  As you can imagine, only being interested in a few items led to at least one full bag in the end, you can never know when something could be useful and hey, its paid! That’s how I came into the possession of a not particularly beautiful and slightly damaged 70ies velvet pillowcase.

hanky-pillow. parvasedapta.ch

Because the blue in the print of the hanky matched the velvet so well I thought it would be lovely to combine the two. I quickly repaired the damaged seam on the pillowcase an ironed some interfacing to the back of the handkerchief. Why this? I had some reasons: The fabric is very thin, so the dark velvet was shining through and it didn’t look white at all, second the fabric is very thin and I wanted to give it some support and third I feared the velvet’s pile could cause the thin fabric to move, this would have caused wrinkles on one side of the hanky and I wanted to avoid this risk. Oh and because it made things a lot easier. The fabric could easily be stretched and shifted in all directions (did I mention it is thin?), supporting it with the interfacing helped a lot while sewing it onto the pillowcase by hand.

Don’t know more I could tell you about such an easy and small project. So if you have some beautiful hankies lying around, why not decorate your pillows with it? Upcycling at its easiest 😉
And no, it usually doesn’t sit on this step stool, but on the stool in front of my sewing machine, even though I try to find a place in my flat where it is treated better, it is so much more than a seat cushion 🙂


Auf Deutsch

Zur Zeit läuft hier leider nicht so viel. Ich habe recht viel zu tun und in der Hitze nähen macht auch keinen grossen Spass. Also sorry für die eher mageren Projekte derzeit.

Momentan gehe ich ein wenig meine Bestände durch und finde neue Ideen, alte und verlassene unfertige Objekte und alte Lieblingsshirts, von denen ich mich lange nicht trennen konnte und die deshalb in die “ich finde sicher noch eine Verwendung”-Schublade wanderten.

Zwei Dinge die sich schon länger mit mir eine Wohnung teilen: Ein Stofftaschentuch aus dem Verkehrshaus der Schweiz aus den 60er oder 70er Jahren welches ich immer zu hübsch fand um mein Näschen damit zu putzen und eine Kissenhülle aus blauem Samt, der lediglich ein kleines Stück defekte Naht fehlte. Diese hatte ich in einem kleinen Trödelladen mit einem speziellen Regal gefunden: eine Tüte mit Dingen aus dem Regal für 3€, egal wie viel man reingestopft hat. Ihr könnt euch vorstellen, das Interesse an wenigen Teilen führte trotzdem zu prallgefüllten Beuteln, kann ja immer nützlich sein und hey, es ist bezahlt! So kam ich in den Besitz dieser nicht unbedingt schön zu nennenden und leicht angeschlagenen 70er-Jahre Kissenhülle.


Auf die Idee, diese beiden Fundstücke zu vereinen kam ich, weil das Blau in dem Druck des Taschentuchs so perfekt zum Samt passt. Also reparierte ich schnell die beschädigte Naht und bügelte Vlieseline auf die Rückseite des Taschentuchs. Warum? Aus mehreren Gründen: Der Stoff ist recht dünn und das dunkelblau schimmerte durch, was das Taschentuch ziemlich grau erscheinen liess, zweitens wollte ich den dünnen Stoff ein wenig stabilisieren und drittens hatte ich Angst, der Samtflor könnte das Taschentuch in eine Richtung schieben und damit Falten an einer Seite des Tuchs werfen, wenn dieses aufgenäht ist. Ausserdem machte die Vlieseline das Aufnähen sehr viel einfacher. Weil der Stoff so dünn ist (erwähnte ich das schon?) konnte man ihn in jede Richtung verschieben und ziehen, die Vlieseline hält ihn in der zugeschnittenen, quadratischen Form.

Tja, was soll ich euch sonst noch darüber erzählen, ist ja wirklich ein sehr kleines Projekt. Aber vielleicht hat jemand von euch auch alte Stofftaschentücher rumliegen und weiss nicht wohin damit, dann nehmt das hier als kleine aber feine Upcycling-Idee.
Und nein, eigentlich wohnt es nicht auf dem Tritthocker, sondern auf dem Hocker vor meiner Nähmaschine, auch wenn es langfristig einen besseren Platz finden soll, als Sitzkissen ist es mir doch ein wenig zu schade.

See you soon, alles Liebe


Colourful Corduroy

Normally, this isn’t a blog where you expect to see children’s clothing, or at least only very occasionally (I once showed you a ready-made-shirt, but already looong ago, the post doesn’t even exist anymore).That is because I am no mother myself, neither are most of my friends and my brother’s daughter lives very far away, so we don’t have much contact and normally I hesitate to sew something for her. Not only because I can’t check the fit on her, but also because her mother is not that cautious with clothing and wouldn’t pay attention on how to wash a hand-sewn garment. She is one of those “buy cheap and often”-girls, so it is not that important to her if a shirt discolours or shrinks. That is not meant to be offending, but is only a completely different attitude than my own. So before I make something for my niece I always have to question myself “would I be disappointed if this were destroyed in the washing machine after being worn once?”.

My niece turns three in September and somehow I went mad. I did not only decide to sew her something, but it also turned out to be one of the tidiest projects I ever made.
Normally you don’t want to see the inside of my garments. I always plan to serge the cutting edges but after having closed a seam I often skip it and go on assembling the garment. In the end, I often end up with a completely non-serged garment on which I have to remove loose threads from the raw edges after every washing.  Not very beautiful and I am not content of this. But a few days ago I discovered Laura Mae’s Blog and was speechless seing the insides of her garments. So perfect and tidy. This lead me to rethink my own sewing-practice: Of course I sew because I like to create new garments, because I want to control what I add to my wardrobe and not to be dependent on shop-bought clothes. But what for if I blush everytime someone catches a glimpse of the inside of my hemming, if I have to pay attention not to dress in self-made clothes when I know I will have to change clothing when others can see me?
Of course, finishing all the cutting edges with bias binding or only serging them properly means more time and more material goes into the garment, but after all, sewing is my hobby, I like to do it, so why shouldn’t I do it properly. Maybe that means I will sew less, not only because it will take longer to finish a project but also because it will cost me a little more. Or maybe I will sew more, because I will love my clothes more than before, because I will be happier when wearing them. Who knows?
So, to cut a long story short: I want to change my sewing habits, I want to pay more attention on how I sew and not only what I sew and how long I sew. Funny enough, the first project I tried this was the dress for my niece. You may call this casting pearls before swine, paying so much attention to a garment that may not survive long, but I wanted it and maybe this additional seam finishing will help it survive longer? To be honest, I don’t care. I hope my niece will be happy when seing it and wearing it for the first time (ok, first of all I hope it will fit her), all the rest is of minor importance to me, après moi le déluge.

Now, let’s talk about the dress. I chose a 1970ies burda-pattern for a children’s pinafore-dress. I asked my mother to measure my niece, but she said size 92 would be safe, because now she wears a 86 (her birthday is in less than a month) and she doesn’t grow very quickly at the moment. I waited nontheless to give my mother the opportunity to measure her. A week later I called her again, but she hadn’t seen her the whole week and advised me to stick with this size, even though I was a little concerned because of the age of the pattern (we all know it from women’s sizes how they changed during the past decades, I don’t know if it’s the same with children). We only had a short chat because my elder sister was with her and I didn’t want to disturb the two. In the evening, after I had spent the afternoon copying the pattern and cutting the fabric, my mother called again and said that my sister would advise me to make it one size larger (98), so that she can wear it a little longer. Well, too late, I had already cut everything. Please, kord

please, let it fit her!

I chose a purple and orange patterned plaid corduroy. I love it because the plaid is only visible on the woven ground whereas the pile is completely purple. I bought it years ago to make a short plaid skirt from it, but I won’t sew such a skirt anymore and I imagined it to be perfect for this dress. Secondly this gave me the chance to face my plaid-paranoia: I only made one plaid-project ever and this turned out to be a catastrophe, so I avoided plaid fabrics afterwards. And this time it worked, I managed to understand the principle, how to match the pattern at the seams, I am so happy and I am confident to work with plaid again soon. So this little children’s dress was exactly what I needed to overcome my fears, hurray! Unfortunately I didn’t manage to place the pattern properly on the upper front piece, I tried to centre it (the plaid is sligthly off-centre), but it is a little askew horizontally, too. You can tell when you look closely.

The buttons once closed an orange winter-coat of mine, now they found a second life. The buttons on the pockets have no function, but are merely decorative. I decided a gainst buttonholes to close the straps, but went for large snap fasteners instead. So to be honest, all visible buttons are merely decorative.

If you compare my version to the envelope drawing you will see, that my straps don’t intersect in the back. That’s because I made a mistake when attaching the straps to the bodice, leaning them in the wrong direction. I hope this won’t turn out to cause the straps slipping from the shoulders.

The upper front part, the pockets and the straps are stabilized with fusible interfacing. For the facings and the pocket-lining I used leftover bits of an Ikea-fabric I found in my stash.

All seams are finished with orange rayon bias-binding, using the purple thread I made the whole dress with. I also used it to hem the dress, because the major concern of my sister was that it would be too short for her. With the bias binding I managed to lengthen it at least a little bit. But it stays a very short dress, as was already visible on the pattern envelope.

(maybe I will shorten the straps a little, because of the lacking intersection they are a bit too long)

Yeah, centre back zipper, that’s it. I will add the other half of the snap fasteners when I will meet my niece the next time, so I can adjust the straps properly.
(I hope it will hang differently when worn, so that the hem will be straight and not shorter in the back as in this photo)

I hope you like it, love