Monday, July 30, 2012

What I do with my fabric scraps...


Just the other day, David and I were going through our closets and came across several nice pillow covers from our various travels.  We've found it hard to find the pillow inserts and were resigned to the fact that we would probably have to make a trip out to IKEA when suddenly I thought...'I know where I can get a lot of stuffing....my fabric scraps!'

I don't know why I didn't think of this before. It's a perfect solution.


You can fit a ton of fabric scraps into a pillow cover.  We have several that even had zippered backs which is perfect.  I'm always holding onto my fabric scraps because I think what if I need a bit of that fabric later on?  This is the best solution because I still have the fabric scraps if I need to use them but they are out of sight (and out of my sewing room) in a functional storage system of sorts.


One word of caution...no pillow-fighting with these pillows--the fabric scraps make them very heavy!  


YAY! Now we have all our pretty pillow covers on display!  What are your clever ways of using (or storing) fabric scraps?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Winners of the Sewing Through the Decades Giveaway

We have some randomly chosen winners for the Sewing Through the Decades giveaway.  I love all these patterns--it's really hard to choose my favourite and I'm super delighted that some other sewists will be able to give them a go!

Without further ado...the winners are:

1. 1930s McCall jacket pattern:  Jeanne Marie who blogs at Jeanne Marie's Sewing Studio

2. 1940s blouse, shorts and jumper pattern: Mary Beth



3. 1950s McCall's shirtwaister pattern: Rhia who blogs over at Evil Dressmaker

4. 1960s Maudella suit pattern: Charlotte who blogs over at Sew Far Sew Good

5. 1970s dress pattern: Deb H.

To all the winners: please contact me at myhappysewingplace [at] googlemail [dot] com so that I can mail out your pattern to you.  I look forward to seeing what you make.

And a big thank you to everyone who entered!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Summer Sewing Swap Goodies

Sorry for the silence around these parts...I've been incredibly busy with work but I hope to get back to more normal blogging in August.  One of the things that I participated in this month was the super fabulous Summer Sewing Swap hosted by Kestrel Finds and Makes.


I was delighted to be paired with Sue who blogs over at Sewin' Steady.  You MUST check out her blog.  There's polka dots, there's vintage fashion and there's Mad Men inspired sewing...

Promise not to get jealous but here's what Sue sent me...

Sue rightly assessed that I am obsessed with love vintage patterns.  I've already bought fabric for the 1960's McCall's pattern.  I'm just in love with the whole concept of this dress (I mean, it WAS made expressly for Post cereals...how fun is that?)

But wait, there's more....
I LOVE the vintage hanky with the adorable tulips and flowers and the awesome belt buckles (I'm trying to build up my vintage belt buckle stash).  Plus, I got the most adorable baby blue vintage buttons and some amazing trim and seam binding.

Check out the back of the Wright's Printrim:
I just love it!

A big thank you to Sue for the lovely goodies and to Kerry for hosting such a great swap!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Cover Girl

Cover Girl is one of my all-time favourite movies and the title song is absolutely the best....I've been looking at the fashions lately and thought I would share some of the photos from the title dance number that I have in my inspiration file:

Ms. Cosmopolitan

Ms. McCall

Ms. Vogue

Ms. Harper's Bazaar

Ms. Woman's Home Companion

Ms. American Home

Ms. Mademoiselle

Ms. Glamour

Ms. Coronet

Ms. Liberty

Ms. Redbook

Ms. American

Ms. Farm Journal

Little Ms. Look

Ms. Collier's

And the ultimate cover girl, Ms. Rita


Here's the title dance number:

Which are your favourites?  I do love Ms. Coronet's photos and I think Ms. American Home has the most adorable dress!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Sewing through the Decades Pattern Giveaway

The world's most popular male sewing blogger suggested that I host a giveaway given all the recent excitement here at My Happy Sewing Place.  What a perfect suggestion as it's been way too long since I've hosted a proper vintage pattern giveaway.  This is a special 'Sewing through the Decades' giveaway as I'm giving away a vintage pattern from each decade from the 30s through the 70s.

Here are the patterns...

From 1939, this McCall (Number 3260) jacket pattern:

It's a size 16 which translates into a B34, W28.  You may recall that I recently sewed up this jacket for my Marlene inspired suit:


All I can say is that this jacket pattern is pretty much perfect.  It's well drafted and has several collar options and really cute crescent patch pockets.

For the 40s pattern I am offering up this adorable 1941 summer shorts, blouse and jumper pattern from my favourite pattern company, McCall's:


Here's what the line drawings look like:


It's a size 14 which translates to a B32, W27 and H35 and is perfect for summertime fun.

Now onto the 50s and a full-skirted dress, McCall's 3004 from 1954:


Love the gentle pleating, the peter pan collar, the cute sleeves and of course, the full 50s skirt!  It's in a size 16 which translates to a B34, W28 and H37.

Now for a turn to the stylin' 60s with this Maudella 3-piece suit pattern:


Maudella 5094 features a fabulous three-quarters sleeve jacket with the 60s style collar, a cute blouse with neat waist detailing and the classic pencil skirt.  It's a B40, W33 and H43 size.

Last up, from the 70s is another groovy Maudella pattern for a classic A-line skirt dress:


You know what else is great about the 70s?  Multi-size patterns!  This one comes in sizes corresponding to B40 to B46 sizes.  The shape of the dress reminds me a lot of the dress I made from the Burdastyle book:


How to Enter the Giveaway
To enter the giveaway you simply have to be a follower of my blog and leave a comment below telling me:

 1) which pattern you want--you can say 'any of them' or list a specific pattern, and
 2) since this giveaway was inspired by Peter's post over at Male Pattern Boldness....hop on over to his blog and tell me which of his posts goes down as your all time favourite!

If you want another entry, just like my Facebook page (the link is in my right sidebar).  Be sure to leave another comment to let me know you've done this or that you already follow me on Facebook.

This giveaway is open to readers everywhere!  Just leave your comment before midnight on Saturday the 21st of July for a chance to win the pattern of your choice.  I'll post the winners list shortly thereafter.

Yay! Happy vintage sewing!

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Guinness Book Record for Largest Tea Dance



This past Sunday, David and I took part in an attempt to break the World Record for Largest Tea Dance, as part of the Big Dance, a week-long dance festival in Edinburgh.  You may be asking, 'What is a Tea Dance'?  It's a term they use in the UK and it was meant for a summer or autumn dance (usually held between 4pm and 7pm around before you would be having your 'tea'--which also means 'dinner' here in Scotland).  They even served tea at the Tea Dance.

Expert friendly teachers Susan and Gary from the Fly Right Dance Company led us through the steps, and by half six, over six hundred of us were dancing the foxtrot. It's not official yet, but we may have broken the record! It was great fun, and the band (That Swing Sensation) was amazing. 


I wore a me-made dress from a 1940 McCall pattern (3638) with my matching Ness shoes and handbag.


The band was absolutely fantastic:


Gary and Susan were great fun!  David and I would love to check out one of their classes (especially the one on Lindy Hop).


Here's what it looked like as they were teaching us to dance the foxtrot.  You can see David and I over in the upper left hand corner of the crowd.  The foxtrot was pretty easy to learn (this doesn't mean I didn't step on David's feet...lol).  It's basically steps of slow-slow-quick-quick all while slowing moving in a dance line (i.e. large circle) around the floor.  It's the moving around the floor that makes it a bit more difficult.  It was great fun to learn alongside everyone!


And of course, they played some classic dance tunes like shake your tailfeather and the twist.  Isn't it great when dance can make you feel like this:


What a brilliant event.  Do you have any outdoor dance events where you live in the summer?  Any there any dances you want to learn?  And I'm curious, have you tried to be in the Guinness Book of World Records?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Steampunk inspired menswear

All images from here

I just had to share these images.  Maybe it's my recent work on David's Bonnie Prince Charlie jacket or this neat video on the making of James Bond suits but I've been much more acutely aware of menswear tailoring lately.  So when I stumbled across the new Prada Menswear Fall/ Winter 2012 Collection, I gave a bit of a gasp.  I love all these pieces.  I think it helps that they are modeled by Gary Oldman, Garrett Hedlund, Jamie Bell, and Willem Dafoe.....I mean, how cool do they look?

David really wants a waistcoat like this (though not in white).  Isn't it a clever design?



Look at the lapel on the purple jacket!!  Those perfectly turned corners and nice roll lines.  uh oh, I sense a slight obsession coming on!  What do you think?  Yay or nay for the steampunk inspired menswear collection?
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