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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Built by Wendy 3835 in Voiles on: January 29, 2016 06:12:17 AM
I LOVE this pattern. Darling, 4-piece, raglan sleeve blouse. I made these versions in Voile by Anna Maria Horner. More on my blog! http://www.palindromedrygoods.com/2011/04/handmade-simplicity-3835-in-voile.html#.VqtxKlMrKRs

Thanks for reading!

2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Colette's Laurel Top in Double Gauze on: January 15, 2016 10:22:06 AM
I recently sewed up this sample piece for my family's business, The Tin Thimble. The pattern is Colettes Laurel top. The fabric is double gauze by Lucien fabrics and the trim is vintage.

This blouse was so simple to make, I highly suggest it for beginner sewists! Plus, Colettes patterns are excellently illustrated and written. The inside is finished with a combination of clean-finished seams, bias tape and zig-zag seams.

More on my blog here:http://www.palindromedrygoods.com/2016/01/colette-laurel-in-double-gauze.html#.Vpk2sja3jH0

Thanks for reading!

3  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Why I Recommend Buying a Vintage Sewing Machine and What to Look for if you do on: January 10, 2016 01:29:20 PM
This article is originally from my blog. The original post is slightly more thorough and you can read it here: http://www.palindromedrygoods.com/2016/01/why-i-recommend-buying-vintage-sewing.html#.VpLKGza3jH0

Thanks for reading!

Firstly, what qualifies as 'vintage'? Well there is some general disagreement out there about that, but for this post specifically, I mean machines made from the 1980's and older.

I also recommend all models. Kenmore, Singer, Necchi, Brother, White, Viking, Janome. It doesn't matter. I've worked with all those (and more I didn't list) and have had success with all of them.

Reason No. 1: You can service them yourself

I wrote an entire post on cleaning, oiling and maintaining your sewing machine. Unfortunately, for many of my readers with brand new sewing machines, this post will not be helpful to them. Many new sewing machines do not allow us to take them apart and service them ourselves. This is because they have fancy computers inside that we would risk damaging if we poked around.

Older machines can be opened up, taken apart, cleaned, oiled, and put back together with a fair amount of ease. This means we can save ourselves some cash by foregoing services at our local sew-n-vac place and do it ourselves!

Reason No. 2: They're made of metal

Plastic has many benefits, but it is not a material I want to find in my sewing machine. Plastic melts. Plastic bends. Plastic cracks. Vintage sewing machines are made almost entirely of metal, which means they are difficult to break. It also means that they are sturdier than their newer, plastic models. They can push through more layers of heavy fabric (hello, denim and canvas!), and they will produce lovely, even, stitches through these layers because they're so tough.

Also, side note, you can find many brands that were made in America. That is nearly impossible today. That $40 Singer at Target is definitely made in China. Personally, I'm all for American made.

Reason No. 3: They're Simple

There is beauty in simplicity. Vintage sewing machines often have a limited number of stitches such as straight, zig zag, buttonhole, overlock and perhaps a few more. For beginning seamstresses, this is perfect. For more advanced garment seamstresses, this is perfect. If you want to machine quilt a king-sized quilt with machine embroidery stitches, this is not perfect.

I love my vintage machine because it is a workhorse. It gets the job done every time, and with beautiful results. It is not fussy, it is not hard to fix, it does not have computer glitches.

Reason No. 4: You Get More Than you Pay for

The sewing machine that I use for daily sewing, currently, is a 1980's Necchi that I purchased at Goodwill for $15. It's been six years since I purchased it and I've only taken it twice to be professionally serviced.  Thrift stores are a fantastic place to look for these little vintage honeys. You can also find them easily on Craigslist and at yard sales. They're rarely overpriced and there's often nothing wrong with them.

You may only pay $30 for a sewing machine that will last you your entire lifetime.

What to Look for if you Decide to Purchase One

Find the number plate. There should be a metal plate located either on the side, back or underside of the machine. Here you'll find the model number, serial number, and the watts/amps/energy amounts for the machine. If you're able, do a quick internet search for the model number and see what comes up. If there are other machines like it for sale, that's a good sign. That means it will be easier to find replacement parts and attachments. If nothing like it shows up, it may be a collectors item! But this also means that parts and attachments will be more difficult to find. Are there reviews for it on Ebay or any other websites? Do sewists like it?

Does it move? If you turn the hand wheel, do the parts in the machine move through their motions? Does the needle go up and down? If so, that's a really good sign. Better yet, if it has the power cord, and you're able to plug it in, try it out! It may sound bad, but that's ok. Any weird smells or sounds the machine produces are likely from lack of use, dust build up, dried grease, etc. Those problems can be fixed with a thorough tune-up (which you can do yourself, remember?).

If it won't budge at all, you may want to pass it up (although I have seen several frozen machines be restored to their original beauty through a lot of patient oiling and cleaning...just sayin').

Does it have all it's parts? Machine, power cord, pedal, attachments. These are the main components of the sewing machine (the attachments being the least important part). If it doesn't have the power cord or the pedal, you may want to take a moment to see if you can find one on Ebay or Etsy. If you have a Sew-n-Vac place in your town, you could call them to see if they carry, or can order, replacement parts for older machines. If it doesn't have the attachments, don't worry, those are also easily discovered with a quick internet search.

Does it have the manual? Yes? Score! No? That's ok! Just about every sewing machine manual can be found in either a physical copy, or a digital copy online. If you're searching for a 1950's or older manual, I highly recommend searching Ebay and Etsy. If you're searching for a newer manual, some are available as free digital downloads simply by Googling them.

If you have further questions about purchasing a vintage sewing machine, please comment below! I'd love to help you figure out what type of machine is right for you.
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / McCall's 7162 in Crepe de Chine on: November 19, 2015 10:57:37 AM
I made this blouse using McCalls 7162 and a beautiful 100% silk in taupe. It had several fit issues, so I added extra bust darts to fix gapping, shortened the hem by several inches and added a bow in the back to cover an uncooperative zipper top. Now I wish I had shortened the bodice at the waist by about an inch, but at least I know for next time. More on my blog here: www.palindromedrygoods.com//2015/11/mccalls-7162-in-taupe-crepe-de-chine.html#.Vk4Z14S3jH0

Thanks for reading!

5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Vintage Butterick 3042 in Wool on: November 02, 2015 01:15:09 PM
I found this adorable vintage pattern on Etsy and I had to have it. Four main skirt pieces feature a pleat in back and pleats in front to create a really cute silhouette. Six functional buttons in front. Unlined. More on my blog: http://www.palindromedrygoods.com/2015/11/vintage-butterick-3042-in-wool-plaid.html#.VjfRToS3jH0

Thanks for reading!
6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Corduroy Dress with Vintage Abalone Buttons in back on: October 22, 2015 06:09:20 PM
I made this dress several years ago for my parent's vow renewal ceremony. I used a vintage dress pattern that buttoned up the front. The dress is made from baby wale corduroy and the belt is linen. It's too big in the bust, as you can tell by the bunching that's goin' on there, and I would've fixed it if I'd had more experience at the time. More on my blog here: http://palindromedrygoods.blogspot.com/2015/10/corduroy-dress-with-abalone-back-buttons.html#.VimHBxNViko

7  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Amy Butler Tunic in Wool Plaid on: October 13, 2015 08:37:56 AM
I made this tunic using Amy Butler's Mini Dress, Tunic and Tops pattern and a great wool/poly blend plaid. More on my blog: http://palindromedrygoods.blogspot.com/2015/10/amy-butler-tunic-in-wool-plaid.html#.Vh0eMhNViko

Read more: http://www.craftster.org/pictures/showphoto.php?photo=681835&ppuser=139232#ixzz3oSkq6yyx

Thanks for reading!
8  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Altered Simplicity 1607 in Linen on: October 07, 2015 09:29:12 AM
I made this yoked skirt using the bottom half of Simplicity 1607. I was inspired by a skirt I saw on Pinterest and Im pretty happy with how it turned out. The waist is just a hair too big (Id say 1/2" inch), but after altering, and re altering Ive decided just to live with it. The inside is finished with a floral cotton (for the yoke), and french seams. Side zipper. Thanks for reading!

More on my blog here: http://palindromedrygoods.blogspot.com/2015/10/handmade-high-waisted-yoked-skirt-in.html#.VhVHULy3jH0

9  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / How to Sew 5 Different Finishing Seams: A Tutorial on: October 03, 2015 09:28:53 AM
Hello There! Today I'll show you step-by-step how to sew five different types of finishing seams. These are suitable for everything from curtains to garments.

This tutorial is originally from my blog. The specific post can be found here: http://palindromedrygoods.blogspot.com/2015/10/sewcabulary-part-3-five-ways-to-finish.html#.Vg_ywbRc3Vk

The original post is slightly more thorough.

Why finish your seams?

Well, firstly, they make the inside of your garment look professional and neat and if you're like me, you always want the inside to be as pretty as the outside.
Secondly, they prevent your fabric from raveling when laundered.
Thirdly, they can actually provide some structural importance, in the case of jeans, for example.

As my sewing knowledge has advanced, I find myself using finishing seams for nearly every project. If you're a beginning seamstress, don't be afraid! Now is a great time to learn these techniques and start incorporating them into those simple projects like pillowcases and curtains. If you're an intermediate or an advanced seamstress, these seams may be an overview for you, or perhaps one of them will be new to you! Comment at the end of the post and let me know if there is another one you'd like demonstrated, or if you sew one of the following seams differently than how I show you!

*We'll be using 5/8" seam allowances through this tutorial.*

1. The French Seam

This seam is great for sheer, lightweight fabrics such as voile, lawn, silks and lace. This is, hands down, the finishing seam I use the most. I use it to finish the majority of the dresses and blouses I make. I also finish all the pillowcases I sell on my Etsy store will french seams so that they don't unravel after being washed.

We're going to start with wrong sides together. If that seems weird to you, you're right, it is weird, but I promise I'm not leading you astray. Trust me!


Sew a 3/8" seam.

We're then going to trim both of the seam allowance to just under 1/4".

Then, fold the fabric right sides together and press.

Pin and sew again, this time with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Ta da! Now you have encased the original seam allowance inside the second seam.

The french seam is incredibly neat on the inside and doesn't change the external appearance of your project at all.

2. The Clean Finished Seam

This seam is excellent for light to medium weight fabrics. Because this seam results in visible seams on the outside of your garment, it is good to use for garments such as unlined jackets and skirts where top-stitching can add be a cute detail. It can, of course, be used for plenty of other projects as well.

We'll start with right sides together. Pin.

Sew with 5/8" seam allowance.

Press seam allowance open and down each edge of the seam allowance, turn under 1/4".


Stitch down each side of the seam allowance, just a hair from the edge.

Your resulting finished seam will look like this on the outside!

3. The Flat Felled Seam

This great finishing seam is often used in denim jeans (take a look at the seam on the inside of your leg if you have jeans on. That's a commercial version of what I'm about to show you!). It is also good for sports clothing and kids clothes because it's tough and adds strength to the seams of your garments.

We'll start with right sides together. Pin.

Sew with 5/8" seam allowance

Press open seam allowance.

Trim one side of the seam allowance to just under 1/4".

On the other side of the seam allowance, fold over 1/4" and press.

Then, fold the folded edge over the trimmed 1/4" seam allowance.

Pin and stitch close to the folded edge.

Your resulting finished Flat Felled seam will look like this on the inside.

And will look like this on the outside.

4. The Bias Bound Seam

This finishing seam looks so darn cute when done in contrasting bias tape. It's perfect for unlined coats, skirts and jackets. It is best for medium and medium/heavy weight fabrics.

Start with right sides together. Pin.

Sew with 5/8" seam allowance.

Iron out seam allowance.

Cut a piece of bias tape 1/2 longer than your seam. Fold out right edge of bias tape and press.

Place your fabric right sides together, leaving one seam allowance out.

Place your bias tape over the seam allowance, long edges even. Pin.

Stitch in the "ditch" left by the fold of the bias tape (that's what my scissor tips are pointing to). You'll be stitching through two layers: one layer of bias tape, and one layer of seam allowance.

Fold bias tape over the seam you just made.

Flip the whole thing over. Now you'll be looking at the opened seam allowance. Your main fabric pieces are still right sides together.

Fold half of the bias tape over the raw edge of your seam allowance.

Iron and pin.

Stitch along the edge of the bias tape (the edge towards the original seam).

When it's all finished, one of your finished seam allowances will look like this!

Repeat all steps on the other seam allowance and then both finished seams will look like this on the inside!

This finished seam doesn't make any changes to the external appearance of the project. Keep in mind that this creates a bit of bulk, and is not suitable for very lightweight or sheer fabrics because the seam finished would create 'lines' that you could see from the outside.

5. The Self Bound Seam

I'll be honest. This is not my favorite finishing seam. It's a bit tedious, but it does make an excellent finish on lightweight fabrics that don't ravel easily.

Start with right sides together.

Stitch a 5/8" seam.

Press open seam allowance.

Trim one side of the seam allowance to 1/8".

Fold over the edge of the other side of the seam allowance 1/4" and press.

Tuck the 1/8" seam allowance into the folded over seam allowance.

Fold the folded edge over the 1/8" piece again and press. (Lots of folding goin' on, eh?)

Push the main fabric pieces to one side and stitch along the edge of the folded seam allowance that is closer to the original seam.

When you're done, it should look like this! You'll have two rows of stitching very close to one another.

And this is what it looks like on the outside. This seam doesn't change the outside appearance.

So there you have it, five different finishing seams that should be in every sewists bag of tricks. What are your favorite finishing seams? Is there another one you'd like to see completed? Thanks for reading!

10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / McCall's 7247 in Double Layered Knit on: September 30, 2015 07:10:38 AM
I made this McCall's 7247 tulip style top in two layers of jersey knit. The outside is a heather gray and the inside is a pretty violet color. It is so soft and cozy, and the pattern was really simple, I highly recommend it.

More pictures and info on my blog: http://palindromedrygoods.blogspot.com/2015/09/handmade-mccalls-7247-in-double-layered.html#.VgvtS7Rc3Vl

Thank you for reading! Have a good week!
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