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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Cotton Eyelet Beach Cover-Up on: June 05, 2017 03:10:53 AM
Made using McCall's MP205. The eyelet is from The Tin Thimble (www.thetinthimble.etsy.com) and was originally a camel color. One box of Tangerine Rit dye achieved the perfect summery orange! More info and pictures at http://www.palindromedrygoods.com/2017/06/eyelet-mp205-cover-up.html

Thanks for reading!

2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Denim Romper with Cotton Floral Trim - McCall's 7577 on: May 09, 2017 06:13:43 PM
I love a good closure-free project now and then! McCall's 7577 romper made out of awesome drapey, chambray-ish, denim and cotton trim. More details and pictures here:


3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Vintage McCall's 7145 in Vintage Dotted Swiss on: April 01, 2017 09:18:11 AM

Vintage McCalls 7145 shortened to be a blouse. Fully lined with a pure white cotton/linen blend. Alterations I made to the pattern: I took it up in the shoulders about 3/4". I also made loops out of my tie and added them in when I attached the lining, which is not how the pattern said to do it. I made a gathered peplum instead of the skirt. This piece measured about 8″ 45″. More on my blog: http://www.palindromedrygoods.com/2017/03/vintage-dotted-swiss-mccalls-7145.html#more

4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Handmade Wedding Dress (Thanks mom!) on: July 14, 2016 05:06:13 AM
Though I helped, my mother is the artist, seamstress and visionary behind my beautiful dress. Since she doesn't blog, I'll happily brag about her and her talents. Photos by Ryan Greenleaf Photography: http://ryangreenleaf.com/blog/

1950's Simplicity pattern was used for the foundation bodice because of the sweetheart neckline. The 1950's McCall's pattern was used as the bottom of my dress, by extending the length between the waist and knee so that the 'trumpet' occured at the bottom. We also removed width from the 'trumpet' in the front so that the skirt would fall straight down in the front.

Silk satin, pearl buttons, rayon bemberg, grosgrain ribbon (for my belt), and the most exquisite, handmade, french, 100% cotton lace from Britex Fabrics in San Francisco. The lace was quite pricy (worth every. single. penny.), so I could only afford 1 1/8 yards, but I knew my mom and I could figure something out to utilize every little bit. I also decided that I didn't want the dress to be shiny, so I purchased five yards of silk mesh from The Tin Thimble and we added this as a final layer over the top of the silk satin for the skirt.

After we had drafted all the pattern pieces, we started by making a 'muslin' out of pattern-ease. Then we made adjustments around the bust, waist, hips and the length. My mother marked these adjustments on the mock up and then copied them onto the real pattern pieces. Next, my mom made the entire dress out of cotton and then after we knew it fit, she cut all the pieces out of the 'real' fabrics including the rayon (used as a lining), the satin (used for the bodice, skirt and to self-line the bodice), and the silk mesh (used as an overlay for the skirt). We ended up using the muslin as an interlining that went between the rayon lining and the silk exterior.

The bodice overlay ended up being a rectangle of the lace that started at the front side seam, wrapped around my torso and ended at the back side seam, where the pearl buttons are.  I really liked the way dresses with bones felt when I tried them on at the bridal boutique so we added five flexible bones in the foundation of the bodice: one in the center, one over each boob and one on each side-front of the bodice.

Lastly, we had to figure out the bustle. We ended up pulling the longest part of the train to the inside of my dress and using a hook (sewn to the lining) and eye (sewn to the hem of the train). We then pulled up the additional length with four loops (two on each side) and connected the loops with satin ribbon on the outside of the dress.

The medallion on my belt was hand beaded by my sister, Jill. She started with a single 'star' from my lace and filled it in with beads in varying shades of white and taupe to match my shoes and dress. 

It is more beautiful than I had even imagined and I simply cannot express how grateful I am to my mom for all her work.

More about the dress and process on my blog: http://www.palindromedrygoods.com/2016/06/my-handmade-wedding-dress.html#.V4d8VFe3gld

5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Eyelet Vintage McCall's 4933 on: March 31, 2016 09:03:31 AM
I made this blouse using vintage McCalls 4933 and 100% cotton eyelet fabric. I juggle seeing all the eyelet blouses and tops in stores this year! I added a 5" cuff to the bottom of the blouse and pleated it in the back. I also took 2" off the sleeve length. The inside is finished with flat fell seams and bias tape.

Thanks for reading, happy sewing!

6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Altered Vintage McCall's 7145 on: March 15, 2016 05:26:50 AM
I saw a dress on Instagram for $220 that I fell in love with. Naturally, I cant pay $220 for a single dress, so I set out to create my own. I used vintage McCalls 7145 and made some changes which included straps across the back and ruffles.

It is fully lined with vintage peach polished cotton. I hand sewed the armholes and parts of the back to minimize the number of visual seams.

More on my blog: http://www.palindromedrygoods.com/2016/03/open-backed-altered-version-of-vintage.html#.Vuf8OMe3glk

Thanks for reading!

7  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Vintage McCall's 4933 in Vintage Fabric on: March 02, 2016 11:52:48 AM
Sweet, simple little 1960's blouse pattern that I made with a vintage fabric (the floral print) and a new fabric (the solid yellow). The pattern had some issues (sigh) so I had to make some changes, but overall, I love the way it turned out and I would love to make another in lace for a bathing suit cover-up, without the collar.

More on my blog: http://www.palindromedrygoods.com/2016/03/handmade-vintage-mccalls-4933-in.html#more

Thank you for reading!

8  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!

9  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!

10  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.
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