Thursday, December 26, 2013


Featured Seller: Fancywork

Hello, I'm Marjie. The snow is fluttering down here in Minnesota.  Last year we still had snow in May!  Living up here is a good excuse to have an extensive collection of vintage winter hats.  Hat patterns are my favorite kind of pattern to collect and sell right now.  They're hard to find and sought out.  I opened my Etsy store, Fancywork, in May of 2009. It’s evolution into a vintage pattern store happened gradually.  I started by selling vintage clothes and a few sewing patterns which sold quickly.  I found more patterns at a garage sale and my store began to take shape. 

I've always been a gleaner and have had hours of fun with friends rummaging through thrift stores. One year we gathered so many vintage 60's evening gowns that on New Year's Eve we had costume changes for each party we attended that night!  We brought suitcases and changed in the bathroom before we left for the next party.  We also had our hair done up circa 1966 by stylists who were old enough to remember how to do it right.  As time goes by it's getting harder and harder to find a fantastic vintage dress at a thrift store.  That's a good reason to learn to sew!
Vogue 5669 1940's

I'm in graduate school now as well as working as an art teacher.  Like most people, my life is much too busy.  Sewing is a way of slowing down and getting centered.  I find it can be meditative like making art.  I'm a    beginner seamstress and am gradually gaining courage to try more challenging sewing projects.  I often think of my sister when I sew.  I remember my older sister Rita sewing constantly when I was a little kid.  She had the foxiest teen wardrobe on the block.  She sewed passionately all of her life, making intricate quilts as well as clothes.  Rita passed away a few years ago.  For me being around sewing patterns is, in a small way, being with my sister.  

My mother showed me an old photo of her and my sister pointing out Rita's toddler bonnet and coat.  My Mom sewed the outfit out of my Dad's old Navy uniform.  That's such a sweet fact.  I'm glad she mentioned it to me.  It's cool to think that because sewing is becoming popular again, people might be sharing sweet sewing memories like this with their kids in the future.

Fancywork patterns are 10 percent off this month with the coupon code: 10Fancywork

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Focus On: Scarves

By Sherri from sewbettyanddot

The snow is snowing, the wind is blowing
But I can weather the storm!
What do I care how much it may storm?
I've got my love to keep me warm.

I can't remember a worse December
Just watch those icicles form!
What do I care if icicles form?
I've got my love to keep me warm.

"I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" (Irving Berlin)

Even if you have love to keep you warm, you still might want to don a scarf. And even if you don't need to be warm, you might want to wear one as a fashion accessory!

As practical garments, scarves have their origin in ancient Rome, where they were often a cloth strip tied around the neck and used to wipe sweat or food from the face (ewww!). Originally worn by men, scarves were soon adopted by women--and they've been in fashion, in one form or another, ever since. Throughout history, scarves have had many purposes--as head coverings (for cleanliness, for instance, in a dusty climate, or for modesty); as indicators of rank (Chinese warriors could be identified by the color and material of their scarves), or, of course, to cover the neck and chest for warmth. In the twentieth century, iconic scarf wearers included Isadora Duncan, Audrey Hepburn [couldn't find a photo that I could use here, but we all know what Audrey looks like!], and Dr. Who.
Left: Isadora  Duncan; Right: Fourth Doctor (Dr. Who). Both images from Wikipedia
Of course, many scarves have very little practical purpose. Printed scarves tied around the neck or fastened with brooches reached their pinnacle as accessories in the 1960s and 1970s (think Vera's lovely prints, or the coveted Hermes scarf, for example).

Let's have a look at some vintage scarf patterns from the Pattern Patter team. In some cases, you could have that scarf built in to the dress chance of losing it! (This post is only looking at scarves worn around the neck, not headscarves.)  As always, please click on the images to enlarge them.

Top row, left to right: Advance 2995: Sandritocat;
Butterick 4680: PrettyPatternShop

Top row, left to right: McCall’s 6681: Denisecraft

Top row, left to right: Simplicity 5184: patternshop

If you were going to tie one on, which of these beauties would YOU choose? Tell us in the comments!