I donated some stuff to the thrift store yesterday, giving them some previous cut sewing patterns I had in my shop, as well as some large fabric scraps and remnants I had that I wanted to destash and weren’t selling. I figured I’d take a look around while I was there, and I picked up 11 sheets of craft felt (all different colors) for $0.10 a sheet. I’m not sure what I will use it for but sure it will come in somewhere.

I wasn’t quite ready to go home yet so I went to the thrift store in the outlet mall and I struck hilarious, wonderful gold. The first thing I found was an old 1960’s copy of Simplicity Sewing Book, which aside from yellowed and a few loose pages, is in amazingly good condition. Its full of helpful hints for basic garment construction, and tips and instructions for various sewing and finishing techniques. The book retailed originally for $0.75!

I also found 6 old issues from 1986 – 1987 of Knitting Elegance Magazine, and that’s what this post is really about. To say the sweater designs are dated is an understatement, and most of them feature big boxy shapes, wide, padded shoulders, and wild color blocking with a lot of randomly shaped patches of angora yarn. Apparently angora yarn was ridiculously popular as a luxe feature in sweaters.

Anyway, I took photos of some of the more crazy styles and I’m sharing them here with you. Let’s begin!

1

 

This one features what looks like entrelac,though I honestly don’t know much about it and the patterns for most of these are charted, and I have no idea how to read the charts.

2

 

Huge puffy sleeves? Check! Open “cold shoulder? design? Why yes! Angora fuzz on only part of the sweater? Absolutely!

3

 

Crazy space-age props like metallic gloves and crazy updo’s and sunglasses? We got ’em!

4

 

Wild color blocking and yet another appearance of the fuzzy angora yarn in random places.

5

 

I guess this one isn’t so terrible, but with the dress it just stands out as… well, I’m not really sure.

6

 

More color blocking, what looks like fake fur or some sort of novelty yarns, and Dolman sleeves. I’d honestly wear this one if it was a solid color.

7

 

Another appearance of the angora yarn shoulder! Also, a lot of bangles. Many, many bangles.

8

 

This is the only men’s sweater to make the cut. The coloration is just weird and trying too hard to be artsy, and that V-neck and no shirt underneath looks like this guy is a major… um… my professionalism prevents me from saying what on this blog. Sorry!

9

 

This one I think actually has a nice simple shape but those cables everywhere kill it for me. It makes this girl look bulky and she’s not. The weird contrast around the neckline looks odd too to me.

10

 

Last one. Big, bulky, square, probably padded shoulders, and is she holding something across her body or is there something really weird going on with her skirt? I honestly can’t tell!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this blast into the 1980’s and loved all its sweater glory! There are a few patterns in the Summer issue I do actually love and would like to try to make. <3

Back in October, I sewed View B from Kwik Sew 1425 out of a wild pink and black knit that I loved. I decided this Wednesday evening to sew up View C, which is identical except for having a cross-cross detail on the back. I did make a few minor changes to the pattern, and I will list them off.

  • I added a band to the bottom hemline. I laid my pieces out and planned to make the shirt a few inches longer when cutting, then I spaced out and cut it as is. The band was added to the bottom hem to both add length, and I first ran elastic through it, which I ended up pulling out because I just didn’t like it.
  • I hemmed the neckline and sleeves edges rather than use the binding method suggested by the pattern. This was due to finding that the fabric I used, while stretchy, was not stretchy enough to make use of the binding strips as I cut them. Instead of re-cutting them a few inches longer, I just hemmed the raw edges instead.
  • I added 6 criss-cross bands instead of just the required 2 pieces. I may have gotten a little crazy there but I think it was a fun add-on and super easy.

Other than those two things, I followed the directions as they were. Yes, this is a traffic cone orange t-shirt. Its super, super bright, but the light pointelle jersey is so super airy and breathable and so comfortable to wear I can forgive its ridiculously bright color.

KS1425ViewC

 

When talking to Tracy last night, I noted I am wearing a lot more bright colors than I ever have. A few years ago there is no way I would have worn a top like this, or some of the other brighter colors I’ve sewn things up in. My Kelly green half circle skirt? No way! My white birds t-shirt? Nope. I didn’t wear white, ever.

Another thing I did yesterday was fix the quick strap I made to pull my bra strap down a bit for those tops and dresses with low backs. You’ve probably seen the fix on Pinterest in a dozen places, and while I made my own hardware clip to put on the elastic, the effect is the same, just cheaper.

lowbackstrap

 

Sorry about the great view of my fat! I’ve lost a lot of weight but still have a ways to go! Anyway, this fix would probably work better on someone thinner, because as we get smaller, our narrowest waist point tends to be lower, and that’s where the elastic ends up- at your narrowest point. I’m heavier and my natural wait is higher so this doesn;t make a big dramatic change n my bra strap location, but it does pull it down just enough.

As you’ve seen, I’ve been working on a truly hideous, absolutely tacky gold lame’ blouse for an 80’s party we were invited to on the 3rd. I am using Kwik Sew 1262, and I posted pics a little way back of the shell without sleeves, but hadn’t gotten much further. Anyway, a few days ago I thankfully finished the blouse. Its not that it was a difficult pattern to sew, or that I was having trouble. Its that the gold lame’ fabric is horrible to work with, and it sheds tinsel everywhere. Anyway, I got it done but was stumped about what to do for my bottom half. Then my good friend Tracy suggested white vinyl for a skirt (I had already decided on a mini) and I was off to Walmart with my last $10 to see what they had. Turns out they only had browns and black vinyls, but I came home with some white satin instead.

ks1262front

 

I busted out the pattern I used for the skirt I sewed and posted about yesterday, and making a few small changes (I added 2.5″ to the hemline and completely lined it because my fabric was thinnish) and left off the flounce. I sewed my zipper in more than once but the final outcome is one i am very pleased with and it went in pretty much perfectly.

ks1262back

 

My entire outfit costs me less than $25 including the cost of the patterns, and only took about 2 hours total to sew them up.

I’ll be doing crimped hair, colorful make up and big bold jewelry, though I may still need to make my jewelry. The blouse is hideous. I will probably bury it in my closet and ignore it forever after this, but for the party, its just right. The skirt I will hopefully get to wear again, as I quite like it.

m5184Where have I been lately? I have all these plans for sewing but haven’t done much of anything. You know how that is? Anyway, we have an 80’s theme party we are going to the first weekend in May, and I’ve been having some struggles with getting my outfit ready. I have my blouse finished, which I will post another day (only I get my skirt that goes with it done) and that was its own mess and struggle.

Anyway today I stitched up a quick skirt using the pattern I am using for the skirt for the party to see how it fit and if I liked it. I used McCalls 5184 View A, but I left the ruffle off of the bottom to make it into a micro mini skirt. I new it would be short without the ruffle but I had no idea it would be this short.

The pattern is super easy to put together (the part of I did anyway) and literally took me an hour from the start of pinning the pattern down to the fabric to finishing the last stitching. The zipper went in almost perfectly, and the only thing I noted wasn’t quite right at the end was my waistband on one side at the zip ended up slightly deeper somehow, resulting in the two side coming together at the zip being a little uneven.

Despite the super short length, I really like this skirt. Its probably too young for me, but its not like everything in my wardrobe is like this. I think I can get away with wearing the occasional article like this.

Anyway, here it is. McCalls 5184 View A minus the ruffle.

m5184viewa-front

 

These shoes aren’t the best but they were the only black pair I could find, though in cooler weather I could wear this with leggings and boots.

m5184viewa-bent

 

I have no idea what I was bending over for but you can bet I will not be doing any of this in public where people can see me! There is literally 1″ of fabric covering my butt in this thing.

m5184viewa-back

 

My zipper is slightly visible here. I used a bright yellow one and all of my visible stitching is yellow as well.

Tomorrow I will be stitching up this pattern again just like this one, but in white satin. My friend Tracy suggested that I use white vinyl but I’m not going to have more money free before the date of the party, and WalMart only had icky browns and blacks. I went with the satin because it was affordable and available without driving across town (I’m almost out of gas). It’ll have to be doubled up as its a little too thin for a single layer, but it should work out fine.

KS1262Mattie and I were invited to an 80’s themed party later on this month, which gave me something new to work on in my sewing room. I thumbed through my pattern stash, looked at dozens of options online, and after not finding anything I really liked that was available within a size or two of what I needed, I decided to go with Kwik Sew 1262 View A from my stash. This is  pretty basic pullover blouse with a tie detail at the neck, and its construction is pretty simple. Of course I decided to go all out 80’s and buy gold lamé too sew it in, which I started to regret as soon as I started cutting the fabric.

I really like the slightly puffed sleeves and the tie neck detail, and I can honesly se this making a very wearable top in a more durable fabric. The gold lamé though- I’ll probably wear it once or twice and at some point it will vanish from my wardrobe in a fit of frustration.

I did about half of the sewing on it this evening, constructing the main part of the blouse, and tomorrow I will hopefully get to the sleeves and hemming it. I had originally planned to do a skirt with a matching gold lamé ruffle but at this point, I’m thinking I’ll just skip the ruffle and do a floral print mini instead. I’d at least like the skirt to be wearable for normal every day use even if the blouse is not.

IMAG1017Here’s my thoughts on this fabric and why I can happily go to my grave if I never have to sew anything with it again.

Pros

  • It’s super shiny and fun
  • It’s lightweight

Cons

  • It’s polyester so probably does not breathe for shit
  • Its like sewing aluminum foil- every pin prick and ruffling of the fabric shows. I am living in terror that I will have to rip out a seam and it will leave the fabric full of pin holes.
  • Its slippery and hard to keep moving evenly and constantly wants to pucker.

I’m sure I will have more thoughts on it as I work towards finishing the blouse, but that’s all for now. Gold lamé, you suck!

KS1425I recently bought a small stack of 1980’s Kwik Sew patterns of of eBay. I don’t usually go for the 80’s, but there were a few that were super cute and the price was right. I didn’t have any immediate plans for them, but figured something would pop up in my fabric stash that would go with one of them.

The last few days I’ve been picking out pieces of fabric, either stuff I honestly can’t fathom why I ever bought it, or large remnants from past projects to list of eBay. While I was sorting through it all, I came across a piece of fabric that had so far proven too small to use for anything. I fell in love with it and ordered the very last 1.5 yards a few years ago, but I didn’t want to make a tank top, and so far that was my only real option aside from a top I had just made a few days previously and I didn’t think that fabric was right for it.. Then I realized Kwik Sew 1425 only uses a little over a yard of fabric. I decided to sew view B, but without using contrasting fabric for the sleeves, which makes it the same as view C, without the straps in the back.

KS1425FrontThe entire project took about 2 hours from start to finish, mainly because I had to rip out a couple of seams. I say its because I used a perfectly matched thread color- if I had used a contrasting thread, there would have been no mistakes, and everything would have gone perfectly. I also finished the neckband and sleeve ends a bit differently from the instructions. I used a size Large.

I’m very pleased with the outcome, though if I make it again I’d add a few inches to the bottom. I didn’t hem the bottom edge because if I had, this would nearly be a belly shirt, and I didn’t want that. I also really like my fabric choice for this. I also like the way the back is low, but not bra-strap-showingly low. Its a nice scoop and contrast to the high neckline in the front.

Excuse the face I’m making and the yoga pants. I usually take photos with my good camera and a tripod, but my camera died, and Mattie apparently doesn’t know to take the picture when I’m not making faces. I figure I was lucky to get him to snap them at all. :p I’m pretty sure I’ll get a lot of wear out of this top though, even if I was making faces for the photos.

If you’re interested in purchasing any of the fabrics I’m selling, you can see my eBay auctions here. I also have several patterns listed eBay and in my shop. I unfortunately had my glasses break and also had to order new contacts- an almost $300 expense I had to charge because I had no other way to pay for it. Please check out my items for sale and if any appeal to you, grab them! I would greatly appreciate it, and would love to be able to pay for my eye gear sooner rather than later!

KS1425Back

This was a super friendly pattern and really easy to put together, save for me not paying attention and stitching a few things together backwards. I definitely recommend it to the beginner sewer.

boxToday is all about something new. :angel: I got two packages in the mail today, both of which I am pretty excited about. The first is a box of 60 sewing patterns, mostly unused, that I picked up for under $20 including shipping. I had a quick look and it appears they are all 1980’s patterns, but there’s a few really cute ones in there. I’ll be going through them and sorted out the really small ones first as its a crazy mix of sizes and adding those to my shop. I definitely need to pare this box down to more manageable proportions! I honestly do not have room for 60 more patterns in my stash! Do you think I have a pattern buying problem? :whistle:

My other package I received today was a collection of 7 Time Life books on sewing. These are older books, but the internet led me to believe they have some great resources inside them and I picked up all 7 for under $20 total. The spine of one is a little damaged, but it appears to be from age and not rough treatment. Overall they are in very good condition. I can’t wait to get a minut to flip through them all. :sideways:

I also made something new, but you’re waiting until this weekend to see it. I was able to use that bright Kelly green cotton broadcloth (the really cheap stuff I bought by mistake instead of Kona cotton) to make something that turned out great, and with the help of a calculator I found online, I drafted the pattern completely on my own. I love how it looks, and its going to be perfect with my red and white floral top I made last week. Hopefully my cheap sunglasses arrive before the weekend because they’ll be the perfect accessory to my outfit. 🙂 I’ve also got another top I plan to make soon that will go great with it (I hope). The fabric for that top should arrive later today, and maybe I’ll get started on it this evening.

I keep toying with the idea of replacing all my store-bought clothes with me made stuff. Of course before I can do that, I need to master a few things, such as pants and shorts, and of course I need to make more stuff that I can actually wear with other stuff. I think half of my clothes I can’t really wear at this point because I have nothing that matches them. As I might have said before here, I’ve gotten crazy with the prints and need to work on creating some simple solid-color pieces to pair with them. Some people can pull off two different prints at once, but I’m pretty sure I am not one of them.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Until next time. :heart: