Vintage Sewing Resource

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With Halloween just around the corner, I know I’m not the only one with costumes on my mind. Half the problem though is looking for what you want as not all patterns are easily available or you have to flip through endless catalogs to find what you need. Well, if you are in need of something 25+ years old, have I got a resource for you.

This Wiki is without a doubt of the best resources for quickly looking through real manufactured patterns for your vintage needs, and they just uploaded over 83,000 this summer! :O I’ll let them tell you a bit about themselves:

We are working to create one location online where people can go to browse through vintage patterns starting from the year 1992 and older and share information about them, including:

  • Links to sellers who have particular patterns in stock
  • Reviews by people who have made the patterns (share photos!)
  • Links to blog posts about particular patterns
  • Wishlist of people who want to buy or trade particular patterns
  • Searchable ‘categories’ on patterns (like ‘cocktail’, ‘wrap dress’, ‘peter pan collar’ or whatever)

So yeah, really good stuff to be found here for the period accurate costumer. The pattern will likely not be free in the end, but at least it will be official as a majority of the patterns located on it come from many long standing brands such as McCalls and Serendipity. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve been thinking of making a Linkle cosplay myself and I wonder if they have anything to help me make that cape of hers…


Beautiful and Spooky

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Happy Sunday, all!

I know I hinted at some fall décor in the next post but then something came across my feed that I simply HAD to share. These amazing little embroideries and artwork from French artist Petrichor are something that should be sought out and purchased immediately:

Not only does she hand embroider each of the delightful, dark images on the pins but many of her pieces of one of a kind. She also has an impressive line of lino-printed keepsake boxes:

So lovely and perfect for storing all of your precious bits and bobs.

Her main line of artwork is just as gorgeous, with more wonderfully witchy prints to be had:

These could arguably be considered fall décor but I’m more inclined to keep them up all year round.

If you fancy yourself some spooky items to adorn your walls or yourself, she can be found on her website, Etsy, Facebook, and Instagram. Please note that she also does custom designs! Also note that she is based out of France so some of her pages are in French.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


A Cozy Needle is a Happy Needle

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Happy Sunday, all!

Today we are ensuring that we continue to take excellent care of the tool that arguably works the hardest for anyone that does any kind of sewing. Last time we covered needle cases which are great for trips and transporting odd sized or duller needles. This time we are going to give our needles a bit more care and store them in soft felted cloth, more specifically in a needle book. Most needle books are fairly simplistic: take several squares of felt and sew them together in the middle to form a spine, then fold in half. Some crafters and artisans have taken this to a whole new level. This first one from Mouse Garden uses the traditional and adds their own flair:

Simple, pretty, and ready to carry your needles!

Using all felt makes it easy to add simple embroidery or other designs. Like this second rather whimsical one from Crafty Cat Lady UK:

I love it’s cute whiskers!

Many of us that mix our different sewing projects can also relate to this third one  from Angelic Emporium that may help to clear up some of our quilting scraps to make something useful for hand sewing components:

Plus a skull and roses needle book is super cool!

Finally, if you want to be super fancy, I suggest treating yourself to one of these beautiful vegan leather needle books from Naeh St Design:

All the way from Germany, no less!

Keep your needles happy and they will always treat you right! The felt pages of needle books not only serve to prevent accidental stabbings while rummaging around in a project bag but also help absorb leftover oil from your skin! Next week we will look at a different type of needle case.

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


If You Don’t Mind…

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Happy Sunday, all!

I promised some needle minding this week and I have some great ones to share! So what is a needle minder? It’s generally some sort of magnet that clips to the front and back of your stitching project so that you have somewhere to “park” your needle instead of using (or in addition to) a pin cushion. I’ve definitely covered some really cute wooden needle minders previously (see the article here) from A Needle Runs Through It and she still does not disappoint:

A cuppa to watch over that needle? Or a reminder that you are, indeed, a crafty girl?

I love me some engraved wooden minders, especially if they are cute like this hedgie from Beadeux:

I especially love the iron of having something prickly minding your sharps!

I do tend to like plenty of food themed items as well so this pizza themed minder made from polymer clay by Chapel View Crafts is super adorable:

I’d like mine as a veggie, though, please!

Or perhaps if you like to branch out in your food selections, a cute sushi fabric covered minder by Just Joshin Creations is just the thing:

Though using this may just make me crave California rolls.

My absolute favorite, though, has to be this amazing Kraken minder from UnconventionalX:

Unleash it on your next project!

With any one of these, your needles can be perfectly in sight at all times and if you’ve every sat/stepped/poked yourself with a needle, you know how important this can be. Keeping with this theme, I think next week we may venture into the realm of decorative thimbles.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Let’s learn about Needles – Needle Sizes

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Last week I talked about the anatomy of the needle.  Today we are going to look at the different types of needles and what you use them for.  All of this information is courtesy of Schmetz and Generations Quilt Patterns.

When a quilter talks about sewing machine needle sizes, they’ll say, “It’s an 80” or “It’s a 12” or “It’s an 80/12”.

Just what exactly do those numbers mean?

The Sizing Systems

The sizes are found on the front of the packaging (circled in red to the right).

That first number is the Number Metric (shown as NM). This system was set up in the 1940’s to standardize needle sizes.

It is simply the diameter of the needle shaft in millimeters multiplied by 100 to get rid of the pesky decimal places. That means that our standard “80” needle is really .80mm in diameter. (You’re glad you asked, right?)

What it means to you as a quilter is:

The larger the needle size, the stronger and thicker the shaft.

So where does the ’12’ of the 80/12 name come from?

It is nothing more than the merging of two measuring systems. The ’12’ comes from the corresponding Singer or US needle system. The ’80’, as we’ve learned, is the diameter of the shaft in millimeters multiplied by 100.

Next week I will talk about trouble shooting needle problems and how often you should change them.

Would you like to save and carry any of this information about needles?  Schmetz has their own app!  It has all of the information we have shared here plus more.  Download it from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

-Toni


A Demon of a Good Time

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Hello Sunday readers!

This week we are at MAGfest! The Music and Gaming Festival that takes place at the Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, MD is one of our favorite events of the year. It includes non-stop gaming, fabulous music, and wonderful geeky camaraderie. Every year has a different theme and this year’s is Castlevania so I figured we could take a look at some cool, appropriately themed crafts.

Many of the results of my search ended up on fuse bead art, which is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you have a rather large fuse bead color stash.

You can find the tutorial for this one at Cut Out and Keep!

You can find the tutorial for this one at Cut Out and Keep!

But I like to mix things up a bit and my first craft of choice has always been stitching. Hence, my love for this Castlevania stitched coaster from the Sprite Stitch Forums:

I haven't tried my hand at needlepoint in quite a while so maybe it's time to give it a whirl.

I haven’t tried my hand at needlepoint in quite a while so maybe it’s time to give it a whirl.

Or, for the more ambitious, this Pixel Hobby Dracula by Deviant Art user EveningEmma is super amazing:

That took a lot of dedication and patience!

That took a lot of dedication and patience!

Or if you are into the cosplay scene, this combat cross prop made by Deviant Art user weaselhammer would complete any Belmont clan costume:

To smite the shiny demons and vamps!

To smite the shiny demons and vamps!

I have a lot to work to do if I am to build up my collection of evil-bashing art, so I guess I better get onto it.

Stay crafty!

Laura


Basic Hand Stitching

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As someone who only just recently developed a tentative truce with my sewing machine, I often find myself still relying on hand sewing for all my general sewing needs. Old habits die hard and all that I’m sure, but sometimes you just have a fickle bit or you just don’t feel like carting around a big machine on the go. In either event, if you’ve been thinking about brushing up on your skills, or just learning how to hand sew in the first place, I have found a lovely illustrated guide just for you.

There is much, much more (I just took the top part to keep this post form scrolling for ages) that you can easily scroll/read at your leisure here on Lady Cels’ deviantart page. Don’t be dismissive of the title either and think it’s not for you. While it may have been written with a cosplayer in mind, cosplay is still just working with fabric and these techniques can still help your basic sewing skills.

~Nicole


Stitched Towels

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I know I’m biased since I’m a crafter by nature anyway, but I’m really excited about the idea of decorating my house with the skills I’ve learned over the years. With stitched towels being my most anticipated, though sadly most often moved to the back burner. They have such a large range of design options available to them as well.

This is the style most people probably think of when they think of decorating towels (though that’s not a terribly common decoration to see on them!) with simple cross-stitch x’s making the design. I’ve been growing more fond of the much more versatile back and satin stitch style though; something that this stitcher has done absolutely beautifully.

While my towels are going to be cafe themed, I loved that MadX-Stitcher used their skills to add a touch of fandom to their kitchen. If you want to go for master class, try mixing some embroidery paint into your design. It comes in a fairly decent range of colors and is a special oil based paint that can be washed and used on a large variety of mediums. So get crafting! 😀

~Nicole


A Pin in the Hand

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…is not something you want! At the tail end of last year, I took up machine sewing in order to practice for the Nintendo BOM Quilt-a-long detailed in the Crafthackers forums. During the beginning stages I gathered appropriate materials, watched a ton of tutorials, and used a lot of scrap material as my rehearsal. Finding a couple of quick and easy starter projects to get comfortable with my machine were also a must. The very first project I scouted out was something that would not only help me work on my skills but also benefit my sewing supplies – a pin cushion! I think the hardest part was deciding what type to make. When push came to shove, I did not use any of the ones featured below (I’ll let you see that next week) but these are some decidedly good runner-ups. All of the following are links to Beginner/Easy tutorials if it is also your first time.

First up I found a tutorial that was not only quick, easy, and useful but also super cute! This particular pin cushion features both hand and machine sewing. A felt cupcake from Art Threads:

Just don't try to take a bite after you finish this prickly sweet.

Just don’t try to take a bite after you finish this prickly sweet.

The next is a very convenient and lovely take on a cuff pin cushion. I liked the idea of a cuff so much that I eventually chose one that was not quite so frilly. A fabric flower cuff from Ruffles and Stuff:

A blooming convenient place to stick those pins while working.

A blooming convenient place to stick those pins while working.

The third one I came across is still on my to-make list as I very much like the idea of having a way to distinguish my tools from others’ in a useful fashion. Small strawberry pin cushions from V and Co:

Freshly picked craft tools, my favorite!

Freshly picked craft tools, my favorite!

I think I was feeling mildly intimidated by the last one I was considering at the time, honestly. Now that I have a bit more experience I may consider re-visiting this one as well. A combination pin cushion/thread catcher from Merriment Design:

A quick solution to all of those thread ends and loose pins!

A quick solution to all of those thread ends and loose pins!

Next week, I will take you through the tutorial I used to make my own cuff pin cushion to satisfying effect.

Hope everyone is staying warm, winter has finally hit! What a perfect time to work on some sewing projects.

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


Mind Your Needles!

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Let’s face it, the holidays are coming (where did the rest of the year go?!). Are you at a loss for gift ideas for your friend/significant other/second cousin twice removed that enjoys textile arts like cross stitch, crochet, and knitting? I have found just the thing, mainly because they are currently on my holiday wishlist. A Needle Runs Through It is run by a lovely lady that started her business by creating sturdy project bags for those that like to take their needle crafting with them wherever they go. She has since expanded to include needle minders.

Needle minders, protecting fingers and toes everywhere!

Needle minders, protecting fingers and toes everywhere!

Not familiar with them, you say? If you have ever completed a project that requires a needle no more than 2 inches long, you know the pain of dropping and then trying to find your needle without stepping on it/stabbing yourself in the process. Needle minders are little magnets that attach to the front and back of your project so that when you need a break or to change your thread color, the needle has a safe and apparent place to rest. Her shop has some of the cutest little needle minders I’ve ever seen.

Alpaca and kitty will keep your needles safe!

Alpaca and kitty will keep your needles safe!

Does your friend/SO/cousin perhaps prefer subversive cross stitch? How about a super awesome yarn skull needle minder?

That's some tough craft love right there.

That’s some tough craft love right there.

Ok, I did mention above that she also caters to the crochet/knit crowd with her adorable wooden accessories. These sheep stitch markers should do the trick:

Fluffy little sheep tail!

Fluffy little sheep tail!

She has plenty to choose from! Even TARDIS shaped needle minders for the Doctor Who crafter in your life. To get your own needle minding awesomeness, you can find A Needle Runs Through It on Etsy and Facebook.

Wishing all our readers in the US a safe and happy Thanksgiving this week!

Now back to those holiday crafts I need to finish! Where’s my needle?

~Laura