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Information and tutorials for folks interested in antique Italian lacework, nouveau fashion, sewing techniques and much much more!

Category Archive: Projects

Free Midsummer Night’s Dream Tu’Tu’orial


Kathleen of GrosgrainFabulous contributed this gossamer child’s free tutu pattern to BurdaStyle. Not only is it dreamily fairy-like, it is made mostly by knotting tulle to an elastic or ribbon waistband. We love the addition of greenery vines to the dandelion puff of a skirt. This would be sure to please every wee fairy in your life!
“The moonlight fades from flower and rose
And the stars dim one by one;
The tale is told, the song is sung,
And the Fairy feast is done.
The night-wind rocks the sleeping flowers,
And sings to them, soft and low.
The early birds erelong will wake:
‘T is time for the Elves to go.”

(By Louisa May Alcott)

Posted: Projects, Sewing
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Knit Skull Stockings


These knit thigh-high stockings by Severina of VintageStitchORama are amazing, with lacy skulls and crossbones tramping up the leg from foot up to garter top.
Like Sparkle Moore says…….
You should be labeled with a skull and a-crossbones
You’re a jinx to my soul, oh yeah
You should be labeled with a skull and a-crossbones
You’re a jinx to my soul, oh yeah
You’re a menace to women, better lock you up in prison
‘Cause you’re like child that’s drivin’ everyone wild
Uh-uh-uh, a big X that means a-crossbones
I said, a big X that means a-crossbones
My heart sighs, my heart moans
Then it cries and then it groans

(By B. Morgan)

Posted: Knitting & Crocheting, Projects
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How to make Flat-Fell Seams by Hand or by Machine


French and flat-felled seams are innately glamorous. The folks at the Vintage Sewing Reference Library can assist you with hand-sewing techniques that will cause the underside of your garments look as neat and beautiful as the other side. Several seam finishes are depicted, including fell, French, rolled, bound, and French fold. These directions are from American Dressmaking Step by Step by Mme. Lydia Trattles Coates [1917]. And for a more modern set of instructions, BurdaStyle has directions on how to sew neat and beauteous French and flat-felled seams with a sewing machine.

Posted: Sewing Techniques
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Crocheted Pony Reins


We all know at least one child who is convinced that they are a pony, and while away their afternoons galloping with their model horses up and down the hallway. Every wee horse fancier would adore these reins to wear while racing about! Tonya Gunn at LivingCrafts presents a marvelously easy-to-make crochet project, saying “We’ll guarantee hours of fun outdoors for your little ponies.”

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Sew a Middy Top


The generous folks at the Vintage Sewing Reference Library have posted these instructions from The New-Way Course in Fashionable Clothes-Making [1926] for sewing a middy shirt, and we knows, everyone needs a middy for when they go a-ferrying. This classic vintage middy can be made in traditional white cotton, navy wool, or whatever fabric seizes your imagination. And, of course, fabrics and trims for this project can be found at Britex Fabrics.

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Giving Through Knitting


Kate from Knitty has compiled a handful of non-profit organizations that needs hand-knitted items, and the generous folks at InterweaveKnits have posted another gigantic list of non-profits. This is a great way to help others, work your way through your yarn stash, while further developing your mad knitting skills.

Posted: Knitting & Crocheting, Organizations
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Easy-to-Make Circular Vest


Nicole from Threads designed this elegant, yet easy-to-make vest. It is a cozy addition for autumn wear, and would be delightful made from any of the fine double-faced wools or a sporty plaid mohair fabric that Britex Fabrics has on our first floor. The yardage required is based upon your bust size, plus a few inches for room; ex. a woman with a 32” bust needs a 35” circle of fabric or 1 yard of 45” or wider fabric, a woman with a 36” bust needs a 40” circle of fabric or 1 yard of 45” or wider fabric, and a woman with a 44” bust needs a 47” circle of fabric or 1 yard of 54” or wider fabric.

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Make Shoe Sole Inserts


Dawn at dhbuscher.com has the marvelous idea of making shoe sole inserts to rejuvenate an old pair of shoes or to or customize a new pair, and has written step-by-step instructions. My brain is spinning with the possibilities; imagine sweet princesses and toad cotton in a pair of shiny black Mary Janes, or a dignified red paisley fabric in a pair of Kelly green high-tops. (And if you use thin foam instead of batting, you can also make your shoes that much more soft and comfy)

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How to Pick a Simple Sewing Pattern


At BurdaStyle, the talented Sandra Betzina from PowerSewing.com shows a novice seamstress (her daughter, Kim) how to pick a pattern that will result in a beauteous garment. Sandra shows you how to read patterns, and which patterns will be easier for beginning sewers. Our recommendations are to pick fabrics that you genuinely enjoy, buy matching thread, and to read and follow pattern directions.

Posted: Sewing Techniques
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Knit a Pair of Pirate Socks


Pamela from KatyDidKnits.com claims these are Jack Sparrow’s all-time favorite socks. I’m not so sure, but I’m positive that these are the grooviest striped skull and crossbones adorned socks you’ll ever see! They would be perfect to keep your tootsies warm while tramping about on All-Hallows-Eve. As Pam says, knit these up and then “Go sail the high seas and plunder a village or two!” (Click here for a PDF for this pattern)

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