Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Resources to Share - Sew Grateful Week

Sew Grateful Week - My Happy Sewing Place
Growing up in a large family, sharing was one of the first rules to maintain civility in our home. I still love to share. I share recipes, ideas and resources. This blog is all about sharing resources and ideas for sewing. Please visit the left bar for oodles of vintage sewing booklets. Find vintage pattern catalogs HERE. And odd little patterns I have found over the years HERE. And don't forget the ever so important tutorial on altering a pattern HERE. All are downloadable for free. I add more when time allows so bookmark me and pop in now and again.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sew Grateful Giveaway

Sew Grateful Pattern Giveaway Click Here for More Information
Visit my CynicalGirl Shop on Etsy this week for 20% off with the Coupon Code SEWGRATEFUL

Costume and Party Aprons

1950's Birthday Party

Baby boomers in the 1950s had no shortage of sources for homemaking ideas. This generation of American suburbanites ditched the old and ushered in the new. And a flourishing time it was. The middle class was healthy and head of the consumer class. Television brought products and new ideas right into our living rooms urging us to buy, buy, buy. And so we did.

With more income and leisure time, it was easier to lavish attention on our children. Consider the Birthday Party. This photo looks like my house with other people's kids. I am certain we had that very same Pin The Tail on the Donkey game. Didn't everybody?

McCall's Needlework and Crafts Volume 6 1955

As parties became more popular they also became more structured. These 1955 party apron patterns from the McCall's Needlework and Crafts Annual Volume 6, offer a whimsical approach to party attire. And they are take home mementos from a fun party.

Down load the instructions HERE to make these 6 cute party aprons for your child's retro birthday party. Find more Children's patterns at my shop on Etsy.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Andy Warhol - The Pre-Fame Years

Magazine Ad 1950's Andy Warhol Sketch

I was an art student in the late 70's and early 80's. In the galleries, Abstract Expressionism, Op and Pop gave way to Neo Geo and Neo Expressionism. But in the text books Pop still reigned supreme and on that much esteemed throne sat Andy Warhol. We all know him because of his unmistakable imagery. The giant screen prints of Marilyn Monroe, Mao and Campbell's Tomato Soup. But like many artists, Warhol's start was slow and a bit more practical. 

While checking patterns I came across this advert tucked into one of the patterns. What a delight to see Andy Warhol's name as the illustrator of those sweet little collars and belt. He had quite a good career illustrating for magazines such as Harpers. 

The Andy Warhol Museum

For more visit 99Designs

Stuffed Animals - Every Child's Delight

McCall 419

I slept on the upper bunk in an upstairs bedroom I shared with with three of my sisters. Two sets of bunk beds in this dormer like bedroom, where the ceiling angled in at the sides, in a 1920's bungalow on Milwaukee's near north side. If you let the covers hang over the sides you could imagine you were in a covered wagon. Ahh. My vivid childhood imagination kept me engaged for hours on end. That was the early 1960's. 

Simplicity 2249

My upper bunk was home to 20 or more stuffed animals, my favorite being the large lion and Zip, the monkey. I have always had a tremendous love for all creatures and of course these inanimate plushies occupied the prime spots and overtook more than just leg room, so much so that it was not uncommon for me to fall out of bed when I turned in my sleep. I don't have any of those dear stuffed pals anymore but my memories of them are still fond. Today my bed plays host to many creatures but these are living and breathing pals.

Simplicity 4915

I still harbor great affection for cuddly toys and though I sell many patterns in my Etsy and Goodsmiths shops, these stuffed animal patterns will remain in my personal collection. The designs of the past have such dignity about them, not the cartoon type stuffed toys that dominate today's market.

McCall's 1810

What a wonderful Easter present to receive a new stuffed toy. These are so many patterns to make something really special for your little sweetheart.

Simplicity 3701

This crocheted puppy would delight any child. Download the pattern to make this sweet stuffed toy.

Or if you are in a particularly nostalgic mood, you could make an iconic sock monkey toy. I have made dozens of these familiar faces for nieces and nephews over the last 30 years. These two are not quite ready for prime time but will be ready for my newest grand niece or nephew in May. Make your own with these instructions.

Sock Monkeys - Red Heel Socks - Fox River Mills

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Fast and Easy Gift Ideas from Wrights

Wrights, founded in 1897, sold pre-measured lengths of trim wound around little cardboard rectangles in flat little packages making distribution possible to even the most remote department, dime and dry goods stores. These ingenious packages are the same trims we buy today. 

Wrights Trims and Laces

To encourage the use of these packaged products Wrights published patterns that used their trims. These little pamphlets were distributed at fabric stores and anywhere a notions display of Wrights trims happened to be. Others were included in the packages.

Wrights Sunburst Apron

Easy to make and economical, Wrights patterns were perfect for the 1950's homemaker. This Sunburst Apron pattern is quite sophisticated with it's dimensionality. Definitely one to make for anyone's retro apron collection.

Wrights Terry Guest Towels

These sweet little Finger-Tip Guest Towels with minimal embroidery are easily made with Wrights Bias Tape. Download the entire brochure with these and other fun Gifts and Bazaar Ideas HERE.

To find more Vintage Apron and Accessory patterns please visit my Etsy Shops, CynicalGirl and CynicalGirlAnnex.