Now that I have my new glasses, I’m all inspired to rummage through my fabric stash and start turning it into brand new vintage creations.


I may have to make a deal with myself though, as the pile of repairs is even larger than the fabric stash. Maybe make one new thing for every three mended?

The difficulty for me is often when I get up a head of steam on these projects, I burn out quickly by trying to do too much too soon and making silly mistakes. Having a little support group of friends on Facebook to talk me through does help, and it keeps me on track by wanting to share progress rather than just the finished piece.

With Spring and Summer already in mind, I’ve decided to plan ahead and take things slowly with these pieces as inspiration.


(I have no idea why she is holding what looks like a dead koala!)


I have loads of great fabric, rick rack and trim, but I am a bit intimidated by the embroidery. Actually I have zero experience with this and unless I can figure out a cool way to do this, it maybe left undone. I know there are sewing machines that embroider for you (not the one I have), but other than that, can anyone suggest and other ways to finish off these blouses? Maybe you have some easy tips for achieving this look, or you know of some great tutorials. Either way, if you can help with a suggestion I’d be extremely grateful!


  1. Yes I agree with Helen – you can buy pre-embroidered appliques and beaded sections on Etsy. They will be easier to sew on. I don’t think you would want to cover the whole sleeves of that pattern though as they will be hard to find and probably harder to fit.
    Loving all those patterns too! Summer sewing seems more fun too. I was all happy about winter and making lots of things but while I’ve been making, I havent been all that happy about the last few things I’ve made. Its getting to me! Need to break out of the funk.

  2. Love your vintage patterns!

    I’ve had fun with fabric applique on clothing – if you can stitch a tight zig-zag by machine you can make appliques. (Use something like Wonder-under or heat-n-bond to fuse fabric shape to garment and then just zig around the edges to finish it off.) And you can’t go wrong with rick-rack! I have a couple projects in my sewing queue right now that involves rick-rack. =)

  3. Maybe treat the embroidered part of the blouses as a yoke and insert patterned or embroidered fabric? Doing the sleeves would be easy stitch two fabrics together then cut out sleeve – it is just a matter of aligning the fabric patterning so there is a clear horizontal line across the sleeve and blouse body.

  4. Personally I’d choose either an embroidered fabric, or find a simple patterned fabric and do simple embroidery around the pattern motifs to add the dimension and texture without having to go full on.

    The techniques used on the shirts don’t look terribly difficult, but they do look very time consuming, should you wish to attempt them.

    Also I feel you on the impatient sewing, when I get an idea in my head I want it done NOW, and it leads to so many mistakes, like cutting arm sythes too large or mangling a zipper insertion. Or the dress with a circle skirt that ended up shorter on one side and somehow much tighter than planned…

  5. So many fantastic patterns! I absolutely love the pink blouse/top business with the poofy sleeves – it’s completely gorgeous. Have fun with it! I hope you’ll be able to share some of your creations here soon.

  6. Have you considered using an embroidered table cloth for your yolks? Vintage hand embroidered cotton ones are often beautifully soft from constant washing. You may already have a suitable at home or you could ask your mother or other relatives if you they have one that you could have. You may find one that is too stained for use on a table that could be salvaged for your blouse (food stains will usually be on the centre where the table top was rather than on the embroidered edges). You could also look for a new table cloth at manchester shops or stalls at markets (e.g. Vic market). You may have to wash a new table cloth several times and soak it in fabric softener so that it is nice and soft to wear and to allow for shrinkage. Happy hunting!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here