I can finally share this now, because this gift was delivered to its one-day-old recipient yesterday!
My best friend is very pregnant with her first baby right now had her first baby early this week and I wanted to sew her a gift for her baby girl. Since we met at our local horseriding stable and still go riding there every week (well, she’s been on foot for the last few months obviously) what better gift than a toy horse!
Since seeing Casey’s adorable vintage plush elephant I’ve been scouring Etsy for similar patterns and came across this little horse. I love the fabric choice on the cover so even though I had lots of different fabrics to choose from I went with something almost identical in the end!
I’ve never made something quite this tiny before but it came together surprisingly easily. The construction is very well thought out and I loved all the little handstitching and finishing details.
The little guy is seriously the cutest thing I’ve ever made.
When I was visiting my grandmother recently she asked did I want to have her sewing basket? Since I already have her sewing machine (my lovely, lovely treadle) she didn’t need it anymore and of course I said yes!
Isn’t it beautiful? It’s old of course and the wood looks a little tired and the veneer is chipped in places but I think it’s so pretty!
Inside, it was a real mess, obviously this is the collection from decades of sewing:
So I went to work and a full 1.5 hours later everything was sorted and my own sewing stuff was mixed in with my grandmother’s treasures. Among her things were vintage belt buckles, tags monogrammed with my late grandfather’s initials, old wooden spools of thread and hundreds of colorful buttons.
The case has two drawers of which one is broken. I’m hoping the boyfriend will be able to fix it. I’m also planning on giving the whole thing a wood treatment (this has worked wonders on two thrift store chairs I have). Maybe I’ll also spruce it up a little (I’m considering a blatant copy of this stunning make-over).
What do you think?
A mish-mash of topics today…
I discovered my love of succulents a few years ago (RosaMaria may have been responsible because she always posts beautiful succulent shots). I’ve a small collection at home which is thriving and I’m always busy propagating little cuttings. They grow slowly but steadily and really are the easiest plants ever.
I don’t seem to be alone in this either, since this print of a blooming succulent, taken in Italy during a summer visit to friends of ours, is by far the most popular in my Etsy shop:
In other news, the strawberries on my balcony are putting out fruit like mad this year and I’m looking forward to harvesting. Nothing compares to the taste of a homegrown strawberry. Mine are just past the flowering stage but the farmer’s market carried some strawberries already so we made the first smoothie of the year.
We also did a thrift store round again recently and while also picking up some practical stuff like vases and sports clothes for hiking, I indulged in several vintage square scarves.
These silk scarves are hard to find new (old is so much cooler anyway) and I’ve wanted to try this 1940’s headscarf tutorial for ages.
Love this hairstyle, it’s just so “artsy” . I’m wearing my scarves all the time. I’ll just have to find a way to better secure them on my head…my hair is fine and very slippery so they just want to slip right off.
I got so many scarves that I almost have one for every outfit.
More random things I loved this week:
I saw The Great Gatsby yesterday (really liked it) so I’m now considering getting even more scarves to wear them like lovely Carey does
April from Blacksburg Belle always has great tipps for small business owners, I follow her blog religiously. This video post on time management particularly hit home and has some awesome tipps I will incorporate in my work schedule from now on!
Sherrie wrote a very inspiring post about the concept of enough, which reminded me why I strive for minimalism in my life (ahem, thrift store shopping and compulsive accumulation of plants excluded)
My 8/52 photo, a sweet but totally crazy dog at our barn.
As you can see, still very much winter over here, snowy and grey. Frozen pipes at the barn.
I am so ready for spring, and sunshine, and color, and flowers. I’ve made my balcony garden plans and I’m itching to start my seeds and to give the balcony a good scrub and clean up.
Just a few more weeks now.
Until then, I’m making baby succulents (well, the plants are doing all the work really, I just give all the baby succulent shoots their own pots and water occasionally).
I was given some tulips at the farmer’s market last weekend as a thank you for giving one of the vendors an awesome pumpkin ginger soup recipe (do you want it? it’s super yummy and the vendor said it worked wonders for his date).
So good to have some color in the apartment! And speaking of color, I got some lovely summer fabrics in the mail and I’ve been dreaming up ways to use them for weeks. No actual sewing going on, I’m taking a little break after the red skirt and waiting for sun and motivation to show their faces around here.
There’s hope I’ll be getting some knitting finished though! And, saving the best for last, a sneak peek at some vintage patterns I scored on Etsy lately. I won’t be showing them in full because they’ll be presents for friends if/when I make them 🙂
I’ve been meaning to share these photos since november. I was asked to take some photos of the guys at our barn who like to run around in full-flegded cowboy outfit at the weekends.
The aim of course was to make these look like real, vintage cowboy photos so while I liked the simple black and white processing, the vintage look is of course more dramatic.
There were ten or eleven guys to photograph within less than an hour! I’m only showing the best shots here, but every cowboy got his picture into the calender they eventually made from the photos.
So, just this quick sharing and now I’ll have to get ready for another week at work. Have a good week!
I promised to post more of my sewing and since I can’t really put it off any longer, here are two more tops that got made this summer: a striped blue top from a vintage 40’s pattern (the same as this one) and a Wiksten Tova Top.
I was reluctant to post them because I don’t really like how they came out. The great thing about sewing your own clothes is that you can make precisely the kind of clothing you love. The bad thing about it is that you’re bound to go wrong some time, it’s part of the learning process.
I love the look of the blue top, but it doesn’t really fit me. It’s not very noticable in the picture but the bust area is much too big for me and it looks funny with the tailored waist. I have since learned how to make a small bust adjustment. Also the fabric is too stiff for this pattern, it worked much much better with the light cotton voile I made it from the first time.
The next top is a Tova from a light-weight cotton lawn (maybe, it’s not voile but equally light weight).
I loved the fabric when I saw it and I love it still…just not on me. I don’t do patterned fabric very well, I am finding out more and more that I should stick to solids.
So with each item I make I am still learning and learning. Making clothing can sometimes be frustrating and it will always be very time consuming. But it is also very rewarding and I for one am always thinking that the next thing I sew might just be the perfect item that I have been searching for 🙂
I’m back from a 2-day trip to Belgium, where a friend and I spent a day at the beach and visited the beautiful city of Bruges.
I will have the pictures up in a big travel post soon, but first a little sewing to show off as promised (the first of a few posts, I hope to get the other stuff photographed this week).
I’ve been dabbling with quite a few patterns lately but I keep coming back to the Wiksten Tova and Tank Top patterns. The tank pattern especially fits me really well and is so simple and yet versatile. I decided to add cap sleeves to make it suitable to wear at work as well.
I did raise the neckline a bit (only 1/2″ I think). The fabric is a super soft cotton and psst, don’t tell anyone, but it’s a thrifted vintage bed sheet! I love the big plaids and the cheery colors but I am already planning to make at least two more of these tops in some solid voiles.
I know I keep repeating myself, but this pattern really is a joy to work with, it’s simple and quick, has super nice french seams and fits great without any adjustments. I predict many more tank tops to follow 🙂
Phew, I don’t think I’ve ever gone this long without posting before, has it really been over a week? But I am back now, after a wonderful and exhausting weekend in Italy (pics to come!) and after a week that just flew by with work and family stuff.
But now, on to the sewing stuff! I’ve been really inspired by the beautiful costumes of some films I saw recently (this one and this one especially) and bought some vintage patterns on Ebay at a whim. They arrived earlier this week:
I knew they were vintage, but I was still amazed that they were so…well…old! Faded brown paper so brittle that it feels like it would crumble in your hands, I love it!
Of course I had to do a bit of fabric shopping immediately and get to work on the very simplest piece, the top:
The pattern calls for a side seam zipper. Now I am absolutely not confident when it comes to zippers, so I decided to leave out the back tucks in the shirt and see if I could pull it over my head then which worked a treat!
I was also pretty scared of the arm and neck facings so I finished the neckline and the arm holes with bias tape. I am thrilled with how it turned out!
I’d read so much about how vintage patterns and the sizing and fit can be tricky, but this one fits me perfectly and I am so happy with it!
I will definitely make this shirt again with some fabric that is just now on its way to me from the US. I will probably modify the neckline a bit, I had to wear it with a strapless bra because it sits so low on the shoulders.
As you can see on the pattern pictures the top is meant to be worn tucked into slacks or a skirt. I spent hours looking for a skirt that sits at the natural waist like the picture but of course that is not the style right now so I will probably end up just making the skirt as well and tackling that scary side seam zipper! I do so long for a pair of high-waisted slacks like the ones Anna made but they are definitely way out of my sewing comfort zone right now!
By the way, if you’re interested in vintage sewing, head over to Casey‘s and Jen‘s blogs, I spent hours there in the last weeks 😉
I keep forgetting to post these, but here’s catching up now. I posted one of these vintage bedsheets before but there’s more:
The one on the right turned into a quilt back and a table cloth, but I’m not sure what the other two will be used for yet. I really love the orange one though.
I loved finding these vintage storing jars for tea. We bought new loose tea this weekend and filled these up.
And finally, jackpot: I found a beautiful china set from the 1950’s/1960’s and I love the simple, scandinavian design. They had set of about 6 small, 6 large and 6 deep plates along with a bowl and some other stuff. At 30€ for the whole set I didn’t have to think about it long. It is now replacing our chipped Ikea dishes and is just soo much nicer and prettier.
I am slowly replacing all of our old kitchen stuff with new, nice things to help us keep our resolution of cooking more food from scratch and eating healthier. It’s working a treat I have to say!
Cookie recipe here (used chopped dark chocolate instead of cocoa and only 1 1/2 cups of sugar and added 1/2 cups of oats).
This quilt will probably take me months to complete, so I might as well document every step along the way!
The backing is a thrifted vintage bed sheet. I’ve still got half of it left after cutting it apart and I love it so much, I might just hem the rest and use it as a table cloth.
A little side note on that: we use only environmentally friendly washing powder that leaves little to no scent on our laundry…it smells clean but not much else. I found that makes me very sensitive to strong scents in other people’s laundry, they give me headaches. This bedsheet was clean when I bought it but I washed it again of course and had it lying around a couple of weeks. It still smells strongly of perfumed washing powder and I hope to get rid of that eventually when washing the finished quilt. It only reminds me how long those chemical perfumes linger and lets face it, we wear those clothes and get that stuff on our skin!
Ok, enough moralizing for one morning 🙂
We also finally baked some fresh bread again from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.
Baking bread on a weekly basis is part of our plan to eat healthier and with such an easy method about there really is no excuse not to! Lynda did a great post on that book and its successor, Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.
On weekdays we are often too tired to cook in the evenings so we made a white sandwich bread for breakfast and the european peasant bread (with whole wheat and rye flour) to eat with cheese and salads in the evening. I find that when using whole wheat and rye flour I need to use more yeast than the recipe calls for or the crumb will be too dense. Either the yeast is weaker or the flour is heavier over here!
The bread is only flour, yeast, water and salt, no sugar, no additives to make it last longer or taste better.
We don’t eat masses of bread between the two of us, so what we do is we let the loaves cool down completely, cut them up and freeze them. That way we can toast only as many slices as we’ll actually eat at a time and this amount of bread will last us anywhere between 1 and 2 weeks.