Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Happiness runs in a circular motion

Hello dearest readers!

I've been working away on some little projects lately. Just small ones that are very simple and only require a couple hours work. Would you like to see? 

First off is this paisley buttoned shirt which I made from Simplicity 8399. The fit isn't great which is sad cause this fabric is so amazing! 

The fit is off around the shoulders. Its a bit tight and the buttons didn't meet at the front properly. Size 12 is usually ok for me, but obviously not on this occasion! Its ok to wear with a pinafore or with the top button undone though

The fabric is vintage 60's from Etsy and I only had just enough for the shirt. However the repeat is really clear so perhaps I can add it to the ever growing list of "fabrics to add to Spoonflower"

The cuffs are also the perfect size for the pattern to match up perfectly! A total fluke!

Also sewn up but more as a muslin were these very cute little shorts!

Shorts!!! omg, and you know what? THEY FIT!

The fabric is a cheap-o cotton from Lincraft. It will most likely pill before the end of summer, but I'll get as much mileage as I can! I also used McCall's 7261 for the pattern.

On the inside I also bothered to finish the waist band with some bias trim I got at the opp shop. The pins are there because I still need to slip-stitch it down!

And here is the massive score of bias trim! All in one bag for $3! A veritable rainbow of colours! 

However there was something far better on offer at the opp shop that day... 

In the pile of tea towels and sheets was a bundle of psychedelically coloured fabric. I pulled it out expecting a table cloth but instead found a giant floor cushion cover! 

The cover sewn up measured around 1.5m by 1.5m, so a pretty decently sized cushion! Couldn't you just imagine it on the floor of a hippie commune? Or a house in Goa sat upon by a sitar playing guru? Very dreamy and so tempting for me to fill it and use it as is, but it doesn't match my house unfortunately...

Instead, I unpicked the seams, gave it a wash a decided it will most definitely need to become a dress! 

I love this pattern. The colours and the little details are amazing, another one for Spoonflower!  

I've also received a few new patterns lately. Heather from Heatherleebea and I recently did a pattern swap. She sent me Butterick 5466 (which I will use for the above fabric) and Simplicity 8333. 

Heather is also a huge fan of vintage patterns and together we are trying to initiate a Pattern preservation group. The nuts and bolts need to be worked out still, but the idea involves more pattern swapping and less using patterns as trendy wrapping paper!

Also bought from our old friend Etsy is Simplicity 4899 and Simplicity 7915. Both super adorable but 4899 is especially so and looks like something Tilly might sew with don't you think? 

Have you bought anything good lately? Something that really set your imagination off? send me links!! 

Cat xo 

*Happiness Runs by Donovan


  1. I love how you manage to recreate the illustrations on pattern envelopes with the near-identical fabrics. That blouse is gorgeous and hey, like you say, if it doesn't fit that well then its perfect under a pinafore (or a waistcoat, my go-to item to disguise a poor fit!)
    Love the fabric you scored and all that bias binding. I often find vintage binding on my travels but its nearly always pink, why?
    Loving the pattern swapping idea. Do people really use them as wrapping paper? Good idea for some of the naff 80s patterns I come across, not so much for the 60s and 70s beauties! xxx

    1. haha oh I just realised! I did it again! that was not intentional this time! I should try to find more waist coats! or make them...
      I find heaps of strips of bias in all sort of colours. perhaps no one ever bought the pink and it was sent off to the chazzas? My reoccurring opp shop nightmare is tapestry wool! There's tonnes of it at my locals!
      And yes! I've seen pattern pieces used for wallpaper, wrapping and all sorts of naff crafty things. I hope they're using the 80s ones too! It was agreed that 80's patterns are not currently in need of saving. (I hope we don't regret that in 50 years)

  2. Hi Catherine,
    Quick question…. I was just wondering how you found the fit of these vintage patterns? I've only just started using the vintage ones really and I just can't seem to get the fit right! One of the patterns I have is a size 12 but according to measurements I would need a 16, so I added an inch and adjusted the pattern to suit….but then it was huge! So now I'm wondering whether to just stick to making a size 12…. I'm a UK 10-12 :-)

    1. Hi! Sorry for the late reply. I always find that vintage patterns can change depending on what year they were made. Most manufacturers changed their sizing in the mid 60s which means that a 16in 1964 is now a size 14! (see my post about that here I have a variety of sizes in my collection, from. 12 to 16 So I tend to modify as I cut adding width at the hips and sometimes shoulders. Ladies back then also tended to wear undergarments that slimmed their figure and were naturally smaller from having different diets and so on. I usually go with the bust size when buying a pattern as I know that is correct for myself and before cutting the fabric, I transfer my own measurements to the fabric and cut whatever extra width I need around the hips. So basically I ignore the advice of the envelope because I've also made that mistake of making things too big. I have things in a 12 that fit and things in a 16 that fit as well. It's annoying just like normal clothes shopping. I would suggest cutting a 12 in your case because fitting down a size is easier. And try transferring you're measurement to the fabric as well - that works well for me too when making space for my hips. Good luck! xo

  3. The shirt fabric is gorgeous, as is the shirt (more gorgeous cuffs!) and I adore the polka dot shorts. Wow, the floor cushion fabric is stunning, that will look amazing as a frock.
    I've had a couple of bloggers send me gifts wrapped in old patterns - I'm assuming it was from a pattern which wasn't complete or particularly stylish, otherwise it would be a shame! xxx

    1. Thank you lovely! Ooh i hope they were un-fashionable ones, it would have heart palpitations if it was some adoroble 60s frock!

  4. Great patterns! They will look super cute on you and that fabric is amazing.

  5. Suck gloriarse fabrics and patterns! the shirt is darling; how annoying is it when a garment doesn't fit like you think it should?! I find this all the time, I suppose like bought clothing, it varies from brand to brand! Obviously a toile is the way to go, but that's a drag sometimes! That's why I like sheets; I pay very little, and if it isn't right, it's not a disaster!

    1. ugh i know! i really is just a pain that even with sewing sizes aren't the same. I don't often do toiles, only when im doing something new and Im trying to be serious about it! If i could find more sheets i would love that!

  6. It's great that you can still wear the blouse with the button open or with a pinafore because it is so darn fabulous! Such a psychedelic swoon-worthy print! Very cute shorts. How fabulous that you find that huge bundle of bias trim and that incredible floor cushion cover. I cannot wait to see what it is transformed into. And especially loving the Simplicity 7195 pattern, I think it's safe to say that the black polka dot dress is one of my dream dresses!

    1. thank you lovely! i will have to duplicate it somehow! I can see you in that polka dot dress with like a ruffled collar! it would be so cute on you!

  7. I don't know how you do it, dear Catherine. You make smart, wearable clothes that would cost a tidy sum in a retail store. SEAMS like magic!

    Thank you for your ongoing friendship and support, dear friend Cat, and enjoy your weekend down under!

    1. ahh thank you Shady! i do try, so that i dont have to buy them from the shops! :)

  8. I just love the print of this fabric, such a shame that the fit wasn't right. It's odd how that happens sometimes, I've had it before and it's really frustrating. My sister asked me to make her a playsuit in the summer and picked a modern, multi size pattern. She was between sizes so I opted for the larger one thinking I could always take it in and it ended up being too small! Luckily I was making a muslin and hadn't cut into her nice fabric.

    Love the idea of a pattern swap too, these patterns should be cherished!

    1. i know! i get a little anxious thinking about it, but its still wearable! How very strange about that playsuit! i guess looking at the envelope measurement means nothing then! maybe if we just take our own measurement and translate them to the fabric? that should work!

      Yes! if you ever want to pattern swap send me an email!


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