Vintage 1940s hair pins

After seeing a sweet little vintage card of hair pins in a roundup post of fun Etsy finds on the Swing Fashionista blog, I fell in love.

I tried not to buy it. Really I did.

Oh well.

Here it is:

I think you can see why I couldn't resist them. The image on the card is gorgeous!

I think you can see why I couldn’t resist it. The image on the card is gorgeous 1940s goodness.

Now it lives on the dressing table-like area of my bathroom, with a couple of other vintage goodies.

Apparently, I now have a collection of vintage dressing table items. The talc on the left is empty. The one on the right is full be sealed shut by rust.

Apparently, I now have a collection of vintage dressing table items. The talc container on the left is empty. The one on the right is full but sealed shut by rust. The hair pins have some rust, so I consider everything you see here purely decorative.

I got the card from the Covetable Curiosities shop on Etsy. Mine was listed as “1 available,” but the store has another one up for sale, also listed as “1 available.” With a quick Google search, a few more show up on eBay as ended or current. It doesn’t seem to be terribly rare, but it is awfully pretty.

 

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Full-bust adjustment on Sewaholic Belcarra Blouse

The Sewaholic line of patterns is specifically designed to fit and flatter pear-shaped woman.

I am pretty much the opposite of a pear-shaped woman.

My bust is my largest measurement, then my hips, with my waist not much smaller.

But the great results a variety of women are getting from the Belcarra Blouse pattern looked too good to resist, so I jumped in the fray.

Then came the pattern adjustments.

I started by making a muslin of the pattern as it was. It seemed to fit everywhere but the bust. Here is the result, after some slashing to accommodate my figure:

I marked my bust point, then made slashes typical of full-bust adjustments, so I could see how much room to add.

I marked my bust point, then made slashes typical of full-bust adjustments, so I could see how much room to add.

Obviously, I had work to do on the pattern. I made a typical full-bust adjustment, so the front bodice pattern looked like this:

Here you can see the full bust adjustment. Width is added across the bust, length is added to the center front, and a dart is added to the side.

For a typical full bust adjustment, width is added across the bust, length is added to the center front, and a dart is added to the side.

After trying that on, I realized that the bust point needed to be raised. I guess this is pretty common. The way the full-bust adjustment is done ends up creating a dart that does NOT point toward the apex of the bust. You often have to move it, but it’s impossible to know exactly how much to move it until you’ve done the adjustment. From this pattern alteration, I cut a new front bodice piece and replaced the slashed one.

As you can see, the muslin fits Gene much better, but the bust dart needed to be adjusted and the hips are way too wide.

As you can see, the muslin fits Gene much better. However, the bust dart needed to be adjusted and the hips are way too wide. I have them pinned in an inch on each side, for a total of four inches.

To accommodate these changes, I altered the pattern again.

Here, I raised the bust point, then narrowed the hips. I almost made them straight but settled on a gentle curve.

Here, I raised the bust point, then narrowed the hips. I almost made them straight but settled on a gentle curve.

Now, I think I’m ready to cut out my fashion fabric.

Taking a simple blouse pattern made for a pear and altering it for an apple is a lot of effort, but I think it’s going to be worth it. I had forgotten how nicely raglan sleeves sit on my shoulders, and this is a quick basic pattern. Once I have this pattern perfected, I can sew up a bunch of these basic tops. I’m hoping they will make a good substitute for the cheap knit tops I always buy at Target.

Gemini note: Blueberry Muffin Cake

Because it’s not all about the sewing …

When I saw the Blueberry Muffin Cake on the Lines From Linderhof blog, I knew I had to try it. I already had everything in my kitchen (blueberries are at their cheapest right now here in California) and an invitation to a pool party that I couldn’t attend empty-handed.

I followed the instructions exactly. Here are the results:

This easy snack cake is made in a springform pan. It's on my wedding stoneware: Luscious by Savoir Vivre.

This easy snack cake is made in a springform pan. It’s on my wedding stoneware: Luscious by Savoir Vivre. We’ve had the stoneware for 21 years, and I’m pretty sentimental about it.

This looks exactly the same as it did in the pictures on the Lines From Linderhof blog. Yum.

The cake looks exactly the same as it does in the pictures on the Lines From Linderhof blog.

No mixer is involved, just a bowl for wet ingredients and a bowl for dry. Then you stir them together. Easy and delicious. I have a blueberry muffin recipe that calls for mashing up a 1/2 cup of blueberries and mixing that into the batter before folding in the blueberries. I may try that next time I make this.

I love snack cakes, and this will become a staple in my house during blueberry season and will definitely show up at a future tea party.

Martha Meinsen Scott at Lines From Linderhof is always making something tasty for lunch or tea. If you love that sort of thing like I do, you should visit her blog.

Sewaholic’s Belcarra Blouse mood board

After seeing all the pretty Belcarra Blouse photos on the Sewaholic website, I had to jump into the fray.

The Belcarra Blouse is a great basic top with raglan sleeves and a scoop neck that looks like it flatters a variety of figures. It’s available as a PDF for immediate download, which makes it a perfect impulse purchase.

Here’s the mood board:

The maybe gray, maybe blue fabric has raised pin dots.

The maybe gray, maybe blue fabric has raised pin dots.

I’m planning to make Version A. Here’s a better look at the line drawing.

Here's a closeup of the line drawing for the Belcarra Blouse.

View A of the Belcarra Blouse.

Alas, I didn’t have anything appropriate in my stash, so I had to go to Jo-Ann’s for fabric. (I ended up also buying some yellow Linen Look for a future project. Fabric stores are dangerous.)

Here’s a closeup of the unusual dots.

In this closeup, you can see how the pin dots are raised and fluffy.

As you can see, the pin dots are raised and kind of fluffy.

This is the first time I will be working with a PDF pattern. When you order one, you immediately receive a link to a PDF file to download. The PDF file is set up to print on regular letter paper, but you have to trim the pages and tape them together so you have whole pattern pieces. (It took me three tries with the test page to get my printer settings correct. This is only because I wasn’t paying enough attention.) In the case of the Belcarra Blouse, printing out View A meant taping together 25 pieces of paper to make one giant sheet with all the pattern pieces.

Here's what the pieces looked like on my dining table before I taped them together.

Here’s what the pieces looked like on my dining table before I taped them together.

The lines matched beautiful for the first couple of rows, but the further along I went, the more my lines ended up off by the tiniest of smidges. It shouldn’t affect the project at all. I imagine this would be pretty tedious for a full dress pattern.

I’m going to have to make a full-bust adjustment, as usual, so I was very happy to find an FBA tutorial for this blouse on the Sewaholic website. Handy. I’ll make a muslin of the pattern as is, then see how much I need to adjust for the FBA.

It will be fun to work on a quick project for a change. If I like the way this turns out, I’m going to want to do a long full denim skirt to go with it. There’s always more to sew.