Thursday, April 14, 2011

70's, Vintage Sewing, and the Evening Tree Namesake

I haven't sewn since my last post almost 2 weeks ago.  Except to redo the neckline on this shirt:

The gathers around the neck are a little uneven, but this is a T-shirt, not designer.  Okay?!? Okay.
Joy asked me if this shirt was the signature evening tree shirt and it wasn't.  But this one is.  This is the shirt that got me sewing my own wardrobe.  It's not super amazing or anything, but it makes me indescribably happy.  And isn't that what sewing should be about?

It used to be a huge men's shirt from Michael's for 2.50 or something.  I cut out the crew neck and left the edges raw.  It's been a few years though, and the neck was so stretched out I never wore it.  Happily, my sewing skills are much better now and I edged the neckline with clear elastic (zig-zag stitch), folded it over and stitched twice, keeping the messy look.  (I also took in the sides and sleeves--the pink stitching on the sleeves is where the original shoulder seam was.)

Before bleach pens were marketed in the grocery store, I took Q-tips and dipped them in bleach to make this design.  Then I free-stitched pink and white over all the leaves and branches. I backed the design with a scrap of flannel so I wouldn't worry about the stretching.

I would tell you the real name of this shirt, but my darling husband has decided to use it for is new Genealogy Research company, and is taking the name from me.  Grrr.  But really, I'm happy for him:)
Thanks to Joy for reminding me of my favorite shirt ever.

And speaking of Joy, and her 70's infatuation, made me take out all my 70's patterns.

I get these at secondhand stores for 25-50 cents.

I'm missing a couple, but that is entirely possible considering I never clean out my fabric closet.  My favorite 2 are these:

Yes, that interesting seaming on 7802 includes a pocket.  How cool is that?!  And the one on the left I just realized is the same pattern as this fantastic maxi of Tanit-Isis'.  Very nice.

And, I found a vintage sewing book copyrighted 1943. (The blue book under the patterns above)

With chapters like "Becoming Necklines",

"Choosing the Right Clothes",

and subtitles "How to Get That Expensive Look",

let alone the chapters named "Points to Remember About Afternoon Dresses and Formals", this book is filled with vintage techniques not used commonly and no-nonsense advice about what to wear if one has a thick neck.

Needless to say, this book is charming and wonderful.

Other vintage news at my house includes this lovely shoebox full of ric-rac:

from my dear Grandma H.
So fun!  Except I'm not 100% sure what to do with it.  I love it.  I just don't know where to take that love.  I've tried incorporating it into projects; but I think now that I'll have to design a project specifically for this lovely notion.  Any ideas?


  1. I'm curious- what do you do if you have a thick neck?

    I like ric-rac when its sewn in to a seam so only the points stick out. Fun stuff!

  2. I am still ambivalent about rick-rack... Thought does look cute peeping out of a seam. And it would be a very cute trim on a little girl's skirt.

    I can't believe you have that pattern, too! And in a misses' size (mine is junior petite... Although that actually worked out really well...) I would love to see another version made up. That is a really great book, too!

  3. I love the "evening tree" design and who would've thought men's shirt shoulders would make such nice cut on sleeves?

    "Genealogy Research" sounds intriguing.

    I have a weakness for ricrac and have a decent supply of it. But....I never use it. Hmmm....maybe it'll be good for a 1970's tunic, or 70's girls' dresses.

  4. I have a few of the same vintage patterns you have! You're making me want to go thrifting for more too. I also have a ton of that old rick-rack. Isn't it great?!