Preppies, Knitters & a New Feature on the Blog packed with Free Sewing Stuff!


I hope everybody had a terrific Halloween.  It was raining here 😦 but we still received some trick or treaters and decorated the house with spooky style.

Halloween Photo Collage


Preppy Fashion

Muffy, my socks are itchy!

This year, Kitty dressed up as a dashing 80s preppy boy and wore a hand-knit sweater vest that his Gramma knit for him (thanks Mum!!)  His argyle sweater vest was completed with a prep school sew-on crest (from 1987, of course).

Cat Argyle Sweater Collage

You can get the free knitting pattern here from knottygnome crafts.  Now, if you look carefully at the sweater, you can see something special about the Argyle pattern.

Argyle Sweater Fish Pattern

It looks slightly askew compared to the regular diamond pattern of argyle, yes?  No!  Look closely.  They are fish!!  And, because they are knit in gold yarn, they are goldfish!  I KNOW!  I died.  Then I came back to life and died again.  😉

Look Muffy he thinks he's one of us

Where is my polo shirt??  Maybe I’ll rough it this weekend in my khakis and madras.

The Official Preppy Handbook

Anybody have The Official Preppy Handbook from 1980 and did you follow any of the ‘rules’, however satirical they may have been?  Come on, you can tell us!  For those of you still preppy, the author has a newer book out: True Prep: It’s a Whole New Old World, 2010.

-New Feature on the Blog-

I have recently added three new sections to the blog!  At the top menu, there is a drop down menu labelled FREE PATTERNS/BOOKS/RESOURCES.  Free Patterns Books Resources

The first section, Websites with Free Sewing Patterns, has a number of websites that contain a variety of free sewing patterns.

Websites With Free Sewing Patterns

The second section, Free Sewing Patterns, is a compilation of free patterns of varying styles and difficulties that range from couture to casual.

Free Sewing Patterns

And the third section, Free Sewing Resources (Classes, Tutorials, Books -vintage & new), contains downloadable books, both vintage and new, resources, classes, pdfs, videos, etc. that cover everything from needle selection to couture sewing techniques.

Free Books Resources

I will be updating these sections on an ongoing basis, so check back periodically to see what’s new!

If you have a free sewing pattern or resource that you would like added to the site, please feel free to leave a link in the comments section.

Kitty All Tuckered Out

photo credits: Brighterman, The Official Preppy Handbook

Still Loving the 1920s – Drop Waist Dress

1st photo courtesy of:  Ar Baurial, Sept. 1929; 2nd photo courtesy of Yours Truly

1st photo courtesy of Ar Baurial, Sept. 1929; 2nd photo courtesy of Yours Truly, Aug. 2013

After sewing and researching my Great Gatsby 1920s/30s Beach Pajamas, I really fell in love with 1920s fashions.  I wanted to make a drop waist dress this time and found a free online pattern for a Great Gatsby inspired top by Sew Be it Studios here.

Drop Waist Dress PatternsWhen I printed it out in adobe, I shrunk the pages slightly and used the “fit to page” option.  I cut the X-Small, and it was still far too big.  I had to take off approximately 10 cm (4″) from the back (2″ from each side of the back pieces) and I also made it longer so that I could wear it as a dress, with a slip, or as a top, on its own.Climbing a Tree postage stampI inserted a centre lapped zipper in the back, but did not lap it very much (on purpose) as I wanted to see the line of navy down the back that the zipper adds.  I liked the design element this provided.  However, I was not sure how to ‘end’ the zipper at the bottom, since it was not lapped right into the seam allowance, so I just tapered down to nothing on both sides.  I need to research how to insert an exposed zipper and next time, will insert it properly.1920s Drop Waist Dress BackI also added a vintage gold button and fabric loop closure at the top of the back of the dress.  I finished the seams with lace seam binding.  I’ve never done this before and really liked the effect, especially with the dainty floral fabric pattern.

Seam Finishing with Lace Seam Binding / Back Zipper and Vintage Button with Fabric Loop Closure

Seam Finishing with Lace Seam Binding / Back Zipper and Gold Vintage Button with Fabric Loop Closure

1920s Drop Waist Dress with ShadowsI think it is definitely reminiscent of the 1920s and reminds me of this vintage dress from the 20’s that I found online.

Drop Waist 1920s Dress with Underslip1920s amongst the flowersThe pattern called for use of a lace netting in semi-circular shaped pieces on the shoulders, but I thought these would look too costume-y and it would also be difficult to wear a jacket over top of them.  So, instead, I sewed the pieces out of the dress fabric, two for each shoulder, then turned them right side out after sewing them together. Pleated Shoulder PieceI pleated them first, ironed them flat and basted the pleats, then sewed them to both shoulders.

1920s Drop Waist Dress Climbing a TreeOf course, Kitty became interested in the tree photo shoot and started to stalk the scene.1920s Drop Waist Dress Climbing a Tree with KittyCat Bombed UP A TREE!!  Who Else Can Say That?

Cat Bombed UP A TREE!!  Who Else Can Say That?