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Oh Hai!

8 Apr

Is anyone still out there and reading this??

I know I’ve been MORE than remiss, but I’m feeling the pull to blog again and so here I am. We had a long rough winter here in the Midwest as I’m sure most of you have heard, but now that Spring is on the horizon I’m beginning to sew and dust off the vintage dresses.

Example: here is an outfit I wore to work the other day. As a government employee, I typically won’t go so “vintage” at work, but I had a hot date with the hubs that night to see “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (my new favorite Wes film) and not a lot of time to get ready in between work and home.

My first work bathroom selfie!

My first work bathroom selfie!

That there is an entirely me made outfit consisting of my FIRST dress sewn from a vintage pattern (which I blogged here) and my favorite hand knit sweater (also blogged here). I had never combined them together before but they made quite a colorful pair! I wore this with nude fishnets; seriously my favorite legwear since they go with everything and are very va-va-voom and my brand new Frye’s.

New Frye's!

New Frye’s!

For the longest time I’ve loved Frye’s but the price tag was always a bit prohibitive; I mean seriously, do you know how much fabric/yarn you could buy with that much dough? But I got this pair for a song and let me tell you, now that I have them, they are definitely worth the price tag. They are quality shoes. I have been pairing these with nearly everything I can since they are so versatile.

Well friends . . . if there are any still out there, that concludes this little post dashed off before I head to work. I hope you have a lovely day and I’ll talk to you soon.

Eileen

Pretty Pattern Sunday #50

28 Jul

Folks, I’m going to make this short and sweet today because I have a million and one things to do before we head out to dinner with our friends tonight.

I picked today’s pattern not only for the dress, but because the woman in the picture is the embodiment of how I feel today:

il_570xN.255330115It’s the kind of day where you wake up and sun is streaming in through your curtains and you’re terribly glad to be alive. This gal looks terribly glad to be alive doesn’t she? And who wouldn’t be in such a simple and darling dress?

On the agenda today: getting dolled up and taking photographs of new creations to post during the week. I also plan to finally cut out the blue dress of last week’s post. Somewhere in there I’m starting some sauerkraut and making a side dish to take to our friends house. Hope you are all enjoying your Sunday as well.

Eileen

In Which I Talk About Summer

26 Jul

Hullo folks! How is it that the end of Summer approaches? I mean, didn’t it just start? And since I haven’t posted much about it yet, I thought I’d share some photographic highlights of my Summer thus far.

This photo sort of summarizes summer for me:

Feet on Dash

Feet on Dash

This Summer has seen its fair share of driving! Since we live in the country now, it means lots of treks to town for various sundries. I love driving in nice weather with the windows down and something like the Smashing Pumpkins’ “1979″ playing on the radio with my feet up on the dash. It’s bliss folks! Please note my moccasins which I picked up on a 4th of July trip to visit my Aunt in Oklahoma. Yet another “vintagey” item to cross of the wishlist!

Speaking of my trip to Oklahoma, the above kicks were not the only wonderful thing that I got on this trip. While in my Aunt’s antique filled basement she showed me what can only be described as THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SEWING MACHINE ON EARTH. I’m serious peeps, look at it:

SAMSUNGThis my friends is a Singer 185J. I believe this one was made in the early ’60s based on my research of its serial number. But ohmygoodness, that COLOR! Isn’t it glorious?? I guess I made such a fuss about how lovely this machine was because my amazingly generous Aunt gifted it to me. So I now have a new favorite sewing machine. She’s not fancy, she does just a straight stitch but oh my, what a nice stitch she does.

Also, the food this Summer has been spectacular. We signed up for a CSA this year from an organic farm which just so happens to be right down the road from us and we are weekly gifted with a share of the bounty. The below represents one weeks worth of food.

SAMSUNGIt’s been so much fun figuring out what to make every week in order to use up the stuff we get in the box. Though we didn’t sign up for the fruit share we’ve been gifted occasionally with lovely berries. Which I then turn into things like jams and tarts.

SAMSUNGThis particular tart is from The River Cottage Everyday Food Cookbook which is just wonderful. If you ever have a chance to pick it up, please do so!

We also had hay made on our property. Our maybe three acres of grass produced 220 bales of hay so now our barn is nicely stocked for the Winter. Which I hope comes very late this year.

SAMSUNG

I’ll leave you with the final joy of the summer, and that is our sheep. They are such lovely creatures. Unfortunately we lost one, our dear Hemingway, but I suppose that death is a part of life and that is something I’ll need to learn here on the farm.

SAMSUNGThis Summer has also seen an uptick in crafty pursuits on my part so stay tuned for future posts about sewing and the like. Hope you are all enjoying your Summers as well.

Eileen

Pretty Pattern Sunday #49

21 Jul

Some days I just LOVE that I know how to sew. This is one of those days.

I recently stumbled upon this photo of a very chic lady in a blue dress:

IneedthisdressI love everything about this picture. Her dress, obviously, the color, the fit, the styling, those giant black glasses . . . EVERYTHING! Clearly I need this dress. And thankfully, I can make it, using today’s pretty pattern and some fabric and notions.

Simplicity 5022I think view one will do nicely, what do you think? I found the perfect blue fabric, which is just a simple broadcloth and I plan to make a matching self fabric belt.

There has been quite a bit of sewing going on here at the Basement of late. I’ve got three, yes three blouses to show you. I just have to get over it and take the blasted pictures. The number one reason for me not blogging as much as I’d like is that I don’t like taking, uploading and editing pictures. I know! Weird! Now that I’m furloughed (yes, I work for the man) I have no excuses and plan to take time every Friday morning to set up the week’s posts. No excuses!!

Until next time,

Eileen

Pretty Pattern Sunday #48

23 Jun

When I was younger one of my favorite movies was The Parent Trap. And I’m not talking about the one that came out in the late ’90s with Lindsey Lohan, I’m talking about the original 1961 film with Hayley Mills and Maureen O’Hara.  I loved it so much that after seeing it, I told my first grade teacher that I had a twin who lived in Idaho with my “real Mom!” This little bit of news was subsequently posted in the school newsletter and made my REAL real Mom understandably pissed.

This film also instilled in me a deep and abiding want to go to camp. Really, I didn’t care what kind of camp, but the opening scenes with the girls living in cabins and getting up to all manner of camp hijinks just seemed like the epitome of summer fun to me. To this day I still regret deeply that I never was sent to camp.

Hayley Mills and Hayley Mills in their cute camp outfits!

Hayley Mills and Hayley Mills in their cute camp outfits!

So, when the opportunity recently arose to send my lovely daughter to 4H Camp, I decided to take it! I’m so very excited for her to be able to attend. Unfortunately for my camp fantasy, my daughter can wear pretty much whatever she wants unlike the little camp outfits the twins wear in The Parent Trap above.

Funnily enough, this brings us in a roundabout way to today’s pretty pattern.

4H Uniform!

4H Uniform!

This, my friends, is a 4H Uniform sewing pattern from the same era as The Parent Trap. I bought it because I thought it was a great shirt dress pattern (which it is) never thinking that in a few short years, I’d own a farm, and my kids would be active members of their 4H club!

How about you? Did you always want to go to camp? Did you get to go? Was it as wonderful as I always imagined? Well folks I’m going to go help my girl finish packing and send her off!!

Eileen

P.S. I actually started sewing something yesterday! I’m so excited and can’t wait to show you. I don’t think I’ve sewn, oh, since we moved into the house in November of last year. I’m so glad the ol’ mojo is back!

Pretty Pattern Sunday #47

16 Jun

Hiya folks!

Yesterday was the most glorious day. The weather was hot, but not too hot. The sky was clear, but not too clear. There was just enough of a breeze that we decided it would be a good day to go strawberry picking.

We’d seen signs for a local u-pick operation and, since my husband has to work today, we decided to celebrate Father’s Day yesterday. We headed out to the farm which was just lovely, a real inspiration for me, and proceeded to taste the three varieties on offer and then pick. And pick. And pick! We came away with over 13 pounds of fruit!

What does this mean for yours truly? Well I’ll be canning some jam today! I’m using these wonderful books and I’ll be making “Old Fashioned Strawberry Jam” (of course!), Classic Strawberry Preserves, Strawberry and Lemon Preserves (I’m most excited by the possibilities of this one!) and Rhubarb and Strawberry Jam.

Well as anyone who cans knows, you need a good apron. And that brings me to today’s pretty pattern.

Cock Apron

I’m finding that now that I keep chickens, I’m really enjoying things that have chickens on them. Don’t fret, I haven’t acted on this yet. But I think this is the most darling pattern! I love that the pocket is a rooster and the fun sort of scalloped edge trimmed in ric-rac, which would probably be very difficult to sew but also pretty worth it.

And speaking of chickens, I’m about ready to head out and feed both my flocks, chicken and sheep. Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Eileen

Pretty Pattern Sunday #46

9 Jun

Hello there! Sorry for the long bloggy absence though I can’t guarantee it won’t happen again. Blogging for me seems to be something that comes and goes in waves; I have periods where I really enjoy it and others when I just don’t or run out of inspirational steam.

Because I have so many different interests, I decided to keep this blog going for sewing, knitting, vintage and the like, and I started another blog “Dispatches From the Buckeye Bungalow” to write about farming, food and those types of things. Hopefully this bad blogger can at least muster a post each every week or so! Occasionally though, I’m sure that one blog will bleed into the other since my interests are a big part of who I am and I hope you won’t mind it.

On to the pretty patterns and my case in point! I’ve sort of declared this year “The Year of Sewing Separates.” See, I have a tendency to mostly make fun and pretty dresses. Well this past year in Ohio has been a cold one and I am only now beginning to be able to wear them again, and I’ve had them packed up as of last September, if not earlier! So my wardrobe is sadly lacking in things like trousers, vintage looking jeans, blouses and the like. Today’s pattern is one that addresses these concerns.

Image

I also really like how this pattern works as “vintage farmgirl style.” I’ve always loved the following pictures of Norma Jean and this pattern would be perfect to recreate her outfits.

Image

Image

Image

Speaking of the farm, next month my “chicks” should be getting ready to start laying their first eggs (so exciting!) and last Tuesday we got a small flock of sheep!

Missed you!

Eileen

In Which I Finally Wear my Perfect Christmas Dress

31 Dec

I know, I know, Christmas is over and many of you are glad to see it go. Due to being at the hospital over the holidays I didn’t get  a chance to post too much about our holiday and I hope you’ll bear with me while I catch up some.

A dear friend of mine hosted her annual Christmas ornament exchange and I thought it would be the perfect time to finally wear a dress that I bought ages ago. You see, when I was living in Florida, I modeled vintage clothing for the BEST vintage shop I’ve had the pleasure to frequent; Sherry’s Yeserdaze. Her etsy shop is here. It was so much fun to go and pick out clothes and basically play grown up dress up. Sherry often admonished me not to pick things I was in love with since they had to go on the site to sell. A tough thing for this vintage loving gal. And so it happened that I modeled and fell in love with this dress.

Eileen

The original modeling picture

It’s a lovely 1950′s velveteen that has been well loved over the years. There are several tucks in the bodice that are not original, as well as lines where the hem has been raised and then lowered again. Oh, if this dress could talk! It also has glorious, hefty pockets; a must when all you have is a little clutch.

This is how I wore it to my friends party:

201The jaunty little fur capelet was a gift to me from my Mom’s cousin. The cape was her mother’s and let me just say, it is WARM! It was at least 40 degrees out when I wore this and I didn’t need anything else. The interior has the cutest little pocket.

Showing the interior and my brooch

Showing the interior and my brooch

The cute little brooch was a gift to me from none other than Casey herself! It garnered many compliments and many thought it was part of the dress they were so perfect together.

Pocket evidence

Pocket evidence

And here is me showing you the spaciousness of the pockets! They are perfect for parties when you don’t know what else to do with your hands as I often feel.

Finally, here is a picture of how I did my hair. I set the sides back with combs and then rolled the back up using a rat and pinning it into place. Simple, easy vintage updo for those times you don’t feel like setting your hair!

202And that’s all folks! I had a great time at the party and I think a large part of that was not only the wonderful company, but the fact that I felt like I looked pretty fabulous!

I hope you all had a fabulous holiday season as well.

Eileen

Pretty Pattern Sunday #45

30 Dec

Well folks, I thought I was back when I last posted a few weeks ago. Turns out, my brother wasn’t quite out of the woods like we’d hoped and my family and I made the long trek back to Kansas to visit him for the Christmas holiday. Needless to say, this doesn’t lend itself well to blogging!

We drove back the day after Christmas in a terrible snowstorm. This was very interesting as I’d only ever driven on icy roads once before, and my husband, never. We learned that slow and steady wins the race and thankfully made it home safe and sound, though a little shaken by the experience. We got the much wished for snow, and here is what the house looks like now:

My first time shoveling snow!

My first time shoveling snow!

Picturesque, no? In this picture I’m wearing my 1940s jeans and the cool red field jacket I thrifted recently. Does anyone else struggle with dressing vintage in the winter? I think coming from Florida spoiled me; most of my vintage items are for fair weather and I’m looking more and more towards sewing warm separates in the coming year.

With weather like this, I think I’d love to make a cool vintage ski/snowsuit like the one recently featured on the Unsung Sewing Patterns blog.

Simplicity_3954_ski suit

Fashionable AND warm?! Sign me up please! Unfortunately there’s a dearth of children’s ski suit sewing patterns from this era available but the women’s ones seem harder to find. I think this would look great in a hunter green wool like the image on the right. I also think it would be nice in a chocolate brown colorway.

Fellow vintage gals, how do YOU dress for cold weather? Or do you, like me, sort of slack in the vintage department when the weather is chilly?

Until next time, whenever that may be,

Eileen

Pretty Pattern Sunday #44

16 Dec

Hello! Is anyone still out there? Wow, what a crazy couple of months I’ve been having here at the ol’ homestead.

First, we moved in a week early. Let me tell you, I’m so GRATEFUL that we were able to because we got the keys on the 2nd, moved on the 4th and spent that entire week shuffling from the old place to the new. Let me just say that I felt all thirty of my years and I’m very glad that I don’t ever intend to move again if I can help it!

Next we had our housewarming party which took place on the 10th. Did this bad blogger take any photographs of the night? NO! Ugh. It was a great time; we had over thirty friends arrive and plenty of food and beverages for all. We ended up eating the leftovers for a week!

Then, it took nearly a month for internet service to be hooked up. There is approximately ONE internet service that actually has lines to our house and let’s just say they act like it. Ha ha. Once we got the internet, my laptop decided it doesn’t like being wireless anymore which means I have to physically plug it in my daughter’s room. Not fun. Anyhow, this month long break meant that I sort of weaned myself off of all the time I was spending on the internet so for that I’m grateful.

Finally, and most importantly of all. My brother was hospitalized at the end of November to the middle of December. I spent two weeks with him, my lovely sis in law and nephew. It was touch and go for a while there but thankfully he is going to be fine. So you can see that this has been a pretty atypical couple of months for me!

With all that said, let’s see a pretty pattern shall we?

I’m really wanting to make this dress. I’ve probably posted it before, as it’s one of my favorites, but I can’t be bothered to go back and look. If I have, my apologies.

Green Dress

 

When I was still living in Florida I scored a lovely and unexpected length of sage green wool jersey. It’s got a lovely hand and would be just perfect for this pattern. Does anyone have experience working with this fabric? Do share any tricks or tips if you have. Unfortunately, this fabric, and all my other sewing stuff are still sitting in boxes in my basement (did you hear that, I actually HAVE a basement now!) waiting to be unpacked. I shall have to remedy this.

Wow, it’s so nice to return to relative normalcy after a hectic few months. I say that now but I’m planning to brave the holiday shoppers and finish up some last minute holiday shopping today. I hope to be back soon to share with you an outfit I wore to a recent holiday party and some family Christmas cookie recipes.

Ta ta for now!

Eileen