Fall for Cotton – Part three

Believe it or not, more!!

This was actually the first outfit I thought of for the Fall for Cotton sewalong. The shirt fabric is Vintage, and yes, that capital V is on purpose. The shirt is made from 2 feedsacks, most likely from the 40’s or so said the woman selling them at the Longest Yard Sale.

When my mom and I went to the yard sale the first time we flew into Nashville, rented a car and took highway 40 east to the 127. Took about 2 hours plus a side trip to see Andrew Jackson’s home, the Hermitage (an unexpected side trip that involved a last minute decision and the crossing of 3 lanes of traffic on the highway. There was honking : ) ). Just north of the 40 was one of the best spots for “stuff” that we found that year. This year, because we started at the most southern part of the yard sale we thought we had to be extra vigilant so we’d find that area again. Nope. But we did have to travel through several miles of mini-mall after mini-mall after mini-mall that made me CRAZY.

Just as we crossed Highway 40 this year we decided to get gas ‘just in case’ and my daughter called to wish me Happy Birthday, which she did 2 years before at that same exact moment and I was in that exact same spot. Weird…

So…back to yard sale. There were MORE tents and lots of cool stuff. The lady selling these pieces also had tons of tablecloths and quilts. My mom and I each bought a couple tablecloths because the prices were so good and she thought I was a little crazy for liking the prints of the feedsacks, I really liked the combination of the greens, orange and burgundy.  However, I left them there. I found a woman selling vintage patterns and bought three only to discover that one was missing those particular pattern pieces. There were pieces in the envelope, just not to that pattern. Another pattern had only the top pieces and not the skirt. Did I discover this before I purchased them? I did not. And why didn’t I look more closely? I was hot, I was tired, I’d just driven 100 miles and I was hungry. And all the food at these events is either hot dogs, baked beans with hot dogs, corn bread with hot dogs, blue slushies or warm cole slaw (with hot dogs at one stop, I kid you not).

I recognize that being a vegetarian in certain parts of the country can be a challenge and I was prepared for meals of French fries or sauce-less spaghetti. It wasn’t going to hurt me to eat less here and there and we always found decent places for dinner. BUT this day, at this time, after I’d tried eating a piece of THE WORST cornbread EVER, and then warm cole slaw (a dish I tolerate at a decent restaurant but won’t eat warm under any circumstances!) I was cranky. So no, I didn’t check the patterns : )

We headed north and for a day and a half, I thought about those feedsacks. My mother still thought I was a little wack-a-doo but I stopped on our way back south, they were still there and I snagged two. They were about 34″ wide and 40″ long and a little musty. I washed them, dried them in the sun, washed them again and dried them in the dryer to fully shrink them and then cut my blouse out. The fibers are a little nubby and not as tightly woven as our modern cottons but softened up nicely.

Then I had to figure out what to wear WITH it! The skirt I made above is the same shade as one of the greens in the shirt so that is all well and good. It was a remnant left over from my Joan Mad Men dress this year so yeah for stash busting. But while I was at the fabric store I decided I also liked the burgundy in the shirt and found a piece of twill with a little lycra in it so I had to play with that. Plus, it was on sale super cheap and the whole skirt was around $4 : )

That’s what we have here. I can’t decided which combo I like better! I forgot to mention the buttons – green half rounds from the 60’s, all from my stash. They remind me of gum drops.

Ok, now stay with me here, this is how my brain works. It’s like that facebook ecard going around right now “A creative person’s brain is like a computer with 2687 tabs open all at once”. I watch the “Poirot” dvd’s while I sew. One episode had Poirot and Hastings in Egypt and a woman on the same tour had on the nicest solid linen shirt/skirt combo with a belt and neck tie/bow made from a print. How could I do this….??

Voila! I made a burgundy shirt to match the skirt, used the belt from my outfit above and pieced together a little neck ‘cravet’ from the very few scraps I had left and here we are:


 Now I can close out a tab or two : )

The print and the color combos are unusual and not in my comfort zone but now that I’ve manipulated 2 vintage feedsacks into three outfits I’m pretty jazzed about them. I have NO green or orange earrings so that will have to go on the “to hunt for” list for the next flea market.

Amelia wondered what we were doing. She’s a little sad and lonely right now, our Pouff girl died a couple of weeks ago. We’ll get her a new friend or two soon, Animal Place has some recent rescues that are going to need homes.

Oh, and the stupid mistake of the week – not looking at what I was doing while sewing in the zipper I sewed in the front of the skirt. Doh!! And we can thank Stuart for the kitty fur.

 Thanks to everyone who voted for us in the BAD RAP calendar contest! We came in at number 15 and WILL be in the calendar! If I understand correctly the top 11 winners are the main photos each month, they’ll choose a center picture amongst themselves and the rest of us will be a smaller photo in each month. I’ll scan the page when the calendars come out in a few weeks.

You can tell Chloe is impressed.

What she doesn’t know is that BAD RAP is hosting a Gund-a-Palooza party. Jonny Justice will be there since he was the model for the new Gund toy : ) I don’t know if he’ll be pawtographing things but I’ll at least get to give him kisses again! Ken Foster, who wrote “I’m a Good Dog” is coming out and they’ll have a Zydeco band, food and drink AND the new calendars! I see a new outfit in my future….

We didn’t get many squash/pumpkins this year, no one in our area did but we did get this cute little Jack-be-Little:

Believe it or not I STILL have more stuff I made for Fall for Cotton!! Have to finish taking photos of everything but I’m getting there. Maybe tomorrow…


Fall for Cotton – Part two

The Facts
Fabric: Brown/orange print, all cotton : )
Pattern: New York Pattern 1277
Notions: 1 zipper, 2 buttons from stash, belting from Z : ), 3 vintage buckles
Time to complete: 2 1/2 hours
First worn: September 2013
Wear again? Yes
Cost: ~$31

SO much done, so little time to blog about it! Contrary to what it seems there have NOT been crickets here so I’m going to try to write this REALLY FAST since I have more in the offing : )


First up is a 30’s dress that I’ve been coveting a good long while now. My inspiration is this dress by Marianne, a blogger/seamstress who lives in Finland. You can check out her stuff here. Be sure to scroll through ALL her posts, there’s lots to love there.

 When it came to pattern choice I searched high and low through my sewing room, garage, dining room, living room… I could find the pattern that is the top to her dress but I really liked the skirt and was *almost* sure I had one that was exact. Finally, after a week of poking around I found New York Pattern 1277 in a box on my bookcase in the sewing room, a place I didn’t even think of originally because….I’ve given my sewing room over to two feral kitties we’re taming down : ) Long story but I’ve moved most of my stuff out like I did a year ago with Chloe and the puppies which explains why the whole house was searched.

As far as construction it went together quickly and easily. The pattern ‘envelope’ actually has the directions printed on the inside so after I took out the pieces, which had NEVER been unfolded!, I had to slice open the envelope. Once again I left out the dreaded side zip and put it up the center back. I cut it out exactly as stated and whipped it together.

The hat is from Target, before they donated a bucket of money to the *&$%#@ from Virginia who is making a run for Governor. Hint – don’t click on the link if you’re not ready for a down-and-dirty discussion of his stupidity and misogyny. The end result is we don’t shop at Target anymore. Ah well….

Check out that purse! I found this, and its sister, at the Longest Yard Sale. We started in Alabama this time and met a really lovely mother/daughter team set up in a large yellow and white striped tent near Gadsden. Since we were there on the first day we knew the deals weren’t to be had yet but we stopped by on our way back to Birmingham, the purses were still there and I got both for the original price of one : )

Note to self – don’t do branch-wrestling type of gardening the day before photos (cuts on leg unappealing)

The shoes are modern because I just don’t have the cuties that Marianne models.

The buckle is really three bakelite buckles stacked up like I did for my Kat outfit. I’m liking the multi-colored buckles like this a LOT.

OK, onto outfit number 2.

The Facts
Fabric: Black/white Halloween’y print from Stone Mountain
Pattern: Vogue 8811
Notions: 1 zipper
Time to complete: 1 1/2 hours
First worn: September 2013
Wear again? Yes
Cost: ~$18

When I saw this print at Stone Mountain I thought “Big Skirt” and then I saw the price. Smaller skirt prevailed. I used just the skirt pattern from Vogue 8811, it’s a lovely half circle and easy to make. Two seams, a zipper and a waistband, how hard could it be?

Not hard if you start out with more than 2 yards. I ended up having to piece a small corner of the bottom in the back but the print is so wild who is going to notice? I think I spent more time figuring out how/where to piece it than anything else. Because of a minimal amount of fabric I ended up doing the waistband out of black cotton. It all works and even my daughter said “Ohhh…” when she saw it.

The blouse is made the same pattern my Kazz shirt only I did the larger ties and the slits in the sleeves near the elbows. Do I like this version much/better? No. I wish I had done the smaller ties and kept the sleeves in tact but oh well. I also made it from a cotton with a touch of lycra in it and it makes noise when I move so I feel like I’m wearing something plastic. You can see my other Longest Yard Sale purse here : ) Oh, and the blouse isn’t faded or dirty, that’s the sun coming through the trees as we’re taking photos. We did 8 outfits in 4 hours…

Now my favorite outfit in 2 versions and a last minute, Project Runway-style entry:

 I saw the fabric I used in this blouse first on Liz’s blog Zilredloh. I was IN LOVE and immediately went to the web looking for more. Her original source only had fat quarters left but eventually I found some at Hart’s fabrics in Santa Cruz. Over lunch I ordered 2 yards online and just figured I’d make it some time in October but then the fabric showed up last Wednesday…

So I used my favorite blouse pattern and made this Saturday night. No joke. I decided to pipe the collar so you could see it and because I didn’t have enough to face the pointy sleeve cuffs I used red cotton. The buttons are vintage red glass. I tried it with my new blue linen skirt (top stitched in big white stitches!) and it just made me HAPPY!

Then I had to see how it looked with jeans –

I loved it so much I’m wearing the whole outfit to work on Monday : )

 The head scarf is a Parisian print scarf I found at the Longest Yard Sale, deep in Tennessee. Picture this – you drive down a two-to-four lane road, winding through fields and cut rock croppings that show thousands of years of geologic history at a glance. Occasionally you come across a large field full of tents of all shapes, sizes and colors so you pull over, park in next to a ditch and pick your way across the road. This particular area had Organization, being that they had two dozen port-a-potties lined up WITH sinks. Not every place has that and you come to appreciate them: ) It was at this location my mom and I met the nicest gay couple, COMPLETELY out of place in an area that boasted its fair share of “White, Loud and Proud” signs. She bought a Kachina doll, I found the scarf and the 1940’s booklets that I sent Rochelle (don’t worry, I found 2 copies of each so all is well). I felt like giving them a hug but if they were selling there they probably lived nearby and had coping skills for the worst of the “loud”. And now everytime I wear the scarf I think of them.

 I tried to get Chloe to join in the fun but she thought I was weird and wouldn’t even look at me.

And now for the LAST creation of THIS post, I give you my completely recycled shirt.

This was originally my bathrobe, the one that was falling apart that I replaced earlier this year. I didn’t want to completely trash it since parts were still good so when I found a cute but small pattern for 50’s blouses I figured I could use the robe for a muslin! Little did I realize how CUTE it would come out and have now worn it several times. (Sorry about the weird lighting, I was standing under our red patio umbrella) The buttons are little green enameled leaves I bought in 1993. Can we stay hoarder stash busting?

And because my sewing room is torn apart right now I can’t find the pattern : ( When I find it I’ll post it since the cut of the top of the bodice is the best part.

Stuart decided he needed some love.

 Stay tuned….I have several MORE outfits for the Fall for Cotton challenge finished and photographed! Whew….