sew for victory final projects and giveaway winners


Aww this part always makes me a little sad! Today marks the official close of the 2014 Sew For Victory sewing challenge. Thank you, to each and every one of you, who participated and made something special for the challenge. It’s such a beautiful thing to see so many different types of woman, of all skill levels, with both inspired and traditional 1940s style, coming together under a common love for vintage sewing. It makes my life better I’ll tell you that! I hope everyone enjoys the slideshow (it’s a long one so grab some popcorn!) and I hope to see you all next time!

(p.s. for my own sanity, most of the slides are in order as they appear on Flickr. Also, I decided to go the super low budget route for the giveaway announcement this year. Even though it was so fun to do a second video for that last year, William and I both have several deadlines this week and couldn’t make it happen. Maybe for the next one…)

If you’re having trouble with the video, you can also find it here on vimeo.

I have to give a special little shout-out to Sara and Loran who completely surprised me by using my Spoonflower prints! How awesome is that!?

And now for the giveaway winners! I said low budget lol. You’ve been warned ;)


Well that was definitely the less fanciful way to announce the winners, but you ladies won fair and square! Congratulations! I’ll be emailing you this week to collect mailing information and the such. (For the Chinese Auction style drawing, I drew 4 random names out of their accompanying prize bowls if you couldn’t tell that’s what’s going on in the above photos haha! …and yeah. Two of them are dog bowls. What can I say besides “low budget” as promised.)

Again, thank you everyone for making this Sew For Victory another wonderful sewing challenge! I hope you’re all proud of what you made because you definitely should be!

If you sat this sew-along out, Tasha and I are about 90% positive that we’re bringing back Fall For Cotton for a round two this year so stay tuned for more vintage sewing with a twist!

Did I mention you all are incredible? Because you are. …I’m going to watch the video again ;)


AND!!!!! Oh my gosh I almost forgot… A HUGE THANK YOU TO OUR AMAZING SEW FOR VICTORY SPONSORS THIS YEAR!! Judy at Vintage4me2, Lauren at Wearing History Patterns, and Lindsay and Charlie at Hawthorne Threads! Thank you for contributing to our giveaway prizes, and offering pattern discounts for our participants!



Hello, Amazing Sew For Victory Participants!

There’s really not a whole lot I can say except you all seriously knocked my socks off this year with your sewing. I’m not easily impressed, but you all well and fully impressed me! Thank you so much for joining my sew-along, sharing your progress, and challenging yourselves to make something awesome. You should be so proud! I know I am.

The final Flickr Group count for this year (as of this morning) is 404 members and 1,082 photos. That’s 232 new members and 592 new photos since last year! Amazing. Did I say you all were amazing yet? Because you are.

So as a reward for all your hard work, let the giveaways begin!

Like last year, these giveaways are for Sew For Victory participants only, but I’m trying something slightly different this year with how the prizes are drawn. This is a Chinese Auction style drawing, which means you can put your name in the hat for one specific prize that you hope to win (instead of being picked for a random prize like last year). One finished project equals one chance to win one prize (only one entry per person, even if you were extra amazing and finished more than one thing.) Make sense?

Okay so the prizes are:

Prize One: A $25.00 USD gift certificate to Hawthorne Threads.


Prize Two: Everything you need to make a cute vintage inspired summer bag! One yard of yellow polka dot cotton, one yard of cotton ticking, two bamboo bag handles, one spool of coordinating thread from my stash, and the bag pattern.


Prize Three: Summer Sewing Bundle! Three yards of light blue 100% Rayon floral fabric, some vintage notions, and two of Gertie’s new patterns (size pack A5).


Prize Four: A $25.00 USD store credit to Vintage4me2 patterns on eBay.


The Rules:
1.) You must have finished a Sew For Victory project to enter this giveaway (I will be checking the Flickr Group so make sure your photos are uploaded!)
2.) Please leave one comment with your first name, your Flickr user name, and which prize you hope to win.

3.) You must leave your comment before Sunday, May 18th at 10:00pm EST

(giveaway open to Sew For Victory members worldwide, though shipping charges may be different for gift card winners outside of the US.)

That’s it!

I’ll be back on Monday May 19th to announce the four winners with the final Sew For Victory 2.0 slideshow video! You can watch last year’s video again to tide you over in the mean time ;)

A special thank you to Judy at Vintage4me2, and Lindsay and Charlie at Hawthorne Threads for their generous prize contributions.

Good Luck!



Hello all, I’ve decided to extend the Sew For Victory deadline by one more weekend! You now have until Monday, May 5th by the end of the day (your time zone) to add your photos to the official Sew For Victory Flickr Group!


I am SO blown away by the submissions so far!! Every single project is absolutely gorgeous. You’re all making me so proud!!

So, don’t rush! You have a few more days to get your photos in before I’ll officially end the sew-along and start the giveaways. Remember, if you finish your project you’ll have a chance to win some awesome prizes!!

I might even try to squeeze in a pair of pants this weekend, myself!

New Deadline: Photos added to the Flickr group by Monday, May 5th (before the end of the day).
Tell your friends!



smooth sailing on a sea of victory


It’s no secret that I’ve been struggling with my sewing for quite some time now. Quite a long time actually. I never seem to sew things that fit me or suit my lifestyle or my fashion preferences. I love sewing 1940s garments with a passion, and although I do participate in a few period appropriate events a year, my life is not a WWII reenactment. In my daily life I like to mix a bit of my favorite bygone eras in with fun, modern prints to create a look that can only be described as “me”.


My plan for Sew For Victory this year was much different than the garment I made last year. Instead of recreating an exact copy of a 1940s dress (right down to reproducing the fabric myself) I decided to recreate an exact copy of what makes me happy. After all, shouldn’t sewing always make us happy? Is that not why we sew to begin with? The fabric I picked for this year’s SFV challenge is definitely not a 1940s print but it certainly boosts my morale, and I can’t think of a more WWII inspired plan of action!


You guys, I can’t even tell you what this project has done for my sewing spirits. It is hands down my most favorite thing I’ve ever sewn!! I mean it. We’re definitely running out of time here as Sew For Victory winds down, so I took a risk and skipped any kind of test muslin. I just took my measurements, traced out my size, cut into my fabric and went for it. Honestly I was fully expecting this shirt to be a dud because I always manage to sew things that don’t fit quite right. But long story short, the Sewing Gods were on my side!


The pattern is The Smooth Sailing Blouse by Wearing History Patterns and the fabric comes from Tula Pink’s new Fox Field collection that I bought at Hawthorne Threads. The shirt is a late 1930s/early 40s style with the iconic puff sleeves of the era which I love! I bought size pack A and cut a straight 14 although I probably could have sewn the size 12. The shirt is beautifully form fitting but perfectly comfortable, and looks really sharp when tucked into high-waisted pants. I was warned that the arm cuff runs rather snug, but since my gangly little arms aren’t much thicker than a broom stick, I had no issue there. In fact, I had no issue with anything on this pattern at all. I’m still rather amazed at that!


So why this fabric? Well because it’s amazing. Period. When you classify yourself as a garment sewer, people will try to make you feel inferior for wanting to sew with quilting cottons. They don’t always do this intentionally, but that vibe is surely out there. Well I say that’s all fine and dandy – More quilting cotton for me!! I love cotton and I love fun prints, sue me. I am thoroughly unimpressed with fancy charmeuse and other sophisticated substrates. Give me bunnies and gigantic flowers on fabric that’s meant to be slept on by generations of children. It’s what I love most of all.


To me this fabric holds a certain modern likeness to the feed sack prints of the past – Printing pretty pictures on a utility fabric for women who want practicality in what they wear. Obviously quilting cotton isn’t the ideal fabric for everything but it’s the perfect pair for this particular pattern. The puff sleeves need a bit of structure to hold their shape and they certainly get it from a nice quality quilting cotton.


I had thoroughly intended to make a matching pair of trousers to accompany this shirt, and I still will if I have time, but I just couldn’t wait to share this project with you! It makes me so, so happy. I really can’t stop smiling! It’s been such a long time since I made something that I utterly fell in love with so I kind of just want to bask in this sewing high for a while and not rush another sewing project. …but I reaaaalllly want a matching pair of pants so we’ll see.


I have to thank Lauren at Wearing History for making such a beautiful, well tailored pattern that pairs so well with my favorite fabric. My enthusiasm for sewing and blogging has been completely restored!! I’m just sorry I waited so long to find out this was the project to bring my sew-jo back.



Well there ya have it. My very victorious Sew For Victory project! Well hopefully this is one of two projects but, as I said, we’ll see. I’m so over the moon with this one that I don’t mind if it’s my only contribution. Sewing is a never ending quest for creating your ideal wardrobe and evolving your personal style, and my path suddenly got a lot more clear cut. Expect to see a lot more of this from me!


If you’re participating in Sew For Victory don’t forget to upload your finished garment photos to the official Sew For Victory Flickr Group! It’s not too late to join in and make something last minute either! Submissions are due Wednesday April 30th by the end of the day, but it will take me a few days to compile the photos for the slide show (like I made last  year) so I’ll allow some leniency for any hard working ladies who made it late to the party ;)

Anyone who finishes a garment for the challenge will have a chance to win some awesome prizes (also like last year but better) so don’t miss out!

Sewing For Victory feels good. You should really try it.


(photos by William Waldon)

dubarry sewing – best colors for your type


Today I have some images from a great sewing booklet by DuBarry Patterns, published in 1945. It includes tons of tips and techniques for sewing success as well as a really great color photo chart suggesting which colors suit you best! I’ve included both the full spread, and a much larger scan so you can actually read the text. I thought it would be a fun reference for Sew For Victory! I have not digitally enhanced the colors in order to keep them as true to the original printing as possible.




I’m actually a little disappointed by the suggested colors for auburn hair and brown eyes haha! They seem a bit dull in comparison to some of the other palettes. Though I am lucky to have the “most perfect type of face” lol.

What does your hair and eye color suggest for you?
If you’re participating in Sew For Victory, did you pick one of the colors from your palette? I did!


p.s. I’d really love to scan this entire booklet and make it available as a free download for you, but it’s around 60 pages I think so it will take me a while!