Monday, November 28, 2011

Pattern Love

Remember the great mail order patterns I got a while back? Here are some more patterns from that stash.

Sailor top! Score!

The sleeveless dress reminds me so much of 30s beach pjs.

As does this maxi dress!

Speaking of maxi dresses, I love this one too!

I adore the pleated skirt on this dress.

This dress looks chic and comfy.

These skirts are right up my alley!

Boxy jackets are not really me but there's still some potential here.

I think this is my favorite jacket pattern out of the lot. I love the collar and the pockets!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Haul

Here's my very first haul video! I tried to keep it short for you all. Enjoy!

pink travel makeup brush kit $10
bare minerals makeup kit $10
Kat Von d lightening lip gloss in Marg $5
Kat Von D true romance eyeshadow palette $15

Charming Charlie:
grey belt $10*
pink and white scarf $15*

Apt 9 tights lace pattern and argyle $6 each

Merona teal tights $8*
Merona green suede gloves $20*
Conair wave clips $5*

Jo-Ann Fabric:
Stitch Nation full o' sheep yarn in honeycomb (x4) $3.74 each
circular knitting needles size 11 and 15 $7* each
Singer shears $16*
plus 25% off total bill (yay coupons!)

*indicates no black friday promotion or sale (i.e. I was out and I wanted it.)

Thursday, November 24, 2011


One reason we love the holidays is those little traditions that connect the memories over the years. Last year, I made a lovely plaid dress for Thanksgiving. It turned out excellent considering that I'd only been sewing for a couple months but it had some fitting issues. Plus I had this lovely plaid fabric hanging out in my stash so I decided to start my own little tradition of plaid Thanksgiving dresses.

This dress is from Simplicity 3673 which I made before but this is one of the other views. For some reason, the back of this dress is really huge! The first version I made gaped a little but this one is really ridiculous. Guess I'll be ripping out that lovely lapped zipper and putting it back in again. *sigh* I did have great success with the plaid matching on the seams! Woot!

I'm batting two for two here with sewing projects and my husband. He LOVED the black double agent dress and he thought I looked sexy in this one. Could have just been my crazy awesome approaching hooker height black stiletto oxfords scored for only $30 but I'm betting on the rad plaid matching sewing skills. ;)

Sew Grateful and the Magic of Jersey

The lovely Debi challenged people to use gifted patterns or fabric, nothing really came to mind that I could do (or have time to do), but when Oona posted this tutorial (and I remembered that Debi said you could be thankful for tutorials too!) that hit the spot!

And let me tell you, I am grateful for this awesome tutorial.

Who doesn't need a simple black cowl dress?

Or a slinky black dress?

Or an off the shoulder dress?

Or a one shoulder dress?

Or a back bearing dress?

And people, this is all the same dress! Through the magic of jersey and Oona's style genius, you too can have one of these lovely dresses! And it's ridiculously comfortable!

And because Oona asked, here's the beverage that helped me figure out this whole knit sewing thing.


I was really excited to learn that my machine had just as many stretch stitches as nonstretch stitiches! Woot! And I happened to have a double pointed needle to make the hem look all fancy.

Now, those of you who know Oona are probably thinking "How can you possibly do an Oona (aka the Queen of Prints) tutorial with *black* jersey?"

Don't worry. I also picked up this lovely print jersey and have whipped up Double Agent Dress #2 already! I even wore it out last night to see Les Miserables. I didn't get any pictures of me in the dress because yesterday was crazy busy. It's not a good idea to have two dresses to finish in one day (this rose dress for Les Mis and a Thanksgiving day dress) plus all that other getting ready for a holiday thing.

Happy Thanksgiving all! Eat some turkey for me since I can't stand the stuff!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A new frock

There is nothing quite as thrilling as a new frock! And I just got two!

This darling 1940s dress is from Fab Gabs. (Psst! She just put quite a few things on 50% off clearance.)

It is just too darn much fun to wear. :)

These aren't exactly my first choice of shoes to wear with this dress, but I wore it to church (sand=no heals!) and I didn't really have many options. I think it'd be darling with my red pumps though.

My hair was cuter before church but it was a bit drizzly out today and it definitely fell out a bit.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Winter sewing palette

I am finally getting started on my last fall sewing project! I have two finished projects to show you and the Cadence sweater to finish knitting but I'm almost there! I did decided to bump the jacket I was planning on making till Christmas break when I'll actually have the time and energy to work on it properly.

I've already been dreaming about (and shopping for) winter sewing projects. I didn't set out with a particular color palette but one just sort of fell on me. (There is probably a reason for this and it has to do with a project I'm going to be starting over Christmas break as well.) But anyways, here is my winter sewing palette!

Perhaps I should have titled this post "Yes, I am still obsessed with Downton Abbey"....

Are you still in fall mode or have you already moved on-mentally or physically-to winter projects?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Youtube: Versatile Vintage Brows

Enjoy my latest video! Happy Wednesday all.

Outfit Post: Freddies of Pinewood

Yay for Freddies of Pinewood! I've worn these around a couple of times and I'm in love! Today I'm not doing a full review, just a quick outfit post. I really want to give these pants a good go before I do a review.

Today I paired them with a 40s style peasant blouse and my saddle shoes. I haven't gotten around to hemming these pants so I've just rolled up the hem. They are crazy long.

I just love the big pockets on the back! Perfect for de-emphasizing any junk in the trunk.

The zipper is hiding in the pocket and they close with a cute side button.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Vintage or Me-Made or Repro?

LinkVintage or me-made or repro? It's a question that's been bouncing around in my head lately. Deciding between these three categories (or at least two) is an issue that plagues all vintage loving gals (and guys)! In an effort to organize my thoughts, I thought I'd share them with you and see what you think. First up, vintage.


An obvious first choice for any vintage lover is actual vintage. The pieces are historically accurate, the fabrics are period and many of them are just darling. If you are good at thrifting and digging through estate sales, you can find things for cheap. If you are not, sites like etsy and ebay are full of treasures someone else has already done the dirty work to find. And, if you are lucky, there may even be a vintage store or two in your area. (There seem to be gobs of them on the west coast.)

But vintage pieces may come damaged or be in delicate condition. They also come in one size so even if you fall in love with a piece, you may have to pass it up. Things can be altered a bit, especially since vintage garments tend to have longer hems than modern garments, but again, they are often in delicate condition so you don't want to have to take them apart and put them together a lot. Plus, professional alterations add to the cost. And, speaking of cost, really fabulous pieces can grow into the hundreds of dollars in cost. They also tend to be rather tiny!

When I opt to add a vintage piece to my collection I consider a couple of things before purchase.

1) It absolutely must fit or be able to be altered to fit. I have made that mistake in the past and it's so sad to have something arrive in the mail and realize that it doesn't fit! Make sure you get measurements of the garment before purchase and don't forget your measurements need to be smaller than the garment! Modern garments tend to have more stretch in them than vintage ones so take that into account.

2) It needs to be in good condition. Look closely at the garment and inspect it for holes, tears and damaged seams. I never buy things I can't fix myself. Missing a button? That's pretty easy to replace with new ones. Giant 4" tear some place prominent? I'll probably pass, even if it's priced appropriately.

3) It has to look cute! This may seem silly, but don't buy something just because it's vintage. It needs to appeal to you aesthetically and look good on you. This is why brick and mortar shops are nice since you can try things on. If it looks bad on you, you won't wear it and if you do, you'll look silly, not fabulous.

I love this vintage dress from Bad Girl Vintage.

Somethings I like to buy vintage: things with unique prints, things that would be difficult to recreate myself (for technical or fabric difficulties), hats, scarves, bags and things that are just really special.


I sew, as you all know, so this category opens up a new world of vintage style for me. Vintage patterns can be found while thrifting and abound on etsy. Plus, there are a growing number of small pattern companies offering multisized reprints of vintage patterns and there are even some offered by the Big 4 pattern companies (though I've heard tales of mixed success with these). Circle skirts are a great beginner project. You can do some really fun stuff with them for much cheaper (and in larger sizes!!) than you'd pay for authentic vintage circle skirts with unique designs. You can make something that isn't nearly as delicate as a vintage piece.

You do have to be able to sew. Some things are just to difficult for me to make. Vintage patterns do have some of the same difficulties as vintage clothing does. Namely, small sizes, can be pricey and may be in delicate condition. They are also one size rather than multisize. Directions can be brief and some patterns are unprinted. It can also be difficult to find appropriate fabrics (especially prints).

Perhaps my favorite Wearing History Pattern!

Some things I like to make are: things that I have difficulty finding premade that fit me well (pants, button front blouses and anything "wiggle" shaped), circle skirts. I find myself mainly limited by finding a good pattern in my size (I hate grading!) and by my skills. I'm not up for winter jackets, jeans and knits.


Many non-sewing vintage enthusiasts flock to reproduction pieces. They offer many of the advantages of me-made garments including durability and are generally available in several sizes and some companies will even make them to your measure. You can find pieces that range from rockabilly and pinup to the more conservative and classic styles.

My biggest problem with reproduction is the sizing. While repro sizing tends to run curvier than modern sizing, it's still often not curvy enough for me. And it can be pricey! There are several really nice repro companies out of the UK but with the difference in currencies and shipping to the US, I don't end up purchasing from them as much as I'd like. Repro items also have a tendency to look more modern than actual vintage. Some companies do better than others on this front.

I have a lovely reproduction of this dress (available here) and so does Mrs. Amber Apple.

Things I like to buy repro: pieces I can't make myself or a particular design I just have to have. As a sewer, I kind of feel guilty about buying repro, but considering how much I wear my one repro dress and how much I already love my Freddies of Pinewood jeans, I'd say the purchases I've made are smart ones.

So which of these categories make up the most of your wardrobe? Is there one you prefer over the others? Is there a particular type of clothing you tend to buy from each category?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Youtube: Red Lip Tips for Beginners

Red lips are a classic finish to any vintage look, but they can be pretty intimidating! So here I share my tips and favorite products that can help work you up to a bold red lip or work for days when you aren't feeling up for something so loud.

Monday, November 7, 2011

More tid bits

There have been loads of things going on chez Star-Spangled Heart and most of them really aren't exciting enough to warrant their own post so I've just collected them together to share with you.

The hubby and I have finally gotten around to framing the gobs of art we have lying around. There two are mine and I'm terribly excited about the girly-ness of them. Instead of mats, I just used pretty scrapbooking paper as a background. So cute! And I also have another print being framed but it was a weird size so I had to get it custom framed.

I've also gotten this lovely Audrey poster right above wear I like to sit on the couch.

I've been working on a better way to store my hats and requisitioned this shelf from the living room to help organize them. I've also got some on hat stands on the top.

My sewing stuff was moved from the living room to the bedroom (much to my husbands glee) and I also added this white set of drawers to hold my expanding stash! The pink drawers are full of fabric plus I've got a single drawer full of "to sew soon" fabric and a whole shelf in the closet! Egads!

I've been knitting loads on the Cadence sweater and have made some progress. I think I'm a pretty slow knitter though. It takes me about 12 minutes to get through one knit round.

Wearing History Beach pjs! I need to get some nice shots of these but they are so cozy.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


With winter fast approaching, long sleeved shirts have been on my mind! I only have one ready to wear one! Eeep! That's probably why I lived in hoodies last winter. I've never actually made anything with long sleeves before though...

Enter two great patterns: Sewaholic Pendrell blouse (for the body) and Wearing History Sailor Playsuit (blouse long sleeves). And I threw in a self drafted collar for good measure. I was inspired by a blouse in Everyday Fashions of the 1940s.

It's pretty cute if I say so myself. And it goes great with my Audrey inspired jumper. It looks a bit odd on it's own, though. I need to play with the styling a bit. But I did make it out of upholstery fabric and it's super warm. I actually wore it to school one day and had to change out of it because it was too hot!

And look, I match the barn!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Tid Bits

I meant to share pictures of the underpinnings for my Renaissance dress in lieu of Halloween costume post (since I just wore my Renaissance dress again) but I couldn't find the pictures last week! Well, last night I stumbled upon them so here they are.

Corset, hoops and bum roll from Simplicity 2621. I also made the shift from this pattern but the sleeves turned out too small so I just wore a tank top.

Back view!

Last night, the hubby had a photography gig to shoot a band called Sibling Rivalry at a local bar. Sibling Rivalry is a cover band and sang loads of favorites.

The band rocking out!

The two sisters rocking out.

I really enjoyed the concert. I paired my brown circle skirt with an orange cowl necked top and a jean jacket (though I did shed it once the bar started getting crowded!). You can also sort of see a new to me vintage brown purse. The nice thing about small purses is that they tend to be light! No space to accumulate ridiculous amounts of junk.

I also have quite a few sewing projects lined up that are nearly complete! I had planned on getting some finished today, but I had gobs of errands to run today and I was ill on top of that. But I did get to go to Jo-Ann's and pick up some fabric for and up and coming series of projects that I'm very excited about!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fall Style

You all saw this jumper yesterday if you hopped over and checked out my guest post. Needless to say, that wasn't what I wore yesterday. (I actually was feeling sick and had a major frump day. :( ) But I did wear it today with a little bit different outfit.

Fabric: 2 yds wool cotton blend ($6/yd), 1/2 yd lining ($2)
Pattern: Simplicity 3673
Year: retro 50s
Notions: zipper
Time to complete: a while-this piece really came together in piece meal
First worn: October 2011
Wear again? Yes. I really like this jumper. It's really cute and warm!

Total cost: ~$16

I also wanted to show off my new sweater clip! The clips are two leaves with some rhinestones. I also snagged a matching set of dress clips that I ran across on etsy. I love matching things! Even though I probably won't wear them together, it's still a nice set.

Jumper: me made
Sweater: New York and Company
Hat: Forever 21
Sweater clip: vintage