Historic Craft

Sew Retro: 25 Vintage-Inspired Projects for the Modern Girl & A Stylish History of the Sewing Revolution by Judi Ketteler. Voyageur Press (July 10, 2010)

Lots of quick and simple sewing projects that have been inspired by vintage designs – The projects included in this book for me I have seen most of them elsewhere before – headbands, skirts, bags, simple quilts – although lovely you won’t be buying this book for the projects alone. However what this book does have that other sewing books don’t is lots of interesting historic sewing facts and glorious vintage sewing images – its worth it for this alone.

The images of 100 year old sewing machine advertisements and pattern packaging, as well as old photographs are just beautiful. There are mini essays on 19th century sewing practices and how these relate to us today – what we can learn from our womanly history. A bit about quilting and politics, and how fashions have changed – all accompanied by the imagery.

Throughout there are bios of modern day sewists who have made their mark and their business from sewing – such as Barbara Brackman and Betz White. This is more than a sewing pattern book – it makes for a lovely afternoon of reading and I know I will get a lot of inspiration from the historic imagery. Well done!

[check out the sew retro blog for more – bonus projects + ]


Annekata has a tutorial to make these hand stitched ornaments – she says: It looks much more complicated than it is and with a little practice, you can make a few and join them together for necklaces, or use them as christmas tree ornaments. They also make unique gift tags. [thanks ina for the link]


Linn shows how how to make lavender water and what you can use it for.


Francesca has a rescued vintage crochet edging pattern.

I found a worn linen towel at a flea market here in Italy, with gorgeous crochet edging; the towel had the signs of wear and careful mending that showed it had brought pleasure and beauty to someone’s house for many years. I decided to rescue the crochet pattern so that it may continue to do so, ideally in many other households.

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This Pajaki (polish folk art made from paper, wool and yarn) is made by resurrection fern is so light and lovely. Find out more here.