Monday, January 27, 2014

~ Stitching Stories: Talkin’ About My Girl 50’s Dress ~

My new sundress with big patch pockets | Lavender & Twill

Every dress and skirt needs pockets | Lavender & Twill 
A bow belt adds a nice touch | Lavender & Twill

Simplicity 4282, cira 1930 made by me! | Lavender & Twill

Who can resist pink sparkly nail polish? | Lavender & Twill

This dress. It’s my last me-made item of 2013, and {incredibly enough} I actually managed to make it up in four days ~ from cutting, to the buttonholes and belt. The hem took only an hour or two to hand-sew on another day, but I was still so surprised that I got that far in such a short amount of time.

Mind you, I was working on it close to constantly. I wanted to finish it in time to wear for our family Christmas, but had to wear it un-hemmed on the day {please tell me I am not the only one that does this?? (o⌒.⌒o)’ }. Nobody cared though, so I didn’t either. ╮(๑→▽←)╭  It was definitely one of those last minute “I-want-a-new-dress-to-wear” projects!

Simplicity 4282 cira 1953 | Lavender & Twill The finished dress | Lavender & Twill

The pattern is an early 1950’s pattern according to the Vintage Pattern WikiSimplicity Pattern 4282 Vintage One-Piece Dress and Bolero Jacket dated 1953. This includes; The bodice of this sleeveless dress is fitted and has a low cut neckline and front button closing. The skirt is gored. The bolero has kimono sleeves with cuffs and the collar is cut in one with jacket front. View 1 features rounded patch pockets on skirt and saddle stitching trim. View 2 has contrasting bolero.

Invisible zip that isn't quite invisible | Lavender & Twill Close up of the bow belt | Lavender & Twill

I made up the pattern for a belt, and when that turn out to be too small {not quite sure how, but it was one of those fortuitous occurrences} I added the bow to make up for the length. This worked out really well, and as you saw in the outfit pictures above, I quite like it when the bow is turned to the back as it adds a lovely detail.

My invisible zipper turned out, well, not so invisible, but as it’s under the arm I put up with it! (~ ̄▽ ̄)~ The corded {raised} buttonholes are machine done, and as I love how they turned out, I will definitely be using that technique again.

Pockets with lace trim | Lavender & Twill Close up of button and top stitching detail | Lavender & Twill

I used top-stitching detail on the bodice and pockets as the pattern suggested. I didn’t do a saddle stitch, I just set my machine to it’s longest stitch length and used a thick cotton thread to create that top-stitch. It worked ok, but it looks weird at the back. I hope it doesn’t fall out as the tension is all wrong and loopy!

~ Project Details ~

  • Year: 1953
  • Pattern: Simplicity 4282
  • Fabric: 3 meters approx. of thrifted sheet. I think it was a single sheet, but it could have been a double ($9.00)
  • Notions: One 16” invisible zipper and four shank buttons ($8.00)
  • Time to complete: Four days! New Record!
  • Make again? I don’t know that I’ll make this pattern again ~ not because it’s bad; it’s just that I have so many other pretty dress patterns to do still. It was actually quite an easy pattern to sew up, even though I was having troubles. That was due to things like blunt sewing needles and sewing parts of my dress into the waist seam {!!! Frustration!}.
  • Wear again? Absolutely! I really love this dress ~ it’s lovely and light for summer. Add the cute curve detail at the neckline and the wide-cut shape of the shoulder straps with such a sweet pink floral lattice print and dainty carved buttons; these elements really come together to make this dress a complete winner in my books.
  • Total Cost:  $17.00



~   ♡  ~

Talkin’ About My Girl 1953 Dress | Me-Made, 2013
Shoes | Modcloth, old

~ ♡ ~

Find me:

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Pinterest | bjvear
Ravelry | BJVear
Twitter | bjvear
Youtube | Bonita Vear

Friday, January 24, 2014

~ 11 Questions All About Blogging ~

I found this fun little post on A Coin for the Well and thought it was too interesting to pass up. So here are my confessions as a blogger! 

1. When did you first start blogging and why?

I started blogging on the 9th of March, 2005 with a little old blog called ‘Insanity’ that was more of an online diary, and hardly a scintillating read. I had to start it for a class assignment at university, so it was quite boring to begin with, until I realized that no one was reading it, then I continued writing it for fun.


Youtube films will last forever | Lavender & Twill 

2. Have you had any past online presence?

Not much ~ I did toy with a Live Journal, and I think I played with a MySpace for all of, oh, a week?  I really wasn’t into the early stages of social networking. ‘Insanity’ was next, and then I fell into the world of real blogging {*le gasp!* There are other people out there that do this! There’s pictures! And fun stuff!` Me likey!!} with my first ‘proper’ blog ~ Depict This!.

3. When did you become serious about your blog?

Pretty much around the time when I started Depict This!. It did take a while to find my voice, even longer to find my style, and even longer than that {four years!!} to evolve to the blog you are reading now, Lavender & Twill.


You can learn to para-phrase | Lavender & Twill 

4. What was your first blog post?

I think it was something like “OH HAI!1!!! IZ A WEB_LOG n00b AND I CAN HAZ AN ONLINE DAIRY!!11!!” My first post to Depict This! is here, *cringe* and my first post on Lavender & Twill is here.

5. What have been your biggest challenges blogging?

Learning how to network. I’m still not very good at it; I’m on all these different platforms, but each one seems to be segregated ~ I feel like my online presence is very splintered. I am hoping that a website listing all of these things and bringing them together under one branding will help with that. It’s a bit of a pain, and a rather large undertaking, so it’s taking time to get that going.

6. What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?
Being able to share my voice, my story and finding other people out there who share the same passions and ideas. It’s so lovely to be able to connect! ♡


Connect, share, friend, like | Lavender & Twill

7. What is the most discouraging thing about blogging?

How much time it takes to get really organized. Crazy amounts of social media + no organization = time gobbling black hole!

8. What is your lasting inspiration or motivation?

I’m not sure about this ~ maybe to share, share, share? I just have so much fun reaching out and connecting. That really motivates me.

9. What is your blogging dirty secret?

I find it really hard not to compare myself with other bloggers. She looks so perfect, like a doll. I wish I looked like her… Ugh, I love those Irregular Choice shoes, but I could never afford them! So want… Gah! Those pictures! Outfit! Perfect! *Groan* I’ll never be able to do that… Gee, I wish Betty Page would send ME free dresses… Why can’t I set up a blog and have a thousand page hits in a week?… And so on and so forth. I try to delete this internal dialogue, but sometimes it rings in my ears far too loud and clear.


Are you there | Lavender & Twill

10. What is your current goal as a blogger?

To enjoy what I do, so that others can enjoy it too. I love writing, taking photographs and telling stories. I would like to see Lavender & Twill as one of those happy places on the web that cheer you up, no matter what kind of day you are having.

11. Have you learned or become passionate about anything through blogging that caught you by surprise?

Sewing. I only started sewing because of the vintage bloggers that I followed that would sew their own amazing vintage outfits. Being tight in the pocket, but free with creativity, and it didn’t take me much time to pick up my scissors and git ah snippin’!

So that’s my little random post of the week, I hope you have enjoyed it! If you wish to fill out this questionnaire and post it yourself, please feel free to. Also, do leave a link; I’d love to read what you have to say about your own blogging journey!



Monday, January 20, 2014

~ Chasing Light ~

Twilight at our favourite park | Lavender & Twill

Wedge sandals are perfectly comfortable footwear, and so summery | Lavender & Twill 

Floaty skirt and summer sunset | Lavender & Twill 

Summer dreaming... | Lavender & Twill

Our favorite park in the summer is a lovely place to visit in the evenings. Wonderful shady trees and cool green grass ~ there is something ever so appealing about a freshly manicured lawn isn’t there?

Plus this delightful little bridge makes a great place to dance and prance around on! Summer evenings with the family and float-y, floral dresses make me so happy, I think they are the best things about summer. I am not such a fan of the heat, so usually I prefer autumn and spring to summer and winter.

I like moderate temperatures and the ability to wear cardigans and sweaters with my summer dresses.  To me, it’s the best of both worlds!

Do you have a preference for a particular season?



~   ♡  ~

1950’s Embroidered Day Dress | eBay
Plaited Belt | Thrifted
Shoes | Modcloth, old

~ ♡ ~

Find me:

Instagram | missbjvear
Pinterest | bjvear
Ravelry | BJVear
Twitter | bjvear
Youtube | Bonita Vear

Thursday, January 16, 2014

~ 1940s style knitting patterns ~ free downloads

I found these lovely patterns popping up in my Feedly {my blog reader for those of you that don’t know it} and I thought would share for those that may be interested in some wonderful knitting resources.

Patons Knitting Book 171 Jenny Cardigan | Lavender & Twill

This sweet button-down cardigan is available from Bex of Subversive Femme ~ download it here.

Patons 820 Split Neck 1940s Top | Lavender & Twill

This lovely split-necked knit top is also available from Bex of Subversive Femme ~ download it here.

If you are looking for more patterns, Bex has a library of free downloads here. There are men’s patterns, as well as plus-size knitting patterns, so her blog is a must see!

Liz from Zilredloh also shares a lot of free knitting patterns, and she not only knits up the beauties she shares, she also is an accomplished seamstress with loads of cute self-made garments.

Button-Thro-Cardigan from | Lavender & Twill 

Isn’t this pattern simply stunning? Download it here.

If you are after something cute, but not so complicated, this lovely rib has an interesting pattern.

40s Lighting Rib Pattern | Lavender & Twill

Available for download here.

Of course we mustn’t forget The Vintage Pattern Files blog, a wonderful source that rounds up a lot of the freebies hiding out there in internet land. You can pick and choose, just by searching ~ there are sewing tutorials, guides and patterns, crochet patterns and of course; knits!

Lovely 40s look | Lavender & Twill 

This style is available in a full pattern booklet here.

And though we are almost at the end of the Knit for Victory KAL being hosted by the lovely Tasha of By Gum, By Golly, you might still have time to join in with a quick project ~ like this darling mid-forties knitted snood.

Knitted snood from the mid-40s | Lavender & Twill

Available here.

Or you could whip up this knitted turban ~

Triangle Turban Pattern | Lavender & Twill
Download here.

Or if you are super-speedy knitter maybe this 1940’s Quick Knit from Flossy & Dossy will answer.


This is how far I’ve gotten ~

My Quick 1940s Knit Project for the Knit For Victory KAL | Lavender & Twill 

Yup, that’s the back.  Yup, I still have the front and the sleeves to go. I had better get cracking! Are you participating in the Knit For Victory KAL?



Monday, January 13, 2014

~ Hanging Around The Beach Babe ~

Hanging out on my favourite beach | Lavender & Twill

Fun outfit details ~ a rainbow hotair balloon brooch and a straw trilby | Lavender & Twill 
Turn your button down tops around for a spot of interest | Lavender & Twill 
Splashy! Capris make perfect casual wear | Lavender & Twill

The Mister took these photos when we visited our favorite beach ~ Hyams Beach in Jervis Bay. He and I were married here, on a day similar to this one with perfect aqua-blue water and a brilliant azure sky over head.

Yes, the sand is really white and soft! It’s pretty much the best beach ever, if you ask me.  (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ Of course, I’m a touch bias, but that’s quite alright methinks. 

Now about the star of this outfit ~ my Freddie’s of Pinewood's! I finally managed to fill a massive gap in my wardrobe with some vintage reproduction shorts for summer.  This pair of pedal pushers, and a pair of clam diggers. I have been wearing them non-stop; particularly around the house and out on holidays.

I seem to go through cycles where I will wear nothing but skirts, and then, all of a sudden, you couldn’t pry my out of my Freddie’s with a crow bar.  I guess I just love them so much. They are really comfortable to wear, they wash easily {which as we all know, is a big must when you have little ones!} and they seem to be really durable and well made.

I appreciate this greatly, as you may have read in my last outfit post how some of my vintage things are falling apart.  This makes me determined to stock up my wardrobe with reproduction items. I love my vintage dresses, and always will, but sometimes you just want to throw on some clothes and not have to worry about where you sit, what you eat and who you cuddle {and what state they are in specifically!}.

So I am keeping my eye out for affordable reproduction clothing ~ and if anyone knows of any good shops or brands please let me know. (❛∀❛▰)ツ



~ ♡ ~

Soft Straw Trilby | JayJays
Navy Polka Dot Blouse | Thrifted
Cranberry Belt | Thrifted
Pedal Pushers | Freddie’s of Pinewood Lana Pedal Pushers

~ ♡ ~

Find me:

Instagram | missbjvear
Pinterest | bjvear
Ravelry | BJVear
Twitter | bjvear
Youtube | Bonita Vear

Friday, January 10, 2014

~ Plotting & Planning ~

New Years Postcard | Lavender & Twill

It’s 2014 already… Whew. That was expeditious!  There hasn’t been altogether that many big events this year ~ particularly blogging wise ~ bar one which tends to eclipse all. Namely, the birth of our second child, Isabelle.

I had a few sewing goals for 2013 that I didn’t meet ~ I only managed to sew a miserly total of two garments last year. A circle skirt at the beginning of the year, and a dress in the week before Christmas… I was actually surprised that I managed to sew a whole dress in four days {barring the hem} and in the week before Christmas as well! That is a record for me, it usually takes me at least a month to complete a large garment like that. {NB: Babies and toddlers don’t really respect a Mama’s wish for large chunks of time. Lol.}

Still, my sewing plans will be another post, this one is going to be about my New Year’s Resolutions planning.

Dancing Buns | Lavender & Twill

~ My New Years Resolutions ~

2014:  My personal goal ~ To focus on cooking healthy and regular meals. 

I have briefly mentioned the healthy eating thing on my blog before, but I really can’t tell you how much we’ve been teetering back and forth on this. The amount of take away that we eat is positively shameful, not to mention completely and utterly ridiculous.  That has to stop. Even though my husband can eat what-so-ever he likes and still loose weight if he doesn’t exercise, it’s not healthy for him, and it’s certainly not healthy for me, let alone the children.

We’ve both made a serious commitment to a healthy, balanced diet that steers away from grains and pretty much cuts out processed sugars. It’s not completely implemented yet, but baby steps and we’ll get there. Starting with cutting back the take away! 

~ ♡ ~

2014:  My skills goal ~ To learn more graphic art skills and computer illustration skills.

My husband and I would like to team up and create some interactive children's books. I’d do the story writing and illustration, and he’d do the coding as he is a software developer with a passion for creating great apps {not just the smart phone/tablet kind ~ apparently all computer programs are also called ‘applications’}.

I think that it’s feasible to release at least one story this year, but I want to create the art on the computer from scratch ~ rather than fiddling backward and forwards with pencil/pen sketches that tend to take a fair amount of time to clean up before they are sharp enough for digital use.

~ ♡ ~

Ring in at midnight with vintage cheer | Lavender & Twill

That ended up being short and sweet! I do have other schemes and designs for the year ahead, but most of those involve the whole family and read more like goals rather than resolutions.

Plus, my reasoning is that if I keep my resolution list small it will be easier to achieve. Particularly as resolutions often involve breaking old habits and creating new ones which is never easy at the best of times, let alone when you are trying to do five, or six or more {!} at once.

What are your New Year’s resolutions? Do you believe in NYRs, or prefer to make some goals, or maybe just wing it? I’d love to hear what you are up to!



Monday, January 6, 2014

~ Holding Onto The Past ~

All dolled up in the glad rags | Lavender & Twill  
Emboridery adds lovely detail | Lavender & Twill  
Pretty pin curls for a neat hair do | Lavender & Twill

Ruffle mayhem! | Lavender & Twill 

I have been wearing this pretty, late 1950s dress quite a lot recently ~ it’s nice and light, and my peach crinoline suits it wonderfully!  Perfect for summer weather, so I wore this outfit Christmas day.  What was even more fun was co-coordinating the rest of the family to match!   (*⌒∇⌒*)

One thing I am sad to say though, is that I fear that my dress won’t be lasting much longer. It has loads of tiny moth-eaten holes all over it; from the shoulders to the hem. And the more I wear it, the worse they become. 
(TT ^ TT) *tears*

Mind you, I can easily replicate/rub off the pattern, or find a duplicate pattern so that I can sew up another version of it; as it is quite a simple style. What I can’t replace so readily is the lovely floral embroidery that runs down the front, on either side of the button placket.

Still, I’d prefer to wear the dress and wear it out, rather than not enjoy it at all, so I guess I will keep on using it.  What do you do when your dresses are past repairing?  I suppose you could hang them up as some of sort of art…

It’s hard to know how much to try and preserve vintage clothes, and how much to dress up and romp around in them.

The difficulty with preservation is that with a bit of effort you can keep them, and naturally, that way they will last longer, but I wonder if there is much point to doing that with everything you find? By all means, preserve some of these beautiful pieces in museums, so that we can all enjoy them in the future. I’m not saying that we should not do that, rather I am questioning the place that I, as a vintage lover, play in keeping this history around. Do I wear it and enjoy it, thus more likely staining, ripping or catching holes in it or do I box it away and collect it for the sake of it’s beauty?  Or say, in the case of old books ~ do I read them and use them, or tuck them away on a book shelf for display only?

Some vintage aficionados prefer the later, but I think I am on the side of the former. Partially because I tend to feel that blogging is one great way to catalog and collect the beauty of the vintage clothing without the intricate involvement of preserving delicate fabric, but also because I collect vintage for the purpose of appreciating its beauty in my day-to-day lifestyle. What about you? How to you strike a balance when it comes to enjoying fragile vintage pieces, be it clothes, household items, or other collectable antiques?



~   ♡  ~

1950’s Embroidered Day Dress | eBay
Crinoline | Doris Designs Adult 26" Petticoat in Peach
Shoes | Thrifted

~ ♡ ~

Find me:

Instagram | missbjvear
Pinterest | bjvear
Ravelry | BJVear
Twitter | bjvear
Youtube | Bonita Vear

~ ♡ ~

P.S. ~ I have some rather fun out-takes from this shoot that I thought I would share. These kinds of photos don’t often see the light of day, but sometimes I think the rejects are too good just to squirrel away, so here they are!

And some good ol' twirling action | Lavender & Twill 
Out-take fun | Lavender & Twill


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