Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Craft Your own Vintage Birds’ Snack Bar with Fun Seasonal Addition!

(Or … my entry for the No Pattern Required Annual Retro Christmas Card Competition)

I like a good challenge – and this looked to be right up my street:
“The name of the game this year Readers, is Odd And Ends! Here at No Pattern Required, we want to see what you can do with the bits and pieces you have thrifted or laying around your house right now. 

There are no restrictions on materials or methods, the only rules are that some of your submission has to be reused or thrifted, something in the project has to be retro or vintage, even if it is only that the finished product has a retro look to it, and each submission has to have a picture of your finished (or mostly finished) project with it.”

I turned to a trusted fount of knowledge, an issue of Woman’s Day 1958.

I bypassed the rather scary looking woman selling me Tide ...

... skipped through the reader’s letters and their appealing kitten photos ...

... and found a Woman’s Day Do-It-Yourself Tutorial.

This one is strictly for the Birds dear readers – who need our love more in this season of blustery winds and snow.

Birds' Snack Bar

I set about gathering materials for the Birds’ Snack Bar as outlined in the informative article, ‘This wooden tray is very easily made from a piece of plywood and some lengths of woodstrip’. No probs …

I cut the ply and the batons to size, nailed them all together as instructed – I was a little stumped by the need for a Gimlet. I’m not certain what a gimlet is (knitted vest?) … but it makes a holes so I reckoned an electric drill would do.

As this is a seasonal gift for a seasonal competition, I reckoned the birds might enjoy the addition of a Crafted Seasonal Novelty.
I dug around in the stash for some bits to make a Snowman. 

The Woman’s Day Birds’ Snack Bar is tastefully varnished ‘so that the natural wood colour blends with the outdoor background’. I varnished mine. And found some suitable vintage twine.

My only worry is the snowman looks a bit threatening (the rakish angle of the hat?) and might in fact deter my feathered friends. 
Not to worry – as soon as I hung my Birds’ Snack Bar in the apple tree, it had a wee curious visitor!

I do hope my entry catches the eagle eye of the judges.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

1930’s Sweetheart Overalls

A real treat to make these. A sweetheart of a pattern from Decades Of Style pattern company – the instructions are bold and clear. They took me two days to complete without much fiddly finishing off. 

The bits that took the longest were the buttonholes! I’ve got a bog standard Janome sewing machine, it doesn’t have a chip and doesn’t do buttonholes automatically whilst I make a cup of coffee. It was the first time I’d used the buttonhole attachment – I really like it and its low-techiness. You place a button in its holder and it gauges the size of the buttonhole from the button’s diameter. 

This took a few goes as the machine had a bit of trouble clicking into reverse mode once it had sewn the second buttonhole bar – I think it was the fabric that was problematic and I just gave the gizmo a little manual nudge each time to get the buttonhole completed.

I added a tiny press stud on the end of the bib strap just to hold the back strap in place – I’m not exactly long-bodied and there was a little excess bib strap that wouldn’t lie neatly under the back strap.

I had wanted nice deco buttons, possibly square – and I’m still looking. For the time being I’ve used some vintage ones from my stash, and added two at the backwaist, for visual effect.

What else can I say in praise of these overalls – they are really comfy, I went out dancing in them last night – rigorous Lindy Hopping in very hot sweaty conditions. 

They stood up to a lot of twisting and leg kicking – I did remember to reinforce the crotch seam mind you.
The fabric was a cheap polyester, for ease of care really – I made the overalls as a dancing outfit specifically and they’d need a good wash after each outing. I’d make them again in a nice medium weight suiting for posh wear I think.

The cheesecake photo shoot serves to show off my newest Cruiser Bike that I got in the summer - she goes like a dream!

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