Friday, December 31, 2010

Best of the Blog Round Up: 2010

Hasn't 2010 just flown by?  It's hard to believe that it's already New Year's Eve. It's also hard to believe that Serendipity Handmade has been part of the blogosphere for over a year and that hundreds of people come to visit each week.  I'm so grateful that so many people like this blog; it is another outlet for me to be creative and the fact that people take the time to appreciate what I've shared makes me truly happy.  I'm also delighted to have met so many wonderful crafty bloggers out there this year -- you make me happy too!

I'd like to welcome new readers - glad to have you.  I love comments, so by all means leave one now and then.  I'm also grateful that some of you "old timers" have stuck around even as I had to take some time out from the blog and crafting to rest and heal.  In the last couple of months I've been able to get back into the swing of things and even hope to start crocheting again soon. So as I reflect on the past year and come up with resolutions for 2011, I thought I'd take a moment to recap some of the highlights here at Serendipity Handmade:

Fortunate Finds

Vintage Thingies Thursday

I couldn't choose just one.  It's a tie:

  • The Marcelwaver
  • It was cool to finally see in person what made the hairdo Annie Lennox referred to in the song "Keep Young and Beautiful"! (A reader said so too).

Tomorrow's Vintage Collectibles
  • Disney Pins and Pin Trading
  • During my involuntary hiatus from computer use I was able to post this guide to Disney pins. These are probably some of the most collectible items around and any serious vintage collector should consider picking up a few them to be stashed away for a generation or longer. I spent several hours researching this piece for additional information so y'all would be well informed. Ironically, no one commented! 

Madison Avenue Monday

Field Trips

Of course, there are a couple of freebies and tutorials too.  Vintage patterns make my heart sing.

I'll be thinking over the next few days about Serendipity Handmade and what I might do here next year.  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

What series, features, crafts, etc.,
would you like to see on this blog in 2011?

I wish you and yours the happiest of New Years and much peace and prosperity throughout the coming year.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas: Giveaway Winners and Freebies

A gift for everyone today!  Vintage Workbasket embroidery/cross-stitch patterns:

Two giveaway winners get a special gift:

Winner #1

Miss Dollie DeVille at The Rockabilly Socialite

Winner #2

Christiana of Sew a Musing

* * *
I hope that all of you are having a happy and joyous holiday season.  Merry Christmas to all...may your day be merry and bright!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Madison Avenue Monday: 12/25 Shops Christmas Crafts from 1971

The following images are from a Los Angeles Times newspaper Sunday insert, October 17, 1971. The insert was a preview catalog of handmade international handicrafts and toys available for purchase in major department stores such F.A.O. Schwartz, Filene's, and Bloomingdale's across the country. Aren't you glad we have online sites like Etsy to easily find amazing handmade crafts now?

Have you ever made a God's Eye (figure R) as a Christmas craft?
This was a popular folksy craft when I was a kid

The catalog included short narratives about Christmas traditions in other lands,
such as this lovely story about
Vesely Vanoce

I want the musical Matryoshka! What's on your Christmas wish list?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

This Took All Day!

Remember this purse, Vogue 8642? I'm still working on it little by little. I had to redo the rosette spiral over...and over...and order for it to look decent. It literally took me hours because I am a perfectionist and it didn't look "just right," and my gathering string (yes string, I originally did the "sew over string" method to gather) kept breaking so I had to put in more gathering stitches in places.

Unfortunately, this type of thing happens when you don't follow the pattern directions and decide to do things your own way. In this case I started the rosette from the middle instead of marking the spiral with chalk and sewing from the outside in, as the pattern directions stated. It's a good thing I have to set this project aside until after the holidays in order to get the Christmas gift sewing done or I might have done something rash with it, such as run it over with my car. I'm not loving this pattern at all. More on this later.

Madison Avenue Monday returns this coming week in anticipation of Christmas, and don't forget the gift certificate giveaway, it ends this Friday!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Gift Pocket Tutorial

We made these cute little gift pockets in sewing class and I thought I'd share them with you.  They are great for using up scraps of fabric and ribbon, and make a darling little holder for money, candy, or miniature ornaments.  These can be hung on your Christmas tree by using holiday fabric, but they can also be made in any fabric to use as a party favor or to hold a tiny gift.  To size these up to hold a credit-card size gift card, I would recommend adding another inch to the lower width measurement (re:  2 1/2 inches instead of 1 1/2 inches).  These are a perfect project for a beginner as they are really simple to make.
Supplies for two pockets

Cut a template for your pocket out of paper, card stock, or a manila folder. Measurements are as shown above. Cut two fabric "triangles" for each pocket.    I like using contrasting but complementary fabric.  Next cut about 7 1/4 inches of ribbon for each pocket:

Find the center on one of your pocket triangles by folding it in half lengthwise.  This triangle will become the back of your pocket.  Next, form a loop with the ribbon and pin it in the center of your triangle on the right side of the fabric.  Fold the right sides of the fabric together lengthwise for both triangles, sandwiching the ribbon in the center of one of the triangles.  Press.

Next, you will sew the folded-together tops of the triangles (along the 4 1/2 length).  To save thread you can chain sew the triangles together by leaving a stitch in between each triangle as demonstrated by Heidi below:

Clip the corner on each triangle.  Turn both of them right side out.  Push out the point with a pin or a blunt object of some sort.  Press the point flat.

With right sides together, pin the triangles together.  To make a perfect pocket you'll want to align the center seam with the original crease that you made in the beginning down the center of the pocket.  As this is not brain surgery, a millimeter off here or there is not critical.

Sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Be sure to backstitch a few times at the top edges of your pocket for strength.  Pivot around the bottom corners:

Clip the corners and turn, pushing the corners out with a blunt object. Press the flap down on the front of the pocket.  And voila!  You are finished.  Optional:  stuff a tiny amount of batting at the bottom of your pocket to puff it out.

Fill your pocket with candy (miniatures would be best)

Or fill it with miniature toys or ornaments!

These are quick and fun-to-make. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

December Giveaway: Gift Certificates for!

It's time for the last giveaway of the year!

To celebrate the holidays, I'm giving away TWO $10.00 gift certificates
for to two lucky winners:

I'll keep it simple and sweet:  to enter, just leave a comment on this post!  Be sure to leave an email address or link to a website where I can contact you.  I'd especially like to hear from those of you who haven't stopped by in a while.  I miss you!

This giveaway is open internationally and will end at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on December 24th. The winner will be chosen by random number and announced on December 25, 2010. 

Good luck to all!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fortunate Finds: A Scrap of a 1940s Simplicity Pattern Catalog

It's been a while since I posted a "fortunate find." Here's a little surprise from one of the 40s vintage sewing patterns I recently listed in the shop, Hollywood 1627:

I find it interesting that I found a torn-out page from a Simplicity catalog in a Hollywood pattern!  I am wondering if the would-be sewist was interested in the suit pattern, number 1745, as Hollywood 1627 is a suit-dress pattern.  It is a mystery -- I guess we'll never know!