Sunday, December 13, 2015

How We Decorated for the Holidays on a Dime

I mentioned in the "Easy DIY Pinecone Ornaments" post that my fiance is in an apprenticeship program to become an lineman. Linemen, for those of you who aren't sure what they are, are the guys that work on the power lines in your neighborhood, as well as the huge metal towers and lines you see outside your city. The apprenticeship takes about 3 years, and because Dan has to get a certain amount of hours in certain skills, we'll move every 6-12 months depending on where there is work for apprentices. So, while I'm blessed to say we have a house here in Charleston (many people simply buy campers & live out of them to simplify the moving process), it is a fairly temporary situation.

We moved across the country with a week's notice, and because of the rush, I left everything that wasn't essential on the West Coast. That means, I didn't have a single Christmas decoration when December rolled around. Oh, and because we're getting married in 5 short months (yeeeeee!!) we are saving our pennies to pay for the big day. So, very limited money + no buying of more stuff that we'll have to lug around with us when we move = tricky Christmas decorating. 

If you're in a similar financial, or housing, both, I thought I'd share with you how we decorated on a dime in hopes that I could inspire someone else!

I collected a large trash bag of pinecones off the street we live on. That means these beauties were free! If you're lucky enough to live in (or near) the mountains, head out for a day and collect several different kinds, you can use them for pretty much all your holiday decorating. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Make Your own Paper Pinwheel Tree Topper!

Last week's post was a quick, simple, tutorial on how to make beautiful pinecone ornaments. This week, I'd like to share how I made our large pinwheel tree topper. You could also take this tutorial and use it to make small pinwheels as ornaments. I made many small wheels out of pages from books (cheap, paperbacks in poor condition from Goodwill for fifty cents), printed and plain colored paper. 

DIY Pinwheel Tree Topper by Palindrome Dry Goods

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Holiday Gift Roundup & This Month's Handmade Projects

Hello everyone! Can you believe that November is nearly over? I. Cannot. I just can't. This month has simply disappeared into days at my sewing machine, hours spent ironing and photographing and typing. It has slipped away with hot cups of coffee at 6am and then again at 3pm. I have been a very busy girl this past month and I thought I'd share with you today everything that has been going on!

Where to start? First of all, I was officially voted to be included in BurdaStyle's Best of Blogging and I am absolutely thrilled. Thrilled! I am so honored. So, if you voted for me


Also, it's fall and because that's my favorite season, my Instagram has been jam-packed with plaid, and pumpkins and fall goodness. If you have an account follow me! @palindromedrygoods, I'd love to be insta-friends.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

McCall's 7162 in Taupe Crepe de Chine

I constructed this McCall's pattern, designed by Laura Ashley, #M7162 from a beautiful 100% silk in a crepe de chine weight. It's the exact same silk I made this top with but in a different color. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

1940's Jerkin from Vintage Plaid Wool

Handmade Jerkin from a Vintage Pattern and Vintage Plaid Wool by Palindrome Dry Goods
Photo by Permanent Glimpse Photography

Happy weekend everyone!

Since I've been making so many things out of wool plaid lately (like this skirt, this tunic, and this other skirt) I figured I'd just run with it and share something else out of wool plaid. I'm goin' all the way with this theme. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Sewing Machine Troubleshooting - 3 Basic Fixes

Sewing Machine Troubleshooting - How to Fix Your Sewing Machine

Sewing machines are amazing inventions, aren't they? They save us hours and hours of time, and many pricked fingers. However, when your sewing machine makes jumbles of thread, snaps needles, breaks thread or groans/beeps/squeaks at you, it can be extremely frustrating.

Today I'd like to go over three actions that I do every time my machine acts up. I always recommend these steps to my beginning sewing students and I find that they fix the majority of my mechanical issues.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Vintage Butterick 3042 in Wool Plaid

I wrote previously about my affinity for wrap skirts and so when I found vintage Butterick 3042 on Etsy, I had to add it to my collection. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Sewcabulary: Eight Basic Fabric Terms

Sewing for Beginners. Sewcabulary: Eight Basic Fabric Terms.

Well hello there! Happy Tuesday. In this week's Sewcabulary lesson we'll learn some basic, but crucial, fabric terminology. If you have a piece of fabric at home, I recommend pulling it out as you read along so that you can find these terms and look at them in person. As always, if you have questions, please feel free to ask them in a comment (below the post) or shoot me an email! I'm so glad you're here today and I hope you'll learn a thing or two about fabric.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Palindrome Dry Goods' Alice Top Sew-Along - Part 2

Hello there! I am SO excited to release my very first sew along. Through this post, I'll show you how to construct your very own Alice Top step-by-step. I'll virtually hold your hand through every pin, cut and seam, so you'll end up with an adorable top and build your sewing confidence along the way. If you haven't already, the pattern is available for sale here. Ready? This is going to be fun! Ok, take a deep breath, and cut out your paper pattern pieces. If you haven't already prepped your fabric, read this post first, to get prepared. 

If you'd like a generic understanding of pattern symbols and some basic sewing terms, I highly recommending reading this post, or having it open in a second window to reference!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Corduroy Dress with Abalone Back Buttons

Photo by Permanent Glimpse Photography

Several years ago now, my parents renewed their wedding vows atop a mountain near the Sierra Buttes. It was a handmade affair. My mom nuno felted & sewed her 'wedding' dress, a good family friend put together the bouquets, my mom put together her flower crown, the small affair was catered by my incredibly food-talented sister and I handmade this dress to wear for the special day.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Four Things I do Before I Sew Anything - Tips for Successful Sewing - Alice Top Sew-Along Part 1

Hello there! As a sewing instructor, I've had the opportunity to answer a lot of questions from sewists of all levels. To many, especially newbie sewists, sewing is a scary and overwhelming skill to learn. There are a lot of things to remember, and it often seems that there are too many factors that could go wrong. My goal throughout teaching, and now through blogging, is always to reduce the fear of learning to sew. Any little bit of information, or encouragement, that I could pass onto my students (and now my readers) that would ease their worries was vastly important.  Today's post is four facts that are essential to my (mostly) successful sewing, and will help your projects go smoother, and turn out better! This is also the prologue to the Alice Top sew-along, so if you're joining me for that, start here! Then you can move onto Part 2!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

I've Been Nominated for Burdastyle's Best of Blogging!

Happy Saturday Morning Everyone!

I woke up to very exciting news: Palindrome Dry Good's has been nominated for Burdastyle's Best of Blogging award!

I need the help of all my amazing supporters to make it to the final 50. If you voted for me here I would be super grateful and would tell you "Thank Youuuuu!" and hug you if I could!

Thank you for voting and I'll keep you posted! Voting closes October 22nd and winners will be announced October 23rd.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Amy Butler Tunic in Wool Plaid

I made this tunic several years ago, but for some reason, I never wrote about it! I love wearing it in fall and winter. The loose shape looks great layered and because it's wool, it's cozy warm. I made it using Amy Butler's Mini Dress, Tunic and Tops pattern

Photo by Permanent Glimpse Photography

Friday, October 9, 2015

Sewcabulary: Five Basic Machine Stitches and When to Use Them

Hello again! This week during sewcabulary, you'll get a healthy (but not scary!) introduction to basic sewing machine stitches. There are hundreds of different stitches out there in the world, and depending on your machine, you may be able to sew using all of those, or only a couple. We're going to cover five stitches that I use often, and that I'm confident beginning sewists need to have knowledge of. If you have the manual for your machine, it will be extremely helpful. As always, if you have questions about the sitches, please comment below! If there is a stitch you use all the time that I don't list, let me know, let's share the sewing love.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Handmade High Waisted Yoked Skirt in Plum Linen - Altered Version of Simplicity 1607

Hello there! Last week's post was on a blouse and I was determined to make a skirt to go along with it this week. Well, when I stumbled upon this adorable skirt (below) on Pinterest, I knew I had to make it, and I knew it wasn't going to go with that top. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.  


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Sewcabulary: Five Finishing Seams and How to Sew Them

Hello There! Thanks for joining me for this week's Sewcabulary, I'm glad you're here. This week, I'll show you how to sew five different finishing seams, without a serger. 

Why finish your seams at all, you ask? 

Well, firstly, they make the inside of your garment look professional and neat and if you're like me, you always want the inside to be as pretty as the outside. 
Secondly, they prevent your fabric from raveling when laundered. 
Thirdly, they can actually provide some structural importance, in the case of jeans, for example.

As my sewing knowledge has advanced, I find myself using finishing seams for nearly every project. If you're a beginning seamstress, don't be afraid! Now is a great time to learn these techniques and start incorporating them into those simple projects like pillowcases and curtains. If you're an intermediate or an advanced seamstress, these seams may be an overview for you, or perhaps one of them will be new to you! Comment at the end of the post and let me know if there is another one you'd like demonstrated, or if you sew one of the following seams differently than how I show you!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Handmade McCall's 7247 in Double Layered Knit

Hello there! Yesterday may have been National Coffee Day, but I think I'm celebrating today. I've had several extra cups this morning while I slowly pencil in the next week's to-do's. A high point of the beginning of this week: this incredibly comfy top I made from McCall's 7247. I used two layers of soft, 100% cotton jersey knits. The outside is a heather gray (available here), and the inside is a beautiful violet (not available anymore). 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Our Beautiful Engagement Photos by Permanent Glimpse Photography

Photo by Permanent Glimpse Photography
As a female creative entrepreneur, I do not take lightly the talent and passion of other working women. Because she is incredibly good at what she does, and because she is such a genuinely sweet person, I consider myself blessed to have befriended Marie Clark of Permanent Glimpse Photography. When Marie offered to take engagement pictures for Daniel and me I was absolutely elated. For those of you in the Northern California region, I can't recommend Marie enough. She is an absolute doll to work with and made us feel comfortable and able to be ourselves. Our pictures turned out, not only visually gorgeous, but they reflect our relationship and are honest to who we are. Miss Clark, you are truly talented and we thank you so much for these lovely glimpses. We'll treasure them forever.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sewcabulary: Twenty Nine Essential Sewing Tools

I honestly believe that the quality of tools you buy will affect the overall quality of your project. Many of my tools have been collected over the years, and some of them are from my great aunt (which means they're about 40-50 years old). Because higher quality tools last longer (and save you money in the long run), I recommend spending on them more up-front. I've compiled a list of my absolute favorite and most used tools. I have not been sponsored by anyone to make this list, and the tools featured are so only because I personally love them. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Handmade McCall's 3341 in Wool Plaid

I had this wool saved for a wrap skirt (see this post about those) but when my pattern hadn't arrived yet, and I had the itch to sew, I decided on McCall's 3341 instead. This awesome little skirt took only a couple hours to make, and consisted of 6 pattern pieces. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Sewcabulary: Fourteen Key Terms for Understanding Patterns

Good morning! I am so excited to announce Sewcabulary. These weekly posts will introduce basic, and some intermediate, sewing terms, skills, tools and techniques to help you jump into the world of sewing, or improve your current skills. As a sewing teacher for over 5 years, I've had the amazing opportunity to welcome my students to the world of sewing and to watch them get excited about this skill set. I'm so pleased to be able to continue that process through this blog! Today we'll talk about some basic symbols and terms you'll see on sewing patterns. If you have questions, please, comment away! Thanks for joining!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Why I Love Wrap Skirts - Three Variations in Three Different Fabrics

Ahhh, the wrap skirt. The easy to make, universally flattering, chameleon of a garment. Day to night? The wrap skirt's got you covered. Spring to fall? Consider it done. I have a very exciting package of wool and other fall apparel fabrics coming my way and one of the first things I'm going to make is a wrap skirt, you can see that here. For now, here are three different wrap skirts I've made using three different fabrics. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Thursday, September 3, 2015

At Home in the Kitchen

I woke up this morning thinking about scones. Yes, scones. Of the many things I miss about being near my family, missing out on their culinary talents hangs out near the top of my list. It was always a good day when my mom would call and say "I made waffles/doughnuts/bacon/scones/etc., come get some." Now when I want delicious food that reminds me of home, I have to make it myself. Sigh. I until 7am (her time) this morning to ask my mother for her scone recipe and promptly got to work. Because they're so good, I thought I'd share the love. You can put just about any fruit/nut/confection combination. This morning I chose chocolate chips, but raisins, walnuts, pecans, cranberries, dried apricots and almonds are all delicious additions as well.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Pattern Review for Vintage Vogue 7637 Dress: My Handmade Version in Wool

I am a scorpio. I don't particularly like hot weather. I prefer sweaters to swim suits. The sound of rain makes my soul happy. Do you know what I'm getting at? Fall!! My favorite season of all is almost here. I was a bit preemptive, it is, sadly, 90 degrees outside today, when I decided to make this wool dress, but I couldn't help myself. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Palindrome Dry Good's Fifth Birthday Celebration!

Hello there!

Five years ago I got an idea in my head that I could use my novice sewing skills to start a business. Five years ago I spent hours setting up an Etsy store, a blog, an email, and I even bought an official domain name. I knew nothing about online marketing or sales. I knew nothing about blogging. I knew nothing about running a business, or accounting, or using social media for business, or PayPal. Hell, I barely knew how to sew.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

New Look 6902 Halter in Field Study Linen by Anna Maria Horner

Like the Daisy Top featured in the Flashback Friday post, Marie Clark of Permanent Glimpse Photography photographed this top for me several years ago. I love this piece so much, and I'm happy to be able to share it to you! In fact, I love this piece so  much that I braved my storage unit when we went home to California, to dig it out and bring it back to the east coast with me. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Golden State

I grew up in California in a farmhouse built in the late 1800's, about an hour north east of Sacramento. My mother fell in love with this house in the 70's, when she used to do the paper route for the Sacramento Bee and drove by it every morning. One day, she drove by and the top story of the house had burned. The house was old, overgrown, and under-loved. But beneath the weeds and the peeling paint and the ash, she saw it's beauty. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Handmade Cynthia Rowley 1607 Dress in Vintage Dotted Swiss

The fiance and I are headed back to California in a couple short weeks and I am SO. HAPPY. One of my life long best friends is getting married and I'm counting down the days until Dan and I will be surrounded by friends and family and the joy of a union of two wonderful people. While we're home, we're also having engagement photos taken by Marie of Permanent Glimpse Photography. I already knew I was going to wear the rayon dress I made in this post, but the other outfits I put together just weren't quite right. When I discovered some vintage dotted swiss in my fabric stash, I was pretty excited to combine it with Simplicity 1607, by Cynthia Rowley. And by time I'd finished it, I knew it would be perfect for our little love-bird photo session. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Happy Tuesday, y'all! Trish from Trishstitched nominated me for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award, and gosh, am I flattered. Thank you, Trish!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Handmade Vintage Advance 9145 Blouse in Glow Voile by Amy Butler

Happy Wednesday, Everyone! I put together this top sort of on a whim and I am so, so happy with how it turned out. This voile is by Amy Butler, and you can find it at The Tin Thimble's Etsy store. I originally planned on lining the top, but with the recent humidity (it's been 100% a few times lately. And NOT raining. I didn't even know that was possible.), and the heat, I ended up just leaving it a single layer and finishing the inside with a combination of bias tape and french seams. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Middle Eastern Inspired Meal & Why We Make a Big Deal out of Dinner

I grew up in a household where we ate dinner around the table together every night. Every. Night. My mom is a great cook, and has a seemingly endless supply of recipes both on paper and in her head. I don't remember a time when my mom taught me how to cook, but I guess I absorbed a lot of her knowledge simply by watching. My sister, Lisa, has also taught me a lot about food. How to try things, how to tweak recipes, how adding dijon mustard to everything makes it better. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Handmade Vintage Simplicity 9438 Wrap Blouse in Vintage Daisy Print Polyester

This top was made with a Simplicity 9438, a 1980's pattern for one-yard wrap tops.  Remember how I just moved across the country, and had to leave 3/4 of my things in a storage unit? Yeah, well that means a lot of my patterns didn't make it out with me.  I kind of wish I had packed this one, it was fun to make, and is super versatile. Sigh. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Handmade New Look 6286 Flutter Sleeve Blouse in Turquoise Silk

I've been hanging onto this beautiful 100% silk for a while now. I'll be honest, I don't really like sewing with silk. It's slippery, it frays (and frays, and frays some more), my sewing machine prefers to suck it into the bobbin case and tear holes in it. This color was so lovely, however, that after sitting at the top of my fabric stash for a couple of weeks, I decided that I would heed it's tiny cries to be made into something. I decided upon using New Look pattern #6286, gathered all of my patience, praised my sewing machine and got to work.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

My Tips from One Curly Haired Girl to Another

Hello there! This little blog has always been such a great experiment for me. As those of you who have followed PDG for a while, you know that most of the posts are about handmade clothing and goods and occasionally gardening, but sewing has always been at this blog's heart. Sewing is a large part of my heart, but when I decided to devote my time to this small business, I decided that I would have to experiment more. Dip my toes into the world of food, beauty, travel, etc and see what the heck happens. If you're all for it, let me know! If you're not into it at all, let me know! I am endlessly flattered to know that there are lovely souls out there reading these words of mine, and I love receiving comments from you. So here we go, experimentation begins today.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Handmade McCall's 6091 Tent Blouse in Anna Maria Horner's Pretty Potent Voile

When Dan and I first moved to West Virginia it was February and there was about 4 feet of snow on the ground. It was cold. It was wet. It was grey and brown. So...drab. I'm from Northern California, the land of oaks and evergreens. It was weird to be in a place almost entirely with deciduous trees, and the lack of color was pretty discouraging. But, as nature does, things started changing right before our eyes, and just as the air began to warm, and the forests began to vibrate with growth, Dan and I found ourselves warming up to our home.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Handmade Vintage McCall's Blouse Pattern in Corduroy

When I was little I always looked forward to visits from my Auntie Charlotte and Uncle George. They were technically my great aunt & uncle, and they always brought Carnation Instant Breakfast packets with them. At the time I thought it was a gift, and an awesome one at that, (my mom didn't buy them for us. Too much sugar or some rational nutrition excuse like that. Pft.), but now that I look back on it, I think they just brought us the flavors they didn't like.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Handmade New Look 6231 Blazer in Cotton/Spandex

Ok, let me start out with this: I love blazers. Love them. When The Tin Thimble received New Look #6231, I was so excited! I purchased a lovely cotton/spandex blend that has a satin finish, with just a touch of sheen. This blue blazer was a New Look pattern home-run. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Handmade Vintage McCall's 7113 Low Back Dress in Heather Bailey Rayon

Oh, hello there little blog. How have you been? It's been a while...that's my fault, I suppose. I'm not sure if other creative types feel this way, but I find that my creative energy waxes and wanes. Sometimes more than others, and the last year and a half was obviously a waning period. I feel like I should recap my life?