1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, circle skirt, sewing, skirt, spring, summer, vintage, Vintage Community, vintage life, vintage pattern, vintage reproduction, vintage sewing, vintage style

Vintage Sew-a-long: The Circle Skirt

I need to get a move on and make my spring and summer garments, but somehow, for some reason, something keeps distracting me! I need to find my motivation again. I noticed that as soon as I started the Killer Kitsch Designs Vintage Knit-a-long last year, I became extremely motivated to knit as many garments as I could. Before I would occasionally knit something for myself, but generally I was knitting for others. I realized it was time to fill up my wardrobe with knits from all of the vintage patterns I’ve been collecting. Now… how do I do the same for sewing.

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My sewing machine has been calling to me.

My sewing machine is now yelling at me!

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January 1st, 2017 I made a promise to myself to only purchase vintage, thrifted items or make my own clothes. As a curvy girl I was tired of always being frustrated by off the rack clothes and as a consumer, I was upset about the shoddy quality of anything I purchased from retail stores. As a lover of movies from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s I realized we needed to take a step back to a time where you actually cared about the quality of your clothes and when you couldn’t buy something, you refashioned or mended and made due!

Now… how do I get back my sewing mojo? By starting vintage sew-a-longs.

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I’m by no means someone who can give instructions on sewing. I’m not a trained sewist and have learned sewing from my Mother, home ec and years of creating my own garments. These sew-a-longs aren’t tutorials in any way. What they are, is a group of like-minded sewists, creating vintage-inspired outfits together. The sew-a-longs will range from easy (like the circle skirt) to a bit more challenging, just like the knit-a-longs.

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I have always loved sewing. When I was a kid I would design and hand sew outfits for dolls. I learned how to sew garments on my great grandmother’s Raymond Treadle machine (1898), alongside my mother. (I’ve since inherited the machine) I was inspired to learn sewing because my mother used to make all of our clothes. On Instagram, I follow many vintage accounts and their dedication to remaking vintage patterns is what has motivated me to start sew-a-longs. 

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If this is something you also want to do, please join our group on Facebook. If you share your photos on Instagram, please tag me @killerkitsch13 and use hashtag #killerkitschvintagesewalong.

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We are starting on May 16th and will do the sew-a-long for the last two weeks of May!

This will be a super easy skirt to sew, so if you are a beginner, this will be perfect for you. Everyone is welcome to join!

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Resources that will hopefully help you out during the circle skirt sew-a-long.

Circle Skirt Calculators
Circle Skirt Templates and Tutorials
YouTube Tutorials Playlist
PDF of a circle skirt template
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1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, Facebook Group, KAL, knit-a-long, knitting, knitting community, ravelry, vintage, Vintage Community, vintage knitting, vintage knitting patterns, vintage life, vintage pattern, vintage reproduction, vintage style

First Vintage KAL of 2018

Our first KAL of 2018 is off to an amazing start. Our Facebook group and Instagram are lighting up with progress photos and questions. I am super happy how much everyone is loving the sweaters we choose for this Vintage KAL and our last one. The 1938  two colour jumper, the 1937 cable jumper and 1950s bed jacket colour combinations were so incredible!  Now the colours being chosen for the 1940s Champion Jumper and the 1950s Blouse, beyond amazing!  Many people are already done the front of the Champion Jumper. It is DK (double knit weight) so I’m not surprised.

Here are some progress photos so far.

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To see all the details for the new KAL, please click here  and it will take you to a previous post!

1940s, 1950s, classics, music, rock and roll, rockabilly, Uncategorized, wanda jackson

Rock-a-long To That Rockabilly Sound

A sad thing that has been happening in Toronto over the last few years.  The arts/music scene has been taking a hit due to the crazy surge in rental and housing prices. Many bars are closing and it is getting harder and harder to survive in Toronto as an artist of any level due to this. One thing I truly love about this city is or should I say did love about this city was its artistic diversity. Sadly for Toronto, much of that has up and moved to Hamilton (amazing for Hamilton). Not only does Hamilton have a growing artists community, it also has a growing Rockabilly scene, something that used to be a much larger scene here in T.O. Don’t get me wrong, our Rockabilly scene is still here and it’s still amazing, but it needs to receive the love it once did. Let’s start giving it back the attention it deserves.

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Anyone who is or was into that scene will recognize the bands and places I have listed below. By no means are the lists below complete, but they are the popular choices and I wanted to give you a saucey taste of what is out there. If we start supporting these artists, stores, and venues again, the way we did in the late 90s and early 2000s, we will help them survive and bring them back to the popularity they had back then! We could start a revival!

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I used to head out to the Cadillac Lounge or The Dakota to catch bands such as the Royal Crowns, Ginger St. James and Alistair Christl on the regular. I would be at the Black Dice Cafe on many occasions and I loved spending a steamy night at a burlesque show. Like many, and I’m not sure why I did, I’m just as guilty, as I stepped away from that scene. I’ve been feeling nostalgic for it again. I’m not sure if it’s due to all of the Wanda Jackson albums my fella brings home or that my love for vintage everything has peaked again. Either way, I would love to see this scene thrive again, as it used to. We recently saw Wanda and I was actually surprised that there wasn’t more of a Rockabilly presence in the crowd.

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I would love to see the Rockabilly scene in all its glory again! Get your poodle skirt and saddle shoes on. Get that pompadour high and let’s get ourselves out to a night of squealing and dancing to that killer Rockabilly sound!

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Well known musicians

Christian DeArmond — https://christiand.ca/

Dodge Fiasco — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVljgXcCsSA

Ginger St. James — http://www.gingerstjames.com/

Hellbent Rockers (Hamilton, but play Toronto) http://hellbentrockers.com/live.html

The Greasemarks — https://www.facebook.com/Greasemarks/?fref=mentions or http://www.greasemarks.com/

The Hellbent Rockers — http://hellbentrockers.com/

The Millwinders — https://millwinders.bandcamp.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/The-Millwinders-333439737373/

The Royal Crowns — http://www.theroyalcrowns.ca/

The Swingin’ Blackjacks — https://www.facebook.com/swinginblackjacks/

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Rockabilly Bars (or bars that hold Rockabilly events)

Burdock — http://burdockto.com/

Cadillac Lounge — http://www.cadillaclounge.com/

Castros Lounge — http://castroslounge.com/

Cherry Cola’s Rock n’ Rolla Cabaret Lounge — https://www.facebook.com/cherrycolasrocknrolla/

Disgraceland (Bar and Grill) – https://www.disgraceland.ca/

Grossman’s Tavern — www.grossmanstavern.com/

Gun, Rod and Barbers — rodgunandbarbers.com/

Horseshoe Tavern — http://www.horseshoetavern.com/

Junction City Music Hall — www.junctioncitymusichall.com/

Revival Bar — www.revivalbar.com/

The Black Dice — http://www.blackdicecafe.com     

The Dakota — thedakotatavern.com/

The Hole in the Wall — https://www.facebook.com/HoleInTheWallTO/

The Local — www.thelocalpub.ca/

The Monarch Tavern — http://www.themonarchtavern.com/

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Tiki Bars

Bill Hicks Bar – 946 Queen Street East

Bovine Sex Club – 542 Queen Street West

Miss Thing – 1279 Queen Street West

Shameful Tiki Room — 1378 Queen Street West

The Shore Leave -1175 Danforth Avenue

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Where to buy clothing

Black Daffodil — 3097 Dundas Street West
Doll Factory by Damzels — 394 Roncesvalles Avenue
Rosie the Rebel — 604 Queen Street West

Social Media Pages

Toronto Rockabilly —  https://www.facebook.com/torontorockabilly/

Toronto Rockabilly/Surf/Burlesque Community —

 https://www.facebook.com/groups/1075214662489029/?fref=ts

RnR Dancing in Toronto and beyond  — https://www.facebook.com/groups/120849821417387

Vintage Society — http://www.vintagesociety.ca

1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, classics, independent, movies, pre-code, rep theatre, silent films, silent movies, Uncategorized, vintage

Why Rep Theatres Are Important To The Vintage Culture and Community

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I am a huge, HUGE classic movie nerd. Especially Silent Movies, Pre-code movies and 1950s Sci-fi. As a child, many Saturday mornings were filled with watching these movies and I have many fond memories of Saturday Night at the Movies with Elwy Yost. I grew up loving black and white classic cinema. Living in Toronto I am beyond fortunate that there are rep theatres that still show these movies on the regular or have themed movie afternoons/evenings. My fella and I have become regulars at the 4 pm Sunday show at the Carlton. $6 gets you a movie, popcorn, and a drink. Each month is themed. We are also a stone throw from The Revue and are found there often, especially during the Toronto Silent Film Festival. Why do I think these types of theatres are important, let me tell you.

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History. The history of the theatre and the history that comes along with the movies that are shown. Sadly, with the condo boom, many of Toronto’s beloved architecture, including old movie houses are being torn down. I don’t want to make this piece about that, I do want to raise how important it is to keep some of old Toronto still alive and intact. This includes our original movie theatres. There is so much incredible history in these buildings. Imagine the movies that were shown in these beautiful structures. Everything from The Silents of the early 1900s to the gritty movies of the 1970s. The people that would have walked across the thresholds. Buildings that allowed you to take refuge from the heat, the cold, the depression, the war or the general world outside. A place where you could escape to another world via celluloid. I often dream of being a child, jaw open while being mesmerized by a Silent Film, a sassy teen being inspired by the Flappers gracing the screen or a twenty-something being tantalized by a Pre-code bit of raunch. Witnessing a time in history and film-making when the creators cared about the story and the presentation.

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An escape. The world we live in is a harsh place to be in. It’s equally complicated by the all too convenient ability to pull out your phone to see or read the news, check social media, watch hours of youtube or stream whatever content you want and almost never be left to use your imagination if even for a short period of time. It’s why I write in complete silence. Going to a movie theatre, where you have to put your phone away is a wonderful feeling. To spend one to two hours being swept into another world, another time. To see films about a period of history, shot during that actual time. The music, clothes, sets — the story. Is it wrong that I still have crushes on Jimmy Stewart or Clara Bow?

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Most importantly, supporting independent businesses. Most of these theatres are independently owned. I would much rather support independent or family-owned businesses. I don’t only go to rep theatres to see the classics, I would much rather see the latest blockbuster in them. Yes, it means waiting a few extra weeks to see it, but if it means the money is going to a small business, I will wait.

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Please, check out your local rep theatre. The more we frequent them, the longer they stay alive.

MOVIE THEATRES :

Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (The Annex) – 506 Bloor Street West, Toronto 416-637-3123 — http://www.hotdocscinema.ca/

Carlton Cinema – 20 Carlton Street at Yonge, Toronto, 416 – 494-9371 — https://imaginecinemas.com/cinema/carlton-cinema/

Fox Theatre – 2236 Queen Street East, Toronto, 416-691-7330 — www.foxtheatre.ca

Humber Cinemas – 2442 Bloor Street West — http://www.humbercinemas.com/

Kingsway – 3030 Bloor Street West — http://kingswaymovies.ca/

Regent Theatre – 551 Mount Pleasant Road — http://regenttoronto.com/

Revue Cinema  – 400 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada M6R 2M9 — http://revuecinema.ca/

Royal Cinema – 608 College Street, Toronto, 416-466-4400 — www.theroyal.to

1930s, knit-a-long, knitting, vintage, vintage knitting, vintage knitting patterns, vintage life, vintage pattern, vintage style

Killer Kitsch Knit-a-long part deux

Oh my goodness!  We are now at almost 40 participants in the first Killer Kitsch Knit-a-long. It has also evolved from just Instagram. I realized partway through the knit-a-long that I should also be posting on my Ravelry and I have set-up a group! It is called the Killer Kitsch Vintage Knit-a-long and you can view it here. Please join us for our next knit-a-long.  I honestly had no idea these many people would be interested. I am cuffed.

After discussions with the core group of original knit-a-long participants, we decided to do this 3 to 4 times a year. We may pick themes from time to time. I’m overjoyed that this community is also building! In addition, we have decided to extend this one until the end of December. That way, more can join in and it gives knitters an opportunity to do two patterns if they can fit it in. Having a community doing the same thing at the same time is motivating and incredibly fun!

If that wasn’t enough, I am being completely blown away by all of the different colour combinations chosen for the two-colour jumper and the work on the cable jumper… oh my!

Below is the next set of progress photos including finished sweaters by Carmen, Michelle, Katy and myself. There will be a few others finished very soon as well.

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