1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, knit-a-long, knitting, knitting community, sewing, Uncategorized, vintage, Vintage Community, vintage knitting, vintage knitting patterns, vintage life, vintage pattern, vintage reproduction, vintage sewing, vintage style

52 in 52, AKA – A Garment a Week

My birthday is on July 31. Smack dab in the middle of Leo. Born on The Day of Loki. Each year I’ve been making a promise to myself, not really a resolution, but a way of making myself and the universe happy. If you have read my post about Me Made, you will know what I’m talking about. It’s all about creating my own clothing. All of it!

This year I have decided to add a promise and for it to begin on August 1st. My plan is to make one garment a week, whether it be a top, skirt, dress, jacket, foundation garment or something I knit or crochet, these outfits will all count towards my 52. I have also decided to include anything I make during knit-a-longs and sew-a-longs as an item on the list. Heck… I’ve actually started a spreadsheet to track my progress and list the garments I make. The other part of this and the bigger part for me is that I also need to post a photo of me wearing the outfit once it is completed. As a matter of fact, at some point soon I am going to do a little photo session for all of the things I’ve made in the last year and a half. I have no excuse. I just need to get into the routine of doing it!

So… I know a few of you are wondering why I’m calling it a promise rather than a challenge… well… let me tell you why. For me, this is a lifestyle change. I’m going back to traditional dressmaking, I’m creating. I love creating my own garments and I always have. At one time I was going to study fashion design but chose graphic design instead. I also know how to self-draft as well as create printable patterns. I have always been madly in love with every single facet of dressmaking and now that I am back to it I am feeling empowered. I love that I not only make my own clothing, they fit well and I am proud to wear them. For me this is fun and adding the word challenge to it, will make it less than fun and really, who wants that.

Now… onto the next question. Would anyone else like to join in on this challenge with me?

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1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, sewing, Uncategorized, vintage, Vintage Community, vintage life, vintage pattern, vintage reproduction, vintage sewing, vintage style

Sassy Summer Peasant Blouse Sew-a-long!

I’ve been feeling extra sassy lately and I attribute it to the twirly, whirly skirts I’ve made during our recent circle skirt and Lila & June sew-a-longs! Now it’s time to sew a top to go with our sassy skirts!  I thought the perfect pairing would be a self-drafted peasant top! This is a top that is easy to make and is great for beginners or experienced sewers alike!

Over the recent months, you may have seen the very popular Rita blouse being made. It is in the style of a peasant blouse, but a bit more structured. The one we will be making is more blousey and looks more traditional, not to mention it looks great either with a solid colour or with patterns. You can also give it a bit of extra oomph by adding ric-rac or embroidered pieces. It will be a really fun blouse to make!

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I have created an FAQ page with links and you will find it in the files area over in our Facebook Group Killer Kitsch Vintage WIPs. There is a variety of tutorials including a very easy to follow one by the Things of Cloth Blog (the neck is a bit higher on this one if you want a lower neckline to keep that in mind when drafting). I have put the pdf tutorial in the files as well. This is the one I am going to be following. 🙂

If you post photos on Instagram, please tag me @killerkitsch13 and use hashtags, #killerkitschsewalong #peasantblousesewalong

1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, knit-a-long, knitting, knitting community, sewing, Uncategorized, vintage, Vintage Community, vintage dream blog, vintage knitting, vintage knitting patterns, vintage life, vintage pattern, vintage reproduction, vintage sewing, vintage style

Me-Made Promises

Two years ago on my birthday, I made a promise to myself, my version of a New Years resolution.  What I promised was to stop buying ready made fast fashion and to start making my own garments and to start thrifting for items that can pass for vintage or be refashioned. There were a few reasons I wanted to do this. Firstly, I wanted to reduce and reuse. We used to have a mend and make do mentality that had gone out the door, or so I thought. The vintage community on Instagram opened my eyes up to that. Secondly, I’m a curvy girl and the thoughts of going into a department store and trying on clothing actually gives me tiny panic attacks. Do they put funhouse mirrors in those change rooms? Thirdly, and I think the most important on the list, making my own clothing and clothing that fits my body properly is empowering. This birthday, I am promising myself to work towards a mostly me-made wardrobe.

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I’ve decided not to go the full-on, 100 me-made wardrobe only because I know from time to time my fella will give me a gift card for some of my favourite vintage reproduction stores and as I said earlier, I want to thrift for clothing. The only time I don’t have mini-meltdowns is when shopping in these types of stores. They actually create garments for curvy girls and I also know the clothing is well made. Additionally, I do want to add more vintage (when possible) to my wardrobe and vintage like thrifted items (especially knowing that the money from these thrift stores is going to a good cause). Instead, my goal is 75%, this is doable. A girls gotta give a girl some leeway, right?

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An additional promise I’m starting with this birthday is to do a pre-birthday closet purge. I have items in the said closet that haven’t been worn, may no longer fit or never really fit well ane they are literally just collecting dust and taking up space. Space that will quickly be filled by the garments I’ve been making. In the last month, I’ve made five skirts and am now moving onto tops and very soon, dresses.

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As I mentioned above,  it is empowering to make my own clothing and somewhere along the line I forgot that. When I was a kid my mother used to make our clothes and most of it was self-drafted. I remember how proud she was of her creations and that became my role model for being my own seamstress. All through my teens and a good part of my twenties, I continued the tradition making many of my own garments… then I stopped. For a long time I would say that life got in the way.  Somehow it became easier to buy inexpensive, horribly made clothing. You know, for time saving. Yet, I was still having to adjust things, take them in, fix seams, change buttons… who was I kidding!

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I’m the type of person who finds motivation when participating with other like minded individuals in functions such as making garments. I know from my past that if I joined a sew-a-long or knit-a-long I am going to challenge myself to complete a garment. These are the reasons why I’ve started Facebook groups both knit-a-longs and sew-a-longs. Not only do we create garments but we are using vintage or vintage reproduction patterns that challenge and improve our skills.

Another thing I have been doing to help motivate myself is by following garment creators and makers on both Instagram and blogs. Here are some of my favourites.

Atomic Redhead  https://atomicredhead.com/

By Gum By Golly http://bygumbygolly.com/ 

Evelyn Woods https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ59owAiWL2IgaANbG-jm0Q

Harlow Darling http://www.harlowdarling.com/

Krystle Couturiere http://1930slife.blogspot.ca/

Lila & June https://lilaandjune.com/

Poision Grrls https://www.ravelry.com/stores/poison-grrls

Subversive Femme http://subversivefemme.com/

The Closest Historian http://theclosethistorian.blogspot.ca/ 

Vintage Dream Blog https://vintagedreamblog.wordpress.com/

Vintage Gal http://vintagegal.co.uk/

Vintage Sewing Pattern Catalogue https://thevspc.org/?wref=bif

We Sew Retro http://wesewretro.com/

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I don’t expect to have hit the 75% mark by the time my birthday roles around next year, but I know that I will be well on my way to hitting that mark! I do have faith, I’ve been successful with my birthday promises this far. Do you make birthday promises as well?

1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, free knitting pattern, knit-a-long, knitting, knitting community, sewing, Uncategorized, vintage knitting, vintage knitting patterns, vintage sewing

Sew-a-longs & Knit-a-longs OH MY!

Summer dreams are 1957 Chevy’s with their tops down cruising down the main street, girls twirling their half circle skirts to Elvis, cute cotton knit jumpers and espadrilles.  Turn up that rock and roll, make yourself a mai tai, get out your sewing machine or knitting needles and get those a-long engines revving!

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In June and July, we have some really fun sew-a-longs and knit-a-longs for you!  You will find them in both our Killer Kitsch Vintage Knit-a-long group and in our Killer Kitsch Vintage WIPs group!  These can both be found on Facebook.

Over in our Killer Kitsch Vintage Knit-a-long group we are dancing our way to the end of our April through June knit-a-long and getting our needles ready for our Agatha Christie themed KAL. We will be knitting the Miss Lemon Jumper and the Miss Marple Swagger Coat. I am grateful to Vintage Grandma and Subversive Femme for donating patterns for these KALs. We will be starting the new Vintage Knit-a-long on July 1st!

Agatha Christie KAL

Over on the Killer Kitsch Vintage WIPs group we will be starting the Lila & June Wrap Skirt Sew-a-long on June 15th and finishing up on June 30th!  Because every skirt needs a jumper or blouse to go with it, on June 20th we will start the Poison Grrls Boardwalk Blouse KAL and will end on July 15th!  The Boardwalk Blouse is an amazing quick knit! (The Killer Kitsch Vintage WIPs group is a show & tell group for your vintage or vintage reproduction knitting, crocheting and sewing!)  A huge thank you to Kirsten of Lila & June and Amy of Poison Grrls!

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The patterns for the Lila & June sew-a-long can be found here for North America and here for the UK.   The Poison Grrls pattern can be found on Ravelry.

I hope everyone is as excited as I am to get started!

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
1930s, sewing, vintage, vintage dream blog, vintage pattern, vintage reproduction, vintage sewing

Favourite blog: Vintage Dream Blog

This is one of my favourite Vintage Blogs.  I read this blog on a regular basis, along with a few others. I am going to start reblogging a few of my other favourites as well. Please check out Vintage Dream Blog.

Why is this one of my favourites, you ask? Take a quick browse through and you will see stunning reproductions from original 1930s patterns. As well the way the outfits are styled is breathtaking!

Stay tuned for my other favourites.

As I type this, it is 91 degrees Fahrenheit (32.7 C) outside. In September 😦 But that is Texas for you. The only good thing in my mind about a hot September is that I still have a few weeks left to wear summer fashion. Which means I have a few weeks left to SEW […]

via 1930’s Polka Dot Dress with Tabs and Pleats — Vintage Dream Blog

1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, classics, edwardian, food, music, tiki, victorian, vintage

Living Vintage in Toronto

Why do I love vintage clothing, purses, jewelry, and movies so much? I think I have always been in love with everything vintage. When I was a little girl, I would beg my mother to dress me up as a flapper. My earlier teen years I was obsessed with dressing in a 1950s style and later teens and early twenties, I was a blend of goth, Edwardian and the 1920s. These days it is a mix from the 1920s to the 1950s. I don’t recall a time when I wasn’t dressing or in love with vintage.

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Over the years I have been influenced by many and lately, it has been Miss Lemon, Miss Fisher, Clara Bow and every single movie from the 1930s I’ve been watching. I adore the 1930s and every single year of that decade.

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When I was a teenager and growing up in a small town, it was hard to find vintage clothing, so I made my own and I even learned to sew on a Treadle sewing machine. Between that and learning to knit, I didn’t have to rely on stores or mail order catalogues. My mother even relented at one point and gave me her purses from the sixties. Purses I sadly don’t have any longer as I wore them out. Having those skills today is also a benefit. As a curvy girl, it is harder to find sizes in a lot of vintage clothing. I tend to lean towards vintage reproduction or making my own using and resizing vintage patterns. At the moment I have a growing pile of fabric that needs my attention. I have patterns from the 1930s to the 1950s ready to be drafted and my knitting WIP includes sweaters from the 1930s and 1940s. I recently also started making my own hat pins.

1940s-shoesI am always on the hunt for vintage clothing and antique stores, diners, events, and music. I often envy places like England, where there is a wealth of vintage everything and wish that Toronto had more vintage events. As our own vintage community grows, I hope events and flea markets do as well. I have decided to start a list of what we currently have in Toronto and by no means is this list complete. These are places I’ve been to, shopped at, eaten at, events I’ve attended or generally know about. I also have had input from friends as well. If you see something that needs to be added, please let me know. I would love to keep this list up to date. 🙂

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Neighbourhoods great for vintage and antique stores
Roncesvalles Avenue
The Junction
Parkdale (Queen Street — Roncesvalles to Dufferin)
Liberty Village
The Annex (Spadina to Christie)
Bloordale (Dufferin to Landsdowne)
Bloorcourt (Christie to Dufferin)
Ossington Avenue (College to Queen)
Kensington Market
Leslieville

Stores — Vintage and Antique
Dufferin/Dupont area
Vintage Studio 342 — 342 Westmoreland Avenue

Roncesvalles
Mrs. Huizenga — 28 Roncesvalles Avenue

Queen Street
Kind Exchange – 611 Queen Street West
Pearls and Pockets — 672 Queen Street West
House of Vintage — 1239 Queen Street West
Three Fates — 1394 Queen Street West
In Vintage We Trust — 1580 Queen Street West
Frou Frou Vintage — 1616 Queen Street West

Dundas West
Penny Arcade 1177 Dundas Avenue West
Door Number 2 — 2792 Dundas West
Smash Vintage — 2880 Dundas West

College Street and area
Print Vintage — 834A College Street
Arts Market – Dufferin Grove, 846 College Street
I Miss You Vintage — 63 Ossington Avenue

Kensington Market
Breathless Vintage — 9 Kensington Avenue
Courage my Love – 14 Kensington Avenue
Space Vintage — 34 Kensington Avenue
Exile Vintage — 60 Kensington Avenue
Vintage Depot — 70 Kensington Avenue
Winsome Vintage — 146 Augusta and 4 Kensington Avenue
Bungalow Vintage – Kensington Market, 273 Augusta Avenue

Bloor Street and The Annex
Monarch Vintage —
897 Bloor Street West
Siberia Vintage — 955 Bloor Street West
Ransack the Universe — 1207 Bloor Street West
Puddin’ and Pie Vintage — 1248A Bloor Street West
Jellyfish Emporium — 1586 Dupont Street
Gadabout Vintage — 1300 Queen Street East
Rewind — 577 Mount Pleasant Avenue

Blackbird Vintage Finds — 11 Trinity Street
Gypsy Found Objects — 762 St Clair Avenue West

Thrifter Sisters, Aurora — https://www.facebook.com/thriftersisterscanada/

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

Vintage Markets, Flea Markets, Fairs — Toronto
Arts Market at 846 College St — https://www.vintageb.com/ 
Geary Avenue Flea —
www.gearyaveflea
St. Lawrence Market Antique Market —
http://www.stlawrencemarket.com/pages/about_the_market_gallery_and_antique_market
Vintage Clothing Show and Sale (Exhibition Place) — http://www.torontovintageclothingshow.ca/
Wychwood Vintage Clothing Show and Sale — https://www.facebook.com/VintageShowTO/
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Vintage Markets, Flea Markets, Fairs — Close to Toronto
Freelton — http://freeltonantiquemall.com/
Pickering Flea — http://www.pickeringmarkets.com/

Vintage Collections/Collectors (online or at shows)
Union Label Vintage — @unionlabelvintage (instagram)

Events — Regular
Lindy Hop — http://www.torontolindyhop.com/
New Orleans Connection Allstars at Grossman’s Tavern  (Every Sunday)
Spadina Museum — https://www.facebook.com/spadinamuseum/
Toronto Burlesque Festival — http://torontoburlesquefestival.com/

Toronto Silent Film Festival – http://www.torontosilentfilmfestival.com/
Toronto Vintage Crawl — http://www.vintagecrawltoronto.com/
Vintage Prom — https://www.facebook.com/VintagePromToronto/

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Bars and Restaurants

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Restaurants
Apache Burger — 5236 Dundas Street West
Aunties & Uncles — 74 Lippincott Street
Bloor Jane Restaurant — 2434 Bloor Street West
Bus Terminal Diner — 1606 Danforth Avenue
Cardinal Rule — 5 Roncesvalles Avenue

MARS FOOD — 432 College Street
Skyline Restaurant — 1426 Queen Street West
The Ace —  231A Roncesvalles Avenue
The Lakeview Restaurant — 1132 Dundas Street West
The Senator Restaurant — 249 Victoria Street

Vintage Toronto Diners — https://www.facebook.com/Vintage-Toronto-Diners-1384779678460763/?fref=ts

tikiTikibars
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

Bars
Cadillac Lounge – 1296 Queen Street West
Cherry Cola’s Rock n’ Rolla Cabaret Lounge — 200 Bathurst Street
Disgraceland (Bar and Grill) – Dovercourt, 965 Bloor Street West
Gun, Rod and Barbers — 2877 Dundas Street West
Reservoir Lounge (Jazz + Swing) – 52 Wellington Street East
Swan Dive — 1631 Dundas Street West
The Black Dice — 1574 Dundas Street West
The Hole in the Wall — 2867 Dundas Street West
The Local — 396 Roncesvalles Avenue
The Rex Hotel (Jazz + Swing) – 194 Queen Street West

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Websites and Blogs
Cabaret Vintage — www.CabaretVintage.com
Chronically Vintage — http://www.chronicallyvintage.com/
Fashion in Motion — http://fashioninmotion.wordpress.com/
Leslieville Flea Blog – Mod Mad — http://leslievilleflea.com/mod-mad-party-madcap-recap/
Petite Plus, Meow!  Blog — http://petiteplusmeow.wordpress.com/
Suzanne Carillow — www.suzannecarillo.com
Swing Toronto — http://swingtoronto.com/
The Vintage Inn — http://www.vintageinn.ca/toronto-vintage-society-events/
Toronto Vintage Society — http://www.torontovintagesociety.ca/
Yesterday’s Prints — http://yesterdays-print.com/search/canada

Instagram Accounts To Follow
@bellafloravintage
@Retrouverbiz
@victoryvintagegirl
@Wildthingvintage

musicMusicians (not a complete list, some of my favourites — this list will grow)
Alistair Christl — http://www.alistairchristl.ca/
Christian D — https://christiand.ca/
Ginger St. James —http://www.gingerstjames.com/
Luau of Die — http://www.luauordie.com/
New Orleans Connection Allstars — http://torontojazz.com/artist/new-orleans-connection-all-stars
The Royal Crowns — http://www.theroyalcrowns.ca/

Artists (not a complete list, some of my favourites — this list will grow)
CheapTrills Co. — https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/CheapThrillsCompany
Vintage Love (light switches) —
http://www.vintagelove.ca/

Events near Toronto
Elvis Festival — Collingwood — https://collingwoodelvisfestival.com/
Vintage Car Show — Wasaga — https://www.wasagabeachcruisers.org/
Vintage Film Festival — Port Hope — https://www.vintagefilmfestival.ca/