HiHo Sewing in the US of A I go.

Well hello from southern New Mexico where ostensibly I’m on holiday visiting my mum. But not to sew for two whole weeks??
I m p o s s i b l e.
Weeks before my arrival I’d been lurking on USA ebay and won some lovely vintage patterns and had them sent to my US address. It was nice to be able to buy a few Hollywood patterns particularly which I don’t come across on UK ebay that often. Believe me when I say I wasn’t planning at all to sew on my visit, honest I wasn’t!


I lasted a mere 6 days. The vintage patterns were whispering to me. I shouldn’t have been left alone in the house! A rummage in my mums well stocked fabric cupboard produced various summery possibilities notably a biscuit coloured linen/rayon mix fabric- Oh my, just perfect for the Hollywood pleated hip shirtwaist. How could I not begin immediately? Using my mums left handed scissors almost put a stop to it all as I’m right handed. Then I discovered the kitchen scissors were right handed and cut the linen reasonable well so I was off to an almost flying start.

As to making it: The most perforations on a pattern ever. Tailors tacks? Phooey, I’m on holiday! I merrily dotted away with a regular lead pencil but then read that the pleats got formed by folding and matching all on the outside so the pencil dots all ended up on the right side. Oops, well they erased pretty much and what didn’t blends into the speckled weave. Those pleats into the horizontal front (they also form bust darts of sorts) and back armhole slashes had me confused at first – talk about minimal pattern instructions – but I finally figured them out. One of those construction things that once it’s been done it makes perfect sense. The linen started ravelling a lot but using cotton bias binding tape over various seam edges put a stop to that. Once the pleats had all been sewn and the 4 bound button holes made putting it together was a cinch.image

So, a few long afternoons later voilá! Worn today ….with a bias slip underneath of course and my first pair of Remix shoes. Been wanting a pair for ages. They’re comfy as anything and sure to be worn for years. Fabrics for the Butterick skirt and Hollywood shorts and bra will be coming home with me too giving my mum an excuse to restock.
As if anyone ever needs an excuse to buy more fabric.
And a Good Thing I travelled with a spare bag.

(click pic for link to remix site)

It hasn’t been totally sewing though. Today I made an English cream tea for some American friends … tried out the Paul Hollywood Great British Bake-off scone recipe as I didn’t have my usual with me. Turned out pretty well though next time I will reduced the liquid by 3oz!


(click pic for link to recipe)

Sewing on holiday isn’t a Bad Thing, is it? I also started crocheting an afghan, cooked other nice things, helped with a huge closet clean out… maybe going to need a rest when I get home. 🙂

18 thoughts on “HiHo Sewing in the US of A I go.

  1. I am so impressed you were able to whip up such a lovely dress while on holiday. It’s just beautiful and you really scored some wonderful patterns. I really do love this dress!!!

  2. Vera Venus in my old stomping grounds! Love the fab dress (and the shoes) and perfect for the weather there. Oh, I have fabric envy thinking about being able to go thru someone’s fabric stash and chose a piece or two. To top it off you scored on some great vintage patterns. And had a visit with your Mom. Well done.

  3. That dress is stunning! I am just starting to learn to sew and I am so impatient to be able to make gorgeous things like that!

    1. thanks Emily Ann 🙂 You have a fun journey ahead in learning to sew! Just remember to view the projects that may not turn out as well as you’d hope as learning experiences along side the successes you that you are sure to have too.

    1. Thank you and it was. made me think swap-meets for fabric stash trading could be a good thing for sewers living near each other. The stash is always greener!

  4. That’s a lovely dress, you look fab and it sounds like you really had fun whipping it up. And how nice of your mom to let you have the fabric!

    1. It was fun… always a challenge working in someone elses sewing space! And my daughter goes ‘shopping’ in mine, it’s good to keep the circle turning.

  5. thanks for the tip on Re-mix!!! – love the selection on the website – will be placing an order in july when I move back to the us and can ship there. Perfect for all my creations out of vintage patterns. btw – I have been making grannie pannies from your free pattern this past year – the most comfortable things in my lingerie drawer! I was looking closely at your bias slip tutorial and will try my luck with that as soon as I can get ahold of some more fabric – slim pickings here in Geneve.

  6. Those patterns are beautiful! Holiday sewing sounds like an excellent idea. And your shirt dress is fab (as are those shoes!!) 🙂

  7. Fabulous dress! I always say I am not going to sew when I am at home visiting and always end up doing just that. It is also nice to know that I am not the only one who gets stuff sent to my mom’s when I visit. Welcome to NM, hopefully it was warm enough for you don there that you didn’t get any snow last night! I live up in Santa Fe and we got a bit!

    1. Thank you. Well, I guess they know us by now…. and at least as guests we are good at entertaining ourselves 🙂
      More snow, oh no! We got wind and starting off with a grey day today, but mostly it’s been what I’d call summer weather. Caught the snow on my last visit in November though.
      Santa Fe, how fab!

  8. love the dress!! It looks great on you. where did you find your shoes? so cool and look very comfy for traveling.I am heading out to Amsterdam for a few days tomorrow – will be checking out the fabric stalls there – can’t wait.

    1. Have fun in Amsterdam! It’s lovely buying fabric in other places and how the memory of the place becomes attached and part of it.

      The shoes are from Remix in California. Click on the pic, it should link to their site.

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