My Vintage Pledge (and Sewing Motivation)

I've been in a particularly odd state of limbo the past few weeks, I think probably due to a couple of things. Last month I had a higher than average number of days when I 'brought work home with me' - I ended up spending the better part of the evenings trying to de- stress, which isn't really conducive to creative time. I started knitting my Thyone sweater around then which I think really helped with the de-stressing, but not so much with the sewing time. I just wanted to work on the sweater! The weather is also turning here in Auckland, and although it doesn't really get 'cold' per se, it does change quickly and there's a lot of rain involved (Last week it poured down rain for nine days in a row). It's very surprising if you're not prepared. Logically, it seems silly to blame my mood on the weather, but I think it's a factor at least. IMG_1543

Long story short, I have a bunch of beautiful fabrics in my short term stash - projects already picked out and prepared for - and I want nothing to do with any of them. I find myself either knitting the sweater, or making list after list of future projects (things I don't have fabric for yet) instead of working with what I have. When your house is a little as ours, the stash cannot be infinite. No matter how good you think you are at hiding it. The good news is I've picked out a small, easy project to work on this weekend, so hopefully that'll convince me of the glory of my stash once again. In the meantime, I have some plans to share with you and I should have some more fun makes for next week!


Onwards to the good stuff: When I was first getting back into blogging at the end of last year, Marie of A Stitching Odyssey was just wrapping up the 2016 Vintage Pledge. It looked like so much fun, I was sorry to have missed it! The good news is, it's back again this year and this time I'm joining the fun! I've even added the little button to my sidebar to hold myself accountable.


There's only one problem: I don't actually have any vintage patterns. I asked if it would be okay to use my vintage drafting book instead, and Marie said yes so I'm running with it! I'm going to sew a selection of drafts from the book, and I'll do a bit of research to make them as decade-accurate as possible. I've shared some of the illustrations in this post so I'm very curious to see how they come out!

I would also like to make something from an actual vintage pattern, but based on the pricing online I think I'm going to need to wait until a suitable one finds me in an estate sale or secondhand market instead.

So let's make it official: I, Kat Klebenow, pledge the following for 2017:

  • To draft and sew the Culottes from M. Rohr's drafting book
  • To draft and sew the off-shoulder strappy sundress from M. Rohr's drafting book
  • To try my very hardest to lay hands on a vintage pattern of some description and sew that too
  • To begin the process of drafting the princess-seamed coat from M. Rohr's book. I have no illusions that I'll finish it this year, but I'd at least like to get to the muslin stage.

I'm very conscious of being able to wear these things once they're finished, but I think the things I've chosen are versatile enough to worm their way into my lifestyle. Besides - any reason to sew vintage anything is good in my book!


If you're interested, a version of this book is available online because it's old enough to be in the public domain. The one at that link is a different edition than mine, but contains generally the same information.

I feel a bit weird hitting 'publish' on a post that doesn't contain a finished project. I like blogging weekly, but the truth is I just haven't been as productive as usual lately. Anyways, I thought I'd give you a couple of in-progress snaps of where some of my makes currently stand before I go:


This Chambray shirt is the next phase in my shirt fitting process, but I got frustrated with the way the topstitching thread messed with the tension on my machine, so it's currently in time out. I am really looking forward to wearing it and seeing if my adjustments to the sleeve were successful, but I just can't quite bring myself to sit down and troubleshoot, so there it sits.


This is a sweater I'm making for Jon - a copy of his favorite RTW hoodie. It's a delightful merino from The Fabric Store that deserves a post of its own when it's done, but alas, I am stuck in welt-pocket land with the wrong kind of interfacing. So we wait.


This is my Thyone so far! It's a fabulous sweater with a yoke construction technique I've never used before so I was so excited to try it. I'm really pleased with how it's knitting up, and the stockinette pattern makes for some perfect TV knitting so it's getting a lot of attention. I just started the button band last night. I'll finish it as soon as I can buy appropriate buttons this weekend! If you follow me on Instagram you'll know that this slowly growing beast has been the main feature of my Instagram stories for the past month and a half.


These are a few cuts from my 'short list' - the section of my stash I keep out and visible to remind me to sew. Their project designations clockwise are: Grey merino cardigan, camel merino/cashmere long shirttail hemmed t shirt, cacti print cropped dropped shoulder tee, and purple tencel tank top with button detail. I've got about eight other pieces not pictured as well... clearly lack of fabric is not a problem.


Lastly - this is technically finished, but it's still causing me problems. I impulse-bought this fabric a few days ago at Spotlight  (it's not stashing if I don't stash it.... right?) and made it into a t-shirt for Jon yesterday morning. He's still undecided on whether he likes an all-over print on a t-shirt, but more importantly he's also discovered a typo in the fabric. Instead of 'Great Oceanic Manta Ray' it says "Great Oeeanic Manta Ray" and I'm a bit miffed since the manta ray specifically was 60% of the reason I bought the fabric in the first place. UGH. Apparently I need to start proofreading my fabric. It's not noticeable to strangers but it's literally the only thing I can think about when I see that shirt now...

So there you have it! I have some vintage goodies to get started on, along with plenty of other projects that my motivation will hopefully come back for sometime soon. I'll keep you updated ;)