double gauze alder for nani IRO month

it’s nani IRO month again, yay!  was super flattered last year to be invited by miss matatabi to participate, and equally flattered this year.  wanting to branch out a bit but remain very selfish with my nani IRO, i decided to use a pattern i’d been meaning to try since the day it was released – the Grainline alder dress.

nani IRO alder dress // skirt as top

the fabric i chose was a beautiful double gauze called Spectacle – it’s pink and lime green brush strokes on a light pink background.  i love the hand painted aesthetic of nani IRO fabric, it feels effortless and it’s always so pretty.  Frances has a great selection of nani IRO listed in her shop and even though she lives in Japan and I’m on the west coast of the US, her shipments seem to arrive impossibly fast!   Continue reading

vintage may 2015 roundup

vintage may 2015 recap

Another Vintage May has come and gone!  Jess and I always love seeing what our guests come up with…such a talented bunch of gals joining us in our annual celebration of vintage style.  We kept it low key this year, just one week, but it was still a ton of fun!  I hope you found inspiration and maybe learned about a few new sewing bloggers along the way too.    

Here’s a quick recap in case you missed any posts!

vintage may 2015 recap

craftiness is not optional || skirt as top

vintage may 2015 recap

A Jennuine Life || Handmade by Brienne

vintage may 2015 recap

Sew a Straight Line || sweetKM

vintage may 2015 recap

Sew Much Ado || Fake it While You Make It

vintage may 2015 recap

CailaMade || skirt as top

Once again, a huuuuuge thank you to all of our guests – you’re awesome and we are so happy you joined us for Vintage May!  And I’ll add a personal thanks to Jess – she’s such a great partner in running a series like this; we have a lot of fun bouncing ideas off each other!  We make a great team.  Thank YOU, Jess!

retro, vintage, antique – what’s the difference?

even though we’ve been hosting Vintage May for four years now, i don’t think we’ve ever explicitly addressed the difference between retro, vintage, and antique.  i actually remember feeling very self conscious when we started this, thinking maybe i wasn’t really using the right term for what i was sewing…i’m sort of a stickler for that sort of thing.  if you are too, i hope this post helps clear things up.

and please, if you think my understanding of any of these isn’t right or you have more to add, please leave a comment!  thanks!


a new style that deliberately refers to a prior era’s style, typically 1940 – 1990.  retro doesn’t describe any era in particular, just a current style that consciously refers to an old one, usually “with a twist.”

in the sewing world, think dungarees, culottes, bodysuits.  you’ve seen those types of clothes before in prior decades, and the designers know that, but they have updated them with a more modern fit and style.

bodysuit // cut cut sew



vintage is at least 20 years old – current “vintage” decades are 1920 to 1980!  that seems crazy to me, since i was born in the ‘80s, but there you have it.  when we thought of Vintage May we wanted to celebrate styles of decades past, and most of our guests have chosen to be inspired by styles within the actual “vintage” timeline, so that has worked out well!

we have every decade represented, many more than once…i always think it’s fun to see which decades our guests choose for their projects.


20s / 30s / 40s / 50s / 60s / 70s / 80s


antique refers to something that is at least 100 years old, which would make current “antique” fashions anything earlier than 1920.  think Downton Abbey (the early seasons) or go back to pioneer days, like Rachel did!

classic Holly Hobbie pose

i hope this helps clear up any fuzziness you may have had about what is retro, vintage, and antique.

what’s your favorite decade, style-wise?  we seem to get a lot of interest in the 40s, 50s, and 70s – it was hard to pick one example for my collage – but very few from the earlier decades.  frankly, i’m surprised we haven’t seen more 60s bohemian flower children in Vintage May – maybe next year my son will be rocking bell bottoms and a leather fringe vest…haha. 

head on over to craftiness is not optional for Jess’ final guest, Caila!

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vintage may guest: fake it while you make it

my final Vintage May guest is Carolyn of Fake it While You Make It.  oh man, Carolyn is so great.  this shirt she made her husband is still one of my all time favorite blog posts ever.  i also appreciate bloggers that give us the occasional “honest slice of life,” and Carolyn does that really well, like in this post.

Carolyn cracks me up with her wit and has great taste – i totally want to copy these shorts and this hanami and i’ll probably just drive up to her house and steal this top for myself.  i once had dinner with Carolyn when i was in her neck of the woods for work, and loved hanging out!  always fun to meet blog friends in real life.  :)

for Vintage May, she went a little ‘70s with a rad culottes jumpsuit!

BAM!  culottes shot!  go see more, this girl is so chic.

vintage may guest: fake it while you make it

over at craftiness is not optional – her guest has made a gorgeous and romantic dress…check it out!

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vintage may guest: sweetkm

my next guest is Kristi of sweetkm.  i love Kristi because she loves blue, like a lot, and through her “so what if i sew with blue a lot, it works for me!” attitude, i feel like i have permission to go ahead and use blue for everything i make myself, too!  haha.

when i think of Kristi’s blog, i think of a stylish, practical wardrobe.  the things she sews for herself push the envelope just enough to be interesting, never so far as to lose day-to-day wearability.  she’s one of my favorite adult sewers that way.  and look, she’s even gone vintage in the recent past!

Kristi also knits (and sells knitting patterns!) and she often sews for her kids.  Kristi did a wonderful hansel & gretel look for STYLO3 – i loved the quilted vest she made and her free pattern is still on my to make list!

for her Vintage May post, Kristi sewed a faithful representation of a photo of her grandmother, and i just love it!  even her preview is like looking back in time…head over to sweetKM to see more!

SweetKM Preview Vintage May

over at craftiness is not optional, Jess is hosting a guest that never fails to bring the awesome – check it out!

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