Vintage Pattern of the Day

Superior 291
click for larger views

I can’t promise to post one of these every day, but I will as often as I can.

Rows of buttons accent the simulated side-closing of this semi-tailored frock. A choice of sleeves is provided in the pattern. A patch pocket is also included.

Suitable Fabrics: ribbed wool, novelty crepe, linen, washed silk

15! pattern pieces

Sears Roebuck & Co

My First Hardcover Book

I started with the tutorial from Journals.

The tutorial started with, “I promise, if I can make one then you can too.” And she’s right. It is very easy to do.

Her instructions will make a journal that is 5 3/4″ x 4 1/2″, and mine will give you a journal that is approximately 9 1/4″ x 6 1/2″.


  • 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper and/or 9″ x 12″ paper
  • one large sheet of paper for the cover guide, approximately 9 1/4″ x 13 3/8″
    The size will be dependent on the thickness of your journal, so you may need one that is longer. I recommend starting with a sheet that is at least 9 1/4″ x 14″ and cut it down.
  • decorative paper for end papers (I used scrapbook paper: you will need 2 papers that measure 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ each)
  • cardboard
    • covers are 9 1/4″ x 6″ each
    • spine is 9 1/4″ x (width of pages; to be discussed later)
  • fabric (1/2″ wider than cover guide on all edges) try to use a medium weight fabric such as cotton, as a heavyweight fabric will be difficult to glue down and a lightweight fabric may show glue seeping through. you don’t need to iron the fabric (see below). – I used a fat quarter of quilting cotton.
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • glue
  • wax paper
  • clothespins/paperclips
  • ruler
  • sewing needle
  • strong thread (hand-quilting thread)
  • bone folder (*optional)
  • awl/stilleto (*optional)

Part 1: Sewing the pages

  1. Fold each paper in half, making a folio. Stack the folios in groups of five. Each group becomes a signature.

    The original tutorial used a bone folder, but I just used my finger. I used both 8.5×11″ and 9×12″ paper, so my edges weren’t even, and I had to be careful to get the spines all together.

  2. When all the papers are folded, squeeze the signatures together at the fold. Measure this width. You can now cut the spine cover at this width, but you might want to double check the dimensions of your signatures.

    I checked to make sure I had accurate width and height measurements for the signatures.

  3. With a book this size, you will need 4 sewing holes. Mark a vertical line 1/2″ in from either end of the page, and then mark two intermediary dots. I did not take pictures at this point. So you are going to have to make due with pictures from the completed book.
    I punched my holes 1/2″ from the edge of the smaller paper. This meant that I had to be careful and consistent when centering the smaller sheets inside of the larger ones. I centered my middle holes between the outer ones. I took measurements from the first signature and punched holes in the rest of the signatures using those measurements.

  4. Now comes the sewing. Write “top” on the top page to help keep your orientation of the signatures when sewing. Thread up your needle, knot it 2″ from the end, and here we go:
    go into #1, come out #2, go into #3, come out #4. go down to #5, come out #6, go UP into #7 (also hole #3), come out #8 (also hole #2), go DOWN into #9, and out #10. at this point tie a knot with the string end that is hanging at #1.

    *the blue lines indicate which sewing lines will be visible to you

    go into #11, come out #12, go UP to #13, come out #14, go DOWN to #15, and come out #16. string the thread through the loop that was created between #4 and #5, and carry on as before.

    **remember: you are only ever working with 2 signatures at any time. Try and keep the thread as taut as possible.

  5. When you are finished sewing, you should have something like this:

  6. Apply a layer of glue to the spine, wrap in wax paper, and clip in place with paperclips/clothespins. Allow this to dry for at least 1/2 hour.

    Again, I didn’t take any pictures at this point, and I’m not really sure what this step is for. I didn’t find that the glue added anything to the structure of the book, but perhaps it aids in the longevity of the book.

Part 2: Making the book cover

So I don’t know what my problem is, but I forgot to take pictures here, too. So I’m going to reference you to curiously crafty. Her tutorial is really good at this point, and I didn’t change anything. Here are the steps, w/o pix.

  1. Lay out your covers, spine, and cover guide. When the covers are laid on top of the cover guide, there should be 1/8″ space between the covers. If not, trim your cover guide.
  2. Glue the covers to the fabric, with the cover guide UP. Pull the fabric taut underneath to stretch out any wrinkles
  3. Glue down the corners. Okay, so I’ve got to make another book and take pictures, because I think they are essential at this point.
  4. Glue down the edges of the fabric, trying to make precise corners.
  5. Allow the cover to dry, pinning in place if necessary.

Part 3: assembling your book

  1. With wax paper underneath, apply glue to your first page.
  2. Press it to the front cover, leaving a 1/8″ margin on all 3 sides.
  3. Repeat steps 1&2 for the last page. push the signatures back into the spine.
  4. Fold your endpapers in half. – I didn’t do this because my endpapers were 8.5×11″ and my book was 9×12″.
  5. Apply glue to the inside of the front cover, and the inside edge of the adjacent page. Smooth endpaper on top. Repeat for the last page.

  6. with wax papers between covers and pages, place your book under a heavy weight and allow to dry for at least 24 hours.
  7. tada! admire your freshly made handbound book.


Historical Note, A Vintage Pattern, and Blather

New Idea 9003
More like masochistic idea, 30 inch waist, 44 inch hips.

With high waistline, a 3-piece yoke, lengthened by a 4-piece lower part,
with side plaits at front and back, and 38 inches in length or shorter.
Pockets may be omitted. Side front closing.

And you thought the Colonel was first for chicken in the bucket – well, I did.
Ma Yu Ching’s Bucket Chicken House in Kaifeng, China, is considered the world’s longest-running restaurant; it is believed to have opened for business in 1153 AD during the Sung Dynasty. Restaurants of all kinds were popular at that time, but only Ma Yu Ching’s has survived several dynasties and a couple of revolutions to go on serving inexpensive and nourishing food today.

from On This Day

I tried almond milk. It’s very tasty 🙂 , but it doesn’t foam. 😦 There are only 40 calories per cup, but 30 of those 40 calories are from fat. So I’m not going to get it again. If it had foamed, I’d feel differently, but the fat content is too high for me (I have an eating disorder, remember).

Business travel sucks!!!

Poor DH has strep throat, again. He’s been sick, almost continuously since New Year’s.

I also buy reproduction patterns.

This is a reprint of a Butterick pattern from the 1950.



Retro 6330

Loose-fitting, lined, wrap jacket has shoulder pads, collar, princess seams, and 2 piece long sleeves with back slits. Lined, a-line skirt, lower calf has waistband and back zipper.

Recommended Fabrics: lt wt woolens, lt wt gabardine, crepe and faille

New Patterns

3896 Back

Is this cute or what? I don’t usually buy baby patterns. My kids are 4 and 7, and there aren’t going to be any more. Plus, I get Ottobre. But this was so cute and such a classic, that I just couldn’t pass it by. I think it will be really good for gifts. It looks easy and quick.

I desperately need new pants. Do I make any pants? No. Of course not. But I do buy every pattern that appeals to me. Maybe I’ll even make some some day.

And another cute gored skirt.

I’ve been searching for “the perfect” sheath dress, too. I wonder if this one will be the one?

I think the shirt is cute. I wonder if it will make my boobs look even bigger?

And I picked up some Burdas.

Political Rant and Questions

You were warned!

We have met the enemy, and they are us. I’m so ashamed of the situation in Iraq. I wish there were an answer that we, the USA, could find. I’m afraid there isn’t. I believe that if we just leave, we are abandoning the civilians who just want to sent their kids to school, do their jobs, and live. I believe that if we don’t leave, nothing will get better there. Well, maybe not. I mean, we could go in and crush everyone, and that might work in the short run, but the middle east would explode if we did that, and it’s not justified. It would be criminal. It would be evil. It might be something that USA would do.

We are so dependent on oil. That is why we are there. I get that. I understand that without oil our military and commercial might would disappear. That’s my way of life. That is me. That is part of what makes it so hard.

What I don’t get is why we unfalteringly support Israel. Saudi Arabia, yes. Kuwait, yes. Dubai, yes. Anyone else who has large oil reserves, yes. But why Israel? If someone knows, please, tell me.

I also don’t get why Iran, a Shi’ite state, is part of the … what did our really stupid president call them? Empire of Evil?, but at the same time, we seem to be supporting the Shi’ites in Iraq. I mean, won’t the Iraqi Shi’ites turn to the Iranian Shi’ites the moment that the USA is gone? Isn’t that obvious? What’s going to happen to the Sunnis that live there? And what about the Kurds? I mean, now things may be better for them. They are fairly independent, but what happens when the USA leaves and the Shi’ites are in control of Iraq? Are the Kurds going to remain independent and safe?

And you know why I think we are allowing the slaughter in Darfur? I think we, the political entity that is the USA and controls the American military, are waiting for the people who are slaughtering the locals to finish the job, so that we, American industry, can go in and develope the oil.

We are pigs. We are slaves to oil. We have to do something.

While I’m at it, I’d like to point out that I understand that it’s really hard to give up oil. Look at Europe. They are 100% behind the Kyoto Protocol, or are they? Did they meet their goals? No.

I wish I had answers. Well, other than the reconsideration of nuclear power.

My First DIY Journal

I made that!
Sample Page

I made my frirst book using the instructions at It’s really very easy.

I used an old set of victorian embellishments, that I bought years and years ago, to collage most of the pages.

The books that I read on collage, book art, and jounaling all seem dead set against using sets like this. “Use neutral supplies”, they all say. To that I say, “Phooey”. I suppose it’s one thing if you are an artist who has a statement to make. I’m more into enjoying the process. I like victorian santas and teddy bears and cute stuff like Mary Englebreit or Sandra Boynton. Or maybe that is my statement? Three cheers for victorian santas!

Hip Hip Hooray
Hip Hip Hooray
Hip Hip Hooray