6/30/15

UnEventful June? Hardly!!!


In our home, calendars hang on the wall, lay open on desks, clip on file folders, pop up on my Smart Phone and occupy the center pocket of my work apron.  Each of them serve a purpose.  HiHoney uses the kitchen wall calendar to keep track of the lawn watering schedule which for the month of June has not seen much in the way of notations except for 'Rain' Rain' Rain'.  That's a good thing!

For me, daily notes and time schedules are in my pocket...which I refer to several times a day.  It has been an eventful June at work.  Can't say the same for my posting and visiting here in blogland.  Thanks to you who have left comments...as always, I appreciate them.  Know that I dash over to your blog when I can and read your posts. 

Yep, June was eventful in our Family....
There was a wedding!
The Little Guy got a Summer Spikey Haircut!
The 'Camper' got a makeover and a Flag Pole.
 
Our Nation suffered some incredibly tragic days this month, which will be remembered in the days, months and years to come with a sense of immeasurable loss and yet a time that shows the perseverance and strength of human nature.  The controversies of politics, government and court rulings have been daily news and social media events which have given citizens their 'First Amendment' right to express their opinions.  I respect that. 
 
So here we are on the last day of an 'Eventful June' looking forward to an
 'Even more Eventful July'.
http://collectintexasgal.blogspot.com/search/label/Patriotic
Here are CITexas Gal posts from past months of June and July that Celebrate Patriotism!
See ya next month!

6/26/15

Back To The 1940's and Princess Betty Singer Featherweight

Let's travel back to the 1940's for this post. As you already know, I've spent a good deal of time there over the course of writing this blog.  First with my Mother's 1940's Scrapbook Restoration.

Then the US Census Project which was an amazing experience with digitizing records in preparation for the 1940's Census in April 2012.  I had the pleasure of sharing Mother's 1940's stories and photographs and in the process became an Ambassador for the Project as well as an Indexer and Writer on the Projects Blog.

Some of my fascination with the 1940's probably has to do with the fact that I was born in 1947 and fortunately as the first child, my parents had a Kodak and my mother was a saver of cards and other memorabilia.  When you add that to my interest in history, genealogy, and a knack for storytelling...you get 'CollectInTexas Gal's 1940's Collection of Posts'.

I know you won't be surprised to learn that I have a few 1940's Patterns in my Vintage Sewing Pattern Collection.  If you have been a reader of this blog for awhile, you know that I have several Sewing Machines that date back to the 1940's.  A couple of them are ones that still sew and many of them are Miniature Collectibles that I have been featuring on Wordless Wednesday this month. 

Betty has been shown here on CollectInTexas Gal before, but I haven't told you her story...so here it is...as much for me getting it written for posterity and to answer the question I know you are about to ask.  Where did she get that Purple Dress?
 
Betty's Birth Certificate Serial #AF179008 puts her birthday in March 1939.  She was born with a beautiful engraved scroll plate and a black shiny finish...as were her 20,000 siblings.  The production of the AF Series began in October 1938 and ended July 1, 1941 with a total of 166,749 Singer 221 sewing machines...known as "The best sewing machine ever made".  (American Made 221 Serial# Chart...HERE).
 
The AF Series was manufactured in New Jersey and distributed throughout the US where by the 1940's Betty found herself in California.  As far as I know she had one owner from that time until she made her way to Fort Stockton, Texas in 1998.  From the looks of her when she came into my shop, she had been well used or as we say in Texas..."Rode hard and put up wet."  Her shiny black finish was scratched, pitted and devoid of all her gold scrolling.  She was missing a few parts and was in desperate need of a major spa treatment. 
 
She served her former owner well until the owner died.  It was then she made the move to Texas with the daughter who inherited her.  The daughter's name was Betty and was the owner of a Book Store right next to my Quilt Shop.

Now Betty was a reader and book collector and was clueless about bobbins, thread tension and sewing machines in general.  One day she mentioned her mother had been a sewer and had left her a little black machine, and would I take a look at it to see if it was worth anything.

She was shocked to find out it's worth even in it's pitiful condition...pun intended.  As a collectors item in the 1998 market in excellent condition it could have brought as much as $400.00.  She offered it to me for $25...I gave her $75, named her Betty and shipped her off to the Singer Featherweight Restoration Wizzard.

Isn't she pretty?  I don't sew on Princess Betty even though she stitches like a dream.  Bless her heart, she has earned the right to be a Sleeping Beauty, and besides I would not want to scratch her Engraved Scroll Crown or mess up her Royal Purple Dress.  Afterall, in 1947 she could have been a lady in waiting to a real Princess...Princess Elizabeth of Great Britain when the Singer Company presented Princess Elizabeth with Betty's counterpart, a Singer 201 as a wedding gift.

6/17/15

Wordless Wed...Mini-Sewing Machine Collection

If a stitch in time saves nine...double it...for this pair of mine!
(Vintage 2x2 inches Salt and Pepper Shakers...pre-war Japan) 

6/15/15

Red White and Blue Sewing for Sue

With June half over, it is past time to give July a second thought.  The first thought was at the beginning of June, which by all 'Sewing Project' standards is LATE.  But, as they say, 'Better late than never.'

In the 'Fabric World', seasonal/holiday themed fabrics should be 'Out There' at least six months in advance.  So by all rights, I should have been thinking about '4th of July' projects while sitting in front of a cracklin' fireplace back in January.

So here I am... six months later...sewing in a sweat box studio with the AC and fans blowing...trying to stay cool.

Even though this year's patriotic sewing is getting a late start, it has been easier than previous years.  Due in part to my collection of Red White and Blue fabrics being down sized, and I haven't added any new patriotic prints to what was once a collection of bolts and bolts.  Today, a couple of small baskets and three bolts is working out fine for my ABS (aprons, bags, shirts) projects. 
 
Back to the 'Sweat Box Sewing Studio!
  The Chicken Farm First Saturday Event is on July 4th. 
I'd better get Firecrackin'.

6/10/15

6/9/15

1950's MAGIC To MAKE vs 2015's FAST & EASY

Although Butterick Patterns historically never dated patterns either on the envelope or instruction sheet as other pattern companies did,  their patterns can be dated  via the style of the dress, the illustrated models hair styles, shoes, hats, and accessories.

Dates can be verified if the pattern was a mail ordered by the postal date.  Butterick was first a mail order pattern company, but those are rare finds today.

Butterick Pattern 8408 is the oldest pattern by this company in my collection.  Published in the mid to late 1950's makes it around 60 years old.  I never thought much about pattern and pattern companies history until I saved a box of several hundred vintage patterns from a fate worse than rotting from old age...the dumpster/landfill/ashes/death.

Here's a bit of history about the Butterick Pattern Company.  Founded by Ebenezer Butterick and his wife Ellen in 1863.  Ebenezer was a tailor and apparently Ellen was a frustrated home sewer with...let's say, not a standard size figure.  Sewing patterns of the day offered only one size which required manually resizing using heavy paper or marking directly on the fabric with wax chalk.  It was a laborious and frustrating process.  Mr. Butterick had all the necessary skills and experience in custom tailoring and what was known as 'grading' a stock pattern.

He began work on customizing or grading by designing templates in different sizes and settled on 'Tissue paper' which was thin enough to cut several dozen layers at once...facilitating mass production. These pattern pieces could be easily folded and shipped all over the country. The Butterick's were a mail order pattern booming success.

By 1866 patterns included dresses, coats and blouses as well as the first patterns for men and boys.  Eventually women's patterns would be offered in 13 sizes for dresses, coats and blouses, and 5 sizes for skirts.

Mrs. Butterick died in 1871, and in the next ten years the company was reorganized as Butterick Publishing Company with Ebenezer as it's secretary until 1894.  The company published the Ladies Quarterly of Broadway Fashions to promote their patterns, which was followed by the monthly Metropolitan.  Both magazines offered fashion news and advice, as well as mail order services for Butterick's designs.  By the turn of the century their fashion magazine The Delineator became the premiere women's fashion magazine in the U.S. until it's last publication in 1937.  Ebenezer died in March 1903.

In 2001, The McCall Pattern Company acquired Butterick and Vogue patterns and along with McCall's patterns continues to offer the most advanced, highest quality patterns, catalogs and magazines.  You can read the complete history HERE.

B6215 is the newest Butterick Pattern in my collection.  It's catch phrase 'FAST and EASY' is a throwback to the 1950's catch phrase of 'MAGIC To MAKE'. 

Where the Magic 50's pattern was a one size (14) pattern with a price tag of 50 cents, today's all about Fast and Easy sewers can purchase this speedy multi-sized (xsm, sm, med) or (lrg, xl, xxl) all in one 'Fashion Model' and Illustrated, scan SKU, in English and French, ©McCalls 2015 published pattern for $19.95 US and Canada.

Or...you can do like I do....wait for it to go on SALE for $1.99 at Hancock Fabrics and buy Two for $3.00...which is what you would pay back in 1955 for all 6 one size per envelope patterns.  Some things never change...except the size of busts measurements, waistlines, hemlines and the definition of Abracadabra!

Modella models the 'OverDoSue Quilt Top' magically made, fast and easily from B6215.
I will be keeping both 'Multi-sized Graded' patterns in my Butterick Collection.
No discarding to dumpsters going on in OverDoSue's Sewing Studio!!!
If you have 'Old Patterns' to dispose of...please save Ebenezer and Ellen's legacy.
...here's the Link...
or contact
OverDoSue's Overflowing Pattern Collection
(leave a comment...I'll get back with you..in less than 60 years days minutes...okay...hours)

6/7/15

CollectInTexas Gal Photo Featured on 'A Sunday Drive'

 
I received a comment/notice from Jerry Beuterbaugh, author/blogger of As The Crackerhead Crumbles , that the above photo has been included in his weekly Sunday Drive post for today, Sunday, June 7th.
 
He explained....Back during our childhood, our parents would often load up my brother and me after Sunday morning church services for a leisurely drive around where we lived.  Even though we were seeing mostly familiar sights, it was still good to see them again, and this is why "A Sunday Drive"  sounded about right for the name of a series revisiting familiar sites that are well worth seeing again and again.
 
I replied with a comment thanking him for including CollectInTexas Gal in his Sunday Drive series and mentioned to him how 'A Sunday Drive' brought back happy memories for me.  I imagine many of you...CITexasGal readers...will relate to Sunday after church family doings, too.
 
Like, Sunday Dinners where a pot roast with potatoes, carrots, and onions had been put in the oven just before leaving for Sunday School.  Then after church, all you had to do was set the table and make Texas Sweet Tea while your Mom finished the baking with biscuts and making brown gravy from the roast drippings. 
 
Or...if you were Southern Baptist, like me, some Sunday's it was 'Pot Luck' in the Church Social Hall where a spread of fried chicken, the pot roast, salads of all kinds, veggie casseroles, and heavenly cherry pie as well as homemade vanilla ice cream served straight out of the ice bucket where it had been turning during the preachers sermon.  I remember on those Pot Luck Sunday's the preacher cut short his sermon straight up high noon and blessed the Pot Luck Meal before dismissing so we could go right to the Social Hall and dig in.  Baptist are famous for Pot Luck Meals and Food Blessings...we were truly blessed.
 
As for the Featured Photo on Jerry's Sunday Drive, it was from a post written on January 24, 2014 entitled Scrapbooking and Crochet...Perfect Cold Day Projects.  It was a Friday and I was deep into the Restoration of my Mother's 1940 Scrapbook.  It was the second restoration of her scrapbook as I had done the first one at least 20 years earlier...before 'Scrapbooking' became a Craft Industry and acid free, themed papers, and 12x12 Albums made scrapbooks 'Family Heirlooms' for generations to come. 
 
I remembered that post in particular and am pleased that Jerry recognized it's significance as being intensely personal for me.  It was a form of grief therapy...Mother had joined the Heavenly Angels Choir the month before on December 13, 2013.  In my mind that day should have been a Sunday, but it was a Friday.  I think I will continue to think of it as Sunday...for it makes me smile to think of her squeezing my hand at the end of the Pot Luck Blessing, putting on her Sunday Apron and serving her Sunday Pot Roast. 
 
Thank-you Jerry...my Mother would be so pleased to be included in your 'Sunday Drive'...as am I.
 
More about Mother's Scrapbook in the following links:
 

6/2/15

Simplicity 1950's Patterns In June cont...TEENAGE REBEL Revealed

Even if you are not a 'Sewing/Pattern/Notion Collector' you will be interested in what I found in the 1953 Simplicity Pattern posted about yesterday...June 1, 2015.  To catch up you can read the post below.

Before the reveal, you should know the 'Old Pattern's' came from an unknown person and place.  As a Genealogist and History Buff, I'm always on the watch for hints of a personal nature when saving/restoring/collecting stuff that previously meant something to someone. 

When it comes to sewing memorabilia, I feel a special connection and appreciation for the former owners and their efforts in creating a handmade garment or a piece of needlework.  Often on patterns, notes are taken as reminders of changes made for the next time the pattern is used.  I suspect this collection belonged to one person who used many of the patterns over and over again.  Such is the case with Simplicity Pattern #4464 printed in 1953.

The envelope's condition is what collectors would call  well used and fragile with both the top and bottom closures tattered.  It's greatest asset as far as any value would be for the 1953 Graphics and the fold out 'Instruction Sheet' where the copyright and pattern company is identified.  It's always a plus if the tissue pattern pieces are complete..even if cut/trimmed.

This pattern's envelope was overly stuffed with what I assumed was hastily folded/wadded tissue pattern pieces.  So, when I attempted to take out the instruction sheet to find the copyright date all the contents fell out of the bottom. 

Folded in with the tissue pieces were the front and back  pants patterns cut out from a newspaper which had yellowed with age. The tissue pieces were in excellent condition, but the newspaper was a bit fragile and had straight pins holding it together.

As the newsprint was unfolded I was in hopes there would be a headline or some indication of a date.  I felt sure it would be from the 1950's as the pattern's date was 1953. 

Sure enough...it was...Thursday, August 15, 1957 in Big Spring, Texas.
The JET Drive In Picture Show's Feature Movie that night was
FUZZY PINK NIGHTGOWN staring Jane Russell

But what everyone was waiting for started on Friday night.

TEENAGE REBEL starring Ginger Rogers and Michael Renne
Recommended For Everybody...Except
Adults with a Guilty Conscience!
I was 10 years old...my parents did not have a guilty conscience...yet!

6/1/15

It's Simplicity June...Sixty Years Later!

"Okay, I'll take them.  I can't stand the thought of them being thrown away.  I'll think of something to do with them, but for now I'll box them up and put them in storage.  I just don't have time right now to mess with them.  Thank-you, I think."

This is what happens when people know you sew and suspicion you are a collector of all things to do with sewing.  They sew too and have plenty of their own patterns to deal with, but can't stand to throw them out and don't have the space or the time to mess with them.  So, a big box of 'Old Patterns' gets passed from one sewer to the next to the next until....yep, they got to me...literally!

As you can see, I really stuck to my guns about not having time to mess with them.  Ha!  They stayed in my storage room all of one day.  I couldn't stand not to go through them.

Wow..it was like BackInThe Day Christmas!  Fifty or so are patterns from the 1960's.  Many of them I had at one time and remembered.  Another twenty-five or so are from the late 1940's and 1950's. 

The rest, at least 100 or more, are patterns from the 1970's, 80's and 90's.  Yes, altogether there are close to two hundred patterns in categories for Misses, Teens, Girls, Boys, Toddlers, Babies and Men.  Naturally, I had to sort, organize, file, date, and...well, you know...the OverDoSue Thingy!

So far, I have had to eat my words just once..."I'll put them in storage."  However, I'm right on the verge of having a mouth full for number two..."I'll think of something to do with them."  I haven't gone all the way with the 'One Something' I'm thinking about...just this post...so far...because I needed something to blog about for JUNE 1st.

Welcome June 2015! 
My Oh My!!!
Who would have thought your June 1953 Summer Sewing Patterns
 would be all the Retro Rage these 60+ years later? 

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