Tree Skirts, New for 2013 (Christmas in July)

I had so many requests for tree skirts last year, I decided to try and make some for this Christmas. I was SWAMPED with stocking orders last year- I literally sold over 300 of them, so I didn’t have any time to experiment with pattern designs until after the holidays subsided… and then I was so burnt out on sewing that I didn’t do anything until lately!

Anyway, over the past month I have been tinkering, and this is what I came up with. I think it’s pretty great!

tree skirt, ruffled tree skirt

Here’s the full view

tree skirt, ruffle tree skirt

Here’s a closer look at the ribbon ties

tree skirt, ruffle tree skirtUp close of the tree skirt ruffle

The photos above show the tree skirt in striped fabric and a paisley ruffle, but I an use any of the fabrics shown in my shop, or, if you have another fabric in mind email me so we can talk more about it. I can basically work with anything that isn’t stretchy or satin-y. My sewing machine just isn’t a fan of those types of fabrics! I even have a walking foot and it still manages to gum itself up, so I try to stick to cotton or linen or similarly tame fabrics.

Also, if you’d rather have piping, braiding, or plain binding rather than a ruffle or if you have other ideas about what you want your tree skirt to look like, let me know and I’ll be happy to give it a shot.

But back to these tree skirts: they are sewn with 2 layers of the same high quality decorator’s cotton canvas that I use for my custom stockings, and sandwiched between the layers of fabric is a layer of quilt batting. The batting gives the tree skirt a fabulous shape that should keep it from getting as rumpled as plain fabric alone would. The ruffle is 7 inches wide all the way around, and the closure ribbons match the ribbon used for the stocking-hangers.

These tree skirts take quite a bit of time to complete, so I will only be able to make a limited quantity for Christmas 2013. To purchase your tree skirt, go to https://www.etsy.com/listing/154787488

Remember, now through July 31 they are marked 25% off, making now a great time to purchase! If you’d like stockings to match, check out

https://www.etsy.com/listing/111220850 for red stockings, and

https://www.etsy.com/listing/109996458 for black and white stockings.

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Alexander Henry and the Vintage Pattern Place

Last Christmas, as stocking orders were ramping up, I received a request for  a set of stockings made from fabric that my client mailed to me (Yes, that is an option! Email me if you would like to discuss custom work).

She and her friends have a girl’s night Christmas party tradition every year, and she found this fabulous Alexander Henry male pinup Christmas fabric that I was able to turn into stockings for her party! The fabric is 100% cotton, and for the back I used a plain striped red and green quilting fabric that coordinated with the front. See the photo below:

Alexander Henry, Christmas Stockings

Alexander Henry Christmas Stockings

Are you interested in a set? How funny would these be for a white elephant or a sister-in-law or friend from college gift? Or better still, for a Christmas bachelorette party! Email me at vintagepatternplace@gmail.com and we can talk more about putting together an order. Don’t forget, it’s Christmas in July, and I’m running a 25% off all Christmas in my Etsy shop this month. I’d be happy to set you up with a great deal.

Well, as it turns out, Alexander Henry (the fabric designer) puts out pinup fabric for several holidays, including the 4th of July! I found the 4th fabric at my local JoAnn’s, but you can also find it elsewhere online including Etsy and Amazon. I made a set of racy tea towels… hilarious, right? I sent one to a few of my buddies and I brought one to a coworker (her facial expression when she unwrapped it was priceless- totally worth the risk of getting escorted to HR…). Oh, and of course I kept one to myself.

tea towel, alexander henry, 4th of July, male pinup

Racy Tea Towel

Abraham Lincoln pinup, alexander henry pinup, pinup, 4th of july,

Abraham Lincoln kills me…

Backed with solid red cotton.

Backed with solid red cotton.

I have a few left on Etsy, so if you’re in the mood to help support my sewing addiction: https://www.etsy.com/listing/152252861/tea-towel-4th-of-july-pinup-print?ref=shop_home_active&ga_search_query=alexander%2Bhenry

So final thought for the post: Alexander Henry also makes a Halloween pinup fabric. Would that be fun for an adult Halloween party, or too much? I’m thinking about buying fabric and adding a set of trick-or-treat bags on Etsy here in the next month or so. I’m definitely going to look into making kiddie treat bags (with names monogrammed, of course), but this might be a fun addition as well. I don’t know. I guess it doesn’t hurt to try it and see what happens.

Christmas in July at the Vintage Pattern Place

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Hi everyone! (that is, if anyone is reading). I’ve finally managed to revive the old blog after this major hiatus.

I have a series of at least 10 posts planned, revolving mostly around Christmas in July, so I’m releasing them twice each week, Monday and Thursday for the next 5 weeks. And then I’ll try and continue as I have ideas or products worth writing about. 5 weeks seemed like a  good starter goal, anyway.

Today’s topic and one of the main things driving my return to blogging is Christmas in July. Many Etsy sellers participate every year, and for the first time I’ll be joining in the fun as well. All of my custom Christmas stockings with free monogramming, plus my brand new for 2013 matching ruffled tree skirt are marked 25% off now through July 31.

Below you will find photos and links to the listings on Etsy, where you can read more about the different products. I’ll also be posting more information about each one throughout the month here- my design process, my equipment, material, etc. Finally, I have a few more new designs I will be adding in the coming weeks- I still have a little bit of sewing and refining before I’m all finished and ready to list them. 

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Here is a photo of my “Mix and Match Red Personalized Christmas Stockings”. Details are located at the following link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/111220850/

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And here is a photo of my “Mix and Match Black Personalized Christmas Stockings”. One thing to note for these black and white stockings is that the ‘swirls’ fabric shown center is completely discontinued and sold out, so I am not able to make that stocking anymore. I have found a wonderful houndstooth material and a few other options that would work well as a replacement. Details are located at the following link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/109996458

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Finally, here is a photo of my tree skirt that I designed to match the different mix-and-match Christmas stockings. I can make it in any of the fabrics shown in the Christmas stocking photos above (except the swirls, obviously). I have some Red Raider fans in the family that are requesting the red paisley for the center and the black and white damask for the ruffle, for example. 

If you have any questions about VPP or my stockings or anything else involving knitting, sewing, crochet or whatever, feel free to post here. I do take custom requests and would be happy to work with you on a specific color scheme or specialty fabric. I’ll try and respond as soon as possible to any questions.

Have a good night y’all! 

Meredith

Easy Entrelac Blanket Project + Pattern

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These are photos I took of the entrelac blanket I made for a new baby in our family. Scroll to the bottom for the pattern… I tried to upload a PDF, but my WordPress is acting up. I’ll try and go back to add it later.

The blanket took a REALLY long time to make, but it was much easier than I expected. Entrelac LOOKS really fancy and difficult, but it’s really a piece of cake.ImageImageImageImageImageImage

 

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Materials:

Yarn: Red Heart Eco-Ways, 2 skeins each (or more, for a larger blanket) in the following colors: Asparagus, Bark, Chamois, Cinnabar, Cornflower, Mushroom (or any other worsted weight yarn in colors that you like)

Circular Needle, US Size 8/5mm 

Blunt Large-Eye Needle

 

Entrelac Center

Cast on a multiple of 6 stitches stitches in the color of your choice. I used “Asparagus” to start. I cast on 96 sts, which created a blanket with a width of of 34 inches, including the 2 inch border on each side. Each additional 6 stitches you add will equate to slightly more than an additional 2 inches of width.

Row 1 (triangle):
*P2, turn, K2, turn, P3, turn, K3, turn, P4, turn, K4, turn, P5, turn, K5, turn, P6, do not turn. (One triangle made.) Repeat from * until you reach the end of the row. Break yarn, switch colors.

Row 2 (rectangle):
K2, turn, P2, turn, Kfb, sl 1, K1, psso, turn, P3, turn, Kfb, K1, sl 1, K1, psso, turn, P4, turn, Kfb, K2, sl 1, K1, psso, turn, P5, turn, Kfb, K3, sl 1, K1, psso, do not turn. *Pick up and knit 6 stitches down the side edge of the next triangle. (Turn, P6, turn, K5, sl 1, K1, psso) 6 times. Repeat from * across, using all stitches on left hand needle. Pick up and knit 6 stitches down the side edge of the last triangle. Turn, P2tog, P4, turn, K5, turn, P2tog, P3, turn, K4, turn, P2tog, P2, turn, K3, turn, P2tog, P1, turn, K2, turn, P2tog. Do not turn. Break yarn, switch colors.

Row 3 (rectangle):
Pick up and purl 5 stitches down the side edge of the first triangle. (Turn, K6, turn, P5, P2tog) 6 times. Do not turn. *Pick up and purl 6 stitches down side edge of next triangle. (Turn, K6, turn, P5, P2tog) 6 times. Repeat from * to end of row. Turn. Break yarn, switch colors.

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 to desired length. End with Row 2.

Final Row (Triangle):
*Pick up and purl 5 stitches down the side of the next triangle. Turn, K4, sl 1, K1, psso, turn, P4, P2tog, turn, K3, sl 1, K1, psso, turn, P3, P2tog, turn, K2, sl 1, K1, psso, turn, P2, P2tog, turn, K1, sl 1, K1, psso, turn, P1, P2tog, turn, sl 1, K1, psso, turn, P3tog. Do not turn. Repeat from * to end of row. Break yarn.

Weave in all loose ends.

Stockinette Stitch Border:

Pick up all stitches along one length of the entrelac center, and knit in stockinette stitch for 2 inches, ending on a knit row.

Knit the next row (turning row).

Knit another 2 inches in stockinette stitch (starting with a Knit row), and bind off.

Repeat for the other length of the blanket. 

Pick up the stitches along the width of the entrelac center, plus the stitches on the length border to the turning row. 

Knit 2 inches in stockinette stitch ending with a knit row, knit the next row (turning row), knit another 2 inches in stockinette stitch starting with a Knit row, and bind off.

Repeat for the other width of the blanket.

Fold the stockinette stitch borders along the turning rows, and sew the bound off row to the row of picked up stitches.

Weave in all loose ends. Wash and block.

 

Tough Week

Hi everyone. I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve updated the blog. I really do mean to post more often, but life has been a little bit difficult lately.

We found out that we’ll be moving to Albuquerque later this summer for Tim’s next assignment, and I’m trying really hard to find a job. I’ve been putting in an application once daily (well, averaged) since the beginning of February and I still haven’t found anything for sure. I drove all the way to Albuquerque back in April for a job fair, and unfortunately the 22 hours round-trip seems to have been wasted. 

That has really gotten my spirits down (especially this week for some reason), and the uncertainty of not having a place to live is starting to bother me too. We were supposed to drive out on Wednesday to go look for houses, but we had to delay our trip until after Memorial day because my poor little dog came down with a terrible eye infection. So between facing what feels like constant rejection from these companies and the weight of all of this coming change bearing down on me, I really haven’t had much to say. 

But I am officially kicking this rut, starting this evening. I’m tired of worrying and feeling sorry for myself- I’m sick of spending hours pouring over job listings and trying to stalk down contacts at the companies I am most interested in. I’m also tired of looking at home listings, and I’m tired of packing.

Of course, I will continue to do all of the above, but ONLY after taking care of myself first. From now on, no job hunting, house hunting or packing until after I’ve run at least 2 miles. You can’t feel sorry for yourself when you feel/look fabulous. I will also only job hunt with a puppy in my lap and I will only pack with a glass of wine handy. House-hunting will only be taking place whilst enjoying a bubble bath. And I WILL post to the blog and continue adding new merchandise to my little Etsy shop

Anyone else having a rough PCS season? Anyone else having a tough job hunt? What do you do to make yourself feel better? I’m all ears.

Last Chance Patterns, March 12-18

Here are the “Last Chance Patterns” for the week- unfortunately there are quite a few this week, so take a look and buy them quickly before I retire them. As a reminder, I do not re-list patterns that have gone a year without a sale. This keeps the shop from getting too cluttered with listings that people aren’t interested in. If you purchase one before it expires, I will re-list it for up to another year. If nobody wants them, they won’t be buried forever. I will soon be publishing full length vintage knitting books in the Kindle Bookstore and the iBooks Bookstore.

Click on each photo to link to Vintage Pattern Place Etsy for purchasing information. Also check out my Last Chance Patterns section in the shop to see all the patterns up for retirement in March.

Child’s Mittens, expires March 14

 

Girl’s Cardigans Patterns expire March 14

 

Infant Cardigans Patterns Expire March 14

 

Saida expires March 15

 

Aurora expires March 16

 

Cascade expires March 17

 

Boys striped sweater expires March 17

No Last Chance- Pushing to 400!

Hi everyone! I know I promised a return of “Last Chance Patterns” this week… but when I reviewed all the patterns that are expiring this week, I found that none of them met the criteria. If this sounds like Greek to you, let me explain a bit better:

When you post a pattern (or any other listing, for that matter) on Etsy, you pay a listing fee and are allowed to have your item up in your shop for 4 months. After your 4 months are up, the listing expires.

In order to keep Vintage Pattern Place fresh and full of relevant patterns that my clients are interested in, I instituted a policy to retire listings if they haven’t sold after one year (or in the past year, if they’ve been in the shop for longer). I always post warnings about upcoming pattern retirements here on the blog, to give everyone a chance to rescue their favorites from retirement, if they so choose.

When I took a look at the patterns that will be expiring this week, none fit the criteria. Most still get one more renewal before they are eligible… actually, most of them have sold at least once in the past year, so they will be safe for quite a while. So that’s that.

Other news in the shop: I’m getting VERY close to 400 listings! What an exciting milestone… I’ve been working hard to expand inventory this year, in spite of the new retirement policy. The real reason for the push is to find new homes for my hard copies before we move this summer. I’ve added a TON of hard copies over the past few weeks since we found out, and I still have a lot left to go.

Keep checking back in the shop as I push towards having every, single hard copy listed before the end of March! I’m also adding full text EBooks in the shop, for those of you who prefer the digital format. These are being added slowly, so I don’t give myself carpel tunnel from all the typing.

A few people have asked about my job hunt- I’ve been able to stick to my 1 application/day, and a lot of people have offered to pass on my resume which I really appreciate. No calls for interviews yet, but I’ve only been looking for about 2 weeks at this point. Thanks for asking, I appreciate it.

With all of that being said… it’s past my bedtime and I am waking up early for Pilates in the morning before work. That, and I may run my chubbiest puppy for a little while. Jake has been getting extra plump, even though we put him on diet doggie food and cut back his rations. He’s getting more sedentary in his old age, I’m afraid.

Have a good one.

Meredith

We’re Moving to Albuquerque!!

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Sorry I’ve been away, everyone. I know that I just announced this whole “last chance pattern” thing and then abandoned shop- there were a lot of patterns (9 to be exact) that should have been retired last week, but I’m re-listing them once more anyway since I didn’t give everyone fair warning.

The reason I didn’t have a chance to post a last chance pattern warning the past week? We have orders!

For all you non-military folk… that means we’re moving this summer. Where to? The lovely Albuquerque, NM!! We are VERY, very excited.

And nervous.

I’m really scared I won’t be able to find a job! My boss has been trying to talk to the engineers at the base in Albuquerque, and wouldn’t you know it? They’re on a hiring freeze. As is Sandia National Labs, apparently. So I’ve been very busy submitting applications on job posting websites, and trying to network with people who might be able to help. It’s not like we’ll starve if I can’t find something- hubby will still be working, obviously, and the military will put a roof over our head. I’m just really not the stay-at-home type. At least I don’t think I am. I’ve never really tried it out… and I don’t particularly want to.

Does that make me closed-minded? Maybe. Don’t really care. Really want a job. Really working hard on finding one.

So if you don’t hear much out of me the next few weeks, that’s where I am. My goal is to apply to one job every single day… we have about 180 days till the move, so if 1 out of 180 applications doesn’t stick (in addition to my networking efforts) I’m really going to be upset.

In addition to applying for jobs, I’m also listing hard copies like a mad woman. I need to get rid of most of these old books before we move. Well, “need to”. I would like to. So be assured that you will see a lot more originals being posted in the shop in the coming weeks. As I said on Facebook, I have a goal of listing them all by the end of March. So please, check back often. There are some really fabulous finds in the lot. As the hard copies sell, I will be converting them to PDFs, so don’t worry if you’d rather have the digital format. They will get there eventually.

I promise, “last chance patterns” warnings will be back as regularly scheduled, this Sunday. I will try to squeeze in a few more blog posts than I have been doing, but to be frank, this isn’t even breaking my top-10 list of priorities at the moment.

For a bit of fun, here’s a link and photo of my favorite pattern I listed in the past week. It is 100% wonderful, and I think it would make a fabulous wedding gown, or in a fun color, a great prom dress. Photo is a link to purchase. Enjoy.

Last Chance Patterns: Feb 12-19 2012

Update: The women’s suit pattern at the bottom has been saved from retirement. Thanks Liberty!

Both of the following patterns expire Sunday, February 19. Purchase them now, or else you won’t get a chance to! Purchase them before they expire, and they will stay in the shop for another year.

If nobody wants them, they won’t be buried forever. I will soon be publishing full length vintage knitting books in the Kindle Bookstore and the iBooks Bookstore. This is your last chance to get them as an individual pattern, though! Act quickly!

Click on each photo to link to Vintage Pattern Place Etsy for purchasing information. Also check out my Last Chance Patterns section in the shop to see all the patterns up for retirement in February.

PDF of Mens Cabled Crew-Neck Sweater Knitting Pattern, 1950sPDF of Minerva's Vassar Three Piece Vicuna Suit Knitting Pattern No. 3609, c. 1934

Important Announcement: Last Chance Patterns

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After taking a long, hard look at Vintage Pattern Place Etsy, I’ve reached an inevitable decision-point: I can’t keep re-listing patterns that aren’t selling forever. Here’s my line of reasoning…

1) It costs money to list and re-list, whether or not they sell. I don’t have an endless supply.

2) If nobody is buying the pattern, it’s probably because nobody wants them.

3) It is better to discontinue patterns that people don’t want so that I can fill the shop with patterns that people DO want, and that way customers don’t have to sift through junk to get to the good stuff.

So I came up with a plan:

1) As patterns expire, I won’t relist them if they haven’t sold at least once in the past year… new patterns will be given one year to sell before getting mothballed.

2) Each Sunday, starting tomorrow, I will post a blog post announcing which patterns are up for “retirement”.

3) If someone wants to “rescue” a pattern before it goes into retirement, they can purchase it that last week. If it doesn’t get purchased, it doesn’t get renewed.

4) Patterns retired from Etsy will still be included in the complete electronic books I will begin selling on the iBooks bookstore and Kindle store, starting in March… so they won’t be lost forever. I will include links to the Kindle store and iBooks bookstore in the weekly last chance posts (once I get the book listings going in those locations) and on the Vintage Pattern Place Facebook Album page.

5) I have made a section in the Etsy shop labelled “Last Chance“, so the patterns up for retirement each month will be easy to find.

6) If you have “favorites” a pattern that is on the retirement list, you will receive a courtesy message with a link to the pattern(s) in question and links to the Kindle and iBooks purchasing options… again, once those options are available.

These measures will allow Vintage Pattern Place Etsy to remain neat and tidy for your browsing pleasure. It will also help to reduce operating expenses used for Etsy fees and allow me to put the cash saved towards website upgrades (you know VintagePatternPlace.com has been begging for a makeover for months!) and towards the acquisition of additional books for archiving.

Thank you for your continued support of Vintage Pattern Place- I would love to hear feedback on this plan in the comments below.

Have a great night!

Meredith