Go ahead, melt your mother’s heart on your way to some other universe


She’s wearing hand-embroidered badges on a vintage sweater with knitted-in blue strawberries. (I think that’s what they are!)

To my secret sorrow (well, not so secret any more now, is it? Hi, kids!) my daughters have never been all that keen on making stuff.

Knitting? Meh. The older one made a luscious merino & cashmere scarf for an old boyfriend, and that was the sum of her knitting interest, at least for now.

Sewing? The younger one mastered basic machine skills when she tackled a cotton tank top, but the rest of the sewing projects she planned are still uncut.

Weaving? Both of them have spent a week at my summer weaving camp, but neither one is begging me to bring home the vintage 36″ LeClerc counterbalance loom and wedge it in the spare room.

So you can imagine my delight when the younger one, loafing around the house on a week’s school vacation and binging on episode after episode of a British TV show featuring the 10th and 11th incarnations of a certain Time Lord, decided she was also going to make some nifty little badges. Just for the fun of it. Take a look!

Spring cleaning in Easter-egg plaid

Apron is modeled by a vintage Acme adjustable dress form, size Junior. I haven't been that size since I was eleven.

Apron is modeled by a vintage Acme adjustable dress form, size Junior. I haven’t been that size since I was eleven.

Some of these spring days are a little dreary. April showers, you know? But chores still have to be done.

This vintage (1960s? 1970s?) apron cheers me right up. Cinderella would have loved it.

It’s bluebird-approved! Here’s why.

A swingy, springy plaid for little girls


When we cleaned out our mom’s attic last summer, Janeray and I found a box of old woolens that she’d saved.

There was an ancient Pendleton shirt or two, some worn-out trousers, and remnants of sewing projects.

And there was this lovely little toddler’s skirt. Janeray and I both probably wore it!

Yep, there’s more!

My blanket solution for fuzzy thinking


This vintage twin-size Esmond Slumberest blanket has been languishing in my “mend it” pile for three years now.


Its nicest feature? It’s Canada-mint pink on one side, and Wedgwood blue on the other. (My camera is having trouble getting the colors right! It’s really pink. Not peach.) The two layers of color are meshed together through the entire fabric, not just sewn together at the edges. I’m not quite sure how they did that!


It’s wool, I think. Perhaps very slightly shrunken wool, to judge from the way the label doesn’t lie flat. Maybe part wool and part rayon? The label doesn’t say. But not a modern acrylic for sure. I believe Esmond got bought out by Bates sometime in the ’40s, before acrylic blankets were a thing. Don’t quote me on that!


Alas, the original blanket binding is long gone. You can see the pinked edges there, and the stitching holes where the binding used to be.

And why has this lusciously fuzzy and warm blanket been languishing forlornly in my mending pile for three cold New England winters in a row?

I’m embarrassed to tell you, but here goes.

Handmade holiday: luscious lavender strawberries


Now’s the time to make little vintage things for gifts! These yummy little strawberries, meant for tucking in your drawers to scent everything with the heavenly aroma of lavender, are super quick and fun to make.

Here’s how! Read the rest of this entry »