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In Which Tassie has a Booth

29 Sep antique sewing machine, makeup bag

Yesterday I did my first ever pop-up shop at my lovely friend Kerry’s fundraising event ‘Greater than Gatsby’ a 20’s themed affair at Hycroft Manor. Hycroft is bee-you-ti-ful (see below picture- which I did take off their website because I was too busy looking around to take any pictures bad blogger).

Hycroft Manor Vancouver

Hycroft Manor Vancouver

Here’s my booth. I brought my -very heavy after two flights of antique manor stairs- antique singer which I think was a nice touch.  People kept asking me if I made all the stuff on it,- which I did not because it would take 19 hours per tote bag and I would have to charge $400 for them, and telling me all about the similar machines their mother/grandmother/next door neighbor used to have, which was really cool.  I rarely get to talk enough about old sewing machines on any given day.

Crow and Gate Clothing BoothIMG_5397IMG_5399IMG_5398


Two Christmas Dresses (with proper pictures)

6 Jan

A Sewing Machine and an Umbrella is proud to present… much better photos that should have been in that last post.

This was my first attempt at Victory rolls, and I have to say they are much more difficult than I had hoped.  I am not really a ‘hair’ person.  I usually spend my time putting together an outfit and then stick my hair on top of my head and swipe on some mascara.  I really love this hair style though, and I hope to one day be competent at it.  I spent a bunch of time looking at internet tutorials, the best of which, in my opinion is by Fleur over at Diary of a Vintage Girl.  Does anyone do this on a regular basis? Any tips?

vintage inspired look

vintage inspired cotton dress


Fleece lined Pockets!

Fleece lined Pockets!


I used some brown and white fleece to make the pocket bags and do the binding on the inside.  I think warm fuzzy pockets are a very important feature in a dress that is going to be worn in December in Vancouver.  Not that is gets that cold here, more so depressing.  I think that is the best way to describe winter in Vancouver two degrees with a chance of depressing.  Fuzzy pockets help.

vintage chtistmas dress

IMG_4922Stupid tag sticking out the back! That particular tag is the most persistent little bugger.

IMG_4931The fabric close up.  The colour is truer in the other pictures, it came out a little more red here for reason that only the camera gods can understand.

So that’s Christmas dresses.  Now onto spring!

Two (or actually one and a half) Christmas Dresses

4 Jan

Hello Blogoworld! (I like that better than blogosphere I think.) I hope you all had a great holiday and got to eat food with loved ones, and didn’t do what I did and drink ALL THE CHAMPAGNE on new years.  Seriously, don’t try to buy any.  It’s gone.

I have here a not very good blog post.  You still with me?  Aww thanks.  I just wanted to do something to get me back into blogging so instead of putting it off until I happened to be wearing makeup and had someone around to take the perfect picture.  I tend to go from zero to sweat pants the second I get home and have a hard time getting out of them again which makes it hard to get pictures of party dresses.

vintage inspired dress

Ok so slightly grainy camera phone picture but we shall move past that for the moment.  The fabric has little birds and berries on it, and I became completely obsessed with it back in October.  I had one of those occurences where you don’t buy something and then you spend three weeks thinking about it so you know it’s meant to be.

I used a irridescent purple taffeta for the flappy wing details (technical term people) and belt.  This is the first belt I have made from one of those little vintage kits.  I maybe didn’t pick the easiest fabric to work with as the taffeta frayed quite easily but the project was definitely doable.  The only problem I had was that they give you this little double-sided sticky thing to adhere the fabric to the buckle and it was all dried out from age so I made a new one from layers of double-sided tape.

Has anyone used one of those kits?  Do they all use the same method? I feel like there must be another way to cover the buckle.


This is the half a dress, because as you can clearly see, I have not photographed the bottom.  The fabric was an amazing kitschy vintage Christmas print.  It has little story books, poinsettia lamps, and snow flakes- J’amie! I shall take much better pictures of this dress and a close-up of the print because I need to share my crazy pattern pride.

Last year I saw someone on Sew Retro with a really kick ass Christmas print shirtwaist and I thought ‘I gotta get me one of those’.  The sad part is I finished sewing this on Dec 23rd so I only got to wear it once until next year. Sad panda 😦

Ok so that was my fairly paltry blogging effort for 2013, but I kind of feel into blogging again so that was the point I think.  I hope everyone out there has a happy, healthy, hilarious 2013.

Scarlett O’Hara or Woman on the Verge

5 Sep

I, like most people*,  spend a lot of time trying to discern if I have in fact lost my marbles or if there is any chance that this is how a human being might actually behave.   I wonder if I am pawning behavior off on an ‘artistic temperament’ that is actually nothing more than stone cold crazy.  If I am indeed crazy should I do anything about it?  Medication? Vacation? Years of therapy? I don’t believe that I can afford any of those.  What I can afford is Ikea fabric that was left over from my new curtains.  Can I pawn crazy off on poverty?  Probably not.

Crazy or no.  Here is my new skirt.  It is very bright green.  It has massive flowers/ cabbages/ pod people on it.  It has a dwindling number of Geisha buttons (stupid crowded bus).  It is kind of crazy.  But it is also awesome. I’m not going to be one of those people who seems normal but then screams at you in a hasty mart at 3am for taking too long to pay for cheezies.  Nope, I am going to wear my crazy on the outside.  With pride.

green ikea fabric half circle circle

Not the best picture, but waiting for photographic perfection was not turning out a whole lot of blog posts.

closeup of green skirt with geisha buttons

I am extraordinarily fond of these buttons.  I hope the one that got lost on the bus was picked up by a curious child or a magpie-like old lady and not merely vacuumed.

curtains made from green Ikea fabric

Here are the curtains.  The first and last pair I will ever sew.  And yes, I do own a gumball machine.  I gave it to the boyfriend for Christmas one year.  I believe he would have been happy with a sweater but I felt like a gumball machine was the more practical choice.

(* No? Really? Darn.)

Easter Dress

9 Apr

I mentioned yesterday that I made a dress that was not so much to wear on easter as it was made of easter.  Still there are much worse things to be made of.  Like labour day or 70’s era polyester.

Comments I have thus far received on this dress:

“awesome”- from my sister (who is awesome, and doesn’t like to stifle my creativity, for better or worse)

“maybe you should start a line of clothing for kindergarten teachers” from my mother

“bewildered stare” from about 20 ferry passengers (please note bewildered stare was not so much a comment as an actual bewildered stare

and ‘nothing’ from my boss, although I’m sure she just too busy trying to calm her doubts about hiring a girl who would wear a yellow rabbit and easter egg dress to work like it was a just another pant suit.

dress made of easter

What I have found about wearing a dress made of easter (or, I assume, any other holiday) is that one cannot take themselves too seriously or look grumpy.  A dress made of holiday must at all times be worn with a self-depreciating smile that precludes grumpiness.  For this reason there are several people, mostly politicians, who I would like to see wear this dress.  What a terrible time not to have photoshop.  If anyone out there does have photoshop and could put this dress on Stephen Harper or Newt Gingrich I would award  you one billion cool points and a stuffed octopus*.  Thank You.


*Please note Tassie may or may not possess, or have the ability to obtain said octopus