Jul 11, 2012

Modern Vintage

I think this is the coolest story of two Moms (mother and daughter) who share the love of sewing and the look and feel of fabric. 
 My mom taught me how to sew when I was a young girl. 
This photo was taken of my mom and I, about six weeks ago :)

 For a very small amount of money (fabric used to be inexpensive), I could make a beautiful pants suit.  Yes, they used to be in style!
I remember one particular pants suit....the fabric was thin for the hot, humid Montreal summer.  Pink with small flowers, similar to a Liberty of London print.  I made the pants with wide legs (elephant pants in the 70's) and sewed a simple elastic waistband.  The matching top was a mini dress length with a scoop neck and big puffy sleeves.  I loved that outfit, it made me feel very fancy! lol..... I was 13 years old.

Forty years ago, my mom made my youngest brother Paul, who was four years old, a quiet book.  She only finished 2 l/2 pages.
Here they are....

A hippopotamus with a lot of personality....unbutton his mouth,

An elephant wearing rollerskates that unbutton with an elastic loop.
Do these calico prints from the 70's bring back any memories for anybody?

The yarn was sewn on a strip of fabric for the lion's mane, and the body and head were cut out and embroidered.  I had a terrible time trying to turn the fabric tail inside out, so I just bought some cord and braided it.  I sewed the body pieces to the fabric and stitched down the ribbon. I used the blanket stitch on my machine.  ROAR!!!

I made the turtle myself, I love the way he turned out.  The fabric is very thick and soft, just like a real turtle!  lol  The flowers were made out of craft foam and his eye is a "googly eye" button.

Don't you just love his "puffy" little heart?  
I sewed the snaps on with a double thread, but the thread kept breaking.  I used quilting thread, and it still broke!  Finally, I tried buttonhole thread and it was the strongest, it didn't break.  The large  snaps are really easy to open and close.

I thought that purchasing trim was much easier than trying to make the giraffe's mane out of yarn.  I used grosgrain ribbon for the ties because it is stronger and doesn't fray if cut on the bias.

Out of all the pages in the book, this turquoise polka dot fabric is the only one that is modern, and not vintage.
I used decor weight (heavy) iron on pellon for the backing of each page.  The letters are backed in the interfacing, and I just stitched around each letter with a raw edge.  I sewed on teeny little buttons for the dots on the "i"s.

I made the book for my grand daughter Maisie's birthday.  She just turned two.  
I just think it is so cool that this quiet book is Modern Vintage.
It was started 40 years ago and finished for my grand daughter.
I hope she will appreciate it when she gets older and can pass it down to one of her children.

Maisie makes the funniest faces, she is a character!  She is also a parrot, she repeats everything you say.  Her mom says she has to be very careful what she says......lol 
I think Maisie may be thinking, "Grammy, are you serious?"
"You chose me to give the modern vintage book to?"

Here is the finished book, grommets and all.

I hope she likes it ♥ dirty face and all!


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  1. So fun to see a picture of you and your mom together. What a great thing to be able to sew together. She has passed a wonderful creative heritage on to you, and now you are paying it forward to your own grandchildren.

  2. Maisie likes the book a lot. We save it for church only so it doesn't lose it's novelty. She is getting better at doing the buttons and snaps by herself.

  3. Great story and posting! :)

  4. I made this same quiet book for my youngest daughter over 20 years ago. It was a Vogue pattern I believe. Now my daughter has a baby girl of her own and she can play with it also! I originally tied it with some cute shoelaces but recently added silver rings so it opens more easily.

    1. That is really cool, Marie! Yes, it was a Vogue pattern. I tried to get shoelaces to tie the book together but couldn't find any I liked. The silver rings are a good idea. I don't think the ribbon I tied the pages together with will last. I'm glad your daughter kept the book and passed it on to her daughter :)