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Tuesday, October 21

Bundle Sewing


By Emileigh Rogers

“Sewing is beneficial if we plan our work ahead so that we do our sewing happily at convenient times. I find I can get the most done by planning ahead, and then I have the added satisfaction of seeing my plans work out.” – Home Arts, Fall 1936 issue

The 1930s were difficult days of making due with far less because of the Depression. People had less money than ever, and many women took in sewing jobs to help supplement their families’ incomes. Women in these days also had to be creative in making their own clothing in order to be fashionable on a small budget (like many of us today). In order to get the most out of their time and complete the most amount of sewing possible, a magazine article from the Home Arts from the fall of ’36 shares tips on “bundle” sewing.

The article describes the “bundle” sewing woman like this, “Her home and her children, as well as she herself, are always beautifully dressed, and yet she has time to be charming and time for social things.” Don’t we all want to have time to be charming and social? You can make efficient use of your time and complete more projects faster by “bundle sewing,” just like they did in the 1930s! Here is how:

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How to Bundle Sew:

     1. Cut out all the pieces for several projects.

     2.For each of these projects, do all of the machine sewing, pressing, etc. that is needed. Don’t do the handsewn parts.

     3. Take each project and all of the notions required for it (snaps, thread, needle, buttons, scissors, etc.) and separate them into piles.

     4. Place each pile in a large Ziploc gallon bag, reusable tote, or container. (I’m using an old cloth bag that was once the packaging for some new sheets. I also recommend the plastic               packages many new curtains come in.)

     5. When you’re commuting, on a road trip, or waiting in an office somewhere, take a bundle with you in your purse.

     6. Work on the hand sewing while you wait.

Enjoy your finished garment!

Tuesday, September 30

Let’s Make A Dress: Part 2

craftsy 4.2

Last week I mentioned that I was taking a Craftsy class where I was going to make a dress from scratch and wanted to know if anyone else wanted to make one with me. A few of you were thrilled with the idea but a vocal crowd lamented the fact this wasn’t a beginning class. I felt really bad about that and wanted to let those of you who are new to sewing know that Craftsy has some wonderful beginners classes! The first is a fantastic class all about how to use a sewing machine. And the best part about it is the fact it is free! The second class is called Sewing Studio and it goes through all the basics you need to start sewing, and it is 50% off! How cool is that? If you decided to take either class, come back here and let me know in the comments what you thought of them.

Click HERE to sign up for Sewing Studio

Click HERE to sign up for Sew Ready: Machine Basics

craftsy 1.1

For those of you who are following along by sewing a dress, I must confess that I am nowhere near where I wanted to be. I completely forgot that Rosh Hashanah was last week and due to the holiday I got zero sewing done. But I did manage to cut out all of my bodice pieces. I also attempted to lengthen the back pattern so my bra wouldn’t show. I raised the center back seam by two inches and then I free handed the curve until it met the original back line.

craftsy 3.1

The problem with changing patterns is nine times out of ten, if you change one pattern piece you will have to change other pieces to match. So I had to redraw the back facing and back lining patterns as well. I will have no idea if it worked until I sew things up, so cross your fingers for me!

craftsy 6.1

My plan is to sew the bodice this week. Not sure I am holding my breath to see how far I get, but my goal is to have the entire thing done by next Tuesday so I can show you how it went.

Did any of you dolls sign up for the class? If so did you receive the pattern yet? How about your fabric? Did you pick it yet?  


Tuesday, September 23

Let’s Make A Dress!


A few weeks ago I asked those of you who follow me on Facebook to tell me what you were most interested in learning about: sewing, jewelry making, photography, or knitting. It was a pretty close race but sewing won out with photography being second in line. With this new found knowledge of what you ladies wanted to learn I thought it would be fun to do a four week project where we sew a dress from scratch! I knew I needed some help with this idea so I contacted the folks at Craftsy, my favorite online destination for learning, and we thought the Inside Vogue Patterns: Tracy Reese Dress was the perfect project. And the best news is they kindly offered a 50% discount for 1 week only! Of course I took them up on it.


This dress is the elegant combination of retro and modern. It has a few interesting details such as the bow at the center back, a deep V back, and a crinoline! I also think this shape of dress, with the boatneck opening and a-line skirt is flattering on most figures. I plan on making this dress in a simple cotton because it is easy to work with and will give a more casual vibe than if I picked a silk or satin. I have been cleaning out my closet and realized I have plenty of party dresses but not enough everyday frocks. A cotton dress will be the perfection addition to my otherwise fancy wardrobe. 


I really appreciate how versatile this pattern is. If you look at the dresses above, they were all made using this pattern! I can’t decide which one is my favorite but it is in between the floral and the chevron stripe. 


When I was in college my major was costume design, so that is where I learned how to sew. With the exception of the Craftsy dress I attempted to make last year, I am somewhat out of practice. I have a major personality flaw when it comes to sewing, which is I have the patience of a fruit fly. I want the dress to be done immediately and have a bad habit of rushing through the process. So I thought to counteract my initial instinct of going as fast as possible, I would take four weeks to carefully create this lovely frock. I am hoping that those of you who were interested in sewing will follow along with me and sew the dress as well. Then at the end of the month we will all have a gorgeous new dress and we can share our creations with one another on Instagram or Facebook! How fun will that be! 


Even though the dress itself is fairly basic, there are a few things I am worried about. First of all, the deep V is beautiful but you can’t wear a regular bra with it. So I would like to change the pattern so my bra isn’t showing. This is one of the benefits of Craftsy because there are a plethora of women who are much better and more experienced sewers than I am who will answer any question you or I might have on how to accomplish this.

I am also nervous about creating the buttonholes for the back sash because I have never done that before, as well as making the crinoline to go underneath the dress. I have already watched most of the videos on how to make the dress and the good news is the teacher suggested using tulle for the petticoat because you don’t have to hem it. This was a huge weight off my shoulders because that little hem looks challenging! This is yet another great thing about taking a class on Craftsy- they have wonderful advice for those of us who aren’t quite ready for some of the more difficult tasks.


After watching the videos, I believe this is not a class for the novice beginner. I would say this is for those of you who have made a dress before, have already sewn an invisible zipper, and preferably have used the buttonhole attachment on your sewing machine. 

So what do you ladies think? Do you want to make a dress? Yay! All you need to do is click HERE to sign up for the Craftsy Inside Vogue Patterns: Tracey Reese V1397 and then they will send you the pattern in the mail.

Here is what I was thinking for the four week schedule:

  • Week 1: Bodice
  • Week 2: Setting the sleeve and sewing the skirt
  • Week 3: Petticoat
  • Week 4: Attaching the skirt to the bodice and adding the zipper. Hemming.

Here is your assignment for the week:

1. Sign up for Craftsy and purchase the Inside Vogue Patterns dress.

2. While waiting for the pattern to come in the mail, purchase your materials. Here is what you will need. For reference, I will be making a size 14 and I am normally a size 6-8. 


3. Start watching the Craftsy videos. You will see they are quite excellent and will totally familiarize you with what you need to do to sew the bodice. 

4. Once the pattern comes, sew up the bodice. If you have any questions feel free to ask the wonderful people at Craftsy. 

Then we will meet back up here on Tuesday, September 30th and I will share with you my experience and you can let me know how you are doing in the comments. If you wish to share any of your progress before then, just use the hashtag #TGHDress. 

Are you in? Let’s make a dress!

Click HERE to purchase the Tracy Reese class and pattern from Craftsy for 50% off!

This post was sponsored by Craftsy. If you are interested in advertising on The Glamorous Housewife, click HERE for more details.

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