Whistle While You Work!

ConstantlyAlice gives me a great sense of joy and accomplishment.  Over the last year or so since I started selling on ConstantlyAlice, I’ve developed a blog, created projects and giveaways, started making handcrafted jewelry and met some wonderful, WONDERFUL people (that’s you!!)

However, I have never really done any of it with a plan in mind.  I just put things out there as I think of them, add stuff to the site when I have a moment away from my full time job and family and occasionally share a thought, passion or two when the spirit moves me.

SO.

I’ve decided to change that a bit and make a more serious commitment to really developing ConstantlyAlice into a thriving business.  I want to provide you, as my customers, community and friends, with not just a good product, but a great one.

What does that mean?

Well, for starters, I am working on creating a ConstantlyAlice website.  It will be a one stop shop for everything ConstantlyAlice.  Blog, merchandise, vintage, tutorials and my soon to be developed YouTube Channel.

I am also expanding what I offer.  As you know, I have recently added the Avon brand to my growing list of products.  Some other things you can expect, in addition to really great vintage finds and handcrafted jewelry, will be knitting and crochet patterns, ConstantlyAlice Designs (a line of vintage inspired clothing and accessories) and a line of handbags and wallets.

Additionally, you can expect a lookbook/magazine.  This project is still in the works, but I hope to make it either a quarterly or seasonal offering.

You’ll notice these changes gradually, and everything else will be business as usual (I won’t be closing up shop while I go through this process!)  Keep an eye out for the grand unveiling of the site, lots of giveaways and contests, some discount coupons and sales as we grow 🙂

Thanks so much for being loyal customers and followers of ConstantlyAlice ❤

Hugs and Smooches,
D

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The Reading Corner – Knitting Vintage

I have a small (LARGE) pattern addiction.  Sewing patterns, knitting patterns, crochet patterns, modern, vintage, doesn’t matter.  I’m pretty sure I will never be able to complete all of them in my lifetime..but I just like to know they’re there when inspiration strikes.  (Don’t even get me started on my fabric hoard..)

So, of course, when I saw Knitting Vintage, I had to purchase it.

Amazon

It did not disappoint.  There are a number of really cute, wearable vintage inspired knitting patterns in this book (minus the headache of trying to size up or down a vintage pattern, or figure out what types of yarn are suitable.)

The book is broken down by decade from the 1920’s to the 1980’s and includes patterns for everything from cardigans and sweaters to collars and cloche hats.

I found the patterns really easy to follow, and the pictures are absolutely gorgeous.

Credit

I’ve added the pattern for the crochet collar to the Create 365 project.  I’m making it in a really pretty lace weight pale gold yarn with tiny gold sequins.  Looking forward to sharing the end result!

Credit

Hugs and Smooches,
D

A Room of One’s Own

I thought today I would give you all a little tour of the space I create in 🙂

My space began it’s life as a dining room, but since we all gravitate towards the kitchen, It was quickly taken over with my crafting supplies.
This lovely old machine is from the 1920’s.  The amazing 80yr old woman who previously owned it was still using it up till last year!  It’s my back up machine, because it doesn’t have the modern bells and whistles, but it runs like a charm!
A small portion of my fabric stash (I have two steamer trunks and several suitcases full so I’m never without when I get inspired!)
The only thing I love almost as much as vintage…books 😉
One of the afore mentioned steamer trunks, more books and my poseable sketch model, Cordelia, who the children like to put in random poses to amuse me 😉
I have two of these pegboards to hold my supplies (and that gorgeous jacket was rescued from a yard sale for $2.  It’s authentic to the late 1800’s and it’s in BEAUTIFUL condition)
Lola ❤ (If you look carefully behind her you can see a tortoiseshell hair comb from the victorian era.)
A small selection of my patterns (that sideboard they’re sitting on is chock full of them from every decade you can imagine!)
I keep little jars of buttons, notions and feathers readily available for inspiration!
A repurposed plant hanger holds mason jars of buttons, spools of ribbon and my inspiration journal where I jot down ideas.
The sign on the door that goes from my sewing room into the husband’s “Man Cave” 😉

Hugs and Smooches,
D

Book Review – AUSTENtatious Crochet

It’s no secret that I love the vintage fashion of the 40’s and 50’s, but my first love was Jane Austen and the Regency period.  I went through a phase in my teens where I curled my hair in ringlets and wore romantic floral/lacey dresses that I imagined were a nod to Elizabeth Bennett. 
 
You can imagine my delight, then, when I stumbled across this book on my last trip to Barnes and Noble.
 
AUSTENtatious Crochet is a really neat book filled with Regency inspired crochet patterns interpreted with a modern sensibility.  It has just enough romance to make it pretty, but still wearable.  The patterns are clear and well written and there’s something for just about everyone!
I tried out the Queen Victoria’s Scarf Pattern pictured below, but I used shades of peachy rose and grey instead of the greys and blues pictured here.
It worked up quickly, felted beautifully and only took me a few hours!  Here’s my interpretation:
..and here I am wearing it with my favorite rose colored shades and a cashmere headband I created to match!
I have my eye on a few additonal patterns that should be fun to work on during those chilly January evenings.  I love the Elizabeth Bennett Skirt pictured below (maybe in brown and cream):
And I’d love to do these regency pillows in wine, cream and gold for my bedroom!
I wish you all a wonderful start to the New Year, I can’t wait to share what I have in store for the blog with you all!
Hugs and Smooches,
D

It’s National Sewing Month!

September is national sewing month!  I LOVE to sew.  It’s such a fun skill to have (especially if you love the look of vintage but can’t always find the item you’re looking for.)  It also reminds me of my Gram, who passed away a few years ago.  She was a whiz with a pattern and could easily take a top from one pattern, sleeves from another and create a bottom to match whatever look she was trying to achieve.  It makes me happy to be able to carry on this skill and pass it down to my daughters.

Here are some of the fabulous vintage patterns I picked up at Brimfield last week.  With shows like Mad Men being such a hit, and Pan Am starting this month, retro 50s/60’s fashion is going to be a big hit this fall!  I plan to add a few of these to my fall sewing “to do” list, and a few of them will soon be up for sale in the shop.

Adorable little play suit!  I love these combination options with both skirts and shorts 🙂
Another combo outfit.  This is a jumper, a dress, or a jumper with a contrasting dress underneath.  Perfect and warm for the fall 🙂
Cute little wrap top with bottom option (LOVE the two tone shorts ensemble.)
Love that white blouse in the middle with the peter pan collar and bow.
Classic shirt dress.  I would like to make this in a pretty blue/green plaid flannel that I have in my stash.
The shape of this dress is great, and those giant pockets on the front are FANTASTIC.
The one with the buttons would be so cute in a a pumpkin colored wool plaid.
Another fantastic convertable dress!  The first picture shows the dress with a detatchable over skirt.  The perfect way to take a dress from day to evening!
Adorable.  Love that third option!
Last but not least.. A house coat!  Great for hanging out at home, with nice big pockets 🙂

Sometimes (often in fact) vintage patterns are very tiny.  That’s where a link like How to Resize a Pattern from Sense and Sensibility patterns come in.  So don’t shy away from trying a pattern just because it may be a little too small!  That can be fixed 🙂

If you find yourself in love with any of these patterns before I have a chance to list them, leave me a message in the comments and I will get back to you with a price.

Hugs and Smooches,
D