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| Posted by April Henry

New Employee

We have a new helper beginning today… meet Rebekah.  Today she learned all about packaging and shipping and is quickly learning what this little Featherweight Sewing Machine is all about. Meticulous, organized, helpful, cheerful, fun, arrived early and learns quickly — what more could we want? Thanks for all your help, Rebekah!  I’m sure the customers will appreciate knowing who tied that rick rack bow on their packages today.


| Posted by April Henry

Little Girl (or Boys!) Sewing Machine

  I am often asked, 'What child's sewing machine would you recommend for my 4-5 year-old?'... Well, each child is different, of course, and while some may actually be ready to go straight to a regular sewing machine (which I would without-a-doubt recommend the Singer Featherweight 221 for any child's first regular sewing machine!) some little ones need a baby step to get them used to the concept and mechanics of actually sewing. In that case, then I highly recommend the Singer Sewhandy model 20. It is a small table-mount handcrank sewing machine that creates a lovely chainstitch. You will...


| Posted by April Henry

Jump Rope Dress

  Another school uniform made from the Oliver + S Jump Rope Dress pattern. I used a heavier-weighted twill - the same as I used for the Tea Party Dress uniform jumper.   Placket instruction was ingenious - step-by-step teaching all along the way. It's Home-Ec class in a pattern envelope! The only thing I did a bit different was to edgestitch the collar where the pattern actually instructed to 'set it aside for the moment' - only because my fabric was heavier and I knew I couldn't edgestitch the neckline through to the opposite side as straight as I...


| Posted by April Henry

Oliver + S Sunday Brunch Skirt Pattern

  Who doesn't love a classic navy skirt? This is the Oliver + S Sunday Brunch Skirt made with a navy twill. I basted some fun Japanese import novelty fabric to the front and back skirt pieces before sewing pattern together (essentially treating them as one fabric during garment construction) to add more stability to the skirt as well as adding some more fun for SweetPea.     And what little girl doesn't love one with pockets and a secret lining for fun?     This one is probably my favorite uniform garments to make - it's so simple to...


| Posted by April Henry

From the Archives - April 1930's Website Design

The website redesign is finally completed. Sometimes my creative side gets bored with a name, look, logo, or idea and Wende Tindall Design helped me stay grounded while giving the site a fresh new look. I am more than pleased! The web address to link to, of course, is www.april1930s.com.There is still plenty to do now behind-the-scenes for technical application (coding can take hourrrrrssss!!!), but at least I get to enjoy new graphics in the process. Thanks, Wende!


| Posted by April Henry

Won't You Pop Over For a Popover?

When I saw that the Popover Sundress pattern was featured in the Sew Hip magazine, I decided I had to splurge to get the single issue from the UK (May 2009, Issue 6). I am extremely glad that I did. Not only is it one of the best sewing magazines I've seen, but this pattern is incredibly easy. I recommend it to all new seamstresses - seriously. It is so, so, so, so, so simple! There are only three pattern pieces, and the construction is one of the fastest on record. OH! and you get sizes 2-8 all in one...


| Posted by April Henry

Vintage Singer Paper Doll Cutter

It was about a year ago that a friend alerted me to this super neat new contemporary pattern company that marketed with paper dolls. I was head-over-heels from the first click. That coincidental link led to all sorts of Oliver + S pattern sewing and will probably be a forever bond. Some have often wondered if I get paid to advertise for Oliver + S... not a dime, it's just a pattern company that I really like and enjoy sewing with. Coincidentally, another friend alerted me to a unique vintage Singer collectible commonly used back in the day for cutting...


| Posted by April Henry

Spring - Fall - Spring - Fall, Which is it?

The new Oliver + S patterns have arrived to the shoppe... that means I simply must sample them! Of course, we got a thin, little, long-bodied SweetPea so I had to alter the sizing a bit to accommodate her figure, but nonetheless, I am quite pleased.The top is from the Oliver + S Sailboat Pattern and the pants are from the Sandbox Pants Pattern. Fabric is from an imported Cosmotex featuring Little Red Riding Hood. Rick Rack is from the 1920's and I used my Style-O-Matic Singer Attachment to apply it - although the application is done from the right...


| Posted by April Henry

4-Year-Old Seamstress

Today marks a note in time; a note in history; a memory forever to be ingrained in my mind.Last night before SweetPea went to sleep, she looked at me and asked, "Mama, can tomorrow be a special day for us?" I nodded my head and smiled - then kissed her goodnight, closed the door and decided many things would have to be postponed.... .....because tomorrow would be the day. The day that she would begin to learn.   "Mommeee ewing (OH-ing)?" This was a common question since she first could talk. I will never forget the time when she was...


| Posted by April Henry

More Sewing Makeovers

My sweet Sis came to help me paint last weekend... the dungeoness shelves which I had turned into my fabric / sewing area. I had taken a picture of the 'before' a month or so ago, but it must have been so atrocious for me to look at that I think I deleted it from the computer. Oh, well... trust me - these shelves have needed an updo since about the 1970's. The fabric that is inside out has been washed and is now ready for pressing then sewing. The fabric that is right side out is still unwashed. I've...


| Posted by April Henry

Absorbing A New Look

FROM THE ARCHIVES..... (2008) For a long while I've been contemplating a new look for my entire business... logo, business cards, website, eBay template, blog, etc...  Well, because it will most likely be a fairly slow morphoses I am going to go ahead and debut the logo. I am delightfully pleased with my personal marketing designer. If you're interested in her services, contact me - she's brilliant with understanding what you want to express while catering to your personal requests - I love her! Didn't she do a fabulous job! This captures everything about me... 'I am extremely pleased' is...


| Posted by April Henry

Strawberry Shortcake for Preschool

This week is RED week at preschool. And what does my little SweetPea decide she needs to wear to coincide with the week?... none other than her Strawberry Shortcake outfit I made for her Strawberry Shortcake Birthday Party last January. She opted out of the hat (which I probably would have talked her out of anyway). It delighted my heart that she wanted to wear it - and not just wear it for play, but wear it for school!


| Posted by April Henry

Oliver + S Tea Party Dress

I borrowed the nearest 2-year-old I could find (a friend's child) to model this dress assuring me it would fit another little 2-year-old who was having a birthday party (the dress was a gift). I love the flair at the bottom! Notice the little clown? He's wearing white with red polka dots, too! Vintage Pink Buttons from my friend's little sewing studio were the PERFECT match to the rick rack. The pattern called for bias piping, but I decided to use rick rack instead - fun touch, don't you think? If you have not ever tried 'hem-facing' before, I highly...


| Posted by April Henry

Fabric - Artful Medium

FROM THE ARCHIVES (2008)...I used to be an artist... that is, I drew pen & ink drawings.  It has been 10 years since I picked up a pen & ink pen, however. Sometimes, I wish I had the desire to draw again especially to illustrate my children, but thankfully I've taken enough photos so that when their little-ness is gone, I will be able to still capture it in artform. That medium is on the back burner - for now. Garments or sewn creations (i.e. quilts, crafts, etc...) are my canvas now and fabric is my medium. I've always loved...


| Posted by April Henry

Oliver + S Puppet Show Dress

Have any of you heard of a "Deltor" before? Well, back in 1920 it was the name for the first pattern instruction sheet for 'home-sewists' (versus the tailors and professional sewists) which was included in the mass-marketed dress patterns. It was revolutionary to the pattern industry and all the other major pattern companies found ways to follow suit. Anyway, my point is this: I think the Oliver + S patterns are the 'Deltor' of today. They are clear and concise, the presentation and marketing are brilliant, not to mention flawlessly beautiful - is it any wonder a unique and special...


| Posted by April Henry

The Cat

Hubby and I were in the process of getting a Featherweight ready to sell. When I left the room and came back - this is where he was. Our cat has been incredibly enjoyable. Franky or Franky Frank or "Little, Little Franky I call my Pet Kitty" (sung to the tune of 'Widdy Widdy Worky I call my Pet Turkey).  He truly has brought us much laughter. We had no idea how much we would love a cat. I opened SweetPea's blinds this morning and left the room for a second. When I walked past her door again I saw...


| Posted by April Henry

Christmas Dress with Vintage Pattern

(Flash Photography)   The long-awaited-stay-up-late-many-nights-so-it-will-be-done-in-time-for-Christmas DRESS!Sewn entirely from a vintage pattern with only a few modifications (bloomers with elastic legs for more modesty).Modeled photos tomorrow, I hope... I just couldn't wait to post photos of the finished product.Now.... if only I could find the right color red sweater to match the right color red shoes which match exactly to the red bias edging. (It's a 'true' red - no blue, pink or brown undertones.)       Look! Even sweet little elastic for the tiny little legs. Vintage Buttons! And then for my birthday (not today), a friend gave me...


| Posted by April Henry

Family Christmas Photograph

We spent some time in the mountains a couple weekends ago... and it SNOWED so beautifully. Children had lots of fun playing and sledding. We enjoyed watching them frolick so joyfully. Brought back beautiful memories for me.Anyway, here is the impromptu photograph I think we will use for our Christmas cards this year. MERRY CHRISTMAS... from our family to yours ...


| Posted by April Henry

First Website Launch - 2006

I mean, it's official, but yet, un-official. The website is THERE! It really is out there in the world of websites. I'm nervous, excited, anxious, happy, joyful, vulnerable, oh-my-word, we REALLY, REALLY, REALLY have our own website! www.april1930s.com


| Posted by April Henry

Bought More Fabric Again . . .

Bought more fabric again... this time, flannel. (and it's flannel thats super soft and doesn't hardly pill!)First will be Cowboy's Christmas flannel Pyjamas. (Pajamas or Pyjamas?)  My favorite quilt fabric store didn't have enough yardage of the aqua background print (but, of course, bought what they had anyway), and they barely-by-the-hair-not-on-my-chinny-chin-chin did they have enough of the cream background print. I just SEW love it!!! The other will be SweetPea's Christmas flannel nightgown.  I couldn't decide what to get for her.... last year we did floral, so I thought this year I'd do something a bit whimsy instead. Still, it...