Vintage Style Wardrobe – Thrifted and Handmade

My handmade and thrifted vintage style clothing

Back in 2009 I took a costuming class for my speech theatre minor.  Our big sewing project was to use a sewing pattern to create a wearable garment.  We had to make at least one alteration to the pattern then wear the finished garment in class to get our grade.  I was going to be lazy and make a simple skirt pattern, but my professor encouraged me to try a more complicated pattern.  So I went through the costume department patterns (donated from people in the community) and found a pattern I loved from the late 50s/early 60s.  I hit the fabric stores and ended up picking a Walmart clearance fabric ($1.50/yard) and set to work.  I was the hardest thing I had ever made, but it turned out amazing!  So why the 9 year old story?!?  Because that dress is what started my love and appreciation for vintage styles and vintage sewing patterns.  BTW I’m still kicking myself years later for not writing down the pattern brand and number that I used…

Even though I LOVED my dress, I didn’t wear it that often.  I felt like I needed an occasion, and how often does a 1950s/60s occasion come up?!?  Then we started getting connected with the Oklahoma Patriotic Pin Up Girls and attended a few themed events.

1950s vintage style couple

And yes, that is Peyton when she was about 7 months old!  It was so fun and I loved having an excuse to wear my dress. Then I started thinking, why should I have to have an excuse or a reason to wear something that makes me feel pretty and happy?!?  So I started wearing my dress to “normal” events like an anniversary date night.

1950s date night

I love my teal dress, but I wanted to have more than one vintage item to wear.  Around the start of summer I found a channel on youTube called The Pinup Companion.  She is a lovely gal who wears amazing 1940s vintage and vintage reproduction clothing daily. I’ve been falling more and more in love with the 1940s thanks to shows like Land Girls and Wartime Farm.  It was a truly interesting time in history and the fashions were so flattering.  So when I found The Pinup Companion (as well as several other ladies, and a few gentlemen, on instagram) wearing vintage styles daily it affirmed all the things I had been mulling over.  I wanted to start wearing vintage (anytime I say vintage I mean vintage style, reproduction, etc) without feeling like I need a “reason”.  Feeling good in my own body is reason enough!

The same week I came to this understanding Angela Clayton posted a video about her journey of venturing into vintage.  Her video came at the perfect time and has some really great tips in it.

So, how does one make the transition from skinny jeans and t-shirts to vintage…by hitting the thrift store!  I went to the thrift store a couple of weeks in a row on half price day, in search of modern clothing that could be styled as vintage.  I tried to start by focusing on basics – white/off white tops, skirts, trousers, etc.  I also picked up a couple of items online (my first time ordering clothing online), and made a few pieces.  There is still a long way to go before I can wear vintage daily, but I feel like I’m off to a good start!

I made a video showing (almost) all of the vintage inspired pieces I have already collected, along with my plans for a few more handmade items.  You can see them all HERE!

I forgot to mention in the video, but I’m also working on make a pair of 1940s inspired jeans.  I feel like they will be an absolute staple in my wardrobe!

What pieces do you think I should be on the look out for next??  I feel like I’m well on my way to ditching my skinny jeans and tees wardrobe for a vintage styled life.  Can’t wait to share more of my journey, but until then, Happy Sewing!


Did You Know…?

Whitney's Tiny Life - Behind the scenes of Whitney Sews

Did you know I have a vlogging channel called Whitney’s Tiny Life?!?  I’ve been posting Week in the Life vlogs every Friday for over six months!  Each vlog has a snippet of my day, projects I’m working on, and sneak peeks of what’s coming up on Whitney Sews.

This week I worked on a vintage clothing collection video (coming tomorrow on Whitney Sews) and talked about my plans for making 1940s inspired jeans.  I also spent some time working on a memory bear order.  You can check it all out HERE!


While you’re over on Whitney’s Tiny Life, make sure to hit that red subscribe button so you don’t miss out on my upcoming vlogs and sneak peeks!  Want to see the other vlogs I’ve posted?  HERE’s a playlist full of them!

I hope you like the videos and seeing more of my day to day activities.  Until next time, Happy Sewing!


Butterick 6094 Stitch by Stitch Tutorial

Stitch by stitch tutorial for butterick 6094
Isn’t the back detailing on this dress gorgeous?!?  That is what drew me to this pattern in the first place.  The pattern is Butterick 6094  and I’m showing stitch by stitch how to create a beautiful dress like this one.  It is a Patterns by Gertie design and has such a nice vintage vibe (I’m really into vintage styles…more on that later!)

Patterns by Gertie Butterick 6094 sew along

I started off making a mockup of the dress to check the overall fit, practice installing an invisible zipper, and get more familiar with the pattern instructions.  I vlogged the process of making the mockup and you can check it out HERE.

Making a mockup of butterick 6094

Once I was comfortable with the sewing instructions and fit it was time to start cutting the pieces for my final dress…my Rose dress, as I have lovingly named it.  It was the beautiful rose print fabric that inspired me to pick up Butterick 6094 and create the dress in the first place.  You can see the haul video and everything else I picked up that day HERE.

The step by step sewing tutorial can be found HERE!

In the video I mentioned trying out some different finishing techniques.  I chose to bind all the raw edges with a narrow bias tape.  It took a little more time than serging or using pinking shears, but it gave the inside of the dress a beautiful finished look.  I am going to use this finishing method on another project or two then have a separate video talking all about it.

Have you used bias binding to finish garments before??  What are your thoughts on it, I would love to know!

Oh yeah, I mentioned my vintage style love earlier!  I’m slowly trying to transition my wardrobe into 40s and 50s inspired styles.  It’s a work in progress, but I will have a video up later this week sharing my vintage style thrifted and me-made pieces.  I can’t wait for you to see it!  Until then, Happy Sewing!


Project Vlog – Butterick 6094 Mockup

I picked up Butterick 6094 back in May when a local store was going out of business.   I also found a beautiful rose print fabric that seemed perfect for the dress!  I showed them in a haul video HERE.  I was pretty nervous to cut into the fabric and knew I needed to be certain of the fit and construction before hand so it was crucial to make a mockup.

With my post 2 kids body I’m less and less sure about my size and fit than I ever have been.  So jumping right into making my final garment isn’t as much of an option these days.  Plus I wanted to make sure I understood all the pattern instructions since there were a few techniques I hadn’t done before.

A friend of mine gave me several bags of curtains from a house remodel and it was the perfect, free material to use for my mockup.

I vlogged the process in hopes that it would help some one else, or at least inspire someone else to give making a mockup a try.  Check out the video HERE!

In case you’re wondering…here is how the final dress turned out!

Stitch by stitch tutorial for butterick 6094

I’m super happy with the dress and will be sharing the stitch-by-stitch tutorial for it on Wednesday!  **Updated – watch the full tutorial HERE!**  Have you given Butterick 6094 a try?  Would love to hear how yours turned out!  Until Wednesday, Happy Sewing!


EASY Skinny Hair Scarf DIY

Last week I shared a pattern review for the 1940s style shorts made using Simplicity 8654.  The shorts were made using a sweet floral fabric and I knew the scraps would make an adorable skinny, vintage style scarf!  So I whipped one up and love how it turned out.  Only takes a few minutes to make and is definitely beginner friendly!

Check out the step-by-step scarf tutorial HERE!

Do you love vintage styles as much as I do, or would you work this into an everyday outfit??

Did you know that I have a vlog channel?!? I post a weekly vlog sharing little bits of my life and my sewing projects.  You can check it out HERE!

Until next time, Happy Sewing!


Simplicity 8654 Pattern Review

This year I added to my Sew Your Stash goals to include using more of the 300+ patterns in my sewing collection.  I love sharing step-by-step tutorials so you all can sew the pattern along with me, but sometimes I can’t (or don’t want to) film the process.  Simplicity 8654 is one of those cases.  It was a project I wanted to whip up without having to worry about camera angles and all of that.

I made the pleated shorts option using the floral viscose from the October Sew Hayley Jane box.  You can check out that unboxing HERE!

I wanted to share the shorts after they were completed, so I thought it would be fun to try something new…a pattern review.  It’s my first pattern review so I covered the basics such as how easy/difficult the instructions were to follow, adjustments I made, final fit, changes I would make for next time, and more.

(BTW I apologize for the poor photo quality…I had my camera on the wrong settings).

Anyway, check out my full pattern review with additional photos HERE!

I would love to know if you have tried Simplicity 8654 and your thoughts on the pattern.  Also did you like this kind of video, or would you prefer a DIY Inspiration style video for non tutorial videos??

Make sure to check back on Wednesday for a tutorial on the skinny hair scarf I made to match my shorts.  Until then, Happy Sewing!



How to Sew a Zipper in a Seam

I have been challenging myself to use more of the sewing patterns in my stash.  Several of the garments I’ve been sewing include a zipper in the side or back seam.  I’ve had several people tell me they are afraid of working with zippers.  So this week I wanted to show step-by-step how to insert a zipper in a seam and how easy it can be!  I also included one of the ways to add a waistband to finish off a skirt or trousers.

Watch the full tutorial HERE!

I’ll have more sewing basics videos like this coming soon.  Are there certain techniques you want me to cover??  Leave a comment letting me know.  Until next time, Happy Sewing!


Sewing Pattern Organization – An Updated System!

In my recent sewing pattern collection post I showed every single sewing pattern I own and answered some frequently asked questions about my patterns.  One question I get very often is how I store my 300+ patterns.  For YEARS I did not have a organization or storage solution at all.  I had a few crates, boxes, bins, stacks, etc of patterns scattered all over my sewing room.  I had no idea how to tackle them and where to get started.

I finally got fed up with my lack of a solution and dove in head first!  I used to store all my sewing patterns with the envelope in a plastic sheet protector and the pattern/instructions in a manila envelope like I showed HERE.  This system worked fine until I had over 100 patterns, then I got tired of purchasing more and more envelopes and sheet protectors.

I ended up keeping that system for my vintage patterns so they are protected from being damaged any more than they already are.  The rest of my patterns are stored in order by company and pattern number in wooden crates.

I go into more details and show everything in the video HERE!

I am so happy with this new system and I can’t believe I waited SO LONG to actually do it!  I would love to hear your thoughts on how I’ve got my patterns organized.  Is it similar to how you keep yours?  If not, what do you do differently?

By the way, I’ve added to my Sew Your Stash goals for 2018 to use more of the sewing patterns that I own.  In the past three months I’ve used SIX of my patterns!  That is a huge accomplishment since it had been since Halloween before that.  I’m having so much fun creating fun garments for myself and can’t wait to share some of them with you all!  So make sure to check back soon for more updates on the patterns I’m using.  Until then, Happy Sewing!



Churn Dash | Sampler Sew Along

It’s time for the fourth block tutorial in the Whitney Sews Sampler Sew Along!  Haven’t heard about it yet?!?  Each month I’ll be sharing a step by step tutorial to make a traditional quilt block as well as how to sew the blocks together to create a sampler style quilt that finishes in a great lap quilt/baby quilt size.

This week I’m sharing a tutorial for the Churn Dash Block. This block has been around since the first half of the 1800s.

I share the step-by-step instructions for sewing this block in the video HERE!

Don’t forget to share a pic of your finished block with #SamplerSewAlong so we all see it!

If you want more details on the supplies I use in my videos, you can find them all HERE!  I set up an Amazon storefront so all my most used items are in one place and if you use my link to purchase anything I get a small percentage for referring you and that goes to help create more quality content like this video tutorial.

Until next time, Happy Sewing!


Easy Gathered Skirt How to

Easy gathered skirts for girls - full sewing how to

Could these two be any cuter?!?  My girls love wearing skirts, so my mom and I thought it would be fun to let the kids pick out some cute fabrics and we would use them to make skirts.  The skirts are so easy to make even a beginner sewer came make one in an afternoon.

The first thing you need is to pick out some fabrics.  We went to JoAnns to get some fun cotton printed fabrics, but you can pull from your stash as well.  We ended up getting several fabrics while there and you can see everything we got in our haul HERE!

The amount of fabric you get depends on the size you need the finished skirt.  The fabric needs to be approximately double the person’s waist size.  My kids both have 20 inch waists so I’m using the full width of the fabric which is about 44 inches.  If the person is larger than 25 inches you will need to purchase more.  For the length we went with a half yard.  That was perfect for my oldest, Peyton, but I needed to trim about 1.5 inches off for my youngest.  If your skirt ends up shorter than you wanted (or your kids go through a growth spurt!) you can add lace, ruffles, or other trims at the bottom for extra length.

step by step sewing tutorial for gathered skirts

In addition to your fabric you will need 3/4 inch elastic and your basic sewing supplies.  You can see my favorite supplies to use HERE!

Now that you have your supplies it’s time to get started!  Follow along with the step-by-step instructions in the video HERE!

See!  So simple to make, but absolutely adorable!  If you enjoyed the tutorial make sure to share the link and if you make your own skirt I would love to see a pic so feel free to post on facebook or instagram with #WhitneySews.  I’ll be back next Wednesday with the next video in the Sampler Sew Along.  Until then, Happy Sewing!