Tips for Vintage Sewing

Tips for Vintage Sewing

Sewing my vintage projects was such fun.  The cutting mat case was fun.  The pattern I used was Mat Board Tote Bag by Cut Loose Press.  I know I will enjoy using it to ferry my rulers and cutting mats to and from classes.  You will also need the Decor Bond Heavy Fusible Wide Board.

The Pattern I chose to use for the geometric fabric was the Stevie by Tillie and the Buttons.  This dress is going to be my favorite summer wear.  Cool and glam!!!!!  

Hopefully, you have found and cleaned your vintage fabrics.  With most fabrics it should be easy to determine which thread to use.  Most often use the same weight as the fabric.  Don’t use poly with all cotton fabrics.  Now let’s begin.

Select appropriate thread for the fiber content.  As important as this is in sewing with newer fabric, it is even more important when working with vintage fabrics.  For instance, use silk thread when working with silks and wools.  ZJ Humbach’s video is a  fountain of information about thread. 

Using French seams or enclosed seams works great on vintage fabrics because it is delicate. By enclosing the seams, the fabric  is less likely to fray or tear during use. Colleen Exline describes five different enclosed seam finishes in her video.

Remember vintage fabric is delicate.  Therefore, some vintage fabrics may need a bit of help during stitching. Placing tissue paper under while you stitch will keep the fabric from bunching up when you stitch.

Sew like a tortoise not a jaguar.  We tell all our students to slow down and enjoy the ride.  So set the stitching speed to the slowest speed.  Sew at this speed until you are comfortable working with the vintage fabric and notions.

Thanks to National Sewing Circle for all the tips for sewing with vintage fabrics and notions.

Available Monday, June 26 is Marjolein's Garden Quilt.  It’s perfect for a touch of spring and summer home décor. 

Whether you are sewing vintage or using modern materials, Chateau Sew & Sew is waiting to help you.  Call or come by.  

Remember to check out Monday, June 19  free PDF  - Flower Shaped Pillow.

I just know you are going to enjoy this fabulous recipe.  It is great use for summer tomatoes.

 Smoked Tomatoes Recipe 

Sweet, juicy tomatoes are given a savory twist with a little bit of grill time to make delicious smoked tomatoes. Eat them as-is or combine them with crackers and cheese for a truly delectable treat! PREP TIME 20 minutes COOK TIME 1 hour TOTAL TIME 1 hour 20 minutes 


5 Ripe Tomatoes, we use plum/roma 

1 Tbsp Olive oil 

Sea Salt to taste 

Hickory or Applewood for smoking 


Prepare the Tomatoes: 

  1.  Cut each tomato in half. 
  2. Brush the open side of each tomato half with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. 

Prepare Your Coals and Grill:

  1. Fill a chimney starter just less than 1/3 full with charcoal briquettes. You should have just barely more than one layer of coals.
  2. While the coals are heating up, place an aluminum foil pan inside your grill to catch any drips from the tomatoes as they cook
  3. When the coals are heated up, add them to the grill next to the drip pan, and then close the lid. Allow the grill to come up to about 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Smoke the Tomatoes 

  1.  Place the cooking grate in your grill and then place the tomatoes on the grate, over top of the drip pan. The tomatoes should not be over top of the charcoal briquettes. 
  2.  Add one small chunk of hickory or applewood directly to the coals. 
  1. Close the lid on the grill and cook the tomatoes for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until they are soft enough to pierce with a fork. 


We use large wood chunks instead of chips for our smoking. If you are using wood chips, make sure to soak them first, and follow the instructions on the package for placing them in your grill. 

For gas grills, you can use one burner on low and place your tomatoes on the upper rack of the grill. You may want to rotate your tomatoes on the rack every 30 minutes or so. It can take 2 to 3 hours to smoke tomatoes this way on a gas grill. 

Err on the light side for your wood. We've made the mistake of putting too much wood in with our tomatoes every now and then, and they end up far too strong. You are just looking for a hint of smoke to compliment your tomatoes. 

Lots of hugs,
Susan & Karen