To Any New Readers:

Please scroll down to the first posts so you can get caught up with the vintage mission!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving

I hope this post finds you all well for the upcoming holiday.

Please remember, I hope not to offend; only to enlighten and to express my reasons for my personal choices.

This will be my second Thanksgiving where I have chosen to celebrate not at the expense of any other life. I will keep my commentary short; for now, I will only say that The Farm Sanctuary (a place I hope to visit someday soon), knows how to do Thanksgiving right. Instead of "celebrating" by eating turkeys, they celebrate the turkeys themselves for the beautiful, intelligent creatures that they are during their Celebration for the Turkeys. If only all Thanksgivings could be so joyful for all involved.

On a more positive note, this week my students were thrilled to be cooking instead of doing "work," due to the fact that we are officially on break in 14 minutes from this post! I told them we would make pumpkin cookies for the holiday, something I had not previously made and needed a recipe for. The first Google result was, of course, an gem! I HIGHLY recommend this for anyone wanting a simple, scrumptious, and seriously addicting, flavorful cookie for Thanksgiving. Simple batter with a not-too-sweet glaze on top. My school kitchen is now an Earth Balance-only kitchen (for now), both due to it costing the same as regular butter, and technically, our county's regulations don't permit actual butter use due to its saturated fat content (yes, we still use it anyway). I have more or less stopped buying eggs for them (in baking) because eggs are a PAIN to schlep and they go bad if you don't use them and, well, I feel better giving them egg replacer anyway, and it works just as well!

I'm not usually a cookie FIEND, but I just couldn't stop with these. I had FOUR today alone.

Here is the original link, and below you will find the even-better vegan version:

Vegan Iced Pumpkin Cookies

  • Prep
  • Cook
  • Ready In

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance butter, softened

  • 1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg replacer "egg"
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • GLAZE:
  • 2 cups organic confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted Earth Balance    butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside. *Ms. S' special secret addition: a PINCH...pinchLETTE!...of allspice*

  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.

  4. To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners' sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Branching Out

When I decided I wanted to be a Family and Consumer Sciences  (a.k.a Home Economics) teacher back in high school, I always thought my focus would remain on sewing; that I would also be fortunate enough to always be at a school that offered sewing. And that I would always have the time, money, and motivation to do it. Well, life is what happens when you start making plans.

Sadly, I now teach at a school that has not offered sewing for several years. I sew a few times a year at best, which really doesn't make for a very busy blog.

What I did not expect was that, instead, my life would be taken over by FOOD. COOKING. Everything food! I did not take one single foods class in high school. Not that the interest wasn't there; I enjoyed cooking when I (seldom) did it, but it was more of a latent passion that did not become ignited until college. The more I learned about nutrition and food science, the more I wanted to experiment, the more I wanted to give the gift of delicious meals to others.

Fast forward to 2 years ago, and that passion evolved to the next level. Almost 2 years ago, I made the best decision of my life: to lead a vegan lifestyle. I always knew it would happen. The idea of eating animals never really 100% felt okay to me. I always used to say when I was younger, "I know one day I'll be at least vegetarian." This major lifestyle change is something that a person should not undergo unless they are truly passionate, dedicated, and, most of all-- READY to make such a drastic change. I tried it once a year prior to the final decision and failed-- I wasn't ready. My heart was in it, but I didn't have the resources or motivation that I needed. But, the more I read, watched, learned, and absorbed--all the while having to face Waldo on a daily basis-- I knew that it was time, and I haven't looked back, nor do I regret it for one second.

I could write for hours and hours and pages and pages on the subject, from people's comments to how great I feel to dealing with all of the negative criticism that gets hurled my way. But, let me begin by saying that, besides my personal goal of causing the least harm possible through the food I eat and the products I use, my primary goal as a vegan is to simply show others how good it can be. If you decide to eat more vegan meals or buy more vegan products as a result of my influence, that's wonderful. But, be sure: I am not trying to change anyone. Sure, in an ideal world, everyone would have the same views I do, but I'm realistic and I don't want to be one of "those" people who shoves their views down others' throats. I may get upset when I hear certain, repetitive, ignorant comments (I'm sure I don't even need to list them), but even then, I try and state my opinion with as much grace as possible. Then, I will hand you a cupcake and say, "Here, try this, it'll blow your mind."

So, since moving back to my home state and diving head-first into vegan recipe experimentation, my repertoire of successful recipes has exploded. I use every resource I can find: I used to use Facebook (deactivated, thank God), but now I rely on Pinterest, Instagram, and pure investigation. I can tell you all the best brands. You want cream cheese that doesn't taste like wet rubber? Get your butt down to Whole Foods or Wegman's and get Kite Hill. Want your cupcakes to not suck? Use Ener-G Egg Replacer, Earth Balance Butter, and don't you dare over-cream the wet ingredients or you will deflate those suckers faster than a sad balloon. I have SECRETS. I have a bag of TRICKS, all of which I will share with you, happily, as you take a bite and say to yourself, "Curses! This can't be vegan and be this just can't!"

So, perhaps this blog will shift its focus from sewing to food, yet remaining true to its Decade Displaced roots. I have a pair of Jan Brady-esque canary yellow wide-leg pants en queue for a friend. Stay tuned there!

Stay tuned for recipe reviews and tips. I will, at the very least, make a believe out of you. :)

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Return of the Decade Displaced

Let's try and forget just how long it's been since I've posted anything. Let's really try and forget how long it's been since I've sewn anything (for myself) and actually finished it. I realized today that the finishing parts of a project-- the hemming, any other hand sewing, attaching fasteners, etc.-- is the part I actually dislike and that's probably the reasons I have 3 or 4 beautiful dresses I've made over the years waiting sadly on hangers in my closet because they need hemming, facings need tacking down, etc...

Such was not the case today, as I was determined to start AND completely finish my first real personal project in a long time. This year, I got rid of my cable because I'm too poor to afford it now and thus have been relying on Netflix and Hulu. Cue my Brady Bunch Binge of December 2015. Every time I watch, especially during the last season, I go nuts wondering WHERE in the world their old wardrobes are now stored, especially Marcia and Jan's. The wide-leg pants in Season 5 leave me a pants-obsessed crazy seamstress, ready to strike.

Arrgh, need yellow. NEED. 

Plaid, wondrous plaid. 

In the last year, I have also taken back my hatred for high-waisted clothing. I'm not sure what I was thinking a few years ago, but little did I realize just how flattering and funky high-waisted pants and skirts can look if you do them right. I think I always just associated high-waist pants with Mom Jeans and immediately shunned all others as a result. 

I'm glad these ladies are feeling confident despite the poor cut of their jeans. It can be so much better than this!

So, as I usually do when I'm on a mission, I don't stop until I find what I need. Enter this:

Vintage Simplicity 6354, circa 1974

Score! And, as per usual, I misread things, and I bought it thinking the entire pattern was "Sized for Stretch Knits Only," but alas, it's just the halter top view. No matter, I was armed and ready with this:

Vintage 70s double-knit plaid fabric!

Ahhh, polyester! And not the icky kind. This is a nice, heavy, fall/winter fabric that will serve me well until it gets too warm. Three freakin' yards of it and I better be making a skirt, shorts, and a table runner with all I have left!

After shoveling snow, baking cookies for the neighbor who helped me, and getting everything set up, I got started. Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE making pants? It's such a relatively easy, short thing to do. This had only 3 pieces to it (there was a pocket, but I skipped it-- it was just for decoration). My biggest concern was matching the plaid; something you don't know if you did correctly until it's all put together.

My cousin and I have a lot of vintage notions from our grandma, and they have saved me in a pinch quite a few times. Here an awesome vintage zipper and some seam binding-- gotta love the packaging!

Things like these, not to mention the smell of the old paper of the pattern, is enough to send you into vintage euphoria heaven.

Fast forward to the best part: the end! I had to do some taking in of the side seams. Since going vegan, I have dropped an entire vintage size (chill out, it's like a half an inch difference in measurements), and now most of my patterns are just too big, this one included, but it doesn't come any smaller. But, no matter, I am the queen of taking in. 5/8" on each side was all it needed to fit perfectly. They barely needed hemming, which was great. Can't wait to wear them to school and hear all of the *interesting* comments from my students! Oh, and look at that matched plaid!

It's really hard to take pictures of your own outfit...

Garment Features:
Hip-hugger waist
Snap and zipper closing
Hand-stitched hem

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hooray for High Waists

Back in my first years of sewing, I was very much against high-waisted skirts and pants. I thought they were uncomfortable and unattractive. I would always wear my shirts over them rather than tucking them into the skirt as they should be worn. But high-waisted items are coming back in style. Pair that with a new boost of confidence and my own sense of style changing, I've declared, "bring on the high waists!" I think my recent renewal of my Brady Bunch obsession (Hallmark Channel every day, 5-8pm!) has helped inspire this in me as well.

Enter Vintage McCall's 2050, circa 1969:
(Not my picture.)

I've had this pattern for years, I couldn't even tell you where I got it. Maybe even from the drama closet in high school. Nonetheless, I never ventured to make it for the very reason of the high waistline. 

I bought some spring-colored striped fabric, but changed my mind when I saw some super retro striped fabric I had bought years ago for shorts and never made. The end result:

Unfortunately, this project had to be documented with an unfortunately-named "selfie." Shudder.
I thought it would be fun to add the orange trim at the bottom to match the waistband. Can't you tell I've been watching WAY too much Brady Bunch?

Garment Features:
Natural Waistband
Hook and eye closure
Hem Trim
Awesome lime green zipper 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Addressing the Issue: Decade Displacement

Those of you who have visited the blog before may have wondered about its title, “Decade Displacement.” While I attempted to explain it a bit in the main heading, that small text box just doesn’t begin to give any real sense of something that I feel affects me—and many other people—in a real and true way. I want to be able to explain it without sounding trite and unoriginal, but I’m not a fan of my own writing and it really just annoys me when I re-read it. Nonetheless, I shall attempt to dive into the issue at hand, the inspiration for this blog.
Ever since I was little, I knew that I was out of place in my time. I never fit in with people my own age, and I still don’t to this day. I often describe myself as an “old lady in a young person’s body” to my students, because that’s really what I am, it seems. I’ve never been fond of the “things” of my generation, and lately, I’ve realized that I just never seem to be at the right place in the time continuum that I want to be in. It usually comes too late. For example, I hated—loathed—being a child. Seriously, flat-out hated it. In my mind, I never felt like a true child. I just wanted to be an adult, because I preferred adults and adult conversation. I didn’t like being treated like a child because I felt like I acted more mature and deserved to be treated like a mature person. That’s not to say I didn’t have my kid moments, but I can honestly say that I wished my entire childhood to be older, and now that I am, I don’t regret it, because it is everything I wanted it to be. I don’t miss childhood, I don’t want to re-live it, I’m glad it’s gone. Good riddance.
But there’s still a problem. I may be an adult now, but it too often feels like I’m just an adult in the wrong time. My musical tastes are different, my taste in clothing is different, never the same as what one would expect from a typical 25-year-old. I watch the Brady Bunch every evening (thank you, Hallmark Channel!) and just die over their clothes because I LOVE them. All the while, I brainstorm in my mind, “Do I own a [vintage] wide-leg pants pattern like that? Could I find a dress pattern like that?” etc. The Brady Bunch, as silly and ridiculous as it probably sounds to anyone reading this, has been major fuel for my Decade-Displaced feelings. I’ll never forget the summer I turned 11, when Nick-at-Nite had its “Block Party Summer” and played hours and hours of The Brady Bunch every Tuesday. I started watching and I immediately became, well, obsessed. I wanted to BE them, to wear the clothes, have the hair, date the boys—haha—you name it. I felt such a strong connection to this show and this era that my 11-year-old heart hurt that I was living in 1998 and not 1973. What I wouldn’t have given to just be able to teleport back in time. Couple this new connection with the fact that I had loved The Beatles and other older music faithfully since around age 8—I was an old soul feeling more lost than ever that summer. Now, when I watch in the present, it reminds me of that feeling from 1998. At least now, I can sew my way into having just a little slice of the 70s.  
Decade Displacement doesn’t just stop at clothing—music only increases this feeling exponentially. In my 2nd period cooking class, I let them put on Pandora stations so they can have something on while they’re working. The running joke is that I’m so out of touch that I don’t know any of the bands or singers that come on. Now they make fun of me particularly whenever Bruno Mars comes on, because I thought it was a band, and it turns out that it’s just one person. Haha. So, don’t be surprised if you come into my class and hear, “Oh, Ms. Stewart, it’s ‘that band,’ Bruno Mars!” 
In any case—music of the past affects me in ways I can’t describe. This unfortunately is a cliché, but needs to be said: today’s music is just crap, most of it, and just doesn’t seem to have the passion and meaning behind it that past music had. I think the perfect example of this is with the band THEM. If you’ve never heard of THEM, it’s the band Van Morrison was in before he was a solo artist, before “Brown Eyed Girl” and “Moondance” and all that jazz. While that stuff is good, THEM’s music will BLOW YOUR MIND. Please, take a listen.
The sound, I just can’t even describe it. Van’s voice is just so powerful. There’s passion behind it. I feel like I’m in the right place when I listen to this record. Not a whole lot can top it. 
The Beatles, The Zombies, The Kinks, Francoise Hardy, THEM, The Animals, Lesley Gore, Tim Buckley…then, fast forward a little bit, Pearl Jam, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sound Garden… okay, I can see those of you who know me very well rolling your eyes. Go ahead. Gooo ahead and say, “But that’s the same stuff you always listen to! Branch out a little!” Well, you know what, I may not like a wide variety of endless genres and artists and whatever, but what I like, I like it hard. Quality, not quantity. And this music, while it pains me to know I’ll never see the Beatles live or see 1992 Eddie Vedder climb the rafters and dive into the crowd, I at least take solace knowing I can escape for a little while in my mind if I just pop in that CD or record or hit “play” on the Ipod.

It's just not fair, Francoise.
 Where am I going with all of this? I don’t even know at this point in the rant, but let me just say that, to me, to be Decade-Displaced is real. That person you know who you call an “old soul”? It’s real. Maybe there’s a reason people like us are here now and not “Then,” whenever “Then” is for them. Maybe we’ll never feel like we belong in the time we’re in. So, just be kind and understanding, and don’t make fun of us too much. I’ll just keep sewing, listening, and learning, because it makes me happy and eases the sadness of feeling like you are never where you should be.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Yet ANOTHER Shop Announcement!

Blue Uke Vintage is now finally living up to the "vintage" part of its name-- we now sell vintage patterns! I went through my collection and found the ones that either aren't my size, or I know I won't make ever, or both. Check them out!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

New Items at Blue Uke Vintage!...and Waldo :)

Blue Uke Vintage is now offering custom hobo bags! I am personally a fan of these because I don't have to worry about it falling off of my shoulder. This particular version is very roomy and super awesome in oh so many ways. Customize it with the closure of your choice (using a toggle button allows it to be reversible!). Pre-made assorted bags coming soon.

Also: I have found the solution to sewing with Waldo! Instead of gating him off and driving him crazy, I simply slip the cord through a pair of pants. The cover of the pants is so bulky that he doesn't even know there is a cord there tempting him underneath. Enjoy the cuteness below.

 Oh, hi
 The couch belongs to me!
Life is tough...

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Updated Etsy Shop


The new-and-improved version of my Etsy Shop. I have been working slowly but surely on a butt-load of tote bags--2 of which are now listed--and will be selling some vintage patterns as well. My goal for this year is to really try and promote my shop so I can sell my goods, spread the word, and make some extra money that I most definitely need. 

Please visit my shop and, if you like what you see, spread the word! I also do custom-ordered bags that tailor to your needs.