Saturday, September 18, 2010

Clear, sunny skies, 70 degrees means perfect weather for being outside and no sweating all over my vintage clothes. Today the Americans "liberated" the town of Nouveu Oxford (New Oxford is a tiny PA town between Hanover and Gettysburg).
German officer talking to the "mayor" Bob Buker organizes the convoy and works with New Oxford to allow the convoy to come in and "liberate" the town. I was pleased that I could still fit into something at almost 20 weeks pregnant!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Surprises all around

Two Sundays ago I found out I was pregnant. I did not one but three home pregnancy tests because I didn't want to believe it. The first thing I thought afterwards was that I wanted a drink but figured that it would be irresponsible to down a fifth of vodka when I knew that I was pregnant. My second thought was that I was glad I bought some vintage maternity patterns a few months back. And my third thought was that I had no idea where we were going to put a baby. Sure we have a two bedroom apartment but the 2nd bedroom consists of the following:
  • All of Brian's army gear
  • All of my reenacting stuff - hats, clothes, shoes, suitcases, purses, accessories....all of it
  • All of my sewing and knitting stuff - patterns, fabric, pins, needles, yarn, sewing machine, buttons, zippers, EVERYTHING
  • Books galore
  • Random electronics like our printer, modem, etc
  • Seasonal clothes

Considering that nine months goes by really fast, I decided to start cleaning out the closet yesterday. I figure that I don't really need an armoir for the baby. Does the baby care? No. Do I care? No, it's just one more thing I would have to spend non-existant money on. Just get me a slew of baby hangers and I can keep all the clothes in the closet. I'll probably get some of that modular organization stuff to store shoes, blankets, bedding, etc. On my trek through the closet I found FOUR - count them FOUR- pairs of vintage shoes that I don't remember buying. How pathetic is that? They all fit too!

Black slingbacks. Sorry for the blurry photo. Brown Wedges, sold in Philadelphia.

Black suede Red Cross shoes, though there is a disclaimer that they have nothing to do with the Internaional Red Cross.

Not sure if these are really lizard or embossed leather. Probably embossed but that's fine. I really like them. And they fit.

I felt a bit foolish when I found all these shoes.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Project updates: Simplicity 4431 and 3371

Another shirt dress...typical. Wide waistband with gathers at the waist in front and back and at the shoulder. There are two pleats at either side of center. It just needs buttons, which I somehow don't have in my stash, hemmed, and all the basting threads pulled out. The pattern was missing the sleeve but I just substituted another one.
Ths is one hot mess. I soaked the fabric which refused to come clean but there was enough that I could cut around most of the brown spots. There is one brown line on the back of the shirt but I can live with it if it doesn't come out. I wasn't sure about matching the stripes on the darts. I sorta kinda tried. It still needs a belt to cinch in the waist. As you can see it's more of a tunic. I also have to hem the left sleeve, which is why it is sticking out further than the right. There will also be a ribbon at the neck so it won't be as cleavage-tastic as it is right now. It's really easy to construct but I have a feeling that it won't look so good on me.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I had a serious green fetish about two summers ago. I suppose it's never really gone away because I still find myself attracted to predominately green things. So, despite my assertions that I love red, I find that my closet is seriously lacking in anything remotely red. Here are some of my favorites on Etsy:

Ostrich and green velvet wedges. $85 from Thrush. According to the measurements on the seller's site, they seem to be a fairly wide vintage size 5. You have no idea how tempted I am to pick these up. 1. A wide size 5; 2. two tone green and tan; 3. love the way the straps cross in the front.

Celluloid palm tree pin. $15 from vintageclothiers. I've had a real thing for tropical themes leading into summer.

Glass bangles. $29.99 from BleuFleur. I adore these shades of jade green all marbled together. There's something very art deco about these shades.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Edit to post below + woe is me

My favorite of my husband's shirts is nothing special. It's a semi transluscent long sleeve white cotton button down shirt with white and pale blue plaid....on the diagonal. I never consciously noticed this before. Here is the woe is me part to this whole thing - I am reminded how uncreative I am. I am an excellent (imo) technical writer. You want me to expound on the rise and fall of the roman empire? I'll research the shit out of it and write a great technical paper. Will it be boring? Yep, but it'll have really good grammar, punctuation, and footnotes. I'm extremely visual and sensory oriented in general. I like looking at things, seeing colors, smelling books, turning my music way way up until the speakers blow. But it's hard for me to visualize my projects. I can like a fabric and like a pattern but I will struggle to see the finished product in my mind. It makes me very indecisive and I hate that. I know I'll be the same when we buy a house and I want to paint every room in the place. I'll be frozen with indecision, wondering if I'll like a color when it covers an entire room. Can I learn to be creative? I have no idea.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Simplicity 3173

I picked up this patttern on ebay a bit ago. It's a junior's pattern but, aside from the cutesy heart shaped pockets on style 2, I don't think it's inappropriate age-wise. And I'm a sucker for puffed sleeves. (Note: I think some people could rock the heart pockets, but it's not my style. Plus, I tend to wear vintage only to reenactments, which besides equalling nerd city, also means going for accuracy.)

In this case, however, I'm going for Style 3:

I like the casual look and I can imagine wearing it on a hot summer day and being cool and comfortable. It's also one of the few blouse patterns I own that isn't a button down shirt. Which means, I can finally put this fabric to use:

When I bought this fabric, I didn't realize that the stripes were on the bias. I didn't think the drape would be quite right for a skirt so I was at a loss. I'm still not entirely sure about how it will look on this blouse but I'm willing to give it a go. There are dirt lines on the fabric so hopefully tonight I'll put it in the tub to soak over night and then pull it out tomorrow morning to dry.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Butterick 2611 Progress

I had every intention of doing the drawstrings but it was an epic fail. They were tiny and I couldn't pull them right side out no matter what I tried. I tried the instructions' way and then I tried to just pick and pull it through millimeter by painful millimeter. I was willing to do that! But then a little hole was created that became a big hole and it pulled out through the side. That was the last straw.
Ripping out stitches to remove the casings for the drawstring. Pain in my ass.
Setting in sleeves....another pain in my ass.
Zipper is in! Yea! Hmm...not the best, but it's in and it's staying. I bought a huge lot of metal zippers on ebay once and this is from that stash. The pull seem kinda big, but the zipper itself looks like it's the right size for dresses and skirts.

To do list: hem sleeves, tidy up miscellaneous threads, belt.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Stimulating the economy

Fun, tropical rayon from Ebay. I'm not really sure what the orange spots are....they don't look like coconuts but they don't look like flowers either. Hopefully I'll find out when I get a better look at it. Really, I think they look like strawberries.... :-/

Picasso wedge from Remix vintage. I bought these on and saved about $70 and the site is offering free 2 day shipping. Not bad. I got them in red.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Butterick 2611

My next project: Dress has a square neckline with shirring or ties at the corners. Fabric is what I would call jersey, but am not actually sure as I'm not super good with identifying weaves. It's really soft and drapey though. Grey background with white flowers and red and black ribbon. I have a black straw tilt hat with red flowers that I will probably wear. No black shoes though! I do have a pair of black heels that I love but are way too narrow. I'm going to have to part with them and use the money to buy new shoes.
Mock up of the bodice. (Pardon the horribly unkempt bedroom) I wasn't sure how it would look with the gathers at the shoulders and the shirring. I was worried about it being too blousy, but it seems fine in the that regard. The neckline is all wonky though. The cotton I used for this isn't very drapey and I think (/hope) that it works better with the jersey. It will....right?....
I'm going to use the ties instead of the shirring so that it's adjustable. I like the open neckline on this.
Goal: Cut out pattern tonight.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Thursday, April 22, 2010

My latest aquisitions

Both patterns from Vintage4me2 on Ebay. They are the seller's pics and I hope she doesn't mind me using them because she obviously puts a lot of time into creating these illustrations. I'm always amazed at how much time she puts into this because many of the black and white patterns she will color in like the one above.

I think the pattern illustration conned me into buying the Simplicity. I love tweed. I can't resist, really.

Love the little puff sleeves on this blouse and the shaped waist and front buttons.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Damnit! (Or, A lovely pair of brown oxfords)

*Edit* I got my shoes last night and they are AWESOME! Being short presents all sorts of problems not the least are my feet - ridiculously short but semi-flat and wide. But these shoes fit like a dream! Dare I say they are comfortable? My only problem now, is that it's nearly summer. I probably won't wear these much till fall!

I bought another pair of shoes. I suppose I should feel embaressed and I kinda do but it's not often that I see oxfords in my size so I bought another pair. They're brown leather, embossed to look like alligator.
Picture from seller's website. Purchased from Marian's Vintage Vanities. She was really friendly and helpful. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Quite excited for these shoes from Venus and Mars etsy store. They were listed as 1940s oxfords but I feel like they could even be from the late 30s. Either way, cute! I hope hope hope they fit. Buying vintage shoes is such a crap shoot with me. The most comfortable pumps I own are 9 inches long by 3 inches wide....somehow though, it just doesn't translate when I buy vintage shoes.

Speaking of shoes....

These dance shoes from Aris Allen are absolutely my kind of shoe. I adore them! From the cut-outs to the tie to the round toe...yum! I would even pay $65 for them no problem, but they are dance shoes with a suede sole. Somehow, I don't think they are meant for street walking. And that makes me a sad panda. has some Re-Mix Vintage shoes discounted as does Since Re-Mix is *barely* affordable I haven't decided which shoe or color I am going to get. I know that I am partial to navy, red, and green so anything I make in the future will probably have those colors or shades of those colors. I'm thinking white, green, or red.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cutting into one vintage fabric has made me less afraid to cut into another. So here are some options that I'm considering:

Poor picture but this is a Hollywood pattern I picked up with a bunch of other patterns. Bodice is in, I don't know how many pieces...a bunch...there's the midsection with a dropped waist that is seamed up the middle with ruching at the center and the sides; the top is made up of four panels that are gathered in the center leaving a keyhole opening. I'll probably use cap sleeves because I'm all about short sleeves or even sleeveless year round. I figure I can always throw on a cardigan or jacket or coat no matter what season. I like that you can mix and match whatever color combinations you want, even though, I never do. The one illustration looks like satin panels in the center. Anyway, I don't have any evening dresses. My vintage wardrobe is mainly what I consider sportswear, which, come to think of it, mirrors my every day wardrobe. So I have a navy crepe (I think it's navy) that I think will work.

Option number 2. I love shirt dresses. I don't know why because I get awfully bored looking at my patterns sometimes when all I see are shirt dresses or some variation on the shirt dress. I would hate to waste my vintage fabric on a boring shirt dress. I'd love to do something with these two fabrics....but what.

The apple trees are kinda it even age appropriate? I never know.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tropical Dress part deux

Ok, so here's the first look at the dress. It still needs a zipper put in, shoulder pads, the sleeves hemmed, bias facing around the neck, and the bottom hemmed.

So here's the gaters under the bust. They're not very even but actually do look better in person. I don't know why I have such a hard time with gathers.

I haven't decided what to do at the neck. The pattern calls for a worked eye and button with a bow tacked on. I don't like big things at my neck like that (according to some past life expert dude who was on the radio, it means I was strangled or hung or some such in a past life...whatever) so I was thinking that instead of a bias facing, I may face the neck with fabric and extend either end out for a little tie and then forgo the button; or just leave a button at the neck.

Dress was easy to construct, though I did change it a bit. The directions say to fold under the seam allowance for the skirt pieces and top stitch to bodice. I've never had much luck with that for some reason so I was lazy and just stitched the pieces together and then top stitched. It definitely has a slightly different look to it than it would otherwise. The only thing that bothers me is that the point of the skirt in the front isn't as sharp as it would be if I had follwed the directions. The bodice is just a tidge too short. It doesn't look bad (I don't think so, at least) but I may have been able to leave as it was. Also, for some reason, I was supposed to leave the left side open around the tie and then face the opening and put a snap there. I'm really not sure why so I stitched the whole thing shut and it's fine.

So that's it! More pics when it's finally finished.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tropical summer dress!

(Fabric is vintage cotton plisse. I would never really know the differenc between seersucker and plisse but according to the all powerful Google search, plisse is fabric that is puckered because of a treatment to the fabric and the puckered fabric of seersucker is caused by the weave. Is that why seersucker puckers in straight lines and the puckering of the plisse weaves all over the place? My technical knowledge of all this stuff is about nil.)

Currently making this pattern fit onto this fabric with a half yard less than it calls for.

1. Skirt is about 28.5" long from natural waistline to raw edge - I only need it to be 22 inches long when hemmed, and I don't think all two inches is necessary so I shortened each skirt piece 4" and "cut" about an inch off the bottom (10 inches saved)

2. Pleated the bodice to shorten it by 2 inches (4 inches saved)

So, that only saves me 14 inches, not the 18 I'd need.

BUT I laid it out and it works (dare I say perfectly)! Pieces are cut and marked and my fingers are crossed. My luck, I will have laid it out improperly and something will be backwards. I would be super super super pissed. I'm being optimistic, though, and saying everything was done correctly.

Hopefully, forward progres on Saturday or Sunday. I'm all aquiver.