Friday, October 30, 2015

• The Latest Antique Haul •

I can't believe it's almost November!! Where has the year gone?! The time is passing awfully fast, but I'm actually really looking forward to winter. :)
In any case, here's our latest antique finds! We went antiquing last weekend, and boy did we have fun!! The first store we went to didn't have a whole lot of stuff we were interested in, but the next one was smashing! So smashing that we spent all our money. :) But that's why we went, right?!

It was a humongous antique store, and they had pretty much anything and everything you could possibly want. And it was all amazing! They had an 1830s couch (gorgeous, of course, and YES I wanted it), two different 1850s baby carriages, one of which was wooden, had "Baby" carved on the side, red velvet lining and a silk tasseled umbrella overhead. That's what I call riding in the lap of luxury. I wanted that too.
Another booth had 40-50 Sears, Montgomery Wards, etc catalogs from the 1940s-60s. It was just too amazing. I could go there and read clothing catalogs like it was a library. ;)
Then there was the especially sewing-oriented booth. Hehehe.

Zillions of buttons. Well, not zillions, but quite a few, and they're so neat! My particular favorite are the ones on the top right. They look just like marbles, but they are in fact buttons!! :) I already have a plan for them.

And....patterns!!!!! I'm pretty sure patterns are my favorite thing to shop for at antique stores. I just love them. We got a number of adorable kids' patterns, plus an apron and dress pattern that's our size.
Butterick 4420, McCall 5710 and Simplicity 1472 are all listed in the Etsy shop! The rest that aren't my size I'm just hoarding. Because vintage patterns are sometimes almost always too. amazing. to let go.

Ordinarily, we can't bear to buy an apron, however amazing it is. We just can't do it. The ever-prominent saying, "Oh, we could make one of those!" always prevails. Except this time.
This teapot/vase/sugarbowl/flower-laden beauty rendered itself irresistible. The fact that it is completely hand-sewn was a contributing factor! The print is seriously adorable, and it's just so pretty!! :)

So pretty!! :)

Here's where things get amazing. We bought 13 separate and distinct belt buckles!!!!! (!!)
All of them were either $1 or $2, which is a very decent price, if you ask me.
And would you just look at that red one?!! We have crowned it "The Most Amazing Buckle EVER." It really is. And it matches and fits so many of our dresses/belts we already have, it's just incredible. Eeek!!
And on a side note, the white buckle came with those four white buttons in the button photo. And....of course.....I already have a plan for them too. ;)

Since we didn't quite feel like dishing out $35 for a great big dress catalog, we bought this smaller "Midsummer Sale Book" for under $10. And it's surprisingly loaded with everything you can think of, up to and including typewriters, refrigerators, and dolls' bathtubs.

I was very excited to add this Deanna Durbin sheet music to my collection! Eventually I hope to collect all of them, but I've still got a long way to go.

Aaaannnd, a very large photo of a button hook! At least you can see it in detail! ;)
We only have a really small, short button hook, so it was great to find this nice, long, big one. I can't wait to try it out on my Renoirs!!

I couldn't help but throw in a couple pictures of our fabric haul as well! We stopped at Hancock Fabrics and found a couple of real treasures! First off is this wool-look fabric my mom got. It's the most gorgeous color of green! We are in desperate need of some wintry fabrics, so this was a good investment!!

And this is what I'm seriously excited about. Remember my green 1940s dress? This is the very same print, only in black. And I have wanted it for at least two years!!! When I bought the green, I had deliberated between it and this black, but went with the green because it was more practical. I saw it again on a later trip to Hancock, but once again passed it up. I just recently told my mom that if I ever saw the black fabric again, I was buying it for an 1800s dress of some sort! 
I searched all over the place at this Hancock store with no success, but then found it in the clearance section for $2.79 a yard. EEEK! Yes, I bought it all! Sadly there were only 6 3/4 yards, but I can still get a very decent dress out of that! It's the most wonderful fabric; it's very thick and stable, but at the same time it doesn't wrinkle one bit. AND, it's made in USA. So basically, it's a winner. ;)
It's destined to be an 1830s dress to wear to several mansions of that era when we go on vacation early next year. Speaking of which, we've got a whole week's worth of outfits to make! You just can't go on vacation in old clothes, you know! ;)

See you Monday!
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Monday, October 26, 2015

1940s Dress • Violet and Chocolate

Today I'm sharing my mom's gorgeous dress that she wore to our friend's wedding last week!
We had both originally planned on making 1930s dresses, but with the time squeeze we had, and the seeming difficulty of the patterns, we decided to change plans and come up with something different!
She decided to use this gorgeous purple fabric, called "Violet and Chocolate," incidentally, to make Butterick 5281. Since she only had 3 1/3 yards of it, it was a trick to fit all the pieces on, but in the end she was able to get the whole dress out of it. The fabric is so soft and drapey, it looks beautiful in this pattern!

I love the details of this pattern, not the least of which is the beautiful drape of the bodice. It's so elegant!
Incidentally, I love this belt buckle! :) It's made of gray shell, but matches the purple *perfectly*. It was still on the card when we bought it, which adds to the neatness factor! ;)

These buttons. Don't they look just like candy?! I just love them! She bought them not knowing what they would match, but to our great surprise and excitement, they matched this fabric beautifully. And they're just the right size to be the perfect accent. I just love it when that happens!

This little brooch was an inexpensive find at an antique shop, but so worth it! It looks like something Queen Elizabeth would wear! :)

Our (of course planned color-coordinating) outfits did in fact end up coordinating quite well, I'm happy to say! :)

All in all, I just love this dress! It's perfect for all seasons, depending on how she accessorizes it, and it looks just gorgeous on her. :)

Meanwhile, I might just be sharing our latest antique finds this week! We had a scrumptious time antiquing this past weekend, and found some amazing stuff. Buckles, buttons, patterns, magazines....just so many goodies! Eeek!! :)
And I'll go ahead and let the cat out of the bag; we're working on colonial outfits! It's about time, right?! We randomly decided that it would be fun to wear them for Thanksgiving, so that's what we're shooting for. We'll see how it goes, and hopefully have an update post or two! :)
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Monday, October 19, 2015

• Black and Purple 1940s •

It's so nice to have a new way to wear my black dress! A friend of mine got married this past weekend, and I needed a special outfit to wear. I had started a dark teal rayon 1930s dress, but I just wasn't having fun with it at all, so I decided to go with something easier. 

I bought this purple fabric (polyester satin-backed shantung) probably a year ago, with the intention of making it into a regency ball gown. Yeah. Yikes. Even I, who am not a fabric snob by any means, just couldn't do such an abominable thing. Using it for a 1940s garment is still rather unethical, but at least it's a little more appropriate. 
In any case, after searching high and low for something remotely appropriate to make, and seemingly ruling out everything I came across, I finally decided to make a bolero! I used Simplicity 1578, a pattern from 1945.

I made a mockup of it first out of some cotton I had in the stash, but never really expected it to fit. I was already planning on listing it in my Etsy shop. Well, to my great surprise and happiness, the Etsy shop did not and is not going to get a glimpse of it! It fit beautifully, and I just loved it. Unfortunately, I haven't a thing to wear it with, but I'm still quite content to hang onto it until I do. 

Meanwhile, I could get to work on the real bolero!

I really didn't feel like facing the bodice all the way around, so I decided to line it instead. And rather than having the same fabric showing on the revers, I used the back (satin) side of the fabric. It gives it a really neat look; just different enough to be contrasting, but not blatantly shiny. And, it was a breeze to sew it together! The hardest part about the whole bolero is clipping all those curves!

I had two buttons leftover from my 1950s Floral Dress that were perfect to accent the revers. Plus, I can take them off and switch them out with something more "fun" when I make a dress out of the remaining 3+ yards of this purple fabric! Yay! 

This rhinestone necklace is my new favorite. I had gazed at it for probably a year and a half, every time we went to the local antique shop, but never felt like asking to get in the cabinet to actually look at it. I finally did last week, however, and I am so glad!! It fits perfectly, looks beautiful, and only cost $6. 

Since my bolero is lined with the reverse side of the same fabric, I thought it qualified rather well for this month's HSM!
The Challenge: #10 - Sewing Secrets
Fabric: 1 3/4 yards of polyester satin-backed shantung
Pattern: Vintage Simplicity 1578
Year: 1945
Notions: Thread and buttons
How historically accurate is it? 50%, if that, because of the polyester fabric. But the lining, the pattern used and the bias-faced sleeves make it a little more acceptable. ;)
Hours to complete: 4-5
First worn: Last Friday, to a wedding.
Total cost: I can't for the life of me remember how much the fabric, I have no idea! 
because you just *have* to be silly sometimes....

This purse is also one of my favorites! It's such a neat size and shape, and that satiny stripe on the front is gorgeous. One can never have too many vintage purses!! :)

It was a lovely wedding! It was wonderful to see Hannah and Josh get married, AND I caught the bouquet, was a VERY good day. ;)
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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

• New Vintage Patterns in the Shop •

Well, "New Vintage" might just be an oxymoron. But in any case, I just added 13 vintage patterns to the shop, so be sure to take a look! There are lovely 1950s patterns for anything from blouses to housedresses to coats.... well as some very lovely 1960s patterns! Several of them are quite rare.

The sizes range from 34" to 38" bust measurement, so there's something for everyone! :) Stop by the shop to check them out.
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Monday, October 12, 2015

• 1812 Reenactment •

Hurrah! I'm back, with a refreshed eagerness for blogging, and in a much better mood! :) Thanks for all your well wishes and prayers!!

This past Friday I went to my very first historical reenactment! It was an amazing time!

The reenactment was held on a huge site along a pretty little river, with tents set up everywhere. There were enough tents set up to make your head spin!! There were something like 140 merchants, plus a whole village of Indians, soldiers, and all the reenactors.

Unfortunately for me, the battle took place while I was wandering around in the wilderness looking for my car. It was scheduled to be at 1:00, but they ended up doing it at 12:00, unannounced, so I got back just in time for them to walk off the battlefield. Very exciting. :|

It was still a lot of fun though! There were more merchants than you could shake a stick at, including this lady, who was weaving fabric for towels. She was explaining how it was done, and talking about her dress, which she had made from her own woven fabric. She made that fabric on a 45" loom, which takes about 8 or 9 hours per yard to weave. And her dress took 5 yards! Whew! It sounds like fun though!

Another lady spinning wool.

I was surprised to see that there were no other people in period clothing that were not reenactors! I wasn't a reenactor, but I would have felt pretty funny wearing (in my case) a 1950s dress! ;)

This lady was the proprietress of Regency Remembered. She had on the most exquisite outfit! Her hat was amazing.

There was a "schoolroom" set up in one area! I loved seeing the Bible verse on the chalkboard! There were TONS of schoolkids there since it was field day for them, so it was quite the zoo for a while.

Watching little boys try to split great big logs. :) So cute!!

Now for the reallllllllly good part. The fabric stores!! The first one I came to was Wm. Booth Draper! I was very happily surprised to see a "big-time" company there! They had a ton of gorgeous fabrics; I could have spent SO much money. But somehow I only came out with velvet, which you'll see in the pictures later on.
The fabrics in this picture are available on their website. I just about died over that red and blue block print.

More fabrics.

These gorgeous block prints were for sale at Regency Remembered. I alllllmost bought that one at the top center. To me, $50 for 5 yards seemed quite reasonable!

My sweet friends Bekah and Jolene, who invited me! (Oh, and Sake, the dog). ;)
They were both wearing lovely dresses that Jolene made.

And now for the loot! :)

I bought this gorgeous scarf/fichu/shawl/neckerchief from one of the merchants. I just loved the pattern and the colors! I almost went for the all-blue pattern, but decided to be bold and try some other colors instead.
Nicely enough, it's 44" square, so it can be worn as a fichu or a shawl!

Ahhh. I bought 2 yards of this gorgeous velvet from Wm. Booth Draper. It was only $10 per yard, which seemed like quite the good price for a very good quality cotton velvet. And it's 60" wide!
To my very great happiness, I found when I got home that it matches one of my regency dress fabrics perfectly. I'm already plotting my spencer jacket!! :)

I wore my calico regency gown, which I revamped a bit beforehand. I'm happy to say, my new undersleeves worked perfectly! Thanks for the tips, Lily!!

I removed the original sleevebands and made them much more fitted and wider. I'm so excited that I finally have undersleeves!! :)

I bought my bonnet from Regency Austentation on Etsy. I really like it! It's very well made, and you can decorate it up in a variety of ways. Since I was going for a working-class look and not a promenading-in-Bath look, I decided to just do a simple ribbon decoration instead of silk, feathers and flowers.

When I originally made this dress, I assumed that it would somehow magically stay closed in the back with just a drawstring at the neck and waist, but for some reason it didn't! I wonder why! Ha!
Needless to say, I added some much-needed hooks-and-eyes, and now it really does stay closed. Hurrah!

And now for the good part; I made garters, and they held my socks up the entire day!! I didn't have to pull them up once. :) Now that is a good thing!!
My stockings are from Jas. Townsend.

Wait!!! I forgot my reticule!

I started this reticule ages ago, and it had even ended up in the drawer of shame (aka UFO drawer). I got it out in anticipation of this reenactment, however, and actually finished it! I really love it; it looks small, but it holds an amazing amount of stuff!
Unfortunately, I can't find the embroidery pattern I used, but I'm pretty sure it was from Needle 'N' Thread.

I lined my reticule with some gorgeous reproduction cotton (an 1860s reproduction, incidentally, but who's counting?!). It is the same fabric I used for my garters.

All in all, it was a very fun time, and I can't wait for next year!! :)

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