My inspiration for todays outfit is my new favorite shop Great English Outdoors, discovered via Frolic!. Ever since watching Miss Marple I've had daydreams of the English countryside. If anyone ever invited me to their rustic yet elegant English estate I would know exactly what to wear :) These boots would be in my suitcase, so perfect and sitting in my basement the entire time I was searching for a pair just like them. I thought they would be too big, and was going to sell them in my shop. Sorry guys ;)
A couple of weeks ago I picked up this Pendleton scarf (Wrap? Tartan?) at work and have fallen in love with its versatility. It's small enough to wrap around my neck, and big enough to belt like a dress! I'm sure you'll see it often ;) I just love Pendleton, vintage especially. When I was in school I got to take a trip to the wool mills and saw how the wool gets dyed and woven, and thought the old, small factories with aged bricks and wool fluff everywhere would make a terrific setting for a photoshoot.
Dress-Proenza Schouler for Target
Plaid scarf-Pendleton via The Urban Eccentric
See that blue dress? Yeah, I could have modeled that all day. The chiffon scarves are like a dream!
The victorian tunic is so neat, I can just picture a stylish young lady pairing it with boots and a big ol' cameo. You know who you are stylish ladies.
There's a bit of lingerie this time around too, a Barbizon slip (with a zipper!) that feels like butter, and a dressing gown in 1930s style, but made with synthetic fabric, so made later and much less delicate than if it were the real thing. As always email me with any questions!
I was more than excited when Sandra D contacted me about being featured in Todays Vintage Magazine. And on the same pages as Bernie Dexter too! A big thanks to the lovely Sandra for thinking of me for the vintage style feature, and if you can, then I would recommend picking up the magazine, it's full of terrific articles and events for vintage guys and gals. You can read the entire article here.
Thanks again Sandra!
Besides my wedding dress, I think this is my most treasured dress. My friend Kendra gave it to me, it was her grandmothers, and it is one of the best examples of needle skill of the depression I've ever seen (certainly the best I'll ever own). Its made of silk, with a paneled skirt, and top that is stitched in a way so the seams kind of come out from the bow on the front, if that even makes sense. It even has a matching jacket, with little weights at the front, so it hangs properly. My favorite part though are the sleeves. They are amazing! The shoulders are smocked with tiny little individual stitches, and it billows down to a tight buttoned cuff. You certainly won't see sleeves like that anymore.
Needless to say I was kind of terrified when I wore it, as it's about 80 years old, and if I ripped even a little seam I'd feel so bad. But what's the point of having it if it just sits in the garment bag?
Sam and I took advantage of the beautiful fall day (all fall days should be like that) and walked around 23rd street, where Moonstruck Chocolates has their annual pumpkin pie truffles. They are sooooo yummy.
Lately I've been on a skirt shortage, they are either too small, or too big, and none of them 30s so I've been searching for the perfect sewing pattern to make what I want in every color. Last night I finally found it! Plus the pattern has a blouse, or you can make the pieces into a dress, which is fantastic. I find it much easier to make period clothing from original patterns than to wear the original stuff, because I'm just so on edge about ruining things that have lasted so long.
Dress-A gift from a friend
Brooch on hat-A gift from a friend
Purse and scarf-The Urban Eccentric
I finished me sweater! Quick I know, it seemed to take over my life a bit, as when I finished I went "my house is so messy!"
But thats all fixed now.
This sweater was more of a "I want a brown sweater now" than "This will be a nice project and eventually a nice sweater". Next time I'll make something thats more of a hobby than it was this time. Sam wants a scarf, and after that I want to do a short sleeve sweater. Watching Miss Marple the other day I noticed one of the characters wore a short sleeve sweater over a long sleeve blouse and it looked so cute! I always reserve short sleeve sweaters for spring and early summer, but that look can carry well into fall and even winter.
I think this one turned out pretty well, but I did do a bit of modification. For one thing I shortened it to sit at my waist, then I left out the cable stitching on the sleeves. As for the buttons I went back and fourth with different types, but finally settled on these I found in my button stash, they just felt right. If you are interested in making the sweater, you can buy the pattern here from a very lovely and helpful seller. She has lots of very pretty patterns, including some 30s knit dresses I would LOVE to make, but that really would take a while, perhaps something for spring? We'll see ;)
If anyone is wondering what happened to those hat posts I promised, I just want to let you know I haven't forgotten! I keep getting more and more ideas and inspiration, so I'm actually planning a "hat week" with lots of tips, and even a project. Stay tuned!
Some fun new things going in my shop today! I found the jacket and 1940s dress yesterday, the jacket is so neat, it has these cool embroidered dragons on the inside of the cuff. If I didn't already have a vintage sailor jacket I'd keep it! I couldn't seem to capture just how pretty this 40s dress is, the color is so rich and autumn like, with colored studs at the pockets (yes! It has pockets!). But it's also a few sizes too big for me, so I think it would look really fantastic on someone it actually fits.
If anyone would like measurements, a reserve, etc, just send me an email!
Today my mother, aunt, cousin and I went knit shop hopping in Portland. My aunt is a avid knitter who lives in Ohio, so yarn selection there is sparse. We found some fun shops, but the best one was the first we came upon, a brand new shop on Hawthorne ever so cutely named Happy Knits. The name alone is a sign of what's inside.
It's as if Etsy opened up a knitting shop and cozy hangout. There were shelves and shelves of beautiful yarn in one room, and in another a huge wooden table with old mis-matched chairs around it, a vintage couch in front of a fireplace, and a book shelf packed with books that made my mother want to learn how to knit. There was even a cute kiddie room for you knitting mamas. The staff was super nice too, so if you ever are in Portland make sure and stop by, if I lived near the shop I'd be there all the time! My aunt also turned me on to Ravelry a great site for knitters and crocheters. Here's my profile if you are a member and want to raid my favorite patterns (all 30s and 40s, and most of them free!).
As asked by most of you in the last post, of course I'll show the tap pants, I'll need to iron them though, so who knows when that will be :)
1940s coat-Somewhere on Haight Ashbury
1940s hat-No idea, I've had it a while
Cherrie brooch-The Urban Eccentric
Knitting bag-Monticello Antiques
It has been a whole year since I wrote that first post late one night while trying to not shop on Etsy. To celebrate I would like to do a little giveaway.
About year ago Lark Books contacted me and asked if I would design a tap pants pattern for a book about handmade lingerie. Of course I jumped at the chance and made a pair. Unfortunately the ones I made were not in a fabric that fit with the style of the book (a bright floral silk recycled from a torn up 40s dress), so the tap pants did not make it in the book. But the nice people at Lark Books sent me a copy of the book anyway!
It is full of fantastic projects, like a frilly garter belt, bra made of doilies, bloomers, and of course knickers, camisoles, and nightgowns. It has a guide for fabric, techniques, and is full of pretty, romantic photos. The book is great for a beginner or expert, and very clear directions! So I am giving away a copy of Sweet Nothings to one of my lovely readers.
All you need to do to enter is comment on this post. Then on Friday the 23rd I'll pick a winner at random! Happy Birthday Vixen Vintage readers!
Throughout the day I think of little things to blog about, this and that, people I should promote, products you should know about, new blogs I've come across. And yet at the end of the day my brain kind of gets taken off with my hat and all I can think of is, here's what I wore today.
So here's what I wore today:
Anthropologie jacket-Buffalo Exchange on Hawthorne, Portland OR
1950s cashmere sweater-Flashback vintage, California
1930s Jantzen skirt-The Urban Eccentric
Austrian hat-Buffalo Exchange on Haight Ashbury, San Francisco CA
Cotton "Stockings"-Sock Dreams
Boots and gloves-Thrifted
Here are a few items going in my shop this week, all perfect for Autumn for Spring depending on where you live. It really feels like fall right now, with the yellow leaves blowing in the streets, and bits of unpredictable rain. I'm almost finished with my sweater, all I have to knit are the sleeves! So hopefully I'll have it done by the end of the week, or next week.
As always if you have any questions or would like a reserve, just email me!
Today Twila Jean and I went to Portland to scour thrift stores for our Etsy shops. Was a semi success for each of us, there was an amazing early 40s dress we had to pass up because it had a big hole in the front! But I did find a fantastic 30s suit, it's cream, and rather unusual like many 30s things are.
She did dance with a Viking, which was exciting, not something one does everyday, and found 40s style oxfords! If I didn't know any better I would say they were authentic, they look darling on her, something she's been looking for for ages.
I think this is my favorite suit, its from the 40s and is such a lovely color, even has the matching belt. I think I could live off of suits in the fall, for town I wear them as an outfit, and for errands and such I mix the skirts with cardigans, or use the jackets over another outfit. What's not to love?
1940s suit-Magpie Vintage
1930s hat and 1940s crochet purse-The Urban Eccentric
Shoes-Hand me down from mother
Pants are one of those things I love, but only the right ones. They have to be interesting in some way, even if they are as simple as a pair of black cigarette pants. Usually what sets vintage pants apart from modern ones is where the waist sits, back then it was, well, at the waist, and now it has settled just above the hips. And I have to say, for many women, having a line right across the widest part of your figure is not exactly flattering. Just saying. I look very different in high waist pants and hip hugging ones, the latter cut that curve of the lower back right in half, instead of enhancing it. Next time you go shopping for pants, try on not only varying leg widths, but waist placement. It doesn't have to be up so high you look like Urkle, but something that doesn't make you flash everyone in sight when you kneel down would be great.
And don't even get me started on muffin tops.
All I'm saying is pants are much more difficult to fit to your unique figure than skirts, a style on one person will not look the same on her best friend.
On another note, I had a great hair day today, see the wave? Yay for pin curls.
50s Cashmere sweater and hight waist jeans-The Urban Eccentric
One of the reasons I love 1930s fashion is because a lot of detail was put into the design of the sleeve. It seems to be a trend that never made its way back into fashion, at least not to the intricate extent it was then.
The sleeves on this particular blouse are fantastic, fanning out and dotted with buttons. I was very excited to find it a few years ago, and even more excited that it fit me, button up blouses never do.
I was influenced a bit by the latest 40s style Dior collection (see below), with hints of lingerie in the lace at the hem of the skirt, and an exaggerated high waist (it has boning sewn in). I didn't say much about the collection this morning, as I was getting ready for work, but I have to say that I love the idea of a belt for evening wear, like the one on the red dress. And as much as I love the lingerie styling, for everyday style I love the little black blouse with the giant bows, and would love to see more of that, its very New Look Dior.
Blouse: Nordstrom Rack
Skirt: Express, via thrift store
1940s pumps: The Urban Eccentric
Hat: The Red Light
My favorite Spring 2010 collection is Christian Dior, often my favorite anytime so no surprise. The entire look, right down to the red lips is so 40s, and I love it. Now I'm kicking myself for cutting my hair, love those seductive waves. I'm feeling so uninspired at the moment, the temperature is back to above 70 degrees yet it is October! I suppose I should take this as a hint to spend more time outside, but all I want to do is curl up on the couch and knit my sweater (which is coming along very well).
So sorry I've haven't posted lately (ok, two days, but it feels longer), to tell you the truth I've used every spare minute to knit my sweater, and I have the back almost finished! It's very exciting, considering the last thing I knit was a scarf that took me almost two years. I thought my lack of interest in knitting was because it was too difficult, but I guess I just needed a more interesting project than row after row of the same thing.
I LOVE this color, you can purchase it here, it's Maple Syrup. The sweater will look a bit different than the pattern because I'm shortening it so it will sit at my waist, and skipping out on the embroidery. I still haven't picked out buttons, but some neat wooden ones are what I'm picturing, either that or bakelite.
Also pictured are my awesome knitting needles given to me years ago by a creative minded relative, and my knitting/sewing/embroidery bag bought a while ago at Monticello Antiques and it's the perfect size, not to mention it's pink with little ships on it.
Thought I'd share this photo of my grandmother, age 17. Quite similar to the last one in this post.
Exciting news: I'm Vintage Queen #40 on Queens of Vintage! I love this feature they do every week, and was sooooooo excited when I was asked to be a part of it. Thanks so much Lena!
Today was a wonderful crisp autumn day, perfect for a fox hunt sweater vest! I got this vest a while back and have been waiting for a good day to wear it, it has doggies on it!
My yarn from Knit Picks came today! I'm so excited, I'm going to knit this sweater, only shorten in a bit so it will sit at my waist. We'll see how that goes. I'll keep you posted on my knitting joys and woes.
Tonight my mother, friend, and I went to the Portland Greek Festival, something that I look forward to every year. There's folk dancing, and best of all yummy food. Did any Portlanders make it to the festival?
Kendra, this is for you:
Oh! My shop is on the list of Top Five Vintage Shops on Etsy! How cool is that? I kind of feel bad now that my shop is a bit sparse for this time of year, so off to go list some things!
Sweater Vest and hat: Buffalo Exchange
Skirt and blouse: The Urban Eccentric
Half of my life I attended private school, and the other half an Art school. I never got any sort of "real high school" experience (thank goodness), or had to deal with any of the horrid people that make going to school so difficult. One could say I was very lucky. I know a lot of my readers are teens, so I swear I have a point.
Throughout my life I have been surrounded by encouragement to be myself, and because of that I know exactly who I am and am sure of the choices I make. Most are not so fortunate to be encouraged, constantly being put down by the media, peers, and even family for making a different choice in the way they dress, or the things they like to do. So those who would otherwise be their own person are pressured into conforming to a mold that is created by everyone else but themselves, everyone else but the one person that matters: You.
You have your own tastes, and quirks, and way of expressing what makes you, you. It could be though clothes, it could be though music, it could be the way you treat other people, but either way you are in charge of that, and all I can do is hope that you don't let others discourage you from making you feel like being different is a bad thing. Those who put down people who are different are just too scared to be different themselves. It's true.
You may get a snide comment, or mean snicker from someone or other, but just remember that you have the courage to be your own person, while they can only stand by and watch.
I keep up this blog not to inspire you to dress like me but inspire you to dress how YOU want, and accept loving what YOU love. I am not an average person and neither are you, and I encourage you to make the most of that.
Blouse and hat: The Urban Eccentric
Skirt: Buffalo Exchange
Socks: TJ Maxx
Gloves: Estate sale
Bag: Michael Kors
Last night I rotated my closet yet again thanks to the cool weather that hit overnight. It's so nice to finally wear layers. In the collection of fall/winter clothes I found this great Evan Picone skirt. I must have bought it at the end of the season and packed it away, because I had no idea I had it. It's like shopping! But free :)
Now my closet has that great autumn feel, with wool skirts, beaded cashmere sweaters, 40s suits, and knit dresses. Mmmmm, how cozy.
Today was just a grocery day, the past few weeks I've just worn jeans and a blouse (yes, sometimes I wear jeans), but putting thought in my ensemble just made me feel better. Plus this jacket is adorable. It's lined with bunny fabric!
And here are some bananas, just because.
Blouse and jacket: Buffalo Exchange, originally from Anthropologie.
Skirt: The Urban Eccentric.
Shoes and beret: Thrifted
Bag: Michael Kors.