Thursday, March 31, 2011

Happy Hair!

I did a pincurl set last night and it turned out great! Yay for good hair days! It was chilly so my outfit was not too cute. So I didn't take any pictures of it. Lovely spring weather please come back!

Curly, curly, curly!

I wore one of my favorite Belle Blossoms! I love the color on me!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Catalog shopping can be fun!

There were some requests for pictures from my new Sears Catalog book. I've not gotten around to scanning it yet but here are some lovely pages I pulled off the net for you to enjoy.

Look at all of these fabulous hats!


More springy hats!

There are also some bag pages in my books. I've been trying to find a style of vintage bag that I really love so these have been very helpful.

I want some saddle shoes now! Flats are a must for every girl's shoe stash.

I'm so glad that I bought the 30s book! These lovely dresses have me drooling.

Not every thing is a hit though. I definitely am not feeling the lace at the bottom of the pelpum. And the pink bows/sashes on the shoulders of the other dress are just not my cup of tea.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Youtube of the Week: 1940s Playsuits

While many of us are still battling the last bits of snow and chilly weather, spring is on its way and summer is sure to follow! Maybe this cute video of summer playsuits will convince summer to come sooner!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Nautical Inspiration: Patterns!

More nautical inspiration! If you are a sewer, this post is for you! If not, sorry. You'll just have to drool over the pictures and hope that time machines finally get invented.

A lovely 50s pattern with lots of options.

An adorable suit with collar and two rows of buttons.

This dress shows how easy it is to make a pattern look nautical. The striped collar and cuffs make the dress!

This 60s pattern has lots of possibilities. The 60s not your style? Pair the blouse with high waisted pants, shorts or skirt and it instantly looks older!

This juniors pattern is so delicious! Yummy!

This Wearing History play suit is just too fabulous! I've had it for months but have had to put off sewing it due to cold weather.

Bettie Bang Round up

I cut my Bettie Bangs back in Thursday evening. I missed them a lot and they look so much cuter with my longer hair. I pulled together a youtube video highlighting some great youtube tutorials on Bettie Bangs. There are cutting tutorials, faux Bettie bang tutorials and a great tutorial on styling Bettie Bangs when you don't want to see them.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a penny in your shoe

There's nothing wedding about this post, but the cliched rhyme just seemed like a good way to organize my post.

Something Old

I got to do a bit of thrifting yesterday! Woot! I did find some vintage and even some pieces that I could take home.

My catch!

I picked up two vintage scarves (top right and left), a wide neck striped shirt (bottom left) and a darling floral purse (bottom right). I don't have a date for any of these items, but I'm thinking 60s on the scarves due to the washing instructions on the tags. The shirt didn't have any washing instructions and it's also obviously made to be worn with high waisted pants or skirts due to the length. I'm think it is a bit old. The purse has no tags what so ever. I just thought it was cute. I also picked up some old sheet sets to scavenge the fabrics.

Something New

I also went out to a Jo-Anne's Superstore where they were having a fabulous sale plus I had a 25% off coupon! To my surprise, Butterick patterns were on sale for $1.99 too so I picked up a whole bunch of their repro patterns.

Most of the patterns were 50s dresses.

I love all of the full skirts. The only bummer is they take about 5 yds.

And I picked up one 60s pattern. I love the neckline!

Something Borrowed

The low point of the day was having my debit card lost/stolen. Not sure exactly what happened to it. I used it to pay for dinner and I'm pretty sure I didn't get it back from the cashier, but it was no where in the restaurant. :( So, I had to cancel it. Thankfully, there were no extra charges on it!

Something Blue

Summer sewing is going to be all about nautical-red, white, blue! There will be no problems dressing for Independence Day this year!

I picked up this lovely floral for one of the full 50s dresses. Not sure which one yet.

I also picked up this blue plaid for this pattern. I'm going to copy the dress on the cover. Is that cheating?

I also grabbed this peacock feather fabric to make this lovely evening ensemble. It doesn't exactly fit into my spring or summer sewing palettes but it was too fabulous to pass up.

And a penny in your shoe

I take surveys online to earn gift cards and I recently racked up enough points to get these 3 fashion books for $0.32!

These books are full of gorgeous, drool worthy fashions. There were also some surprises such as hoodies, plus sizes, and pointy shoes! I really want to get the rest of the series.

How has your weekend been?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How to build a wardrobe

I love shopping! What girl doesn't? But I wanted more in my closet than a couple of cute pieces. I wanted a wardrobe that would be fun and make it easy to look great everyday. So today I'm going to show you how to do that without $5000, a trip to New York and your own personal fashion consultants.

1. Decide what your look is going to be

Every wardrobe has to has a plan. So get one! A great way to start is to collect clippings (digital or hard copy) of things you like and collect them together. You can base it on a style, a color palette, a fashion icon or anything else. It just needs to be you. Don't forget to go back and edit. You want a cohesive look. It also needs to flatter your body shape (we'll come back to that later). Don't feel too pressured to narrow your look down too much. If you are having trouble getting to one look, think about doing a look/theme for each season.

A collection of inspiration

Your look doesn't have to be (in fact, shouldn't be) static, so feel free to modify as your fashion muse moves you.

2. Know your body

Every woman has her own unique body shape and we all have trouble finding things that fit. Certain cuts and styles are going to look better on some shapes than others. Knowing what you can and can't do will be very helpful. I can't count the number of times I've been out shopping with my hubby when he picks something out and I have to say, "Looks cute but won't look good on me."

There are a lot of resources out there on body shapes, so do some research. You probably know some of your problem areas, so go find others with your issues and see how they over come them. I love What Not to Wear reruns for this. Stacey and Clinton do talk about how to camouflage problem areas and flatter your best features. You might not see someone with your exact shape, but look for bits and pieces of that match your body.

A body shape diagram

You could also go to the mall and try stuff on. If you don't know if something will look good on you, try it on. Bring a girl friend to get an honest opinion. Fit is really important for looking good. No matter how cute something looks on the hanger, you won't wear it if it makes your tummy look fat or shows off your ugly knees. You have to feel beautiful in your own clothes.

The book How Never to Look Fat Again is a great reference. I checked it out of my local library and took some notes about my body shape since I didn't want to fork over the dough. There are great before and after pictures.

3. Asses what you already have

A couple months ago, I went through my closet and donated all of my clothes that don't fit, I don't wear or were just frumpy. I chucked all of my t-shirts (except a couple reserved just for the gym, of course). Now I'm not tempted to throw one on. You can't have a great wardrobe if you have things holding you back.

I suggest that you set a side a day and try on all of your clothes and separate them into piles-donate and keep. If you sew, you might try an upcycle/refit pile. If you are like me and trying to lose weight, you can keep your smaller clothes, but pack them away! If you have things of sentimental value that you can't bear to part with, consider having them made into a quilt or something. But get them out of your wardrobe!

We don't want your closet to look like this!

Now check out what you have left. This is the basis of your new wardrobe. When shopping, you need to know what you already have so you don't over buy. Note any holes or places where you have too much of one thing.

4. Decide what you need

What pieces and how many of each kind you need will be based on your life. Your wardrobe has to fit the weather where you live. A gal in Florida won't need tons of winter coats and another in New Hampshire won't survive with a closet full of summery dresses. Don't forget about appropriate outerwear for rain too!

You also have to think about what is appropriate for your life style. A mom with two young kids probably won't be wearing rare 30s evening gowns on a daily basis. My future career requires pants and clothes toed shoes, so I'm adding lots of fun blouses to my wardrobe. Think about what kind of events you do regularly. I think a girl should always have something to wear to a wedding, something to wear to a funeral (hopefully you won't have to wear that one...), and something to wear on a night out that makes you feel fabulous.

A wardrobe of all tops works for no one.

Again, this is something that is fluid. As your life changes, your needs change. But keeping an actual (or mental) list will keep you on track. It can be specific like a navy knee length pencil skirt or as general as more sweaters. This post by Glamour Daze shows a woman's wardrobe plan from 1947 if you are looking for vintage inspiration.

If you are a sewer, decide what things you can make yourself and which you'll be purchasing. Think about your skill level and the time and energy you'll need to put into the garment vs the cost of buying one premade.

5. Combine what you need with your fashion inspiration

Now that you know what you need and what you want, put the two together to get the big picture of what you need because next we're going shopping!

A sewer's wardrobe plan but you can also do this if you don't plan on making your garments.

6. Outfits, outfits, outfits

Often when people shop (or sew), they do it by pieces, because that's how you buy things. To have a great wardrobe, you need to think in outfits. Think about what you have at home that you can wear with something. I hate having a piece I really love in my closet but I never wear it because I don't have anything to wear with it! And don't forget about shoes and other accessories when you are thinking outfits! If you can make several outfits out of a piece, it may be worth a bigger budget investment. If you have to purchase the rest of the outfit new, it may not be worth it.

You can also try on things together in the store, even if you don't plan on buying all of the pieces. Think you'll wear a coat over a white button up blouse and a gray pencil skirt that you have at home? Grab one from the store and try it on to get the big picture. You can also bring belts into the dressing room to see how they look.

Be sure to check the return and exchange policy, especially if ordering something online. Again, if it doesn't fit, don't wear it! If you are shopping vintage or reproduction online, I highly recommend measuring yourself and writing it down somewhere handy. It is a lot easier to get a good fit if you know your size. Don't forget to leave space for ease in the garment. You can always message etsy sellers for more measurements if you want more than are provided.

7. Don't forget to finish the picture!

Accessories, shoes, hair and make-up are important for a great look! Just like you went through your closet and cut what didn't work, do the same with shoes and accessories. Also learn to think about outfits before you shop for these items. Polyvore is a great website for getting inspired!

This is a great example of outfit options. A simple top and jeans can be mixed and matched with shoes, purses and other accessories to create many outfits. You can also see attention to color palette here!

It is also a good idea to have a quick, easy make-up look you can throw on even if you are running late or not feeling up to the effort that morning. The same goes for hair. You may even want a new hair cut for your new wardrobe. Don't forget to think about versatility and how it fits into your lifestyle. I have learned that I am not up for a high maintenance hair do. So I went with something that looks great if do practically nothing to it but also can look great done up.

8. Don't lose the big picture

Remember what we did back at #1? We came up with your look. Don't lose sight of that in all of the details. I have my spring color palette as my computer background. This is also a great place to put a picture of a big ticket item you are saving up for. You can also keep an inspiration board in your sewing space or bedroom.

This board is great because it has pictures, pattern line drawings and fabric inspiration.

9. Be patient!

Building a wardrobe takes time! Most of us don't get $5000 to spend in two days. Don't give up and be on the look out for great deals!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Youtube of the Week: Betty Bangs Revisited

Spring is here and if you are like me, you are ready for a change. Betty Paige style bangs are cute and so vintage, but a big commitment. This week's youtube of the week shows you how to get these cute bangs without grabbing the scissors! Looking for more bang inspiration? Scroll down to the hair section on the youtube of the week page or check out my To fringe or not to fringe post.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Etsy does vintage sailor

More nautical lovelies coming your way! This week's nautical inspiration is vintage lovelies currently for sale on etsy! There's a ton of stuff out there, but with the weather turning warm all over the country, expect the gems to be snatched up soon.

Cute front button shorts with anchor buttons!

I love the flags on this red faux wrap skirt.

A cute drop waist sailor dress

This darling dress is a bit outside of the box in baby blue.

This red play suit is a little bit sailor and a whole lotta fabulous!

Another sailor dress in a unique color- chocolate brown.

More sailor dresses! This one is in the traditional colors with two rows of buttons down the front.

This gray dress is sailor in a very different way. Sail boats, palm trees and seagulls oh my!

Check out this great 1915 sailor shirt!

Have you spotted any vintage sailor lovelies on etsy lately? Have any in your shop? Do share a link!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My first fashion show

Last night was the Runway Challenge runway show! It was so much fun! There were five entries all made from either thrifted clothes or unconventional materials.

My outfit was vintage inspired (of course!) so I decided to wear out my fur coat from Bombshell Bettie's Vintage. I love the fur! It's also a DIY. Some fashion and wallet conscious person added the fur collar by hand some time long ago.

There were three judges including last year's winner and a lady from the consignment store that donated the 'before' clothes for this event.

The first entry was a cute little clubbing top made from a ghastly 80s evening gown. (Sorry, but I don't have before pictures for any outfits except mine... :/ )

Entry #2 was made from an old lbd with newspaper details that hid old holes. The pink jacket was made from an old dress.

The third entry was a cute jacket made from a boring old black shirt. The designer also made ribbon accessories and a clutch made from old magazines.

The fourth entry was the only group project. They made a skirt from hand dyed coffee filters and masking tape. The top is an upcycled black velvet dress. They also made a cute little clutch; it was made from newspaper. Their model sprained her ankle so kudos to her for walking in the show with an injury!

And then there was me. I was the only person not to use a model. I was all 50s glam. It was great! I was so happy not to fall in my pin up heels! I reshaped the bottom of a mermaid style dress into more of a circle skirt shape. I salvaged lace from a vintage dress and decorated the skirt with it. I also turned the built in slip of this dress into a crinoline. It's not the prettiest (I did have to repair some of the tulle) but it's not the part you see anyways. I also made a shirt using the wrong side of a shiny red prom dress. I did a lace overlay on the collar and bound button holes. The buttons were from my stash.

See before pictures here.

All of the lovely models!

After the runway walk, the designers had a question and answer session. I think we were all more nervous about the Q&A and the one on one mini interview than the reception of our creations!

Waiting backstage for the results to be tallied! The three judges choose a winner and the audience also voted for their favorite.

And the winner of the judge's choice is.......

Me! Yay! I was pretty excited! :) My prize was the book Little Green Dresses by Tina Sparkles.

And the winner of the audience choice was.....

The purple coffee filter ensemble! They also got a DYI book, but I forget the title of it.

Congrats to everybody! It was a lot of fun and everybody learned something! I'm all for more people knowing how to use a sewing machine.

I also took some pictures when I got home, just in case the others didn't come out.

I really like this skirt. I think it's a bit shiney for every day wear, but it's great for a date night.

Shoes! I know I've posted about this pair before but I just love them!

I ended up doing a page boy style with one side pulled back and a little bang roll in the front. I also did my go to 1940s make up but with more dramatic winged eyeliner and tons of mascara.