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Oh Hai!

8 Apr

Is anyone still out there and reading this??

I know I’ve been MORE than remiss, but I’m feeling the pull to blog again and so here I am. We had a long rough winter here in the Midwest as I’m sure most of you have heard, but now that Spring is on the horizon I’m beginning to sew and dust off the vintage dresses.

Example: here is an outfit I wore to work the other day. As a government employee, I typically won’t go so “vintage” at work, but I had a hot date with the hubs that night to see “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (my new favorite Wes film) and not a lot of time to get ready in between work and home.

My first work bathroom selfie!

My first work bathroom selfie!

That there is an entirely me made outfit consisting of my FIRST dress sewn from a vintage pattern (which I blogged here) and my favorite hand knit sweater (also blogged here). I had never combined them together before but they made quite a colorful pair! I wore this with nude fishnets; seriously my favorite legwear since they go with everything and are very va-va-voom and my brand new Frye’s.

New Frye's!

New Frye’s!

For the longest time I’ve loved Frye’s but the price tag was always a bit prohibitive; I mean seriously, do you know how much fabric/yarn you could buy with that much dough? But I got this pair for a song and let me tell you, now that I have them, they are definitely worth the price tag. They are quality shoes. I have been pairing these with nearly everything I can since they are so versatile.

Well friends . . . if there are any still out there, that concludes this little post dashed off before I head to work. I hope you have a lovely day and I’ll talk to you soon.

Eileen

In Which I Finally Wear my Perfect Christmas Dress

31 Dec

I know, I know, Christmas is over and many of you are glad to see it go. Due to being at the hospital over the holidays I didn’t get  a chance to post too much about our holiday and I hope you’ll bear with me while I catch up some.

A dear friend of mine hosted her annual Christmas ornament exchange and I thought it would be the perfect time to finally wear a dress that I bought ages ago. You see, when I was living in Florida, I modeled vintage clothing for the BEST vintage shop I’ve had the pleasure to frequent; Sherry’s Yeserdaze. Her etsy shop is here. It was so much fun to go and pick out clothes and basically play grown up dress up. Sherry often admonished me not to pick things I was in love with since they had to go on the site to sell. A tough thing for this vintage loving gal. And so it happened that I modeled and fell in love with this dress.

Eileen

The original modeling picture

It’s a lovely 1950′s velveteen that has been well loved over the years. There are several tucks in the bodice that are not original, as well as lines where the hem has been raised and then lowered again. Oh, if this dress could talk! It also has glorious, hefty pockets; a must when all you have is a little clutch.

This is how I wore it to my friends party:

201The jaunty little fur capelet was a gift to me from my Mom’s cousin. The cape was her mother’s and let me just say, it is WARM! It was at least 40 degrees out when I wore this and I didn’t need anything else. The interior has the cutest little pocket.

Showing the interior and my brooch

Showing the interior and my brooch

The cute little brooch was a gift to me from none other than Casey herself! It garnered many compliments and many thought it was part of the dress they were so perfect together.

Pocket evidence

Pocket evidence

And here is me showing you the spaciousness of the pockets! They are perfect for parties when you don’t know what else to do with your hands as I often feel.

Finally, here is a picture of how I did my hair. I set the sides back with combs and then rolled the back up using a rat and pinning it into place. Simple, easy vintage updo for those times you don’t feel like setting your hair!

202And that’s all folks! I had a great time at the party and I think a large part of that was not only the wonderful company, but the fact that I felt like I looked pretty fabulous!

I hope you all had a fabulous holiday season as well.

Eileen

The Opposite of Dress Down Fridays

24 Feb

Just a quick post before I head off to work to show you an example of the bounty the amazing thrift store offered me last weekend. Observe:

Amazing Skirt!

I’ve been searching high and low for a good brown wool skirt and finally I’ve found one. I call it a consolation prize for the loss of the amazing Singer sewing machine (sob!). This skirt does wonders for the ol’ waist as it’s slightly wider than the average waist band. The skirt’s original belt thankfully came with it as well. It’s a self fabric buckle and the band is half self fabric and half leather. The skirt also has lovely pockets and a stiff lining which makes the most satisfying swish sound when walking. I can’t quite date the skirt- I think it’s home made (though certainly doesn’t look it) and the shape makes me think 50s, but how nice it looks and knowing this silhouette was also popular in the ’70s makes me think it may be later. Either way, I love it!

Details

As the title suggests, I’ve decided to wear this outfit to work today (with modern hair of course!). Take that dress down Fridays!

I hope you all have fun things planned for the weekend. I’m amazingly busy tomorrow- Farmer’s market, gardening class and a paper marbling ladies get-together with my neighbors. I’m hoping to squeeze some craftiness in there somewhere!

Until next time

Eileen

Ressurected from the Scrap Pile- My 1940s Jeans!

14 Feb

Last year I decided that once and for all I was going to sew some 1940s jeans! I researched the topic extensively (as I am wont to do with anything I want to do correctly). I pored over vintage inspiration from all over the internet and many of the books on my shelf. When I felt ready I armed myself with this fabulous pattern and some heavy non-stretch denim I felt I was ready. I took careful measurements of both myself and the pattern, cut it out and away I went.  When it came time to fit the jeans to myself however, I was crestfallen. I felt them to be WAY too baggy in the seat and upper thighs. Needless to say I was very disappointed by this failure simply due to the amount of work I put into them up to that point.

Fast forward to the third of this month; I was digging through my scrap bins looking for some hair canvas and I unearthed the jeans that had disappointed me so sorely. I pulled them out and vowed to attempt to make them work! Funnily enough as soon as I tried them on the following day I couldn’t believe that I’d tossed them away the way that I had. They fit pretty much perfectly and just needed to be finished.

Four hours of diligent work and here are the results:

Delighted with my Topstitching

From the Back

Looking at these pictures I’m really not sure WHAT my problem with them was. Honestly, when I pulled them out, all that remained was finishing the outer side seams, attaching the zipper and adding/finishing the waistband. Finally I topstitched the whole shebang and they were done and I couldn’t be happier with them!

I made some modifications to the pattern, unfortunately those are pretty much lost to time because I didn’t write down what they were in my sewing journal! I know that I narrowed the legs and slightly “pegged” the bottoms to be a bit more period correct. I self drafted the pocket shape based on a jeans picture that was in this book. I moved the zipper into the left side pocket and moved the button on that side as well.

Based on all the compliments I got on them at a luncheon party we attended on Saturday, I’d say these are a resounding success!

Finally, lest you think I’ve forgotten this auspicious day, take a look at these hilarious vintage Valentines brought to us by the Retronaut. My personal favorite is the man scrubbing the floors ;)

Eileen

Incredible Thrills! Amazing Finds!

26 Dec

Okay so maybe I’m over exaggerating a bit with the title there, but I’m telling you folks, the thrifting in Ohio is GOOOOOOD! I’ve had nothing but the best luck with thrifting since I’ve moved here. A week ago a friend of mine tipped me off that she’d seen not one, but FIVE Pendleton wool jackets at the local thrift (what a good friend right?). I madly dashed off to the store during my lunchbreak and though I was only able to find one of the aforementioned Pendletons (and a man’s shirt no less) I was still able to find some neat things. I thought I’d share with you a couple of my favorite finds.

As anyone who lives where it is cold is well aware, coats and other sundry Winter wear seem to be a bit dull. This coat is anything but. I think I may have squealed with delight when I found this shocking pink ’60s beauty. The inside is just as pretty as the outside in a similar pink color. It’s pretty warm despite its light weight. Folks at the office thought I’d made it myself (since the word somehow always gets out that I’m crafty!).

My favorite find of the day came in the form of a Persian lamb jacket with mink collar. It’s another one that I squealed when I pulled it off the rack.

Ahh, snuggly!

This is such a classy piece of clothing and is it warm! The sleeves are ingenious; they feature a sort of bell sleeve with a cinched inner sleeve so those cold drafts of wind won’t sneak up your sleeves! This is something I’ve not encountered before- so clever! I’m so glad to live somewhere now where coats and jackets are worn near daily.

I know I didn’t post much about the holidays but I hope you and yours had a great holiday season, whatever you may celebrate. I leave you with a gratuitous outfit post in front of the tree. I wore this on Thursday before I was off for Christmas break! It’s so festive.

Feeling Festive!

Ciao darlings!

Eileen

Plans

8 Dec

Now that I have all this free time, I’m not sure what to do with it! See, I’ve been going to school full time and working full time for the last six years. My schedule has largely consisted of the following; wake up, go to work, work all day, go home, work on school work until dinner time, have dinner, hang out with family until children go to bed, study/work some more, go to bed, wake up, repeat. Despite this busy schedule I’ve always managed to squeeze in some form of creativity or another and now that my time is truly mine, I’m looking forward to getting in a lot more.

If you’re anything like me though, you don’t just have one hobby. I have many, many hobbies, perhaps more than any sane person should. They include sewing, knitting, embroidery, reading, banjo-playing and exercising (is this a hobby??). I’ve been reading a lot of “real food” books lately, and I plan to add food-growing to this list come Spring time. I also plan to blog about all these things (too disjointed??) My question is, how is a girl supposed to manage all these interests?

See, I’m a planner. I can’t just fly by the seat of my pants or I’ll get so flustered that nothing will get done. To that end, I’m thinking I need a schedule of some kind to fit in all my hobbies. Things like banjo playing, gardening and exercising will be daily tasks with alternating weeks for sewing and knitting. What do you think? Insane or efficient?

And just so this isn’t an entirely picture-less post, here’s what I wore to work this morning. Save for the long hair, I was channeling Bonnie Parker. I wore three hand-knitted items (hat, gloves, scarf) and one hand sewn (Lady Grey coat!) This was a great outfit for the 28F weather I encountered this morning. Pretty cold for a gal who just moved here from Florida!

All I Need is a Tommy Gun

TTFN!

Eileen

Random Things

30 Jul

Hullo Folks!

Well I can say I’ve thoroughly enjoyed week one of my four weeks off from school! Here’s what I’ve done with it.

I practiced my banjo daily:

Clawhammer Style!

For those of you who don’t know me in person, I’ve been playing my banjo for about a year now. Last year the Hub discovered the music of “The Avett Brothers” which rekindled in me a long hibernating desire to play the banjo (funny story: when I was  a teen I wanted to play banjo because of Harold in my fave movie “Harold and Maude”, but, alas, I was afeared of what my peers would think and took guitar lessons. Gee! I wonder why those didn’t stick!) I started playing the bluegrass “fingerpicking” style but earlier this year we had the good fortune to see a “Carolina Chocolate Drops” show and I realized that they were playing in a different style from myself. I’m so green I didn’t know there were other styles! So now I’ve made the switch to what’s called clawhammer. Perhaps sometime I’ll make a video and post?

There was also a finished knitting project  this week.

Photosynthesis

I’ve been on a real chartreuse kick of late. I can’t seem to get enough of the color. This shawl is no exception. This is the Photosynthesis shawl. My version is larger than the one in the pattern. I like a bigger shawl (size is everything in shawls!) that I can wrap effortlessly and not worry about it slipping off my shoulders. This version is also beaded on the little legs of the leaf pattern.

I aptly paired my shawl with one of my finished dresses.

Viola! Lovely rose-printed fabric dress. I LOVE THIS DRESS. I’m really proud of the construction on it. I won’t say more about it because I think it deserves it’s own post for sure.

I also read- a LOT. Mostly books on my latest obsession, urban homesteading. I’m very interested in this movement and would like very much to participate once I get out of this apartment. Unfortunately, I don’t even have a little patio from which to grow tomatoes and the like so it shall have to wait. The stand out book of the week is entitled Made From Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life by Jenna Woginrich who, thankfully, also has a wonderful blog. She’s a girl after my heart- someone who wants to live more simply, grow food, raise some sheep, all while holding down her regular 9 to 5 job! Amazing! The book was so good that I finished it and put it down for a couple days only to decide that yes, I would like to read it all over again and it’s currently gracing my nightstand! I haven’t done that in ages.Do yourself a favor and pick it up. You won’t regret it.

Well folks, I better wrap this up. I’ve got a long day ahead of prepping  for the homecoming of my little girl who’s been away visiting family. Hope you all are enjoying your weekend.