Friday, September 30, 2011

Garage Sale

Last week, I went to a garage sale at Brumby's place. She had an assortment of fabric and vintage clothes (my version of catnip). I came away with two bags of stuff including a gorgeous 50s bag and two pairs of vintage shoes. Since I have trouble finding new shoes in size 5, I always snap up any vintage ones I find in my size. A salesperson at the shoe store once told me that if by some miracle they actually make a particular style of shoe in size 5 the store only ever buys one pair. Weirdly enough, I quite often find vintage shoes in size 5 or smaller. They seemed relatively common in the 50s/60s. I find this fascinating. Did people just have smaller feet then than they do now?

I also got some fabric. See the two different red vinyls? Perfect for making some more bow belts. The mint green gauze-y fabric is so pretty and there's enough to make a dress.

I got a dress and a wicker basket too but forgot to get a picture of them.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I actually made something and I bought a dress

I've been wanting to make a bow belt ever since I saw the tutorial over at Casey's Elegant Musings. I loved the original patent leather belt that the design was based off. I looked for some vinyl at the fabric store but they only had thick furniture weight in matte colours. I also kept a lookout when opshopping for a leather skirt or something which I could cut up and use. I didn't have much luck until the other day when I found the skinny patent belt in the picture below. I had bought the large patent belt ages ago but I didn't wear it much because it was too bulky. The colours were a perfect match so I figured I could use the small belt as the base and cut up the big one to make the bow.

I cut a strip along one side so it had one of the rows of stitching from the original belt on it. I planned to do another row of stitching along the other side but after sewing some practice bits with a leather needle and a teflon foot I wasn't sure that my machine (an 80s Brother) would cope with it. My Elna is in getting a service at the moment otherwise I would have used that. I have read that people use Supermatics to sew leather shoes together. I am impatient and I didn't want to wait the 10 or so days it will be before I get my machine back so I just decided not to do the other row of topstitching. Once I folded it up into the bow it wasn't actually that noticeable that only the top edge was stitched.

Peg to hold it while the glue was drying

I used some random glue we had at home that said it could be used on leather. Since I didn't actually have do any sewing, it was simply a matter of gluing all the pieces together and letting them dry. I glued a button in the middle because I tried a tab but the thickness of the material made the bow look all squashed and funny.

The flash on my camera makes it look like there are marks on the bow but it's just the light.

Handmade Bow Belt

I expressed my love of toile a couple of posts ago so when I saw this dress at Small Earth Vintage I just had to buy it. The exchange rate is actually quite good at the moment (for once) so browsing Etsy is dangerous.

I really need to stop slouching

I forgot to take a close-up of the toile fabric but you can see it and the belt slighter better in this picture.

I'm really pleased with the way the belt turned out. I want to make a ton more in all different colours. Maybe red next time?

I'm still working on my purple wool dress at a snail's pace. I can't seem to work up the energy to sew it quickly because, with the warmer weather, I'm probably not going to be able to wear it until next Autumn anyway.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

How many is too much?

I recently bought a small lot of 11 vintage patterns for $25. It was a bargain that I couldn't refuse but it got me thinking about whether it's possible to have too many patterns. I have about 45 vintage (1930s-60s) patterns and a few more modern ones. This seems like a lot to me. I wouldn't really say that I'm a collector. I buy patterns with the intention of making them. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I pull out my patterns and gaze adoringly at their pretty envelopes ( don't do that?) but I'm usually planning what kind of fabric I want to use to make them up. I wouldn't buy a vintage pattern that I didn't want to sew.

Another recent purchase

Probably three quarters of my patterns are for dresses. While I do wear dresses almost every day I'm not sure I need another thirty-something dresses in my wardrobe to add to the ones I already have. So, I'm going to make a rule. For every vintage pattern I want to buy I have to get rid of one from my collection. Hopefully, this will mean I can keep it to a manageable size.

How many patterns do you have? Do you think you can have too many?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Two Squirrels Vintage Opening

Today, my Mum and I went to the opening of Two Squirrels Vintage pop up shop in Rangiora (a wee town about half an hour from Christchurch). The owners of Two Squirrels had two lovely vintage shops in the CBD but sadly they were both destroyed in the February earthquake. They have now set up a gorgeous little shop at their home.

The shop is filled with some amazing treasures. The dress I'm holding above was lovely. The picture doesn't do it justice. It has pintucks on the bodice and buttons and loops down the front. I didn't buy it because it was beyond my poor student budget but I will probably have dreams about that dress.

I did, however, buy some lovely fabric and a pattern. Mum got some fabric too.
I love the collar on the pattern. You can't really tell but the polka dot version is scalloped.

We bumped into the always immaculate Helga von Trollop there but in my excitement at all the vintage I didn't get a picture of her.

If anyone in Christchurch wants to visit Two Squirrels pop up shop they are open Fri/Sat/Sun 10am to 5pm and they are situated at 63 Ashley St, Rangiora. They have lots of lovely stuff and the prices are very reasonable.

On the way there we stopped at a few other shops. I got the toile fabric above from Femme de Brocante. It's actually furnishing fabric (because that's what they sell) but I could not pass it up since it was on sale at $10/m. I love toile but hardly ever see it in fabric shops and when I do it's ridiculously expensive. I'm going to make a skirt out of it. I don't think it will be too bulky. I have a dress made of furnishing fabric and I like the way the skirt sits.

We went to a couple of op shops too. I picked up a black lace back button blouse. It doesn't look that great in the photo but it's really cute. The lace is sewn individually in strips onto a cotton bodice.

I also got this old army bomber jacket. Whoever owned it must have been quite small because it actually fits me.