04.21.08 {vintage finds | one}

I’ve been struck by the urge to go through all my stacks and stashes of stuff and dispose of items that I no longer need. I suppose it’s only fitting, considering that it is springtime, and spring cleaning is in order. Most of the items I’m giving away/selling/otherwise dispossessing were collected during my teenage years. Perhaps it has to do with my birthday two weeks away.

I had a very lovely–albeit far too short–weekend with my Beau. He was only up for two days; we had so much catching up to do, things to discuss, places to go… But we did get to just sit on the deck Saturday evening as the sun went down and enjoy the beautiful weather.

04.21.08 {vintage finds | two}

I have been listening to the Lost in Translation soundtrack and various Jesus and Mary Chain albums almost constantly since yesterday morning. A rainy gloom has settled over the sky, but its different from the cold gloom of the winter; I think the warmth of the air makes it more bearable–almost fun. I walked around outside yesterday with an umbrella held over my head, my toes splashing in the warm rainwater as it cascaded down the street. I love springtime!

04.21.08 {1945 seventeen | one}

Last week I found a new-to-me antique shop in one of my favorite, small towns nearby. Although it was generally overpriced, there were a few deals here and there–one just had to do some digging! I unearthed these two, darling drum majorette pins (I’m especially fond of the silhouette one), and a 1945 copy of Seventeen. Its kinda falling apart, but I love all the illustrations and fashion and oh! I’m just as in love with the 1940’s as ever. lol. So in place of my usual, Vintage Monday feature, here is an array of images from this lovely find; hope you’re inspired.

04.21.08 {1945 seventeen | eight}

04.21.08 {1945 seventeen | seven}

[ more images here! ]


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p.s. Oh, and I just wanted to say that I really appreciate the feedback about the site design I did for Kate! *blushes* Yes, I do a little bit of graphic work and website development on the side, I just rarely tend to talk about it here!


vintage fashion inspiration... old school {1}

I promised you all I would show you my latest book treasures, didn’t I? One I thrifted the other day, and the other came via eBay; but both are about vintage clothing!! (I first want to apologize for the appalling quality on some of the photos of the books; my camera does not like taking photos of black and white photos! hehe!)

vintage fashion inspiration... old school {3}

vintage fashion inspiration... old school {5}
[ more photos on my flickr ]

The first is Vintage Chic by Harriet Love (1982), which I found at the thrift store for $1. More of a book about sourcing vintage clothing (which is making me drool over the still-wide selection of vintage on the market then!), it has some lovely pictures and suggestions for incorporating vintage into your wardrobe. The text is peppered with loads of black and white photos of vintage clothing being worn in fun and creative ways. I love the fact that over 25 years after publication, self-expression through clothing is more acceptable than ever before, and some of the looks are still very contemporary (at least for me; but then I tend to favor the ‘80s romantic look a wee bit!).

vintage fashion inspiration... old school {7}

vintage fashion inspiration... old school {8}
[ more photos on my flickr ]

The second treasure is probably my hands-down favorite of the two. I have to thank the lovely Tara who posted about The Yestermorrow Clothes Book (Diana Funaro, 1976) recently. I rarely am subject to impulse buys in the book department, but after seeing the beautiful photos Tara posted, I had to have this book!! hehe! While it talks a bit about acquiring vintage garments for your wardrobe (a “few dollars” for a thrifted ‘40s dress?! If only it were still true! lol.), most of the book is devoted to alteration of your vintage finds. I love the whole “diy” vibe of this book; and am already finding much of the advice for revamping or repurposing a piece of clothing quite valuable. Things like: recutting a sweater, different ways to take shoulders in (taking in extended, ‘80s shoulders anyone?), and even making garments from other textiles. Very, very fun!!

One of the things I really appreciate about both books is making the idea of wearing vintage attainable. So many of the contemporary books I’ve read on the subject spend a lot of time talking about how hard it is to find pieces, how to bid successfully on eBay, and buying only perfect designer garments. While there is a place for all these, frankly most of the time I want creative ideas for how to beautifully incorporate vintage into my daily life, as well as repair and refashion pieces that are less-than-perfect!

02.03.08 working {1}

[ working on my sketchbook this afternoon… ]

I’m now thinking of new ways to thrift–since many of these concepts extend to thrifted garments too. Being a bit more adventurous when I come across a “damaged” garment, or something whose style I don’t fully like. Although I do a little bit of refashioning now, it helps to push my boundaries a bit more–and be more willing to actually do the work involved. And what better year for me to start?

02.03.08 spring wardrobe planning {2}

[ spring wardrobe planning!! ]

Hope you are having a lovely, creative weekend!! I’m off to break out my new watercolors and do a wee bit of painting (before I must work on the dreaded Algebra homework…).

Cheers & Creativity,
Casey [ email me ]

really. it can't be that bad!

[ really. it can’t be that bad! I seriously do not know the cause of the look on my face… another shot of my outfit is here ]

I try to thrift once-a-week, and today was my Thrift Day. I usually try and visit three to four shops and spend time going through every nook and cranny (really… I’m quite mad when it comes to this!). Its been a bit sparse in the stores the past month, but today I visited one that I haven’t been to since early December. And I hit gold!! Not much in the clothing department, but vintage patterns:

vintage sewing patterns 01

Only 25¢ each! Better yet, I had just been looking at similar patterns on Ebay, and had a sneaking suspicion to wait to bid until after I had done some thrifting. I declare… I’m starting to think that those of us that are ardent thrifters have a “thrifter’s sense”! (Seriously… have you been seeing all the other, amazing goodies people are finding?!)

vintage sewing patterns 02

These are a few I’m thinking I’ll bump to the top of my “sew for a summer wardrobe” list. Conveniently they’re all in my size-range too, which makes me a happy camper. Although I don’t mind grading patterns, it does make it a bit less of a long-drawn-out project if I can skip it! hehe!

must sew

I hope everyone is having a splendid Wednesday, my lovelies! Off to glance through my treasures a bit more and look at some books I picked up as well (more about one of those later)…

Cheers & Creativity,
Casey [ email me ]

p.s. Have you glanced at the Spring preview for Interweave Knits?? I usually don’t buy knitting magazines, but I think I’m simply going to have to splurge on this one… I want to knit about half the things! Eeep!

snow days

Outside there is a beautiful thing happening. A wintry, white shroud has enveloped everything… it is making the two trees outside my windows look like something from a fairytale! Although I don’t do well with the cold, this is the one thing I love about winter: snow! Thank you all for your sweet, school well-wishes!! My one “real” class (the other is self-paced, so I only have to check in once-a-week), History of Design, is going to be a challenge, but one I think I can do! The book is humongous… I’m really going to have to employ my best speed reading and highlighting skills! hehe!

Yesterday afternoon I went on my weekly foray to thrift shop, and ended getting waylaid at my favorite vintage clothing store! Honestly, I did not intend to even step foot in there… but something just pulled me in! lol. I was delighted to find the owner of the vintage garment space bustling about. She is one of the most delightful and enthusiastic people I know, and I always enjoy visiting while shopping! She was in the midst of restocking, which I took full advantage of! hehe! As fate would have it, in a moment of supreme forgetfulness on my part, I didn’t have the gift certificate I got for Christmas with me, so I satisfied my vintage longing with something small. But this little trifle is very chic, don’t you think?

my most recent aquisition  a bit blurry, but...

I have a couple other vintage hats that I uncovered at rummage sales past, but they haven’t really been worn. Which is a shame because I love hats; they add such flair to any outfit! But the one doesn’t sit well on my head, and the other is brown… which really isn’t a color I wear a lot of (especially on my head… it sort of blends in!!). So I’m on the hunt this year to find more vintage whimsies to incorporate into my little collection: silly hats, “everyday” hats, winter hats, fur hats, spring hats, wide-brimmed sun hats… I’d really love to find a little, tiny, fascinator… perhaps with something sparkly and a long feather? (Tricia has sported one that I am quite covetous of!) Do you ever wear hats or have a collection of them? Anyone have some good hat links that they’d care to share?

more vintage hats

Well, I’m off to get some work done… the snow is making me want to curl up with TCM and my knitting! hehe! But, I must be a good girl… and do some work and then perhaps make time to cut out a skirt from this gorgeous piece of teal wool I purchased recently:


Have a lovely afternoon!!

Cheers & Creativity,
Casey [ email me ]

artsy gal

When I said it was chilly this morning, I didn’t realize ‘til after my Vintage Monday post that it was in the lower 40’s! And we didn’t have the heat on, so no wonder it felt like my finger were icicles! But this is not complaining… oh no! I’m reveling in the newly changed weather!

woof!! another sneak peek!!

So what am I up to this fine, sunny Monday? Mostly doing my usual, clerical tasks; keeping up with comments left over the weekend, replying to emails, doing Etsy-related things. I’m also working on loads of new goodies for the Shoppe update next Monday (November 5)! I have lots of little treats and trifles to herald the holidays; many of them are perfect for not only adding a bit of charm to an outfit, but could be used for a package topper or stocking stuffer! I’ll also be offering the option of converting a pin into an ornament on select holiday pins. Stay tuned for more sneak peeks throughout the week and a special announcement closer to the weekend

I’m also designing some new tote bags, similar to the ones I donated to the Kim Family Auction last winter (you can see them here and here). I had such a lovely response to these designs then, and have been encouraged since to create some more. I daresay they’ll be up in the Shoppe later next month–and would make perfect gifts for a little someone who needs a bag to tote their treasures about! (Or a big someone, like me–I use my ladybird tote constantly!)

shattered silk I

I’ve been playing with my camera today; the sunlight was just too beautiful to pass up! Hence, the collection of pink dress photographs. Its a 1910s silk and net dress that I found in one of the boxes of vintage clothing my grandfather gave me. The silk is shattered (pretty completely), but the net is still in fine condition. I think I’ll probably be salvaging that at some point! But I thought the dress possessed a certain melancholy air, so of course I had to photograph it! More photos are located here.

shattered silk II

Well, I must get back to work; I’ve got lots of little things to finish making before the day is out!

Cheers & Creativity,
Casey [ email me ]

p.s. Attention Washington DC area readers: I have two tickets to the Decemberists concert on 11-9 at the 9:30 Club downtown. This particular show has sold out. I’ve had something come up, so I can’t go. However, I’m selling the tickets at cost, to anyone who is interested. Please drop me an email if you’re interested in these!

vintage feedsack material 02

Rain, rain, go away…

After three straight days of rainy weather (which we sorely needed here!), it cleared up yesterday morning to become a gloriously sunny and crisp October day. Between the previously dreary weather, and my being cooped up in the house so long, I was feeling quiet twitchy yesterday. Mom was kind enough to suggest taking me to one of our favorite haunts: the local “old town”, filled with antique shops, interesting boutiques and a couple tea rooms. So I donned my new, red beret and we spent a few hours just wandering in and out of shops, mostly window shopping (but I did spend some money; I rarely go into an antique store and come out empty handed!). Stopping halfway through for afternoon tea and yummy muffins at a bakery. Came home to find the inaugural issue of Victoria peeking out of the mailbox! (Review and thoughts coming later this week…) A lovely ending to a beautiful day indeed.

Today I wore my “new” vintage dress I picked up yesterday at my favorite dealer’s store. I’ve blogged about her before, but she always has the most beautiful selection of affordable (and wearable) vintage garments. I hadn’t been to her shop since mid summer, and all the inventory had changed to autumn-appropriate wear. Loads of lovely, fall hued dresses, hats and lots of coats (which I have to keep away from; I did a count recently of my coats/jackets and found I have upwards of a dozen! Yikes!). I fell in love with this 1950s, dead-stock (it still had the original tags attached!) jumper, was delighted when it fit and promptly bought it.


I love how vintage clothes fit! Nothing is better, in my opinion. Speaking of garments fitting nicely, one of the ladies at church lent me a whole stack of pattern cutting and fashion drawing books today! She had spent time in England years ago and had taken a course on fashion design, and had a whole bunch of books and class notes from then. We flipped through them a bit after church (hurriedly… lol!), and they look really good; nothing like the American-published books I have in my bookcase. I can’t wait to spend a bit more timing poring over them; I’ll share pictures and titles once I do.

late 1820s corset - mock up 01

late 1820s corset - mock up 02

I also fit a little sewing in this afternoon. Working on putting together the mock-up of my 1820’s corset for my dress I’m making. I made a similar corset several years ago, using the pattern from Period Costumes for Stage and Screen, which is dated a bit earlier in the century. This time around, I decided I really would rather have a corset that is appropriate for the 1820’s and 1830’s, so I’m using the scaled pattern from Corsets and Crinolines, which is a slightly different shape. Its more of a shape that mimics me, anyway, which always makes fitting easier. I need to make a fabric store run this week and pick up the cotton for the outer layer, as well as the cording. I’ve already got the linen on hand for the interlining (the corset consists of four layers; two cotton outer-layers and the linen inside), and I think I can probably scavenge spiral boning from my previous corsets. So hopefully I won’t go broke on this project! lol.

late 1820s corset - mock up 03

I have so many more things to share with you all, but to keep this post length reasonable, I’ll save it for tomorrow. I hope you all are having a lovely, happy weekend!

Cheers & Creativity,
Casey [ email me ]

Finally! Pictures of some of my finds from the rummage sale this past Friday. I bought some clothing too, but part of it has already been sent to be cleaned (namely the most gorgeous 1960s, black wool sheath!), so I’ll share pictures of those pieces later on.

1. rummage sale loot . 07, 2. rummage sale loot . 05, 3. rummage sale loot . 11, 4. rummage sale loot . 06
Shall we begin? First, let me set the mood… I got to the sale an hour and a half before the public was admitted, and with good reason too. Housed mainly in a large equestrian center (and a few of the out buildings), this thing is huge. Lines begin forming early, and I decided that getting there the earlier, the better (especially so I could get a good parking spot!). I was the second person in line, and parked myself on the ground with my knitting (and latte… must have caffeine for these things you know!). I chatted with people who had come from Maryland, West Virginia and even Massachusetts to attend this!The closer it gets to admission time, the more you can feel people getting twitchy! Its tough to wait when you just know there are piles of goodies just lying there waiting for you! When the doors open, people tend to rush through, and yes, even I have been known to sprint to the antiques and fabric tables in an effort to pick over the best stuff first! lol.

rummage sale loot . 12

This year my first stop was the antiques, especially since I had found a lovely typewriter last year and knew that I had to check in first. I didn’t find a lot, which made me wish I had hit the fabric first. (Especially after running into my friend S. who had already looted three bags of scraps!! That explains why the fabric seemed so picked over… lol!!!)

rummage sale loot . 08

The craft tables weren’t that picked over, although there were a handful of women hovering around the boxes of knitting needles and such, so it was a bit hard to get in there. Never-the-less I managed to snag a couple of vintage needlework goodies:

rummage sale loot . 14

rummage sale loot . 13

My favorite find, however, was this box:

rummage sale loot . 04

It looks like a box of junk, doesn’t it? It was taped shut, so I couldn’t look inside, but a little voice kept telling me to buy it. Marked at only $3, I figured if it was full of notions that I didn’t care for, I could probably find a new home for it! But look what spilled out when I opened it up:

rummage sale loot . 01

Buttons! Gobs of them! Most of the buttons range from about the 1940’s/1950’s to the 1980’s, so it is a pretty good range of styles and materials. I’m still going through them, but there are some real gems!

rummage sale loot . 10

Also, oddly enough, there was a large stack of vintage clothing labels in the box too. As well as vintage Vogue Designer labels (that they used to give out when you bought a Vogue designer pattern). I can only imagine the rather eccentric woman who must have saved all these labels!

rummage sale loot . 02

I also picked up a back of vintage snaps and hooks for a quarter. Besides being useful, I love the graphics of vintage notion packaging!

rummage sale loot . 03

*sigh* It was a good year! Not as spectacular as last year (when, besides the typewriter, I also scrounged a stack of 1920’s needlework magazines), but not shabby at all. I’m already looking forward to next year!!Cheers & Creativity,
Casey [ email me ]

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