thrifting + vintage

Have you ever had one of those premonition dreams? I had one recently that I went thrifting and found a bounty of vintage patterns. While the reality didn’t play out quite to that extent (there were no 1940s patterns…), I did have more luck than I think I have for the past two months and found some cuties that came home with me! Best yet it was over Labor Day weekend here in the US, which meant they were half off what the thrift store had them marked at (a paltry $0.25).

I love the pinafore dress pattern to death! I have a 1940s version of this style, but there is something I find so charming about the longer 1970s take on the look. Maybe it’s the romantic, prairie-influenced style that was an inspiration during this time? I’d love to make the center version–in approximately the same fabric! lol. The other two caught my eye as well; the tie front blouse has been high on my list since Sunni made a version last year. Lucky me I finally found the exact pattern she used! Going to have to wait a bit until I make any of these though; the baby bump is expanding at a fast rate in leaps and bounds weekly–goodbye waist! hehe.

How could I resist some darling children’s patterns? I have had such a weak spot for these types for years, and now that I have my own little one on the way, it seems aprops to be a little prepared. (Right? At least that’s how I’m justifying it. Just watch me have a boy though–the majority of my patterns are for little girls!) The dress and pinafore reminds me of one I had as a little girl (I think my mom made it for me) that I adored because it was “old fashioned”. (This preoccupation with fashions of the past started early!)

And, I may have picked up a few patterns for possible giveaways in the near future… Though I still need to check them for completeness.

Have you had any vintage finds of note lately? I’m hoping that as the autumn draws closer, the thrifting situation (which has been more than a bit ho-hum this summer!) will improve… Fingers crossed, because I have a rather long “thrifting wish list” right now…

September 14, 2012 · 29 lovely thoughts
posted in thrifting + vintage · tags:

I’ve been thrifting since I was a child. I have very distinct, early memories of waking up on Saturday morning to go with Mom to the local AmVets’s thrift store. Character print tees for 25¢, rifling through racks of poufy old prom dresses, and digging through piles of vintage knick-knacks for things that caught my child’s magpie-like eye (and I could afford with my allowance or convince Mom I needed). Thrifting has been as much an economic necessity as a creative outlet (refashioning, anyone?). I may not be quite the thrifting maven that some are, but I do enjoy a good few hours at my favorite haunts, seeing what new treasures I can find for a few dollars!

This 1960s nightgown is a bit frou-frou, I will admit. But I’ve always wanted one of these obnoxiously pink, floaty garments from the early to mid 60s. They’re so much more fun than pj pants and a tank top for nightwear, don’t you think? (A little bit of Doris Day glamour!) Now all I need is to tease my hair up into a bouffant, find a pair of marabou trimmed mules, and fix myself a mocktail… hehe! Best part yet? The thrift store had originally priced it at $6.99 (more than I’d pay for vintage lingerie–this particular store knows their stuff and tends to be a bit higher for vintage), but had been marked down to $1.75 (more my speed)! It needed a little TLC: a good wash, a few threads snipped here and there, and the old neckline lace removed (it was shattered in spots) and replaced with some vintage lace from my stash. It’s not perfect by any means, but wearable–which is what I intend!

Have you found any interesting thrift finds recently? Things have actually been really picked over here, so I was surprised and utterly delighted I actually found this nightgown! There have been far too many days lately I’ve actually left the thrift stores empty handed… But thrifting tends to be very “feast or famine”–which is probably why I keep stopping by my favorite places just in case!

P.S. Thank you all so, so much for your heartwarming comments on Monday’s post! I cannot begin to tell you what they meant to me and how encouraged I am. Thank you for hanging in there as I get my footing again with blogging, and being so understanding!

July 25, 2012 · 57 lovely thoughts
posted in thrifting + vintage · tags: ,

05.16.12 | pattern windfall

I had a different post planned for today, until I realized that I left my tripod at my parent’s house! This is what happens when you’re traveling with a 4 1/2 month old puppy: you get distracted and forget things (I also forgot my computer’s charger cable…). hehe! So until I get the tripod back (or figure out some way to prop up my camera that doesn’t give me a panic attack because it’s not stable), outfit posts may be a bit scarce. Unless, of course, I can sweet talk SH into helping me. I do have a little decorating DIY post planned for Friday, so if you’re tired of these sorts of posts, there is a light at the end of the tunnel…

05.16.12 | pattern windfall

This is one of those thrifting stories that legends are made of. The sort of finds that I always heard of others making, but never thought I’d run across it myself. I live in a highly populated area with people who generally know the value of vintage things. (Cue sad trombone.) Thrift stores typically price anything “old” accordingly. But somehow, by Providence or fate, I had one of those once in a lifetime thrift store finds recently! Here’s my tale…

Bolstered by a few little vintage treasures I found at an estate sale recently (warning: it’s a video), I decided one Saturday morning to stop at a new-to-me thrift shop while I was out grocery shopping. (It helps to have an incentive to brave the grocery store Saturday morning! lol.) I only had a few moments to do a quick run through the shop and was mainly looking for a frame for my “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster. But somehow I was magnetically drawn to a little corner in the back that had a pile of crafting and sewing supplies mashed together. At first I nearly turned away, until I realized that the rather large box tottering on the top of the pile marked “Patterns: $0.05 each or $2 for all” was stuffed with vintage patterns. Yes, I mean stuffed. Mostly full of mid 50s through late 60s patterns (with one random 40s bedjacket pattern and some rather fugly 70s designs thrown in for good measure), it was full of iconic silhouettes and designs from that era. I held my breath as I grabbed the box and walked as calmly as I could to the register to hand over two rumply dollar bills to the cashier. (Who thankfully was too busy on her cell phone crabbing about her job at the thrift store to notice the treasures I had in the box!)

I kid you not: I got back to my car, safely stashed the box in my back seat and did a little dance and whoop in the parking lot! lol. I dare say any passersby thought I was a bit of a nut clutching a tattered carboard box and grinning from ear to ear. But, dear friends, you surely understand my elation, don’t you?

05.16.12 | pattern windfall

05.16.12 | pattern windfall

05.16.12 | pattern windfall

05.16.12 | pattern windfall

When I got home I finally took a closer look at what I had: 75-90 patterns (I never did a definitive count–I was too excited!). Smaller in size than I normally wear, but a lot of beautiful styles (and grading patterns up isn’t that hard–just time consuming). So a bunch went towards my personal stash, I passed a couple on to some sewing buddies and saved a few to share with you! Next week I’ll be hosting a little vintage pattern giveaway here on the blog, so stay tuned for that!

I still can’t believe this find. I doubt I’ll ever have another quite like it, since finding vintage pieces is getting harder and harder as more people realize the value of certain things. But like the estate sale I lucked out on 18 months ago, this one will go down as one of my best thrift finds ever (and certainly the highlight of my 2012 thrifting!).

I just had to share that with you! As one of my friends said: there is still hope for good finds! I think it’s just a combination of being at the right place, at the right time and consistency in hunting. So don’t give up hope if you feel like you never find affordable vintage; it’s out there–just hiding a bit! Of course, you can also enter the giveaway next week too for a bit of free vintage!

Thank you for listening to my little tale of mythical finds! (More pictures beneath the cut below…)

Have you had any great thrifting or vintage finds lately??? Let’s spread the good luck tales!

{ click here to continue reading this post }

May 16, 2012 · 101 lovely thoughts
posted in thrifting + vintage · tags: , ,

Kitty cards always win Brownie Points!

Have you ever done a swap with a blogger friend? I’ve been delighted to do a small handful of them in the past, and recently Lauren of Lladybird blog (one of my favorite sewing blogs!) and I decided to do a little swap of sewing goodies! She is not only an immensely talented seamstress (who shares my adoration of vintage patterns) and fellow flea market/thrift store “haunter”. For me, it’s not only exciting to get a package (who doesn’t like mail???), but gathering up things to send to the other person. These swaps are always a fun way to “meet” the bloggers I’ve come to form friendships with–it makes it feel like all the neat, creative types aren’t so far-flung across the globe!

Lauren and I thought it would be fun to do tandiem posts about our swap boxes, so I wanted to show y’all what goodies she sent. I have to admit that I feel rather sheepish because I think my box wasn’t half as amazing as the one she sent me! You spoiled me, Lauren! hehe.

Beautiful trims and fabrics! I just love the colors she chose for me. The wide, white lace is actually antique–I think I must make an Edwardian day dress very soon!

How did Lauren know I needed more flower pins? hehe! I love this one and have already worn it!

Funnily enough, I think I slipped a packet of red buttons in her box… Love the nautical patches and the scarf (!) she sent!

Patterns! I think I screamed a little when I looked through these–all are styles I’ve been hunting for…

I think I’m especially smitten with that 50s trousers pattern! (The red version, please!) I’m itching to get through a few little projects I have on tap for this month and make a muslin of those soon. I think I might actually have some red twill that will work, since I’m easily influenced by pattern cover color schemes. She told me she got most of this at flea markets and thrifts, which makes me want to take a road trip very soon. hehe! Thank you again, Lauren for doing this swap with me (and being so patient–I was a little tardy with sending my package!)! Be sure to click over to her blog to see what I sent her (as well as see what new sewing projects she’s been up to–she’s a busy bee!).

Perhaps this is a tacky place to add this on to, but since I was too busy and away from the internet for part of this week, I wanted to announce the winner of the Colette Patterns giveaway! There were over 450 comments left on that post, and I loved reading them (well, I’m still working through!). It’s always fun to hear what your favorite pattern and dream fabric would be. So without further ado, the winner is…

Almira Ansoa

“I’d like to try the Macaron No. 1001. I saw this exact dress on one of the stars of Jane by Design and I’d really like how it looked. Dream fabric would be Japanese cotton with cute summer print/color. Perfect for a lazy Sunday brunch with my husband.”

Congratulations! I’ll be sending you an email to put you in contact with the team at Colette Patterns to receive your pattern of choice. Stay tuned for another giveaway coming soon–I’ve been collecting up a few goodies of late to host a giveaway!

May 11, 2012 · 12 lovely thoughts
posted in life,thrifting + vintage · tags: ,

My friend S. and I have a standing date nearly every week to go dig around one of the local thrift shops. The past few visits have left us a bit empty-handed; but my mom has told me she’s having a similar problem with thrifting up north too. I guess everyone is opting to hold yard sales instead of donating to charity since the weather is so nice right now! Despite this, after several trips and lots of digging, I did find a few little things that came home with me!

04.16.12 | a few favorites

04.16.12 | a few favorites

This vintage Villager blouse was pointed out to me by a fellow thrifter. We run into each other regularly, and she always loves to see what vintage inspired outfit I’m wearing that week. Last week she asked if I had seen the Peter Pan collar blouses in the shirt section, and somehow I had missed them! There was a white one which was sadly far too big for me, and then this coral pink one. It was only a couple dollars and will go very well with some of my floral skirts (and 40s trousers)! I especially love that it has a tag for the owner to write their name on it–cute!

04.16.12 | a few favorites

04.16.12 | a few favorites

Scarves… A bit hard to find lately, but something I always look for! I love the star-print one especially; I think it’ll look snappy with some of my more nautical outfits. I seem to be drawn to anything with blue and red in it this spring–two colors that are my warm-weather standbys.

04.16.12 | a few favorites

Finally, a few accessories that I couldn’t pass up for the prices they were asking. It seems all the thrift stores lately have raised their prices on costume jewelry, or the selection has gotten quite weak (at least with the sort of pieces I scour for). But I found these two: a Fakelite bangle (I’m envious of thrifters who find real Bakelite pieces!) and a fan brooch. To add to the already overloaded brooch holder… lol.

Anyone having better thrifting luck lately?

April 16, 2012 · 42 lovely thoughts
posted in thrifting + vintage · tags: