Friday, August 30, 2013

Dreaming of Stockings Hung by the Chimney With Care...

Well, maybe not by the chimney, more like the bathroom. And, it's not the kind of stocking that's meant to be filled with treats and toys, or, um, I guess they could be a treat for someone. *wink, wink*

Temperatures in Tennessee have been mild to say the least this August, with highs only in the 80s the last few weeks (usually we're in the 90s and 100s), and September fast approaching, I'm thinking of fall. Undoubtedly my favorite season. I love a lot of things about summer, but high heat and humidity are not amongst them. 

And today I'm thinking of stockings, seamed stockings to be specific. *Squeal!*

I don't really have much experience with stockings, being that most of my life I've worn tights or pantyhose *shudder* in colder weather, or just gave up and wore pants. I did receive a cheap pair with a garter around the time I got married, but they never were worn outside my bedroom. They were kind of uncomfortable, to be honest. 

The next closest thing for me was while pregnant with our second child, and oldest son who was born March 1st 2011, I bought some thigh highs. It may just be me, but I can't stand having anything tight against my tummy when I'm towards the 7th, 8th, and 9th month of pregnancy and huge. I had sewn an entire vintage wardrobe from vintage maternity patterns of skirts and dresses, and thought my legs would be cold without something. I had no idea where to find anything like that, so I went to a local Sears, and bought the thigh highs with, as I found out, super sticky, stretchy, and uncomfortable. I didn't wear them much.

Definitely would be cheaper to draw on a seam, but not quite the look I'm going for.
This fall, though I want to invest in a couple pairs of nice *cough, cough* affordable, seamed stockings. The only problem is I have no idea what I'm doing.

Where does one start? Fully formed? Cuban heel? Nylon? Silk? Vintage? Repro?

*My husband and I are planning a getaway ("Third Honeymoon") for a couple days in October, to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. Technically our anniversary was in May, but I was still breastfeeding then, so we're going now that the baby's weaned. I would like to have some to take with us, so any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!*

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Latest Vintage Obsession

I have literally collected vintage stuff for years. Even as a child I would ask for old things my parents or grandparents were going to discard. Which is why I have an old wooden shoe stretcher from my maternal grandpa and lucite animal figurines from my mom's childhood that now reside in my daughter's room.

I don't collect any one specific thing/things, but rather buy whatever I like. I enjoy walking through a thrift store or antique mall and just waiting until something grabs my attention, and generally only buy it if I am so smitten that I cannot leave without it. If I don't have extra money to spend, I just don't go to those stores.

So, what's the newest thing(s) I don't want to live without? Vintage plastic/lucite brooches or pins. Especially the ones that are brightly colored and fairly cartoonish. I know weirdly specific, but I just keep seeing so many cute and kitchsy ones on ebay and etsy that I wish I were a millionaire just so I could buy one of each.

I did recently buy a couple on etsy. So far only one has arrived, but I suspect that's because the other had to travel from the UK.

The first one is an early plastic cowboy on a horse in bright primary colors. I know, right?!?

I have always liked cowboys. I live in the southern part of the U.S., so not a lot of "real" cowboys here, but growing up my dad wore boots and a stetson and was a professional musician (plays guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo, and sings and writes songs).

My dad is the one with the banjo on the far right. This was one of his early professional gigs,
 and he's probably about fifteen here in the late sixties.
If I ever lived anywhere else, I would like to live in Wyoming. (Love that state!)

My own first musical love, apart from Daddy, was an LP of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. I was the only kid in kindergarten to enter the talent show singing "Take Me Back to Tulsa" with my older brother accompanying on guitar (we won, too!).

I still love Roy Rogers movies, and so do my kids.  (Nuff said.)
Roy Rogers, King of the Cowboys, and Trigger
I also have some cotton material with a similar print on it (hope to show you one day soon what becomes of it).

So you see, I needed this pin, and it wasn't very expensive.

The other one I'm waiting for is three little, cartoon-like, yellow, chicks. My favorite color is yellow, I love birds, I want to have my own chickens one day, and I have my own three "chicks", so a no brainer here, too.

I figure that if I'm sewing my own clothes from material already in my stash, I can spend a little on accessories along the way. And thusly, make each outfit a little more special.
What vintage items are you currently obsessing over?

And if you're curious here's Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys playing "Take Me Back To Tulsa". Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Blue Rose Vintage Giveaway on Chronically Vintage!

Vintage hat giveaway!!!!
I do have a few vintage hats, and have worn a couple of them on occasion, but never feel like I know what to do with my hair in a hat. However, this hasn't stopped me from longing for more vintage hats and trolling ebay for them. And I had made up my mind that this fall I would try to incorporate more of my hats into my everyday wardrobe this fall and winter. As I had thought this time of year would make for an easier transition into hats, because most of mine are hats for cold weather.

And what did I spy this morning, but a giveaway for a free vintage hat of your choice! Go to Chronically Vintage and enter today! And if you by any chance should win, let the rest of us win vicariously by posting a picture of you in your new hat.

Click here to go to Chronically Vintage's post on the giveaway, and check out Blue Rose Vintage's store here.

Somebody's gotta win!
So, do you enter giveaways?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Everyday Vintage?

 Do you wear vintage/repro/or vintage style clothes everyday? If so, I've got some questions for you!

I know that look. She's swept the same floor five times today.
I do have some actual vintage pieces that I wear, and I have some modern pieces that are vintage style, and I have clothes that I've made from vintage patterns. I love wearing all of these, but I'm finding some limitations that I'm hoping someone can help me with.

1. Laundry
Ugh! I hate the very word. Maybe it's because I'm a mom to three kids (5, 2, and 1), or maybe it's because we use cloth diapers (Now that's vintage!), so my laundry levels are constantly high. The problem is that some vintage items need more time and care than I care to give them. This has greatly limited my vintage wardrobe one way or another. I either don't wear actual vintage items very often or won't even buy them if I know they'll require special laundering and/or ironing. I forgot to mention I HATE ironing, that is I don't like to iron around small kids. Just seems like an accident waiting to happen. So, ironing happens when one or more kids is asleep. If you have small children, you will understand that means either late at night, early in the morning, or when somehow "nap time" works like it's supposed to work (and no, it doesn't always work, and even more rarely for all or even two at the same time).
If only I looked this good while ironing. *Sigh*

So, my question is: How do you get everything cleaned and ironed to wear vintage everyday?

2. Practicality
I guess this goes with laundry, but sometimes, well, I get messy just doing my job, and I don't wear or purchase certain things to keep from messing them up. I truly wish I could wear more vintage on a daily basis, but the mom in sweatpants look is too easy to fall into. And part of the reason I want to wear more vintage is because of how it makes me feel.
I did can some salsa a couple weeks ago!

 So, how do you wear vintage while cleaning your house, cooking, or feeding babies and changing diapers without the fear of forever blueberry stains or rips and tears?

3. Cost
Seriously. Maybe I'm looking in all the wrong places or am just so cheap and not used to spending much on clothing, but a lot of vintage is, in my opinion, WAY overpriced.

I am a stay at home mom and we homeschool, so our budget is adequate (big blessing), but usually tight. I have also been pregnant 5 times in the last five years (we lost two babies), so my size has *ahem* varied a bit, so I didn't want to invest a lot of money only to be unable to wear something again. I realize that we could make different choices and have more money to spend on more frivolous things, but these are the choices we've made and I really wouldn't want to change any of it.
And repro seems really expensive to me, too. I do love to sew, and most of my "vintage" wardrobe is from what I've sewn, but time for sewing is hard to find for me right now.

So, how can vintage be more affordable?

4. Availability

Yes, I do "need" this brooch!
I thank God for the internet! There is no way I would be able to find half the vintage clothes/accessories or sewing patterns I have found if not for access made possible by the internet. I live in rural east Tennessee in the United States, and let's just say the value of vintage clothing isn't always appreciated. I do occasionally as a result find really awesome things really cheap, but I also fear much vintage is simply thrown away. My own uncle "got rid" of all of my grandmother's clothing without asking anyone first, grrr.

The problem with relying so heavily on the internet is that you can't try things on first, can't really examine or feel them, and sometimes can't even return them. I have already found out the hard way that measurements for some people does not include using a standard inch or centimeter or any standardized measuring.
So, where have you found great vintage, and what dealers/shops/vendors are reliable?

I really do love vintage and wish I could be dolled up every day. My husband knows that he might come home to me wearing just about anything and tries not to laugh when my hair experiment doesn't work as planned. I have always worn some vintage, but in recent years I've decided to sew more of my own clothes and to wear what I like more often regardless of what everyone else is wearing. It's not easy to be the only eccentric (in a good way) in a small town.

I hope the comments section to this post will be filled with good advice and tips for me and anyone else who shares my questions. You don't have to give away your awesome and secret fishing holes, but any help would be appreciated.

So, how do you wear vintage everyday?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Why, Hello There!

I don't know what I'm looking at, but I hate
pictures of me looking directly at the camera.
Well, this is the first post here, but I must confess, not my first time blogging. I had another blog for a while, but couldn't stay consistent. I think because I was trying to find a niche I liked and felt comfortable in, and I hope I've found it with this one.

I am a stay at home, homeschooling mom, a wife to the amazing Mister, mother to the Fairy Princess Cowgirl (5), J the Brave (2), and Itty Bitty Boy (1).
The Mister, ain't he a beaut?
   I LOVE sewing, especially from vintage clothing patterns, although I do the occasional practical home decor and repair sewing. I enjoy wearing vintagey outfits, but don' nt dress with a complete vintage look everyday (I so wish I could though!). I play and teach music and enjoy baking yummies for my family.

My kiddles, and no, our house doesn't "always"
look this messy, ha, ha.
I hope to share with you as I build a vintage wardrobe and tackle homeschooling for the first time, as well as learn a thing or two from the past to benefit myself as well as others.

Why is this called Betsy's Baby? Well, quite simply because I am, or was Betsy's (My mom's nikname)baby, though not the baby of my family.

Why am I blogging about vintage things and the past? Partially because, in a lot of ways I'm living a life people used to live: a stay at home wife and mother, homeschooling, sewing our clothes, canning and baking. But also because I love learning about and from the past and was blessed with the most amazing grandparents and parents who also share/shared a love and respect for the past. Oh, and did I mention I love sewing?

So, that's about it for this here first post, and I hope to continue to post on a somewhat regular basis, and I can't wait to "meet" you ;)