Saturday, November 30, 2013

Lucite Lovelies

Inspired by a recent post at Va Voom Vintage by Brittney, about beautiful vintage lucite jewelry and why she loves it, made me want to share the lucite love. too. 

I don't have a lot of jewelry of any kind. I've never been big on jewelry, but I do like a few distinct pieces and how they can pull an outfit together or give a theme to an ensemble. So, given my penchant for kitschy and quirky brooches, it can't be too big a surprise that I prefer unique earrings, and vintage lucite ones are my favorites. 

It may seem odd though to anyone who knows me, or if you could look very closely at my ear lobes. You see, I don't have my ears pierced. I know I may be one of the only people in the world without pierced ears, but it's not based on religious conviction or distaste for earrings, but rather that I don't have a penchant for putting unnecessary holes in my body or causing unneeded pain. I'm not at all afraid of needles and I've been told by that I have a high tolerance for pain (by an Ob/Gyn during labor no less), but I just don't like the thought of it. It may sound silly, but it's no different to me, than for someone to say they prefer meatloaf to pot roast. But, I love, love, love, certain kinds of clip on earrings, although I don't wear them every day, I like to have them for special occasions and some are just plain pretty to look at. 

Just look at these beautiful lucite earrings with violets, roses, and even poinsettias. in them. A vintage dream! They can be found here, here, and here on etsy.

I think one of my favorite things about vintage lucite is that there are sometimes unusual things stuck in them. I have a pair with actual tiny seahorses in them. I think I really need to get one of these pairs to go with them, don't you think? And how fun would any of these be for next summer at the beach? You can find these here , here, here, and here on etsy.

These next pairs are called confetti lucite. I have one pair of confetti earrings with silver confetti in them, but I would love to have a pair in every color. Maybe it's just the little girl in me, but I love the sparkle and the fun of wearing them. They come in literally every color for every outfit! You can find the following brooches,
here, here, here, here, and here on etsy.

The best part about vintage lucite earrings is that because it's plastic, they can come in any color, shape, or size imaginable. Just look at all the loveliness below. *sigh* If only I had the money for them all. These can all be found here, here, here, here, here, and here on etsy. 

I hope you've enjoyed seeing these lucite beauties as much as I enjoyed looking them up on etsy. I wish I could buy every one of them, and maybe one day I will own them or something like them. Until them it's been fun to simply window shop on etsy.
Do you favor vintage lucite or something a bit pricier for your vintage outfits?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Cowgirl in Autumn Outfit

This outfit was very much inspired by Dale Evans. If you don't know who that is, please click here, and check out my previous post on her cowgirl style. The skirt is the same one posted about here and here, and I wanted to make it mainly because I thought it looked like something she would wear. 
It was a cold wet day with rain and freezing rain, and is supposed to be followed by a couple inches of snow tonight. Since this is East Tennessee we're talking about, it could be any or none of the three mentioned above. The weather here is extremely varied and unpredictable. But the weather made me long for a cozy sweater, and this is one of my favorites. So, with my new corduroy skirt now altered a little (I took in the waist a little and sewed down the pleat in front. I think it looks way better like this.), I decided it needed another outing, even if it was only seen at a gas station, Hobby Lobby, and my daughter's ballet class.

I wore the same blue belt as before, but wore a long-sleeved button-up shirt in a blue and white stripe. I absolutely love stripes! I can see that I need to make more striped shirts, dresses, and skirts for my wardrobe in the future.

I'm looking at one of my sons, lol. But don't you love this rusty, orangey, pumpkin hue?
To keep me warm I wore a comfy pumpkin-spicy colored cardigan and dark brown tights (all I had that would match, outside of my vintage seamed stockings which I save for Sundays or special occasions).

Hey! I actually took a picture of my shoes for once! Aren't you proud of me?  They are a deeper red than the picture shows. I'm not sure why there's some weird lighting going on in this one. 
I wore my favorite red heels, just because I wear them every chance I get. I love the laces and vintage look of them, and the heels are low enough that I can wear them through lots of walking without having aching feet. I really want to find another similar pair in a more neutral color.

I love the hidden ruffles on this shirt <3

I also wore the pearl necklace and earrings given to me by my grandma, but I think one of my favorite brooches really brought the whole outfit together. It's a vintage plastic brooch of a cowboy riding a bucking bronco. I love the bright bold colors of this brooch, and my 2 year old son likes it because he says it's him when he grows up.

Posing without lipstick and holding a vintage pot I inherited from my grandparents. It's amazing, but food does actually taste more like my grandma's cooking when cooked in her old pots and pans. 
Yay for more fall colors and leaf prints!
Just to give you an idea of how I look at home when I'm dressed like this while out and about I took some pictures of me in one of the aprons I made and wear while cooking. This apron is based off of some vintage aprons that I inherited from my maternal grandma that she had made. She had several half aprons with a hand/dish towel sewn to the waistband. I think this is perfect for cooking, because I'm forever needing to dry my hands in between washing them, and the towels always handy this way. When I do baking I prefer a fuller apron, but for day to day cooking, a half apron is easiest.

So, this is how I look when my husband comes home, but don't feel too bad for him as I had chicken and dumplings, peas, and mashed potatoes waiting for him.

Cooking in pearls does make you feel a bit like Mrs. Cleaver in a good way. Now if I could have her wardrobe....

All the moisture in the air and my curly hair was becoming slightly unruly. However, I think the roll in front saved it from complete frizzy chaos, and that's another good reason for me to keep practicing them. Although even my rolled hair was desperately trying to curl and wave unevenly by this point. 
Oh, and another roll. this time I tried rolling it under like bangs. I love the look of bangs, and I had bangs until I was about fourteen and then again a couple years ago. I look like I'm twelve with them, and I would want rid of them the next day. So, maybe doing a feaux bang roll is the way to go for me. Very little commitment, and it can be as elaborate as you want.

Outfit Details:
Earrings and Necklace: gift from my Grandma
Shirt: I don't remember, but maybe from T.J. Maxx or Ross's
Sweater: Bass Pro Shop, Don't laugh, and yes there is a story behind that. But isn't it a great sweater anyway?
Skirt: made by me
Tights: No idea, I think my mother-in-law gave them to me. Yes, she gives interesting Christmas gifts, sometimes they're very practical.
Shoes: Bakers, but they no longer sell this style :(
Brooch: vintage purchased on eBay

My favorite color palette is that of autumn, so I'm wearing fallish color combinations as much as I can lately. I wear them year round to an extent, but fall definitely brings them out more.
One of things I love most about this outfit is that it makes me feel a real connection to the average women of the past. They looked put together, but with a subtle, manageable, everyday glamour that was easy to keep up, yet made a stark differentiation between working clothes and going to town clothes. I feel better when I've taken a little effort to look like I thought about it for more than two seconds, and I think I behave better, too. That may sound odd, but if I feel like I look frumpy, I act as bad as I look. I think my kids and those around me can sense the change, too. I'm not perfect, and I do own sweats, but I'd like to think my husband would rather come home to me like this than in an old t-shirt and pajama pants. I do still get grumpy, but the more I look like a lady, the more I act like one, too.

Do you feel more ladylike when you wear vintage?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

"O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever."-Psalm 118:29

May God richly bless you and keep you by His steadfast love and mercy, and may He forever be glorified by our lives to the praise of the glory of His grace through Jesus Christ, the Lord over all, amen. 

Hoping you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday here in the United States, and if you haven't entered my birthday giveaway it's not too late. You can enter until Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 5:59 am, eastern standard time. I will draw and announce a winner at 6 am that morning. Click here to enter.

Psst! I hope you win ;)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Workbasket Wednesday: Games for Kids

Today's edition is entirely for the kids, and since many kids are taking a break from school for the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., I'm guessing many of us moms could use some fun ideas for games. Especially if there's a possibility for freezing rain as they are forecasting for here.

Have fun playing these cute and easy games from the August 1951 edition of Workbasket.

As always, feel free to share any way you like, just be kind enough to add a link back here. Thanks.


Make sure you enter my birthday giveaway for a vintage pattern and five yards of fabric, 
if you haven't already. Click here to enter.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

More Casual Vintage Separates? Yes, Please!

Well, I finally finished sewing the corduroy skirt first mentioned here, and paired it with a knit top I sewed up in an afternoon. Both had been sitting almost finished for a couple weeks, but that's how it goes in our house. Sometimes I feel as though I get a lot done, and other times as if almost nothing is accomplished. Ah, the life of a mom. But I digress, the main point is that they are both finished, kind of, and I have some vintage-esque clothes for daily wear this winter. 

I'm pretty pleased with them, but will be tweaking the skirt a little. I didn't do the topstitching along the front pleat, because I was afraid it might make them look like culottes, but I realized very soon after wearing it that it needs that stitching to keep the skirt front from pulling further and further out, making my bottom half look wider than necessary (I need no help in this area, lol). So, I will be going back and stitching that down before I wear it again. 

See, a little too flared, and it loses the whole point of putting in a pleat to begin with. *sigh*
But, can I just say, I LOVE THE POCKETS on this skirt! I have always loved shaped pockets on vintage garments, but had no idea how easy they are to add to a garment. Hmm, I may have to rethink some other vintage skirt patterns that I have. And of course the advantage to pockets on any garment is so obvious, so another plus in this skirt's favor. 
I also used two vintage round matching buttons for the skirt that I inherited from my grandma. (I will have to do a future post about the amazing sewing treasure trove that I inherited from my Grandma recently and quite unexpectedly.) In reality they perfectly match the color of the corduroy, but with the camera
flash's glare they look odd, sorry.

I used a metal zipper just because I wanted to be sure it was sturdy enough for lots of wear and strong enough to use with the thicker corduroy. I also sewed one hook and eye at the top of the waistband above the zipper, but will have change the placement of it, so it's not so noticeable, and so it's a little bit more fitted. 
My first handpicked zipper, but it will surely not be the last.
I used a vintage blouse pattern for the top, and for my first time trying this pattern, I cut up an old jersey knit maxi dress that I wore as maternity wear. But because I didn't wear it often, I'm not currently pregnant,and it was cheap when I got it, I decided it was time that it be repurposed into something that I would actually wear. 

The jersey made it super comfy, and the pattern only uses three main pieces and a facing for the collar. I left off the collar due to lack of fabric and shortened the sleeves, but basically follows the pattern.
The front and sleeves are actually one piece cut on the fold, and that's why
 I couldn't make the sleeves as long as I would've liked.

The jersey made it super comfy, and the pattern only uses three main pieces and a facing for the collar. I left off the collar due to lack of fabric and shortened the sleeves, but basically follows the pattern. I didn't have enough of the striped to make it quite as long-sleeved, so I will definitely be making this again hopefully with the full sleeve length. The full sleeve length calls for darts to shape the lower sleeve, and I'd like to see how that looks finished.  I have some thick knit in a creamy ivory color, hmm, sounds cozy to me. Oh, and maybe the one with a little collar or the one with a dickey. 
I paired it with some red heels, stockings, a chunky bone and gold (both fake, I'm sure) bracelet, and a light blue braided belt that I thrifted.

I also wore a vintage pair of pearl earrings given to me by my grandma. When I was getting married, she asked me if I had any pearls, when I said no, she went to her dresser and gave me a small old jewelry box with a single strand of pearls and matching earrings. She said it would be a gift to me, because every bride should have a string of pearls to wear.

I also wore a brooch that was given to me by my other grandma when I was a kid, and had found it at her house. It did have a feaux pearl dangling from the center point of the heart, but it fell off  somewhere, after a baby on my lap had been playing with it at church. I don't think I'll ever find the pearl, but I will be looking for a way to attach another pearl. Lesson learned, only wear very sturdy brooches to church, because wiggling babes on my lap will inevitably play with them.

Please excuse the homeschool stuff on the shelf behind me. My it looks untidy! Note to self: reorganize that shelf.
The high temperature this day was 33 degrees (Farenheit)! Never fear though, because I wore a warm coat with a fur collar and vintage off-white leather gloves when we left the house. 

I adore the little bows at the wrists <3
And can I say how glamorous a good coat, nice gloves, and fur can make you feel even if the clothes underneath are extremely casual. I'm pretty sure the collar is fake fur, but still it keeps you so warm, and is so soft against my cheeks. Mmmm. I know why women used to covet fur coats, now.
Overall, I like this outfit, and I really like the separate pieces. With a little tweaking, I can see these both will get a lot of wear, and hopefully more versions will be made.

It's not the most incredible thing I've ever sewn, but both pieces are meant to be basic everyday clothes that will survive diapers and cooking and scrubbing. I think it that way they were a success.

Shirt: made by me
Skirt: made by me
Belt: thrifted
Bracelet: Catos, I think, ages ago
Earrings: heirloom from paternal Grandma
Brooch: heirloom from maternal Grandma
Shoes: Bakers, so sorry I didn't get a picture!
Seamed Stockings: eBay, vintage
Coat: by Steve Madden, a gift from my husband
Gloves: vintage from a local antique mall

What do you like in your vintage casual clothing? 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Spreading the News! V&OAK Magazine Giveaway!

Congratulations to Jessica from Chronically Vintage on her first ever in print feature! And it couldn't have happened to a sweeter lady. 
And to celebrate V&OAK magazine is giving away a one year subscription. Check out their website here

To enter go to Chronically Vintage 
here, and follow the instructions.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Merry Go Brown Outfit

 I was having a hard day today. Nothing bad, mind you, just the usual things not going my way, so I'm feeling a lot of self pity. So, I decided to change clothes midway through the day and wear something that made me feel better. Hey, it's hard to be sad or mad in a circle skirt. I think a twirly circle skirt could take the place of chocolate on those days. Okay, let's not be too hasty, chocolate has it's place firmly established.

This is the same skirt I made and wore in this outfit post, however, I styled it a little less vintage this time, and without a hat. I didn't really have a hat that matched the brown today, and honestly we were in such a hurry to get to a ballet class that it's a miracle I was able to pull off what I did wear. Plus I'm still a little wary of wearing hats. I guess I'm just hat shy, but I did wear a hat the other night to a dinner with friends, and I survived. 

I also tried a new hairdo! I did a big roll in the front and gathered the rest in a pony tail. I've been trying to get the hang of rolls for a while now, and although I'm far from perfecting them, so far I've learned a couple of things. 1. It doesn't take a million bobby pins. 2. It works a lot better when my hair isn't clean. (Not nasty dirty, just a day or two out from washing it.)
View the roll! Please keep in mind this was late in the day, and everything was a lot smoother earlier, lol.

I also did a makeup trick I learned from my Grandma. She was born in 1925 and got married in 1940, just a couple months shy of her fifteenth birthday. (Needless to say, she and Grandpa eloped, but were married for almost 70 years until their deaths in 2009 four months apart.) She always had pressed powder and a lipstick in her purse, and whenever she had to go somewhere unexpected or had time before unexpected guests arrived, she would quickly put powder and lipstick on. 

Although I didn't wear powder, I do usually wear a tinted moisturizer and lipstick when we go out, even to the grocery store. Suddenly you don't look like a stay at home mom who hasn't had a shower today. You look like you care just a little about how you look out of respect for ourselves, those with us, and those who will see us. I think Grandma and her generation knew a lot more what they were doing than many today, especially when it came to how we present ourselves. 

Shirt: Old Navy about 5 years ago
Skirt: Made by me :)
Matching earrings and brooch: Etsy seller
Belt: Not sure where I bought it, but it was more than 10 years ago

So, have any tips or tricks to quickly look put together? Do you dress up to improve your mood?