Friday, December 12, 2014

Primarily Yours

If you've read my blog at all, you pretty much know that I LOVE bright colors and one of the things I particularly like about vintage fashion is it's use of bright primary colors mixed together. And a great way to emulate a vintage look is to mix and match reds, blues, and yellows. 

This outfit is a mix of vintage and modern pieces and is an easy way to incorporate some vintage into your wardrobe. (If you haven't joined the 12 Days of Vintage Challenge, check out our Flickr page and join us throughout the month of December.) You can still get a passably authentic vintage look by mixing modern and vintage or you can achieve a completely new and modern look. That's part of what I love about vintage, the ability to be and wear it in your own way.

Outfit Details:
Sweater-vintage 1950s beaded yellow sweater, I think from an Etsy seller a while ago.
shirt-red and white striped tank from Old Navy years ago.
skirt-navy lined circle skirt made by me
bangles-vintage lucite and bakelite form various sources
earrings-vintage bakelite berry cluster clip on earrings from eBay
hair comb-vintage plastic red leaf-shaped from eBay

It's been a crazy race to finishing the fall term of our homeschool and preparing for Christmas at our house the last couple weeks and I'm so grateful school is now officially out until January. Now, my sewing machine is running every second I can spare to make Christmas gifts and I'm trying to catch up on neglected housework that I had been unable to do properly since my surgery a few weeks back.

Are you participating in the 12 Days of Vintage Challenge? How do you add a little vintage to your wardrobe? Do you like pairings of primary colors?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Last Chance to Enter Birthday Giveaway

If you haven't entered yet, you have until the end of today to enter the Birthday Giveaway and the winner will be announced Saturday!!!

Hope you win!

Monday, December 8, 2014

The 12 Days of Vintage: Starting Out Small

Okay, so you admire vintage style clothing/accessories and you've seen celebrities, fashion bloggers, and vintage enthusiasts rock vintage outfits and pieces for a while with admiration, but how do you bring that into your wardrobe in a practical and easy way?

The truth is you may have already been wearing some vintage in your everyday clothing. Maybe it's a vintage/antique piece of jewelry that you inherited and wear on occasion or maybe you have a piece of clothing that was your mom's back in the day (I used to wear my mom's awesome 60s and 70s styles in high school). Chances are you've at some point worn some vintage in an everyday and practical way if you love vintage styles.

Add a vintage sweater or cardigan and be unique.
Most people agree that vintage is anything about 25 years or older. Yes, that means that by most definitions 1980s and some early 1990s clothing applies. I realize this makes some vintage enthusiasts upset, but just because I don't prefer wearing clothing from those decades doesn't mean I am superior to someone who does or that my sense of style is better. It's simply different. Part of what I've always enjoyed when wearing vintage is the fact that I can wear what I like, what flatters my figure, and even what my husband likes to see me in, regardless of what's in style or for sale in my local mall. Fashion and clothing is a form of self expression and just like we each look different and have different personalities, so should our clothing reflect our uniqueness. We were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) the most fantastic and amazingly creative being that has ever existed. So, He being so creative and making us in His image, it would only make sense that we should be creative in every sense, even in how we attire ourselves.

Don't forget that your frames can also be a vintage accessory. 
You also don't have to wear an outfit comprising entirely of vintage or even vintage appropriate clothing to wear and enjoy vintage pieces. There are people who do that and seek perfectly accurate portrayals of certain time periods and that's great if that's your thing, but don't feel like you have to, especially when your starting out or for a daily look. Take what you like and incorporate it into your everyday, practical, wardrobe.
A cute vintage purse is an easy way to add vintage.
Some great examples of incorporating small vintage pieces would be a vintage brooch, earrings, bracelet, ring, necklace, a scarf, a handkerchief, a purse, vintage frames, shoes, or even a hat (it's especially easy in winter to incorporate a warm vintage hat).

A stack of vintage bangles or a hat can add a little vintage
flair to any outfit.
Great places to look for small vintage accessories or pieces, after looking at what you already have, is  thrift stores (cheapest way usually), yard sales (this one's hit or miss), estate sales/estate auctions, flea markets, or antique stores. Many of these also have online equivalencies if there's not much selection in your locality (eBay or Esty anyone?).

A vintage headband style hat is easy to wear even for an easy everyday look, and they stay on better, too. 
Online shopping is actually where I've acquired most of my vintage in the last few years. That's not to say that I don't still go to the local shops/markets, but simply because it's at least a 20 minute drive each way to any of them, and with four kids (ranging from 7 to 3 months, two in diapers) it's way easier and sometimes cheaper to just have it shipped to my house. Online shopping is also great if you're looking for something particular or have an event or date you need it to arrive for.

How about a vintage brooch? Or even a vintage dress?
Another option is to ask for vintage items from people you know. This may sound weird, but once the people you know find out that you like vintage clothing/accessories, they are more likely to give you their grandmothers brooches rather than donate or sell them or even (Gasp!) throw them away. Often when an older person's loved ones go through their things they find many vintage treasures, and if no one in the family or friends have an interest in them, they may think of you. So, using your discretion of course, there's no harm in letting your friends and family know you have an interest in acquiring these types of vintage clothing/accessories.

Try adding vintage earrings.
Small vintage accessories are a great way to start incorporating vintage into your wardrobe. They also tend to be cheaper (depending on the item of course and shoes that are more than thirty years old are rarely found cheap) and more plentiful than say an original cotton sack thirties house dress. The older an item is, the more rare it is to find it, the more fragile the materials it's made of, and even the more iconic it was for the time period, can all increase the cost. But don't lose heart, because just when you think you'll never find a certain vintage item, I've found with patience they all turn up.

I hope you enjoyed this introduction to The 12 Days of Vintage Challenge and that you will feel more confident in incorporating more vintage into your wardrobe. And don't forget to enter the Birthday Giveaway ending December 11, 2014!

Have a Very, Merry, Vintage, Christmas!

Friday, December 5, 2014

The 12 Days of Vintage Challenge

I'm very excited to present the 12 Days of Vintage Challenge to you today.

The idea comes from the fact that getting into vintage clothes can be a little scary at first, especially if you're familiar with most vintage bloggers. Bloggers can make it look so easy to wear it everyday, even if we don't wear it everyday ourselves. Unless you have a friend in real life who dresses in vintage clothing, it's very easy to get discouraged.
Interested? Well, here's the rules.

1. You have to wear at least one vintage item of either clothing or accessory for twelve days during the month of December. Style it and wear it any way you like.

2. Sign up for the Flickr page 12 Days of Vintage and post pictures of your vintage item or outfit there.

3. Link to this post, or at least credit Betsy's Baby, and post on your blog or social media, but you don't have to have a blog or social media to participate.

The 12 Days of Vintage Challenge starts now I will be posting helps here as well as providing links and tips along the way. No pressure, but just the encouragement to wear a little more vintage this month.

Now, have fun and a Very, Merry, Vintage Christmas to you!

Oh, and if you haven't enter the Birthday Giveaway yet, please do! The giveaway ends on December 11, 2014!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Double the Skirt, Double the Fun

This skirt was something I whipped up kind of on a whim with no pattern or even a picture for inspiration. To be honest, it was born out of necessity and my love for both fabrics used.

Outfit Details:
Skirt: made by me
Shirt: Knit peasanty blouse from Old Navy ages ago
Hat: vintage ribbon hat from eBay
Bangles: vintage bakelite from various eBay sources and times
Earrings: vintage wire sunflower screwbacks from eBay this summer
Brooch: vintage bakelite 1930s/40s cowgirl from eBay maybe?
Purse: vintage 1950s tooled leather from local antique store no longer open
I also wore brown tights and some honey-colored lace-up oxford flats, but didn't get a picture. 

I've always like a nice simple gathered skirt, but also enjoy the occasional wrap skirt. A drindl or simple gathered skirt is really easy to make and wear, but can be a little blah. A wrap skirt is pretty and interesting to look at, but somehow I always end up on the wrong end of too big of a breeze in them. 

The answer: combine what I like about both of them. So, I made a feaux wrap drindle skirt! By lengthening the waistband at both ends I was able to make it close with a bow. 

It also is very practical post-abdominal surgery (no, not a tummy tuck, lol) due to it's adjustability and loose fit,'s completely reversible(saving closet space)! I'm sure you'll see an outfit post with it's other side later.

Having four small children can take a toll on you both physically and mentally, but that was increased for me after the birth of my third child and made worse after our fourth was born due to some physical and health issues I was experiencing. Anyone who has experienced any kind of ailment that is remotely debilitating will understand that it can be more than a little depressing to be unable to do what you want to do or even used to do simply because you're body won't cooperate.

I had surgery a few weeks back in order to get back some of the ability to do things I used to take pleasure in and to even be able to pick up my kids again and play with them in an active manner. 

The post-op recovery period for surgery can be just as, or more, debilitating than whatever the surgery was supposed to correct. Sewing up this skirt not only gave me something to do, but something I could comfortably wear while still sore and healing, and it made me feel just a little bit better about myself and pointed to the hope that somewhere down the road things would be better and easier. 

My daughter also wanted me to share with you something else we have been doing together while I was recovering. We've been able to spend some girly time just painting our nails and looking at amazing and crazy nail art on pinterest. Just being able to do something with her made me feel a little more normal, too.

Do you have any hobbies or interests that help you to cope with difficult situations? Would you wear a reversible skirt?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving! And a Birthday Giveaway!

 Happy Thanksgiving to all the U.S. readers and I hope and pray that you have a very safe and blessed day full of thanks to God for all the many ways He cares for us through Jesus Christ His Son.
I was born on a Thanksgiving morning thirty-four years ago and I've always thought that was special, and it's made doubly special when my birthday happens to fall on Thanksgiving as it does this year. To celebrate, I am having a giveaway!

If you didn't already know, Betsy's Baby is NOT  a sponsored blog (I have thought of trying to get sponsors, but I don't know about that...) and I don't get any free stuff, so this giveaway will feature items from my own personal vintage collection. This giveaway will also include a choice of items to win. You can either choose two pairs of new-old-stock, still in the package, seamed stockings in size 9 & 1/2 or a vintage sewing pattern.
Simplicity 4905 in size 12 bust 32
Two unopened pairs of seamed stockings in a nice tan color.
 They are too long for me, so I hope they go to a good home and will gets lots of wear.

To enter:
1. Leave a comment below with your name and email and which you would prefer to win (stockings or pattern).

2. Earn extra entries by following Betsy's Baby on Bloglovin'.

3. Earn extra entries by posting about this giveaway somewhere else (i.e. social media or blogs).

4. Be sure to comment for each additional entry and leave a link for posts made elsewhere about this giveaway.

You have until Thursday, December 11, 2014 to enter (I hope this give it time to get there by Christmas!)  It's open to anyone in the world and a winner will be announced on Saturday, December 13, 2014.

Hope you win!

Morning view from my backporch.

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving, 
and His courts with praise!
Give thanks to Him; bless His name!

For the LORD is good; 
His steadfast love endures forever, 
and His faithfulness to all generations."
-Psalm 100:4-5

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Workbasket Wednesday: Vintage Ads Earn it!

Today's Workbasket Wednesday is a collection of ads. As I look through my old Workbasket magazine collection, I've often noticed that advertising has changed a lot in the last sixty to seventy years. One of the things that seems to be a steady theme in vintage magazine are ads not to buy products, but for you to sell them. Sure, you may see an ad here or there in a modern magazine for you to earn money selling something, but it seems like the amount in vintage magazines is much higher. I'm not really sure what that says about our consumerism culture, but it does make me wonder if maybe we're less likely today to want to earn extra money by working an extra "job". Maybe we're just less productive in general, but what ever it is, I hope you enjoy looking at some of the opportunities you could've had to earn some extra money in 1951.

Do you do anything to earn extra money on the side? Is it harder now with the internet and easy at home shopping for individuals to sell products? Do you wish you could take advantage of any of the opportunities in these ads?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fall Pastels

Goodness knows I am not what I think anyone would describe as "on trendy" or even very "fashionable", at least not for modern times. I have always dressed in a way described as "different" by most people who have ever known me. Oddly, even though my style has obviously evolved, the basic elements and style preferences I enjoy have not really changed much. I met my husband when we were both seventeen and he says the fact that I dressed my own way actually made me not only stand out, but attracted him to me. 

However, when I put this outfit together I later found out that pastels were on trend for this fall, lol. Not that it matters, but I thought it rather funny that I was accidently sort of trendy. Obviously I'm not wearing them in a trendy way though, lol. And clearly I don't look remotely like a model, which I'm actually kind of glad about, because I'd rather be me.

Even though I'm naturally very pale and some pastels can wash me out, I still love them and feel totally girly and very feminine when I wear them. I think pastel peaches, blues, and some lavenders look the best on me, and it's kind of fun to wear them in fall or winter when they are least expected, and they cheer me up. It's hard not to be a little happy when wearing pastels.

I wouldn't say that my style fits perfectly into a specific vintage period either, though, I guess I will never completely "fit in" as far as fashion trends, but I'm okay with that. After all, a big part of the reason I wear vintage clothing and styles is because I enjoy being a little unique and eclectic.

I have elements in this outfit from at least four different decades, but I think just like I'm not completely from one decade, neither is my clothing. It's amazing how everyone is made up of all the time, experiences, and elements from many years (unless you're a kid reading this, lol), yet if we look at pop culture or to the fashion world, we are supposed to forget everything we loved or wore ten years ago and follow whatever current fashion dictates regardless of whether we like it or whether it's flattering on us. If this logic were applied to any other part of our lives, we would laugh. I love that wearing vintage clothing and thrifted clothing allows people to show more of who they really are through what they wear. I've always been interested in older things, whether it be vintage clothing, antique furniture, antique cars, or traditional and older music styles. Why not let your clothing speak to who you truly are?

Outfit Details:
Skirt: drindl skirt made by me
Shirt: peachy turtleneck from who-knows-where because I've had it since college
Sweater: vintage 1980s, purchased from Brittany from Va-Voom Vintage's Etsy (Vintage Under 30) store this summer (Pssst! Here's a link to her new awesome new Etsy shop Wacky Tuna.)
blue leather belt: don't remember, but online somewhere
Earrings: vintage Niagara Falls souvenir clip-ons, because I'm touristy like that and that place is special to my husband and I.
I also wore gray tights and some black oxford ankle bootie flats, and yes, one day I will take pictures of my shoes! I'm just a germaphobe and do not wear shoes past my basement door at our house.

With the upcoming holiday of Thanksgiving here in the U.S., I'm sharing a big part of what, or rather who I am soooo thankful to God for right now. Above is a gratuitous cute baby picture with the girls, because I'm head over heels for  our sweet little girls. Can't believe I'm a mom of four and get to have TWO little girls! God has truly blessed our home and family with an unbelievable sweetness!

Do you wear pastels in fall or winter? What does your style say about you? What have you been blessed with lately?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Work Basket Wednesday: Crocheted Bread Tray Doily

I haven't done a Workbasket Wednesday in a long time, but I've still got plenty of Workbasket magazines from the 40s and 50s, so I hope to continue posting them, and I hope you enjoy them, too.

I'm not the greatest crocheter. I can crochet simple things, but never really have tried to tackle anything very difficult. However, I actually have always had a soft spot for doilies. They're just so pretty. I've inherited many from both of my grandmothers and do occasionally use them in decorating (The past few years I've used a sort of snowflake patterned set to decorate at Christmas). This pattern doesn't look too hard, so maybe one day when patience and time are on my side I will attempt it.

I hope you enjoy!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Vintage Mama Monday: Shirtwaists and Breastfeeding

Vintage picture of woman breastfeeding in the 1950s
Where I found this picture, but not the ultimate source. I really found the contrast between
the nursing mom who looks tired and a bit tense next to the young woman with beautiful
hair and makeup seeming so happy very funny. Motherhood is more enjoyable when you feel good about how you look, but sometimes I look more like this lady nursing her baby.

I've now had four children and have breastfed three successfully for a year or more and hope to do the same with our youngest. I absolutely love breastfeeding. I love, the closeness, the ease of always having her food with me, the health benefits for us both, and being in awe of God's incredible design for mothers and feeding their babies. I say all this not to make anyone who does not or cannot breastfeed feel badly, because it's okay. 
1930s Cotton Dress / XL Laundry Day Dress / 30s
1930s with a great print and colors and pintucks on the shoulders.
Find it here. Oh, and this is actually an XL if you're interested.
While I am passionate about breastfeeding, I find it next to impossible to be as passionate about how it changes my wardrobe. Things like nursing bras, huge breasts and cleavage, and everything needing to have easy access for feeding. It means almost no dresses for most women, as well. But let me just let you in on a little secret, breastfeeding is, I think, a little easier for the vintage wearing mama and her wardrobe, depending on which era of clothing she prefers to wear.

Vintage 1940s Shirtwaist Dress Shaped Shoulder Yokes Flared Skirt Round Pocket 1942 Advance 2752 Bust 32
Grab up a 1940s version for a totally different look.
Find it here.
We have the advantage of the quintessential, the amazing, shirtwaist dress. There's nothing like being able to put on a cute dress and still being able to feed and take care of your baby. I love that it makes looking and feeling a little more put together so much easier than trying to match up or find separates that still fit. Put on a shirtwaist, grab a few accessories and you're out the door a whole lot faster. 
1950s Vintage Sewing Pattern Shirtwaist Dress Bust 34 UNCUT Butterick 6710 Full Skirt, Wing Collar, Tab Accent Day or Evening Dress
What a great change up from the standard shirtwaist.
Find this 1950s pattern here.
I love that shirtwaists came in a variety of prints and colors and were made with easy care materials. I love that they are relatively easy to find in vintage or to purchase a vintage pattern and sew. You can even find many modern shirtwaist dresses that look vintage. 
NOS 1960s shirtwaist dress. Peter Pan collar short sleeves. June Cleaver. Button front dress. Jeune Liegue by Cherberg. Toile look dress.
Awesome rooster toile print. Get it here
Some tips for planing your postpartum and breastfeeding wardrobe are things like looking for looser fitting ones on top, because well, you're gonna be bigger. Also look for elastic waistbands, yes, some vintage shirtwaists had them, definitely makes your fluctuating size a whole lot easier to deal with. A great source for cheaper priced shirtwaists often with elastic waistbands is to look for 70s and 80s vintage shirtwaists. (A little tip that I do to keep elastic waist 80s shirtwaists from looking too much like 80s and not enough 40s or 50s is to buy them to fit me with the elastic stretched almost as far as it will go. It's still comfy, but looks a little more fitted at the waist, something that may mean a lot to you after 9 months of no waist.)
1970's japanese pink aqua blue floral vintage dress,Floral dress,Pink dress,Shirtwaist dress,autumn winter dress,art deco dress,tea dress
Look how crazy cute this vintage 70s shirtwaist is, but it ain't cheap.
Find it here. 
I think all us vintage mamas probably all have an appreciation for the shirtwaist dress, but when you're sleep deprived, need to wash your hair, and carrying a ton of supplies for baby everywhere you go, the shirtwaist dress just makes one more step a little bit easier. 
Shirt Dress, Red Dress, Floral Print, Vintage 1980s Size Medium
1980s red shirtwaist dress available here. 
Hope this encouraged and helped you to feel a little better in a season of life where feeling good about your appearance can be a daily struggle. And if you're expecting and think you might breastfeed, I would suggest that you start planing and thinking about your postpartum wardrobe and what you need to add if anything. It just makes that time a little less hectic and depressing. 
Modern "shirt dress" here.  I just pefer a vintage version because
you get more length and usually a little more design details than with modern,
but modern versions are pretty easy to find and fairly affordable.

What was your go to wardrobe staples postpartum or while breastfeeding? Do you love a good shirtwaist dress or shirt dress? 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Help! Birthday/Thanksgiving Dress Decisions

Okay, so here's the deal. Every year for my birthday, I think to myself, "I'm going to sew an amazing birthday dress." Some years it has happened, but most years, not so much, or at least not in time for my actual birthday. This year is very special because my birthday happens to also be Thanksgiving and I was actually born on Thanksgiving. This only happens every so many years and this would mean that I would actually have somewhere to wear a special birthday dress for my birthday (my husband and I don't always get to go out for or on my birthday, kids you know).

This year I really have been thinking of late 1930s and 1940s dresses, but I also need something fast and easy and I want to use this crazy bright and patterned fabric if possible. No, I'm not asking too much, am I? Oh, and I want a pattern that's super cute and doesn't require a lot of modification to fit me, because, well, there's not much time left to make it. All this, hence the cry for.....HELP!

I know this looks like a bright and crazy print, and well, it is, but I really love it, what can I say?
This fabric was actually a birthday gift for me last year, so I would really like to use it. 
Some plainish black, red, and tan striped fabric. Very serviceable, but not very exciting. 
This kitschy kids picking apples print fabric just screams to become a 1940s dress,
but I'm not sure it's birthday-dress-exciting enough. 

This first option is literally the kind of dress I dream about wearing, but I'm not sure it's right for the pattern on this material or if I could wear it without a lot of modifying to make it breastfeeding friendly. (If you have any ideas how I could easily adapt it to nursing friendly, please let me know!)

This next one is super cute, too. I would have to size it up a little and I'm not sure how I would like it in the long-sleeved version, but I'm cool with making it short-sleeved. The only hesitation I have is that unbelievably long zipper, which would make it very nursing friendly, but oh, the logistics of finding such a zipper and then having to put it in! Hmmmm.....

This next one is a pretty straightforward 1940s shirtwaist. I'm not sure that the design of the dress wouldn't get lost in this print and all those button holes would take a while to sew. However I wouldn't have to do any sizing up or modifying to make this one work.

Logistically, I kinda know this one is probably the safest bet, because the design is simple enough for a busy print, the size is right, and I think it would be a fairly quick sew-up.

So, please help me! I will not promise to do what you say, but I will definitely take any advice into consideration before I cut any of the fabric. I'm open to short or long sleeves, but the big thing is it has to be easily accessible for breastfeeding. 

Which pattern would you choose? Which fabric? What should I do?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Stripes Ahoy!

This was an outfit that I wore about a month ago, but I wanted to share it because not everyone lives somewhere that requires continuous covering of your arms and legs. Here in Tennessee the weather is as unpredictable as imaginable throughout the year. We've literally had Christmas day with tons of snow and below zero temperatures some years and sunny and 70 degrees other years. This means that I may be wearing a short-sleeved dressed with bare legs in the fall or winter. As I type this it's really cold outside and tomorrow is supposed to be the coldest day we've had this fall/winter so far. So, I honestly feel a little weird looking at these pictures. But I digress.

My absolute favorite color is yellow, and although I don't wear a lot of just plain yellow because I don't think many shades of yellow look so good on me, I love pairing it with my outfits for a pop of color or contrast. Blue is probably my second favorite color, so this was a winning combination in my book.

Love my yellow guitar brooch!
This dress is extremely versatile as well. The coloring and medium weight of the fabric make it able to be worn in spring and summer as is, but also to be worn with a cardigan or sweater/jumper and tights or stockings. It's great for the post partum nursing mom, too, with the buttons on top and elastic waistband.  

But this is what I think is the best part of this dress: it's a vintage 1980s dress! So, it was under $10 in cost! If you don't know by now, I'm notorious for not wanting to spend much on my wardrobe (I would rather spend more on fabric and vintage sewing patterns, ironically), so this dress that cheap makes me really happy. 

Outfit Details:
Dress-1980s Vintage eBay find
Bracelets-Vintage lucite from various sources
Belt-from vintage 1950s yellow swiss dotted dress I own
Brooch-vintage plastic guitar brooch from eBay
How do you stretch your wardrobe to transition through the seasons? Would you buy a 1980s dress and actually wear it?