Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Who's this girl?

Me! Thats who! My hair is a bit darker now, considering going back to blonde

Vintage 101: Storing Petticoats with a drawstring bag

My last entry dealt with cleaning petticoats, This time I'd like to talk about storing them to maintain their lifespan.

Depending on what kind you have (Organza or netting), your mileage may vary on storage. I'm going to be using a true vintage organza chiffon petti as my example.

One thing I find handy is storing the petti in a bag that is the same color as the petti itself. That way when I grab the pink bag, I know I have the pink petti.

If you're not a sewer, the same effect can be had with a pillowcase. I happen to have a ton of fabric, so I've decided to make my own.

You never want to hang vintage petticoats on a hanger for long periods of time. the weight of the fluffs will pull down over time and flatten them, plus hanger clips can snag waistbands.

With the drawstring bag you can either tighten the string and hang it on a hook, or clip the top of the bag to hanger clips and hang it up

It takes about 15 minutes if that. Sorry this post is kind of short. I'm coming down with the flu :(

Monday, February 25, 2013

Vintage 101: Cleaning Petticoats

As an aside, I'd love some help getting new followers so if you could help a girl out, it would be much appreciated!

On with the show!

I currently have 4 petticoats, one vintage, three modern. White, pink, black, and red. The pink one is the one that is true vintage.

When I received the white one from the manufacturer, it had that horrible polyester chemical gross smell. I tried to air it out, no luck. So I figured now was as good a time as ever to wash the pink one as well.

Here are my tips, mostly gleaned from a ton of research from square dancers.

1. NEVER ever ever ever put your petticoat in the washing machine loose. If your ever going to put it in the machine (I dont), put it in one of those mesh lingerie bags. The agitator in the machine will destroy all of the fluffies. So sad :(

2. Wash like colors together. Example, I wouldnt wash my white petti with the red petti or black petti

3. Gentle soaps! Woolite, or if you cant afford it, baby shampoo or any sort of gentle shampoo.

4. Dryers! Nooooo. ONLY if you want to puff it up a little, put it in the dryer on delicate for a few minutes and STAY THERE. Dont walk away and just let it run. Also this really only works with the organza ones, not the netting ones. Let your freshly washed petti drip dry. I gently roll mine in a towel or shamwow to pull water, or wring it out without twisting it.

As you can see in the photo below, the white one and pink one are in the bathtub soaking. I used luke warm water and a few capfuls of my gentle tresseme shampoo

Coming Soon: a quick and easy tutorial for storage bags and must haves for maintaining vintage clothing

Saturday, February 23, 2013

LuxeRestorations: The General Electric Make-up Mirror

So, I've shown and mentioned before, that one of my biggest hobbies is finding vintage pieces that need a little love to bring them back to life. Case in point, this 1950's General Electric Lighted Make-Up Mirror.

I paid a whole $3.88 for it, not even knowing if it still lit up or not. (Spoiler alert: it does!)
Boy was it in bad shape. Look at those layers of grime. Even the girl at the register thought I was crazy for buying it.

(Forgive the bright photos, I cleaned it up in my bathroom)

For this restoration, all I used is some cleaning spray called Tuff Stuff, which can be purchased at Family Dollar. I think the can was $3.50.

Spray it on and let it sit. I left it for 20 mins and played some games on facebook.

Since its detail work and small crevices, I used my cleaning toothbrush. If you dont have an old toothbrush in your cleaning supplies, I recommend it highly. Especially for me when I'm doing a restoration, it helps for cleaning out the grimy bits. Just keep it away from the brush you use on your teeth. Also, since I did this clean up in my bathroom, I moved away any toothbrushes, hair brushes, make-up, etc so it wouldnt get grime or cleaning solution on it. I also recommend using tough stuff in a ventilated area, since it stinks and inhaling cleaners is detrimental to your health

Here it is after the first round of spray and scrub:

Better, but not quite there.

After another round and cleaning the mirror with some windex, I plugged it in and voila!

It could probably use a little more work, but overall its cleaned up and looks great in my bathroom! The slider on the bottom adjusts the lighting to different environmental situations.

I saw this same mirror at Savers for $15. Sure that one was all cleaned up, but for an $11 savings I did it myself. (used that savings to buy fabric :/. Dont judge me!)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Steady Clothing giveaway from Cherry Dollface on Youtube

Watch this video first to see the revised rules

Then go here and enter the contest

With the revised rules, all you have to do is link to something on on the youtube thread to be entered!

I picked the Sailor Betty dress as my favorite

Follow Up to the calling card post

Apparently I pulled the original calling card post...


I'm not the type of girl that has a notepad and pen on my person at all times. I lose pens, the notebook gets all messed up, I just cant handle it! That is my OCD talking there :/

So a month or so ago, I took advantage of a sale that Vista Print was having, and fixed myself up some official-like calling cards. So proper and retro!

Now when I am at Riot, or Sac Swingtime, or Viva (2014!!!), I can just hand someone one of my swank cards instead of fumbling for a pen and a napkin. A proper lady NEVER gives her info on a napkin. For shame!

Here is the front, Just like my blog header so there is continuity:

And the back has all of my pertinent contact info, like email, blog, my etsy shop, and my facebook!

I have several business card holders, but I dont really like any of them for these cards. 

I'm constantly carrying business cards with me, not only these, but the ones for my vintage shop, and ones for my childrens boutique. I'm going to need a bigger purse one of these days

Shine a light on it!

I really have an addiction to thrifting...

I think I was at the SPCA store in Reno and found these. I paid $15 for the pair, and they needed a lot of clean up love. But a little soap and water brought them back:

I put them up for sale on ebay, because if I kept every vintage thing I find, I'd be on a special episode of Hoarders: The Mid Century edition

If they dont sell, I'll keep them and find some pretty shades for them.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Kitchen Science: Turning ugly lipsticks into something nice

Now I didnt take photos of when I mad scientist-ed (thats a word now) my red lipsticks into one perfect shade but the end result is such:

with several coats of gloss.

Here it is in the container. I realize now that the container being pink kind of skews the red shade

I dug out all of my pink shades, the hits, the misses, and the what the hell was I thinkings, and scooped them all into this little plastic microwave safe bowl thing. There's some weird barbie hot pinks in there, a gold shimmer (so ugly 70s disco) and I added one of my zillion chapsticks to the mix to help the blending process.

Melt it in increments of 10 to 15 seconds at a time. You want it to soften and melt, not boil and burn. I used a wood stick cotton swab to mix it up. This is after about 30 seconds or so. You can see it start to melt

Get your final container ready. These are just basic ones from the dollar tree

Just about ready!

While its still liquified, pour it into your final container. It will set up incredibly quickly

Ready! Its a pretty mauve color now thats really flattering for my skin tone, and has a faint golen shimmer to it thanks to the disco gold lipstick

The whole process took about 5 mins start to finish. The most important thing is patience when melting the lipsticks. Its better to take it slow than ruin the whole batch!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Bed Sheet becomes boogie worthy dress

Ok, first off, Butterick says this pattern is "easy". I call bullshit. In theory its easy, but setting the zipper was a nightmare, the darts are insane, and there is so much skirt going on that trying to keep everything lined up drove me to drink. Yes, I'm having a rum and coke.

The sheet was purchased at the UCP thrift store on Oddie Blvd in Sparks, I got 2 flat sheets and a pillowcase for $2.88, and only used one flat sheet for the dress, so fabric cost was about $1.50, the pattern was $1.50, and I had the zipper but probably paid $1.50 so the whole dress was less than $5 in raw material

Close up of the pattern. I made it in a size 16, which is a 30" waist, my goal measurement.

Finished product, shown with my floofy pink crinoline underneath. It needs to hang for awhile for the bias to settle before I can hem it

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Did you know: sewing tip of the day

Did you know that a king sized flat sheet gives you 11,016 square inches of fabric to work with? Thats the yardage equivalent of  just under 7 yards of cotton by the yard (based off of 44" wide fabric)

Thrift stores are a gold mine of vintage print sheets that mimic the bright happy floral motifs of the 50's and 60's. King sized sheets can usually be had for around 5 dollars. You can get a nice full skirted dress out of one $5 sheet instead of 5 yards of cotton from the store. If you're lucky you can catch a good sale and spend $6 a yard. $5 vs $30? I'll keep hunting for sheets!

Image courtesy of chaletgirl

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pure lipstick luck

I went a little mad scientist tonight, and gathered up all of my red lipsticks, the hit shades and the miss shades (i'm a blue red, not an orange red).

Anyway, i scooped them all out of their tubes into a microwave safe dish, melted them down and blended them all together, and it seems to have made the absolute truest, prettiest red I could ever dream of. my ultimately perfect lipstick shade. Now instead of 4 tubes rolling around my makeup drawer, there's one little pot of perfection.

I'm tempted to do it with the pink ones too...

Vintage Q&A, snagged from Mari

1.      Who are your style icons?

Grace Kelly is my absolute top of the list, Marilyn of course, Ann Baxter, Ann-Margaret, Lucille Ball

2.      What is your favorite way to get inspired?

Watching TCM or Antenna TV, Trolling ebay, or just reorganizing my jewelry collection. Just the act of touching earrings or bracelets will cause me to see new color variations and patterns and then want to create. I’ll also regularly go through my fabric collection looking for new ways to use what I have

3.      What is your most used hair tool?

My curling iron. I’m all thumbs when it comes to wet sets, but I will curl my hair on high heat, and while its still warm, wrap it around a plastic roller and clip it up until it cools. I go through setting lotion and thermo protectant like crazy

4.      What is your favorite hair tool?

Motions setting foam and single prong curl clips. Also my synthetic rat. I’m a germophobe so using my own old hair to make a rat gives me the heebies.

5.      Up-do? Down? Or half and half

My hair is cut in a short Grace Kelly so usually down and flipped, though I’m looking in to getting a clip in ponytail extension for versatility

6.      Is vintage something you do every day, on weekends, or for special occasions?  

Ultimately I would like to do it every day, but as I’m in the process of losing weight, I don’t want to make dresses in a size I’m transitioning through. In the interim I accessorize vintage like mad through jewelry and purses. Once I am at my goal weight, I will be vintage/reproduction as often as possible. For now its modern garb

7.       What is your favorite blush and lipstick?

Blush wise, its usually blushing baby doll by Jane, or benetint, or a light sweep of bronzer, depending on the look I’m after. For lipstick I blend three different blue red shades, all from wet and wild (on the cheap!) to get my perfect red look, and then gloss gloss gloss

8.      Dress, skirt, or pants? Heels or Flats?

For now, pants. Once I’ve lost weight, dresses and skirts. Usually low heels, wedges, and flats. I cant walk in or wear high heels due to a back injury. I also have saddle shoes and white keds for casual

9.      Off the rack or homemade?

Dresses are homemade, sweaters are authentic vintage or thrifted reproductions. In my opinion, a black cardi is a black cardi and I can get a beautiful one for $4 at Savers.

10.   Do you swing dance?

Yes. I haven’t in a very long time, but I can probably with a little prodding recall west coast and lindy, with a little jitterbug in for good measure. I also know how to stroll and bop

11.    Extreme Vintage or subtle touches?

This question confuses me. When it comes to jewelry, extreme vintage. Day to day wear, subtle touches. All of my glassware is authentic vintage as well as my bakeware and 90% of my kitchen stuff. Furniture is a mix of modern and authentic vintage

12.   Favorite Perfume?

Depending on the season, Nantucket Briar by Crabtree and Evelyn, Maybe Baby by benefit, Japanese Cherry blossom by Bath and Body works

13.   Favorite skincare product?

Jergens ultra healing lotion, coty airspun powder, Neutrogena sunscreen

14.   What does your family think of your style?

My mom thinks its pretty funny, not in a cruel way, but she was a child of the 50’s so she just groans when I bring things home she had as a kid. She thinks I have a great eye for style and fabrics and colors.

15.    Favorite accessory?

A toss up between my Lucite purse and my confetti Lucite pin in the shape of the state of Nevada

16.   Do you find the vintage community welcoming or snobby?

Ha, what a loaded question. Girls by nature are competitive, so there’s a possibility of finding snobs. If someone finds a good deal I’m half jealous I didn’t find it first, and half thrilled that they saved this amazing piece from oblivion.

17. What drew you to vintage style?
Well, I was raised on oldies and Nick at Night as a kid. I couldn’t tell you anything about shows from the 80s like Cosby or Full House, but I know every episode of Lucy and Jeanie. In high school, one of my friends invited me to her swing dance class and I was hooked. I love the floofy dresses of the 50’s, and the modesty and simplistic nature of the era.

18.   Favorite places to shop vintage?

What, and give away all of my secrets???  Just kidding. I love thrift shops and antique malls. I especially look for pieces others may not want because they need a little restoration. Nothing a little paint, soap, and elbow grease cant make pretty again.

19.    What vintage eras are your favorite?

The 50’s for sure, with a little bit of late 40’s and early 60’s thrown in. I love WWII sweetheart jewelry, but I find 40’s dresses not opulent enough for me. So much of that decade was rationed for war time, and while the tailoring is beautiful, I love the excessive nature of the 50s. Once fabric was off ration, people went fashion crazy. When Dior launched his New Look collection in 1947, that’s when the full skirt look really took off.

20.  Most glamorous film stars?

Ava Gardner, Katherine Hepburn, Veronica Lake, Marilyn and Grace naturally

21.   Favorite vintage object that you own?

No fair making me pick just one!!! Well, I do love all of my pyrex, but I’d have to say my overall favorite is my lazy daisy rotating snack tray, had for a mere $15 dollars in downtown Reno

Adding some questions of my own:

22.  Favorite films?

All about Eve, Viva Las Vegas, Bus Stop, the seven year itch, gentlemen prefer blondes

23.  Favorite tunes? (vintage or modern)

Modern Rockabilly: Deke Dickerson, The straight 8’s, Nikki Hill, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Royal Crown Revue

Oldies: Elvis, Bill Haley and his Comets, Buddy Holly, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Paul Anka, sooo many more that I don’t even have room to list

Friday, February 1, 2013

Quick post, a few recent finds

Lucite Starburst Coasters, $3 for 8 at Savers in Sparks

Pink and gold atomic ashtray, $5 at Virginia St. Antique Mall

And my absolute favorite, a Confetti Lucite pin in the shape of NEVADA for $1.50 at the Virginia St. Antique mall

More to come later today. I've been doing a massive uploading to etsy and ebay and I need to get photos in while the light is good.

Ciao bellas, xoxo