New Detectives: Dating Vintage

I went out on a thread run (more on this place later) for my Promaballoona dress on Saturday and came home with some thrifted goodies, too!

I found a blue version of this lovely Mexican wedding dress (for only $10!!) on the first rack I stopped at. That one was too big, so I was ever so lucky to stumble across this one at the same price, but in a smaller size. It’s 100% cotton and embroidered to death. There’s a small brown discoloration on the shoulder, but it in no way diminishes the beauty of the dress. I also snagged another plus sized skirt to refashion. Stay tuned for that.

My other finds from that day put my detective skills to use.

1970s Dress: unpinned and button detail

This one was easy enough, as the tags are still fully attached and legible. There’s a ILGWU label under a tag that names the maker as Yves Jennet. It’s from the 1970s and is a 50/50 polyester/rayon blend. It’s quite breathable, but too long for my taste. Here it is pinned up a bit.

1970s Dress: Pinned up

1970s Dress: Pinned up

I thrifted the belt I’m wearing from Domsey’s on a previous trip. It’s Banana Republic, I paid $3.39 for it.

Vintage Dress: Pinned up

Vintage Dress: Pinned up

Vintage Dress: unpinned

I found this one on that same rack, right after I walked into the store, too. It feels like it’s made of rayon. There are no tags inside. According to the information in this book and at Sammy Davis Vintage, I would guess that it’s from the 30s or 40s. It has a metal side zip and the shape and style seem, to my amateur eye, to be from that era. I paid only $10 bucks for it!! It needs some TLC and shortening (it’s unpinned in the last photo), but I love the shape and the history of it so much!

I’ve shopped at The Urban Jungle once before. They have fitting rooms, but it was so muggy and hot I gambled on these fitting. And won! Since my first trip there they’ve rearranged the store, opened a new location and jammed in about 10 more circular racks. This place is JAM packed with stuff. My arms were too tired to sift through everything that day. That evening turned into a long one as I stayed up sewing until the sun came up! I’ll post the graffiti pics I snapped on the rainy walk home, tomorrow!

The “Where Are The Roses???” Ensemble

The "Where Are The Roses???" Ensemble

The Facts | Sew Weekly Outdoor Inspiration Challenge
Fabric | A thrifted, seems like rayon, skirt.
Patterns | None, refashioned on the fly.
Year | Current.
Notions | Thread and elastic.
Time to complete | About a half hour hour.
First worn | To take silly, late night indoor pics.
Wear again? | I think so. I’m always so gun shy about strapless tops. I mean, it’s not like I go to the roller derby or…engage in on-the-fly wrestling matches. What exactly am I so worried about?
Total price | $5 for the skirt from the Goodwill store downtown Brooklyn, the elastic was free and my new sewing machine was $149 ;o) My finally-found-one-big-enough-for-my-noggin Fedora was $8. I kinda love it!

The "Where Are The Roses???" Ensemble

I had such high hopes for this week. It was to be my triumphant return to the land of working sewing machines where challenges are turned in on time(ish). I was going to make something fabulous and flirty and fitted and…and….Let’s just say, I had BIG plans. Alas, thanks to the absolute idiots working at my local FedEx depot, the machine that I expected to be delivered last Saturday didn’t arrive then. It’s too late and I’m in too good a mood to rehash the details right now. Every time I talk about it, I get vexed all over again. The nitty & gritty (included a screenshot of a deleted rage filled tweet) has been documented on my blog, if you care to read about it.

The "Where Are The Roses???" Ensemble

So, the machine came. And then I got super busy with school and then hubby and I had a date night planned. Then, something kind of amazing happened. Returning a lost phone to its very grateful owner (and the very generous reward he gave me) boosted my morale and gave me the kick in the pants I needed to get back on the bobbin…or something like that ;o)

The "Where Are The Roses???" Ensemble

I can honestly say, I also delayed getting started because I was worried that I would thread the machine and it wouldn’t work. The whole experience was so trying and draining. I felt my fear was justified when I sat down to sew a few rows on a scrap of fabric and the machine DID. NOT. SEW. Luckily, this was not my first time at the sewing machine rodeo and I knew what to check for. The bobbin winder was pushed over. I pushed it back. Still DID. NOT. SEW. Then, I remembered that the machine’s feed dogs could be dropped. I lifted them. Bingo! We have SEWING!!

The "Where Are The Roses???" Ensemble

I think this skirt may have been taken in/refashioned before. The side seams are totally different. I basically shortened it, made it a teeny bit narrower, tightened the waistband and used the bottom bit to make a layered top. This is the first time I’ve used my serger (with the knife immobilized) to attach elastic. My execution wasn’t perfect, but the technique has its merits. At any rate, I didn’t miss making a casing and feeding the elastic through.

The "Where Are The Roses???" Ensemble

Though looking on the bright side and stopping to smell the roses while making lemonade out of the lemons the universe kept chucking at me has been really (REALLY) challenging for me these last two weeks, I’m happy to have something to show for this one and anxious to start my next project on my new baby!

What I Wore :: 7.24.12

What I Wore :: 7.24.12

Hat :: Street Vendor
Shirt :: Old Navy
Shorts :: Simplicity 3530 Handmade by me
Sandals :: Forever21
Purse :: Handmade

What I Wore :: 7.24.12

I’m still recovering from the busiest weekend I’ve had since the graduation and dance performance mania in June. On Sunday, I took the kids to a new student meet and greet picnic given by my oldest daughter’s future school. After much running around, playing catch and hula hoop games I dashed home to drop the kids with my hubby to run back out to go on a makeup consult with my sister.

She was referred by a fellow makeup artist friend who was unable to take the job. I think it went really well. The visit prompted me to revamp her blog a little.

Bellus K

I will be doing the same for my hubby, soon. Tomorrow he has his first important DJ gig. He’s had business cards made up, but his online presence needs some….presence ;o)

I’m excited for both of them!! I don’t know anyone who loves makeup more that her and music more than him. It’s only natural that they should find some success working with these passions. A couple of great things are coming my way, too. I’m preparing for Promaballoona and thinking of sitting out the Sew Weekly challenge. I made a, very late, look for last week that hasn’t been posted. We’ll see if I can fit in two looks, photos, my midterm, supporting hubby at his gig, a gma visit and more kid fun this week.

Stay tuned.

Saturday in the Subway

What a great day!! My clan and I went to the Transit Museum today. We had a blast looking at old trains, old ads and being filmed for a new one. There was a crew filming material for the Barclay’s Stadium opening soon in Brooklyn. They asked if we would mind being filmed a bit and (after asking what it would be used for) we agreed. That’s when the man noticed what hubby was wearing.

Brooklyn tee shirt AND Brooklyn Nets hat!

We LOVE our city!
Brooklyn Nets!!

I loved looking at the ads in the train. An astonishing number of them were for booze.
BOOZE :: Chateau Martin Wines

Smoking was apparently not frowned upon.

Lord & Taylor

And neither was gun use.

EDIT: Check out this comment from Lady Katzagiving us the scoop on the NRA sign-

Thanks for sharing!!

I particularly loved this one featuring WyNona Blackman.
Miss Subways

Isn’t she gorgeous?!? We even attended the same college!

This blue featured prominently on many of the older trains. This was my favorite of the day.

And this is the best picture of me taken today.

Hubby snap of me

I’m blurry, but happy! Click for more pics.

After we saw all that there was to see, we went to grub on some food. Three out of four kids fell asleep on the bus ride home, that’s always a sign of a good day. I made it even better later when we whipped up some double chocolate goodness while watching a movie.

A cake party is always the perfect way to end any day!

How was your Saturday?




It Pays to be Nice

Hi, all!! No sewing to show you yet. I’ve been super busy with class and actually went out with my hubby last night. I wore a recently thrifted dress. It’s from Banana Republic, I paid $6.39 from Domsey’s. You can see the details a bit better here.

Thrifted Dress :: Banana Republic $6.39

It’ possible that I’m avoiding sewing because I keep expecting something else to go wrong. I have put those bad feelings behind me because my luck has changed! After the event last night, we jumped into a taxi (after several passed us) and there sat someone’s iPhone. The battery was dead so I put it in my purse to message the owner when we got home.

When I charged it a bit, I sent an email to the owner telling him to contact me via email to arrange pickup. Then, I noticed that a text came in pleading to return it for a cash reward. I replied to the text telling him to check his email. This morning I read his, VERY enthusiastic, response. I told him what my nearest train station was and he replied that he could get there in thirty minutes. When I walked in the station he said “You have my phone!” like he was surprised I really came, lol. I gave it to him and he took out his wallet, saying that I “must be the only New Yorker in the world who would do this” and gave me this:

That is SOME reward! I don’t know what he has on that phone that was so important, but I’m glad I was able to give it back. After meeting a Freecycler to give her some of my boys’ old winter coats (it was a very busy morning, good thing the kids are with grandma, again) I promptly went to the thrift store to reward myself with a bit of shopping ;o) I saw this guy on the way.

Whoops! Squished him!

I ended up with only two things for me. A pink boy’s oxford shirt (Sean John, $4.59), size 16’s fits me pretty well  and this for $3.39!!

Wonder Woman!!

The kids were the real winners on this trip. My oldest won’t have to wear a uniform this year, so I’ve been picking things up for her all summer. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to look for kids clothes at the thrift. I guess it’s because I already get a great deal on their things with sales and coupons. I got this stack of eleven items for $43.73.

Thrifted Kid Goodies

With the exception of a replacement tutu skirt (which is from Target) these are all name brand items, most of which I would never pay full price for. Click the pic for the brand and price breakdown, if you’re interested.

I still have the place to myself, so I’m going to tackle my new machine. I thrifted a few items from the Goodwill store downtown Brooklyn on Thursday. The prices and organization don’t hold a candle to Domsey’s, but I was able to find a dress for my big girl (denim with short sleeves from H&M, $8) and some items to refashion.

Off to work!

Brown is Good

What I Wore :: 7.18.12

What I Wore :: 7.18.12

What I Wore :: 7.18.12

Hat :: Street Vendor
Dress :: DIY Refashion Thrifted skirt-to dress
Sandals :: Forver21
Purse :: Coach
Belt :: Thrifted

These pics were taken by the girl twin. She had the good photographer juju today. It’s about elventy billion degrees today, so this dress was pretty much a perfect choice for staying cool. I was glad to have the chance to wear my new belt. I got it from my favorite thrift store, Domsey’s, for $3.39 a while back.

But none of that matters right about now because look at what my best friend the UPS man just bought me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's here!!!

It was very difficult to hold myself back from hugging him, lol. He also bought some DJ equipment thingamajig for my husband and some (much needed, how much more will they GROW) clothes for the kiddies. So, basically, he made the whole house happy in one go.

We like him VERY much! Thanks UPS! Your employees are awesome!

We’ll always bet on BROWN, lol!

If I were a Celebrity….

I would have to apologize for Twitter rants ALL the time, lol.

See my (deleted) rage filled tweet, posted after FedEx did NOT deliver my sewing machine.


After I calmed down, and rocked the PMS rage beast to sleep with chocolate, I deleted this tweet, then (calmly) called back and asked them to return the package to Amazon. I re-odered (good thing the machine is cheap) with regular shipping so UPS (our saviors in brown) will deliver.

Moral of the story:

Have patience so that Saturday deliveries are not necessary.

Wait, at least, twenty minutes after any incident before calling customer service agents.


Fuck You FedEx, you suck.


Becoming a Hat Person

What I Wore 7.16.12

New Hat!

What I Wore 7.16.12

What I Wore 7.16.12

Dress :: Me Made Mociun knockoff dress
Sandals :: Payless
Purse :: Coach
Hat :: A street vendor. It’s 95% paper and 5% poly. Isn’t that cool?!?!

I’m having such a great time with my family this summer! The kids and I went to the pool with my sister on Friday. There was fun and drama. Fun for the little three and a little slipped under the water drama with my oldest. It was a epic freakout, reminiscent of the one I had at about the same age.

Yesterday, we all (dad included) played in the park. It’s not always easy for all six of us to go out and play, my hubby works a lot, at times. We rode bikes and scooters. We played catch and kick ball. Afterward, we were all ravenous and ate dinner like piggies! OINK!

I needed yesterday’s fun. I had to chill the hell out after Saturday. There was some kind of disconnect between Fed Ex and Amazon that resulted in a missing apt# and an undeliverable sewing machine. Can you say RAGE!! I WENT OFF on the rep that had the misfortune to take my call. I feel really bad, now. But I was sooooo angry!

I’m stuck inside waiting for them to come, now. Then we will likely head out for more fun. I really need to get a bike. My husband is tall, so riding his was like riding one of those circus stunt bikes LOL! I felt like I was 10 feet in the air. I was impressed that the kids weren’t sore today. They play hard, but bike riding is tough work for little legs. But, kid energy saved them, I guess.

Are any of you bike riders? Where did you get yours and was it priced reasonably?


Music & Style :: The Noisettes’ Shingai Shoniwa

This absolutely gorgeous, fashionable and fierce woman below is lead singer and resident singing-upside-down badass Shingai Shoniwa of the British band, The Noisettes. I can’t even stand how amazing her personal style is. In editorials she is regal and often evocative of Grace Jones. And on the red carpet she is fearless and fun in a way that most can’t pull off.

On top of her beauty, style, outstanding natural hair and killer physique she has the most amazing singing voice I’ve heard in a very long time. She can rock out on guitar with the best of them and has legendary live performance status for her manic stage presence and, as I stated above, ability to sing (better than most stars standing still) while dangling upside down. They’re set to release a new album and I HOPE they tour the US and come to NYC. Check her out and please click the vids to hear a sampling of her talent.

The “Chop it, Paint it, Wear it” Top

The "Chop it, Paint it, Wear it" Top
Okay friends, this is my last cheater/make do/no sewing machine project. I’m picking out a new one today!! I have been one ornery, unhappy camper without my machine. Everyone in my family will be much happier once I’m set again.

My first fabric painting+refashion attempt was a BOMB, lol. I used these Sharpie markers on an old boy’s uniform shirt. It did not go well. They bled a little too much and the light blue color of the shirt didn’t mesh well with the colors of the markers. For attempt number two I switched tools. Gocco paint, a toothbrush and the little plastic lid that’s under the deodorant cap resulted in a semi-success.
Gocco ink make shift stamping pad
The "Chop it, Paint it, Wear it" Top

The Facts |Embellishment Challenge
Fabric | A turtleneck I got in my first Freecycle haul. It’s a medium, possibly petite, from St. John’s Bay.
Patterns | None, refashioned on the fly.
Year | Current.
Notions | Thread, a toothbrush, a plastic lid and Gocco paint.
Time to complete | About a half hour/three quarters of an hour. Mostly fiddling with the colors and layers and then finally adding the oval shaped stamping using the deodorant lid.
First worn | To take my daughter to her summer program.
Wear again? | I can’t honestly say that I’m sure this will get worn again. I really dislike tops that come way up on my chest and neck like this. I felt like I was tugging at it every couple of minutes. I loved painting on it, though. So, I will use that technique again.
Total price | Let’s call it free. The top was free and I’ve had that Gocco paint for ages and ages.

I tied the shirt together in the back to give it some shape. It’s quite boxy to be so damn small, lol. I’m also pretty chuffed about the neatness of my bun! I did it while running through the house this morning and forgot to check it in the mirror before I left.

The "Chop it, Paint it, Wear it" Top

These jeans are sort of refashioned, too. I took in the legs a long time ago, but only just serged off the excess last night. I don’t know why I waited so long. Don’t we all do that sometimes??? Also, I must point out, that back tattoo is almost fifteen years old. Way before tattoos in that location were given that unfortunate nickname….ahem. My oldest son (he’ll be 7 on September 13th) was my photographer this week. I like his slightly tilted shots and those with only half of me in them, lol. And the skewed perspective that results from a shorty taking a pic of a taller person. I particularly like this one below.

The "Chop it, Paint it, Wear it" Top

I cannot wait to sew something! I hope that this super demanding class I’m in and shuttling my daughter to and from class won’t take up so much time (and ENERGY) that I can’t.