Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Year in Review, 2015

Holy cow! Where has this last year gone? Is it me or does it seem like time goes by waaaaay to fast? Before the year is completely gone, I thought it would be good to take a few moments and reflect on the year.

Last January, I posted about my New Years' resolutions for blogging, sewing, and life. (You can read the post here.) So how did I do? Well, to be honest I think I'd give myself a B+ (but I get an A for effort! ;) ) Did I resist the "need" to buy more fabric? Psst!! No, of course not. That would have been crazy! However, I found that when I did buy fabric I was more selective and thoughtful about my purchases. Most of what I bought will go towards Made by Me items for my Etsy shop (I found some really nice vintage and reproduction cotton prints) or very specific projects that I know I will get a lot of use out of. And to be fair, I did use a lot of stuff from my stash this year and sewed some practical vintage mix and match items. My favorite projects from 2015 - my Dorr Mill Hoodie, 40s Yellow Crepe Suit, and this outfit - were made entirely from stash supplies. My 1920s plaid cotton dress and three turban/dusting caps were also all made from stash fabric. Go me!

Confession, I did splurge on silk fabric for my 1920s White Lightening Dress, (which completed resolution #3 of sewing something amazing) and because etsy sales were good this fall I bought some AH-MAZ-ING silk for two 18th century gowns. Fear not, there will be blog posts a-plenty on those projects!

Here is a quick run down on things I sewed for myself this year. Not all of my projects have been blogged about but I do hope to share them in the New Year!

2015 sewing projects

Historical Sewing
Vintage Sewing
Vogue 9010
Be My Valentine Blouse
Dorr Mill Hoddie
Pheww! And those are just the projects I finished for myself!! I'm still working on a 30s blouse using McCall 7371, and a wool cape with Du Barry 6002. I participated in Spring for Cotton as well as Sew Retro Rose's Decades of Style 1930s Cape sew a-long but didn't finish my cape because I didn't like how it was turning out. And all most all of my projects count for the Vintage Pattern Sewing Pledge!

I had the opportunity to participate in some awesome Greater Boston Vintage Society events this year, including the White Lighting Ball, 1920s Beach and Lawn Parties, and the 1950s Winter Formal.

Three great WWII event this year were of course the air show at the Mid Atlantic Air Museum, the D-Day event at Cunneaut, Ohio, and the Battle for the Air Field, at the Collins Foundation. I do have pictures from the last two events but have not posted about them. We also managed to squeeze in a couple 18th century events included this one at Crown Point.

There are many fun and excited highlights of 2015 as well! In June I was selected as a Runner Up for the Vintage Life Miss June contest. That same month I had, hands down the most fun EVER with this photo shoot with my friend Neal. I am working on contacting some other pilots for a similar shoot at Reading this coming year. During the summer I received this darling hostess dress from a dear reader. I organized TWO vintage photo contests this year and was interviewed by Jessica of Chronically Vintage! You can read the whole interview here.

Some highlights from 2015
So! What can you look forward to seeing on my blog in the New Year? Lots of things!! I am always looking for new blogging ideas so if you have any please let me know! Here are just a few things I will be working on.
  • New Behind the Seams posts, including some more 1920s dresses and a gown from the 1890s.
  • Tutorials, book and pattern reviews.
  • Vintage around my house
  • New items on Etsy, including a small selection of Made by Me items. 
  • Interviews! 
  • A new vintage photo contest (Most likely summer attire and/or formal wear!)
  • A special Christmas Sew A-long with Gina of Beauty from the Ashes. We still need to work out all the details but it's going to be awesome! :)
That's all for now. As always, please feel free to leave a comment or drop me a message through email or Facebook! I love hearing from my readers. :) What projects will you be working on next year?

Two more gorgeous 1920s dresses I will be documenting in up coming Behind the Seams posts next year.
A look at some of the items I have been working on for my Etsy shop. These WILL be ready to list in the New Year! I promise!! :)

Monday, December 28, 2015

Royal Vintage Shoes Review

Hello everyone! I hop you all had a wonderful Christmas!! Did Santa bring you everything on your vintage wish list?

Today I have a special review of a pair of shoes from Royal Vintage Shoes. Some of you may be familiar with this company but for those who may not know about it, a little background.

Royal Vintage Shoes is the sister company of American Duchess and brainchild of Lauren, the wonderfully talented blogger and designer for American Duchess footwear. Royal Vintage offers a curated collection of historical reproduction and vintage style shoes representing the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. The shoes for sale are made by different companies but are offered in an easy, one-stop shopping location for the vintage shoe enthusiast. Forget spending hours searching the web for vintage style shoes! Now you can go to one site and shop until your heart's content! 

Telsa Vintage Suede Oxfords by Chelsea Crew
Personally, I have found the website to be very user friendly. You can search by your favorite decade or style of shoes, such as pumps, T-straps, and more. Communication is great and the shipping is fast and very reasonable. I even decide to join the Royal Vintage Shoes affiliate program, which is super easy to do. It gives me the chance to earn a tiny commission (which I can put towards shoes of my own) on any sales from purchases made using the links I provide. (You can read more about the program here.) Another nice feature about Royal Vintage Shoes is the chance to earn Royal Reward points for each of your purchases! After creating an account you can save and use your points for a future purchase.

The shoes I am reviewing today are Telsa Vintage Suede Oxfords by Chelsea Crew. I'm always a little hesitant to order shoes online. I have weird feet, in my own opinion, and tend to stay clear of unfamiliar online brands. I have heard from many people that Chelsea Crew shoes can run narrow. Since I had never tried a pair before I consulted the size size and thought it best to order my normal size. Royal Vintage shipped my shoes and they arrived very quickly. However, I found the Telsa's did in fact run narrow, at least for my feet. So after filling out the super handy return form, with a note about exchanging for a different size, back they went. Again, communicate was great and shipping super fast!

My new pair are a size 38 and fit great. They even have room for insoles which is an extra bonus. These are a nice vintage style pair of shoes at go great with both vintage style and modern clothing. I do wish the toes were a bit more rounded but that is really my only complaint.

The color is called wine, which I think it pretty accurate, though in person they appear a touch more purple then the pictured on my computer screen. I've worn them many times and find them comfortable. They look great with both pants and skirts for a vintage look. I found they were an almost perfect match with my me-made 40s skirt. It's one I made back in 2012 and was patterned from my 1940s brown suit, you've seen the suit a few times on my blog as it's a favorite of mine. The skirt was among my first attempts at taking a pattern from a vintage piece of clothing. My sweater, shown in my last post, was part of a vintage sweater gold mine a found at a near by thrift store! Some one must have cleaned out grandma's closet because I purchased 5 fabulous vintage cashmere sweaters all in one swoop!

I am very pleased with my experience shopping at Royal Vintage Shoes and I know you will be too!

Outfit Details
Silk Scarf - Fort Anne Antiques
Sweater - Thrifted
Skirt - Made by me
Shoes - Royal Vintage Shoes

I receive a small commission for providing affiliate links to certain products. However, all opinions in this post are my own. Please visit my Sponsors/Reviews page to learn more about my policy.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!!

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!! Hope you all have a wonderful day with family and friends!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Little Vintage Decor for Christmas

Hello again! My goodness, is it really Christmas Eve already?!?! It's hard to be in a festive mood when we have no snow! Ah well, I'm sure we will have some soon enough.

Today is a quick post. I wanted to show you some of my Christmas decorations. I was hoping to show you pictures of my Christmas skirt, but I'm still working on it. Hopefully I can get it finished in time to wear to the church service tonight!

I love that our living room has a fire place and mantel. There are some many options for decorating! I'm actually planning a post for early in the New Year to show you all the different ways I've dressed it up since we moved into our new house. Christmas of course is the best time for decoration in my opinion, and almost anything goes.

If you look closely you can see a geeky selection of DVDs. :)

I used a mix of old and new things to decorate. Faux greens, lights and colored balls to start and then incorporated some vintage and antique items. Nestled among the greens are vintage hair combs, old photos and some hat boxes. I also placed a stack on hat boxes on the hearth. Don't worry, we're not actually using the fire place right now! The green glass insulators are great for placing over battery operated tea lights. Each year I pick up one or two new gift boxes. They are great for decorating as well for those who don't like wrapping gifts. It's great that they can be used over and over, cutting back on wasteful wrapping paper.

A box set of mother of pearl cuff links and shirt studs and a sparkly rhinestone purse complete the mantel decor for this year. I don't have any pictures of our little faux tree in the kitchen, but like last year I decorated it with vintage bits and bobs.

My outfit is a mix of old and new as well. The silk scarf and sweater are vintage, the skirt is me-made and the shoes are from Royal Vintage Shoes. (I will be writing a full review of them later on.) The  one I made back in 2012 and was patterned from my 1940s brown suit, you've seen the suit a few times on my blog as it's a favorite of mine. The skirt was among my first attempts at taking a pattern from a vintage piece of clothing. The sweater is another favorite. It was part of a vintage sweater gold mine a found at a near by thrift store! Some one must have cleaned out grandma's closet because I purchased 5 fabulous vintage cashmere sweaters all in one swoop!

What do you think? Should I plan more vintage home decor posts for next year? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Well, that's all for now. Merry Christmas Everyone!! I hope Santa brings you everything on your wish list!

Outfit Details
Silk Scarf - Fort Anne Antiques
Sweater - Thrifted
Skirt - Made by me
Shoes - Royal Vintage Shoes

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Win a $100 Gift Certificate to Dames a la Mode

Need to add some sparkle to you next holiday outfit? What about your next historic costume? Look no further then Taylor's beautiful Etsy shop Dames a la Mode! Taylor is an 18th and early 19th century reenactor with a passion for historic costuming, millinery and of course jewelry! I had the chance to meet her at an event a few years back, she is such a wonderful and talented person.

Etsy shop Dames a la Mode

Emerald Cut Necklace, Colorful Crystal Necklace, Wintour Necklace. Georgian Collet Multi Color Rhinestone, Jewel Tone Crystal Necklace
You will find a stunning collection of goodies suited for many decades. Earring, bracelets and necklaces, oh my! Custom orders are available too. Taylor even carries a selection of pretty ribbons and paper flowers which are perfect for a variety of projects.

50 tiny red and white paper millinery flowers
And guess what? Right now American Duchess is hosting a giveaway to win a $100 gift certificate to Dames a la Mode! Check out Lauren's blog for all the details on how to enter.

These are a few of my favorites from the shop!! What are yours?

Green Statement Necklace. Vintage Rhinestones Emerald and Peridot. Anna Wintour, Estate Necklace, Green Bib Statement Necklace. Rhinestone.
Pink Opal Necklace, Statement Necklace, Anna Wintour. Collet Necklace. Georgian Paste, Regency, 18th Century, Josephine. Fire Opal Faux Opal

Monday, November 30, 2015

My First Blog Interview

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! Cori and I enjoyed a quiet turkey day together then had a bigger family gathering on Sunday.

Excited news for you today. As some of you may know, Jessica of Chronically Vintage has been conducting interviews with vintage bloggers from around the globe. Her "Meet a fellow vintage blogger" interview series has been a lot of fun to follow. And today I am her featured blogger!! I'm very excited and had a lot of fun answering her questions. I've been following Jessica since I started blogging and really feel I have found a kindred vintage loving spirit.

Hop on over to Chronically Vintage to read her post! I am offering a special Etsy discount code too!

If anyone would like to collaborate for future blog posts please let me know! I would love to work with anyone interested in vintage, sewing, history, travel or museums as much as I am! Are you interested in guest blogging, sponsored posts, giveaways, link swapping, pattern swapping or other collaboration ideas? Excellent! Let's chat! You can contact me at vintagevisions27(at)gmail(dot)com

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Green Silk Sacques

I was searching online recently and found some images of a lovely 18th century gown and thought "Hey, that looks familiar!" It's making me have second thoughts about remodeling my own green silk sacque.
But only a little. :)

 Robe a la Francaise 1725, European, Made of silk - Source

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Two Lace Ladies

I've wanted to photograph these two dresses together for a while now. I finally had the chance this fall and thankfully the weather cooperated. The dresses look much better outside against our stunning fall backdrop then they would have looked inside. Sadly all that beautiful color is gone now that we are well in to November. The gown with the long train is of course my wedding dress and the other is the one I made to wear to the reception.

This is actually the first time I've pulled these dresses out since packing them away after the wedding. Please forgive the wrinkled fabric as I didn't take the time to steam them.

You can read all about the construction of these dresses here. But I thought this was a good time to share some more detailed shots too. :) (There are loads of wedding photos in this post. If you're interested in how I planned my vintage themed wedding check out this post.)

Normally you want your bias tape to match your project. I used peach bias tape to bind the neck, arms and hem of my wedding gown because that's what I had on hand at the time. Plus I really didn't care that it didn't match, I just wanted the dress done!

My felt flowers are still looking nice! The corsages were costume made by Lucy of 1940s Style for You. Lucy also runs an Etsy shop of the same name. I made all our bouquets using wool felt, floral wire and an array of vintage mother of pearl, plastic and rhinestone buttons. I know I took photos while I was making them but can't seem to find the flash drive that hold them. Pooh! But when I do I'll post a tutorial for sure!

At some point I plan to do some major deconstruction and refitting of my reception dress. I had to resize the pattern which created some fitting issues with the bodice. It was thrown together pretty quickly the week before the wedding and never fit right. I don't like looking at the picture of me wearing it because I can see how wonky it is. Anyone else have projects like that? It would make a great outfit for a fancy News Year's Eve party so it's totally worth spending some time to fix it if I can.

I plan to do the following to my reception dress:

- Detach the skirt and bodice
- Rework the bodice to remove the excess fabric/bulk from neck and bust area. I added way to much ease when I resized the pattern. This should help the neck lay a little smoother. It's also tight under the arms so I need to do something about that.
- Shorten the skirt 2 to 3 inches
- Replace the zipper with one that is less bulky.

And a few last shots of me with my creations. And a peak at how I look on a non vintage day, which I'll be honest is most days during the week. I'm really a jeans and t-shirt (or sweater if it's chilly!) kind of girl, but that's because my work day starts so early and I'm lazy in the mornings!

There, now you're totally sick of seeing wedding dress photos! :)

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