The Wannabe Craftster

The Highs and Lows of a Fashionista and Craftster Wannabe

My Current Vintage Obsession


My personal style could never be described as “Jackie O”.  My hair tends to look windblown at best, and my dressy clothes are, these days, gathering dust in my closet.   Park days, piano lessons, gymnastics lessons, and speech therapy sessions don’t usually demand pumps and a slip.  More likely, you’ll see me in jeans or yoga pants with some oversized shirt.  Glamorous!   My mother is tall with narrow shoulders and a slim face and wears the styles I never could–full skirts, fussy tops, vests.   She could never understand  why her 5’1″ daughter with the big, full face and broad shoulders couldn’t float through the room in a circle skirt like June Cleaver.   Yet, she couldn’t bring herself to tolerate the clothes I wanted to wear–empire waist dresses, wrap sweaters, and straight skirts.  There was a compromise here and there, but she could be a bit of a bully about it all.  The one thing she couldn’t stand was the one thing she could do nothing about–my hair.  She would have loved it had I adopted a Grace Kelly do, but it just wasn’t in the cards.  Classic good looks were NOT mine, and my style, though stifled for many years directly by my well-meaning mother and even after by my desire to please her as an adult, was actually more boho.  You could read in her eyes the one thing she was thinking but wouldn’t say–TACKY!

So, at this stage of the game, why am I obsessed with 60s suits?   (I’m a 70s girl!) Is it the desperate need to  break out of my rut?  Could the yoga pants and oversized t-shirts of my husband’s finally have caused some sort of meltdown?  Am I secretly planning to shock the yoga pants off everyone else?  Am I just missing my mom and wanting to please her?

One extremely appealing characteristic of these suits is how streamlined they are.   Not many bells and whistles here.  The extravagance would be in the choice of fabric and in lining.  No embroidery, no ruffles, no crochet and NO SHOULDER PADS!  I used to rip them out of my clothes, even in the 80s.  Those of us with broad shoulders don’t need them!  Never did!

Something else has me hypnotized, though.  When one lays off the distracting embellishments, one gives oneself the opportunity to LAY ON THE JEWELRY!!!!  Back up, people!  I’ll need some room for the next post!

October 31, 2008 Posted by | inspiration, jewelry, patterns, vintage | , , , , | 3 Comments

Ooh La la!!!!

My sister had this pattern back in the day.  I thought it was the sexiest thing I’d ever seen and wanted it for myself.  You can find this at http://www.lanetzliving.net/

October 10, 2008 Posted by | inspiration, patterns, sew, sister, vintage | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Find of the Day

I am not even sure what to say about this.  The name of these unfortunate sandals….  I don’t allow anyone to say it near me (different spelling), because it just creeps me out.  This, however, had to be shared.  Found it while surfing for 70s fashions.

September 28, 2008 Posted by | 70s, vintage | , , , , | 4 Comments

SCORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

September 27, 2008 Posted by | Designer clothes, patterns, sew, thrifting, vintage | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Claire McCardell

Inspired by this post at Dress A Day, I began doing a little research on Claire McCardell.

http://www.dressaday.com/2008/06/meet-our-advertisers-3-marge-at-born.html

I must confess, I’d never heard of her. What a shame. You’ll think so too when you read this….

http://www.squidoo.com/clairemccardell

Scroll down and don’t miss the article at TIME magazine. Incredible that even in the world of fashion, women don’t get proper credit. We should all know this woman’s name, because like as not, many of us are wearing clothes that she inspired. I never got a real idea of what American Sportswear was all about UNTIL I read about its history and the major role Claire McCardell played.

Claire McCardell

http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/amsp/ho_1997.193.2.htm

June 25, 2008 Posted by | Designer clothes, inspiration, vintage | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Little Mister’s Shorts

In all his glory………………………

He was really proud.  These are a little big on him, but I suspect he’ll have some growing time over the summer and they’ll fit perfectly by fall, which is as good as summer here in Austin.

I used this pattern…..

It was SUPER-easy.  Only 2 pieces if I recall correctly.  Yes, I know this is a pajama pattern, but I wasn’t happy with the other patterns for little boys that I found.   And let me say here and now, there are almost NO patterns for boys out there.

Pattern was bought at Lanetz.   Lady who runs THAT place is wonderfully nice, which is a huge plus in my book.

http://www.lanetzliving.net/

June 24, 2008 Posted by | Austin, Finished Products, patterns, sew, vintage | , , , | 2 Comments

Fixing Sissie’s Lunch

This doesn’t look exactly like the lunchbox Sissie used to carry when she was a teenager, but it’s the best picture I could find on the net. You’d better believe I wanted one just like it. Or better yet, I wanted Sissie’s. Everything she did was cool, I thought. She went to camp with a funky little suitcase, which I coveted, of course. She had a funky seventies pillowcase, which I wanted. And she got to go to school and carry her lunch in this darling little case in my favorite color—red!

This is the story of how my imagination compromised Sissie’s dignity.

One morning, as Sissie was preparing to go to school, I was inspired to remove her lunch from the case and pack it F-U-L-L of…what else? My underwear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was pretending to take a trip, and it was made all the more real, because I was in reality riding along in our VW “Bug” in the backseat as my daddy drove Sissie to school.

I watched (having forgotten about my morning play as easily as children tend to do) as Sissie stepped out of the car, began walking toward the school which was, of course, SWIMMING with teenagers when…..oh what happened? That lunchbox popped open like a jack-in-the-box and out flew panties EVERYWHERE!

All I remember after that was teenagers laughing and pointing as Sissie frantically gathered my underwear off the road and stuffed it back in the lunchbox.

I’m amazed she still speaks to me, but I think she blocked this out of her memory. She probably comforts herself by believing I dreamed this. Or, as she often says, after raising children, she can’t BE embarrassed anymore.

If you like the lunchbox, head on over to Ebay. It’s a classic, anyway. Just don’t stuff it full of underwear.

http://stores.ebay.com/F-C-Inc

June 13, 2008 Posted by | inspiration, sister, Uncategorized, vintage | , , , | 4 Comments

Vintage Blouse Patterns

Right now, I’m wishing for winter the way it was when I was growing up—you know, back when there were actual seasons? Remember putting away summer clothes after a frost or two and pulling out your winter wardrobe? Mine never totally recovered from the mothballs, and the mothballs let me down, I discovered, when I pulled out a gorgeous emerald green wool coat I’d worn ONCE and noticed mothholes on the arms. Winter clothes were always better than summer clothes, I thought, because you got to wear boots and shawls and ponchos! Well, I fantasized about wearing shawls, anyway. I finally have one but not the weather to wear it in. Sigh. If you couldn’t guess, my best winter wardrobe memories involve clothes from the 70s. Some early 80s, too, but I remember so well my sister’s clothes during the 70s. She had white jeans, I think, and knit tops, chunky heeled shoes, blouses that tied in the back, handkerchief blouses, and a tube top. She even made her own bikini.

This is her pattern, and I know she sewed it but I can’t recall the fabric she used. Seemed that it was reversible.

Some of the others, I’ve just picked up. Sometimes, you snatch them up before you think, right? Like this one–my bust could be a 32 1/2 again, right? Pppptttttttt! As if! And I’m sure I’d love to have to unzip my blouse in the back to take it off, wouldn’t I?

Another one of my sister’s. You can totally tell everybody wanted to look like Farrah.

Now, to be totally mushy and sad. These two, I bought when I was pregnant but before I knew I was carrying a boy. I thought for SURE, I’d get to buy pink. I suppose I could buy fabric and wait for someone I know to get pregnant….Has the time come for me to come to the realization that I won’t be needing any more baby clothes?

But the girly robes are darling, aren’t they? If you know anyone who needs anything so warm, that is. As long as I continue to live in Texas, it would probably be a good idea to resist the long sleeved little treasures like these. But, wouldn’t it be lovely to have a houseful of little girls in pajamas and nightgowns hurrying off to bed and waiting for their bedtime stories?

Okay, I guess the good news is that I won’t be humiliating a daughter by making her wear homemade clothes that would be, in the under 10’s set, considered out of style. And, truth be told, I may be trying to recapture something that is truly gone forever. BUT, I like pulling these out every once in a while to think about what might have been, remembering my own little 70s pink pajamas I got to wear by the fire, back when we had seasons.

April 18, 2008 Posted by | patterns, sew, thrifting, Uncategorized, vintage | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vintage Dress Patterns

I haven’t worn a real dress since I was pregnant with my younger son who is now four years old.    It’s a real shame, since I’ve owned so very many dresses and probably 100 or so dress patterns.  Some of those were never used, since we lost contact with Miss Francis, our beloved friends and dressmaker.  Since my sewing skills were nonexistent and I didn’t own a machine, anyway, many were finally grudgingly donated to Goodwill years ago.  While I don’t regret this much, I’m now on a quest to replenish my stock.  Reasons are many.  First, I just wanna.  Secondly, my sister the sewist has relocated to Fort Worth with sewing machine in tow.  Thirdly, I am back in communication with Miss Francis.  Finally, I’ve got my own sewing machine and intend to develop the skills to turn out perfection.  Or something like it.  Of course, this will take time, which is fine with me, because I’d also like to take some weight off before I really dive into this.  In the meantime, I do love to take a look at my growing vintage dress pattern collection and can do so now without rummaging through the patterns themselves but can just pull up my albums on Thumbplus and peruse.  Now that I’ve finally learned a LITTLE bit about my scanner, that is.

I love the DVF Wrap Dress pattern but couldn’t afford the genuine article on Ebay in my size.  Chose this little lovely, instead and can’t wait to see it worked up.

Possibly, POSSIBLY, I could turn out a nicer version of the traditional housedress using these patterns.  I KNOW, but I like the idea!!  Come on. it could happen.  Right?


April 12, 2008 Posted by | Designer clothes, patterns, sew | , , , | Leave a comment