Sunday, September 29, 2013

How I Became Vintage

     I know that when I am following a blog there are certain questions that I like to have answered. One of those is 'How did you become a vintage enthusiast?' I do not know if this curiosity holds true for all of you, but just in case it does, I am going to answer that question now.
     My lovely mother raised my two big sisters and I on good old movies. I used to be confused by the difference between what I saw in old movies and what I saw in real life. I honestly thought that people still dressed that way, just not where I was. When I got a little older and realized my mistake, I was heartbroken. I wished and wished that people still dressed that way; and then one day, it hit me. I am in control of what I wear, and nobody can keep me from being myself. I was watching 'The Parent Trap' (Hayley Mills) when I had this epiphany. I remember thinking how wonderful it was that a thirteen year old was wearing such beautiful dresses, even to travel in! I decided then and there that I was going to start building my wardrobe the way I wanted it. That was when I was fifteen. I came down that day wearing a sundress, to get started with my resolution, and my sister looked at me like I was crazy. I think that everyone got used to it pretty quickly though.

     I have been sewing for years now. I started hand-sewing when I was about seven (making a rag-doll named Charlotte), and I was taught to use a machine when I was thirteen. I started by making what I already had as vintage as possible, while beginning to sew dresses and skirts. I used fabric from my Mom's stash (she is very generous). I got some lovely repro patterns for Christmas, and sewed some dresses from them (one of which I just finished this summer...). I found out a lot of things I did not know before; such as the fact that circle skirts have bias areas. They are serious when they say to let it hang overnight. Or that all seams truly must be finished. I think that my true sewing breakthrough was when I found out that I had two weeks to make the following for a Civil War Ball: drawers, chemise, corset, hoop-skirt, and gown. And I did it, very poorly! Again, they mean it when they say that hoop skirts should be five inches off the ground.
In this picture you can see the hoop skirt peeking out. I was
tripping on it all evening, and it didn't fill out the top right.
That is my wonderful Dad escorting me.
This is my dress the next year. As you can see
there is a huge improvement in the shape of the

    When I started school last year I got a work study job in the library. There was not much for me to do; so I did homework and browsed the web, which led me to the discovery of vintage blogs. I was looking for a tutorial on making a fur collar, and I found this tutorial from Casey.
     I was hooked, and I went on to find many other lovely blogs. The great thing is that everyone has her own personal style, and is simply not afraid of it. In real life and in the blogosphere, she doesn't give in to peer pressure to conform. I went back and forth with the idea of starting my own blog, wondering if I would actually have anything interesting to say or show. When I finally decided to, I was so happy with my decision. Even if I never have any followers, it makes me happy to write about my passion for vintage; and who knows, maybe I'll even inspire some girl to dress the way she wants to.
     One more thing, I found these stockings at the thrift store for 99 cents, which is incredible. I have decided that they are from the fifties or sixties, based on three things: they have reinforced heels and toes, they are thick and durable, and they are shaped. The last is probably the most important. Anyway, one of them has a run in it. I am so mad at whoever did that. I was wondering if any of you lovely ladies have any knowledge regarding darning vintage stockings? I really want to fix these so I can wear them, they are in excellent shape otherwise. 

You can see the run in this picture.
Thanks a bunch!


  1. While your story is great, my attention is completely stolen by that beautiful civil war dress. It's nothing short of stunning!

    1. Thank you, Lisa. I really enjoyed making and wearing this gown. I have things that I would change if I were to do it again, but practice makes perfect :)

  2. Yep, once again, we must hold a Civil War ball so I too can wear a hoopskirt. Even if it's just you and me!

    1. Oh, I completely agree! Remind me to bring my hoops back with me when I go home for Thanksgiving ;) though I don't know where I'll put them! Haha

  3. This was such a lovely, engaging read. Thank you for sharing so much about your own path to a vintage filled life with us. I absolutely love, and can wholeheartedly, relate to your wish that people still dressed the way you saw them doing so in vintage movies. My own passion (obsession ;)) with the past began as far back as I have memories, and when I was a little girl, though I had no idea that there were actually people who did so, I knew in my heart of hearts that when I grew up, I was going to wear vintage fashions. They spoke to me in a way that modern styles couldn't even begin to, and I knew as soon as I got old enough to start thrifting vintage pieces (in my early teens), that I would never look back again.

    ♥ Jessica

    1. Thank you, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I love hearing how people became who they are. There is nothing quite like wearing vintage; it is such a great way to express yourself.