Monday, May 26, 2014

Going East Part 3: Thrifting in New Hampshire

     Hello lovelies! Here I am, with part three of my vacation posts! After going to Niagara Falls, we travelled to Concord, New Hampshire. I loved all of the scenery as we drove through New York and Vermont, and New Hampshire was just as pretty! We didn't do much the two days we spent there; everyone was so exhausted by this time that we decided to just take it easy. We spent a day playing cards and eating pizza; it was lovely! Our next stop was Bedford, which was only a little over an hour away. This was were Kimm and her husband, Johan would be joining us, since they flew. We couldn't check into our hotel in Bedford till that afternoon anyway, so we decided to go antiquing in Concord before we left. We went to a huge antique mall, "Concord Antique Gallery", and did I ever find some lovely things!

     Since it was right before Mother's Day, Shay and I decided to get her a present there. She wasn't obviously enthusiastic about anything, so rather than guessing, we decided to tell her and let her pick out her gifts. Her first pick was an antique school bell. Next, I found a gorgeous Carnival Glass mug, and then Shay found a Civil War era German Bible/hymn book! I would say that was a success!

     Even with all of those lovely things, I still think this last find was the most exciting! My Dad mentioned that he had found some old sewing books, but he hadn't looked very closely. Just before we were ready to leave, I remembered and asked him to show me. I was absolutely not expecting what I was about to find. There were three books, all copyrighted 1928. They were labeled "Children's and Maternity Garments", "Dressmaking-Trimming-Finishing", and, oh snatch-worthy moment, "Underwear and Lingerie"! I was absolutely starstruck, and as a looked through the book, I realized that it was a textbook, complete with exam questions, from the "Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences".

     I have a facination with yesteryear's underpinnings, because they are the hardest thing to find information on. It is easy enough to find fashion plates that illustrate how to trim a dress, but a book full of sewing techniques and little secrets about one of my favorite areas? An absolute gem. I realized that, being a poor college student, I needed to show some restraint (the cost being on the hefty side), and so I resolved to only buy the "Underwear and Lingerie" book, but I have absolutely lovely parents, and they bought the other two for me as well!

     I highly recommend "Concord Antique Gallery", if ever any of you are in New Hampshire; and you can be sure that I will share some little bits from my precious books with you from time to time! 
Lots of love!

Sailor Pants

     Well, this has been a long time coming. I mentioned in this post last semester that I had found some US Navy pants at the thrift store. They had to be altered, since they were made for a man to wear. My first attempt was to sew a dart in the back, over the lacing. This made the waist the proper size, but the dart had to extend too far and changed the sizing through the hips. It also was far too bulky from all the layers of fabric. I wore them a few times, and discovered they were also too short. Well, these are depressing changes when you have to handsew. I took out the hem, and they sat in my mending pile for ages. During Christmas break I finally finished hemming them. I wore them to travel back to school, and not since because of the issue with the dart. Finally, the week before school ended I decided to get to work fixing the waist.

     The first thing I did was tear out the dart. Next I measured them, once fully laced, and once fully extended. I decided to take off four inches, and let the lacing do the rest of the work. Then I ran into an issue. My original plan was to make two smaller darts, one on each side of the lacing; but I forgot that there was a pocket. After considering my options, I decided to make a box pleat of sorts on each side. I made them two inches each. I sewed them across the very tops, and down each side.

     I am very pleased with the results! I have worn them several times now, and the comfort level has gone way up. They are long enough, and they don't bunch or pull anywhere. I highly recommend this method of bringing in a waist. There is a slight pucker, but it doesn't look like an accident. I am very happy to have these done and wearable now.
Lots of love!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Going East Part 2: Niagara Falls

     Our second stop on vacation, after a fantastic visit with my Aunt and cousin and their respective husbands, was Niagara Falls. It is absolutely amazing! The day we went was chilly and overcast; but since this kept the heat away, I really didn't mind. We were also happily there out of season, so that the crowd was small and many of the attractions were free.

     We started by taking the trolley around the park, hearing all of the information that the driver was giving. We got off at the observation deck, and got our first real look at the falls. They are absolutely glorious! The ice had still not finished thawing, and the swirls and colors were beautiful. We were sad that "The Maid of the Mist" was not running though, because of said ice. It is a boat that goes right next to the waterfall; I would still like to do that some day!

     We went and watched the IMAX movie, which was very interesting. It detailed the most famous stunts performed on the falls. The first person to go over the falls in a barrel was a 63 year old widowed schoolteacher, named Annie. I would never have the nerve, and I'm only 19! The first person to survive going over unprotected was a 7 year old boy. The boat he was in had had an accident, and he was swept down the river. He went over the falls protected by nothing but his life jacket!

     Our next stop was "The Three Sisters Islands" which we promptly remained for ourselves. Kimm did not join us till later in the trip, but we claimed her an island anyway. I love nothing better than leisurely exploring, especially when it's outdoors! We walked about and observed a goose or two, making the place our own.

     Since I knew it would be chilly, I opted to wear my sailor pants, which I recently fixed. I also wore a Cruella de Vil sweatshirt (from Wet Seal), and my white sneakers. Sadly, exploring in the country means that white sneakers don't remain white. Oh well, I got a little bit of Niagara to take home with me! I did my hair up; I pinned back the sides and randomly pinned the back into curls. It was nice and sturdy, and it served my purposes well.

These pictures don't show the pants very well, but I have a post coming up about them.

     Next up I will be talking about a day of thrifting, and a very exciting find!
Lots of Love!

Going East Part 1: Moving Out

     Well! This has been a long time coming. I'm sorry for the long break between posts; I have been on vacation and not feeling like spending time online. I am very pleased to announce that I am beginning to blog ahead of myself! Up to this point I have been trying to blog once a week about whatever has inspired me. Sadly, this method is only so-so; and I have not been as regular and methodical as I should like to be. This is all dull to you though, so I will continue with the point of this post!

     As I have said, we went East for vacation. The reason for this was my sister, Kimm's graduation. This is a six part series, so you'll hear all about that in a few days. My parents picked Rachael and I up from school, and after a quick visit with my Aunt and cousin, we went straight towards New York (State, not city). Before we could leave though, we had to completely move out of our dorm room. I have mentioned both my love for cleanliness and the wreck that was our room the week before moving out. It didn't help that while trying to pack for vacation and for moving out, we also had finals! It's poor planning that there isn't a solution for. 
     It is truly astounding how much stuff fits into such a small room. We kept everything in its place all year, and it wasn't cluttered; but the moment a closet is pulled out, all bets are off. I find it hard to concentrate in a mess, and I'm sure that didn't help me to study (not to mention my complete end-of-the-year-blues that caused apathy). I did not do well on my finals, but the semester's hard work paid off, and I only went down half a letter grade in one class as a result; all the others remained as before.

                                                     Photo credit to my friend, Nicole 

    I finished my finals with a bang. I had carefully planned my study time, taking into account the two finals I had the next day. Since the first final was in the morning, and the second one not till 2:00, I would have plenty of time to study for my "final" final the next day. So, I took my first final, and then there I was, studying for the last time this Spring, and I receive a text from a friend. All it says is, "Final!!"  This obviously freaked me out a bit, since it was only 12:30. My friend was not answering me, so I checked the course outline again. It did say 2:00, but I still didn't trust it; so I went to the master schedule online, and oh! horror of horrors, my exam was at 12:30! Rushing to grab shoes and purse, I crashed out of the room and practically ran to the classroom. I was shaking violently, and I was highly underprepared. It was mostly matching, and I had to guess about half of them. I was still shaking when I finished, but I managed to restrain the tears. They started coming as I walked back to my room. I realized that Rachael would be home by now, and I felt sorry for her; she had a wreck on her hands, and had no idea it was coming. I burst into the room and started sobbing. Rachael looked at me and asked in shocked (and slightly exasperated) tones, "What in the world happened?!"  She then proceeded to comfort and reason with me, and we went to dinner after a while. 
     I resigned myself to the loss of a semester's hard work. I could have slacked off all year after the grade I was going to get on that dreadful test! When I did get my grade a few days later, I had miraculously managed 110% on that "dreadful test". Adrenaline can work wonders, I suppose.

                                                 Who needs to study when you can read?

     My parents drove all night, carrying a trailer along with them. The next day was our move out day, and Shay (Rachael) and I had been hard at work all day Thursday. We had to put the furniture back into its original state; which is no small job. The bunks had to be un-lofted, and the dresser and desks moved, which left no room for our couch. That ended up in the middle of the floor, blocking traffic. We also had a mini fridge and mini freezer, both of which had to be defrosted. The room also had to be vacuumed and deep cleaned. Men were allowed in the building at 1:00 Friday, at which time my Dad and Jared (Shay's boyfriend) both came to help. We loaded up the trailer, and then Shay and I stayed to deep clean, while our Dad went to the store so that our Mom could make gnocchi soup. I don't know that any soup has ever tasted better, I was so tired and longing for good, home food. 
     Our checkout time was at 6:00 am Saturday, so that we could get an early start. Every single thing had to be out of our room before our RA came. We got ready, loaded the last of our luggage into the car, wiped down the sinks, had a quick inspection, and then we were free. We had breakfast with our parents and Jared, who came along with us. Then we packed up the car, and we were off! Well, after we dug my computer out of the trailer so it could be put inside. I didn't think of that beforehand…