On the 5th of June, Elowyn will be turning one year old! To commemorate the occasion I bought her this absolutely precious 1940s blue dress at an antique store. My goal is to buy her a "new" vintage dress each birthday and then record each year with a series of photos. She's at the age that sitting still and posing for a photo are remarkably difficult. We had a couple of wardrobe malfunctions while I tried to capture a few cute shots. Her knees caught the skirt of the dress while she was speed crawling towards me, and tore the seam of her dress! Then I tried to put on the bonnet (she hates hats, headbands, etc) and she tugged it off with such gusto that the ribbon tie ripped off! What a little stinker! Hopefully at age two, she'll allow me to put on a hat.
I've been hauling "Little Bitch" to the kitchen table whenever I had a sewing project, which meant running up and down the stairs for forgotten supplies, and small children coming to play audience. It's distracting, and sometimes when I'm already tired, the thought of cleaning up and then setting up the space causes me to procrastinate...and I end up sewing way less than I want. I wanted a sewing corner somewhere in my house that was organized and ready to go. I chose this corner of my bedroom:
I framed seven of my vintage sewing patterns and an advertisement from a 1948 edition of "The Farmer's Wife Magazine," entitled "For Winter Sewing."
I made a vintage luggage storage table to hold all my extra fabric, patterns, and notions. The legs for the table were salvaged off of a mid-century Ottoman I literally saved from being thrown into a bonfire! I disassembled the cushion, (which was stuffed with hay!) gave it a quick cleaning and then attached them to the larger suitcase.
The bottom case holds my fabric stash, and the smaller pockets contain scraps!
If anyone can find an advertisement for the Samsonite "Miss America" luggage line, I would love to see it!
I'm thinking of painting the desk. Should I keep it blond or paint it a fun color?
Long before genetically modified frankenfoods, Monsanto got its start in chemicals and plastics. It's a pretty logical evolution, if you ask me. In the late 1940s and early 50s, bright colored plastics were the wave of the future. Lustrex was touted as a cheaper, more resilient house ware material, and items such as dishes, toys, clocks, and even radios hit the market.
Recognize those canisters? We snapped them up at an antique store! If anyone happens across the coffee and/or flour, buy it for me and I will love you forever. They are also available in red:
I've gathered a collection of atomic bar ware. I purchased 7 small and 7 large orange and gold glasses at an estate sale over the weekend for .25 a piece!
I spotted these black and gold starburst glasses recently, and grabbed 7 of them as well.
Couldn't resist this atomic pitcher! The gold diamond design looks like the harlequin pattern that was so popular in the 50s.
My favorite piece so far came from a local antique store. I was courting it for several months, and one day walked in to find it was missing from the shelf. I felt absolutely sick to my stomach that I had let someone else buy it! Then, I walked around the corner and saw it sitting in another stall. Say hello, to my turquoise and gold "chip and dip"!
Here is my 1960s, silk, pineapple, wiggle dress (purchased from avalonsisters55). It's made by L'aiglon and has a matching silk cord belt. The clip on earrings are little pearl pineapples (a thrift store find!)
1962 advertisement of a L'aiglon wiggle dress. Happy Sunday!
It took me a long time to finally decide the fate of my inherited cane back chairs. They were in perfect condition, and I felt sentimental since they belonged to my late grandparents. The charm of the 1970s is not lost on me. Owl and mushroom motifs hold a certain kitschy charm , but as much as I hoped the orange crushed velvet would mesh with the newly painted grey living room, it just wasn't working for me. These were the chairs in all their original glory:
"Mama, these chairs match like my outfit....did daddy dress me in the dark?"
I started by pulling off this layer of fabric. I removed the two screws holding the cushion in place, so that I could work on the wood frame .
There was about one hundred upholstery staples and glued on fabric fibers on the frame. If you don't already own a heavy duty staple remover, I suggest getting one. We used a flat head and pliers and it was a pain in the arse! The best way to get fabric glue off is acetone (think nail polish remover). When we were finally done, we gave the underside a light sanding, then two coat of gray spray primer, and two coats of glossy black.
I pulled off the orange fabric and was pleasantly surprised to find the foam and batting in PERFECT condition! It was clean and fluffy, yay! I used my seam ripper to dissemble the orange velvet cushion covers to get a template for the new ones.
Everything was going fine until I got to this stage. I somehow mis-measured the end piece on the box cushion, and had to pull it apart, cut a new piece and re-sew. My sewing machine behaved until the last seam, at which time it started tangling in the most maddening fashion, and sewing the fabric TO the sewing machine plate. I spent an hour re threading, checking program settings, and consulting the troubleshooting guide. I finally got so upset,I gave it a good smack and inadvertently cracked the LED screen! I'm a true believer in the "shake it/ kick it" method of fixing appliances, but this time it did not work. ;) My friend brought over her tried and true, mint green, 1960s sewing machine so that I could finish the last seam. Her machine is heavy and loud, but reliable. She calls her machine Bertha, which I thought was fitting. I should name my machine I thought! From this day forward I will call her "little bitch", because she's whiny and breaks down. "Not right now darling, I'm fiddling with my little bitch!"
After the cover was finally finished, I stapled it to the seat, and then re-screwed the cushion to the frame. Here is the before shot:
The black and white chevron pillows were made from Target clearance hand towels. $1.25 each, baby!