Sunday, January 29, 2012

Vintage Shopping Adventure! (pic heavy)

Last weekend my friend Lisa and I set out on a vintage adventure! I was really excited because we would be stopping by my favourite place Lovesick (owned by my equally favourite person Kim!), but also checking out 2 new (to me) places: Mesh Boutique, and The Sentimentalist.

We began at Lovesick, and after saying hey to Kim I started grabbing clothes off the racks and sending them back to Lisa in the change room. (I grabbed a few goodies for myself of course!) Kim has great taste and has curated a really fun treasure hunt of unique, new and vintage clothes and accessories. I highly recommend popping in whenever you have a chance, but to really find those special gems you might want to give yourself a little bit of time to go on the hunt. There is SO much stuff, and it's all wonderful!

And now for your viewing pleasure, here is a selection of items I have acquired from Lovesick over the years (including last weekend!).

My red, blue and yellow dresses, blue bag, and black and white rope knotted belt/necklace are all from Lovesick.

Next on our adventure was Mesh Boutique. This store has been around for awhile, and has changed owners quite a few times. In its current vintage/consignment glory it is owned by Rex, who also has really great taste and is super nice! I walked around with a vintage fox fur scarf the entire time I was there, but ended up leaving it behind, mainly because I knew I probably wouldn't wear it over all the colourful, easier to maintain scarves and pashminas I own.

I found this amazing 1950's A-line coat with beaded embroidery on the lapels. I wanted this coat SO BAD, but I also left it behind (although I am really kicking myself about this one). This photo is not the greatest, but the store was fairly busy and I didn't want to take up too much room or time... it is much more amazing in person. And if you have bought this coat, I am quite jealous!!

Last stop was The Sentimentalist. This is a new vintage store to London, which opened late 2011. We actually couldn't find it the first few times walking up and down Richmond between Dundas and King. For anyone looking for this place, it is a second floor location on the east side of Richmond, look for the funky door and the sign on the sidewalk.

We found some fun hats, and clothing (which were mostly vintage lady sizes, like this amazing 70's extremely long skirt!) but I was able to fit into this men's plaid shirt which I fitted with a belt and turned into a shirt dress! I also picked up some vibrant leather/suede scrapes for my bags!

I'm SO happy that London has some great second hand and vintage clothing stores! Go check them out next time you are wandering around downtown. I will warn you though, it's extremely hard to leave empty handed!

I guess I forgot to mention this, but Lisa did end up picking up a few gems herself. She bought both the dress and the burnt orange envelope handbag in the photo below, as well as another bag, and a fantastic hot pink belt, all from Lovesick!

Doesn't she look cute?

Well that's all I've got for today. I'll update everyone on the one shoulder dress when I've got that mess sorted out!

Have a great evening!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The One Shoulder Knit Dress

Is everyone ready for this?

Clearly I have forgotten that making quilts and pillows is not the same as making clothing. An obvious oversight on my part... which lead to this hilarious creation.

About this dress: On first glance it looks pretty normal doesn't it? Look again. See those "flaps" at the side of the bust? That is the seam allowance... on the outside of the RIGHT SIDE of the dress. Yep that's right. I sewed half of the dress together inside out. Easy enough to fix, but a pain in the butt. 

Things I learned:
1. A flat pattern does not fit a human being. This adjustable Judy has been in my basement for probably almost a year now, left by my friend Peggy who I was going to teach to sew (maybe she'll rethink her teacher after seeing this haha). I did not take advantage of this until after I finished putting it all together, which is a newbie mistake. From now on, I will always use this (until Peggy takes it back!).

2.  Don't sew at 10:00pm on a Sunday. Another obvious point, this is definitely when I start making many simple mistakes that go sight unseen until well into the end of the project. I just never learn!!

3. I strongly dislike sewing with light weight jersey!! It stretches too much, it doesn't stay put, and it shows every mistake (using a white fabric probably really amplifies this). Never again light weight jersey, never again! That said, I would definitely sew this pattern again, but try a heavier jersey weight or another stretch blend.

(Note: Everything that went wrong with this dress is my own human error and has nothing to do with the pattern or instructions. It was a very easy to follow design, I just can't follow instructions haha)

About the pattern: I downloaded this pattern from If you like to sew or want to learn and are interested in sewing up some clothes, getting inspiration from other peoples creations, and learning about techniques and pattern drafting this is the place to go! I joined years ago, and the community is so large now it's amazing. There are both free and pay for patterns to choose from. If you click this "One Shoulder Knit Dress" it will take you directly to the pattern and you can download it for free and make it yourself! Thanks to dixiediy for providing this pattern.

I shall post the completed, none inside/outside dress after I fix it up this weekend!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Busy busy busy!

Hey everyone!

Sorry for the delay in update, but I've been super busy with work all week!! Friday is sounding like I'll get home at a normal hour.

I have 2 posts to share with you: one is about the dress I made (yes! I actually made something on Sunday... haha it's... interesting), and the second is about my day of vintage shopping around London and all the treasures I found (and bought!).

Stay tuned :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Decisions, decisions...

Happy Thursday (and Happy 4th day of my blog!)

True to my wandering artistic brain, I've been having issues deciding what to sew. I have, oh I don't know, at least 4 quilt tops that need to be completed, a pink and burgundy houndstooth long jacket that needs to be lined, a ton of clothing that needs to be mended or altered... but none of this is exciting enough for my FIRST "I made something" post.

I think to help motivate me to at least complete the above sewing projects (minus the mending, blah), I'm going to post photos of them so everyone can guilt me into striking them off my "list of things to do" haha. I clearly have no drive to complete things. I love starting things though!

Boo helping me spruce up the photo of my clam shell Winnie the Pooh quilt top!

A graduating colour triangle quilt out of Tonga Batik fabric lollipop I bought in Lions Head, ON.
Fall leaves quilt in Autumn Medley fabric I bought at Hyggeligt Fabrics in London.
Quilt kit for Anna Maria Horner fabrics Good Folks I picked up at the Greenwood Quiltery in Guelph.
This jacket has been in the works for 4 years!
Close up of the fabric, and a very camouflaged pocket!
 I just decided this second I want to make a skirt for my first "I completed something" post. So by the end of Sunday I shall be sharing my new skirt. There. My artsy brain will just have to deal with my quick decision. Or I might make a 60's style shift dress...

Monday, January 16, 2012

I did it!

Ms. Marilyn Monroe doing her own hair!

To all my friends and family (and strangers) that I told about my upcoming year of blogging... I finally did it! I'm here, posting my ramblings and adventures for the whole world to see :)

For everyone and anyone reading this, here's the deal:
- I love to design and sew
- I love fashion and people with unique personal style
- I love vintage everything
- I love to procrastinate

So what does this have to do with you? Well, this blog is a way to hold me accountable for all those times I've said that I was going to change my evil procrastinating ways and there is the added benefit of helping my bank account recover from the years of spending abuse.

The plan:
(Cry and wonder what the hell I've gotten myself into)
1. Make my own clothing. I did this way back in highschool and loved how everything fit me exactly, and considering how much I love vintage styles yet do not have a vintage figure (yet!), or a proper vintage curating income, I'll have to make it!
2. Make (and post!) 1 item every week for an entire year. This includes finishing some of my quilts, but is mostly meant to light a fire under my butt to finally work on my upcycled leather handbags.
3. Stop buying new clothes. I've had a lot of back and forth on this one... and I think I've come to accept these terms:
     - I can buy things I cannot make, as long as I NEED them (underthings, shoes, sunglasses...)
     - I can buy clothing if it is vintage, or a needed second hand item
     - I can buy items that are handmade by awesome people with awesome styles :)

So, there it is. Feel free to hold me to everything I just told you (I'm probably going to need you to hold me to everything I just told you haha).

Day 1: Create blog - Done. Wow that was easy, time for a Starbucks break! haha Juuust joking bank account!

P.S. I'll make this blog a bit prettier as soon as I can. Promise!