Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Giveaway at Chronically Vintage

     Hey everybody, I have never posted this often before! This is just a quick note to tell you that there is a wonderful giveaway going on over at Chronically Vintage hosted by The Best Vintage Clothing. It is a fifty dollar gift card to spend on/towards anything in their shop. Go on over to Chronically Vintage to enter!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Coat to Make You Smile

     Let's just be perfectly honest: winter is cold and dreary. This isn't to say that I don't appreciate a magical snowfall, or drinking hot cocoa with a good book, but when it comes to doing what has to be done (namely getting out of my bed to brave the cold and walk to class, usually rushing), let's just say that I would rather skip from fall to spring. I love fall weather, with the delightful crispness in the air and the leaves crunching underfoot or displaying their gorgeous fall colors while still on the trees; but as soon as it becomes bitingly cold, I don't want it anymore. The one redeeming factor about freezing temperatures is the beautiful style that can go with it. Enter scarves and tights and socks and hats; and enter my winter coat.

     I love my coat so much; I made it last year at the end of the Christmas season, right before the spring semester began. I knew at this point that I would be moving to my University and need a very warm coat for traipsing all over campus. I had had the wool for an entire year (having received it as a Christmas gift the year before) when I finally made it. I used this pattern, which isn't really meant for heavy fabrics, but the silhouette was so perfect that I decided to disregard that little tidbit (and it worked).
     I lined it in red satin, which was actually very much a 'Make Do and Mend' thing to do. I re-purposed it from the skirt of my first Civil War ball gown, knowing that I would never wear it as such again. It seemed such a waste to let all of that lovely satin sit unused, and I had no money or fabric otherwise. Really, it was quite satisfying to be so thrifty about it. I love eliminating waste, so this was a challenge accepted for me. The fabric was not long enough to be the lining, and so I had to piece it together. I was actually quite pleased with how the seams looked, it gives the coat rather more personality.

     I added the button just before I left home in August, which was a necessary adjustment. The coat is far too prone to fly open for my liking, and the button insures that I will keep my coat on. It is very heavy, what with a thick layer of wool and satin interlined with muslin, and it keeps out the cold better than any other coat I have (except for the front opening which still has a mind of its own). I love wearing my coat, it instantly makes any drab outfit feel glamorous; though I admit that there are times when I wonder if it is too much. I honestly need to just stop worrying about what people think. The truth is that some people will think it is too much, some will think it's lovely, and most probably won't care. I have realized lately that it is almost narcissistic to think that everyone (or even most people) care about what I am wearing. I do not wear the clothes that I wear to stand out, I wear them because I want to; and if my focus shifts from that then the whole point of wearing vintage is defeated, and I might as well go back to jeans and t-shirts. The truth is that people usually don't even know that what you are wearing is vintage inspired, because most people are not as obsessed as I am, and I do mean 'obsessed'.
     Well, all this goes to say that if it is dreary and cold out, nothing can make the day so tolerable as a pretty swing coat. It makes you happy, and keeps you warm!
Lots of love!

My Closet

My shoes are not organized, but that is always the case...
      So, I have this obsession with reading blogs from their very beginnings (anyone else find the need to do this?), and the past week or so I have run across several posts regarding simplifying your closet (your posts matter, they will always be inspiring to people). I began to think about my closet, which has issues holding my abundance of clothes, and how I don't even wear most of what is in there on a regular basis. Therefore, I am downsizing and organizing. I wanted to find three different categories, and get rid of things from all but 1:

  1. Hand sewn
  2. Thrifted
  3. Store bought
I don't have a before picture, but there is seriously so much more space in here now. The bottom of the closet looks worse than it is, that big mess is my cloth hamper being annoying.
     I have way more hand sewn and thrifted than store bought at this point, and it was time to downsize even more. I feel like all of my store bought clothes have been holding me back. They are a bit of a handicap, because I can always fall back on what looks 'normal'. I want to eventually reach the place where I can honestly say that my whole closet is either thrifted or hand sewn, with more hand sewn than not (most of what I thrift is sweaters, and I don't make those so I don't mind that so much). I need to do a lot of work on my fall/winter wardrobe. I have a lot more hand sewn summer clothes than winter, so when the weather gets cold again I feel like I don't have anything hand sewn to wear. Considering how much I wear sweaters, I really should start knitting and crocheting more. It's just that the last sweater I tried to make ended so sadly. The sleeves were far from big enough for my arms, and they were supposed to be baggy! Dumb pattern... Anyway, if I can find cheap yarn, then I will probably give it another go. I went through and rid myself of several dresses and skirts that I couldn't part with before, simply because there was nothing wrong with them. I have them all in a bag now, waiting till I can sell them at the end of the school year. I am just done holding onto things that do me no good, and could benefit someone else immensely. By the by, would any of you be interested in buying some of my clothes if I put them on Etsy? They aren't vintage, but they are in very nice condition. If anyone is interested, I can get more information out there.

      I feel so much better about my closet now, I actually have extra hangers! Even with everything I purged, I feel like there is more that should go. It is hard to get rid of some things, like tshirts, because I wear those when I am lazying around the house or working out, but I have too many. I want to clean out my closet regularly, to avoid the overdose of stuff that I hate so.
     I have found some definite methods for purging my closet, and maybe they will work for you too. First I make sure that I don't have clothes laying around (to avoid accidentally getting rid of something), and I designate a space for clothes I am getting rid of, and a space for clothes that need to be fixed/revamped. Next I make a first run-through of the closet, grabbing everything that I am just done with. I repeat this at least five times. It is surprising to me that I am able to grab more each time, it's like the more I get rid of the easier it is to let go. When I have gotten rid of everything I can in this way, I go through and try on everything left in my closet (except for obvious things, like the dress you wear three times a week. It obviously fits and works.) You can get rid of even more through this process. Try on anything you aren't sure of. Also, don't be afraid to get rid of that ratty old t-shirt that you wear constantly. If it is basically an addiction to wear it all of the time, then the only thing to do is stop cold-turkey; plain and simple as that. Make sure that while you are trying on things you hang them up right away, or put them in your 'gone' pile. Keep things clean while you go, and you will thank yourself later.
We made extra closet space under one of the beds and have all of our jackets and coats hanging here. This is both my sister and my clothing.

     Well, after getting rid of so much stuff I now have room for some things I have been wanting again! On that list are:
  • Vintage style jeans (women's or men's; either would have been worn)
  • Cigarette pants (and shorts too, though I don't know that they are actually called that. You know, the ones that come to the knee cap and are worn with tall socks)
  • Pajamas
  • Vintage style workout clothes would be fantastic
  • Cold weather skirts
     This is not an exhuastive list, but these are things that I find myself wishing that I had. I have to be able to move easily in my clothes every time that I have a theatre class, which is four days a week. This often means that I can't wear skirts at all, so I need to get more pants and such that fit my style. Next semester I will only have a theatre class two days a week, so it will be a bit easier to deal with. The main problem is that these classes are in the middle of the day, so I don't change back into my prettier clothes after that class. Often I change into sweats instead. Things must change people! Who's with me? Are you ready to stop being lazy about your daily wardrobe with me? I am going to make an effort to stop wearing the same clothes over and over, and start exploring my closet a bit more. Also, the fact that I will only be wearing an outfit for my first class and chapel (which ends by 11) is no excuse to not wear those clothes. I love wearing my style, and I hate leaving it all of the time. Now that my closet is so much clearer, maybe I'll be able to look and grab faster!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Flashback Summer Giveaway Winner

     Good day lovelies, allow me to introduce you to Helen Mae.
     Lovebirds Vintage is a very charming blog; I just explored a little bit, and I am quite smitten. She has lots of pretty outfit posts (seperated into their own private tab), makeup tutorials, she is learning to sew, and she is a reenactor. I absolutely adore reenacting, and I am for sure going to be exploring her blog a bit more. If you are in the mood for some great inspiration, definitely go on over and give her blog a look.
Lots of love!