Thursday, April 24, 2014

More Vintage Sewing Stuff

Recently I went to another thrift shop and bought more stuff. For $11.75 I got a little stack of sewing stuff. The biggest portion of my purchase was 4 yards of fabric for $8 (which is a pretty good price). It’s a navy fabric (which I don’t really need since I already have a couple of different navy fabrics at home, but the price was just so cheap…). It’s a fairly lightweight fabric—I’m guessing polyester (but it feels like a nicer polyester).

Then the little stuff. I got some eyes and hooks. And buttons. I don’t need buttons; I have a box of buttons at home but I thought these were nice. I got two sets of “vintage” buttons (I have no idea how old they are). The first set of buttons are gold that have an intricate design on the front.

The second set of buttons are small gold and black ones with a crown and the letters “CM” on them. I have no idea what (brand) these refer to, but I thought they were cute.

Then I got two vintage sewing patterns. These patterns cost more (and are in worse condition) than the patterns I bought previously at a different thrift shop. They were 50 cents each. Most of the patterns there were from the 1970’s (which is a decade that tends to interest me less.), but I found a couple of the older patterns that I liked.

First up is a skirt and shirt pattern from 1958. It’s actually a girl’s pattern, but I think the skirt would still fit an adult since it’s a full skirt; the only fitted area is the waist.

Second is a dress pattern that has a simple and elegant silhouette (that looks like it’s from the 1960’s). The pattern also contains an additional sheet that shows how to adjust the pattern to fit bodies that aren’t the exact pattern size.

One thing I like on these older patterns is that they show you the actual pattern pieces on the back of the envelope—you can take a quick look to get a better idea of how complicated (or simple) a pattern is before you buy it.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

I Like Breakfast Foods…Just Not for Breakfast

Waffles, pancakes, doughnuts, French toast, hash browns, bacon and sausage, these are all tasty breakfast items, and I like them…just not for breakfast. Most traditional American breakfast foods are just too sweet or too heavy for me first thing in the morning. Even things like yogurt or oatmeal (which tend to be your healthier options) are just not appealing to me.

Truthfully, I don’t think I thought too much about my breakfast options until I was in Japan. Growing up, I ate a lot of cereal for breakfast, and later, toast (and maybe an egg) with my coffee—and I was never really excited about any of these quick breakfast options. However, when I stayed at a traditional Japanese inn they gave everyone the same breakfast tray that had rice with nori, maybe a bit of fish and pickles, and miso soup. And I thought it was great—everything looked and tasted good to me, and I think it was then I realized that I’d been doing breakfast all wrong (at least for me).

Almost always, I want to eat something savory in the morning, and throughout this past winter I ate a lot of soup for breakfast. Perhaps at first glance that’s strange to some people, but I think it’s only because we’ve been conditioned to expect certain foods for breakfast. I like eating leftovers for breakfast because it’s fast and easy and tends to suit my savory appetite. Soup is great because it usually has vegetables in it (which I likely don’t eat enough of) and it isn’t too filling. Chicken noodle soup, butternut squash soup, minestrone, potato leek soup and ox tail soup have all been tasty starts to my day. [Pause.] Although with summer around the corner, soup probably won’t be too appealing; I may switch to salads…

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Vintage Sewing Patterns

Previously I shared about the cool vintage stuff I picked up and here’s the rest of what I got: sewing patterns. They had tons of old sewing patterns (maybe around 100 of them that I probably could have bought for practically nothing since they were trying to get rid of them). But because I don’t need more patterns (and don’t really have room for too many more), I selected my favorites (whether it was because the cute pictures on the front or a desire to actually make the clothes). I got a total of 11 patterns; some have already been cut out and some are still uncut.

Most of the patterns span from the 1960s to the 1980s. To me, it was interesting to see the similarities and differences between the older and newer patterns. The older patterns don’t contain multiple sizes—you get the one size you need. And perhaps there are fewer design options within the pattern itself.

Also, it’s interesting to see how the sizes have changed over time. In the oldest pattern I got (from 1965), a size 12’s measurements are: Bust 32, Waist 25 and Hip 34. However, in a pattern that was made 1983, a size 12’s measurements are: Bust 34, Waist 26.5 and Hip 36. This is almost the size of a 1965’s size 14’s measurements (except the waist is a 26).

I’m going to start from the oldest pattern. First up is this cute coat from 1965. I thought it was a dress at first, but no, it’s a coat.

Next is this loose dress from 1967. Truthfully I’m not really into dresses that lack a waist, but I do love the mandarin collar and the buttons that go down the front.

This scallop dress is from 1968. It looks like a very simple dress to make (and it ought to be since it’s a “How to Sew” pattern).

This shirt pattern is from 1968. It’s not terribly exciting looking…it’s just a button down shirt. I thought I’d throw it in my pile of patterns to buy because the drawings were kind of cute.

This pattern has a short and long skirt, very voluminous pants and a very 70s shirt (just look at that collar); it’s from 1969.

This knit skirt and shirt pattern is from 1972. I think the drawings are adorable; I especially like the girl with the purple scarf.

A simple dress pattern from 1981. I’m not excited about that pink polka dot dress, but I think the gray drawing of the dress is quite lovely.

This dress and jacket pattern is from 1983. That jacket is pretty terrible—it doesn’t look like it fits the model at all. And those dress sleeves…well it was the 80’s. But I think the red dress on the drawing is cute and looks fairly contemporary.

Next up is the blouse pattern from 1986 (that I think screams Designing Women). It’s so 80’s. It seems a bit too voluminous in the body, but I admit, I like these types of lady-like blouses. I would totally wear “A” blouse.

This is the newest pattern I have from 2002. I probably didn’t need to get it. I thought the pants were kind of cute, but I’m not sure I’d ever make them. They lack a waistband, it’s just elastic…

Finally, I could not find the date on this pattern, but it looks like it from the 1980s. I think the dress is cute…and I’m a sucker for pockets.

I felt like I totally scored on these patterns that I spent a couple of dollars on. Most of them are around my size (although I might have to make some adjustments on them). There’s definitely a couple I’d like to try to make.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Vintage Sewing Stuff and Boxes

It’s always dangerous when I go any place that sells used goods because there’s a good chance I’ll find something to like. I enjoy the randomness of the items that are often happy surprises. Recently I went to a local store and got a good pile of cool stuff for $24 (which made me quite happy).

A good chunk of the stuff I got was sewing related. While I’m not excited about the colors, I really like the packaging on these old bias tapes. They’re so cute. I’m not sure how old they are, but the Wright’s one is 10 cents…so it was a while ago.

Then I got some cool boxes. First up is this old plastic box; I love the soft minty green color and the simple design on the lid. I got a bunch of old sewing patterns as well (that I’ll share in a later post).

I adore this Carter’s Midnight Typewriter Ribbon tin. I love the simple celestial images; it’s such a clean design.

And one of the most interesting things I bought was a blue safety deposit box from The Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company. And the combination lock still works (which is fantastic).

I’m not quite sure how I’ll be using most of these items, but it was too difficult to resist…