Sneak preview of upcoming vintage

Yeah! I made a great vintage purchase today, the first good one in a few kind of vintage-dry months. I was getting low on dresses at the website, but now I'll be able to replenish the stock! There were about 140 pieces in the lot, besides day, dressy and black dressses, there were a few coats and jackets, lingerie, hats, purses, 4 unused 1940s patterns with a sz38 bust (!) and other little things.
Here is a sneak peek at some of the dresses. They're just quick photos taken on the rack. The clothing is airing out and waiting to be cleaned right now. I was already working on hats and slips for the next update, and I had some coats already pulled to work on too, so you may not see anything from this lot in the next update. Well, maybe just a few if I can get to them. There are several sparkley dresses, perfect for the upcoming holidays and some great black evening dresses too. First below are two tulle gowns, then 3 sparkley gowns. Next is a Blue Cheongsam and a pink satin dress.

Some of the day dresses are kind of Summery, so you won't see those right away. But there are two knit dresses that will be great for the Fall. There were 3 Lilly Pulitzers, a cute anchor pocket Swirl and a Claire McCardell (off course that is the darkest dress in the photo to the left here)

Well, I had to keep a few little goodies for myself right? I kept a pale green rayon lingerie top, a 1937 McCalls pattern magazine, a great 1903 embroidery book that has the previous owner's embroidery floss tucked in between the pages, a pretty floral hanger and 2 wooden purse handles just begging me to choose some great fabric for them.

Fun! I love sorting through vintage clothing. Plus a fresh buy makes me more enthusiastic while I work on the items.

From the estate of a 90 year old woman

I can't help but laugh a little when I see an ebay auction listing that says 'This came from the estate of a 90 year old woman' Especially when that phrase is being used to describe a polyester dress bought by a 60 year old woman in the 1970s from Jamesway. Not exactly the hot vintage that you and I are looking for. I get what the seller is trying to say, but just because the lady was old, doesn't mean that all of her stuff was as old as she was.

It's a vintage lover's dream to get into a house where an older person lived, hoping that you'll find great old vintage clothing and goodies, but that's just not always the case. It's actually pretty rare. Not everyone saves old stuff, neither of my grandmothers saved anything other than photos and a few special items. Most people move at some time in their lives, downsizing and getting rid of alot of their older stuff when they move. And sadly, at alot of estate sales, the family members will throw out those 'old clothes' thinking that no one would want them. Usually when you do get into a house to see the clothing, you find the clothing that the person has been wearing in the past 20-30 years, and maybe a few older items that were saved from special occasions. Once in a while, you get very lucky and get into a house where someone saved everything, even from previous generations.

This past week I was able to visit a home to possibly make some vintage purchases. And, no lie, the home did belong to a 90 year old lady, who passed away last year. The photo at the top left is her 1934 high school graduation photo. All of the clothing in the house was recent though, and I only got a very few hats, purses and 2 jackets, all of which were from the 1950-60s. But I did get a box of photos that looked interesting. In my first quick glance thru the box, I saw a few Victorian photos and some 1930-40s beach photos. So I bought the box and I'm having alot of fun going through the photos, and I'll probably be posting some of them here in the blog and selling others.
The photo to the right above is our 90 year old gal and a pal in overall costumes in the 1930s (wish those had been in the house) and to the left here is a very pretty portrait of an Edwardian girl. It's a large sepiatone (I guess that's what you call it) image . It needs a frame and beveled glass, because the cardboard is curved.
The house was very cute, an old side-by-side duplex. And even though I didn't buy much, it was still a good trip because I love going through old houses, and the men who took us through were very nice. The rooms were small but layed out nicely. Fantastic old woodwork around all doors and windows, and it had a super stair railing. The kitchen looked kind of 1970-80s, but it had a view of the cemetary next door through the window over the sink, which I thought was somehow interesting.

This was another photo from the box, and this gal really got my attention. There's something about the look on her face and her slightly tossled hair. She looks like she was a rebel of her time. There's nothing written on the photo, so I have no idea who she was. You can only imagine the kind of life that she lead. Did she want a college education and want to travel the world rather than settle down and get married and start a family? Did she throw away her restrictive undergarments and run off to live a wild bohemian life in Paris with some painter or poet? Did she have a reputaion for drinking and carousing with the local boys? Or did she find a good, honest, hard working man and settle down into a happy life as a farmer's wife?

Oh the horror! Audrey and The Gap

So, have you seen that new commercial using Audrey Hepburn to promote The Gap? The theme of the commercial is 'The return of the skinny black pant' and they use film footage of Audrey from Funny Face where she is wearing skinny black pants and dancing in the beatnik club. Oh, and they have her dancing to AC-DC's 'Back in Black' get it? Yes it is as horrible as it sounds.
I don't really like it when advertisers use film footage of dead celebrities to hock stuff. A still image is one thing, but to see the person moving and talking like they are alive just seems wrong. If I were a dead celebrity, I'd be pretty mad if they used film of me to hock stuff.
But, if advertisers are going to do it, they should at least do it well, make it interesting and entertaining and somehow respective and relevant to the celebrity's image. PS, I do like AC-DC.

Project Runway. I just saw the episode last night. They're losing me. At this point I don't care what happens between now and the end, as long as Michael wins it all.
Let me bitch a little though. Of all of the outed designers that they could have brought back to give a second chance - Vincent & Angela! They are the least deserving of another chance to make it to the final 3. They were brought back because they had won previous competitions. This is proof that they threw that win to Vincent for the 'Everyday Woman' challenge. They knew he needed a win to be brought back for this episode, so they gave him a win. I loved it when Laura told Angela that it was unfair for her to be brought back, because Angela's win was a team effort and she really only won because of Laura & Michael's work on the outfit, which was totally true. They also kept her from putting her wacky granny circles on the behind of that winning outfit.

If PR really wanted to shake up the competition, and possibly change the final 3, they should have brought back someone with talent, like Alison. Of course V & A were booted right back out again because 3 people got the boot this week, including Sunshine Kayne. I was sad to see him go, but it was time. He still walks away a winner though, because he won the Miss Universe gown competition, which will be a great promotion for his pagaent gown shop.

I'm glad that Laura got a win this week, and man is her belly getting big fast! I'd like to see her in the final 3, but Michael has to win. Uli has lost me, because I am finally, like alot of other people, tired of seeing basically the same dress. She is great with prints though. Jeff, Hot Topic, 1980s. Can he do anything else? Their show is this morning at Olympic Fashion Week, so is past Winner Jay McCarroll. I'll be checking out the site to sneak a peek at their shows.

***Update & Possible Spoilers! I just peeked at the PR photos from Getty - From what I can see in the photos, I think that I prefer Uli and Laura's collections! Jeffrey did better than I thought although I don't like those dresses with the hems that are shorter in the back. He had a few cute dresses, one looked like something Uli could have made. I do still like Michael, and I'm thinking he should still win because he is talented and pretty consistant.
OK, here is my guess on who the final 3 are, I could be wrong, but Uli, Michael and Jeffrey had swimsuits in their collections and Laura did not. Could it be that the final 3 had to create a last minute swimsuit for their collections? Last year's final 3 almost had nevous breakdowns when they were told that they had to create another outfit for the show. Maybe a swimsuit was the final challenge for the final 3. But then again, Michael had 2 swimsuits in his show, so my guess could be wrong.
The near-end of Summer. Only a few more nights to spend at the cottage. It's getting chilly at night there, and there's no heat. But then there's no heat in my room at home yet either, so I guess I'll be cold wherever I sleep!
I took a few pictures of some of my favorite things in the cottage last weekend. To the left is a little glass dish where I put all the pretty little stones that I pick up on the beach.

Below is a rattan shelf, I don't know where I picked that up at. It has green and pink Luray cup & saucers with a few more of my dried hydrangea heads in them, and an embroidered linen.

Next is the bureau that's in the sleep-in livingroom. It came out of an old hotel in Strathmere that friends of ours bought many years ago. I have it loaded up with junk. Pictures, postcards, mermaids, a glove box, a hat on a stand and lace on top of the mirror and an embroidered dresser scarf. The lamp I bought at a flea market a few years ago, not old, probably 1980s. It's shaped like 3 calla lilies.
Below is a little mystery cubby hole in the wall of the livingroom, I guess that it was once open to the kitchen, but the door is right next to it, so I don't know why you would need a cubby. But I liked it and saved it when we paneled the room a few years ago. It houses some of my Coral Kingdom mermaids. Two vintage Lefton mermaids are on the wall above them.

Finally is a twinkle light in the corner of the livingroom that I made from some old branches. We have two very much loved trees in our front yard. The street pavers lobbed off big branches from the trees a few years ago, so that they could get their paver down the road. After I threw a tremendous fit (all by myself, no one saw the fabulous fit) over the chopped trees, I grabbed a few of the smaller branches and decided to use them to make this project that I had seen on tv recently. I put the branches in a big terra cotta pot with some cement, and covered the cement with Spanish moss. Then I put regular clear tree lights in the branches. It looks kind of junky here because I have too much stuff around it. But it actually looks very pretty lit up at night.

Project Runway & my new Giant room divider

Project Runway - I promise to be brief - They were still in Paris. The challenge was to make a couture dress. Michael was a bit out of his element. Uli & Laura did dresses that were their typical style. Jeffrey made a yellow plaid gown with short skirt in front and streamers down the back (picture Gwen Stefani dancing around with Japanese schoolgirls in the background) Kayne did a gold lace corset-top gown with ombre chiffon skirt. The judges thought it was too much and they felt that Kayne lacks taste. I thought the dress was alright. The gold lace may have been glitzy, but the idea of seeing the construction through the lace was interesting and I thought the skirt was really nice and flowy down the back. Vincent made a backwards dress (Thank you NeeeeenaGarrrrrcia for saying what I was thinking) Some snooty designer that I don't know judged them in Paris, then they went back to NY and were judged by Heidi, Nelly, NeeeeenaGarrrrcia and some other designer that I don't know. Jeffrey won again (I don't know if I can bare the smugness we're bound to be hit with from him next week) Vincent got the boot! Yeah, that was the only highpoint in kind of a boring episode.

So, in a previous post, I showed you the old drying rack that I used as a mini room divider and a display for some of my favorite fabrics and linens. Last week we went to a great antique sale, and I found a much bigger drying rack. This one has 4 sections and is over 5 feet tall, plus it's on wheels. So, I couldn't pass it up and bought it to use as another room divider. My room is a large 22x22 ft room with no walls, so this rack will help break up the livingroom area from my bedroom area. I put it behind my couch and I hung 4 barkcloth drapes over it, 1 in each section. At first I wasn't sure how I liked it, since it was so big. But now I think that it is perfect, and I'm very happy with it. This is actually the first thing that I've bought for my new room. I had just started my strict Summer budget when I moved into the room, so I didn't allow myself to buy anything until now.
Above are two photos of the divider. That's my wicker couch which is falling apart. I have several blankets, comforters and spreads on it to make it a little more comfortable. Behind the divider is my bedroom area.

Oh, and the Crocodile Hunter, how very sad . I am a ginormous fan of him and his show. My favorites were the shows set in his zoo, where you get to meet the regular zoo crew and the animals and see the daily running of the zoo. What a great life, to grow up in a zoo, and to leave that legacy and love of animals and the environment to your children.

OK, now I have got to go get some work done. It's Thursday and I don't have next week's update done yet. I wasn't feeling well for a few days, and now I'm just being distracted by other stuff. Time to crack the whip and get to work!

Bye for now, Carol

Dried flowers & Vivien Leigh

Well, it Saturday night and I'm here in the woods. We had rain and strong wind last night. So when we went to the shore this morning, we found that the wire to the cottage had blown down, and there was no electricity. A call to the electric company went in, someone sat on hold for quite a while and was finally told they would get someone out as soon as possible to fix the wire, but they were very busy with alot of calls and it may be a day or more before they get to us. The wire was hanging down right in front of the door, so I couldn't even go inside.

Being here, instead of being at the shore gave me time to get some work done this morning (editing photos of a few suits, jackets, dresses and hats) Plus it gives me time to do another post here. This will be a crafty post.
I had mentioned in a previous post how pretty my hydrangeas were at the beginning of the Summer. So I cut a few heads and set them out to dry. Last year I did a few, but they faded to grey and were very fragile. This year, after they were dried just enough, I sprayed them with some polyurethane to seal them, and they've held their colors a little better. Not as vibrant as fresh flowers, but still very pretty shades of pale blues and greens. I just have them tucked in a pretty bowl on the bottom shelf of my planter for now, I'll think of something to do with them later.

I also pulled some of the individual flowers off of the hydrangea heads and pressed those in a book along with some wildflowers that I also picked. Every Spring, I see those bags or boxes of seed mixes that promise you an easy garden filled with thousand of wildflowers, and I'm a sucker to buy them every year. I didn't get thousands growing out there, but I did get some pretty dainty little flowers that made me want to pick them and press them. I ended up with a bunch of the individual hydrangea flowers because there are so many on a head. To the left is a sample of some of the flowers. I have them stored within sheets of paper inside of a box, waiting for a crafty idea to use them comes along.

The vintage clothing themed altered book project that I am part of is still chugging along. We are just halfway through now, 6 done, 6 more to go, finishing in February. The book that I worked on this month had a theme of 'Silver Screen Goddesses' So I chose Vivien Leigh. I had always loved that photo of her standing under the flowers and thought how cool it would look to glue dimensional flowers onto it. So that's just what I did on one page, using silk flowers though, not dried ones. On the other page I chose a thoughtful photo of her and another were she has a slight smile. I also cut out 2 quotes about beauty, which happened to be in this book. Both pages were topped with a soft green tulle.

Have a Happy & Safe & Dry Labor Day weekend!
Bye for now, Carol

Claire McCardell from Vogue 1952

I was going through some old Vogue magazines, looking for images that I could copy to use in my ongoing Vintage Clothing themed altered book project. I love the old Vogues (I am very anti current Vogue) I have a few from the 1930s, some from early 40s and some of the early 50s. I prefer 40s fashions, but I think of the Vogues that I have, I like the 50s ones the best. The 40s are during the War years, so the fashions are kind of basic, and there's nothing from Paris. The 50s magazines are filled with great images and lots of well known vintage manufacturer and designer names.
I came across one issue that had all of these Claire McCardell dresses. One was an ad for fabric, then there was a 2 page ad for Claire, and then 2 others were in the regular layouts. You don't often see so many images from one desginer in a single magazine, so I thought I'd copy them to share here. The photos are from the December 1952 issue.

The photo to the left and the 1st one below are from a layout called 'Print News in Cotton' photographed in Chile by Rutledge. The dress to the left is a print designed by Claire and called 'Alameda' It is from a line of fabrics by Everfast cotton called Panagra. The print was also used for a promotion with Panagra South American Airlines. The skirt of the dress is made of 4 long balloons and originally retailed for $60.
The dress below is an olive cotton print, also from the Everfast Panagra collection. Retailed for $40

The next images were from a 2 page layout ad for 'Panagra Cottons by Everfast' Both dresses designed by Claire, sunglasses also by Claire and jewelry by Olga Tritt. The 1st dress retailed for $30 and the second (love the drapey shoulder treatment) was under $50.

The final image was the 3rd part of the Everfast Panagra promotion. The stripe is called 'Santiago' and it is a 2pc dress with adjustable neckline, retailing for $40. It also includes a list of store where you could buy McCardell dresses.

Please click the images for larger views. Read a history of Claire's fashion career at History of Fashion and Costume
I put 'scanned by dandelion-vintage and copyright Vogue' on each image just so that no one would copy them to use as logos or other commercial use. Sorry, I'm just paranoid about image theft after an 'eccentric' website owner stole the backrgound image from my site and used it on her site, claiming that she just happened to make the same exact image that I made myself 6 years ago. The images do belong to Vogue and are posted here for Vintage Enjoyment only.