No trip to Portland is complete, to me, without a trip to Xtabay Vintage. This place is the Bomb! it’s so lovely and special inside and one can’t help but absorb that glamor that oozes from every corner. I was lucky to run into the owner Liz Gross, who was kind enough to grant me an interview. She’s owned & operated Xtabay for quite some time now and the shop (both in person and online) have become a fixture in the vintage clothing community. Read on to meet Liz and find out about this extraordinary business and woman behind it:Read More
Every year my daughter & I go to Portland, Oregon, to visit my best friend, Angie and her family. It’s always one of the highlights of my year. Do you have a friend who just “gets” you? Well, Angie is that friend to me and she & her family always welcome us with open arms.
We both LOVE shopping and so does Emma, so it was fun day to be had by all, when Angie mentioned she needed to go buy some mirrors for the winery & tasting room, she and her husband, Matt are building. Their wine is really lovely by the way. Love & Squalor does a fabulous Riesling and they also make very special Pinot Noir for which they are gaining some critical acclaim. Go Love & Squalor!!!
Our first stop was Monticello Antique Marketplace. The building is very large and houses many little booths operated by an eclectic array of vendors with lovely pieces in every one.Read More
After being invited to the Sacramento Tweed Ride, by friends Lisa and Robb, I had only two weeks to get something together. I took my inspiration from vintage hunting/riding/sporting attire and my imaginings of vintage country living. I hope to one day, own a country home. Until that happens, I can just dress as if I do, right?Read More
Tweed Rides have become popular around California and other parts of the US. What is a Tweed Ride you ask? That’s what a lot of people asked me when I told them my plans for that Sunday afternoon. Well, Tweed Rides seem to have a few things in common - Bicycles (mostly vintage), Downtown Streets and a bunch of people wearing Tweed. I’m not sure why all these people do this, but, as you may have realized, I really love an excuse to get dressed up and/or make an outfit for occasions like these.Read More
I recently had the opportunity to interview our new Fashion Illustration and Design Instructor, for the Fashion Studies Course, Julie Ann Silverman. She comes to us from Southern California where she has been a swimwear designer for the last 20 years. She is amazingly talented, and a wonderful Instructor. I’ll be breaking her interview into several parts as she has revealed so many little diamonds in this one interview, that it is too hard to absorb all at once. I love her take on developing your own style so read on below to find out more.Read More
Last year I came across the photo above while looking for inspiration on Pinterest. I was immediately struck by the novelty of the graduated dots and sharpness in the way the subject has put her outfit together. The whole ensemble - Jumper, paired with the hat, necklace, belt, skirt and shoes, is iconically 1920’s in a sporting kind of way. Everything about the photo delighted me and I KNEW that it must be brought to life in the 21st century.Read More
Today’s post is about a 1920’s Short Car Coat I finished just last week. The fabric for the jacket/coat has been in my stash for the last several years. I was planning on making it to go with the blouse and skirt I’m wearing in the photos, for Miss Fisher Con, which was almost 1 year ago (already?). It didn’t quite happen in the time I originally planned to make it, but an occasion came up and It seemed like a faster make than finishing a sweater, so off I went.Read More
It’s been busy over here at The Sewing Room and finishing this ensemble took some time. I think the blouse was one of my longest running projects in quite sometime. Partially, because of other projects that got in the way and also because I did a LOT of hand finishing.Read More
I recently finished these 3 pieces for our Holiday Window and thought it might be interesting to show how I put them together. These were 3 very fast and furious projects that you could easily accomplish in a weekend.Read More
Guest Post from Jo Anne Yada (AKA Ms. Y)
I recently had the pleasure of collaborating with the fabulous Jennifer Serr, owner of The Sewing Room, to design a holiday window display. I wanted to highlight her business in a fun, festive, and vintage way to showcase the amazing creativity that represents her and her business. I wanted to do more than hang some lights and set up a tree; I wanted to give the message to all those walking by that this is indeed a creative space where you can make adorable sewing projects. And so I decided to make some vintage-inspired dolls out of sewing materials to add to the display.Read More
Some of my favorite places to shop are on ETSY, the global online marketplace for everything Vintage, Craft or Craft Supply. And lately, I’ve been coming across some really wonderful vendors as well as my trusted favorites. Below is my GIFT GUIDE for Vintage Makers and the enthusiasts in their life.Read More
So excited to share what’s been happening in the Store Front! While it’s not my normal Vintage sewing, we did add a vintage twist to the Window Display at the Sewing Room. There is a contest, which started last year, in our Downtown Alameda Business District. Sponsored and run by the folks over at Digifli, the Downtown Alameda Window Contest has really encouraged downtown merchants (such as myself) to participate in making our town more Festive during the Holiday Season.Read More
It’s Fall here (finally) in Northern California and the trees are starting to turn. And by Fall I mean it’s gotten hot in the days (upper 70’s F) and cools off at night. Not quite jacket weather, in the daylight, but it feels good to dip into the fall colors.Read More
Last month on a beautiful fall evening, Michaan’s Auction House opened up it’s doors to the Alameda Point Vintage Fashion Faire produced by Sandra Michaan with a little help from Jonathan Belmares and a host of a dozen (or more) others. This is an annual (and sometimes bi-annual) event that happens at the Point and the opening of the event is really quite special, happening the first evening of this, weekend long, event.Read More
Welcome to my favorite dress ever! Ha! I love this dress. And by this dress, I mean the Colette Patterns Parfait dress. I like it so much I’ve made 4 of them. There are only 3 pictured here because I have something planned for the 4th. It’s a little unusual and a little patch work…More on that later.Read More
Every year the Art Deco Society of California puts on the The Gatsby Summer Afternoon. This Gatsby Event is the highlight of my year, as far as vintage events go, and this year was no exception. The weather was perfect (high 70 degrees and breezy), the picnics were exquisite and the company eclectic and entertaining.
For this year’s ensemble, I chose to replicate a look that my grandmother wore (see photo above) in one of her modeling photos. I’ve admired this dress for years and have not quite had the nerve to re-create it until now. That front neck detail with the capelet and ruching really had me flummoxed.Read More
I fell in love with this style when I paged through the Fall 2014 issue of Vogue Knitting Magazine and stopped on page 44. I’m kind of a sucker for a well styled layout and this was no exception (you can see a bit of the magazine in a photo below). What I really thought, however, was that this sweater would be a great accompaniment to my several Colette Parfait Parfait Dresses (Pattern Review coming soon). And pictured here in this post, it pairs perfectly with this dress.Read More
It's been almost two months since I attended the 2nd annual Miss Fisher Convention. If you don't know about Miss Fisher, she is the main character in a series of books by author, Kerry Greenwood. The books inspired an Australian TV Series called Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. A quite liberated lady detective, Miss Fisher, lives in 1929 Melborne, Australia. The Convention, celebrated everything "Miss Fisher". If you haven't seen it, you should. Fantastic show and books and her snappy dressing (ie. beautiful costume design) inspired me to create a whole wardrobe and rope my friends into coming along for the ride.Read More
A 1920's evening gown is not quite complete with out an evening cloak, a headpiece and the right jewels. Luckily for me, I had a lovely piece of velvet and some pink silk crepe-de-chine along with matching crepe back satin, tucked up on my fabric shelf just waiting to be used.Read More
Have you ever come across the perfect fabric that goes with another fabric you've been waiting to do something with? Well, this darling plaid came into my life and I just had a to make a new outfit around it. It's a synthetic Charmeuse, which is not a regular go-to for me. I much prefer silk. However, when I saw this plaid which was printed on the diagonal, it really screamed 1930's blouse, right at me! AND it matched perfectly with a beautiful green wool that's been waiting to be made into something for quite some time.
This outfit doesn't exactly fit into my "Miss Fisher Wardrobe" goals, but it does kind of echo some of silhouettes of the (Miss Fisher) era worn between 1928 - 1932, and definitely covers the "Colorful" way she dresses on a regular basis. The emerald green of the wool is one of my favorite colors and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to make this skirt, for which I had a pattern waiting in the wings. I've used this pattern twice before, once recently using a wool tweed and made slightly shorter. You can see the post for that skirt by clicking here.
Having more fabric than I needed for the skirt, my mind wandered into the world of accessories. I've been wanting to try out a couple different patterns - one for a 1930's hat and one for a clutch from a book that I had on my shelf. I found a small piece of velvet in a coordinating color (to the green) that I was able to use for both the hat and the clutch to give them each a little depth and contrast. The top piece of the hat, which makes the point is actually a circle that is gathered in 3 spots fitting into the circle of the next piece. The hat is comprised of 4 hat pieces (3 for the top and one for the side) and a hat band that finishes off the bottom edge. The pattern did not call for lining, but I added some because it gives some structure to the finished piece. I really like the very 1930's, whimsical nature of this silly little almost "beret".
For the clutch, I had originally planned to add a trim between the velvet and the wool, but got so excited to finish the bag, that I forgot. In the end, It's fine without the trim. I added a stone and filigree broach to give it some pizazz.
The Blouse was made from a Simplicity re-issue of a 1930's dress pattern, and shortened to blouse length at the hip. I used the version with a v-neck & 3/4 length puff (at the cuff) sleeves, that seemed to suit the fabric being used. It is a raglan sleeve made from what appears to be a kimono style shape, with a dart at the shoulder. If I do use this pattern again, I will re-shape the raglan armholes and side seams so it fits a bit better under the arm and around the bust. It does not hang perfectly in this area, which is my only disappointment with the whole project in general. No reason to complain overall.
Also, I added a little tab at the front neck so that I could loop a bow through it or hang a flower from it which is a very '30's detail. In the photo above you can see the flower I made by creating a long double sided triangle and gathering the bottom straight edge. Rolling the gathered edge and sewing it at the bottom, creates the rose-like shape. The fabric color pattern, serendipitously, arranged a black point at the center of the flower. The flower was finished off with a tab of it's own that snaps in place around the tab on the dress.
Here is the lineup of all the patterns used along with my accessories:
- Blouse - Simplicity 8247 reissue of a 1930's Dress
- Skirt - Vintage Pattern Lending Library - 1936 Ladies Skirt - #T1047 - re-sized to fit my body measurements
- Hat - Vintage Pattern Lending Library - 1930s Ladies Hat, Scarf & Gloves - #H2851
- Clutch - Making Vintage Accessories: 25 Original Sewing Projects Inspired by the 1920s-60s by Emma Brennan
- Shoes - Decobelles and Angels Shoes from Argentina - Style Leah
- Necklace - Hotcakes Design
- Scarf & Pin - both vintage and gifts from either a friend or my mom
- Belt - 1 1/2" wide vintage grosgrain ribbon and vintage green celluloid belt buckle. Buckle bought from VictorianButtons on Etsy
- Earrings - Feathered Outlaw Alameda
Until Next Time, Happy Sewing!