Sunday, June 17, 2012

LOOONG Time coming!


It’s kind of funny how long it takes to do things sometimes, you know? That’s the case with the latest me-made outfit.

When I worked at Hollywood Regency, Heidi, my boss lady and mentor, came in one day with a load of mixed clothing and other stuff. I spotted this fabric from a mile away and begged and begged to buy it, but she wouldn’t give in! It was red and white and since Heidi didn’t do red, I figured she’d let me buy it, right? Well, it was beautiful vintage 1940s rayon and she wasn’t going to let it go. Ok, fine, she was the boss and I loved her, so I regretfully let it go. Fast forward about 3 years, Heidi passed away from cancer on June 6th, 2010, and I am helping to clean out her house and sheds for an estate sale. (that is another story for another post!) In a box full of all kinds of stuff, there is that precious fabric peeking out, so I finally got to have it after all. I’d give it back if I could have Heidi back for any amount of time, but I was really happy to have it. I hope she would be pleased with what I have done with it!


The fabric is this lovely, light and gorgeous red and white rayon from the 40s, 39” wide and 4 yards long. It just drapes and flows like water! There is just so substitute for it as far as I am concerned! This is what I made:


I used the skirt pattern on the left and the top pattern on the right. I have made that skirt 4 times now, and it is probably my favorite skirt pattern ever! It goes together so fast-I can make it in about 3 hours. The top is super easy too; I was done with both pieces in about 5 hours the day before I wanted to wear the outfit. I wore it to JD McPherson’s show this past Monday night, and I got a lot of nice compliments on it! It was fun to dance in it, and I felt really good! Not bad for an old gal of 41, I hope!


And just because I can, here are some more shots of the night:

Me and my two best girls, CC and Maria


And me with Jimmy Sutton and JD McPherson….thump thump….I love my fella to pieces but these boys were sure cute!


Heidi, I hope you are happy to see this fabric FINALLY made up into something period-correct!!! <3

Miss Red

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Back from the dead….again!


Yep, time to do this blog thing right, FINALLY. SO, let’s start off with something I have never felt totally comfortable with…an outfit post! Heck, everyone else does it, why not me? Open-mouthed smile


I found this fabulous 40s rayon sarong dress last year at a church sale for a ridiculously small amount of money. It is on the wee side, so I had intentions of selling it right away. And then I tried it on….I shouldn’t do that sometimes, because as you can see, it never left my closet! I wore it once to a party last year and I could BARELY squeeze into it, and then a good friend of mine wore it to a Tiki event and looked darling in it! Then I gained about 15 pounds after I turned 41 last October, and there was NO way I was going to get back into it.

About 2 months ago I got really fed up with this extra around my middle (did I mention I am also going through perimenopause? That is a whole ‘nother post there.) and decided to do something about it. I went on the South Beach diet and worked hard, and lost those pesky 15 pounds. I now eat SO better and feel LOTS better, too! Last night a friend of mine was having a birthday get together and I decided I was going to try to get back into it, and lo and behold…I DID and I managed to be very comfortable in it. I paired it up with orange 50s pumps and matching purse, and a pretty blue and green vintage rhinestone set that was a recent gift from a very dear friend. I felt pretty good, and my sweet fella thought I looked nice too.

I haven’t done many outfit posts on my blog, mostly because my 12 year old son is not a photographer and I just can’t get the hang of self-photography! Hopefully over the next few months that will change, as I do believe this redhead is going to be shackin’ up soon with a certain fella who’s been hangin’ around the last couple years. He is willing to indulge my silly female vanity by taking outfit shots for me!

So till next time, darlings…!

Miss Jenny

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving, and a new event!!


I hope everyone had a lovely day today….me, my fella, and my son went over to a friend’s house to celebrate with her family. We had a wonderful time, ate amazing food (my friend Dori can cook like you wouldn’t believe) and hung out, just being together. As my fella is a musician and happened to have his git-tar with him, he was called upon to play some music, which he did with no hesitation. It’s funny-he is rather shy in person but get him on stage and he is Front Man Extraordinaire! He made a blueberry pie, I made a pecan pie and sweet potatoes with marshmallows….mmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

I am so thankful for many things in my life…it has been a wackadoo year, with major ups and major downs. I have grown IMMENSLY as a person, woman and mom. I have let so many old beliefs and habits go, which has made room for new ideas and things that have helped me to move on. Life is funny, really. I am doing things now I never thought I would do. Even when things have been bad and scary, I have still gotten through it okay, which is a new idea for me to believe in. Thank you, Universe, for therapy and new friends, family and old friends. Love, luck and daring. Patience, serenity and faith that things will be ok. Happiness, smiles and rainy days (but I could use a few more of those, please!)

On another note, I decided I didn’t have enough to do, and created a Winter Frolic Vintage Market for me and a few of my friends!!! We will be vending on December 3rd from noon to 5 at 5626 N. 20th Drive in Phoenix, near Bethany Home Road and 19th Avenue. Lots of fun pretty things, both old and new, perfect for holiday gifts or a treat for your own self! Yes, there will be wine and other goodies, festive vintage holiday music, and friends, friends, friends! Shop Local Businesses, darlings!!

redheadsadieWinterAdFacebook copy

Sunday, September 11, 2011

And so I jump back in…


Once again, it’s been awhile since I blogged. I do this a lot-fade out and come back around. I put this pressure on myself to blog regularly, but then real life steps in and takes over, and I find myself without time to do it. How do others do it almost every day, and add pictures and buttons and all the fancy stuff, and still have time to have their lives? I read so many other lovely, pretty and interesting blogs, it makes me feel like what I do is nothing compared to others. Yeah, I need to get over it, and I’m working on it. I want my blog to be memorable and fun, but I really just don’t know how to do it. Tutorials are hard for me to follow-I need to be shown. It’s having the time to ask someone to help me….what I want is to use my blog in a few different ways. First, to just talk about random pretty stuff and people, and also to promote the fact that I sell vintage (and hopefully to start making vintage-style clothing). Also just to have fun with it.

I feel like I am on the verge of Something….for the last year I have been in therapy and am just about to end it. I turned 40 last year and am just about ready to turn 41, and I am actually quite pleased with how far I have come. I have figured out so many things about myself and the world, both good and disappointing. Now I feel like I have to take some kind of next step, and it has to do with my work that I have chosen. I have been talking about sewing (and selling) vintage style things for years, and I have to say, this is the closest I have come to actually doing it. I have been sewing for over 20 years, off and on, but I find my skill level is not where I think it should be in order to sew for others. I’ve done a few random things here and there for others and also a ton for myself, and I obviously understand vintage style pretty well. I’m pretty confident about that part! I have so many wonderful ideas that pop into my head; I can look at a piece of vintage fabric and instantly see what it could be. I’ve been collecting (some say hoarding, haha!) vintage sewing notions and materials for years. I’ve got a ton of patterns and know how to put stuff together. I have the resources.

So what’s stopping me?

Fear. Fear that people will laugh at me, fear that I am so insignificant that nobody will care, fear that it will be a resounding success and I will get overwhelmed! I am doing what I hope will be a large rockabilly show here in Phoenix the end of October and I want to make a few pieces, put them out for sale along with the vintage stuff and see what happens. My market is not the local rockabilly crowd, I already know this, with a very few exceptions. I’m honestly not sure who my market is! People like me and a few of my close friends who love true vintage style are fewer and far between anymore. Most people seem to want the cheap re-pops nowadays, which is fine, but the quality is just not there. If I had money to really spend and I didn’t sew, I would spring for better quality. I love handmade stuff, made well and built to last. So many people don’t care about that anymore.

I have a month and a half or so, and I want to make about four pieces, I think-two dresses at least, and a couple boleros. I have this darling vintage darkish pink cotton velvet that I would line with pink satin and put old pearl beads on the edge; I can see it in my mind’s eye and it won’t go away! It’s like these things are asking to be made manifest and won’t go away until I make them happen. I have been reading so many books on finding your true purpose and being authentic-the sewing/pretty dresses/vintage fashion thing has been cropping up in my life ever since I was a little girl. (I used to draw constantly as a child, page after page of ladies in fancy dresses and hats.) I like to make women feel pretty; when I worked at the vintage shop one of my favorite things was helping people find things that would work for them. I miss that aspect of that job so much.

I find myself wanting to sew for me and my friends all the time! As a single parent, though, I have to spend most of my time making money to take care of things, so my sewing time is very small. I envy people who have time to not only host online sew-alongs, linky parties and other things, but to actually DO the sewing!! But oh…if I could just have a week to do nothing but sew… amazing that would be!!

I know what I WANT to do, I want to deal with the fear and just jump in and DO it. It just takes time away from what NEEDS to happen-making money so we can live decently. eBay supplies a lot of that, as do my other two jobs: working for an estate sale company part time and cleaning 3 houses a week. Add having ADD into that and things just can be so interesting…I have to be so scheduled with my time, but I am getting so much better at it; I am proud of myself for all the work I have done so far. I am actually excited to see what I can do. Sometimes I forget that I have more choices. It’s just that damned FEAR…..

So, if you like, come along with me while I work this out. I think I need to be accountable somewhere, so my goal is to blog once a week, and sit down at the sewing machine once a week, to begin with.

Thanks for listening!


Sunday, May 29, 2011

A new dress! Butterick Retro B5209

After the gigantic fabric score, I got a major jones to sew again. I go through these stages where I want to sit for like a week and just be left alone to sew, and then other times I get all over something else. I’ve sewing for over 20 years, and I grew up with my mom sewing. My great-grandmother, who was named Sadie, was a dressmaker/alterations lady for dress shops for years and years. It’s in my blood. I know that if I had the time, I could get really good and make some great stuff! Just takes time…sigh!

Anyway, I found two precious yards of this darling 40s cotton:


I knew I wouldn’t have enough for a whole dress, so I decided to make the top of the Butterick pattern out of it. There was some staining in the middle that just would not come out, so I had to cut around the icky parts.


I cut the bodice lining out of the skirt fabric to save the vintage fabric. I used a black broadcloth for the skirt. I had about 3/4 yard of the vintage fabric left over, so back in the stash it went.

Here is the pattern:


I made the version on the right, and it went together so fast! VERY easy and fun. If I had had the time, I could have made this in a day, from start to finish. (I will get a shot of the dress soon.) I need some more simple cotton or rayon dresses that will be cool for our horrible Phoenix summer, that cover the annoying bit of fat under my arms and also I can swing dance freely in. This dress runs true to size and fits pretty well. I have found that the retro Butterick patterns run large most of the time, but I love this one. I want to make it a few more times!

I might make the skirt more “swingy” next time because when I am dancing, I love having my skirt swish around. But for a nice basic summery dress that is easy to make, I highly recommend this one!

Happy sewing!


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Vintage Fabric on eBay!

This is the first of what will probably be hundreds of listings of vintage fabric from my big score! I started out with novelty prints, and there are some great ones I've never seen!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Vintage Fabric Score of the Century!


So last Friday morning I was driving home from a friend’s house, and I stumbled across a beat up old yard sale sign…I quickly figured out that it was a place I had been to about 5 years ago when I lived in that area of town. The woman who lived there had been 85 when I first went, and her name was Lula Mae. She was a lifetime sewer and crafter; plus being a hoarder, she kept a few things over the years.

Turns out that Lula is now 90 and sadly blind with dementia, and her daughter who was running the sale remembered me buying a ton of vintage fabric and patterns from her five years ago, and was very happy to see me. We arranged for me to come the next day, Saturday, and shop. So I did…..for 4 hours. There was a shed full of nothing BUT FABRIC. I shopped as long as I could, but I had to stop because my 11 year old could only take so much, and we needed to go! So here is what’s for sale:


All 40s-70s cottons! Novelty prints, florals, geometrics, border prints….all in lovely untouched stacks. I usually have a pretty good poker face but I lost my mind! Here is what I am keeping so far:


Goodness, I love vintage cotton. Almost as much as I love vintage rayon!

Here are some other goodies, and keep in mind that it is just a fraction of what I came home with. I have a thing for vintage rickrack, especially with Lurex in it! I am just showing an example of the colors-there are multiples! Hooray! I always buy ONLY 100% cotton rickrack because I like the colors and how it lays much better than polyester. And vintage sewing tools! Love them! They are fabulous! And sometimes I even use them! LOL


Yup, that whole box is nothing but rickrack. We won’t even talk about the seam binding and bias tape. The Gutterman thread was a nice score-that stuff is expensive!

So, the daughter of Lula, Pam, let me come back this past Saturday and I spent 6 1/2 hours there routing out what I think is the rest of the fabric, and then I started in on the craft stuff. It’s going to take a few more times before I am done, I think. I found this insanely huge box of nothing but vintage bump chenille, yards and yards of it. It’s going to be sold because I just can’t keep it all! The colors are wonderful, and it’s just so much better than what you can buy today. I’ll show the box in another post. It is truly a crafter’s dream!! I walked out of there with 7 huge boxes and so now instead of my poor old minivan being the traveling vintage clothing store, it is now the traveling vintage sewing shop. But, that’s ok, I can still see out the back, and I keep it organized pretty well.

I want to sew SOOOOOOOOOO bad right now, but I have to work, darn it! I can’t keep it all, even though I want to. This fabric needs to be out there and get used! It is too fabulous to be kept hidden away!

To end, here are shots of two fabrics I can NOT let go of. I am sure you can understand….they will be skirts for me, and the blue and pink is dated 1956. Sigh….