Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Most Dangerous Thrift Shop in Fillmore

I've been hitting up thrift stores and antique shops lately, combing through treasures, getting prices for things I may want later. I also checked out Craigslist, and found an antique store in town that I've never been to or driven by. So I hit it up. And found TREASURES.

The first are some old batik printing blocks. There were a bunch, but I didn't want to buy a lot, so I picked up two in good condition that made me think of historic designs. The larger one is 5.25 inches tall by ~6 inches long border print with vines, flowers, and paisleys. The smaller is 4.25 inches by 3.5 inches, with a simpler design. I want to use them to make my own printed fabrics for 18th century - Regency gowns.
The backs. There are handles nailed to each block, and they are actually quite comfortable. The larger one has holes that run through it where it wouldn't be obvious in the design.

The next finds make me very, very happy.
First up, a McCall's Magazine from July 1905. It has housekeeping articles, child care articles, and beautiful clothing ads.
This is an ad for a skirt waist holder, which are basically safety pins. So safety pinning your skirt in place is period appropriate.
Some McCall's patterns you could have purchased. I want to make a skirt like the bottom right.
An article about swimming and bathing suits. The one on the left is described as red, which seems a little flamboyant.
An article about becoming a children's dance instructor. My favorite excerpt: "The boys should be taught that girls' dresses soil easily: each must carry a clean white handkerchief in his right hand when dancing. It is pleasanter to carry away a good impression of one's partner in one's memory, than a bad one on the back of one's gown."
An article on making the decorative suspenders that were popular on gowns. I was struck by how large and uneven the stitching in the photo is, I had expected something finer.
Next up, another McCall's magazine, this one March 1917 and missing it's cover.
However, this one had two or three colored advertisements, mostly for cleaners, but this beauty had to be shared.
Here's a full article on how to assemble a coat. The design itself is very much like the pattern available by Wearing History, and could easily be adapted from it.

There's also tips from the readers, some of which are still great ideas today. "When cleaning house -  A stick with a notch in the end of it is a great help to the housekeeper in taking pictures from the walls. The picture wire slips right into the notch and the saves the necessity of the housewife's climbing up and down. - W. L. H. Warner, New York."

"A boiled rice hint - When boiling rice, if you add a teaspoonful of lemon-juice to the water, the kernels will be much whiter and the flavor of the rice greatly improved. - Mrs. W. H. H., Caliente, California"

The largest, and my personal favorite: Needle-Art, from Autumn 1923. Knitting, crochet, and embroidery patterns galore.
Two of eight patterns for crocheted hats, and some embroidery designs for them.
Filet crochet patterns for undergarments.
Knit sweaters. The one on the upper left has two holes in the neckline so you can thread the ends of your neckerchief through them.

There are more magazines at the shop that I want, and I plan to pick up once I have a safe place to store them.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Thrift Store Finds

So my work is allowing us to wear costumes and different things for a small donation to a charity this month. I've been participating as much as I can, partially out of my own desire and partially to help lead the rest of the team. Today is Star Wars Day, and I didn't want to pay $2 just to wear a t-shirt. So I got creative. White shirt and pants from Goodwill, a baseball cap and Sharpies from work, and ta da!
Geeky pick-up line: Hey, am I the droid you're looking for?
A decent BB8 costume for less than $15. I'm pleased with how it turned out, and it's something I can easily wear again when the next movie comes out, though I do need to take the pants in a little.

While purchasing the components for this costume, I came across something beautiful.
The shirt is a patterned silk, flatlined to a coarse cotton, and covered in embroidery and beads down the front and on the sleeves.
Close-up of embroidery
By the shape and the style of it, I think it would make a perfect 18th century men's waistcoat. The embroidery on the sleeves will become the pocket flaps, and the shape will be changed to reflect the time period. Now the main question, do I make it for my husband, or myself ;)