Monthly Archives: April 2010

Pink Kitchen

It’s Friday, and I had cash in my pocket, so I decided to go to an estate sale that I’d read about. The organizer’s website was chock full of photos that scrolled way too quickly, but I did spot a Formica dinette set flash by, and I figured it was a good indicator of what else might be in store.

The dinette set was still there, at an unheard-of $135. Alas, I didn’t have that much cash, nor the tools required to disassemble it so I could cram it in my car. My bad luck, someone else’s good fortune.

I picked through a few things, found some earrings and a kooky little how-to-rumba pamphlet (oh yeah, that came home with me), and then walked into the kitchen.

Ohmigod, the kitchen.

The house was built in 1952, and the kitchen was NEVER REMODELED. Actually, that can’t be true because the Frigidaire Flair Custom Imperial range (AND IN PINK!!! COVET!!!) was only available between 1960 and 1968. So okay, the kitchen hasn’t been remodeled in 42-to-50 years. Everywhere I looked were strips of masking tape saying NOT FOR SALE and I tell you I would have rented a truck, maxed out my credit card’s cash advance option, and picked up that entire room otherwise. Pink refrigerator. Pink countertops with gold flake. Pink built-in banquette booth (with that same pink Formica surface as the counters). My heart was beating so fast!

I took my own crummy photos, ill-prepared as I was with only a cell phone and with people milling about and clutter everywhere. See teaser photo above. BUT… when I got home and looked up the address to get the build date, I saw that the house is for sale and the Realtor has provided some lovely photos. So here they are, and a bonus photo of the pink-and-black bathroom. [insert choir of angels here]

Bonus bathroom photo:

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Filed under kitchen, nostalgia, vintage

New-to-me sewing patterns!

I realize that I have a stash of patterns that so far remain unsewn. However, I recently bought myself some vintage red-white-blue striped fabric that is begging to be made into a summer frock and the patterns I have on hand simply aren’t appropriate for what I have in mind.

What do I have in mind, you ask?

Well, that’s actually hard to say. It’s a boldly-striped fabric which immediately made me think of a gathered skirt made from rectangular cuts. That is, if I want to go for a full-skirted look of the 1950s. I do love a full skirt, but I also love an efficient 1940s silhouette, although there isn’t quite as much of that in my current wardrobe. And what with this fabric being so patriotic and all, I thought that a 1940s look might be the way to go. With those two ideas in mind, it was off to Etsy I went.

A short time later the following items were en route to my home, from Vintage Rouge and Dawn’s Divine Finds (click images for larger views):

I was heavily leaning toward Sew-Rite 8045 (Oh, those turnback cuffs! That roll collar! Those not-eleven-buttons!) until Mikhaela posted the below pinafore pattern on SewRetro, and now I’m smitten with View 1.

Sweetheart neckline! Ruffles! POCKETS! I’ve found this exact pattern in a couple of places online, but those listings are out of my budget. It was a popular look at the time, so there are many options out there. It’s just a matter of me matching myself up with the right one. Oh dear, oh dear, so much candy in the candy store!

Of course, I’ll keep you all posted as (if?) the project progresses.

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Filed under collections, fashion, sewing, vintage

Among The Things One Does Not Expect To Find While Rummaging Through A Closet In Search Of Picture Hangers

Seven 6-foot-long rubber snakes.

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Filed under amusement, life-threatening clutter

What I wore to VLV13

Because I have friends who are unusually interested in the contents of my closet. Because those friends were unable to attend Viva this year. And because I received a number of lovely compliments regarding my wardrobe during the course of the weekend, and perhaps some of those people are coincidentally readers of my blog.

THURSDAY

Thursday’s dress is technically vintage, but a 1980-something repro (by Steppin’ Out) of an earlier style. The print is typical ’80s, though. The black patent handbag is “properly” vintage, although there is no brand mark. I originally bought it for the shop, but fell in love with the chevron and bow detail, which you unfortunately cannot see in this photo. Now I can’t seem to part with it. The shoes, by Miss Me, are thoroughly modern. The snood is from V-Male Detroit Vintage. This outfit and many that follow were worn with vintage RHT stockings by Queen Mary. I brought 4 sets of vintage stockings to VLV, but this one pair managed to get me through the whole weekend without a run, and I cherish them for it. Also because they fit, feel great, and have a nice, dark back seam.

Thursday evening’s dress is one of my all-time favorite vintage finds. Made by Sportlane Deb, the pale pink brocade bodice is decorated with rhinestones and pearl beads, and the dress has side-seam pockets. POCKETS. ::swoon:: I found it for a song in 2008 in the (gasp) Halloween section of a local thrift store. True, it has some popped stitches on one shoulder and a few small stains (which may very well come out with some OxyClean but I haven’t dared to try) but if anyone noticed them, they were polite enough to not say anything. The vintage Lucite purse is also studded with rhinestones, but the “privacy” hankie makes them difficult to see. I must find a better solution. The shoes, by Madden Girl, are silver slingbacks with Lucite heels.

FRIDAY

You may recognize Friday’s day dress from some of my previous posts. It was my first attempt at grading (and altering the silhouette of) a vintage pattern, and Nick likes to point out that, true to the 1940s motto of “make do or do without,” I made it from old bedsheets. Really cool, high thread count bedsheets, but bedsheets nonetheless. The crinoline is vintage, made by Cherie of California. The purse was purchased at Hobby Lobby, of all places. Belt by Accessories by Pearl (thrift store, probably ’80s) and the shoes are by Go Max. I bought them a few years ago on eBay, but it’s a brand apparently carried by K-Mart!

The evening ensemble consists of a dress I bought from Boss Vintage for an Oscars® party back in 2006 or 2007. Erin would remember which. Perhaps I should have taken this photo from behind, as the back of the dress has an eye-catching (and back-baring) slit, and the heels of the J. Reneé shoes are hand-painted and studded with topaz-colored rhinestones. The gold lamé purse is also vintage, and like the dress, unlabeled.

SATURDAY

Saturday’s car show dress is a modern cotton/spandex fabric construction by Moda International. I shortened the hem by four inches, and it still hits below my knees. The deep side slits are original to the dress (a gust of wind is displaying more leg than usual). The patch on the back is vintage, a gift from Nick who put the matching patch on one of his jackets. The sunglasses are by Ray-Ban, in a cat eye style called Lisbon (W0959). Be wary of vendors selling “vintage” Ray-Ban sunglasses: like this pair, some older styles are periodically brought back into production and may not actually be vintage. If the price is right and you don’t care how old they are, go for it. The shoes and belt are repeated from previous outfits. The cute fella is “Filthy” Rich, bass player for The Infamous Swanks. Photos by Nick, who borrowed a pro Canon from a friend.

The cheongsam was a thrilling find, as I’ve only before come across cheaply made exports. This vintage version is a beautiful heavyweight brocade, fully lined, and fits perfectly in the bust (just a little roomy in the waist). It came complete with a matching jacket, although it’s boxy and unflattering. I thought perhaps it was meant to be a male counterpart, but it has shoulder pads. If anyone has info to share about these, I’d appreciate it. The silver lamé-encased-in-Lucite box bag is of indeterminate age. From the exterior, it looks every bit the mid-century part. The interior, however, is lined in vinyl and has a Made In China tag. So go figure. The satin shoes are by Chinese Laundry.

SUNDAY

Sunday’s swimsuit is by Catalina, and to see it sans gold capri pants (by Euro Linea, probably early ’80s)  and bamboo-heeled shoes (by Foot Candy) you’ll have to watch the video posted at iCNN. I show up for a mere second at the beginning, but it’s only 2:12 so go ahead and watch the whole thing. The sunglasses are by… um… well, I bought them at… shoot. I’ve had them for so long, I just don’t remember. They’re modern repros, I know that much.

My evening dress was meant to be my day dress, but the sun was nearly down by the time I left the pool party. I found it at an estate sale, and although it’s distinctly too big on me, I love-love-love it. I took in what I could from the side seams, barring removing and reattaching the skirt, and trust the belt (thrift store, probably 1980s) to do the rest. The dress was missing its original shoulder ties, but a helpful clerk at Hobby Lobby fixed me up with the perfect shade of satin ribbon. The purse is vintage, no brand mark, and the shoes are Candies.

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NOTE: If you’re a regular window shopper of my online store, you’ll recognize that (with the exception of Saturday) these photos were all taken IN MY HOME, rather than at Viva. This is because Nick does not have a camera, and I am still not comfortable handing mine to someone and saying, “Please, could you take a photo of me?” Because in my head, it is followed by a silently screaming “I THINK I AM SO AWESOME YES MY EGO IS HUUUUUGE.” Yeah, I have some confidence issues. Stop looking at me like that.

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Filed under fashion, friends, sewing, vacation, vintage, Viva Las Vegas

Look for the Union Label

Rest assured, every item for sale in the Tiddleywink shop has been researched as fully as possible before being listed. Of course, some items have no manufacturer tags, so it’s up to me to do the best I can with whatever clues I have.* Is there a WPN or RN code? What is the fabric weave? I’m not beyond doing a single-thread burn test to try to identify materials. Who is the maker stamped on the zipper? Is there a PAT PEND on the clasp? What does the cut of the dress tell me? Is there a Union label?

Union labels are very helpful, because they tell me much more than that the item in question was made in the U.S.A. The artwork used on Union labels was changed a few times over the years, and the paper trail behind those graphic changes is quite thorough. There is no doubt whatsoever as to what specific range of years an item with an intact Union label dates to.

So when a seller on eBay is asking $99.99 for a swimsuit with a modern cut, but claiming that it dates to “at least from the 1960s if not the 50s or before,” I take a look at the listing to see more. Lo and behold, there’s a photo of the Union label. The Union label that was used between 1974 and 1995. And from the looks of this swimsuit, I’d put it closer to ’95 than ’74. Okay, it’s entirely possible that this seller doesn’t know about the different Union labels, so I send him-or-her a private message so that the listing can be updated with the correct information.

It’s been a couple of months, and the seller never responded to my message. In fact, the listing is still active, still with the exact same wording. Well, I’m no longer being polite about it. This vendor is consciously misleading potential buyers, and I’m outing them for it. Go ahead and visit the actual listing if you like, here, or contact the seller directly here.

*I may not always get it right, but I try very hard. If you ever see a Tiddleywink listing that you know to be incorrect, please alert me. The more information I have, the better your shopping experience will be.

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Filed under citizens, fashion, shopping, vintage