Sunday, October 16, 2016

Hey guys, just a quick post: I just heard Jessica Cangiano's home burned down last week. Jessica is such an amazing person and cherished member of the vintage community. I can't even recall how many times her kind comments on my posts have brightened my day and her blog (Chronically Vintage) has long been one of my favourites. I was terribly saddened by this news, especially as this couldn't have happened to a lovelier person. 
There's a facebook page and a donation site set up for those wanting to help. 

Crepe Paper Costumes (1920)

In my research for what was originally planned as an extensive Halloween collection for my Etsy shop (which unfortunately had to scaled back due to my hand injury), I discovered a lot of the gorgeous costumes in 1920's illustrations were actually meant to be constructed from paper. It makes a lot of sense to use paper instead of costlier fabric to make an outfit that was only meant to be worn once. Although these dresses look so fabulous I would have wanted them to last more than a single party! 

Here is an article from "Dennison's bogie book" (1920) about creating crepe paper costumes. The book is mainly an advertisement for paper products but it has some great ideas in it. Dennison Manufacturing Co. was a paper company founded in 1844. The company still sort of exists, but they no longer make these adorable paper products. (They merged with Avery in 1990 to become the Avery Dennison Corporation, and now mainly sell adhesive labels and related products.)
This article doesn't give you specific instructions for each costume, but gives you an idea of how they were created:
I would think most of these costumes could be recreated with modern materials and a little creativity! Which is your favourite? 

For more party inspiration, here is the entire booklet from 1920. There are some adorable paper decorating ideas and instructions:

My own Halloween plans are far less elaborate and consist of staying home and handing out candy. Anyone doing anything exciting this year?

That's All.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Purples, Leaves, and Acorns

While my heart lies with earlier decades of fashion, I must admit I love diving into 1950's every once and awhile. Fluffy crinolines and poofy skirts are so much fun to swish around in!

This dress, while technically not a true 1950's dress, certainly has the proper silhouette. It came in a bag of saris and garments my grandmothers friend gave me to cut up and use for fabric. This "dress" was actually intended as a tunic and had a matching set of pants, but on my frame it looked much more "1950's dress" than tunic (I'm a bit...uh... "bigger boned" than the tiny lady who owned these before). I added a belt and a vintage crinoline to emphasize the 50's shape. 

The days are still surpisingly warm, but since it is autumn I decided to add some seasonal accessories. The hairpiece is made from a floral pick from a craft store that I glued to a hairclip. I love how the colours work so well with my hennaed hair. My earrings are real acorns. I made them for one of my first tutorials on my blog. and still wear them every autumn. 
This was the first outing for my new shoes, I wanted a pair of vintage-appropriate shoes that were comfortable and without a heel, but that still looked cute with a dress. They were a bit expensive, but I would rather pay more for well-made shoes that will last years instead of buying cheap shoes that will fall apart in a single season. I figure paying more up front will actually save money in the long run. I used to have a LOT of shoes when I was younger, but I've become quite minimal in my shoes choices. I now prefer to own just a couple pairs of neutral shoes (plus a pair or two of colourful heels when I need a bit of "fun"!). 

I'm going to have a busy week sewing new garments for my Etsy shop. Not sure how much I will realistically finish, but I'm aiming to create a bunch of new pieces and use up some of the mountains of fabric I bought before I injured my hand. Luckily my hand is still improving, so hopefully I will be able to resume all my previous activities soon! 

I hope all my fellow Canadians had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and everyone had a great weekend!

That's All. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Finally Back

Hello everyone! I feel like I've been away for ages!! I mean, I never technically went anywhere, but I've had to severely limit my computer time lately which has meant no blogs, no blogging, no youtube, and almost no pinterest. I am so glad to be back!!

More on that in a minute, but first: today's outfit. While we have finally had a bit of autumn weather, today's has been a last glimpse of summer. It seemed like my last chance for straw hats for a while, so I donned this adorable vintage chapeaux. I paired it with this lightweight "dress" (it's technically an old skirt I cut armholes into), homemade belt, and Buster Keaton necklace. 

(Necklace close-up, since it's hard to make out Buster in the other pictures)

The reason for my absence from the ol' interwebs? I hurt my right hand. 

I managed to lie on it funny while sleeping, and strained a tendon in my hand. It's been almost 2 months of curtailed activity now and it's just starting to get back to normal. I still need to be careful, but at least I can do a little bit.

As I've been unable to do much of anything lately, I haven't much to report for the last 2 months. My Halloween collection for my Etsy shop has only just launched. It was supposed to be up in August, but had to be delayed for obvious reasons. Anyways, if anyone is still looking for a Halloween costume, Halloween themed garments, or wants to get a jump start on next year, I've listed several new items. It's not the extensive collection I had planned, but *sigh* maybe next year. 

The only other project of interest was these fox gloves I made for Britt's birthday last week. They fought me every inch of the way, but I'm pleased with how they turned out in the end. 

I hope everyone has been doing well lately. I will be trying to catch up on my blog reading over the next week or two, but there is a lot to catch up on! If my hand continues to improve, I will hopefully get back to Youtube as well. Video editing takes a lot of computer work though, and my poor lil' hand just can't quite handle that yet.

That's All.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Too Darn Hot

Blah, I do not like heat waves! I have enough energy problems, without the weather making even a smallest chore a huge effort. I haven't even been wearing fun clothes, because it's too hot to get dressed up (and most of my time has been spent at home in the air conditioning!). 

This outfit is actually from a couple weeks ago. It was still hot then, but slightly more bearable. I was supposed to attend an explorer themed escape room with some friends, but in the end the room was unavailable when we needed it. However, I still dressed up even though we just went for lunch instead. I decided on a 1930's style dress and a scarab necklace, and set my hair with some 1930s wave clips. Sorry if the photos are a bit washed out, but there has just been too much sun! 
 Still loving the henna! My hair has darkened a bit from the original shade, but I love it more and more each time I have it coloured.

In other news: while I haven't been up to a whole lot lately due to my health, I have managed to get a few projects done between naps:
My cousin and his wife just had a new baby boy, so I made him this cute little bunny. I love sewing stuffed animals so it's great to have an excuse to make one! He's not my best work (the woven fabric buckled awkwardly along a few of the seams when stuffed), but I thought he turned out alright and the baby isn't likely to know the difference,

I painted my nails with polka dots (which just happens to match some new fabric I bought for the shop):

Speaking of the shop, tutoring has slowed down for the summer, so I've been trying to spend my precious few hours of energy getting a few new garments ready. I've already brought back the spiderweb garments from last year, and have started on a couple other "halloween" items. Here is a sneak peak at one of the dresses (you can also see my new giant spiderweb shawl on the hanger, also coming soon). 

Aggie hasn't been allowed outside due to the heat, which means she has been bouncing off the walls. Luckily by afternoon she settles down for a nap. She only goes outside on a leash, but it's just waaayyyy too hot for her to go for her usual walks at the moment. Hopefully the weather breaks soon so she can wear off some of that energy!
I did a quick sketch of her while she was in the window (so I could actually see her facial features which are almost invisible without direct light!) using ink and watercolour pencils. It's not my best work, since I was racing to get it done before she moved (start-to-finish in under 10 minutes!), but I still quite like it. 

Between the heat and my lack of energy, I've been feeling rather cranky lately. To cheer myself up, I treated myself to some new art supplies. While drawing Aggie, I realised I didn't have a proper set of regular watercolours anymore so I bought this cute stackable set. I also treated myself to some new inks (black, gold, and silver). I am dying to try drawing an Edward Gorey-style flapper with the inks (maybe using the gold/silver on her dress). It's been a long time since I played with inks, so I'm excited to give it a go!

Also, an update on my Skillshare class: I have created 20 free spots in my class available to my blog followers. I didn't actually know how to do that before, but once I figured it out I saved 20 spots just for all of you! Click here to sign up. As I mentioned in my last post, my class goes into detail about how to use a serger/overlocker to make scarves (the same ones I sell in my shop). With the link you can watch my premium class for free, plus when you sign up there are a bunch of great free lessons/tutorials you can access by other creators. There are only a limited number of spots, so if you are interested please sign up! 

I hope everyone is having a great week!

That's All.

Saturday, August 6, 2016


I love adding scarves to an outfit. I came across this great article from 1924 which gives a few different ways to tie a scarf: 
 (open image in a new tab to view larger)

In other related news, I have just published my first class on Skillshare! Skillshare is a video-based learning website where you can learn new skills in a variety of categories (illustration, design, crafts, cooking, photography, writing, etc). Each video lesson is usually between about 10 and 35 minutes, and teaches you how to create a project or apply a new skill. Some videos are available to watch for free and the some require a premium membership.
My first video for the site teaches you how to make a scarf using a serger/overlock machine, and goes into a fair bit of detail on how to do each step. I had a heck of a time editing it (I'm so used to only making silent films!), but even if a few of the edits aren't perfectly smooth, the lesson has a lot of useful information in it for anyone wanting to create a scarf. My scarf tutorial is only open to premium members, but you can view the intro without subscribing. 

If you do want to sign up or watch the intro, here is my referral link to my class:
Normally premium memberships are $10 a month, but you can get your first 3 months for only $0.99 if you use the link, so it's very inexpensive way to give it a try. (For full disclosure:  I do get a small referral bonus from anyone that signs up via my link). It's honestly a great website and these are so many great videos on there that I hope you check it out! (Or you could always watch my intro video if you just want to hear what my voice sounds like. Am I the only one with an odd fascination with how other bloggers sound in "real life"?)

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

That's All.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Soft Grey and Corsets

Hello everyone! I'm rather behind on posting both here and on my youtube channel, but I was pushing myself too hard in June and my health suffered for it. Two years later and I still don't have a firm diagnosis, but it looks like I most likely have chronic fatigue syndrome. I've been doing a lot of research and think the condition may have been triggered by a horrible flu I had in 2014. Some of the research suggests CFS is either a virus that never really goes away or somehow messes up the immune system (or possibly the gut bacteria balance). Not much is really known about CFS, but I am researching all I can. Most sources suggest if I feel the need to rest I should rest instead of trying to "push through it", as overexertion can cause the CFS to get a lot worse (which is what happened...oops...). So I've been taking it very easy the last 2 weeks and am slowly getting a bit better. 

I haven't really gotten dressed up as often as I would like, but I managed this cute Victorian inspired look a couple weeks ago. My original outfit was very different, but the humidex was very high that day and I needed something lighter. I settled on a Victorian underwear look instead of the prim-and-proper look I had planned. The "dress" is actually a nightgown I've had since I was a child, which I tried to dye black a few years ago. That obviously didn't work, but instead turned the material a soft, mottled blue-grey. I paired it with my What Katie Did corset, a cameo necklace I made from a broken earring, and a pair of Victorian inspired boots. 

I have so many videos planned for my youtube channel, but just haven't had time to film them. I'm hoping in the next few weeks to start a series about making vintage perfume from old recipes. I also just bought some awesome new 1920's wave clips I want to try out (I think I have a wave clip addiction! They are so neat!). For those of you who haven't seen it, I posted a video over on my youtube channel on how I did this hairstyle a couple weeks ago:

I hope everyone is having a good week!

That's All.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Victorian Summers

I have been feeling very inspired by Victorian and Edwardian style lately. I would love to add a few Victorian/Edwardian inspired pieces to my wardrobe, assuming I have time to make some or can find some to thrift. I suppose summer isn't the best time to don such clothing (especially during this heatwave!), but nonetheless I have been gathering inspiration images and trying to decide how to incorporate elements into my wardrobe. 

Here a few of my favourite summer inspiration images:

In other news my Etsy shop is on temporary hiatus due to the looming postal strike. I just haven't been able to find a good alternative shipping option, so have made the decision to close down for a couple weeks. 

However, I have reopened my second Etsy shop! I had big plans last year for my second shop, but didn't have the time/energy to follow through with them. But since I can't ship anything at the moment, I decided to at least add some more printables to my shop. I have some more designs in the works, but for now I have added some new Victorian/Edwardian inspired printables using images from my antique magazine/postcard collection. I've also listed three knitting patterns I wrote several years ago (they are also still available on Ravelry). All my printables are only $3 CAD (approx $2.40USD) or less.
To check it out click here!

Hopefully this postal strike is resolved soon and I can get my main shop back open. It really couldn't have happened at a worse time, since as a tutor I don't have much income during the summer. My Etsy shop provides the majority of my earnings during the lean months and I really hate having to close it. Oh well, I may be on the path to fixing some of my health issues so there may be a career change in the not-so-distant future.

I hope everyone has a great weekend (and a happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians)!

That's All.