Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Confessions of a Serial Thrift Store Shopper

So, I went to a yard sale last Saturday and scored three lovely (albeit slightly in need of TLC) vintage hats, a vintage hat box, and a vintage (real!) alligator purse - all for $25! The woman who sold everything to us mentioned that there was a Goodwill down the road that seemed to get a lot more of the vintage clothing donations in than the surrounding stores. I had not previously been aware of this store. Happy Day!!

Today, I am dragging my grandmother down to browse this place. We both enjoy getting out of the house (and away from Grandpa) & "slumming it," and thrift store shopping around Halloween is the PERFECT time to score some really lovely vintage clothing pieces. Plus, with Grammy around, we get the 20% senior discount!

Thus far, I have had amazing luck at a different Goodwill in downtown Medford. The other week - amongst other lovely things - I scored a vintage lace wedding dress from the late 1940's/early 1950's. It's a pretty little ball gown style, with the lovely V-sleeves that that time period was known for. It has pearly buttons down the back and at the tips of the sleeves. The dress is well made and in great condition with the exception of a large brown stain in the back. I believe I can soak the stain out, but plan to do that AFTER I work on re-sizing the dress. We bought the dress for $7.99 minus the senior discount. The problem is that the dress was made for someone even smaller than I am! The waist of the dress measures roughly 21 inches!! Even at my thinnest point, my waist only measured 23 inches (and I'm not even going to tell you what it measures these days). So I have a little creative re-sizing to do. At first, we were only going to add a fabric panel to one side of the back of the skirt. But after we pinned it all together, it just looked strange. And last night, after I had gone to bed, I tossed and turned for hours and finally realized that I cannot in good conscious re-size the dress that way. It's too beautiful of a dress to do a half-assed sew job on. Sigh. I really don't like to sew. I can do it, all right, but I loathe
sitting still for that long, swearing over seams. I'm much more of an outdoor-loving tom boy when it comes to favorite activities! But, in any case, I will be doing a great deal of intricate sewing on this dress in the near future. Since I will need to add fabric panels to both sides of the dress in order to make it look nice, that means removing all 18 billion tiny pearly buttons in back and then re-sewing them back on in the end. Because I just used up my last piece of vintage lace, I am going to need to go hunting around for some matching lace for the fabric panel insert. And finally, the lace sleeves are slightly too small, which means that I am going to have to VERY GINGERLY open the seams and insert lace into them.

Okay, I am a little terrified.

I know it is going to be worth it for the end result, however. It's just going to be a long road of cursing to get there. Silly me never got a picture of the dress before we began taking it apart to work on, so for now, I will leave you with a similar looking dress from the Wire9Vintage store on Etsy:

Wish me luck!!! (I'm going to need it)

1 comment:

Christa said...

This dress is beautiful. Really a great find! =]]