Thursday, October 21, 2010

Confessions of a Serial Thrift Store Shopper
Part 2

Thus far, I have spent the past morning in the upstairs bedroom (safely locked against naughty kittens) sewing two lace panels into a 1940's wedding dress that I bought at the Goodwill the other day. I got the dress for $7.99 - 20% Senior Discount (my grandmother was with me). It's in pristine condition with the exception of a large brown stain in the back of the skirt (I am pretty sure I can soak the stain out, but I am not going to do it until I am finished working on the dress). The dress is beautiful - lacy, with a full crinoline underskirt, and those V-shaped sleeves and a loooooong row of pearly buttons in back! The only problem is that it was made for a TEENY little lady! The waist is about 21 inches! Since clearly I am a bit larger than this, I have been trying to creatively add two lace panels on either side of the back closure in order to make it wearable for MY size. Thus far, I have managed to attach the two new panels. If you stand far away, you can't tell, but within a normal distance it's noticeable that there is an addition. I couldn't match the lace exactly, and I didn't have some of the same decorative linings that the dress has, but it's good enough for me. Now I am on to the even harder part: finishing off the panel ends and then reattaching all of the buttons. I'll post pictures when it's finished, but it may be a while. Sewing is hard for me, and I don't enjoy it. I have to take frequent breaks, or I start to get cranky. :P When I am finished with this part, I still have to open up the arms and insert lace panels into the upper arms (which are also far too small for my own muscular farmer arms). This dress has certainly been a project to make it wearable for me, but it's SO beautiful that it is absolutely worthwhile. I can't wait to be completely done with the resizing so that I can put it on!

I went back to the Goodwill earlier this week and found some other lovely vintage items. I ended up leaving many items at the Goodwill (I would have loved to come home with them, but the budget was a bit tighter this week), including a brown 60s/70s one-piece pantsuit, an adorable periwinkle blue 70's dress with sequined embellishments, and some lovely coats and gloves and shoes that just would have been a bit too expensive for this trip. What I did come home with were two adorable little vintage hats: one's in need of some reshaping (looks to be about 1940's?), and the other is a rather plain-looking Mr. John Classics ivory pillbox (which I plan to add a few carefully placed pheasant accent feathers to, and wear with my lace wedding dress!). I also found a vintage Halloween skirt (1950's in style, though I am not sure that the skirt is actually that old), a non-vintage linen dress from Neiman-Marcus, and a 1960's black wool coat with those classic BIG buttons and a mink collar! While I was at the thrift store, I even noticed they had some OLD Victorian shoes, too! But again, my pocket book was maxed out, so maybe they will be there next time.

I'm not normally this much of a "shopaholic," but as I have stated before: Halloween is the BEST time to score vintage clothing and accessories! Everyone is cleaning out their homes and dumping off old "costumes" which are actually fabulous vintage clothing in disguise! It's sad to see so many old, well-made items hanging unloved and unappreciated on the racks...sort of like the older dogs at a shelter that never get adopted because puppies are so cute. But I have always been a fan of old pets and old clothes, and the good news is that I don't have any competition to grab them! I can rarely afford retail prices for these sorts of things anyway, so to be able to to purchase an armload of vintage items for $20 is heaven!

In other news, my new Carhartt farm chore coat arrived yesterday! Tired of watching me freeze every morning while I fed the animals, Ryan finally purchased me a sturdy and lined jacket from that lovely line of clothing that every true farmer is devoted to: Carhartt. I am very thankful for it! With mornings hovering in the mid-30's, it arrived just in time!

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