Friday, December 2, 2016

The Ultimate Vintage Gal's Gift Guide

This is going to be a slightly lengthy post. I decided this year to pull together a pretty full guide full of ideas rather than just specific products that would all make great gifts for the vintage inclined. Whether you are shopping for the vintage lover in your life, or don't really know what you'd like yourself this year ;) I am here to help with several suggestions! What can I say, I am a shopaholic who loves gifting season. I love shopping for gifts, I love wrapping gifts, I love giving gifts! 

So here are some ideas for the retro enthusiasts, stylish seamstresses, and vintage visionaries among us!

1) Any vintage loving gal would love a mirrored vanity tray for her perfume bottles. What could be more glamorous than a sparkling vanity top crowded with gilt accessories after all? (Etsy)

2) Beloved by retro fashionistas everywhere, any of Beseme's products would make great gifts! This powder set would be a great introduction to their vintage inspired products and beautiful packaging. (Beseme)

3) All hat lovers need a place to store their hat pins, and what better than a vintage or antique hat pin holder. Readily available on Etsy or Ebay, there are so many to choose from that it would be easy to find one in colors or patterns to suit every hat lover in your life! A great gift to combine with hat pins themselves, or a hat of course! (Etsy)

4) For atop the vanity tray of choice, how about a lovely deco glass vanity set? Perfume atomizer, matching jars, lipstick holders and trays, sets like these are readily found and again available in an array of colored glass or painted porcelain. (Esty)

5) What could be a better hostess or house warming gift than a jewel shaped decanter in dark moody amethyst? Wouldn't this modern number from Anthropologie look just great adorning any bar top? So pretty, perfect for your poison of choice! (Anthropologie)

6) Or learn a new cocktail recipe and bring along a yummy flavored syrup like Monin's lavender simple syrup. I love to mix this in with lemonade, and gin of course ;) A drop of rose flavored syrup is amazing in champagne <3(Amazon)

7) For the more adventurous why not bring along a new tipple to try? I recently tried Japanese sake for the first time and have since totally fallen for it's smooth and often sweet flavor. (A liquor store near you ;) )

8) Another great hostess gift for the classy bar cart set are vintage glass-wear sets. I can't wait to have a china cabinet full of different glittering or painted cocktail glasses one day. Pair with a classic cocktail recipe book and the holiday party is already started! (Etsy)

9) Alright, this is a pretty pricey bottle opener, but look how cute it is! For your favorite cat lady :) (Modcloth)

10) For those who are already sake lovers, I think vintage sake serving sets are just the most elegant gift idea! I recently picked up a classic white porcelain set from Cost Plus World Market, but vintage sets like this from Etsy are even prettier! (Esty)

11) It may seem odd to get someone a giant roll of paper as a gift, but if they are getting into pattern drafting they will thank you! I need some more myself! Alphanumeric paper just makes pattern drafting easier and is a great addition to any seamstress' work space. (Atlas Levy)

12) A luxurious gift to be sure, a serger sewing machine is a welcome upgrade to any sewer's craft room. Perfect for sewing knits and indispensable for preventing frayed edges on seams. (Joann)

13) Another investment pieces, owning a PGM professional dress form (with those lovely collapsible shoulders) is the dream of many sewers everywhere. Perfect for draping, PGM dress forms are what we used in apparel design school, and I miss them dearly! I need to invest in a new one, and I can't imagine how amazing it would be to receive one as a gift! (PGM)

14) Novelty pins make instagram shots of projects even cuter, it's a proven fact. Sewers aren't necessarily inclined to buy cute pins for themselves, so they would make great stocking stuffers or add-ons to any sewing related presents! (Amazon)

15) If the PGM dress forms and new serger machines are a bit lofty (they are pricey after all!) a more affordable gift for the seamstress in your life could be a new shining pair of fabric scissors. Nice shears like these classic silver Gingher's are a great tool, and make for a pretty gift too! (Amazon)

16) I always recommend this book, but that's because I still use it all the time since buying it ages ago for design school! Patternmaking for Fashion Design would be an excellent gift for intermediate to advanced sewers who want to learn to make their own sewing patterns. (Amazon)

17) Another great book to add to a sewers library is Claire Shaeffer's Couture Sewing Techniques. It's always nice to get into the nitty gritty of seam finishes and even tailoring techniques, there is never a bad time to learn new skills! (Amazon)

18) The best book for inspiration has got to be the Kyoto Costume Institutes Fashion. I myself have the 2002 edition, though they have released several editions since and I am interested to get my hands on a newer one to see what they may have added in the last decade! (Amazon)

19) Most Dita fans have probably picked up her latest book Your Beauty Mark: A Guide to Eccentric Glamour, but if for some reason it missed your radar it would make a lovely gift! (Amazon)

20) Another fun gift would be classic Hollywood films on DVD, I have several on my own wishlist this year including The Women and The Thin Man collection from Turner Classic Movies! TCM has a lot of combo DVD's that are quite inexpensive but would make great gifts for someone getting into classic films! (Amazon)

21) And for cozying up inside with a good book or film, how about a beautiful tea cup? Tea and coffee just seem fancier in a pretty cup, and I quite like these sorta art deco jewel painted cups and saucers from Anthropologie. (Anthropologie)

22) Another luxurious gift for the tea lover, Laudree teas would make such a lovely gift! They are hard to get your hands on in the US, but European shoppers are in luck as they have their teas available online. I remember loving the Marie Antoinette blend when I frequented Laudree in London! (Laudree)

23) Another great book, though you will have to buy it used, is actress Marsha Hunt's The Way We Wore. A wonderful collection of photographs from Hunt's time as a model and actress, this awesome book covers 1930's and 1940's fashion with Hunt's stories of Hollywood in it's heyday. (Amazon)

24) There are nice petticoats, there are scratchy sad petticoats, and then there are lovely soft cloud petticoats from Malco Modes! Any gal would love to have a petticoat upgrade if they wear full skirts often <3 (Maclo Modes)

25) Silk scarves are such a perfect gift item! They come in every pattern and combination of colors ever and you can find them at any price point so it's easy to find one that fits the gift recipient you have in mind :) (Etsy)

26) Another glamorous gift would be a pretty jeweled compact, either vintage or new! Perfect stocking stuffer! (Etsy)

27) I will blame Mary Crawley (from Downton Abbey) for making me want beautiful kimono to wear while my ladies maid does my hair...okay for when I do my own hair ;) I think it would be amazing to receive a vintage kimono as a gift! (Etsy)

28) Whiting and Davis mesh handbags are super classic and they made them from the 1920s through the 1980s! They seem to be available from every era, and the 30s-50s ones are very similar in style so they match most eras perfectly. In gold, silver, white, or black mesh they are super cute! (Etsy)

29) Somehow I'm ending on something that seems quite random! Vintage hat stands are a super practical and fun gift that again would be great in combination with a hat as a present.


Whew! So those are my 29 gift ideas for the vintage lover in your life <3 What else is on your own wishlist this year? I have a few pairs of cute retro shoes on my wishlist this year, a girl can never have too many pairs of cute shoes right ;)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Modern Geometry

The Denver Art Museum has two main buildings and each is done in a completely different style. The modern crystal-ish shaped titanium plate covered building pictured here is the Hamilton building which was added to the museum in 2006. It's just as angular inside which can lead to curators having to be extra creative with how to display artwork in such unique spaces. I am rather attached to the museum after my short internship spent working there over the summer of 2014. I am predisposed to like art museums anyway, I am a huge fan of almost all museums! 

I wore this black dress and fun rainbow ribbon hat when I visited the museum for their current big exhibition Star Wars and the Power of Costume. You may remember this hat as I documented how I made it here on the blog :) It was super fun to wear it at the art museum as people there were obviously interested in art to begin with so I got a few compliments on my hat which I'm not really used to. Out here in the suburbs people tend to just stare confused instead! The shoes I have on here are my latest indulgence from Royal Vintage Shoes. Called Lana, this style come in three colors and I finally caved when the black came in! They are quite comfortable like all of my Chelsea Crew shoes from Royal Vintage have been. I'm really pleased with these, and I got them for a steal using my royal rewards points which was even better!

I'm in the thick of our busiest season now at work as we enter the holiday rush. Working some extra hours may leave less time for sewing, but it does mean I can hopefully save up for some travels next year so it will be worth it in the end! I hope you all have had a great first day of December <3

Dress: Made by me
Shoes: Lana Chelsea Crew (Royal Vintage Shoes)
Tights: Hanes (Amazon)
Handbag, Gloves & Jewelry: Vintage
Hat: Made by me

Monday, November 28, 2016

Fallen Leaves

This amazing, silky, jewel toned wonder of a fabric was just $2 a yard. Yep, $2 a yard. What?! The score of the year! Silky wonderful rayon in one of the best prints I have ever seen, in gorgeous colors, for $2 a yard! Sometimes I discover magical things on Etsy, what else can I say :)

This dress came together rather quickly too, once I finally got started. The fabric was actually a dream to work with on top of being a total bargain. I decided on a simple style of dress since the all over colorful pattern was going to be the star of the piece anyway. The skirt is just a basic A-line shape, and I gave the full length sleeves 1/2" shoulder pads at the top for the full 1940's power shoulder. The gathered neckline was created by moving the fullness from the side-bust dart (which is then eliminated) to the neckline and gathering it in a self bias tape finish. I certainly think I'll be using this same arrangement of dress pattern again soon, hopefully in a nice solid color wool of some kind for winter.

For it's first outing I paired the dress with a new black hat I bought earlier this year that had been waiting for wool hat season. I kept the rest of the accessories black to match, with my black Marilyn's from Royal Vintage shoes, a black suede belt, and a new-to-me black wool handbag that I am so pleased with! You never quite know what to expect when ordering vintage online from a seller you aren't familiar with, so it is the greatest relief when something shows up in perfect condition. This handbag was one of two I added to my collection last week that turned up in near mint condition. I'm so glad to have other options for a black handbag instead of always using my black patent bag which just doesn't "go" sometimes. To combat the chill in the air I threw on my big faux fur shawl which is always super cozy. A citrine rhinestone arrow brooch added a bit of sparkle and is quickly becoming a fall time favorite of mine this year.

I hope you all had a nice holiday weekend. I know I'll be walking head on into a raging storm of work this week after the undoubtedly hundreds of orders my workplace will have relieved on black Friday. I did quite a bit of damage myself in the sales, online of course, and now I shall have to be on a strict budget moving forward! I am so dangerous with Etsy, I really must set some resolutions to be thriftier over the next year! (Don't I always say that?) Please tell me some of you were just as dangerous ;)

Dress: Made by me
Shoes: Royal Vintage Shoes
Handbag, Brooch, Earrings, Belt, & Hat: Vintage
Tights: What Katie Did
Fur (faux): Made by me

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday Spotlight: The Crown

This is a public service announcement: if you haven't watched Netflix's new royal drama The Crown, you should probably do so at your earliest convenience! The Queen may not be known for taking risks in her fashion sense, but the clothes on this show are wonderful! Early 50's dresses abound, also casual cardigans, cute hats, and prim handbags aplenty. I have only watched through episode 4 so far, but I especially loved Claire Foy's (who plays the Queen) costumes from the scenes in Africa, which is no surprise as you know I all love anything even vaguely safari. I look forward to the rest of this first seasons costumes, and apparently the second season is already being filmed!

Have any of you watched The Crown? What did you like of the show and the costumes?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Sassenach Spirit

What could be better than tartan for late November? I decided to pile it on for this look, two plaids are better than one!

Eventually I think I'll make some edits to this jacket. I regret making the stance so low and I should have done 3 buttons instead of two. I think I may perhaps be able to add some velvet "trim" to the neckline fronts to extend that area but we'll have to see. I'm really bad about mending and fixing my old projects, I always just jump onto the next one! Still, this suit was a big project for me, so it is worth devoting some more time to. This skirt however, I still love, and I really need to make another in this style in all black.

As it is Thanksgiving day here in the US, I have two holiday related things to note. First I wish to thank you all for visiting The Closet Historian! Thank you so much for visiting, and commenting, and letting me be a part of the vintage community. I can't really describe how important the structure and routine of blogging help me reach my creative and personal goals, and help me maintain my sanity on days when I feel I accomplished very little.  So thank you for coming by!

The second note is a bit more serious, and I know some of you may not want to hear about this and will skim by, but as it is Thanksgiving, a holiday built on the myth of unity between invaders and native peoples, I feel I have to bring it up. The brutality of the militarized police actions, and the US federal governments inaction in North Dakota are inexcusable. Native Americans of several tribes are merely coming together to protect their water, to urge the upholding of treaties with the US government that were already unfair to begin with, and to peacefully say "We are still here". Stay educated about what is happening, and stand with Native Americans by donating if you can, and calling your representatives and the White House. I hate making phone calls, they make me really anxious! But sometimes all we can really do to help is add our voice to the cause, so to call the White House try (202) 456 1111, to call the governor of North Dakota call (701) 328 2200. The script I used when I called today was as follows: "I am a constituent and I want to voice my concern for the lack of White House attention to the militarization of police and their use of violent force - against our own citizens - at the Dakota Access Pipeline." The more calls they get, the more annoying we can be, the more likely we can provoke some response. Thanks for reading this and please help if you can!

Jacket & Skirt: Made by me
Scarf, Hat, Gloves, & Jewelry: Vintage
Shoes: Modcloth
Tights: What Katie Did

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