Showing posts with label vintage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vintage. Show all posts

Saturday, October 13, 2012

What the Art Teacher Wore #38

Tie Dye Tuesday: Yeah, I skipped Monday this week. Oops, my bad. This week marks the third year we dyed in the art room. T-shirts, that is. Our school colors our yellow and blue so I figured if I got dye on my clothing, it'd blend in nicely. sweater: vintage, thrifted; skirt: Anthro, coupla seasons ago; fishnets, tights, blue top: Target: boots: old favorite, be prepared to see them a lot, Seychelles
 Whut up, ya'll? I am currently trying to wrap my mind around the fact that in a mere 5 work days,  my fall break begins! And I'm pretty stoked. We're heading on another Halloween adventure which means I'll get plenty more wear out of my Horror Flick Dress. I just hope the other two Halloweenie/Fall-Themed dresses I'm working on also get finished in time. I've been spending entirely too much time online reading about Henri Toulouse Lautrec and all of his buddies at the Moulin Rouge. Which would explain why I'm sharing more of his paintings this week. I am currently in love with his paintings of Carmen Gaudin. I have a feeling you'll love them as well.
So apparently our friend Toulouse-Lautrec had a thing for red heads. Not only did he create many posters, prints and paintings of the famous red headed Moulin Rouge dancer Jane Avril, but he also painted artist Suzanne Valadon and laundress/prostitute Carmen Gaudin. That's her in the painting above.
Masterpiece Wednesday: On this day one of my third grader girls told me I looked like a masterpiece. How sweet! This was quickly followed up by one of the boys looking me up and down and asking, "Wait, what's a masterpiece again?" When informed it was a really good work of art, he continued to look at me with an "Oh...huh. Hmmm." dress: vintage, thrifted; sweater: thrifted; belt: Anthro, you must check out their mad belt sale going on now; tights: dunno, Target; shoes: Dolls by Nina
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) Carmen Gaudin Red-Haired Woman The Toilette, 1889 The story goes that Toulouse-Lautrec spotted Carmen coming out of a Montmartre restaurant and was immediately struck by her red locks and her hardened been-around-the-block-a-few-times air.
Chilly Fall Temps Thursday: I missed a couple of days of school recently. When I walked out of my room to greet one of my classes, the kids cheered and said, "Where were you?!" Before I could respond, one student said "I bet you were gone getting all of those tattoos on your legs." Yeah, no. sweater: vintage, thrifted; scarf: Amsterdam; skirt: Marshall's for $3!; tattoo tights: I forget; shoes: John Fluevog, my fave shoe designer
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) Carmen Gaudin After having met Carmen, Lautrec wrote to his mother that he was "painting a woman whose hair is absolute gold." I'm guessing he left out the part about her being a prostitute. Lautrec's family were aristocrats and Carmen was definitely not.
More Details Thursday: Since I skipped Monday, I thought I'd share another photo of Thursday's outfit. blouse: Anthro, gift from a friend
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) Carmen Gaudin At Montrouge. 1886-87. I had a copy of this painting on a postcard hanging in my painting studio when I was in college. I love her body language, the pursed red lips and those red bangs that are always in her face. I've always wondered what was on the receiving end of that hard stare.
Rainy Day Friday: The spooky storm started early in the morning and continued on through the day. It made it so hard to get out of bed. But, I'll do just about anything for you, Friday. dress and sweater: vintage, thrifted, DIY applique here; fishnets and tights: Target; Hunter boots: ebay; belt: made by me
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) Carmen Gaudin as The Laundress. 1889 I can't seem to find much more about Carmen online. Despite this, I feel like these paintings by Lautrec tell us so much about her.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) Carmen Gaudin Red-Headed Woman in a White Blouse in the Artist's Studio From this painting alone, I think you can tell she was probably guarded and cautious. I'm sure her experience with men lead her to be that way. Look at those hands. You can imagine their roughness from her work as a laundress. There is nothing dainty or traditionally ladylike about her. Yet she has a kind of unique natural beauty. The kind a guy with a penchant for red heads, like Toulouse-Lautrec, would appreciate.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

DIY: Room to Breathe

Vintage dress found at the Goodwill Outlet for pocket change. Don't hate.
 This past week has been such a busy one that I've felt a little suffocated. Like I didn't even have time to catch my breath or come up for air. And it was all my fault. Poor time management. Piling too many things onto my crowded plate. Procrastination. You know what that's like. Thankfully, the craziness has died down a pinch and I finally have room to breathe. Inhale. Hold it. And exhale. I feel like I could exhale for days. 

All of that breathing wouldn't have ever been possible in this dear vintage dress. Uprooted from a crowded bin of thifted cast-offs, this amazing vintage dress, with it's scalloped sleeves, too-many buttons and sweet floral fabric, was meant to be mine. Despite the fact that the waist was 20". And mine is not.
Is it just me or are all of my Vintage 911 posts about me trying to eek into too-small-vintage? I mean first there was The Armpit Blowout and then the Zipper Blowout. At least I was able to shrink one vintage dress. Perhaps it's time to cut back on my thrice-weekly pizza habit. Or not.
 So after giving this dress a good hand washing, I hung it up to dry for a day. Which became a week. And that turned into a month. I just didn't know how in the world I was gonna alter that dress to get it to fit. Then, when going through my fabric stash, I found some lovely lacy fabric. And the idea hit me: create a lacy back panel. I know, sometimes, I'm a regular Einstein. I read books and stuff. Makes me smart and whatnot.
 Now for all of you oh-my-gersh-I-can't-believe-you-cut-into-vintage peeps out there, I ask you: who in the world has a 20" waist? And do I really want to know them? I think I'd rather just punch them in the face. Who are they to be skinny enough to fit into my Goodwill find? But I digress. Lemme just tell you how I made this lil number work for my not-20"-waist, erm-kay?:

I began by seam ripping the collar from the back panel and the back panel from the waist. I added a panel of lace that was approximately 8" across and 2" beyond the length of the back. Before putting it in at the neck, I gathered the top with a basting stitch and then stitched it onto the collar. From there, I sewed the lace to the turned under sides of the dress. And finally I gathered what was left of the lace and reattached that to the waist. This part wasn't nearly as pretty as the top as there wasn't as much lace to gather. So I covered it with one of my belts.
My only beef with this sweet little number? The 5000 buttons up the front. Pretty to look at. Not so much fun to deal with.
And it was really as simple as that. Plenty of room to breathe. Which, thankfully, I'll have a little bit of time to do. That is before my poor-time-management/procrastination/piled-up-plate catches up with me again. Until then, just breathe...

...sorry, I just couldn't help myself. These guys were my all time fave sappy band in the late '80's. Enjoy!

By the way, if you voted on the last Vintage 911, thank you so much. I believe I'll be leaving the sleeves on the dress. I appreciate your input!
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Thursday, August 9, 2012

DIY: The Armpit Blowout

"Vintage 911, please state your emergency."..."Well, aside from what looks like Little Shop of Horrors growing out the side of my head, I've just experienced an Arm Pit Blowout! Please send help right away!"
One thing I've learned shopping vintage is to always check the pits. I don't know the toxic makeup of sweat (nor do I wanna) but what I can tell you for certain is that it can mess up some clothes. You see, the sweat not only stains the fabric but can also break it down, leading to The Armpit Blowout. And while the added circulation of air in a hot vintage dress is nice, comments like, "Dude, you have a hole in your, do you ever shave?!" are not welcome. Or appreciated. And, yes, I do shave. Sometimes.
I'm always curious about vintage labels so I did a little googling on Jonathan Logan and found out...there actually was no Jonathan Logan. Dun dun duuuunnnnn!
This lovely dress has been in my closet for ages. Like, since high school. It's got more issues than the pit problem (note the stain under the belt) but I just couldn't let it go. So I decided to iron all of those yards of taffeta and give it some TLC.
That's right. Turns out Jonathan Logan was a popular maker of young women’s dresses – geared to the young, but not the super trendy. Think classy and dressy like Anne Taylor or something. The designers were actually women: Dorris Varnum, and Jeanne Carr.
So these J.L. designs are just a little, uh, smug. Around the neck. And at the waist. Throw in the non-stretch taffeta and it felt like I was in a straight jacket. I experienced a moment of near claustrophobic panic when zipping myself up and wondered if I actually would need to dial 911. "Please send help right away, I'm trapped inside a vintage dress!"
The Armpit Blowout.
As you can see, the tear was big but not bad. Meaning, it was definitely a patch fix. Trying to sew this back together would have lead to too many seams.
A Patchy Pit.
Super easy. A little cutting and ironing and my pit was as good as new.
Since the nature of taffeta is to tear easily, I added a straight stitch for reinforcement.
From the outside. Hey, I didn't say it'd be a Pretty Patchy Pit.
So I've never worn taffeta before and lemme tell you, this stuff is noisy when you walk. It spooked the cat so much she hid under the bed.
Mysterious brown stains are never attractive.
Now, here's where I need your help. I have no idea what this stain is nor how to remove it. Any suggestions from you vintage-lovers or clothes-cleaners out there? I would so love to restore this sweet dress to it's original Jonathan Logan loveliness.
"Oh, Betty, you know I don't wear aprons because I cook! They're to hide the stains on my vintage garb, you silly!" Completely adorable poodle apron from the lovely etsy shop: skywayvintage.
 Whew, near vintage catastrophe solved! I hope you enjoyed this little segment of Vintage 911 as I'm thinking this is going to be a new post series. I have a mountain of vintage in need of TLC and I'm hoping this will motivate me to attack it. And I'd love to hear your ideas on solving the Brown Stain Situation.

 Thanks for dropping by and have a lovely end of the week.

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