Exciting Things to Come!

Hello my lovelies!

 

It’s been a while, but I promise it will be worth it. I have an exciting announcement…

The Homemade Pinup is MOVING!

I’ve made the jump to an ~official~ blog, that is mine-all-mine! I’m currently in the process of building the website and making it beautiful, so that’s taking some time. But I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m hoping to launch within the week.

 

I have some fun collaborations to follow, as well as several post series in the works on living with vintage and on vintage vintage looks at non-vintage prices. Things are really getting exciting for me and I can’t wait to share. Is there anything in particular y’all would like to see for the future?

 

Also brand-new is my official logo. I had this vision in mind and was able to find a graphic artist who took my rough sketch and buffed out the edges to make it beautiful. I thought the image was simple but still very indicative of my focus on DIY vintage fashion and glamour here at The Homemade Pinup (hello, sewing shears!). I really hope y’all like it!

 

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Big things are happening and I’m so thrilled to have them coming ahead at my new site. As far as I understand it, my current subscribers will be transferred over to the new URL, but when I launch I may ask y’all to follow me again there just to be safe 🙂 From then on, I will be thehomemadepinup.com! (Ooh, so official!) My goal is to have an auto-direct from this address, so the move should be seamless, but I ask you to bear with me if there are any glitches between now and then!

 

Thank you so much for following me here on my first blog; I hope you continue to the new site as soon as it’s up. I couldn’t do this without you, and it honestly encourages me every time I get a comment – when y’all say that I’m inspiring you to sew and create your own glamour, it makes my whole week!

 

What have you been sewing lately?
What inspires you?
Tell me something exciting that’s happening in your life!

 

Until next time – which will be at my BRAND NEW site (!!!),
Lauren || The Homemade Pinup

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Review: Vintage-Inspired Cosmetics from Le Bombe Beaute, Part 1

Hi y’all!

Today I’m happy to be reviewing cosmetics courtesy of Le Bombe Beaute, a new vintage-inspired makeup brand. I was offered two of their kits: the Movie Star Powder kit and the 1940s Beaute kit. The kits I received are slightly smaller than what’s shown and listed on their site, but I’ll do my best to review what I think about their products! The first half will come today, and I’ll talk about the second kit tomorrow. A two-for-one special!

The 1940s Beaute Kit

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The 1940s Beaute Kit (compact and mascara tube are mine)

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Me Made: A Bedsheet House Dress

Fairly recently I discovered that house dresses in the vintage years were nothing like the house dresses of today. I think most of us associate these with something like a mumu or a shapeless robe for bumming around in. What does this have to do with simple vintage glamour?

Well, of course vintage gals – or, rather, designers at the time – knew exactly what they were doing. Women were encouraged to be put-together from the moment they woke up. From a feminist standpoint, this seems rather stifling, but I also like to look at the other side of the coin – the idea was that it made a woman and her family feel more upbeat and optimistic, which was even more important during wartime in the 1940s. I know personally that I have a healthier attitude in general when I feel good about how I look and dress.

A housewife spent much of her time, as you’d imagine, in her house. The vintage solution to looking prim and proper while cooking and cleaning? The house dress. House dresses were a bit looser but maintained the same lines as their daywear counterparts. I believe the house dress began in the 1920s and continued from there. Common elements include wrap fronts, less detail, large external pockets, and hardier, brightly colored materials. You can read more about the house dress in various forms on Gertie’s blog, on Festive Attyre, and on Vintage Dancer (1920s, 1930s).

I saw the below pattern cover from Simplicity and fell in love with the short-sleeved option. Of course I was too impatient to find the pattern, buy it, and wait for it to arrive, so I cobbled together my own pattern. I altered a vintage blouse pattern from my collection for the bodice and freehanded all the rest.

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The verdict? I ADORE it. I feel so much more put-together when I throw this on for a day of laundry and cooking and cleaning. I also work from home many days and refuse to spend my days in sweatpants or leggings, so this is perfect. I wear it out occasionally, but generally I keep it to my house just like the vintage gals of yesteryear. The wrap style is especially pleasant to wear!

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I decided to bake up some cookies in true vintage spirit. Gluten free chocolate chip! They were yummy and easy to whip up with very few ingredients. My recipe came from Imma Eat That – no affiliation, I just found the recipe online and thought I’d share in case some of y’all are gluten-free too! (Featuring a glimpse of my true vintage 1930s apron.)

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In the era’s make do and mend spirit, I made my dress out of some bed sheets that we no longer had a use for at my house. The skirt is even pieced behind the crossover, so I feel very true to the spirit of the 1940s!

Also, take a look at my new-to-me shoes. They’re 1940s Red Cross slingbacks and I’m absolutely in love with them.

Do you have a glamorous home outfit?

Do you think the concept of fashionable at-home wear is a feminist concern or a brilliant invention to help the homemake feel lovely?

What’s your favorite cookie recipe?!

Until next time,
Lauren || The Homemade Pinup

Me Made Pencil Skirt (Vintage Simplicity 3257 Review)

This week I have a review for a fabulous combo pattern by Simplicity for both a pencil skirt and cigarette pants. With such smart separates, what more can you ask for?

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This pattern is excellent because it includes different cutting lengths for various heights! I know it’s relatively easy to extend or shorter a hem length, but this pattern simplifies that. I never turn my nose up at effective alterations like that! I also peeked ahead and saw that they give you directions for customizing the seat rise for the trousers. Excellent!

My pattern has a 26 inch waist. I am a 27″, but I betted on the pattern having a bit of wearing ease, as usual – and it didn’t. So if you buy this pattern, buy to size! The waistband ended up at just about 26 inches, so it’s a bit of a tight squeeze for me.

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This specific project was a remake – I took a skirt I previously had and cut it down! I love reusing fabrics and giving them new life. Sustainability feels good and looks good too 😉 Below is the before!

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The pattern had simple instructions and easy-to-use pieces. I think this pencil skirt only had three pieces! I was looking through vintage images and feel that, though the pattern is from the early 1960s, it is an appropriate skirt for the 1940s through the 1960s and beyond, depending on hemline and how you style it.

My main complaints are that the description of how to lap the zipper was very confusing before it “clicked.” Additionally, they don’t instruct you to unpick the stitches to release the kick pleat in the back.

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I used a ribbon as a hem facing (like the rayon tape in almost all vintage dresses) and did a machine-sewn invisible hem (aka blind hem). I’ve got to admit, after practice I’m getting so good at this! It was tricky to master but it is so, so satisfying when you can barely see the stitches on the right side. Would y’all be interested in a picture or video tutorial?

Though I always add pockets to my projects, I chose not to for this skirt to keep a smooth, tight line.

In summary: I highly recommend Simplicity 3257 for a pencil skirt staple, though I haven’t used it to make trousers yet. It was quick and easy and includes some great details for truly vintage finishing.

Do you have a favorite separates pattern, vintage or otherwise?

Until next time,
Lauren || The Homemade Pinup

Vintage When the Going Gets Tough

As an authentic vintage hopeful, the goal of my dressing vintage isn’t to look the part of a particular fashion or style aesthetic. “Vintage,” to me (as the term is so personal and subjective), does not mean pin-up, retro, rockabilly, or even vintage-inspired, though at the moment I often come closer to the latter than anything.
(As a side note, I plan on writing a blog post on the difference between these aesthetics in the near future.)

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Rather, my intention is to take a solid step back in time: I try my darndest to wear authentic vintage styles and sport an authentic vintage beauty look because of my intense admiration for the years past. Obviously that includes wearing dresses or shoes in 1950s style, for example, but occasionally it comprises an embodiment of the vintage mindset. While I certainly don’t have any desire for a time when women were considered secondary to men, when their employment opportunities were scarce and underpaid, or when a woman in higher education was a rather rare thing, there are many aspects of vintage female life that could be desirable – and relevant – for our modern times.

I’ve always admired the elegance and social grace of the years past. For this moment, however, I’m not considering that kind of quality, ones that signify a well-dressed or well-bred woman more than anything else. Instead, I’m talking about how women in the past, when push came to shove, were not afraid to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty – both metaphorically and literally. During World War II, life became extremely tough for entire populations regardless of gender or age. With rationing and a severe lack of resources and manpower came a push to actively and inventively participate in bettering one’s own life and, in turn, the outcome of society as a whole.

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Women were vital to the war effort, both across seas and on the home front. In an instant, the stereotypical female role was turned on its head – women worked in military, agriculture, industry, and business positions, to name only a few. Society, and women in particular, adapted to the new requirements demanded by their country in war, and together they excelled.

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My particular favorite image is that of the Land Girl in the Women’s Land Army: civilian organizations created to encourage women to take up vacancies in vital agricultural jobs after men went off to war. Present in Britain since World War I, and later created in other Allied countries such as the United States and Australia, women were directly responsible for the sustenance of their country – an inspiring and powerful thought.

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On a similar thread, women at home were encouraged whenever possible to start their own Victory Gardens – to grow their own food, and therefore take some of the burden off of the government to provide when its resources were desperately low and to supplement when ration points got low.

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Women could have simultaneously worked vacant jobs, raised their children, and personally provided food for themselves and their family, on top of maintaining a 1940s aesthetic – certainly more time-consuming than the modern day ponytail-and-yoga-pants ensemble that many wear during busy times. As noted in D-Day, women “became proficient cooks and housekeepers, managed the finances, learned to fix the car, worked in a defense plant, and wrote letters to their soldier husbands that were consistently upbeat.” That’s a hell of a lot of daily responsibility, but they succeeded with flying colors and looked good doing it. It’s women like these that are most inspiring to keep on goin’ strong when life gives you lemons: roll up your sleeves and hand squeeze those lemons into some sweet (and authentic!) lemonade.

My lemon at the moment is an exceptionally difficult statistics class required in order for me to graduate after four years of college. Only one more class and I get my degree – though that sounds much easier than it is in reality. I’ve found my motivation fading as the material accelerates and I struggle to understand the increasingly complicated concepts: a common theme, I’m sure, but one that I wasn’t familiar with while studying topics I adored in my major of choice. Combine that with the fact that I haven’t formally worked on math for five years, and the challenge is quite evident.

I’ve been chastising myself for not updating Instagram or this blog, for failing to take outfit photos, for going back on my intentions and my promises for future content – when in reality, like those 1940s women, I’ve got bigger fish to fry. My nails, usually extremely manicured and red-tipped, are currently in an embarrassingly short, chipped state. When I let those go, you really know how tough things are on my own “home front.”

On this blog, I devoted a day to posting eBay finds for y’all and another for showcasing a new me-made garment each week. This week, I’ve failed at both of those, and it’s not the first time. Failure is not something I’m accustomed to, and it’s not something I’m proud of. I’ve come to realize, however, that sometimes it isn’t possible to do everything. In quintessential forties attitude, I must make do and mend.

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Women were encouraged to refashion or repair their old, worn clothing rather than buying (or in my case, sewing) completely new garments. I’ve interpreted that to mean that while I may not be able to realistically sew a brand new clothing item each week, I can find inventive ways to repurpose or mix-and-match what I already have. I’d love a larger vintage wardrobe, but right now, it just ain’t gonna happen. Little money and little time are certainly a formidable combination.

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I guess this is my way of explaining away my absence in the social media realm lately. When I do post, I’m sure it will be of clothing or outfits that I’ve already showcased before – but that’s okay. The type of blog that features “hauls” or posts frequent professional photoshoots of expensive reproduction brands is exactly what I was reacting to when I created The Homemade Pinup, after all. The Homemade Pinup was, in essence, my answer to what can arguably be considered a commodity-driven, instant gratification, disposable view of fashion.

My intention is not to say that women who have blogs like that are wrong – for all I know, they have likely worked extremely hard for the money to purchase these beauties – but their image is not one I’m familiar with on a personal level. So my goal has always been to be completely real and realistic – to show others out there that there are people like you who don’t or can’t purchase pricy brands or who are unable to get a new dress every week (or even every other week, or every month!). Despite that, a vintage aesthetic is entirely possible and is made even more authentic for the struggle. Just like our foremothers, all it requires of us is a little inventiveness and a lot of grit.

What do you do to maintain your vintage ideals when the going gets tough? I intend to keep up my vintage hair and makeup aesthetic, while finding new ways to incorporate the well-loved but still lovely pieces in my wardrobe. I’d love to hear your suggestions and thoughts – Lord knows I could use all the help I can get! Let’s think of it as the Women’s Fashion Army 😉

Until next time,
Lauren || The Homemade Pinup || General of the #WomensFashionArmy

P.S. Hashtag that. Seriously. I think I would die of happiness if we made that a thing!

Summer Style Icons: Grace Kelly

Welcome to the FIRST post in my Summer Style Icons series, featuring none other than Grace Kelly! I will be posting once a week in this (at least) five-part series offering a glimpse into the summer style of the Old Hollywood stars we love, and how we can achieve that on a budget. Enjoy!

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An important aspect of personal style is discovering classic pieces that scream “you,” ones that you can throw on with little thought and still look put together and feel authentic to yourself. I fully believe that if I wear clothing that is uncomfortable or that doesn’t feel “right” to me, it shows. Since we’re already wearing clothing that is uncommon to our current time, why try to fit yourself into a box – even if it’s a vintage one? Take the time to seek out what truly makes you feel like “you” and that effort won’t go unnoticed. In fact, you’ll seem effortless, a mark of knowing yourself and knowing what makes you shine.

Few other Old Hollywood actresses are revered for such effortless grace as that eponymous woman, Grace Kelly. She’s long been a favorite icon of mine, and I grew up watching her in films like Mogambo and How to Catch a Thief. The white dress in the latter movie is absolutely iconic, standing up to the test of time and succeeding spectacularly – how elegant does she look here? It is a rather simple piece, though expertly made and, even when she is accessorized with a sparkling necklace, she still doesn’t look pretentious. That’s the dream, isn’t it?

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I’ve unconsciously collected pieces throughout the years that recall the safari wear of the former film, such as a couple classic loose-fitted button-up shirts and a collection of scarves. There’s nothing extravagant about Grace’s look, but it is undeniably chic and timeless. Collared shirts, scarves, a leather belt, neutral separates, and always perfectly waved hair – a look that’s absolutely achievable for the modern, vintage-loving woman.

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In her everyday life, Grace, though an actress with plenty of glamorous head shots and promotional photographs, had a simple and chic personal style. Without a doubt, her je ne sais quoi shows through her wardrobe in films. Kristina Haughland, a biographer of Grace Kelly, noted that the actress “was as loyal to [her clothing] as she was her old friends.” This means well-made, timeless pieces that can be worn over and over again without falling apart or losing their elegance – and certainly, quality over quantity!

I am most inspired by pictures of Grace Kelly in her daily life. Grace was incredibly close with photographer Howell Conant since their Photoplay shoot together in 1955, and he later became the unofficial photographer of the royal family following her marriage to Prince Rainier. Conant captured iconic photographs of this beauty, unusual because she was generally fresh-faced and simply attired. As the photographer stated, “You trusted Grace’s beauty…You knew it wasn’t built from clothes and makeup…this was Grace: natural, unpretentious.” Through his shots, fans of this actress-gone-princess can catch a glimpse of who Grace really was outside of the makeup and fancy dresses.

Her personal style is precise yet unfussy. Button-up shirts, fitted pants, loafers or espadrilles, and a well-placed accessory such as her iconic scarves or wayfarer sunglasses. In particular, I have always adored the series of photos showing Grace in what seems a very natural, personal uniform of cropped or rolled trousers, a collared shirt, flat shoes, and little else. She wears no jewelry or accessories, with only a simple leather belt around her waist and a scarf peaking out of her pocket. She is simply Grace, and that is simply beautiful.

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This is an outfit that I have been wearing in subtle variations before I realized that it might have been Grace’s “summer uniform” as well as mine. A different colored shirt, untucked at times and tucked the others; a thinner belt; jean crops rather than khaki shorts; a blue scarf instead of salmon and brown – no matter the change, the essence of this outfit remains the same. Like Grace wears jeans rather than trousers in some photos above, or swaps her leather belt for a scarf tied around the waist, the outfit still feels authentically her despite these small shifts.

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The best part of this “uniform” – which I’ll likely be wearing around the house, for weekend errands, or while sewing or doing work the entire summer – is that it is so achievable. Modern substitutes can easily evoke this look without breaking the budget on vintage recreation brands. I’m wearing a Forever 21 shirt, thrifted mom pants from Goodwill (later cut into shorts length and rolled up), a vintage leather belt from my mom’s younger days, and an eBay find scarf.

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The most expensive item on me is either my Minnetonka leather moccasins or the Derek Lam wayfarers, two absolute staples that were well worth the investment as I have worn them for years on end. Consider splurging on quality pieces when you’ll be wearing them daily, as you’ll save money in the end by not having to replace them constantly when they wear down. When shopping at budget stores, seek out quality embellishments, such as the pearlized abalone-esque buttons on my F21 blouse. These special details can be found, and they make all the difference in your overall appearance!

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Check out the budget pieces below if you want to try out this look for yourself!

Cotton Gingham Button-Up (on sale for $15) and Linen-Blend BF Shirt (on sale for $18) from Old Navy

I LOVE Old Navy for quality basics like these awesome button-ups. The solid one comes in a handful of other colors as well, like a deep salmon and a minty green, as well as basic white! And that linen-blend fabric would probably feel so dreamy. Shirts like these can also be tied up around the waist for yet another look.

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High-Waisted Denim Shorts ($15.90) and Classic Mom Jeans ($27.90) from Forever 21

We’re fortunate that high-waisted is now a “trend,” meaning we can find it at popular, low-cost shops like Forever 21. Careful on the fit and length, however, as I’m not always happy with how “modern” pieces from here can look. They’re not always made for anyone with a figure, either, so make sure that you try before you buy! That being said, those “mom jeans” are so on-point (but I’m not sure the rise is high enough). Don’t rule out thrift stores, as I picked a hideous pair of “mom pants” at Goodwill for a few bucks and converted them to shorts; if they fit well in the waist, hips, and butt, then it’s SO easy to cut them off to a nice, custom length short.

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Embroidered Espadrilles ($17.90) from Forever 21 | Penny Loafers ($27.99) from Target | Textured-Canvas Espadrilles ($22.94) from Old Navy | Huarache Flats ($24.90) from Forever 21

There are SO many awesome, affordable shoe options here. Look around at your local stores if you’d prefer another shop besides F21, Old Navy, or Target. Target also has their own espadrilles (around $20), though I prefer these ones from F21, as well as several other attractive penny loafers at higher price points. Forever 21 has many other loafers and espadrilles, including a lace-up ankle style of the latter that I love (keep the fabric pattern simple, however). And check out those “Huarache Flats” – they’re a very vintage style, and fit perfectly alongside this silhouette and look!

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Faux-Leather Belt (on sale for $9.97) from Old Navy | Faux Leather Cutout Belt ($6.90) from Forever 21

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Harvard Yard Sunglasses ($16.99) from Target | Classic Round Sunglasses ($5.90) from Forever 21
Those F21 sunnies below are marketed for “21 Men,” but they’re so classic that they’re truly androgynous. LOVE it! I would still, however, encourage y’all to splurge on a high-quality pair of sunglasses if you can, as this is a daily-wear piece (at least for me, I can’t LIVE without my sunglasses) and should protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.

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Matte Lipstick ($3.90) from Forever 21 | NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream ($5.99) from Target
That Nyx product is my absolute favorite, and I’m obsessed with it on a cult-like level. Seriously. It comes in a much wider range of colors than the website shows – try Target in person, Ulta, or Nyx’s website if you’re looking for a different shade!

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I’ve included all ready-to-wear pieces here, but I encourage y’all to go out to your local secondhand and thrift shops as well as vintage stores for your pieces! You can easily find leather belts at Goodwill, for example, and vintage scarves tend to be around the $5 point at vintage haunts around me. I wanted to include easily accessible pieces from big, recognizable stores such as Target to show that this style is so achievable, but these are by no means the only (OR cheapest) options for this casual Grace Kelly look!

That’s it for now, lovelies! Will you be implementing any of Grace’s casual chic outfits into your life this summer? What is your personal “summer uniform”? I hope you’ve enjoyed this little glimpse into capturing a bit of Grace Kelly’s style for yourself. After all, she said it best:

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Which classic celebrity’s style would you most like to see in the series next?

eBay Round-Up: Week of 05/31!

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Hello darling readers! It’s that time again – my weekly post of fabulous eBay finds! As always, I’ll only post what I consider to be amazing vintage pieces, with most being under $20-25 (including shipping). Oh, and I should’ve mentioned in the last post that all the ending times are in PST. I’ve got some gorgeous and lovely items featured today, so be sure to check them out and snag them while you still can!

Let me know if you end up winning any of these, I’d love to know!

Vintage Peachbloom Velour Felt Wool Hat 1940s: $10.99 BIN (“Buy It Now”) + $11.55 shipping, auction ends 06/08 at 8:06am

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SASSY 1 Pr LANVIN FANCY FAUX PEARL HEEL SEAMED Vintage Nylon Stockings 9/30″: $29 + $2.20 shipping, auction ends Wednesday 5:59pm

I know these are more expensive than most I post, but wow, aren’t they spectacular! Check out this seller’s other stockings, as well.

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Mel Hahn & Gilbert Vintage Sheer Pink Chiffon Nylon 1940s Blouse Original Tag: $7.99 + $3.95 shipping, bust 38″, auction ends 6/10 at 8:37am

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Vintage 60’s Pink & White Plastic Lucite Triangle Bead Bib Necklace: $13.99 BIN + FREE shipping

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VTG 60s Open Toe Slingback Sandals High Heels Shoes Costume Display sz 6 B: $4.50 BIN + $10.55 shipping, auction ends in two days

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Vtg BLUE PAJAMA SET WITH EMBROIDERED FLOWERS AND SHEER BELT 44 Bust: $7.95 BIN + $4.95 shipping, auction ends in 25 days (get it before it’s gone!)

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1940s Art Deco Mega Carved Olive Green Bakelite Screw Back Earrings Set Tested!$6.50 + FREE shipping, auction ends Tuesday 7:34am

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Grey and Yellow 1950’s Vintage Metallic Plaid Day Dress Large$10 + $6.15 shipping, auction ends Tuesday 11:19pm

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VINTAGE Pin Up Girdle GARTER With METAL CLASP SEARS Glam NYLON Sissy SZ L$6.19 + $2.96 shipping, auction ends Monday 5:39pm

This piece is a vintage large, better suited for a modern medium. But judge at your own discretion! The listing includes dimensions.

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60’s Vintage Seashell White Pencil Skirt, Sz. Small$9.99 + $2.99 shipping, auction ends Thursday 3:18pm

And the BEST for last! I’m obsessed with this piece. The measurements list a 16″ waist flat, so probably best for a size large… I have no idea why they list it as a small. Could also be a typo – I’d contact the seller if concerned!

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For the love of vintage,

Lauren

eBay Round-Up: Week of 05/24

Hi y’all! I’m really jazzed to start what I plan to make a regular feature on my blog – weekly eBay round-ups of awesome vintage deals! I do a lot of my shopping on eBay, where opportunity abounds for the deal of a lifetime. Really, sometimes I feel like I’m practically stealing the items. Vintage NOS mules for $11 including shipping?! Yes PLEASE.

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One of my proudest vintage shopping moments :’)

Where else can you find beautiful vintage pieces for such bargains? Sure, you have to search (sometimes for hours), and you may be outbid, but that’s all part of the excitement for me. I love the “hunt” of vintage, and with eBay I can have that anywhere I get an internet signal. I do a lot more window shopping than actual shopping, in all honesty (thanks, recent college grad budget), but every once in a while you find that fabulous item for under $20 that you just can’t pass up. I intend to keep the majority of the items on here below $20 too – at least at the moment of posting! – though there may be a few amazing pieces slightly above that if they’re really worth it. I’m looking for a variety of vintage related items, from patterns and purses to undergarments and outergarments, for a range of sizes and eras. That way, an equally wide variety of vintage vixens like y’all will have opportunities to find the item of your dreams!

So here we go! Happy shopping 🙂

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Vintage Simplicity 8395 50s Rockabilly Halter Dress and Bolero Pattern Bust 34″: $3.00 + $2.50 shipping, auction up today 4:24pm 

Vintage Vanity Fair Beige Lace Nylon Bullet Pin-up Bra U.S.A Made Wireless 32C: $13.95 + FREE shipping, auction up June 4th at 9:13am

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Vintage 70s 80s Ann Tobias Tangerine Orange Lined Pencil Skirt with Slit: $2 + $6.50 shipping, size XS (waist 24″), auction up Saturday 10:23am

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STUNNING VINTAGE ESTATE 409 TESTED BUTTERSCOTCH BAKELITE BANGLE BRACELET!!! 473I: $2.32 + $3.75 shipping, auction up Thursday 7:42pm
ALL HAIL BAKELITE

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Ivory Knit Poncho Sweater Cardigan One Size OS Button Front Hippie Acrylic Cape: $2.99 + $8.98 shipping, size L-XL/OS (bust 46″), auction ends today 7:31pm

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VTG Vintage Bed Jacket Pink Pajama Top Size Small Lingerie Early 1960s S Kayser: $0.49 + $5 shipping, auction ends today 6:49pm

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VINTAGE TWEED OATMEAL COAT W/ HUGE FUR COLLAR-REMCROFT-FRENCH RIVER MILLS #7508: $0.99 + $9.55 shipping, size L? (bust 48″), auction ends Monday 7pm
The warmer months are a great time to buy coats – no one else is competing with you!

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Vintage 60’s Pant and Blouse Set, Cotton, Sailor Style, Light Green, Retro, Mod: $1.99 + FREE shipping, size S (bust 42″, waist 24″ with 3-4″ to let out), auction up Monday 5:16pm
I may be bidding against y’all for this lovely set.. it’s darling!

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VTG 50s 60s Rhoda Lee White Embroidery & Crochet Trim School Girl Blouse -34 M: $1 + FREE shipping, auction up Thursday 7:59pm

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Vintage Gold Lame Handbag with chain: $4 + $3.94 shipping ($8 Buy It Now!), auction up Tuesday 5:06pm

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I hope y’all had a good weekend (and that maybe this makes it even better) – and Happy Memorial Day! Thank you to all who have served this country.

Sewing Projects: You Win Some, You Lose Some.

I’m a project girl. I love the motivation I get when I’ve finished a step, and I only have four, three, two, one left until my project is complete. There’s a certain sort of satisfaction that comes with every bit of progress, and that satisfaction still happens if you’re the type to take a long time on a project (cough, cough… why are you looking at me?). That satisfaction comes to a screeching halt, however, when you realize there’s something you literally have no idea how to do. Google is great for things like edge stitching – oh, it’s exactly what it sounds like! – but for others, it’s a whooole different ballgame, baby. And my weakness? Buttonholes.

I can do a zipper, even a lapped one, with no issue at all. The first lapped zipper I ever tried, I did without looking up instructions: I’d seen them on my vintage garments and thought I could do it by instinct. And boy, how cool did it feel when I was right! Unfortunately, though, that “instinct” didn’t extend to buttonholes. I’m gonna let you in on a little secret: I’m afraid of them. Truly.

I feel like my nice Simplicity reprint pattern was laughing in my face, too. So blasé. 10. Make buttonholes in right front. …That’s it?! Are you kidding me?? How could this single line of instruction possibly comprise the vast amount of stress-inducing steps behind making a buttonhole? All the worrying, the crying, the staring at online tutorials and hyperventilating… Maybe I’m being dramatic. Though those online tutorials definitely gave me an excuse to draaaw this fear out and keep it away until I felt I was “ready” – whatever that means.

Come on, honey. We’re badass seamstresses making completely unique, handmade vintage garments here. A buttonhole is NO match for me! …Right?

Well, apparently, WRONG. When I finally mustered up the courage to try out the buttonholes on my dress itself, one try after the next failed where none of the previous trials had. After I got the thought to then inspect my machine, I realized that it wasn’t my sewing skills that fell short—it was my machine! In the exact moment that I went to sew the buttonholes in my dress, my sewing machine decided to konk out, leaving me feeling disappointed in both my sewing skills and my machine. An ultimate low.

The vintage world, however, was watching out for me. The day after I admitted to myself that the yellow graduation dress I had been planning months in advance of my ceremonies was no longer possible to finish, I found a navy dress—my other school color—at a vintage fair for a fantastic price. And it fit me like a glove. Praise to the vintage gods! In the end, however, I spent more money than I had intended and still have an unfinished dress with no buttonholes.

You win some, you lose some.

Though here is my win, my gorgeous ’50s dress! It’s incredibly hard to photograph, but this little number has a fabulous amount of detail. Self-covered buttons down the left side bodice, a bow on the left hip, a drop-waist seam… I love everything about this dress, and it was the perfect piece for my graduation: joyful, hopeful, and proud.

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These gorgeous grad photos were taken by my talented sorority sister, Sojourner. Check her work out!

I know one day I will defeat the evil buttonhole…but with special thanks to a faulty machine, it is not this day. What sewing step gives you the most grief? Is it buttonholes, zippers, gathering? How do you defeat your biggest issue? And perhaps the most important question (for me): how do you sew a damn buttonhole beautifully?!

P.S. Look out for my (first!) weekly post on the best eBay deals for a vintage wardrobe this Sunday (TOMORROW)!

A New Beginning

Hello, gorgeous! I’m so happy to meet you! I can tell we’re going to get along well – why, we have so much in common, don’t we? Hair styling, retro dressing, shoes, shoes, shoes… We love it all here. The vintage community is an inclusive, warm-hearted, passionate group of people and I know that I’m going to have the best time jumping into this.

So how about a little introduction? I’m Lauren, a young twenty-something who grew up on Frank Sinatra tunes and retro Palm Springs vacations with my family. This is me:

Hi!

My great-grandfather was a photographer for the Old Hollywood stars (yes, actually true! My family is cooler than me) and so it probably isn’t surprising that I was more familiar with Audrey Hepburn and Alfred Hitchcock than the average kid.

Following the example of the glamorous gals of the silver screen, I’ve always had a retro edge to my style (once my style developed, that is… let’s not count middle school, please). I’m completely self-taught when it comes to a vintage lifestyle, failing miserably along the way. I once took 2 hours to pin curl waist-length hair, only to wash it out the next morning because I looked like a poodle – yeowch. I didn’t know the power of a proper brush-out then!

I’m an avid seamstress and have been sewing since I was thirteen – it’s my greatest joy and passion! I intend to include a lot of information about sewing for yourself to make parts of your own pin-up wardrobe on a budget! As a (very) recent college graduate – seriously, as I write this my graduation ceremony looms in two days – I don’t exactly have the resources to purchase all of my clothing from vintage reproduction brands. Though I adore them (all hail Pinup Girl Clothing!), that’s just not in the cards for now. I admire those pin-ups who can get shipments of PUG and other brands and model them beautifully for the rest of us, but honestly? That’s not going to happen for me for a long time, and I still fully believe that I can live a gorgeously retro life on my not-so-gorgeous budget.

So this blog is for you – the students, the mothers, the youngsters, the penny-pinchers, and everyone in between. This is for those of you who, like me, also can’t always afford to splurge on the lovely pieces we drool over. This blog is for those of you who believe that achieving a stunningly glamorous, authentically beautiful vintage look is possible on a budget! Money sure helps, but in the end beauty can’t be bought, right?

You can look forward to seeing simple sewing projects, “cheat” ideas to fake it ’til you make it, reviews of budget brands, and regular posts of amazing eBay finds at a steal, among other things. What else would you like to see?

Please introduce yourself! I’m so excited to get to know all the pin-up dolls in this community and achieve glamour together ❤ Until next time!