1930s Thanksgiving Outfit - Fiddler in the Park

Flashback Summer: 1930s Thanksgiving Outfit - Fiddler in the Park

Flashback Summer: 1930s Thanksgiving Outfit - Fiddler in the Park

Flashback Summer: 1930s Thanksgiving Outfit - hat
Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers!  I hope today is full of good food, friends, family and memory-making!

Since it's a holiday and many of you are probably on the brink of a food coma, I thought I'd do an outfit post and keep things easy.

This is my new-to-me 1930s dress, part of my initiative to redirect my wardrobe to a more 30s to early 40s style.  I. ADORE. THIS. DRESS.  Usually I'm not a huge fan of orange, but the rust crepe this is made of paired with the brown velvet accents are just too fall-perfect.

This dress has a label in it, but it must not have been very high end because the three panels that make up the front of the skirt do not even remotely center with the button placket on the bodice.  But, hey, you know what? I don't care.  It's still a great dress!

I'm even loving the mid-calf lengths of the 30s.  I didn't think I would, for I was convinced that ending a skirt at the widest part of my leg would be a terrible idea that only made me look shorter, but the 30s knew what it was doing!  It really does make for a long, lean line down the body.  Clever 1930s.  Not to mention, no chance of any stray wind gusts causing embarrassment with such a long skirt!

Also, you may have noticed that my hair is short!  If you've seen my Instagram photos lately, you'll know that this isn't a faux bob; it's a real one!  I finally took the plunge and cut my hair.  The length is more practical for my life right now, and it works for several decades, especially the 20s-40s that I'm more into at the moment.  My first pin curl set with short hair turned out great, but, sadly, by the time these pictures were taken the weather had killed the curls a bit.  However, I'm working on my short hair curling skills (it really is like having to re-learn my pin curling technique all over again!), so you'll be seeing better 'do's in future posts!

Lastly, I don't know if some you knew this, but I play violin!  I noticed the color of the wood and my outfit went together beautifully, so I thought I would include it in this photo shoot.

If you haven't entered the giveaway to win three vintage patterns from Mrs. Depew Vintage, then be sure to enter now! There is only a little time left!

Flashback Summer: 1930s Thanksgiving Outfit - Fiddler in the Park

Flashback Summer: 1930s Thanksgiving Outfit - Fiddler in the Park

Flashback Summer: 1930s Thanksgiving Outfit - Fiddler in the Park

Flashback Summer: 1930s Thanksgiving Outfit - Fiddler in the Park

Outfit Details
1930s hat: flea market
1930s dress: Retro 101/Cherry Bomb Vintage (St. Louis, MO)
1940s shoes: Decades (Springfield, MO)
stockings: buying/swapping FB page
belt: thrifted

Flashback Summer: 1930s Thanksgiving Outfit - Fiddler in the Park

Family Recipe: Southern Biscuits & Chocolate Gravy


There are few things that I remember more fondly about my childhood than biscuits and chocolate gravy.

I spent a lot of time at my grandmother's house before she died, and this was one of the tried-and-true, sure-fire winners at her house!  Chocolate gravy was always a celebrated meal choice.  The recipe itself has been passed down many generations in my mother's family, and I shall carry on the proud heritage and spread the joy that is chocolate gravy with you, dear readers.  This is a recipe found in many American Southern homes, and everyone claims with pride that their mother or grandmother makes the best!  (But others are lying.  I am telling the real truth when I say this is the best version.)

I will warn you, however, that this is a true Southern recipe in that it starts with a stick of butter.  It is not gluten-free, low-fat, or healthy in any way, but it will raise your spirits and comfort your disheartened morale in a way that a literal ton of carrot sticks and bran muffins could never, ever do.

Though this recipe is from many generations ago, it was my grandmother who made the chocolate gravy I remember from my childhood, and she was especially known for her "dippin' biscuits" that were hardier than normal and could withstand being dipped in chocolate gravy.

And, without further ado, here is the chocolate gravy recipe:

Chocolate Gravy
(Serves 2-4 hearty servings)
1 stick butter
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
4 tbsp cocoa powder
dash vanilla extract
2 cups milk
pinch of salt

Directions: Melt the butter in a large pot first.  Add the dry ingredients in and mix thoroughly.  (Set the burner on a medium-high heat.)

Next, pour in the milk and stir for a long time.  The gravy will continue to thicken.  When the gravy begins to thicken up (and begins to glop off the stirring utensil rather than run), add in the vanilla extract.  Stir a little bit longer to work in vanilla, then remove from heat.  (It will continue to thicken as it sits, even off the heat, so don't worry if it's not quite as thick as you like it yet!)

Note:  There are two camps in the chocolate gravy world: dippin' and forkin'.  Dippers choose to place a bunch of gravy on the plate and dip the biscuit in.  Fork-users pour the gravy over biscuits.  Choose wisely.

Serve these with thick slice bacon and coffee for a perfectly Southern breakfast!

Be sure to subscribe to Flashback Summer Emails for tomorrow's email that includes my grandmother's "hearty dippin' biscuit" recipe!  Created just to go with this gravy, these dense biscuits hold up to dipping without falling apart and won't get soggy quickly like normal biscuits!
{Subscribe here}

Using and Caring For Vintage Patterns (and Pattern Giveaway!)

Flashback Summer: Using and Caring For Vintage Patterns - Mrs. Depew Vintage

Today, one of Flashback Summer's sponsors is here to share her insight on working with vintage patterns and taking care of them, along with offering 3 digital patterns to a lucky winner!  (Those details are at the bottom!)  This expert is Anna Depew of Mrs. Depew's Vintage Patterns shop!

I love her shop.  She has an array of notions, books, magazines, and digital patterns that can help you create period-accurate, unique vintage for any decade from the 1910s-60s and later.  I myself have used one of her digital patterns and am in the process of creating clothing from another.  I appreciate the affordability, as they make rarer patterns accessible at a lower price point!

She has some fantastic tips for caring for vintage patterns, and you know she's a trustworthy source!  Here's what Anna has to say:

1. First things first, when you get that baby home, inventory the pieces!  It's a horrible feeling to bring home a treasured pattern, buy fabric, and lay out the pieces, only to realize you're missing a critical piece!

2. Make a copy!  The pattern tissue is likely to be fragile and pinning to to fabric isn't so good for it.  I trace a copy of every vintage pattern I'm getting ready to sew.  There will always be fitting to do anyway, and it's much easier to make changes to a copy.  Also, you might have paid a pretty penny for that pattern, and you'll want to protect and preserve your investment!


3.  The same goes for the instructions: make a photo copy and then you can scribble notes, pin fabric samples to it, spill coffee on it, etc. and you won't risk the original.


4.  If you're working with a non-printed pattern, you might feel like you're being asked to read hieroglyphics instead of grain-line and fold markers.  It's a good idea to take a colored pencil and translate these markings before you get started.  (Another reason making a copy is a great idea: you can write all over it!)


5.  Most importantly, make a test version!  I have sewn a lot of vintage patterns and there is always something that needs a little changing.  Sometimes a seam doesn't match that well (believe it or not, the big pattern companies didn't always test their patterns, especially during WWII!), or maybe you need to make a fit adjustment... a test version is a MUST!


GIVEAWAY DETAILS

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  THE WINNER WAS ANNOUNCED HERE.

As I stated above, this is a giveaway for three digital patterns of your choice from Mrs. Depew Vintage Etsy Shop.  This giveaway begins today and ends on November 30 at 12 am, U.S. Central Standard Time. 



You can earn entries by liking the Mrs. Depew Vintage Facebook page, commenting with your favorite pattern, and subscribing to Flashback Summer Emails!

(If you have already liked the Mrs. Depew Vintage Facebook page or subscribed to FS Emails, feel free to claim those entries and include the info you liked/subscribed with!)

Click to go to the:
Mrs. Depew Facebook Page
Flashback Summer Emails subscription form

a Rafflecopter giveaway

When all you want to do is sit inside and be cozy...

source


I don't know about you, but as the days get shorter, the weather gets colder, and the holidays approach, the stronger my desire to sit in my house in a giant sweater sipping tea  and knitting.  And you know what?  Some times I just do.  

Last night I made mini pies, even though there was a pile of laundry that needed to be folded.  I felt momentarily guilty for making mini pies instead of folding laundry, but then I figured... Jacob will be way happier with a mini pie than folded socks, and so will I.  The laundry will be there tomorrow.

pre-oven Instagram pic of my Pyrex mini pies!
Of course, I can't think this way all the time (or I would do nothing but craft and sip hot beverages all day, I assure you), but there are times when it just needs to be done.

So even if you can't take a whole day, be sure to carve out a bit of time for yourself before the holidays get crazy.  Recharge your batteries.  Rest your mind.  Get out of the hubbub of social media noise for a while.

And while you sit in your cozy sweater, here are some things that may help you relax and recharge:

- Make a tea latte and sip it from your favorite mug.

- Watch a good period drama on Netflix.  There are so many fabulous ones right now!

- Sit and read an old magazine.  If you don't have one, go click through the Reminisce site.

- Watch an old movie and doodle the outfits you'd like to have that are inspired by the costumes.  (Preferably "Some Like It Hot," like in the photo above!)

- Read a book.  (Book?  What's a book?  With real paper?  Yes!)

- Knit or crochet a quick, easy project like a scarf, headband, or embellishment for another project.

- Hand sew something.  Perhaps the hem on a skirt, or something from your mend pile.

- Listen to an old radio show, like Burns & Allen or Jack Benny.


What other things do you like to do to rest and recharge?  Do you feel like you take enough time for yourself to rejuvenate?

My First Me-Made Suit (With Pattern Reviews!)

Flashback Summer: My First Me-Made 1940s Suit - Simplicity 4362, Hollywood Pattern 1162
Flashback Summer: My First Me-Made 1940s Suit - Simplicity 4362, Hollywood Pattern 1162

This past weekend I finished my first suit!  I've talked about how vintage suits are so much better than modern ones, but I have yet to have one that really fits me.  (I have a vintage one that needs hemming, then it should be perfect!  But until then... this me-made repro is great!)

I combined a couple 1940s patterns I had to make this suit (the sewing details are at the bottom), and it's actually a really great idea!  With the same fabric and notions, any two separate pieces can look like they're actually made to be together.  Most patterns of each decade have certain proportions and lines that were popular, and this allows them to work well with other patterns of that era.  It can get trickier to mix patterns from different decades because of the different silhouettes, but it's still possible!

I also lined this blazer with bemberg rayon in a gorgeous blue color, but I almost froze taking these pictures as it was and didn't even think to get a picture of the lining.  Hopefully I'll get one soon and show you guys, because I splurged on this gorgeous lining (somewhat expensive by my standards) and it needs to be shown off!  It really adds to the quality feel of the blazer and makes a huge difference, in my opinion.

This suit was a great lesson in some tailoring techniques I don't use much like making the collar and bound buttonholes.  I've been reading up on couture techniques for jackets, however, and while this is a great start, I'm not satisfied!  I can't wait to get some books and learn more, and my next suits will be even better!

Outfit Details
shoes: Kmart, several years ago
sweater: Banana Republic
scarf and brooch: gifted
socks: Nordstrom

Flashback Summer: My First Me-Made 1940s Suit - Simplicity 4362, Hollywood Pattern 1162

Flashback Summer: My First Me-Made 1940s Suit - Simplicity 4362, Hollywood Pattern 1162

Flashback Summer: My First Me-Made 1940s Suit - Simplicity 4362, Hollywood Pattern 1162

Flashback Summer: My First Me-Made 1940s Suit - Simplicity 4362, Hollywood Pattern 1162

Flashback Summer: My First Me-Made 1940s Suit - Simplicity 4362, Hollywood Pattern 1162

Flashback Summer: My First Me-Made 1940s Suit - Simplicity 4362, Hollywood Pattern 1162

Flashback Summer: My First Me-Made 1940s Suit - Simplicity 4362























Here is a summary of the blazer pattern details (envelope shown above):
Fabric: textured linen (hence the wrinkles), bemberg rayon lining
Pattern: Simplicity 4362 (I sewed the pants included in the pattern here)
Year: early 1940s
Notions: 5 buttons
How historically accurate is it? Very accurate!  I used natural fabrics used in the 40s and 40s-appropriate techniques.  The buttons are not very old, but I think they fit the style of the period.
Any tricky parts to the pattern?  The collar is a bit tricky where it meets the facing.  But most collars are tricky there!  I had also not done pocket welts before, and although I had to read the pattern a few times to understand, I feel pretty good about how they turned out!
Did you change anything?  I used 5 buttons instead of 4 because they are small.  I altered the sleeve length to fit me a bit better, but I think I'd add another inch next time.  The sleeves are a little short.
Time to complete: a week (lots of tailoring details!)
First worn: November 17, 2014
Total cost: I had the pattern and buttons already, and I think the fabric was around $20 (but I bought a lot of fabric for several projects and used coupons, so I'm not sure!)
Notes: I would recommend sizing down, as with most 40s patterns.  This 30" bust size worked well for me although I'm a 32", but the waist has less ease than the bust area.  I think 40s blazers just tended to fit more loosely.  It would also be good to know how to insert linings, do bound buttonholes, and brush up on pockets and welts!

Flashback Summer: My First Me-Made 1940s Suit - Hollywood Pattern 1162, skirt

Summary of the skirt pattern details (envelope shown above):
Fabric: textured linen
Pattern: Hollywood Pattern 1162 (It's Maureen O'Hara approved!)
Year: early 1940s
Notions: 3 buttons, 2 snaps, 1 hook (due to a waist mis-measurement, read below)
How historically accurate is it? It's accurate.  All the methods and materials are 40s appropriate!
Any tricky parts to the pattern?  Three things: I shot myself in the foot on this one and didn't alter the waist size correctly, which resulted in some make-it-work tactics around the waistband. Second, the pleats take a lot of time to do and you MUST sew ALL the skirt pieces together first to get their layout right!  Last, the skirt bottom does NOT fit the skirt yoke circumference.  It's a bit larger than the yoke, so plan accordingly!
Did you change anything?  Just altering to accommodate my waist mess up!
Time to complete: 2 weeks (PLEATS.)
First worn: November 17, 2014
Total cost: The pattern was a gift from an awesome friend, buttons from my stash, and I think the fabric would be around $20.
Notes: Measure your pleated skirt top and compare with the bottom of the skirt yoke before preceding.  Also, if you're not using a natural fabric, you can bake it (try at your own risk) or iron for permanent pleats.  (The fabric will melt enough to set the pleats permanently.)  However, using natural fabrics means re-setting the pleats after every wash, just an FYI.

1940s Little Black Dress

Flashback Summer: 1940s Little Black Dress - tilt hat, lucite purse, shoes

I've been searching high and low for a great 1940s Little Black Dress, and I have finally found it!  I found this baby in a store in St. Louis, and when it fit perfectly I knew it was meant to be.  I didn't even have to hem it!

It has elements that are so 40s like squared shoulders, bust details, a ruching design below the waist, and it's made of a wonderful rayon crepe.  It's an easy dress to accessorize for everyday, and I imagine it won't be too hard to dress up, either!

Do you have a vintage LBD you adore?  Why is it perfect for you?

Outfit Details
hat: flea market
earrings and purse: gifted
dress: Retro 101/Cherry Bomb Vintage (St. Louis)
shoes: estate sale
lipstick: Rubellite by Estee Lauder
belt: um...?
seamed stockings: FB selling page


Flashback Summer: 1940s Little Black Dress

Flashback Summer: 1940s Little Black Dress - tilt hat, lucite purse, shoes
Flashback Summer: 1940s Little Black Dress - tilt hat

Flashback Summer: 1940s Little Black Dress - 1950s shoes

Controversial Post: Can You Trust a Vintage Blogger?

WWII poster, source
This post is short and sweet, but I hope you guys will share your thoughts with me! I've seen a couple posts floating about on how blogging is changing, and I would like to hear your thoughts on it.

One article I read exhorts bloggers to remain true to blogging roots, by sharing our opinions freely and honestly, compensated or not.  Another--which I can't seem to find, so sorry--talks about how blogging is more and more becoming money-driven.  The idea in these posts is that bloggers are expected to monetize to be considered "real bloggers," and the use of affiliate links, sponsored posts, etc. is "watering down" the authenticity of blogging and hurting the trust between bloggers and their readers.

Personally, this came as a bit of a shock to me.  Plenty of bloggers I know have monetized, but it doesn't mean they've sold out and accept any sponsor that comes their way, whether or not it's good for their readers.  In fact, every blogger I've talked to is very careful in accepting sponsorships that are appropriate for their audience.

However, I know this isn't the case with all bloggers.  Some don't disclose their affiliation with sponsors.  Some jump at anyone who will give them money to post.  Others don't curate their post content and come off as "sponsor-spammy."  In fact, now that I think of it, there are some blogs I don't really "trust" when it comes to product reviews.  Not even necessarily because they're unethical, but usually because the blogger just has a different style than me.

So what do you think?  Do you feel you can trust bloggers, specifically vintage bloggers?  Do you find the use of sponsored posts, affiliate links, etc. to be breeches of trust or useful to you?  How do you determine which bloggers' opinions you can accept as honest and authentic?

1940s Sweetheart Jewelry (and a Chronically Vintage Coupon!)

Flashback Summer: 1940s WWII Sweetheart Jewelry from Chronically Vintage
1940s flowered sweetheart bracelet, available here
As the wife of an Air Force veteran and possibly having military aspirations for the future myself, World War II sweetheart jewelry has a very special place in my heart.

Imagine it.  You're a senior in high school when the war breaks out, and the boy you've been going steady with takes you to a quiet place one evening, holds your hand, and tells you that he's enlisted in the military.  He's going to war in just a couple weeks.  Then he pulls out a bracelet.  It's a special bracelet, a locket, and it has his picture in it.  He asks if you'll wait for him.

Back then, there were no computers.  There was no email, no Skype, no easy inter-continental communication.  There were phones on the front line, but they were not used to call your family.  They were carried on the back of a man that had to shout over the whistling of bombs to give and receive orders the men on the front needed to know.

You had mail, sometimes.  It came slow, it came sporadically, it came with huge chunks censored out.  You tried to be brave, upbeat, and positive in your letters to your loved ones, your boyfriend, fiancĂ©, brother, father, uncle, friend.  You were brave for the boys on the front.

You couldn't hear from your man every day, but you prayed and thought of him all the time.  You knitted socks to send to him and his friends, and you opened up the locket he gave you a few times a day just to see his face again.  It was hard, but you stayed true and brave, holding things down at home until he could return.

This is why I love sweetheart jewelry.

It represents strong women- mothers, sisters, wives, and friends- who stood by the men at war.  They supported the war effort at home and equipped the boys at the front.  These women took the worry, anxiety, and fear they had and turned it into hopeful productivity.  They ran their homes and businesses alone until the men came back.  Sweetheart jewelry helped keep them going.  Sweetheart jewelry reminded each of these women that she was loved by a man far away that couldn't wait to get back to her, and that was worth the hardship of the moment.  {Tweet this}

Flashback Summer: 1940s WWII Sweetheart Jewelry from Chronically Vintage
1940s sweetheart locket bracelet, available here
If you, like me, love sweetheart jewelry, the bracelets highlighted above are available at the Chronically Vintage Etsy Shop now!  Jessica's shop is full of fantastic vintage pieces, and you're sure to find one you adore!

She has also made a coupon code just for you, awesome readers!  This coupon will give you 25% off any purchase until November 23rd: Flashback25

Do you have any sweetheart jewelry that has a great story and/or is near and dear to your heart?  Please share it with me; I'd love to hear about it!

Dot Robinson: First Lady of Motorcycling

Flashback Summer - Dot Robinson: First Lady of Motorcycling
source

I have a thing for motorcycles.  If nearly all the important people in my life did not exhort me to NOT ride a motorcycle because they "like me alive," I would probably be on one this moment.  Preferably looking like the amazing Dot Robinson above!

Dot Robinson is known as the "First Lady of Motorcycling" and was instrumental in the acceptance of women as motorcycle drivers, not just passengers.  Born in Australia in 1912, she was influenced by her motorcycle-loving father as she grew up.  Her father was a sidecar racer, mechanic and motorcycle designer, and dealership owner.  After her family move to the U.S. in 1918, Dot helped her father around the dealership as she grew up.  It was here that her love for and skills with motorcycles grew, along with meeting her future husband, a frequent customer named Earl Robinson, while she was in high school.

Earl and Dot married in 1931, bought their father's dealership and moved it to Detroit.  Throughout the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, 5'2" Dot competed in lots of races, particularly endurance races, on her own motorcycle.  Although she encountered stiff resistance at times, she persevered and won several tough endurance runs.

Flashback Summer - Dot Robinson: First Lady of Motorcycling
Dot and Earl

In a time where it wasn't considered proper for a woman to ride a motorcycle, much less drive one, Dot set out to change the perceptions of women motorcyclists, showing that one can still be an upright lady and drive a motorcycle.  She won endurance runs, worked as a motorcycle courier during WWII, and assisted in the creation of the Motor Maids group.  The Motor Maids traveled and encouraged women to own and ride their own motorcycles.  

Flashback Summer - Dot Robinson: First Lady of Motorcycling
female motorcyclists

One of the things Dot wanted to show America was that one can ride a motorcycle and still be a lady. She made efforts to look nice when she was out, even stopping to clean up and get presentable after races before meeting the other racers at the bar.  The Motor Maids site recounts this story:

One favorite story told by "Hap," the Honda dealer in Sarasota, FL, is a story I never tire of hearing. He tells of how he "chased that woman for two days, through mud and trees" and never caught her. At the end of the race, all the guys tramped into the local bar, but not Dot. She went to her room and got cleaned up first. "I'll never forget the picture: Dot walking into the bar in a black sheath dress and a pill box hat." Dot was always a lady.

She was also known for her pink riding outfits.  Although opinions vary on why she chose to wear pink instead of the black embraced by most males in the sport, a couple options may be her wish to avoid connotations with black leather-clad motorcycle outlaws shown in movies or to make the sport of motorcycling less intimidating to "civilians."  This was a time when very little motorcycle equipment or clothing was made for women, and her styles have set a precedent in women's motorcycle gear that continues today.  In her later years she even rode a pink Harley with a built in lipstick holder!  How fantastic is that?!

Dot passed away in 1999 at the age of 87.

Flashback Summer - Dot Robinson: First Lady of Motorcycling
Dot on her pink Harley

Dot Robinson helped break down walls for women while still maintaining her femininity.  She didn't become a man to win the approval and acceptance of men.  She didn't become a she-woman man-hater or set out to prove that women are better than men.  She simply showed society that women can compete with men equally in motorcycling.  

A woman can still be a woman and do the daring, the adventurous, and the dangerous with talent and flair.  


Flashback Summer - Dot Robinson: First Lady of Motorcycling - Motor Maids


To learn more:
Dot Robinson: First Lady of Motorcycling
Harley-Davidson: Dorothy "Dot" Robinson
Motor Maids: Dot Robinson
Motorcycle Hall of Fame: Dot Robinson

Tea Latte Recipe and the Importance of Hot Beverages in Life

Flashback Summer: Tea Latte Recipe and the Importance of Hot Beverages in Life - Eurasia Cafe

Perhaps some of you are not quite as passionate about tea as Mr. Suzuki up there (why don't I have a room specifically devoted to drinking tea?!), but I think as the cold weather comes around even the most Larry the Cable Guy-esque of Americans could concede that hot beverages have a place in everyone's heart.

Since living in Egypt and Sudan where tea is had more often than water, I have learned the power of a hot beverage in bringing people together to enjoy life.  Tea requires preparation (if you'd like to do it right!) in getting the tea ready, warming the water, etc.  It isn't something you can do fast.  If you've ever tried to drink hot tea quickly, you know that the result is unhappiness and a burnt tongue.  Drinking tea forces you to take a pause and enjoy life slowly.

And what better time to pause and enjoy life but in fall?  The leaves change colors so quickly, and if you don't take the time to enjoy them, you'll miss them altogether!  Perhaps you can take time this week to make a tea latte with the recipe below, sit outside in a scarf and mittens, and sip and chat with a loved one and just enjoy how pretty the world is right now.

Flashback Summer: Tea Latte Recipe and the Importance of Hot Beverages in Life - Eurasia Cafe

Flashback Summer: Tea Latte Recipe and the Importance of Hot Beverages in Life - Eurasia Cafe, social justice

Tea Latte Recipe
I credit my discovery of the drink to Eurasia Cafe, the company whose delicious tea I am also using for this recipe!  This fantastic company not only produces amazing tea and coffee products, but the box explains the good they're doing with their products: "Handpicked quality teas are sourced directly from gardens that guarantee livable wages and better opportunities for farmers and their families."  As well, the company gives their profits back to social justice causes in 44 countries and territories.  These causes include sex trafficking prevention and rehabilitation, education, addressing poverty & spiritual emptiness, helping refugees, and healthcare for those with HIV/AIDS.  Check out their site to learn more and take part in their awesome business!

Flashback Summer: Tea Latte Recipe and the Importance of Hot Beverages in Life - Eurasia Cafe, social justice

Ingredients:
1 tea bag (I recommend a berry or floral tea.  I'm using Eurasia Cafe's Jasmine Green tea.)
vanilla flavor syrup
hot milk
hot water

Directions: 
- Put the tea bag in the mug, and add just enough hot water to give the tea something to steep in.
- As the tea steeps, heat up the milk.  (If you're doing this on the stove, the secret is to never stop stirring so the milk won't burn!)
- Add 2-3 pumps of vanilla flavor syrup to the tea-steeping water (for a 12 oz cup).
- Lastly, add the hot milk, stir, and enjoy!

You can also use an espresso machine to heat and froth the milk!


Flashback Summer: Tea Latte Recipe and the Importance of Hot Beverages in Life - Eurasia Cafe, social justice

Eurasia Cafe has not collaborated with me on this, and I spent my own money for their tea.  I truly love the company and all they do, so I wanted to share about this company with you guys!

6 Reasons Vintage Suits Trump Modern Suits (and Giveaway Winners!)

Flashback Summer: 6 Reasons Vintage Suits Trump Modern Suits - Midvale Cottage

Lately I've been on a major suit kick.  I just swapped for my first vintage suit at a vintage store a couple weekends ago, I'm in the process of making one, and I love drooling over pictures of them on pattern envelopes and fashion ads.  It is my belief that in the area of women's suits, vintage completely kicks modern-day options in the face.

Just what is it that makes vintage suits so fantastic?  I will tell you, using vintage patterns as illustrations.  You know what's even better?!  All of the vintage patterns are available for purchase now at Midvale Cottage Etsy Shop, so you could actually have a vintage suit for your very own!

Flshback Summer: 6 Reasons 1930s-1960s Suits Pone Modern Suits - Midvale Cottage

1.  Vintage suits accentuate the waist.  {1950s Suit}
Modern suits sort of do this, but not to the same effect as a good 1950s or 1960s suit.  Even without foundation garments, the cut, styling, seam designs, and fabric of vintage suits accentuate the waist in a way very few modern suits do.

Flshback Summer: 6 Reasons 1930s-1960s Suits Pone Modern Suits - Midvale Cottage 1940s Suit

2.  Vintage suits can be extremely fabric-efficient.  {1940s Suit}
Especially suits from the 30s and 40s!  The suit I made for my wedding (which is actually an entire sundress underneath, not just a skirt!) took only a little over TWO YARDS of fabric!  Try THAT with a modern suit pattern!

Flshback Summer: 6 Reasons 1930s-1960s Suits Pone Modern Suits - Midvale Cottage 1950s Suit

3.  Vintage suits give you options.  {1950s Suit}
They often include lots of separates, different ways to wear a collar or cuffs, or other easy-to-change features.  Vintage designers realized suits need to be versatile, and what lady doesn't like having more options when it comes to a clothing item?

Flshback Summer: 6 Reasons 1930s-1960s Suits Pone Modern Suits - Midvale Cottage

4.  Vintage suit silhouettes have stood the test of time.  {1960s Suit}
If a suit design still seems good to your modern eye, it's probably a good design.  We've had decades to look back and decide which suit designs are truly timeless, and the shape of vintage suits (especially those of the 50s and 60s) continue to reappear in modern designs.

Flshback Summer: 6 Reasons 1930s-1960s Suits Pone Modern Suits - Midvale Cottage

5.  Vintage suits are higher quality.  {1960s Suit}
Whether following a vintage pattern or buying a vintage suit, they include tailoring details and techniques not often found in modern suits, such as bound buttonholes.  Vintage suits that have survived until today are their own testament to quality!

Flshback Summer: 6 Reasons 1930s-1960s Suits Pone Modern Suits - Midvale Cottage 1930s Suit

6. Vintage suits have unique details.  {1930s Suit}
Modern suits can't even compete with vintage ones in the details department.  Whether utilizing buttons, creative seams, pleats, drapes, fabric, or color, vintage suits take the cake on unique details!

What are some of your favorite things about vintage suits?  Do you own any suits you especially love?

Lastly, here are the winners of the Giant Two Year Anniversary Giveaway!
Shopping Prize: Lee Cate
Blogger Prize: Sam
Seller Prize: Tanith
Hair Prize: Amanda
Accessories Prize: Alecia
Tinkering & Ties Prize: Angie

Winners should have an email from me in their inbox at the email address they used for the giveaway!  All the info you need to claim your prize is there!

Midvale Cottage is a sponsor of Flashback Summer for the month of October, and this is a sponsored post.