Merry Christmas!

Flashback Summer: Vintage Christmas Decor

Flashback Summer: Vintage Christmas Decor

Flashback Summer: Vintage Christmas Decor

Merry Christmas everyone!  Today I've got an easy, quick read with lots of pictures!

This is my second year in my own home, so I have a few more Christmas decor items I've added for the season.  Last year's tree was a bit scant (but budget-friendly, may I add!), and a find in a flea market last year has helped fill it out!  I found two plastic garlands of bells and lanterns with holly leaves and berries interspersed throughout. I also put up my cookie cutter ornaments I made last year. I just love the old pictures of random people in them! 


Flashback Summer: Vintage Christmas Decor

Flashback Summer: Vintage Christmas Decor

Flashback Summer: Vintage Christmas Decor

We've also got other Christmas decor from my travels and as gifts from other friends. I am not as much into the brightly colored, wacky Christmas decor of the 50s and 60s, but I like more traditional items from earlier decades.  (Although I love seeing midcentury decor in other people's homes, I just feel like it doesn't fit mine as much.)

(And for some record-player and decor fun, here's a short video!)


video


Flashback Summer: Vintage Christmas Decor

Flashback Summer: Vintage Christmas Decor

Year by year, we add a bit more to our Christmas decor, and it's a fun process!  I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas as well!

Retro Santa Skirt & Gathered Skirt Tutorial

Awww, such a cute retro Santa skirt!  I love the unique colors!

Flashback Summer: 1940s Christmas Fashion

Flashback Summer: Alton, Illinois - urban decay - historical theater

My grandma is one of those delightful people that understands my love of vintage and sends me fabrics to work with.  One of the fabrics she sent me recently was this fabulous retro Santa print!  I adore the colors, and the print is undeniably midcentury-inspired even though the fabric is modern.

I gathered this sucker right into a dirndl skirt for the holiday season!  Since the print runs perpendicular to the selvedges, I had to cut two panels to use in the skirt instead of one long piece.





I didn't use a pattern, and I went through the exact same process I used on my glitter pine cones skirt, except instead of pleating the skirt fabric I gathered it.  In case you've never done this before, here is how you do it.

Like I described in the pinecones skirt tutorial, I marked the waistband and skirt fabric into fourths: front center, back center, right side seam, left side seam.  


Next, for this gathered skirt I sewed a long basting stitch at the top of the skirt fabric at the 3/8" mark.  I sewed another at the 5/8" mark.  (I use 1/2" seams on my skirts, so this means there will be a basting stitch on either side of the real seam line.  This makes the gathering look more even and easier to sew down.)  Do not backstitch at the beginning and end of these seams!


Flashback Summer: how to sew a dirndl skirt

After that, I matched up the markings on the skirt and the waistband and pinned them together.  I then grabbed both of the basting ends from one side and gently pulled, moving the fabric down the thread and gathering it until it fit the waistband. For me, it's easier to do half of the skirt from one side, then finish the gathering of the fabric from the other end of the thread. Be careful not to break the basting thread!

I then added more pins to keep all the gathers in place and sewed the front of the waistband to the skirt, finishing it all out exactly like in the pinecones skirt tutorial. (If you have questions about this, don't hesitate to ask! This is just a quick overview, so let me know if you need some help!)


Flashback Summer: how to sew a gathered vintage dirndl skirt

I did not have a zipper that even remotely coordinated with this, so I went with these oddly colored buttons from my stash.  This time around I was smarter than when I made my Christmas border print skirt and added a button placket to the waistband and skirt so it didn't end up too tight around my waist.  I have learned!

Voila! Another fine Christmas skirt!  I wore it today for a day of flea marketing and errand running in my husband's hometown near St. Louis.  I like that this Christmasy without being overtly so. I've worn pretty much ever bit of forest green clothing I have (which is only a couple things!), so I needed a Christmas look with a slightly different color combo! Of course, I planned to wear this with a black belt (hence the plain hook and eye closure on the front), but I forgot it in my packing frenzy. OH WELL.


Awww, such a cute retro Santa skirt!  I love the unique colors!

Ooo, vintage jade earrings and retro headscarf!  Such a cute combo!

Outfit details
skirt: handmade by me (this fabric is no longer on the Joann website, but you may still be able to find it in a local store if you want it!)
shoes: Payless Kids
shirt: American Eagle (BEST t-shirt)
jacket: part of my vintage 1940s suit
headscarf: thrifted
jade earrings: gifted

Do you have any Christmas skirts you're wearing this December?  If so, we'd love to see them!  Leave a link to a picture we can all "ooo" and "aaaah" at! 


*This post includes affiliate links. See my policy page for more info.

Vintage Christmas Novelty Skirt

DYING over this outfit!  Christmas novelty skirt for the win!  I love the 1950s style.

DYING over this outfit!  Christmas novelty skirt for the win!  I love the 1950s style.

Something about Christmas just makes me want to wear full skirts and velvet all the time, and I've decided to embrace it.  Appalled at the fact that I had NO Christmas garments of any kind, I bought this vintage fabric last month, and I finally made it into a skirt!

I decided--rather last minute, mind you--to make it button down the front as a unique touch.  Of course, I had already cut out my waistband piece, so this skirt is a waist-cincher!  I don't mind it though, since I feel pretty fantastic when I wear it!


DYING over this outfit!  Christmas novelty skirt for the win!  I love the 1950s style.

I had planned to hem up most of the red portion, but my husband remarked that he rather liked the tea length, and I like the glamorous, more formal element it adds, so I left it.  I can always hem it shorter in the future if my mood changes!


DYING over this outfit!  Christmas novelty skirt for the win!  I love the 1950s style.

DYING over this outfit!  Christmas novelty skirt for the win!  I love the 1950s style.

My BFF also gave me a new Kat Von D lip stain, and this was my first time trying it out.  I LOVE IT.  It's the "Outlaw" shade, and it stays on beautifully!  I've eaten cookie dough and milk while writing this post, and it STILL looks great!  It doesn't even feel like I'm wearing anything on my lips, which is how I prefer it.  I highly recommend it!



DYING over this outfit!  Christmas novelty skirt for the win!  I love the 1950s style.

Outfit Details
skirt: handmade by me
shoes & stockings: 1940s from OLL
sweater: flea market
coat: FB group
hat: made by a friend (it has a fruit brooch pinned on!)

Are there any clothing items that you love to wear during this time of year?  

Star Wars / Birthday Outfit

An awesome Star Wars meets 1940s vintage outfit!

Today is my 24th birthday, and to celebrate, George Lucas has kindly put out another Star Wars movie for me.  (Haha!)  I'm going to see the movie tonight!


It is a lesser known fact that I was a HUGE Star Wars buff as a kid.  I was Princess Leia for a good three Halloweens in a row, complete with a bun wig and a lightsaber... because obviously there needed to be some girl carrying one, even if there wasn't in the original three movies!



An awesome Star Wars meets 1940s vintage outfit!

An awesome Star Wars meets 1940s vintage outfit!

I'm big on themed outfits, so today is a great chance to bring out not only my Star Wars t-shirt, but also a 1940s suit set I've had for a while but never worn.  When I got it, the waist was quite tight on me and the suspenders were strangely short while the jacket fit perfectly.  (I think it had been cut down to fit a younger girl at some point.)  Well, probably due to the exercise I've been doing lately, the waist fits much better and I lengthened the suspenders on the skirt to fit by adding some coordinating fabric in the back.  

I LOVE this ensemble.  Suspendered skirts are always a win in my book, and I like how this skirt is slim but doesn't have the undergarment-fussiness of a fitted pencil skirt.  The sequin detailing and the perfectly 40s silhouette sealed the deal for me!  I paired black with red accessories because it's one of my favorite color combos.  


An awesome Star Wars meets 1940s vintage outfit!


These red shoes are a recent purchase, and they're my FAVORITE SHOES I'VE EVER BOUGHT.  They're platforms, they're red, they're 40s, they're my size.  Check, check, check, check!  I splurged on them and paid a bit more than I normally would, but considering I'll be buried in them, I think it's a good use of the money.


An awesome Star Wars meets 1940s vintage outfit!


An awesome Star Wars meets 1940s vintage outfit!

Then, to top it all off, Jacob gave me these earrings this morning before I left for work.  They're a karat of diamonds and some other mysterious black gemstone that we haven't figured out yet.  I have been wanting to add more studs to my jewelry box since my ears are double pierced--and more is more, in my opinion--so you'll probably be seeing these beauties often!



An awesome Star Wars meets 1940s vintage outfit!

Outfit details
jacket and skirt suit: OLL
T-shirt: Target
shoes: OLL
hat: handmade by a friend
earrings: gift from my lovely husband! 

How to Make a Vintage Pleated Skirt Without a Pattern

Flashback Summer: How to Make a Vintage Pleated Skirt without a Pattern

You saw my outfit a couple days ago debuting a pleated Christmas skirt.  You know what's awesome about this type of skirt?  It's super easy to make... without a pattern!  I've outlined my steps in making this skirt, and if you have any other questions, need clarification, or would like some additional photos of a step, just let me know.  I'm glad to help!  Vintage skirts for everyone!

You'll need 2-3 yards of fabric (depending on how full you want it and your waist circumference), a zipper at least 7" long, interfacing for the waistband, hooks and eyes, and coordinating thread.



Flashback Summer: How to Make a Vintage Pleated Skirt without a Pattern

Here's how I did it:

1. I made a waistband.

This waistband is my waist circumference + 2" (1/2" seam allowance on each end and a 1" underlap).  I wanted a thicker waistband than my Egyptian skirt, so the waistband rectangle is 5" wide.  (This is a 2" wide band that is folded in half with 1/2" seam allowances on each edge.)  I also added a layer of fusible interfacing on the back to strengthen the piece and ironed up 1/2" of the edge that will be inside the skirt to make it easier to sew down later.

Flashback Summer: How to Make a Vintage Pleated Skirt without a Pattern

2. I sewed up the side seam of the skirt fabric and made a giant fabric tube.
Sew up the side seam of the skirt to within at least 5-6" from the top where the waistband will go.  Insert a zipper. 


Flashback Summer: How to Make a Vintage Pleated Skirt without a Pattern

3. I marked the waistband in fourths.
I marked the center front, center back, side, and zipper placement on the waistband. (Remember to ignore the 1" underlap at this part, since the skirt fabric won't extend that far on the waistband.)  I just marked them with pins.

4. I marked the skirt fabric in fourths.

This is the same as the waistband: front center, back center, side, and zipper side.


Flashback Summer: How to Make a Vintage Pleated Skirt without a Pattern

5. I pleated the skirt fabric to fit the waistband.
I lined up the fourth markings on skirt and waistband and then sort of eyeballed my way through adding pleats to each skirt section until it fit the waistband.  I'm 100% sure there's a more exact way to do this, but I can't be bothered with maths in sewing if there's any way around it.
In the picture below, you can see the center front of the skirt and the direction of the pleats on either side.  I pleated my skirt to have the zipper in the back, but you can do it on the side if you'd like. I put my "center front" pleats on the exact opposite side of the zipper.  If you want the zipper on the side, then put the center front pleats 1/4 of the way to the side of the zipper.  If you just lay out the skirt and waistband and visualize it, this makes a lot more sense!


Flashback Summer: How to Make a Vintage Pleated Skirt without a Pattern

6. I sewed the waistband to the skirt with a 1/2" seam.
First, sew the end of the waistband that will be on top, then flip it right side out. Then sew the skirt fabric to the bottom of the waistband front. Then put the underlap bit right sides together and sew, then flip right side out again. 

7.  Do all the hand sewing.
I like to do all the machining first then finish out the skirt with my hand sewing while watching a movie.  Finish sewing the waistband back to the inside of the skirt with a whip stitch, remembering to close the hole left at the bottom of the underlap. Sew on your closures of choice to the waistband. I find hooks and eyes to be most secure. Next, blind hem the skirt. 

Flashback Summer: How to Make a Vintage Pleated Skirt without a Pattern

8. Give it a good press, and it's ready to wear! 



Flashback Summer: How to Make a Vintage Pleated Skirt without a Pattern

Outfit details
skirt: handmade by me (out of this fabric  that is currently 50% off!)
More details and photos can be found in this previous post.

Do you have any tips on making skirts like this?  Any pleating advice?! 


*This post includes affiliate links. See my policy page for more info.

6 Gifts That Fit in a Mug

These are awesome!  They're easy, and I'm saving them for later!

Christmas is looming ever closer, and I'm still working on finishing up the last few gifts.  I love giving people thoughtful gifts that they can use in their daily life.  You know what everyone does in their daily life?  They drink stuff.  This is why a mug is great gift for nearly anyone!  Below I've got six ideas for gifts that fit in a mug (both of these "friend mugs" are c/o Pavilion), and you can tweak them to fit the personality of the gift.  I picked the mug on the left because, obviously... it's so true.  And the mug on the right just states it like it is and sparkles blue and gold, also a win!


These are awesome!  They're easy, and I'm saving them for later!


1. The Sewist

If you ask nearly any sewist, they'll tell you that nothing beats a delicious hot beverage and a sewing day.  Make a mini sewing day kit for them with bits and bobs all vintage-loving sewists appreciate:

mug + tea bag + vintage fabric + universal sewing machine needles + vintage notions


These are awesome!  They're easy, and I'm saving them for later!


2. The Naturalist

Think out of the box and create a gift for the plant-lover in your life.  Instead of giving a plain mug, put a succulent, herb, or other small plant in it!  The giftee can move the plant to another container and use the mug or have a cute planter as-is.  Just in case they decide to leave it, put a layer of small pebbles at the bottom to help prevent root rot, then fill with potting soil and a plant.

mug +  pebbles + potting soil + plant


These are awesome!  They're easy, and I'm saving them for later!


3. The Tea Fiend

Oh, tea lovers.  Those that love tea, REALLY love tea.  And the great part about tea is that one can never have too much!  If you're always drinking it, you will always need more!  Give your tea-loving friend a gift they'll use and appreciate by filling the mug with varieties of tea and little tools to make their tea drinking more convenient. 

mug + tea balls + loose leaf tea + tea bags + infuser ball


These are awesome!  They're easy, and I'm saving them for later!


4. The Cozyist

Many people warm up to mug-worthy beverages when the weather gets cold, so it's a great idea to pair the mug with cozy winter items.  Create a "cozy kit" with fluffy socks, a comforting holiday beverage like hot chocolate, and a gifted Christmas or relaxing song list from iTunes or Amazon.

mug + fluffy socks + hot chocolate mix + marshmallows + candy cane


These are awesome!  They're easy, and I'm saving them for later!


5. The Caffeine Queen

Last but not least, a gift for the caffeine lover!  Fill the mug with bags of ground coffee in different flavors, chocolate covered espresso beans, and small squares of nice chocolate or truffles.  Everyone loves a bit of delicious luxury in their day!

mug + ground coffee + chocolate covered espresso beans + chocolate 


These are awesome!  They're easy, and I'm saving them for later!


6. The Stylist

For that friend that loves to doll up, fill a mug with little makeup bits and accessories she is sure to appreciate.  If you're on a budget, collect makeup samples and artfully arrange them in the mug, or go high-end and include a nice lipstick and a couple makeup brushes.  You can also throw in some small accessories like a pair of earrings or bracelet to complete the gift!

mug + cute washcloth + makeup + makeup brushes + jewelry


These are awesome!  They're easy, and I'm saving them for later!


I hope these ideas help you finish out your holiday gift list!  Do any of them sound just perfect for a friend or family member?

Click here to pin this post for later!

These are awesome!  They're easy, and I'm saving them for later!

The mugs in this post were provided c/o Pavilion Gifts, and you can find them here and here! 

Glitter Pinecone Christmas Skirt




I try not to impulse buy, especially when it comes to fabrics.  However, this one certain Christmas fabric continued to call to me day after day... So after a couple weeks I determined this would NOT be an impulse buy and that I really, truly liked it.  So I bought three yards of this glitter pinecone fabric!






And what do you do with sparkly Christmas pinecone fabric?  You make a gaudy Christmas skirt, of course!  (At least, that's what I do!)  I whipped this together and made a simple skirt and matching 40s duster cap.  In an upcoming post this week I'll show you how to make a pleated skirt like this without a pattern, so stay tuned! 





I paired it with my new 1940s winter coat and 1970s boots.  I am in pretty desperate need of winter clothing, and these two items do the trick perfectly!  Unluckily... the U.S. is having its warmest winter ever, pretty much, so I haven't needed them as much as I would normally.  But I don't care, I shall wear them happily!






Outfit details

skirt: handmade by me (out of this fabric that is currently 50% off!)
1970s winter boots: FYG Apparel
sweater shirt: Land's End
1940s coat: Wildfell Hall

*This post includes affiliate links. See my policy page for more info.