Victorian Blouse Jacket

Last Sunday I went to a flea market because.... I like them.... and I stumbled across this beaut that was hiding in the corner of a random booth!

Flashback Summer- Victorian Blouse

Look at it!  Isn't it gorgeous?!  (I'll do a legit photo shoot soon.)  It's an important part of fashion history.  I mean, think about it.  This look with the lace, yoke top, large sleeves, high neck, etc. has been copied, referenced, and reinterpreted in nearly every decade of the 20th century.  I just need to repair a couple places where the lace trim is coming off, but otherwise it's perfect!  How crazy is that?  Over a hundred years old and practically perfect.

Flashback Summer- Victorian Blouse

Flashback Summer- Victorian Blouse

And check out the gorgeous construction.  It's boned, and just amazing.  Much of it is machine stitched, but all the details are hand done.  And all the lace trim is sewn on with the tiniest whip stitches I've ever seen!  My seamstress heart nearly swooned:
Flashback Summer- Victorian Blouse

Fashion never dies.  It just gets recycled and reinterpreted!

I need a steampunk party to go to, don't you think?  

Don't forget to enter the Spring Giveaway, going on now!  Just a few more hours!

Don't Forget!

This giveaway is now closed.  The winner was announced here.

Just to remind you guys, there's only one day left for the Spring Giveaway!

There are stockings, a vintage magazine, a 1950s topper, Shabby Apple gift card, and zippers up for grabs!  Don't miss out!

To enter, go here.

Memorial Day

Flashback Summer- Memorial day
Today is Memorial Day in the U.S., a holiday where we stop to remember the men and women who have died while serving in the armed forces.

Having many family members who were and are in the military, as well as dating an airman and hoping to join soon myself, this is a significant day.  My country would be radically different if these men and women of the past had not stood up to serve their country.

Have all of the wars America has fought been necessary or "just" wars?  Maybe, maybe not.  Looking back, we have the luxury of being able to see all sides of the story, or at least much more of it than the people living it could see.  Sadly, we oftentimes look at past generations' motivations and actions through our "modern" lenses with arrogance and judgment that is out of context.

Thus, this isn't a holiday justifying or celebrating war.  It's quite the opposite.  It's a day where we suspend judgment and political affiliation to honor the people who worked, sacrificed, and died for a country that they believed was worth fighting for.  They took a stand and they fought for reasons specific to each person.  Family, honor, pay, country, conviction, beliefs, hundreds of reasons.  But the thing is..... they stood up.  They stood at a time when they were needed and stood in the gap for their countrymen.


painting by Lee Teter

Spring Giveaway!

This giveaway is now closed.  The winner was announced here.

Spring is here, and I've got an assortment of vintage and vintage-inspired accessories to help you guys spruce up your wardrobes for the season!

Up for the win this round is:
- a 1950s topper (first vintage hat I ever bought, and you can see a very tiny peek of it on my blog title.  Be a part of Flashback Summer history!)
- a pair of stockings (They're very stretchy stay-ups and have reinforced toes!)
- three zippers for any new sewing projects you'd like to make
- a $15 Shabby Apple coupon code to use in their store (wooo!)
- a vintage "Look" Magazine featuring Joan Kennedy (Ted's wife) and Churchill, full of interesting articles and beautiful graphics!

Flashback Summer- Spring Giveaway

Magazine sneak peeks:
Flashback Summer- Spring Giveaway, 1963 Look magazine, churchill

Flashback Summer- Spring Giveaway, 1963 Look magazine

Flashback Summer- Spring Giveaway, 1963 Look magazine, WW2 article

There are lots of ways to enter, and every thing below is worth one entry!  You can enter as many times as you would like using the ways below, so feel free to increase your odds.

The giveaway will end on 31 May at 12 am (that's at night).  Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hospitality: 5 Ways to Make Water More Exciting

Flashback Summer:  5 Ways to Make Water More Exciting

Those long, hot summer days are here!  After all that heat, it's great to sit down and chill with a glass of water.  However, if you're like me..... You don't really like water.

I know, I know, I need water to live.

I get that part.  But I just don't really enjoy drinking water.  Thus, I've thought of and tried some ways to easily spice up plain water for more exciting, but still refreshing and healthy drinks!  You can also include the extra ingredients at your next get-together and display them like a beverage bar!

With all of the following, except the flavored ice cubes, letting the ingredients sit in the water for a while to infuse it will increase the flavor.  You could put them in a cold beverage dispenser or pitcher and let them sit for a bit before serving for the most flavor.  Also, the more you put in the water, the stronger the taste.  You may want to experiment with different amounts of add-ins to see how strong a flavor you prefer.

Flashback Summer:  5 Ways to Make Water More Exciting
1.  Cucumber Water
Slice 'em up and throw 'em in!  They have a clean, fresh taste.

Flashback Summer:  5 Ways to Make Water More Exciting
2. Limeade Cubes
Take lime juice (either bought bottled at the store or juiced yourself), pour it into ice cube trays, and freeze.  Pop these limeade cubes in when you're ready, and add more to your water for more flavor.  Personally, I like a kind of "pulpy" consistency to mine, so I cut all the meat out of the lime, blend it, then turn it into ice cubes.  As you like!
(Word of caution: lime juice has a lot of flavor.  Either put in fewer cubes for more subtle flavor, or you can water down the lime juice a bit before freezing it.)

Flashback Summer:  5 Ways to Make Water More Exciting
3.  Strawberry Water
For a sweet-tart combo, simply cut them up and pop them into your glass.  It has a really crisp taste.

Flashback Summer:  5 Ways to Make Water More Exciting
4.  Mint and Lemon Water
Take sprigs of fresh mint and squeeze the juice from a lemon wedge or five (as you prefer) into your water.  Refreshingly light!
(If you want a stronger mint flavor, you have two options.  You can blend a bit of lemon juice, water, and the mint sprigs together to form a "concentrate".  Put a little in your glass and fill the rest with water.  Or, you can also start with hot water and throw the mint into that.  The mint flavor will come out a lot more with hot water.  Then you can throw in the lemon and chill it in the fridge before serving.)

Flashback Summer:  5 Ways to Make Water More Exciting
5.  Peach Water
Put a few peach wedges in with your water.  (I used white peaches, that's why they look like apples.  Juicier peaches would work best for this, I think.)

Flashback Summer:  5 Ways to Make Water More Exciting
Do you guys have any other ideas?  Have you tried any other water combos that you've enjoyed?

A Passel of Policy!

Flashback Summer- a passel of policy, new disclosure policy

Hey my blogosphere peeps!

So recently my mom got me a book on all things blogging, and apparently the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has passed a law in the U.S. saying that all U.S.-based bloggers need to have a disclosure policy to let you guys, the readers, know what our motivations are when we talk about products or review them.  Who knew, right?  What this means is that the government takes bloggers seriously!  Woohoo!  So, in an effort to, you know, be a law-abiding citizen and embrace my empowerment as a blogger, I thought I'd be sure to have a policy for you guys to see (suppressing the part of me that instinctually just wants to rail against "the man").  

My blog is about vintage lifestyle and old-school hospitality.  I created this blog in an effort to connect with other vintage lovers and form friendships to share the vintage passion, which I'm currently lacking in my local area.  I also created it to tie in with my Etsy shop and, along with other possible venues like sponsorship, create a bit of income and get some resources to help me fund my own vintage habit.  (I'm hoping that poor young person + initiative and drive = arm of bakelite bangles and wall of hats, in the long run!)

That being said, here are some things you should know about posts I have done and will continue to do:

If someone sent me a "freebie", I'll let you guys know that it was given to me.  However, just because it was free doesn't mean that I will automatically sing its praises.  I will honestly and thoughtfully review the item for you guys and let you know my true thoughts about it, whether negative or positive.

If I'm being paid to review an item, the same thing will apply.  I'll let you guys know, and the sponsor is not guaranteed a good review.  They are guaranteed an honest review.

In the case that I have some sort of relationship with something I'm promoting, I'll tell you guys that relationship too.  A good one from here on out that will always apply:  I, Emileigh, the Flashback Summer blogger, own the Flashback Summer Etsy shop as well.  I also have a Flashback Summer Facebook page.  Don't want to throw anyone off with that one.  :)

Also, I'm not being paid to write any of the posts on my blog (though if you would like to work out an arrangement to where I would be, I would be up for discussing it....).  If some opportunity comes up to where I would be paid to write about a certain topic, I would make that clear in the post.

Basically, what this whole disclosure policy waters down to is.....

I'll be honest about everything I talk about on here, and I shall not lead you astray!

Whether it's a blush or shoes or highlighting a store, I'll be real and tell you guys my true thoughts, opinions, and feelings whether the item came to me free, paid for, or not!

Finding Fabric on a Budget

Today I've got an idea for you guys on how you can create vintage pieces on a smaller budget, focusing on saving money on fabric.

I had a shorts pattern I had tried out before, Butterick 9779, and I decided that it was so amazing that I must replicate it in many colors.  However, who's got all the money in the world to go buy a bunch of new fabric and zippers and notions to make a bunch of shorts?  I sure didn't.  So I did some upcycle thinking.

I had found this maroon corduroy 80s-90s skirt in a thrift store for $3 thinking I would shorten it into a winter skirt, but it was much too pleated and gathered and full to look right.  It looked pretty icky, actually.

Flasback Summer: Finding Fabric on a Budget- Butterick 9779

However, that fullness was a great thing!  I laid out the skirt to see if the shorts pattern pieces would fit on the skirt fabric, and after a bit of shifting, they sure did!  I cut out the pieces and snipped out the zipper and a button that was on the skirt.  (The zipper was especially handy.  It's already a matching color and much cheaper than a new one!)  I reused all these pieces to create these shorts:

Flasback Summer: Finding Fabric on a Budget- Butterick 9779

Flasback Summer: Finding Fabric on a Budget- Butterick 9779

Flasback Summer: Finding Fabric on a Budget- Butterick 9779

I was quite happy with the result!

Now if you, too, have a project in mind and would like to save money on fabric, here are some other things you can look for to use for projects:

- Curtains:  By far one of my favorite things to use for sewing.  There are lots of lacy grandma curtains out there!  Often they also have scalloped edges or other such fancy trim.
- Sheets:  Great for large pieces, and oftentimes they're a comfy fabric with soft floral prints.  Perfect for spring!
- Large clothing items:  Like my full length skirt, or you can also look for long jackets, large dresses, ponchos, etc.  Anything with large panels of cloth works.
- Blankets: Obviously, you'll want to keep the thickness of the blanket in mind when choosing so it's appropriate for what you want to make.  It's actually a very vintage/antique idea to remake blankets into skirts and such!
- Tablecloths: A classic 1930s-1940s Depression and rationing era trick.  You can even find vintage instructions on how to turn a tablecloth into a dress or skirt!
- Notions:  When you're altering or purchasing clothing items, save the notions off of them, even if you don't need them for that specific project.  Definitely throw any buttons into your button jar, but you can also save zippers, hooks and eyes, snaps, chest support pieces, and shoulder pads.  Keep them for use in later projects.

I can't wait to see the awesome, ingenious fabric solutions you guys come up with to make your vintage wardrobe plans come to fruition!

My First Forties Shoes!

I saved this for you guys from a couple weeks ago.  I wrote the post immediately but didn't have photos 'til now.  Though it's from a little while ago, the emotion is still the same!

Today marks a milestone in my vintage wardrobe section of life.

Today, I bought my first pair of legit 1940s shoes!!!

Flashback Summer:  My First Forties Shoes!

I spotted them amongst lots of 60s-80s shoes at a local vintage store, and I freaked out (inside).  They had that high arch of forties shoes.... looked old.... right aesthetic...

Flashback Summer:  My First Forties Shoes!

Flashback Summer:  My First Forties Shoes!

I rushed to tried them on and did a silent scream to myself in the mirror, because they fit!!!  I took them home, and after a bit of re-gluing, love, and carefully making a couple extra, matching holes in the heel strap for my narrow heels, I proudly wore them all night as I sat behind the desk of my dorm on duty.  No one could really see them, so I made sure to pop my foot up on the counter in as genteel a manner as possible so my peeps could share in my excitement with me. Hee hee.

Flashback Summer:  My First Forties Shoes!

Flashback Summer:  My First Forties Shoes!

I always wonder what happened while these shoes were being worn.  Did some young lady don her prettiest day dress and these shoes to go shopping with her friends?  Did a kind husband gift them to his wife on their 20th wedding anniversary?  Were these shoes on the feet of a woman who ran to meet her soldier coming home from World War II?  Maybe these shoes haven't seen such sentimental moments.... but maybe they have!  They'll hopefully see many more in the future!

Though I don't own a huge giant vintage wardrobe, it's little moments like this that make vintage so fun.  Because I own fewer things, I appreciate them so much.  I rarely make impulse buys because of my budget, so when I do get items, they are items I REALLY want, like these shoes!  I didn't think I would be able to find a pair in my size and in my price range, but lo and behold, vintage miracles do happen!  In the Bible it says that every good thing is from above, and thus, I think it's totally appropriate to thank God for some awesome shoes!

Flashback Summer:  My First Forties Shoes!

Flashback Summer:  My First Forties Shoes!

Flashback Summer:  My First Forties Shoes!

Hospitality: Making a Guest Feel at Home

"Hospitality is anticipating the needs of your guests."
- Pam Morton, my awesomely wise mother

Flashback Summer:  Hospitality- Making a Guest Feel at Home

Welcoming someone into your home can be one of the most vulnerable, loving, kind acts someone can do.  Thinking ahead of time and learning to "anticipate the needs of your guests" can ease any discomfort, ambiguity, or uncertainty they may experience and leave them with a fond memory of you and your home.

Especially when having a guest stay the night, there are a lot of questions that may be going through their mind.  Can I find my way into the kitchen in the dark to get my midnight glass of water?  Where are the towels?  Can I eat any of their snacks?

Many questions.

There is an easy way to answer these questions: a hospitality basket!  It's not just for hotels or special events.  Leave your guest a basket of items that will clear up ambiguity and show you care about them.  While you definitely don't have to include everything listed, here are some good items to consider:

Toiletry Items
- small shampoo, conditioner, and body wash (save these from your hotel stays and keep a stash for such moments)
- washcloth
- towel
- for women, tampons and pads (I'm sure we've all had desperate moments that we would have liked to avoided!)

Comfort Items
- aspirin/ pain reliever
- sleeping mask
- ear plugs
- comfy sleep socks

Food Items
- chocolate (it's just..... great.)
- snack bars/ fruit (in case they get the munchies between meals)
- bottle(s) of water (don't make them stumble in the dark to the kitchen at midnight!)
- beef jerky/ string cheese/ protein (I only add this because I know from experience of the wondrous benefits of protein on some people's moods)

Like I said, you don't have to include all these items, but thinking ahead and including a few of them in your guest's area will express proactive hospitality and love that they're sure to appreciate!

Cutie Shorts and Finally-Arrived Spring!

Flashback Summer:  Cutie Shorts and Finally-Arrived Spring! (simplicity 1093, butterick 9779)

It was a beautiful day today.  Finally, it was at reasonable spring temperatures in the 70s (did I mention it SNOWED a few days ago?!  Now you understand my warm weather excitement).  I broke out the shorts I made from a vintage pattern (1960s, I think), Butterick 9779.  I had worn them on my floor camping trip, but that was a premature wearing.... 'cuz it got in the 30s that night.... Anyways.

This.  Is.  A.  GREAT.  Pattern.

It was the first time I'd ever made anything with legs, and the pattern came together really easily with just five pieces (two front, two back, and a waistband), and a side zipper with hook and eye closure.  It has pieces proportioned for three different height categories as well for a really good fit.  It's got a pretty classic look that works for lots of decades.  Just a note, the crotch does go down quite low, as vintage patterns tend to do.  I think it would be a simple fix though, if it really bothered you.  I actually like it.  Very comfortable, and I think it adds a dimension of modesty that the modern tighter shorts don't have.

**Edit:  I realized later that they would probably fit better if I had shortened the torso for my short self!  Live and learn! I think the torso is still a bit long considering the pattern was to be adjusted for a petite person already.  Be sure to compare your measurements first!**

(Pardon the wrinkliness of the shorts in these pictures, though.  They're cotton and I had been sitting like a lump for a while before these pictures!)

I also realized this sea foam-pistachio colored shed is next to the house I'm staying at.  I love the color.  It's just a shed, but.... yeah, I love the color!  Anything in this color makes me happy.

Flashback Summer:  Cutie Shorts and Finally-Arrived Spring! (simplicity 1093, butterick 9779)

Flashback Summer:  Cutie Shorts and Finally-Arrived Spring! (simplicity 1093, butterick 9779)

Flashback Summer:  Cutie Shorts and Finally-Arrived Spring! (simplicity 1093, butterick 9779)

shirt: handmade by me
shorts: made of slightly shiny cotton
belt: thrifted
sunglasses: American Eagle
bandana: Hobby Lobby

Flashback Summer:  Cutie Shorts and Finally-Arrived Spring! (simplicity 1093, butterick 9779)

Flashback Summer:  Cutie Shorts and Finally-Arrived Spring! (simplicity 1093, butterick 9779)

Flashback Summer:  Cutie Shorts and Finally-Arrived Spring! (simplicity 1093, butterick 9779)

Flashback Summer:  Cutie Shorts and Finally-Arrived Spring! (simplicity 1093, butterick 9779)

Make It Do or Do Without, Tiffany's Style

As most of you know, much of my vintage wardrobe has come to me mostly by way of the old Depression Era motto:

"Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without!"

I've got another example of this for you guys!  My friend Christine is getting married next Saturday, so yesterday was her bridal shower.  Her bridesmaids/sisters + friends planned an amazing "Breakfast at Tiffany's" themed party and asked all the ladies attending to wear their Audrey-inspired little black dresses.  Such a great idea.  (I have pictures from the party below.)

However, I didn't read the invitation and notice that part until the day before the party.... and I also realized that I didn't really have an appropriate dress for the event.  Hmmmm....  So I checked my stash.

I had black cloth!  But not enough for a whole dress.  Darn.  But I also had an old button down shirt given to me that had a cute large black and white plaid print!  Perfect!  I pulled out Simplicity 3929 and got to work!  I'd "make it do".

The supplies:
Flashback Summer: "Make It Do or Do Without, Tiffany's Style"- Simplicity 3929

And... after many hours of work..... Voila!

The pattern came together quite easily with three main pieces: a front, back, and skirt with a side zipper.  I have no complaints!  The pattern was simple, easy to understand, and I could see it being gorgeous in lots of different fabrics, and easily customizable!

Flashback Summer: "Make It Do or Do Without, Tiffany's Style"- Simplicity 3929

Flashback Summer: "Make It Do or Do Without, Tiffany's Style"- Simplicity 3929

dress: made by me
shoes: Payless
hat: Relics
belt: refashioned by me

Flashback Summer: "Make It Do or Do Without, Tiffany's Style"- Simplicity 3929

Flashback Summer: "Make It Do or Do Without, Tiffany's Style"- Simplicity 3929

The party was SO much fun (especially the food.  Wow.  Really good).  The decorations were all so cute and clever, and all the ladies looked beautiful!  We played games and Christine, the bride, opened her gifts.  The Tiffany's theme was a lot of fun, and we all had a great time!  Congrats to Christine and Ryon!

Flashback Summer: "Make It Do or Do Without, Tiffany's Style"- Simplicity 3929

Flashback Summer: "Make It Do or Do Without, Tiffany's Style"- Simplicity 3929