Sponsor in November!

1898 Sign painter, source
Kathleen of Midvale Cottage Etsy Shop says:
"Flashback Summer is a wonderful blog with a growing fan base... It was delightful working with Emileigh who supports her sponsors with flexibility, enthusiasm, and dedication.  I am happy with the increased traffic to my Etsy shop as a result of my ad and her post that featured my shop.  I look forward to a continued relationship with this rising star in the vintage sewing and fashion world!"

Don't forget about Flashback Summer for promotion this holiday season!  People are shopping, getting inspired and geared up for the upcoming couple months, and Flashback Summer is a great place to catch their eye!

There are plenty of affordable options including sidebar ads, social media packages, and sponsored posts.  Feel free to check out the Sponsorship page or email me for more information!  I'd love to work with you!
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Vintage in Context: the 1900s

Ah, the 1900s, the first decade of one of the most influential centuries in history.  So much has happened since then, although 100 years is nothing in comparison to all of history!  In the past century, so many new inventions have been created, so many world movements started, so many events on the global stage have occurred.  The 1900s is so different from today, but it has impacted us so much!

Here are some events from around the world from 1900-1909:

photo source and e-version of book

Sigmund Freud's book The Interpretation of Dreams is released in 1900, and he's paid $209 for his work.  It is the first serious look at dreams as indicators of inner psychological issues.  It was received coldly and critically but is now considered one of Freud's most prolific and original works.  The ideas of wish-fulfillment theory, symbolism in dreams, sexuality in childhood, and the connection between hallucinations and dreams comes from this book.

Chinese woodblock print showing the capture of Tianjin in June of 1900

After a disastrous war with Japan, the Boxer Rebellion in China reaches Peking, the capital, in 1900.  At first, the Boxers attempt to overthrow the Chinese Ch'ing Dynasty currently in power, but as the Empress Dowager begins to back them, they turn their attention to ridding China of all foreigners.  Japan, Britain, the U.S., Russia, Italy, and France send in a force of 2,100 soldiers to attempt to protect their citizens, but the Empress orders all foreigners to be killed in June of 1900 and many foreign ambassadors, missionaries, and laypeople are killed.  The rebellion is subdued by August, but it weakens the Ch'ing Dynasty and hastens the arrival of the Republic of China in a few years.

Thomas Edison produces the first narrative silent film, "The Great Train Robbery" in 1903.  Lasting 12 minutes, it portrays a train being robbed and the thieves being shot by a posse that comes after them.  It included many revolutionary film editing techniques such as panning a camera to follow characters and shooting in more than one scene.

In 1904, the New York City subway system opens.  Although not the first in America, it quickly becomes one of the largest and most famous systems in the country.  100,000 people each pay a nickel on opening day to ride the new transportation!
1907 sees the convening of the Second Hague Conference in which world leaders such as Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, President Roosevelt (U.S.), and forty three other delegations discuss different world issues, including the decrease in armaments and establishing international protocol for peacefully settling disputes.  Not much is accomplished, for power blocs had already been established between European countries, and this tenuous balance of power later leads to World War I.  However, the Ten Rules of Warfare are, ironically, agreed upon.


The Young Turk Revolution occurs in 1908, attempting to overthrow the Ottoman Empire with the hopes of introducing a constitutional government and promoting all-Turk equality (at the expense of minorities).  Led by the young Turkish bourgeoisie class (made of mostly intellectuals and military officers), the revolt is eventually subdued but sets the stage for the more successful Kemalist Revolution to come.

1900s pictures from around the world:

Yemeni jewelry made of metal, coral, and old Islamic coins, early 1900s
Mbo, King of Bali, early 1900s
Pablo Picasso helps introduce Cubism in 1907 with his piece "Les Demoiselles D'Avignon"
Dancing girls and musicians in Dehli, early 1900s

Don't forget to enter the Giant Two Year Anniversary Giveaway!  It ends November 1st!

Introspection: My Weekend Outlook Overhaul

This weekend I had a really great overhaul on my outlook on life.

I realized that I've been forcing myself to live in a state of make-do limbo until I am in the "meaningful" life circumstances I'd like to have.

For example, I haven't organized some places in our house, even though we've been there months.  I've caught myself saying, "Eh, well it's good enough for now" about things in our home that I could change.  I haven't been putting forth the effort to completely unpack and settle in because "we aren't going to be here that long anyway."  Why buy holiday decorations?  Who cares?  I clean to keep ants out, not to make my home a comfier place to be for myself and Jacob.  Just doing the minimum.

I've been putting all of my emphasis on the future when I'm at that job doing the purposeful work I'm supposed to do, not the pay-the-bills work I'm doing now.  I've focused on the nebulous future instead of the here and now because the future is where my important work is.  This stuff right now is mediocrity.

I realized that I've been looking at my life all wrong.

I've been putting my hope in having an adventurous, adrenaline-packed career as a linguist, helping bridge gaps between people groups.  I looked at that as being my life of purpose, a life of meaning.  Not the day-to-day plodding I'm doing right now.  Someday when I get to that job and that life, then I'll be doing important things.  Then God will proud of me because I'm doing lots of obviously good things, trying to make a difference in the world.  My value will come from that job.

Jesus really cut through that ridiculousness and clarified things for me this weekend.  (Yes, Jesus and I talk often.  I know some of you don't believe in that sort of thing, but I definitely do and I'd be glad to talk about it with you should you ever wonder about it.)

God showed me that living a life of purpose and meaning isn't about doing a certain task or having a certain job.  He showed me that living a purposeful life is about taking the circumstances He gives me now and making them the most beautiful I possibly can.

I don't have to wait until I'm at my "dream job" to live a life of value.  What if I never get to that job?  What if life just takes a different course?  What if my life isn't an action-packed thriller full of intrigue and adventure every day?  What if my life is more about the day-to-day, normal life stuff?

If you had asked me how I felt about a "normal" life only a little while ago, I would have told you I had extreme disdain for it.  I wanted adventure!  I wanted adrenaline!  I wanted a more "noble" task than just comfy, normal life!  Don't tie me down, man!

I still want those things, but I no longer find my life's value in them.  I have realized that I can live meaningfully without them.  There is a wonderful art to taking normal, everyday life and making it beautiful, and that is the kind of life God is asking me to live.  He is proud of me for being a person of character, not for doing a bunch of good tasks.

I know it sounds ridiculous, but this is totally freeing to me.  God isn't waiting for me to hurry up and make something of my life that he can be proud of; He's already given me a life he's proud of, purpose and meaning already included.  I make him proud by doing the daily life things I need to do with integrity, intentionality, and grace, by being faithful to my commitments, and by loving the people he has put around me.

For me, one way this is intentionality put into action is by taking pride in my home, not just making do with it, and opening it to others.  I'm motivated to make it truly beautiful, to add little decor touches, to keep it organized, and to make it really work for Jacob and me.  Heck, I bought a Christmas wreath the other day!  I'm motivated to re-do some things in our home and I'm actually excited about it!

How do you feel about your "normal" everyday life?  How do you cope with what can sometimes become dull routine?  What gives your life purpose and meaning?

P.S. The Two Year Anniversary Giveaway is still going on!  Don't forget to enter for lots of prizes!

1950s Rail Haven Fun

Flashback Summer: 1950s Hotel Photo Shoot - Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven, Elvis Motel

Those of you that follow the blog know that I don't often delve into the crinoline-based 1950s styles and tend to lean towards a more slender 30s-40s silhouette, but at the request of my friend Chelsea we did a 50s themed photo shoot at a historical hotel here in town.  (It's the Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven, in case you were wondering!)  She doesn't usually wear vintage, but doesn't she rock it so well?!

Elvis stayed at this hotel back in the day, and, happily, they've retained the retro look and feel of the spot.  We borrowed their props and office for a 50s photo shoot I hope you'll enjoy!  You can find the entire album on the Flashback Summer Facebook page!

P.S. Don't forget to enter the Giant Two Year Anniversary Giveaway going on now!  And if you've already entered, you can up your chances even more by pinning your favorite pictures from the blog every day!

Flashback Summer: 1950s Hotel Photo Shoot - Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven, Elvis Motel

Flashback Summer: 1950s Hotel Photo Shoot - Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven, Elvis Motel
Flashback Summer: 1950s Hotel Photo Shoot - Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven, Elvis Motel

Flashback Summer: 1950s Hotel Photo Shoot - Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven, Elvis Motel

Flashback Summer: 1950s Hotel Photo Shoot - Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven, Elvis Motel

Two Year Anniversary Giveaway!

This giveaway is now closed.  The winners were announced here.

This month marks the two year anniversary of Flashback Summer!  I can't believe it's been so long since I published my first post.  It's been a wonderful journey of connecting with you guys, learning about myself, and finding the blog's niche.  Top three things I've learned this year:

- Eyebrow pencils are my best friends.  I will never go back to brow baldness.
- My blog's niche is now "vintage with a big worldview."  It pretty much incorporates some of my biggest loves in life.  It took surprisingly long to figure this niche out!
- Comparing to other blogs is stupid.  So many people have better photography, better clothes, better DIYs... but I can just work on improving my blog and working within my "niche."  I'll use all the resources I have to give you guys some great, quality content!

So, to say thank you for your involvement, support, and friendship over the past couple years, I have a giant two-year anniversary for you guys!  There are lots of prizes up for grabs, and feel free to enter for as many or as few as you like!  The giveaway is open to everyone regardless of location!

The giveaway starts now and will end on November 1 at 12 am, US Central Standard time.  You can use the Rafflecopter widgets below to enter for each prize, and there are many ways to enter!  You can even enter once a day by pinning to Pinterest for even more chances to win!  The winners will be chosen by random selection and announced in the one or two days after the giveaway ends!

Edited note: Some have brought up some difficulty finding me on Instagram, and I think if you type in flashbacksummer as one word, I should pop up! Comment if you're still experiencing trouble!
Also, feel free to enter for several prizes under the same kind of entry option.  For example, if you subscribe to FS emails, you can enter with that option under all the prizes if you wish!

Vintage in Context: the 1890s

This is a new series I'll be working on entitled "Vintage in Context."  We vintage lovers definitely pick and choose the parts of history we enjoy (which is totally okay; it's the luxury of living now and looking back!).  However, it's great to get a more holistic view of history to more fully understand our vintage love. 
I also like the idea of seeing each decade as it was in different parts of the world, not just the West that many of us are more familiar with.  It helps explain the attitudes of people in each culture toward each other, for it was a world before globalization, the Internet, fast travel, and other technologies that make intercultural dialogue easier today.

To start, I'm going to pull from the 1890s, for this decade helped set up many of the major events of the early 1900s.  In this decade...

The Jungle Book is published in 1894 by Rudyard Kipling.  Kipling drew from his childhood experiences growing up in India (and his later years living there) to write stories of animals with moral points included.  The more well-known stories include stories of Mowgli and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.

The Panic of 1893 occurred and became the worst economic depression in American history until that point.  Started by shaky railroad, iffy foreign investment, the amount of silver flooding the market, and other factors, the Panic of 1893 saw up to 19% unemployment and waves of strikes.  The U.S. Treasury ran dangerously low on gold and had to borrow from J.P. Morgan, but the economy began to recover in 1897.

Tribes of Northern Sudan rally around the Mahdi and overthrow the British-Egyptian government in the early 1890s.  They establish the first Islamic state in Sudan, as well as being the only indigenous peoples to win independence from Britain through warfare.  They hold off the British, Egyptian, and Ethiopian armies until 1898 when Khartoum is retaken.
This inspires Rudyard Kipling's poem "Fuzzy Wuzzy" (an actually positive view of Sudanese warriors, despite the language we would now consider racist) and several movies in later decades.

The bustle and corset are still going strong, albeit with slimmer skirts.
Another motto of the times, the bigger the hair and bigger the sleeves, the smaller the waist!  Matched with a giant hat is even better.


December 27, 1890 marks the date of the Wounded Knee Massacre.  After tensions between the government and Native Americans continued to grow due to a resurgence of the Ghost Dance and its meanings, conflict between a soldier and Sioux man resulted in a shot being fired.  This sparked an immediate and brutal response from the cavalry that resulted in 150-300 Sioux people (half of whom were women and children) being massacred on the spot.  This was the last stand of the Sioux and the last major confrontation between soldiers and the Plains Indians.

1890s pictures from around the world:

source - Hudson Taylor sets a new precedent as a missionary that speaks Mandarin, eats and dresses in Chinese style and accepts Chinese culture as his own because of his love for the Chinese people and shuns the lifestyle he could be living as a Western Imperialistic foreigner in China.

African Curry Recipe

Flashback Summer: African Curry Recipe

This African curry is the ultimate "make do and mend" version of a recipe.  It works well in Africa because so much of it can be substituted or skipped, depending on what's available.  It's a great way to use up random bits from the fridge and pantry while making a filling meal that everyone can customize to their own liking!
This recipe is basically a chicken curry sauce served over rice.  The thing that makes it awesome is all the optional toppings, which I've listed below.  You can use as many or as few as you like, but the more the merrier!
Curry Sauce Ingredients:
This makes enough sauce for about half a chicken.
1/4 cup curry (I used mild yellow curry)
1 diced apple
1 diced tomato
1 diced onion
1/3 cup margarine/butter
1 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp dry mustard powder or a dash of mustard
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp sugar
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk (evaporated milk, whatever)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 chicken (any cut, whatever works)

- Boil the chicken and keep the broth.
- Cook onion and garlic in butter until clear, then mix in the rest of the spices.
- Add in and stir the flour until all is coated.
- Add the tomato, apple, and cocunt and let it simmer for 5 minutes.  (It burns easily!)
- Stir in chicken broth and milk.
- Shred up chicken and add to sauce.  Let it simmer for 15 more minutes.
- Serve over rice and enjoy!

Flashback Summer: African Curry Recipe
Granted, the color of the curry looks a little icky here.  But I SWEAR it's good!

Optional ingredients:
shredded coconut
pineapple chunks
apple bits
tomato bits
diced onion
banana pieces
mango bits
bell pepper
(and whatever else you think of!)

Creating a Project Journal

Flashback Summer: Creating a Project Journal - Sewing DIY

After seeing a post on a sewing journal from 1947, I thought about how incredible it would be to run across a notebook like it, full of notes on patterns a 1940s lady made up for herself, complete with pictures, fabric swatches, and sketches.  It would be a gold mine of information!

Then I thought, "Wait a second... If I wish someone had done that 70 years ago... will some girl 70 years from now wish I did that?"

So I decided, I will give to future generations the project notebook I wish I had!  Of course, they may be thrown off by all the patterns being from the 30s-50s and the journal from 2014... but they can enjoy it nonetheless. 

"But Emileigh," you say, "You can just keep track of that on your computer.  You can keep project notes in places like Ravelry, for knitting, and stuff like that.  Why a paper notebook?"  Because someday there will be a zombie apocalypse and there will be no computers, and I still want to have my sewing notes at that time... So I can look fabulous while running through the forest for my life...?

Anyway, in the meantime, a project notebook will do wonders in helping me remember which alterations I make, where I got fabrics, etc.  I like the idea of keeping track of everything.  While I moved around a lot to different countries as a teenager, so many things were lost into the "black hole" of moving, never to be seen again.  If I move around again and lose more things, at least there will be SOME record of them!

Flashback Summer: Creating a Project Journal - Sewing DIY

I really like the handwritten, scrappy type of journal, so that's how mine looks.  I have some more examples of sewing journals at the bottom for you to look at, however, if you'd like to try something a bit more you-ish!

So in this post are pages from my journal, for inspiration.  It's still a work in progress, but here are some of the elements I'd like to include for each project (or as many as I can come up with!):
- Pattern description: envelope picture, which version, size, and year
- Fabric/yarn description: what kind of fabric, a swatch, where I got the fabric, what it's called, how much it was
- Alterations: If I made any alterations, what they were and how well they worked out
- Pattern changes: If I changed the pattern at all, listing the changes or the changes I'd like for next time
- Occasion: why I made this project
- Finished look: pictures of me wearing the finished garment, preferably in a real-life setting
- Stories: anything interesting, frustrating, funny that happened along the way!

Flashback Summer: Creating a Project Journal - Sewing DIY

Flashback Summer: Creating a Project Journal - Sewing DIY

I used a smaller scrapbooking album, but I took all the page protectors out and replaced them with normal paper.  Because I like it better.
I picked the expandable kind of album because I have a guess that this book is going to get fat from the scraps and papers glued in.  This kind of album doesn't have a spine binding to worry about!

Flashback Summer: Creating a Project Journal - Sewing DIY

And here are examples of other sewing notebooks, for more inspiration!

Tiny Angry Crafter (Sponsor this month!)

Apple Butter Makin' Days and Sweater Details

Flashback Summer: Apple Butter Makin' Days and 1940s Sweater Details - classic pickup truck
Flashback Summer: Apple Butter Makin' Days and 1940s Sweater Details - Mount Vernon, Missouri autumn

Flashback Summer: Apple Butter Makin' Days and 1940s Sweater Details

One of the best things about the southern Missouri area is all the small town festivals during the fall.  It seems like nearly every town has one at some point, and the themes range from Cider Days to Turkey Trot to today's festival, Apple Butter Makin' Days!

Apple Butter Makin' Days far exceeded my expectations.  Located in Mount Vernon, Missouri (a town I have never felt the need to visit until now), it was actually a large, fantastic festival!  It had lots of delicious food, live music, and a huge array of hand-made, quality items.  I judge festivals by food and crafts, basically, and I was pleased to find the crafts here were unique, really artistic, and creative.  It was fun to walk around and look at everything, even though it was doing a strange, cold, misty-rain thing on and off throughout the day.

Flashback Summer: Apple Butter Makin' Days and 1940s Sweater Details - classic car show

Flashback Summer: Apple Butter Makin' Days and 1940s Sweater Details

Flashback Summer: Apple Butter Makin' Days and 1940s Sweater Details

One of my favorite things was the car show.  I've gone to a bunch (my dad's family is very into this sort of thing), and I enjoy them.  I know very little about the cars ("Ooo, that one's engine is... so shiny..."), but I still like looking at them!  This is the BEE-YOO-TEE-FUL late 1940s pickup I liked best and picked out for myself to have.  In my imaginary world.  (Actually, I'd like an earlier model, but this one was my favorite at the show there!)

Jacob got some candied nuts to munch on the whole time, and he was perfectly happy.  That seems to be the consistent part that all the men I know especially enjoy at these events.

Outfit Details   (Sweater knitting details at the bottom)
blouse: handmade by me, Simplicity 4762
skirt: vintage 1950s
sweater: vintage 1950s, found in a flea market
shoes: Naya brand
pants: handmade by me, Simplicity 4362
sweater vest: handmade by me, Sun-Glo series 57, no. 2652 (from Granny's PDF Patterns)

Flashback Summer: Apple Butter Makin' Days and 1940s Sweater Details

Here is a summary of the pattern details and things I changed:
Yarn: 100% wool, "Wool of the Andes" Worsted yarn in "Evergreen" (I used a little over 5 skeins, I believe)
Pattern: Sunglo 57, Patriot Pullover No. 2652
Year: early 1940s
Notions: none
How historically accurate is it? Extremely!  I didn't change a thing from what the pattern called for.
Any tricky parts to the pattern?  This was my first time doing a cable knit, so I almost gave up knitting after trying a few times... then realized I wrote the pattern down wrong. But that's not the pattern's fault.
Did you change anything?  I used circular needles to knit a ribbed band around the armholes instead of the DC trim the pattern called for.
Time to complete: I just don't count hours when knitting.  Too depressing.
First worn: October 2014
Total cost: yarn = around $30
Notes: I really like this pattern.  I'd recommend an extremely loose cast off method if you decide to knit around the armholes like I did, or to just go with the DC called for.  My armholes are a little tight with a blouse underneath.