Monday, August 31, 2009

Signed, sealed and delivered!

The wedding gown that I have been working on since February was safely delivered to the bride today, along with a truly adorable blouse for her flower girl to wear... no pics of the dress until after the wedding on October 10, so in the meantime I'll let you guess what might be hiding in that muslin garment bag!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Dress your best for less

Attention all you fashionistas living in the greater LA area: Sept 11-13 is the Dress On A Dime Women's Resale Boutique at the Residence Inn, 25320 Old Rd. in Santa Clarita. The semi-annual sale features women's clothing, shoes, and accessories-- thousands of new and gently used name brand items FOR CHEAP! :) You'd be doing a big favor to the planet by purchasing used on top of the benefit to your bank account. Because, I'm guessing that even in the best economic climate we wouldn't be able to afford that lovely money dress featured in the photo above (found at made from $100,000 worth of British money. Here is another fun money dress, and who could forget the awesome American Express dress worn by Lizzy Gardiner when she accepted the Oscar for Best Costumes in 1994 for The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

30 in 30

In just 30 short days, I will be turning 30 years old! To celebrate this exciting and momentous occasion, I will be spending an evening soaking in vintage glamor at Club Cicada in historic downtown Los Angeles' Oviatt Building. I will be wearing this David Meister dress and will be styling my hair something like this cropped curly 'do from 1953, but probably with some gardenias thrown in, and maybe a birdcage. Or maybe I'll just go with the fascinator. I'm open to suggestions!:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Painted-on stocking seams: a reader question response

Reader d'Arcy writes: "I would like to request a post about stockings (wasn't there a phase of actually painting the seam onto bare legs?).. I am curious about this trend and it's roots."

The history of hosiery is truly fascinating to the fashionista, but the era of painted-on-stocking-seams is one of the most compelling subjects. Stockings were made of silk until 1939 when nylons were invented, just in time for World War II to begin and divert all nylon production to the war effort. Because nylons were not available and women wanted to show their patriotism, but still wanted that sexy stockings look, they began painting the seams on their legs (seamless stockings had not yet been invented, and let's just face it... they lack that "certain something" that old-school seamed stockings have).

In the 1990's when rockabilly culture saw a resurgence on the West Coast of the US, young women began having stocking seams permanently tattooed on their legs.

For tips on how to paint your own stocking seams, check out this excerpt from How To Walk in High Heels: The Girl's Guide to Everything, by Camilla Morton.

Thank you for your question, d'Arcy, and I hope this was helpful!

Also, my InStyle magazine (that I have somehow been getting for free for several months without ever subscribing!) promises me that bold hosiery will be the trend for fall! I can't wait! Now hopefully the temperature in L.A. will drop below 75 degrees sometime this fall or winter so I can partake of all the glorious colorful tights!

Monday, August 17, 2009

This Day in History: 8.17.1969

On Aug. 17, 1969, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair concluded near Bethel, N.Y
"Young people straggling into the Port of New York Authority bus terminal at 41st Street and Eighth Avenue last night were damp, disheveled and given to such wild eccentricities of dress as the wearing of a battered top hat with grimy jersey, blue jeans and sandals." state the NY Times article from this day in 1969.

"From wide-leg pants and jeans (formerly known as bell-bottoms), to the maxi dress, stack shoes and plaid shirts we've all worn the fashion's of Woodstock. Being a kid looking through my moms wardrobe was like looking into a time capsule. I vowed that I would never dress like that. Well here it is 2009 and those same fashions are back and I'm loving them." writes Tona Michelle of

It was a little hard to find good photos of what people were wearing at Woodstock... a lot of the available photos depict the immensity of the gathered crowds or show the popular Woodstock fashion of wearing as little clothing as possible.

The fashions of the flower children were influenced by their ideals. The long, undone hair on men and women reflected the subculture's emphasis on being natural. The appearance of ethnic silhouettes and patterns stemmed from an acceptance of and curiosity about the global community that was suppressed during the isolationism of the 1950's and early 1960's. The increased use of drugs, particularly psychedelics, led to an explosion of color and wild prints in the fashions of the "hippies".

And here's a very worthwhile take on what the reality of the 60's was for many people of mainstream culture, the observers of the Woodstock phenomenon.

If you were living the love of the late 1960's, I'd love to get your take on the fashions and the times, even see your pics!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pass the vodka, sweetie dahling....

...and pass on the Febreeze.

Our sweat and our skin have naturally occurring bacteria that discolor and deteriorate fibers and leave odors behind. This is totally normal, it does not mean that you are gross or don't shower enough! :) Even laundering and dry-cleaning those valuable delicate items like silk blouses and formal gowns will not kill these bacteria. This is the cause of discolored underarms in many vintage pieces.

Fortunately, there is a quick, easy, cheap, all-natural solution for this problem... VODKA! (As if we needed another reason to love it) Just put some bottom-shelf vodka (really, the cheaper and higher proof, the better!) in a spray bottle and spritz the areas that come in closest contact with your skin and sweat (like bodices and underarms). You don't have to douse the garment, but be liberal. Vodka's near odorless scent will dissipate quickly, so you won't smell like you spent the night in a distillery and the high alcohol content will kill off those little bugs that want to eat away at your special clothing. The sooner you get to the garment, the better, so be sure to spritz before you drop in the hamper, hang it in the closet, or send it to the cleaners. No need to spend your hard-earned money on the scary chemicals and wasteful packaging of commercial fabric deodorizers. Now you can spend that money you saved on the good stuff to make your favorite martini!

(the photo is from Britain's classic vodka-soaked show Absolutely Fabulous).

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The most beautiful wedding dress of all time

I've been racing the clock on a deadline for a wedding gown that I will be delivering this weekend! I haven't forgotten about you all, but I need to save these fingers for sewing. But, just to give you a little something fun to think about, I googled "the most beautiful wedding dress of all time" and came up with two interesting links,

one from Bride's for their 75th anniversary
and one for celebrity gowns from I'm Not Obsessed

and I'd be oh-so-interested to hear your thoughts on these lists... do you like the dresses? Do you have an all-time favorite wedding gown? Are you more into Princess Grace Kelly's modest lace ensemble or do you lean toward Gwen Stefani's ombre number?

And stay tuned for pictures of this unique gown I'm creating for a very special bride... coming in October!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Too funny!

This made me laugh and hope it makes you laugh, too! :)

Photo courtesy of Ribbon Emporium

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Projects Galore!

I have been a busy little bee around here lately! I thought this photo summed up how I feel pretty well... absolutely inspired, but a bit overwhelmed as well! I am working on a wedding dress for an event in October, along with items for the bride's flower girl and mother (pictures will be forthcoming after the event! Believe me, you couldn't me more excited than I am to get them out, but we must be patient). I am also in the process of painting one of my stained t-shirts. This evening I soaked two 1930s bias-cut nightgowns and when they dry they are destined to be remade into two camisole tops and one two-layererd skirt. And there are always the hundred projects I have started that have been lingering unfinished and I'm always brainstorming new ideas, too. I'm just so excited about it all and can't wait to show you pictures! What wonderful projects have you all been up to lately? I can't wait to hear about them!
Photo from This Is Love Forever

Sunday, August 2, 2009

I'm in love! (don't tell my husband...)

Just kidding. I mean, falling in love with a magazine doesn't really constitute infidelity, right? And really it's more like the kind of love you feel when you meet someone you know is going to be your new best friend. I was wandering aimlessly through the aisles of Jo Ann Fabrics and Crafts, as I usually do whenever I go there, and there it was, resting inconspicuously on the magazine rack, and it was love at first page turn. Belle Armoire is an absolutely gorgeous and inspiring bi-monthly from Stampington & Company dedicated to "wearable art". Each time I turned a page was like cracking into a creme brulee... seriously, I think I was drooling. From repurposed garments and accessories to imaginative couture gowns to whimsical jewelry products this magazine is bursting with designer deliciousness. The thing I find most attractive is its accessibility. No hoity-toity, holier-than-thou Vogue attitude here, these are all craftspeople who not only share their projects with the reader, they give instructions and behind-the-scenes information of how to recreate these craft masterpieces. The publishers also have "challenges" each issue to inspire submissions from their readers. The next challenge deadline is August 15 and the theme is Pieces of the Past. I'll let you know when I finally get around to entering one!

I think I'll ask for a subscription for my birthday. :)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Lindsey in Wonderland

Today I had a wonderful morning shopping in Downtown Los Angeles' Fashion District. For a seamstress, being in the Fashion District is like being a kid in a candy store. A client and I were finding fabrics for a gown I am custom making for her to wear to her daughter's wedding (sorry, no pictures until after the event... don't want to spoil the surprise!). Fabric shopping with a client is such a fun experience, I love working together with the client to make something truly fabulous and unique, with their input every step of the way. I have to say, though, that my feet are TIRED! We went to many different shops in search of the perfect lace, and found something we both loved. A successful trip! If you live in LA or will ever be visiting here, stopping by the Fashion District for fabrics, trims, ready-to-wear, and accessories is a must! This article gives a great run-down of what to expect and how to make the most of your shopping experience.