OOTD: Celebrating my birthday

This past Friday was my birthday and I had plenty of vintage/retro activities planned.  Because of that, I was able to wear the new dress I made - which I'm excited to show you.

On Friday, my friend Erin was taking me to dinner and then over to a local retro bar with a great tiki patio.  Dinner was at a local Asian restaurant, Wasabi, and the retro bar is also a neighborhood favorite, The Orbit Room.  I decided to wear my new handmade dress (which I had first worn the week prior for an early birthday dinner with my aunt)

Dinner at Joey Gerard's supper club - classic booth, classic decor, classic meal

Dinner at Joey Gerard's supper club - classic booth, classic decor, classic meal

To make this dress, I used Simplicity Pattern #1194.  The pattern calls for a heavier (or fancier) fabric, but I wanted something a bit more casual.  I also wanted to use the rayon I had left -something I had bought at a previous fabric sale.  I used pattern C for this dress.

Simplicity pattern #1194

Simplicity pattern #1194

Being that this was my first time making a full dress (not counting a Halloween costume over five years ago), there are definitely some areas that need improvement.  However, for me it works and now I know what areas I want to try to tweak and adjust the next time I use this pattern.  I also know where my "problem" areas are for when I make another dress.  A dress form would definitely help - time to add it to the wishlist.

Overall, I really like it and see myself wearing it often.  For my birthday dinner I paired it with a pair of nude Bandolino sandals (the most comfortable shoes ever) and a purple hair flower.

dress: handmade, shoes:  DSW , hair flower:  Nicocco Creations

dress: handmade, shoes: DSW, hair flower: Nicocco Creations

Birthday celebrations continued on Saturday, when a best friend from college came into town and spent the day with me.  We spent some time roasting in the heat in my backyard and then headed out to dinner at Gyu Kaku downtown.  Its been ages since I was at a Japanese BBQ and we had a great time at dinner!  After dinner, we grabbed a drink at Sable Kitchen & Bar (one of my favorites in the city) and then up to a Vaudezilla Burlesque show.

Since it was another hot day out, and we were going to see a burlesque show, I decided to wear my light weight circle skirt and crop top that is reproduction vintage.  Hair up and with a hair flower, my outfit was complete!

skirt:  Top Vintage , top:  Doll Me Up (similar)  , shoes:  DSW , large hair flower:  Nicocco Creations , small hair flower: DIY by me

skirt: Top Vintage, top: Doll Me Up (similar) , shoes: DSW, large hair flower: Nicocco Creations, small hair flower: DIY by me

Sunday rounded out my birthday activities with a shopping trip to the Vintage Garage where I picked up an amazing '40s skirt and a suitcase in pristine condition.

I had a wonderful birthday weekend and it was the perfect way to transition into the last half of the summer.


OOTD: Black Tie Ballerina

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a black tie gala dinner for my professional industry.  It was the perfect opportunity to put together a formal vintage inspired outfit - since formal events are fewer and farther between.

Earlier in the spring I picked up a tulle skirt pattern, knowing that I was going to want to make my own tulle skirt.  I also found 25 yards of a purple-grey tulle at a fabric warehouse sale.  The skirt pattern was the Simplicity 1427 pattern and I used pattern C for this particular skirt.

The pattern calls for 15 yards of tulle (roughly depending on size), so I was thrilled to have found the tulle on sale. 

After I made the skirt, which was a labor of love, I brainstormed a few options for a top.  My first thought was to use the extra tulle I had left to build out a top that I could pair with it that would be reminiscent of a 1950's tulle prom dress.  The top I put together looked okay, but it left a lot to be desired.  For one, it was A LOT of grey tulle and secondly, it really didn't do anything for my figure.  So I scraped the top and went with my backup option - my satin corset from Orchard Corset and a simple lace tank top.  

This corset is a long line underbust corset from Orchard Corset.  It was my first purchase from them and I LOVE it.  I've worn it for shoots and out to events and I'm still finding new ways to mix it into my wardrobe.  Orchard Corset has great resources if you are interested in corset wearing or waist training and they have a fantastic FAQ page for all those questions you may have before buying your first corset.

I felt like the black swan version of a ballerina!

Luckily, I happen to recently become the owner of this gorgeous '50s hat with purple satin flowers on it.  It was a headband style hat and it worked PERFECTLY with my skirt to bring out the purple tones and to bring some vintage style to the whole look.

Tank: Express (old), corset:  Orchard Corset #345 , Skirt: homemade, shoes: Nordstrom BP brand (old)

Tank: Express (old), corset: Orchard Corset #345, Skirt: homemade, shoes: Nordstrom BP brand (old)

Here's a close up of the flowers on the hat.

I was so thrilled with my outfit - considering it was thrown together at the last minute.  It was a great reminder that sometimes vintage style can be stressful, but totally worth it!

OOTD: DIY Circle Skirt

I decided this summer that I was going to start teaching myself how to sew.  I have sewn a few projects before, but I wanted to be able to make my own clothes to fill my wardrobe when I can't find what I'm looking for.  Also, it really helps supplement any vintage finds.

To start off, I decided to try my hand at a circle skirt.  You can get them at many stores, especially the vintage reproduction stores, but I wanted to be able to use vintage fabric that I may find and make something that was unique to me.  Plus, making things yourself is often times cheaper than buying things AND you know that it will fit!

I made a few "test" skirts that I will be showing you later (they are for a special event this summer - hint, hint) and then decided to try a few summer florals.  I found this gorgeous lilac pattern and this other lovely floral at Joann Fabrics.  You will see the other skirt in a future post, I'm sure.

To start the skirt, I used the Simplicity 1200 pattern but revised it for my needs.  For one, I knew that I couldn't work that pattern exactly as instructed because of the length needed for my height.  So I took the opportunity to add pockets.  Really, every skirt should have pockets.  Then, after my first two test skirts, I revised the length a bit and added more "circle" to the pattern.  It really became more of a trial and error test to get what I was happy with.  I think I figured out the perfect pattern for me.

I'm really pleased with how it turned out and was even more excited when I realized I had the perfect cardigan already in my wardrobe.

This is the outfit I wore to a BBQ last weekend.  I love a good purple outfit.

Cardigan - JCrew (old-  similar ), skirt - DIY, shoes -  Keds

Cardigan - JCrew (old- similar), skirt - DIY, shoes - Keds

OOTD: Hopefully the first of many

I would like to start an Outfit Of The Day series here.  The only problem is it is just me, so I need to improvise on photos so you don't all have to see a 1,000 selfies in a mirror. :)  Instead, you get self timed photos from my camera phone until I improve my technology.

So please bear with me while the photos improve.  In the meantime...

I wanted to share my outfit for the other night.  I had a work function to go to and finally got the opportunity to wear my new vintage apron skirt from Bowbari.  (She is also frequently at the Randolph Market for those of you in the Chicago area.)

Shirt: Express, skirt: vintage, Pants: Jcrew Minnie Pants, shoes: Nine West (old)

Unfortunately, I was rushing and didn't get a picture of the back of the skirt.  It's open (like an apron) and has a very large bow from the ties.  I'll try to get a photo next time.

Minus working out the kinks, here's hoping OOTD posts become a regular thing.