vintage shopping

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.


My Etsy Debut

I was excited a couple weeks ago to be asked by Hopscotch & Soda to model some of her vintage clothes for her Etsy site.  Of course, I JUMPED at the chance.

Since then, a few of the dresses have made their appearance, so I thought I would share.

Modeling clothes for shopping purposes is so different from modeling pin up and I enjoyed the challenge of showcasing the clothing.

*All of these are still available (at least as I type this).

Bountiful Garden Dress - $75 

I'm sure there is more coming to the shop soon... including some fabulous hats.  I can't wait to work more with her - she curates a lovely collection.  Plus, I've got some other exciting product modeling coming up in the next couple of weeks.  I can't wait to share with you all!

Get to Know Ruby: Favorite Chicago Vintage Stores

While online shopping is so easy - and definitely more beneficial for vintage shopping, there are some terrific vintage stores here in Chicago.  So, I figured in addition to my list of Etsy shops, I would also write a quick post about my top five vintage shopping locations in the Chicago area.

First up are not exactly store fronts.  They are vintage fairs/markets that take place monthly (during most of the year).  These are the best resources for clothes, accessories, furniture and other goodies.

Randolph Market - Almost every month on the fourth weekend

The Randolph Market is held at the Plumber's Union Hall on Randolph Street.  It is three floors of vintage sellers and during the summer months it is also outdoors in the parking lot.  It is the perfect place to check out some of my regular sellers that don't have store fronts.

Vintage Garage - Every third Sunday in April-October

Vintage Garage is a true "Flea Market" style shopping experience.  It takes place in a multi-level parking garage filled with vintage sellers.  Furniture, clothing, accessories!  It is another great opportunity to maximize your vintage shopping time.

Now, as far as store fronts, here are my favorite three.

Antique & Resale Shoppe

This store is small and outside the city limits, but it is bursting at the seams with costume jewelry and other vintage goodies.  My mom and I visited this shop last summer for the first time and spent HOURS browsing their jewelry and hats.  They have a small arrangement of clothing and other accessories.  They also have some household goods.  But their jewelry is really the reason to come to this shop!

Knee Deep Vintage

Knee Deep is a terrific vintage store in the Pilsen neighborhood.  They have a wide variety of eras in their shop.  Plan to take a couple of hours to browse through their well organized sections.  And don't forget to check out the back room where they keep the dressier (and older) items.  I'm found some great 50s day dresses here.

Market Supply Company

Market Supply Co.  is the store front for one of my favorite vintage stores, Dethrose Vintage.  It is different from your average vintage shop because it doesn't look like a vintage shop.  It looks like you are walking into an average boutique but all the clothing is vintage.  Typically more mid-century, they have lovely clothes here.

Get to Know Ruby: Favorite Vintage Shops on Etsy

I love Vintage shopping and Chicago has some great vintage stores (I'll post my list of favorites soon).  But searching for 40s and 50s styles in my size is no small feat, so I also turn to my favorite vintage online option - Etsy!

So I thought I would share my top five Etsy shops for vintage goodies.

First up, Hopscotch & Soda - a local Chicago seller.  Virginia curates a lovely collection and really has a pulse on that mid-century style.  She's also one of the few people I've seen selling that lists the measurements for all of her clothing - especially important since sizing is really all over the place.  Her prices are definitely fair and range based on the particular item.  For those local, she frequently has a booth at the Randolph Street Market (more on that in my shop post).  

Another Chicago-based seller I like is Dethrose Vintage.  She also has a variety of lovely dresses and separates from the 40s and 50s.  She also has a brick and mortar store down in the Pilsen neighborhood.  I made my first trip there and was impressed by her "boutique" style - very different from a typical vintage/resale store.  

First Ladies Vintage is another Chicago-based seller.  I swear, I wasn't intentionally just picking Chicago sellers.  It just so happens that I found these sellers in person first and then started following their Etsy stores for a bigger selection.  She has a lovely collection and I recently saw them vending at the Vintage Garage.

Now, if I haven't mentioned it in this blog yet, I am obsessed with vintage hats.  Which is why High Hat Couture is on my list of top five sellers.  She has the most gorgeous vintage hats from early 1900s right through the 1980s.  I have at least a dozen of her hats on my list of favorites.  If only I had more storage space in my place.

Rounding out my list of favorite vintage sellers is actually not a vintage seller.  Miss Lizzy D Creations makes vintage inspired playsuits and custom pieces.  I have an adorable custom playset from her.  Her pieces tend to steer more towards the "rockabilly" side of vintage wear.  Her construction is amazing and she is really easy to work with.

Of course, there are LOTS of vintage sellers on Etsy.  My best recommendation to finding your favorites is to search for objects you are looking for.  You will begin to notice sellers popping up in your searches frequently and chances are, they probably sell in the style/era you are looking for.

Next I'll work on my list of favorite vintage stores in Chicago.