Meet Our Advertisers #6: Anna at BootyVintage

by Erin on August 28, 2008


McCalls 6649

Today we talk with Anna at BootyVintage …

How long have you been in business?

I started selling vintage sewing patterns, vintage clothing, and doing custom costuming in the 90's. I think I sold my first item on ebay (a silk turn of the century day dress) in 1997. I used a 60 Mb pink plastic Barbie digital camera to take the photos and a dial up modem connection to upload. Thankfully my equipment is a little more sophisticated now.

What motivated you to go into the vintage business?

There are only so many clothes I can wear at one time, and I wanted to share what I found but didn't fit. I'm less interested in collecting than in creating and wearing.

What did you do before this?

In addition to my vintage business, I have always had a day job in software engineering in the Silicon Valley. I also play French horn in a community orchestra.

Where are you based?

I live on the San Francisco Peninsula in California.

What's the weirdest/best/craziest/most beautiful thing you've ever found?

Several years ago I found 10 pair of Levi's big E jeans (super collectible, especially in Japan) at a $1.00/bag Rotary rummage sale. I felt like I was on Antiques Road Show! Another great find was a complete set of 1930's Shirley Temple doll clothes patterns I discovered hidden inside a manila envelope for another doll pattern. Once I found a real Herm├ęs scarf at an Idaho thrift shop for $5.99. And then there are the other six thousand hours of digging through estate sales and flea markets to find nothing. C'est la vie!

What do you have in stock that you can't believe hasn't sold?

I think this pattern rocks, including the artwork, but it hasn't found its destined owner yet.

What do you dream about finding?

Someday there will be a big bold Lanvin necklace just waiting for me in a junk jewelry pile….

What do you enjoy most about working with vintage patterns?

I am crazy about the artwork on the envelopes. (I even like the way the early envelopes feel!) I love scanning and making thumbnails for Etsy. And of course I love sewing up items too. I just finished a 50's floor length summer bathrobe with a full skirt and fitted bodice. I feel so glamorous now that I am out of my shapeless winter fleece.

What do you wish someone would ask you about your site?

I'm always interested to know what people are hungry for. Is it wrap skirts or more shirtdresses, or … ?

It's a good day at work when …

I get off early from my day job and have time to sew before dinner.

The blogs I read (other than ADAD) are …

The Sartorialist
A Year in Exile
My Favorite Intermissions
Belle Dia

You'd laugh if you knew this about me …

I have never gotten a zipper in correctly on the first try in my life. Not once.

Oh, and in other news, it was frequent-commenter Eirlys's birthday yesterday, and her husband gave her a PRESERVING PAN. Which is all well and good (and I would, in fact, like to own one myself, not that I do any canning or preserving, it just seems like a fun thing to have in reserve against the coming apocalypse) but it's not very birthdayish. So in order to cheer her up a bit (and if you're on Facebook) I highly recommend joining The International Sewing Conspiracy.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Dr. Julie-Ann August 28, 2008 at 5:16 pm

Oh my goodness! I can’t believe I actually was able to snag a pattern that was showcased on ADAD!I LOVE that McCall’s pattern and it has now found a loving home.Thanks!

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Zoltar Panaflex August 28, 2008 at 5:46 pm

I don’t think I’d mind the preserving pan that much, my FIL was always giving me cooking devices I had no need for, a bread machine, and once a waffle iron.The irony is I don’t do much of that kind of cooking, breakfast is the complete domain of the husband, and FIL was a little puzzled to find that out. I haven’t gotten any cooking devices since then, I’m glad to say!

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theresa August 28, 2008 at 6:15 pm

I’d love a preserving pan — I just learned to can! Happy B-Day Eirlys

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Anonymous August 28, 2008 at 7:43 pm

I made this dress in 1962 for a 4-H project and won a blue ribbon for it. I remember the pleats so well. They were a nightmare for a fairly new sewer. How much fun it is to see it again. k

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Bella Bliss August 28, 2008 at 9:24 pm

i have looked at that pattern for ages. and when i saw it, i thought it might be fate. but, congrats to you, dr julie-ann. please send me a picture of you in it!

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Amy B. August 29, 2008 at 12:09 am

I have a done a lot of canning in my day. I know what a water bath canner is. I know what a steam canner is. I know what a pressure canner is. I know what a steam juicer is and I own a cider press. what the heck is a preserving pan? LOL!Happy birthday, Eirlys. Keep in mind that if you get a bad present, the rule is you get to go choose something yourself to replace it. ;)

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magpierat August 29, 2008 at 12:52 am

“It’s a good day at work when …I get off early from my day job and have time to sew before dinner.”I think that would be my exact definition as well! If I don’t start sewing before I start dinner, I know there’s no way I’ll get round to any after dinner, so the evening is a sewing write-off :(Eirly my dear, you know what that means, don’t you? For every birthday, holiday and occasion from now on your hubby and all his extended family will be getting preserves! Nothing but preserves! Mwahahaha! Until it gets to the stage 5 or 10 years from now when everyone is so utterly sick of them that he’ll finally mutter “maybe that wasn’t such a great present…” And you can gloat! Oh, how you can gloat!But anyway, I feel your pain – for Valentine’s this year my honey got me a vacuum cleaner…that he’d found in a skip. Nice. In all fairness, it’s a wonderful machine and he spent days fixing it up for me but, well you know – Valentine’s?

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Anonymous August 29, 2008 at 5:15 am

a preserving pan is the one that is heavy enough to make preserves without scorching the preserves. preserves are like jams or jellies or conserves but the sugar:fruit ratio is a bit different – usually not using any Certo or Sure-jell. if that isn’t what she received, then it’s probably a water bath kettle. if it is a water bath kettle – you have a great pot for cooking corn on the cob; spaghetti for a crowd; chili for a crowd; – you get the picture. Happy Birthday Eirlys.

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Eirlys August 29, 2008 at 7:48 am

Good to hear about Anna (who I can now imagine Etsying in her glam, full-skirted bathrobe!). Big respect for combining this with your day job (hope for us all) and with being an actual sewist; are you the only vintage pattern seller featured here to date who does? Oh Erin, bless you! Now I feel moderately ashamed to have used my husband’s gift choice as a sympathy ploy – I really am *delighted* with the pan (yes, it’s heavy with sloping sides, for cooking preserves) but the subtext wasn’t lost on me (I’m 43, after all, if young at heart). Truth is, we had a glut of apples after an apple-tree collapse a few weeks’ back, and where others would have slung them on the compost pile, dusted off their hands and moved on, I couldn’t leave well alone so have been apple-butter/chutney/jelly-producing like crazy. I also try to make marmalade every January when the Seville oranges come in season (or freeze them whole for later) and always moan to my dear husband because a regular large saucepan just doesn’t evaporate the mixture properly. If anyone is curious about preserving techniques, there’s an excellent book by Marguerite Patten (British national treasure who has, incredibly, been telling us how to cook since the days of rationing and powdered egg) available here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Basic-Basics-Jams-Preserves-Chutneys/dp/1902304721And thanks for pointing in the direction of the International Sewing Conspiracy: an idea planted by the suspicions of a disgruntled commmenter here a while back (regulars will remember!). I hoped it would be a bit of fun and that people would find some use for it: overthrowing world paranoia and pusillanimity, for example, and even sharing useful resources. Please feel free to use as you see fit.And thanks for all the kind birthday wishes everyone – much appreciated!

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Jen ~ MOMSPatterns August 29, 2008 at 9:05 am

Ooh yes! HAPPIEST of Birthdays to you! Hope it was great!Hey gals, there’s ONE more McCall’s 6649 in the world. Found it over on ebay for $5.95, bust 33″ but it’s a Buy It Now.. so RUN! You still have time to have a moment of serendipity!!xox

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Penny of antiquedollhouseofpatterns August 29, 2008 at 9:52 am

and just had to wish you wonderful birthday greetings too and a great birthday week.

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libby August 29, 2008 at 10:05 am

Nice to get to know you a bit, Anna. I would love to see the pattern you used for your 50′s summer bathrobe. It sounds like a huge mood lifter. I’d probably never go to work…just sit around all day painting my toenails.Happy Birthday Eirlys. I love getting gifts like yours from my husband. It proves he’s paying attention. I think my favorite gift of all time was when he bought me a whole-house fan. It’s essential to my sanity in these hot central California summers. (installed in the attic, it sucks the cool evening air through the entire house) because he knows how much I love fresh air. Sounds like your guy likes to please you, too. Congratulations!

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anna August 29, 2008 at 10:33 am

Erin, thank you so much for running my interview. It is great to be able to share a little about myself.I used McCalls 5160, Misses Housecoat in Two Lengths, for my robe. I had a little trouble understanding the shawl collar, one of those “how can this possibly be right….oh! it worked!” kind of deals. I had to laugh at eirly’s story about the glut of apples–we used to do the same jelly/chutney/butter thing, plus applesauce with a friend’s tree every fall. It would consume 3 people and an entire hot sticky weekend, but there is nothing like home canned applesauce. I use my kitchen aid mixer with the strainer attachment to strain the cores and skins and speed the process along.

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Eirlys August 29, 2008 at 11:35 am

Oh yes, Anna, I forgot to mention applesauce! But I’ve been freezing mine (still a little daunted by proper canning protocol). I’m a real sucker for community sewing, painting, barn-raising or other activities. Have come across the term “apple bee” for those legendary New England fruit-processing get-togethers. Am sorely in need of one as my garage is beginning to smell of cider (the alcoholic UK variety). Will see if I can muster some fellow peeler/corers for just such a weekend.

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Karen August 29, 2008 at 5:10 pm

Thanks for the link to the facebook group! its looking a bit like a dressaday fan club. :)I recently got into canning as well, I inherited an apple crop and the applesauce attachment for my kitchen aid last year, and had to learn it all fast so I had somewhere to put my gallons of sauce. my husband eats a pint a week, I need to get started on this year’s batch!

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Maury D'annato August 30, 2008 at 1:59 pm

Hi there and, wow, thanks for the dozens of hits, and of course for reading. I’m a notorious fashion imbecile but am having a clueless look around. I like your complex relationship with the animal print in the post above.

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Carol August 31, 2008 at 11:03 am

A friend told me how she cured her husband of the “appliance” present syndrome (he wasn’t paying attention like libby’s). One Christmas season she had a present for him by the tree in a huge, wrapped box about 4 feet square. For a week he speculated on what wonderful gift it could contain. On Christmas morning he opened it to find a new bed set (comforter, etc.) for their bedroom. She told me he never got her another appliance for a gift.

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Miss Kitty September 5, 2008 at 8:28 am

For the record: Booty Vintage is AWESOME! I recently bought two patterns from this lady, and was so happy that she had a lot of sizes in a 38 bust. The selection’s great, and the prices are reasonable. Hooray for Booty Vintage!

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