Everything Shows Up On eBay Eventually

Luella for Target bag

I think it was two years ago that I fell in love with this bag from Luella Bartley's Target line. It has lots and lots of pockets and it's bright yellow: of course I loved it!

I bought one (the only one my Target had) and looked for it at the other Targets in Chicago, but of course I didn't find one — everyone loved this bag. So, once it was clear that I was going to wear it into little tiny bits (and I did; I broke the top zipper and washed it until it was more of a grayish mustard color than yellow) I started an eBay search for it.

I used the keywords "Luella yellow" and yesterday my search finally came up gold. (Or, rather, yellow.) Some seller dug up a new-with-tags version and put it up, and five hours later it was (notionally) mine. (I still have to wait for it to come in the mail, and I just realized I didn't remember to have it sent to my PO Box. D'oh! Time to email the seller …)

So my recommendation to you is to save those eBay searches (check out this page if you need help) and keep renewing them. Everything shows up on eBay eventually. You just need to be patient.

Meet Our Advertisers #2: Janet at Lanetz Living

McCalls 9540

Here is the second in our continuing series of "Meet Our Advertisers": Janet from Lanetz Living!

How long have you been in business?
Started on Ebay in 1999.

What motivated you to go into the vintage pattern business?
I dealt mostly in Ephemera (old paper) and would buy from estate liquidators. I often purchased 50# at a time and these lots often included vintage "Paper" sewing patterns. I was fascinated with the illustrations and they sold extremely well. I began searching them out and pretty soon I started getting lots of emails wanting me to buy estate lots of patterns and so it began …

What did you do before this?
Stayed at home and tried to spend every dime my husband made. (He told me to make my own "dimes"!) He was quite happy and really thought I would only sell enough to keep my grandchildren in toys and clothes and visits from "Nani". He was shocked by the way the website took off in 2006. I now work 40-60 hours a week with full time help. I am having a ball!!!

Where are you based?
20 miles west of Wichita Kansas in a small farming town.

More fun questions:

What do you have in stock that you can't believe hasn't sold?
A better question for me is "What I had that DID sell!!" Some pretty wild patterns go out of here on a daily basis. Ha!

What do you dream about finding?
Vogue Designer patterns … from a store that went out of business 50 years ago and have been secretly tucked away in a dry climate free from bugs waiting for me to find them!! Come home to Mamma!!!

What do you enjoy most about working with vintage clothes and vintage sewing patterns?
The customers from around the world. I love to hear their stories of why they are purchasing them. I often post them on the website.

It's a good day at work when …
We get all the orders filled and out the door and a new gallery is listed and I still have time to make dinner for hubby.

You'd laugh if you knew this about me …
I don't sew.

Janet is having a sale: Take 15% off. Enter the code "15" in the discount box on the shipping page when you check out. Expires Sunday night June 22nd at 11pm CST. (Send her well-wishes for her grandson Chandler's speedy recovery from surgery while you're at it …)

Linktastic Thursday!

Michael Miller Word Search Cream

Jane sent this fabric, which is on sale at Hancock's of Paducah … she also sent earlier some even better alphabet fabric from Fashion Fabrics Club … which is now unavailable. (I'll take my own pic and post it when mine arrives.) She also sent this text-based fabric, if you just can't get enough typographical goodness.

Kathy found this pattern at a yard sale for 33 1/3 cents (she got three for a dollar).
Simplicity 3233
Needless to say, I love the pockets.

Speaking of pockets, Kim sends this brilliant Sesame Street video about their social importance. (Watch for the über-Seventies carpenter pants pockets.)

Nancy found near-perfect ginkgo fabric from Marimekko. I can see I'll have to start a special savings fund for this one. (Warning: site loaded badly in Firefox 3.)

Cookie found the fauxlero to end all fauxleros, at the Antique Dollhouse of Patterns:

Butterick 9262

I think that pattern is also a dirigible hostess dress, for sure, from the late, waning, Pan-American days of the industry.

Heather sent this wonderful ruffly number.

Melissa sent this comma necklace. Want.

Kate in Texas sent this really cute bee fabric from Hart's Fabrics — which doesn't let you link directly to items, frustrating! So search on "bee" if you want to find it.
bee fabric
I would make a very serious tailored dress out of this … it's $8.99/yard and only 45" wide though, so maybe not this week.

Another "not this week" fabric (I missed the auction!) is this:
swiss dot fabric
I have not a single, solitary idea what I could have made out of it, though, even if I had gotten to the auction in time, since it was only 4 yards of 36" wide … from seller emt-mom-70.

Marilyn wants to know if there are charities that would take her cedar chest full of wool fabric … and I'd like to know if there are charities that would like a lot of cotton scraps, since mine are getting outrageous, and — let's be honest — the chances of me making that charm quilt I keep muttering about? Are infinitesimal.

I haven't seen the Sex and the City movie yet (I know!) but HotPatterns (spoiler alert) has a related pattern … now I think I really should go see it.

But not today. Today I have 500 emails to answer. Wish me luck!

Dust Ho!

Punch Dust Ho!

Whenever I need a good shot of righteous indignation, I like to search through Google Books on keywords like 'ridiculous dress' or 'ludicrous gown', because I'm never disappointed. I can always find some man who has decided that the only thing wrong with the world is women's dress, and that of course he, being far above the vagaries of fashion (and who is, of course, wearing that completely rational item of dress, the necktie) is ideally suited to pass criticism upon it.

This example is wonderful — it's not that the streets of London are filthy, or that men should perhaps not throw their cigar butts in the gutter — no, women's dresses are too long. (Why can't both things be true, I wonder?)

Q. WHAT is the dirtiest creature you know?
A. The English fine lady.
Q. What are your reasons for saying this ?
A. Her habits.
Q. Explain yourself more fully.
A. When she walks she drags behind her a receptacle for dust and dirt of every kind.
Q. What is this called?
A. A long dress, or train.
Q. What is its action?
A. It sweeps the ground, collects mud, dust, cigar-stumps, straws, leaves, and every other impurity.
Q. What happens next?
A. This accumulation rubs off to a certain extent upon other portions of her dress, or upon the legs of any person who may walk beside her, and when she gets into her carriage, the objectionable matter spoils the lining ; besides that, the dust is most offensive.
Q. Why does she wear such a ridiculous dress?
A. For one of two reasons. Either because she aims at a servile imitation of certain great folks, or because she owes money to her milliner, and dares not order any kind of dress except that which this tyrant sends home to her.
Q. Why does she not raise, or loop up her dress to keep it from the ground?
A. Because, being a lazy person, she has thick ancles [sic], or being a scraggy person, she has skinny ones, which her vanity forbids her to exhibit.
Q. Is there any other reason?
A. Yes; she has probably ugly feet, disfigured by corns or bunions caused by wearing tight boots.
Q. Is there any cure for such habits?
There is none, until her husband has been nearly ruined by her extravagance, when she is compelled by economical reasons to dress like a rational being, and at once becomes clean and charming as the British female was intended to be.
Q. What sensation is caused to man by the sight of these dresses ?
A. Contemptuous pity for the woman, and pity, without contempt, for her unfortunate husband.
Q. Does she know this ?
A. Yes, but as she dresses less to please men than to vex women, the knowledge has no effect upon her dirty habits.
Q. Where can the animal be seen?
A. At the Zoological Gardens on Sunday afternoons, in the Park and Kensington Gardens, and in most places where fine clothes can be successfully exhibited.
Q. What lesson should you deduce from this ?
A. That of thankfulness to Providence that, (if married at all) you are married to a sensible woman and not to a fine lady.
Q. What will you take to drink ?
A. Anything you like to put a name to.

Meet Our Advertisers #1 : Jen of MOMSPatterns

Simplicity 4228

Here is the first in the series of "Meet Our Advertisers": Jen from MOMSPatterns!

How long have you been in business?
I've been in business on eBay since 1998, and owned my own vintage sewing pattern website since September, 2006!

What motivated you to go into the vintage pattern business?
I used to sell costume patterns, until a dear friend of my mother's found a box of 1940s patterns in her aunt's attic. She asked if I'd be interested in selling them, and I originally, very snobbily said, "Oh, I'll TRY but I can't see that there's a market for USED OLD PATTERNS." Imagine my surprise and delight when they sold for more money than my NEW patterns! I adore the styles and fashions from the past, so started focusing on the vintage styles and couldn't be happier having a job dealing with what I LOVE.

What did you do before this?
I used to foreclose houses for a large, well-known bank!

Where are you based?
I'm in a town called Orange Park, which is right outside of Jacksonville in Florida. Hot, humid & sunny … all the time.

More fun questions:
What's the weirdest/best/most unusual/most beautiful thing you've ever

Dabbling in vintage clothing, I found nearly ninety (yes, 90!) vintage new old stock DeWeese bathing suits from the 1970s. My pals Michelle from Dollhouse Bettie and Ang from Dorothea's Closet Vintage are selling them on consignment for me and we are reveling in the whole Charlie's Angels feel of them!

What do you have in stock that you can't believe hasn't sold?
Most of the 1930s and 1940s FABULOUS DuBarry patterns I recently added … They're just fantastic … really!

What do you dream about finding?
A box of 100 or more uncut 1920s McCall's vintage sewing patterns … An original Fortuny Delphos evening gown … and good homes for any of my beloved patterns for sale!

What do you enjoy most about working with vintage clothes and vintage sewing patterns?
I love the quality of vintage clothing. The attention to details … the shirring, the draping and the utter GLAMOUR of the days gone by.

What do you wish someone would ask you about your site?
May I Link To You / Blog About You / Advertise For You?

It's a good day at work when …
I wake up to emails from people telling me that they just found the MOMSPatterns site and they had SO much fun looking at styles that their mother or grandmother had made for them … when I can connect someone with a pattern they used to love SO much but lost … and when there's a nice stack of orders to get filled & shipped!

If I ran the internet for a day I'd …
Make sure I was number one on Google for ALL vintage sewing search keywords & combinations so I could make sure I was reaching anyone who was interested in vintage, sewing, and vintage sewing!

The blogs I read (other than ADAD) are …
Random Acts of Vintage (My friend Lisa's blog)

You'd laugh if you knew this about me …

Jen has also offered to run a month long sale for you! Coupon code 'nowiknowjen' 15% off. From today until the end of the month!

More coupon details … you can use the code over & over & over again all month long, so as you see more patterns added throughout the month, you can STILL use that code! Free s&h to USA & Canada with the purchase of 5 or more patterns, discounted shipping rates available for international orders.

Nice Day for a White Wedding (Dress)

white dragon dress

These GoodOrient folks sent me a very nice email this morning, and I went to their site to browse around. It's been ages since I've worn a qipao (mostly because they don't have POCKETS) but I've always loved how elegant they are …

This is in their clearance section. It is available in sizes 4 or 14, and looks to me like a wonderful no-budget wedding dress. It's long, it's silk, it doesn't feature the patented Shelf-o-Cleavage that seems to afflict so many wedding dresses today, and it is TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS. (Yes, you read that right. $25.00.)

The non-sale price? $38.99.

I know for some people it's all about the acres of tulle, but this would be a wonderful dress for a quiet (or second) wedding or elopement. Bridal, but not Cinderellaish; elegant, but still funky. An small evening ceremony, with a reception at home? A city hall ceremony followed by a nice lunch in a restaurant? This dress would be wonderful … you could look like a bride and still get yourself into a cab without having to have a Designated Stuffer. And at this price, you could add some truly fabulous shoes and some serious undergarments. I'd wear sapphire (or lapis lazuli or at least sapphire-colored) drop earrings for the "something blue". (For the something borrowed I hereby lend you this idea.)

You could have a LOT of extra honeymoon if your dress was only $25. I'm just saying.

GoodOrient would like to advertise here — does anyone have any experience with them? I'm on the fence about whether to accept them, as I really prefer to accept advertising only from small businesses who do sewing- or vintage-related things. But a lot of people have been asking me where to get clothes made in Asia, and I have no answers. I'd love your feedback, folks.

Speaking of advertisers, I'm starting a new series of posts, a "meet-our-advertisers" series. I was a bit curious about all these folks — how did they start their businesseses? What do they like about patterns and vintage? These are not sponsored posts (other than that these folks all advertise) I was just nosy, I mean, interested, and I thought you all would be, too! I'll post the first one later on today. (These will be in addition to, not replacing, daily or semi-daily posts.)

The Hostess With the Mostess

Butterick 5666

This pattern (kindly sent by Lisa of Miss Helene's) is one of a set of (?) "College-Career Fashions created by student-designers of Stephens College, Columbia, MO". However, if anyone on that campus (or anywhere in Columbia, MO) EVER wore anything like this except for the inevitable fashion show (including their most illustrious alumna), I will construct an audacious little cocktail hat and eat it.

I can't imagine that this is a "College-Career fashion", by which I'm assuming they mean something you can wear at College, and then in your Career. (With capital letters because having either College or a Career ws so rare.)

Wearing this at College (unless you ditch the capelet) is patently ridiculous, but you know what Career they meant, of course: this is the dirigible-hostess uniform for the Greater Midwest Lighter-Than-Airlines! Or at least the one that won the contest that the GMLTA conducted among college student-designers.

The dirigible hostesses all loved this design since they could wear their capelet-belt-aprons on duty, then leave them hanging in the GMLTA locker room while they went out to enjoy the nightlife of Columbia MO, St. Louis, Kansas City, or Duluth. (The hubs of the GMLTA.)

The head hostesses would wear navy dresses and red capes, and the cadet hostesses would have red sheaths and navy capes. So chic.

They'd take their little GMLTA pins off the capes, though, and wear them on their sheath dresses, since they were good for a free drink and plate of crudités at any bar in the GMLTA hub cities.

Ah, I wish the GMLTA hadn't gone belly-up (literally, it was terrifying, thank goodness they had those five-point seat harnesses). Those were the days when travel was truly an elegant adventure.