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Friday, May 7, 2010

project retro

so a couple of weeks ago (i know, i'm so late with this post), the girls and i hit up the vintage clothing expo in santa monica. the teen is a big fan of retro styles, loves the look of women's clothing from the 40's and 50's, and has been trying to get me to figure out how to make her a bathing suit from those eras. while i've seen some patterns and pictures online, i still haven't been successful in finding one that matches her vision.

it was overcast and chilly in santa monica when we pulled up to the civic auditorium. we'd just come from the l.a. times book festival, where we'd been sweating our nuts off, so this was a welcome change. the bean had managed to fall asleep in the car on the way there, so i busted out that ergo carrier, bundled her in, and got ready for a nice workout as we strolled through the expo.

i'd gotten our tickets for free via goldstar, and it was nice to save a few bucks as i'd had to cough up $8 for parking. i am so effing sick and tired of paying for a patch of concrete to leave my car atop. oy vey. but the teen was excited and hopeful, and it's always fun to see her that way. as we walked in, this sign greeted us:

and i was really curious about what was in store for us as we made our way into the auditorium.

it was like a big ass yard sale. and if you know me, you know i have no love for that kind of thing. it's not that i'm too good for it, i just don't really dig the thought of pawing through piles and piles of stuff. and yeah, okay, i'm not big on the idea of used stuff, particularly that of people i don't know. but i tried to keep an open mind...despite the funny smell that permeated the air.

this table was loaded down with piles and piles of costume jewelry. a few ladies were picking through it, trying to match up pairs of earrings.

there were vintage wedding gowns galore. i actually think it would be kind of cool to deconstruct one (or two) of these to create a new dress, but it's not like i'm in the market for wedding attire. never again - at least, not for me.

i was intrigued by this one, though - an unworn wedding gown from the 50s, very "i love lucy." i wondered what the story was behind it.

these dresses were pretty much what i picture when the teen refers to "cool vintage clothing." because, come on, look at them! i would totally rock these styles now.

we were stoked to find this trunk of old clothing patterns and excitedly flipped through them, searching for one to make a swimsuit with. alas, it was not to be.

lots and lots of hats. the teen bemoaned the fact that these are no longer in style - at least, not without attracting a lot of attention to oneself. she's actually not one who covets the spotlight.

i loved this mod dress from the 60s. can't you just see it with a pair of white patent knee-high boots?

vintage bathing suits, check. sort of. look at the price of these things! holy schnikes.

as we neared the exit, we came across this booth by a company in downtown l.a. that does reproductions of outfits from eras past. of course, as most custom work is, it wasn't cheap - the average cost of a little outfit or swimsuit like these was $150.

and then, at one of the last booths, we finally hit pay dirt - a new and uncut sewing pattern for a swimsuit! i'm picturing it in some baby blue and white striped seersucker, perhaps with a bow or rosette accent here and there and perhaps a modification or two to the bottom. this is gonna be fun.

good thing i still have some time before summer. we all know i'll likely end up making a few versions of this, after jacking up attempt #1. and maybe #2, too. heh.


  1. I love those vintage dresses! I would totally wear the light pink/mauve dress. I'm not a fan of the yard sale either, my mom used to force us to go on early Saturday mornings and I've been anti ever since.

  2. I love how the phrase "sweating our balls off" just rolls off your tongue. :)

    The teen is so super lucky to have you as a mommy. Want to adopt me? I could sure use some bacon caramels & a new shirt. :)

  3. I wanna get that welcome sign to wear around my neck. Except replace some words so it says:
    "PLEASE REMEMBER Thatgirl is FRAGILE. She is old, unique, sometimes rare and often is tired. So please treat her with respect."

  4. that is super expensive for some of that stuff! can't wait to see what turns out with the bathing suit!

  5. i love how the weather changes while crossing from one side of the 405 to the other.

    can't wait to see the bathing suit, either!

  6. I agree with you. It's not that I'm too snobby for yard sales / Forever21, but I have no patience for digging through piles of stuff to find the gems.

    Can't wait to see the bathing suit!

  7. cute! I remember that adorable pink Juicy (I think?) bikini you wore summer after the Bean was born... it was in one of your blog posts. SUPER cute!

  8. Oh, good luck on the swim pattern. I pray that the fabric is nice to you and doesn't get too pissy. ;)


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