Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Weekend in Georgia

Last weekend, Mike and I took a little trip to Southern Georgia.  Mike's friend from high school was getting married, and he was a groomsman.  Since his office has a plant down in Thomasville, he went down on Monday and worked for the week, and I met him in Valdosta on Thursday.  It worked out perfectly because Mike's airfare and our rental car was expensed!

I got into Valdosta around dinner time, so the first thing we did was hit up the Smok'n Pig for some good southern BBQ.  I got a rib 'n brisket combo with mac and cheese and creamed corn, and Mike went for a big old rack of ribs with fries and beans.  We were so full afterwards there was no way we could go to a bar for cocktails (which was the original plan) so we just took a nice drive through Valdosta.  We only got to spend a little bit of time there and I wish we had longer, because their downtown area is adorable and filled with cute restaurants and cafes and antique and consignment shops.

We drove past a place called "The Crescent", and I told Mike we had to come back the next morning and take pictures.  It was so pretty!  There was a wedding going on so we spied a little and took a few covert pictures.

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I love the Spanish moss hanging from the Oak trees.

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We walked downtown, and there was was a band playing on the lawn of city hall, along with food stands and tables set up. How cute! Of course we stopped and got a burger and listened to the band for a while.

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From there we had to move on to Baxley, which is where the wedding took place. I don't have too many nice things to say about Baxley, so I'll keep quiet. It was a sad, lonely place. Anyway, the rehearsal dinner was at a steakhouse on a river, and it was really good. I haven't had a steak in ages, and it came with those awesome french fries that are basically just a whole potato with the skin cut into strips. Mmmm. I was way overdressed but I don't care. I had a whole suitcase packed full of things I thought someone on a trip to the South would wear, and I wanted to wear them!

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I also had fried alligator! It was good. It mostly just tasted like fried.

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The wedding was on a lake at a lodge. I didn't know what to expect, but it was really pretty. The weather was perfect, and the ceremony on the pier was nice.

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I wore my favorite dress, which is from the 60's and the brand is "Sport Time". I would love to see someone play sports in it!  I am also bucking the "no white before Memorial Day" rule.  I really wanted to wear my new white shoes.

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The wedding ended at 6:00 p.m., so instead of spending another night in Baxley, we headed to Savannah.  We got in pretty late so we checked into the hotel and then went out for a beer.  Did you know that in Savannah, you can just walk around with an open drink?  Love it.  We were in the Historic District and there was a square (Savannah is FILLED with squares) called City Market, where there were bars and stores and a band playing and people dancing.  Mike said it reminded him of New Orleans but without all the drunken tomfoolery, and is going to suggest it to his friends for their next guy-cation.

Sunday we had breakfast at the hotel, and then headed out to some antique stores I wanted to check out.  I didn't really find anything good.  I was hoping to find some sewing patterns and notions and maybe a vintage dress, but the only thing that came home with me was this little guy for $3. 

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From there, we took a trolley tour that went all over the city.  You could hop off and on at any point to explore, but I was feeling lazy and so we just stayed on for most of it.  While waiting for the trolley, we stopped to take some pictures.  Mike told me to "look sassy" and so I did jazz hands?  I need to stop being so awkward in front of the camera.

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Mike wanted his picture taken at this sweet fountain.

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After the trolley tour, we walked down to River St. I think that was my favorite part. A narrow cobblestone road filled with shops and monuments, all along the river. We bought some pralines to take home, and a couple pairs of sunglasses because Mike forgot his in the hotel. Mostly we just walked around and took pictures.

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Mike's main goal was to find Wet Willy's, which was a bar that only served alcoholic slushies. We found it and got one to go, and damn was it good. I got melon and Mike got blue lemonade. It was the perfect frozen treat for a hot vacation day.

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After we tired of River St., we headed back to the City Market for some pizza. I got vetoed on my old standby of pepperoni and green olives, so we had feta, salami, and sundried tomatoes. It was SO good. I love pizza, and this one was tops. Our room didn't have a fridge, so we ate it all because it was too good to leave behind!

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Savannah had really pretty ring light, so I couldn't resist taking a picture. Also, that's my new bracelet. I got it at a consignment store in Milwaukee for $12 and I haven't taken it off since.

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We ended up staying in that night and taking it easy and watching Mad Men. I don't think either of us could eat another bite or attempt to drink! It was a great trip and I'd love to get back to Georgia when it's just the two of us and we don't have a wedding. There were so many antique stores I had to pass up!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Elkhorn Flea Market Finds

I promise some sewing happened this weekend, and I'll do a post about that soon.  First though, I wanted to share a few things I found this weekend at the Elkhorn Flea Market.  I've been looking forward to it for months because I heard it was not like your average flea market with rusty tools and packs of socks and Super Shammy's.  They hand-pick 500 vendors and the focus is on antiques and vintage.

I had no idea what to expect, and I had only allotted myself and hour and a half to look and then I was meeting a friend to go for a run.  I wish that I would have had several more hours, and also more money!  I only brought $80 but I spent it pretty quickly.  I didn't have time to get through everything.  I barely made it through half!  I only hit the outside vendors and didn't go into any of the buildings.  Luckily there is another one on June 24th and I will be sure to reserve the whole day for browsing.

The first thing I came across was a bin of pastel embroidered fabric.  Nothing had prices (and I hate to haggle) but I held up a piece and asked "how much?"  The lady running the booth was like "it has a couple stains.  How about $5?"  Are you joking? I wanted to hug someone.  There is like 8 YARDS.  I can work around that stain, yo.  I ended up grabbing these two pieces.  They are just begging to be made into a poufy 50's dress, aren't they?

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Next up, I found this gold trimmed milk glass tray for $2. My Mom has the same one and I've always loved it, and I even had a few in my Etsy favorites but they were going for around $10 plus shipping. This one was nearly free!

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Then I walked around for another hour with no purchases made. I found some days of the week tea towels but for $24, I passed. Then I found a navy and white polka dot romper from the 60's that was my vintage size and looked like it was going to fit perfectly. I paid $30 and I should have haggled, but oh well. I loved it and changed into it immediately, and wore it the rest of the day. I didn't get a picture! But it will make a lot of appearances this summer so I will make sure to snap one.

I was running out of time so I started walking towards the exit. One of the very last booths had the prettiest 40's floral linen shorts hanging at the entrance, along with a bin of lacy delicate underpinnings. I stopped to browse and then I saw IT. This is the dress I had in my head three years ago for my rehearsal dinner but didn't exist in my size and price range. I seriously checked eBay and Etsy for something similar every day for a year! It didn't have a price tag (and everything else in the booth did) so I was prepared for her to say $200 or something outrageous. Instead she said "How about $30?" Are you kidding? I was prepared to pay triple that. UM, YES! It's like it was put there just for me. It fits PERFECTLY and I'm going to wear it for our anniversary next week.

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Someone had sewn in modesty panels over the lace bodice. I debated leaving them in because then I could wear a normal bra with it, and I wasn't sure how delicate the lace was, but I ended up removing them. It's much prettier with the neckline open, and I can easily wear a strapless bra.

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Some other less exciting things I found were:

Embroidered vintage blouse.

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Vintage pleated wool skirt. I won't get to wear this for a few months, but I loved the colors and the gold thread, and for $3, I had to snap it up.

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Gingham apron with a floral applique.

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60's square dancing skirt. It looks gray in this picture but it's really the loveliest pale lavender.

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I'm so happy with my finds!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Skirt Failure

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Skirt body dismorphia has struck again!  For the third time, I've made a skirt that ended up being waaaaaay too small for me.  Like the other two times, I was cocky and didn't try it on until it was ready for a zipper.  I only wasted an hour and a thrifted bedsheet, but I actually really LIKE this skirt!  I'm bummed I won't be able to wear it.

I didn't use a pattern.  Instead, I measured my new favorite skirt and used the dimensions for that.  It measured 36" across and has 18 total pleats at 1 1/4th inch each.

Now, I know you are all thinking that I should just let out each pleat a little bit and it will fit perfectly.  Well, like the favorite skirt, I topstitched over all of the pleats.

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And then ironed everything down.  I COULD let it out, but it would be a gigantic pain.  I'm not sure if I'm up for it.  I'm definitely going to attempt this style of skirt again, but next time I will make sure I try it on before I topstitch every pleat in place!  I'm mad at myself for making such a stupid mistake.  The waist fits fine, but it's too tight in the hips because I sewed the pleats too straight.  Sure enough, I turned my favorite skirt inside out and they sort of "fan" out a little.

Lesson learned.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

More estate sale goodness

I think I'm addicted!  I checked out Craigslist last week for estate sale listings, and I found one that said "TONS OF FABRIC".  In caps, just like that.  Um, yes!  Unfortunately it started on a Saturday and I was going to be out of town, so I went by first thing Sunday morning hoping there was still some gems left.

The house was so cool.  It was an old white brick farmhouse built in 1860, right in the suburbs surrounded by 1970's ranches.  The owner's daughters were there and were telling me a little bit about it.  They were really surprised to find out I was there for the sewing supplies.  I guess most people aren't used to someone young being into sewing.
All the prettiest fabrics were very small pieces, so I didn't get much.  What I did get is really nice, though.  Lots of floral seersucker, and a big piece of bright tangerine-colored organza.

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That white and aqua border-print gingham is going to become a skirt very soon!  The white seersucker with rosebuds on the right is a HUGE piece, so I'm thinking a full-skirted dress.  The pattern is my size but not really my style, but for as cheap as it was, I couldn't leave it there. 

The lady was a sewer (obviously) and the daughters were showing me some of the things she made.  One of them was a green belly dancer outfit with a huge skirt, a bra, and a chain belt.  They said that they'd all worn it for Halloween at some point.  They were really trying to talk me into buying it, but what am I going to do with a belly dancer outfit?  It was super pretty and for $15, I hope someone took it home.

This blouse is homemade, and was $5, so I snatched it up.  The camisole on the left was from the previous week's estate sale and is too delicate to be worn, so it's become sewing room decor.  The pintucked blouse actually does fit rather well, but the high neck isn't really flattering on me.  The detail is amazing, though, so right now it's hanging in my sewing room for inspiration. The lace yoke is all hand-crocheted, and it has the prettiest glass buttons up the back.

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I also found this homemade tropical-print backless sundress.  I think it was around $3.  The elastic had lost it's stretch, but I fixed that easily.  It fits great and the open back is super sexy, but I am having bra issues.  As in, I need to wear one, but how?  I was thinking of altering it so that it buttons instead of ties, which will make it wide enough to conceal a strapless bra.  Otherwise, it might end up being a beach dress, which is okay too.  It came with a matching short sleeved button down, which I cast off to the side thinking I would never wear it, but I tried it on with jeans and it's pretty cute!  I might have to give it a shot.

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And saving the best for last, I got this amazing 50's swimsuit for $10. And it fits PERFECTLY. I'm in love.  I've been trying to buy a vintage suit on eBay for ages, and they are either listed as Buy It Now for waaaay more than I want to spend, or they start out affordable but I get outbid.

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I think estate sales are going to become a regular summer hobby!