Sunday, March 18, 2007

Old & Pretty Things to See

I have been working this weekend on my embroidered valentine (a bit late) for Joe. In the meantime, I went through more of my stuff to weed out what I want to sell/give away and keep. These are mostly keepers, a couple are up for trade (here or on flickr).

First, this autograph book from the late 1800s that my father got for me at a yard sale on the north fork of Long Island a few years back.


I love how people used to write. When did the horrible bubble writing trend begin? I wish so badly that I could master an old fashioned style of penmanship, but my handwriting has always suffered from a bad case of sloppyitis. My second grade teacher would leave the room and come back in with a stethoscope around her neck and speak in a German accent, calling herself "Doctor Handwriting." She claimed to be Amy's (our regular teacher) identical twin sister. We all totally fell for it by the way. Doctor Handwriting taught us how to write our letters in upper case, lower case and cursive. When your writing looked good she would scribble, "You have a case of beautifulitis" on the top of your paper. More often than not my comment included the word sloppyitis no matter how hard I tried. Some things never change unfortunately.





The newspaper clipping below is carefully tucked into the book. I love it because it advertises a sale for clothing on 14th St. off of 5th Ave. When I grew up a few blocks south of there in the seventies my mother used to walk me up to 14th St. for cheap clothes too. Now Union Square is a trendy strip in NYC, completely overrun with so many tourists and NYU students that I can barely push my stroller up the street en route to visit my mother. The cheapy stores have been replaced by Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Diesel, and a few other stores that I'm actually not so unhappy to see (Anthropolgie is a few blocks up at 17th).

Some of the features include long ostrich feathers for $2.79, hot water bottles for .39 cents, coutil corsets for .50 cents, women's lace petticoats .65 cents, and spring suitings ("Natty wool, finish dress fabrics that look like all wool and are in similar designs of checks and plaids- black and white, tan-and-white, and other blendings- 27 inches wide instead of 14.") These suitings are priced at 7 3/4. I can't figure out if that means $7.75 or if they had 3/4 of a cent back then.

The following patterns are up for grabs. I'll swap with anyone who wants, or give them to anyone who feels they must have them:
A cute dress for anyone who can actually go bra less.
Anyone brave enough to make a cowgirl shirt?
Cute things I will never ever make for myself.

The following patterns have been collected over the years when I dreamed of having a little girl. I don't think I will, but one never knows for sure.



These are for me to make eventually:
My dream shirt!
Can you see me and Lucy and Ethel in this one?
Not sure how this would actually look on me. It could end up looking like a grown woman stuffing herself into a little girl's dress. Maybe I could skip the ruffled hem.

Next on my to-do list is buying fabric for the wrap dress with embroidered trim that I'm making (posted a couple of posts below). At first I thought it could be cool to go to the African fabric store a few blocks away on Livingston St. and use some lovely African pattern with a white or black yoke on the dress. My friend Sarah lived in Ghana for a year and came back with so many beautiful dresses that she had made over there. They are all cut just like forties dresses with covered buttons and everything, but they are made in the coolest local fabrics. One is a tan background with weird Coke cans all over it. Now I'm not so sure I want to use any type of patterned fabric for this dress. I might just use a solid colored cotton and focus on embroidering the yoke and sewing ric rack on the edges like in the picture on the pattern cover.

Finally, here are a couple of photos of the neighborhood taken this week. I started posting my neighborhood pics in a Ft. Greene flickr group recently and on Friday I came home to an e-mail from someone at the Brooklyn Paper asking if they could buy one of my photos for the next week's issue. I was really flattered. It turned out that the woman who e-mailed me was on a deadline and I didn't get back to her in time, but she said she'd like to keep looking at my photos to use on in the future. Woo hoo!

Fulton and S. Oxford. I was trying to get a shot juxtaposing the old signs on the corner with the giant condo skyscraper going up in the background. You can't really see the skyscraper in progress, but it's a nice shot anyhow.


These two are out of Harlan's bedroom window. Snow and sleet were upon us.

I have to throw in these pictures of Harlan eating a waffle:



7 comments:

AnastasiaC said...

Lots of vintage goodness! love old patterns - the illustrations are adorable!
your baby is so cute!!!

OldRound.41648520 said...

I love reading your blog to hear about the trials of living in NYC. Alas I feel like you have cred in your 'plaints, having grown up there. I did NY and Brooklyn in the early 90's. Left b/c I didn't see myself going anywhere but...down.

Love the autograph book. Interested to see that time was spent drawing vignettes. Cool!

Just this a.m. I eyeballed the one cowboy shirt in my closet and thought to myself... I'm going to make one of those. It has lovely embroidery. I'm sure it will be one of the many dreamt of projects-- destined for unfruition.

Sweet Boy

ps I'm a wee bit ignorant of computer stuff but could only comment by enacting my 'google account'.

Angelina said...

Oh my- I really want the halter dress and would love to trade it for something. You are an old size fourteen right? I could send you an e-mail of a few of my vintage patterns that might suit you and if you saw one you liked..., or if you are looking for something else in particular... frankly, I don't really know how to conduct a trade.

I did not finish reading your post so I'm going to go back and read some more.

By the way, if someone has already claimed that halter dress, I would be just as happy making a copy of it as having it.

Angelina said...

OK, now I'm back. I love the picture of the back yards. Do you get access to one of them?

Harlan is very cute!

I love the wrap dress you're working on. I've been looking for vintage wrap dresses in my size (well, the size I will be again eventually) and haven't found any yet. It looks like it will make a great summer dress.

Lindellica said...

Wow, Harlan's hair is long! It's adorable. I love the little girl dresses, but I am not sure I am up to the sewing stage yet...think they'd work if they were sewn by hand? I hate sewing machines.

~H

Violette Crumble said...

Thanks Anastasic- I love your collages by the way.

Oldround- Glad you are enjoying my complaining! NYC is definitely not an easy to place to live unless one is rich or very ambitious. We're trying to leave actually. I think you need to have some type of account to leave a comment on blogger blogs.

Angelina & Heather, I'll e-mail you.

Bitterbetty said...

Great post.. Mostlyt wanted to say that Harlan is looking cute and spunky.