Sewing and lifestyle blog of a wannabe "full-time vixen"

Monthly Archives: April 2011

Fabric haul of epic proportions

I went to a fabric rummage sale yesterday. It was awesome. It was organized by a non-profit here in Vancouver called Our Social Fabric. (Check out their website!) It’s a textile recyling organization I came across last year when I was doing some google research on whether there was a way to recycle fabric. They take donations from the public and various other sources like costuming departments of various movies or TV shows shot locally or fabric from clothing manufacturers. There’s much more info on their website so check them out! They’re undergoing a restructuring so I’m looking forward to seeing their organization grow.

One of the ladies volunteering/working at the sale said that they’ll be trying to have fabric sales more often – maybe a monthly basis. I highly recommend the sale! There wasn’t that much selection as the sale was in a small room in downtown Gastown (although it seems like the location of their sales depends on what space is available to them so it changes). They do have a warehouse or storage facility where they keep all their fabric donations. It was a “fill-a-bag” type of deal and I got 15 POUNDS of fabric for $40. Here are the goods:

As you can see, I didn’t fill the bag all the way up but this was because I was worried I wouldn’t be able to carry it all the way home! The sale was downtown and so I had to take the bus to get this all home. The bag was also pretty thin so next time I will bring a backpack and my own bag to shift the fabric into and make carrying easier.The kind of fabric I got was in lengths of several meters! No random scraps, these are real pieces of fabric that I can make dresses out of.

I can’t believe I got so much fabric. As you can see, I’ve chosen bright spring and summery types of colours. And there’s a lot of green. This is because it’s my favourite colour. But the other fabrics are all so cute as well. I’m thinking of making a dress out of the yellow fabric to wear to my aunt’s wedding in September. Just need to decide on a pattern from my stash.

Mr. Vixen bought me this chocolate bunny for Easter. We don’t celebrate it and neither does my family (we’re so Chinese that we really only celebrate the Chinese holidays). But I love chocolate! Happy Easter!

P.S. I’m going to make my update schedule every Tuesday and Friday. I think this will be easier to manage during this hectic period of my life.

Sequel to pin curls

I’m always curious to see how my curls turn out the day after. After a night of sleeping with a handkerchief on, this is what they looked like.

The curls near the front fell but the ones in the back were still bouncy. I usually just throw on a headband the day after like I did here. Headbands are so handy! There was a kind of 60’s feel to my hair yesterday. Too bad I don’t really have any 60’s inspired clothing or outfits to go with it. I shall have to rectify this in the near future.

My outfit was a cardigan from Forever 21 and purple pinstripe jeans from True Value Vintage here in Vancouver. The brand is “Wax Jeans” but I don’t know if the company is defunct or not as I got the jeans way back in high school. A google search just comes up with “wax coated jeans” which are not relevant.

They are so awesome!

Shoes are from Aldo and I bought them just a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been looking for a pair of affordable shoes in this style for years. (Remember, I am on a student’s budget :P) It’s not a very common style to find in modern shoe stores but nowadays there are more and more vintage inspired styles showing up which is a definite plus for any vintage enthusiast on a budget. Or those who just want a dash of vintage in their wardrobe.

Surprise! Pin Curls!

I pin curled my hair last night for the first time in a while. I wasn’t sure how they’d turn out with the bob I had been growing out for some time now. I wasn’t purposefully growing it out…just haven’t had time to get a hair cut! But I thought that I’d give it a pin curl first and see how they turn out before deciding if I need to see a hairstylist.

I really like them! I thought they looked pretty good.
This is a shirt that I reconstructed a loooong time ago from a boring plaid shirt I got at the thrift store. I made it accidentally a little too small and then I hit a small growth spurt just after high school where my shoulders, chest and bust got a little wider. So it’s even smaller now! But I just wear it open and I had a co-worker think I purposefully did that to get a “baby doll” effect. It has a lace yoke and puff sleeves (instead of boring long sleeves). The cuffs on the puff sleeves are also made of lace, mostly because I ran out of plaid shirt to use!
I included this photo because I look so different…so serious!

This is what I wore to work today. I wear black skinny jeans pretty much every day and also black shoes. They’re black leather Vans that are super comfortable and perfect for a day of shelving books. I’d like to make some work appropriate dresses and skirts that won’t show people my under-a-roos when I bend over to shelve something on the bottom shelf.

It was interesting going about my day in pin curls today….I don’t think I’ve ever really worn them to work at the lab or library. Men were either more polite or more leery. Women were somewhat more polite but not that much.

Anyways, I’d like to get some hot sticks and/or hot rollers and keep experimenting. I’d also like to try to find a way of doing my hair that is easy enough for daily wear but still has that vintage appeal.

Trying to do Vintage when you’re Chinese

I came across a really cool tumblr today called Of Another Fashion through this post on The Sew Weekly and it has vintage photographs of minority women from past eras. Of course the tumblr is focused on the political message of how “white focused” fashion has always been and still is. You can’t think about past eras of history properly (including vintage fashion) if you ignore the racism, sexism, conservatism, etc. However, I do think that we can’t just sit on our high horses today and look down on the past. The current decade isn’t really so fabulous either and there is just as much racism, sexism, conservatism, etc.

From 1938

But finding this tumblr has been a boon, even if there is the awful political history of the mistreatment of minorities to think about. (Head tax on the Chinese, anyone? Japanese internment camps? Slavery and segregation of African-Americans? I hope these things ring a bell!) Let me tell you, as a full blooded Chinese girl, it’s really damn hard to try to find any old resources on what Asians looked like in the past. Often I wonder if Asians adopted the Western styles or stuck to their own styles or blended the two together.

From 1951

I’m also REALLY curious as to how Asian women did their hair because I do have difficulty pin curling my own hair since it’s so naturally “stick straight” and wants to stay that way.

From 1950

I haven’t pin curled my hair in a loooooong time though…I’ve been too busy and pin curling takes time since I’m still a newbie at it and it’s just so frustrating trying to curl my straight hair! It doesn’t really naturally want to curl into a curl even while wet. It just wants to lie there all nice and straight and pointy. *sigh* I’m glad I’m in sewing classes or I wouldn’t ever get a chance to sew!

I sewed for hours today

So today I ended up sewing for 6.5 hours and worked mostly on my coat. I have sleeves now! And I also did the back portion with pleat but that’s not nearly as exciting to see. Cutting out wool on my little table was challenging and pinning/cutting out pieces always takes a while. Not really my favourite part of the sewing process but I don’t mind it.

This is fabric for two projects I will be starting in April as well. The bright blue fabric with white dots is for the shirt project I will have to do in class for this term. I bought it at Fabricland – Park Royal (which is much more pleasant to go to than the one on Marine Drive in Vancouver.)

I will be doing the style that is the dark blue one with contrasting white cuffs and collar.

This blue linen blend is for the Sewaholic Crescent Skirt sew-along.

I am participating in the Sewaholic Crescent Skirt sew-along and for those not in the know, a sew-along is when a group of people will get together either in person or online to sew the same project together. The idea is that a more experienced sewer will lead the group and do a step-by-step tutorial for sewing the garment from beginning to end. Sew-alongs are learning experiences! And fun. :D It’ll be my first one.

This is what the skirt looks like:

The blue linen above is much nicer in natural daylight – a very light soft blue that will look adorable with cream or white lace trimming which is my plan for the skirt. I am really in love with the colour blue for some reason right now….must be my internal yearnings for summer and nautical inspired fashion.

The blue linen was bought at Designer Fabric Liquidators a.k.a. Atex Fabrics. It’s sort of a strange little shop and it was the first time I’d been there even though it’s only a block away from Dressew. There are some nice finds to be found there and at discount prices! There’s not much selection but there were a few things that caught my eye. I’ll be back….hopefully it won’t close down! The man inside looked a little bit bored.

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