Monday, March 31, 2014

Where to Buy Vintage Clothing: An Unexpected Estate Sale in Historic Miami

Whether you are a reseller or casual collector reach out to your local estate sale companies and organizers. I suggest serious resellers formally introduce themselves (more on that later) but if you just love finding vintage treasures let everyone know.

I called an organizer several months ago inquiring about the vintage clothing selection that would be available at a particular sale.  To my surprise she called me this Friday to let me know that she was having her own sale... of her personal vintage collection!

I would read about how other shop owners would score dozens of fabulous finds from the back of forgotten closets and seemingly stumble upon homes over flowing with treasures. How did they get so lucky! While pounding the pavement and scouring ads is necessary, you can increase your chances by simply asking in advance. You never know when you'll be surprised with a great sale!

As an added bonus, the sale was in a beautiful old part of Miami filled with 1920's architecture. Photographs are NOT of the home I visited, just other historic properties in the neighborhood.

Enjoy the rest of the tour and see what beautiful 1930s - 1960s pieces I found after the jump!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

How to Mend a Hole in a Vintage Sweater

I am a preppy at heart and I was ecstatic to happen upon several vintage cheerleading pieces, one of which was a pale yellow sweater with a great graphic letterman's patch. Unfortunately the wool had holes in several places, with an especially large area on the collar where the label was attached.  

This post really serves to bookmark the best instructional guide I found to mend sweater holes. There are quite a few floating around but this one was explained clearly,  the close up shots were great and she used contrasting thread which was very helpful. 

My only add-on advice is to be patient. It's tempting to pull the thread taught on the first pass but it was more effective to continue weaving and slowly bring the sides together. On the largest hole I had to do several extra passes. If the video shows two directions, a horizontal and vertical weave, I had to do two more at alternate 45° angles.


It's not perfect but it went from donate pile to "this sweater makes any day a perfectly reasonable occasion to wear a red satin hair ribbon."

Video and results after the jump!

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Party Dress Project: Vintage Clothing TLC

Pssst. Here's a sneak peak at my tlc dress project inspired by this 60's beauty.  Stains, rips, holes, discoloration, style and fit issues be gone! Stay tuned over the next few weeks to see how I help these vintage party dresses come back to life.


4/20/14 UPDATE: Dress #1 is finished - see it here!

Buying Sight Unseen - Saving Garments when the Stains Won't Budge

If it is on the internet its got to be true, right? Once and awhile I purchase dresses online from individuals or through auction lots. It's a great way to snag beautiful and rare pieces at great prices but there are often surprises. Condition descriptions aren't always what they promise.


I purchased this stunning mandarin style maxi dress in an auction lot. When I received the dress I was disappointed to see that it had a very large stain and several sections of missing beading and lose sequins. I did not want to ruin the beautiful embellishments or dupioni silk with a soak but this dress was too gorgeous to give up on!

If you have a piece with stubborn stains or other damage, what else can you do? Turn it into something new, and maybe even better than the original. See how this piece was transformed after the jump!