Blogging · Personal · Vintage · Vintage Modeling

The Adventues of PortlandiAnna

Because everyone wears Bettie Page t-strap slingbacks when they go to Smith Rock, right?

Hey, readers! Long time no see, eh? I’ve been enjoying my new home in Portland immensely, although I haven’t started growing my own vegetables or biking everywhere (I’m working on it, the cars just drive so fast!). I did, however, see a bit of the new season of Portlandia being filmed, which included Fred Armisen in a dress. Readers, there are some things you can’t un-see, and this is definitely one of them . . .

Anyways, I’ve been up to a ton of fun stuff (my social life has never been this busy!) and, unfortunately, can’t blog about all of it. I would like to share some of the highlights with you, though:


I had my 1920s housewarming party!



I love, love, love my new place, and it was so great to celebrate with friends both in and out of town, even if I was frantically making food and mixing together Speakeasy Champagne punch (which is delicious, by the way!).


Sadly, the 1920s dress I wanted to wear kept falling apart the more I tried to repair it (this is possibly vintage clothing karma, right?) and so I wore a fabulous 1920s silk kimono I got from AlexSandra’s Vintage Emporium instead, as well as a 20s headdress that I cobbled together myself out of some really neat braided cording, feathers, and a jewelry pendant. Tutorial, anyone?

Speaking of AlexSandra, I’ve been modeling more for her shop, and also did my first fashion show with her! Readers, it’s so much fun being a 5’4″ model, and I’m so grateful to her for letting me do so. And, if you’re close to my size, you’re in luck because the swimsuit I modeled is still available!

Finally, a huge “thank you!” to all of you that have stuck around. I know two months is a long time with no posts, and I have some big plans to make the blog spectacular. I *finally* got a new laptop (I’m thinking I’ll use the old HP as a paperweight) so I have big plans to post more and do some awesome video tutorials. Alright, off to go put a bird on something and call it art. 😉

* All photos courtesy of Duane Bolland of Flexible Light Photography.


A mid-summer hiatus

Just a quick post, readers, to let you know that I’ll be taking a break from the blog for a bit while I move down to Portland (my last day of work here in WA was on Monday and now I’m frantically packing everything before I start the new job down in Portland on Thursday). Anyways, I’ll be back as soon as I can with fab vintage posts (I’ll finally be right in the heart of the action!) and definitely some modern sewing posts, as well, as there are a ton of things that I need to sew for the new place. And, actually, the place isn’t that new, since it was built in 1923 and has – get this – a clawfoot bathtub! I’ve always wanted one of those, so I’m super stoked. It also has the original tile in the bathrooom AND the original phone on the wall to buzz people up. Let’s just say I’m really looking forward to throwing a 1920s-themed housewarming party once I get settled. 😉

1960s · Hair · Personal · Vintage

The Breakfast at Tiffany’s Tea, and an announcement!


This past Sunday I hosted a fabulous Breakfast at Tiffany’s-themed tea party in Portland with my lovely friend, Kady. It was so fun to pay homage to Audrey Hepburn, one of my favorite style icons.


The dress code was, of course, a little black dress, and all of the ladies looked lovely.


The menu was incredibly eclectic, and featured homemade crackerjacks, Brazilian banana cake (since Holly was supposed to marry a Brazilian man in the movie),


Of course, we also had tiaras and cigarette holders for everyone, which I took advantage of for some of my poses.


As for my dress, it’s an original LBD from the 60s, with a white yoke beaded with rhinestones and pearls that I picked it up in Seattle a couple weeks ago at Red Light Vintage.


I accessorized with pearls and other bling, of course, including a tiara that I recently bought, as well, because, let’s face it, it was the one accessory missing from my wardrobe.


As for the hairstyle, it was a total spur of the moment thing. Kady and I were frantically putting the tea together on Sunday morning and early afternoon, so I just sorta threw my hair up in a semi-60s do, using one of those bump-it hair accessories. I think I might do a hair tutorial on this one (if I can remember how I did it, of course!), as it was super-easy.

And, finally, for my special announcement – I’m moving to Portland! I just got offered a job down there and will be starting in about 2 weeks, so I’m frantically looking for a place. I love the vintage community down there, and I’m in the city like every other weekend, so it seemed as though I was slowly gravitating there anyway. Very much looking forward to having a place of my own and not having to drive 2 hours to vintage events!

Blogging · Personal · Vintage · Vintage Modeling

What I’ve been up to over the past month

Well, what I've been up to besides this . . .
Well, what I’ve been up to besides this . . .

So, I’m not dead.

Great way to start a blog post, huh? 😉

Anyways, I certainly never intended to take a month off from blogging. That’s just what happened with how crazy my personal life has been lately, and my laptop is on the fritz (seriously, I will never buy an HP ever again, and I don’t recommend the brand to anyone, unless you enjoy constant frustration coupled with drinking). Nevertheless, the past month has been quite eventful, and I’ve been documenting with the iPhone. For those interested, here is what I’ve been up to:


  • Finally bought a dresssform! I went antiquing with a friend a couple weeks back and there it was, standing outside. The best part was that I only paid $50, which I consider a steal, as most of the similar dressforms I was finding online were at least $175. Now my only problem (besides getting a cat so I can finally be a real seamstress) is coming up with a name for her. I’m thinking Lucy or Daphne, but I’m open to suggestions.
  • My best friend got married and I was a bridesmaid!!! This involved a new look for me:


  • I also just had my first shoot for AlexSandra’s Vintage Emporium, the vintage shop I’m modeling for. I got to wear some really fabulous shoes . . .


  . . .  got my hair did in an amazing 60s bouffant by Kristen Behlings,  . . .


and tried on AlexSandra’s neat glasses.


Anyways, summer is finally here! I have some really neat vintage events occuring over the next month, and I’m hoping to finally get some more sewing done with the wedding over. I promise you it will not be another month before I post again, ok? Ok.

Blogging · Personal

Apparently, I’m an inspiring blogger

The lovely Anna Worden Bauersmith (Anna W-B, as I like to call her) of If I Had My Own Blue Box recently awarded me with a Very Inspring Blogger Award. Anna is amazing at mid-19th century millinery and accessory sewing, and has published several publications on those very subjects that you should definitely check out!

Anyways, the rules are to thank the person that nominated you (thank you, Anna!), and post 7 facts about yourself. Rather than 7 facts about me (because I really have nothing interesting to say on that subject, I sew and bake and watch Mad Men), I’ve decided to post 7 recent happenings/things I’ve been doing lately. Sound good? Here we go . . .

1) I just got an iPhone. As somebody who has never had a smartphone before, this is a huge transition, BUT, I have to say that I love the darn thing. It’s a really smart device and incredibly handy to have. I also finally feel like a member of the 21st century, he hee.

2) I also just signed up for PayPal. It’s also a handy thing to have, although it is *so* not helping my vintage clothing addiction . . .

3) Speaking of vintage clothing, I just bought 2 vintage swimsuits in the last week. The first one unfortunately does not fit, so I’m hoping that the second one (which is in the mail on its way to me now!) does.

4) In related vintage news (see how everything is flowing nicely? LOL), I also started swing dancing regularly again. Very good exercise, and very fun, too!

5) Speaking of good exercise (but not fun), I also started running again. I used to do this a ton when I was a teenager, but fell off the wagon. It’s a good stress relief for me, though.

6) Speaking of stress relief, I’m also in the midst of planning my summer vacation to Berlin and Vienna! I haven’t been to Europe in 2 years (and Berlin and Vienna in 4), and it’s definitely time to go back.

Eating apple streudel in Vienna, Summer 2009.

7) And lastly, I finally saw Lincoln, and I have to say that Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter* was way more entertaining. I’m sorry, but it was. In Lincoln, Abe just sat in a chair most of the time and read or talked in a deep Lincoln voice, whereas in Vampire Hunter, he twirled around a big, shiny axe with some badass background music. Still, I will say that Lincoln’s costumes were way better, but both depictions of Mary Todd left something to be desired. Hey, wouldn’t it be neat if they did a crazy Mary Todd biopic!? Now I would pay good money to see that! 😉

*I don’t know why I love this movie so much, but I do. You can read my review of it here.

Blogging · Personal

Liebster Blog Award

Let me preface this post with a caveat: I’m horrible when it comes to blog awards and memes. Which I feel awful about, because I truly am grateful and really humbled by being the receipient of such lovely gestures. So, if you’ve sent me a meme or given me a blogging award and I haven’t responded to it yet, I apologize. It is absolutely nothing personal, and actually, when I receive blog awards/memes, I start thinking about how I’m going to answer the questions they typically come with, get really exicted about a post, and then life happens and those plans go out the window. I’ve decided to break this habit, and so I’m dedicating the month of April to responding and answering this blog awards and memes!

So, now that that is out of the way, the lovely Lara of dreamingofavonlea recently awarded me with the Leibster Award. Thank you so much, Lara! I’m tickled pink (and the logo is pink! he hee). Here are my answers to the 11 questions she asked:

1. If you had to describe your style by comparing it to a fictional character, who would that be and why?

Hmm, interesting question! It would have to be Rachel Berry from Glee. She wears a lot of vintage-inspired looks (well, not lately, she’s kind of into the short-shorts), and I love incorporating vintage-inspired into my everyday look. Plus, I get compared to her on a weekly basis. I mean, if Lea Michele ever were to die prematurely (knock on wood), I probably could replace her on Glee. After getting a tan, of course.
2. Do you have any other hobbies / obsessions as well as those you blog about (e.g. mine would be Harry Potter)?

Probably the Beatles. I have the biggest crush on Paul McCartney (yes, I know he’s old enough to be my grandfather, shut up) and I love listening to them in the car.
3. What is your favourite thing you’ve made / posted about and why? Remember to show us!

Probably my reproduction ballgown I wore to my first ball last month. I reached a personal goal of making a ballgown (something that has been on my wish list for ages) and I felt like a pretty princess in it. Oh, and I sewed it in a week, which even impressed me. 😉
4. And the least favourite?

Regency dress I made last year. I had high hopes for that thing, and used really good fabric to make it, but it’s just too small and too tight. It is for sale, though. 😉

5. If you could only make 3 more things and then you had to quit sewing forever, what would you make and why?

Oh, this is a toughie! I would probably make classic pieces that I’d want in my wardrobe forever and pieces that I had always wanted to make for the challenge. So, limiting myself to 3, those would be: 1) A classic trenchcoat (think Burberry), 2) an 18th century gown (something I’ve wanted to make forever), and 3) something vintage.
6. Where do you find inspiration?

Mostly old photographs. I love vintage photography. My southern grandma is also a big inspiration. I love looking at photos of her from the 40s, and she’s taught me to never leave the house without some form of jewelry on!
7. How do you feel about the whole lining vs facing vs binding debate (I may be imagining that it’s a debate)?

I’ve not heard of this debate! I will say that I’ll only put a lining in if I have to (ie if the fabric is sheer) and a facing in if I have to. Otherwise, I let my undergarments do the work. Oh, was that TMI?
8. What is your least favourite part of sewing (and do you do it anyway or cut corners)?

Fitting. And making a muslin mock-up. I’d much rather use a pattern I know will fit and go from there. But, if I’ll be cutting into fabric that is really valuable OR I know the design is not something that can easily be adjusted during the sewing process, then I will make a mock-up first.
9. How do you like your surroundings when you sew? I.e. Do you clean up as you go, listen to music, face the window, watch telly? Basically describe your sewing situation.

You, know I don’t really have a typical sewing situation. Sometimes I sew in between commercial breaks while watching tv with the fam, other times I’m in my room watching a costume drama and sewing along to that. I guess the common denominator is that I can’t sew in complete silence (so, when I’m not watching tv or a movie, I’ll listen to music).
10. If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Well, being a history nerd, this is a tough question! Probably my Polish grandmother (babcia). A lot of the relatives say I look like her, but I never got to meet her since she died about 10 years before I was born. Apparently, she was very sassy as well!
11. Do you prefer to make things for yourself or others?

Myself, definitely. Of course, when people find out you sew, they automatically want you to make them something. I’m happy to sew for friends and family, but other than that, you better be paying me some good money to spend my precious sewing time on you. 😉 Gosh, I’m starting to sound like the Selfish Seamstress, huh?

So, that’s probably more than you wanted to know about my sewing habits (and Paul McCartney crush), but there you are, kids. 😉

Blogging · Personal

Hanging in there


Just a quick note, readers, to let you know that I am, indeed, alive. Life has just been super-busy since the ball, and now, all of the sudden, I have so many sewing deadlines looming (like the Sew for Victory challenge, then the Mad Men challenge. Oh, and the application for Project Runway just came out and I’ve decided to apply for that, as well, cuz I’m a masochist. So, samples need to be made, and off course, in true PR style, they give you like no time to complete the 25-page application) in addition to catching what seems like the plague (the photo above is what I look like blogging right now, lol). Anyways, I hope to have some finished items to show you all this week. For now, I hope you all have had a nice weekend! Drink some tea for me!