1930s · Vintage

1936 Murder Mystery Dinner Party: The Watersdown Affair

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Readers, I attended my first murder mystery dinner party yesterday evening, and I have to say that I am hooked! The party was hosted by my friend, Kady (who has made many appearances on this blog and did a fabulous job with the party!) and centered around the murder of Sir Roger Watersdown, a wealthy Englishman. Of course, everybody had a motive (from Sir Roger’s personal secretary, to his physician), and there were so many plot twists that you really didn’t know who the true murderer was until the end (and, don’t worry, I won’t spoil it here!). There were 4 rounds, involving details that your character had to reveal or conceal, as well as fun bonuses like Sir Roger’s will.

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I played Miranda “Randy” Shetes, an American actress who is financed by Sir Roger, and I wore a fabulous black silk and lace 1930s evening dress. I’ll also be attending a Gatsby Soiree next month, and that event combined with this 1936 party meant that I could finally justify the expense of a 1920s/1930s dress.

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As for the hair, that took quite a while. I scoured YouTube for 1930s hair tutorials for long hair, but many just involved lightly curling long pieces of your hair, and I wanted something more period-correct, so I decided to create this fake bob ‘do. It took a while (about an hour), but I’m very proud of the results (so much hairspray!) that I plan on making a video tutorial soon (extra motivation with the Gatsby party next month!)

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Peter (aka British Boyfriend (TM)) also came with and played Rog Astrid, a recreational mountain climber and the illegitimate son of Sir Roger (and he does look quite dapper, if I do say so myself!).

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It was so neat to see the other guests get into character and reveal secrets about their past (one of the heiresses used to be an acrobat!). The game also involved a cassette portion (it’s from the 90s like me!) and so I got to bring along my reproduction Crosley stereo that plays tapes, CDs, and records!

All in all, it was a fabulous evening of intrigue, suspense, and cats! I can’t wait to attend the next one!

1960s · Finished! · Millinery · Vintage

Treason! Animals. (AKA The Fur & Feathers Luncheon)

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Readers, I had  fabulous time yesterday at the annual Fur & Feathers Luncheon hosted every January by Julie of Fab Gabs. Everyone looked smashing in their vintage dead things, and it was so lovely catching up with old friends and meeting some new ones (I even learned about Portland’s swing dance scene!). I really wanted to wear a red 60s suit with leopard accessories; however, the cost of vintage leopard can be quite prohibitive, so I decided to sew the accessories myself using vintage patterns. In true annaintechnicolor fashion, I waited until the last minute to start sewing, and so the pillbox hat was actually made the day of (using Simplicity 4124 from 1962. I plan on making the muff, too, when I have time!) and the wrap was not able to be lined yet (I used Simplicity 4216 for that).

Unfortunately, I had to leave early due to expired parking downtown and a date with Peter. Fortunately, when I got to his place, this happened:

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Readers, after all these years of trying to make friends with cats, I finally discovered the secret – dress like you’re one of them! And I made friends with not one, not two, but three cats!

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Alright, hope everyone had a great weekend (whether you pet 3 cats or not!)

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the odd post title refers to this Franz Ferdinand song off of their latest album, which I’ve been listening to on repeat. Definitely looking forward to seeing them live when they come to Portland in April!

Blogging · Modern Sewing · Personal · Vintage

Getting back my sewing mojo

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Hey readers! It appears I took an unintended hiatus after Halloween and now we’re in 2014. Oops.

I try not to get too super personal on this blog (afterall, I’m not paying you guys to listen to me talk), but the past few months have been very tough on me, both personally and professionally. There are several changes that I’m working on making in 2014 so I don’t find myself in similar situations (I’m sure there will be posts about that sometime in the future), although I will say that I feel like I’ve grown a lot in the last few months.

The one bright spot in all of this was that I started dating again (yes, I’m going to discuss my love life and it will probably be disgusting) and met the most amazing, kind, caring, handsome, and sweet Englishman named Peter. Yep, readers, I have a British boyfriend!!!!! He’s incredibly witty, does impressions of all of the Beatles (his Paul McCartney is quite good), and loves going to the fabric store with me (we also just watched The Great British Sewing Bee together, which was so good! I highly recommend it, it’s like the genteel, British version of Project Runway for home sewers). Oh, and then there’s the accent. Not gonna lie, sometimes I make him say certain words (like “schedule” and “vitamin.”).

Anyways, he went to go see his family back in England for Christmas, so I made him a mustache tissue holder and a travel bag with the bridges of Portland on it created by a local designer:

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I also made my dear friend, Kady (who I’ve blogged about before), a retro-inspired apron with vintage hat fabric, as she often wears fun hats to the office.

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Of course, I liked hers so much, I had to make one for myself!

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I’ve also been doing some fun vintage events, most recently Church of Sinatra, a once-monthly event hosted by Julie of Fab Gabs. There are going to be a ton of vintage events in the next few weeks (including the Fur and Feathers Luncheon, a Gatsby Soiree, and a co-ed vintage pajama party) that should provide lots of blog fodder for you all.

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Yes, that is a martini glass brooch.
 Cheers, everyone!

Blogging · Personal · Vintage · Vintage Modeling

The Adventues of PortlandiAnna

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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:

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I had my 1920s housewarming party!

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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!).

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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.

1960s · Hair · Personal · Vintage

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

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

1940s · 1950s · Outfit · Vintage · Vintage Saturday

Vintage Saturday: Summer is here!

Happy Saturday, and Happy Summer, readers!

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It seems as if the heat has finally hit us here in the Pacific Northwest, with forecasts in the 80s and 90s predicted over the next couple of days. Of course, being pale (and Polish) this doesn’t always bode well with me, as I burn very easily. That being said, one must look fabulous is all kinds of weather, so I decided to bust out my reproduction high-waisted shorts I got from Stop Staring! (I must admit that I didn’t buy directly from them, but from a gal that was getting rid of these, so the price was *much* lower), as I love casual vintage summer looks, especially since I’ll be headed down to Portland today, and these will be super comfy for the long drive.

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I’ve paired these with a plaid shirt that ties in front (I definitely plan on taking a pattern off of this and making my own version in just plain white), and my new (to me) vintage red sunglasses that I picked up at a local antique store for like 10 bucks. Definitely a steal, considering that all of the vintage sunglasses I’m finding on Etsy are at least 50.

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As for the hairstyle, it’s one that I’ve been sporting a lot lately, a sort of 1940s-inspired side pony. My hair is getting really long, and I know that I will inevitably cut it at some point within the next month or so, as I always do. 😉

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Anyways, I’ll be cohosting a fabulous Breakfast at Tiffany’s tea party tomorrow with my lovely friend Kady. Really looking forward to wearing my cute 60s LBD, and the tiara I just bought, cuz, ya know, it was the only accessory I was missing from my wardrobe. 😉

And if you’re not a fan of the FB page, I’ve promised to hold a spectacular giveaway once I reach 100 followers here on the blog. As of right now, we’re at 98. So, motivation right there. 😉

Alright, hope everyone else has a fabulous weekend!

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:

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  • 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:

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

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and tried on AlexSandra’s neat glasses.

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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.