Lulu’s Vintage Grand Opening

October 22, 2010

Flapper Girl 1920sMy friend Anne of Lulu’s Vintage & Shop Vintage Portland is opening up a vintage clothing store in downtown Portland!

The grand opening party is this Saturday, October 23rd at 7pm.

Swing by for treats and refreshments, and peruse fine selections of unique mens and womens vintage clothing and accessories, vintage sewing patterns, fabrics, buttons, and vintage ephemera.

Lulu’s Vintage is located at 916 W. Burnside (nextdoor to Billy Galaxy) .

Regular store hours starting Monday the 25th: Mon & Tues 10am—6pm, Wed 10am—4pm, Thurs 10am—6pm, Fri & Sat Noon—6pm.


A Rant on Cheap Shoes

September 13, 2010

Well, dear readers, I have a confession to make about my footwear. Most of my shoes were bought at Payless* some time between 2003 and 2006.

Payless was my go-to for cute black flats, mary janes, and boots in my early 20s.

The pair of black boots I bought there, in particular, have been my favorite pair of shoes for years. I think I paid no more than $23.99 for them in 2003. They went perfectly with all my skirts and dresses. Their chunky platform heels made my legs look sexy, and were incredibly comfortable to drum in. I think I wore them to about 90% of Jolenes shows.

Here I am in San Francisco in 2003, wearing my beloved boots, jumping on a hotel bed with my bandmate Jake before rocking out at the Hemlock Tavern.

These boots are totally thrashed and unwearable now, after constant wearage for so many years. I was devastated when I recently found holes in them. I was hoping Payless would be able to provide a replacement pair on the cheap, but I was saddened when I went there recently and found that my tastes in footwear are totally not up to speed with recent trends in cheap shoes.

What’s up with all these slouchy boots? I want my legs to look slender! Slouchy boots just make me look like I have thick calves.

Where are all the knee-high boots? I don’t want booties. I don’t want mid-calf boots. I want something I can zip all the way up to my knee, please!

What happened to the chunky platform heel? They are comfy and easy to walk in. I take the train to school, and so I end up walking a lot each day. I’m not one of those people who can walk all over the place in high, stiletto heels. My feet will fall off, I swear!

Since when are boots at freaking Payless over fifty dollars?! Okay, I do realize that when I bought my last pair of boots from Payless it was 2003. Yes, I know that was seven years ago. But, c’mon! The only pair of boots I saw at Payless that  might work are $59.99. What?! Please don’t tell me I’ve become that old person who says things like, “When I was 21, I could get good, cute boots for less than twenty-five dollars!” Is this what’s happening? Say it isn’t so!

So I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I’ve been looking on eBay, but like I said, my tastes aren’t up to par with what’s trendy right now. Most of the boots on eBay are some sort of combo of slouchy, stiletto-heeled, and/or mid-calfed.

But I’m holding out hope! Something I like has gotta turn up in my budget right?

* Remember when Payless used to be Volume Shoe Source in the ’80s?

My New (Awesome) Coat

July 19, 2010

I know it’s the middle of summer and all, but I’m super excited about my new winter coat!

I recently won a Nordstrom gift card. Upon hearing the news of my great luck, my mind went to these thoughts first:

• Wow! I can go buy a bunch of awesome MAC makeup!
• Ooooh! Shoes! I could get a kick-ass pair of boots!
• Or a sexy, kick-ass fitted leather (or faux leather) jacket*
• Actually, I should use the whole thing to buy a bunch of black tank tops**

Then I heard that the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale was going on (what great timing!) and so I hopped on their website to see what was going on.

I was most excited about the prospect of a kick-ass leather(ish) jacket, so I wandered over to the coat section first. I immediately spotted this, which is pretty much exactly what I had in mind. Huzzah!

Guess Faux Leather Jacket

Then I kept browsing, and that’s when I spotted this lovely wool number, and I remembered how I have been telling myself for the past few years that I need a new winter coat.

I remembered the huge hole in my current coat’s left pocket, and how the coat’s lining finally came apart on the right arm seam sometime in January. I remembered how I’ve had to replace the buttons on it a few times over the years, and how I noticed how grossly limp it has become after being worn for seven winters in a row. I also remembered how much I hated not having a hooded coat after taking public transit every day to school last winter. Let’s just say soggy bangs make me grumpy.

Yesterday I went to try on that lovely green and plaid wool coat, and it fit like a dream. I put the big hood over my head in the dressing room and became giddy when I saw that it would even protect my bangs from the months and months of rain we have here in Portland.

So, of course, I had to bring it home with me—but not before trying on that sexy faux leather number, just for kicks and giggles.

* Which I do need in my wardrobe, BTW. I’ve been thinking that for the past few months.
** The black tank is wardrobe staple that is worn year round. I really need to replace a lot of mine that have been starting to fall apart.

I Made Another Skirt!

June 30, 2010

Handmade Skirt

Well, I made another skirt. This time I used an awesome vintage green floral print I found at the Knittn’ Kitten (of course). Seriously, locals, if you haven’t been to the Kitten, you are totally missing out.

I used this pattern again, and for some reason, this skirt fits me a little bit better than the last skirt I made using the same pattern. I also hemmed the skirt up a little higher, since my last one was a little too long for my liking*.

Handmade Green Skirt

I think this may be the last of my personal projects for the summer, except for a few baby gifts for my friend Esmeralda, who is expecting a baby boy in just a few short months.

I wanted to make two dresses for myself, but I’m going to start on my Hallowe’en line when I get back from Chicago in mid-July, and depending on how that goes, I may have a little bit of time to sew the dresses at the end of summer before school starts back up. We’ll see. I’m beyond excited to get started on my Hallowe’en stuff, though! It’s something to look forward to post-vacation.

Handmade Skirt With Vintage Fabric

What am I up to the rest of the week? Putting together my garage sale. I haven’t had a garage sale in years. I figured I could handle a one-day sale, though, so that’s what I’m going to be up to on Saturday. If you’re local, you should swing by!

* But cute enough for me to keep it that way.

I Made A Skirt!

June 14, 2010

Remember when I talked about making handmade clothes for summer way back in February? Well, my plan didn’t really pan out. School got nuts, spring break was only a week long, and then when I returned to school for spring quarter, my workload got even nuttier. Those thirty minutes I thought I could spare each week were nowhere to be found.

But that’s ok! On Friday night I finally cut out my pattern pieces and fabric pieces, and I spent a few hours making a skirt on Saturday:

I used a really cute & summery vintage gingham fabric I found at the Knittn’ Kitten awhile back. The dark purple bits are actually flocking! Here is a close-up of the print:

Vintage Flocked Fabric

It felt good to make a project just for me. I haven’t made any skirts since I first started sewing four years ago. This time around, I was determined to learn how to put in a zipper the right way, and I succeeded!

I want to make another skirt, and a dress*. I haven’t made a dress for myself in years, either.

Then once I’m all warmed up** in the handmade clothing arena, I’m going to make Nattie a simple, black, sleeveless corduroy dress for her birthday. She’s really into Emily the Strange right now, and I know she’d flip out over a black dress just like Emily’s. I already ordered kids-sized black and red striped tights to go with it!

* Possibly two dresses, if the first one’s construction goes smoothly.

** I could sew a tote bag, some panties, or an apron perfectly with my eyes closed, but skirts, pants, shirts, and dresses are another story all together.

Little Brown Dress

May 19, 2010

Look in my closet, and you’ll see an abyss of black. Black dresses. Black tops. Black sweaters & cardigans. I have two drawers of skirts in my chest of drawers. One contains all black skirts. See what I’m getting at here?

Not that I don’t like colors. Look in my drawer of tights, and you’ll see tons of color—they all look great with all the black I wear!

Don’t get me wrong—I love wearing a lot of black. It serves me well. Every once in awhile, though, I get brown envy. In theory, I’d like to wear brown (a little) more, but it’s a hard color to wear, because like red lipstick, finding the perfect shade of brown *anything* is really hard. I have this really adorable vintage silk scarf. It’s brown, kelly green, and tan. And it has squirrels and acorns on it! I love it, but I rarely wear it because really, I need something brown to wear it with.

So yesterday, armed with my lovely friend Noel and some birthday money, I went to Forever 21 to do some Birthday Eve shopping and what did I find? This gem of a dress:

Cute Brown Dress

It fits like a glove, and is a great dark chocolate brown. Almost black*, really, but truly the perfect shade of brown for me. I’m wearing this dress today for my birthday with the aforementioned vintage squirrel scarf, my green knee socks, and my retro brown pumps.

*Ha! That’s probably why I like it so much.

Flapper Shoes in Action

May 2, 2010