Flapper Shoes in Action

May 2, 2010

Summer Shoes

April 7, 2010

So here’s the deal: I can’t wear socks once the temperature hits 80 degrees. It’s just one of those things that’s physically impossible. If I wear socks in hot weather, my feet get all hot, sweaty & swollen, and then I’m just miserable and incapable of doing much of anything.

I tend to wear a lot of sandals in the summer, or my beloved ballerina flats. Sometimes, though, I need something more sneaker-ish.

A few years ago I found a really rad pair of simple black canvas Rocket Dog flats on the cheap*, and then I wore the hell out of them. They were so comfortable! But last year they began to stink. They stunk really, really bad. Like, they made my feet smell like death and cat piss every time I wore them. Nasty, I know. As much as I hate to see them go, the time has come to replace them.

So about three weeks ago, I put a few eBay searches into my RSS feeder, and began casually searching around the interwebs, but there really isn’t much out there in regards to simple black Rocket Dog flats.

I just want something plain black that will go with everything. I don’t want anything with a pattern on it like this:

Plaid Flats

Or anything donning any sort of bow or buckle like this:

Grey Flats w/ Bow & Buckle

Or anything trying to be fancy and sporty at the same time like this:

Ugly Rocket Dog Mary Janes

No, I just want cute, plain, black canvas flats that will keep my feet cool in the heat, and won’t chew up my back heels or give me blisters. I’m not even stuck on getting Rocket Dogs. I just trust them since my last pair were so perfect.

So… have you seen anything around lately that fits the description of my desired summer shoe? If so, please be a dear and let me know what you’ve seen around.

* Thank you, Columbia Gorge Outlet Mall.

Flapper Shoes

March 23, 2010

I’ve been on the lookout for a pair of affordable flapper shoes since 2003. Much like the reindeer sweater, this item has been filed away in my brain under ‘Things I Want That I Hope to Find Someday.’

A few weeks ago I checked out Flapper Era Fashions from the library, and began actively lusting after jazz age shoes again after browsing through all the vintage shoe ads from the 1920s.

Flapper Shoes

I tried to push away my thoughts about prancing around in a pair of flapper kicks, though, because any contemporary shoes I’ve seen in the past few years that fit the bill have been insanely out of my budget.

So imagine my delight when I stumbled across these shoes last weekend on a clearance rack:

Modern Flapper Shoes

Modern Flapper Shoes

Modern Flapper Shoes

There was one pair left in size 8. I almost didn’t try them on because I tend to wear a size 8.5-9 . Then I thought about the recent conversation I had with my friend Noel about how it’s strange that a decade ago, we both wore size 9-9.5, and now we find that we can fit into smaller shoes.

Our reasoning wasn’t that our feet were getting smaller, but rather, that shoe companies were sizing shoes differently, to make women feel better about their large feet. I have no idea if there is any truth to our theory or not, but recalling that conversation made me decide to at least try the flapper shoes on in the store.

Low and behold, I was both amazed and pleased as punch that the shoes fit perfectly! It was a match made in shoe heaven, and I gleefully brought home the pair of sexy size eights.

Handmade Clothes For Summer

February 19, 2010

Dress Fabric

As I was straightening up my studio earlier this week, I found these awesome fabrics I had purchased many, many months ago. I remember buying each of them—the muted plaid and green striped fabrics were found at the Knittn Kitten, and the fun skull & scissors print was acquired on clearance at Fabric Depot. I also remember why I had purchased them: I was going to make myself some cute clothes.

I’ve found that as a designer, it’s the norm to have all these lofty plans for creating cool things for myself, but never getting around to making them. There are always other things that need to be done and made, and all my personal projects keep getting put on the never-ending backburner. I’m sure many of you can relate to this.

Well, I’m finally determined to do something about it! I’m setting a goal and making a plan to knock out two dresses and a skirt by July 1st. Here are the patterns (bought years ago, and still untouched) that I’m going to use:

Simplicity 4265 Sun DressSee & Sew B4897 Skirt

I keep daydreaming about turning the muted plaid fabric into a sun dress, and wearing it with my big black belt, cute black flats, and gray knee socks. The teal fabric with the skull & scissors pattern will all be made into a sun dress too. It will also look cute with the same shoes and belt, but with black tights, and a black cardigan. I will make a simple skirt out of the flowery striped green print. I haven’t imagined what I’ll wear it with yet, but sometimes it’s fun to figure all that out after you have a completed project in your hands.

So I have the goal—these will be done by July 1. What’s the plan? I will cut out the patterns and fabrics this weekend, and then I will set aside 30 minutes to an hour a week to work on these. July 1 is exactly 20 weeks away. Considering the patterns are not complicated at all, I should be able reach my goal in a total of 10-20 hours. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Wish me luck!

Wintry Things

September 23, 2009

Last week, while on our way to participate in our Friday night tradition of browsing books at Powell’s Books, Chas put on Dungen’s Ta det lungt in the car. And I liked it. A lot. It started a conversation regarding Scandinavia, and neither of us were sure exactly which countries Scandinavia consisted of. Suddenly, it became a big puzzle in my head, and I knew it would lead me to the Purple Room within minutes of our destination.

After finding out the basic details on Scandinavia* (which seemed to be similar to the rule about vowels**), I wanted to find a nice, contemporary photo book showing what these countries looked like… but no dice! They had some older books that came close to satisfying my needs, but they didn’t quite cut it.

Even after Chas and I conducted an Amazon search when we got home, we came up empty-handed. Damn. So if any of you know of some obscure, beautiful book on Scandinavia I should check out, please let me know. While at Powell’s, I did start to read The Palace of the Snow Queen, and immediately put it on hold at the library when I got home. It seems like it’s going to be an extremely awesome story.

Anyway, I’m not sure where this interest in Scandinavian/Nordic lands is going to lead, but perhaps it will infiltrate my winter crafting and sewing, which actually excites me since it seems appropriate, and a cool direction to take.

Right now I just want to get a clear picture of the land in my head, but I might find myself digging into the history or learning more about the contemporary culture.

In other news, I finally gave into my boot lust this afternoon. I finally found a pair that meet all my requirements:

• Black
• Suede
• Full knee-hi length (17″)
• Lined with faux fur to keep my feet dry and warm
• Side zippers
• Flat soles
• Priced at a bargain



*Some sources said Scandinavia consists of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and sometimes Finland. And if Finland is included, sometimes Iceland is included too. Other sources argued that Norway, Sweden, and Denmark are considered Scandinavia, and the term Nordic Region or Nordic Countries include Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Denmark) plus Finland, Iceland, and a few other island territories. Confused yet? I was. A very kind native to the area finally cleared it up for me and said that Scandinavia consists of Sweden and Norway (the countries that the mountain range Scanderna goes through), and the Nordic countries are: Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland.

**AEIOU and sometimes Y

Boot Lust

August 14, 2009

Lately I’ve definitely been able to tell that autumn is on the way. Meteorological battles are happening daily, where the dark, grey, windy dampness dukes it out with the bright, sunny, breezy blue sky. Sometimes they go back and forth all day long. I think it makes me a little skiddish. I’m really not ready for summer to be wrapping up yet. In fact, I feel like it just started. I love extended daylight hours, and I’m not looking forward to the darkness of fall and winter. My internet browsing history would prove otherwise, though, as I’ve had winter footwear on the brain.

I’m on the hunt for a good pair of black, stylish, lined boots to combat this year’s nine months of chilled-to-the-bone-sogginess. Every day I’ll be walking to the light rail train, then from Pioneer Square to PSU, then back again. I want shoes that will keep my feet dry and warm. And I refuse to wear Uggs*.

The frugal side of my brain keeps asking if should just buy a few pairs of really warm wool socks, and attempt to wear my big burly black leather boots instead? Would that be cheaper? Perhaps I should take a spin around the second-hand shops around town. All I know is that thus far, all the boots I really like are way out of my budget. Such as these:


So has anyone else caught the boot lust yet? Do you have any sort of fall/winter fashion on the brain? Or is summer still going strong in your neck of the woods?

*Uggs are so 2003, and besides, I wouldn’t have been caught dead in them back then, either.

Thrifted Skirt

May 29, 2009


This recently thrifted skirt is making me happy today.
(Click the photo for better detail, if you desire)

Green Knee Socks! It’s True

October 10, 2008

Last week I was on a hunt for a good pair of green knee socks. Not the olive green or hunter green knee socks you can find just about anywhere, but a pair of bright kelly green ones that would perfectly match my favorite vintage scarf that has the cutest squirrel & acorn pattern on it. My internet search was proving to be barren and frustrating, and the closest thing I found was some kelly green volleyball socks. I almost purchased them, but decided to hold out since they were a little over my budget (they were roughly $15 including shipping). So I trudged on with my search. Then, when things were looking really bleak and I was slowly trying to convince myself the volleyball socks were going to have to do, I finally stumbled across the motherload—a little online shop called We Love Colors that carries knee high socks in over 45 colors.


Oh, but it gets better. The knee socks are only $3.50 a pair, and shipping is incredibly reasonable. Since I was having a hard time deciding if kelly green or emerald was the perfect shade, I ordered a pair of each:

My socks arrived in the mail today, and they are fantastic! They are comfy, well made, and the colors are super vibrant. And the best part? Now I know when I do something silly like build an outfit around a specific accessory that I adore, I know I will be able to find the perfect shade of socks to match.

Portland Style Council

March 10, 2008


Anne over at Shop Vintage Portland conducts these fun interviews in a neat series she calls Portland Style Council. I was so excited when she asked me to participate, and it’s also exciting to learn that my interview is now up online. You can check it out here.