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Incorporating Hats into Ensembles

March 14, 2016

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There are those days that your hair is bad or perhaps your too lazy to style it or you just don’t have the time. So what do you do? … Wear a hat! I have collected vintage hats for a decade and regularly incorporate them into my ensembles but I also love to wear them when my roots need to be touched up or I’m rushing out the door.

In the 1940s the turban hat gained popularity because it was a stylin’ look to disguise and protect your hair when working in manual jobs in factories and farms. It was a design that could be created with minimal sewing skills and helped to conceal the hair when access to hairdressers, shampoo, and even water, might be limited due to the war.  Today I feel we’re in a similar economic situation and I still love the turban design, as you will see me wear in one of these shots. It’s my favorite quick-fix for easy elegance and no hassle.

Ursala and I wore some of our favorite hats (all of which have romantic fashion history) for this style post because she needed a haircut and I needed my roots touched up. It ended up being a great way to show how we incorporate hats into our ensembles.

Pictured Above

  • 1960s silk velvet and satin bucket hat from Ghost Rabbits
  • Sheer striped hi-lo top from Lush
  • Black leggings with contrast velevet tuxidio style by David Lerner
  • Black ridding boots from Tahari

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  • 1940s black velvet Wilshire beret from Ghost Rabbits
  • Sheer georgette and french terry dolman sweater from Lush
  • Black cropped top by Free People
  • Black jersey wrap skirt by Nasty Gal
  • Black ridding boots from Tahari

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  • Vintage olive baret
  • Great Grandma’s walrus tusk ivory rose earrings
  • Thrifted wool scarf
  • Leather jacket from Target
  • Dotted chiffon shirt from Forever21
  • Leggings by Victoria’s Secret

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Style

Incorporating Vintage into Your Wardrobe

October 3, 2015

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Many people assume that dressing in vintage is full-on costuming yourself in a specific period. Sometimes that is the case and I personally do love to do that, since I’m a costume-history nerd; to me, it’s magical assembling an outfit from a different time period. However, there are those times when you just want to throw in a little vintage here-and-there, spicing up an ensemble without appearing like you belong in any specific period of time, and finding ways to make your style more unique and defined.

I’ve always been a huge fan of vintage because I adore old things. I love the quality in which things where made back in the day compared to now; most of our fashion, products, cars, household items, and food are all mass-produced and cheaply-made. I find it amazing that I can go into an antique store and find a cardigan that was hand-crafted in the USA with beautiful hand-done beadwork made from fine cashmere with matching silk lining hand-stitched to the inside, all for the same price as a cheaply-fabricated cardigan from a online store. Many people don’t realize that you can find really high quality treasures in Podunk Town antique stores. As a romantic, I also love that these handcrafted treasures have a story and a past that we get to carry on.

With out further adieu, here is how Ursala and I like to incorporate some of our favorite vintage pieces into our style, from wearing just a touch of the past, to having it be the focus of our ensemble. Hopefully it offers up a little inspiration!

Pictured Above

  • White Buffalo t-shirt from the band themselves
  • Thrifted necklace
  • Fat decorative belt from L.A.’s fashion district
  • Vintage crushed velvet dress from Ghost Rabbits
  • Ankle flats by GH Bass & Co.

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  • Camisole from Ross
  • Skirt handmade from previous post DIY Circle Skirt
  • Sunglasses from downtown L.A. fashion district
  • Vintage necklace and earrings
  • Vintage patent leather 60s Mod Fanfanfares pumps are up for sale at Ghost Rabbits
  • Vintage mid century patent leather purse

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  • Vintage 1980s velvet wiggle dress worn twice by Ursala’s mom
  • Gold shoes by Pilcro and the Letterpress
  • Vintage gold hairclip from my grandmother
  • Brass bracelet gifted from Benin
  • Vintage leather mid century handbag from Ghost Rabbits

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  • Vintage 80s leather shoulder-capped button-up thrifted
  • Hand-me-down J + CO jeans
  • Black suede wedge pumps by Cooperative
  • Fat red belt thrifted

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Style

What We Wore: Summer Styles

August 27, 2015

A few of our favorite styles from summer.

Summer Styles - Native Roots

Summer Styles - Native Roots

Summer Styles - Bohemian Pinup

Summer Styles - Bohemian Pinup

Summer Styles - Mexican inspiration

Summer Styles - Mexican inspiration

  • Embroidered Méxicana shirt gifted
  • Lace shorts thrifted
  • Platforms by Farylrobin
  • Pearl necklace by Christa Laos

Summer Styles - Bohemian Pinup

Summer Styles - Bohemian Pinup

  • Dress Buffalo by David Bitton
  • Vintage parasol
  • Vintage purse
  • Sandal wedges by Dolce Vita
  • Thrifted sunglasses
  • Antique bangles
  • Earring a gift from Ursala during her trip to Bolivia
Style

Tutorial: DIY Circle Skirt

August 21, 2015

Circle Skirt Tutorial

Figure out how much fabric you need. You will need enough fabric to fold twice: once hot dog style (salvage to salvage), and then hamburger style, with a little left over for your waistband. The pattern you will make is 1/4 of a circle. You will cut the pattern out of the folded fabric, which will then unfold to a full circle, like cutting a snowflake!

This tutorial uses about 2.5 yards of woven dupioni fabric, a matching 7″ zipper and thread, hooks & eyes and a 1/4 yard of interfacing for the waistband.

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Measure your waist to determine your radius. You can calculate your waist radius or use the guide provided above.

A little side-note: I subtracted a bit from my radius. From my circle skirt sewing experience, the waist and hem are on bias, meaning they will stretch (lengthen while sewing), and your waistband is on grain, so it won’t. It’s already going to be difficult to pin the skirt to your waist band because of this, so subtract a tiny bit. My waist is 27″, so instead of 4- 3/8″, I just did a 4″ radius.

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Making the Pattern

  1. Gather Your Supplies
    Pattern Paper:
    When making the pattern you can use dotted paper or brown paper.  I used dotted paper for this tutorial and prefer it because the numbers and dots help keep you in line. If you don’t want to order pattern paper by the roll, buy brown craft paper at your local hardware store for around $10.
    Scissors: I designate my paper and fabric scissors because cutting paper with your fabric scissors will eventually dull your fabric scissors. If you’re not planning on making more garments then don’t worry about it.
    Tape measure: To get your waist measurement.
    Pencil and ruler: I love C-Throu rulers for making clothes. They help square off your lines perfectly.
  2. Draw your radius at the very bottom of your paper using the guide above. Make sure to square your lines to make a perfect 90 degree angle.
  3. Draw the 1/4 circle for your waist. Here’s a trick: use the pattern paper as a compass! Cut a long strip of the pattern paper and mark the measured radius length on that strip.  Pressing one marked end of the paper strip on the corner of your pattern (the right angle), poke a hole in your paper-compass at the end to stab your pencil through and draw the circle.
  4. Keep one end on the mid point and and draw the 1/4 circle with the other end.
  5. Draw the length you want your skirt to be.  It’s your preference, just make sure you start that measurement from the waist, not the radius. Add your hem to the length. I included 1″ for my hem.
  6. Use a long piece of pattern paper again to compass out the length of your skirt.
  7. Your skirt pattern is finished and it should look something like this (above).
  8. Pattern your waistband.  Think of how wide you want it and then double it because you’ll be folding it over. For length, use your waist measurement plus an extra 1/2″ – 1″ overlap for hook and eyes or buttons.  I only did an extra 1/2″ for hook and eyes and I wanted a big 3″ waistband so I made my waistband pattern 6″ wide by 27.5″ before adding the seam allowance.  To add a seam allowance add 1/4″ all the way around your band. Pattern is done.

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Cutting

** Pre-wash fabric before cutting.

  1. Fold your fabric first hotdog style and then hamburger style.
  2. Place your pattern on top of the fabric so the large curve faces the open ends and the 90 degree angle faces the folded edges. Hold the pattern in place using weights.  I just use found-objects like sea shells and rocks.
  3. Pin your pattern through all the layers of fabric.
  4. Cut out waist quarter-circle.
  5. Cut out hem quarter-circle.
  6. Cut out waistband.

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Sewing

** Before you start please note that I did not finish the frayed edges. You can finish the frayed edges before you sew together by using pinking shears, fray check or by zig zag stitching the edges.

  1. Fold your skirt in half and cut one end open.
  2. Measure your zipper and mark the length from the waist with a pin. Pin and sew the seam you just cut open only to the zipper mark.
  3. If you’re using interfacing (which makes the waistband stiffer) press (iron) it on to your waistband now.  Make sure the sticky side is on the wrong side of the fabric. This will be inside for extra support if you want.
  4. Press and sew your waistband with a 1/4″ seam allowance on each side. Trim the little corners off at 45 degree angles to make sharp corners.
  5. Turn the waistband right-side-out. Use something pointy (pen, pencil, etc.) to push out the corners of your waistband. Be careful to not poke through the fabric— we just want to make a sharp corner.
  6. Pin either edge of the waistband to your skirt. Make sure you pin your fabric face-to-face.
  7. Sew the waistband to the skirt with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  8. Press the seam allowance (just sewn) up over the waistband.
  9. Pin and sew in your zipper. Click here to see that zippers are actually fairly simple to sew in.
  10. Now that your zipper is sewn in you can pin the other side of your waistband 1/4″ overlapping the waistband/skirt seam. This will sandwich your skirt and the top of your zipper inside the waistband.
  11. Once your waistband is pinned into place, you can turn over and “stitch in the ditch” meaning you sew right into the seam that connects the skirt and waistband.
  12. Make sure your waistband overlaps on one side 1/2″ – 1″ for your buttons or hook and eyes. I like to slip stitch that overlap; it’s quick and clean.
  13. Press your hem.
  14. Sew your hem. This can be difficult because your skirt is cut on the bias and curved. You have a few options here: 1) sew with that machine, if you’re brave, 2) hand-stitch it, which looks really nice but can take along time, or 3) use bias tape to get a nice, clean hem.
  15. Sew your buttons or hook and eyes on to your waistband. Voila! You’re done!
Style

Heirlooms: Our Grandmothers’ Jewelry

August 14, 2015

Wearing Family Heirlooms

Grandy

I’ve always been close with Grandy, my maternal grandma. I’m her name sake, as Adrienne number two, and we’re both Sagittariuses, so we’re stubborn, adventurous, and prefer to do things without help. There’s a mutual respect between Grandy and I; I have always been able to see eye to eye with her and know exactly were she comes when others may not understand. Grandy places a strong importance on family, which is something she passed down to me. She also prefers to live minimally, frequently getting rid of objects, so she gifted me several jewelry heirlooms, knowing how much my family heritage means to me, and that I love to dress up in items that trigger nostalgia.

Each beautiful piece originally belonged to my Great Grandmother. I’m the sixth generation born from Colorado pioneers— I’m proud of these family roots and want to keep the stories alive! It means so much to me to behold, cherish and eventually pass down my heritage to the next generation.

Grandma's Heirlooms

Above I’m wearing my Great Grandmothers stunning crystal AB necklace that easily stands out as a statement piece. I wear this necklace with pride when I’m attending a more glamorous to-do. It’s a perfect accessory for this black 1950s tafetta dress available from my vintage store Ghost Rabbits (’cause I love old things!)

Pictured below are a few more beautiful gems from my Great Grandmother that I hold dear to my heart.  To the left is a hand carved shell cameo brooch.  To the right are my Art Nouveau earrings with amethyst, pearls, and brass filigree.  Not pictured is my gold leaf and tiger eye antique necklace, shown in the previous blog post, Clean and Chic with a Bold Accent.

Grandma's Heirlooms

Irene

My maternal grandmother was half filipino, half Tlingit Alaska Native from Hoonah, Alaska. When she was a child she was shipped off to boarding school, away from her mother and their Native traditions.

I used to stand at my grandparents’ wall of family portraits and gawk at my grandmother’s beauty in her younger years. A different person looked down at me, behind her soft pincurls and red lips. After becoming a mother myself I became more interested in my grandmother’s essence and why the light dimmed from her eyes. But she got sick and passed away before I was bold enough, or introspective enough, to know the questions to ask.

By the time I was born my grandma was very quiet. Most of my memories of her involve her hunched in her pillowed chair at the kitchen table, chewing her food slowly between strawed-sips from her glass of cold water. I would watch her from across the table and wonder if she knew I was there. On occasion, she’d point at me and laugh with her dentures consuming her smile, and although I never knew what was so funny, I would feel loved.

Alaskan Walrus Ivory Jewelry

I grew up 3,000 miles away from my grandma, in a town with as many Native Americans as stop lights. It was very important to my grandmother that I witness the traditions of my people, so I visited Alaska as a tourist. As an outsider I was confused; I saw blue jeans underneath the regalia. There was the image of the culture, but I couldn’t feel the spirit. After the public events the family would gather at my grandma’s to eat traditional food of salmon, hooligan, herring eggs, rice, chicken adobo, and jello on paper plates in front of the TV. I felt lonely in a room full of people. When the white men came, took the land, and sent the children off to be “saved”, the spirit got lost. It took years for the People to regain the strength to find it again, but it will never again be pure.

At home in Colorado I would see the stars stretch across the atmosphere and feel myself dissolve into the deepness until I could feel the heartbeat of the planet. I would take off my shoes and climb the red rocks of Utah to sit in the dusty Anasazi ruins that made me feel so empty until the warm air filled my lungs with the gratitude for all the worlds’ ancestors. The cool waters of the San Juan rivers shook the blood from my limbs until ecstatic bliss tingled to the tips of my hair, and I would look to the sky and know that the moment was eternal.

Alaskan Walrus Ivory Jewelry

I think my grandma worried that I wouldn’t find the answers or guidance that she found in her church or from her traditions, too far away from the well of Truth that had served and healed her. When my grandmother died, I wanted to tell her that I lived a life of love, although she was too far away to see it, and I loved deeply, with or without my Native roots. And I that loved her, too. But sometimes it’s just too late.

The jewelry that I’m wearing in these photos, except for my mother’s woven bracelet, was my grandmother’s. When I wear it I am reminded of the sleeping Native spirit, while honoring the change and the evolution of it. The necklaces, bracelet engraved with Eskimo figures, and hand-carved walrus earrings are all made of walrus ivory. I love the raw, primal ivory and how it adds a bit of edge to a classic ensemble.

We want to thank the team at Invaluable for giving us the inspiration to write this post. Without their encouragement, we may not have thought to honor our grandmothers in this way. With collectibles, art, and jewelry auctions, Invaluable is an antique auction site where you can find your own treasures to perhaps become your own family’s heirlooms one day.