31 July 2009

Two Years

It's hard to believe it's been two years since I started this blog. Looking back on those first few posts it's so painfully obvious I had no clue what I was doing! I also had no idea that it would become such a big part of my everyday routine. I'm so thankful for all of the wonderful connections I've made and the friends I've found all because of this little blog. I probably don't say it enough so I want to take a moment to say a huge thank you to all of you reading and for all of your encouraging comments. They always brighten my day!

I always have extra photos that I don't use on the blog whenever I take outfit shots so here's a little look back over the past year...

30 July 2009

Maybe once a lifetime you'll hold one in your hand...*


top: J. Perse tank
skirt: 70s cotton plaid skirt
shoes: vintage Ferragamo t-straps
purse: vintage straw bag
hat: 20s felt cloche
*listening to: Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - All the Roadrunning "I Dug Up a Diamond"

I don't think I can even begin to express just how busy we are these days. It feels like we've both gone from zero to sixty and there's no end in sight. I suppose that's just the way life goes, but we're used to enjoying a pretty laid back life with lots of time for laying around watching movies, eating ice cream and going for long walks. Not so much these days! I'm trying not to let the blog suffer but there are days when it may have to take a backseat to contractors and painters and movers and other such mundane things.

In the upcoming weeks I may be posting more photos than written posts since the writing is always what takes me the longest. I inevitably end up with photos edited, sitting in front of the computer trying to think of something interesting to say! Hmmm... I'm not so sure I'm accomplishing that with this post. ;) In the midst of it all, I am super excited about the little pile of things I've been collecting in the corner of my closet to organize my new office space. Just yesterday I brought home a cute little shelf to store all of my sewing supplies.


Now, on to the outfit... it's sort of hard to believe this skirt hasn't been seen on the blog before. It's been my go-to skirt on the mildly hot days we've been having. It's just the softest, most worn in cotton and I love the bias plaid. The rest of the outfit consists of a simple white tank top and the shoes and hat I've been pairing with everything this summer. On a side note, as I was taking these photos, little groundhogs kept peeking their heads out of the tall grass to see what I was up to. So adorable! And much less bothersome than the human onlookers that a girl and her tripod tend to attract. Alrighty, enough of my incoherent ramblings!


Crochet Dress

This is one of those things that has been on my wish list for ages: a thirties era crochet dress. I just love the delicate details of the crocheting, especially around the neckline. It even has the original belt attached! The belt has funny little loops and snaps and to be honest, I haven't quite figured out exactly how it supposed to work. Although the dress is in excellent, perfectly wearable condition it's that awkward mid-calf length of the era that it so difficult to wear. I don't know... maybe with the right heels it would work? Something about that length makes it feel a bit costumey to me. I wish there was a way to shorten it a bit without ruining it, but that seems like a hopeless daydream. I think it'll just hang on my wall and be pretty to look at everyday instead.

28 July 2009

Etsy Preview

Is it that time again already?! Here's a little sneak at the items I'm working on for the Etsy shop. I'm trying my best to get them all up and ready today, but if you don't see something in the shop yet, I promise to have them finished by tomorrow! I think this all the time, but this really may be my favorite update yet. There are so many things I would love to keep, but my closet is saying no, no, no. Thanks so much for stoppin' by!

UPDATE: All of these items are now listed in the shop. Thanks so much!


27 July 2009

Rock Ford Plantation

photos by Tom b.

romper: 50s bathing suit
jacket: vintage Levis
purse: 60s straw bag
shoes: thrifted woven flats

Today we finally got a break from a little rain we've been having so Tom and I decided to get out of the house for a bit. We were heading down to an old abandoned amusement park that sits by the Conestoga River when we passed a sign for Rock Ford Plantation. We made an impromptu turn and ended up driving out to the plantation instead. When we arrived, I remembered we had visited once before, years ago when we were visiting PA while still living in Alabama.

I'm so glad we made that turn because it was just the loveliest place to walk around. I love going to touristy places like this on slow Monday afternoons when no one else is around. We had the whole place to ourselves save for one friendly black cat and a herd of does and their fawns eating crab apples off the ground in the adjoining field. It was so peaceful to walk around and imaging what life must have been like in the late 1700s when the plantation was built.


There were terrible things to imagine, such as the probability of slaves being owned there (people seem to think only Southerners owned slaves, but that's not the case), and the cold northern winters one would have endured with no heat. But there were also fun things to imagine like the children that must have played in those fields, women sitting on the big porches with quilts in their laps, and how many generations of deer must have eaten from those crab apple trees. Oh, and the fact that George Washington (most likely) had tea there! Seriously, I'm sitting on bricks that George Washington walked on.


25 July 2009

The First Hint of Autumn


I have to say that right now my fashion roots are still planted firmly in the summer soil. I'm enjoying wearing sundresses and shorts and sandals. Perhaps it's because of all the summers I've ever experienced, this has been the mildest. The temperature has rarely risen out of the seventies and I've barely had to break a sweat. Usually it's around this time that I start dreaming about wool and tweed and tights and boots but so far those thoughts haven't really crossed my mind.

I know I'll reach that breaking point eventually and when I do, the first thing I'm going to want to look at is A.P.C.'s F/W 10 collection (geez, that sounds so futuristic!). Although my meager pockets have never allowed me to own a piece from A.P.C. they are always one of my biggest go-to sources for inspiration. These are my favorite looks from the F/W collection. I tend to lean towards to simpler, solid color pieces and the muted plaids rather than the super woodsy-Paul-Bunyan-inspired looks.


24 July 2009

Cleaning Out My Closet

I'm in the middle of a major closet overhaul right now. The new house has itty-bitty closets and I have way too much stuff to try to cram into such tiny spaces. Sooo... this means I'll be doing some serious purging of things that don't get enough love from me. Maybe you can love them more?!

Any vintage goodies I plan on parting with will be listed in the Etsy shop but I also have a pile of newer duds (think H&M, UO, Topshop, Anthropologie) that need to find new homes. I comtemplated (for about three seconds) the idea of listing them on Ebay but right now I'm sort of relishing being Ebay free so I thought I'd try something different. I've already listed the first batch of items for sale on a sister blog (you can see it right here or follow the new link in the right sidebar). If all goes well with this little experiement, I'll be listing lots more over the next couple of weeks.

You can find more details if you follow the link to the sister blog. And yes, I will ship internationally. Thanks!

Here's a peek at today's selections:

23 July 2009

I've Got The Blues

Blue used to be my favorite color to wear but in recent years I seem to have drifted away from it. I think the change from blond to darker hair led me to wear more browns and yellows. But it seems that most of my favorite finds recently have been in the blue family.
  • A 50s cotton day dress in the softest cotton. I love the Peter Pan collar the most.
  • Sometimes at the thrift store I get faked out by dresses. I thought this was going to be an amazing 30s chiffon dress but it turned out to be from H&M. I brought it home nonetheless.
  • This 60s cotton shift dress needs some serious stain removal (and ironing!). I think it might be my first foray into OxyClean.
  • This 50s gingham swimsuit fits like a dream except for the strangely pointy bra lining. I've already taken scissors to it (sacrilege to some, I know) and plan on taking in the bust darts. Then it'll be perfect!


22 July 2009

And don't get me wrong, dear, in general I'm doing quite fine...*

top: 70s cotton eyelet camisole
pants: 50s cigarette pants
shoes: thrifted t-straps
purse: vintage Bond Street bag
*listening to: Regina Spektor - Begin to Hope "Summer in the City"

Yesterday morning I woke up a bit early and headed out to a local flea market. I had good intentions of taking some photos as I wound my way through the tables but it was a bit crowded and claustrophobic and started raining about halfway through so... no photos. It was one of those flea markets that is mostly junk and people selling socks and fake handbags. Sometimes they also have livestock auctions which I avoid like the plague. All the little lambs and calves bleating as they're being sold off for future slaughter just make me want to cry. But that's another story altogether.

Despite the junky nature of the place, I still managed to walk away with a couple of good finds. I was on the hunt for pieces to use in organizing my new office space and walked away with an old fruit crate and two metal storage bins for all of my post office supplies. I also bought about a pound of blueberries for just two bucks. Mmmmm. I'm having a bowl of blueberries and soymilk for breakfast in the morning.

20 July 2009

Etsy Preview

Here's a little peek at the some of the items I'll be putting in the Etsy shop tonight...


19 July 2009

A Random String of Thoughts

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This morning I turned on the TV and it happened to be tuned to a station that was playing Spiderman 3. The scene was one in which Kirsten Dunst’s character is on stage singing in a Broadway musical. This made me think of how even though I don’t particularly care for Dunst’s acting, I do think she has cute style for a Hollywood actress and I especially loved her costumes in The Cat’s Meow, which made me think of Marion Davies which made me think of William Randolph Hearst which made me think of the time Tom and I stopped in San Simeon to visit Hearst Castle on a drive from San Francisco to LA a couple of years ago. How’s that for a random train of thought? From Spiderman 3 to Hearst Castle in less than seven seconds.

Though I haven’t seen too many of her films, Marion Davies is one of those glamorous old Hollywood types that fascinates me. Her life seems like it was all scandal and parties and drama and, well, glamour. I’m sure it wasn’t really like that all the time. People who appear to have wonderful, glamorous lives are often the most miserable ones when left alone to their private thoughts. I’ve put it on my to-do list to learn more about her life, both public and private. Can anyone recommend a good book?
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photos from Flickr

It was in 2007 that we stopped in San Simeon on the way back from a weekend in San Francisco to visit Hearst Castle. The place is, um, impressive to say the least. I remember that before the tour started we sat down to watch a little documentary about Hearst and the process of building the castle. I don’t remember too many details about the film except that it made us feel a bit like we’d come to worship at the church of Hearst as if he was some sort of benevolent demi-god. I think we may have actually left the theater chanting “William Randolph Hearst is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life” just like something out of The Manchurian Candidate. Whatever he was like, the man knew how to build a castle!
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photos from our trip (I do remember having to restrain myself from taking a dip in that pool)

And if all that’s not random enough for you, in my search for photos I ran across a set from Marion’s Santa Monica beach house. It was also built for her by Hearst – seriously, the castle wasn’t enough?! As soon as I saw the photos of her kitchen I saved them to my house-renovations-inspiration-photos-folder. Those cabinets! That floor!
P.S. The house is now known as the Annenberg Community Beach House and is open to the public.

17 July 2009

A Chance of Afternoon Showers

photos by Tom b.

top: 70s cotton eyelet camisole (see it bigger)
shorts: Urban Outfitters
shoes: thrifted
purse: vintage Coach
belt: thrifted

So far this has been such a mellow summer. None of those so-hot-I-can't-think days of sweaty necks and unbearable sunshine when you just want to crawl into an icebox and take a siesta. Just lots of mild, cloudy days and almost cool nights. We've barely even run our AC! But today the mugginess set in and the air was heavy with humidity. We stopped to take a couple of photos on our walk back from buying fruits and veggies at the Farmers Market and the sky started spitting a little afternoon shower. Even as I write this I can still hear the drops pinging on our tin roof. It's making me a bit drowsy so I better get to work on that pile of dresses that needs to be mended for this week's shop update.

P.S. We're heading out to see The Half Blood Prince tonight. I'm such a Harry Potter nerd. Anyone seen it already? Did you like it?

16 July 2009

Bailey's Home & Storage


I promise to eventually get back to more fashion related posts... I've got lots of things planned for the blog after the big move. But for now, pretty much all fashiony things have been pushed to the back of my mind in favor of interior design and remodeling projects.

One of our main goals in restoring this old home is to do things in a way that utilizes "green" products and processes. Green. That's such a buzz word nowadays and I sort of hate the way it's overused and abused but it's still the most apt word I can think of to sum up our philosophy toward the house. Anyway, I digress. One of my favorite ways to "be green", if you will, is finding new ways to use old products. I've been researching how to turn an old dresser into a bathroom vanity, searching for old crates to use as storage in my new studio space and collecting flea market odds and end for decorating.

For inspiration, I've been studying the Bailey's Home & Storage site. Unfortunately it's out of our reach - both geographically and financially but it's so much fun to look! From their site...

"The things we sell are a surprising mix of vintage and new from a variety of sources - but they all share the qualities integral to our repair, reuse, rethink philosophy. One of our favourite things is to reuse unloved bits and pieces (small or large) that we find on our travels, and give them a new lease of life - it's our version of recycling... so abandoned bobbins from old textile mills turn up on our shelves as egg timers, lamp bases or string holders; scraps of floor board become mirror frames, tables or even kitchen units."


15 July 2009

Worn Magazine

Just when I'd sworn off print magazine for their online cousins, the fine gals over at Worn Fashion Journal were nice enough to send me a copy of their latest issue. Worn is a self proclaimed "small, independent print publication dedicated to offering a unique and inclusive perspective on fashion and style." If that wasn't great enough, the latest issue just happens to be dedicated to shoes - who doesn't love shoes?

You can click on the scans below to see a sneak peek from the issue. The magazine offers articles showcasing an enviable collection of vintage shoes, a glossary of shoes, a guide to shoe repairs and more shoe related information than you can shake a stick at.

Update: FYI - You can purchase a copy of the magazine from the Worn website or from their Etsy shop.

14 July 2009

Audrey, Ip and Mr. Famous


Writing a post about Audrey Hepburn as a fashion icon is sort of like writing a post about the sky being blue or summer being hot. A bit obvious, but nonetheless true. It's such a daunting task to imagine saying something original about the subject, I hadn't dared tackle it. But when I ran across this collection of photos by Bob Willoughby featuring Audrey and her beloved pets Pippin, nicknamed Ip, and Mr. Famous I couldn't resisit.

As documented in the NY Daily News, Willoughby was as on-set photographer for many of Hepburns films who grew close enough to the star to follow her home and capture her candidly among her four legged friends. Can you imagine what a sight Ms. Hepburn must have been, strolling around Beverly Hills for an afternoon of shopping all while being followed by that adorable little deer? What a dainty pair they must have made. The whole scene reminds me a bit of The Golden Compass. Don't you imagine if Audrey had her own dæmon, surely it would have been a deer?


12 July 2009

Etsy Preview

Here's a little sneak peek at some of the items I'll be adding to the Etsy Boutique tomorrow...


11 July 2009

There's no telling where we'll be at this same time next year...*

top: James Perse
skirt: 60s pencil skirt
shoes: 80s flats
purse: vintage coach
beret: vintage
*listening to: Dredge - The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion "Ireland"

I realize that the only times I stop to take outfit photos these days is when I'm wearing a nice dress or going somewhere picturesque so I thought I'd mix it up a bit and snap a few photos right outside my apartment of an every day sort of outfit. I've been feeling really inspired by visions of 60s French girls in striped tops and pencil skirts. Add in flats for lots of walking around town and a satchel bag to tote around all my belongings and there you have it. That's pretty much what I've been living in lately. b (2)

09 July 2009

We're Moving (Again)!

Sorry for the spotty posting this week. My mind has been just about everywhere except fashion. It's been in the works for a while and now it's official... we're moving! But, unlike our last two epic cross country treks, this time we're moving (drumroll, please)... a whole seven blocks! I'll be so sad to leave our wonderful apartment with its super high ceilings and brick wall but we've always dreamed of moving into an old house and fixing it up. Our new place was built in 1867 so I think it fits the bill. The actual move won't be until the end of August but we're already busying ourselves with plans for renovations and decorating and having a little vegetable garden and all the other fun things that come with living in a house.

There will be a new studio space for all things Sally Jane Vintage and I have so many ideas swirling around in my head I can barely stand it! Needless to say, there will be lots of new things for the blog and the shop in the months to come. I'll keep selling right through the move so there won't be any interruption to the shop but the blog may suffer a bit while we get settled. I've already found myself being pulled away from the usual fashion sites I peruse in favor of interior design sites and home improvement DIY sites. I came across this New York Times article via Darling Dexter and can't stop staring at the photos. I think the whole place is just perfection!

08 July 2009

Recent Vintage Finds

I had a different post planned for today. A post where I was going to share a little impromptu DIY Rit dye project I cooked up for myself this afternoon. But... things didn't go so well. More on that later. For now, I thought I'd show you a few things that have found their way into my closet over the past couple of weeks. First is this super yellow 60s shift dress. A couple of years ago I wouldn't have dared wear this color, but now I quite like it. I wore it out to our town's First Friday festivities last week and got lots of compliments on it! I also snagged this pretty floral print cotton skirt. I want to wear it with a simple white tank top and sandals since the print is kind of loud.
I've been looking for a pair of 30s cut-out detailed oxfords for ages but that's not the kind of thing you come across very often. Instead I found these very 30s inspired brown suede heels that will do the trick. I think they date back to the 60s but that's fine since I have a thing for 30s fashions that have been filtered through a 60s aesthetic - think Faye Dunaway's Bonnie Parker. I also managed to add yet another vintage Coach bag to my ever growing collection. I think this brings my total to five. I'm not usually one to lean towards name brands but there's something about the simplicity of the Coach bags that I love.
And that brings us back to the Rit dye disaster. I found a pretty 40s era blouse this morning and was so excited until I noticed it was plagued with some sort of bleached out spot disease. I knew by looking at it a good soaking wasn't going to be the answer but thought perhaps some dye would do the trick. All of the tags in the blouse had long since faded to nothing so I wasn't sure of the fabric content but I figured I'd give it a go anyway since it was unwearable in its current condition. Well, the dye took to the fabric like magic, turning it a nice cocoa brown. I followed all the directions, dutifully standing by the sink for a full thirty minutes, stirring the dye with one hand and eating potato chips with the other. I was so thrilled to see it there in the sink, imagining all the ways I was going to wear it. Where's the disaster you're wondering? It's now hanging in my window air drying - a teeny tiny doll sized version of the blouse you see here. It shrank a good three inches in every direction! Oopsy daisy. Later I'll try to see if there's any way to salvage it, but right now I can't even bear to look at the pitiful little thing.

Ending things on a more, ahem, positive note there's a pretty collection of 60s cotton floral sundresses now hanging on my to-be-sold rack. I found four of them this morning, all handmade from the same pattern. Someone really loved that pattern! I'll be updating the shop on Friday so look for them then. Well, at least three of them. One may have to take a detour through my closet, I'm just not sure which one!

P. S. Rebecca over at The Clothes Horse asked me to plan an imaginary party and she just posted about it on her blog. Be sure to check it out when you get a second. Isn't her blog the best?!