May 8, 2018

Vintage Clothing Tidbits

So, I thought I'd follow up the previous post, about a lovely 1920s beaded purse, with some more vintage clothing repair highlights.

The first tidbit is a photo of "how we do it".  I don't know if we've ever had a photo together like this before.  This is Julia, proprietress of Basya Berkman Vintage Fashion, and me sitting at my living room worktable.  I am gradually taking over the whole house with my repair work, supplies, and storage.  The living room has a wall-size window, which gives lovely light for handwork, so the table is nearly always up.  Julia had brought over a pile of  "broken" clothes, and here we are, going over each piece and I'm taking notes on what each one will need.  From the way we are dressed, you can tell what kind of winter we had this year in the Chicago area! 

I'm sharing photos of some of my favorite pieces and mends from the last few months.

This green blouse was missing one button.  I was certain to document this, because it was one of those super rare occasions where I had the Exact Same Button in my stash.  Can you guess which is the replacement?  ..........  The middle one.  Oh hallelujah!  Now I have documented proof that having as many buttons as possible is absolutely essential!

One of the fun things about repairing these clothes is meeting up with all sorts of design and construction techniques.  This otherwise regular white cardigan was layered with a metallic-stitched net.  So pretty!  Unfortunately one of the lovely buttons was missing, but this time I didn't have a match.  We opted for a blendy mother-of-pearl button, and put that one down at the hem.

This silk half-slip had such a gorgeous deep lace at the hem!  I'm pretty sure it once had a ribbon threaded through those vertical slits.

Here's another cardigan-of-interest, this one with lovely beading.  I had to replace one of the hook and eyes, and secure some of the beads that were coming loose.


The flowers and leaves are beaded with a 3-D effect.  There are "too many" beads for the length of each stitch, which results in each row standing up from the sweater with a slight curve.

This beading also has a special secret.  The flower and leaf beads are actually all the same, translucent white.  The different pastel colors come from the vibrant threads inside them!

You can catch glimpses of the colored threads in the above photos, but you can see the full effect on the inside of the sweater, through the lining fabric.  Yes, this sweater is fully lined.  You can also see how the hooks and eyes were stitched so as to peek out from the edge of the lining, a very subtle touch of special care.

This next repair is just for me.  I started with a pair of my daughter's earrings, long neglected because of several bits having been lost or broken.  The earrings were originally all black, but I don't wear much black or keep black supplies on hand.  But I do like the design, so I got it into my head to replace the missing pieces with silver.  I had to move some of the bits around to bring them to a kind of symmetry. 

And finally, coming full circle to buttons once again.   In another lovely stash of vintage buttons, which included many wonderful shell buttons in a wide range of shades......

.....  I found this one.  Actually a broken one, but when two of the four holes broke open, well....

I believe I now have a mascot.  I love this button!!!

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