Sunday, August 16, 2015

Weekend Wrap-Up: Etro for Ulty, a Fantangle, and Vintage Detective

This has been a perfect weekend. Just the right amount of socializing and just the right amount of downtime. I might even be able to get in another nap.
It's been a little cooler, breezier and cloudier lately, which has been a nice change from the heat. Gives me an excuse to break out a blazer!

  • Jacket - Etro, consignment; last worn here (2nd outfit) last Hallowe'en weekend in October 
  • Dress - Land's End, consignment; last seen here (2nd outfit) in April for a Winesday
  • Shoes - Half-Truth Veda, Fluevog; last worn here a few weeks ago for thd 40+ Blogger Meet-Up

I don't wear this blazer much, but I do love it. It's one of the last jackets that had yet to be worn this spring/summer season.
The dress was nice and comfy for before and after Ultimate - we had a brutally tough game, with only 4 players on a side, so we ran a lot. Both L and I are pretty creaky today!

We cleaned the house when we got home after brunch. Guess who doesn't like the vacuum cleaner?
"I was cold."
 He crawled up under the covers onto the bed. What a chicken-cat.

I finally finished my dear friend Cat's Zentangle fan. It's taken me since June (I started it here when Mom and I went Zentangling in Beacon Hill Park).

I started with a paper fan from Chinatown.
Cat loves tulips.
The photo of the tulips was good for planning out a nice fan shape.

I outlined the flowers again to make them stand out against the background.
I added some organic flower and leaf shapes to the both ends of the fan.
As this would be my first fan with full colour, I kept the designs quite loose and open.

Cat also loves simple geometric designs, so I worked a repeating pattern as background behind the main flowers.
 I liked how this pattern is like stylized tulips.
Once I had the repeating pattern done, I added black to make a more solid background.
With all that busy-ness, I wanted a simple connector pattern between the curly bits and the graphic stuff.
This reminded me of netting you might have in a garden to keep birds away.

I added stylized suns and flower bud flourishes across the top.
This completed all of the black line work.
I carried the "bubble" filler along the bottom to connect the two ends.

Then I started in on the colour.
I loved the punchy tattoo-like colours of this purple tulip picture, and so did Cat.

She was over one night and checked out the progress.
I love the flame-y look.

Bold greens for the leaves and stems.
And more pictures for inspiration.

There, that will stand out.
Next up, that background. 

I used most of the same colour palette to do yellow and red tulips.
I shaded all of the petals to give them extra depth.
Saturday afternoon, I added the last colour and finished it. 
I liked how the main flowers stood out.

The watercolour pencils add subtle colour.
Washes of blue and green.

I also coloured the sunbursts and buds with felt pens.
And gave that area a wash of yellow, like the sun coming up.
Cat really loved it. Now, onto one for Karen! 

Last night I had a few of the original Winesday ladies over for a clothing swap (mostly my clothing being given away), while our guys had a MANsday. We were up till the wee hours, but what a wonderfully relaxing time. 

This morning I slept in a bit, then got groceries and had a small shop downtown.  
I love this dress and have been wanting to wear it again. I like shopping in a simple dress with flats - it's easy for trying stuff on and simple to move in. I did wear my jean jacket over this for sunblock.

  • Dress - Coldwater Creek, thrifted; last seen here in May to the Ulty field
  • Shoes - Born, consignment; last worn here (3rd outfit) just last weekend to shop with Yvonne

Since I gave away bags and bags of clothes last night (and I'm taking more to work tomorrow to give away to my fashionably-inclined colleagues), I felt fully justified in having a week shop. Not that I need to justify it, but you know.
I hadn't been to Flavour Upstairs in ages, so that's where I headed.

The stuff:
I've been wearing minimal bling all weekend.

  • Earrings - Stella and Dot, consignment

First wear of those earrings. I love the vivid colour.

I had a leisurely browse for about an hour and a half. I observed one poor woman who wanted to shop and her husband/partner and kid whined constantly the whole time. Jeez.

Flavour Upstairs has a good mix of new and vintage at very reasonable prices. They also mark stuff down over time, so you can end up with great deals.
I couldn't resist this vintage late 50s/early 60s wool jacket for $9.99.

A better look at the pattern.
Lilac, chartreuse and yellow? Sign me up! Take my money!

The chartreuse satin lining was amazing, probably silk. The cut of the jacket is very 50s/60s, and the quality is insane. No exposed inner seams anywhere.
A wonderful inner pocket (!). The jacket itself feels like wool. I likely won't wear this a ton, but I'll get a few outfits out of it.

I have two parties to go to in late August/early September and I found dresses for both of them! This one will be for Vero's birthday, since I promised to wear these boots for her.
It has no support ribbons under the arms, so it's hanging skinny on the hanger.

The pattern is fans with scenes on them, all outlined in silver!
Fantastic material!

The back is open.
The entire dress is lined in the black and white "seed" fabric. When I examined the dress closely, I realized it's hand-sewn. It's really beautifully done; whoever made it really paid attention to the details. I paid $9.99 for it. Score!

I've been frustrated in my attempts to find a good t-shirt-ish top, as well as a good orange top. One of my early-summer purchases (this Jaeger sweater) got spots on it when I washed it, and I didn't like the cut of this orange top on me.
Ta dah!

100% cashmere by Lord & Taylor. I saw these in the Bay department store on the way downtown for $89.00 each.
For me? On sale for $12.99. This is an XL sweater, in a very fine gauge and drapes nicely without looking too big on me. Also - yay, cashmere!

I am a sucker for a nice obi.
This one is navy blue and is a really good quality PVC.

I'm usually "leather only" but this is really soft - it fooled me for a few minutes!
It's by Bennetton and was $9.99.

I really liked these 3 silver and amethyst stacking rings.
They were $7.99.

I found two more dresses, and I'm going to use them to show my madd vintage detective skillz.
"I want my dinner."
This is a great-looking dress on. It's a lean sack shape - with pockets! - and has a lovely portrait neckline. I don't typically wear this shape, but it looks fab on - it always pays to try things on!

However, it's marked vintage. It has no label on it.
"Vintage!" with a heart dotting the i.
It's not vintage. Not even close. It's very well made, fully lined and is a nice thick cotton weave on the outside and a thin gauzy cotton for the lining. I would have bought this despite the erroneous label - it was only $19.99.

How do I know it's not vintage? A vintage fabric like this will get its pattern from the weave, the same as that yellow jacket above does. This pattern is printed on the fabric.
Also - that zipper? It's completely modern, and has zero wear and tear. None of the paint has worn off, and the hook and eye at the top of the zipper has had no distress either. I'm not sure which era the labeller thought this dress was from (the 60s?) but a dress from then would have a lot more aging. I'm sure this is a good quality brand (I found threads from where the label was cut out), but it's a modern piece, no more than 5 years old.

In contrast, check out this piece of magnificence!
Lilies and berries - but these are like no plants in nature
Oh yeah! This dress is from the 70s, and I'll be wearing it to an art opening party. It goes all the way to the floor, and has a big slit up one side for walking - same print on the back. It looks amazing on me, like it was custom made.

Not labeled vintage, but look at this zipper in contrast to the one above.
An open-headed zipper in an unusual shape, a fine hook and a sewn loop for it, wear on the back of the zipper.

This dress has no label either - it might have been handmade or the label might have fallen off, but either way, I only paid $19.99 for this dress as well. I can't wait to wear it!

And now...time for dinner and hanging with L - I hope you all had a lovely weekend!


  1. That fan is beautiful! I especially love how you coloured the tulips, they look so vibrant and alive.

  2. I admire your skill at finding good clothes. That first non-vintage dress is cute and has the advantage of no wear-and-tear. Looking forward to seeing how you style it.

  3. I love how much you are able to learn about clothes from looking at the little details. It's little details like that which are easily overlooked by someone like me, and that's a shame! I certainly look at and know the meaning in differences behind zipper pulls and fabrics and stitching in things like handbags (for brands I like) but it's incredible you have so much knowledge about so many different kinds of clothes.

  4. I popped in because the first photo had me in love with the Etro blazer and that dress combo on you, but oh man, your design on the fan!

    And that Japanese fan dress!! Eeeeeeeeeeee.

  5. Love your choice in frocks, they suit you so well & the orange top too(love orange garments:); the ultimate feel-good apparel for us girlies!

  6. Great Etro jacket - I love the sharp lines. And the fan is just gorgeous- you has a(nother) talent! All cats are well under the bed here when they hear the vacuum roll out. xox

  7. I love it when you post your finds. I feel like I am getting an education in second-hand shopping. Question: do you clean the clothes after you buy them? Whenever I purchase something from the thrift store, I take it straight to the washing machine or dry cleaner. I had a bad experience in college with a thrift store haul having creepy-crawlies in it and have never really recovered from it. Do find buying stuff at certain places there is no need to clean the garments when you get them home?

  8. The fan was a beautiful trip! I was gasping more and more with each picture. You're an artist!

  9. FABULOUS ... all of it ... esp the vintage maxi ... looks like Shaheen ... gorgeous. Love your blog!

  10. Uh oh, I almost missed this weekend roundup! Aaaa.
    First, your fan is truly a work of art. So beautiful, so detailed. The process must have been very calming, uh, yes, well it is ZENtangling not FREAKtangling.
    And great scores, although the maxi for the art opening, pure luxury. Good detective work there too.

  11. Oh my this was an elaborate post. I was going to comment on the perfect shape of both the red dress and the Etro jacket, when I saw the fan. MAN... what a work, what a creative bean you are. Surprise to me, but I don't know you that well. Looks so beautiful.
    And you scored big time in the shops. Nothing like this in The Netherlands, or I don't have "the eye" for it.


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