I hate to open with an image that evokes the 1947 Black Dahlia murder case, but can you believe this dress form (one of a pair) I saw in the trash two weeks ago is still out on the street? (I passed it on my way to the flea market this morning.)
Somebody call NYC Sanitation!
I'm not sure if that was the strangest dress form image of the day, however. I also stumbled upon this:
I haven't been in the sewing mood this week, but I did find some good accessories at the flea market and the Salvation Army.
Knowing what I know about making newsboy hats, I couldn't resist this one for $1.99 at the Salvation Army. I'm not cutting it up; I really like it. It was made in Ireland, and what's most interesting about it is that the brim is soft rather than stiff.
As someone who has thrifted for more than three decades, I can say that the general quality of the merchandise at places like the Salvation Army has plummeted, particularly in the last decade, due primarily to the spread of fast fashion -- there's less quality stuff to give away -- combined with a larger number of people looking for "finds." How dare they?!
Something as basic as a men's shetland wool sweater, which used to be plentiful, is rare; it's mainly cheap fleece and cotton. Which is why I grabbed these two Scottish cashmere scarves, not that I really need them, but can you have too many accessories? I've already hand-washed and pressed them; for $1.99 I'd willingly pick lice larvae off them. The brown scarf goes well with my brown tweed coat and the red plaid coordinates with my gray toggle coat.
My best flea market find today was an umbrella. Would you believe I have never owned a full-size umbrella? This one is solid wood and was made in the USA (!) for The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Since my research reveals that the only ones the Met sells today are collapsibles, I'm guessing this is at least ten or twenty years old. The pattern must be from some textile in their collection; I'm going to guess William Morris but maybe somebody knows for sure. I just love it.
Which leads me to why I will never be a high fashion person: I get too excited about stuff I see for a song, or in the trash, just to leave it there; I want to bring it home whether it works with what I already own or not. Take the umbrella. Audrey Hepburn would have purchased only umbrellas that matched her bags and shoes; I can't be bothered with that. I'm so proud of my $5 find that I'll wear it with anything and everything, whether it goes or not.
I do try to coordinate my accessories, but I think of my wardrobe more like a costume shop. If I need something that goes with brown tweed, I want to be able to pull it from my collection, not have to go out and buy it. I'm not a minimalist. No, really, I'm not!
Meanwhile, the best thing about iTunes is that everybody seems to be junking their CD collections. More cheap music for me!
My Issey Miyake pattern arrived today, but I still haven't received my 1940's strapless panier gown and I hope it wasn't lost somewhere between here and Portland, Oregon. We shall see.
Do you think this design could be a credible men's coat (maybe with a hood instead of collar?) or should it be a Cathy coat? (I think my mother, who's 5'2", would swim in it.) I may make a muslin in the days ahead.
And that's all for today, folks. Other than shortening my mustard pants, I didn't sew at all last week but I'm hoping my mojo returns shortly. My class begins the week after that!
Readers, are you the disciplined type who will let some great thrift store find get away because it doesn't coordinate with what you already own, or are you more likely to take it and store it until you own stuff it does coordinate with -- which means you'll just have to keep thrifting and dumpster-diving till you find those things?
Have you ever owned and/or invested in a good quality umbrella?
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!