organization

Burgeoning Bakelite bonanza

Like so many vintage-loving ladies (and gents!) I have a major heart-on for Bakelite. My collection has grown hugely this year and I thought it would be fun to share a few of the things I have found and the many ways I have seen Bakelite lovers store their stashes. 


My most recent finds are the unworn stacks in the upper left and lower right corners. This summer I discovered a vintage jewelry store called Ann & Jack's Vintage Jewelry in Hopkins (just west of Minneapolis) that has a great variety of vintage jewelry offerings. I brought little miss J last time and was so impressed with their store. They have a chest of treasures that your little ones can paw through and take a treat home for free! What a great way to help a mama out as she gets her oooh-sparkly fix!

Anywho, the most recent acquisitions are somewhat of a work in progress. The bangles in the lower right corner have some serious patina that I believe is hiding a light blue green (top) and a hot pink (middle). The bottom one might even have some strong blue streaks if I can get the layers worked down.

I am interested in learning more about how to restore the original colors and started off with Brasso. I'll also be looking to try Novus #3 and Turtlewax Chrome polish. I've heard good things. I'd love to hear if you have other suggestions!

When you start having a good sized collection you need to find a good way to keep all those beauties stored and displayed, too! 

On my Pinterest board Bangles, brooches and bags, oh my! I have saved lots of items that just make me go, "Ooooooooh...!" I've also started saving images of the different ways people store their bangles for your viewing pleasure. Here are a couple of my favorites!

                             

I started out with this sweet jewelry box my mother gave me years ago. It has a nice, deep bottom compartment that worked really well! You can see here, though that my collection was already bursting at the seams. Time to start looking for other, inspiring ideas!

This coke-bottle options is super neat. What a fun way to sort and store your bangles! Plus, don't you just envy a collection so broad, varied and extensive??? *sigh*

I like this idea a lot, too. A great, inexpensive way to store and display. Plus, moving your bangles off of your dresser or vanity is great for freeing up surface area! In this bangle-fan's blog she mentions the benefit of being able to swap out towel tubes when they get exhausted. I think that's pretty good but I know it would drive me batty to have to replace them and also to have to take the tube off every time I wanted to sort through the bangles. Which is why...

This is the method I love most! These bangles are not my own collection but are the same sort of storage I use. I have been extremely lucky to find a couple of these boxes at different flea markets. I have a silvery blue one that I snagged for $7 and a salmony pink one I scored for just $2! It was super dirty but has cleaned up rather well and I have been happy with it so far. 

I feel like I have seen and known about Bakelite all my life. All throughout my childhood I remember being dragged (hey, I wasn't always jazzed but I am so glad my parents made me do things that interested them, too) to flea markets all over the region. We went to antique stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey. For several years in high school we hit up the Atlantique City Antique Show. It's a mega-huge gathering of small and big time dealers all gather under one roof. 

I remember seeing cases and cases stacked with Bakelite. Bangles, jewelry, phones, knives, etc, etc. These days, every Bakelite bauble I see is that much more precious and exciting to spot. I'd love to see shots of your own bangle storage and favorite bakelite pieces! Plus, I'm excited to share updates on the restoration process of my new bangles on Instagram. 

xo, 
Sarah







The Batter Up! daydress

During my day off last week I was very happy to spend the whole day home and sewing. And doing laundry. And cleaning the cat's water fountain, etc, etc. Still, mainly, a sewing day!

After my most recent trip to SR Harris I had a really hard time deciding which of my new fabrics to start with. Looking through my box of trim I decided to make up this fun blue dot print with some extra wide rickrack trim from my stash. I went back and forth about it since it made me think of baseball right away. I love the kinda '40's, kinda '60's pop Deco feeling of it.

I keep all of my TNT pattern pieces in their own envelopes. Separate bodice and bottom pieces. Mix and match heaven! I have a whole envelope of pocket pieces, too!

I started out with my kimono sleeve bodice block and a basic gathered skirt (I use a tapered hip line instead of a straight rectangle to reduce bulk). I laid all of my bits out and just wasn't feeling it. So I scrapped the kimono sleeve bodice and instead opted for my newly modified Butterick 5748 bodice! I made this up as a test run for a dress I am wearing to a friend's wedding later this month. With the first try there was major neck gaping and the back is so low that I can only wear it with one bra that I own. 


B5748

To eliminate the neck gape I followed the advice of berni and i . Her step-by-step was perfect for altering a one-piece bodice front with waist and bust darts. It's giving me the confidence to go back and fix some other patterns with similar problems. Don't fear the dart!

As a side note, I generally don't pre-wash my fabrics unless I am sure that the sizing is corn-based (I have an allergy). I find that most fabrics are so much easier to cut and fit in their fresh-off-the-bolt state. Plus, my ironing and pressing time is greatly reduced and my washing machine is saved the trouble of loose yarns tumbling around the center holding my towels and underpants hostage. 

In the future I hope to share additional tidbits about organization, pattern tracing, storage and modifications. I love reading about other bloggers organization and tips and tricks. 

Next up: pictures of the finished dress! And some Bakelite love. 

Happy sewing!




Day off, new sewing space!



Ok, so it's not a totally new sewing space. We moved into our duplex about 2 months ago and although we are settled in many ways I am still getting used to the new space and it's quirks. We've just combined households and finding just the right way to put each of our belongings into the best use is the kind of challenge I love. Fortunately for us both my boyfriend likes my flair for organization and design. 

Here's the new layout!


I really should have taken some before/after photos since there is an enormous red, sculptural chair that is now hidden away in our Enormous Closet. I was getting pretty frustrated with my workspace flow before. I have a small ironing board and it would have to be used on top of the worktable. The serger felt crammed in at the far end when the giant chair was in the place of the sewing machine. Now, I have usurped a bookshelf for my ironing station (and lego storage for the kiddo!) and we have a lot more open floor space. Woo! I keep other supplies tucked away in our Enormous Closet.


Now, with the sewing space on its way to glory I have a couple of other things that need resolving. I'm pumped to hang these wine boxes for some additional storage/keeping junk off the workspace over my sewing machine. It'll be great to be able to keep thread and bobbins close at hand without having them on the work surface! Other items include: additional light for sewing machine area (perhaps), additional thread rack for overflow (absolutely!), hairpin legs for the worktable (when I can stop myself from blowing my candy money on Bakelite...rrrrright.)    


For now, I am off to spend the day with my stepdaughter. This will be her first time coming thrifting and antiquing with me. On the lookout for: Bakelite bangles, quilted hosiery boxes, end tables and cloth napkins. Future post on our day of spoils and also my approach to antiquing and thrifting, for sure!

A day to play

It's been a quiet week at work. The sort that finds me reaching out to coworkers to see what I can help with and compiling mental checklists of all the things I would like to get done at home. So I am super excited to be taking a personal day tomorrow!

On my to-do list:

-SEW! 
   -Work on the Butterick 5748 for a friend's wedding
   -cut out fabric for two other dresses
   -draft pockets/trim plans for the two dresses

-antique mall?
   -in Hopkins, Antiques on Main
   -look for: bakelite, cloth napkins, satin organizers! Like these:
   I have seen a bunch of folks storing bangles this way and I truly love it!

Happy almost Friday!