Monday, September 30, 2013

Fall for Cotton Finished Dress

vintage wrap dress retro sewing

September just flew by!  I had grand intentions of sewing a new dress for myself from a vintage pattern with vintage fabric for the Fall for Cotton Sewalong, but with doing two shows this month, it just wasn't going to happen.

I did, however, whip up another swirl dress at the beginning of this month and never got around to sharing it.  It's made of 100% cotton, was made in September, and of a vintage/retro design so I think it fits the bill.   ;)

I was lusting after this fabric in the clearance section at Joanns and stopped in during their Labor Day sale and scored 4 yards for half off!  I feel like it looks a bit retro and with it being a new fabric I won't worry so much about washing and wearing the heck out of it!

The dress went together much better this time around.  I attribute that to having a better idea of how much room to leave while cutting out and just doing a better job cutting out the dress in general.  Next step is to trace the pattern pieces with the correct seam allowances.  And make more dresses!

Fabric: Clearance Quilting Cotton for Joann's, $12
Pattern: Original Swirl Design
Hours to Complete: 9
Total Cost: $15

This was such a fun sewalong to be apart of!  Thanks to Tasha and Lucille for coming up with and hosting this!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Get a Discount in my Shop!

coupon for vintage etsy shop vintage dresses vintage shoes

I wanted to clue my readers into a new feature on my facebook page.  When you visit the page, in the top right corner there is the "my etsy shop" icon.  If you click on this, it will bring up my shop on facebook for you to peruse.

Here's How it Works:
All of my listings are available to view via facebook, once you click on the "my etsy shop" button.  FYI: It does take a little bit of time for it all to load.  

If you see something you like, just click the activate coupon button.  You will be asked to share that listing on your facebook page and if you do so, you will receive a discount on said item.

It's that easy!


This discount can be used even during a sale!  So head on over to Livin' Vintage's Page, like, and share with your friends.

ALSO!  If my page reaches 500 likes by September 30th, I'm hosting a facebook only giveaway.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Shop with Livin' Vintage this Saturday

vintage show livin vintage michigan vintage

Hey Michigan Gals!
Need to add something to your fall and winter closet?  Then stop by the Bloomfield Hills vintage clothing show and warm up to a little something vintage!
I will be set up there with lots of warm coats, sweater, and dresses fit for fall and winter.  Find me in the big room, near the side door.

And for my readers, an exclusive coupon!  Print this out and bring it with you for 15% off your total purchase.  Limit one per customer and cannot be combined with any other offers.
Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Midland Flea Market 2013 Haul

kitsch vintage chalkware
| 1970 Miller Studio Chalkware, $8 for the pair |

The fall season is always marked by a few things for me.  The leaves changing colors, brisk temperatures, and the Midland Flea Market.  Although held three times a year, I make the two hour drive but once a year for the September show.  There's something about strolling around a bunch of old stuff when the temps drop.  In the future, I might consider checking out the spring show, but the fall show will always be my favorite.

butterscotch bakelite wedge bakelite carved bakelite
| three bakelite bracelets, $45 |

Every year my haul seems to get smaller and smaller.  Part of that is because I have really fine tuned what I buy to keep for myself and part of it is because I am out on the hunt more now that I sell vintage full time, so I find more stuff throughout the year. The longer I do this, the less stuff I buy it seems.  This is good for both my pocketbook and my storage.

I couldn't pass up those cute chalkware pieces -- which I collect -- or the bakelite bracelets, a steal at $15 each!  I don't have a ton of carved/decorative pieces, so these were a welcome addition to my collection.  The wedge bracelets seem to somewhat rare and I think they will be fun to wear together or alone.

vintage christmas candy cane bottle brush tree
| vintage bottle brush candy cane, $8 |

I don't buy a lot of vintage Christmas items much anymore.  I have amassed a nice size collection and only add to it when I spot really amazing pieces.  I am a sucker for anything vintage bottle brush and was excited to score this one for less than $10.

The market seemed to be a bit larger than the past two year, which was a welcome sight.  It's good to see it picking back up again, as this is truly one of my most favorite vintage shopping attractions a year.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Astor Place Vintage

I've always been a lover of books.  I can remember as a little girl staying up way past my bedtime, secretly reading in my room.  When I got to the age of chapter books, my mom got me started on the American Girl Doll stories and I have been reading historical fiction ever since.

Now that I am out of school, I can once again read for pleasure -- a delightful thing that has been rarely possibly for the last 6-10 years.  At this point in my life, I really enjoy reading anything and everything about old Hollywood, classic movie stars and film, and anything vintage clothing related.  While I still enjoy a good historical fiction novel, there is just something about peering into the fictional lives of vintage clothing store owners that brings a great sense of enjoyment to the act of reading.

Astor Place Vintage, by Stephanie Lehmann, is the story of Amanda, a 30 something vintage clothing store owner in New York City.  The novel opens with her on a buying appointment (which quickly drew me in for so many reasons) where she discovers the journal of a young woman, Olive, who is chasing a department store buyer position.  The novel then alternates between these two narratives, eventually expressing how these two women, while separated by time, are ultimately intertwined.

The entire premiss of the novel revolves around the notion of what one can find hidden amongst old clothing and really what can be found with relics of the past.  Amanda unearths this journal, begins to read it, and the rest of the novel follows by witnessing these two women's lives and how Amanda connects with this journal.  This notion of found objects impacting a person's present is the real charm of Astor Place Vintage.  Within the first few pages of this novel, the reader is indoctrinated into the world of a vintage treasure hunter and Lehmann does an excellent job of crafting this world within the text of her novel.

I highly recommend this book to all vintage lovers, but especially those who deal in and love vintage clothing.  Find out more about the book HERE.


Monday, September 23, 2013


Last week was a busy one!  Lots of catching up from the DIY.  In between regrouping from the show, I managed to fit in some thrifting, estate sales, a flea market, and a trip to Eastern Market.  Here's some shots from last week: 

harpers bazaar 1960s fashion mad men
| Nelly Don ad in a 60s Harpers Bazaar |

flapper dress great gatsby dress
| 1920s dress coming soon to the shop |

peppers farmers market detroit eastern market fresh
| pepper plants spotted at Eastern Market |

mad men sweater beading rhinestones
| beautiful beading on a 50s sweater -- coming soon to the shop |

Are you on instagram?  Lets follow each other!
Find me @livinvintage

Friday, September 20, 2013

Spotlight on DIY Vendors: Vintage

It's always fun to meet likeminded people in your area (something I just love discovering!) and the DIY had loads of vintage dealers vending this year. These are my pick for the best of the best vintage dealers at the show (besides me, of course! hehe!).

Octopus Pie Studios
Ashley is the adorable gal behind Octopus Pie Studios, a blend of vintage and handmade items.  Her booth was warm and inviting and both Jesse and I saw many things we liked.  I ended up with a vintage postcard which I am going to frame and place in my office.  Ashley also runs a blog too, check it out HERE

Reware Vintage
I always find things I want to buy from Bethany, the gal behind Reware Vintage.  Reware Vintage has a mix of vintage tee shirts, womens & kids vintage, and some sweet handmade items.  The first time I ever went to the DIY, the only purchase I made was from Bethany's booth.  Check her out on etsy too.

Detroit Dollface

Like Ashely and Bethany, the sister duo behind Detroit Dollface meshes together handmade items with original vintage pieces.  I loved the ladies's mannequin heads -- they came from a forever 21 of all places!  I bought the most adorable zip front 40s/50s housedress from them this year and I can't wait to wear it next summer!  Check them out on ETSY too.

*all photos taken from each of the ladies's instagrams*

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Spotlight on DIY Vendors: Handmade

One of the things I love most about the DIY is checking out the other vendors.  I especially love to see all the fun, creative things the handmade vendors come up with.  When I'm not buying vintage, I shopping with handmade local businesses.  Here's my handmade purchases from this year's festival:

Last year, I bought a really cute pouch at the festival and wore it out.  So this year, I was looking for something to replace it.  I love these little pouches, they have many uses and I find myself using more than one at once.  My mom actually found this for me and I think it's absolutely adorable!  Sarah, from Hip to Piece Squares, hand selects the fabrics and creates the designs for each of her products.  This pouch is very well made and even has a layer of quilt batting in between the lining and the exterior.  I've already got my make-up in it!

These bracelets were tempting me all weekend long!  Adam from Wenge Woodworks hand bends each of these bracelets from a single piece of wood.  All of his bracelets come in a variety of sizes, I got a medium, although I am sure I could have made a small fit too, I like my bracelets to be big and loose.  I also really love the triple twist bracelet too!  It was between those two and I chose this one -- so glad I did because I have already worn it tons!

Jodi was my neighbor this year at the DIY and I fell in love with her magnets.  I picked out this vintage camera one because it reminded me of my love for old photos and classic film.  Jody hand illustrates the images that she uses for the magnets and then they are laser cut onto wood.  Check out her shop HERE where she has lots of other goodies besides these cute magnets! 

Check out my picks for vintage vendors tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

DIY 2013 Wrap Up

This past weekend was the annual Ferndale DIY Street Fair and my third year vending.  Despite a very chilly Friday night and a raining Sunday, it was the best show I've done there so far!

This year, I was able to open up the back wall of my tent and use the sidewalk to house two racks of dresses and coats.  This worked super well until Sunday, when I had to shift stuff around due to the rain.  That worked out okay though, because I had (thankfully) sold enough clothing that I could comfortable combine racks and run one down the center of my tent.  It was a little cramped, but it worked for the one day I had to battle the rain. 

I really loved my set up this year.  I feel like I was able to use the 10 X 10 space in the tent much more efficiently.  A few people even commented that it felt a bit like an actual shop!

Every year I like to try out something new and see how the crowd responds.  Last year I brought vintage mens clothing and it wasn't really much of a hit.  This year, I decided to try some vintage kids clothing and I actually sold a few pieces, including the darling blue dress pictured below.  I think these did well enough that I would bring them again next year -- plus they don't take up too much space.  

What I Did Right
-Using gridwalls to take advantage of the wall space on the tent
-Having the right amount of clothing on my racks -- finding the right balance between too much and too little seems to be key
-Using a table to display smalls
-Opening up the back wall of the tent -- it brought in more light and allowed my items to be seen from more than one side
-Being more organized
-Having a rug in my tent -- made it feel cozy!

What I Can Improve On
-Having a more cohesive look to my tent -- while I love how it turned out, my tablecloth, rug, and tiki lights didn't really all "match"
-Figuring out a better way to display my shop name and website -- my current banner is too big and I feel like the chalk board (while totally cute) was hard to see
-Having a better way to pack up the clothing -- my current method of rubber banding the groups of hangers and then covering in a garbage bag is okay, but I think I can come up with something even better.
-Use more vintage suitcases!
-Find a better place for my chair and invest in a better, more comfy chair.

I'm already thinking about next year!  I love this show!

Check out my picks for handmade vendors tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


wwii sweetheart jewelry trench art wire wrap vintage pin
...I've been adding to my WWII sweetheart jewelry collection.  My grandma's name was Margaret and I am named after her ( my middle name is Margaret).  I can't wait to wear these together.  The Emily pin was an eBay find years ago and the Margaret pin is a new addition found via etsy.

vintage facebook livin vintage facebook etsy sale
...I added a new feature on my facebook page that offers followers a discount when shopping through my page.  If you haven't liked me yet, head on over, get some instant savings, and get the heads up about up coming sales and shows.

vintage clothes vintage clothing vintage show pop up shop
...last week was all about pricing, pricing, pricing!  Prepping for the DIY.

...I've added a few little kids vintage to the shop.  Look for more in the coming weeks!

Are you on instagram?  I'd love to follow you!
Find me @livinvintage

Sunday, September 15, 2013

September Sponsor Salute

Jessamity Vintage has been stocking their shop with some really great vintage goodies for fall!  Jess also offers handmade items made with found materials.  This fall I am really digging 60s floral suitcases and tooled leather bags, both of which you can find at Jessamity.  Jess also has some items that would be perfect for Halloween, like this 50s showgirl costume.

shop  |  facebook  |  twitter  |  blog  | pinterest

Bunny is the pretty gal behind the blog, Bunny's Victory.  Not only does Bunny share her cute vintage outfits on her bog, she's also got a number of great series going on.  Check out her Doctor Who Series and her 30s Week.  Want to know more?  See my feature post on her HERE.

Blog  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Twitter  |  Tumblr

Astor Place Vintage is the fifth novel for Stephanie Lehmann and features the blurring of the past of 1900s New York with the present day Manhattan vintage clothing store owner.  Vintage fashion and history enthusiasts can surely get their fix with Astor Place Vintage.  Lehmann shares some of her research for the novel on her blog.  Look for more on the novel next week!

blog  |  facebook  |  book  |  twitter  |  pinterest

A BIG thank you to my September Sponsors!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Meet Bunny

Bunny Moreno is the pretty lady behind the blog, Bunny's Victory.  After the birth of her third child, Bunny did a pin-up shoot as a way to reconnect with herself as a woman and quickly fell down the rabbit hole known as vintage living.  Her blog chronicles this journey, sharing how she manages to balance life as a momma to three kiddos with her passion for all things vintage.

"Be victorious!" she says.  Why? "Because I truly believe we can each face our challenges head on, rise above them, grow, and be prosperous."  A great message!

Bunny is also the cofounder of the ezine, Hey Doll! Vintage Magazine, which I have written for in the past.  Catch up on back issues HERE.

Recently, Bunny has started a Doctor Who series on her blog, where she shares outfits inspired by the show and her passion for the show.  I love the cute outfits she creates -- inspiring readers to incorporate their passions into their day lives -- and she might just have convinced me to check out the show!

Find Bunny Here:

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

How To Get Custom Tags on a Shoestring Budget

One of the things I love about doing shows it meeting my customers in person and reaching new people.  Some people believe that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers, meaning that a great majority of sales come from repeat buyers.

I've noticed at shows that many people buying your goods don't often take your card which has all of the info on where to find you outside of the show.  In order to capitalize on turing these customers into repeat buyers, I decided that customized tags was the way to go.  However, I didn't (and still don't) have oodles of extra money laying around to have custom tags printed.

So what was my solution?  

Investing in a custom stamp.

Places like (where I got mine) and offer custom stamps starting at just $10.  I opted to get the self inking kind so the stamp is portable and can be utilized easily on the go.

This small investment provides a big bang for your buck -- something all us small business owners and thrifty gals alike can appreciate.  The ink pad can be replaced for a small fee and the stamp itself can be used on a lot of other things besides just your hang tags.  I use mine on receipts, paper bags, etsy orders, etc.  

Buying tags is a necessary part of doing shows, you're already spending the money on the tags, so why not invest another $10 or $20 for custom tags that will direct your customers to your online or brick and mortar -- reaching more customers and more traffic to your site.    

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Attention Mitten Readers! The DIY Street Fair is Coming Up!

Since I am in complete show prepping mode, I thought I would share a little bit more about the festival/show I will be selling at this weekend.

 The DIY Street Fair is a free three day art festival in Ferndale, Michigan which began in 2008 and has been running strong and gaining popularity since.  Local business owners of The WAB and the Emory developed the idea of hosting a fair that catered to local artists and entrepreneurs while also showcasing local food and beverage offerings and local music.

I found out about the fair in 2010 and after attending I knew it was the perfect place for me to sell my goods.  This will be my third year vending and I couldn't be more excited.  The people running the show are awesome as are the other vendors and the people that attend.  I just love the city of Ferndale and this festival really showcases the excellent community of this quint little town.

This year, you can find me in booth 78.  The last two years I have been in the 100s row, so I've been hard at work devising a new layout that might work better in the location. 

The first year was a total learning curve.  It was my first show EVER and after show was over, I had a much better idea what would work better the following year.  Placing the table across the entire back and leaving room to sit back there ate up a bunch of space and when your tent is only 10 X 10 every square foot matters.

Last year I was able to create a layout that utilized the space much better, but I packed my racks way too full (sometimes less really is more!) and didn't have my stuff secured well.  I also added a banner so people actually knew my business name and where to find me outside the show.

This year will have many more improvements, or at least that's what I'm aiming for!  I've narrowed my focus to only vintage clothing and accessories, since the last two years vintage housewares didn't really sell for me.  I am also adding gridwalls, tiki lights similar to THESE, a rug to make the tent feel more like a boutique, uniform hangers (YAY!) and better displace pieces, such as mannequin heads, more dressforms, and better racks!

If you are in the area, please stop by and say hi!  I love meeting readers and other vintage fanatics!  
Mention this post and I will give you 15% off your items!