The goal of the trip was a cool, earth toned vintage tie for blokey. He actually smiled when he saw it: success!
Vintage acetate tie: $12 (Sunday sale)
I tried on a number of beautiful dresses, but ended up buying a coat instead.
I feel like femme Inspector Gadget
Vintage handmade coat: Collecther, $42 (with discount)
Grey sweater tights: Street Vendor, $5
Plum pashmina (it's real, not the kind I buy for 5 bucks on the street): $12
Booties: DSW, $45
During the swap, I coveted a camel colored coat, but it was pretty thin and it fit my friend better. But I saw this beautiful, thick wool camel dress coat on the coat rack. It was hand made (I could tell by flipping up the lining and seeing unfinished seams on the body), and lacked a brand/shop label. It had a material label on the side, which suggested that someone may have made in it a tailoring/seamstress shop.
The only problem was that my gangly arms were like 1.5" too long for the sleeves. I decided that hemming sleeves could be a doable hand sewing project. This took me about 75 minutes. Mostly because this weird rose powder came out of the lining (which I had to clean up many times) and I had a conversation with my mother while stitching (women are possibly better at multitasking because of our denser cerebral corpus callosum, says peer reviewed research). I'm still coughing all that rosey Grandma-like essence out of my system.
First, I turned the sleeve inside out. I pulled out the seams by the lining (using a handy seam ripper), and then I pinned a new hem, and pressed it with an iron high.
Next, I did this neat trick of using the stitch as a hem, by creating small stitches around the edge of the wool, that made a small stitch mostly invisible on the other side, the sew it in place (I'll eventually use a machine to reinforce it when I can get one working). Here I am almost done with one sleeve. The lining is sewed in place a few spots lower on the sleeve, so I was not so concerned.
Next, I used the iron to smooth it out again. It's not perfect at all (you can kind of see that the edge got dirty on the old seam), but I'm pretty pleased. I can wear it now reasonably well.
I'd like to take this to the tailor that is currently fixing Fella's suit, and ask him to take it in an inch or so (I think it kind of overwhelms me right now) in the side seams, and then hack off about 4 inches. It currently ends at the thickest part of my calf, and I know that I am a reasonably attractive person, but there's no reason to wear a beautiful coat that makes me look short.
Also, those buttons have to go. Ick. Luckily, I already know to go to Vardhman, where the beautiful buttons all go to hang out.