From My Closet - The Better Dresses Vintage Blog

Go Big or Go Home: Trimming an 18th Century Hat

Go Big or Go Home: Trimming an 18th Century Hat

... I started reading up on the proper way to trim such a hat. What I discovered was that just about anything goes. Ribbons, flowers, birds, feathers, fruit, wheat. You name it ...
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Repairing an Antique Blouse

Repairing an Antique Blouse

... It was the collar I worried about. The stitches attaching its satin-covered boning framework were mostly gone, leaving the whole thing collapsed and disheveled. I had to do something ... 
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Making a Regency Bonnet

Making a Regency Bonnet

... Always looking for new dress-up opportunities, I contacted JASNA to see what Atlanta-area events might require head-to-toe Regency finery ...
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Going Solo to the Summer Soiree

Going Solo to the Summer Soiree

... I wasn't going to let my lack of a dance partner or a partner-in-crime stop me from attending a mid-Victorian ball. Mr. BDV and Sarah were both unavailable, so I decided to go solo ...
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A Strap to Fasten My Antique Parasol

A Strap to Fasten My Antique Parasol

... My plan was to rig something similar to what you see on any modern umbrella. It would need to be attractive but inconspicuous, made of period-correct materials, and not hamper the mechanism or damage the lace ...
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Another Reticule Rescue

Another Reticule Rescue

... I tore away the shattered chiffon lining, wondering why someone would have used such sheer fabric to house drawstrings. I hesitated before snipping the original, tiny, hand stitches. But my mom warned it would be too bulky if I left them ...
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Retail Therapy - It's Nothing New?

Retail Therapy - It's Nothing New?

... About half my closet is costumes (both vintage and new). And I don't pay much attention to what's trendy, except to notice it's been done before. But like most people, I enjoy a cute, affordable, new thing, whether I "need" it or not...
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Dirty Lowdown: Why (and How) I Clean Everything

Dirty Lowdown: Why (and How) I Clean Everything

... Here's the water moments after adding the dress. That's some strong "vintage tea" brewing, and it shows you just how much dirt can be trapped in the fibers of a seemingly clean dress ...
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Making Movies: My First Year as an Extra

Making Movies: My First Year as an Extra

... I've never aspired to a career in acting. Nope. I'm in it for the clothes! And whenever possible, the dancing. Above I'm working on a Madmen-era party scene in a TV series set in modern day. That's my own original 50s Gigi Young dress ...
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A Vintage Tribute - "L'armadio di Elia"

A Vintage Tribute - "L'armadio di Elia"

... Maryelle, with sister Christine and cousin Cinzia, had assembled a remarkable tribute, honoring Elia's life through a creative display of her beautiful, mostly home sewn, mid-century wardrobe ...
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Lecture -  "On Cameos: From Antiquity to Present"

Lecture - "On Cameos: From Antiquity to Present"

... The only difference between hand-carved cameos made today and those made in antiquity is that modern machinery is electrified, while the ancients used a pedal-powered system similar to a treadle sewing machine ...
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Exhibit Visit - "Dressing Downton" at Biltmore Estate

Exhibit Visit - "Dressing Downton" at Biltmore Estate

... An excited gift-shop employee, captivated by the exhibit and my outfit, asked: "Is this what you used to wear?" To which I responded, laughing: "How old do you think I am?" ...
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