My First Blogger Meetup With Jessica of Chronically Vintage

nicole_by-tony-cangiano-1, the artyologist, blogger meetup with Jessica of Chronically Vintage

Sometimes life changes in the blink of an eye. When I first wrote this post, it was shortly after I had met Jessica. I wanted to write while the meeting was still “fresh in my mind” and before I forgot anything. Then, Jessica and I discussed back and forth as to when to publish the photos. We decided on publishing them on the same day in early November. This was in mid-September. And then, in October, as many of you already know and I mentioned before, Jessica lost almost everything that she owns, in an arson fire, on October 13th, 2016. In one day it went from excitement over wanting to post these pictures, to the shock of realizing that everything she owned was. . . gone. It is always hard to hear of someone suffering from a tragedy of any kind, but even more so when you know the person whom it happens to. It’s been eight months now, since Jessica and I had this lovely blogger meetup last September, and seven months since the tragic fire, and we have decided that it is now time to share the photos here on my blog. Since Jessica has made the difficult decision to now retire her blog, I hope that you enjoy this post, which I consider to be from both of us. 

Last July, when I posted pictures from a photoshoot my friend and I did, all dressed up in 1950’s outfits, I received a lovely comment on the post from Jessica, of the blog Chronically Vintage. She said that the post made her wish that “we lived nearby and could team up for a shared outfit shoot of our own” and that if she was ever out my way, or I was out hers, “it would be a blast to try and make that happen.” The thought had occurred to me as well, but even though it sounded like a fun thing to do, and despite the fact that we both live in Canada- we still don’t live that close to each other! I didn’t pin my hopes on such a thing happening. Fast forward a few months, though, and sometimes wishes do come true, in the form of my first ever blogger meetup!

A few weeks after that post, I received an email in my inbox from Jessica detailing her plans to visit Edmonton in September for a holiday. She so kindly asked if I wanted to meet up with her during her trip, since I live fairly close to the city, and it could make our plans of meeting in-person one day, a reality. Of course my answer was a resounding “Yes!”, and so a plan was made. It just so happened that I was going to be travelling through Edmonton at the same time she would be in the city, so we decided to have our blogger meet up that day. Originally, I had suggested meeting at the Old Strathcona Antique Mall, but as she had already planned to visit there with another friend, an alternate plan was made for us to meet at Rowena on Whyte Ave, the storefront of the Retro Glam online shop, and after we were finished there to continue up Whyte Ave and pop into any other stores we came across. We also stopped in at The Junque Cellar, which is, basically like it sounds, a vintage/junk store in a cellar. Well, I guess it’s a basement, but same difference. 😉

vintage-blogger-meetup-2016_edmonton the artyologist, Blogger Meetup with Jessica of Chronically Vintage

I love to go shopping at the best of times, but to go shopping for an afternoon, with a fellow vintage lover is really the best thing ever. Unfortunately, I didn’t find anything to buy (seriously, what is with the sizing of some things!? Everything went from too big, to too small!) but it was still so much fun to browse. We did discover that we have a lot in common, and it was really nice to put a face with a name, or well, maybe a person with the blog. You know what I mean. 😉 When we were finished shopping, we found a picnic table by some trees, to sit outside in the lovely fall sunshine and exchange some gifts. Jessica, remembering that in the past I have mentioned that I don’t own very many true vintage pieces, gave me the beautiful beaded necklace pictured here (it was so pretty I couldn’t wait to put it on, and the colour was perfect for my outfit!) and also a gold brooch of an artist’s palette (since my blog is called “The Artyologist”.) How completely special that, not only did she give me a gift, she gave me something so personally tailored! Jessica is such a sweet lady, and I am so honoured to have been able to meet her in person.

After we were done, we were able to make that wish of a few months ago a reality, with a photoshoot by her husband Tony. We took the photos in this walkway behind the Historic Train Station on Whyte Ave and Gateway, which is now a restaurant. As we were waiting for Tony to arrive, we saw only one person walk by, and thought that it would be a nice background for photos. Of course, as soon as he arrived, it suddenly turned into Grand Central Station, and everyone and their dog decided to walk through. It made for some lag time, but in the end we got these lovely pictures!

We didn’t plan our outfits to coordinate either, but I guess that vintage minds think alike! The colours of our outfits compliment one another splendidly, and are a perfect summer-to-fall transition. This day we were out and about, was a perfect early fall day, with the sun shining, but a crisp breeze on the air to remind us of the changing seasons.

It was a wonderful afternoon spent together, and it was also my first ever blogger meetup. Since then, Jessica and I have exchanged many emails back and forth, and I am truly thankful to have been able to meet her in person as well. This was my first time meeting up with Jessica- but hopefully it will not be the last!

Outfit details, on me:

Dress: Retrolicious, Nostalgia Dress, from Rowena/Retro Glam

Shoes: Hotter Shoes

Shrug: Second hand

Hat: Oh Dina! from several years ago

Necklace: Gift from Jessica

Purse: Bought in England

vintage-blogger-meetup-september-2016_edmonton the artyologist, Blogger Meetup with Jessica of Chronically Vintage

vintage-blogger-meetup the artyologist Vintage Blogger Meetup with Jessica of Chronically Vintage

vintage-blogger-meetup the artyologist Vintage Blogger Meetup with Jessica of Chronically Vintage

vintage-blogger-meetup the artyologist Vintage Blogger Meetup with Jessica of Chronically Vintage

vintage-blogger-meetup the artyologist, Vintage Blogger Meetup with Jessica of Chronically Vintage

vintage-blogger-meetup the artyologist Blogger Meetup with Jessica of Chronically Vintage

vintage-blogger-meetup the artyologist, blogger meetup with Jessica of Chronically Vintage

Vintage Vogue Covers: Vogue March 15, 1911, Elegant Spring Attire

Vintage Vogue Covers: Vogue March 15, 1911, Elegant Spring Attire, the artyologist

Vogue March 15, 1911: The Newest Spring Materials and Trimmings . . . which herald the arrival of the season.

With fresh, bright colours and light, airy fabrics, the arrival of Spring is welcomed with this lovely mint chiffon and lace ensemble. Softly draped fabrics are an elegant choice for these warm Spring days, but for the still-cool evenings a floral patterned shawl is the perfect addition. A single gold bracelet lends a touch of exoticism to this simple, yet graceful, silhouette.

Inspiration for this fashion recreation comes from this cover of Vogue from 1911. I’ve been wanting to do a more “historical” Vogue cover recreation for a while now, and this dress I bought a few years ago on a whim (and have only worn once as a costume!) was perfect to recreate this lovely Edwardian era magazine cover.

Vintage Vogue Covers: Vogue March 15, 1911, Elegant Spring Attire, the artyologist vogue-cover-original

Operation: Save the Petticoat! (Or, A Simple Petticoat Alteration)

Operation Save the Petticoat (Or a Simple Petticoat Alteration), the artyologist

Less than a week before Easter, I realized that the dress I was planning to wear on Easter Sunday required a petticoat, and that I did not have a petticoat which I could wear under it.

I have one longer length 29″ starched crinoline which I got at a thrift store a few years ago, and it works perfectly for the few 1950’s tea length gowns I have. Because of the longer length, this crinoline doesn’t work for my “regular” length skirts and dresses though, which are usually somewhere around 24″-25″ long, so a few years ago, I also invested in a Doris Petticoat. I decided to buy a Doris Petticoat because I had seen several other bloggers wearing them, and they are so, so pretty since they are made of over 36 metres of fluffy and soft nylon lingerie netting and ruffles. There could be nothing more perfect in my mind than a peach coloured ruffled petticoat, so I decided to buy the 21″ length one, and then waited expectantly for it to arrive. Imagine my disappointment when it arrived and I discovered, when I tried it on, that it was simply too full for the majority of my dresses! I did have one circle skirted dress it fit under, so I wore it with the petticoat a few times. I realized though, that while I do love the extremely full and dramatic silhouette of the 1950’s, for some reason, I felt very self conscious when wearing an extremely pouffy skirt for daywear. When I see pictures of other vintage ladies, I never think that their skirts are too full- but as soon as I am wearing one, I feel a bit unsettled. Give me a ridiculous hat and I will walk tall and proud- but an extremely wide petticoat makes me nervous! (Oh, and so sorry that my massive skirt with a mind of it’s own just bumped into your priceless vase. . . )

So, with great reluctance, I stuffed the petticoat back into it’s bag and hid it in the back of my closet so I wouldn’t feel bad every time I looked at it. It came out of hiding a few times for costumes etc. but not as a regular part of my wardrobe.

Well, back in October I was reading Lily’s blog, Mode-De-Lis, and she shared a post about different styles of petticoats and what kind of shape they give and how she liked them. She had altered her Hell Bunny petticoat with a cotton yoke, so that it would be more comfortable, and suddenly I realized that I should alter my petticoat! Fast forward to the week before Easter, and I realized that it was time to enact Operation: Save the Petticoat.

I was a bit nervous cutting apart my petticoat: after all what if I ruined it?! But then I realized that it wasn’t doing any good unloved and unworn in the back of my closet, so I decided to go ahead with the petticoat alteration. Here is how I altered it and ended up turning it into two separate petticoats of different lengths, which can also be worn together, if needed someday in the future.

The first step in the petticoat alteration, was in creating a yoke. I decided to create a yoke because, like Lily, I found the elastic waist to be rather bulky, as well as shifty. I was always afraid that it was going to slide down and poke out the bottom of my skirt. Creating a yoke, solved this problem by making the top fit smoothly and securely, while also reducing bulk. (Because who wants bulk right at their waist?)

Operation Save the Petticoat- materials, the artyologist

I made the top out of a few scraps of cotton in our scrap bin (exactly enough to make this yoke- so keep those scraps- you never know when you might need them!) In order to create the shape, I took a basic skirt pattern, traced it and then figured out where I wanted the yoke to end, which was 8 inches down. I then cut out the fabric at this length.

I decided to French seam the side seam, as I wanted this to be perfectly finished inside and out. For the other side (the opening) I pressed the seam allowance in, to cover all the raw edges, and then sewed up from the bottom about an inch. At this stage, I tried it on to see if I could pull it up over my hips, and over my head (before I got it all sewn together and discovered that it was too short or something).

Simple Petticoat Alteration, the artyologist, how to yoke

Once I had made sure that the yoke fit well, I turned under the seams and topstitched to finish neatly. To finish the top edge, I had thought about creating a facing, but then decided to cover the raw edge with bias tape instead. Bias tape was my mom’s idea and was a lot quicker than creating a facing, and it made a nice edge without too much bulk. Once that was done, it was time to add the petticoat ruffles.

I took apart the elastic waistband/casing of the petticoat, which left me with a tube of tricot with ruffles sewn on either end. I then measured up from the hem to the length that was required. Since the yoke was 8″ and the finished length I wanted was 24″, I measured up 16″ and added 1/2 inch for a seam allowance. I pinned all the way around, (since I currently don’t have a fabric marker) and then cut neatly all the way around.

Simple Petticoat Alteration, the artyologist, petticoat ruffles

Once the piece was cut, I was left with a very short and wide petticoat 🙂 Now it was time to sew the petticoat to the yoke. As the petticoat was wider than the yoke, I just eased it in as I sewed without worrying too much about it if I got some pleats in the fabric. Once I had sewed the petticoat on, I serged the edge of the seam to give it a nice finished edge.

With that, the petticoat was done, except for buttons. I decided to do small buttons and button loops, so I marked where my buttons needed to be, and then created thread loops using this method below. With that, the first petticoat alteration was done!

Simple Petticoat Alteration, the artyologist, button loop instructions

Simple Petticoat Alteration, the artyologist, button-details

After I had made this first petticoat, I decided I might as well take the remaining half and create a shorter one. I don’t like my petticoats sticking out below the skirt, so I thought that creating a 21″ petticoat would be perfect for those few dresses I have which fall at exactly knee length. For this one, I decided to simply sew some wide lingerie elastic around the top and call it done. But, of course that would have been too easy, right? When I tried this shorter petticoat with my dresses, I realized that the fullness had too much of a rockabilly flair and I am simply not a rockabilly girl. The petticoat was too full for it’s length, and so I realized that (horror of horrors!) I needed to reduce the fullness. So, now began Operation: Dismantle the Petticoat.

When Doris Petticoats tells you that their petticoats are made up of more than 36 metres of fabric, they are not kidding. The first step in this petticoat alteration was in taking the bottom tier off of the petticoat, which resulted in more than 17 metres of ruffles!

Simple Petticoat Alteration, the artyologist, ruffles and second petticoat

I decided to reduce the fullness of the petticoat by about a 1/3 as I figured that would be enough, and I wasn’t sure whether reducing it by 1/2 would be too much. I cut the bottom tier at 12 metres and then came to the odious task of regathering the nylon back onto the top tier (while also distributing the fullness evenly all the way around; so I wouldn’t end up with an unevenly shaped petticoat that was fuller on one side!) This probably took the better part of 2 hours to do. Once it was all regathered, I pinned it within an inch of it’s life- and then went to bed! 🙂

In the morning, when I was ready to tackle the job again, I took the petticoat and ran it through the serger. This took care of the edge seams, as well as sewing both pieces together all in one step. I did end up with some areas that missed the stitching, since it was a massive amount of fabric to work with- so I ran it through twice.

Once the tiers were all gathered back together, I was almost done. All that was left was to sew the skirt back onto the elastic waistband. I sewed it near the top, to get the proper length, and was initially planning to sew two rows- one at the top and one at the bottom of the elastic for stability. However, when I tried it on, the elastic accidentally flipped inside out and I realized that if I left it with one row of stitching I could flip it in or out depending on which length of skirt I was wearing. It is now essentially a convertible petticoat! Yay!

Simple Petticoat Alteration, the artyologist, altered tops

So, after all that, I ended up wearing the convertible petticoat for Easter Sunday, as it turned out to be the perfect length to wear with my Easter dress which is a bit on the shorter side.

I was at first nervous to cut it apart and attempt a petticoat alteration, but I am so glad I did! After two years of owning it, I now have a petticoat that I can actually wear. I have worn it a couple of times now with my knee length skirts, and it adds such a nice fullness, shape and swish to my skirts. It was amazing how simply reducing the amount of ruffles in half made such a difference. I think now, that my petticoats are going to get a lot more wear from now on!

Have you ever altered something you purchased that didn’t work out for you the way you had hoped? Would you ever make or alter a petticoat?

You can see what a difference the petticoat gives to the shape of this dress. The perfect amount of “pouf”!

Simple Petticoat Alteration, the artyologist, before and after with petticoat

Afternoon Tea and Cream Coloured Roses

Afternoon Tea and Cream Coloured Roses, the artyologist

Last month, when Spring had not yet arrived, (who am I kidding- Spring still hasn’t really arrived!!!) but we were aching for some sign of life, my mom splurged and bought a bouquet of roses. Although cut flowers don’t last for long, and can be expensive to buy regularly, they are such a nice treat during the long long days of Winter and the early days of Spring when there is nary a sign of green to be seen anywhere out of doors. It is amazing what a pretty bouquet of flowers can do to lift the spirits! And a bunch of beautiful cream coloured roses, with just a hint of blush pink in the centre, paired with a cup of afternoon tea- what a perfect combination.

Tea and Cream Coloured Roses, detail, the artyologist

You might think, judging by the photographs I often take, that all I do is drink tea. And yes- you would be correct. 😉 At any given moment of any day, you will most likely find me with teacup in hand, sipping away. The most often answered question in the house is, “Shall I put the kettle on?” And the answer is almost always a resounding, “Yes!”

For me, it must always be black tea (Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Ceylon or Orange Pekoe are my favourites), lightly steeped and without anything else added to it. (Although, yes I do occasionally enjoy a cup of green as well) I used to drink my tea strictly the English way- with milk and sugar, if you please, but now I enjoy drinking it plain. I once read that tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world, after water- and I don’t doubt it! For me, it is most definitely the second most consumed- and some days I have to remind myself that water should come first, not tea 🙂

Tea and Cream Coloured Roses, teacup, the artyologist

What better way is there to spend an afternoon, than enjoying a pretty bouquet of roses, and a small tea party for one?

Do you enjoy drinking tea, and how do you take it? Do you do “afternoon tea” or do you just drink it whenever you feel like it? And do you like to get bouquets of cut flowers?

Tea and Cream Coloured Roses, roses and tea at desk, the artyologist

Tea and Cream Coloured Roses, roses closeup, the artyologist

Tea and Cream Coloured Roses, tea detail, the artyologist