Friday, December 17, 2010

Dress Peek

Just a little peek at my dress. The yellow is a bit more vibrant than the picture shows, more like a deep mustard. Oh and I went with the ruffle! I'm pretty pleased with it. I think it looks pretty close to the pattern art.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

School Comes to an End and Winter is on the Cusp

I finished with school for the term and I ended up with straight A's! I was working pretty diligently the last week or so with my web development courses.
Here's a link to what I was working on: Things Found Vintage

You may have taken the guess already but I'm thinking about making the leap to my own site and really revving up output and become more rounded with what I sell. That's a pretty rough layout, but it's where I'm headed. I was almost thinking of changing my shop's name to something a little more creative too - the current one is a bit dull. Maybe that's just me?

I have been working on my dress again! The super lightweight cotton I am using has been pretty finicky so there have been some breaks in between progress (to accomodate wailing and gnashing of teeth.) Thank goodness the sleeves are through with, I look forward to working with a stiffer, or at least thicker, fabric. I think I've been dragging my feet about finishing because I know I can't truly finish until I get a proper buckle for the dress. Does anyone else do this? And how don't I have more buckles with the ridiculous amount of random notions I have?

Since classes have been out I have been at the gym almost every day. I cut down quite a bit during finals... on everything else but school really and so I think a few pounds snuck up on me!

Remember those girdles I purchased? They were sent on the 23rd of last month but they haven't shown up yet. I'm still crossing my fingers because they were shipped out of England and they're having some real weather problems lately from what I hear. Portland is real similar when it snows everyone throws up their arms and runs around in panic until most the city's population just huddle inside.

I've been on a bit of a shopping binge and so I'll post a few pictures of my goodies too. I need to keep it down to window shopping for a while now... A lot of the purchases were worthwhile, and all good deals (I see a good deal and my hand just reaches for my wallet automatically.)

Speaking of buys, I got some sleeves for my patterns! I'm going through and besleeving them all, finally! I think it might take a while but this means I'll be able to move them around with a little less worry. I'm also trying to order them all by date. Then maybe I'll let you see my collection. Let's just say I got 500 sleeves and I'm not really sure it's enough...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Art Final

So, this is my last piece for my drawing class. I got really into gesture drawings, which was the last thing we were introduced to so I made my final to do with figures. I have mixed feelings about it so I took a picture of it hoping it might give me some separation from the piece.

Almost done with school!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Oh Man

I've been so busy, and will be busier, until school ends, which is in the next week and a half. My dress had to be put on hold, and currently is almost done. It has one sleeve on it - which I suppose could be a fashion statement. Hmmm...

I still haven't gotten those girdles either - I'll be posting about my experience with them whenever they arrive.

While the gust of school winds blow by, I have some filler for you all.

I present for my discerning audience; the LEOPOTARD!

Hello Nineteen-fifty-fourrrrr

You can click for a much larger view. And I think you'll want to.

According to the inflation calculator, it'd currently cost $137.81!

Sorry Peggy, I don't think you'll see the Leopotard under the tree this year

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Black Friday Sale!

There will be a Black Friday Sale at my Etsy shop, Things Found Vintage (Hooray!)

I sell mostly vintage sewing patterns, some clothing, and miscellaneous - I'll be adding some more stuff and PDF's for the sale too. I hope to add an e-book version of It's Fun to Make a Hat - a great 40's millinery guide with lots of illustrations, which includes two hat patterns in it!

The sale starts at 12 am Pacific Time. Use the discount code BLOGGYFRIDAY to get 15% off. Make sure to use this one, as the one posted on my shop's page is only for 10% off.

Happy Holidays everyone!

PS: I hope to debut my yellow dress on Thanksgiving. I'm crossing my fingers. Once it is done there will be an outfit post! (Double Hooray!)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bound and Girdled

As I unabashedly enter the world of womanhood, I realize, a girl needs some good foundation wear right?
Well, I've had some minimal vintage lingerie in the past, but never a girdle! I've committed myself to the idea of glamorous undergarments and had to share my excitement about these little beauties I just won on the Bay!

Caprice brand girdle

I think this is adorable and love old lingerie in the salmon pink semi sheers. I think the chevron is real cute too.

Chantelle French girdle

Okay, so I definitely am looking forward to this one a little more. I love the Art Deco shapes on front and the button attached garters. Plus, I'm a sucker for black lingerie.

Of course I had to go for both, I'm calling it a taste tester.

Longline bras, you are next! (And then maybe a beautiful, flowing peignoir and a vanity to lounge at haha)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Muay Thai, Good Day!

Tonight at the end of practice (70 right kicks, 35 switch, I don't know how many knees, etc...), I did 129 high power strikes in 3 minutes! 6 more than last time! That includes kicks (low, medium, and high,) knees, punches, and elbows. Not bad for a lack of striking classes lately!

I also sold three patterns and made a lot of progress on my etching.

I thought I'd share my


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Trying to Keep Beautiful Fabrics From Fading

I have a few very vintage fabrics that don't have very stable coloring. Even little drops of water from my iron cause the dye to spread :(

Does anyone have any personal experience / advice on how to wash these fabrics so their dyes don't run all over the place? I know of the vinegar trick but I am looking for others!

Thanks so much you guys!

Also Jean Claude Van Damme is planning on fighting early next year (!!!!)

I leave you with this gem

Monday, November 15, 2010

Art Post

Etching of a Greek Goddess (In Progress)


I've been taking drawing this term mainly because drawing was always pretty much a large avoidance for me. I am trying to get back into art like I used to be and I figured I should confront drawing at some point. (Not to say there hasn't been any dragging of feet about it...) I suppose this isn't necessarily a drawing anymore as I am etching with a knife for the values, but I don't have much experience with shading or any of this and I'm pretty pleased with it so far, so I thought I'd share my progress on it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Hollywood 1384 and fabric!

The end of the school term is closing in and I'm trying to de-stress by making sure I keep productive on non-school type projects too.

So here is the dress I'm starting on. I'm not sure whether I'll be ruffling (same color) or bowing.

Do you favor one or the other?

Friday, November 12, 2010

A short post

I am updating from my phone so this won't be the longest post, but I thought I'd pop in for a little update!
I've just started on another dress, which you'll soon see peeps of.
And today I went tried out going to a rock climbing gym for the first time! I attempted the bouldering rocks, attempted - they were hard. And I successfully made it to the top of the 40 ft wall on a medium difficulty (the easier ones were taken so I had to be brave haha.)
I think it may become a weekly thing. It is fun and difficult, plus they had some old cheap climbing shoes there and Fridays are half off for students!
Oh, and I didn't forget about BOTW (Bruise of the Week) but wondered if the placement was appropriate for a blogging lady to reveal(!) I think I may move along the route of finding bruises that look like something - say the Virgin Mary or a peace sign?
Anyone started a new project?

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Bruise of the Week!

Our panel called for a tie (and for the room to be cleaned)

I figured I can't keep these all to myself and who isn't at least a little fascinated by large bruises? Now, I bruise very easily so when you combine these two factors, a weekly post is born.

In Thai Boxing, kicks are made using the shin as the contact point. For practice, we'll use large pads to kick into. Well, mine are particularly painful and somehow had raving reviews online. I am now sure this company has a factory filled with people on comment boards all day. They feel as if someone made a cement block, put some newspaper around it and then sewed a cover around it. I hear if I use a rolling pin on my shins they'll get tougher, I think I'll just go from camo print to being entirely purple.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Skirt is Finished!

The time is here and the plaid skirt (Hollywood 1326) has finally been finished. A lot of time went into this and a few mistakes deterred it, but I love the results. I chose to line the skirt for added stability; both for the pleat and the fabric. The plaid corduroy is vintage and felt like it could use a helping hand. You may notice it doesn't entirely match up...Well, I'll let you in on a little secret, the grain of the fabric on the back is upside down! I barely had 2 yards of this fabric so I had to work some major magic!

What do you think?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Besame Makeup Giveaway

Last chance to enter to win the great Besame makeup on The Rockabilly Socialite's Blog. The contest ends on Sunday and I'm posting as many entries as I can because who wouldn't love to get a ton of free vintage-inspired makeup?

Look out for a post very soon with estate sale stuff, vintage hair adventures, and the finished skirt!


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Preshrunk Today, Estate Sale Tomorrow


I've been putting off all sorts of projects because most of my stash is NOT PRE-SHRUNK!
Today I went on a bit of a rampage (I think it's because I've been sick and kind of antsy) and shrunk all of my wool. I was a little anxious about the results because I decided to go with the wet towels in the dryer method, but it worked perfectly and now I can use wool whenever I get the urge (this is a hint about a near future post on cold weather wear!) If you're feeling adventurous with your wool, I got my specific directions from the Off The Cuff Style blog. I don't have a dryer so I'm not sure how hot my towels were as much as I tried to dart across the lawn to the laundry room with expediency, my dripping towel bundle and appropriately wet shoes.

There are all sorts of rayons I am getting hand washing going on too. I have limited space for drying so it's my extended project. I did however wash my lining fabric for my plaid skirt. Remember this?:


Well, shortly it will be lined and banished to my wardrobe (not without a picture escort of course) and a new project on its way in.

Tomorrow I am going to an estate sale after being out of the loop for a while, hopefully I'll have some good finds to show off afterward.

Monday, October 18, 2010

This is Part MMA Blog - Where's the MMA?

A bit of an old picture, at the last gym, getting ready for Thai Boxing

So, today I was home sick, and, thusly, missing one of the major nights of training that seems to go on anymore. I used to train six days a week, but have been bumping along from gym to gym to stay with my instructor (he's very talented, whether it be wrestling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or (Muay) Thai Kickboxing and awesome circuit training and plyometrics) and its been worth all of the training with him! However, while I keep hoping things will change for the better - more classes, it's not seeming like this gym is working out either.

Classes with my main instructor have basically cut down to two nights a week. One night is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and the other night is Muay Thai and Submission Wrestling. So, if you're tired (or sick) on a day or time that class is happening, you're missing out on a lot! I've been doing cardio four or five times a week for 40 minutes to try and keep up my endurance, but I feel like I've lost a bit of that. I'm trying to not be down about it because I know this is just a bump in my training! (Using an exclamation helps cheer this up, doesn't it?!)

The plan:

So, I still want to hold on to hope that classes could increase. There's been some talk of it, and if it means a little lost time, it's worth it to stay for the level of instruction.

In the meantime, my goal is to post a lot more stuff in my Etsy store. Really, I'm hoarding here. I realistically need to make more money to be able to put this plan into action; start going to a second gym also.

I'd really like to go to Portland Thai Boxing. The gym I'm at currently focuses more on ground game (wrestling and Jiu Jitsu), I've been to PTB and the class technique was amazing, and I absolutely love kickboxing so I hate to go with minimal training on that end.

There will be more MMA and combat sport posts in the future. I had several videos I filmed from class but unfortunately the sound is not working on my video so those are a no go until I can get that fixed.

I end with an MMA video for those who are curious and want a short and sweet sample.

Sakuraba v. Royce Gracie (notice Gracie is wearing his BJJ gi).

To anyone who is reading this: Are there any questions you have about MMA, BJJ, Muay Thai, etc that you have or topics on this that you may like to see me cover? Please let me know!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My First Blog Award

Oh, I'm forgetful (but not ungrateful). I wanted to say thanks to Brooksie at The World According to Art Deco Girl
for my first blog award!

The conditions that come along with this reward are:

1. Accept the award. Post it on your blog along with the name of the person who awarded it along with a link to their blog.

2. Pay it forward to 15 other bloggers that you have recently discovered.

3. Contact those bloggers and let them know they've been chosen.

I'm not sure if I'll reach 15 - there are so many great blogs I've found but I don't want to repeat after all.

I didn't quite follow the rules because I only have ten so far!

A New Setup

On Friday my new computer arrived! It's hard to make out anything but the computer in the picture but maybe you can see a hint of superexcitedohmanican'tbelieveihaveanewcomputer in my face! I haven't had a new computer in maybe seven years (thank you financial aid!) so this is a huge change for me. I have some plans for some pdf's in my Etsy store and Right now 'It's Fun to Make a Hat' is staring me in the face just asking me to scan it. This also means some inspirational scans from all the old sewing pattern books I have from the 20s through 40s!

And first official picture of me on the blog! I went out for the day with my Mom yesterday and I'm wearing my first snood. I wish I had gotten a better shot of it but it was black and camera phones, no matter how good, only make it look like lumpy, gravy-like hair on the back of your head. I decided to be ambitious too and (while completely ignoring the beautiful plaid skirt that needs lining still) whipped up a knee length, high-waisted slim skirt out of some black cotton jersey to wear for the day.

I haven't got any action shots of going out, probably because after tasting a couple wines and cider options at the Farmers' Market, I was thoroughly buzzed(!) We did stop by a vintage shop later in the day and I snapped a two inspiration shots in the dark fitting room. Here was a gorgeous 60s Oscar de la Renta tailored top with peplum.

If I had a bit more money, it might be in my closet right now, but I have stuck it in my inspiration folder, hoping to recreate it at some point. And then there was a seafoam green sailor style dress with a drop waist. It was so cute, but the seams looked as though they might give within the first wearing (and had a price issue too.)

Alright, that's that for now!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

MIA Already!

It's been a long week away from my new blogging world! And, wow, five followers already, thanks you guys, I look forward to reading your posts!

Soon, my scattered posts should be a thing of the past. My own computer broke down earlier in the year and I've been without one since. Well, I got a new one! It's supposed to be here sometime mid to late next week and I'll be able to get rolling on posting and keeping my Etsy store more regularly updated. I'm very excited!

I'm starting to get into the swing of things with school. I'm taking web development classes mostly. I used to create a lot of web sites in my spare time and so it's nice to get back to it. Plus I'm taking a drawing class for me. I'm not very good with drawing, but I've got hopes to get better at it.

Onto projects:

Remember how I was having trouble with the purl stitch? Well, I decided to go a little more modern with my approach and watched some YouTube videos.

I haven't checked out any of the other videos - and there are plenty - but this helped me make my first stockinette stitch!

I dropped a few stitches but I'm pretty proud of it!

And, in case you thought I forgot about the Hollywood Pattern skirt, I was about done and then got the notion that I should probably take the time to line it. So here's a little picture of the progress on that too (by the way, soon I will get better at this blogger layout with the pictures and all! Haha)

And I know I haven't mentioned anything about combat sports yet. Today I went to the Oregon Open to root on my friend, and fellow gym mate, Jenny. This was her first BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) tournament and the competition was really tough. She's only been at it a short while and the Beginner's bracket was 18 months or less. I think she got a lot of nerves out of the way and it was good to experience competition. I haven't competed yet because I'm a bit of a wuss about it so far. I just always want to be really prepared. Here's a photo of Jenny at the beginning of her very first match!

I have to go get my cardio in before the gym closes so I'll leave you with that. Bye guys!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Knit One, Purl None

I think I see it! The knitting booty! Dropped stitch marks the spot! Okay, hopefully my injection of humor will get better as this blog goes on. Onto the knitting results:

There's been some scarf knitting in my past, maybe five or more years ago, but they were always scarves that looked like that <<. And, I'd love to move past that!
So here I am looking through the "Learn How Book" and I have to say I think the illustrator might have used a little creative flair with the illustrations - I mean, maybe they didn't exactly read the instructions while they were drawing. They just went off of memories of grandma knitting in her rocker.
I remembered the knitting motions a little though and got my way through the regular old knit stitch. When I got to the purl stitch though, I just got stuck - I think I understood how to do it but each time I'd try to do a row of purling, after a row of knitting, the loops would just be too tight to manage. In fact, the picture you're seeing shows that little piece of knitting about to bite the dust. I think I might have to resort to YouTube-ing it and check back.

Also, does anyone have any tips on regulating your stitch size? I'm not sure if you're supposed to stay kind of loose from the needle or if you want to stay relatively close to its gauge. Any beginner tips that changed your knitting for the (much) better?

Finally, have you ever gotten a numb thumb from knitting? I'm beginning to think these knitting needles were recycled from a past life as poison darts.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I Guess This is Another Teaser Post...

So, I know I mentioned showing sewing results or possibly my sewing room - it is full of goodies, it's true!
Well, today is another teaser - tomorrow will be different, I swear!
After seeing all these beautiful sweaters popping up and thinking about all the blustery weather on its way in, I had been thinking A LOT about learning to knit. So, it was sheer happenstance that while errand shopping I found a very, very cheap skein of yarn for practice!
I had the needles and the how-to books, now it's time to finally do it.

By the way, I got those needle caps along with a large box of vintage sewing notions and they're supposed to be rubber...Haha, I think I'm going to have to settle for framing them because the years haven't been so kind to them. (Of course I tried testing one when I very well knew what would happen; me: 'oh crap, oh crap' and pulling the needle out before it cracked in half. I guess sometimes a girl just has to try, right?)

Tomorrow, results! Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

First project

Here's a peep of what I'm working on currently. It's a 40s Hollywood Pattern. This is my first vintage skirt pattern, but the instructions look pretty straightforward. The only odd thing about them is that it looks as though the skirt and belt are sewn SEPARATELY AND THEN WORN TOGETHER - WHAT?! (I am definitely sewing them together)

The fabric is vintage and it feels a bit thin so I'm contemplating lining it. Anyone reading this have any tips? I've heard that this is pretty easy and I'm thinking it'd help save the skirt from an early death, especially since I'm turning it into more of a pencil skirt. I think the corduroy is too stiff to sit right otherwise.

Look out for another picture update tomorrow on progress and possibly you'll meet my sewing room...

Introducing Myself

The easiest way is to start with a name and a purpose right? I'm Nancy and I'm starting this blog, like many, as a motivator and a way to track progress (even if it's just documentation of me running in circles.)

Here we go:
  • Learn to (make time to?!) sew all these vintage patterns I seem to be hoarding - I could really use a wardrobe that expresses my style more
  • Really boost my combat sports training.
  • Find some balance between the two
So I'll mostly be posting about vintage sewing or MMA ( That seems simple enough for a start.

Here's a little more background if you want it:

I currently have two jobs - both are off and on. Most the time I hang sheetrock and do drywall finishwork - the type of work that gives a girl Rosie style biceps! For my other job, I try to work toward making an (even just okay) living off of selling vintage things on Etsy. It's mostly patterns right now, but I'm hoarding dresses too, haha...Is there a pattern here?

Most of my time outside of working is spent training combat sports. I train Muay Thai, Submission Wrestling, and Jiu-Jitsu. I started about a year and a half ago but a lot of time has been recovering from newcomer injuries and, then there's been switching gyms three times, which hasn't really made for the most ideal training situation. So on the list is getting more training time in.

My sewing experience basically boils down to punk using floss to fix everything and a little sloppy skirt-making years back. I have a really big interest in 1930s and 40s style and started collecting sewing patterns midway through the year. I have a habit of getting pretty excited about the patterns and what they could become and then just being a combination of lazy and tired after practice and/or work and now school too (did I mention I just started going full time a week ago?) No more! I think posting my progress and projects will help get me on the right track with these projects.

Intro out of the way and on to the more interesting stuff...