Vintage show finds

I’ve been meaning to post this all week! Last Saturday, we went out to the ‘burbs for a huge annual vintage clothing, jewelry and textiles show. We missed last year (though I can’t recall why), so I was particularly excited about it this year. I was literally talking about it for days leading up to it. I took some photos of my finds, but mind you nothing has been ironed and I just threw them on, so forgive the lackluster appearance.

I got two dresses, one of which is a housedress with a hidden front zipper, so I will probably dare to actually wear it out into the world. It was so wrinkled that even the photo looked terrible, so I’ll give you a taste of the fabric. It’s a neat light beige checkerboard print with antique scrollwork type of designs all over. The buttons are really cute, too, and I love the attention to the lap over the zipper.

Next was a blue dress in an amazing almost deco print. I’m not sure what the fabric is, but it’s slightly stiff and sheer but very smooth, and rather unlike anything I’ve ever felt. Anyone hazard a guess?

I love the rhinestone buttons. The self-face belt is tied off with sky blue organza (or something similar), which is also used around the buttonholes. That is some serious attention to detail!

I also found a great skirt, sold by the guys who run Knee Deep Vintage, a vintage clothing store across town that we’ve never been to. They were really friendly and are having an anniversary sale at their shop next Friday that we’re seriously considering going to. Randomly in conversation last night with a friend, we found out they’re apparently good friends with another friend of ours. Small world. They had a lot of killer dresses that were right up my alley but way too big, sadly. The skirt I got from them is pleated all the way around, giving it a nice full skirt feel without the need for a crinoline (because if you’re starting to get to know me, you might have guessed I’m not all that fussy of a gal…). It’s really, really making me want a pair of green shoes to go with it. Or espadrilles. I’m not sure how my wardrobe doesn’t have a pair of espadrilles.

I then found a great cowboy shirt, which I am always on the lookout for and they are rather rare! I didn’t model it because, well, it’s a shirt. You get the idea. I love the texture of the fabric in this.

The buttons are really interesting. At first they look like pearl snaps, but are actually buttons with a front and back part, inserted through a second set of buttonholes. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a closure quite like it. At first I thought perhaps it was a way for the band to be reversible, making it a unisex shirt, but the shirt is clearly for a woman, so I’m really not sure.

I also got a carved butterscotch Bakelite bangle to add to my collection…

And then there’s the pièce de résistance. Towards the end of our tour through the event, we headed into a great booth, where I spied a Mexican circle skirt. Now, I love these as much as the next girl, but as you probably know, they can be ridiculously expensive. I have one that I was lucky enough to get from my mom, from probably a couple of decades ago when she thrifted several vintage pieces that are now highly collectible. It’s one of my most cherished pieces.

Anyway, I saw several Mexican skirts at the vintage show, all with the price tags I’m accustomed to seeing on eBay and Etsy. I seem to recall $95 was on the low end of the scale and $325 (I kid you not) on the high end. Then I spotted this one in the booth, and looked at the price tag. And it was cheap. And marked “as is”. I noted a few light stains, but nothing I couldn’t live with, especially at that price.  I am certainly not above wearing gently “whoops”-ed garments, especially if I can get a good deal. It adds a bit of history and intrigue for me, allowing me to play a bit of Sherlock Holmes (Jeremy Brett version, only) with my garments. What fun did the owner have in this skirt? What cocktail or kitschy appetizer did she spill on it? On the other hand, it makes me crazy when I see people selling items on eBay for high collector prices and then they proceed to show you a series of photos of rips, tears, holes and/or stains.

So behold, my new skirt. (Don’t mind the poorly tucked-in shirt, I was rushing.)

I talked to the woman who ran the booth for several minutes about it. She was super sweet and friendly (and obviously a very honest seller!), and runs an Etsy shop with several yummy items, Bombshell Shocked. My only regret was that I was too tired at that point to give the rest of her booth the attention it deserved, because I could tell she had some goodies in there!

When I was interested in the skirt, she said I looked like a woman who could wear a sombrero, referring of course to the skirt. Well, I was dressed in this jacket, so no wonder.

Photo from

Pretty funny! (A woman asked to take my photo, so this is from her blog. The big white spot on the jacket is just a lens flare.) Even funnier, I saw two almost exactly just like it for sale there. I got sooo many compliments on this jacket at the event, I kept telling people there were other versions of it there if they wanted one too . 🙂

This weekend our plans aren’t nearly as glamorous. House cleaning, a few errands and I’m hoping to get in some sewing and knitting time. I have a skirt 99% complete and it’s just awaiting a closure. I’m thinking I may use a large vintage button, instead of hook and eyes on the inside. What do you think?

I’m really pleased with how the skirt came out, and will post about it soon (still have to photograph my Swing Dress anyway, lighting has been the pits in our home lately). My topstitching still needs some work, but overall I’m really happy with it, and the pleats make a spectacular shape with the somewhat heavier cotton I used. At first when I started it, I thought great, I’ve barely started my handmade vintage wardrobe challenge and I’m already violating my color palette. This is a cute cotton from my stash and it has a lovely novelty print, and I was itching to turn it into something. That’s all I was focused on. But then I realized hey…many of those castles and turrets are butterscotch yellow!

 Have a great weekend, everyone!

Filed: Vintage Dibs and Dabs

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Golly, 27 Comments!

  • What fantastic finds. Busy life you have going. Everything looks spectacular. Have another enjoyable weekend.


  • The detailing on those garments is quite amazing – wow! Inspiring … and adorable ;–)


  • Great finds!! I love that Mexican skirt. I have bought a few pieces from Bombshellshocked and I love working with her. My vote is for the button on the skirt, which is very cute btw.


  • What awesome finds! I think the green skirt is my favourite, it will be perfect for summer 🙂


  • That western shirt is freakin’ awesome. What a rare find. With the buttons and the shawl collar, and the fabric itself is really cool. Kick ass.

    All your finds make me hope it doesn’t rain here on Sunday as we’re planning to go to the Alameda Flea Market and now I’m jonesin’ for some treasure hunting.

    The price discrepancy in vintage clothes really bugs me sometimes. Sure, some items are more rare or in better shape and that can count for a different in price, but it seems insane to charge $325 for something that you can also get for $50. I feel like some sellers just gouge and prey on folks who don’t know better.


  • @Sassy Lassies Vintage LifeYou too! We have been rather busy lately, I need one of those weekends soon where you do absolutely nothing! 🙂

    @Emily Thanks! I’m definitely thinking the button. My mom suggested a loop closure with it, which I might just try out.

    @Miss Tami Lee Thanks! It’s a really nice light cotton, I think it’ll be perfect for summer too. Maybe I’ll get green shoes by then too. 😉

    @Moe I know, I couldn’t believe it, and the shirt was about $25! I was so thrilled when I whipped out my tape measure and knew it would fit.

    I agree about the pricing, it can be especially frustrating when everything you really fall in love with is just astronomically priced. I love it when I’m able to find things for a reasonable price and feel really good about the whole transaction. I will be keeping my fingers crossed for your weather Sunday!


  • would the blue fabric be nylon?


  • Love the green skirt and the yellow bracelet! It’s hard to tell from the photograph, but going by your description the blue print dress might be taffeta. I have a couple of long tartan vintage dresses in this material, which baffled me for a while. Odd stuff.

    I’m also quite inspired by your sewing – I came by your blog through seeing your knits on Ravelry, but now reading your posts it makes me want to get my sewing machine out again! There a whole bagful of vintage pattern hoarded away in my ‘crafty stuff’ drawers… I’m afraid I don’t have your careful wardrobe strategising skills, though – if I see something I love, any idea of what I *should* buy/make goes out of the window. There’s always a way to shoehorn a must-have garment into one’s sartorial endeavours!


  • ooohhh…LOVE your finds! The dresses and the skirt..oh, the skirt! It’s amazing. Love your jacket too! That sounds like it was a fabulous weekend!


  • Your finds are all awesome I love them all and that bangle is in my all time fave colour and I have to say you look super in the photo of you and your jacket!!
    Im always up for buttons on skirts and that button is a stunner!!


  • You were able to find such great items, I’m jealous! Can’t wait to see how you style them.


  • Looks like your shopping was successful! Unfortunately, we have to spend this weekend going through all of our stuff and making a charity pile. I can’t even get to my sewing machine…

    Jeremy Brett is my favorite Sherlock Holmes, too!


  • Thanks for the shout out! I’m so happy that the Mexican skirt went to a good home.

    Your castle skirt is fantastic. I’m hoping that the fabric is repro, but know it probably isn’t. I want it so bad!



  • Tasha!!! Too much loveliness in one post. Adore the green skirt you found AND the one you’ve made. (That button is killer). Everything you picked up has such lovely attention to detail.
    I have to confess to being so behind on the knitalong. I need to swatch AND size up. I will swatch today,as I think it’s probably best to establish my gauge first. Then I need to go buy some beer to tackle the sizing…


  • OMG What fabulous finds! I was thinking oooh I like that second dress UNTIL I saw the mexican skirt wow stunning! I know what you mean about prices, as I’m a bit of an old girl I used to buy things like this for peanuts when I first started wearing this stuff, sadly I’ve sold most of it on – but I just couldn’t part with $300 for anything, unless I won the lottery ;o)

    I do love your jacket too, I’ve always wanted one of those, sadly as I’m on the larger size I struggle to find one, I always see them in 36 or 38 but that seems to be where they stop :o(


  • Aww, this is beautiful!!
    I love it!! ♥

    ..OH MY VOGUE!


  • What fantastic finds!


  • Love the blue dress !
    I’m so jealous 😉


  • Awesome finds!! The Mexican circle skirt is to die for.


  • The fabric prints on your finds are sending me to 7th heaven. Especially love the style and fabric of the cowboy shirt.


  • All the skirts are so cute.


  • Brilliant finds! I love your skirt and I think that button is perfect for it.
    Jeremy Brett is my favourite Holmes too!


  • So many wonderful finds! I esp love the blue dress, all the small, carefully made details… Gorgeous!


  • My guess would be that the blue fabric is a thin nylon fabric..what do you think?
    Great finds by the way and I hope you had a good weekend! 🙂


  • Those are some amazing finds. I’d love to find skirts like that!


  • You have such an amazing vintage collection! I love love love your style (and your glasses!) xoxo


  • The sombrero skirt is SO. COOL.


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