Non-camping weekend activities

This weekend we were supposed to go camping in Wisconsin with our friends, but the weather had other plans.

Now, we are not lightweights. We’ve camped in the rain. We’ve camped in the cold. We’ve camped in a bazillion percent humidity, with mosquitoes biting everything that wasn’t covered with a layer of bug spray. We can make almost anything work. So before our trip, we stalked the weather forecasts. It was looking rather grim all week but we kept hoping for a change. However, on Friday the forecast for the weekend was supposed to be in the low 50s (as the high) and 80% chance of rain with 15-20 MPH winds. So sadly, we made the call to cancel our trip. (Which is a good thing in the end, because the weather turned out to be closer to the high 40s with constant drizzle, wind and fog. Because yes, I checked, just to make sure it was as miserable as we thought it would be.) I was seriously bummed because I was really looking forward to it, but the good news is we have another camping trip planned at the end of the month. Hopefully the weather will cooperate!

Instead, we spent the day with our friends who we would have been camping with. We passed on the Vintage Bazaar because for some reason none of us were feeling it that day—ever just have one of those days? We decided to hit a couple of antique malls in the suburbs and have lunch (I had a fried green tomato sandwich, yum!). Actually, we only intended to go to one place originally, but I mixed up the name and Googled the wrong place. It turned out to be a happy accident, and was only 5 minutes from the place I was actually trying to find.

First, I spied an entire row of wonderful aprons…

Look at the yellow one with the woman with the basked on her head, or the floral rick rack trimmed one in the middle, or the red gingham one with a diamond pattern to the right of that, or the one on the far right with the light green bottom, black rick rack and pocket. So many lovely aprons all in one place! None came home with me, however, because as much as I love aprons like that, I don’t find them practical so I stick to the kind that tie around your neck.

But we did find an awesome apron for Mel…

(In case you’re wondering why there are two cast iron skillets on the stove, we made Huevos Rancheros for dinner the night before. One pan for eggs, one for tortillas.)

I found a rather un-PC vintage embroidery transfer…

One of the antique malls had oodles and oodles of vintage buttons, so many I couldn’t even go through them all. I did pick up a few sets of buttons, still on the cards. 

While I was deep in some tubs of buttons, Mel brought something over to show me…

A vintage tooled leather purse in perfect condition! I’ve been looking for a purse just like this for awhile, but I’ve had a hard time finding one I like that you carry over your arm instead of over your shoulder, let alone one in good condition. In fact this one was in such good condition I actually wondered if it was really vintage! Even the inside looked as good as new. But the age of the zippers was the first giveaway that it was indeed an old purse. And the second was a piece of paper slipped inside. You can see it in there in that back pocket…

Isn’t this neat? An old advertisement for the brand! I love how the woman is shown in gloves…

And it sure is a dandy purse, isn’t it?

The last find was a great vintage dress. But before I show you the outside of the dress, I wanted to show you sewists two features of the inside of this dress that I found interesting. The neckline facing has an unhemmed lining that was sewn into the seam but not to the facing. I’m not sure what kind of fabric this is, but it’s slightly stiff and basically a loose woven mesh…

And then even more stiff was a lining under the peplum. It’s similar to the lining under the facing, but white and a bit more stiff, also unhemmed, and about 3/4 the length of the peplum itself…

Interesting construction, huh?

And now you can see the dress! It’s handmade, with a straight skirt and peplum all the way around. A little fancier style than I usually go for, but it was $30, in excellent condition, and I always have a soft spot for handmade vintage clothing. And did I mention it was a perfect fit, a fact I didn’t discover until I got it home and tried it on?

That’s the new purse to show you the scale. It’s a really nice size, isn’t it? It’ll hold quite a bit, unlike so many of my other vintage purses. And in case you’re curious, those are 1940s pee wee cowboy boots I’m wearing, and I’m probably wearing them for our wedding. (More on that another day soon!)

But enough about the accessories, isn’t the dress great? I wouldn’t say it takes the place of roasting marshmallows by a campfire in the woods and sleeping in a tent under the stars, but I’ll take it!

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Golly, 15 Comments!

  • Wow, that dress ad bag are gorgeous! Interesting construction going on with that dress – I really wish I could go back in time and get my hands on all those notions they had in the past. Thanks for sharing the construction pics!


  • great scores, lady!!!!! We had grand plans that were altered by rain, as well. Didn’t happen upon awesome vintage, though!


  • that dress is great, and i like how the neckline frames your tattoos! i just did a little blog on the bazaar, it was fun, but to be honest the prices seemed a bit high…might just be me and my frugal dutch blood though 🙂


  • That purse is an amazing find! Wow. And I LOVE finding things like that old piece of paper in vintage goods. Feels very archeological. 🙂

    That dress fits you fantastically well. That’s so cool finding a handmade item that fits you perfectly too. Someone out there was your exact same size!

    Those pee wee boots look amazing. I’m dying to see more of them (and hear more details).


  • Such good finds! The mesh is cotton bobbinet, Gertie just did a few posts about it at as it’s used a lot in couture sewing.

    Glad you had a good weekend despite the weather ruining your plans! I’ve done a post about the lovely giveaway bits you sent me (thank you!) xxx


  • I’m jealous – that purse is perfect! And I love going through buttons, too. I’m starting a buttons draw ;]
    -Andi x


  • Ah Kally beat me too it! I have seen it in a few vintage dresses.

    As I’m not a camper I prefer what you did ;o) Great finds too, beautiful dress but I absolutely love the purse (or bag as we say!) it’s a great size too!


  • That dress is AMAZING! Love it!!!


  • Gorgeous bag! You have got him well trainned haven’t you? lol.

    The dress is lovely too, very unusual.


  • Thanks guys!♥

    @Moe Yes, I LOVE little finds like that, so much fun and connects you more with the history of the item. I figure this lady went on a lovely trip to Mexico, felt inspired to buy this purse as a souvenir and then never used it. The better for me. 😉

    @Kally Cool, I will check out her post (and yours!) since I’ve been behind on my blogs. Thanks! 🙂

    @Andi B. Goode My step-grandmother always had/has tons of buttons drawers to sift through, as does my mom. I need to go back to that place when I’m in a button mood because they were cheap and plentiful, with lots of neat vintage ones!

    @Miss Magpie It is probably a sign that I was talking about that type of purse WAY too much. LOL!


  • Both that dress and the bag are ah-mazing! And oh my gosh, that apron is stellar. Sound like you made the right choice of places to spend the day.


  • That’s such a funny apron!

    And I LOVE your dress, it is soo cute! What a great find. 🙂 It fits so perfectly, too.

    I was going to say the same thing that Kally did; about that mesh material being cotton bobbinete and about Gertie’s recent post.


  • Gorgeous dress and what an amazing find in your new bag! I recently visited NYC and bought an old Pendleton. When I got back to the UK I found a really old subway or bus ticket in the pocket – the type a conductor punched holes into. I’ve pinned it on my noticeboard!


  • I love the dress…But I LOVE that apron!!!!!


  • Looks like waaay more fun than camping!


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