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  1. Man, have I ever been productive this month. Sure, I don't have any job interviews yet but I managed to finish off two projects within a span of a week.

    The first project I finished was my Datemaker cardigan, which I started on right after Christmas.


    It wasn't the fastest knit in the world, but I love it! The pattern is great and very easy to follow. While I was intimidated by it at first, I was relieved to realize it was just diagonal ribbing.




    I didn't resize the pattern because according to my gauge match it would fit me perfectly. However, I ended up not seaming in the belt all the way so I could cinch it up a little more. This makes the cardigan "wrap", and I also sewed in a snap with invisible thread so it stays closed. I also put a hook on the belt end so I could catch it in a stitch and it wouldn't flap around.



    If you're going to make this cardigan, I highly recommend doing the cuffs BEFORE the sleeves so you can pick up stitches from the cuff instead of sew them on after. I followed a lot of Tasha's tips from her Briar Rose knit-a-long when doing this sweater. As always, by gum, by golly! is a great resource. I also did the three-needle bindoff for the first time, as well as the crochet slip-stitch seaming
    method. I love how my seams turned out! So neat and tidy.




    The second project was Butterick 4790, aka Misses' Wrap Dress, aka I hope you like binding with bias tape because that's the bulk of this project.



    Before starting the dress, I heard a lot of complaints about the fit of the dress, so I went looking for reviews and tips on what to do. The best one I found is from Edelweiss Patterns, who notes that the reissue is actually a different bodice shape than the original drawings on the envelope, and provides a fix. I was going to do the fix but then forgot during my cutting out. Oops.




     Katrina also notes that the dress should be worn with the proper undergarments (I'm wearing a WKD bullet bra here) and a petticoat (which I'm not wearing because I'm the only vintage girl in the world without a long one).



    However, I'm really happy with my results. This is only my third sewing project, so it's quite rough around the edges, but I'm pretty proud. I'm sure in a year or two I'll look back and hate it, but for now, I love it.




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  2. High tea and happy birthdays

    Monday, March 25, 2013

    I've had a fabulous weekend, and I hope you all have had one too.
    I went to go see Star Wars Identities with Ian, I finally finished my Datemaker cardigan (which will get its own post shortly), had a great dinner at Miss Bee's abode, fixed my borrowed vintage sewing machine AND will be getting a newer one and had a wonderful birthday tea to celebrate Jill, the proprietress of Adeline's Attic.

    I've been following Jill's blog for as long as I've been dressing vintage, and when I saw that she moved back to Edmonton I (being the vintage fangirl that I am) hoped that I would see her out and about on the town. I'm even more excited that we have become friends and that she invited me to celebrate her special day.

    The guest of honour

    Seven of us took in high tea at Rutherford House, the historic home of Alberta's first premier, Alexander Rutherford. It was my first time inside the house and having high tea, and it was such a lovely experience. I can't wait to go back. 

    In case you didn't know, March is still winter in Alberta but we all forewent the sensible footwear
    The usual suspects were in attendance, like Erin and Bailey:


    As well as some new faces, Charly and Nicole, whose photos I forgot to snap (but they're up there in the group shot) as well as Jill's lovely mother Linda.

    I also forgot to take some food photos because I was much too busy eating to take photos. Story of my life. In lieu, please accept this photo of us posing in front of a china cabinet.

    My outfit:
    Scallop dress: a re-buy from Krista Dee
    Shoes: Rowena
    Hat: borrowed from Bee
    I regret not snapping a better photo of my outfit, as it's only the second time I've worn the dress. It's a gorgeous scalloped dress with pearl buttons down the front. Krista Dee bought it for herself but it didn't fit, so I happily took it off her hands.

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  3. Snowy science dates

    Sunday, March 24, 2013

    ....alternate title: More proof my boyfriend and I are huge dorks

    Last week Edmonton got a tonne of snow. 30cm (11 inches) worth, in fact. And Ian had one of those snow days off, so we decided to head to Star Wars Identities at the Telus World of Science to take in the exhibit before it left Edmonton.

    Despite never seeing Star Wars in its entirety (but I get all the references, don't worry), this was my second time going through the exhibit, as I got to go to the media preview. But it was much more fun the second time around, being with someone who loves the films and getting to take my time going through the exhibit.

    The exhibit just isn't a display of the movie costumes, but also a journey into what shapes our identities - through life events, genetics, up-bringing and the choices we make. You go in, choose a character and throughout the exhibit it asks you questions, revealing your Star Wars character at the end of the exhibit.

    Ian was Mon Calamari, while I was an Ewok (because I was wearing my fur collar and am tiny and squeak a lot).


    Ian took over 90 photos, but I'm only sharing a select few here.

    Can't you see the resemblance?!



    Jabba's eyes, which are practically the only remaining part of the puppet.




    After the exhibit - which took a good two hours to complete - we checked out the rest of the science centre. Ian had never been except on assignment, so it was fun to go with someone and goof off.


    My super power is wielding tornados.


    You're allowed lipstick in space, right?

    I'mma astronaut

    My main man Chris Hadfield.
    We also saw Rocky Mountain Express in Imax. If you love trains, Canadian history  and the beautiful scenery of British Columbia and Alberta, it's a must-see. We obviously didn't take any photos, so here's the trailer. It's screening world-wide.



    And thus our snowy science date! It was a very welcome reprieve from the stormy weather, until we had to drive back home in it. 

    XO Laurie
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  4. Shop my closet!

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

    Once upon a time, I was a lot heavier than I am now. And, seemingly like magic, a lot of my weight disappeared (seriously, I did nothing. It just melted off I guess).

    Therefore, some of my clothes are getting pretty huge on me, but instead of just giving them away to Goodwill I am hoping that some of my readers are willing to give them a good home.

    If you're interested in any of these items, please email me at laurie[at]retro-reporter.com (instead of a comment) to discuss!

    DUSTBOWL DRESS

    PRICE: $20 + Shipping

    This 1930s-inspired dress is in excellent condition. While the age of the garment is unknown (but likely on the modern side of things), it gives off a stunning 1930s "dustbowl" vibe. Brand is given as Panache at Rustan, which is a brand from the Philippines. Dress has buttons and zippers in the back. Fabric feels silky (could not find a care or fabric layer, so I can't confirm that it's real silk), while the trim is a peach cotton.

    Shipping varies by location and method. Please message me to discuss shipping costs to your location.

    MEASUREMENTS (garment laid flat to measure. Numbers have not been doubled)
    Size M
    Bust: 19 in
    Waist: 16.5 in
    Hips: 19 in
    Length (from waist): 30


    PUMPKIN SKIRT






    PRICE: $15 + Shipping. Item sold as-is

    This high-waisted, lined skirt is perfect for the winter and autumn months. Lining is ripped but perhaps could be replaced or mended by a better seamstress then I. Personally, I didn't notice the rip when wearing it and only discovered it when prepping it for sale.
    By Moiselle, this skirt was made in Hong Kong and is comprised of 65% wool and 35% viscose. Dry clean (or hand wash) only.
    Shipping varies by location and method. Please message me to discuss shipping costs to your location.

    MEASUREMENTS (garment laid flat to measure. Numbers have not been doubled)
    Size 10
    Waist: 14.5 in
    Hips: 19 in
    Length: 25 in



    LEOPARD PRINT SKIRT
    PRICE: $7 + Shipping

    Modern, lined skirt with pockets from Joe Fresh. I love the back tab detail.

    Shipping varies by location and method. Please message me to discuss shipping costs to your location.

    MEASUREMENTS (garment laid flat to measure. Numbers have not been doubled)
    Size: 6
    Waist: 17 in
    Hips: 20 in
    Length (from waist): 20.5


    BLACK CAPRIS

    PRICE: $15

    Modern capris from Rickis, which do have some stretch to them. Fairly high rise for modern pants and very comfy.
    Shipping varies by location and method. Please message me to discuss shipping costs to your location.

    MEASUREMENTS (garment laid flat to measure. Numbers have not been doubled)
    Size: 6
    Waist: 16 in
    Hips: 16 in
    Inseam: 16.5 in
    Rise: 8.5 in



    BROWN COTTON WRAP SKIRT



    PRICE: $15 + Shipping.

    This wrap skirt is likely handmade, judging by the blanket-stitch seam finishing. I love the contrast waistband with matching fabric buttons. Age unknown.

    Shipping varies by location and method. Please message me to discuss shipping costs to your location.

    MEASUREMENTS (garment laid flat to measure. Numbers have not been doubled)
    Waist: 14.5
    Hips: 20
    Length: 25.5



    POLY-RAYON BLEND PENCIL SKIRT

    PRICE: $20 + Shipping.

    Modern pencil skirt, made of 76% polyester, 24% rayon. Made in China, from Rickis. Invisible back zipper with waist detail.

    Shipping varies by location and method. Please message me to discuss shipping costs to your location.

    MEASUREMENTS (garment laid flat to measure. Numbers have not been doubled)
    Size: 6
    Waist: 15 in
    Hips: 17 in
    Length (from waist): 23 in

    WOOL RED PLAID SKIRT

    PRICE: $25 + Shipping.

    This is my favourite skirt, and if it still fit it wouldn't be up here! It was already taken in before I bought it, and the original and current measurements are reflected below. The skirt is unlined, but wears well with a slip or petticoat. Age unknown, but it is made in Canada.
    Fabric: 35% polyester, 30% wool, 30% acrylic, 5% other. Dry clean (or hand wash) only.

    Shipping varies by location and method. Please message me to discuss shipping costs to your location.

    MEASUREMENTS (garment laid flat to measure. Numbers have not been doubled)
    Size: 18
    Waist: 14.5 in current, 15.5 originally
    Hips: 21 in
    Length (from waist): 27 in
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  5. I was delighted to get an email earlier this month from the fine folks at Calgary's Vintage Affair, asking me to promo an upcoming event they're involved in, which takes the whole “vintage wedding” trend to a new level.



    A Spoonful of Vintage is a Calgary-based wedding expo, featuring several vintage-based businesses, including:


    Now, I must admit that I hate bridal shows. Maybe it's just because I've only ever gone as a reporter and never as a bride, and it's always to shows that push Hummer limos, tanning salons and loud dance music with crazy lights. But A Spoonful of Vintage sounds right up my alley!

    The show will focus on a range of vintage wedding trends, from art deco to mid-century modern inspired themes and everything in between, encompassing looks from the 1900s to the 1960s.

    "Our mission is to provide brides and grooms a vintage inspired and innovative touch to their modern wedding celebration, while providing personalized and top notch customer service,"  said Tara Whittaker of Tara Whittaker Photography.
    "Our clients are people who have a unique charm, whether it is quirky, creative, sentimental or truly off-beat."

    Highlights of the show include a Vintage Décor Challenge,  where Calgary's top wedding planners compete to design the best vintage inspired table tops with movie/tv themes, as well as a wedding gown fashion show at 1 pm, 2 pm and 3 pm and swing dance demonstrations. It all takes place at the Mount Pleasant Community Centre (602 - 22nd Avenue NW. Calgary) from 12 pm to 4 pm.

    Tickets are $10 until March 31, and then $12 and can be purchased at A Vintage Affair (638 - 11th Avenue SW Calgary), through Eventbrite  or at the
    door.

    This sounds like a great event, even for a non-bride like me. If you're based in Calgary or can swing a road trip and happen to be heading down the aisle, I strongly suggest swinging by.
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