Mar 19

Frugal Fashion from Vintage Mama

il_570xN.263476827Fashion is a funny thing . . . . if you look around at the stores, or if you browse various sites online, you will discover the amazing variety of clothing, shoes, and accessories that are “in style.” Since I’ve never exactly been a “fashion diva,” I’m mostly clueless about this kind of thing, and certainly don’t have any idea what is “stylish” on any given day, but I have been doing a bit of research and I am absolutely fascinated by what I’ve found!

In my life, clothing has always been practical. It serves a function, and that is to provide modesty and keep us warm in winter. Pretty simple, right? Of course, I appreciate a pretty dress or a gorgeous pair of shoes just as much as anyone else, but it has just never been that important to me to have the latest, stylish outfit.

So how did this Vintage Mama end up creating children’s clothing designs which are now available for sale as eBook patterns? And why did I decide to open an online shop where I sell vintage refashion and upcycle clothing? Well, all of that is a direct result of living frugally all of my life and learning how to “make do,” as my Mama always said.

Several years ago I discovered, quite by accident, that handcrafted children’s boutique clothing was selling like crazy on eBay. Now, I always thought that “hand made” or “home made” clothing was looked upon as the “poor girl’s” way to a new dress. That’s how it was for me. I learned to sew as a young teenager so that I could have a new outfit once in a while.

But I was really quite content most of the time with the “hand-me-downs” that came our way, and I LOVED the thrift shops where we would go for our Back-to-School shopping trips.

Suddenly it occurred to me that, since I had been sewing for many years and am actually quite good at it, that perhaps I could create some of those beautiful children’s outfits and sell them online. So I did! And I almost lost my mind one Christmas season, making the same sweet holiday dress over and over and over, all in different sizes. That was not what I wanted to do!

I love the fun of creating a new design once and then I want to move on to a new project. So, I started taking pictures as I went along on my next few projects, and wrote up the instructions into an eBook. I’ve been selling eBook patterns now for several years, and am looking forward to writing a few more this spring and summer.

Then . . . . I discovered (again quite by accident!) that another thing that sells online is vintage garments. So off I went again, shopping at my favorite places: thrift shops and estate sales, where I found some gorgeous vintage items. Then, upon even more research, I discovered that another way to be creative and generate a bit of income along the way, is to “refashion” or “upcycle” garments.

What that means is to take something that is no longer “in style” and cutting it up or adding to it  or embellishing it or combining it with another something that is no longer “in style,” and creating something completely unique. Now that is a ton of fun!

I’ve been amazed at what I’ve observed out here in cyberspace when it comes to “refashion” fashion! Since I’m just an old-fashioned, Midwest, farming town girl, I’ve certainly learned a great deal about fashion  ;o)  Seems that for some people, “in style” means shabby, tattered, and in all ways “destroyed” to make the loudest fashion statement. Then there are the designs that are over-the-top with lace, feathers, jewels, metal, and leather. Variety makes the world go ’round, I guess! For me, I’ve discovered that there is a place for the simple “refashion” designs that I create.

It is so much fun to go out to my sewing studio and envision how I could take this top and embellish it with a bit of lace from that vintage slip, and add a bit of “tattered” ruffling to the neckline or a little ruffle around the bottom and turn it into a mini-dress. Or perhaps I can turn that gorgeous slip with the beautiful lace all around the hemline into a charming little dress, with tons of embellishments and perhaps a little lacey shawl or shrug. I can just see it all now!

So, for this Vintage Mama, with absolutely NO fashion sense at all, I think I’ve done alright. Still have so much to learn about fashion, design, and marketing . . . . but I’ll tell you what: if I can dream it, I can do it! And if YOU want something created, I’ll bet I can figure out how to make it  ;o) Off to my sewing studio to create a few more “refashion” fashions for my little Etsy shop! Check it out: Tatters to Treasures.

Whatever your favorite fashion style is, I hope you will join us this week for the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop, sponsored by Katherine’s Corner. I would love to connect with you there!

The Thursday Favorite Things Blog hop is where you can link your favorite post of the week, or write a post about your favorite things and share it with old and new followers. This hop is hosted and posted on 5 different blogs! Please follow all of your hostesses.

thursday favorite things blog hop hostesses  2015-1RULES

 Please Follow Your hostesses

Katherine’s Corner, Over 50 Feeling 40 , Model Savings, Vintage Mamas Cottage and All That’s Jas

PLEASE DO NOT link and run, please visit and comment on at least two of the links ahead of you. This simple act of kindness will result in a much more satisfying blog hop experience Black heart (cards) • Please link to your post and not to your blog home page • Please remember to post no more than 3 links No adult content blogs No links directly to your shops or websites selling things/services please! (sorry they will be removed) Optional- Link back on your post and/or Grab the hop button code from the button page at Katherine’s Corner. Yes you can link giveaways (they are everyone’s favorite thing). • Please leave comments when you visit, let them know you are visiting from the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop .

Adding your link to this blog hop gives Katherine’s Corner permission to share your posts and pictures via social media, Pinterest and as Make It Monday feature on Katherine’s Corner.

Lets HOP!





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  1. Heaven

    I love your dresses! My 7YO would love wearing things like that. She’s a very dainty, lace-loving kind of girl. Thanks for letting me party with you. I’m 26, 27, and 28.

    1. Nina

      Hello there! thanks for stopping by. I’m out and about this evening visiting some of the participants in this weeks blog hop, so I’ll come on over and visit you! See you soon, Nina

  2. Jennifer

    These are precious! I would have loved to dress my daughter in these! Perhaps I’ll get a grand daughter one day and I can have her wear them. Bravo!

    1. Nina

      Hi Jennifer – thanks for stopping by and for joining us this week for the blog hop. I’ll stop over and visit you later this evening. Nina

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