Saturday, September 27, 2014

I Can Hear the Bells!

 Yes, wedding bells!  We interrupt your regularly scheduled fall fashion for a bit of dress-up today, as I'm going to be jetting off to attend two weddings during October.  One is a simple small gathering, but the other is going to be taking place in a ritzy Florida beach town with all the bells and whistles.  There's going to be a cocktail reception on Friday evening for traveling guests, and then the wedding ("Black Tie Optional"!!) is on Saturday.  So of course, the question is... what to wear?

I set up my camera and took a few snaps of likely outfit choices, so you'll have to excuse the rather end-of-day hair and makeup in these.  I'm also not totally sold on the accessories I've paired with each dress.... so have a look and let me know what you'd choose for cocktails and the wedding, and how you'd accessorize it!

 Cocktails Option 1

The dressier cocktails option, this little 40s dress (see it again here) would be perfect and snazzy for drinks at a fancy hotel.  I feel like I should make it a little more festive by adding some color or sparkle, but I also would love an excuse to carry this adorable little velvet-and-lucite box purse I picked up in my Wisconsin travels.

Cocktails Option 2

For a slightly less formal and significantly more tropical option, I could wear this snazzy 60s sheath dress (previously here, here, and here) for cocktails.  As a bonus, I could probably travel in it too since it's pretty comfortable.  I clearly can't decide whether to accessorize with plastic or sparkles... both doesn't quite look right.

Wildcard Option

I could probably get away with wearing this to either Wedding Weekend event, but I don't think it's my best choice.  I may bring it along for my mom to wear in case she can't find something --don't worry mom and other readers... she's a bit smaller than me so it won't be quite as form-fitting on her!  I do think I'll wear this to the other wedding I'm attending later in the month though, as it's in a slightly more casual setting and California is not known for cool autumn weather.

Wedding Option 1

The mother-of-the-groom has assured me that most of the wedding party will not be in floor-length dresses, so this dress comes to mind as my fanciest not-black option.  It needs a petticoat, of course, which takes up some more room on me or in the suitcase when I fly, but that wouldn't be a huge issue.  I've paired it with purple here and I've done red before... some bold color seems like it would stop me from looking too wedding-y myself.

Wedding Option 2

This dress is probably the only of my floor-length formals that would fit the bill for this wedding... I have been assured that there will be guests in full length gowns, but I might feel a bit overdressed.  On the other hand, the dark sage color (which didn't photograph well at all!) would be perfect for an autumn event.

And so, dear readers, I value your feedback!  What would you pick?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Early Autumn

Well, it's officially the first day of fall!  Or anyways, it's the Autumnal Equinox, which practically amounts to the same thing.  These pictures were taken last week, but fall is already well on its way to the New England area... which I find absolutely delightful after living somewhere that only had fall as a brief afterthought in late November. 

I still feel like I don't quite have the clothes for this novel sort of weather... I could use a good few more separates to see me through the mild days of autumn.  I suppose now that it's officially fall I can swap out my straw summer hats for the felt and velvet autumn and winter ones, although I do think this little straw and ribbon tilt does a fantastic job at bridging the uncertain between-seasons gap. 

This hat (and, coincidentally, most of the rest of this outfit!) came from Modern Millie in Salem, which both fortunately and unfortunately for my budget is staffed by friendly people who are very good at pulling things from the racks and showing me new items that look like they would suit my size and style... which is why this hat went directly from a pile of things-to-be-priced to my collection without a stint on the sales floor.  Oops.  It's good that it's so pretty.

Hat, sweater, and skirt: Modern Millie
Pin and earring set: Gift from Doug's cousin's wife (There's a story here.  Another day...)
Socks: Target
Shoes: DSW

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A New Direction

 Yes indeed, exciting things abound at the Hunting House!  In fact, it's high time that I introduced you all to the newest member of our household...

.... our new Baldwin Acrosonic spinnet piano!  She (or he? I've always assumed that musical instruments, like ships, were female by default) isn't quite mid-century, since the Baldwin catalog dates her to 1974, but the styling fits right in with the rest of the furnishings!  She needs a name still, if anyone has any suggestions.  Sara suggested "Baldy" but it doesn't seem quite right.

But why have I gotten a piano, and why is it such a big deal?  Well...

 Yep!  I'm learning to tune and repair pianos.  My whole family is quite musical, and this summer I was chatting with one of my aunts who is already well on her way to becoming a working piano tuner and she gave me some suggestions and pointed me in the right direction, so here I am!  Right now I'm just learning the basics, so our piano is..... well, playable, but certainly not in the best of tune.

Anyway, I'm quite excited about this newest chapter in my musical education.  It combines many things I love... tinkering with stuff, musical skill, old things... it's a win-win, right?  I have to send in my first tuning exam soon, so I can just imagine how silly I'll look on video tuning a piano in full vintage style.  I suppose that will make me a recognizable pupil?

So!  Expect to hear more of my tuning adventures soon, and since the vintage community is so lovely at window-shopping for each other, I suppose I should put it out there.... I'll be on the hunt for piano-themed novelty prints!  I've always had an eye out for music themed things in general being a singer and ex-violinist, but now I feel like I can collect some piano-print things without feeling like too much of an imposter.

Black orchid clip: Michael's
Black sweater: Modern Millie
Quilted cave painting novelty circle skirt: Antiques shop somewhere in Wisconsin
Bakelite: Savers
Black flats: someplace in the mall

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Sunday Return

 Hullo!  I'm only nearly a week late in posting these.... ha!  Yes, I finally have an excuse to get all dolled up in my best hats weekly... Church music started up again for me last Sunday!  And since there was a wedding during the liturgy I felt like I had to choose a particularly good hat for the occasion.

 Since I took these photos the weather has taken a left turn into fall, but a week ago it was still sticky and humid and hot, so I was at a bit of a loss as to what to pair my new navy hat with.  I ended up doing a little creative accessorizing so I could wear a lightweight cotton shirtdress.  I'd originally wanted to pair the hat with a navy wool dress I have, but it was far too warm for that!  Maybe next Sunday?

Hat: Antiques shop in Stevens Point, WI
Green dress: Modern Millie
Blue and silver moonglow lucite earrings: Thrifted
Bakelite and other bangles: Thrifted
Blue belt: Sears?
Green Chelsea Crew lace-up shoes: Modern Millie

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Butterick 7461: Ladybug Edition

As I mentioned in my last post, I have one more version of the Butterick 7461 housecoat to share with you!

I like the ease of dresses you can just step into for simple day-wear, especially if there's a chance of needing to get more dressed up later.  I wanted to make a version that could be worn out of the house more easily, for running quick errands or for wearing on holiday around extended family and such.  So I set about looking for a better outdoor fabric and solutions to some of the modesty problems inherent in the original design.