Creating a Vintage Inspired Vanity Display

I have to say, out of all the advances that women’s fashion and all of it’s many parts has undergone, the one I am most appreciative of is the social acceptance of makeup.  Makeup is and has been many things to me.  It was a right of passage into womanhood, an ever evolving skill that saw me through high school and college with few regrets, and a tool that allows me to present my best self.  Maybe we give makeup too much power, or maybe we let makeup inhibit our social outings…you know the “I can’t go out because I don’t have any makeup on” excuse?  Which, yes, I have used many times.   For such a small little pots and tubes, they sure can alter a person.  Once I slick on eyeliner into my signature cat eye, I feel I can conquer the world.

The older I get, however, the more comfortable I feel in my own skin.  Yet say that I don’t need makeup would be a lie.  I do need it.  I enjoy it.  And I find it’s shimmers, hues, and finishes to empower me throughout the day.

I was browsing through Ulta a few weeks ago, and was disappointed at the lack of imagination that goes into many of the packaging of makeup.  I mean, does everything really have to be in a black container?  For a product that itself is color….the containers do not often show it.  While you can still find cosmetics in the vintage gold containers, they are often expensive or come in few colors.

Soooo I began a hunt to find a way to create a more attractive and vintage inspired vanity area.  While I wasn’t able to find alternatives for eyeliner or mascara, I was able to come up with some unique ideas for all those bland containers!

A decorated jar makes the perfect receptacle for liquid makeup remover:

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A small teacup holds loose blush beautifully.  Simply break up any compact blush if you can’t find loose blush.

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In the Craft Room: Wrapping Paper Covered Books

Sometimes, I love the slightly worn look of books that I have gleaned from used book or antique stores.  Gently used edges, slightly ruffled bindings, and the faded artwork on the cover, all add to the charm of each book.  Yet, there are also several books with covers that… well let’s just say, have seen better days.  While the content inside may be timeless….many of the covers are not.  For such books in my library, I prefer to cover them in the nicest, prettiest, sturdiest wrapping paper I can find.  Not only does this help protect the cover and binding of these books, it also adds to the ambiance on my bookshelf.  Here is how I do it:

Start by placing your book to be covered on top of the wrapping paper.

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Cut out a rectangle that is 3 ” longer on the top and bottom (6″ total) and 4-5″ wider on the sides with the book open (9-10″ total.)  Crease the top and bottom of the wrapping paper against the book.  Remove the book and press these creases firmly.

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Starting on one side of the book, fold over the excess paper.  Crease the fold.

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Accessories: 1930’s Sheer Capelet Tutorial

A few weeks ago, I watched one of my favorite Ginger Rogers’ movie Bachelor Mother and could not stop drooling over her wardrobe.  One article of clothing struck me in particular, which led to several late nights in my sewing studio trying to perfect the pattern.  What was this piece that threw me into a tizzy?  A small, collared capelet which adds such an air of grace and femininity to even the simplest of frocks.  Although I made mine of a very sheer fabric, the fabric choice is really up to you.  The key is to drape the capelet over your dress form when you pin the shoulder darts.

Supplies:

  • 1 yard of choice fabric
  • Thread

The Pattern

Use the following guide to cut out your pattern pieces.  Adjust for your personal body size as needed.

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The Steps

Create a French seam down the center back of the capelet.

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I added a collar to my capelet.  If you do not wish to have one, simply hand sew the neck edges and attach the ties as normal after you sew the shoulder seams.  If you are using a collar, make sure to test on your dress form to ensure a good drape.

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From My Sewing Table – May

Surrounding yourself with beauty, in many ways, is a choice.  Beautiful friendships, beautiful experiences, beautiful choices, and beautiful things.  The last, ideally, should not be determined by price tag, but by it’s personal value and importance.

I can hear a past teacher of mine quickly point out that things can not make you happy….and on the whole I would agree with her.  Yet I would like to add that making a conscious decision to bring more beauty into your life will do more to boost your overall mood than simply filling your house with things.  The carefully chosen ornament, a special gift from a friend, or a throw in your favorite color all add their own beauty to your world.

This is a sentiment repeatedly echoed by authors and homemakers dating as far back as the 1700’s.  Think of it like this: “If you bring beauty in, you are more likely to send beauty out.”

The more I understand the sole power I have to personal happiness, the more I value gracing the parts of my life with uplifting beautiful things.  Spilling over into my creative world, I have practically given myself away to silk, sheer fabrics, frilly ribbons, and accessories that, whether through the cut or the material, can instantly boost one’s beauty quota.

With the weather continuing to improve, and my overall mood with it, I have decided, and rightfully so, to dedicate this month of May to beauty in all it’s form.

While beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, beauty is also a lifestyle and a choice.  For me, I will always choose beauty.

~ Aimee

A few upcoming posts to look for this month:

  • 1930’s Sheer Capelet Tutorial
  • The Art of 19th Century Letter Writing
  • The Proper Way to Apply Makeup – 1920’s Style

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