Saturday, October 11, 2014

Treasures Purchased at the Brooklyn Flea and That Too-Small Vintage Skirt

I didn't purchase too many things at the Brooklyn Flea market, mostly because I was concerned about getting them home in my luggage, but also because the prices seemed a little high. But I did come away with a few treasures:
Native American Print Prairie Skirt
From a vintage clothing booth, I picked out this fantastic maxi skirt. On me, it comes to just above my ankles and has three gathered tiers, plus it opens with buttons down one side. The generous elastic waist means it fits me just fine, even though it is not a plus size. It's made from a medium weight quilting cotton, and has fantastic colors. I am a sucker for full red maxi skirts. They just seem so romantic. I've already worn this skirt several times. Love! Talked the seller down from $20 to $18 for this skirt.

From the same seller, I also picked out this handmade A-line skirt with a fantastic 70s or 60s style print in psychedelic colors. I think the fabric is polyester or a blend, which I usually shy away from, but it feels nice and not tacky.
Fantastic colors!
The only problem with this skirt is the tiny 26" waist. Amazingly, I used to have a 26" waist, but that was MANY years ago. But fortunately, this skirt was apparently made for a slim and VERY tall lady. On me, it came to the floor, so I bought it anyway even though it was too small, knowing that I could alter it to fit. Once I got home, I removed the waist band, and down from the waist about 3"  to get a new waistline that would fit me.
Slightly sloppy hand stitching told me this was homemade long ago.

This photo shows the zipper and waistband removed.

I measured down from the waist about 3" all the way around and marked my new cutting line.
I also had to remove the zipper, then reinstall it lower on the skirt, starting at my new, larger waist opening. Then using some scraps of lime green cotton fabric that I had laying around, I traced the new waist opening and created facings. I decided to face the waist opening instead of adding a new waistband to make the skirt more modern and sleek, with less bulk at the waist.
New waist facings created out of scrap cotton fabric.
After reinstalling the old zipper, I attached the new facings (to which I had ironed on some lightweight interfacing) and voila! I now have a really cool, really colorful, retro-look A-line maxi skirt (the length now comes to my lower calf). Cost was $18.
Shown on my dress form. (She is taller and slimmer than me - that's why the waist is a bit low on her).

My next purchases that day were from a great booth that had a variety of vintage items and reasonable prices. They were very busy and doing great business. For no reason other than it was cool, (and I really don't know what I will do with it), I bought this pair of vintage pinkers.
"The Florian Pinker Pinks As It Rolls"
Aren't they the coolest? I seriously had never seen anything like them before. I guess they are the precursor to today's pinking sheers, and are used to finish hems after sewing so that the fabric doesn't fray. I love the box design, as well. It says they never need sharpening, and sure enough, they do still work. They are a bit heavy and stiffer to use than my modern shears, but are so neat, nonetheless.

When I got home, I did some quick internet research and these have been reintroduced and are currently being manufactured by the Overall Company in Oregon! The new version costs $77.50. I love it when things are actually made in the U.S. It's so rare these days. I also saw several vintage ones that have sold on ebay for between $7 and $40. I paid $18, so I guess it was a fair price, but I could have gotten them for less. Of course, it was not the sort of thing you go looking on ebay for because I didn't even know I wanted it until I saw it.

Finally, my last purchase of the day from the Brooklyn Flea Market was from that same great booth. Again, I didn't really NEED this item, but I love it anyway. I have a small collection of brass animals on my fireplace mantel and this one was a nice bargain (also $18! Everything I bought that day was $18). And it was unique and pretty. Brass animals are trendy right now. I used to think they were tacky but now I love them!
Pretty brass birdies.
I love the rocky stand that the branch is stemming from. I love the smoothness of the brass on the birds' bodies. It's just very nice, overall. One of my favorite brass animal statuettes that I own, and a real bargain. They are selling for much more on etsy right now.

Overall, a modest but nice haul of treasures from the Brooklyn Flea. I highly recommend that you experience it if in the neighborhood. A great outing!