Monday, June 24, 2013

Spreading the shopping luv

I've had a wonderful run of luck with costume-related bargain shopping lately, so I thought I would share the luv with you all in case you any of you were looking for similar items.

Yesterday I stumbled across a wonderful pair of pointed toe fabric flats at my local Famous Footwear for $25.  They are made by Rocket Dog and are the Chamay watered silk style.  You can find better prices at other online shoe stores, but they don't always have all the colors available.  I especially love the rose and grey colored ones on the Rocket Dog website, but they only had black where I was today (is it wrong that I now want to make a Regency mourning dress just to match my new shoes?  LOL!).  I think they will work perfectly for Regency costuming, and I plan on adding crisscross ribbon ties to dress them up some more.  Just FYI, they are very soft and slipper-like, so I bought a smaller size than I often wear because they seemed to stay on my feet better when they were a little snug.  My shoe size ranges from 9-10 depending on the brand, but I thought the 9 was the most comfortable fit in this particular style.

Next, my favorite local vintage store, Vintage Martini, is clearing out all of their vintage patterns.  Although their stock is mostly gone at this point, they still have some gems that need to find a good home.  My favorites are the classic 1910's skirt patterns in the Edwardian section, and the adorable 1920's children's patterns in the kids section - all for under $10.  There are also a handful of 30's-50's patterns left, plus some fun vintage costume and apron patterns that caught my eye.  And don't overlook the wedding section, which has some gorgeous styles that would make up great as evening or daywear just by changing the fabric or shortening a hem.  I snatched up a couple of wonderful patterns a few weeks ago, including these 1910's beauties.  I can't wait to make them up!  Working with a 100 year old pattern is such a cool experience.  It always makes me feel more connected with history as I daydream about who used it in the past and what the original owner's dress looked like when she was finished (*ahem* and I also wonder if she was any better than I am at deciphering the vague instructions!)

Okay.  So now we have something that all women need more of in their lives - TIARAS!  Just check out Amy Farrah Fowler's reaction to her first tiara if you have any doubt about that statement.  I have to admit that I was a non-believer about the joys of a good tiara for many years, but I am finally a convert now that that I have discovered an ebay seller called Venus Jewelry which carries the most wonderful period-appropriate styles using cast metal frames that don't look at all "pagenty".  I picked one of the more simple styles, and OMG I love it so much!  I also really love this one and this one and this one... oh yeah, and this one.  So many gorgeous styles to choose from, and all under $30 with free shipping.  C'mon... you know you need one!

For Costume College this year I'm going to make a natural form ball gown, and I wanted to add some flowers here and there to dress it up.  So I was thrilled when my friend Taylor started selling paper millinery flowers at her online etsy shop, Dames a la Mode.  She doesn't have a lot of her stock posted yet, but she showed me some more options when I told her what I needed, and all of her flowers are gorgeous!  I definitely know where I'll be buying my millinery and dress flowers for now on, and I can't wait for her to add more options to her shop.  You just can't find flowers of this quality at your local craft store, and they are actually much cheaper than most silk flowers too.
And last but not least, I've been hunting for an affordable copy of The Cut of Women's Clothes for years now, so I try to poke around on Amazon and Alibris from time to time looking for a used copy.  Last month, I found a seller in the UK that was offering new editions for only $59.  Anyway, I told some of my friends about this incredible deal when I bought my book earlier this month, and the shop I bought my book from seems to be sold out now.  But keep an eye out on Alibris beacuse I keep hearing about people finding this book at bargain prices lately.  If you are fast, there are 3 copies listed at $65 right now, which is still SO much better than the $100+ it usually sells for.  I'm wondering if they did a reprint or released some old stock, but whatever the cause, I'm thrilled to be seeing these occasional dips in price.  I've had to rely on library copies all these years (I've had this book checked out non-stop for the 14 months - bad Jen!), so I'm estatic to finally have one of my very own.  It might be the most helpful costume history book that I've worked with due to all the fabulous patterns, detailed research, and wide range of eras covered. 
So what wonderful costume deals have you found lately?  Anybody else want to share their bargain shopping secrets?  :)


Isabella said...

:-) I set up alerts on ebay and via google for books I'm looking for. It works and I've gotten a few pricey pieces for a much better deal.

Love the shoes!

Unknown said...

I found 3+ yards of heavy navy wool broadcloth for $20 at a flea market. I consider that a score because it would probably cost $20+ per yard. :)

Cathy Raymond said...

Congratulations on your bargains! Lately my income has been so meagre that I've been afraid to buy any non-essential that costs more than $10 USD, and I've been sparing with items under that figure. Hopefully, that will change soon.

In addition to the sites you mentioned using to find book bargains, I like to use ( is a book search engine that searches booksellers sites; it includes ALibris and AbeBooks). I have a widget on my costume blog, Loose Threads, that can be used to make an addall search.

Jen Thompson said...

Great idea about the alerts for book shopping, Isabella! I always forget to use those.

And thanks for the reminder about AbeBooks and Addall, Cathy!

Hillary - $20 for a dress-length of wool is definitely a score!

Mackenzie said...

I almost grabbed a copy because I saw Eleanora on the front...then I read the title again. What is she doing on the cover? She was dead for nearly 40 years in 1600!

Anna said...

THE TIARAS. Oh my goodness, thank you so much for sharing the link, they are gooorgeous. I have zero need for one but I'm sure I will be buying one soon as I wipe the drool off my keyboard. Wow.

Unknown said...

I found a cotton linen blend for £1.99 a metre in my local store which I ended up buying what was left on the roll and its now being turned into an 1869 transitional dress. Not quite accurate for the time but it'll do for what I need and my budget. Also found a pair of oh so pretty pointed toe kitten heels which are fab for regency for a fiver. I'm a happy costumer.

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