Monday, June 2, 2014

Maker of wonderful, marvelous pigs!

Something about summertime sparks my need to thrift. I just need all of the vintage sun dresses, OK?

Last week I stumbled upon a house dress, perhaps from the 1970s or 1960s.* It is long, the sleeves are flowy, and the print is filled with dragonflies and big old flowers.

In the fitting room I realized the dress did fit, which brought on the crisis: Do I buy this?! It's not practical--I wouldn't wear it to my messy, sweaty, dirty jobs. I'm drawn to it because it's a vintage piece but I am not exactly a collector or someone organized enough to get it appraised and then resell it. I don't want it sitting in my closet, gathering dust.

But it was only $5. So I took it home with me:

I spent the beginning of this weekend at a work fund raiser. A massive yard sale fund raiser. Heaven. I walked away with crafty supplies for kids, a graphic novel, and the biggest straw bag I have ever seen.

Again, I wasn't sure if I should buy it. Am I becoming a hoarder?! The seller thought I was haggling, and said she really could not go below $5. "Oh, it's not the price," I told her. "Then what is it?!" she asked.

Oh, I don't know. Am I going to get nominated by my friends for What Not To Wear? Am I going to regret an impulse buy?

Ultimately, I got the straw bag. I still think it's beautiful. And it can fit lots and lots of books, and sunscreen, and snacks. So. No buyer's remorse for me!

Last week an 8-year-old I work with told me, "I'd rather be sewing" during snack time, and my heart melted a little. When I was 8 I loved riding my bike, climbing trees, playing with Nerf guns, and also, sewing.

I learned as a Girl Scout and fell in love with The Wonderful Pigs of Jillian Jiggs by Phoebe Gilman.

I went NUTS making little stuffed pigs. I started with a sock that had lot its partner, stuffed it, and gave it a cute button nose.

I would love to tell you that a child made this. But it wouldn't be true.
An adult made this. Or, more accurately, I made this.
This week I'll try to teach the kiddos to make wonderful pigs!

* I've been asked before--why do styles from the past appeal to me so much? The women who wore them didn't have the choices or freedoms I enjoy now. This dress was designed to be worn during household chores--so a homemaker could still feel feminine and attractive. I've heard legend that some 1920s house dresses came with matching oven mitts. How do I square that? Um, by thinking that my usual "household chores" involve reading a novel in bed before I go off to work at my community development jobs, which utilize my college education? ...Dear God I hope Gloria Steinem never reads this. I just. love. pretty. clothes. Sorry.

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