Flea Markets and Frocks
It's flea market season! I'm not nearly the flea market girl that I used to be. Where I grew up, there was a huge flea market a couple miles from our house, so I went nearly every weekend with my parents and siblings... and oh the treasures you could find for a buck, or even a quarter. I remember getting seven cool bird glasses once on a visit home for thirty-five cents (7 cents a glass!) that served us for many years... I think there's one still kicking around that we haven't broken.
Now a days, it's nearly an hour drive to get to a good flea market, and I just don't have the urge for treasure hunting that I once did. Perhaps it's all the toys we're swimming in, but I know in my heart there's very few things we actually need at this point in the journey. But every now and then, it's fun to go on the hunt, even if it's just for the spectacle. We took a road trip on Memorial Day weekend to one of our favorite treasure spots at Quechee Gorge Village. This place is not just a flea market, but a large antique mall with surrounding shops and a cool vintage kids train and carousel that run in the summer. There is also a train and toy museum (newly renovated) and free to visit, that is another perk for antiquing parents who need a little something for the kiddos. Not to mention, the allure for many, a Cabot shop, with cheese sample galore to keep hunger at bay while you shop. In short, this is the ideal antiquing situation for parents with kids in tow, if there is an ideal situation for antiquing with kids and tow. And on Memorial Day weekend, we got an extra special treat of visiting alpacas brought in by the new alpaca shop.
I found a few things I couldn't pass up and maybe a few more I should have, but didn't. I have no idea what I'll do with the gorgeous butterfly pins. I tried to walk away from them, but couldn't get them out of my head. I think they will look perfect on a winter scarf or perhaps displayed on some sort of wall art. I have many vintage pins that might get more use as art then sitting in a box on my dresser. Anyways, they will find a purpose. I also learned a cool trick for keeping pins from falling off from the vendor. You just put on of those little plastic pieces used to secure earrings after clasping the pin, and it helps keep the old clasp from accidently opening and falling off.
We also picked up a beautiful early copy of "Water Babies" illustrated by Warwick Goble, a favorite Golden Age illustrator of mine. I'm excited because the book is in excellent condition so I'll actually be able to read it without damaging it, and I've never read the full version of this classic. I got a pair of pillow cases that are extra large and will make some cute matching night gowns for the girls and an apple cutting board to hang on the wall because it was a bargain, and I couldn't resist. So, that was it. I didn't go too crazy.
But the best part was that I got to wear my recently sewn Dottie Angel frock, a Mother's Day gift to myself. You can probably find this pattern on Etsy cheaper. That's where I found my copy. This dress pattern has been all over the internet. Just do a Pinterest search for Dottie Angel frock, and you will find numerous examples. It's farm girl/granny chic, to be sure. I did make a few modifications that should be noted: lengthened sleeves by a half inch on both sides, made patchwork pockets, got rid of some of the bias tape in favor of narrow hems and lowered the pin-tucks to accommodate my bust. This is a fairly simple pattern, but that's part of the beauty. It lends itself to these kind of personalized touches. I'm happy with it. I might make some more in the simple tunic style. According to the measurements, I should have been between a medium and a large, but after reading some reviews, I decide to go with the medium as the dress has ties and is generous. House on Hill Road has some great information on sewing the dress without modifications. The best part of wearing this dress to a flea market was that there were plenty of older women their who could appreciate both the vintage feel, but also recognize it as a new, handmade garment. It's always nice for your work to be appreciated!