Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What's RetroMonde?

I'm not doing so well at keeping up this blog. But no-one has read it so it doesn't seem to matter at this time. I spend quite a bit of time working on my ebay store and sales...finding vintage patterns, tending and mending them, preping them for sale and then listing them, managing customers and finally shipping the patterns or whatever to their hopefully happy new owners. I like to think that I'm recycling fashion as well as being environmentally responsible. I really enjoy what I do, although finding sources for the patterns can be a challenge. But when I find a bunch of oldies it is so exciting! What I really like is finding patterns that wilI be used! I love the fashions from the past and like to think that I'm enabling sewers to add unique garments to their wardrobe. A person that can sew for themselves will never need to be a slave to the fashion industry. With imagination and a willingness to actually do something besides shop for ready to wear clothes, you can look exactly as you wish! My sister and I sold vintage clothing on ebay for a while and that was fun but I got tired of measuring things. At least with patterns all I need to do is count pattern pieces to be sure that all are still present and usable. I'm getting pretty good at refolding large pieces of tissue paper to fit back into small paper envelopes. Anyway, I found some pretty good patterns last week and have been working at listing them as I get them counted and scanned in. Scanning them gets a much better picture but takes much longer to do than using the digital camera. I've had a pretty good month sales-wise. My goal is to keep my power seller status now that I have it. That takes selling a lot of patterns! But if I keep my sales up, I can continue to work from home. And not need to find a part time job working for someone else. I've been self-employed for 8 years and am not ready to work for a 'boss'.
The name "RetroMonde" just came to me one day while I was driving, and I liked it. I was struggling with chosing a name for my business that conveyed the idea of vintage fashion. I liked the word 'Retro' so I got out my trusty Websters for some brainstorming. Retro meant backwards, and Monde is French for world of fashion. I liked the word, it made sense to me, and more importantly...no one had already claimed it as a domain name. If you've tried recently to register a domain name, you know exactly what I mean! Anyway, no one will probably ever 'get it' but I like it. Oh yeah, the 'E' is silent. It's pronounced 'Retro-mond'.

Friday, September 7, 2007

A Pattern Mess!

I love vintage patterns, that's pretty obvious. Old fabric, embroidery stuff, knitting and crochet books are the greatest! So when I get a chance to do it, I like to take a box of older patterns that have fallen on hard times and see what I can do with them. Yesterday I happened upon just such a box. Honestly, I don't understand how a pattern can get crammed back into an envelope like these were! Wadded is more like it! Yes, they were mostly wadded up, then crammed back into an envelope. No, not always the right envelope. Yipes, it was a mess. So I spent most of an evening watching cartoons with Victor while counting smushed tissue pieces and hopefully matching them up with their correct envelope. It was pretty tedious work. The best thing, tho, was that it was like a trip down memory lane for me...I sewed a lot of these same dresses back when I was first starting to sew. The 70s don't seem like vintage patterns to me. My mom didn't see anything special about 40s patterns either. A few years ago I probably wouldn't have bothered with patterns from this era but now I appreciate the styles again. A Betsy Johnson dress just had something special about it, I think. They were sweet dresses. Anyway, I ended up with quite a few patterns that were not all there. Not just missing a facing, but a lot of pieces were missing. Sadly a Jean Muir was missing several pieces, but I can't bear to toss the pattern yet. The next step is to take a dry iron and press the pieces and envelopes. That way I should be able to get everything together again in the envelope. This picture is my before photo. I won't get to that project for a few days. Busy weekend ahead.