Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Costume College: Shopping!

One of the best of many good parts of going to Costume College (say I, with my lofty two years' experience) is the shopping. Both in the Marketplace at Costume College itself, and in the Los Angeles garment district either before or after. This year I spent most of my money in the garment district, but I did pretty well in other places, too.

I made it to the garment district on Thursday, right before Costume College. This was my third visit, and for the first time I really felt like I knew what I was doing.  I think for most people, their first time they just kind of freeze - sensory overload! Uncountable colors! Millions of yards of fabric! So much stuff everywhere, and no labels or prices to be seen!! But now I knew what to expect. Plus I'd had the benefit of using the fabric district in Dallas.  It's much smaller than L.A. (the district, not the city), but the stores are very similar with their overall lack of careful organization and labeling. This is not Joann's!

Anyway, on my first trip this year, I came away with:

A length of a mystery cotton blend print, for a dress, modern or vintage-inspired.

Light-mediumweight linen for 18th c. and Regency underthings.

A red/white changeable silk/silk blend (haven't tested it) taffeta. It's more an orange-red than a pink-red.
Pale peach/pink silk (silk/cotton?) for vintage undies. I wish I'd gotten more! Lauren M. was right...
Rhinestone brooch to use for 18th c. and Regency, inspired by some of the paste originals on my Pinterest board.

Then, at the Costume College Marketplace itself, I got a few more things.

A really big plastic comb I'll probably use for Edwardian when I get around to making that period. ;)

A vintage brooch that I think imitates paste jewelry pretty well. The big stone is a beautiful clear red.

A length of brocade coutil for a corset, probably Edwardian.
A new book by the author of The Dress of the People, about the fabric swatches from the Foundling Hospital. I bought this from Angela Burnley of Burnley & Trowbridge during her class on 18th c. textiles. So awesome!
Pink glass buttons, for what I have no idea. "Something Edwardian." ;)
Red plastic buttons with compass markings. I love them! Bought with no specific purpose, but now I have a very specific one. ;)
Heavy cotton edging, bobbin lace look.
Lighter weight cotton insertion, also like bobbin lace. One of these will be for finishing my Regency pantalettes.

Whew!  I was intending to leave the hotel on Sunday, but ended up staying another night. And then, naturally, we tagged along with the tour (and other people) right back to the garment district on Monday! I was fired up with a lot more ideas, not to mention motivated by things I'd seen on Thursday.

Mediumweight hymo from B. Black & Sons
Good quality shoulder pads, also from B. Black & Sons
100% white rayon, plainweave, for a 1940s blouse
100% blue (darker than the picture) rayon crepe, for another 1940s blouse
White linen blend (I think linen/cotton) for a 1940s shirtwaist dress, with the red compass buttons.
Purple and white changeable silk taffeta, just for the stash. ;)

Plus some fabric for a Secret Project for next year!

Lauren M. also gave me a couple of lengths of cream-colored cotton lace, some for my Edwardian stash and some for trimming my new vintage undies.

Not as fine, for vintage use.
A lighter/finer weight for Edwardian.

And then we stopped at a random antique mall. I did very good, coming away with only two things I'm still excited about:

Small purse-sized vintage flashlight, just like the big ones you see in movies, but only 5" long. It works!
Vintage necklace - black plastic leaves, clear plastic dangles, and brass dangles on a black cord. I love this style of necklace.

So there, that's what I came away with! I'm VERY glad that I was able to pack a flat, empty duffle in my luggage on the way out. ;)


  1. That flashlight is cool! I love antique finds like that. It looks like something Nancy Drew would use. And of course, being able to fit it into your purse is of prime importance!

  2. I love Nancy Drew, so that comparison was definitely something I have in mind. Besides, being prepared is part of my inner Lady Adventurer's mentality. ;)

  3. What a HAUL! I'm impressed that you managed to get all your costumes and your new purchases in your suitcase home! :)