Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rainbow Brite and Strawberry Shortcake

Rainbow Brite shines again!

The Seven Sprites
For those of you who think Sprite is just a drink, this post won't be that interesting. But one of the most unique fabric trends was the printed doll era. These are all from 1983 in the big middle of my girl child raising years. Which is the reason why I still have the Strawberry Shortcake theme song running through my head.

One of our daughters had a Strawberry Shortcake doll that breathed fake strawberry smell when you squeezed it. I remember that she always brought it with us to take us up in the mornings. A very evocative smell.

I only remember the youngest having Rainbow Brite anything. She had the doll which was very cute. 

I just purchased a huge stash of Strawberry Shortcake fabric. And in the same box were these dolls as well as several Cabbage Patch printed pillows. Sadly, the Smurf fabric seems to be damaged. I may try washing it again today.

 You can find the Strawberry Shortcake dolls from time to time but the two Rainbow Brite ones  are too rare and fun to list in my shop. I have no idea what they're worth. So we're letting eBay decide for us! (Rainbow Brite Sprite auction and Rainbow Brite auction). You can follow along. As with any eBay auction this could be exciting or really boring.

 In other news, I've just gotten a box of sixty patterns, mostly for men, which I love. Look for a post on mens' patterns soon. And I'm set up to make a deal on 545 more patterns tomorrow. Can't wait!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Vintage Fabric

Having lived through the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and the aughts, I can tell you that nothing defines a period more clearly than the fabric. Sure, we all want to use that vintage pattern, and some of them are really evocative of their era. But a straight skirt is a straight skirt in any era. And so, to create something vintage, you have to have the fabric.

This piece screams 70s. In what other era would you find plisse (this is a chemically treated fabric that puckers like seersucker) in a diagonal orange yellow and green print? I even have patterns in my shop that call for diagonal print fabric. I have to wonder what this was intended for. Pajamas? A dress? In any case, it's a wild piece that is really, really fun. From the way it wrinkled in the dryer, it's obviously 100 per cent cotton so I'm guessing nightwear was its intended use. I think I'd have trouble sleeping!

Or how about this piece? It's 36 inches wide which is a big clue. But it is also in the penultimate colors of the 1950s, aqua and navy blue. (The ultimate color of the 1950s would have to be pink.) I have a set of Fashion Frocks cards from the 1950s and these are the most popular colors by far. This gorgeous piece is obviously 100 per cent cotton (as were almost all cottons of that period). You can just see this one in a gorgeous tailored blouse or perhaps sheath dress.

 These two pieces of fabric are a pretty good contrast between an era of extremely good taste and one that was characterized by extremes and loud fashion statements. I loved them both.

I'll be listing these fabrics and more in my Etsy vintage shop called Coconut Cake.