vintage fabric

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Emily from Massachusetts has sent us photos of her little one’s vintage-inspired nursery — another adorable entry in our Eye Candy Giveaway. Inspired by vintage pieces from her father’s childhood, Emily created a wonderful, original nursery design for Baby Paul.

Emily takes us on a tour…

“I [created] the nursery (with some help from my mother and husband) for my 4 month old little boy.  When I found out I was having a boy my mother went through my father’s old things and dug out some of his baby clothes and dishes.  We decided to use those, along with some other vintage pieces picked up at flea markets and online to decorate the room.”

“The clothing on the wall was my dad’s.  One of the plates was also my dad’s and the other one was a lucky find at a flea market!”

“I chose Michael Miller’s “Dick and Jane” fabric and some other coordinating fabrics and sewed the curtains and all of the bedding for the room. This crib was mine as a baby.”

“This is the changing table area (aka closet).  I used a vintage tool chest to store extra bedding in and added a cushion on top.  Eventually we’ll add slow-closing hinges and use it as a toy chest.  I framed some copies of vintage prints that I cut out of a book and added a vintage Lettie Lane paperdoll print inside the closet.”

“This bookcase was my dad’s when he was little, I painted it “Asparagus Green” to refresh it a bit.  The clothing hanging above the bookcase were my father’s as well.”

“The blanket on the chair was made for my baby by my mother.  [Here’s] a closer view as she used vintage patterns to make the quilt.  The peachy orange gingham fabric in the quilt was originally the curtains she made for my nursery as a baby!”

“I absolutely love the way the room turned out and we enjoy spending time in there.  I think it’s a room that will be able to grow along with my little boy as well!”

Thanks, Emily, for the great photos! Love the family ties you infused in the room!

The ‘elves’ are crazy busy these days, but allowed me one sneak peek of a brand new product coming soon to the shop. Imagine these vintage reproduction fabrics transformed into an insanely-cute garland pennant for little one’s room. Now imagine that pennant accented with hand-embroidery too. Drooling yet? Yep. Me too. Can’t wait to see what Laurie at Old School Acres has up her sleeve. It’s sure to be fab! When it’s ready, you can find it here.

I hinted in an earlier post that I was working on a new feature for the blog. Have you noticed that certain themes manage to rise above the rest and become hugely popular for baby showers, nurseries, birthday parties, etc? The cuteness factor is so big, we just naturally gravitate towards them. So I thought it might be a cool idea to take some of those themes that represent the current trends, and show ways to infuse them with a vintage flair. It’s tempting to pick a popular theme, but make it vintage and you make it truly unique!

I’ve talked about vintage sailor and nautical themes in a previous post. So how about a theme that is near and dear to my little man: Cowboys!

Planning a baby shower or birthday party theme? You’ll want to check out our Howdy Partner Invitations and Thank-You Cards at The Baby Gardner.

What about an inexpensive gift for the little cowpoke? Or maybe cowboy party favors for that big bash? Check out these coordinating Round ‘Em Up Book Plates/Name Labels. Label all his favorite books and possessions.

Looking for ideas to add a vintage flair to his cowboy nursery or bedroom? Well here’s some of my favorites…

Adding authentic vintage cowboy treasures makes a big impact in a cowboy-themed room. Look for vintage children’s books with a cowboy theme like Cowboy Dan (circa 1950). You could also hunt for vintage dress-up items for children — things like cowboy hats, pretend holsters, cowboy boots and toy sheriff’s badges were hugely popular in the 1930s and 1940s (and beyond) thanks to the likes of Roy Rogers and Gene Autry.

One of my favorite treasures I’ve found is this Frozen Charlie cowboy. In case you’re not familiar with Frozen Charlotte and Charlie dolls, these vintage unjointed bisque dolls were hugely popular during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Most Frozen Charlottes (girls) / Charlies (boys) ranged in height from one to four inches with ‘frozen’ arms and legs. Their relatively low price allowed children to accumulate a large collection of them. In other words, they were probably equivalent to the popularity of Littlest Pet Shop today! These little dolls are a great collectible for vintage lovers. I have a collection of Frozen Charlottes (that I dearly love) displayed in a shadow box in my daughter’s room. Warning: Collecting these are addictive!!

Fabrics can go a long way when trying to create a vintage nursery or little boy’s room. My favorite fabric combination for a vintage cowboy theme are these coordinating prints by Michael Miller:

Toss in some irresistible, vintage-inspired softies like Henry the Horse (available at The Baby Gardner) and you’ll turn his nursery/room into the best rodeo in town!

And we can’t forget about baby himself! How about these cool duds — a hand-embroidered Little Cowpoke Tee & Diaper Cover Set! The tee reads ‘Howdy Partner’ while the backside of the diaper cover reads ‘Happy Trails.’ How adorable is that?

Now get out there and wrangle up an awesome vintage cowboy theme! Yeehaw!

“Hi. My name is Deanna and I’m a vintage fabric addict.”

I can’t seem to ever get enough of it. No matter how many plastic totes I have stacked to the ceiling, I can never resist the temptation. It just sucks me in. Case in point…

Even if I sewed every day of my life, I don’t think I could use all of this but it’s too wonderful to part with. My biggest weakness? Vintage feedsack and juvenile prints. Can’t you tell? I have all sorts of ideas that just swirl in my head when I look at this stuff. And I do sew some things for the shop, but there just aren’t enough hours in the day. You know what I mean? And don’t even get me started on my chenille collection.

So they say the first step in beating an addiction is admitting you have a problem… people, I clearly have a problem.

One of my dearest friends, Renee, is pregnant with her second child — a boy (her first). Renee’s dad and her husband’s dad are both retired Navy, so she had this great idea to decorate Baby James’ nursery in a Navy/nautical theme. Perfect, right? Well, in addition to that she really wanted a vintage flair to it which made it a definite challenge. But with all the WWII memorabilia out there, I thought, “We can do this!”

So I began hunting and hunting and hunting for vintage + nautical + baby themed items (no pressure here). A lot of what I found was either sailboats (not really Navy or sailor) or serious WWII collectibles (no babies in sight). I was getting frustrated looking at eBay and searching all the flea markets and antique shops in town. Then one night like a shining beacon (cheesy pun intended), I found this:

Now, come on. Is that perfect or what? I about (excuse my expression) peed in my pants when I saw this! This is the cover of an authentic vintage coloring book from 1943. Can you say inspiration piece? I’m framing it for her to hang in the nursery. I can’t wait to give it to her.

Of course I really couldn’t stop there. Finding the coloring book gave me the shove I needed to keep looking. So, in addition to that, I’m giving her some other vintage-inspired goodies. I won’t show them all (I went a little crazy), but here’s the highlights…

Vintage-inspired Whale Rattle: The vintage fabrics are great. And he has a little braided ‘stream’ coming out of his blow hole. Truth be told, I loved this so much, the artist is making them for the shop! Grab him up at The Baby Gardner!

Sailor Blankie: Another vintage goodie for Baby James will be a small blankie made especially for him by his Aunt Dee using this vintage-inspired sailor fabric and minky-dot backing. Pretty adorable, right?

So what do you think overall? Did I meet the vintage nautical nursery challenge?

While I’m writing about Renee and Baby James, I have to get your opinion on one other thing. Please settle a debate we’re having. Renee had asked for some help picking colors and fabrics for his nursery based on the vintage nautical theme. I sent her two groups: 1) Classic Navy & Red or 2) Nautical with a Modern Twist of Red & Green. I’m not going to tell you which she picked or which one I encouraged, but I can tell you that we didn’t agree. Both are great, but I had a definite favorite and so did she. The question is, which one would YOU choose?Renee and I are more like family than friends, so the fact that we didn’t agree on this is so typical. But I love her dearly and I cannot wait to be an aunt (again) to her precious baby boy. Maybe our saga with her ever-so-complex nursery theme will inspire you!

Nautical in general seems to be a really popular style these days. If you’re pondering that one, why not make it even more unique by infusing it with a vintage twist. It is doable!

UPDATE! Looking for unique vintage nautical items for baby? We have some great new additions in the shop, including:
On the Seashore Invitation or Birth Announcement
Personalized Nautical Soft Blocks Set with Drawstring Bag
Ahoy Sailor Toddler Set
Vintage-Inspired Wally the Whale Onesie
Little Moby Dick Baby Rattle

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