About Joyatri

Avid thrifter and vintage clothes wearer. Love 1960s and early 1970s styles. Partial to Art Nouveau, Pre-Raphaelite, Victorian, Renaissance and Medieval art. Former art historian. Current packrat. On a continual quest for good-looking, comfortable vegan shoes. Bhangra dancer since 2002. Fascinated by all things Indian. Vegan and animal advocate. 

Click on Products to browse hand-crafted scarves, bags, and jewelry from India for sale.

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Words I like:

"She was dressed, as usual, in an odd assortment of clothes, most of which had belonged to other people." 

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym (1913-1980)

 

 

“I said "Somebody should do something about that." Then I realized I am somebody.”

 Lily Tomlin

 

 

 

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Entries in sewing pattern (7)

Tuesday
Oct012013

Hat Attack #3 and a testimonial

I have no idea if Home Economics classes have survived in U.S. junior high and high schools. I remember the first Home Economics class I had in 7th grade, which covered sewing for a whole year. The following year was cooking and the year after that was something like family relationships or child development or something. Boys took 'shop' to learn woodworking, car mechanics, and mechanical drawing. By the time I got to high school, these classes were no longer segregated by gender and I was able to take an architectural drawing class.

Click pic for source.This was my first sewing project in Home Ec.

My second project was a bit more ambitious-- a lined jacket made of blue and beige batik-patterned cotton with wooden toggle buttons. I loved that jacket and wish I had held onto it.

Recently, I found a black quilted velveteen jacket that reminded be of that 7th grade project. In anticipation of colder weather I created an outfit for the Style Crone's latest Hat Attack #3 challenge with my new jacket.

Wool beret I purchased in 1978 at Faces of Earth, Amherst, MA. 1970s F.A. Chatta black velveteen quilted jacket, thrifted, Boomerang. 1990s Jean Paul Gaultier wool trousers purchased new, Filene's Basement. Madden Girl non-leather brogues, thrifted. Bamboo-cotton long-sleeved t-shirt, thrifted, Goodwill. 1920s celluloid rose brooch I've had for decades. Amber beads I've had for decades. 1970s red belt, thrifted, Goodwill. 1970s bucket handbag I've had for decades.This brooch has had a broken leaf for as long as I've owned it (40+ years), but I wear it anyway.Although I've been wearing trousers the past couple weeks, I spent the summer in skirts and dresses, a fairly recent phenomenon for me. Prior to this past summer, I bared my legs reluctantly.

For the past 20 or so years, I’ve had a skin condition I dubbed “itchy-leg syndrome.” I don’t know why but my legs itched all the time, especially at night. I would consciously and unconsciously (sometimes in my sleep) scratch them. This happened year round, at home, in the U.K., in India, everywhere. Doctors were of little help, suggesting that it might be a low-level allergy to something very common, like dust. I was told to use steroid cream or take an antihistamine daily. I wanted to determine the cause and not be reliant on medicines to just treat the symptoms--and did nothing.

So, I've spent decades looking like I’d been attacked by a pack of wolverines. Long red scratches criss-crossed my legs (and sometimes arms), which after years, built up into a patchwork of scars. When I did expose my legs, people would recoil in horror.

About six months ago, after watching this video by Dr. Michael Greger, I started taking a teaspoon of flax seed oil every day. I have it 'neat', on salad, or in smoothies. Now, my legs don't itch and the scars are slowly fading. It's a miracle, I tell you.

If you have any issues with sensitive skin, give flax seeds or flax seed oil a try and let me know how it goes.

Thursday
Sep192013

Dressing for world peace: the U.N. challenge

You can tell the weather is getting cooler; I take outfit shots more frequently. There are a whopping three in this one post. In the summer, it is usually sweltering in my apartment, too hot to fuss about taking photos. The days have been gorgeous, cool air and lots of sunshine (sorry, people in not-sunny places).

When I saw that Spy Girl's 52-Pick-Me-Up challenge was 'United Nations' (wear items from different countries), I couldn't not participate. About a third of my clothes and accessories were purchased in India. Here's my India/Guatemala/Ethiopia/Pakistan/Kenya submission. How's that for diversity?

Vintage hat purchased from Frocktasia. Fab India printed cotton shirt purchased in India. Anokhi printed cotton vest, thrifted, Goodwill. Mayan Connections embroidered patchwork skirt, made in Guatemala, purchased at the Washington DC Green Festival. Vintage Pakistani embroidered velvet bag, purchased, eBay. Tights, thrifted, Goodwill. Embroidered and beaded scarf from Ethiopia, thrifted. Non-leather boots purchased on sale. Necklace and beaded bracelets, gifts brought back from Kenya.

I also have tons of thrifted clothes to show.

I love a striped menswear-looking shirt and I've been on a mission to acquire more vests.

1970s 'Catch Can' striped blouse, thrifted, Goodwill. Hand-crocheted vest, thrifted, Goodwill. Gap jeans, I recall getting these on sale ($7) at The Gap about 7 years ago. 1980S Fiorucci belt, thrifted, Goodwill. Indian brass necklace, Etsy. 1970S applique vinyl bag, Etsy. Boring black shoes, thrifted, Goodwill (worn to determine if they're comfortable enough to be worth painting). Mission accomplished.

This pattern has been in my collection for decades, but I don't yet possess the skills needed to alter it to fit. But, I've always wanted a 30's-inspired jacket with a large pointed collar and a nipped in waist.

1970s does 1930s knit top, no label, thrifted, Goodwill. Fedora from vintage/consignment shop Raspberry Beret. Michael Kors trousers purchased new 12 or so years ago Filene's Basement. 1940s or 50s metal bead necklace I've owned forever. Fabric flower from a hat. Bangles purchased in India. The thrift store gods again looked favorably upon me and I found one a few months back. 

Can't recall where this straw hat came from. 1970s does 1930s velvet and vinyl bag, purchased at the Rock and Roll Yard Sale. The chevron top stitching and insets in the pockets and sleeves are pretty cool. I most certainly don't have the 'dolly bird' shape of Biba's models, but I was reminded of this outfit from one of the Biba catalogues.

My wardrobe is so geared for fall weather: jackets, boots, tights, scarves, vests. Anyone else feel more inspired by cooler weather?

I drafted this post while sitting in a cafe earlier this evening and the guys at the table behind me were having a passionate conversation about meteorology, spewing out phrases like 'aerosol particles,' 'refractory material,' and 'invigorating convection.' I love Cambridge.

Monday
Aug052013

King's Row anyone?

Darn you, eBay.

Since they added the ‘here’s some listings from your recent searches” on the home page, I’ve been sucked into perusing 1960s and 70s dresses that I have no business looking at. Well, I bought one. It fit but I just didn’t like it on me. So the dress is headed for Etsy.

I have a weakness for fabric-covered buttons and psychedelic prints.

I was intrigued by the label, King’s Row, which, of course, sounds similar to ‘King’s Road’ in London, home to 1960s avant-garde boutiques like Granny Takes a Trip. But which company issued the King’s Row label? By searching the RN number, it was revealed that the manufacturer was Puritan Fashions!

Puritan Fashions, a Boston company that had been around since the beginning of the 20th century, helped introduce British mod fashion to the U.S. Aided by Paul Young, a British entrepreneur, Puritan launched the Youthquake label in 1965 bringing in designers like Mary Quant, Sally Tuffin and Marion Foale and fostering young American talent like Betsy Johnson. At this time London had a number of forward-thinking boutiques, but the U.S. fashion industry was fairly staid in its approach to the youth market. So, the establishment of Youthquake led Young (who was inspired by Biba in London) and Puritan’s CEO to open Paraphernalia in New York, a ‘happening’ store that brought together music, fashion, art and popular culture to give American youth their own shopping experience.

I own a metallic knit Youthquake dress that I bought decades ago, which I used to wear to art exhibition openings in London in the early 1990s. It was far too short for me to consider wearing in Boston. Note that the delightfully flouncy sleeves are as long as the dress.

I love the label.

So it seems that Puritan also had the King’s Row label (again capitalizing on British fashion), but I can’t find out when or why. The King's Row clothes for sale online appear to cover the early to mid-1970s. If anyone knows more about this label, please let me know.

Like the ice-blue dress in my last post, I seem to be finding lots of 1970s vintage at the thrift store (I’m guessing no one else wants it). Since I have a dearth of short sleeves in my wardrobe, I picked up this early 1970s knit dress (no label) and shortened it (thanks to everyone who offered that advice for the ice-blue dress).

For the bag, I broke out my textile paintsand painted gold stars on the Tyvek-like fabric (when it comes to crafts, rather than ‘put a bird on it,’ I put a star on it) and made new straps out of star-print fabric.

The general style of the dress reminded me of this one by Betsey Johnson for Alley Cat, from an editorial in the March 1974 issue of Seventeen magazine.

The print of little pink flowers springs recalls the sweet floral prints of the early 1970s, for example, on these Butterick patterns for Betsey Johnson/Alley Cat designs.

Source

Source

In addition to filling out my summer wardrobe with short-sleeve dresses, the thrift store has me prepared for fall. A load of opaque tights by American Apparel had been deposited there yesterday. All looked to be unworn, perhaps just taken out of the package or used for display. Retailing for $16 - 25 each, I paid 99 cents each.

A dozen just-washed tights in lovely fall colors.

I pulled something out of my closet last week and thought, "this would look great with a pair of mustard-colored tights." Now, I have two pairs of mustard-colored tights! It's like the Law of Attraction or something.

Joining in with this week's Visible Monday.

Sunday
Jul212013

Christmas in July

I recently drafted a pattern for an A-line skirt and when I went to the fabric store to get muslin, I found that the cheapest cottons they had were Christmas prints on sale. (What, me buy something new? My local thrift store rarely has fabric or cotton sheets). So I decided to make the muslin for my skirt out of green cotton with gold stars.

‘Christmas’ print cotton skirt, made by me. 1970s blouse by Nutmeg, thrifted, Goodwill. 1970s green plastic bead necklace, thrifted, Goodwill. 1980s star pin, thrifted, Boomerang. 1960s striped belt, thrifted, Goodwill. Bangles purchased in India. Dansko clogs, thrifted, Goodwill. Thai silk handbag, thrifted, Goodwill.I then broke two of my own rules (Rule #1- Never tuck anything in. Rule #2 - Never wear yellow since it makes me look jaundiced) by tucking a mid-1970s blouse in yellow with black stripes and piping into my ‘Christmas’ skirt.

It was also like Christmas this weekend because I received a little package in the mail from Cardiff, Wales. I had sent Sian--who blogs about crafting, vegan cooking, books, and more-- a couple of the novels I acquired and read when I was in London. Both were set in 1960s Wales and I thought she would appreciate them.

She did, and sent me this sweet bluebird pin (packaged in a Leone pastilles box that matched the blouse I was wearing). I love it and planned to wear right away.

Like Saturday’s outfit, Sunday’s was in the category of “things I never wear.” I don’t normally wear pastel colors or lace or self-belts that tie. But, I was attracted to the butterfly sleeves of this 1970s home-sewn, ice-blue polyester dress at the thrift store.

I was put off by the large coffee stain (that’s the story I gave it and I’m sticking to it) on the back of the skirt. I've had good luck getting stains out of polyester, so I bought it, washed it and it was as good as new. Except for a couple pulls at the waist where the thrift store had pinned the belt that came with it. Aargh!

I wore it to trek over to the Davis Flea, a weekly flea market that started last year but which I hadn’t visited yet. Unfortunately, the market wasn’t very big and I didn’t see much worth reporting on.

1970s polyester dress, thrifted, Goodwill. Hat, no idea, as before. Bluebird pin, gift from Sian. Silver necklace, Cultural Survival Bazarr. Bangles, purchased in India. Late 1960s/early 1970s Pakistani velvet bag, purchased at a yard sale years ago (the first bag of what would become a collection!). Sandals, purchased new at Moo Shoes, NY.I’m thinking that I’ll shorten this dress to just above the knee. What do you think?

On my way to the Flea, I cut through the campus of Harvard University. And was dismayed to see that the tree where Winnie the Pooh has had his pied-à-terre for nearly 30 years (no one knows for sure how long) had been cut down.  Thankfully, a stump had been left and a new roof was built for it.

Happy 65th birthday, Yusuf (a.k.a. Cat Stevens)!

 

I wasn't invited to Yusuf's birthday party, so I'll head over to Not Dead Yet Style’s Visible Monday shindig. And, join '70s flashback get-together on Spy Girl's blog.

Thursday
Jun062013

A fine and dandy day

Here I am in London, surrounded by a myriad of things to see and do. But, the lack of blog posts is a reflection of my lack of activity. I did something to my back and have had a hard time getting around or even sitting comfortably (making using a computer a bit difficult). I have good days and bad, but I never know which will be which. It is immensely frustrating.

Last weekend A. and I went visited The Dandy Lion Market in Kentish Town, where I got to visit with Jennie of Frocktasia again. A bit of a chat revealed that we suffer from similar hoarding tendencies but we've both made the decision to mend our ways. She kindly invited me to her house so I will be able to see how our afflictions compare.

She had lots of lovely frocks on display, but my eye was drawn to the kerchief on her mannequin. I have an obsession with the color combination of purple (although it looks blue here), red and gold. Once I stated that, wweet Jennie promptly gifted it to me. I know I will get lots of wear out of it. 

I really wish we had these sorts of small, low-key markets at home. There are a couple crafts/vintage fairs in my area but they tend to be larger and more expensive for vendors.After the Market, A. and I walked to Camden Town for an early dinner stopping off at a couple charity shops on the way. I found a 1970s dress at PDSA that A. absolutely hated. I thought it had potential (in a church picnic sort of way) and bought it anyway. It was pricey at £9.99, but since the money was going for puppies and kitties I paid it.

At Age UK, I found two book: A History of Fashion in the 20th Century and The Practical Man’s Book of Things to Make and Do, reprinted in 1946. At £1.49, they were more in my price range. The fashion book has some images I haven’t seen before and the other book will be gifted to a practical male friend of A.’s.

After dinner at inSpiral in Camden Town, A. and I made our way to Kennington to a special event at the Cinema Museum. On occasion, the Oscar-winning film historian Kenneth Brownlow shows films from his personal collection. That night, it was a short comedy film and the 1925 silent melodrama 'Stella Dallas' (which was remade in 1937 and 1990). Both were shown with live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne who played piano, accordion, percussion and flute – sometimes even playing two instruments at the same time! I'll post more about the Cinema Museum later.1970s-does-1940s dress, purchased at Spitalfields Market, London. Tights, retail. Clogs, thrifted and painted by me. Necklace, thrifted, Goodwill. Bangles from India. That day I wore my ‘1970s-does-1940s’ frock which has made several appearances on this blog. I was looking at vintage sewing patterns on Etsy recently and Butterick 3835 immediately jumped out at me. Although it’s for a blouse and skirt, the view on the right bears a remarkable resemblance to my dress. Here, I lamely re-create the pose.

I'm hoping this trip to London will include some treasure-hunting, but I'm sad that they can't involve any train journeys.

Wednesday
Nov212012

Biba and the Pre-Raphaelites

The title of this post sounds the like name of a band that I’d very much like to see.

As mentioned in earlier posts, I’ve seen two wonderful exhibitions lately and heartily recommend both.

The first was "Biba and Beyond: Barbara Hulanicki at the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery." While not a huge exhibition, it has enough fashion, drawings and other works to make it quite a tasty little morsel of a show. All the fashions are delightful and enhanced by the personal stories of the original owners.

When I had my hot little hands on all six Biba catalogues recently (here and here), I was amazed that some of the designs looked like they would actually be flattering on a range of figure types (not just the typical narrow-shouldered, flat-chested and slim-hipped 'dolly'). And I still believe so after seeing the clothes.

Classic look that I’d wear in a heartbeat.I want all of these dresses. My photos came out terrible, so I'll only subject you to one more. I recommend visiting Miss Peelpants and Penny Dreadful’s blog posts on the show for great images.

My major discovery at the exhibition is that I already own something illustrated by Barbara Hulanicki. Barbara provided the cover illustrations for these Le-Roy patterns from 1963 and 1964. I own Le-Roy 3156 (the one on the righ), which I purchased from a stall at Camden Lock in London about 15 years ago. I should have noticed the stylistic similarities with the ‘ghoul’ girls in the Biba catalogue.

It makes sense that those of us who love late 1960s and early 70s fashion, graphics and design would love Pre-Raphaelite art. Like hippies of the late 1960s, the Pre-Raphaelites revered nature, longed for simple times long past and rebelled against the constraints of society. Plus their works of art include all that long flowing hair, an abundance of luxurious textiles, and exquisitely rendered non-Western and medieval decoration.

A. and I saw the exhibition "Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde" at the Tate Britain and we were both blown away. I have seen many of the works in the show before, but I never tire of them and each time get completely drawn in. 

Some gems from the show that I don’t recall having seen before:

John Everett Millais, Ferdinand Lured by Ariel, 1859, Private CollectionDante Gabriel Rossetti, Monna Vanna, 1866, Tate Britain. William Holman Hunt, Isabella and the Pot of Basil, 1869, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne.Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, but I'll probably be having Indian food, and giving thanks for that!

Friday
Nov092012

A little help from my friends?

After spending countless hours researching how to transfer my blog to Blogger I’ve on the verge of giving up. Those who know me know that I’d rather poke a fork in my eye than do research about technology. I found out that while it is possible (through a convoluted method) to transfer the text of my posts, I will have to upload and insert all the photos manually. I’m not sure I have the stamina for that.

Alternatively, I can try to make this blog more user-friendly. Can you do me a favor and send me an email or leave  a comment letting me know 1) how you prefer to ‘follow’ blogs i.e., Bloglovin, Blogger, Facebook, etc. and 2) what you don’t like about the way my blog works (or doesn’t, as the case may be)?

To catch up on this past weekend -- A. and I went to a vintage market at Spitalfields, where the prices on clothing were too high for my wallet. 

A. did pick up this Hornsea mug designed by John Clappison and now is on a mission to find more from this series.

At the Brick Lane vintage market, I found the seller who I had bought my Biba-esque Wallis jacket from and bought a 1970s dress that I wore to lunch on Sunday.

1970s-does-1940s dress with sweetheart neckline and peplum,
Brick Lane vintage market. 1970s-does-1920s tapestry bag from the
Rock and Roll Yard Sale. Antique glass bead/pendant necklace I’ve
owned for decades. Ceramic and glass bead bracelet, made by me in
the 1990s. Purple tights, Sainsbury’s. Shoes, thrifted and painted by me.

Jewelry up close. Shortly after buying the dress, I found this Style pattern from 1974 that is slightly similar in style but with an empire waist instead of a peplum.

On Sunday, we went to the Sunday Roast at The Smithfield Tavern, a veggie pub nearby. In the States, we don’t do ‘Sunday Roast,’ so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The Smithfield does two vegan roasts. 

Stuffed aubergine with puy lentils, roasted tomatoes and herbs with trimmings. Stuffed butternut squash with quinoa, macadamia nuts and red onions with trimmings.It was my first Yorkshire pudding which seemed to be the British equivalent of what we call ‘biscuits’ in the U.S. – basically something to sop up gravy.

We were so stuffed from lunch that A. made a simple tofu scramble for dinner. It tasted as good as it looks.

I'd appreciate your thoughts on how I can make my blog more user-friendly. Thanks in advance!