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. 

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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 vintage textiles (2)


To me you are a work of art

Have you ever been in a thrift store and saw something highly desirable and someone else was looking at it? What did you do?

I went into a local store that is slightly more curated, and has somewhat higher prices than the place I usually shop. But, I’ve gotten some real gems there. Like my vintage, Made-in-Pakistan corduroy and velvet tote bag that I picked up for $10.00.

Last week, I saw a woman sorting through a large bin of linens and fabrics. She had taken one piece out and placed it aside. When I saw what it was, I HAD TO HAVE IT.

Had she taken it out because she was going to buy it? Was she just trying to make more room in the bin to see what else was there? I was tormented and had to come up with a plan of action.

I decided to befriend her, figuring that in the event she did want to buy it, I could convince her why it had to be mine. I moseyed up next to her and started chatting about what nice things were in the bin, blocking her view of the one she had set aside, hoping she would forget about it. It worked!

I also picked up these textiles.

Clockwise from left: hand-worked needlepoint; vintage purple velvet yardage; embroidered pillow cover; hand-loomed cotton fabric; and pom-pom trim.  Now for the pièce de résistance. At first I thought it was just heavyweight cotton yardage.

Recognize it?

I bought this 1960s dress, which I first posted about last year (and later wore here and here), in the 1980s. As I wrote before, there is no label and it was obviously made by a skilled sewer.

This fabric is identical. I got it home and took a good look.

It’s a shower curtain!


Even weirder – the grommets for the shower curtain hooks are at the bottom.

My guess is that there was a run of ‘seconds’ in this print, all manufactured upside-down. Some clever seamstress turned one into the dress that I now own.

I haven’t decided yet what to do with the shower curtain. Maybe…use it as a shower curtain?

This little discovery is definitely Ta-Dah! Tuesday-worthy.


I have a thing for textiles

I spent the weekend getting my textiles out of storage. I moved back into my apartment after 2 ½ years away and have been getting things out of storage gradually. Previously, virtually every surface in my apartment was covered in all manner of embroidered, printed, mirrored and woven textile.

This weekend I brought out some of my collection and draped them about. It was nice to be surrounded by color and texture again.

Here’s a tiny selection, all acquired in thrift stores, at yard sales, or on my travels in Turkey and India, or given to me as gifts.

(left) 19th c. brocade with dragons, (top) Middle Eastern embroidered cotton , (right) vintage Punjabi phulkari work, (bottom) printed cotton from Iran, (center) 1920s woven tapestry(upper left) vintage Rabari textile with embroidery and mirrorwork from Kutch, Gujarat, India; (upper right) embroidered bag from Turkey; (lower right) embroidered bag with cowrie shells from Gujarat, India; (bottom left) woven cotton and metallic thread runner from Turkey; (center) woven cotton and metallic thread runner from Turkey.(left) traditional Arjakh block-printed and vegetable dyed pillow cover made by Ismail Mohammed Khatri (whose workshop also made the cover I have on my bed); (center) patchwork of embroidered and mirrorwork textiles from Pakistan; (upper right) mudcloth from Mali; (lower right) 1950s linen pillow cover with embroidered ‘ameoba’ design. 

As much as I missed my textiles, I have to admit that it has been easier to keep my apartment clean. My apartment looks out over a courtyard, which captures dust and dirt and funnels in through the open windows. I haven’t had to spend time shaking things out the window as I used -- and will again.

 For anyone else who loves textiles, are they dust catchers that are worth the effort?