If you missed the bike-powered sewing machine at July’s TVB, don’t fret beause Carly and friends will be back again August 12 slinging vintage, gluten-free treats, and tailoring on the spot. We had a fun chat with Carly to learn more about the sewing machine and her style secrets.
What’s in your closet and how do you incorporate vintage pieces into your own personal style?
Hm, well a brief scan shows that about 90% of my wardrobe is vintage. It’s my everyday wear really. I seek out quality pieces that can be mixed & matched. I’m developing the snazzy uniform. How I do it is by hemming a lot of dresses, altering waist lines, replacing zippers, fastening buttons, mending broken seams & sewing up sweater holes.
You seem to know a lot about garment construction. What do you look for in a great vintage piece?
No pit stains!! Really. It’s also good to check the seams for areas of weakness. I prefer vintage clothing because it tends to be well-crafted. My daily life demands clothing with durability. A piece that has lasted long enough for me to wear it now was made with a standard of quality. I also look for the tag. Labels that read Made by Lucille or Mary or Elizabeth are authentic, carefully crafted pieces. Pieces with no tags are even more exciting!! That to me is an indication of handmade goods. As far as style– anything that will make my butt look good and show off the rest of me nicely. For me it’s about wear-ability & a-lines.
Girl, making my butt look good is like the #1 thing in my book, too. So, what’s inspiring you right now?
Ah! I wish it were easy to pin it down. Anything & everything really. The weather. Watching out for other people’s style is a favorite past-time. How they wear what they wear. Most importantly: do they exude confidence & comfort-ability in what they’re wearing. If not, that’s when inspiration comes jolting through. I’m fortunate enough to have plenty of opportunities for this. And, vintage clothing!! A good vintage piece should inspire many looks. My aim is to wear all of them.
At the last market you offered tailoring on-site using a bike-powered sewing machine, which is brilliant. Tell us more about the machine and the concept, as well as some of the stuff folks will find in your booth.
Why, thank you!! A common question when buying/selling/considering vintage is “Do you have a tailor?” Just within the last century the shape and structure of our bodies has evolved noticeably. A point easily demonstrated by simply looking at vintage garments. And, even a great vintage piece will often need some sort of alterations. Tailoring at TVB saves people a trip. The bike machine was clutch to making it happen once I remembered (the night before) that the reason we had enough room in the booth for Daniel Shirley (my tailor) was because without electricity Betty from Bot Bakery made the decision not to bring an oven for baking pizza.
Tailoring at TVB is something that I’ve been looking to do for quite some time, so I’m really grateful to have had the opportunity. I’m glad we had pedal power there too! Way more fun than a wall plug. The bike machine itself was loaned to me by Working Bikes, which works to rescue unused bicycles so that they may ride on in order to enhance the lives of deserving people in developing countries.
I’ll be bringing ties for the gentleman and hankies for the ladies with plenty of other goodies to go around. Oh, and a bicycle-powered sewing machines. Get ready!!