Tour of the Costume Box: Booty and the Butterfly Skirt

October 21, 2011

Halloween Countdown: 10 days

Goodwill bonanza!

  • A little girl’s floor-length gored purple satin brocade butterfly skirt home sewn by someone other than me!  I replaced the button on the waistband, that’s it.  It’s hanging with the first of several new leotards I bought on eBay: purple with puffed sleeves.  I like to imagine the fabric store scenarios that go into the making of a skirt of this type.

“What kind of a skirt do you want Grandma to sew for you, sweetie?”
“A purple one.”
“Something like this?”
“No, a LONG skirt.  A twirly skirt.”
“Here’s some purple fabric.”
“Not like that, it’s not shiny.  I like this one.”

  • A lined, valise-shaped basket perfect for storing hats (of which more later) or being a Victorian traveler.
  • A velvet jewelry box.  I whacked the dust out of it, de-linted it, aired it, and gave it sponge bath.  Good as new.
  • A child-sized basket suitable for Red Riding Hood but preferable for royal picnics.  The peculiarly child-sized metal goblet has lost most of its silver plate but still shines up nicely–perhaps it is a picnic for royals down on their luck.  Their minions can drink from the depression-glass eggcups.

My luck ended with the eggcups.  The sparkles and the many strands of beads are from a couple of costume jewelry lots on Etsy.  They were dirty, I cleaned them bead-by-bead and brilliant-by-brilliant with soapy water and a boar-bristle brush.  Some really good ones you can’t see, sorry!  I was so sick of handling them by the time I packed them into the jewelry box, I didn’t want to unpack them for the picture.

Have you noticed how the costume jewelry at Salvation Army and Goodwill is overpriced and not very nice?  Or is that just my Salvation Army and Goodwill?  Salvation Army is particularly tricksy.  They ram piles of costume jewelry down into old glass vases and jars, plaster the tops with packing tape, and sell them for $20 to $40!  I think they are just teasing compulsive gamblers with the idea there will something good in the part of the jar you can’t see.  When you know they tag anything interesting separately for their jewelry counter, and when everything you can see from the sides of the jar is pretty much just unmatched 1990’s plastic earrings and Mardi Gras beads, does it make sense to expect better in the middle?

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5 Responses to “Tour of the Costume Box: Booty and the Butterfly Skirt”


  1. […] In which I question the morals of the Salvation Army and exult in my eggcups. […]

  2. Dot Says:

    I am enjoying seeing these dressing up clothes. My Grandma had some good dressing up clothes, it was one of the fun things about going to stay with her.


  3. I have to admit, when I read ‘Booty and the Butterfly Skirt’ I had a shameful moment where I thought you were sending the girls a Victorian Bustle to wear under their dresses, and was ready to applaud. Why is it that all children want big circle gypsy cut skirts and grownups never do? Well, except hippies I suppose. I’m not much for hippies, but I congratulate them on big round skirts.

    • trapunto Says:

      This isn’t even the real gypsy skirt. The real gypsy skirt is coming and its EVEN TWIRLIER.

      I must congratulate you on not missing even my coarser, semi-intentional puns. Or, um, condole you?


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