Set Sail


My mom has a wealth of experience and is a self taught pattern maker. She scours over vintage sewing books passed onto her from older friends. The books, nearly falling apart, are riddled with her notes written in pencil, pages are doggy eared, and in between some chapters I find her quarter scale sample patterns cut from newspapers – all techniques she uses to master her craft and know it by heart.

I can never decipher her cryptic notes and sometimes her verbal explanations get lost in translation. I wanted to learn the fundamentals and principles of sewing so that I could gain a closer bond with my mom through this shared love of the sewing machine and the craftiness that can be created with it.

So it was several fall semesters ago that I finally discovered and enrolled in my first sewing class at a community college. I had an advantage over some of my classmates who had never touched a sewing machine before (forget personal sewing machines – my mom has the real deal industrial Brother), yet there were still many gaps in my sewing knowledge that I needed to fill.


Daiso hat (similar) / sail shirt (similar) / Silence & Noise sailor pants (similar) / Urban Outfitters sunglasses (similar) / pendant necklace (similar) / vintage wooden cuff (similar) / vintage purse (similar) / J. Crew cardigan (similar) / J. Crew pumps (similar)

Over the years, I learned that the act of sewing itself is only a small part of the equation – and maybe not even the most important one. Operating a sewing machine in and of itself isn’t difficult per se, but the manipulation of different fabrics can be challenging. Unusual seam lines that require contorting the fabric in an unnatural way under the needle is enough to want to call it quits on a project. Order of construction and pressing the garment prove to be equally important, and drafting a pattern can be time consuming for the novice. But with enough practice and patience, I’ll be able to whip up a couture gown in no time.

This shirt is a reminder of how I set sail on my sewing education many semesters ago, using left over scrap fabric from a previous project I made with my mom. Drafted in the beginners class from a general block, I proudly wear this shirt even though it’s a bit ill fitting. It’s a reminder of how far I’ve come (which isn’t that far at all), but even more so, it’s the French seams I put all over the place that deters me from altering it to fit me better.

The sailboats, bright pops of yellow and orange against a backdrop of sky blue always puts a smile to my face whenever I wear it, as if the shirt’s sunny disposition has the power to cast away any cloudy days or shadow of doubt I have over my sewing capabilities. The outfit wouldn’t be complete without extra splashes of yellow, and I found a spot for a little dandelion flower in the little pocket on my sleeve, sewn by yours truly.

Now that I am wiser and more experienced with garment construction, perhaps it’s time to set sail on a better fitting project.



One, Two, Three

Chic Vic turns three today, and all I’ve got to wear is my literal NSFW birthday suit.

It’s hard to believe how quickly time has passed since I started this humble old blog. I remember the days when I would be brimming with ideas, but never had enough hours in the day to post more than once a week. Yet for every burst of inspiration, I’ve also experienced long periods of writer’s block, where there is a stagnation of creativity. As much as I may have infinite style, the outfits I post to the blog aren’t meaningful to me unless they are accompanied by the perfect prose. It’s something I always strive for, but sometimes perfection can be a killjoy.

While I have never before properly identified myself as a “writer” as I do a stylist, maybe it’s time to reinvent the wheel. I like to think that I inspire readers with not only my pictures, but also with my words – be it something that makes you laugh, entertains you, inspires you, or have you rethink what it means to harness your own sense of style.

To fellow bloggers, I ask, how do you maintain your blogging momentum?

To the readers I say, thank you for following me, whether from day one or just now.

With the help of some of my favorite past outfits, here’s cheers to three years!

Be Mine, Valentine

Whether you call it Valentine’s Day or Singles Awareness Day, February 14th is soon approaching. What will you be wearing besides your heart on your sleeve?

Now before you lament on this Hallmark holiday, let us reminisce on what it meant to celebrate this love filled day as a kid. Do you like me – yes or no? Oh, the excitement of receiving candy grams and cheesy cards riddled with popular cartoon characters! When the card was from the boy I liked, I totally read it with such conviction that he meant those words only for me: “I choo choo choose you.” I have had many a Ralph Wiggum moment.

But we’re all adults here, so before the clothes come off for some brown chicken brown cow, let’s rewind. After all, there is no better way to say, “I love you” than to dress you up in my love, and then undress you. Except I’m doing the dressing myself, because I trust nobody’s styling skills except for my own. Stunning strapless frock or leave-it-to-the-imagination long sleeve shirtdress? Decisions, decisions.

So go ahead and turn to the object of your desire, for whom your pupils dilate, your palms sweat, and your heart races – and ask the all important question: Will you be my Valentine?

I Heart You

The First Year

When I first started this blog , I didn’t really know where I was going or for how long I would maintain it. Now a year into it, I am still refining my voice on style and fashion. I plan to continue to catalogue my vintage journey through flea market finds and my dense closet, while providing style tips for my followers. I hope you continue to enjoy reading my posts as much as I delight in writing them.

The hardest part about blogging is finding the time for it when I have a 9-5 job. Taking photos can be a challenge; it has to be the right time of day for optimal lighting. I am picky about my backgrounds, and sometimes my face isn’t always photogenic, my posing is awkward, or the photographer isn’t available when I am. I often encounter writers block – what have I not written about already? Is the topic interesting? Am I witty enough? I tend to over-edit my posts, reading them over and over again for grammatical errors as well as to improve the content as much as possible before publishing. And finally, the hardest part is finding similar items for the outfits I’m wearing. It is a challenge to find clothing in stores that are comparable to my thrifted and vintage items, but I do my best – all for my readers.

If you asked me for my favorite decade of dress, it is hands-down the nifty fifties. Yet, as I go through my archives, I realize I have an overwhelming amount of posts dedicated to the swinging sixties. Had it not been for my blog, I don’t think I would’ve realized this about my own style. I’ve had to dissect and analyze each vintage item with detail and do diligence researching the history of a silhouette or the origin of a style with great accuracy. As a self declared fashion blogger and vintage lover, I must be a credible source for my followers. I don’t just pull this stuff out of nowhere.

Between my whimsically styled outfits to my witty and innuendo filled written content, I don’t think I can pick a favorite post. That would be like a parent saying that they love one child more than the other, and that’s just not possible, now is it?

It feels like just yesterday that I started you, oh humble blog. And now with the mere blink of an eye, a year has already passed. I must be getting senile at age 1 because I forgot my blog-birthday had passed a few days ago. Although I am not famous (yet), I am thankful to have a handful of followers (and growing). My dear readers, you love me, you really love me! Happy belated birthday blog!