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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

· Simple Summer Whites ·


This past winter, we were the fortunate recipients of a plethora of vintage items from the estate of a distant relative.  While several were vintage dresses, suits, and skirts that remarkably fit me (!!), there were also quite a few vintage fabrics!  This length of cotton seemed perfect for a simple summer dress and I tried to take cues from all the real-vintage dresses I've seen lately and keep it super simple.

I tend to over-think everything, so it really was a stretch to keep this bare-bones!  I think I succeeded pretty well, and I'm certainly happy with the result.




Since this was such a basic dress, I was glad that it had stripes to play around with!  Making sure all the pattern pieces would fit on my yardage with matched stripes added a nice challenge and then I got to play around with the tiny scraps to come up with a pocket detail.



The fabric is a lightweight, finely woven cotton with stripes of alternating light blue and violet woven in.  It's not a color combination I'm naturally drawn to, so it was fun to break outside my usual. ;-)

I ended up having the perfect number of buttons in the correct color already in my stash, so this dress was essentially free- hooray!


This project was a fun exercise in fabric conservation- I started out with a limited amount of fabric and since it's vintage- of course it's narrow. ;-P  It limited my options for pattern style, but ended up being the perfect excuse for another use for my beloved Butterick 5920, my previous version is here. As before, I extended the shoulders of the sleeveless version into kimono sleeves.


We picked up quite a few vintage scarves at estate sales last year and I was pleased that this hand painted scarf was just the right shade of blue!  Since this is my first summer with short hair, I have been relying on scarves as my back-up in case of emergency.  You know- Curl-crippling humidity. Late nights/early mornings that leave not *quite* enough time for a sturdy curl. Etc.
  



The dress has lots of shoulder and neck coverage, which- Hooray! means less sunscreen. ;-)


· Photos by Kathryn! ·

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

· Shoe sale! ·


· EDITED TO UPDATE ·

The shoes have been going fast, just 3 pairs left!

I've been posting quite a bit lately about my de-cluttering efforts and I'm far from done...  Up for sale this week are various shoes in sz 6.5-9.5.  We have a mix of vintage and historical styles- take a look!

All shoes will come shipped in shoes boxes.  Only styles specified will come with original box.

Shipping NOT included in any of these prices. Payment by PayPal, payment within 24 hrs of invoicing before passing to the next in line.

Comment if interested with:
- PayPal email address
- Zip code/country
- Desired shoes
*comments with personal information will not be made public*

Authentic Vintage 1940s Pumps
sz 6.5 AA, $40
Light wear, judging by the soles and very good condition- there is a darkened spot on the left shoe, slight wearing along the tops of the heels (visible in detail shot) and the insole shows wear.  So, so cute!
Measurements:
Interior length- 9 1/4"
Interior width- 2 5/8"
"Gino Dalsini for Christman's" (as far as I can determine from Google, it looks like Christman's was a department store in Joplin, MO)






Remix "Carmen" brown crocodile shoes
sz 8.5, $45 + shipping

These show wear on the soles and have 2 scuffs on the back of the right heel, as shown.  They have cushions added in for comfier dancing!  There are a few flaws on the inside seam on the heels- shown in photos.  Great price on a wonderful reproduction brand!






Steve Madden "Trouser" Oxfords
womens sz 10 (they fit like a 9.5/10), $15

Leather tan/grey, some wear and scuffing overall as shown.  Classic style, AND in leather!




· SOLD! ·
American Duchess "Astoria" Edwardian Shoes
sz 9.5

These are "seconds", so they are made from lesser-quality leather than normal for AD.  There is wear to the toes and the inner buttons, as shown.







· SOLD! ·
Miss L Fire Mustard "Gabrielle" heels
EU sz 38, $75 + shipping
Brand new and unworn! No original box. Size 38, but they run small. I'm a US size 8 and I have another pair of MLF shoes that are 38's and fit me, but I couldn't even get my foot into these. Probably a US size 7-7.5.





Let me know if you have any questions!

Comment if interested with:
- PayPal email address
- Zip code/country
- Desired shoes
*comments with personal information will not be made public*

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

· A Few of My Favorite Things.... ·


This is definitely a post that includes all of my current favorites!  Favorite vintage hat of the year (so versatile, so comfortably "me"), favorite fabric (that I finally found a use for!), favorite new shoes (love!!), and favorite new dress pattern (Butterick 8038- already have another dress made from it!).


We had a local friend and former neighbor gift us her mother's collection of sewing patterns last year.  Most of them fell in the 1960s/70s range, but the two 1950s patterns were absolute STUNNERS.  *And* in my size.

I love, love, love how unique and flattering this pattern is and after mulling it over for a while, I remembered that the hand-printed Indian muslin that I've had for ages would be a perfect combination!


The bodice is quite unique with the side fronts extending above the bust to cross over and pleat into the opposite shoulder while the center front piece invisibly extends up behind.


When the preview for these 'Sergi' shoes popped up on Royal Vintage's instagram, I quite literally squealed with delight!  I had quite a few Rewards points burning a hole in my pocket, so it was a no-brainer.  They are just as beautiful in real life, too!


My only caveat for these is the sizing.  This is my first pair of Chelsea Crew shoes, and they come in European sizes.  I'm a true sz 8 in American sizing but I flip-flop between needing a 38 and a 39 in European sizing, depending on both the brand and the style of shoe.  I went ahead with the 39s thinking that a touch too big was preferable to a touch too small.  They are on the big side, but certainly not warranting a whole size smaller and a simple heel grip is enough to make them just right. :-)

The soft gold color of these is just gorgeous and the heel height is right in my comfort zone, making these an effortless choice!  The soles are comfortable for walking, but also have enough slickness that I was able to wear them for an evening of dancing without having any difficulties.

They're the perfect style and shape for 1920s and 30s (and I have a few dresses just waiting to be showcased with them!), but I couldn't resist pairing them with this 1950s dress, either. :-)

* Disclaimer- I received these shoes at a discount in exchange for posting about them and this post contains affiliate links ('cause I'd like any excuse I can find to purchase more shoes! ;-))*



Pattern Matching Obsession.  Spot the seams! ;-)

Also, I really love the vintage idea to insert back zippers below the neckline.  Works well and also eliminates the headache of trying to achieve an flawless neckline finish- my nemesis!


I love the design element of extending the center front panel into the skirt!


4" deep hem- because I can!
Also, I should do a post about this new crinoline sometime- it's pretty much the best thing EVER.



As always- a pocket!



I've always really liked this fabric and I got it a long time ago from Heritage Trading on eBay and it was originally intended for an 18th century gown.  As time passed, I realized how little I actually needed another 18th c. gown fabric (still having at least 3 fabrics earmarked for that purpose...) and I eventually became dissatisfied with its suitability for that era.  There are a great many flaws in the printing of the fabric, which, while it is entirely forgivable due to the nature of being hand block-printed (and inexpensive) made me wary of using it for an entire 18th c. dress.  Granted, not all printed cottons were well-executed and high quality (lots of evidence to the contrary!), but the research I've done made me hesitant to use it in such large quantities!  Also, in that period it was impossible to achieve a color-fast green dye, so any printed fabrics with green were made by printing in yellow and then hand-painting the desired areas with blue- the color combination achieving the desired green.  Consequently, it is a more expensive option and was saved for quality chintzes.  My fabric is obviously not high-end, so the more I read, the less I felt comfortable using it...

Thankfully the love of the exotic never goes out of style, so there are lots of examples of 20th century clothing utilizing ethnic fabrics! :-)  The fabric is a lovely choice for summer- lightweight and easy to care for while still being a nice quality and suitable for dressy occasions.  Currently, it is solely a church/wedding dress, but with the right accessories it would make a great sundress, too!

· Photos by Kathryn ·

Thursday, July 21, 2016

· 1950s Strawberry Dress ·


Remember all my ideas for vintage strawberry fashions?  Well I can finally share the result!  I'm guest-posting on the Penny Rose blog today- hop on over to see the details! :-)

(and as a side note- how amazingly well does this dress coordinate with my blog??)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

· Embracing Stereotypes ·


It feels like it's been ages since I shared a recent project with you all, and I have lots of new posts to share. :-)
It feels good to be back!



Kathryn, Tara, my sister, and I all came up with the idea to do themed visits together years ago.  We first started out with the idea to do Decade themed get-togethers, but as of late, we tend to all stick to the 1950s so a new plan was in order!  Two years ago we did our 1950s Polka Dot day, and we were originally going to do a 1950s Gingham Day last year but... ahem, I dropped the ball on that one.  I am nothing if not incredibly indecisive and I could not, for the life of me, decide on the color and scale of gingham I wanted!

Fast forward an entire year, and I finally caught up with everyone. ;-)


What's that advice that your first choice is always correct and second guesses are a bad idea?  I never really appreciated that admonishment (and honestly, it's often untrue for me), but in this case it was absolutely, perfectly spot-on.  One of the first pins I ever found on Pinterest was the iconic 1950s dress that became the primary inspiration for this dress.  After flip-flopping my way through the entire color wheel, I finally settled upon my original idea- the basic, potenially boring, but also completely versatile Black.

So, here's to shameless copying of original garments, embracing 1950s stereotypes, and not feeling obligated to constantly re-invent the wheel! ;-)


I was so pleased to have such a great opportunity to officially debut my Royal Vintage shoes!  If you haven't heard of RV yet, Lauren (of American Duchess fame) started up a vintage shoe shop almost a year ago and it's such a great source to find lots of 1920s-40s appropriate shoe styles at competitive prices.  She also runs a Rewards program which has already resulted in another pair of shoes for me... but those are for another post! ;-)


These are b.a.i.t. Loraines and while I was initially scared of the 4" heels, they were really just the sort of shoe that I was looking for to fill a gap in my wardrobe!  They have a bit of a platform, so the heel is effectively 3.5".  Still about 1/2" higher than my normal, but I've found these to be comfortable and easy to walk in, regardless. :-)  I also kind of really love being 4" taller than normal. ;-D  This color was precisely the shade of red I was needing- it's a very true tomato red without a hint of blue undertones.  Yay!

*disclaimer- I am a brand ambassador and have an affiliate account with RV, so I have received these shoes at a discount and these are affiliate links but rest assured! that hasn't affected my review ;-)*


The first of two changes I intentionally made from the original dress was to continue the contrasting sash through the back of the skirt as well.  I always think it's sad when the backs of dresses get neglected. :-(


The original dress has a full circle skirt, but I get pretty wary of those with our frequently gusty weather... I felt that the skirt decoration really needed a full circle to do it justice though, so fashion trumps practicality, yet again. ;-)

Time will tell how effective it really is, but I'm hoping that the added weight of the contrasting sash will help manage any breeziness.  I also faced the hem with a 2" bias strip since that's my new favorite method of adding a nice weight/body to circle skirts!  I'm sold so far. ;-)


My tried-and-true on-seam pocket.  Couldn't live without these!


The contrast fabric is woven through buttonholes all around the skirt.  I adore the idea of making colored sashes to change out for a completely new look!  First on my list is coral. :-)




The other way I deviated from the original was to substitute a surplice bodice for the original.  I wasn't completely sold on the original look and since it's been a long time since I've used Vogue 1043 (reprint), I felt that it was high time to use it again!  I used that on 2 of my very first vintage dresses back when I started wearing vintage styles exclusively, so it's got a bit of a sentimental draw. ;-) 



I'm not sure what's come over me lately, but I've been on a MAJOR pattern-matching kick lately.  To the point where I was getting (more than usually) obsessive and needed to take a break so I didn't fry my brain. ;-P

I matched the skirt seams of course, but when it came to the bodice, there was just really no way to intentionally match up anything.  I cut the front bodices on the bias as a design decision, but then it made seamless blending at the shoulder and side seams impossible.  The only place I think I *might* have been able to match things is in the underarm gusset.  It does look a bit "off" right now, but as my brain is currently taking a rest, I'm not about ready to jump into that challenge yet. ;-)

· Photos by the ever-delightful Kathryn!  Thanks dear! ·
 

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