Friday, September 23, 2016

Out of Office

Just a quick note to say I'm out of the office (as it were) this Friday/weekend for a trip to Disneyland! So If you happen to be a Disneyland fan like myself, follow me over on Instagram this weekend for all of my Disney photos! There is no better way to vacation than to fill up on magic! Plus Mickey's Halloween Party too? Heaven <3

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Monochrome Rouge

While I wait for the leaves to turn red, wishing they would stay that way longer instead of falling away, I decided to wear shades of red myself. This red dress I made earlier this year back in May is going to be great all year round no matter the season and I am so glad I added it to my wardrobe! The shallow open V neckline is nice too, I'll have to use it again on something else.

The brooch I have on here was something I picked up way back in early spring, but red maple leaves really aren't appropriate until fall so now I can finally wear it! It's one of my favorite brooches (don't I always say that? I love brooches!) as it really screams vintage at you when you see it. I kept the rest of my accessories red too, with my red suede belt and heels, and my candy apple red handbag. The handbag has flecks of shimmer in its vinyl that remind me so much of car paint!

Though its finally fall and I can wear my favorite things again, I am feeling really uninspired with my outfits and outfit photos recently. I think I need to shake things up a bit and change up my routine, I hope no one else is as bored as I am with my lack luster posing skills! As always I will look to other bloggers for inspiration in this regard and will have to try out some of their tricks. I also need to stop snacking on all the goodies people bring into work (doughnuts one day, and cookies the next!) as it makes editing photos of myself much harder to take afterwards seeing the results of all those treats. Of course I am going to Disneyland tomorrow, so I'm not cutting out sugary sweets just yet ha! ;)

I hope you all had a lovely autumn equinox, I'm about to get on a plane to California for my whirlwind trip to Disneyland so I am super excited right now!

Dress: Made by me
Belt, Handbag, Brooch & Earrings: Vintage
Shoes: Nine West

Fall Sewing Plans 2016

Lately it seems all I post about are lists! The list-mania of the internet has finally seeped into my brain, or perhaps it is because I just need a vacation, in which case it's good then that I leave for a short trip to California tomorrow afternoon ;) Today however I'll be taking you on a little tour of my stash of fabrics waiting to become new clothes for this fall! 

I am happy to report that my same post from last year turned out to be a mostly successful prediction of the projects I ended up finishing last fall. This year I have a nice stack of different fabrics all awaiting their retro reproduction destinies. Sometimes I see nice things on sale throughout the year that I can't help but snatch up even if I know I won't use them until months and months later, most seamstresses are fabric hoarders though right? Everyone's got a "stash" of fabrics ;)

First we have these three very different fabrics. Starting with the acetate flocked spiderweb taffeta that will become a super fun novelty circle skirt to wear all October long (and the rest of the year too. to be honest). Then there is a simple flowy black polyester that I bought to make a durable 1920's 1 hour dress to wear to work (and with my new Japanese haori jackets). I do want to expand my 1920s sewing to new styles, but you can't blame me for having so many 1 hour dresses, they are just so easy to make and wear! Lastly from this group is the deep purple cotton sateen which will become a circle skirted, 3/4 length sleeve, boatneck dress similar to the one in the glamorous photo above. I love higher necklines for showing off my brooch collection, so I am trying to add more boatneck styles to my wardrobe, and this aubergine color is actually super dark and rich looking in real life (instead of washed out as it looks here).

Then of course one has to get some plaid sewing in for fall! This year I have this nice woven cotton plaid in pink and blue that I want to make into an early 40's dress. The bright colorful yellow plaid taffeta (again some sort of poly or acetate) was an impulse buy from the bargain table, but it has a kind of irridecent quality in motion that really caught my eye. I'm not sure exactly what I want to make out of it yet, though I am thinking either another full circle skirt or possibly a pencil skirt with lots of draping to one side and a puffy bow (in a sorta couture Dior/Vivienne Westwood-ish style).

The grey blue silk above (it looks oddly saturated here but is a lovely dull grey blue I promise) may look rather plain, but it's actually a very calculated purchase as it is for a bridesmaids dress to wear for one of my best friend's wedding in November. Lightweight silk for November you say? Well it's a beach wedding in Mexico ;) I haven't really decided on the style I'd like to make yet, I was just so happy to have found the right color silk (and on sale!) that I snatched it right up! I am thinking something 30's, and I like both of the vintage options pictured above. The lace dress on the left (I would do the floaty silk over a matching lining) is very simple, which is good as I wouldn't have any trouble replicating something similar. I also like the idea of making a bolero to match that way I could cover my arms up. I've been told the other bridesmaids are going for strappier dresses, and I can certainly do straps for consistency sake, but I prefer to cover my arms so I'd wear the bolero after the ceremony/photos to feel more comfortable. Another arm-covering option is the second vintage dress above with the open shoulder/ruffle combo. The ruffles on my dress wouldn't be as poofy in my slinkier silk, which is a good thing as I don't want to accidentally end up looking like a 1980s bridesmaid instead! Though with this style I'd have to be very precise where that straps do fall as to cover my bra straps. I really can't decide which style to go for, anyone want to give me their two cents? (if the bride happens to be reading this, do leave a comment <3 )

The other fabric above is a most lovely mauve rayon crepe with soft pink and white flowers that called out to me while I was shopping for the grey blue silk. I bought enough for a blouse as I think the soft colors would look great with either of my tan suits.

Then we have the rayon pile. I have accumulated quite a lot of rayon this year... Just look at that grape leaf print though, look at the colors! As if I could resist all of those fall colors together in one glorious print! The other print above has actually been in my stash for a while now, but I just finally figured out how to make it "work" for the 1940's. It really wants to be a 1980s scarf or something, but I'll wrangle it into a 40s dress somehow :)

Here are some of the rayon dresses that have been inspiring me for ages. I put off making these rayon dresses even though I am dying to wear them because I know I'll have to be extra careful with the slippery rayon when I'm cutting and sewing. With extra work -like finishing the seams inside with seam binding- they will just take more time, but it will be worth it in the end!

Two more rayons that are actually super similar in their colors, so I probably shouldn't have bought them both! (I bought them months apart). The roses print on the left is actually a nicer rayon crepe that feels much more like a real vintage rayon and I can't wait to make a 40's dress out of it. The print on the right is a bit busier and has lavender accents instead of red (so it's actually totally different, *ahem*, right?). Destined again for a 1940s dress, I will soon have a whole collection of rayon 1940s dresses :) If I stop procrastinating that is!

Then we have more evening appropriate fabrics like this brocade (from Gertie's line at Joanns) and the spiderweb sequin net from Joanns Halloween selection this year. I'm planning on a 1950's wiggle dress from the brocade and a 1920's evening dress in the sequin netting. I also need to make a new black silk 1920s slip as I have been without one for months (someone threw my last one in the dryer on high heat *noooooooooooo*). It will be nice to finally have a flapper worthy sequin 20s dress, and in spiderwebs for maximum vamp too! <3

What fabrics are on your counter for this fall? Does anyone have any particular tips for sewing with rayon? Let me know in the comments :)

Monday, September 19, 2016

Fading Light

The summer suns are finally winding down, and I am quite glad! The hint of gold already in the leaves has me dreaming of fall colors and cool misty mornings.

Just a quick little outfit from this past weekend, can't go wrong with a bow blouse and skirt combo. This neckline is a bit lower than I'd usually like, so if I ever use this pattern again I'll have to remember to raise it a little bit. The skirt here is my newer "safari" skirt from earlier this summer and the accessories are all old favorites (I've had this clutch since high school!).

I fear I'm going to become more insufferable the further into the week we get, as I mean---I'm going to Disneyland on Friday, how could I not be super excited? ;)

Skirt & Blouse: Made by me
Shoes: Modcloth
Brooch, Clutch. & Earrings: Vintage

Sunday Spotlight: Haori

Okay, so I can't stop looking at Japanese traditional clothing. You all know I love studying clothing from the past, whether its 18th century stays or Victorian bustle gowns, I just love historical and vintage clothes. This interest does not end with western clothing. and I have long been fascinated with Kimono and the layers, belts, and accessories worn with them. While studying at CSU I was even able to study some obi and kimono up close, as the Avenir Museum collection has a very large number of kimono and other Japanese items. What I wouldn't give to go back up there and study them some more!

So today, instead of getting into the conversation about cultural exchange in clothing design, or cultural appropriation, or whether or not westerners should/can wear Japanese traditional clothing (as this is something I want to A) do more research on & B) an entire dedicated post about), lets simply admire some beautiful haori. What are haori? They are short lightweight jacket like garments worn over kimono by both men and women. They are shaped and constructed similarly to kimono, but are worn open in the front as opposed to crossed and are tied with short cords called himo. Many people wear them today with modern clothing underneath, though they are very different from those flimsy "kimono" robes/cardigans that every shop is selling right now! Those poly chiffon shawls are nothing compared to the real deal, so lets skip Forever 21's interpretation and go straight to the source...

Womans Haori, Late 30s- Early 40s, MFA
Woman's Haori, First half of 20th century, MFA
Woman's Haori, First half of 20th century, MFA
Woman's Haori, first half of 20th century, MFA
Woman's Haori, First half of 20th century, MFA
Woman's Silk Haori
Woman's Silk Haori
Woman's Haori, Etsy
Woman's Haori, Etsy
Silk Haori, Pre-WWII, Ichiroya
 Women's Haori differ from men's in four main ways: the men's versions are slightly longer, the sleeves of men's haori are connected completely at the side seam (the women's haori sleeves are open for much of the side seam, as is some of the side seam at the underarm itself as can be seen of the haori pictured above), by the linings, and most obviously by color. Men's haori (and kimono) are most often made in more subdued colors and patterns whereas women's clothing is usually more colorful, especially for younger unmarried women. The linings of men's haori are often pictorial to the point of being essentially wearable artwork! Solid black is considered very formal in Japanese traditional clothing, and the men's haori below would be the most formal kind as it has five mon, the round white designs on the front and back (which are family crests). I just might do a few more posts all about kimono soon as the subject is very interesting and the clothing very beautiful!

Is this a good time to mention I've bought a vintage woman's style haori for my collection? I couldn't resist, though I'm not sure I'd be comfortable wearing it! More on that later though. Have any of you ever studied clothing from another culture before?

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