Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Highlights from Vogue Pattern Book Magazine Spring 1953

In addition to the huge Montgomery Ward catalog I acquired recently, I also picked up a few old sewing magazines including the February-March 1953 issue of Vogue Pattern Book magazine. Inside are illustrations of spring fashions, so I thought now that it was properly spring I should share the best pages with all of you! I scanned the most interesting images and present them here for you today for pinning and pining...if only we could still order lovely fabrics like those advertised in this magazine! 

I didn't scan any of the advertisements from the back today, mostly because I was too jealous of the Shoes-To-Match (send in 1/3 yard and they will make custom pumps to match your dress!), and multiple ads for "...and so inexpensive!" covered buckle belt kits. Does anyone have a good source for covered buckle kits now? I'd love to get my hands on a bunch but they seem to be pretty pricey whenever I find them! 

These novelty prints look awesome!

Umbrella print dress!

Another amazing novelty print!

More under the jump!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Vested Interest

This is one well traveled blouse, far more than many if not most humans. I mean let me just list for you the tour stops for you: United Kingdom (starting from the lovely Heyday Vintage) to Los Angeles, to City of Industry CA, to Anaheim CA, to Denver CO, then to San Francisco CA, then back to Denver, then to Boston MA, and then finally....back to Heyday in the UK. Yes, the USPS actually got the package to Denver twice and yet never to! The wonderful people at Heyday noticed I hadn't even opened the package so they sent it along again and luckily this time the postal service actually functioned properly and I received it in my actual mail box! Wahoo!

So due to the fact that I originally ordered this blouse in the first week of December and only just received it now in early March, I was super excited to pull it out of the package and find it fit perfectly! It is such a wonderful addition to my 1940's wardrobe and I am sure I will wear it often. I'm sorry if it still appears a bit wrinkled here, but I don't have a steamer right now and I was steaming it using a heavy iron and my arms got too tired to continue in the end. I paired the blouse with a new black wool vest I made recently which contrasted the collar to show off its wonderful shape!  The wool skirt is one of the oldest me-made items still in my closet, and I have left over fabric knocking around that is destined to be a matching jacket someday, and hopefully that someday will be soon. I pulled out my tiny airplane pins for a small accent of gold, but kept the rest of the ensemble in neutral colors for a day of running errands and a family dinner out.

I also made a pencil skirt out of this same black wool to make a nice little set, and I'm sure I'll wear them together soon. You all know how I love coordinates! I've got some more lovely wool to work with before the sun truly returns for spring, which won't be long now so I better get a move on! I hope you all had a most lovely weekend!

Vest & Skirt: Made by me
Blouse: Heyday Vintage
Shoes: Modcloth
Hosiery: What Katie Did
Hat, Pins, & Clutch: Vintage

Friday, March 17, 2017

Sequins & Stars: Planning the Project and Collecting Materials

Do you ever feel like diving into a super time consuming and possibly even ridiculous project? Well, I recently decided that may be just what I needed to finally kick my sewing-block (like writer's block?), a problem that has been hanging over my work thus far this year. So what have I decided to make? An embroidered and beaded wanna-be-couture tulle circle skirt! (What about that Victorian bustle gown you say? It is totally still happening! I recently found the white fabric I want to use and everything <3 )

Perks of tulle as a material: 1) the edges don't fray so I don't have to "hem" the skirt, which is very good as I plan on having several layers of tulle, 2) tulle fabric is super inexpensive!

So with tulle, just because I am planning a time intensive project, it won't have to be an expensive project. Another plus is that tulle comes in wider widths so I may end up being able to cut the body of the skirt out in one piece so that there will be no side seams.

But I am getting a bit ahead of myself, would you like to see my little inspiration board for this project? (too bad I'm showing you anyway)

From left to right, in rows: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 above here 
I have been dreaming about Valentino's recent space/star related gowns for years, but obviously I'm never going to be purchasing any Valentino, so DIY is the way forward. I have found several examples of 1950's tulle skirts in both plain and embellished varieties, so I feel confident this skirt will still be in keeping with my vintage style. The modern way to style such skirts seems to be to dress them down with chambray button down shirts or other casual pairings, but I love the more 50's idea of velvet bodice type tops for evening or perhaps a lace blouse. As for more casual but still vintage appropriate options I think a black sweater will look nice too. I plan on using both gold and silver sequins so both metallics will "match" with the skirt in the end for open options when styling.

Concerning sequins, I have to simply have to share my source with you all. The website I order sequins from, which is like a tempting candy shop filled with every color sweet possible, is called Cartwright's Sequins. Who knew just how many colors and types of sequins there were available in the world! Metallic sequins, square sequins, tiny itty bitty sequins, matte sequins, cat sequins! (yes really) They have sequins in the traditional finish, or in holographic prismatic finish, cupped shape or completely flat. They have beads to match. They have printed sequins, sequins with tiny printed designs on them (like galaxy print!)...OMG! It is so easy to get really carried away on their website, I am always tempted to add tons of whatever looks beautiful to my cart , but in reality I would never end up using many of the colors. This is one source which requires a lot of self control! One day when I learn how to bead my own 1920's dresses (#thedream) I will finally allow myself to go nuts and order some of everything, but until that day, I try and keep the motifs and colors that I want for a particular project in mind.

I ordered some great shooting star shaped sequins in silver and gold, also some of the aforementioned galaxy print sequins, and of course lots of other fun options in metallics and  black. I will be using some sequins from previous orders too, like some fun dark red metallic tiny sequins and steel looking gunmetal flat sequins. (This may be a good time to mention this isn't a sponsored post, I just fricken love this sequin shop!)

The idea of a big project with a lot of free rein as a jump-starter too reigniting my creative sewing mojo seems to have already worked even before my sequins have arrived in the mail, as I already got too anxious to start and began another project in between! This smaller project began as a way to test my new kimono sleeve bolero pattern and then blossomed into a Schiaparelli inspired embellished bolero using left over Gertie/Joanns brocade and lots of black and blue sequins. I have been working on it all week and have sunk many hours into beading this little jacket and I AM LOVING IT! The process of allowing myself to turn on a great podcast and then just go mad with the sequins, arranging them however strikes my fancy in the moment, has seemed to have done the trick and awakened my fire to create. I guess I forgot just how much I love to embellish? Well I have remembered, dear reader, and I can't wait to start the skirt next!

Sneak peak of the bolero, I am hoping to wear it soon :)
The point is, sometimes you don't need a break from the thing-- sometimes you need to jump off the high dive into the very deep end. I had to remember why I love to swim, ahem, I mean sew. Now my list of projects and every looming stash of fabrics look like a hoard of fun possibilities again, and I am so excited to get to work on new things for the upcoming spring season!

How have you clawed out of creative ruts before? Are you pro sequin or embellishment adverse? Tell me in the comments below ;)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Evergreen, Ivory, and Fig

An outfit where I didn't sew or make a single item I have on! What!? So much repro in one ensemble! The sweater is from Emmy Design Sweden, the skirt is Vivien of Holloway, and the shoes are from Bait. Though it seems like I don't wear repro very often, it is not because I don't happen to like what is on offer (there is a lot I quite like!), but more because good vintage reproduction clothing is rather expensive and I just can't afford to fill my closet with it the same was I can with self sewn projects (thank you Joanns coupons!).

I'd love more of these circle skirts for example, but I chose this one because the colors just seemed so pretty and unusual. I love that this plaid could be paired with green, burgundy, pink, or black with ease, which meant my Emmy Design cardigan in "fig" paired rather well with the burgundy tones of the skirt. The shoes were an Ebay find oddly enough, coming up when I googled this style to see if they were on sale anywhere. Someone just so happened to be selling their size 10s for half the price they cost new and I was able to snap them up! I love my other pairs of Bait shoes, and find them to be more comfortable than most other sorta-Modcloth-level shoes. I am certainly still eyeing the same style in  black patent leather as well, though it's very doubtful I need another pair of black shoes. When have I ever let that stop me? eek...

The other accessories are all vintage, and I rather piled them on! This outfit felt extra feminine and a bit over the top somehow compared to my usual style, but perhaps that is only because I'm not used to wearing so much pink! Even if it is a dark pink it still is somehow outside my normal comfort zone ;)

The weather has taken a further turn towards spring since taking these snaps last weekend, and the view from my sewing room window is delightfully sunny today! Perhaps it is time to pull out the straw hats? I hope so <3

Sweater: Emmy Design
Skirt: Vivien of Holloway
Shoes: Bait
Tights: Amazon
Glove, Handbag, Scarf, Hat, & Jewelry: Vintage

Monday, March 13, 2017

Which Way to the Library?

I was at the store to buy lining...but I got distracted by the nice happy wool section, so a yard and a half of this really fine plaid wool came home to be turned into a new 1930s style skirt. I keep meaning to make a solid dark brown skirt and instead I come home with plaid, green, or grey wool! One day, brown skirt, one day.

Researching 30s skirts I found this image and fell for the simple shape and fun pocket detail. I cut the skirt on the straight grain since I only had a yard and a half, but I put the pocket on the bias and used the same button tab detail as the inspiration skirt. It's the first time I have ever done a pocket like this and it was rather fun to make! This was a new skirt pattern for me, instead of using a full A-line shape (which is created by closing both of the waist darts opening up the skirt to flare) I closed only one of the darts at the waist for minimal flare to try and achieve that slimmer 1930s shape. I really like the resulting silhouette and I think I'll use the pattern again in the future, possibly for in navy blue wool as I could use a slimmer blue wool skirt for fall and winter.

The skirt isn't the only new item in this ensemble, as I recently expanded my brown accessory collection! As I have written about recently, I love a set of accessories, and I have found it a bit difficult to find dark brown accessories I like. I still don't have a full set of either dark brown or lighter reddish brown so you see here I am wearing a combination of both. I recently went on a web wide search for dark brown heels and I finally stumbled upon these fun heels at Unique Vintage. I have seen some shoes from the brand Pin Up Couture before but was always a bit wary about them as for some reason I just imagined they looked uncomfortable. In the end, these heels are indeed, not very comfortable, but they sure are cute! Some shoes are just prettier than they are comfortable, and these definitely fall into that category. The brown leather belt and clutch were vintage finds and happily match quite well. Both are from the 1980's I'd say, and the 80s are just such a great resource of belts with a covered buckle and basic fold over clutch styles that work really well for earlier eras.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, I got to watch Moana again so I was pleased about that! I think tonight I'm going to watch Allied, has anyone seen it? The costumes look gorgeous!

Blouse and Skirt: Made by me
Belt, Clutch, & Gloves: Vintage
Tights: Amazon 

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