Sunday, June 16, 2019

1940s Green Leaves Shirtwaist

When I first introduced this 40s shirtwaist to you I called it a winter look but now the weather has turned and so has its leaves  . . . into a summer dress. I paired this dress with green and what a good paring. Why did I not do that before? I chose tights to wear with it this time because it was raining (augh!) but thankfully after these shots were taken. Its so funny how the lighting has given this dress a yellow hue to it . . . Over the winter it was more of a really sandy color but that's just me. As you maybe remember from last time, this dress was based off a Lutterloh pattern that I made some adjustments too.

I am really digging this outfit with the green, I think it really has a nice summer and spring vibe. I kept the accessories with this outfit super simple and chose a green leaves "fakalite" necklace I got from Splendette. So far I love their stuff, its so much fun! The novelty! I also added a vintage wooden bangle with this fun mosaic design all over it.

 At this point in the season, the blossoms are still out but the little pears are starting to form and my climbing rose is actually taking off! I killed my first one so I was bummed about that  . . .But my second one is doing great (as are the little bugs eating the leaves . . . ). I hope that next year it continues to do this well! Also in my lawn I added a perennial garden which is doing well. Its finally a start and at least I am not longer pulling weeds from a woodchip bed (I had been preparing this garden spot for a long time . . . ).

Friday, June 14, 2019

A 50s Frock in Celery Green

A celery green 50s shirtwaist with a high neckline and long sleeves was just right in my wardrobe with this unusually cool spring weather. I found my self in need of a dress that was warm for this cool spring and yet still soft and feminine so when I found this pattern, I was in luck. Best yet, I think this dress may even work for the winter when paired with a sweater. I found this fabric in the bargain section and total cost was around $15! A deal I think.

When I found this pattern I saw the stripes and the fun neckline and thought to myself "hey, I have nothing quite like this" so I bought it up right away and then a few days later the fabric. I was hoping to use my stash but I did not have anything in the stripe I had wanted. Funny enough I looked through my closet and saw a distinct lack of stripes. Not only a lacking in stripes but long sleeves, and high necklines as well.  So, I think this pattern was a great wardrobe addition. A funny thing was that it was a little big.

I did some alterations with it taking in the waist line and I am pretty happy with it. I did not do anything too serious to it, instead I added an extra set of pleats in the back. It took a bit of time to get around to finishing it so it had a primo spot on the dress from. Thankfully it looked not too bad there and I was able to play with accessories and my button selection. The buttons were the hardest part. I tossed around I am sure many different ideas but settled on two and then the ones you are seeing here. I like the tan ones the best. The collar and cuffs are the best parts here. They are these tap cuffs and the collar ends form these cool taps that close with a snap.

For accessories, I chose some simple shoes, white ankle socks, and some light leather gloves. For my hat, its a 50s piece that matched the buttons really well and for spring a little flower pin. I think this dress will pair well with lots of other accessories in my wardrobe so I am really excited about this one. I guess I am saying  that you may see this dress up here a few more times on here.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

1940s Blue Floral Shirtwaist

Summer is getting here even thought its taking its time. Here and there warm days (incredibly warm at times) say Hello and that means shirtwaisters in fun floral prints. For this day in particular I chose a blue floral shirtwaist that although is not one of my top favorites, is a good stand by. When I first made this one, I cut  the bodice too short and  added a goofy pleat to the front of the skirt that does not help my figure. I plan on fixing theses some day but not too soon to be honest as I have better things to sew.

I will admit that this dress is great for the summer. The print is so cheery and the hints of yellow are a nice touch. To play up the yellow I added a yellow bangle flanked with white ones.  Of course, a yellow sweater for the chill from the wind. No escaping the wind no matter the season . . . One sign of the summer to come are the blue berry blossoms. I love blue berry blossoms because they are so cute. The remind me of little bells  bopping about on their little stems. When I was out looking at the fields I could hear the bees humming.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Building a Capsule Wardrobe Part 2

Welcome to the second part of my capsule wardrobe for summer. If you missed the first part, you can catch it here. The purpose of this series is to show how an example of thrifty vintage and how to build a small vintage wardrobe with a budget in mind. To start, I chose to do a summer and spring selection of outfits to pair with the matching seasons and I also chose to do summer because it matched the materials in my stash the best - linen and cottons.

My Planning
In my planning I wanted to use what I already had in my stash to create this series of mix and match looks which include a two piece dress, a blouse, a dress in the printed cotton, a linen jacket, and another dress as well in a 50s look just for fun. I also took note of  my notions - buttons, lace, side zippers, etc.  I wanted to make pieces as cohesive as possible down to the buttons.

 In my planning, I was thinking of traveling. . . .I am a terrible over packer! I am truly terrible . . . . I will pack 4 pairs of shoes and 6 hats and 4 pairs of gloves . . . So . . . I wanted to remedy that and try to make a wardrobe that would be really interchangeable and could work with a couple of shoes, one set of gloves, etc . . . .My planning was really focused on  four things:


These were my four main points  or goals because I wanted my pieces to be able to be worn together seamlessly so that I would have to do very little thinking on "will this work?" I also was thinking of all the places I wanted to wear my stuff. . . Out shopping? Visiting relatives? traveling? Where was I going? Well no matter where I was traveling I wanted to look good. When I do travel I do a lot of different things so I wanted to be covered for that too. Classic lines and looks are timeless and never go bad . . . Fresh, since this capsule wardrobe was for the summer and spring I needed some looks to match the weather . . .
My Designs

For my designs, I naturally had to have a shirt waist dress but I made mine in two detachable parts - a skirt and a blouse that hook and eye together at the waist. This I made in linen for another project (actually two . . . . ). I liked this look because I know how to style it and can dress it up and down really well. It can pair will with different belts, hats, collars, and more. Its like a blank slate and even more so because I can wear the skirt along with a blouse and then with a jacket in the same material. The top of the shirtwaist dress can be worn as a smart well tailored blouse with a suit or other skirt.

My next look was that of a 40s cotton dress in the little print of my choosing which was a cute mint green square "dot". I made a dress in a high neckline so I could wear it with my peter pan collars but it has a unique (and period to the 40s) zipper front neckline that when zipped down can be work with my V neck collars. Cool huh? Over this dress I can wear with my white linen jacket or even with a sweater.

I also made a 50s dress from the same material for a play with shapes.

The white linen jacket was left over from my white evening suit I did for my Casablanca Wardrobe Challenge (you can see more of that here). This jacket can be worn over the dress, over a blouse, etc. It had a lot of versatility!

Next I did a blouse in the same print and did a high neckline with this as well but added some lace ruffle for fun. This blouse has puffed sleeves setting it apart from the straight sleeves.

At this point I have:
1 white linen shirtwaist dress that breaks into 1 blouse and 1 skirt

1 40s dress in a cotton print

1 40s jacket in white linen

1 30s blouse in cotton print

1 50s full skirted dress (not pictured here)

My Color and Texture Palate
What color best suits summer than white and mint? That's what my train of thought was in making this wardrobe and I found that the linen was the perfect neutral color (white) and it had nice texture by itself. I had a lot of the linen left over from my other projects so this was a great stash buster too. In looking for a match, this little print was just the ticket. On a largely white or light ivory background, the little mint print was just the amount of color because it was subtle enough to pair with other colors and paired well with my main fabric. The mint was also so fresh looking. To give more texture, I chose to add lace in a cream color to the blouse and darker mint or teal buttons to the blouse too. My goal here was simplicity and I think I achieved that.
My Accessories

For accessories, since I was working with such a light selection of colors to start, I wanted to use brown to give some pop. I like brown with white and I was looking at my spectator pumps, my browns strappy pumps, and even my ivory peep toe wedges. Green is also in the running along with red . .. For hats, I have some in brown, some in cream, and a couple in green, oh and one in red that I think will pair not too bad. One hat in particular is my straw 30s hat.  . . . I think as I wear these pieces, more accessory options will arise. Working with neutrals to start, I think my accessory options are almost endless. This is not a bad thing either as these items do not always take up so much space when packing, normally travel well, and can really add a lot to a look.

So there you have the second part of my capsule wardrobe project and I hope for the third part I get to actually pack up and travel with this set/ collection. The weather here has been unusually cold and rainy which makes wearing summer clothes really hard! I am hoping for a change of pace soon so stay tuned for more on how I chose to wear these pieces and how well they actually worked in real life. A capsule wardrobe only works when it does what it is supposed to.

Monday, June 3, 2019

The Second German Photo Album - Part 3, Children and Other Youths

How sweet are the portraits of youth? These images are of children very young to those a bit older. The dates for these range from the 30s to the 40s so there is some variety here. What is nice about these portraits is the detail and the settings some of these tots are in. I think these children make this album so human. It is so hard to know what ever became of them and if they are still alive today (it is a possibility, but a far fetched one I will admit) that I think reminds me that in Nazi Germany there were many families caught in the cross fire that had to endure so much. We focus so much on the Allied side here in the US and that I why I choose to spend time on the other side. But enough of this . . .Enjoy these charming portraits!