Monday, October 14, 2019

Beneath the Pear Tree

I wasn't sure what to title this one as its a suit you have seen before but its a good suit. Honestly its so hard to beat a classic black suit especially beneath the pear tree . . .with Mr. Harold. I know white cat hair may not be the best mix with a black suit but that is what sticky paper rolls are for (you know, those fuzzy removers . . . ). The weather is starting to change here in the air and some of the leaves are starting to turn a little bit. I am sure as the week go on more will follow suit.

I kept this look pretty simple and with a black suit it can go both ways. For this one, I chose a white knitted top that is an 80s does 40s piece and then an original 40s hat, fox stole. The jewelry is from Splendette. I bought it this spring and knowing that this fall it would look amazing with my suiting and coats.

I think this fall this suit will become a wardrobe staple once again. I normally do not wear this suit in the spring or summer too much but I do keep it as a part of the spring wardrobe just in case. Also worn with thus look was my black corde bag and black leather gloves.

Of course, Mr. Harold heard the camera clicking . . . . What a camera ham.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Floral Corsage Tutorial - An Ivory Rose

As a part of my vintage floral corsage series I am offering up another one but a much simpler one consisting on a single rose and foliage. This one was so pretty and simple that I have a good feeling that it will be able to suit many outfits and in this case hair styles. Instead of as a corsage I am wearing this one as a hair flower. I was playing around with a new hair style that was featured on Glamour Daze and I needed to fix a small spot. Hair flowers are so common in the vintage community (and for good reason). They look lovely.

To start with this one I had a lone ivory velvet and silk rose and I was not sure what to do with it so I saved it for later when I was making my corsages. Eventually I was struck with inspiration and that was simplicity. So I took the single rose and some leaves and wrapped the leaves around the rose stem. For visual interest I took two of the rose buds and wrapped them into the leaves. I then added a few more leaves and tada! Super simple and so elegant.

I think if you are making corsages for your outfits you really cannot go wrong with a single neutral or light colored flower surrounded by its matching foliage and bits of subtle interest added in. So easy and so thrifty too. TO be honest, I forgot to get process photos for this one (oops) but it super simple and to keep the arrangement in place I wrapped the stems of the flowers around each other tightly. I seldom use glue to make my corsages.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

A Dirndl Style Dress in Blue

You would think having an interest in German fashion would mean a closet bursting at the seams with dirndls but that is not the case . . . In fact, I would consider this my first real dirndl style dress. This one was made from a 1949 pattern with short tailored sleeves, full gathered skirt, fitted bodice and square neck. Like illustrated, my dress features some trimming following the lines of the neck but I did omit the apron for this wearing. Below the original illustration:

This was a super easy dress to make and if you are looking for a good beginners Lutterloh pattern I would recommend this one. The bodice is a little funny to cut out but I think you could figure it out. . . What is so nice about these patterns is that there is no right or wrong way to assemble these patterns . . . Below is the pattern that I used. As you can see there is no skirt pattern or apron pattern and one really is not needed. . .
The bodice front and back are curved with seams giving an almost princess seamed effect which if you are a first time fitter for sewing clothes a princess seam like this is great to play with and practice with. I think they are figure flattering for most if not all body shapes and are pretty friendly for beginner sewers. The front side piece does have a little dart for more shaping to the body. German dresses, especially those leaning towards the traditional side like this one, were very fitted to the body. Keep in mind that TIGHT and FITTED are totally different things. . .Fitted means it fits the body smoothly and does not feel uncomfortable. Tight is uncomfortable.

In my collection I have one German dress that has a cut close to this one in a high neck and it mimics the traditional dresses that were made to be commercially available and it is a fitted dress in he body with a wide pleated skirt. The fit is smooth and form fitting but not restrictive. In fact it is most comfortable. Another one that I have that is an original German dress has a high neckline and a fitted body is the same but is more of a non traditional item/ typical 40s piece. Bottom line, German dresses typically had more fitted bodices but not always. . .  .This is an example of a dress bodice that is a fitted one. Something to keep in mind for making this one up if you choose to do so.
 To style this look I kept it super simple, I choose plain white sock, low heeled shoes, and simply styled hair. I intentionally styled this German with an eye to some war time looks. Although this is a  1949 pattern (and thus a post war pattern) this is one that is so similar to those that were published during the war. When it comes to these dirndl style dresses the pattern shapes did not vary too much and neither did the styling or fit.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Floral Corsage Tutorial - The Purple Thistle

So different, so cute and so very vintage. . .The floral corsage but this time in Thistle. These were a part of my vintage flower lot and from this lot I was able to fashion quite a few of these little accessory wonders. This is one of them - purple paper fashioned into thistles. To make this corsage, I wanted the thistle to be the main focus and I did not add many other pieces aside from large green leaves and some little white flowers for some detail. I find this one to be one of the more unique ones and I think wearing it with blacks and deep reds will make a nice pairing. This time I chose my grey suit with hints of pink.

For this one in particular, its super simple and does not use a lot of flowers or colors. For me, that was intentional. I thought about adding the thistle to another corsage but decided against it because these were so different. I wanted them to stand alone. So for this one its assembly was really simple. I started with the thistle with them arranges at different levels so that they would not blend into one. Then I added the white to break up the purple and then lots of foliage.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Say Hello to The Industrious Lady !

This is a different kind of post today where it is not a garment post, or a tutorial, or even a research post but instead it is a meet and greet kind of post! I would like to introduce to you my readers a new blogger and friend of mine Amber from The Industrious Lady! I met Amber through mutual friends after what was quite possibly one of the best Civil War reenactments ever. Since then I found that we both shared a mutual love of anything fashion (vintage or historical of course, like there is any other kind ;) ) and blogging too! I cannot express enough how nice it is to have a friend who is a blogger too.  Anyway, the main reason of this post is to actually introduce my co - host for our  sew along which we have been working really hard on . . .The Halloween Sew Along!

Amber focuses mostly on the 19th century and blogs about her research, sewing projects and even offers tutorials and pattern reviews. One of my favorite tutorials was for a velvet band/ cuff bracelet. Hers was made with vintage materials to get that more authentic look so that tells you the effort that she goes for a project (big or small!). Amber is a new blogger and is just getting her footing in the blogging world so be nice to her and go check out her blog: The Industrious Lady. I've offered lots of link to it here throughout. Not because I told you to of course but because I think she does really nice work and its worth checking out. To help you get to know Amber a little bit I asked her a few interview questions so sit back, grab a mug of hot chocolate and enjoy!
Say Hello to Amber of The Industrious Lady!

How Long Have You Been Sewing?

I’ve been sewing since I was 17 and I just turned 24, so about 6 ½ years.  I had dabbled in pillow cases or little mending projects since I was little, but 17 was when the spark was ignited.
What Is Your Favorite Thing To Sew?

My favorite thing to sew is a lovely ballgown. There is just something so elegant and timelessly beautiful about them.
A sample of some of Amber's work,
 she is really good at those ball gowns.

Who Is Your Fashion Icon or Who Do You Admire?

This is hands down Empress Elisabeth aka Sissi. She has a beautiful story and she was the pinnacle of fashion in her time. Each of her dresses is a masterpiece, and she was absolutely breath taking in each one, yet had a sweet, humble shyness about her. Her crowning glory was her knee length hair, and she has actually inspired me to grow my hair out.

A reproduced velvet cuff by The Industrious Lady
For more on this project and its tutorial,
check it out here .
What Is Your Favorite Time Period/ Era/ Year For Fashion?
My favorite time period would have to be the crinoline era, and if I had to pick a year probably 1862. The war was in full swing and women had to learn to embody industry and still look beautiful despite the shortages the war causes. The fashion plates were much simpler, and more easily reproduced.  When I look at fashion plates from the era the silhouette is a very basic shape with trim or buttons to dress it up. When portraying 1862, I have an excuse to apply tons of black velvet ribbon, which I adore.

How Long Have You Been Blogging And What Inspired You To Start?

I have been blogging for about a year. Its actually been on my mind for a while, but meeting Jennie of the Ugly Dame really gave me the inspiration to take that final step and just do it!

(Aww, Thanks Amber - and I didn't have to bribe her to say that either!)

What Is Your Favorite Color?

Do I have to choose just one? I love all the colors but my favorite is blue or maybe a nice color of pink.
Amber of The Industrious Lady inspecting the goods of a vendor,
she has a very keen eye! You can find that out yourself in her many
research and tutorial posts.

What Do You Do Aside from Sew and Blog?

While sewing does take up most of my waking hours, I also attend a local college where I RA in the dorms. I also knit, ride horses, and also study the different time periods that I sew. Sewing period clothes makes one look like a civil war woman, while studying the period’s mannerisms and ideas teaches you how to be behave and think like one.

What Are Your Sewing, Blogging, Reenacting, Etc.  Challenges That You Would Like to Achieve? Goals?

My goal for reenacting is to learn, and recreate history. To learn about the old trades and ways that have disappeared over the last century.

What is One Thing That You Would Like People To Know About You?

I’m just a silly, quirky girl who is a sewing addict and 19th century lover who hopes to share that love with others and hopefully inspire others like me.
So there you have it! A super quick Q&A with Amber of The Industrious Lady. If you have a moment do check out her blog (here)and her amazing work. She is most talented and I am looking forward to seeing what she creates in the future (Pssst, her project for the Halloween Sew Along is Amazing but you will have to follow her on her blog if you want to see more of it).

Thursday, October 3, 2019

The Halloween Sew Along with the Industrious Lady and the Ugly Dame

Halloween is October's pinnacle and I can remember my mom making all sorts of costumes for my sister and me to celebrate the day in. Who knows, maybe all those costumes are the reason I am here blogging today. Anyway, I am so excited to announce a new Sew Along but this time I teamed up with Amber from The Industrious Lady to bring to you The Halloween Sew Along. Where we are challenging you to create any Halloween or Halloween inspired vintage or historical garment, accessory or look to celebrate Halloween 2019!

Summon your inner Lilly Munster, Morticia Adams, or any spooky vision and shape it into any wearable item that can be vintage or even historical. Be creative, have fun and we cannot wait to see what you come up with! Of course for this sew along there will be a show and tell portion at the very end where Amber and I welcome you to share your creations. If you whip up a vintage item or something after 1900 inspired and would like to show it off, send it to me and if it is before 1900 send it to the 19th century loving Amber of The Industrious Lady.

Deadline for show and tell will be Sunday October 27 to get your pictures in for a Grand Show Thursday October 31. If you want to submit your work offer 1 to 2 good pics, a 3 sentence paragraph describing your project and a link to your site if you have one (don't worry, its not a requirement).  

If you are interested in the Halloween Sew Along and want to participate there are some rules for this one:

1) Your item must be either inspired by Halloween or even an original Halloween costume from the past. Your created item must be a vintage or historically inspired item. If your choose to recreate an original item, please share it so we can see your interpretation of it.

2) Only your own work please! We know it is tempting to buy a costume but for this we want to see your own creativity and hard work for this. If you used a pattern, tutorial, or the such let us know! Those are fine to use but make sure to give credit where it is due if you can.

3) Keep it kind of clean or like PG - 13. If in doubt if you would not show it to Grandma then please refrain from sharing it with us. We know gore goes hand in hand with Halloween but lets keep it clean for this one, ok?

Are you ready? Let's Go!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Floral Corsage Tutorial - Clover Fields

To me spring says clover. I think those little clover flowers are so cute - in pink or white - so when I found I had vintage clover leaves and flowers in  my lot I was so excited. How unique are these? I don't know about you but I have not seen these in the long rows of Hobby Lobby flowers. . .. . .
To make my clover corsage I started with the leaves and flowers wired together. I did not want to break them up.

I also added, as you can see, little white flowers to break up the intense pink of the flowers along with little buds for a pop of added interest. Honestly I'm sure it does not need it but I wanted to add in more because with vintage more is just more. Like my previous corsages, the stems are wired together and I do not use safety pins or otherwise. I prefer corsage pins. For this corsage, I arranged the flowers and leaves a bit staggered so that I could get some more length out of the corsage and to show off to advantage each clover leaf and flower. Above you can kind of see what I mean and how I did it.