Thursday, February 14, 2019

A Look for Valentine's Day

Since its Valentine's day, I figured a Valentine's day inspired look was in order. I chose from my wardrobe my bright lip stick red skirt and paired with it my 1949 Lutterloh make blouse with hints of pink. I think this is such a simple and colorful outfit but is one that is not too obnoxiously bright. For a bit of texture and fun, I chose a sea shell brooch with various hints of pinks and purples.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Embroidered Collar Tutorial

Here is a simple embroidered collar tutorial that has a lot of potential for creativity. I based these simple collars off of a couple originals in my collection and some illustrations in my Der Goldene Schnitt books . These are simple triangles that go on either side of a V neckline like found in the shirtwaist dress. For mine, I have 3 examples: a plain one and two in embroidery. Embroidery is a great way to make more unique an item for little money.

To start, you will need some white cotton and optional embroidery floss along with basic sewing supplies such as sewing thread, scissors, and an embroidery hoop if you choose to do the embroidery - it will be very helpful. I would recommend  cotton that has a nice hand to it - not too stiff and not too loose that it will fray horribly as you work it. I used a plain white cotton, a very high grade quilters cotton actually and had pretty good luck with it. Since you do not need a whole lot of material, less than a 1/4 yard, I think this is a project where the best you can buy will not break the bank.
For mine, I cut 2 squares each 11.5 inches square of my white cotton. Your could be larger or smaller. For the plain collar, fold the square diagonally, sew leaving a small section for turning inside out, turn, then finish and done! Make 2, one for each side.
Super simple!! To apply to the garment, tuck into the neckline and pin or sew in place.

To make mine more personalized, I embroidered my initials on 2 of them and for one I stitched a floral wreath.

For my embroidery, I used 3 main stitches: back stitch, satin stitch, and a chain stitch. I would recommend an embroidery handbook if you intend to pick up embroidery as a hobby, it's a worthy investment filled with insight. You can also look online for videos on how to execute these stitches. I'm not too good at videos otherwise I would have some one here. With that said, there are a lot of ways to learn these simple stiches. I learned with a book, an antique book that I found to be invaluable.

As a whole,  my designs started off in pencil as I traced the letters from a book of mine and was inspired by the little flowers to make up my own. Once I had the design penciled in, I did the skinny lettering part and any skinny lines  with a back stitch. For the thicker parts,  a satin stitch. Once I had the sketching done, I set my fabric into an embroidery hoop and got to work. Below, some of the original illustrations from my book that helped me:

 For the thicker parts, I do outline my design with a small running stitch, then finish it off with the larger stitching, the satin stitching. The running stitch outline helps keep my work looking more contained and neat. below you can see some of my process:
Above you can see my pencil sketch, the running stitch outline and then my satin stitching.
My leaves are done here and I am working on the flowers I started with pencil, then a running stitch, and then I go to work starting from the edge of my work and then making stitched towards the center which I worked a little French knot. You can see I did not go all the way to the center, that was because I wanted to add another pink in the middle. You can see my finished flower below:  
Embroidery for your collars can be as simple or as complex as you want. It is really up to you. Better yet, these collars add a nice personalized touch to simple outfits:

Monday, February 11, 2019

Navy Wool Dress from 1942

This is the original wool dress that I made from the 1942 Lutterloh supplement pattern. This is one of my favorite dresses and is one that gets a lot of wear. Its a navy blue wool with a hint of plaid in is that is really hard to see even in person so it does not photograph well to start. This dress was finished with a vintage button and buckle set and actually instead of a side zip, I chose poppers. For this dress, I am wearing another one of my collars that will have a tutorial up here soon! I promise as I am really looking forward to it.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Wool Dress from 1942

This 1942 spring/ winter Lutterloh supplement pattern is one of my favorites but up until this point, I had only made it once. The one dress is my favorite winter wool dress and I realized I needed more. Thankfully I had saved the pattern and in two nights, I had added a new wool dress. I had some tan dress weight wool with a grey subtle check creating lines in my stash and that's what I used  the wool is so soft and has a beautiful drape. Best of all, I have enough for another dress!.

This dress is very simple and is an excellent platform for collars. The collar that I  am wearing now I have a tutorial planned out for so stay tuned for that. The bodice is a double breasted one, the sleeves an elbow length just like illustrated in the pattern. The skirt, a simple tailored number. For the belt, I chose a tie belt for something fun and different. . .   Actually it's an idea I took from a 1941 Lutterloh design. . .  I liked the simplicity.

This dress was so easy to make and I love these buttons. I had a hard time deciding on buttons but I chose these four large ones in a close color to the wool. I think they work really well.

I'm glad I now have another winter wool dress to add to my wardrobe rotation. It's a category that I feel I am lacking in but hopefully that will change here as winter starts to slowly. . . .slowly. . .   Very slowly come to an end. Best yet, with the hint of grey in this wool and the tone of the tan I think this will pair well with my new to me grey suit.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Vintage Takes Time, Vintage Takes Effort . . . .

Vintage takes time, vintage takes effort . . . . But it is totally worth it! When I started to wear vintage I had no idea that I would be blogging about it and getting noticed because of it either. . .Wearing vintage was something that I decided to do for myself for a few reasons and many tell me that they love the look, want the look themselves  but not the effort to get the look. . . I will admit that wearing vintage and having a vintage looks does take a lot of time and effort. . It is not something that occurs over night and not even over a period of a few months . . It has taken me a couple of years of wearing, collecting, researching, and looking at what others were doing to curate my own vintage look.

When I started to get into vintage, I was into almost every decade and had stuff from the 50s and 60s . . .20s and 30s  . .. Gradually I narrowed my focus to the 40s only and then a little 50s and 30s . . .I think I gravitated to the 40s the most simply because I thought it suited my own figure the most and looked the most flattering on me. It took me awhile to figure that out so in curating my 40s look, yeah, that was a very gradual process and it was one that I think really paid off. I like the way it looks on me and so do others . . Its kind of a win - win. . . Does that mean I wear only 40s? Oh no, I have a nice collection of 50s suits too but I am a bit picky . . .

Once I knew the look that I wanted, I had to make it . . That was a process of mostly trial and error . . Figuring out how to do my hair, how to accessorize, finding the right red lip stick, etc. As a whole, vintage takes time and vintage takes effort. . . Once I had all the little bits and pieces assembled, it was then putting them together .. . I think at this stage of my vintage wearing adventure I am at the putting it all together phase and that's a lot of fun . . of course, I still am acquiring the occasional piece but it is to fill in the little gaps once  I find them . . . I would say one thing that helps in wearing vintage is having something for all seasons and weather conditions . . . That definitely makes getting dressed easier and having a practical vintage look too.

I would say that as a whole it does take longer for me to get dressed compared to someone who wears more modern attire . . I know my sister who wears mostly modern clothes (o.k. all modern clothes) gets dressed much faster than I do and I even need to have notice! I am not really one who can dress on a whim. First of all, with vintage you can dress for the occasion . . For example, what I wear out or shopping in the afternoon is not what I may wear when out for dinner in the evening and with Vintage one needs to have the just right everything (bag, gloves, hat, etc. . . ) On and the layers . . .. . Why? Because with vintage there are layers . . .

Vintage clothing is in layers . . . First are the under garments that need adjustment like bullet bras, girdles, and stockings (need to have straight seams you know . .  .). Why are these so important? Because they offer a really nice foundation and allow vintage clothes to rest on the body juuuuust right. Once those are adjusted and proper, one can actually dress . . .Whether it be a suit, a dress, or a look of separates the clothes need extra attention to detail . . . . Such as pressing, steaming, and ensuring they are most wearable and presentable. Last are the accessories - hats, gloves, shoes, bags, jewelry, etc. . . Need a coat? Well which coat will do? The long tan wool one or the long black one trimmed with fur? With each look there are a lot of moving pieces if you will and figuring out the right hat with the right shoe to the right glove takes some serious thinking and figuring . . .It takes some work and effort I think more than modern clothing but again, I think the end result is totally worth all the effort. Are all looks glamourous? Of course not - There are plenty of causal vintage looks out there that take so much less effort but still look amazing.

For those starting out, yes the amount of time and effort into just getting dressed and adjusting the foundation garments/ underwear can be rather daunting but the more you do it, the more you get used to it. . .Eventually it becomes a daily habit. I remember when I started to pin curl my hair . .. I did this every night and it look a long time too . . .Over time I got be faster at it and now it is a part of my habit and I think very little of it . . .In fact, not pin curling my hair is odd to me now!  Same to putting on seamed stockings, adjusting my bullet bra, and so much more. . . Vintage takes time and vintage takes effort but it is really worth it.

Monday, February 4, 2019

A Look at Two German Photo Albums

I am constantly on the hunt for artifacts relating to WWII German civilians so when these two photo albums came up I had to have them to add to my ever growing collection. These photo albums are especially unique because they are German civilians! Two albums depicting two different families and two very different perspectives. When they arrived I was enthralled by the details and the clothes (naturally). One of the things that really caught my eye was in the small album - stockings! I was so surprised to see girls wearing stockings in the pictures and to have some dated to 1943 of all years. These photographs from both albums, over 100, showed a variety of people wearing dresses, separates, hats, leg wear, and so much more at different occasions from weddings, to picnics, to mountain climbing, and just hanging out with friends. These images offered insight into what appeared to be normal people in normal situations wearing normal clothing. I was clearly excited. In my hands were primary examples of real clothing instead of those found in  pattern books and magazines.

The photographs between the two albums dated between the late 20s to the 40s in one book and in the other all 40s based on the silhouette of the clothing and the stray dates scribbled on some of the photos. It is unknown where the images were taken in Germany or the names of the people inside. It is also unknown their occupations, histories and social economic status. Based on the clothing and the content of the images I think the individuals in the albums lived comfortably and appeared to spend a great deal of time in the country. There are almost no urban settings, the most stone I see in one looks to be in front of a castle possibly. On vacation?? Living in a beautiful home? I suppose anything is possible . . . .

I am guessing that the smaller photo albums based on the images inside was owned by a young female in her teens or 20s. Inside are many images of other young women who I imagine were friends and family. This is a small album so I am thinking its a personal one. Based on the clothes and dates, I think the bulk of the images inside are from the 40s as a whole with most from the early 40s but cannot be entirely certain as not all are dated.
The second one, a larger one, is a family album filled with images of weddings, picnics, and more. The people range from young infants to possibly aunts, uncles and grand parents. A wide range of ages are represented. Based on the clothing, it looks like some of the photographs are from the late 20s, 30s and early 40s. There are many images of farm animals so I think this family may have a farming background or live in the countryside.

Both albums offer a different perspective I think. The smaller one from a young woman and the other of that of a large family. For my own interests I looked closely at the clothing and was so excited at what I saw and I hope you are excited too as I plan on showing off the contents of the albums on here over time along with some analysis. If you are interested in building a German civilian impression, then I think you will find the content of these images of great use.