Tuesday, March 19, 2019

50s Fruits

I came across these amazing fruity clip on earrings a long time ago and I could just NOT pass them up. They were the pinnacle of fun and 50s novelty. To wear with these colorfully fruity accessories, I chose a navy 50s suit, red beads, and a green scarf. I wanted to keep my outfit simple here to not distract from the earrings which are clip-ons.

I like to think I am channeling my inner Carmen Miranda here which is a different change of pace for me but I think its a lot of fun trying on some new things here. . . even if they were found I my box of goodies.  Will these beauties be up here more in the future? I'm not sure because they are so wild but keep your eyes peeled (I could not help the fruit pun there. . . but there are bananas, pears, apples, and cherries here so . . yeah).

Sunday, March 17, 2019

A New Look for Me. . . . A Wool 50s Circle Skirt

If this is a new look here then it is . . . As of late with all that has gone on I decided that maybe a new look was in order. . . Something to keep my mind occupied, my skills sharpened, and my wardrobe fresh. To help kick start building up my new look, I sorted through my patterns and pulled out a few good simple dress patterns, blouse patterns, and skirt patterns. I knew eventually I would want lots of good separates and that's what you have here for your viewing pleasure . . . . I have to admit, if you want to be thrifty, a good plain skirt is the best way to go. There is so much versatility in a good plain skirt.

The material was a super soft and fine dress weight wool that I could have turned into a 40s dress or else a 50s full skirt and you can guess what I picked. I love this fabric!! Its so soft and has a great drape. To make this skirt a little special I did what I like to call a sweetheart waist band (because its looks like the top of a heart . .. ) . . .I've seen these waistbands cut like this before on some vintage patterns and I just wanted to try it here. . .I did not have a pattern for the waist band so I just winged it.

The soft grey color makes pairing it with other pieces I already have easy. For this look, I chose pink. . .I am wearing my 1949 Lutterloh blouse with pink embroidery which you can see here and a pink vintage sweater. To play up the spring theme, a white floral pin and I added a smaller horseshoe pin for St Patrick's day.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Sewing My Wool 50s Dress

This is my first 50s dress that I have done from a pattern, a vintage printed pattern, in a long time. The pattern that I used was a vintage mid 50s Simplicity pattern that looked simple but still had a really unique neckline with the little notches. To make this one, I chose a tan wool with hints of grey in it. I had some left over from a 40s dress and this was ideal material for another winter dress.
I knew this pattern was going to be a little too big for my measurements but I knew not by much. After some creative cutting, I almost did not have enough! I managed to cut out all the pieces that I needed including the 3/4 length sleeve which I wanted instead of the short sleeve for a winter dress. The skirt was cut in panels but sadly the end result was NOT at full as the picture! And yes, I did cut all of them with the center front panel on the fold. The skirt still had some nice flair to it but not enough for a petticoat. I did have to take it in like I had predicted but only by a bit so that was nice and it did not distort the darts or the final look which was an added bonus. Overall, this was an easy sewing project but to add in some character I embroidered the neckline with a blanket stitch and French knots. For buttons, I was split between two grey button styles but with the help of my dear friends, I chose the larger grey buttons with the shank in the back.

 Of course I had to try the collar and cuffs! I chose the more narrow collar to start with and the cuffs as well. These were super simple to make and I chose to make mine form a plain white cotton and did not embellish them .
I think I have found my new favorite pattern though! I really loved the bodice and the sleeves and although I was not a fan of the skirt, I wanted something fuller, I plan on subbing in my full circle skirt pattern next time. I hope to make a few more dresses from the pattern though such as a cotton dress and may be a linen version as well. I guess stay tuned for more!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

40s Denim (At Last! )

Finally here are the 40s jeans/ denim that I have hinted at for long enough. These were made from a Folkwear that I have been using for awhile. These jeans though are my best pair yet because I have finally got them fitted in all the right areas and they feel great I am really happy with them. Will I be making more? You bet.

The material I used here was a dark blue cotton denim I got last year ( I got a lot of it). They close up the side with a side zipper and close at the waist with a button. They are a high waisted, straight legged trouser and are very comfortable.
Paired with these jeans is an original 40s sweater and a silk scarf. I kept this look really simple and practical because I had some work to do. My Dad and I are working on remodeling my kitchen in my new living space and so far so good. The walls and cabinets are all refinished, and now I've got a new door so I'm really excited. Floors will be next year and I am so excited. My goal is to get the place how it would have looked in the 40s and 50s (fun fact, my new home was completed in 1955!). A vintage house for a vintage gal.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Looking Forward to . . . . Spring!

There is something about spring that gets me all excited. I'm not sure if its the warmer weather, the green shoots peeping through the woodchips promising flowers ( I do like tulips), or knowing I can bust out my summer clothes. I think it may be the busting out of summer clothes that gets me all excited because as you now I do love a good cotton shirt waister in a fun color and print. For whatever reason I feel my winter wardrobe is not nearly as fun as my spring and summer one so I will have to fix that eventually. My winter suit selection is excellent though I think so all good on that front.

The power of clothes is really something isn't it? I mean it, I don't know about you but when I'm feeling blue its fun to put on something fun and it kind of takes the curse off.

This year I am especially excited about spring because I have some new looks that I will be sporting . .. What are these you ask? Some full skirted 50s frocks! I normally don't wear full skirted 50s pieces because they take a lot of fabric to make compared to a 40s dress but my life this winter pushed me to try something new and different. Lets just say my new year started on a rough note and I wanted to do something fun and up lifting. That and I had a little encouragement to get back into the 50s as well - thanks you know who! I will be keeping these new looks under wraps until I debut them on here so until then you have to put up with these . . . .

Believe it or not, I used to wear nothing but 50s pieces but that was before I was into blogging. I did save some pieces but most of them I got rid of when a local high school was looking for pieces for a play. I promptly donated most of those items because I figured they needed and wanted them more than me. Thankfully I saved my underpinnings. I have no idea why but I'm so glad that I did. My crinoline is a staple for these looks and so are some of my other pieces.  I guess its just amazing the things you end up using after so many years of not using them. The benefits of being a pack rat! Who knew!

This spring will be a new one for me as over the winter I moved into a new living arrangement and one that I am still getting used to. The house was built in 1945 so its a vintage house for a vintage girl. Although its in really rough shape and I've been living in a construction site I'm looking forward to all the potential that there is to offer. One of the things that I am trying to get used to is a much smaller closet space. And I mean a much smaller space! Now I have a closet that is 1/3 the size I am used to so I've had to be a little creative. Expect a post on that soon because it was really something. Basically the bulk of my thoughts this winter centered on where to put stuff! But this spring I hope to have my living situation more settled and more comfortable . . . I know it will be awhile yet for me to be officially settled but I feel Spring time will be a great opportunity to really take it all in.
Aside from some new 50s looks I hope to show off more of the Casablanca Wardrobe Challenge and finish that off, I think starting that in the fall may have been a bone headed idea . . . . .but I had the winter to sew the white dress jumper look sew there. By the way, do you know how hard it is to find navy and white stripe fabric when you want it? Very . . . . This spring I hope to get back to sewing some basics too like blouses . . . . Almost all of my blouses that are white are no longer white and have many mysterious stains (some blueberry juice stains I will admit)  . . . . I'm a little bummed I need to replace them but they had a really good run so that's good.  Oh, and more sewing to replace them too so that's a plus.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Winter Leaves Shirtwaist Dress

Using my 1942 and 1941 shirtwaist patterns, along with some alterations I made this winter leaves shirtwaist dress. I really find the shirtwaist dress to be really versatile for me and to make this one more distinctive, I made some adjustments to the bodice by inserting gathered side panels and adding some pockets which I already sowed you how to make in a tutorial. For my day to day living, a shirtwaist dress just works for me as its easy to wear in the house and out and can be accessorized lots of different ways. For me, it works.
To make this dress, I took my basic shirtwaist top pattern, made a copy of it and eliminated  the shoulder dart by folding it and taping it. Once I did that, I sketched out my panels and cut those out leaving an L like shape for the bodice front and shoulder. Using my cut out side panels, I made indications to add fabric that would the gathered to fit the now vacant bodice sides Overall, this was a simple alteration for me to do and so far I really like the effect of the gathers. Once change that I wished I had made was the sleeve being cut a bit roomier. . . . I must not have added enough seam allowance on my pattern but it is still very wearable and I am loving my new winter shirtwaist dress. This is a really high grade cotton and has some nice body to it. To finish the bodice, some green vintage buttons.

To style this look, I chose some pearls in the form of a necklace and earrings as well as a green clip to the neckline. Since its cold out, white-ish knee high socks and a low heeled shoe. I'm excited for spring so I can wear this look in the sunshine but until then, sweaters it is . . . .

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Sewing with a Purpose

I enjoy sewing, that is no secret here at all as most of my wardrobe is made by yours truly but I don't sew for the sake of sewing (well sometimes I do . . . ). For me, I try to sew with a purpose . . . I try to sew clothes I know I need or I know will only enhance my wardrobe to make it more versatile and fit my changing needs. Sometimes that means I can't always sew the things that I would love to like more Civil War gowns. . . Why? Because I have no need for another, don't have to storage space for another, and know that long term my money is better spent on something else. . . .Basically sewing another Civil War gown does not have a practical purpose for me at this point but blouses that can be worn with my many suits, skirts, and use up the goodies in my stash are another story. Blouses have a purpose in my wardrobe. Not only that but they are beyond practical for my own needs. Clothes that use some new shapes are on my list of goals this year too like square and sweetheart necklines, full 50s skirts, slimming pencil skirts, and maybe a stylish jacket to complete a look.

Other items that I have a use for are denim pants with 40s flare, simple cotton house dresses, and maybe some aprons as well. Now that I have a new living space, storage is an issue but I hope with some crafty storage that I may be ok with adding to my wardrobe as I go. . .  . This year, there are some new looks that I hope to play around with but these too need to be serving some sort or purpose . .. Some of the new looks that I want to play with are full skirted 50s dresses and pencil skirts. . .I have three frilly 50s frocks made up and I think these are going to be my "nice dresses" for spring and summer so I will need a couple of winter dresses I think and some pencil skirts as well for the fun of it in addition to one or two housedresses and everyday pieces.  With those pencil skirts, blouses but a good blouse can worn with any good skirt. I am also thinking 50s separates so stay tuned for some wardrobe planning post on 50s wear maybe.

Working wear . . . As you may or may not know, I am a blueberry farmer and try to wear my vintage style to work when I can. As my modern work clothes fall into disrepair, I replace them with a vintage equivalent the best that I can . . . This means rough and tumble ready pants and tops. Hopefully over time I will get a good post up here about my progress on some 40s and 50s farm wear. I am looking forward to that because I think its going to be a fun posting . . . .
So anyway, this year I want to push myself to SEW WITH A PURPOSE! Sew the clothes I know I need and instead of want (although maybe just one piece that I want and have no "real"  use for . . ..  ok, two but that's it .  . . maybe ). So far, I think I've done a good job with that. I've added to my winter wardrobe by adding a wool dress with detachable collars that can update other clothes. I replaced my basic black dress and I think the basic black dress really goes without saying that its a wardrobe staple. I've made a couple cotton house dresses, some denim work pants and some work blouses to go along with them and I've added some flair with some 50s dresses . . .  so what else is on my list?

Winter blouses/ tops for my 40s wardrobe
winter 40s dresses
winter 50s dresses  
Housedresses for 50s wear
50s Separates like skirts - pencil and full skirted
40s/ 50s working wear like jeans, blouses

Of course sewn pieces are not the only elements in my closet because I like to shop too. Some items that I hope to add to the closet this year are some wardrobe staples that I think I should have looked for years ago but better late than never eh? Here's what I am looking for:
hats in grey
gloves in grey
hat boxes for storage
pins and other pieces of cool jewelry and accessories (because I can)