Monday, December 20, 2010

Glitter and Grit - December 18th continued

I decided to split this post up since it would have resulted in one distractingly long post if left otherwise. After the ballet on Saturday I had a little time to hang out before heading out to my next event. I got a little work done on another one of those Pixie baby hats that I made, since I've got another pregnant friend to make a gift for. I'd like to get his finished for her for Christmas so I've been scrambling to get it done. I'll share some pictures once I get it all together.

Anyway, Saturday night my best friend and her beau had their annual Christmas party, Glitter and Grit. Perfect name for it. I couldn't go last year (I don't remember why) and I almost missed it this year. I was supposed to go to another party, but the ballet set me behind and I was going to have to drive by myself, 30 minutes plus both ways, and just really didn't feel like doing that so instead I went to Laura's party. I'm very glad I did too because I got to spend time with some of my dearest friends that I hardly get to see anymore. I headed over a little early so I could get a parking spot right out front and I figured they could maybe use an extra hand with final preparations. I was right, and was more than happy to help finish up chopping and arranging.

Sean even decorated the kitchen with ornaments and such! There was tons of delicious food and Sean really outdid himself on the decor.

Santa served as the backdrop for a makeshift holiday photo booth. 
Watch out Martha! You've got some competition.
There's a better one of these on someone else's camera. Stephanie got a little blocked in this one. 
Candy girls. I technically don't work there anymore, but after 8 years I think I deserve to maintain the title.

I discovered later that night that not only is this dress amazing to begin with, but it also has a pocket! It does only have one on the right side, which I thought was a little funny, but one pocket is better than none. It's buried down in the pleats which is why I never noticed it before. It was a great party and we all had a wonderful time. There was plenty of delicious food, lots of dancing and good conversation and just enough craziness on the dance floor. You really can't beat an elf breakdancing to Lady Gaga, and what Christmas playlist is complete without the Antoine Dodson remix? I had not intended on staying out late since we had an early morning on Sunday, but I ended up getting home about 1:00. It was well worth it though. I love my friends and had so much fun. A great big heartfelt thank you to our two wonderful hosts! Love you both!

December 18 - Day 124

Saturday was my annual trip to see the Nutcracker at the ballet. My aunt has been giving me a season ticket to the ballet for my birthday and Christmas for years. We always go out to lunch and then to the Saturday matinees. It's really fun, and it's been neat to see the way they have adapted some of the ballets over the years. This year was the second time they've done the newly revamped production of The Nutcracker. I really like what they've done to it also. This was also the first year that my cousin's little girl got to go with us. She'll be five in a few months and she was in absolute awe for the first act. She sat there in her new Christmas dress with her mouth gaping open at the magic happening on stage. She was getting a little tired by the second act, but she behaved really well.

(Please excuse the mess behind me. A lot of that is stuff that's been in transit the past week.) I really wanted to try and switch up my outfits this year, so I decided to rotate what I wear to which event a bit more. I wore this dress of Dot's to a Christmas Carol last year, but I didn't have a crinoline to go under it yet. I finished this one over the summer and the dress definitely benefits from it. This was not one that Dot made, but it's really fabulous. I was ecstatic when I pulled this one out of the bag. It's got a fun, all over strawberry print with black velvet accents on the dropped shoulders. The belt actually belonged to my grandmother, Nana, but it matches this dress perfectly, almost like they were made to go together. I twisted my hair up into a simple twist and put on my polka-dot stockings and my patent leather pumps. I wore Nana's mink coat with it too, since it was so cold out, but I wanted you to be able to see the dress to full advantage.

The shoulders have rhinestones under the velvet trim also, which is part of the reason Nana's belt matches so well.

I'm lookin' a little shiny in this one (I didn't have time to take pictures until I got home and really should have powdered off before doing so), but I did a pretty simple eye and a really bold lip to go with my vintage inspired holiday look. I just recently found this tutorial from the girls at Pixiwoo. I've used a lot of their tutorials for inspiration and I'm really impressed with them all. I really loved the lip in this tutorial though and decided to try out something similar.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Wishful thinking...

I've been noodling around on the internet a lot recently ogling various pairs of shoes and other lovely things that I want. While I never put together an actual Christmas list per-say, and even if I did most everything on it would occupy a merely fantastical place on the Christmas list anyway, here a just a handful of the things I've been drooling over recently.

The first is this lovely pair of 1920s evening shoes from Remix, the Ritz.

Now we move on to another pair of their shoes, Myrna. Isn't she beautiful?

And then there is Rita...

I don't really care for the yellow, but the red, pink and black, etc are all wonderful.

The pleated toe wedgies are really cute too. I love the red ones!

Well, enough with the shoes already. I also found a few books recently that I'd love to have. The first one is thoroughly nerdy; a book about the effect of politics on fashion in post colonial Argentina. It's called Couture and Consensus and sounds really interesting.

I also really like this copy of Amado Nervo's El estanque de los lotos. I included a poem from it in my post a couple of days ago. The copy I have is on loan from the University of Arkansas Library and it's a 1927 edition. It's lovely and I'd really like to find a similar early edition somewhere. I found a few with relatively reasonable prices at

I've also been itching to get the new Bruce Springsteen boxed set The Promise. I have the CD, but I'd really like to have the DVDs and such. It's got the best version of Racing in the Street ever! I was really tempted to buy the whole set when it came out, but it was just a bit steep. I'm really loving the CD though, and very glad I went ahead and bought it.

In other news....

the fabric for my Poiret outfit got here on Friday afternoon. I can't remember whether I already told you all or not. It's beautiful! It's a bit lighter weight than I had anticipated, but it's going to be lovely. I also got several new patterns in the mail Friday. They were very on sale so I had to go ahead and get them.


I've been thinking about getting the first Claire Shaffer jacket pattern for a while, and now that it was on sale I jumped at it. The other was just so interesting I opted to just get both. The Vintage vogue dress pattern is another that I've been wanted for a while. I really like the reversible swing coat and the fit of the sheath dress. The hat pattern is another we didn't have, and the coat pattern is the perfect winter coat. I'd love to make a nice heavy one, maybe in a plaid, who knows. The two evening gown patterns really were just a frivolity. I think they're both so pretty, and the one with the trumpet hem and the big bow is just too fun. I never have anywhere to wear anything like that and I don't hope to have any occasion to wear either of them anytime soon, but I just love them both and they were cheap so I went for it. Maybe some day I'll have a fancy, black tie event to go to (but I'm not going to hold my breath).

I'd better get back to this paper, but I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Blue Wool Dress

First of all I want to thank you all for your sweet compliments. I had a lot of fun working on this dress and and am very happy with it, and it makes me happy to know that other people like it so much as well. Several of you have been asking about the pattern for this dress. I did use a pattern as a base, but altered it quite a bit to suit my design. It's an original 1950s Butterick pattern that I found several years ago. There's no date on it, but I'm guessing it's probably early '50s. If anyone has information to confirm or contradict this I would appreciate it! Anyway, this is the pattern.

This is not a picture of my pattern envelope. Mine is a size 12, but it's Butterick 8476. I eliminated the peplum, widened the neckline 2.25" on either side in the front and altered the back pieces to create the two-piece crossover. I also shortened the hem two inches since I'm a bit on the shorter side. I didn't the first time I used this pattern, and I still like it, but it could have been shortened just a bit. I also fully lined the dress. Several of you have also asked about the sleeves. They are comfortable and, despite the weight of the fabric, do not feel bulky. The armhole is cut low enough that the fabric doesn't all bunch directly under the arm. It's a bit more evenly dispersed.

Y para mis hispanohablantes...en cuanto a las mangas, no son incómodas. Me quedan bien, sin fruncirse (no estoy segura si es la palabra correcta), a pesar del peso de la tela. Espero que eso os ayude.

I think that should answer everyone's questions, but if not please let me know and I'll try and help with any more information I can. You can see my finished version here, and some of the progress here. I hope that all of you are having a great week and enjoying these first few days of December!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Finished Pixie Cap

I just finished the baby hat I was making for my friend's baby shower. I'm really happy with it. I did add a little pom-pom to the point. It's so cute, and I can't wait to give it to her!

The colors are most accurate in this photo. 

In case you missed the previous post, I found the pattern on Ravelry. For those of you who are members it's the Vintage Pixie Cap pattern.

Monday, October 18, 2010

My first blog award!

I just received my first blog award from Nancy at The Hem M A Blog! Thank you again, Nancy. I appreciate it.

Alright, so here's how this works. The rules are:

1. Accept the award. Post it on your blog along with the name of the person who awarded it along with a link to their blog.

2. Pay it forward to 15 other bloggers that you have recently discovered.

3. Contact those bloggers and let them know they've been chosen.

I'm not sure if I'll be able to get all the way up to 15. I'd like to spread the love as much as possible, so I'll try to avoid too many repeats.

I'll start with a few and keep working.

1. Debi at My Happy Sewing Place...

2. Lauren at Tea and Crumpets

3.All the lovely ladies at The Dandy Lion

4. Lizzy de Enamorada de la moda vintage!!!

5. My bestie at Whispering Loudly

6. The ever elegant Baroness at Tea With the Vintage Baroness

7. The lovely Syd Divine at The Golden Girl of the West

8. My gals at The Dundee Candy Shop

9. Stefanie Valentine of It's All Make Believe, Isn't It?

10. Katie at Remaking Memories

Well, that's 10 at least. Now I just have to let them all know!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

1940s Fall Fashions

A friend of mine recently gave me this pattern catalog from 1947-1948. It has some really fun things in it, and the drawings provide back views of all the garments as well. I'd love to see if I can find the patterns anywhere, since I have all of the pattern numbers. I have a feeling it might be a little like searching for a needle in a haystack, since it's not one of the standard, big name mail order pattern companies, but I do love some of the designs. I'm working on getting the whole catalog scanned and posted for you all to look through. For now, I have the first six or seven pages done. Which ones are your favorites?

You can see the rest of the pages on my flickr page. I'll have the rest of the catalog uploaded soon.

I also have some 1930s drafting and draping books that I'm working on copying and hopefully scanning to share with you all. That's going to take quite a bit of time, though, so I can't make any promises as to when I'll have it done.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

August 19th - Day Three

Today's dress is one that I invented using bits and pieces of other patterns and adding a few touches myself. The top of the dress was taken from an early 1930s pattern I found a few years ago, and the skirt was actually the skirt from the pattern I used for the dress in my first post (I double checked and it is indeed a Marian Martin pattern but I can't find a printing date anywhere). As promised I'm including some pictures of the pattern envelopes themselves.

1940s Marian Martin mail order pattern, featured in post on the 17th. The pattern still has the initial transfers, but I've never actually used them. I may eventually make another version of this dress using the transfers, but who knows.  

1930s dress pattern, no company name or date
The fabric that I used is a 1930s reproduction print that I found at a fabric store in Paducah, Ky. Sadly The Guild is no longer in business, but at the time they carried an extensive collection of reproduction printed cottons ranging in date from 1810-1940, that comprised a good 75% of their inventory. I loved the tiny cherry print, and the fact that they were all different colors thrilled me. I incorporated each of these colors into the top stitching and the thread loops at the back of the neck.

The pockets I made out of the corners I had left from cutting out the skirt, and the ribbon I found to use at the neck has tiny white polka dots that mimic the cherry pattern on the dress. The belt is separate and was a bit of an afterthought. I felt like it needed a little more definition at the waist, and the belt was the perfect answer, since taking it apart to add a waistband was more than I wanted to mess with.

Now, as promised the patterns from the blouse and shorts I wore yesterday...

1941 Du Barry blouse pattern with three style options.

1949 McCall's pattern for Misses' bathing suit, coat, and trunks.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Wardrobe Project

At the urging of one of my professors, and after much contemplation, I have finally decided to embark on a year long, thorough documentation of my daily wardrobe. While it doesn't necessarily follow the dictates of current fashion trends, a quick perusal of my closet reveals a number of clear trends in style reflecting the significant role that fashion plays in my life. Spurred on by my own interest in fashion and costume history, I have managed to construct a wardrobe comprised to a great extent of things I have made myself, inspired by the period of fashion I find most compelling, 1930-1960. The attention paid to personal dress and the effort required to achieve the neatly styled outfits of these decades is something I find sadly lacking in modern society. There is a certain refinement that a well planned and carefully accessorized outfit lends to the wearer and the attitude that such a costume conveys is one of confidence on the part of the wearer and a certain degree of respect for the society in which a person lives. The styles of the mid twentieth century lend themselves both to a preservation of that sort of polished wardrobe as well as the ease of modern sportswear. It's just as easy to put on a dress and nice sandals as it is to throw on sweatpants and a t-shirt (a look I personally never leave the house in). That said, my (sometimes failed) attempts to achieve this same style in my own wardrobe are what I intend to track here. You'll get the good along with the bad, and seeing just how often things pop up in my daily life may actually help me clean out my closet when all this is said and done. So here it goes...
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