Monday, September 28, 2015

Celebrating the First Day of Fall

This outfit was inspired by the articles in my fall photo contest. (See this post for all the details on how to enter.) This is a photo heavy post!

Brown was one of the colors mentioned over and over in the articles - brown suits and accessories such as hats, alligator bags and shoes. Brown can often be a blah color but happens to be a color I really like. It can be worn so many different ways and paired with an endless variety of other colors.

The line from the newspaper article that really started the planning for this outfit was as follows;

Brown appeared again and again in both accessories, suits and coats. One noteworthy ensemble included an imported tweed suit in a soft cinnamon brown shade worn with dark brown accessories and a nutria fur coat. - From the Dallas Morning News, July 25, 1940

As you may have guessed, it was a little too warm for a fur coat. I only wore it for the first few shots then had to take it off! It's the same late 1930s mink coat that I sported in this post. Did anyone one else have to look up the definition of "nutria?" Don't feel bad because I certainly did! Nutria, or coypu, is a semi-aquatic mammal native to South America. This large rodent is a cousin of the beaver and it's fur was a popular choice in the fashion industry for a number of years. It was also less expensive then mink and other more exotic furs.

I thought of pairing my my 1940s wool suit with green accessories, as I did here, because green was mentioned several times as a accent color in the articles. But I wanted to style the suit in a way that I had not done before. Orange was the next most obvious color for me to pick as it fits the fall theme so well. I've had these peachy/orange gloves for sometime now but have never worn them. My orange turban, which I made from a vintage pattern, has been crying out for a photo shoot since I finished it back in the spring. My pink leaf pin may seem a bit out place but I thought the color made an interesting contrast to the brown and orange. (I had intended to wear a pair of pink earring as well but forgot to put them on before leaving the house. Oops!) Plus it's almost the same shade as my new to me make up compact! Fall seemed the perfect time to pair these items all together. What do you think?

This 1940s makeup compact came in its original box plus this lovely little card! The front of the card is inscribed "To Ida, 1944." I would love to find out who Ida was and what she did during the war!

And these shoes!! Oh what more can I say other than I LOVE THEM! I picked these up from a vintage vendor at the Reading Airshow back in June. I've been searching for a pair of spectators for a long time but whenever I found a pair they were always the wrong size or out of my price range. These are a perfect fit and were very affordable for me. I guess some things are just meant to be!

The location for these photos is classic New England pure and simple. Quiet dirt road in the country, a covered bridge, the start of fall foliage, and railroad tracks near by. To top it all off it was a beautiful fall day! Warm, sunny, and bright blue sky. What more could you ask for?

Cori and I picked up this vintage Kodak camera at a local antique mall. As far as well know it's all in working order but we have not been able to find any film for it. Still, it makes a fun photo prop.

I'm planning a whole post on how to make your own turban. Plus I will be making one as part of my prize package for my fall photo contest!

Outfit Details
Blouse and gloves - thrifted
Shoes - Vendor at the MAAM airshow
Handkerchief - Vintage Vermont
Bakelite bracelets, compact and leaf pin - Stone House Antiques
Purse - Brimfield Antique Market
Turban - Made by me
Lip color - Chocolate Kiss by Besame (I don't think they offer this color any more which makes me sad. I ordered it as a sample and was hoping to order a tube.)

You still have plenty of time to enter my fall photo contest! There are lots of great prizes too! Contest closes October 18th. The winner and runner up will be announced on October 25th.

Also, between now and October 1st I'm having a special Etsy sale!  Use the code SPECIAL20 to save 20%. If you have had your eye on something now is the chance to save!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Announcing My Fall Photo Contest!

Exciting news everyone!! Remember my "Color Recipes for Spring" photo contest? (See the winners here.) I had such a great response to it that I have decided to host another one this fall! Start thinking wool suits, colorful crepe dresses, plaid coats, and furs! The cooler weather will be here sooner then most of us would like but this is the perfect excuse to bust out those fur coats and wraps. :) But it gets better. Judging all the lovely photos on my own last time was challenging so I thought I would call in the big guns this time around.

I am so very pleased to announce that I will be teaming up with Lauren of Wearing History and Jessica of Chronically Vintage to host this fall photo contest. Yippee!! (Thank you ladies!) Both ladies have graciously agreed to help me judge the photo entries. Not only that, we will each offer a special prize to the contest winner and runner up. (Details at the end of this post.) Both Lauren and Jessica have an amazing eye for vintage fashions and, let's face it, Jessica is the queen of coordinating vintage inspired ensembles. :)

2015 Fall Photo Contest Judges!! From L. to R. Emily of Emily's Vintage Visions, Jessica of Chronically Vintage and Lauren of Wearing History
This fall themed vintage photo contest will be very similar to the one I hosted in the spring. Below you will find two newspaper articles from 1940 describing some absolutely delightful vintage ensembles for fall. Like last time, your outfit must be inspired by the descriptions in the given articles and must be true 1930s/1940s vintage or vintage inspired from that era. Reproduction and newer clothing and accessories are of course welcome as long as they are in keeping with the spirit of the contest. You don't need to sew something new for this contest unless you really want to. ;) Use one or both articles to find your inspiration!

Couple attending a Texas college football game, circa 1940s. (Photo by George Strock//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images) Source

From the Dallas Morning News, September 18, 1940 
Accessories Are Fashion Show Theme. By Alma Cunningham.
Those saucy fillips of fashion - accessories - provided a theme for a showing of autumn clothes Thursday noon by A. Harris & Company, at the Century Room. That all important question of what to wear while cheering on the favored eleven was settled with a simple black crepe dress worn under a big plaid topcoat in tones of rust and brown. Its soft luxurious collar was made of lynx and the model wore alligator sandals with ankle straps, an alligator bag and a puff crown green hat tilted forward - all designed to take the attention away from the football field and put it on milady in the stands. Come football weather, the quarterbacks will have to look to their laurels to get the crowd looking their way.

More on the teacup side of the clock, a model wore one of the new tunic dresses with a slim shirt of dove brown crepe topped with a long blouse made of tapestry. She carried a brown skunk muff, barreled shaped, stabbed in the middle with a sparkling pin about the size of the palm of your hand.
Suits with long torso jackets in vivid colors over black or brown slim skirts were the order of the day. Inaugurating the call to colors was a trim little suit with Schiaparelli's sleeping blue making the jacket. The skirt was black to compliment a tiny Persian lamb collar and hat. Another suit went dramatic with a golden brown jacket with pockets of ocelot over a black skirt. A golden greenish bird with wings spread in flight topped the black ht, and the model carried one of the new elongated flat bags of black suede decorated with a spiral gold cord.

Change Basic Black Effect
The possibility of changing the looks of a basic black dress with a variety of accessories began with an all-black ensemble as to shoes, off-the-face hat, bag and gloves, but with a heavy necklace of Balenciaga's honey pearls. Another was shown under a hypnotic red full-length coachman's coat with black velvet collar. Two rhinestone clips, one a question mark, the other an exclamation point, were pinned on the bodice pockets of the dress.
The blouse of a long tunic dress in balsam green was given a horizontal stripe effect with bands of amber beads. The skirt looked new with a flounce effect, and this dress was effectively ensembled with a balsam green hat swathed in veiling, and brown accessories.
Green took a curtain call in a brighter shade, this time worn in a two-piece suit, and worn with, of all things, a bright red sailor and bright red gloves. A red bag and gloves were worn with a fleet gray wool suit, and red kid gloves provided a startling accent for a soldier blue jacket suit, otherwise ensembled with brown accessories.

A winter navy costume, a three-peice affair, with swagger length coat over a trim two-piece suit, showed a military influence with brass buttons marching down the front of the jacket, and an eagle in gold braid adorned the right sleeve. The model's hat was a sailor beret in navy felt and popped with red, perched on the back of her head behind her pompadour.

Black and pale blue, black with benedictine brown and black with vivid greens were outstanding in the daytime ensembles both in suits and dresses.

From the Dallas Morning News, July 25, 1940 
New Fall Hats Steal Show at Weekly Fashion Display by Alma Cunningham. 
New fall hats stole the show at the Wednesday afternoon fashion revue presented by Nieman-Marcus Company on Peacock Terrace. An off-the-face beret in bright green felt had a narrow band of black lace veiling across the eyes. The model wore this hat with a tailored black suit and carried a silver fox muff. Another hat that showed a Peruvian influence was a black and red felt pillbox type with a bright red silk scarf which extended from the sides of the hat, was brought together under the chin, thus framing the face, and draped across both shoulders.

The combination of colors in the hats was stressed again in a trim off-the-face brim felt, the crown of which was black, the facing of the brim brown, with the brim edged in taupe. The was shown with a tailored two-piece black wool suit and sables.

Brown Proves Popular.
Brown appeared again and again in both accessories, suits and coats. One noteworthy ensemble included an imported tweed suit in a soft cinnamon brown shade worn with dark brown accessories and a nutria fur coat. A striking coat for casual wear was made of imported tweed in huge plaids with fuchsia and red on a gray background. This was worn, too, with dark brown accessories, and the brown felt hat had a sweeping profile brim.

A two-piece suit of hound's-tooth check in silver and gray led the show and was ensembled with brown shoes, a bright red alligator bag, a trim gray felt hat, and the model wore a sparkling ruby red pin of brown glass on her coat lapel and silver earrings. 

The importance of the cape suit was emphasized in an ensemble with a full-length, flowing green and electric blue check woolen cape worn over an Indian summer brown jersey dress. Enlarged gold heart earring sparkled on the model's ear lobes, and she wore a green felt hat with a sweeping off-the-face brim, brown alligator bag and shoes.

Coats in brilliant colors looked especially new. A vivid Kelly green woolen in a fitted, slim silhouette and belted back was lined with a vivid red, and worn over a light beige dress. The model's hat matched the green of the coat and was trimmed with wavering turkey feathers that towered a good eight inches above the front brim.

Deanna Durbin Source


* Contest is open to everyone, worldwide! One entry per person, please.*

* To enter please leave a comment on this post. Then send up to two (2) photos of your outfit to me at vintagevisions27(at)gmail(dot)com no later then October 18th. Entries received after that time will not be included. One photo should show your whole outfit clearly, your second may be a view from the back, a close up or photo collage if you would like to highlight certain details such as hats, shoes, jewelry etc. Photos will be added to an album on my Facebook page so we can all enjoy your awesome vintage creation! You don't need to have a blog to enter but if you do please let me know so I can link back to you! (You are more then welcome to create your own blog post to show off your outfit. But please note only the two photos you email to me will count for the contest.) *

* Photos will be judged on creativity, use of color and accessories, and use of the newspaper descriptions. (You do not need to recreate a specific outfit from the articles but we should be able to see their influence on your choice of wardrobe.) Like last time, your outfit must be inspired by the descriptions in the given articles and must be true 1930s/1940s vintage or vintage inspired from that era. Reproduction and newer clothing and accessories are certainly welcome as long as they are in keeping with the spirit of the contest. Along with your photos please send a short description of your outfit, why you picked certain items, a line or two from the article, etc. *

* Photos do not need to be professional but please try to keep background clutter to a minimum. Choose a background or setting that will help show off your outfit! *

And now the good stuff! A great way to get a jump start on your holiday shopping!

Winner Will Receive the Following Prize Package
Vintage Related Goodies Bag Plus $30 in Store Credit from Emily's Vintage Visions
Beautiful Collection of Autumn Themed Accessories from Chronically Vintage
Vintage Sewing Goodies Bag Plus $30 in Store Credit from Wearing History

Runner Up Will Receive the Following Prize Package
Vintage Related Goodies Bag Plus $25 in Store Credit from Emily's Vintage Visions
$20 in Store Credit from Wearing History
$30 in Store Credit from Chronically Vintage

Lauren, Jessica and I will each create our own fall outfit inspired by the above newspaper articles. Stay tuned for that special blog post. Please feel free to share this contest with anyone who may be interested.
Good luck to all! I can't wait to see your outfits!!

- Just a quick little update! A few people have emailed me to say they were unable to leave a comment on this post. I'm looking into the issue and will hopefully have it fixed! Feel free to send me a quick note if you can't leave a comment and still want to participate, or you have questions about the contest. vintagevisions27(at)gmail(dot)com


Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Leisurely Labor Day Weekend

It's so nice to have a long weekend to enjoy at home. We had a little stay-cation as Cori's work schedule didn't allow us to travel. That's alright though, it was good to get some much needed cleaning, sorting, cooking, etc. done. I will have a couple food related posts coming up for you soon!

Last Monday was Labor Day so I decided to treat myself to a day of doing nothing! OK, not exactly true, I did get several things accomplished. But the morning was spent lounging and enjoying a new to me copy of a Sears and Roebucks 1942-43 fall and winter catalog. (I will have more of that to share later.) So of course I needed proper lounge attire.

This lovely blue and white polka dot hostess gown was gifted to be by one of my readers. Diane recently found my blog and contacted me to see if I would be interested in a vintage dress to remodel. I very gratefully excepted and in a few short days it arrived. My first thought when I unwrapped the dress was "Oh dear, it's much too long. I'll have to shorten it." And then I tried it on. I realized then that it was not a dress in the traditional sense, but rather a hostess dress or dressing gown. The type of garment meant to be worn around the home. And it fit perfectly with the exception of the length.

Don't worry, this will not be cut up or remodeled, I love it too much the way it is. It has pockets, little velvet ties and the cutest collar detail! And most important, it's comfortable and fun to wear!

It's still a bit long but when paired with a pair of cute boudoir slippers with heels, the length is just about right! I purchased these super cute slippers on ebay last year. They are just like this pair from FabGabs but without the slingbacks and are made from a multi-colored striped moire faille. The knotted pom pom on one of the shoes it a little wonky and will probably need to be reattached at some point. Eeek, I love them!!

This hostess gown was perfect to pair with my new robe. I don't have a lot of pink in my wardrobe but for some reason was really drawn to this piece. To be fair, it's more raspberry then pink. Check out the print! The dressing robe is made from a silky rayon material with a label that reads "Styled by Saybury."

It will need a bit of repair work here and there but over all is in great condition. It's another comfortable and creditably fun vintage piece to wear around the house.

Outfit Details
Hostess Gown - Gifted by a dear reader
Dressing Gown - Kriegsende Militaria 
Scarf - Thrifted
Slippers - Ebay 

Next Wednesday I will be releasing all the details for my fall photo contest! Stay tuned!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

1920s Plaid Dress - A Few More Photos

A few more pictures of my 1920s plaid dress. These were actually taken before the dress was 100% complete - it's missing the little white tabs and green buttons on the skirt. But I wanted to give it a test run. I wore this dress for the Roaring Twenties Lawn Party this summer which I wrote briefly about in my last post.

You also get to see a little bit of my yard and gardens. The flowers have mostly gone by, a sure sign that fall is not far away! I do love the fall but I'm always a little sad to see the summer flowers disappear.

My go to shoes for 20s inspired events. Not exactly perfect but they work for most events.

I wrote about the construction of this dress here. I used McCall 5632. It was fairly simple as many 20s dresses tented to be. Shortened the hem about 1 1/2", which is not unusual for me, I'm only 5' 2". The dress was a little high under the arms so I cut the arm holes a little deeper. Other then that I didn't need to make any changes.

And a few shots after playing with the colors in a photo editor.

And speaking of photos! Very soon (next week actually!) I will be formally announcing my vintage fall photo contest!! I will be teaming up with two well-know ladies in the vintage blogging world and will be offering some awesome prizes! This will be very similar to the photo contest I hosted back in the spring. Stay tuned for more details!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Another Great 1920s Lawn Party

Thank you all for your wonderful comments on my last post about the 1920s beach party! It was so much fun! :) Today I have a short post for you with only a couple pictures. These were taken the same day as the beach party.

The Great Boston Vintage Society did it again! The Roaring Twenties Lawn Party at the Crane Estate was a grand success! And guess what? The GBVS finally has their own webpage! This outstanding group of vintage enthusiasts are responsible for many of the awesome vintage inspired events I have attended and blog about during the last two years. Including the 1920s lawn and beach parties, the White Lightening Ball, and more! Check them out at
For the lawn party I made another 1920s dress!

I made my dress using McCall 5623 and some cotton plaid from my stash. The fabric was left over from my 1860s dress which you can see here in the first set of photos. (I really need to take some colored photos sometime!) I used the bodice portion of this same pattern to make a blouse which I wore for the first White Lightning Ball. You can see photos of that outfit here.

Construction was fairly straight forward. The bodice, like most 20s dresses, was a rectangle of fabric with darts at the shoulders/bust for a little shaping. The skirt is two panels of fabric set with box pleats. I decided to make my dress without sleeves as I knew it would be hot in the sun. The fabric was rather light weight so I did wear a slip underneath. I used white cotton, dyed off white with coffee, to make the sailor style collar, belt and accents on the skirt. After digging through my buttons and buckles and came up with some green ones that matched pretty well.

And because everyone loves a good behind the scenes shot. Note the handful of grass, a great photographer's trick!

Summary of the Pattern
Fabric: Cotton fabric from the stash
Pattern: McCall 5623
Year: 1920s
Notions: Thread, buttons and a buckle
How historically accurate is it? Very, although the fabric is not quiet the right weight for this style dress.
Any tricky parts to the pattern? Not really, there is very little tailoring which makes it easy to sew.
Did you change anything?  Shortened the hem about 1 1/2". The dress was a little high under the arms so I cut the arm holes a little deeper.
Time to complete: About 3 days
First worn: August 2, 2015 for the GBVS Roaring 20s Lawn Party
Wear Again? Yes.
Total cost: Everything was from the stash. I don't remember what I paid for the pattern but I'm sure is was under $20 (Thank you ebay!)
Notes: Next time I make this I want to use some fabric that drapes a little better. Although the cotton I used was light weight is was still a little stiff for a 20s dress. But all the materials were from the stash, so yeah!

You can see more photos of this dress here.
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