Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Beautiful 1930s Wedding Lace

As a somewhat recent bride, (my vintage themed wedding was in October of 2014) I can tell you that finding just the right dress is both exciting and terribly frustrating. I searched and searched, didn't like or couldn't afford anything I found. I finally gave up and decided to make my own wedding dress.

Over the last couple of weeks I've been chatting with a lovely bride-to-be about finding a dress for her up coming wedding. She had posted on a vintage buy/sell Facebook page that she was searching for a dress but was having trouble finding exactly what she wanted. I showed her some of the dresses I had and she fell in love with this lace beauty. I'm exited to be able to provide her with her dream dress!

This is a late 1930s or early 1940s lace piece that I've had in my vintage collection for a couple years now. I actually considered wearing it for my own wedding but the fit wasn't right for me plus I wanted a longer train! This was has a little sweep train and is really sweet.



The bride plans to make a few alterations and repairs. I can't wait to see how it turns out!


Congratulations and best wishes to Kayce!!

In case any other brides are searching for a vintage dress, I do have a couple 1940s satin wedding dresses on Etsy, plus one more that I have not listed yet. Also, everything is currently 20% off until April 1st with the code "SPRINGTIME."


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

How to Refresh Vintage Hats/Veils

Hello everyone! Today I want to share a quick and easy way to refresh vintage hats, or fascinators, that have been badly stored and are in need to new life. Be sure to look through all the photos and to check out the accompanying video at the end of this post. (Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel.)


Lately I have been going through my vintage sewing and clothing items in an effort to de-stash. While sorting hats these pieces surfaced and I knew I finally needed to do something with them. I've had these vintage hats/facinators in my collection for several years now. They came to me along with some much nicer hats and had been badly stored by the former owner. I've never had much interest in late 1950s or 1960s fashions and because of their poor condition I really didn't know what to do with them. They were too pretty to toss so these sad little things have sat in a hat box unloved for the last couple of years. Until now!

Here are a few pictures of the hats before and after steaming. As you can see they were badly crushed and rather sad looking. These hats are all made from netting and have chiffon flowers and velvet leaves attached to the top, or in the case of the pink one, little velvet ribbons. So cute!




So, what will you need for this hat refresh tutorial?

Supplies
- Vintage hat/veil
- Hat form or tailor's ham
- Iron with LOTS of steam OR a hand held steamer if you have one
- Straight pins (optional)


A few things to keep in mind as you work. STEAM IS HOT!!! I know that seems obvious, but please be careful! DO NOT touch or press your hot iron directly on the netting or flowers of your hat. The heat could melt or otherwise damage your item. Hold your iron several inches ABOVE the hat and LET THE STEAM DO THE WORK. :)

I practiced this method on the pink net facinator first as a test as it was the most damaged of the hats. I wasn't worried about ruining it. Your iron should be set on a middle to high steam setting. Let your iron heat up while your are placing the hat on your form.

If you don't have a hat form or hat block, a tailor's ham with work just fine
For this tutorial I used a hat form but you can also use a tailor's ham. Start by placing your hat over the form of your choice. Using your fingers, GENTLY pull/stretch the lace/letting. Do not pull too hard because you could cause the material to break.

TIP - To keep your hat from sliding around while you work place a couple straight to help hold it to your form.


Next, hold your iron several inches ABOVE your hat. Gently move the iron back and forth for a few seconds at a time to help the steam work its way into the flower petals and over the lace/letting. Let the steam to the work to relax the material and help fluff up the flower petals. It make take a few minutes so be patient.



If needed, use your fingers to lift up the flower petals then steam again. (DO NOT try and hold the petals with your fingers while steaming or you will get burned!!) Fluff, then steam. Save your fingers! :)

The flowers of the beige hat you see me working on in the video were really flat when I started. I found that several seconds of steam then using my fingers to lift up the petals followed by more steam worked well.


You may also find it helpful to tip your hat form as you work so the steam can really get under the flowers and around the netting.



That's it! What do you think? If you use this tutorial please let me know how it worked for you!


My apologies, the video is a little fuzzy at times. I think it's due to the lighting in my sewing room. I should note too, the video cut stops a little abruptly at the end because my camera decided to shut off. Silly thing. :p

Monday, March 21, 2016

Behind the Seams - 1920s Fluffy Pink Robe de Style

Greetings all! Welcome to another "Behind the Seams" post. I have recently returned from a fabulous 1920s themed event and still have flapper fashions on my mind. So, today I'd like to share another 1920s piece in my collection, a fluffy pink robe de style. I really adore this dress! Sadly, it's badly worn in certain areas and can no longer be displayed on a dress form. But it's still a beautiful piece to study.



This particular dress is made from a light weight and very crisp silk taffeta. The tired skirt is trimmed with multiple rows of matching taffeta and tulle mounted on a silk base. The bodice is constructed in very much the same way as my black silk robe de style and closes at the sides with metal snaps.

This dress would be very easy to recreate. The bodice is 16 1/4" and the skirt is 23" long (29"including the last layer of tulle which hangs a little below the silk base.)

Skirt is made of a base of pink silk taffeta and a second layer of tulle with alternating rows of tulle ruffles and silk ruffles mounted on top. Each tulle ruffle is approximately 6 1/2 deep and the silk ones are 5". There are four tulle ruffles and three silk ones.

The silk skirt is 15/1/4" across the waist, 23" long and 35 1/4" wide at the base. It measures approximately 86" around the bottom. The whole dress is sewn with 3/8" seams.

Back of the dress
The neck and arms are bound with self fabric. There is piping at the waist and along the top of each silk ruffle. The neck is also trimmed with tulle.

Close up of neckline.

The large matching bow is quite lovely. Each loop is about 6 1/2", the center is about 2" and the tails are 15" long.



Here you can see the side that closes with metal snaps. You can also see how the silk is really starting to split.


I love this shot of the ruffles on the skirt. The bottom edge of each silk ruffle is frayed, which I think was intentional as they are all like that. The tulle ruffles are each hemmed/trimmed with gold thread.



What makes this style of dress really unique and fun are its underpinnings. Some robe de styles were worn with separate hoops underneath but my dress has them sewn into the dress itself. The hoops, though a bit crushed, are very similar in style to pocket hoops of the 18th century. These are made of a rectangular piece of tulle that is pleated at the top and has metal boning across the bottom.

The hoops measure approximately 6 x 10 and are gathered to about 3 1/2" at the top.



I hope you have enjoyed this latest addition of Behind the Seams!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A 1940s Sewing Challenge

Hello everyone! I hope your day is going well for you all. First up, I'd like to thank you all for your feedback on my very first video post. It was certainly a new challenge for me but fun to create. My editing skills need work but that's alright. I'll figure things out as I go. If you missed it you can find the video here, and don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel. I have loads of ideas for future posts. If you have suggestions for a video post please let me know.

I also look forward to meeting some of you at the White Lightning Ball this weekend. You can check some of the vintage goodies I'll be bringing here.

Now, who's up for a 1940s sewing challenge? Alexandra of EvaDress is hosting a sewing challenge that will focus on tailored garments of the 1940s using using any original, reproduction or multi-size patterns from EvaDress Patterns.

EvaDress Patterns "Fitting 40s" Sewing Challenge

The contest will begin on March 21, 2016 and closes at midnight EST on June 1, 2016. You are not allowed to start your project before March 21, although you are allowed to create a muslin to test the fit of your pattern.

I am very excited to be helping Alexandra out as a guest juror for this contest! It's going to be so much fun! Yeah!! Entries will be judged on the quality of construction, overall design and how closely they have followed the pattern and contest guidelines. The top finalist will receive a $100 gift certificate to EvaDress.com!

Here are a few of my favorite patterns from EvaDress.

SE40-210 1940s Suit and Blouse
D40-5087, 1940 Dresses
C40-3969, 1940's Men's Jackets
To join the EvaDress 'Fitting 40's sewing challenge simply visit the  challenge group on FaceBook , click join and then submit your project for consideration. When posting photos of your finished project be sure to including the front, back, side views and any construction/design details in the comments section under your main photo. Tell us a little about your project. And don't forget to let us know which EvaDress pattern you used.

The top finalist will be notified on the event wall by 11:59p.m. EST, June 3, 2016. Good luck to everyone!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Going to the GBVS White Lightning Ball!!

The Greater Boston Vintage Society and Laz Anderson Auto Museum are teaming up again to host another fantastic 1920s style event, the White Lightning Ball!! You can see my photos from the first and second White Lightning Ball here and here. This event is in its third year and is expected to be bigger and better! Live music, dance lessons and performances, hors d'oeuvres, and Prohibition inspired cocktails!

And guess what??! Yours truly will be there as a vintage vendor! I am beyond thrilled, this is such an exciting opportunity for me! I will be bringing a selection of vintage clothing and accessories as well as the first run of my ready-made reproduction clothing. Come early to the event and shop or stop by to say hello! I love meeting followers of my blog and Etsy shop.

If you are planning to go to the event and want to make a purchase from my Etsy shop, send me a message and I will make arrangements to bring your item(s) and save you the cost of shipping!

Tickets for the White Lightning Ball are known to sell out fast so get your soon!

Find more information, including how to purchase tickets, here.
Here is a quick look at some of the vintage goodies I will be bringing for sale.If you are looking for anything in particular please let me know. I still have boxes to sort through!

Look at all these goodies!!!
A selection of vintage stockings, purses, gloves, movie star pictures and more!
A selection of vintage sewing patterns and sewing notions!

I'm also trying out a new shop logo. It's still a work in progress but I would love to hear your thoughts!
New Logo!! What do you think?
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