Friday, April 29, 2016

Great Hair Fridays - 1920s Hair Products

A quick post today for Great Hair Fridays. Here are some images of 1920s hair products. Enjoy!
West Electric Hair Curler Company’s Hair Curlers – Why there are over fifty million West Electric Hair Curlers in Daily Use (1923) Source - Vintageadbrowser
Martha Matilda Harper’s Harper Method Tonique – Bobbed hair- is easy to dress this new way (1924)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

18th Century Feathered Hats

Here is a little research project I've been working on lately. Although I don't get to attend 18th century events as much as I would like to, the time period is never from from my mind. I like keep up to date as best I can on what's happening in the reenacting world, the trending research, new sources etc. There is always something new to learn.

Lately I've been looking at 18th century hats, in particular those covered with feathers. Why I'm drawn to these I'm not entirely sure. Whether something like these would be appropriate for my typical living history portrayal remains to be seen and more research is certainly needed. My guess is that for a British camp follower in the years covering the 1750s to 1770s a fine feathered hat would be very unlikely. As an up middle class resident of say, Boston, they are a possibility. But as I said more research is needed. I have been researching in the historic newspapers without much luck as of yet. However, in the world of historic costuming and fancy dress events, pretty much anything goes. :)

Here are a few examples of feathered hats in period art.

Oil painting, 'Head of a Girl Wearing a White Hat', ca. 1760-70, by William Hoare RA (1707-1792) V&A 833-1873
It looks like this young lady is also wearing a feather covered hat. Yes?

Philip Mercier (circa 1689-1760) - Source
Philip Mercier (circa 1689-1760) - Source

And here are some serving hats in museum collections. All are dated to about the same time as the artwork above, 1750-1770 and are very similar looking. They are all around the same size too, approximately 13" to 14".

A round hat with a shallow crown and wide brim decorated with cock and guineafowl feathers in natural colours and dyed blue, yellow, red and green. The feathers are stitched to a linen ground which is lined with blue taffeta. 1750-1770 (made) V&A T.90-2003
Woman's feather hat (bergère) English or French, 1750–75. Round disk-like hat with crown only slightly elevated, foundation of linen completely covered with polychrome feathers; lined with pale pink taffeta, one pale pink silk ribbon. MFA 43.1832
Here are two more images of the same hat from the MFA. I find it interesting that you can see the edge of the straw base as well as the stitching on the underside. Zoom in for a closer look.

MFA 43.1832
MFA 43.1832
Although this next hat is a little different, only the brim is covered in feathers, it gives me hope for wearing a feather covered hat for living history events. The description says it was made in France but it's place of use was Boston.

MFA, accession number 49.916
Making a similar hat I believe would be very doable, though time consuming. I have a plain straw hat with a very low crown that could be used as a base and colored feather can be purchased at several places like Joanns. I also have left over silk taffeta to line the underside of the hat. Would I glue the feathers or stitch them in place? I'm not sure yet, likely I'll stitch them, but if I do attempt a crazy project like this you can be sure to read about it here. :)

If anyone knows of other examples, in art or surviving originals, I would love to see them.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday Shoe Spectacle - "Boot and Shoe Recorder" Spring Shoe Advice

For today's Sunday Shoe Spectacle, another peak at my collection of "Boot and Shoe Recorder. The Great National Shoe Weekly" magazines. Today's images are from March 18, 1939 Vol. CXV No. 3.

Scanning these pages is proving a little difficult because the magazines are bigger than my scanner, leading to parts of the pages getting cut off. Fear not, I'll keep working on them!

Front cover. "Boot and Shoe Recorder. The Great National Shoe Weekly" March 18, 1939 Vol. CXV No. 3
 The front and back covers are just as exciting as what you find inside!

Back cover. "Boot and Shoe Recorder. The Great National Shoe Weekly" March 18, 1939 Vol. CXV No. 3
Here is a look at what's inside. What color shoes should you wear with your spring outfit? I love the look of the white dress with its pleated skirt and plaid accessories. Hmmm, I have some white linen in my stash, I might need to make something like that this year!

"Boot and Shoe Recorder. The Great National Shoe Weekly" March 18, 1939 Vol. CXV No. 3
"Boot and Shoe Recorder. The Great National Shoe Weekly" March 18, 1939 Vol. CXV No. 3
And here are a bonus page because these styles are too pretty not to share. :) Which pair of shoes do you want most?

"Boot and Shoe Recorder. The Great National Shoe Weekly" March 18, 1939 Vol. CXV No. 3
Stay tuned for next week's post when I will be featuring one of my lovely readers, Esther, of Dolly Creates. Keep sending me your favorite shoe resources and pictures, I'm really enjoying them!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Fashionable Gown

I first posted about this silk project over the winter. Sorry no construction pictures yet. I pulled the pattern out the other night to begin reading through the directions. I also took some time to dig through by scrap fabrics to see what I had that would work for a mock up.

Fashionable Gown pattern from Larkin and Smith

I definitely want to make sure the bodice and sleeves are going to fit before a cut into my linen and silk for this 1770s fashionable gown. As noted in my earlier post, I plan to take my time with this gown. I don't have a specific event in mind for it so there is no need to rush.


On a side note, if you enjoy drooling over beautiful fabrics, especially silks (who doesn't!!) check out the fine selection over at At the Sign of the Golden Scissors. They currently have some nice linens and wools in stock too.

Striped yellow silk from At the Sign of the Golden Scissors
Pink Brocade Silk from At the Sign of the Golden Scissors

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sunday Shoe Spectacle - National Shoe Weekly Magazines

Hello everyone! Today as part of my Sunday Shoe Spectacle Series I would like to share some of my 1930s Boot and Shoe Recorder. The Great National Shoe Weekly magazines. I have a stack of these that I picked up at an antique store in New York. I only paid a few dollars a piece for them, no idea what their real value is but that doesn't matter. These are such a great resource for someone who loves vintage shoes as much as I do! :)

"Boot and Shoe Recorder. The Great National Shoe Weekly" February 11, 1939 Vol. CXIV No. 24
How beautiful is that cover? I've searched a little bit online for information about these magazines but haven't found much. It looks like the weekly magazine began publication in the 1880s. I did find a few digital copies online - here is one from October 1887 and here is one from 1922. The copies I have mostly contain articles about how shoes are made, where the materials come from, etc. and all the latest news on manufactures, new styles and such. I get the sense that these magazines were marketed towards shoe retailers, kind of like car magazines are today. Oh, and the art work and photographs are just grand! I'm slowly working on scanning these magazine, I think I have around a dozen.

I've actually share this issue, February 11, 1939,  before but thought I would post it again because of these excellent color and style guides. Ever wonder just what color shoes, stockings, and other accessories to wear with that vintage dress? Well, here you go! I love that these are divided into musical "keys."

"Boot and Shoe Recorder. The Great National Shoe Weekly" February 11, 1939 Vol. CXIV No. 24
"Boot and Shoe Recorder. The Great National Shoe Weekly" February 11, 1939 Vol. CXIV No. 24

Would anyone be interested in writing a guest post about vintage shoes for this blog series? If so, please feel free to contact me! Do you have a favorite pair? Favorite source for shopping for vintage or vintage style shoes? What would be your pair of "vintage dream shoes?" I would love to open this series up to other to share their love of shoes! I have one person lined up already and I'm very excited to have her share her vintage shoes story.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Great Hair Fridays - Canthrox Shampoo

While searching for images and inspiration for my Great Hair Fridays series I came across some lovely ads for Canthrox Shampoo. Never having heard of this product I thought I would do a little more research.

Ad from The Literary Digest H.S. Peterson & Company’s Canthrox Shampoo (1920)

According to the National Museum of American History, Canthrox Shampoo was sold between 1909 and the mid-1930s. It was manufactured by H. S. Peterson and Company of Chicago, Ill. It was marketed as a cure for dandruff, hair loss and graying hair.

Source
In the 1920s the product was described in ads as quick drying and streak free. Canthrox was packaged in a tin and often shown next to woman will beautifully style hair. It is partially credited with helping to popularize the bobbed hair style of the 1920s.

H.S. Peterson & Company’s Canthrox Shampoo – "You can always look forward to a pleasant and comfortable day when you have given your hair the best possible treatment, by the use of Canthrox Shampo" (1920)


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sunday Shoe Spectacle

I've been doing some thinking about what kinds of posts I'd like to have in 2016. Brittany of Va-Voom-Vintage and Jessica of Chronically Vintage have both written excellent posts about scheduling your blogging and boost traffic to your blog. Both ladies have some great ideas! (See Brittany's post here and Jessica's post here.) One point these ladies made is the importance of having regularly scheduled posts. In a perfect world I would love make my living by blogging and sewing. I envy those of you who are able to do so! But alas, I like many work a 9 to 5 job and don't always have the time to devote to my blog or to my sewing projects that I would like. However, there is a handy little Blogger feature that certainly makes my blogging experience a bit easier. Blogger allows you create a post and then schedule it to be posted on a day and time of your choosing. You'll find this feature, when you click to create a new post, on the far right-hand side of your screen under Post Settings. I use this feature all the time. The vast majority of my blogging is done in the evenings or on days I'm not working but I like to have my posts go up in the morning.

So, while I may get behind on sharing project up dates you can be assured that my (somewhat) regular posts such as Great Hair Fridays and monthly Behind the Seams will be here when you expect them. With that in mind I'd like to introduce you all to a new monthly post I'm calling Sunday Shoe Spectacle!

 
On the first Sunday of the month I will post about one of my favorite topics, shoes! I have a few pairs of my own vintage shoes in mind to share as well as some museum and auction finds. In addition to actual shoes, I have a stack of 1930s shoe magazines that I plan to scan and post articles from.



If you own a pair of vintage or antique shoes, have a favorite museum pair, or can think of any shoes related topics please let me know. I would be happy to highlight them!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Great Hair Fridays - 1930s How To From Blogger Vintage Gal

Hello Ladies! I recently came across this wonder 'how to' on styling 1930s hair and knew I had to share it with all of you.

The UK blog, Vintage Gal, was a new one for me. This lovely lady, Cate, has some amazing style! While my own hair is far too long to achieve this style I still find it very inspirational. I hope you find Cate's hair post as enjoyable as I did.

From the blogger Vintage Gal
From the blogger Vintage Gal

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Do You Need a New Pair of Shoes?

Hello all! It's STILL frightfully cold in my little corner of New England. I cleared nearly 3 inches of snow off my car earlier this week, no lie! There's not much left now but it certainly has not warmed up either. I'm soooo looking forward to the warmer days I know are coming. In the meantime I'm planning some new outfits for the spring and summer. Part of that planning has led to the purchase of new shoes.

Anyone looking for new shoes to wear with your spring outfits? Right now Royal Vintage Shoes is not only offering some amazing new styles for spring and summer but many of their shoes are currently on sale. (Including the Telsa Vintage Suede Oxfords which I reviewed back in December.)

Royal Vintage Shoes Sale!

A few weeks back I purchased a pair of green Kiki Wedges and a pair of Back Then TwoTone Vintage Oxfords. Lately the weather has not cooperated for pictures but I'm hoping to take some this weekend so I can write up a proper review of both pairs. I can tell you that both are super comfy and will be worn a lot this summer! Especially the wedges. I love my vintage and vintage style heels, but let's face it, they are not always practical. ;)

So, what are you waiting for? Hop on over to Royal Vintage Shoes and check out the amazing selection!

1940s style wedges at Royal Vintage Shoes

Friday, April 1, 2016

What's New? It's a Newsletter!!

Hello everyone! Spring is finally arriving here in New England, though slower then I would like. There is snow in the forecast for the weekend, what's that about? At least I can enjoy the flowers in my kitchen window until the ones outside bloom.


It's taken some time, but I'm slowly adding more elements to my blog. I recently launched a YouTube channel and now, finally I'm adding a monthly newsletter! The newsletter with cover all the latest updates on my blog, Etsy shop, cool historical and vintage finds from around the web, news about upcoming events and much more! Some content will be exclusive to subscribers which means you wont find it anywhere else.

So, how do you sign up? You can enter your email address through the popup feature on my blog or subscribe here. It's that easy!

Happy Spring!!

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