Thursday, April 26, 2012

New Patterns and Books

As I mentioned in my previous post I'm really into the 1950s right now. I want to know more about the fashions, beauty care, life styles, etc. from that decade beyond the simple poodle skirt and saddle shoes look. (Which is a look I do like but I know there is so much more out there!)

I'm also really interested in learning more about drafting my own sewing patterns. I have a couple "new" sewing patterns that I want to try out but they are not in my size so I will need to do a little work before I can use them. For the most part, when it comes to grading a pattern up or down a single size or making minor alterations, I've been able to figure things out. For simple garments like skirts I've been able to draft my own pattern from an existing garment. But for tailored or more detailed garments I know I need to improve my sewing skills.

1950s shirtwaist dress, McCalls 4011
1950s shirtwaist dress, Simplicity 2043

Late 1950s Vogue pattern and fabric I'm thinking of using to make a dress for a wedding later this summer.
Yesterday I ordered some new books as an early birthday present to myself. I'm so excited, I can't wait for them to arrive! Both books had great reviews and I think will help answer many of my fashion related questions. This first, "Westmore Beauty Book -- A Complete 1950s Guide to Vintage Makeup, Hairstyling and Beauty Techniques" is well, exactly that, a 1950s guide to hair and makeup techniques.  I don't really have a beauty routine and unless it's a special occasion, I almost never wear makeup. I don't think this book is really going to change that either. However, I've done a few vintage fashion shows and photo shoots in the past and would like to do more so I think the Westmore book will be very helpful in that regard.

The second book, Dress Cutting -- Instructions and Illustrations for Sewing 26 Vintage 1930s Fashions by Margaret Ralston is a guide for cutting and sewing 1930s fashions. Yet another time period I quite adore :)

Westmore Beauty Book
"Originally published in 1956, this rare makeup, beauty and hairstyling book contains all of the information needed to create the glamorous movie-star look of the 1950s. ... The authors of this book were the Westmore brothers who all worked in the motion picture industry as Directors of Makeup and Hairstyling at various movie studios. Their combined experience and knowledge of beauty, makeup and hairdressing culminates in this book which offers guidance and advice just as the Westmore's gave to some of the world's loveliest movie stars. The Westmore's explain with simple, easy-to-follow text and illustrations every aspect of beauty care and answer every beauty problem that may be yours -- all from a genuine 1950s viewpoint by those who created the makeup and beauty trends that defined the decade. With over 400 illustrations and step-by-step instruction, you'll have access to the Westmore's magic secrets, makeup tips and charts..."

Dress Cutting
 "Originally published in 1932, this rare sewing book teaches the block method of pattern making. The book begins by explaining how to easily make a foundation draft pattern of a simple jumper. Using your own body measurements, you're taken through the pattern making process and then you learn how to use your customized foundation pattern...
Over 60 diagrams explain the pattern making process, ... This book is complete with all of the details for creating early 1930s fashions including this era's distinctive fashion characteristics ... Genuinely classy styles that can still be worn with grace and elegance today.  ..."

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