Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Simplicity 1668 - Dress for a Summer Wedding

I wanted to share with you today the dress I made in August to wear at a friend's wedding. I made view 1 with the scolloped neck and sleeves using Simplicity pattern 1668. The fabric is a cotton remnant I got on sale at JoAnns.
The white you see at the side seam is a pocket.

Unfortunately, I don't have any construction pictures. The directions were pretty straight forward. The dress consists of two skirt panels, and two panels each for the bodice front and back. There is a pocket sewn into the right side seam and the sleeve and neck openings are faced with white cotton. I had a choice of using snaps or a zipper - a slide fastener as the pattern calls it - for the side closer. I decided to use a zipper because I didn't have enough snaps handy.

Simplicity pattern 1668
I had to carefully lay out all the pattern pieces because I had just enough fabric! I cut the fabric and transferred all the markings for the gathers on the bodice, the pocket, side opening, etc. Then the bodice fronts and backs were sewn together and gathering added. Next the skirt panels were stitched and attached to the bodice. Add the zipper, neck and sleeve facing, then hem the skirt and done! Well almost...

This dress has very simple lines and was really easy to make.
It's hard to see the small amount of gathering at the waist and near the shoulders of the bodice in the picture. I found that the bodice was a little too big (baggy!) for my liking so I added small darts to the bodice front and back. I thought about adjusting the side seam allowance but because of the shape of the bodice, particularly the sleeves, this wasn't really possible. Shoulder pads would have helped, but well.... The darts seamed to do the trick though. The waist line looks a bit messy but the belt covers that. :)

So here is the finished dress! The very first photo in this post and those below were taken by Kris Jarrett Photography and Media Production. It's very handy having a professional photographer as a friend.

I'm wearing the dress over a vintage slip and accessorized with a red belt and my red 1940s shoes.

With my friend Erin. Oops! you can see the ruffle on my slip.
Cori making a funny face.
I even got to do a little swing dancing in my vintage shoes!
 And photos of the lovely bride and groom! Congratulations Karen and Seth!

Summary of the Pattern
Fabric: Cotton from JoAnns
Pattern: Simplicity 1668
Year: 1940s
Notions: Zipper, thread
How historically accurate is it? I'd give it an 8 out of 10. I wasn't nessicarily going for a true 40s dress with this project. It's made from quilters weight cotton and the print isn't exactly 1940s, however the pattern and construction is very 40s.
Any tricky parts to the pattern? Not really
Did you change anything? I added small darts to the bodice front and back to help it fit a little better.
Time to complete: A couple days.
First worn: August 2012
Total cost: less then $30
Notes: I didn't do a muslin test for this because I didn't foresee any fit issues. However, I found it to be a little large so minor adjustments were needed. Always make a test muslin! Next time I use this pattern I think I will make a slight change to the armholes as well. I found the arms to be a bit, umm, revealing for my taste.

Friday, September 21, 2012

American Hairdresser - Fall Hairstyles from 1948

Straight from the American Hairdresser, these great hairstyles for the fall of 1948! Enjoy!

Source: American Hairdresser, June 1948

Source: American Hairdresser, June 1948
Source: American Hairdresser, June 1948

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award

A lovely surprise today! Cassidy of A Most Beguiling Accomplishment gave me the Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you Cassidy!

The rules of the award are that you must:

   - Thank and link back to the person who nominated you
   - Paste the award to your blog
   - Tell 7 thing about yourself
   - Nominate 15 other blogs

1. Let's start with the obvious. I love to sew. (shocking I know!) I love taking inspiration from ready made garments or from photographs and prints. More recently I've discovered the joy of sewing using vintage patterns.

2. I enjoying making homemade cordials and liqueurs. My specialty is raspberry liqueur. Yum!

3. I read constantly. I love my books. Old books, new books, history books, and mysteries, I'm picky about historical fiction. (I have a love/hate relationship with the Outlander series.) I'm currently reading the Game of Thrones series and a murder-mystery series by Donna Leon. Old books, especially those leather bound volumes with the gilt pages and embossed spines are beautiful. When I finally have a house of my own I want to huge book case, the kind with glass doors, that I can fill with antique books.

4. I'm one of five kids in my family. My three older sisters and one younger brother grew up on farm in Vermont where we raised sheep, goats, horses, and the occasional pig. And of course chickens and a couple cats and dogs just to round things out. A lot of my childhood was spent at 4-H meetings, outside, or in the barn.

5. I truly believe you are never too old to play dress up. Or watch a Disney movie.

6. One of my goals in life is to create a business out of my love of sewing and history. Not quite sure how to do that without quitting my day job ....

7. My favorite way to spend a rainy day is curled up on the couch with a good book, a cat, and a cup of Earl Grey tea.

In no particular order, here are the blogs I would like to nominate for the Versatile Blogger Award.

1. Chronically Vintage
2. A Fashionable Frolick
3. The Couture Courtesan
4. Q's Daydream
5. Two Nerdy History Girls
6. what-i-found
7. A Few Threads Loose
9. Adventures of a Costumer
10. The Fashionable Past
11. Glamourdaze
12. Art, beauty and well-ordered chaos
13. At the Sign of the Golden Scissors
14. Diary of a Mantua Maker
15. Tea Cups Among the Fabric

Monday, September 10, 2012

Bonnet of a Different Color ...

Sometime ago a friend of mine has asked me to make her an 18th century bonnet. We are still working out the details as far as color and trim but I'm pretty sure it will be made of black silk as black was by far the most common color.

That being said, let's take a look at bonnets and color variations in the 18th century. There are several examples of bonnets on the 18th Century Notebook, and also at Dames a la Mode. I think most people will be familiar with the example in the collections of Colonial Williamsburg. That black silk bonnet, so far, is the only known 18th century bonnet that survives. In this post I would like to show some images of bonnets that will hopefully be less familiar to people. I always get excited when I come across new sources or period images.

The image below by Daniel Chodowiecki is one of the earliest known images of a bonnet.

'A Lady Standing' by Daniel Chodowiecki, 1758

 'Returning from the Market' Adriaan de Lelie, 1795

'A Market Scene' by Francis Wheatley, 1770s
I'm in love with this print which I think is from The Lewis Walpole Library. Look at that huge bonnet! This print has some other lovely details as well. Note the spotted handkerchief and print on her gown. It looks as though her shoes might have a contrasting binding too.  :)

Another HUGH black bonnet.

Of course, not all black bonnets were completely black. Sometimes you see them with trim in a contrasting color.  Blue, pink, and white are just a few examples I've seen in period prints.

The French Macaroni Led Astray - black with contrast trim
The Beautiful Fruit Gatherer, 1782 - black with blue trim.

Occasionally you will see white bonnets. Miss Palmer by Joshuah Reynolds is one a lovely example. Other examples of a white or light colored bonnet can be see in The Fortune Teller  and The Fair Quaker. Also see The Young Mendicant.

Miss Palmer by Joshuah Reynolds, 1780
Here are a few interesting color combinations.

Charles Bretherton, 1782, via the British Museum
From Cristies, 1770s

Below is another example of a green bonnet from the Lewis Walpole Library. At Rev War events I often see this one lady with an enormous green bonnet made from emeroid green silk. I don't know who she is but her bonnet is to die for!
This print is called Cat in Pattens. Cute, isn't she?
You sometimes see blue worn by children. The little girl below wears a blue bonnet with the wide brim and simple bow. She is also wearing a nice example of a check handkerchief.

This is a much later image, dating to the 1790s that shows a little girl in a pink bonnet.

Even with all the above examples, and there are others out there I'm sure, black bonnets were still the most common in the 18th century. They show up the most in period advertisements, writings, and in art work. One should take into account an artist's freedom in adding color to prints.

There is a great article about bonnets on the Hive website written by Sue Felshin.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

On Etsy, of Course - Searching for Vintage Shoes

I've had a lot of people ask me where I got the shoes I wore for the scenic train ride with Cori. My answer, on Etsy! As anyone who loves wearing, collecting, and shopping for vintage items knows, Etsy is both a wonderful - and dangerous - resource. I say dangerous because it's so easy to use and very addicting. :)

It's been interesting and exciting looking at vintage shoe ads and then finding similar (or even identical!) existing shoes in shops and museums.

Here is a perfect example. I'm just green with envy! (Sorry, bad pun!)

Vintage ad for de Nero shoes
A very similar pair from honeytalkvintage

I have since found on Etsy several pairs of 1940s shoes very much like the pair I bought. The bows, flowers, or whatever you want to call them, on the toes are very similar. These kinds of embellishments were very popular. Look at this pair in brown from honeytalkvintage and this pair in green from Columbiatique. What about a pair in black? Want a pair of in red like mine? Check out this pair from SplendoreBoutique 

Naturalizer shoes. Notice the pair on the far left. Source
Another ad for Naturalizer shoes - Source

I've saved so many shoes to my Etsy favorites list. Here are just a few of them. It's great to be able to save items all in one spot, whether you plan to buy them or just to drool over the pictures. That's mainly what I do!! Pictures are free and excellent resources. I figure the chances of me finding another pair of fabulous vintage shoes that actually fit are pretty slim. But it sure is fun to look. :)

For a few shopping tips and help figuring out your vintage shoes size, check out my post, Sizing up Vintage Shoes.

Drool worthy brown and white 1930s heels from CustardHeartVintage
A lovely and practical pair of blue pumps from FemaleHysteria

Rhythm Step shoe ad from 1944 - Source
 This pair from FromEveWithLove already sold but I just had to share them. Red alligator from Saks Fifth Avenue with 4" heels, holy cow! Oh alligator shoes, how I adore you ...

Pin-up shoes anyone? adoredvintage
 (Please note, I'm not trying to advertise on behave of any of Etsy or any these particular shops. I just wanted to share some beautiful shoes.)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...