Thursday, February 27, 2014

Picnic with My Valentine Apron - Sew Grateful Project Day

Today is Project Day of Debi's Sew Grateful Week. Here's a look at my most recent project. Two rather cute, if I do say so, red and white check aprons! Complete with a large heart shaped pocket and little heart appliques. I think this fabric must have started life as a table cloth but I really like the textured "picnic" style fabric. I started these a week before Valentines Day, hence the silly name. :) What do you think? Valentines Day has come and gone but these could really be used any time of year.

Picnic with My Valentine Aprons

To make the aprons I first divided my fabric into two pieces, one for each apron. Next I cut from each piece two trips of fabric approximately 2 1/2" wide by the total width of the fabric. I used these to make the apron ties/waistband. The bottom of each apron was turned up a 1/4" and hemmed. I ran a length of gathering stitches across the top to fit onto the waist section of each tie. The ties were sewn right sides together - leaving open the section that would attach to the apron - flipped and pressed. With right sides together the waistband area and apron were stitched together, the inside of the band being slip-stitched into place.

Heart pocket on apron. This photo also shows the texture of the fabric.
More heart and button details
The hearts are made from scraps of white cotton muslin. The heart pockets started as 6" squares which I cut free hand into the heart shape. Two hearts were sewn right side together and then turned before being pressed and slip-stitched onto the aprons. The smaller hearts were made in the same manner. I don't remember what size squares I started with because I was trying to use up leftover bits of fabric, somewhere between 3" and 5" I think. 

Apron shown with my Red and White Swing Dress
Apron shown with a 50s vintage dress from my collection
I dug through the button stash to see what I could find for red and white buttons. I had way more then I thought. :) So many to choose from! Most are plastic but some of the white buttons are made from shell and a few are glass. I even found a little clover shaped button.

Here are the finished apron with the hearts and buttons! The finished measurements are about 26 inches in length and roughly 42" wide. I'm giving away one of these aprons as part of Sew Grateful Giveaway Day. Details on how to enter my giveaway are here. It ends on Saturday so don't miss out!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

"Ensembles in the Major" - Shoe Magazines!

Hello everyone! Today as part of the Sew Grateful Resource Day 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 last summer 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! Some day I will get around to scanning all of them.

I'm sharing these two issues -  February 11, 1939 and March 18, 1939 - today because of the awesome color and style guides they contain. 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
Shoes sale? Yes please!

"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
"Boot and Shoe Recorder. The Great National Shoe Weekly" March 18, 1939 Vol. CXV No. 3
And here are some bonus pages because they 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
"Boot and Shoe Recorder. The Great National Shoe Weekly" March 18, 1939 Vol. CXV No. 3

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sew Grateful Reflections Day

I have been blogging for two years now but I still consider myself new to the blogging world and I'm enjoying it immensely. I follow a number of blogs and Facebook pages and every time I look I see something new and pretty. I look forward to coming home at the end of the day and working on a particular project. Or brainstorming for the next which sometimes is more fun! I'm very grateful for my new friends in the online sewing/vintage community. It truly is a wonderful way to connect with new people and share ideas, inspiration, sewing tips, and much more! I love seeing what other people are working on. I never realized just how popular vintage lifestyles were outside the U.S. In particular places like Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. There are a number of lovely ladies out there that find every opportunity to get dressed up! Lots of great inspirational pictures for those of us who want to wear more vintage.

I have had an interest in history and fashion for as long as I can remember. My sisters and I always had a dress up box when we were little. We would go to yard sales and church rummage sales and pick up all kinds of "old lady clothes". I guess I've never grown out of the playing dress up phase. My mom is an avid quilter and taught me how to sew. She made a lot of Halloween costumes and prom dresses for us.

My obsession with collecting, wearing, and sewing vintage clothing is more recent then my historical sewing endeavors. Even as a little kid I loved watching old Hollywood movies for the costumes. But now, seeing an outfit in a movie or vintage magazine and having the skills to recreate it - or something very similar - is a real thrill. With historical clothing you are often left with some questions about construction. I get a real kick out of using a vintage pattern and being able to say “yes, this is exactly how it was made!”
Part of why I enjoy wearing vintage is because items are made better and fit better then most modern clothing. Normally I’m a little self conscious about my appearance but I feel good about myself in a pair of high waist pants or a well-made pencil skirt. I can walk around all day in a pair of 3 inch heels from the 1940s and be fine at the end of the day. Try that with most modern heels and my feet are killing me before the day is half over. Do I want to dress in vintage everyday? No, but I do want to work more of it into my lifestyle. Part of my reason for starting a blog was because I needed some change in my life. Reaching out to the online sewing/vintage community has helped me in a big way.

Engagement Photos!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Great Hair Fridays - Betty Grable

It's been awhile since my last Great Hair Fridays post. So here is a quick one today. It's Betty Grable! Enjoy!


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Red and White Swing Dress

Hi everyone. Remember this pattern, Advance Pattern #4199?

Well I finally got around to finishing the dress. Knowing that the pattern would be a touch large for me, I went ahead and made it up anyway without making any alterations. And guess what? Yup, it was a little too big! Well, actually it's quiet wearable but a bit too roomy in the bust area for me. And that's perfectly OK because I'm hoping this dress will work for someone else. You see, I'm slowly, oh so slowly, making items to add to the "Made By Me" section of my shop. This 1940s reproduction dress was listed this week! I would love to hear your feed back.

1940s Reproduction Swing Dress. Just listed!
The dress is made from a red and white striped cotton that is light and slightly springy. It's machine sewn but the neck, sleeves, and hem I finished all by hand. The fabric really drapes and moves beautifully so I think this would be perfect for swing dancing! I believe it's a cotton/rayon or cotton/nylon blend. It was a left over piece from my fabric stash so I'm not really sure. The first picture shows the dress over a small crinoline so you can get an idea of the skirt width.

The side zipper
I really like the wrap style bodice - it's slightly gathered to where it attaches to the shoulders which gives the bust area its "roomy" fit. If I make this dress again I'll make 'View Two' with the contrasting bodice. What do you think?

The neckline has a great key-hole detail and closes with a hidden hook and eye. There is also a zipper on the left side. I did not add the bow at the neck as shown in the pattern but that can be added in a jiffy! I added a black bow belt for contrast in the pictures, which sadly are a little washed out. I soooo need a new camera! The fabric is really a nice bright red in person.

As I mentioned above, the dress was made using the measurements provided by the vintage pattern. I did not make any alterations. Pattern is a vintage size 18. Bust 36, hips 39.

The actual measurements of the finished dress are as follows.
Under arm to under arm - 19" (I believe this would best fist a 34" to 38" bust)
Waist - 15" across (Will best fist a 27" to 28" waist)
Skirt length - 28" from waist to hem

Dress back, no crinoline underneath. The first picture shows the dress over a small crinoline to give an idea of the skirt width.
Close up of the bodice.
I love the little key-hole neck detail of this dress. Also I think the picture below shows the true color the best.

As you know I love getting feedback on all my projects. But what I would like to know from those of you who shop for vintage or vintage reproductions is:
  • What kinds of vintage or vintage reproduction items do you look for?
  • What would you consider a reasonable price for a simple reproduction dress like the one above? (As this is the first time I've made this dress I'm considering it as a sample. Also the fabric, thread, and zipper came from my stash so cost to create this dress was very low.)
  • What kinds of items seem to be lacking in world of vintage reproductions? (Some day I want to offer a line of smart looking 1940s cocktail dresses.)
  • What would be a good waist/bust size to offer for dresses and skirts? (Many original vintage pieces tend to run small. I've passed up a number of dresses that I love but know will never fit!)
  • Color and/or fabric preferences? 
Don't forget to enter my giveaway for one of my "Picnic with my Valentine" aprons. Details here!

Monday, February 17, 2014

"Picnic with My Valentine" Apron Giveaway!

Giveaway is now closed.

Next Monday the 24th kicks off Sew Grateful Week organized by Debi of My Happy Sewing Place. And guess what? The first day is Giveaway Day! So, I know I'm a week early but these aprons have been so well received on my Facebook page that I decided to start my giveaway today. Now you will have two full weeks to enter instead of one. Sound good? I thought so. ;)

One lucky reader will receive one of my "Picnic with My Valentine" Aprons! I made two of these aprons last week using fabric and vintage buttons from my stash. You will hear more about these aprons later but I know what you care about now are the giveaway details! So here we go!

The aprons are about 26 inches in length and roughly 42" wide and made from red and white check cotton. The cotton has a slight texture to it. Each apron has one large heart shaped pocket and two smaller hearts near the hem. They are basically the same with the exception of the buttons (Apron # 2 has slightly larger buttons on the pocket) I will pick which apron to send the winner but if you have a preference just let me know. :)

"Picnic with My Valentine" Apron # 1
"Picnic with My Valentine" Apron # 1
The red and white striped dress pictured below is one that I have made using one my vintage patterns. It is listed for sale in my Etsy shop if anyone is interested! The polka-dot dress is a vintage piece from my collection and is not for sale at this time.

"Picnic with My Valentine" Apron # 2. It looks a little pink here but I promise you it's red!
To enter giveaway:
In order to win one of these aprons leave a comment here on my blog. Tell me one of the following - what you enjoy most about my blog, what your favorite sewing materials are, or how you plan to use the apron. Giveaway is open to everyone and ends March 1st. The winner will be announced on Monday the 3rd.

"Picnic with My Valentine" Apron # 1

"Picnic with My Valentine" Apron # 2
To receive extra entries:
-Share this post on Facebook, Pinterest, etc. and leave a comment here each time with a link to your post letting me know you have done so.
-Become a fan of Emily's Vintage Visions on Facebook (Don't forget to leave a comment here as well!)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope everyone has a lovely day and that your Valentine sends you something special. :)

The Love Letters, 1770s by Jean-Honoré Fragonard

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Winter Storm Today!

Hi All,
We're getting slammed today with some very seasonal winter weather! That's just fine with me as it means I will be able to go snowshoeing over the weekend. I thought today I would share some images I've found around the web. Lots of great hats, muffs, and fur trimmings! Enjoy!

Portrait of Louise Henriette de Bourbon, Duchesse de Chartres and Duchesse d'Orléans (1726-1759) in a fur trimmed cloak and muff. French School, 18th century. Oil on canvas
Go to Christie's and zoom in on this dress! You will be happy you did!

Portrait of the Reichsgräfin von Fries, née Gräfin Anna d'Escherny (1737-1807), seated, half length, in a plumed headdress and white satin fur-trimmed gown
Alexander Roslin (Malmö 1718-1793 Paris)
Portrait of the Reichsgräfin von Fries, née Gräfin Anna d'Escherny (1737-1807), seated, half length, in a plumed headdress and white satin fur-trimmed gown
pastel on paper - Source
Lady in a Fur Wrap - Source
A Winter Walking Dress, fashion plate, hand-colored engraving on paper, published in La Belle Assemblie, London, January 1813 - Source
This print is so pretty!

Winter fashions - December 1875 Peterson's Magazine - Source
1880's winter ensembles - Source

Gretchen Margaret Woodman Rogers (American artist, 1881–1967) Woman in Fur Hat (Self-portrait), c 1915 -Source

Albert Rosenthal (American painter, 1863-1939) Portrait of Mrs. H. Bryan Owsley, Philadelphia 1910 - Source
George Barbier, Pour St. Moritz, pochoir 1913 (from Journal des Dames et des Modes - a Parisian fashion journal published by Tom Antongini
George Barbier, Pour St. Moritz, pochoir 1913 (from Journal des Dames et des Modes - a Parisian fashion journal published by Tom Antongini - Source

Dress and accessory catalogue {Perry, Dame & Co., Fall & Winter 1919-1920} - Source
January 1937 winter fashion plate


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