Thursday, December 29, 2016

Part Two, Events Recap - Or What I Haven't Blogged About Until Now!

As promised here is part two of my 2016 events recap. (Read part one here.) In August, Cori and I traveled to Conneaut, Ohio for the big D-Day event. It's a loooooong drive for us but this event does not disappoint! The event has grown like crazy over the years, there approximately 1200 to 1500 reenactors from across the U.S. and Canada that attend. As a visitor you can tour both the Axis and Allied camps, listen to a number of different talks by veterans and other guest speakers, see demonstration and of course there are the battles, including the recreation of the Normandy landings on D-Day. If you are able to go you will want to catch a ride on one of the Higgins boats, the very same kind used during the landings. Talk about experiencing history first hand!

For a full schedule of events and guest speakers visit the D-Day Ohio website. Also, there are TONS of photos from this year and past years in the official gallery here. In case you need more incentive than my blog to go to this event. :)

Cori and I with WWII veteran Sm2c Clifford A. Goodall Sr. Cliff was a member of the 7th Naval Beach Battalion, a group of sailors responsible for helping the Allied landing craft make it to their landing sites on D-Day. He worked on Omaha Beach for nearly three months following the landings. 
One of the things I really enjoy about this event, other than the growing home front displays and visiting with my reeneacting friends I only see once or twice a year, is the fact that this event is really dedicated to the veterans themselves and services to honor them and the sacrifices they made. On Saturday there is a special parade and ceremony for the veterans. This year, as with last, part of the ceremony included bestowing the French Legion of Honor to several veterans. It's very moving. Each year there are fewer WWII veterans and every time I have the chance to meet one I consider it a great honor and privilege. One of the many reasons I pay such attention to details when creating my vintage looks is for those people who remember and lived through some of our country's darkest times. To have a veteran tell me, "you look just like my mother, aunt, sister, (or my personal favorite!) sweetheart did during the war" is a real thrill. I know that whatever I'm doing, even if I feel frumpy or my hair isn't quite right that day, that I'm doing something right. I've found it's a great way to get these gentlemen and their family members to open up and share their stories and experiences.

This year I wore my WAVES blues for Saturday morning and had the awesome opportunity for a photo shoot with Patrick Hurst from Canteen Cowboy two other WAVES. Lake Erie made for a gorgeous background. I look forward to spending more time with these ladies at future events.

These few photos are from my phone but be sure to check out the professional ones in the D-Day gallery starting here. My favorite is this one with the Higgins boat in the background. It was one of the hottest days of the summer and by noon I was ready to melt so I had to change.

Goofy selfie but I had to take one!

My new outfit for that weekend was a late 1930s brown linen skirt and matching bolero - made from the same fabric as my Simplicity pants - and paired with my Eagle print blouse, vintage hat and shoes. I used Simplicity 3738 for the skirt and New York 611 for the bolero. As you can see I had the usual kitty "help."

I didn't get the best photos of the finished outfit because we were so busy during the day. But I was very happy to change into linen after spending the morning in my wool uniform!

For the USO dance Saturday night I decided to wear a vintage dress and new bright red shoes from Royal Vintage Shoes. Cori wore his US Navy Dress blues. And yes, those are Army Paratrooper jump boots some of the guys are wearing with their blues. It's a strange look but there is documentation for a very specific impression of members of the 6th US Navy Beach Battalion wearing them in England prior to D-Day. I learned from the guys who did the research that there were some rather colorful exchanges between those sailors and some of the paratroopers that were also stationed in England. Apparently they took a real dislike to sailors wearing their boots!

U.S. and Canadian sailors enjoying a night on leave.
And finally, our last event of the year, the Battle for the Airfield at the Collings Foundation in Stow, Massachusetts. Saturday's weather was beautiful but it rained all night and all day Sunday so I only have the one photo to show you. I wore my "Red Dots" blouse with a pair of made-by-me 40s pants.

This year I finally took the leap and had my hair cut in a more vintage appropriate style. No layers this time, just the classic U shape. About a week before the Collings event I had my hair trimmed again and the result you see below was my first attempt at styling the new length. Still need to work on the frizz factor but if I'm going to be outside all day I'm not sure there is much I can do. I just remind myself that real women from the 1940s didn't look Hollywood perfect all the time and just roll with it. :) I'm actually working a a hair video for my YouTube channel and should have that ready soon.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A Christmas Outfit

Just a quick post today with some photos of an outfit I put together this past weekend. My camera wasn't working properly so I had to use my phone. Not the best quality but ah well.

I admit, I felt a little silly taking selfies in the driveway but that's what you have to do when you don't have anyone to take pictures for you!

One of the few vintage coats I own, this 1950s princess coat is great for cooler weather. I love the longer length. I have a fur collar that can easily be added to dress it up if I want. The bright red hat was a purchase this fall from Mode de Lis during her hat sale. I thought the bright red color would be perfect for a Christmas-y outfit. The veil is in rough shape so at some point I will remove it, not sure if I will replace it or leave the hat plain. Thoughts?

Because I was going with a Christmas theme, I decide to try my Victory Red lipstick from Besame. I'm not totally sold on the color, which in person seam a little more pink on me. And it is bright! If you are looking for a super bright red you might like it but personally I like the Red Velvet better. It also doesn't stain your lips as much as the Victory Red does. It must have something to do with the formula because I don't have that problem with any other colors.

I also wore some red gloves, a plaid scarf that matches my bag and a big shiny rhinestone pin. All thrift store finds from over the years. Under my coat I wore my red and white 1940s pinafore. My red Bakelite earrings came from Brighter Bakelite on Etsy.

The boots I'm wearing are actually overshoes! They are trimmed with fur and are so much fun to wear. Some of you might remember them from this winter post.

That's for now! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that Santa brought you some lovely new vintage to enjoy! Watch for the second half of my 2016 events recap post this week.

Outfit Details
Hate - Mode de Lis
Gloves, pin, purse - Thrifted
Earrings - Brighter Bakelite
Over shoes - Ebay

Monday, December 19, 2016

2016 Events Recap - Or What I Haven't Blogged About Until Now! Part 1

This week's posts are going to be a bit of catching up. Warning, there will be LOTS of photos!! Originally I thought of writing just one big post but quickly realized it was going to be just too big. So two posts! The last few months my blog has taken a backseat between ordinary life, lower back issues, and well, a lack of motivation to sit and write. I normally try and write a couple posts at a time and schedule them to appear on a certain day, as I had been doing with my Sunday Shoe Spectacle series. But lately it's been a struggle to do that. I have so many things I want to blog about, but thinking and doing are too different things. These things happen to the best of us as I'm sure many of you have experienced from time to time.

I've already blogged about the GBVS's Art Deco Weekend and Roaring 20s Lawn Party but have not blogged about the other events I attended this year. So that's what I will be doing in this two part post.

For the third year in a row, Cori and I attended the Mid Atlantic Air Museum's WWII Weekend. (read about past years here.) This year we camped with our reenacting unit. They portray U.S. Marines and Navy pilots on Wake Island prior to the Japanese attack in 1941. We invested in a period wall tent last year and the expense has been more than worth it! I love being able to stay over night on site when we go to living history events. The early mornings when the camp is just waking up and the public has yet to arrive is my favorite time.

This event is three full days including two USO style dances Friday and Saturday nights so a few changes of clothes are required. This year I wore a few pieces that have become staples in my vintage wardrobe, namely my brown linen pants (Simplicity 1306) two new blouses made from my go to pattern, Du Barry 5172 and my Red Birds dress. All my blouses mix and match really well with the pants and skirt. The peach colored blouse you see below was made from vintage 1940s fabric that I found on Etsy and vintage buttons from my stash. The fabric has little eagle on it, I love it!

This spring a took the leap and decided to try a vintage style hair cut. No layers at this time but I asked the stylist cut my hair in that classic 40s U shape. What a difference it has made this year when trying out vintage up-dos!  This particular up-do was a 30s/40s inspired look that I first attempted at the Art Deco Weekend. I think it came out a little better this time around. The style still needs some work by I'm pretty happy with it. The hairnet, which you can hardly see, really helped keep everything in place and tidy during the day.

After Emileigh of Flashback Summer posted about her super cute suspender skirt, I instantly wanted something similar. Instead of making a whole new skirt I simply added straps to my blue linen skirt (Du Barry 5276) They fasten with snaps to the inside of the waistband so they are easily removable to create different looks! 

I really wanted to make a matching bolero but didn't have enough blue fabric left over. I wore the updated skirt with my "Red Dots" blouse, (another version of Du Barry 5172) a new to me vintage hat and Victory pins. It's basically the same outfit as this one but with different accessories. :)

Photo by Neal Howland, please do not copy
Close up of two of my new-ish Victory pins. Photo by Neal Howland, please do not copy
I wore my Red Birds dress again which is still one of my all time vintage makes. It's all cotton so it's cool and comfortable even in hot weather.

My WAVES dress blues and new white blouse made their debut at this event. I chose to wear them for the dances during the evening because it was too hot for a wool uniform during the day. I was kind of nervous about wearing an original uniform but I really enjoyed it. I'll be blogging more about the uniform later on and my feelings about wearing it.

My WAVES impression is of an aviation mechanic. The rate on my sleeve is for a Petty Officer First Class. These photos were inspired by original images of WAVES at work.

On Sunday, the last day of the event I wore my WAVES aviation mechanics working attire. My friend Sara of the Canteen Cowboy snapped this photo of me.

In all the photos I'm wearing my favorite go to lip color, Red Velvet from Besame. I'm already planning outfits for next year's WWII weekend!!

Well, that's all for this post. Stay tuned for more this week.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

How to Make a 1930s Bed Jacket

Now that the colder weather is upon us, I find myself changing over the wardrobe to warmer clothing. Out come the sweaters and wool pants! We held off turning the furnace on for as long as possible but finally caved near the end of October. The "heating season" in New England is rather long and as a true Yankee I typically willing to add an extra layer if it means saving a little on the heating bill. :)

In the spirit of Giving Tuesday I thought I would share a free pattern that I came across awhile back. Originally posted on Sewing Vintage, this is a pattern for making a lovely little 1930s bed jacket. 

If you use the pattern I would love to see how it turns out! Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Enchanting Rose Teacup Exchange

I was very excited to participate in this year's teacup exchange hosted by Stephanie of the blog The Enchanting Rose. While Stephanie has hosted this exchange, which also included mugs, many times before this was the first time I was able to take part. I learned about this awesome idea last year but was too late to join.

Each person taking part was asked to fill out a quick questioner with some basic info in order for Stephanie to pair us up. Along with our teacup, or mug, we were asked to include a friendly note, tea or coffee and a little something extra. The idea of the exchange is the opportunity to connect with like-minded people and, hopefully, create new friendships. I like that in organizing the exchange, Stephanie made sure that we each sent and received packages from different people. More ways to connect with different people!

I couldn't believe my luck when finding out who I would be sending a teacup to! Esther, and her lovely blog Dolly Creates, is where I was first introduced to the teacup and mug exchange! :) Esther and I have collaborated before, she wrote a great guest post here, so I was thrilled to be able to send her something! I didn't take any pictures of the goodies before I sent them off but I'm sure Esther will be sharing them at some point on her blog.

Oddly enough, the lovely lady I received my teacup from was also someone I was familiar with! What are the chances, given that 198 people signed up for the exchange?! Some of you may know Sara as well through her website Ensembles of the Past or her etsy shop and Facebook page of the same name. We 'met' online last year through one of the many historical clothing FB pages and have chatted off and on since. Sara creates beautiful custom-made historical clothing. Although I have never seen her work in person, judging from the gorgeous photos on her website, and lovely card included in my package, I'd say say her work is pretty outstanding!

Here are some photos of the teacup and other items Sara included. The gold trimmed teacup makes a nice addition to my collection! As some of you know, I used teacups as favors for my vintage themed wedding and because we collected sooooo many, I was able to keep a few. I have them on display in my pantry.

Thanks so much Stephanie for organizing this awesome exchange! And to Sara for your thoughtful gifts! You can check out the BIG REVEAL of all the teacups and mugs as well as the blogger link-up of all the gifts on The Enchanting Rose. I look forward to participating again next year!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Second Wedding Anniversary and Fall Colors

Yesterday was our second wedding anniversary! We spend most of the day unpacking from the WWII event we attended over the weekend. It poured on Sunday so we had a lot of wet gear to deal with when we got home. Yep, wet canvas, the bane of all re-enactors! The day wasn't all work though, we did go out for a nice dinner.

Surprisingly, despite the drought here in New England, the fall colors are rather stunning right now! I'm hoping to quickly finish a few projects and squeeze in some photo shoots before the leaves disappear. I'm thinking of using this location again because it's so classic New England but have a few new ones in mind as well.

I used this location for a fun photo shoot last year and hope to use it again soon.
And speaking of pictures, I thought I would post a quick recap of some of my wedding-related blog posts. Lots of wedding photos included! I hope my sewing pattern review and DIY wedding tips will be helpful to some of you! Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Roaring 20s Lawn Party - Pt 2, the Dress

I made my dress for the Roaring 20s Lawn Party from this 1930s pattern. Yes, I made and wore a 1930s dress for a 1920s event, I'm such as rebel! I love the 20s, I really do! But I'm not super excited about how I look in most 20s dresses. I'm short with wider hips and those boxy dropped waist styles just feel frumpy and odd to me. I just need to find the right dress/style to suit my body type.

1930s Simplicity sewing pattern

Anyway, after pulling out a few patterns and sketching a few different design ideas, I realized I just didn't want to make a 1920s dress. As I prepared for the Art Deco weekend earlier this spring it occurred to me that my vintage wardrobe was seriously lacking items from the 1930s. OK, I've made a few late 30s pieces but they have more of that 40s/WWII vibe to them. I didn't have anything that screamed 30s and was really wanted too change that.

Enter Simplicity 1945. This pattern was among the very first vintage patterns I purchased a few years back when I became interested in vintage sewing. It might have come from Ebay but I can't remember now.

1930s Simplicity sewing pattern

As the lawn party would be in August I knew it would be hot. Having something that would be light and comfortable to wear and move around it was key. I think it was the sleeves of this dress that really sold it for me. And this deco style cotton (from the stash, whoowhoo!) was perfect for it. I traded some of this fabric with another vintage blogger recently. Really excited to see what she creates with it!

The simplicity of this pattern (no pun intended!) surprised me too. I think one of the reasons I had not attempted this pattern before was believing it would be too complicated. Turns out, it was one of the easiest  vintage dresses I've sewn and it went together fast!

The bodice is constructed of a front and back piece, both cut on the fold. The sleeves are cut in one with the bodice with seams across the shoulders and at the sides. Before sewing these pieces together a series of 1/4" tucks are stitched across the front and back. The perforations of the pattern pieces were a little wonky so I remarked my fabric to avoid wonky pleats.

The skirt is pretty straight forward with small darts at the back. The waist seams of the bodice and skirt are lapped and then top stitched in place. The dress closes with a side placket and snaps.
I finally got to use one of the special attachments for my sewing machine. This foot creates a nice rolled hem which is how I finished the edges of the sleeves.

Since I had a bunch of metal grommets kicking around I opted to use those instead of sewing eyelets for the front lacing. I also only added about half the number because I didn't think I would like the dress as much if it laced all the way down the front. Lacking proper ribbon I used a piece of navy blue rayon bias tape.

I had planned on wearing my navy blue suede 1930s shoes with this but opted for a pair of modern sandals because the ground was still a little wet. The red celluloid buckle is from my stash.

Even though I was a vendor at the lawn party, Cori and I were able to escape for a little bit while some friends watched my booth. (Thanks again Heather and Devon!) The gardens at the Crane Estate were in full bloom and made a wonderful backdrop for some photos.

Some of you might recognize my hair flowers. They are the ones I friend Monica made me for my wedding. I had attempted to reblock a hat for the event but it didn't turn out very well so I opted for the hair flowers instead to tie the outfit together. Plus it was nice to wear something from my wedding again. :)

Outfit Details
Dress - Made by Me
Hair Flowers - Made for my wedding by my friend Monica
Shoes - Thrifted

Pattern - Simplicity 1945
First Worn - July 31st
Complicated parts - Just marking sure the tucks on the bodice were straight and neat. The pattern perforations were a little off so I had to remark them.
Changes - I only needed to allow a little more room in the hips and shorten the skirt a few inches.
Cost - I don't remember what I paid for the pattern but I don't think it was more than $15 with shipping. Fabric and notions were all from the stash and the fabric was purchased on sale. I would estimate the total cost to be around $25 to $30.
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