Sunday, July 24, 2016

Vintage Boudoir Slippers with Ribbon Rosettes

I wasn't sure what I was going to post about for today's Sunday Shoe Spectacle post. But then these shoes arrived in the mail this week! How adorable! The color, the cording rosettes!!! So similar to my candy striped pair ......
And sadly, due to a listing error on the part of the seller, I discovered they are too small for my feet. Ugh! Sadness!!!! So, into the shop they go. And after photographing them I thought, why not blog about them along with my striped pair.
Marked Saks Fifth Avenue, Debutante Fashions Keystone Gay Step. 6 N - Listing here

I believe the beautiful blue Saks Fifth Ave boudoir slippers are from the 1940s or possibly early 1950s. They are an absolutely gorgeous shade of royal blue with matching blue silk ribbon cording rosettes! I loves these so much, why don't they fit!?!? I love seeing them side by side with my striped boudoir slippers. How cool is that pom pom ribbon trim? You can see me wearing the striped pair in this post from last fall
The striped pair are marked "Created by Jerro, New York" and "The Fair, Ft. Worth." They need a good cleaning but I'm not sure how to do that so I've left alone and enjoy wearing them as is.

More close ups of the blue rosettes! By the way, you can save 10% on these by using the code BLOGFAN at check out. :)

Overall the blue slippers are in very good and very wearable shape, though they do have some storage marks. Not really sure how to clean faille fabric but I think they could be cleaned. But if you are wearing these with a long flowing dressing gown, no one is going to notice. 

The soles have minor wear which I find normal for shoes that are only worn indoors. And the leather heel caps are almost perfect.

These are rather narrow and are marked 6 N, which should have been a clue to me that they wouldn't work. But the seller stood by their measurements which made them seem like they would fit my feet. Ah well. They will live together with my other pom pom slippers until they have a new home. Maybe yours? ;)

Also, just for fun check out this pair of striped slippers that sold from FabGabs. They are almost identical to mine except for the heel strap. Do you own any vintage boudoir slippers? I would love to see them!
Sold by FabGabs

Friday, July 22, 2016

Summer 1926. Butterick Quarterly Fashion Pattern Book

The Greater Boston Vintage Society's annual Roaring 20's Lawn Party will be here before we know it! Are you planning to attend? Do you need some last minute inspiration for your lawn party outfit? Well, have a look at the illustrations in this 1926 summer addition of this Butterick Quarterly Fashion Pattern Book.

Source - Ebay
From beach attire to formal wear for both ladies and young girls, this pattern book has you covered! I particularly like the green/white and red/white dresses on the cover. You don't often see or think about polka dots in the 1920s but there they are!

Source - Ebay
Source - Ebay
Source - Ebay
There are even some tips on what fabrics to pick for wearing during hot weather! And do I see pajamas's? Why yes, I do!

Source - Ebay
So which outfit would you wear to a lawn party? Yours truly will be attending the GBVS lawn party at the Crane Estate so be sure to stop by and say hello!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

More 1940s Beachwear - About the Photo Location

Thanks everyone for your awesome feedback on my beachwear post. I highly recommend the Wearing History pattern, it was fast and easy to put together!

So, I promised here is a post about my photo location. This post is intended more as a behind the scenes look then a continuation of my pattern review. Cori's mom grew up in Massachusetts and spent a lot of time near the coast. We like to visit there as often as we can too. These photos were taken on the 4th of July during low tide in the salt marsh near the family's camp.

The picture above is one of my favorite pictures from the shoot. But what you don't see are the pink rubber boots I'm wearing underneath my skirt! At high tide this whole area is pretty much under water and impossible to reach on foot. With caution you can walk out into the marsh when the tide is out but rubber boots are a must. Otherwise you will have very wet and muddy feet.

Oh the silliness! 
I love this photo too. :) You can also see behind me just how high the water gets when the tide comes in.
No matter what time of day or season of the year, salt marshes are a beautiful location to visit. They are full of all kinds of birds and other wildlife. Many marshes are designated as wildlife preserves and offer beautiful walking trails and information about the birds and other animals that can be found there.

Sunset over the salt marsh
And during the mid day sunshine

The area we visited doesn't have any trails and I don't recommend walking through a salt marsh unless you have a guide or know the area well yourself. As I've said my husband's family has a camp near here so he's very familiar with the area. His grandparents lived there for many years and spent many summers fishing and digging for clams.

My salt marsh guide

This is why you need a guide! One of the dangers of some salt marshes are the drainage ditches. Back in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries farmers would cut the salt grass to use a feed for their animals. In order to do that they cut long deep trenches through the marshes so during the low tides it would be easier to cut the salt hay. Some of these are very wide and very deep! For more information about salt hay I recommend checking out this article from Stories from Ipswich. There are even some old post cards and other images that show the haying process.

Walking through this part of the salt march always reminds me of the dead marshes from Lord of the Rings. During the hot summer these tidal pools can be very stinky.

OK, a few more shots of the finished outfit. Just because I'm so happy with how it turned out. I brushed out my pin curls but they barely lasted long enough for a few photos. It was so hot and humid!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Some 1920s Shoes - Sunday Shoe Spectacle Series

Just a few quick pictures for you all today. These are all from a mid 1920s Montgomery Ward catalog. Hope you enjoy this Sunday Shoe Spectacle series! It's been fun coming up with different shoes to share.

To start your morning out right, how about some pretty slippers. I know I'd wear a pair of these around the house in my favorite dressing gown. I love the little pom poms! Which pair would you pick?

And for the men, some awesome leather boots! My husband has a pair similar to these that badly need repair before they can ever been worn again. But I can tell you these are some rough and sturdy work boots!! This  style was worn well into the 1940s and 1950s.

And don't forget the kids.

 I think I've saved the best for last! I'm absolutely in love with the very bottom pair in black and white.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sunday Shoe Spectacle - Fitting Shoes

Thanks so much for the tremendous feedback on my 1940s beachwear post. I'll have another post coming later this week about the location where the photos were taken.

But now, welcome to another of Sunday Shoe Spectacle! Today I have some tips on shopping for and fitting vintage shoes. This is a revival of a post a wrote back in 2012 when I first started blogging.

The Lady Eve - Glamourdaze
- Are you looking for a particular style to meet the requirements of a particular period of time? And if so, what style? Be sure to do your homework so you know what you are looking at when you start shopping. Many sellers are very knowledgeable but sometimes dates and style names can be listed incorrectly.
- How often do you plan to wear the shoes? If you want a pair of shoes to wear every day, vintage might not be the way to go. But for special occasions, a day in the office, or a night out with the girls or certain types of reenactments they might be just the thing.
- What condition issues should you look for (and avoid) when shopping for vintage shoes? Cracking, scuffs, worn out insoles, broken straps, etc. Avoid leather that looks and feels brittle. Some issues can be fixed with a bit of leather conditioning or polish while other can not.
- What about the details? Heel height, pretty details like bows or buckles.
- And most importantly, how do you know what size shoe to buy?  

So how do you know what size vintage shoes to buy?

It's true that shoe sizes haven't changed too much over the years, unlike clothing sizes. A size 7 vintage shoe, for example, will be roughly the same size as a modern size 7. As a general rule, dress shoes do run a little narrow. And this is especially true of most vintage shoes the market today, so you will want to keep that in mind if you have wide feet like I do. If you have the option of trying a pair of shoes on before you buy them, excellent. But when shopping online, obviously you won't be able to. Keep in mind that the majority of online shop owners will not except returns for shoes that don't fit properly. Don't be afraid to ask for more information!

So, to avoid heartaches and headaches alike and know your measurements! 

To figure out your measurements - Stand on a piece of paper and have a friend trace the outline of your foot. Take a measuring tape and measure length of your foot from the tip of your big toe to your heel, then across the ball, or widest part of your foot. Check out this helpful video

Shopper's TipsTo ensure a good fit, measure of a pair of your own comfortable shoes across the ball of the foot (the widest point), and from toe to heel. Take both of these measurements on the inside on the shoes. A flexible ruler is helpful. Compare these measurements to those of the vintage shoes you think you want to purchase. It's a good idea to measure a pair of shoes that have the same heel height as the pair you're shopping for. If you like your shoes to fit snug or a little on the loose side, take that onto account.

Condition issues - As with any article of vintage clothing, whether it's a hat, a dress, or a pair of shoes, expect some kind of wear. Occasionally you will see NOS - new old stock, or "dead stock" - items in near mint condition. Excellent condition can mean a higher price.

When looking for shoes, take a look first at the soles and then the heels. If no pictures are provided ask to see some so you can see how much wear there is. Check for cracks or other flaws to the soles and heels. If you plan on wearing them for more then the occasional photo shoot this is important. You want to make sure the shoes are sturdy and safe to wear. Worn out insoles can easily be replaced. Scuff marks are no big deal but if there is cracking anywhere on the shoes that could be a problem, particularly with leather shoes as they can become brittle with age. Leather conditioners can help but in some cases the shoes may be beyond repair. Check the buckles (if there are any) and other details such as the stitching or decorative bows to make sure they are secure.

Ask yourself - If there are flaws, can you live with them, considering the age of the shoes of course? Can they easily be fixed? (A bit of polish or leather conditioner, new insoles, etc.) Is it worth the extra cost to have them fixed? If you answer "No" to any of these questions you should probably keep looking.

When in doubt, ask for help!
Don't be afraid to ask questions. When looking for vintage shoes online, I found the way shoes measurement were listed to be a little inconsistent, at least on Etsy. One shop will measure the widest point on the inside of the shoes and other shop across the bottom. Once I knew what I needed for my own measurements, I asked shop owners to clarify how their measurements were taken. Each and every person was extremely help I must say!

Remember, the hunt for the perfect pair of shoes is all part of the fun! :) I hope you find this post helpful.

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Saturday, July 9, 2016

1940s Beach Wear - Sunkissed Sweetheat Separates

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July. Thanks for all you nice comments on my last post. I think I'm going to have to make another pinafore in the future!

Cori and I took a mini vacation to the coast where I had the chance to take some photos of my latest sewing project, 1940s beachwear! I used the Sunkissed Sweetheart 1940s Sarong Separates pattern from Wearing History.

I have wanted to make this pattern for a while now but as I don't have many opportunities to wear this kind of clothing it was pushed towards the bottom of the project wish list. This summer I knew, that if I could plan accordingly, I would finally have the chance. I have a WWII event in August this year that has a lovely beach area so a friend and I have begun planning for some fun photos. Amazingly these beach separates were finished way ahead of schedule, something that doesn't often happen, so they made their debut for the 4th of July! Yeah! I didn't actually make it to the beach as you can tell but the salt marsh made for a fun photo location!

This fabric has been sitting in my stash for a couple years now waiting for just the right project. I think I bought it originally to make a dress but non of my vintage patterns felt right or I didn't have the right amount of material. It's always something isn't it? Then, while doing some reach for my upcoming photo contest (yes it's going to happen!) I stumbled across this quote.

Checks, stripes, and plaids were shown for spectator sports wear, while bold designs featuring conventionalized flowers in bright colors were good in beachwear. - May 19, 1940

Perfect!! I quickly pulled out my pattern and fabric to see what could be done. Sadly I didn't have enough to make the long sarong skirt. As it was, I had just barely enough for the top and short skirt.

Everything went together really quickly. The only real tricky part was adding the little reinforcement piece where the top and skirt pieces are gathered. The directions, which for the whole pattern are very clear and easy to follow, recommends drawing lines to follow while you sew these bits. I found that tip to be helpful. My fabric was a cotton blend of some sort that drapes beautifully but was a little fussy to handle when sewing the gathered sections. If you use something similar just take your time and use lots of pins and be sure to mark everything clearly.

I made the size 14 top and size 16 for the sarong. Because all the sizes are included I just clipped the edges of the pattern pieces so I could fold the paper back to the size lines that I needed. This pattern uses LOTS of bias, either purchased in a matching color or self fabric. You may have seen my Instagram post showing the pile of self bias! And I still needed to make more after that. But it's a good use of leftover fabric. :) This pattern can be purchased as an e-pattern or printed version. I went with the printed version because I didn't want to cut and tape all those pages together. But that's me, I like to pull out a pattern and dive right in if I can.

Both the top and skirt are wrap styles so the fit is very adjustable. I really like that the sarong has ties on the inside of the skirt as well as on the outside. Although it overlaps quite a bit in front so there is plenty of coverage, the extra ties make the whole thing feel more secure when wearing. This is a rare occasion when you will see me in a swim suit on this blog, lol! It's a 1940s terry cloth suit. I love it but I'm not sure I would want to actually swim in it.

I had planned to wear a stack of colorful Bakelite to match the bright colors of the fabric. But in my haste to change and wade through the salt marsh I completely forgot about them. I did, however, remember to grab my awesome new eagle pin which, as it was the 4th of July, totally makes up for the lack of bracelets.

I have so many photos that I want to share of this outfit and about the location that I think I'm going to write a separate post. So until next time, happy sewing!!

You can read another review of this pattern by Emileigh of Flashback Summer. She made the long sarong in an amazing vintage print. Go check it out!

Outfit Details
1940s Top and Sarong Skirt - Made by me
Scarf - Gift from Emileigh of Flashback Summer
Pin - Flying Dragon Antiques
1940s Swimsuit - Facebook vintage buy/sell page
Sunglasses - Thirfted

Summary of the Pattern
Fabric: Bright cotton print, feels like it might be a blend of some kind because it drapes much nicer than a quilting cotton.
Pattern: Sunkissed Sweetheart 1940s Sarong Separates from Wearing History. I made the size 14 top and size 16 for the short sarong
Year: 1940s
Notions: Thread and looooots of self bias.
How historically accurate it it? Very! It's a period perfect sewing pattern and I have seen pictures and descriptions of similar prints.
Any tricky parts to the pattern? Not really, the gathered parts are a bit fussy as noted above but I think that was mostly due to my fabric.
Did you change anything? Nope!
Time to complete? Most of this was completed over a single weekend. Hemming the bias tape took the longest but I like hand sewing so I didn't mind. I just watched an old Hollywood movie while I worked.
First worn: July 4th, 2016! And I plan on wearing this many more times.
Total cost: I splurged and bought the printed pattern which sells for $28 but I'm pretty sure I bought it during a sale. The fabric I've had in my stash for a long time but I know I only paid a small amount for it. I'm going to guess the total cost was less than $35.
Notes: A great pattern and very easy to follow. Just take your time on the gathered sections. Next time I'd like to make the longer sarong, possible as an evening version because I think that sounds awesome!
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