Friday, February 28, 2014

1970s - Cute little day dresses for warm days

Here are three casual shirtwaist dresses from February 1973 and Vogue, looking perfectly delightful and ready for seeing the sights.

While I encourage you to visit my shop Etsy shop, Midvale Cottage for lots of 1970s little dresses, you can find Vogue 2808, illustrated above, on the right, in the following Etsy shop:
And while you're browsing Etsy, be sure to pick up a 1970s fishnet bag and hemp-wedged espadrilles to complete your 1970s ensemble!


Thursday, February 27, 2014

March 1949 - Easter Bonnets for Every Face!

From March 1949 comes advice on the right hat for your face shape. If you are lucky enough to have an oval face, like the beauty above, then you can wear any style and shape of hat.

If you have a long face, a bonnet with a broken crown will cut the height of forehead, and a deep crown helps hide the depth of your head. You can also wear a large-brimmed hat, providing the brim dips. Don't wear a high crown or a tiny hat.

Balance a triangular face with a thick-edged bonnet, which emphasizes the heart-shaped look.You can also wear a slanted pillbox set slightly back, or a small beret.

If your face is round, the hat line should be broken  at the side. A deep crown is a good balance, and a tiny brim frames the face. You can also wear a deep-crowned hat, a one-sided toque, or a bonnet with a high curving brim.

For the square face, try a smallish sailor with a flower-filled brim to balance the width of the cheekbones. A rolling brim with a profile line, a tilted, draped turban, or a beret angled to one side are also good.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s - Trimming Down Last Season's Straw Hat

In this tip from Ruth Wyeth Spears and the 1920s, the focus is on altering last summer's straw hat for the new season. With artful use of scissors, some buckram, steam, and a new band of velvet or ribbon - and voila! A smartly shaped hat that is perfect for summer!

I think I have one or more straw hats in my closet - I do think I will try this! I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A 1939 Pre-War "Sew-Along" Contest

In its October 1939 edition, Life magazine had a story on a pre-war sewing. The war is expanding in the European theater, and although it is still a couple years before the US enters the war, home sewing was encouraged by fabric manufacturers, who offered ready-cut dress lengths (3-1/2 to 4 yards) at an inexpensive price ($1.00!) for the entire length. It was also encouraged by the department stores who sponsored home-sewing contests.

Groups of women met at one another's homes to plan, cut, and fit dresses for the contest.

A dress of taffeta under construction.

First prize: a blue velvet dress (cost: $10.42)
Second prize: a blue rayon dress (cost $6.09)

Fourth prize: Checked bolero suit (cost $6.84)

Seventh prize: a wool and satin suit (cost $7.57)

23rd prize: Plaid suit (cost: $9.22)

"Great applause greeted 203-lb. Mrs. Smith for her dress's slimming lines"

Elegant formal dress

Most exotic entry: pantaloon-and-coat

Monday, February 24, 2014

1970s Sportive Style from Christian Dior and Vogue!

Coordinated outfits were immensely popular in the 1970s. They would stretch your dollars and your wardrobe with style and these examples from February 1973 are no exception!

In the background, it's the "Very Easy Vogue" 8474 pattern of three quarter length cardigan jacket with an A-line skirt and wide, straight slacks. In front is Vogue Paris Original 2816, Christian Dior's easy elegance of classic belted suit with casual jacket over an A-line box-pleated skirt.
If these strike your fancy, you can find Vogue 8474 in the following Etsy shops:
 I couldn't find Vogue 2816, but there are other, similar patterns from Vogue and Christian Dior available, if you don't mind browsing.
And while you're browsing Etsy, be sure to pick up an authentic pair of 1970s Christian Dior sunglasses:

And a 1970s Christian Dior hat!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s - Make a Cloche from Ribbon!

A cloche made from ribbon? You can make this smart hat from less than two yards of six inch-wide ribbon - Ruth shows you how! Tucks and a pleated fan add eye-catching detail - who's game to sew up this lovely, Downton Abbey-worthy cloche? Share a picture if you do!

Click the image for a larger and easier to read view.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s - Trimmings for your Cloche

This delightful tip from sewing maven of the 1920s, Ruth Wyeth Spears, provides patterns and complete instructions for adding floral accents to your "between seasons hat". Between seasons - would that be spring and fall? Regardless, satin ribbons and strips of taffeta are used to create flowers and leaves. No embroidery required!

Be sure to click the image to view a larger image that you can print and read more easily. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

1973 Accessories for a February Getaway

What accessories were hot in February 1973? According to Vogue, they included platform shoes, sunglasses framed in wide, brightly-colored plastic frames, and "carpet bag" handbags in colorful patterns slung from wooden handle grips. Fill in the color!

If you need to add some great 70s accessories like these to go with your 70s wardrobe, be sure to check out Etsy vintage shops - they are a treasure trove! Here is just a very tiny sample, selected at random:

Platform shoes




Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Home Sewings Tip from the 1920s - Sew Yourself a Felt Cloche!

In this 1920s tip from expert seamstress Ruth Wyeth Spears, you are provided full instructions for sewing a felt cloche, with the brim pattern piece included. Note the big bow effect in back. Do you have a third yard of felt handy?

If you want to sew it, click on the link to enlarge the image, and then print that image. You may need to adjust the overall length to fit your head measurements. I think I need to sew up this one!

Monday, February 17, 2014

"Glamor-eyes" with 1950s Sunglasses!

Humdinger style? You bet! Her sunglasses look modern to me. The fellas - well not nearly as cool. ;)

Note her strapless gown and the pearls at her throat - just begging for sunglasses as the perfect accessory. ;)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Scraps from the Past - Pucci Gown in Polyester DoubleKnit?

It sounds like a heresy - but this is the 1970s, after all!

The Pattern: Vogue Couturier Design 2788 (Pucci)

The Scrap: Eeek! Tucked inside this pattern was a heather-y orange polyester doubleknit! The color doesn't look as orange in the scanned image as it looks in real life, but trust me - it is true to the 1970s. :)

And a bonus! Also tucked in the envelope was the original Vogue Couturier design label, for sewing inside the dress.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

February 1973 - Taking Up the Slacks with Vogue Fashion!

Stay warm in a squall with this great fashion from February 1973 and Vogue!

On the left, Vogue 2814, Yves Saint Laurent's topper with outsized flap patch pockets, combined with a belted tunic top and wonderfully wide pants. On the right, Vogue 8475, a blouson jacket with raglan sleeves, tailored shirt, and flared wide-leg pants. Fab!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Home Sewing Tips of the 1920s - Draping the Bridal Veil

In this tip for 1920s brides, Ruth Wyeth Spears describes the most desirable way to wear a bridal veil. Note the choices of length in comparison to the length of the bridal frock, and the fact that the veil is worn close to the head (rather "cloche-style"). :)

Is there a wreath of orange blossoms in your future? And Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Patti Page in a 1950s Dreamy Strapless Gown

The wonderful singer Patti Page is early in her singing career in this 1951 image, where she is wearing a stunning strapless gown. That snug bodice is trimmed with a dramatic ruffle at the bust. Wow!

Factoid: Page's signature song, "Tennessee Waltz", recorded in 1950, was one of the biggest-selling singles of the 20th century.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s - Attractive Collars for Silk Capes

Need an eye-catching collar for your silk cape? Try a ruffled collar that is definitely flattering, no matter what era. More complex and a bit intriguing is a collar that is shirred with cords, folded, and then stitched to the cape.

Brought to you by Ruth Wyeth Spears, author of Home Sewing Tips (from the 1920s).

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

1951 Maillot - Fabulous Style is Timeless!

Cole of California placed its model "under water" in this wonderful ad from 1951. It features a cotton one-piece swimsuit with details such as shirring, shelf bust trimmed with a cuff, and a halter neck. Love that pose!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s - Simplicity + Wise Choices = Well Dressed

Keep it simple and plain, and then ornament with a spot of spark and flair - that is the wisdom in this bit of advice from Ruth Wyeth Spears and the 1920s!

Select the image to enlarge it for easier reading.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Escape the February Winter Blues, 1970s Style

Tired of winter? Ponder a getaway to warmer climes in superb travel clothes from 1973!

Consider this all-weather coat from Vogue and Yves St Laurent, with its tented flare and bold collar. It's perfect for making your escape with incredible style and great ease. :D