Tuesday, September 30, 2014

One Pattern, Many Blouses - Inspired 1940s Style!

I recently posted Simplicity 1093 (below) in my shop. While I love detailed blouses with lots of tailored qualities, I also love simpler blouses styles that are designed to let the fabric be the star. And that is just what is provided by this popular pattern from the 1940s. It was so popular, that Simplicity reproduced it for its 85th anniversary, as retro pattern number 1692.

In this post, I feature two fashion bloggers and sewists who made multiple versions of this wonderful pattern. Prepare to be inspired! Note that each link for each blouse version is to the original blog posting by the sewist, so be sure to follow the links to read all about their sewing experience and see more pictures!

Here is a version of each blouse style:

View 1: Jacquard fawn silk version by Tulle and Tweed

View 2: Floral cotton lawn version by Tulle and Tweed

View 3: Glamorous velveteen version by Flashback Summer

View 4: Perfect summer floral print version from Flashback Summer

Tulle and Tweed also sewed a version that combines style 3 and style 4. Check it out here!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s - Add a Detachable Collar and Matching Tie

Make a detachable Chelsea collar and matching tie with this great tip from Ruth Wyeth Spears and the 1920s! In this tip, Ruth refers to foulard, a lightweight fabric (often of silk) and usually with a small printed design of various colors.

This collar and tie has such a jaunty air. :)  Quick to sew and a great way to use a remnant, don't you think?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Originator Sketch - Spring 1946 - Fan-shaped Tucks & Pleats

Fan pleats and fan tucks are such an elegant method for releasing fabric softly, I'm surprised they aren't used more often. It's a treat when I find them in vintage patterns, typically for blouses and dresses, and most often at the neckline or shoulders. This sketch provides true inspiration!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

1950s Couture Dress from Givenchy with Artful Curves

This slim dress in the sketch below was designed by Givenchy in 1955. It is loosely fitted with a high bust band that curves and swings to a back, low-placed button. Short sleeves and a collarless neckline. Note the tea length. Such intriguing fashion!

Here is the dress as developed by manufacturers for the American market. I'd love to see what that matching jacket looks like!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Miss Lillian's Postcards from the 1900s - Vintage Tweets from Los Angeles, California

Postcard 019

Sender: Joni
Addressee: Miss Lillian Maguire,  (Luyties) Vandeventer + Laclede, St. Louis, Mo
Postmark: Los Angeles, CAL
Date: October 2, 1907
Image: In Westlake Park, Los Angeles, California
with best love from Joni

Westlake Park, which opened in 1890, was one of the first parks developed in Los Angeles. Select the link to view the history of its creation and to see more pictures and postcards from the same era as this postcard. You'll see men and women that provide a sense of the fashion of the day. :)

Joni (or could it be Jane?) is sending an affectionate hello to Miss Lillian at her work address (rather than at home), all the way from Los Angeles, California! Such an exotic destination in that era, I would think. It is a fairly "girlish" penmanship, if I may call it that, so I think this is clearly from a female friend or family member.

I think this post card is the equivalent of sending a heart icon in a tweet or FB post. Don't you? Maybe two or three hearts - this is "with best love" after all. :)

Gown from 1907

Monday, September 22, 2014

Before and After: 1940s Pants Add Class to Work Wardrobe

If you are not familiar with the blog Flashback Summer (of vintage fashion aficionado Emileigh), you need to check it out and follow it! In a recent post, Emileigh kindly described her experience sewing a pair of 1940s slacks using a pattern that she purchased from my shop.

The Pattern: Simplicity 4362

The Result: Doesn't Emileigh look superb in these sophisticated slacks? A flattering fit for work, the slacks look both stylish and comfortable. And not difficult to sew! For all the details and more pictures, check out  Flashback Summer.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

1930s Formal Frock

The perfect frock for graduation, a prom, any festivities that a young woman can attend! This lovely formal gown from 1937 features a long flared princess-seamed skirt, lightly fitted bodice, shirred shoulders and cuffs on the puff sleeves, and graceful sash ties. So pretty!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s - Using Tucks to Add Chic to Your One-Hour Frock

I have to admit, Ruth is simply so clever! This is essentially the "one-hour dress" that I posted previously, but with pin tucks, appliqued pockets, and tie belts at drop waistline. What makes it so clever is that the pin tucks are sewn in place before the pattern pieces are cut! The little hip pockets sweetly adorned with floral appliques and tie belts add delightful touches. Ruth actually refers to the use of a "basic pattern", but it looks like the one-hour dress to me, just no godets required! ;)

I love it when she specifies colors. Can you imagine the almond green crepe de chine? :)

I so want to try this! If any of you do make this, I would be delighted if you would add a comment to this post with a link to your blog post on the results. I would love to see this come to life. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

1950s Robe Re-fashion - From Princess to Double-Breasted

Ready for another robe re-fashion from the 1950s? In this re-fashion, the robe (in the small inset in this image below) was too tight and too short, but with plenty of fabric that made it worth a re-fashion. The original is princess style, and the re-fashion changes it into a double-breasted robe that is longer and wider.

What was done? The sleeves, collar, and center front panels were removed. The pattern in the diagram below was used to create new front panels by tracing around the old ones, adding one inch to each side, and four inches to the length. The diagram shows how the top of the new panels were shaped to form a notched lapel collar. Two yards of rayon faille were used to create the new front panels, which are faced. The rest of the robe was lengthened with a four-inch faille band. The robe was also trimmed with six faille-covered buttons. Each sleeve was widened by inserting a two-inch wide strip cut from the old panel under the arm, altering the armhole to fit. Narrow faille cuffs were added.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

1940s Originator Sketch - Eye-Catching Blouse Details

Here is another page of inspiring fashion from the 1940s, this time details for blouses! And I have to admit that 1940s (and 1950s) produced some of the best blouse designs ever. This collection demonstrates artful use of pin tucks, soft inverted pleats, and eye-catching use of reverse darts accented with fixed bows. Superb!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Miss Lillian's Postcards - Vintage Tweets: Wauwatosa Wisconsin

Postcard 018

Sender: Unknown
Addressee: Miss Lillian Maguire,  c/o Luyties Homo. Phar., Co., St. Louis, Mo
Postmark: Milwaukee, WIS
Date: September 3, 1907
Image: Public Library, Wauwatosa, WIS

The Public Library in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin in the early 1900s - today it is housed in a much larger, very modern facility.

Who sent Miss Lillian this postal with no message? And to her work address no less. Could be from a co-worker, perhaps a traveling salesman? Friend or acquaintance? Your guess is good as mine, unless we can match the handwriting to a postcard with the sender's signature. At least we know that Lillian still has her job!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Sew It Yourself - Junior Skirt and Shawl

In my recent post of high school back-to-school fashion from the late 1940s was this lovely skirt and matching shawl or stole.

While you can't travel back in time to purchase this, you can sew this fashion trend of the late '40s using this pattern from Junior Vogue and 1948, which is currently in my shop:

I love the plaid version - now if only I were a junior size.... ;)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s - Making a Smart and Becoming House Dress Without a Pattern - in an Hour!

Be amazed! In this tip from Ruth Wyeth Spears for her 1920s audience, she provides instructions for making the simplest dress ever, without a pattern! She describes not only how to fit the fabric to your shape, but also how to add godets to add flare. It need only take an hour, she says!

So, the previous year's house dresses looked like plain aprons, did they? I can only imagine. :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

1955 Givenchy Suit - American Style

This suit by Givenchy from 1955 has a back-dipping silhouette, with a distinctive semi-detached band that hangs free from the jacket at center back.

The American adaptation, in linen-like silk, modifies the jacket's back belt dip (you can see it, just look for that small gap) and shortens the sleeves to 3/4 length.

Slim and chic!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

1930s - Another Lovely Frock

I love the artful design of the bodice in this lovely dress from the 1930s - gathers at a contoured high waist, with cute little tie belts at the natural waistline that tie in back. Drawn with sheer fabric, it is simply a delight.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Miss Lillian's Postcards - Vintage Tweets from the 1900s - An Invitation to a Sunday Visit

Postcard 017

Sender: Lillian R. Moy [undecipherable squiggle]
Addressee: Miss Lillian Maguire,  3004 Vine Grove Ave., City
Postmark: St. Louis, MO
Date: July 15, 1907
Image: View from Compton Heights Water Tower, St. Louis, MO
Dear Lil & Kate:
Don't forget: you girls
are due at our house the
last Sunday this month,
July 28th. You know where
we live, if not, write a [note] I 
will so inform you. Till
then,Yours truly,
Lillian R. Moy [undecipherable squiggle]

Built in 1898, the Compton Heights Water Tower was on the highest point in St. Louis at that time and was surrounded by a lovely manicured park. It remains a monument and tourist attraction to this day.

An invitation! And Lillian, shortened to "Lil" here, has a sister, Kate (in addition to her older sister Anne)!  How exciting! The two girls apparently get to go on a Sunday visit to Lillian Moy's home. What is that undecipherable squiggle at the end of the sender's name?

 A fashionable gown from 1907

Monday, September 8, 2014

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s - Fitting the Kimono Sleeve Dress

When sleeves are one-in-piece with the bodice, it makes it easier to sew (theoretically - no shoulder seams!), but doesn't necessarily result in optimal fit. In this truly excellent tip from Ruth Wyeth Spears and the 1920s, you will learn a couple of ways to resolve the dilemma if you are not one of the lucky ones with very straight and slim shoulders.

Kimono sleeves (also known as French sleeves) have remained popular throughout the decades, although I would say their peak was in the 1950s and early 1960s. Adding gussets under the arms is about the only addition made by pattern designers & manufacturers to improve the wearability of this style. Which makes this tip from Ruth very valuable indeed.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

1950s Paris Fashion: Dior Dress & Jacket, American-Style

From the Fall 1955 collection, this is a sketch of Dior's back-buttoned camisole dress of tawny wool, with a panel flying free from the skirt, and a cropped jacket with back fullness.

Here is Dior's dress, as envisioned by American dress manufacturers, adapted for the evening in metal-shot moire, and incorporat9ng the panel into the skirt. A very fitted jacket is substituted for the loose one. In one word? Dreamy.

 Featured in Woman's Home Companion, October 1955 edition.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Miss Lillian's Vintage Postcards: Vintage Tweets - A Trip to N. Tonawanda, NY

Postcard 016

Sender: Morton
Addressee: Lillian M. Maguire,  3004 Vine Grove Ave., St. Louis, Mou
Postmark: North Tonawanda NY
Date: July 12, 1907
Image: Unloading Lumber in the Twin Cities of Tonawanda and N. Tonawanda N.Y. The Largest Lumber Market in the World
Come again
From Morton

Was N. Tonawanda NY really the lumber capital of the world in 1907? Located between Buffalo and Niagara Falls, North Tonawanda calls itself "The Lumber Jack City," and once was the largest port on the Great Lakes during the height of the Erie Canal.

Now here is a short tweet if ever there was one. Evidently Lillian traveled to more than one place in New York on her summer trip. Hello, there, Morton! Are you family or friend?

A fashionable gown from 1907

Friday, September 5, 2014

Accessorize Your '60s Cocktail Dress!

It's the hunt for accessories! This wonderful Patt-O-Rama mail order pattern from 1966 that I posted yesterday in my shop features a chic two-piece dress with a focus on the accessories.

The pattern included this additional sheet that describes how to accessorize this dress in three different ways! I thought it would be fun to see if I could find vintage fabric and accessories in Etsy shops to match the suggestions. Check them out below. :) Did I do a fair job? Do all the elements work together? Feel free to suggest alternate choices!

I will say, that just the exercise of selecting the pieces for each version made it easier to imagine myself in each version of this two-piece dress. A very fun and useful result!

LEFT: Fabric & Accessories for Dress Sewn in Brocade

Shop: Fabric Depot

 Shop: Cristi Natural

Store: From The Vanity

Shop: Vintage Brink

Shop: Truly Vintage UK

BOTTOM: Fabric & Accessories for Dress Sewn in Linen

Shop: My Fabric Studio

Shop: Vintage Vixen

Shop: Frocks N FrillsVintage

Shop: Jens Closet

Shop: The Swanky Fox

RIGHT: Fabric & Accessories for Dress Sewn in Brown Herringbone Wool

Shop: Fabric Consortium

Shop:  bobby's Boutique

Shop:  Yesterday Time

Shop: Joann Brocanto Vintage

Shop: Beautiful Passions

Shop:  Kat's Cache

Shop: Pinky LaRoux