Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Let's Be Glamorous!

Let's get glamorous with this great 50s hairstyle! I used an easy curling iron method for bit of everyday glamor.

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Gala

My life does not have many opportunities for glamor but this weekend I went to a charity gala for Alzheimer's research.

And what does one wear to a gala except an evening gown and vintage velvet jacket!

The velvet jacket was given to me by my mother-in-law. I'm not sure how old it is but it's very pretty. The lining needs to be replaced but it's still wearable.

The Gala was so much fun! Good wine and good food and everyone all gussied up!

Ironically enough, the gala was across the street from the art institute where I originally photographed this outfit.

Everyone loved my dress! I felt oh so fabulous in it!

Have you ever been to a gala?

Friday, February 21, 2014

I like to skate

I'm not a big sports fan but I do love to ice skate. There's a cute little ice rink at a park near my home and my hubby took me there recently.

It was pretty chilly so I had to bundle up.

I took ice skating lessons as a child. I can't do anything fancy but I can skate around without falling down.

I opted for a 40s look even though you can't see most of it under my coat.

My "fancy" trick.

 The whole day was a lot of fun. My hubby doesn't skate since he has bad ankles so he spent the day photographing me skating.

He makes me look good.

 But sometimes I'm just too goofy.

What is your favorite winter outdoor activity?

Photographs: Will Thorpe

Monday, February 17, 2014

HSF #3: Pink

This Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge was to make something pink. I like pink and I had a few yards of dusty rose pink rayon in my stash. I paired it with a great early 40s pattern for a sharp look.

(I am susceptible to the colors on the pattern cover......)

This challenge coincided nicely with Valentine's Day so I had something pink to wear out on Feb. 14.

The Challenge: Pink (ie make something pink!!)
Fabric: dusty rose rayon ($4/yd)
Pattern: Simplicity 3583
Year: 1940s war era
Notions: zipper ($2), vintage buttons ($3)
How historically accurate is it? Very. I used period construction techniques, period appropriate fabric and a period pattern. Not sure how old the buttons are but they are plastic and metal which is period appropriate
Hours to complete: 8ish- this was the dress that didn't want to get made....
First worn: Feb. 14th 2014
Total cost: $15

My hubby bought me some pretty blue diamond earrings as an early Vday present so I wanted to incorporate blue into the outfit. Enter pretty blue vintage buttons. And they matched my blue knitted bolero so well.

 I also accessorized with a great vintage fur hat that was a gift from my high school drama teacher.

 This dress fought me all the way. First, this fabric was the end of the roll and it had a few sticky bits from leftover tape. So there was a bit on the bodice back but I was just going to put it on the inside. Then when I ironed it and the goo seeped over to the right side. So I had to cut a new back piece.

Then I messed up grading the skirt and the waist ended up 6 inches too big. I hardly had to add any width at the hip and that should have been a tip off that something was wrong. So out with the seam ripper and scissors.

Lastly, I also cut out the cute little belt loops from version 2. But I top stitched them from the wrong side..... then I made the button hole from the wrong side. This was about 4pm on Friday so I just left them off. I may go back and add them in later but who knows.

Pardon the wrinkles. This was after a long (snowy) drive out to our church for dinner and a movie date night and then dinner and a movie.

But I really love how the final dress turned out so I'm glad I pushed through the problems.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Back to Basics

Sometimes, it's great to just have a bunch of basics that you can throw together into an outfit. And by sometimes, I mean all the time.

And that's just what happened with this outfit. Basic green skirt, basic white shirt, basic blue sweater and basic(ish) tan hat.

The blouse is Advance 5900 that I made last September.

The hat is a recent find from a local vintage store called Feathers. I just love all of the beading that is still in mint condition! I'm sure I'll get loads of wear out of it! (Those of you who have already started following my brand new instagram will have seen it already.)

The pullover is a new knitting FO. I actually finished it right along side my Knit for Victory project but haven't gotten a chance to wear it until now. It's the Sport's Sweater from A Stitch In Time Vol. 2 although I can't imagine actually doing sports in this sweater (or really any sweater....). It was quite fun to knit but I got side tracked when it came to picking up all of the stitches for the ribbing at the neckline. Two things I do not enjoy knitting....

The skirt is McCall 7032 which is a basic gored skirt with a pleat in the front. I was inspired by Rochelle of Lucky Lucille's lovely basic green skirt and I just *had* to have my own. (and I may or may not have had the exact same fabric she used in my stash.....) I need to go back in and re-enforce the pleat a bit more but I can see this getting loads of wear!

My green check conure Kiwi posed with me for a few shots. I blew him kisses.

And he gave me kisses back! Love my baby!

What are your favorite basics to wear?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Skin Care Basics

Today we are talking skin care!

What are your favorite skin care products?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Tutorial: Cheater FBA for Blouses with Gathers

Today I'm going to share with you how I did an FBA on Wearing History's Dahlia blouse. I made a youtube tutorial to show the basic technique I used.

Ok, so let's look at how I adjusted the pattern pieces.

I added 1/2" using my cheater FBA method to each side of the wrap front piece. You have to do two FBAs when dealing with a wrap front because each half of the wrap goes over both girls.

I also added 1/2" to the waist band piece so it will still match up. It's cut on the fold so you only have to add the spread once.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Hair Experiments

Sometimes, it's fun to experiment with new things. 

 Like today, I tried a new setting pattern for a 50s swept back hair do.

 It certainly wasn't a perfect first try but you have to start somewhere.

I'm convinced that with more practice, I can do better.

Although I do quite like the way this side view looks. It was fun trying out something new.

 I paired my new do with a new 3/4 circle skirt and black turtle neck. I was going for a bit of late 50s early 60s glamor.

To add to the glam factor, I accessorized with my great-grandmother's vintage brooch and some sparkly lucite earrings.

What new hair style have you been dying to try?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Preserving the Past through Fashion

Hannah of Just Peachy, Darling is presenting at The Saving Places Conference this week and she's asked several bloggers including yours truly to write about preserving the past and this is my contribution!

Growing up, history was always my least favorite subject. It wasn't until I got interested in vintage fashion and historical costuming. Now I have a passion for the past that I never thought I'd have.

One way that I love preserving the past is by rediscovering period methods of doing things. Period sources can only get you so far and it's not always possible to speak to someone who was alive during the time to ask. Sometimes a little experimentation is necessary.

Even as close as the 19-teens are to modern times and with the availability of photographs from this period, there are a lot of questions still left to be answered. One question I really had to investigate was the question of undergarments. Which ones did people wear and in what order?

Looking at period photographs, you'd think this was the norm:

However, personal experience tells me that wearing combinations or drawers under a long line corset means that you have to get completely undressed and take off the corset every time you have to go to the bathroom or risk a high probability of getting your, um, business all over your lacey unmentionables (even when your combinations/drawers are split!). Or hold it all day but that's not really a viable option for everyday life. So it's likely that combinations/drawers were worn over corsets and these Edwardian "pin-up" photos were not accurate to everyday life.

combinations over a corset

Another cool history experiment I did was try out an authentic 50s haircut and an authentic 40s haircut. Once I'd mastered pin curling, I wanted to see if the right haircut would take my hair styles the extra mile. It really made things a lot easier and helped me figure out what sorts of haircut features you'd need to do certain hairstyles. Just like you can't do all types of modern hairstyles with one haircut, the same was true of ladies of the past. Once I recracked the code, so to speak, I could add it to my blog posts and youtube videos to share with all of you.

unstyled middy haircut

In this way, all of us who love vintage fashion can participate in preserving history. We still have access to a lot of primary resources and people who lived through those decades we love. By educating ourselves in the historically accurate way of doing things (even if we don't choose to do them historically accurately all the time), we can preserve history for future generations especially.

So celebrate being a historian! Whether it's through loving and preserving vintage clothing, or through making up vintage patterns or through rediscovering how to do great vintage hair dos, we all play an important role in preserving history.