Monday, June 29, 2015

Date Night

My hubby and I try to do date night at least once a week. Sometimes we go for a movie or a picnic on the beach or just a night in playing board and card games. This week, we went out to a new to us restaurant so I had the occasion to get dolled up.

I'm still loving my 1940s capsule wardrobe and have been wearing pieces from it quite regularly. This dress is my nice dress for spring and summer and I just love the great shade of green!

 I made it from Sense and Sensibility Swing Dress. It was quite a success story for me because I originally made this pattern way, way back in winter/spring 2011 and it didn't go over so well.

This one fits so much better but it still has limited range of motion in the arms so I like to wear it for everyday. And it gapes a bit at the neckline so I have to wear a cami under it. Alas, if I sewed it together where I wanted it to stay, I couldn't get my head through the head hole.

Anyways, back to the outfit. I accessorized with my Erstwilder cockatoo brooch. Then I pulled colors from it for the rest of my accessories-yellow gloves, black snood and white shoes.

I've been wearing snoods a lot lately. They are perfect for high humidity days when my hair just won't cooperate. I'd been out all afternoon, first at an outdoor event and then swimming to cool off after being outdoors. So my poor hair was just about done for the day.

All I can say is yay for air conditioning. It makes life so much better! Add that to the list of reasons why I'm glad I didn't live in the past before ac was prevalent.

 All in all, this outfit was perfect for a great night out finished off with an amazing bread pudding that I was going to photograph and share with you, but I completely forgot when it arrived. And the poor dessert didn't last too long after that.

Bread pudding is one of those odd desserts that I always have to get if I see it on the menu somewhere. That and creme brulee. Nom nom nom nom.

 What's your favorite dessert that is impossible to pass up?

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Blue Green

I've been wearing the same outfits over and over again lately so sometimes it is hard to decide what to show you on the blog. I've got good selection of easy basics that are perfect for the heat right now that I keep pulling out.

 The weather here in Florida is way more predictable than it ever was in Ohio. I don't even need to check the forecast anymore. It's been around 90 with a chance of rain in the afternoon/evening with no sign of change for quite a while.

I'm so not used to that! When it's 60 and cloudy and then 80 and sunny and then 75 and rainy etc it's so easy to vary your wardrobe because every day needs something different.

Oh, well. This is the sort of thing that can lead to wardrobe creativity. And I've been working on it.

For this outfit, I wore a blue swiss dot blouse. I love this blouse because the dots are too cute! And it's very light weight but opaque so I don't need a cami underneath it like I would with a white one.

And on the bottom, I'm wearing a 40s skirt in a green cotton/linen blend. It's rather wrinkly but I'd much rather be wrinkly and comfy in a natural fiber than wrinkle free and boiling in synthetics.

Since I went so basic with my clothes, I decided that I needed a hat to spice things up. Hats are perfect for spicing up a basic outfit. I've decided I really need to start wearing my hats again, even if it's just to the grocery store (which is what I did today).

My hair is in another one of those awkward grow out stages. It's too short for a gibson roll or low bun and it's much too humid for curls everyday so I've been wearing lots of snoods. Snoods and hat's weren't really meant to be worn together but sometimes you can make it work!

I've also been trying to wear more of my cute shoes since I don't have so many footwear restrictions as I did in Ohio but alas many of my cute shoes have flat, slick bottoms which I'm finding makes driving more difficult so I've been wearing these white shoes a lot.

Speaking of shoes and feet and things on the ground, the grass here is very different from the grass in Ohio. It's a crab grass and very tall and springy. So that's why my shoes are always hidden in the grass. The landscapers where actually mowing yesterday and it's still quite tall!

 Don't forget to leave a question for me on my Q&A video post!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Fashions of Everyday People: 1940s

There are loads of great places to get vintage fashion inspiration but I love shots of every day ladies! It's a great reminder that people didn't look like picture perfect models back then anymore then we do today! So let's look at some lovely ladies from the 1940s.

I love these three friends. Their outfits are all different but they each share several key features of a great 1940s look. Each outfit has one thing that really pulls focus- a great button detail, a fun print or a bold brooch. And get a load of their shoes!

Check out this gal's gingham dress. Note the fun use of bias cut on the pockets! And again with the fabulous shoes.

And look at this darling girl bowling! Her dress has some great floral accents but I love her fun expression and cute snood even more! And she's bowling in her stockings. I've always wondered how the bowling shoes worked when ladies always wore stockings.

 I wonder where this pair was going dressed up so sharp. I'm particularly swooning over the hat on the girl on the right but I do have a soft spot for a peter pan collar too!

These three are standing in front of a recruiting station. I wonder if they just volunteered.

School fashions have always been a favorite of mine especially considering that most of my adult life has been spent on and around a college campus. Chic and easy separates and practical shoes are a must for any school girl.

Look at this darling couple! While this might have been a going away dress, I think it was her wedding dress as she and her hubby are wearing matching corsages.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Asking for Questions

I want to do a Q&A video which means, of course, that I need questions! So please let me know what you want to know!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Lips as red as rose

Do you ever have one of those projects that just fights you? Well, one happened to me recently. The dress you are about to see actually has appeared on this blog before but in a slightly different version.

I had grand visions of a fabulous 50s shirtwaist dress when I first spied this lovely rose print cotton swiss dot. It's part of Gertie's fabric line. So some yardage came home with me and I started plotting.

Originally, I opted for the bodice from Simplicity 2851 but I swapped out the late 40s skirt for a pleated fuller 50s style one. I loved the sweet collar and easy cut on sleeves.

But the waist came out too big. I did have this great wide red belt that I could have used to make it work but I do like flexibility in my wardrobe. Plus I didn't like the lack of mobility from the cut on sleeves. And then I messed up the position of the button holes so they weren't centered properly.

Thankfully, I had over a yard of extra fabric left and I could squeeze out a new bodice. My next try was Butterick 8078 which I'd made twice before. (1) (2)

It's got a great collar design! And then all I had to do was convert the 3/4 length sleeve into a short sleeve. And that's where things went wrong again. I tried a narrow shoulder adjustment and it didn't work out. Whoops!

I fretted for a few days and then just decided to scrap the sleeves and make it a sleeveless dress. I live in Florida now and sleeveless dresses are perfect for summer.

I'm so happy to have been able to use some of these cute vintage glitter buttons. So pretty! I wanted something pretty enough for this dress but that wouldn't compete with the fabric. These were the winners. Plus I have four more that I'll be saving for future project.

I also copied the opening style from a vintage dress. The skirt closes in the center front but it's hidden in the pleats. The pleats over lap enough so that the opening stays closed.

To play up the great vintage buttons, I accessorized with a vintage crystal necklace that belonged to my husband's grandmother. I love sparkly things!

So even though this was a trial and error project, I'm so happy that I pushed through and finished it. Yay for pretty new dresses!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Pins and Pin Curls

Recently, I got the urge to do a pin curl set. I haven't really done much pin curling since moving to Florida because between the wind and the humidity, curls don't really last that long. But this week, I was ready to try again.

And it turned out pretty good! I did a few things to help including a few extra hair products to help my curls stay in. I also hit my hair with the blow dryer to help dry my hair a bit before pin curling. High humidity lengthens the drying time so starting with drier hair insured that I wouldn't wake up with damp pin curls.

Admittedly, I didn't spend a lot of time outside. I can't imagine they would have lasted at an outdoor event but I did do chores around the house, go out for a lunch date with the hubby and run some errands before getting time to take outfit photos.

 Now that I know that my hair can do some pin curls, I may experiment with a better cut for them. My hair is not remotely the correct shape. It's a bob with almost no layers so the curls don't lay as prettily as they could.                                                                                                                                                                                                  

I have been growing it out to be able to do more up dos so I've been avoiding the salon. We'll see. I may try and hold out a bit longer.

I wore a comfy vintage day dress for a day of running around but since it was date day also, I dressed it up with some fun accessories. Of course, I'm wearing my trusty faux pearls but also a pair of Sparkle Lux earrings and an Erstwilder brooch.

I've admired Erstwilder brooches for a long time so I snagged a few in a recent Pin Up Girl Clothing sale since they've recently started carrying them. Erstwilder is an Australian company and not being able to find a lot of stockists in the US is one of the reasons it took me so long to buy one.

They are super cute! Most of their designs are animals like this sea horse although they do have some other designs. I also love that they use a lot of australian animals and flowers in their designs. Who doesn't love some Aussie critters?                

To tie in with the pink seahorse, I picked a pretty pink Red Apple Lipstick and a pair of pink Sparkle Lux earrings. The key to adding new colors to an outfit with accessories is wearing multiple accessories in the same color.

I had a ton of fun putting this outfit together. You can expect to see a bunch more Erstwilder pretties on the blog with the future. I've worn them quite a bit later but those outfits didn't make it on to the blog.

 Of course, it's hard not to love an outfit with a twirly skirt!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Beat the Heat: 1950s

Ah, summer! It's one of my favorite seasons but it does take a bit of effort to stay cool in the summer heat and humidity. So today we're looking for some midcentury inspiration for those hot, hot days of summer.

Sun protection is key in the heat. Try a large sun hat and playsuit for a casual outing. Bonus points for giant flowers on your flip flops.

For more formal events, stick to light colors and sleeveless or short sleeved dresses. Pick cotton or linen for maximum comfort.

Casual separates are perfect for summer. Wear a loose blouse untucked over shorts or capris for summer chic. These same blouses can be worn tucked into a skirt (see upper right) for a more office appropriate look.

Don't be afraid of some coverage during the summer. Anywhere that is covered won't be sun burned! Stick to light weight loose fitting pieces like wide legged trousers or a great top like this lady is sporting.

 Try a great structured pony tail with pin curls for a style that will keep you cool and stay looking great on even the most humid days. I tried finding a source for this photo to see if there was a tutorial but no such luck. If you know this lovely lady or where this photo came from, please let me know!

Sporty separates in solid colors are perfect for water sports especially boating! Growing up, summer usually meant a beach vacation or a trip to Maine to visit my paternal grandparents who live by a pond and own a boat.

 Speaking of vacation, don't forget to think about special pieces that you may want for your summer vacation. Mix and match pieces in easy care fabrics are perfect for vacation. The last thing you want to worry about on vacation is uncomfortable outfits or pieces that need special attention.

How are your summer wardrobe plans going?