Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summer Yellow

There are some colors that just go so well with summer and I think yellow is one of those colors!

Not to mention that bright cheerful colors help me be more perky in the morning. (I am so not a morning person.....)

And you know, I just bought a cute pair of yellow gloves! Normally, I'm much more of a matchy matchy person when it comes to shades of colors, but I'm trying to get over it.

Alas, we've gotten to the part of the summer where my hair deflates a lot if I'm outside at all. Oh, how it makes me long for the days when it was long enough to just throw up in a snood.

Let's hope you're all too distracted by my bright yellow dress to notice.

What colors do you love wearing in the summer?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

More on the vintage silhouette

Judging by your comments on my bra post last week, getting a good silhouette is important to many of you! So let's discuss the basics of proper 50s under pinnings!

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Country BBQ

One thing I really miss when having an apartment is grilling out. So I love when friends invite me over for a bbq!

The weather was really gorgeous but a bit sunny so it was the perfect excuse to pull out this great sun hat.

These friends are huge animal lovers and have all sorts of creatures including chickens!

I love birds and these guys are pretty cute! The babies are even cuter. :D

I love these silver confetti earrings! They go with pretty much everything but they are quite huge.

This dress is Simplicity 2801 that I made back in May.

I love that it pretty much speaks for itself and doesn't need a whole lot to make an outfit.

I wish I had thought to take a shot of the steaks we had. They were huge! Even the guys ended up splitting them.

Do you love summer bbqs?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Importance of Silhouette

When going for a vintage look, silhouette is important. It really goes a long way towards making you look authentic vs costumey.

A while ago, I mentioned on facebook that I had bought a vintage style bra at Kohl's and I've been trying it out ever since. (You may have spied it in a few previous outfit posts.)

 The bra I choose was Playtex 18 Hour Classic Support style 20/27 wire free. The website lists them a bit odd and B&C are here and D&DD are here.

 I did have some trouble with finding the right size. One cup size was completely full, possibly too full but the next cup size up had a lot of empty space. I went with the smaller cup (which was smaller than the cup size I wear in modern bras. I'm still not sure I ended up with the correct size but the shape is definitely more 40s/50s! :D

Tasha of By Gum By Golly has an excellent post on how to find a great 40s style bra. That's what I used when shopping for my bra. Hint: You'll want to look in the old lady section.

And goodness, it sure worked! My girls are definitely NOT modern shaped. They are higher, pointier and quite separated. Check out this outfit with a modern bra here.

It looks great under sweaters (and vintage dresses) and just gives a bit extra umpf to my look. I'd definitely recommend this for you gals looking for an affordable vintage style bra.

It's pretty comfy and isn't too odd looking. I don't have quite enough guts to wear a bullet bra. This particular one gives a nice 40s/conservative 50s shape.

I'm so happy to finally have this piece of my vintage foundations down! Costuming has taught me that the correct underpinnings are so important! Do you wear vintage style undergarments or do you stick with normal ones. What's your favorite brand?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Youtube: Beginner's Vintage Beauty Kit

Getting started in vintage can be pretty intimidating! But vintage make up can be simpler than you think! Here are my top beauty products that you need for a vintage look.

What are your vintage beauty must haves?

Monday, June 17, 2013

HSF#12: Pretty Pretty Princess

It's Historical Sew Fortnightly time again! This challenge was pretty pretty princess! "Channel your inner princess and her royal wardrobe. Pick a princess, queen, empress, arch-duchess, or a de-facto queen as inspiration for a fabulously royal frock (or other garment). The occasional prince is also most welcome."

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Tada!  I took a bit of a different approach to this challenge. I love historical masquerade and fancy dress costumes so this is my 19-teens does Elizabethan fancy dress.

I was inspired by dresses such as these:

 See this pinterest board for sources.

 I ultimately decided to focus my design on the bottom left dress from 1916.

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Fabric: 5 yds red home dec ($45), 2.25 yds sheer embroidered leaves ($16), 2 1/3 yd white crepe ($10)
Pattern: VPLL Ladies Dinner Dress c. 1918, Simplicity 3782 (and some drafting)
Year: 1916-1918
Notions: 150 glass pearls (mostly stash $3), snaps ($3), hook and eye ($1)

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How historically accurate is it? Ok, so it's made completely from polyester so no good on the fabric. I tried to pick colors and styles that I thought would be a bit of Edwardian and a bit of Elizabethan (and a dash of whatever I felt like). The construction is a bit of each period too. The skirt and sleeves are from a period pattern but the top is a modern Elizabethan costume pattern. Mostly I was just going for the look.

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Hours to complete: 30 (hand sewing pearls......)
First worn: June 2013
Total cost: ~$80

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I'm pretty happy with this dress. The fit of the sleeves is a bit off, but not so much that I can't wear it. The neckline was a bit wonky in this shoot but I've fixed it. I really like the way the bustles/poofs look on the skirt.

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I also whipped up this hat and used the feathers from my Blonde Swan Elizabethan hat. Why? Because feathers are awesome.

1910s dress-0233

Yay, yay gala dress!!!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Photography Date Night

Last Friday, the hubby and I hit downtown with another photographer and his wife for a photography double date night! And it just so happened that I had a brand new dress to wear.

This is the tropical print rayon I snagged in the garment district last year. I finally got to sew something with it! :D

Fabric: rayon ($4/yd)
Pattern: Eva Dress D40-3863
Year: 1943
Notions: snaps
Hours to complete: 5
First worn: June 2012
Total cost: $15

This dress was pretty crazy to make just because I had to do 4 separate FBAs because each layer of the wrap front needed an FBA on each side. It was kind of complicated to figure out but I think it worked out ok.

It was a really fun dress to wear and I think the print looks amazing in these photos.

The other photographer's wife and I took turns being the model so sometimes I got to hold the reflector.

We also went to a hat store down town called Brim. It was super fun trying on hats.

This hat so had my name written all over it!

I also adored this great tilt hat! Alas, both were way out of my budget.

I had such a blast hamming it up for the camera!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Youtube: A 1950s Hair Cut

It's hair cut time again! And I decided to be bold and do it myself! Enjoy!

Have you ever had a period hair cut? Or do you prefer to stick with a more modern cut?

Monday, June 10, 2013

To Garden in Style

I have to admit that gardening is not my favorite activity but I help out with the 1st - 5th graders at church and they grow a garden every year. It was just too perfect of a place to show off my latest sewing project!

I conquered denim and sewed up some overalls!

Fabric: cotton denim 7 oz. ($13/yd)
Pattern: Wearing History WWII Homefront 1940s overalls
Year: 1940s
Notions: jean buttons ($4)
Hours to complete: 14
First worn: May 2012
Total cost: ~$25

When I saw Wearing History's latest pattern, I knew I just had to have it and make a pair (or three!)

So far I've made the playsuit in blue linen as a wearable muslin, these overalls, and a pair of denim shorts! You can bet you'll be seeing loads of this pattern from me this summer!

I did make a few muslins of the short part first just because I know my shape is no where near the ideal 40s shape. Since the pattern said it ran a bit snug in the hips and I was between hip sizes, I went with the larger size and had plenty of room. I definitely recommend muslining this pattern just because the 40s pant shape can look frumpy real fast if they don't properly.

And for just a bit of effort, these came out very comfortable but still super flattering! So many other 40s overall patterns and repro overalls just look frumpy and manly but these are so cute and feminine!

These took a while to make because I did double topstitching on most of the seams. Note to self, next time you want to do this much double topstitching, buy the double needle! It wasn't hard. I just had to go slow to make it look good.

In fact, the pattern sewed up just swimmingly until I got to the buttons and button holes. My machine gave me a bit of attitude when doing the button holes so there was a bit of weeping and gnashing of teeth but I made it through all of them. Then I got jean buttons that are two pieces that you hammer together through the fabric. NEVER AGAIN! It was sooo hard to hammer in straight and they kept getting all bent and then I'd have to try and rip them out with pliers without destroying the overalls.

On my playsuit, I did do a button hole under the pocket but it was such a pain! And I really had to do the wiggle dance to get my hips in, so I lowered the opening on the overalls. (If you're hips are big for your waist size, you'll probably need to do this too.) So I just did two snaps under the pocket instead.

I decided to line the bodice, waist band and pockets with this cute bird fabric instead of using bias binding. It gives a really nice clean finish. Plus it's so fun!

I paired the overalls with my Wearing History Smooth Sailing blouse.

I just adore my new overalls! I want to make another pair (and the pants too!) but I think I need a break from sewing denim for a while.