Sunday, October 30, 2011

A growing obsession

ATTN: Downton Abbey Season 2 outfit spoilers ahead! You are, however, completely safe from plot spoilers.

I recently received this lovely book in the mail.

It covers the period just prior to Downton Abbey season 1 and looks really great so far! It has scaled down patterns and a drafting system. I've not tried the drafting system out, but I did read over the directions and it kind of makes sense. The sewing directions are very brief, but part of a sewing guide is included which should help a lot. I can't imagine that I'll make many dresses as I've had no luck locating Edwardian events near me, but I do want to add quite a few Edwardian inspired tops to my wardrobe and maybe a skirt or two for winter.

And, while the American premier of Downton Abbey season 2 is still months off, I couldn't help browsing the net for some outfit photos! I did run across a few plot spoilers in the text accompanying these pictures so I thought I'd share the pictures I'd found so those of you who are like me can have a safe place from some eye candy.

I adore the coral color here!

And, of course, yummy hats!

Wish I could wear dresses like this to dinner!

Another delicious color!

I WILL make one of these for summer.

Chic outerwear.

I've been really in love with Edith's hair lately. I so want to do this style but I don't think mine's quite long enough yet.

Love the wine red velvet.

I do hope the war themes won't be too much for me.

A closer view of Mary's blouse from the last photo. She's paired it with a different skirt though.

When I first watched Downton Abbey, Mary was my favorite sister but lately I've been growing more attached to Edith. I can't wait to see how she evolves in season 2.

I love this green dress! You can totally see the 20s hiding just around the corner.

Hope you've enjoyed this sneak peak. And, if you are one of the lucky ones who has already seen season 2, please no plot spoilers in the comments!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Mail Order!

One of my good friends gave me a whole bunch of cute vintage patterns that were found while thrifting! It appears that they were the pattern collection of one Mrs. Herman Schelling. I don't know anything about her except that had great tastes in fashion and was a 20 1/2 or 22 1/2. Oh, and she subscribed to a mail order pattern company.

I told you that she had great fashion sense! And I still have tons of more patterns from her.

I can't wait to make some of these lovelies up!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

50s Hat Hair

Remember this look? Well I did a video tutorial for it! Enjoy!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lounging Around

Yesterday I finished up these lovely Beach/Lounging Pyjamas!

Fabric: 4 yds floral print from stash ($6/yd I think...), 1/2 yd red shiney stuff, red ribbon salvaged from too small sweater
Pattern: Wearing History 3017
Year: 1930s
Notions: buttons ($3)
Time to complete: 6 hours (next go round should be much quicker!)
First worn: October 2011
Wear again? Yes!!!!! I'm so in love with this outfit! It's terribly fun to wear and super comfy. Much cuter than my normal pjs.

Total cost: ~$27

I had several hiccups while making this pattern that made for slow going. I didn't make a muslin and the hips hit in a different area than I thought they would. Now, my hips are 12" larger than my waist so I usually grade up several sizes in the hips. I actually made this up in size 18 which is for 1" smaller than my waist. It's a pretty loose garment and I did measure before cutting but I measured the wrong area for hips. I did end up removing 1" from the blouse portion and then it was a bit small for the pants portion. I made it work though! Next time I'll remove the length from the middle before I cut fabric.

Also, I discovered that there 4 buttons in the pattern design were not enough. So, I made a trip to Jo-Ann's for more buttons and I'm now up to 7. And, despite careful measuring, my waist ties were not level so I had to take one off and put it back on. And the fabric was slippery and required lots of pinning.

Ok, on to the things that went well.

I used French seams and bias binding so the inside is all pretty! I got my machine's button holes to look nice so no bound button holes! They are crazy fun to wear! And I've already bought some more material for a winter version as this one is a bit chilly with no sleeves.

And, lastly, tips for those of you who want to make this pattern.Do make it because it's crazy fun to wear!
  • Watch the arm holes as they are kind of small.
  • I made size 18 and squeezed it into 4 yds of 60" fabric though I think I'd get 4.5 yds in the future just to be safe.
  • Add more buttons to the back.
  • There are no illustrations in this pattern and they are not as detailed as modern directions. The sewing isn't too difficult but I wouldn't suggest this as a sewer's first vintage pattern.
I'm still on the fence about wearing this outside the house but my husband's response was "Those are pyjamas? It looks like a regular dress to me." so that's pretty encouraging.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Youtube: Retro Scarf and Pincurl Style

New youtube! A cute scarf and pincurl tutorial!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fashion and Film: Happy Go Lovely

Today I caught a lovely Vera-Ellen flick called Happy Go Lovely (1951). I love Vera-Ellen. She's so adorable and an amazing dancer and performer!

This is the story of Janet Jones, a chorus dancer in a dance company with financial difficulties. Her dreams of being a star seem far off until a rumor gets started that she is the fiance of B. G. Bruno, a single millionaire. People around Janet start seeing dollar signs and begin to curry her favor. Once informed of the rumor, Bruno decides to investigate, but Janet mistakes him for a newspaper reporter named Paul Tracy. Janet tries to keep up the facade of dating Bruno while falling for "Paul". Interspersed in the drama are lovely dance and song numbers.

Vera-Ellen has many cute ensembles including this evening gown.

This yellow dance costume!

The same costume. I love the tap pants.

She has loads of other cute things but photos are, alas, scarce.

On the bright side, this is on Netflix so those of you that have it can check out this film!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

50s Fab

Last night was my church's biannual Dinner and a Movie date night. They do it every year for Valentine's Day and Sweetest Day.

I always choose to dress up even if I'm way dressier than everybody else. They always show an old black and white movie so my ensembles are at least sort of appropriate. ;)

Dress: vintage Carmen and Ginger
Shoes: DSW
Hat: vintage The Vintage Hat Shop

Like my new hat? This makes new hat #6 over the past few weeks. And while the hubby has told me I don't need any more new hats for a while, I love how much I've been wearing hats lately. Love it!

And I did film a tutorial for this hairstyle so it should be up some time next week or the week after.

Hope you are all having a lovely weekend!

Friday, October 14, 2011


Yesterday, I got a package in the mail from Christina (aka BettieBoo999) who asked if she could send me a thank you package for having the coat give away. (I said yes of course!) And look at all of the lovelies she sent me!

First up a darling clutch and inside was hidden yellow multistrand necklace and a pink flower pin!

This darling squirrel is soon to hold all of my hat pins. Isn't he cute!
And, of course, let's not forget the fabulous hat complete with hat pin!

And the flowers are in lovely condition! Eep! Can't wait to wear it!

Thanks again Christina!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Kat Von D Makeup Review

My review of some Kat Von D makeup! And Lisa Freemont Street posted a review of this line today too!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

This weekend's shopping haul!

So, despite efforts to the contrary, I did some shopping this weekend.

First up, some perfume. It's called Cleopatra and is based off of an ancient Egyptian recipe. I adore all things ancient Egyptian and it smells fabulous! Then I picked up a lip butter and lotion bar from a company called Nature Craft. So far, I'm pretty impressed. They smell pretty good too!

But the big purchase of the day was this amazing hat! Yummy, yum, yummy. Two toned green suede and a boatload of feathers!

It was a bit of a splurge but I'm going to make it work with my costume. Plans so far involve removing the sleeves off of my dress and making them detachable. Then I'd also make a narrower sleeve so it'll pass for a bit later period to go with the hat. I've also decided that I need an outfit for weekends it's 80+ and will be making it in green to match.

The hat's made by a company called The Blonde Swan and lucky for you they have an etsy shop too! Aside from beautiful Renaissance pieces, they also do Steampunk/Victorian, pirate and witch pieces. They had heaps more options in their store than the etsy shop so I figure that once the Ohio Ren Fest is over, they'll be adding stock to the store.

Eeep! Feathers! :D

Monday, October 10, 2011

Being Anachronistic

People who wear vintage are usually at least a bit comfortable with dressing differently than everybody else, but this weekend I had a new experience with anachronism.

And this is what I wore to the Renaissance Festival!

Top: New York and Company
Skirt and crinoline: me made
Bag: me made
Hat: Bombshell Bettie's Vintage
Necklace: Charming Charlie's

I just adore this hat! I've had it for a while and never worn it but it is really super fab! I just adore the bow!

I got a ridiculous number of compliments on this outfit (and loads from people working there). Actually, I got more than I did all three days I wore my fancy Renaissance dress.

I had gobs of fun and probably drank a bit more than I should. I didn't get drunk or anything, but I was uber dehydrated afterwords! Yum, wine tasting!

So I guess the moral of the story is, if you want loads of compliments, dress vintage at a Ren. Fest and wear a fab hat.

P.S. I also bought an uber fab hat there too! Post to come soon!

P.P.S. I also am just in love with the Kat Von D products I bought recently! I promise a review soon!

P.P.P.S. And probs a new hair tutorial!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

CSSA: Teal + Atoms

After one failed embellishment idea, a mini freak out and a lot of embroidery, I finally have a circle skirt to show you! (I actually haven't finished embroidering the back but I'm going out of town this weekend and I needed to take photos today while I had time.)

I decided on a boarder print embroidery in white. I was inspired by the atomic designs popular in the 50s. I'm also a chemist and that really pushed me towards doing an actual atomic symbol rather than the atomic style patterns you'd find on dishware.

Originally, I'd chosen a pink and green color palette inspired by some 50s style atomic print fabric I found at Jo-Ann's, but ended up going with white so this skirt could really go with everything. And I'm really glad I did because I love it!

This circle skirt is a bit longer than the last two I've made and I really love the length. It's going to be a really great fall and winter piece, but it's not too heavy that I can't wear it in the spring and even into early summer.

Today's color scheme was inspired by this lovely teal hat that I bought from the same store as the pink feather one. I wore this out to dinner and to Walmart. I was a bit nervous because it's been a long time since I've been out this vintage anywhere except church (where I have gobs of supportive people to tell me I look great). I realized that there are really a lot stranger (and worse) dressed people at Walmart.