Wednesday, December 31, 2014

HSF #23: Modern History

This was perhaps the easiest challenge of the year for me to find something to do, but difficult to get photographed with the move and the gloomy Ohio weather. But I snuck it in right at the end of the year. So modern history-sew something historical or historically inspired that you can wear in an everyday context (ie what I wear everyday).

The original project for this challenge was a 1930s blouse which I made to wear when we drove to Florida. It did in fact get made and worn but I seriously underestimated how exhausting the whole moving bit would be so no photos got taken. 

This dress is a great 30s piece that was almost finished before the move. I ran out of snaps and couldn't decide on a belt buckle. A quick trip to Jo-Anns and a Christmas present lot of vintage belt buckles made this a quick finish post-move.

The Challenge: Modern History
Fabric: 3.75 yds 1930s repro quilting cotton ($9/yd)
Pattern: Wearing History Tea at Two
Notions: vintage buttons ($4), piping (stash), white cotton scraps (stash), belt buckle (~$1), snaps ($2)
How historically accurate is it? Quilting cotton is not really the accurate weight fabric for this period and the buttons are 50s not 30s so I'll say 8/10
Hours to complete: didn't keep track...
First worn: December 2014
Total cost: ~$40

 I really wanted fabulous buttons. One trip to Jo-Anns was enough to tell me that actually vintage was the way to go. I looked around a lot because I really wanted white buttons! Buttons, like everything else white, have a tendency to yellow over time but I did score some fabulous 50s buttons that were just perfect!

The belt buckle was another sticking point. I had a really hard time finding a white belt buckle that was wide enough for this belt. Luckily, for Christmas, my hubby purchased a lot of belt buckles that was on my etsy wish list and this blue belt buckle was in it! I'm not 100% sold on it but it will do until I find a white replacement.

I had a lot of fun sewing up this pattern. It's got the original 1930s sewing directions which could be tricky for a beginner sewer but was a fun challenge for me. The biggest construction detail I didn't like is that the peplum is topstitched to the skirt after the skirt and bodice are attached. I think it would be much more practical to sew all three piece together at the same time.

I did have a few hiccups.  Somehow, the peplum came out too big! I made an inverted box pleat in the back for an easy fix. I think it probably was a me adjusting the pattern issue rather than a pattern issue but I'll definitely fix that for my next version. Also, the top is very blousey! I didn't make a muslin because I don't like muslins so that's one more thing to fix for the next version. The wide belt over the waist seam helps a bit to hide this and make this one wearable.

The white accents made my American Duchess 23Skidoos a perfect match! I love these shoes and I'm so happy to have the opportunity to wear them more often!

My hair was a bit of a flop but that's what I get for using a curling iron on a humid day. I can't wait for more 1930s fashions!

Monday, December 29, 2014

2014: A Year In Review

Phew! It's almost 2015 already! This year has been crazy and busy and crazy busy. It's already time for a year end review. So what have I been up to this year?

I attended a charity gala. Yay for fancy fancy!

I hosted a vintage playsuit sew along and made an awesome playsuit!

I chopped my hair off into a pixie.

Took a trip to Florida.

We did vow renewals on the beach and I made my own 1940s wedding dress.

And stopped by Epcot for my 25th Birthday!

I finally got a fruit hat! Yay pears!

I splurged on myself and purchased several pieces from Pin Up Girl Clothing including this lovely dress!

I explored a lighter hair color but eventually went back to my natural color.

I made a ton of Renaissance costumes including this fitted English gown from the Tudor Tailor. It's one of my two favorite Historical makes this year.

My other favorite Historical make is this Italian dress. I got to use stash materials, remake a dress from a portrait and do a new period! Plus this dress is just too fun to wear.

I got a fabulous new vintage dress that fit me perfectly! I don't wear a lot of actual vintage but this dress just had to come home with me.

 I participated in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Dress and got a chance to wear this darling vintage dress.

My latest fashion obsession has turned out to be the 1930s! And I'm sure you'll see more 1930s in 2015.

And, most exciting, we moved to Florida!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Shooting a Winter Wedding

Earlier in December, we shot a winter wedding. There wasn't any snow but the bride was getting ready at a downtown hotel so we snapped some outfit shots before things got started.

The plan for the day was to take some indoor and some outdoor shots so I wanted to dress a bit more warmly than I'd usually do. My On the Town dress was just the thing!

There was a cute balcony overlooking the lobby and I couldn't resist a few shots!

Tada! The weather mostly cooperated so it wasn't too chilly with my coat on. Gloves helped too!

I also got a gel nail polish kit and tried it out for the first time that morning. It might not have been the best idea to try this out the week I was packing and unpacking but so far it's lasted way longer than any other polish I've ever tried at home before.

That's all I've got for my last Ohio outfit post! Byes!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Hello all! I'm back for a break from unpacking! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas yesterday. Ours was a bit quiet since our movers didn't arrive until Christmas eve so we still had quite a bit of moving chaos to deal with today. But we did take some time to go to the Christmas potluck hosted by our condo association.

Our first couple of days in Florida were humid and in the 80s. Apparently, it was rather high for this time of the year! Thankfully for my poor husband who gets hot easily, it cooled down to the low 70s for Christmas.

It was still definitely warm enough to wear my 1950s Christmas dress! I wanted something comfortable and sort of casual but still nice since I wasn't sure what the dress code was going to be. It's really hard to wear vintage and be under dressed for anything since fashion has only gotten more and more casual over the decades.

Even though they didn't quite match, I wore my new Miss L Fire shoes. I've been wanting to get a pair for forever and when Lily of Mode de Lis had a pair for sale in my size, I snatched them up! Early Christmas present to myself I guess.

I'm also wearing another Christmas present-these molecule earrings from my hubby. They are theobromine which comes from the cacao seed. It's a mild stimulant and mood improver and is one of the reasons chocolate is so delicious! (Also, all of that sugar!)

So far, we are really loving our new condo. It's not my dream home or anything but it's perfect for us right now! And I'm finally getting my own sewing room! :D It's not unpacked yet since other rooms took priority. (I guess having a functional kitchen is pretty important and all...)

We're still getting used to Florida. With the sudden increase in humidity, my hair has decided not to behave so I'll have to wrangle it into submission but things are going well.

 I've actually been enjoying not being quite as active on social media. My life in 2014 can be summed up in one word-busy! One of my goals for 2015 is to take more time to relax. I want to hang on the patio and read my books. Growing up, I was never without a book to read and I've stopped having time to do that over the last few years.

I'm also planning on lots of trips to the beach too! How was your Christmas?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Very Easy 1950s Style for Bobbed Hair

Sorry for the radio silence this week! I came down with a cold Sunday evening and I didn't have energy for both packing and blogging. Thankfully, I filmed and edited an extra youtube video last week for an easy 1950s hair style for ladies with bobbed hair. The big move date is Friday and then Christmas and New Years will be here before we know it so it may be quite on the blog for a while. Don't worry! I'll be back strong in 2015 with more vintage goodness! (and also, Florida!)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Comfy Casual

I love pretty pretty dresses, but sometimes I like comfy casual just like everybody else. Vintage casual can be a bit tricky since a lot of more casual clothing didn't survive the way pretty dresses did, but sewing up pretty separates has helped my fill this gap up in my wardrobe.

Tada! This is the post-party Sunday morning look. Jeans plus rayon blouse and cardigan with a dash of pearls make for a great outfit.

The blouse is made from my TNT 1940s blouse pattern Dubarry 5909. The tropical print matched my Florida brain but it needed a cardigan to make it Ohio appropriate.

The jeans I made from Wearing History's 1940s Homefront Overalls pattern. They are super comfy and I adore the pockets. Plus I adore that they fit! No gaping waistline in the back when I sit.!

My jewelry philosophy is pretty simple. Pearls go with everything. Even more casual outfits look great with a simple string of pearls (or fake pearls in this case).

In the winter, I like to wear more pants because I get cold so easily. My secret is wearing leggings with everything-including under pants. Those extra layers really add up when you get as chilly as I do. And cozy socks!

 Simple makeup also looks great with a more casual outfit. Plus the natural look always fools people into thinking that your skin is naturally that good! The flawless skin is a mirage!

What do you like to wear when you are in need of a casual day?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Black Friday Haul 2014

All of my Black Friday purchases have arrived so it's time for a haul video! This year, I didn't do nearly as much Black Friday shopping as I usually do but I still managed to pick up a few things for myself.

Here's what I got!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Au Revoir

This weekend, the hubby and I threw a going away party since we are soon to depart from Ohio for the sunny shores of Florida. It was a great time to hang out with friends especially some who we don't get to see very often. We set up a background and lights for selfies and I just had to have a few outfit pictures.

And what could be more appropriate for hosting a party than a dress that screams 1950s hostess! Especially since this is not a dress that I get to wear very often. I love that it is Christmas-y without being too Christmas-y but it's silk so I have to be careful when I wear it.

If you are a long time follower, you may remember this dress from my last visit to Costume College (which is a costuming conference, not an accredited university) when a few of us made matching/not matching dresses from this fab silk taffeta that we scored in the Garment District in LA. We each picked a time period and made a dress to wear together.

I, of course, went with 1950s since it's impossible to go wrong with one of my favorite decades. I found a spectacular pattern that even featured green and pink plaid on the cover art so it was meant to be!

Anyways, it was such fun to run around in a plaid silk taffeta party dress which everyone adored. Plus silk just makes fun noises when it moves. :D Must make more silk dresses!

Friday, December 5, 2014

How I Wore: Atomic Circle Skirt

I want to start a new series where I show you how I rework old pieces into new outfits. New things are fun but it's great to get to wear a favorite piece again and again! I thought I'd start with one of my favorite pieces, my atomic circle skirt!

I adore navy blue and it looks fab with brown. Don't be afraid to mix neutrals for a classy look.

 The cuffs on this white blouse are a great detail. I highlighted them by wearing a darker sweater. Plus a twirl for effect.

I went for a classic sweater girl look for Thanksgiving last year. An outfit like this would also be great with a fun brooch.

Turn this skirt into a spring affair with a nice spring green sweater. The crazy floral hat also adds to the effect.

It's impossible to go wrong with teal! Matching skirt and hat for the win.

What's your favorite styling of this skirt? I think the navy version is my favorite but that's also my favorite hat so I may be biased. All of these versions make me happy though! And a chemistry teacher can't go wrong with atomic symbols!

What piece would you like to see next on How I Wore?