Monday, September 28, 2015

Project 333: Fall 2015

This past weekend, I decided to do another wardrobe purge and start another Project 333 capsule wardrobe. The idea behind Project 333 is to pick 33 pieces that make up your wardrobe and wear just those pieces for 3 months. Not included are workout gear, underwear and sentimental jewelry that you wear every day like a wedding ring. I also opted not to include any jewelry because I don't wear much jewelry so it's not as big of an issue for me as clothing is. The rest of your clothes gets boxed up to be revisited after three months.

The first thing I did was to unbox all of my old clothes and pile it all on my bed. After not having it for three months, would I be ready to let go of some stuff? Yes! I also had a better idea of what kinds of pieces I needed more of and which kinds I could have had less of. I really did a great job of building a great mix and match 40s wardrobe in my summer capsule but I really missed having the option to have a more relaxed casual look.

I'm really realizing that my ideal of having a 100% authentic vintage look every single day is not really what I need or want. So I'm going to mix it up a bit and do some vintage with a twist looks. And I'll revisit it all again in three months if I want to swing more towards authentic vintage. The great thing about fashion is that it's not meant to be static.

So here are my 33 things for October, November and December. (I'm starting a few days early because that's when I had the time to come up with it.)

1-8: I have 8 tops three of which carried over from my summer capsule.

9-14: And here are six skirts-three old and three new. The two center ones are going to get refashioned in to pleated rather than gathered skirts and I'm going to take a bit of the fullness out because crazy 50s volume is not great to wear on an everyday basis.

15-19: I've got two sweaters which are the same two from my summer collection. I have added two new jackets. Jackets just say fall to me and even though it's no where near chilly enough to wear them outside right now, where I work is very air conditioned and I'm hoping it will cool off nicely by December. I've been watching a lot of capsule wardrobe videos on youtube and looking at wardrobes on pinterest and I've noticed that a lot of them include scarves, even in the summer. So I've decided to include on in mine even though I don't really wear them except for warmth. If it doesn't work out, it'll be bye bye scarves.

 20-24: Four dresses and my 1930s beach pjs because I love them. I decided to include one Christmas dress because I adore Christmas. :D

25-28: These two dresses I love but don't quite fit right. So they will be refashioned into skirts. And I have one pair of jeans and my Freddies capris.

29-33: Four pairs of shoes and one purse. I'm not sure this purse will make it all the way to December but if I switch it out for one later I'll be ok with it. I'm still in the mood for this summery purse right now.

So I'll definitely have a different look from my summer wardrobe. I can tell I'm more into a 50s look but with a modern twist. So yay for spicing things up!

What are you excited about wearing this fall?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Summer Project 333 Wrap Up

It's been almost 3 months since I started my summer Project 333 so I thought I'd share a bit about how it went. If you missed the first post when I started Project 333, go check it out first. I started out with 4 empty hangers for WIPs that I wanted to finish during the three months.

 And I ended up finishing three of them. The yellow skirt I got finished early on and it actually got a lot of wear even if it didn't make it on the blog. The other two pieces got finished later so didn't get as much use. They are quite summery though, and probably won't make the cut into the fall wardrobe.

And here are the things that didn't get worn. The two dresses got retired pretty quickly and replaced by other things. The white blouse also got replaced with a new white blouse since it's getting a bit sad. The blue skirt is also in need of replacing and never made it out of the closet. And it was too hot for capris this summer. I also had quite a few pair of shoes go unworn or almost unworn so I'll be rethinking those.

I added four new blouses to my wardrobe which I did actually need.

And three new skirts. One I made, one I purchased and one I added from my boxed up wardrobe.

And, of course, the 1920s one hour dresses! I love them and I'm sure several will make it into the fall wardrobe.

And I also added one more cardigan (hello, air conditioning!) and a comfy pair of flats.

This brought my total number of items up to 41 which isn't bad. I have a much better idea of what I actually want to wear on a day to day basis. I'm excited to try this again for fall. I have gotten a bit tired with the pieces since many of them were on heavy rotation before Project 333. Since the weather is a lot more consistent here in Florida as compared to Ohio, my wardrobe rotations are going to be more about not getting bored rather than because my closet has suddenly become unseasonable.

This weekend, I'm going to be prepping my next round of Project 333. I haven't finished any of my "Fall" sewing projects but they are more like "Winter" projects here in Florida anyways so I'll be leaving space for them in my Fall wardrobe. I've really enjoyed having a smaller wardrobe to deal with when getting ready in the morning.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Radio Silence

Sorry for the quietness over here on the blog! Between starting a new job, going on a retreat and the seemingly endless rain, my outfit photo taking schedule is all out of whack! Hope you are all enjoying the end of summer/beginning of fall!

You can pop on over to my Instagram where I have been posting more regularly.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

How to Style a 1920s Bob

I went looking on youtube for tutorials on how to style a 1920s bob and I couldn't find any! I don't know if they were hidden beneath all of the faux bob tutorials or if it's just too simple for anyone else to make a video for but I decided to make one. Here it is!

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Triple Berry Trifle Dress

Recently, I realized that I'd made it the entire summer without making a nautical dress. Such an oversight had to be remedied asap before the summer was over. And it just so happened that I found the perfect print for a 1920s nautical dress.

I'm pretty sure I've become pretty obsessed with making this cute, easy and comfortable 1920s dresses. I can truly see why women embraced these styles after more form fitted corset requiring fashions!

The Triple Berry Trifle Dress: A 1920s Day Dress
Fabric: 3 yds of quilting cotton ($3/yd), .5 yds linen/rayon for trim ($10/yd)
Pattern: Festive Attyre's 1 Hour Dress Lawn Party edition with collar from Wearing History's 1940s sailor playsuit pattern
Year: 1920s
Notions: thread, zippper
How historically accurate is it? Definitely the wrong weight of fabric although the fabric content is ok. I ended up needing to add a zipper because I added two fish eye darts in the back to give it just a bit more shape. Because of my chest, I need more fabric in the front than the back and just a smidge of shaping in the back to get it to hang correctly.
Hours to complete: These dresses are taking longer and longer to make but still less time that I'd spend on a normal dress pattern so 2.5 hours or so
First worn: August 2015
Total cost: ~$15 

It took a bit of guess work to adapt the collar pattern to this one but I made it work. Reminder, adding this type of collar is easier if you add a seam to the center front.

I used a bit of red bias tape to add to the nautical feel of the dress. There's a bit of red in the print but it's not noticeable from a distance.

Originally, I had planned on making a scarf to go with it but it was too bulky under the collar. Instead, I decided on a big bow.

Nice long necklaces were popular in the 20s to accentuate the long, lean lines that were fashionable at the time. So I figured a bow with long tails would accomplish the same thing.

They are a bit unpractical though, trailing into everything I'm doing. They tend to drip into the sink, dishwasher, pots I'm cooking in, etc. But the bow is just attached with a safety pin so I can remove it whenever I need to.

Guess every fashion needs some impractical features! 

I've been having gobs of fun playing around with 1920s fashions. I'm hoping to do some hair and makeup tutorials soon once I have everything figured out.

 And I've gone and had even more of my hair chopped off for a shorter, more 20s bob. I adore short hair! So easy, so fun! These pictures were taken before the chop so you'll have to wait a bit longer to see it.

 Do you have a favorite nautical piece? Do you reserve it for summer or enjoy it all year round?

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Mint Sundae Dress

Today I'm bringing you another 1920s 1 Hour dress. This pattern is so basic and easy that I can't help but want to make it again and again! I went for a very different look with my second one.

The Mint Sundae Dress: A 1920s Afternoon Dress
Fabric: 2.5 yds of embroidered cotton purchased at Costume College 2013 ($6/yd)
Pattern: Festive Attyre's 1 Hour Dress Lawn Party edition
Year: 1920s
Notions: just thread
How historically accurate is it? Fairly. I did serge my seams. While embroidery was popular on dresses, I'm not sure about the netting used in the embroidery section. I did make my own bias tape for finishing the neckline and sleeves and I thought that that was a very period touch.
Hours to complete: More than 1 one but the cutting took a while because I wanted to get the motifs lined up just right.
First worn: August 2015 to church
Total cost: ~$15

Overall, I am very happy with how this dress came out! This pattern definitely looks better in a more light weight, drapey fabric. The skirt shape is much more columnar which adds to the 1920s feel.

Originally, I had purchased this fabric with an Edwardain/19-teens dress in mind but I couldn't come up with anything that felt different enough from my other boarder print/embroidered/scallopy dress. I really need to start giving my costumes names so you know what I'm talking about when I refer to one of them. This is the Mint Sundae Dress.

So 1920s it was. I thought this fabric would be just perfect for a garden party type dress like those often worn by the ladies on Downton Abbey. It's light and airy and looks appropriately dainty for a woman who's not supposed to do anything more strenuous than eat hors d'oeuvres and make small talk.

The print placement took a bit of work to figure out. There was a lot going on and I didn't want anything odd going on like vines pointing to my breasts or the sheer part coming down to low (which is why this fabric never made it to a vintage 40s/50s dress before).

It's very light weight and airy for summer. I think it would be perfect for a summer wedding. For the first time in a while, I know several couples who are engaged so I might actually get invited to a wedding that I can just go to and enjoy!

One of the things I had to contend with on this dress was that there was a large section of sheer fabric on the border print. Should I underline it? Make a separate slip? Just position it carefully? I know in the decade previous, this would have been a nonissue. They just let their undergarments show through sheer fabrics. Of course, they also wore like 3-4 layers of underthings before they could get to the actual dress. I decided that I'd just be ok with my bra and slip straps showing a bit.

Really, you can't tell that much. Plus this dress is quite covered up as far as the rest of it goes. And the pearls make it classy. Pearls make everything classy.

Ah, I'm just so in love with this fabric! It's so pretty! It's so girly and delicate and not something I'd normally gravitate towards.

But it really works with this dress. Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone helps you step further out of your comfort zone.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Story of a Girl

Once upon a time, there was a shy, introverted, fashion ignorant girl. She didn't do anything remotely brave or adventurous and her wardrobe was much more concerned with being comfortable than anything. She wasn't quite sure she'd ever figure the whole girly thing out but secretly she yearned for pretty dresses and princess tiaras and rhinestone jewelry.

On day, she discovered a fabulous new world on the internet. Pretty girls wearing pretty clothes from by gone eras. She admired their outfits. She daydreamed about their hats. She wondered if she could ever get her hair like that. She stood in the makeup aisle pondering red lipstick shades but never quite mustering the courage to pick a shade. She wanted to be like them but knew she couldn't. They were fabulous in some way that she could never be.

Then it happened. This girl found The Blogger. The Blogger was fabulous just like the other girls she had seen but The Blogger was real in a way that resonated in her soul. Maybe The Blogger's nose was too small or her ears a bit too big. Maybe her hair was a bit too wild or her laugh was a bit too loud to be called pretty. Whatever it was, The Blogger wasn't afraid to show her less than perfect side on the internet.

And the girl looked at The Blogger and saw herself. She began to think, maybe I can be like The Blogger. She bought that tube of red lipstick and she wore it....outside of the house! She started wearing skirts more often and tried to figure out how to get a good night's rest with a head full of pin curls. And one day, she even decided to start her own blog.

This girl knew that she wasn't as great as all of the other bloggers out there but she had fun and was even starting to get a few followers. She continued on this way for a while and each day she grew braver, wearing more fabulous dress, winging her eyeliner out more and more and trying more complex hairstyles. And so life went on until, one day, something changed.

A reader commented on her blog telling her how inspiring she was and that the reader had even started on her own vintage fashion journey. And that's when she realized something amazing. She had become The Blogger, not the one who had inspired her long ago but a new blogger who inspired people just like she had been inspired. She, who had been the most ordinary of girls, had become something she'd never thought she'd be, someone who could ignite a passion for vintage in others and give them the courage to step out of their box and become a different girl.

Instead of being stunned by this new found position, she felt braver and bolder. She tried even more different and new things because she wanted to show others that they could do them too. After all, she had! And just look at where she started out!

If you are reading this blog, parts of this story are probably familiar to you. It's all familiar to me because this is my story as well as the story of many, many bloggers out there. Some of us always had this innate sense of style and love of old things but many of us started out just as ordinary girls.

Maybe you are that girl at the beginning of the story, too scared and shy to try something new. Maybe you've found your The Blogger and are just starting to try wearing vintage. (Mine was the lovely Casey.) Maybe you've been wearing vintage for a while and considering starting a blog. Where ever you are, I have a message for you.

You can do it.

After all, I did it. And I was a shy girl who lived in jeans, wore almost no makeup and never could figure out what to do with her hair.