Monday, January 20, 2020

First Glance for Spring Attire

“She shows her curls and wears a ruffle on her sleeve. Her skirts are long-but not too long. She knows cotton is a smart fashion fabric but not expensive-so she wears cottons and cottons mixtures that are flattering but kind to her purse. She buys cotton with a reputation and a future-cottons that keep their shape and color, no matter how often they are tubbed and and sunned. She dresses her children in them, and makes herself a dozen cotton frocks for morning, noon and night. She goes forth in the new Fruit of the Loom cottons and cotton-and-rayon mixtures! She looks and feels-and is-a very smart lady!”

I’m not a great lover of cotton frocks. Although, there are the cotton dresses for sports and those that are for day wear that are attractive and pleasing, yet some that remind me of humdrum house dress For my most undesirable of the regular ol’ tasks, but one has to admit, this fashion illustration is inspiring. With the right fabrics sewn in the perfect designs they’ll be so lovely to wear. I have plenty of cotton fabrics and Rayon-cottons, so as a design challenge I've decided to make all four of these amazingly beautiful frocks. The key here is to use only the things I have and recreate the designs as exact as possible. 
Aren’t they lovely, all of them! Such perfection for Spring 1931....So now to the design table!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Julia's Report on Paris Fashion

     Here for you my dears is a little treat. And quite a treat! But not before a little background story. Julia Coburn, our author here for the article, an important figure in the fashion world and I'm certain you'd know who she was and become instantly thrilled that the latest fashion magazine had her article. She also co-wrote books on how to dress, and how to act in certain clothes and the proper things to wear and when. These books I'll share a little later! 
     A Kansas City native Julia was born in 1898, studied at a ladies' college and later lived in New York. Her letters to magazines indeed claimed to be straight from Paris and this is true. She lived in Paris for three years and often went to and from quite often, and with children and a husband. The articles she supposedly wrote were in a way her articles. She would send her notes to the magazines fashion department editor (she too was also a fashion editor) and someone would write the article on her behalf. I do wish we could see those notes of hers! 
    So here is another article by the great Julia Coburn. Enjoy!
           *I gathered my information from "The Smart Way To Dress" by Julia Coburn and Alice Blinn 1937

Friday, June 14, 2019

    For those dog days when sometimes I don't feel like changing to go out I like to create for myself dresses like these..
Now, we haven't come upon these days in Utah just yet, it's been raining so wonderfully much, but I know they're upon us. It's my gorgeous desert after all. And these types of dresses, in a sturdy homespun weave, are perfect for tasks around inside and outside of the home and still look suitable for going out to the shop in. And to go out I just tuck nicely my hanky in my pocket, put on my hat and go. So easily is the dress  dressed up to go out. 

           I'm a real sucker for button down costumes. It's becoming and very easy to jump into. How easy it is to unbutton a couple of buttons at the base for hikes or tennis. This dress I've made about a month ago but has already been on sever hikes up the mountains, over waterfalls.
 And let's not forget the robe qualities these types of affairs have. For the beach or poolside, wear under it your bathing costume or top and shorts for other places where it may be suitable to "shed" some layers. The uses for this dress are near endless!
                             Do you see now why I love this style of dresses!

I'd like to also note the shirtmaker style dress that it is. So elegantly mannish but so feminine. This design and fabric I chose to make it in was a nod to my wild west legacy. The belt is original 1930s leather belt and leather covered buckle. I love pocket squares but handkerchiefs are much more useful to me and I still insist upon having it in my breast pocket! But yes, sometimes I do shove it down in the other pocket. This one I made is made up of a scrap of Italian linen leftover from another dress I previously made. I narrowly hemmed the four corners and crocheted a lacy border in fine thread and hook. 
Well, there it is. Simple, yet so useful. And in its beautiful simplicity it becomes one of those that one is most fond of. 


Thursday, May 30, 2019

This post I must dedicate to my truly favorite jewelry designer, Miriam Haskell. For decades she and her partner designed Jewelry and I positively love those from the late 1920s to the late 1930s. 
I have a few pieces and I'd have plenty more if they weren't rare and expensive. To find them I just keep a keen eye out for auctions and listings. Sometimes you can find them at great prices because those who list them aren't quite sure what they are. It was truly amazing to me when I received my first piece of Miriam Haskell last year.  Its the most common of her styles in the white glass beads but still so special to me.I soon noticed that I needed more things to wear with my Haskell pieces. Yesterday, I whipped up this 1933 dress from Beyer's Modenblatt, a German fashion book.

It was a simple yet becoming style which is perfect for every day wear. I especially loved the fullness at the hem which was so popular for early and then late 1930s dress fashion. Other features of the dress include darts at the bustline and kimono style
 cut sleeves. This was indeed a pattern for a deb but it was in my size anyhow and I went for it. Yes, the size was in my favor but the cut or style wasn't. The torso and all around the shoulder is a bit short, but I'll know to adjust this for the next time, for I intend to make another or two!

 What really mattered to me is that it would go well with the necklace and I do think the plaid rayon turned out perfectly for it.
The clasp of the necklace too, is so pretty that I personally think it needn't be hidden. Such beautiful details on every piece that she created. Including her beautiful name on the bag or tagged somewhere on her pieces. 

                    There is really a good deal of information out there about Miriam and the history behind her company and herself. I could go on and on about her here for you now if i had oodles of time. Alas! its on to the next dress design to go with my most prized possession of her pieces that I am lucky to own. That will come very soon!     I just love her and everything she creates!
                                                                                                      Toodle-Oo for now!


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

A hat to further invite Mister Summer!
     Well! Here I am again! I always seem to come back to my blog eventually. This time, it's assured, for keeps (or not other platform at all). For many reasons it's the better and preferred option for me, and my favorite, for my creative outlet. I love to write too and expressing and explaining are some things I like to do alongside my current endeavors and designs. And this is a good place for it.
So let's begin again!

        And here is my first of many posts to come! <3

It's of a hat that, let me tell you! Was terribly fun to make!
I wanted to make a hat quite similar to Alice Faye's hat here... And searching around for possible patterns, knit, sewn, crocheted or so on before drafting or draping my own pattern for it, I came across the Clover Top Hat in one of my crochet booklettes. I instantly fell and decided to make it. I've crocheted another crochet hat, The Skyway, and with delight and had all the courage now to make this one!
     The clovers were the most darling feature but were somewhat daunting to think of doing. Getting right down to it when they popped up in the pattern were really very easy. I love the look of the back view...
...And the way one can see one's hair as a contrast through the stitches of the crown. This, having the hair showing or revealed through the crown was a very popular design feature in summer hats of the 1930s. And a feature I especially love and look out for in a new summer hat. It's just so awfully appealing! 
Here are a few other examples. 
From a simplicity catalog of mine, a lovely affair for the beach! Absolutely need!!

Ginger Roger's hat here pictured is taking the style to the best level possible. An absolute must for summer this year! 

And here is Nan Grey in a simple yet effective style. Perfect for that slight breeze! 
Visors too were popular with not only the sport set but for summer beach and park goers too! Visors are undoubtedly going to happen for me this summer as well! 

Aren't these something! 

So there it is! A little more about my love for hats of the 1930s....I don't there's a style of hat from the decade I don't love.....and to present to you this wonderful crocheted hat in which I made with ease. The pattern was a size up from the hat size I usually wear but in the end there is a cord to make which is nicely tied in a bow around the crown. Loose in the further summer months will be greatly welcomed also. 

This pattern was positively perfect and I made no changes but kept to it to a "T." I recommend the pattern and it is also available for free at

I used vintage Knit-Cro-Sheen in Ecru and one yard of Millinery wire. I'd certainly make it again too! Pink or a very light blue would be equally effective shades for this design. And dark shades for another look would be stunning!

And until next time, I will leave with you here this alluring photograph of Leila Hyams in the most exquisite of summer hats in needlework. How about that brim hu! 

                                                                Toodle-Oo for now!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Springs Tender Blouse The first attempt at a Crocheted Sweater

            Only a couple of years ago did i finally teach myself to crochet, after years and throughout them mastering sewing, tailoring, knitting, lacemaking and many many variations of embroidery. I'm not at all certain why I didn't learn sooner for now I am as pleased as ever that I know how. I discovered There are thousands of crochet patterns to be found from my favorite decade and long before it. 
   In my endeavors I've crocheted belts and hats (one which may be seen on my Instagram) and bags and gloves (also on Instagram). But it was really the sweaters (jumpers) that appealed to me in crochet and this was my first...
         It was merely meant to only be a trial run but I love how its turned out enough to wear it plenty. 
It's the girliest thing I've ever made! Luckily I somehow manage to pull it off. Or at least I hope I do!
 It was based upon this pattern I've had for ever so long but I really detest the lovers knot lace pattern. I can't stand, for some queer reason, the way it's commenced. And I can't say I'm too keen on how it looks either. So I grabbed another crocheted lace pattern from a book made up entirely of many different lace patterns that one could crochet and used it in place of the stitch called for.

 Additionally I used one of my gorgeous antique ivory hooks. Made a change from my steel Milward hooks and I love the way it works up the wool.
 This I would say is exactly how the colors appear in person. 
Essentially I made up the sweater as I went but used the guidelines somewhat of the pattern. I also liked the way I did the collar which is quite unlike the pattern. The only thing I wished I'd done differently is to have made it in a size 18 (36" Bust) instead of the called for 16 (34" Bust). 
   The waist band seemed to take ages consisting entirely of single Crochet stitch. The wool really is quite itchy but my slip manages the keep most of the wool from touching my skin. It's Fashion dears! It's not about being comfortable, is it!
I'm definitely going to make another sweater and I'm certain I want this one..... 

A draped neckline blouse made with Self shaded thread. I've got the perfect O.N.T. for it! won't it be ideal for summer!

Until next time my sweets(and it will be quite soon assuredly)! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Thelma Todds Celebration; Yet another Thelma Dress!

       At the end of last month I celebrated Thelma Todd's birthday, which I do every year and it always winds up being an even bigger ordeal than my own July birthday. Thelma has always been at the highest position on my list of favorite actors in depression and precode era Hollywood. She starred in over 120 films and I can't recall just one that I've not enjoyed. Her natural funniness in front of the camera never gets tiring, nor her quick shot glances and gorgeous features and physique. 

     Just a couple of days before her birthday on the 29th I positively knew that I must make something to wear for the day. Another Thelma Todd frock, but of course! Something that epitomized her well and typified her very style. Her own fashion sense was something to shout about as well! At any rate, I turned to Thelma's short comedy films for inspiration. I thought because there are so very many of her films it was going to be a time demanding task. This wasn't the case. I had found precisely what I wanted in the very first film I turned on. The very frock for the day was in, "Bargain Of The Century," with ZaSu at her side. 
   Suffice it to say, it was perfect and a design that I've wanted ever so long anyhow. I turned to my abundance of fabrics and sewing patterns and I saw instantly what I was going to use. After two evenings of pleasant toiling this is what I came up with and created....

         And Here is Thelma's own!

    Of all the many textiles of crepes and pongees, lawns, voiles, silks and so many more I chose this floral Faille of rayon in whirls of blues and a touch of the loveliest chartreuse. It was the closest I could get to Thelma's print fabric without having to buy more.

    The pattern I used was this Butterick pattern I have had for years without having used it. Another great reason to make the Thelma Frock! Although rather easy in construction there are some details that are worth noting. One being that it's a Dolman puffed at the wrist sleeve, isn't that so ideal! 
Here is a better look at the sleeve which is elasticated at the cuff of the sleeve in a casing one may have at the elbow or more up the arm for a slightly different look.
The front center bodice is in one piece which ends in a point just at the level of the hips. This feature is mimicked at the back where you'll see the most cunning closure; a tab that runs up the back and over the neckband to which it buttons. There is also the usual side closure. 

  I did care to point out the cowl neckline and cowls are always elegant. In order for necks like these to drape into the perfect cowl I make dressmakers weights. I couldn't find these useful little items in shops, so for the longest time I've made them myself with just a couple of large washers. I crocheted around and around them to conceal the rough and unsightly hardware and then they're tacked just so to the center front and weighs down the cowl in the most charming of ways!
    To complete the ensemble I wore my favorite NRA 

(dated 1933-1935) turban

in black straw with the 

most sweet little blue 

leaves and 

honeyrod steman.
By coincidence did this accompany the dress perfectly!  My shoes were also in black patent heels with navy blue suede. You might have seen Remix Vintage Shoes' called, Cloche. Ive owned them for years and just adore them! My stockings, new old stock right out of the box,  but we won't say anything more about those!
I will mention however that my new navy gloves have the duckiest scalloped feature at the cuffs and are made of a soft and thick cotton in navy with navy blue silk thread. I made them for the autumn but I couldn't help but show them off now!

   The last of the accessories is the self same fabric belt with the most appealing belt buckle of mother of pearl. It separates to open and remove between the circles, isn't it just so pretty! I line my belts in tailors canvas (or horse hair canvas to the moderns), for I've so very much of the stuff, and it works a charm to give it added strength. 

 Happy Birthday wishes, Thelma!

"Unless she has unlimited funds a woman must have great cleverness in the variety of her clothes." 
-Margery Wilson, 
 July 1936