Thursday, July 21, 2016

Birthday Frock! A subconscious challenge!

Yes! At my age I'm still making birthday frocks! This one's birthday 2016..

        It was a design challenge in a way because I overheard some women at a restaurant a couple of weeks ago talking about celebrities and one statement of theirs stood out louder than the rest, "blondes can't pull of gray."
I was off to my sewing that evening and started my gray print frock I've been wanting to make for a while. What a good motivation for it. What do you think about gray? Should I not wear this again? I quite love it!

  I made all of it but the shoes of course! I didn't have my gloves I made to match on but I did have the hat I made even though it was quite breezy out. I love millinery and glove making as well. 

      It's a gray Rayon print and peach pique belt and hat. There's shirring at the collar and sleeves and a three piece skirt.

I'm not sure what I was trying to achieve with this photograph! Perhaps it's to show just how lovely the fabric feels and how much I like the fit! Here's the pattern..

I would certainly make it again! Aren't the details exquisite! 
      I've got two more hats and three more frocks on the go that I want to make before autumn. I'm trying to make the most of every free minute I have. Most of my time goes to my little boys but when the lights go out, my sewing room lights up!

      Stick around!

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Invaluable Skirt And Blouse Medley!

    I don't usually take photographs of my every day clothes (which are entirely all depression era or a little earlier) or all of the new things I sew or my everyday clothes. It would take a long time to photograph and post every day. To me they're just my normal 'ol togs and who wants to see all of them anyhow! If I did    But! I do want to share my new favourite skirt pattern that I made from a pattern that actually isn't mine and it's not German. It's a French pattern. I'll tell you first though, that German fashion of the thirties has always been my obsession. They had such a unique look that wasn't as extreme as Paris fashions but not as subtle as American fashions. I'm not talking about Tyrolean dresses or dirndles (although I like those) but the haute couture that German designers came up with that had such an elegant but more tailored look that made women look important...or perhaps, with power. I just love 'em!
    I love pieces of ensembles that may go with many other pieces of ensembles. Something I can just throw on when I have no idea what to wear and can't be bothered to think about what to wear. 
This one is my Faye Wray inspired, safari style as seen in pictures such as King Kong (1933). I am really rather into 1930s ladies' safari and sporting outfits. 
    I have made many many skirts and I actually quite like all I've made, but this new one I completed in just two days is the tops!
What the hell is mannequin 44!? I should know this I suppose being a designer but they're sizes are awfully queer!
It was this French pattern and seeing as I don't speak French I went at it without knowing the size, how much hem and how much of a seam they've allowed for. I haven't used any instructions in patterns in a very long time so I really didn't need those. It was just the rest I was confused a bit about. After thinking it over and taking plenty of measurements I went at it and cut it out in a natural 100% linen and the next day I sewed it up. It took me an hour. I was rather pleased with that! 
     I did the sewing and the buttonholes on my Bessy Love, my 1917 hand crank (included in that hour) in no time and I chose not to do bound buttonholes because i wanted as little bulk in that area as possible. 
      I always do the hem and buttons and clasps etc., by hand and that takes about an hour. So I suppose all in all this skirt took me 3 hours! You must assume I shall be making from this pattern plenty more times to come. 

    I just love the unique curved opening in front that is apart of the side pleat. I chose these natural buttons so that I may wear the skirt with more jumpers and blouses.
   The blouse I have also made and is of a beautiful Rayon and very tailored in the man's fashion. The glass white and powder blue buttons are those that I've had for ages and are "vintage". I was so glad to find the perfect blouse to put them on. Aren't they so pleasant! 
    So there you have it! And I have another skirt and blouse to wear together or with many other things. Just ideal for my budget, every day I may have, or what may seem, like a whole new ensemble!
      And who doesn't love that!

Monday, June 6, 2016

A Weekend Excursion and Lookey What I've Found!

    I just love getting in the automobile and driving away for the day (or even weekend)out of the blue. with my little boys. Nothing planned, just pick a direction and motor off from Salt Lake City. This time it was south and this part of Utah is so gorgeous as well, I just love it. 

    We usually visit ghost towns and really small towns. This time around we found a couple of towns that were once the largest cities in Utah but are now so small there isn't even a chain store (what a lovely thought, sincerely, I love that).
     We spied a great museum in a small town called Fairview and stopped to have a look. Honestly I wasn't expecting much but this museum was quite swell!

     There were many things the boys loved about it and so many things that I certainly did, such as these lovely gowns...

Look at the detail! I like very much that they had photographs of those who wore these.

This permanent wave machine pictured below! How I wish hairdressers still had these!

And a pretty amazing collection of "Antique" and "Vintage" Sewing Machines! Again, the Detail!

And Last, but of course not least....

 This is a sloper from the past. The New Perfect Tailoring system, and although I've seen these for sale online and have not been able to afford one just yet, this museum gave me a chance to finally see one in person. I was so pleased. It was used by a local dressmaker in the 1890s and there are sleeves and backs etc. that were used to make many designs in clothing fashion that were desired. 

Here is short film on this museum and if you ever find yourself in Utah stop by!

Here's a few snaps of just how gorgeous this area is!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

1930s Dress Finished My Adrienne Dore

     I've positively adored Dore for quite some time. She's an Idaho gal (which is Utah's sister state), which is swell and she was really a good actress. I saw her for the first time in "The Wild Party" with Clara Bow years ago and around the same time, "The Famous Furguson Case" with Joan Blondell. Adrienne Dore wore a swell frock in that picture and I just loved it. I saw this film again last week and I figured it was about time I had that ensemble. 
  So here it is....

    And this is Adriennes...

         I tell was so bright outside! I was squinting horribly.

It was impossible to find a photograph of her in this costume so I had to finally just put on the film again and take a picture of the screen. 
  Anyhow, I went through my fabric trove and found some great georgette which has been knocking around for years that would be perfect for it (I've been trying my darnedest to use what I have instead of buying more). Then I had to draft a pattern of it by memory because I didn't have a photograph but I remembered her floral print frock was under her dark jacket and the clown-style frilled collar came up and over it. It was simple, just drafted a six gored skirt with a top that buttoned up the front and a larger under collar over large collar. 

   I used some lovely lambs wool knit for the jacket and sewed Hong Kong seams nicely because I didn't want to line it. I did put tailored pockets in it that were of the same georgette as the dress. I thought it would be clever'n'cute. It's a seamstress/tailoress no-no but I like it. I'm a designer and I can do what I want.

      I just love big collars and collars that are quite unique, don't you? 
   Here is the dress alone...

I've been trying to incorporate more black into my wardrobe because I don't have a lot of it where clothing comes in but I do have a lot of black accessories I'm dying to use. I think for fall I'm going to make a black dress, at long last, and I need a new nice black hat (as you can see)!

My favourite aspect of the frock was the jet-looking buttons and green and yellow georgette. This was made completely on my 1918 Bessy Love handcrank (115 Singer) of course! My Khafra (127 Singer 1923 treadle) is busy with another floral affair! 

    See ya soon!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Birthday Wishes For Verree Teasdale and George Brent

     Here's to two of my favourites upon the silver screen on their birthday! 

    Verree Teasdale has always been dear to me and I've always looked to her for fashion hints and speech lessons. Her style was impeccably feminine and elegant. Never dowdy and never in bad taste even adorned in some of Orry-Kelly's more off-the-wall designs. 

     Verree was married to Adolphe Menjou, who at the time was a sex symbol. They were married quite some time until his death in '63. I loved him as an actor, in fact, both of them as actors and especially when they were starred in roles together. 

   And here's to the birthday boy, George Brent!
       I've always had a pash for George. He's so desirable and tall and dark and handsome. I swoon when he speaks.

     He's starred in films with many of the loveliest women of all of Hollywood. Some of my favourite pictures are the ones with him and Kay Francis. 

   I always watch films of actors and actresses on their birthdays. Seeing as there aren't enough hours in the day for me to watch a film of Verree's as well as George's I made a compromise and watched them both in one of my favourite pictures, Desirable 1934. It's a film I quite relate to. Jean Muir plays a plain and lanky young lady and blossoms. I won't give the storyline away if you haven't seen it (and you must!) but how lovely a thought to be kissed by George Brent! 

   Happy birthday wishes to both of you, whole heartedly!


Friday, February 5, 2016

Some Severe Changes To Be Made!

  There are a few things lately that have got me a bit down. It's mostly from being stuck in a house we don't like, my hypothyroid which makes it so very hard to lose weight and because because baby (who now is one year old) started teething at 2 weeks old. He is now gradually sleeping through the night and feeling happier in general. But alas! Now that I have a little bit of time here and there for me I don't know anymore how to best utilize my time. I do my chores and then I kind of meander around wondering if I start something is the baby going to wake as soon as I do!?
 And that leads me to my first idea for change...

  1. Never waist a minute! 

   I need to have projects and such ready to commence so that as soon as baby sleeps it's time to get on with it. Jot down the most important things to complete. Don't waist one minute trying to figure out what to do first.
    And if I start a new project I swear to work on it and only it until it is completely finished!

  2. Get rid of all excess!
      There's nothing more brutal on the way one feels than clutter. That is my opinion. Clutter as in "stuff" and clutter as in bad habits. It makes ones soul feel grotty like toxins in ones body that need a flush occasionally like Plato and Socrates, Ghandi and Christ did with their fasting to siphon all the bad away. 
     I've already begun to clear all that away and nearly clearing my home of "stuff" that is not needed nor wanted. It's nice. All feels free, open and it's nice to just have one of some things.  
     This also means for me excess weight. I got rid of the baby fat within a few weeks of my baby being born and the losing has come to a complete halt because of my thyroid issue. I stay at a certain weight and it won't go down or up. So now I think it's time to up the ante. Instead of just long walks I've got a maxi climber. It's great! I feel the burn. Also, back on a good diet (no eating rubbish) with plenty of protein rather than carbs. I'm taking a fish oil supplement, Alli (which is a brilliant thing) and keeping up on my thyroid medication. Fingers crossed! I can only work hard at it and persevere. My favourite era for clothes is a time when women had to be nice and slender to wear the latest styles (not skinny at all but not overly curvy like me). Besides its ideal one feels good about ones self and if that's the way for me to feel good about me I need to get on with it!

     3. Finish projects! 
This might very well fit under excess, too. I've got so very many projects started that's it's overwhelming and it's dragging me down. I need, NEED to finish things before I start another and before buying any more fabric or yarn. This is of the utmost importance to me. 

   4. Buy less!

        I've found that I buy stuff way too often. There's nothing I should be buying. Except for the necessaries in everyday life, there's nothing I need. I have to stop buying things that I think I need. This may also go back to no. 2 because oftentimes when I buy things I feel it was a waist of money and I wish I hadn't bought it, I DO NOT NEED IT and that makes me feel crummy. No more!

      In conclusion...
Since our days of homesteading and self-sufficiency (in wide open country and not in the city) are not far off I've decided there needs to be change contrived now rather than wait around for this lifestyle to fully transpire. The godfather of homesteading, John Seymour says...

   "Contrariwise, nothing can stop the flowering of a society that manages to give free rein to the creativity of its people-all its people. This cannot be ordered and organized from the top. We cannot look to government, but only to ourselves, to bring about such a state of affairs. Nor should anyone of us go on 'waiting for Godot,' because Godot never comes.'....It is the essence of self-reliance that you start now and don't wait for something to turn up."

    I can't have said it better, therefore, I've decided that I'm going to do plenty of things differently and to prepare for our life on the open range. It's time for change. If I want happiness, it's changing time!
   We alone are the knitters of the fabrics of our existence.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Everybody's doin' it...Doin' it? Doin' What?!

  Somehow, I've deleted my entire latest post. I'm so horrible at this stuff but anyhow!

        When you come up with an idea for a fashion piece, or sport one, particular to the impending seasons' wardrobe do you suddenly see it everywhere? I know I do, it happens to me every once in a while. Just as I've drafted the pattern and am at last going to tailor myself a checked suit it happens! Checks are everywhere.

   Carol was my inspiration in one of my favourite films of hers where she wore this suit.

 This type of very femininely tailored suit was very high in fashion in the 1930s and although hers is a very fine black and white herringbone I thought this suit in checks would make just as emphatic an outcome...
I just love this one but it shall be but a one button jacket (maybe?) and the black and white checks a bit smaller so at a distant it may appear to be a gray suit. Brilliant. I had it all planned out and went to the sewing room, drafted it in just a few hours and emerged to indulge in tea, knitting and a picture. So, with my little Teddy, watched a Madge Evans picture. Well, you wouldn't believe! She was in checks.
 And wasn't she stunning in them! Of Madge not stunning in everything?
I will never be more lovelier than Madge, but I would like to think I may pull these checked numbers off nicely, too! I keep seeing the considerable bow everywhere an' all.
 And then there was Mae Clark in "Fast Workers," which I saw today for the second time. She played a floosy and the dress shows it but I still like it quite a bit...
                                                              Yes, and the bow again!
   I suppose it's just because I've had my eye on checks and am paying attention that they seem to be popping up everywhere I look.
    I also just love checks as trim, here are some examples...
These two are, of course, knitteds but nonetheless going along with the waves of checks which were so popular on and off in the early to mid 1930s. Let me not forget to mention checks can be traced back to early recordings of fashion history. 

And here's Constance Cummings in 1933 in the Mind Reader with Warren William wearing a bias checked frock. She told New Movie magazine that she was just smitten about green and white checks and all-plaid frocks. This is certainly something I would make or make that a plain white frock with the check as a half or three-quarter length tunic. Must have the bow and tie to go with it of course!

I'll have to decide on whether or not to go for the full checked frock or suit or just add a touch of it to complete an ensemble. 

What todo!

Just one more for the hell of it from mccalls magazine...and technically it's windowpane and not checks but I still love it and it's simplicity...

   Gotta do something about my appetite for checks.

         Be seein' ya!