Sunday, June 28, 2015

2-Hour Dress! A Vintage Pattern Pledge Project Complete! Outfit Post

     Well, I hadn't been doing great this month with the pledge I made at

because I've been working on projects that I had started ages ago. There is a basket of unfinished frocks that I am determined to complete as soon as I possibly can.
   It is because I had been working hard on other things that I decided to just take a wee break and get on with the pledge. I had look through my stash of sewing patterns for the one I thought would take me the least amount of time to make from start to finish. I found Marian Martin 9250 which is a pattern I have had since I was 10ish and really into the 1940's at the time. Easy. It took me longer to cut out than to sew. All together 2 hours (a break in between for afternoon tea of course).  
I had to make a seam up the back, which isn't terribly noticeable, for I had only a little less than 3 yards of the fabric I was dying to use. A fabric that I bought a few years back, when starting fashion school, for my toiles (or muslins or prototypes or whatever word you want to use for it). That was usually all I would buy cotton quilting fabric for but that subject is for yet another day. I just like using print and solid color cottons sometimes instead of just constantly plain muslin.
    So I think it turned out just fine and it's nice and it's cool for our hot summers. The sleeves are my favourite part of it even though I have no business wearing sleeves as these with my fleshy arms. 
 I gave up caring.

                The ties were made from an old crepe dress that had seen better days and I've just been using pieces of it for projects here and there because the color is just beautiful and more of a teal color than what shows in the photographs. It matches the leaves wonderfully on this fabric pattern.

 I didn't bother to match the patterns because I was in a hurry. Nor did I care to be honest. It's just for an every day, about-the-house frock.

The pattern was so easy and I made the neckline a lot lower for me and next time I would certainly make it a lot more heart-shaped. Yes, I tend to write notes on my pattern instruction sheets. I never use the instructions so they do indeed make good note paper.
Not sure if you can see, but I did the 1930s manicure again but with my favourite pink varnish color, Revlon Demure!
2 patterns down this month for my pledge!
This pattern was going out of my element a bit and I sometimes quiver a little at the thought of "betraying" my style. But going out of our comfort zone is good once in a while, although I did make it slightly 1930s length. Nevertheless it feels good and looks a bit good so it probably won't go forgotten in the back of the wardrobe.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Thelma Todd Forever...Sewing the Thelma Frock
   Thelma Todd has to be my favourite lady of acting, comedy and especially fashion, aside from Lilyan Tashman. Period. That's pretty damn high up there too, because there's no one exceeds Tashman to me or even gets close (but that's for another day). I spend a lot of time studying what Thelma wears (sorry, wore). She is constantly in my thoughts and with my husband, who is a clever lawyer and has a degree in psychology, we are working together to solve her murder (which was murder, but yet again that is for another day).
    Because we are so much alike with our height and chubby faces and weight (well, ok...8 more pounds and I'll be back to her size) and style, I like emulate her and especially in her style. That's what we do when we have fashion icons, isn't it!
   Anyhow, I'm not sure if I ever mentioned it but I always name my designs. Everyone at the fashion shows thought it was hilarious but it's just what I do. I've had the Todd dress, Thelma Todd frock and the T.T. frock and now I'm sewing my Thelma frock. Even though this one is not my design I've decided to call it so anyhow for the dotted swiss I'm using was going to be for my original Thelma frock design. This photo was my inspiration but seeing as I'm short on time lately and I'm taking the Vintage Pattern Pledge I decided to use the fabric on a pattern which is similar to this number she's got on.
    Just look at her style. She was quite the happy and unassuming type of person and it showed in her face, her stance and in her fashion. 

So here begins the top half of the frock in the narrow hemmer foot for the ties, normally would see me doing narrow hems by hand, but again, time is of the essence. I just love the colors on the white background. That is a navy, not black, so it'll go with a striking navy blue hat I have.
  Here is also your first glimpse at my Khafra (Singer treadle with sphinx decals), he is my youngest one, manufactured 1923 but he is still a brilliant worker indeed. I would be a lost soul without my treadle and handcrank, they're such capital friends!
   So, to the pattern. It is just a Simplicity pattern from 1934 and it has been one of  my go to's because of it's swiftness in construction and it has that quintessential 1930's look. I was going to leave out the ties at the front just as it is plain in Thelma's photograph but I quite like the ties too much. 
     This dress will be ideal for the summer because of the lightness of fabric and drape of the dress. I used to never use cotton fabrics except organdy, swiss, voile etc., (it had to be fancy or I wouldn't use it) but ever since I started following Rochelle at I've really grown to love cottons. Especially quilting cottons. There are so many lovely prints and I mustn't forget to mention the 1930s reproduction cottons. I guess my hatred for cotton grew out of detest for all of the fabric shops in Utah only carrying quilting fabric and not a single shop for fashion designers. Joanns is a polyester haven (and I still won't touch that stuff) but Salt Lake City has really grown and there are now a couple of shops with apparel fabrics and such, so everything is ok now. I don't have to keep buying my fabric in the UK and filling my luggage full of the stuff and I  must admit, I really do like Hancock's.
  This fabric I'm using for the Thelma is 100% cotton swiss.   I think it shall be complete within the week. You'll see it soon, anyhow. 
    "The two most important guides to one's personality are one's appearance and one's manner of speech. Centuries of experience have shown that by mean of these one may almost without exception get at least a general idea of the sort of person that lies back of them."

                          Lillian Eichler

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Connie Bennett Hairstyle 1938!

Just fancied trying out Constance Bennett's hairdo that she pulled off so beautifully from around 1936 and was the same really, just got longer, until 1942.
   My husband says I'm a bit snooty like Connie Bennett and I've got a mouth like Carole Lombard (which means I curse almost as well as a sailor). I've been working on it though. It's tough! You can take the girl out of the army but ya can't take the army out of the girl. And as for being snooty, well, I just very much dislike fashion faux pas, bad etiquette and bad/poor speech. I also detest the majority of men these days who seem to think women might get mad at 'em for opening the door for her. Don't get me started on men and hats indoors and at the table! and then there's suits without their jackets!
  I think I might be on one of my rants again...

     Moving along! I decided, for the coiffure, not to wave my hair but just use my sponge curlers overnight. Then in the morning I just brushed and brushed and brushed until I got this result!
Not quite the same, but in the style at least!
I wanted to try something new this weekend and I always love experimenting with fashion, colors as well as hairstyles and most everything else. I think I like this "do" and will perhaps wear it again!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Technology, Blog...Why Bother?

   For today, just some thoughts I had concerning technology of this modern world. For some reason I keep going back to my blogging and I suppose it may be because people I see at church or fashion shows or wherever tell me I should have a website or blog and share with the world the things I create and my lifestyle because it's "different," or interesting. 
  So I do. I start a blog and keep with it for a minute, but give up. Blogging and computers is tough, it takes up a great deal of my time, is aggravating and stressful. Not the kind of stress like the uptempo stress of a fashion show that I just love but the kind of stress that leaves you feeling angry. Am I alone in this? All this and for what? Nobody reads my garbage. 
    I guess I blog because it's a little fun sharing my accomplishments, even if it's to "nobody." Because I'm a "vintage" housewife (which is a very consuming job, but I love it) I don't have time for friends to come over nor are my boys intersted in ladies' things, I want to share with someone what I've done. Which makes it kind of a moot point again because nobody is looking at what I have to say. But I guess I do bother because it is posting my accomplishments and that helps me to feel as though I've "shared" what i had done that day. 
    It's all going to be lost sooner or not so later though. When technology fails it will all be gone. Or when our enemies (who aren't as stupid as we think) let go their pulse weapon on the states when everyone becomes a little bit more dependent on technology (if that's possible. Sure it is. Well, I don't know, I do see too many who just cannot take their handheld computers away from their face for one minute). Being in the chemical corps in the army and going to war plenty,  I saw and heard a lot of "what would hurt America the most?" I credit what I know to why I was almost completely obliterated by an rpg, shot by an enemy sniper. I was singled out that night. One shot and what they thought was one kill.  
    Anyhow, I guess I might keep blogging and I think I might do some movie shorts on various things that I find interesting and care to share. Perhaps some sewing tips. Who knows. I might drop it altogether again. After all, it doesn't fully satisfy my desire to share with "friends" out there what I do, enough. And do I really need the outlet? I'd rather be baking bread than ruining my eyesite on a computer screen. Ugh, let's move along shall we!
   But I will share the fact that I've started my knit skirt as shared in a post past. It's looking lovely and I've decided to knit it in the round because I can't stand the thought of purling nearly 200 sts. Every other row. I decided to start the skirt after  doing half the blouse just to break up any monotony. 

Lovely shade, isn't it my invisible friends! And believe me, lovely texture, But I think I shall never again use modern yarns!
    Till next time! Maybe!

Friday, June 5, 2015

A 1930s Manicure And Some Estate Sale Finds

   A few reasons why I love summer is because everyone is out and about, every place is really rather busy; the cafes, restaurants, tea houses, antique shops, and parks and everywhere else I go are all bustling. And especially, folks are more keen to have yard sales, there are more estate sales, and I of course love that! I got out this week to an estate sale and it was lovely and found time for a 1930s manicure makeover.
The bracelet I found and the manicure!
And by virtue of a good week I decided to give myself an au courant manicure (that is, for 1932 anyhow).  I read many fashion magazines from the 1920s and1930s and I'm always seeing advertisements for nail varnish with manicures that I've always desired. The half moon manicure where the cuticles are nude in a half moon shape and also with the tips also left nude. I usually do just the cuticles but I got brave and went for the full on 1930s manicure. I've never had a professional manicure or pedicure done before, nor did I want to explain to anyone how to do it, unless they already know how, I don't know. Anyhow...I did it myself, of course, while baby slept so it was a bit rushed (and you can tell), but practice makes perfect. I also have eternally wanted the nail varnish in the advertisements called "cardinal." But as usual never find the colors of varnish I desire. Therefore I mixed up a few colors and finally got it perfect to my standard and what I would deem, "cardinal." It's my favourite shade of polish now and I used it for this manicure. It may be more like the "ruby" in the ads but I don't mind, I love it. 
   I think I did a fairly decent job of it, alas perhaps too much of a curve at the tip of the nails. I used dressmaker's dummy draping tape, painted over the nail and peeled off the tape. It worked brilliantly and I'll use it again next time. I actually do like the results an awful lot.

A Few of The Estate Sale Finds!
    I went to an estate sale last weekend exactly across from Liberty Park and I live exactly a block away from the wonderful park. I was looking for a chair to go along with my treadle machine cabinet but I found the perfect one for sewing table instead. Not only did I find a brilliant antique chair but also a couple pieces of rhinestone jewelry (and I'm a sucker for rhinestones), and a ducky little bouquet brooch of yellow roses and seed pearls, perfect for summer.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Edwards Gown, My Vintage Style Sporty Dress

It means a lot to me to get something started and completely done now that time is awfully limited. My Eddie was just christened and I had spent every spare minute I had within a week before finishing his gown. Now that the event is over it's time to put away the gown for his own child one day, perhaps.
  Me and Eddie of course on the very special day. Yes, the gown is a lovely buttercream shade and not white but I wanted the gown to match the lace knitted blanket I made him before he was born.
 I just wore one of my favourite sporty frocks. It's comfortable but still looks nice. I love it with a pair of ,golfing, brown leather gloves and sporty beret. I would make this dress again and again.  I enjoy walking and golf in the dress and its even light enough for tennis!

 I did lace insertions all the way around by hand and pintucks on the treadle. It looks like the puffed sleeves are different in size but the surface was just on a bit of a slope.
 There was also a little bit of time for several tiny buttons and handmade buttonholes down the back.
Every chance I get I sew by hand. There's nothing more  fulfilling to me than handwork. 
 Here is just a detail of the lace insertion and you may somewhat see a bit of the knitted blanket and bonnet that I'd made for him. 
  Thanks for stopping by! 

               "The inevitable 'tired business man' finds incentive in the thought of a brisk game of golf after closing hours. The busy hostess looks forward to the afternoon that she will be able to devote exclusively to tennis. The man or woman who does not 'play' is missing one of the keenest peasures of life."
           -Lillian Eichler from her Book of Etiquette