Thursday, October 20, 2016

1960s Ethereal Evening Gown

Long and languorous, this lovely Gerard Pipart for Nina Ricci evening gown from 1965 has an ethereal and long-ago look. Gown features a misty moiré skirt, cloud white silk chiffon bodice, and a haze-blue satin sash.

Featured in McCall's magazine, December 1965.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s: Make a Yoke and Add a Dress To It!

In this tip from Ruth Wyeth Spears, she tells her 1920s home sewists that dresses as sketched here "are new in the Parisian mode". And who wouldn't want the latest dress styles from Paris? This tip illustrates just how easy it is to sew a very fashionable 1920s frock. Happy sewing!

Let me know if you sew a dress using this tip!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

1930s Smart Frocks

These smart frocks from 1936 were featured in McCall's magazine, and each has stylish details that make them highly desirable!

Dress 9021 on the left is sewn in angora wool jersey and sports top-stitched seams (both bodice and skirt) that release into inverted pleats in the skirt. It has double collars, the upper one of velveteen.

Dress 9042 in the middle is a deep grape-purple, with contoured seams at the midriff (difficult to see because of the dark color).

Dress 9034 on the right is a black frock with dramatic sleeves and collar, and is trimmed with velvet. Yummmm!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Miss Lillian's Postcards: A Postcard from Father

Sender: HM (Henry Maguire, Lillian's father)
Addressee: Lill Maguire, 1902 G Terry Ave, Seattle, Washington
Postmark: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Date: November 20, 1909
Image: Old Spanish Convent, N.M.

The text for this postcard states "The town of Lamy, between Las Vegas and Albuquerque, was named for the good Archbishop who founded nearby a convent, the wall of which are still standing, and who also once taught the Indians in a little adobe school house. At the time of the founding of this convent he was a missionary priest, but afterwards became Archbishop Lamy of Santa Fe."

I could find no record of this structure on the internet, and Lamy is a tiny town of about 200 people, mostly a train station stop.

Still going
Country looks bum

This brief postcard from Lillian's father is so very interesting. He is traveling from St Louis, Missouri to California. Clearly this stop in New Mexico did not impress him. "Bum" he called the countryside! New Mexico is surely much drier than Missouri, so I suppose we cannot fault him for his perception. But New Mexico is an amazing state with much beauty.

In 1909, the fastest way to get from St Louis to the west coast would be train, a long trip of several days. We do not know the reason Henry Maguire is traveling, but at least he found time to drop a short postcard to his daughter at this stage in his journey. He must have written this in a hurry, for the penmanship is not neat or tidy, and seems hurried.

It is rather fun to see how direct and to the point Lillian's father is. I look forward to his next postcard!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Mid 1960s Formal Wear - A Serene Gown

Enjoy this serenely lovely gown in wood-rose moiré from 1965. The gown falls from the shoulders in a Watteau train.

Featured in McCall's magazine, December 1965

Monday, October 10, 2016

Scraps from the Past: 1940s Toddler Dress

The pattern: Simplicity 1397

The scrap: Tucked into the pattern envelope for this cute toddler dress was a small soft cotton fabric scrap: stripes of pink and soft teal or aqua blue contrasting with gray. There is no contrasting fabric scrap, so it is hard to know if view 2 was sewn rather than views 1 or 3. If a contrasting fabric were used, would the striped fabric be used for the midriff and upper skirt? Or for the upper bodice and lower skirt? Tough decision!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s: A Fresh Taffeta Flower for Your Shoulder

Here is another lovely corsage from Ruth Wyeth Spears and the 1920s. This one features fringed petals of taffeta. As Ruth says, "Flowers like this are so easy to make that you can easily have a fresh one whenever you want it."

Create several, one for every outfit, for every season!