Thursday, October 30, 2014

1930s Shirtwaist Dress

She looks ready to do business in this great shirtwaist dress from 1937. I love the rows of darts at the shoulders, the buttons on the sleeves that match the toggle buttons of the front closing. It's a graceful dress, and I can picture wearing this! Can you?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Jumpsuits - The New Hot Thing?

I was reading in the "Style & Travel" section of the October 16, 2014 edition of The Wall Street Journal that jumpsuits are becoming a "must buy" fashion, from casual to tailored! I know, I know - The Wall Street Journal as a source for fashion news? Well, they always cover fashion on Thursdays, and it is newspaper that is available at work, so I try to pay attention to it, at least on Thursdays. ;)

So, jumpsuits? Well, if you want to find really cute jumpsuits, you can't do better than vintage! For best fit and preferred fabric, sewing your own seems like a no-brainer.

Jumpsuits become regular wardrobe items in the 1940s, especially (though not exclusively) as work apparel for women working in manufacturing plants that supported the war effort.


In the 1950s, the jumpsuit emerged as a trending sportswear (and so cute!), but not common. 

1960s & 1970s

The most popular decades for the jumpsuit were the 1960s and the 1970s.  Hip and groovy, they expanded to include a wide range of styles, suitable for both casual and formal wear: from the uber-slim "cat suit" to the delicious fullness of palazzo pants. 


Jumpsuits lingered in the 1980s, but definitely not as popular an item as in the 1970s. 

 So what do you think? Do jumpsuits in general have appeal? Would you sew one for yourself? Do any of the patterns above appeal to you?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Spotted in a Shop Window - Dress with Box-Pleated Flared Skirt

Spotted in the window of GAP in downtown Seattle, this cute, stripy "fit and flare" dress has winning style.With flattering 3/4-length sleeves and a sassy softly-box-pleated mini-skirt, it looks like it would be fun and ever so comfortable to wear.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Miss Lillian's Postcards - Vintage Tweets: Miss Lillian Has Moved!

Postcard 022

Sender: Sister of Lillian, Anne Mueller
Addressee: Miss Lillian Maguire, #1315 N. Taylor Ave., St. Louis Mo
Postmark: Seattle, WASH.
Date: March 24, 1908
Image: State Capitol, Carson City, Nevada
Dear L,
Your letter, also
M. B's received & as
I cant possibly use 
another "centrepiece
tulip design" I don't 
think I'll give myself
any extra work by 
opening correspondence
with her. Love from,
Yours A.


The Nevada state capitol is an historic building that still stands in Carson City. Follow the link and then click on the photo of the capitol building to view more pictures, including a picture taken when it was newly built (1870-ish).

This postcard from Anne to her sister Lillian is such fun! First we can see by the address that Lillian has moved out from home. My, my! We have no idea why. We can only speculate that she was ready to be out on her own. Is it possible that she is staying with family or a friend in another part of St. Louis?

And then the message is so funny! We get to see a bit of personality from Anne. "I can't possibly use another "centrepiece tulip design"? I am guessing that Anne did not care for too much hand embroidery, nor for M B. (clearly not a close friend! :) It's a LOL moment! And what does a "centrepiece tulip design" look like? Possibly something like this (image courtesy of Windstar Embroidery Designs):

I am curious regarding why Anne received yet another centrepiece tulip design - for her birthday, perhaps?

Looking Back - 1907 Fashion 


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s - How to Make a Coat, Step-by-Step

This tip from Ruth Wyeth Spears and the 1920s must be her longest ever. If you feel that sewing a coat is a challenge, Ruth is here to walk you through it! The steps have not changed throughout the decades - the construction of a tailored coat is timeless. Well, except, perhaps, Ruth's suggestion that you take the coat to the tailor to make the button holes and give the coat its final pressing. :)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

1930s - A Beautiful Afternoon Dress

This lovely dress from 1937 has such interesting details in the bodice. Note the shaped saddle yokes, short flutter sleeves, and a V-neckline with tie extensions. A lovely touch is how the straight princess seams in front release into pleats near the hemline. And the artist has rendered the dress with sheer fabric. Beautiful!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Originator Sketch - Spring 1946: Accenting with Graduated Folds

What an intriguing idea is illustrated in this page from the Spring 1946 Originator! Pockets with graduated folds or bands accent a skirt, a jacket, and a blouse. Very inspiring and eye-catching too. :) On the skirt, I like how the folds or bands echo the pleats of the skirt - nice touch! On the jacket they they serve to narrow the hips, I think. The blouse is unusual, because a side opening breast pocket is rare - but I like how it hides the pocket while adding interest to the blouse. Great ideas!