Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Scraps From the Past - 1960s Geometric

From time to time, a seamstress leaves inside the envelope a piece or two of the fabric she used to sew the pattern. It is always fun to see what fabric inspired someone decades ago. From 1964, McCall's 7641 offered two sleeveless dresses - a slim chemise and a lovely A-line.

Tucked inside were two pieces of fabric,which the seamstress chose to sew the A-line dress. The fabric is a shimmery knit polyester, in an abstract pattern of purple, pink, baby blue, and a goldish-tan.

Can you picture the dress? :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sharing Vintage Fashion the Thrifty Way: Valentine Apron Give-Away

It's my first give-away! This give-away is all about thrift, and sharing vintage fashion the hand-made way. 

I often come across a hand-reproduced pattern, often labeled "mom's apron" or "June's skirt pattern" and such, sometimes on newsprint, sometimes on brown butcher paper. Because the 1930s depression years and the shortages of the 1940s war years meant making do with less, women shared favorite and admired patterns by hand-tracing them and giving them to family and friends.

In keeping with the spirit in which these patterns were made, this will be the first of many regular contests to share these patterns free with you, my wonderful customers, followers, and readers of my blog.

My first give-away contest is a Valentine apron. I estimate it to be from the 40s or 50s. The pieces of this hand-reproduced pattern consist of three pieces: heart-shaped bib, heart-shaped skirt, and heart-shaped pocket. Construction details are hand-written on the pieces. I photographed the pieces against a yardstick (36 inches US) to give you an idea of size.

The pocket is trimmed with bias binding.
Skirt is trimmed with ruffles, width is marked on the skirt.
Notches are drawn to indicate where bib is attached to skirt.
Pocket placement is clearly marked.
Tie string placement is also marked on skirt. No tie string pattern piece is included, the assumption being the seamstress can make to desired length and width.

All you need to do to enter the giveaway is to leave a comment!
It could be about why you find vintage fashion inspiring, why you love aprons, or what you'd like to see more of on this blog. There are no limitations in terms of where you live - this will be mailed from the US to anywhere. 

I will use the random number method and will announce the winner on February 1st! And here are some apron styles that are not identical, but similar, to inspire you. :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Resort Fashions 2012 - Part 2

Sundresses, play suits, separates and more make up the resort wardrobe. As you can see in the following images from Life Magazine in 1948, the favored necklines are halter, strapless, and camisole. Cropped jackets and tops are also popular. Mix-and-match wardrobes remain desirable for decades.

So what will you be seeing in my shop this month?


Halter and strapless tops!

Play suits!

Summer separates!

And of course, more bathing suits with beach coats or coverups. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Nehru Jacket - Hip or Hippie?

The Nehru jacket from India became popular in the west in the mid-to-late1960s.  This style of jacket was slightly fitted and distinctive with its band or cadet-style collar.  It was named after the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru because he commonly wore this traditional garment. The Nehru jacket became popular at a time when many foreign (read: exotic) styles were becoming popular. With its slim lines, the Nehru jacket was considered Mod and definitely hip. Adding beads was not uncommon (oooh, almost hippie!). It was worn by  pop stars, rock stars, and other famous folks, and appeared in movies. For a fine overview of this phenomenon, read Spyvibe blog. 

Here are a few examples of this fab style in my shop:

Butterick 5078
Vogue 7452
Simplicity 7883
What do you think? Is it still a cool style?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Resort Fashions 2012 - Vintage, That Is

Welcome to Vintage Resort Fashions 2012 at Midvale Cottage! I'm going to start with swimwear, which by the 1940s look so timeless to me. Do you think it is because women started to enjoy more freedom as a result of their work in World War II? If so, it shows in their swimwear.

This fabulous image graced the cover of  Life magazine back in 1947. Notice the back fullness of the matching beach coat.

 And it doesn't get much more relaxing and simple than this! Described as "quiet and restful", this bathing suit was made by Brigance and cost $23.

This simple "brief overall" suit "is made without straps and is designed by Emily Wilkens. It is part of a three piece outfit and cost $20. 

So what swimsuits will be showing up in the coming days in the Midvale Cottage shop? Here is a peek!