Friday, January 31, 2014

The Hope Chest

If you have been following the Boyer Family Singers blog, you know that Jessica has been working on the contents for her hope chest.

This post is dedicated to you, Jessica! The Lane Cedar Chest was the hope chest of choice for many a bride-want-to-be in the 1950s (as well as decades before and after ;)). What a perfectly beautiful bridal gown, yes?

I purchased a Lane Cedar Chest myself (as my hope chest) after high school, although I have to admit I was not as diligent as Jessica in collecting my "trousseau" items. ;) But it was great for storing wool clothing, as the cedar naturally repels moths. And I still have it!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Scraps from the Past - Summer Pajamas in White Seersucker

The Pattern: Simplicity 4006 (1961)
These cute pajamas are 60s slim! I especially like the short summer length, with their "cabin boy" or "clam digger" length pants. It's inspiring sleepwear fashion!


The Scrap: Still attached to the pocket pattern piece, and tucked in the pattern envelope, was this fabric scrap. Although stained with age, this square bit of white seersucker is still soft and feels perfectly light and comfortable for summer.

I can picture it! :)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s - Bridal Tips on Informal Evening Frocks

Will Edith ever get to marry? Do we trust that man of hers? As far as that goes, now Mary has another beau! Downtown Abbey continues to hold our close attention.

In this tip from the 1920s, Ruth Wyeth Spears gives tips on choosing the appropriate style evening frock for the figure - what an interesting concept. Do you think the frock on the right is too "youthful"? Both would look perfectly lovely on Lady Rose, I think. :)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Resort Fashion - A Swirl of 1951 Summer Style

This fine summer dress is a swirl of color. Fabulous with off-shoulder neckline and a beautifully flared skirt, this cotton dress is also easy to care for! Just step through the door, and I am transported. :)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Resort Fashion - 1950s Strapless Suit and "Sandwig"

I love the mauve colors in this picture - so peaceful. :)

That is a terry cloth "Sandwig" on her head, worn to cover wet hair after swimming. Rather jaunty looking  - what do you think? And the fabulous strapless suit is embroidered piqué.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s - Satin Flowers for the Bride's Gown

In this wonderful tip, Ruth Wyeth Spears describes a lovely decoration for a bridal gown. She provides an actual size template, which you use to cut flower appliques from satin. You trim along the edges of each flower with pearl beads. The satin flowers are then applied to bands of sheer georgette, which trim the dress (along with side drapes of georgette). Such graceful 1920s wedding fashion!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Resort Fashion - A 1950s Duster is a Must!

Looking exotic and in such a dramatic pose, this model is wearing a black terry cloth duster (complete with rhinestone buttons!). The duster is versatile - slip it on over a bathing suit, or wear it as a coat or as a casual dress. Columns not required. ;)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Resort Fashion - Don't Forget Your Clam Diggers!

These 1951 tapered pants are a high fashion way  to make a stand on the beach! Called clam diggers or cabin boy pants, they are also simply called - short slacks. ;)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Resort Fashion - Strapless on the Beach

Up for some sun? Cotton flowers that don't wilt in the water trim the strapless top of this fabulous one-piece swimsuit from 1951.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Home Sewing Tips for the 1920s - A Draped Formal Gown

"Richness should be the keynote of the draped gown" Ruth Wyeth Spears says. In this home sewing tip, she describes how to create this evening gown with "metal cloth" - what we would call metallic fabric - brilliant, glittery, and dramatic! The skirt is wrapped to create drapes at back sides of center, with velvet flowers and foliage trimming the drop-waistline. Elegant!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Resort Fashion - A Swimsuit with Boned, Strapless Decolletage!

This one-piece, shiny, cotton satin bathing suit is boned, creating a strapless "evening gown" top. She's dressed as if she just walked off a ballroom floor. It's dreamy fashion from 1951.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Resort Wear Month - At the Beach

It's 1951 and oh yes, I love to lounge on the beach in my alluring strapless suit, my make-up perfect - but I just pretend to smoke. ;) I do look cool, don't I? Definitely gorgeous.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Cascading Drapes - Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s & Spotted in Shop Window!

It's "Spotted in a Shop Window" and "Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s" in one post!

In this tip, Ruth Wyeth Spears describes how to add graceful drapes to the skirt of a charming frock (with frock construction illustrated as well). Note the interesting tucks in addition to the cascading drapes (I just love tucks).

While hardly identical, of course, this beautiful strapless formal gown I spotted in the shop window of Luly Yang in downtown Seattle just yesterday also shows the luscious effect of draping on the skirt of a dress. 

A close-up of the drapes shows construction that looks more similar to the draping in my post on Sunday. Regardless, whether a 1920s frock or a 2014 formal gown, I find draping on a dress so elegant and beautiful.


Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s - Creating an Evening Frock from Draped Squares

Well, what do you think of the first episode of season 4 of Downton Abbey? I think they set the stage for lots of shenanigans in future episodes!

Lady Lily, the niece that Lord and Lady Grantham are supervising certainly has the heart of a flapper. And her dress for the local dance outing reminds me of this dress described in the home sewing tips from Ruth Wyeth Spears. Ruth assembles squares of chiffon and attaches them to a foundation slip to create bias drape and an elegant "scarf" style frock.

I think this could be described as an "easy to assemble" frock. :) How would you like to dance the One-Step in this?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s - Adding Draping to Your Frocks

With the 4th season of Downton Abbey starting this evening (it's 1922!), it's time to resume the home sewing tips from the 1920s by Anne Wyeth Spears. In this article, Ruth writes about the use of a cascading drape to add a touch of elegance  and grace to clothing.

Add a cascading drape to your favorite Parisian frock.  And doesn't the model look a bit like Lady Mary Crawley? ;)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

More Resort Fashions - Hit the Beach!

It's time to dream of hitting the beach, dressed in wonderful vintage fashion. And it is my goal to post beach wear, swimsuits, and other resort fashion in my shop daily for the month of January. Let's look at some of the  wonderful 1950s summer wear available for the kids and adults!

 Love the high waist shorts and the cropped top!

Wonderful ensemble with bra top, shorts, and cover-up - don't you think that beach cover-up with hood is cute?

Another bra top with shorts and cover-up - and pedal pushers too!

 Super cute beach wear with a kiddie version of the bra top with mock-shrug cap sleeves.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Scraps from the Past - 1940s Snug Jerkin with Trapunto!

I think this is a gorgeous pattern for a very snug jerkin (vest), decorated with cables using your choice of hand embroidery or trapunto - wonderful techniques! From 1941 and McCall, the hip-length jerkin offers 3 neckline variations, so you can have fun making more than one. :)

Tucked inside was the "V" cutout for view C, in a soft dark navy blue wool. It's a nicely woven fabric - be sure to click on the image for a close-up view. The transfer is partially used (only view C is unused). I wonder which technique our mystery seamstress used - embroidery or trapunto?

Can you picture it?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Resort Fashion Month!

It's January! Yippee, that means it is time for resort fashion - vintage, of course! What could be more fun during the heart of winter than to peruse summer styles for the beach and resort?

Do you need sexy swimwear from the 1980s?

Maillot or bikini ... or both with McCall's 8089!

Or perhaps you'd prefer this very cute beach ensemble from 1954?

Love the sunny bra top with shorts and a great cover-up with or without hood!