Friday, November 28, 2014

1950s - Balenciaga's Enchanting Sheath, Tunic, and Inspired Bolero

Now here is an ensemble I would love to wear! A pop of red on a white hat that makes you think of Christmas, a slim sheath topped with a knee-length tunic with big buttons, and an itty-bitty bolero with a floating back panel. Wow!

Here is a photograph of the dress & tunic in black brocade, without the bolero. The big buttons are there (we just can't see them). Enchanting!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

1930s Glamour in a Double-Breasted Princess Coat

I'll be traveling for Thanksgiving today, and I hope you all are blessed with a safe and wonderful time with all those you love.

For my travels today, I wish I could wear this fabulous tweed coat from 1937 that hugs the figure with flair! It features princess seams, underarm pockets with shaped flaps, double-breasted closing, and a shawl collar accented with scalloped Persian lamb fur. And I'd wear the marvelous hat too, with its square visor, envelope crown, and Persian pom-poms!

I wish I could order one of these!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s - A Hand-Made Medallion Trim

I am way overdue for another post from Ruth Wyeth Spears and her wonderful tips for home sewists in the 1920s! So here is one for adding a home-made yet dramatic accent that is perfect for blouses and frocks. As described by Ruth, this is designed as an open-work motif. Whether you make it open-work or add a contrast fabric as a background, you'll have an eye-catching accent!

Have fun with this one!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Buy Your Vintage Sewing Patterns During the Holiday Shopping Sale!

Have you been stashing some cash? The sale of the year is almost upon us!

As a member of the Pattern Patter team on Etsy, my Midvale Cottage shop will be participating in this weekend's holiday shopping sale extravaganza! Beginning Friday, November 28 (at the stroke of midnight), until the end of Cyber Monday, December 1st, (at the stroke of midnight), everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, in my shop will be 20% off!  And if you don't find what you want, be sure to check all the participating shops, as most are offering discounts as well.

On the days of the sale, just click this image to view all the pattern shops that are participating and the fresh items they are adding to their shops for the event.

Pattern Patter Black Friday Blitz

You can peruse my items at any time by visiting Midvale Cottage on Etsy, or on this special Etsy on Sale link that goes live during the sale period.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

1950s Paris Fashion - A Taste of the Orient

The Oriental influence inspired by the Chinese Opera's first visit to Paris in 1955 resulted in couture designs like this one by Dior. The evening sheath dress of pearly satin  is topped with a richly jeweled and embroidered caftan coat with split sides. This brilliant brocade definitely results in a rich, exotic look.

It seems as though they tried to give her eyes an Oriental look with the use of makeup. What do you think? Seen in Women's Home Companion, October 1955 edition.

Friday, November 21, 2014

1940s Originator Sketch - Cocktail Dresses

Ooooo la la! These stunning cocktail dresses feature cascading drapes topped with bows. Did you notice that both dresses dip lower in the back? Fabulous eye candy!

Look at the details carefully - intriguing!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

1930s - Glamorous Metallic Two-Piece Evening Dress

Oh, she looks sensational and knows it! This divine two-piece dress of  lamé provides a sculptured look, wrapping the body in waves of elegant shimmer. The matching hat is a high calot, trimmed with kid and an eye-catching whisper of a veil.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I've Seen That in Vintage Patterns - 1950s Popular Sheath

Browsing through a September 1955 edition of Mademoiselle magazine, this ad for the synthetic fabric "Arnel" features a dress style that appears from time to time in vintage patterns from the 1950s. Seeing it in "real life" in this photograph, I am surprised at just how flattering this style is, with its peg-top-esque hip pockets. Would you have expected it?

I think, the hip pockets actually work to make the waistline thinner by emphasizing the hips, while the straight line from the hips to hemlines minimizes the hips. Is that a contradiction? At the very least, it is an interesting contrast. :) The dress certainly looks cute on this model!

Here is one version, Butterick 7750, a very close match and a wonderful dress.

Here is a fine half-size version, Simplicity 1458, with button accents and the bonus of a matching coat.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Miss Lillian's Postcards - Vintage Tweets from 1908: Miss Lillian is in Seattle!

Postcard 024

Sender: Elsie
Addressee: Miss Lillian Maguire, 1902G Terry Av., Seattle, Wash.
Postmark: East St Louis, Ill.
Date: April 27, 1908
Image: First Presbyterian Church, East St. Louis, Ill.
Dear Lillian,
By the time this
reaches you, you 
will be with the
Kidders. I hope you
arrived safely &
enjoyed your trip.
Be sure to write soon.
I rec'd your postal
from St. Paul.
Love, Elsie

This postcard features a lovely church in East St Louis that was probably newly built or relatively newly built. Whether the building still stands, I do not know. East St Louis, Illinois is located across the Mississippi River from St Louis,Missouri.

What is exciting about this postcard is the fact that Miss Lillian has traveled to Seattle, Washington, where her sister and brother-in-law live (Anne and Adolph Mueller). She is staying with the Kidder family, about whom we know nothing. Are they family? Are they friends? And how long is Miss Lillian staying? Why is she not staying with her sister? So many questions!

According to this postcard from Elsie, Miss Lillian traveled through St Paul, Minnesota on her way to Seattle. I believe the only Amtrak passenger train between Seattle and Chicago still goes through St Paul. I have taken that train ride, but I suspect that it took me much less time than it took Miss Lillian in 1908.  I look forward to learning more about this adventure!

1907 Fashion

Friday, November 14, 2014

1960s Winter Fashion from Young Designer Gayle Kirkpatrick

Today let's take a peek at winter fashion from 1966. Gayle Kirkpatrick was a hot "In" designer from the mid-60s to the late 1970s. During that time, he won a Coty Award, and designed for Butterick, among many other things. Here are a couple of his designs for Butterick from 1966.

Coatdress Butterick 4204

The coatdress could be sewn to be a coat or a dress (or both!). In this interpretation, sewn in wide wale corduroy, it definitely looks like a coat, with military details.

The double image below pairs Butterick 4204 with Gayle Kirkpatrick's Blouse and Suit Butterick 4205 (looking darn cute and perfectly Mod in paisley). Note the "power stance" of the models. No demure crossing of legs in the youthful revolution of the Mod years!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

1930s Winter Coat - Wrap Yourself in Luxury

Double pockets with flaps that hug a snug waistline, a double-breasted closing, and a warm shawl collar topped with luxurious fur make this tweed coat from 1937 a beauty. That sculptured hat tops it off with panache!

Such a fashionable way to stay warm during freezing winter days!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

1946 Originator Sketch - Saddle Yokes Provide Smart Details

This Originator sketch features saddle yokes. I first discovered saddle yokes in vintage patterns and I must say that I find them a rather wonderful way to construct a dress or blouse. The saddle yoke combines the sleeve and the yoke into one piece.

This sketch features pleated sleeves with the saddles yokes, which looks very pretty. And the saddle yokes are also one-in-piece with center front bands or panels, with the edges trimmed with saddle stitches. Additional cleverness! I love how the center fronts extend into the skirts of the dresses - very smart details. :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

I've Seen That in Vintage Patterns - 1950s Step-In Sheath

Browsing through a September 1955 edition of Mademoiselle magazine, this ad for the women's fashion store Peck and Peck reminded me of a vintage front-button step-in style dress pattern I had recently listed in my shop.

And here it is! Pattern Advance 8620 is a close match, with its dart-fitted slimness and front button step-in closing. Obvious differences are the pattern's collar and set-in sleeves.

This dress clearly shows off the slim figure. But I think I prefer the version from Advance, myself.  The collar adds a lot. What do you think? 

Friday, November 7, 2014

1937 Glamorous Couture Fashion from Paris and Vogue

Shirred to a high waistline, this exquisite lamé-topped dress has the allure you need for cocktails and dinner! The black crepe croisette fabric is molded to you - seductive and slim. Note that the inspired turban matches the frock. Such sophistication - it's a movie star pose and movie star glamour. :)

Cigarette not required. ;)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

I've Seen That in Vintage Patterns: 1950s Pants & Blouse Ensemble with Cummerbund

Browsing through a September 1955 edition of Mademoiselle magazine, this Ship'n Shore ad caught my eye. It's casual and ever-so-cute. And I'd seen that particular combination before in my vintage patterns!

And sure enough, here it is! Blouse, tapered pants, and the ever popular cummerbund. Simplicity 4464 has a few differences, most notably in the sleeves - set-in vs. French sleeves, and length. Delightful!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Miss Lillian's Postcards - Vintage Tweets from 1908: A Farewell Party for Lillian?

Postcard 023

Sender: Sister of Lillian, Anne Mueller
Addressee: Miss Lillian Maguire, #1315 N. Taylor Ave., St. Louis Mo
Postmark: Seattle, WASH.
Date: April 14, 1908
Image: Tillamook Rock and Lighthouse, Oregon
My dear L,
Your postcard 
received glad to
hear from you. I
hope you will all 
have a good time
at the party. Be [sic]
& don't forget to write
when you leave. Love to
all,  yrs, A.

This postcard  features the infamous Tillamook Rock Light on the coast of Oregon. Read all about the challenges of building the lighthouse and lives lost here. Today the Tillamook name has a much happier association with dairy products. :)

In this short message to Lillian from her sister Anne (who lives in Seattle), we learn that Lillian is going to be attending a party. We love parties! We also learn that Lillian is about to embark on a journey! Could the party be a farewell party? Maybe. Perhaps the next post card will provide a clue!

1907 Fashion: Going Out to a Party

Monday, November 3, 2014

Winter 1966-67 - Dazzling Evening Dresses

Check out these gorgeous, hot dresses for cocktails, parties, and evenings out from 1966. They are perfect for the holidays! I think it is scrumptious style, but then, I am partial to the era. :) These dresses are from a Butterick home catalog, and the pattern number for each dress is listed at the model's feet.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Winter Fashion from 1937 - Glamour Coat

It's the "new glamour from Paris" for the 1937 - 1938 winter season! All is immensely alluring, charming. Wear this brilliant coat to a football game? Why not! This beautiful fitted coat of Shetland tweed has a Black Persian lamb collar, high scalloped pockets, soft pleats, and a leather belt to give you a tinier waistline.;) And don't forget the felt hat trimmed with matching black Persian lamb. What smart women wear and want to wear - and featured in "Vogue". :D

Only $75.00 back in 1937. Yummmmm!