Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Roaring 20s Lawn Party - Pt 2, the Dress

I made my dress for the Roaring 20s Lawn Party from this 1930s pattern. Yes, I made and wore a 1930s dress for a 1920s event, I'm such as rebel! I love the 20s, I really do! But I'm not super excited about how I look in most 20s dresses. I'm short with wider hips and those boxy dropped waist styles just feel frumpy and odd to me. I just need to find the right dress/style to suit my body type.


Anyway, after pulling out a few patterns and sketching a few different design ideas, I realized I just didn't want to make a 1920s dress. As I prepared for the Art Deco weekend earlier this spring it occurred to me that my vintage wardrobe was seriously lacking items from the 1930s. OK, I've made a few late 30s pieces but they have more of that 40s/WWII vibe to them. I didn't have anything that screamed 30s and was really wanted too change that.


Enter Simplicity 1945. This pattern was among the very first vintage patterns I purchased a few years back when I became interested in vintage sewing. It might have come from Ebay but I can't remember now.


As the lawn party would be in August I knew it would be hot. Having something that would be light and comfortable to wear and move around it was key. I think it was the sleeves of this dress that really sold it for me. And this deco style cotton (from the stash, whoowhoo!) was perfect for it. I traded some of this fabric with another vintage blogger recently. Really excited to see what she creates with it!


The simplicity of this pattern (no pun intended!) surprised me too. I think one of the reasons I had not attempted this pattern before was believing it would be too complicated. Turns out, it was one of the easiest  vintage dresses I've sewn and it went together fast!

The bodice is constructed of a front and back piece, both cut on the fold. The sleeves are cut in one with the bodice with seams across the shoulders and at the sides. Before sewing these pieces together a series of 1/4" tucks are stitched across the front and back. The perforations of the pattern pieces were a little wonky so I remarked my fabric to avoid wonky pleats.




The skirt is pretty straight forward with small darts at the back. The waist seams of the bodice and skirt are lapped and then top stitched in place. The dress closes with a side placket and snaps.
I finally got to use one of the special attachments for my sewing machine. This foot creates a nice rolled hem which is how I finished the edges of the sleeves.



Since I had a bunch of metal grommets kicking around I opted to use those instead of sewing eyelets for the front lacing. I also only added about half the number because I didn't think I would like the dress as much if it laced all the way down the front. Lacking proper ribbon I used a piece of navy blue rayon bias tape.


I had planned on wearing my navy blue suede 1930s shoes with this but opted for a pair of modern sandals because the ground was still a little wet. The red celluloid buckle is from my stash.

Even though I was a vendor at the lawn party, Cori and I were able to escape for a little bit while some friends watched my booth. (Thanks again Heather and Devon!) The gardens at the Crane Estate were in full bloom and made a wonderful backdrop for some photos.



Some of you might recognize my hair flowers. They are the ones I friend Monica made me for my wedding. I had attempted to reblock a hat for the event but it didn't turn out very well so I opted for the hair flowers instead to tie the outfit together. Plus it was nice to wear something from my wedding again. :)



Outfit Details
Dress - Made by Me
Hair Flowers - Made for my wedding by my friend Monica
Shoes - Thrifted

Pattern - Simplicity 1945
First Worn - July 31st
Complicated parts - Just marking sure the tucks on the bodice were straight and neat. The pattern perforations were a little off so I had to remark them.
Changes - I only needed to allow a little more room in the hips and shorten the skirt a few inches.
Cost - I don't remember what I paid for the pattern but I don't think it was more than $15 with shipping. Fabric and notions were all from the stash and the fabric was purchased on sale. I would estimate the total cost to be around $25 to $30.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Roaring 20s Lawn Party - Pt 1

Another overdue post! I had such a wonderful time the GBVS's Roaring 20s Lawn Party back in July. This was the fourth year of the event. The weather looked rather uncertain in the days leading up to it but this year the organizers made the choice to hold it rain or shine. In the past there has been a rain date. Indeed the morning we drove to Ipswich it poured almost the whole drive there!

Fortunately the rain let up in time. This year there was a big tent set up over the dance floor and stage for the band. As a vendor I also had the good luck of being able to set up under an enormous tent that had been used for a wedding the day before. Complete with chandeliers!


I'll admit, it was a lot of work preparing for this but it was worth it. It's so great to be able to meet people and discuss things in person. I was able to catch up with friends and meet a few people who have been following my blog which is always a treat. This was my first big event as a vendor and I still have much to learn but it's a fun process. I would like to set things up a little differently if/when I do this again but overall I'm pretty happy with how things worked out.



I'm going to write up a separate post on the dress I made for this event so stay tuned for that in a day or two.


Sunday, September 4, 2016

GBVS's Art Deco Weekend

Today I'm doing some major catching with my blog. So much has happened this summer and I just have not found the time to sit down and right. Now that things have relaxed a bit I am able to do just that. Today's post will take you back to May, specifically Memorial Day weekend to when Cori and I attended the Greater Boston Vintage Society's amazing Art Deco Weekend.

Group Photo. Check out all the great photos from the weekend by Vintage Girl Studios

We traveled to Newport RI and spend a few days with our GBVS friends at the Fairlawn Estate. It's now part of the college campus and while a good portion of the building is used as a dormitory, most of it remains as it did in the Guilded Age. I didn't really take many photos during the weekend, and very few inside which is a shame. The main ballroom is just beautiful and the mirrored walls remind me of the grand ball rooms of the 18th century.

Friday evening walk down mansion row. This this the Breakers
We arrived Friday evening to settle in and took a short walk around the neighborhood. The walking trail follows the coast line and offers spectacular views of the ocean as well as some of the mansions.
Saturday morning after breakfast we listened to two lectures on men's and women's fashions. Both talks can be found on YouTube here and here.


There were several dance lessons during the day as well. A good portion of the day was spent outside where we enjoyed a picnic lunch and lawn games. Yes it's possible to play a good game of badminton in heels and stockings, though I don't really recommend it. It was a great time to catch up with friends and make some new ones. We also took part is a short silent film by Vintage Girl Studios!

To make up for not having a proper Sunday Shoe Spectacle post today, here are a few shoe pictures from the Art Deco Weekend. My navy blue suede 1930s heels came from Lauren of Wearing History. Cori scored his amazing pair of brown and white 1930s shoes at an antique mall for $8.00!!! Crazy!! It just proves you never know what you are going to find.




I wore the blue linen skirt made last year from Du Barry 5296. I added straps that attach to the inside of the waistband with snaps. I really like how this turned out and give me more options for styling the skirt. Sadly I didn't have enough linen left to make a matching bolero but that's alright. The blouse I'm wearing is made from my favorite pattern, Du Barry 5172. I really love the print! It's a reproduction cotton print from the 1930s. I actually have another blouse made from the same fabric but different pattern for sale in my etsy shop.

I tied something a little different with my hair this time around. A hairnet!! I wanted to have some curl left at the end of the day for the black tie ball, so after taking my pin curls out in the morning I loosely pinned my hair up at the back of my head and added the net to keep everything neat. I do have a couple vintage hairnets but I was able to find a package of modern ones for a few dollars my Rita Aid store. I like these because they have a tiny band of elastic to help keep them in place. The elastic doesn't really show but I decided to tie a piece of yellow ribbon around my head anyway just to cover it up. It's a very youthful look but I kind of like it.

Saturday evening everyone changed into their formal attire for the black tie ball. Cori wore his vintage tux and I wore a black crape dress I found on ebay for a song. The belt came with an odd looking buckle so I swapped it for one I had in my buckle stash. Most of the picture I have from Saturday night and not very good unfortunately. However, if you watch Michelle of MyVintageLove's video of the event you will see a quick shot of Cori and I! I will share this one though, of Michelle and I. Her gown was really stunning.


Sunday we packed up our belongs and toured the Breakers mansion. I already blogged about that day and the outfit I wore which you can read about here if you missed it.

I believe there are plans to hold another event like this next year so be search to watch the GBVS website for details! I can't wait! There are lots more photo from the weekend on the GBVS's FB page. In addition to Michelle's video I recommend this one by my friend Neal Howland.

Outfit Details
Blouse and Skirt - Made by me
Shoes - Wearing History
Pin - Thrifted
Black evening dress - Ebay

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sunday Shoes Spectacle - Pre-Oder for Royal Vintage Shoes Classic 1940s Collection

Welcome to another Sunday Shoe Spectacle post. Today is all about 1940s style shoes! Have you heard about the new shoes being offered by Royal Vintage Shoes? If not, you need to go check these out! The team at Royal Vintage has just released the pre-order for their new classic 1940s collection.

Source - Royal Vintage Shoes
I'm really excited about these shoes because I know how hard it can be to find good vintage and good repro shoes on the market today. Right now they are offering 4 different styles; pumps, sling backs, spectators and a super cute ankle strap sandal.

The pre-order ends September 1st during which you can save $20 on each pair of shoes. I have a hard time wearing sling backs but how awesome would the Dolores in faux green alligator look with the new green seamed stockings offered by What Katie Did? Pretty awesome I think!

Dolores in green, these also come in brown
I know I will be picking up a pair! Having a hard time deciding between the black and white spectators and the red Marylin pumps. You can read all about these new shoes and how to take part in the pre-order by visiting Royal Vintage Shoes.

There is also an album on their facebook page showing all the new shoes and what they look like on real people. The photography is really beautiful. :) Royal Vintage Shoes is the sister company of American Duchess. On the AD blog you can read more about the new 40s collection. I can't wait to see what new styles are offered in the future from this company!

Peggy 1940s Spectator PumpsBlack and White Leather
Marilyn 1940s Pin Up PumpsOxblood Red and Black Leather
Disclosure: I joined the Royal Vintage Shoes's affiliate program. I do earn a tiny commission for purchases made through the links I provide.



Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Video Tour of My Sewing Room

Hi there! Just a quick post today. I thought you would all enjoy a tour of my sewing room, piles of fabric and all! I actually made this video about a month ago but just now getting around to sharing it. In the video we can see a few of the items I have been working on for my ready-made clothing on Etsy.

I hope you will forgive the appearance of the room, it's mostly organized but there is a lot of stuff in one small space. If anyone has sewing questions or suggestions for future videos I would love to hear them.
Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel. 


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