Category Archives: vintage clothing

Outfit Post: New 1940s Plaid Suit!

I’m so, so excited!  My Christmas present from my husband got here, and it has to be one of my very favorite vintage things I’ve ever owned.  He said I could pick out a couple things on Etsy for my gift, and I jumped on this suit from Raleigh Vintage.  It’s an early 1940s lovely wool suit- kind of like a tweed, with a thick weave in a bold red, white, gray, and black.  So yummy!!  I’ve always admired vintage suits, especially the “man-tailored” or “collegiate” style ones, so I’m very excited this lovely suit is now gracing my closet :)

I love how I can wear the suit open or closed- both look really authentic to the sporty look of the early 1940s,

My felt “envelope” hat is also new.  I bought it recently from Frock You Vintage in San Diego.

And a silly little close up.  I felt very “film noir” detective girl in this suit!

Now on my wish list, I would love to find a red tweedy wool jacket so I can mix and match a 1940s wardrobe, and a gray or red overcoat.  Someday!  For now, I’m just much too thrilled with my new to me vintage suit :)


A Vintage Visit to Disneyland

The other day I started thinking about photos and adventures that happened over the last few months that I never got a chance to share.  Well, this one sticks out in my mind because it was an absolute blast!  One of my best friends, Ginger of the Scene in the Past blog, was out visiting around the time of Costume College this summer and we decided it would be a blast to go to Disneyland in 1950s clothing.  Ginger had never been to Disneyland before, so this was a perfect excuse for me to get a chance to go back to one of my favorite places.  I invited our good friends Teresa and Kat, who joined us for part of the day, and the four of us had a really great time!  Here’s a few pictures.


Ginger just looked so picture perfect with these lovely 1950s style patio sets I just had to take a snapshot!


Our little group in Frontierland.


Two girls in vintage patio dresses in a tree house (it will forever be Swiss Family Robinson tree house to me.. I love that they still play the song at the end of the “attraction” on a makeshift phonograph)


Two Indiana Jones nerds at the exit of the Indy ride with the truck from Raiders.


The traditional Fantasyland castle shot!

I just love Disneyland, and it’s SO fun to go with friends in 1950s clothing.  It just feels *right* somehow :)

Of course we had to do all the old-timey rides like the train ride through the “grand canyon”, the Tiki Room, and all the other fun vintage things that makes Disneyland so great for vintage lovers.

Extant Garments: 1910s White Blouse

One of my goals this year is to start sharing some images of clothing I have in my vintage clothing collection.  My collection of antique and vintage garments is not large (I have friends with much larger collections), and has been routinely gathered together, then let go, then gathered together over the years until what I have left is mostly what I love and what gives me joy.  Since I started off with vintage and antique clothing and costuming with the early 1900s, and especially with Edwardian “whites”, I’m happy to finally have a proper excuse to bring to light some of these loved pieces and share photographs with you.

I believe this blouse was a gift from a friend, and it’s got very neat little construction details that I hope to share across a few posts.  Today I’ve got basic photos of the blouse to share and I’ll go a bit more in depth next time with interior or close up shots.  This blouse was one of the blouses I examined when putting together the 1910s Blouse Pattern.

Most of the blouses I have seen of this age are quite short-waisted and this one is no exception.  High waisted skirts were de rigeur at this time, so that could be one excuse why.  We also have to keep in mind that proportions have changed in the last 100 years.  I’m not one to buy into the “people were shorter back then,” idea (though, no doubt, we have changed in stature over a longer period of time), but there were short and tall people just like today.  We take into account changes in diet and in undergarments (grown women at this time most likely had some sort of corsetry starting somewhat early on in their lifespan) and I believe that’s where a lot of change comes about from.  I’m somewhat derailing from train of thought, so back to the blouse. This is pretty simple in design and is accented mostly with embroidery and pintucks, with a very simple lace accent at the squared neckline and edge of sleeves.

You can see here the hang of the sleeve and the pintuck accents.  You can also catch a glimpse of the placement of the shoulder seam, which sits back farther than shoulder seams once we get into the “vintage” eras and today.

This blouse buttons up the back and has an interesting shape at the back, with the center back where the waist is stitched to place with a band being shorter than the rest of the waist, which draws in with a casing and ties.

A little detail shot of the pintucks, embroidery, and lace

And here you can see the hand worked eyelets.

More photos coming this week of interior shots and other details.

Have a lovely weekend!

>Egyptomania- a Few of My Treasures

>I admit I’m an adventure dork.  The Golden Age of travel and exploration is overly romanticized in my brain (many thanks to Indiana Jones for that).  One of the things I just love is the influence of Egyptomania.

With the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in 1922 the world exploded with decorative arts and fashion inspired by the Egyptian mode.  The world went Tut mad!  Although I don’t own any items myself with neat pharaoh heads or scarab beetles or hieroglyphics, here’s a few of my treasures I’ve collected over the years that are somewhat in the fashion of Egypt-o-mania for show and tell :)

  This headpiece is one of my most favorite things I’ve ever found.  I believe it’s made of brass and has faux pearl accents.  There are lotus flowers decorating the sides and a little lotus flower that hangs that is accented cloisonette style.  The piece is adjustable, and in the third photo you can see how it can adjust by sliding at the centers of the three straps.  You can also adjust those to be wider or narrower on the head depending on preference.

 I found this little hand crocheted purse hidden in a midwestern antique store.  Although I was initially drawn to the lace, I gasped out loud when I saw the plastic handle decorated with camels and palm trees!  Whoever made the purse didn’t put much thought into how to get things out from inside, though, because the sides of the purse are sewn up and a zipper was put in the top.  There’s no slits to make the opening wider to get at your goodies inside!  Sure is pretty, though.

My most recent little find is this crocheted purse with camel decoration.  Isn’t it too cute for words?  It brings out the adventurous lady in me. I think I need a 1920s adventuress outfit with jodhpurs and a belted linen jacket!

For more links on Egyptomania, check out this one from The Cat’s Pajamas, this slide show of Egyptian inspired theatre design, and this post at Tea with the Vintage Baroness.  Jill of the Vintage Baroness blog also wrote a great article that you can read in PDF format here.

If you’re interested in a little DIY Egyptomania the Vintage Pattern Lending Library has a pattern for embroidered Egyptian dress trims.  Although it’s not very period I also spotted some Egyptian print silk fabric on this website.

Hope you’re all having a lovely week!

>Prairie Style Vintage Fashions


 Vintage Vera Bradley Set, $32, just listed in my Etsy shop.
With all the Victorian and Edwardian talk going on in the blog lately I thought a bit of a modern take might be fun.  If I have a dirty little vintage secret it’s that I love Prairie Style dresses.   Gunne Sax, Laura Ashley, Vera Bradley- I have a soft spot for the romantic cotton and lace dresses of the 70s and 80s.
 Vintage Gunne Sax Dress, $85, The Greedy SeaGull on Etsy
I guess part of my fasination could be tied up in my love of Anne of Green Gables when I was a kid.  The dresses in the Anne movies can certainly be tied in with the appeal of these dresses and tops and skirts!
Sadly, I only own one such dress at present but am always on the prowl for more.
 Vintage Gunne Sax Dress, $68, SecretLake on Etsy
They’ve seen a big jump in popularity lately, and I see lots of listed on Ebay and Etsy.  I think they’re pretty neat and are a nice wearable vintage style with a bit of romanticism for day to day.
Simplicity 5083, Gunne Sax, $14.95 CoconutPie on Etsy.   McCall’s 4747, Laura Ashley, $8, MagnoliasAttic on Etsy
If you love the style but want to put your own twist on it there are vintage patterns to be had!
So what do you think?  Do you like vintage Prairie Style fashions?

>LA Air Raid- A few inspiring outfits

>One of the things I’m kicking myself for not doing at the  LA Air Raid a few weeks ago is not taking more photos!  I saw scores of well dressed ladies I would have loved to share with you on this blog (especially one lovely mystery lady in a powder blue 40s suit), but was shamefully bad at taking photos this year :(
This event is notoriously cold for Southern California, and with the rain this year we saw an awful lot of overcoats until the dance began, and I don’t have any shots of dance at all.
Here’s just a few shots I took of folks in excellent vintage looks during the daytime!

 On the left is the lovely Mary, wearing a vintage coat and a brooch, hat, and dress custom made for her by her brother, Mr Tiny of South Side Market and Wacky Tacky Blog.  Doesn’t she look deliciously Betty Grable?  I love the hat, especially (Mr Tiny, I still want one!)
On the Right is Beth of V is for Vintage blog wearing a beautiful red vintage 40s jacket and a yellow bakelite brooch of a WWII airplane.  I wish I had snapped a picture of the two tone 1940s dress she made that she was wearing under the jacket- it was darling and with contrast stitching, too!

 A little bit of the military mode- Teresa makes this warm overcoat and overseas cap look exceptionally chic. On the right we’ve got Josh Curtis, author of Sunkissed, and Lauren wearing matching WWII  naval uniforms.  Aren’t they cute?  Apparently the naval cap she is wearing is quite rare!

 I love this snappy duo!  We’ve got Nathan wearing a very snazzy overcoat and great vintage tie with propellers.  Nicole of Paper Moon Vintage and Flapper Flock wearing a wonderfully colorful sweater to brighten up a gloomy day.  LOVE the color combination.  Her skirt was a plaid with thin mustard yellow accents as well.  Love the detailing of the coat at the back!

Ashley of Miss 1940s Vintage wears a very stunning 1930s two piece dress with fur accents under a mink coat and with a jaunty hat and snood.  Doesn’t she look chic?  And on the Right we’ve got Katharina of Blitz Visage (photo courtesy of Nicole), who I unfortunately don’t have a shot of her outfit in entirety! She was in the nautical mode with a double breasted overcoat over a naval style bolero with bullion accents, white shirt paired with her husband’s vintage tie, and wide leg blue pants.  Love the telephone cord purse, and she always has impeccable hair and makeup.

>A New to Me 1930s Coat


Remember the 1930s coat I was making from the Vintage Pattern Lending Library pattern?  Well, today I met and bought it’s twin.  Sure, they’re a little different but the design of the collar and cuff accents are so similar- even in color and tone to what I am making my coat out of!  It’s taken the wind out of my sails a bit for my sewing project because it’s so similar, but this one is finished!

 The coat really is in exquisite condition for it’s age.  It most certainly dates to the earlier part of the 1930s and is an interesting weave- the fabric feels like mohair and it’s woven into a corduroy like design with a nap.  I am completely amazed that I can find NO moth holes in it- it looks like it was rarely worn- so I knew it had to come home with me.  I found this at an estate of a family who moved to California in the 1950s- apparently they owned a restaurant out here and were interested in all sorts of medical quack type things- I believe the man was a doctor.  Kind of a bit of fun history of the lives of the past owners.
I think the coat was modified a bit- but nothing outrageous.  I have a suspicion it might have been shortened at one point and the buttons changed out.  It has the layered button thing that was so popular in the wartime 1940s- and I also found a 1940s hat that had been pinned with matching fur decoration over the past decoration of sequins.

Without a doubt my favorite part is the convertible collar.  It can hook and eye to one side and button on the other to be snug at the neck, leave part of the collar close around the neck and let the other flap hang down, or leave both flaps open.  So fun!  And it was very cleverly designed so that the buttons fasten between the join of the fur and the wool- both are finished independently so there’s a slit for the button to pass through.

The construction of the side back pieces are interesting- with a seam line going across the piece near the waist that meets the side dart from the front coat to make a bit of a deco style interest.  The inside of the coat fastens as is normal for a lot of 1930s coats- with ties made from the lining fabric that loop through a little wool loop attached to the coat.  You could tie it snugly or a little loosely- whichever hung best.   I also love the plaid lining! It feels like a taffeta.  Very pretty!

Thought you all might enjoy seeing pictures of my latest vintage find! Maybe if you’ve got a coat you’re in the process of making you can use some of the little details as inspiration.
Happy Thursday!

>Indiana Jones Summit

>This weekend was the annual Indiana Jones Summit for Club Obi Wan.  What a blast! I love going to this event every year and this year was one of the absolute best!  This event happens every year on the Queen Mary and at Fort MacArthur, which are two of my favorite places to visit.  Friday I taught my first ever class on vintage hair and makeup, which was quite a lot of fun.  I showed the gals a few different ways to do their hair and makeup and brought vintage and modern books to share. (Speaking of which, I heard Lauren Rennells “Vintage Hairstyling” book was amazing, and bought it purposefully to show the gals a good resource they should buy to learn more about doing their hair, and sure thing it did not disappoint! I highly recommend it!).  Along with an awesome adventure scavenger hunt all around Fort MacArthur (in all sorts of interesting dark places, tunnels, and around really cool old military equipment, and all over the hills by the ocean) we had two nice dinners, a fancy brunch buffet, and lots of time having fun with friends.  It was SUCH fun to play games and bring out the kid in all of us.  This year I also brought my mom, who absolutely loved it!
I didn’t get pics of all my outfits, but here’s just a couple to share :)  The rest of my photos from this event are here on flickr.

My sunday morning outfit of a vintage knit dress with tassel belt (I added), white buttons, and a white linen belted back jacket, white felt hat, and white oxfords.

My Saturday adventure outfit of vintage jodhpurs, tall lace up vintage boots, vintage embroidered folk blouse, 1930s pith helmet, and random British military odds and ends.  And an awesome vintage flashlight! Complete with spiderwebs, which we all grabbed to help clean up after our scavenger adventure.

Back to a normal week here! Last week was really crazy- still catching up with things, but I’ll be putting up more vintage patterns up on Etsy this week.
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend, too!

>New Dash for Misses- and Smart Smocked Frocks- Circa 1937-1937

>I had every intention of posting fall hats today, but I was distracted when thumbing through the catalog by the lovely smocked dress at the upper left.  Love! I really need to learn smocking- I really admire smocked frocks!  It reminds me very much of one I desperately wanted from Kickshaw on Etsy.  Unfortunately by the time the funds came together the dress was gone! Woe!  But I’m sure whoever got it gave it a great home.  Maybe it went to one of you? 
For those less patient (that includes me), the two top right dresses have lovely shirred detailing.  I particularly love the HUGE collar on the orangish tone frock.

Dress sold by Kickshaw on Etsy.

Just progressing on the coat… slowly.  I’m working now on the fur cuff pieces, then on to the wool!  I also listed several unused Vintage Vogue reprints from my stash on the Etsy shop today, as well as some little vintage what-nots yesterday and today.

>Vintage fun in San Diego

>Ah… the vintage fashion show was this weekend, so now I’m calming down a bit after all the prep and can post on my much neglected blog!  I’ll have pictures up of that soon, but for now I’ve got some fun ones to share :)
I hadn’t really had much of a chance to get all dressed up, but a darling friend came for a visit, so of course during her stay we had to take a day to get all dressed up and do some sightseeing!
She’s a big World’s Fair fan, so I figured I’d show her where the San Diego expo was.  We’re fortunate enough to have many of our buildings preserved in one area, Balboa Park, which is now a sort of Museum Row, so we toddled down there for some fun in the sun, all dressed for our excursion!  We looked in at the buildings where we could, pretended to be “ladies who lunch” and have yummy sandwiches on the patio of the Prado restaurant,  and saw a fun exhibit on San Diego Style at the Historical Society Museum, where they had some lovely things from the 19th century to modern day including two suits by Irene and Adrian.  Fun!  She’s wearing a lovely rayon crepe dress with beaded arrows, very reminiscent of Ginger’s dress in Carefree, don’t you think?  And I adore her little tilt hat, that I now call the “confetti hat” because of all the little triangles of colored felt attached to the veil.  I’m wearing a vintage two piece dress my husband found for me at an estate sale and a fun hat we found the day before at an antique store.

Next on our excursion was Hotel Del Coronado- a beautiful Victorian seaside hotel, which is where part of the Wizard of Oz and Somewhere in Time were written, and where parts of Some Like it Hot were filmed.  It was the perfect place for our summery pajamas! Hers are inspired by the New York World’s Fair and she had them custom made by NudeeDudee, and mine are my Farmerettes I made inspired from a 1938 catalog picture.  Since the first leg of her journey was made in LA where she went to the vintage expo and found a chenille beach cape, and since I also had one in my stash, we thought it was the perfect excuse to play dress up.  The beach was very, very windy, and I was amazed at the amount of warmth that those capes supplied! I think they need to make a resurgence!

Ah, what a lovely visit it was!  Hope you all are enjoying your week so far!