Category Archives: vintage collection

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.

A Day at the County Fair

Yesterday we had a small meet up with some of our friends at the San Diego County Fair. It was a beautiful day- clear skies, lovely weather, fun with friends, and old timey fair fun!

We went to see the Horseless Rodeo, a nearly 100 year old relay of old time car races put on by members of the Horseless Carriage and Model T club.  Unfortunately my husband and I were running super late and got there just in time to see the cars leave the arena. Oops!  But we still had a blast wandering around the fair.

Here are some of my favorite photos of the day:

A crowd of five vintage jockeys relaying for position on the carousel.

My camera picked this up a tad earlier than I hoped, but seeing the little girl waving, and the expressions of our friends John and Katherine, made this one of my favorite photos of the whole day. It captures the fun, I think :)

The extremely stylish Mother/Daughter duo, Teresa and Kitty

Box camera vs. photobooth.

We couldn’t help standing in line to hold this adorable little piglet at the Swifty Swine Pig Races.

Katherine the Fearless makes friends with the bovine.  She’s a very talented artist who has just started a sketch blog on Tumblr.

My vintage dress was a gift from talented makeup artist friend Kat of GoForKat Makeup Artistry.

A close up of the fabric print.  How could I resist wearing it to the fair?

And the photobooth picture!  You can just catch a glimpse of my husband’s glasses (and nose) in the upper corner! Hehe!

What a fantastically fun day!

Extant Garments: 1910s White Blouse IV

This is the final post of detail shots of the 1910s white blouse.  Today we’re going to look at the waistline and the back fastening.

This blouse is a fun combination of several different techniques that were used in the lingerie blouses or shirtwaists of the period.  Often you’ll find that they are gathered and stitched to a band at the back and then left loose at the front, the excess of which would to be pulled in with ties.  The concept is similar to blouses today that have ties sewn into the side seam that pull the excess fabric and tied together in a bow at the back to make the front fitted.  Think of the reverse of that, to pull the excess to the front and create a smooth back.  In other instances you’d see a drawstring or elastic in a casing all the way around (which is what we have in the 1910s Blouse Pattern).  There’s variations on all of these, but this one is fun in that it has the back gathered to a band with a shorter peplum at the back, and then in the front we have a longer length with an applied casing and drawstring.

The casing, interestingly, is applied to the right side of the garment and the drawstring comes out of the garment at the center front through two hand finished openings.  This makes the front of the garment lie flat for ironing and makes it somewhat adjustable for waist size.  Here we have a view of it flat and ungathered.

Here is a closer shot of the back so you can see the variation of garment length below the casing.

This garment is interesting in that it has gussets added at the side back.  Perhaps the garment was homemade and the seamstress neglected to make a muslin before constructing ;)  It’s also likely that these were added later, especially if the owner of the garment needed extra room across the back.  I’ve never found any references to this in my books or magazines if this was constructed this way originally and intentionally so would be interested to hear if anyone has run across anything in their studies.

Here’s an inside shot of the above, as I thought you may be interested to see the seam finishes and catch a glimpse of the back side of where the band is applied at the back. Also notice the very narrow hem.

Now to the back fastening, you can see here the self facing made and the buttonholes, and also a close up of the pintucks.  As mentioned in a previous post, it is uncommon in my research to find the back self facing plackets interfaced.

Here is a shot of the inside.

And lastly, here is a picture of the back of the blouse when fastened and detail of the cute mother of pearl buttons. The buttons are small, about 3/8″.  The back placket is about 1″ wide.

That’s all for this little blouse’s debut! I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the close up and construction shots of this original blouse, and I hope it inspires you for your clothing creations!

Extant Garments: 1910s White Blouse Part III

Continuing our peek at the inside of this white blouse, today I’m sharing the detail of the sleeve placement.

Although this garment is, in essence, quite simple (as it’s the decorations which make it more elaborate like the tucking, embroidery, and lace), it is quite interesting to see the differences in the shape and placement of pieces for constructing this blouse as compared with modern ideas of blouse construction.  I think the sleeve is a perfect example of this concept.  If you’re at all familiar with Victorian or with vintage construction, you can see that this is a neat middle point between the two.

This is a view of the front of the blouse. Notice how the underarm seam of the sleeve is visible from the front.  The seam is actually placed forward to where we place underarm seams of sleeves today.  This is a one-piece sleeve.  Of course, the sleeve was drafted to allow for this placement, in order for it to hang correctly and the underarm seam to be in the correct position while not throwing off the hang of the sleeve.

Also of interest is where the sleeve cap lines up with the bodice.  If you’re familiar with Victorian garments you will recognize the sloped shoulder seam.  This is a transitional period, as with some earlier garments you get a more extreme shoulder seam slope, and with later garments it gets more to where we are accustomed to them today at the top of the shoulder.  This seam falls at an angle, being closer to the  standard shoulder seam placement as we know it today at the neck and then angled down more towards armscye.

Here’s a shot of the blouse on the table with the sleeve flipped up.  The seam falling vertically on the right is the side seam of the bodice, which in this instance, is placed further back than we place them today.  The seam running vertically at the upper left of the picture is the underarm seam of the sleeve.  The seam running horizontally is the armscye (armhole) seam.  You can see the interesting placement of the sleeve seam and side seam, especially when compared with where we would expect the underarm seams of the bodice and the sleeve to line up with one another today.

Lastly for today, here is a shot of the inside of the bodice flat on the table.  We are looking primarily at the inside of the back bodice and the side seam, shoulder seam, and armscye.  You can see that the side seam and the shoulder seam are finished with French seams.  The armscye has an interesting seam finish, similar in essence to a felled seam, however, the seam allowance is wrapped over itself and then turned under to encase the seam, then carefully hand picked to itself to finish it, so that the seam allowance lays free but is self finished.  This would have required additional seam allowances at the armscye.

A few more little detail shots coming up.  I hope you are enjoying this peek inside this vintage piece.  I love how intricate the details are, and yet how simple it is in essence!

Extant Garments: 1910s White Blouse Part II

Happy Monday! I hope your weekend was splendid!  We had a nice storm here this weekend.  I *love* the rain, so was quite enthralled.

Continuing with the post of shots of the white blouse, here’s a few more detail shots and notes on construction.  We’re going to take a peek inside the neckline for the lace edging today.  You can click on these images to make them larger so you can see in more detail.

Here is a shot of the outside of the blouse.  Over time the lace at the neckline seems to have stretched a bit, but this blouse was originally meant to have a bit of a squared neck.

Inside here we can see the corner.  The lace is composed of two different pieces which were attached together and then applied to the blouse.  Here you can see the mitered corner of the lace and also the teensy tiny little hem that was made on the blouse neckline, and where the corner was clipped and the hem continued.  You can also catch a glimpse of the back side of some of the embroidery.

This is a shot of the inside back of the neckline.  You can see that the lace was finished first with a narrow hem at the back edge.  The back of the blouse was finished with a self facing to form the back placket for the fastening and base of the buttons/buttonholes. Then the blouse and lace were joined together.  Looking up close at the blouse it may be possible that the tiny hem was made first, then the lace applied, which is different in construction than the lace instruction I have found from both period and modern sources, where the lace was applied before creating the finish on the inside.  You can see up close the row of machine stitches and also the row of tiny hand stitches.  Also, it’s worth noting, that the self facing has no interfacing and you can also see the little hand done buttonhole.

More close up shots coming soon, and I also have basic lace insertion by machine tutorials coming up soon in honor of the new 1910s Blouse Pattern.



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!

Outfit Post: Welcome Spring in a Red Dress

It’s Spring!  This is an outfit post of sorts, but more of a show-and-tell, I suppose.  I was so excited when my mom found me this lovely vintage red dress at an antique store, and when I put it on this morning it fit to a “t”.  I love when that happens!  It’s such a cheery dress with the cheerful flowers on the skirt, that I had to snap a few shots to share.

I admit I’m usually a bit too modest to go with spaghetti straps (unless it’s really hot outside), so for going about today I paired it with a modern short sleeve cardigan from Kohl’s that I got on super clearance.  Here’s my vintage/modern look.

I also have to show and tell one of my latest thrifting finds.  I love this kooky purse made out of old license plates.  and I LOVE that it’s from Wyoming and has a cowboy on it!  I’m hearing the call of the open road…


>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!

>Vintage Peasant Blouses

>I admit to having a weakness for handwork on vintage garments.  Embroidery, smocking, beading, all the little details that are so  beautiful and textural, but which I have absolutely no patience to do myself.  Today I thought I’d share a few images of some vintage peasant blouses in my collection.

 My newest find, this vintage peasant top is so cheery and colorful!

Vintage peasant blouses, especially like my new one, had been on my vintage wish list for a really long time.  They are casual but still feminine.  Dainty but still bold, and really, they fill my head with dreams of vintage world travel and I love to concoct stories of lady adventurers bringing back mementos of their travels abroad.  Over the last few years I’ve been lucky to find these three darlings in unlikely places- in thrift shops and at a costume convention.  I couldn’t afford the ones from vintage specialty dealers, so it was true that good things come to those who wait!

This little cutie was found at a costume convention.  Somewhere along her lifetime eyelet trim was added at the hemline to lengthen it (which I’m debating on removing).  Strangely enough the embroidery on one sleeve is gray and white and on the other it’s black and white!

The cross stitch on the blouse above astonishes me! It makes my eyes hurt just thinking of doing all that work.  Isn’t it lovely, though?  This is my adventuress blouse, the first one I found, which I wore this summer to an Indiana Jones convention with vintage jodhpurs, boots, and pith helmet.  So fun!

I’ve seen these as dated from the 1930s, and I know there was a huge fad for them around that time, but I would think they kept making the blouses as imports or for the tourist market long after their peak popularity.  Because of this, though I could love to think they’re all from the 1930s I have to admit I really don’t know! But they’re pretty and I love them.

Do you like vintage peasant tops or do you own any- or are they something you would not wear?  I know for the longest time I associated them with the 1970s, but I even liked them then ;)