Tag Archives: 1940s

The Etiquette of Good Grooming, 1940.

Today I’ve got a great page from the August 1940 issue of The Woman’s Home Companion.  This page gives a good peek back at etiquette of yesterday, complete with darling illustrations..  Today’s ladies might do well to keep it in mind, too, though I’m sure most of us are guilty of some of them!

Click on the image below to be taken to my Flickr stream for a larger image you can read.



1940s Bra Sample Photos!

It’s about time!  This was one of the first patterns I did as a “Resto-Vival”, back in 2010, and it’s finally time I actually sewed one up and took some photos!

At work recently, I had been given the task to create 1940s undergarments for stock (I’m currently working at a theatre), so I brought a printout of my handy dandy Wearing History digital bra pattern with me and set to work.


Although the original vintage pattern was stated a 32 (no up size), reviewers had said that this bra ran large.  I found this to be the case as well.  The dress form is 35″ around the bust and about a B cup, and it fit very well.  I have edited the item description to note this.

A few little things I did for decoration that weren’t called for in the original pattern were the topstitching details.  I found it easiest to finish the seams with a bias binding on the inside, so decided to go with contrast thread and use it as accents, and then continue the motif on the bottom piece of the cups.  I also added real bra straps (not of ribbon or fabric as called for in the original  and added a little bow at center front.  The original pattern called for bias binding around the edges but I went with a bias facing instead, making it 1/2″ shorter at top and bottom than it would have been with facing.

All in all, I don’t know why I procrastinated on making vintage bras for so long!  It went together super easy and very quickly.  I’ve actually got a pale pink one partially constructed already, and can see making more.  It’s funny leaving a pattern review of my own pattern, but there you have it!

If you want to try out your own version, you can purchase the digital download on my website for this 1940’s Brassiere Pattern.

Great Los Angeles Air Raid, 2013

Wow! It’s been about a month since this event! How did that happen?  Well, I’m a bit late, but here’s my favorite photos I took at an annual event in San Pedro, CA, at Fort MacArthur Military Museum.  This event is called The Great Los Angeles Air Raid and is a WWII themed dance and re-enactment that happens once a year, commemorating the time during WWII when they believed they spotted foreign aircraft over Los Angeles. Panic broke out, and in the end it was a weather balloon (or a UFO, depending on who you ask). You can read more about the real event here on Wikipedia.

This was my first time donning a real WWII uniform.  I was fortunate enough to come across an original British ambulance driver’s uniform. I guess you can tell where some of my heritage is from, as it fit me to a “t”!  We couldn’t find a helmet, and finding other parts of this uniform is proving somewhat impossible, so my husband and I made the hat to go with the jacket by looking at real WWII photos of women ambulance drivers.  I actually also have the matching overcoat, but for once this event was too warm to need it!  We all usually freeze at this event!

Here’s some photos of friends and I at the event.

Hope your week is going wonderfully!

Adventure at Fort Rosecrans- Remember Pearl Harbor

It’s a tad late posting these, but I wanted to share photos from one of our last vintage outings.  My husband and I went to a WWII re-enactment public display at the beginning of this month at Fort Rosecrans, San Diego, in remembrance of Pearl Harbor.  They recently restored an underground bunker, and they do a small WWII public display once a month.  You can find out more on the Cabrillo National Monument website and by calling the park to see when they plan on having the bunker open to the public.  There’s also a Victorian lighthouse, a military cemetery  and tide pools at this park, but we ran out of sunlight and camera batteries, unfortunately!

Here’s some photos of the day.

Being the sucker for adventure that I am, I could not resist the opening of the bunker!  Who knows what untold fun awaited us?  But in WWII I’m sure there was a heavy dose of fear that accompanied the need to go into these bunkers.

I’m on the lookout.

And some shots of the inside of the bunker.  The re-enactors brought most of these with them to set the bunker up to how it would have looked at wartime.

My husband and I.  I’m wearing the 1940s jerkin I made a while back and a new shirt I made especially for this occasion.

And our beautiful San Diego coastline.

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and Happy New Year!  Be safe while you celebrate!

Finished Project: A 1940s Patriotic Sweater and an Update

First of all, I want to thank you all who took the time to comment on my last blog post about our car accident and my new job.  All of your kind thoughts and prayers have been truly appreciated.  I’m still not normal yet (it happened only a week ago), but things are getting better little by little.

It ends up I had a concussion and several pulled muscles, as well as whiplash.  My husband is not quite as bad (the car hit mostly on my side), but he does have injuries as well, including whiplash and sore muscles.  For what happened, we’re SO fortunate it wasn’t worse!!  I’ve got some meds from the doctor and have started physical therapy, which is helping, and I’ve been using an ice pack quite a bit which helps the soreness and headaches.  I can’t really do much sewing, since it really hurts my shoulder. In a way I’m thankful it happened when it did, since I have a few weeks off for the holidays- there’s no way I feel good enough yet to get back to work.  Of course, we wish it didn’t happen at all.  It did end up my cousin’s truck, which we had borrowed for the weekend, was totaled, as well as the girls car.  Just horrible.  :(

Between my twice a week allergy shots (spending about two hours a week in the doctor’s waiting room) and spending weekends at home (before the accident) I had nearly finished this sweater a few weeks ago.  So, little by little, I have been doing a little finishing on it.  I’m so excited- I am such an A.D.D. knitter- I start things, get sidetracked, rip them out, start something else.  I actually started AND finished a project!  Hurrah!

I still think of myself as a beginning knitter, even though I’ve been doing it on and off for several years, and even I was able to work up this pattern with little difficulty.  It’s been for sale as a download on my website for probably a year or so, but now I have sample pictures to go with it and a sweater for myself!  Yay!

I got the yarn (Vanna’s Choice) on super sale at Joann’s on Black Friday this year.  Since I wasn’t sure if I actually would be able to finish it or knit it up, I wanted to try with cheaper yarn.  In the end I like it *ok* but wish I had chosen something with natural content instead of 100% acrylic.  Ah well, for the next project I will!

The buttons are vintage and bought from Atomic Regeneration on Etsy.

And you can get the knitting pattern on my Wearing History Patterns website.

Hope you have a great weekend, and if I don’t check in again, a very blessed Christmastime!

God Bless,


My New Goodies- Purchases Made at The Vintage Marketplace

I admit that, even as a seller, one of the best things about The Vintage Marketplace is the shopping!  There’s not really many vintage clothing items, but I did find some pretty fabulous finds this time.  In fact, more than I was expecting! Haha.  I was a bit naughty.  But I want to share my new/old pretty things.

Warning! Lots of pics ahead!

My first find was this super cute sewing caddy I got from Rita of Mammabellarte.  She is one of the two ladies who runs the show, and when I went over to her booth to ask a question I spied this little cutie and snapped it up for only $20!  Beats the normal shoe box or plastic bag next to the couch for holding evening projects ;)

sewing caddy
It even has a little shelf inside for holding thread!
sewing caddy
These pretty little floral furniture appliques also came from Rita.
furniture appliques

These cute little earrings were made by Janis of Graceabounding‘s daughter. She’s saving up to go on a choir trip to England and was selling these cute little handmade earrings to stash away money for her trip. I am a sucker for cabochons and filigree.  I want to highlight some of Janis’ lovely work in an upcoming blog post.
handmade earrings
All of these came from the same seller, at different times during the weekend. As a inside scoop, sellers will often bring new things the second day, so keep your eyes peeled and shop early!
I can always use more lace, and this one was darling and would be perfect on antique style undergarments
vintage lace
When talking on Friday, she was nice enough to mention she had vintage fabrics, so she brought these on Saturday for me to paw through. These two had to come home. The floral will be a 1940s house dress (complete with rick rack), and the blue will be a 1930s sporty dress.
vintage cotton fabrics
And then my husband found these two hats for me from the same seller! Quoth he, “If I didn’t get them I knew you’d kill me.” Lol! He knows my weakness for hats, and the sillier the better!
vintage 1940s hat
vintage 1940s hat
vintage 1940s hat
vintage 1940s hat
vintage 1940s hat

And lastly, I bought these two darling items from Sweet Magnolias Farm for my mom. Since she’s seldom online I know I can post the photo here without ruining the surprise. I have lots more photos to share soon from Sweet Magnolias Farm, since I want to highlight this fun company run by a mother/daughter duo- Abbey and Sara.
Sweet Magnolias Farm

Finished Project- The “You Were Never Lovelier” Fringey Dress

Thanks to my good friend, Beth, I have pictures to share of this project!

This was another dress I made for Costume College this year.  The theme of the evening on Thursday night was “Carmen Miranda,” but when I was watching You Were Never Lovelier a month or so before Costume College I knew I needed the fringey dress that his lead singer of Xavier Cugat’s band wore in one of the opening numbers.  It just so happens to be on YouTube, so here it is (and now the song will be stuck in my head all day).

The dress and strap were made of fabrics in the stash.  The fringe was bought on Etsy.  I had an interesting time coming up with the pattern- it actually started life as two seperate patterns (one mid 1930s, one mid 1940), which were combined, draped, and completely altered to make it work to be similar to this design.

Here’s Beth and I at the party.

And, of course, since it was Carmen Miranda themed, I needed to add a turban!  Stephanie posted a great image of Carmen Miranda with a butterfly turban, so I knew I needed one!  It was made by draping swimwear fabric on a foam head block, then creating rings of quilt batting and covering them with the same fabric.  The pointy bits were sewn to that shape then I added millinery wire to make them stand up. The glittery butterflies came from Ebay.

That wraps up all the projects I made for this year’s Costume College :)  Many thanks again to Beth for the pictures!