Great Los Angeles Air Raid, 2014

This weekend was the Great Los Angeles Air Raid in San Pedro, CA. This event happens every year to commemorate a strange event that happened in 1942. Was it weather balloons? Enemy aircraft? UFOs?
Whatever it was, there was a lot of gunfire happening from Fort MacArthur that night in the direction of the ocean.

My friend and I. We both made our skirts and blouses. The vest I wore was owned by a real life Rosie the Riveter who worked on Goodyear blimps during the war.


My new-to-me vintage bracelet. I love this thing so much!

And a few of my favorite shots from the event:










Unfortunately, I’m still getting used to my new camera, so a lot of my photos didn’t turn out. The focus sounds the same as the shutter! But now I know for next time :)

You can find the rest of my photos on Flickr

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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.

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

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Our little group in Frontierland.

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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)

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

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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 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

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!