Friday, June 28, 2013

A local event to attend. Could it be possible?

There is not much happens, vintage wise where I live.  In fact, not much happens at all:).  So, when I found out Dandy Wellington was headed out this way,  the children and I got dressed up to attend a lovely swing event.  It's so nice seeing a swing band in person.  I wish I could do this every weekend.  

My hat is a recent purchase and it's so remarkable that this hat has lasted so long, being straw.  Someone really took good care of this hat.  Don't you often wonder the history of your purchases?  I'd love to know the story behind this hat. The hat is from the 1930's.   The straw is a larger cross weave which makes for a fascinating pattern.  I found this hat while browsing Facebook.   I noticed that Wildfell Hall Vintage put this hat on their page.  They also have a great etsy store to visit.  I quickly inquired about it, as it really is difficult to find vintage straw hats from this period.

Outfit Details:

Dress: Manhattan Vintage Show thinking 30's appears to be handmade but of beautiful quality.  I hope one day to be able to sew like this!

Rhinestone Buckle:  I added this to the dress.  I had bought it on ebay and it had been sitting in a box just waiting to be used.  Vintage 1920's.

Gloves: Manhattan Vintage Show

Necklace:  Rubylane

Earrings:  Screw-back rhinestone

Shoes:  ReMix...gotta love ReMix shoes so comfortable

Bag:  Hand beaded celluloid.  It's just so beautiful inside too.  I don't recall if it was ebay or etsy.  But, I do remember getting it for a really good price.

My son took these pictures since my husband was not around.  I thought he did a pretty good job.  I know some could be more focused but he was a very good sport!


I set my hair in finger waves and pin curls.  I looked to inspiration from the lovely book I won from Janey,  Style Me Vintage Hair.   I thought my hair turned out quite well and I really do love the finger wave look.  I even like the look the second day as it becomes more loose and still curly (next post I'll show the second day look).

At the event:

My daughter said I looked like an alien with these glasses on.  I'd probably have to agree but still like the look, regardless:)

Here is an up close image of the dress so that you can see that it is cut into panels for a "flutter effect".  The "flutter effect" as I call it is so fun when you are walking to have kind of a sway to the bottom of your dress.  I  believe this dress was handmade but a lot of time was spent making it.  The hems were done so lovely.

I also wanted to share some more details on the bag.  Check out all the wonderful beading.  I encourage all you vintage lovers to at least have one vintage beaded bag in your collection.  It's amazing the amount of time it must have taken to bead this bag.  You just won't find this nowadays.

The inside is very interesting too with an attached little mirror cradled by a swirl of silk-type material.  I wonder if this bag was even used considering the condition of the interior.  

Here is a closing shot of the fabulous band.  Certainly well worth the event and I'm hoping to go back again next year.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Follow me on Bloglovin

Follow me on Bloglovin at  "DividingMoments".

Hello all, just a quick note to let you all know that I am on Bloglovin at "DividingMoments" not "DividingVintageMoments".   When I first started out my blog it was "DividingMoments" and I haven't switched my blogspot to include the word vintage.  It would require a whole new blog.

So anyways, follow me on Bloglovin,  I just got through transferring over my blogs:))

I think I also need to make a sidebar next for this.

Oh, thought I'd also share a picture of my new pet,  "Scottie".  Isn't he cute?

Outfit post coming up tomorrow.

Monday, June 24, 2013

"Look West Fine Sailor, It's On To 1947 We Go."

I'm not exactly sure why but fate seems to point me to the year 1947 as well as 1938.  I'm also keen on the early 50's too but I don't think I have a set year for the 50's.    Do any of you have a favorite year?

I have a few things to tie up before I begin my next sewing project.  There is this lovely rayon beach skirt I bought that needs a new hem so this will give me a great opportunity to work with rayon.  This I hope to do this week.  I also think it could benefit from a zipper instead of snaps.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share with you 1947 sewing styles.

My next sewing project fate has dropped in my lap so I'm going with it.  I originally thought I should do another reproduction pattern but what the heck...let's try a vintage one.  If I become completely confused, I'll just come back to it.  I am going easy on myself and tackling a skirt.  I really want to work with rayon but I'm not sure if I'll get there with this skirt.  I have to think on it some more.

I liked the look of this skirt on this particular pattern as the lines seem simple and can still introduce me to new concepts.  I had no idea this pattern was 1947 until I got the pattern and saw this year noted on the back of the envelope.  I'm not quite sure about the seam line going right in the middle, maybe I might be able to move this to the side.

So, the year 1947 it is and my-o-my what a grand year it was!  This is the year that Dior introduced the New Look.  When I page through fashion magazines of this year, many flashes of "ohh's and ahhh's zip and zap through my mind.

The pattern envelope has simple solid colors but I was thinking I might try a print.  The pattern is in really good shape and was not expensive so I'm happy to start out my first vintage pattern with a skirt.  I really wanted a blouse but I'm still hunting down the right puffy sleeved model for this.  I think I would like a late 30's version of a blouse...maybe even 1938, if I am particularly lucky.

I love the idea of a cummerbund.  I'm wondering how a print would look though.  I haven't seen this pattern replicated yet by other vintage seamstresses.

I thought I'd share some other patterns from 1947.

McCalls  4927

What I love about these vintage patterns is the stripes and the play on form.  Not sure if I could be as accurate as this pattern below with just two perfect stripes runing down.  Love the horizontal and vertical play on lines though!  I do have a future pattern I hope to conquer that does have red and white stripes but I don't see it being as difficult as this one.

Simplicity 2071  (I recently bought this pattern too before I knew it was 1947.)  I can't wait to see how the bows are formed.  I would think you'd need some stabalizer to keep the structure of the bows.  Too cute! How could you not want to wear this dress?

If a vintage pattern is too intimating, here is a reproduction pattern that looks to have great possibilities.

Guess what, I just recently won my very first Vogue Pattern book.  It is from, you guessed it, 1947!  So, I'll post some of these images coming up in a future post.  I was hoping my skirt would be in this book, but wouldn't you know it, I just missed the cutoff and I'm thinking it is in the next issue.  No worries, this issue has some interesting things to share too!

These are not related to 1947 but I really wanted to share these.  Aren't these two patterns awesome?  They show you how to do sleeves.  They are quite pricey.  These are certainly patterns to keep in mind for the future.  How cool!

This one is currently at $50 and still going.

This auction just ended at $64

Thursday, June 20, 2013

First Dress Simplicity 2444

So, here it is my very first hand and machine stitched dress by me.  I choose the Project Runway Simplicity Pattern 2444.   I'm glad to have started out with this dress because there were quite a few blogs to visit for inspiration and a fabulous tutorial on YouTube that helped me along (more below).

First off, I'd like to say this was a "working" muslin for me.  I'm hoping to do this dress again with some corrections to the pattern to better fit me.

Outfit Details:

Hat -ebay purchase vintage cartwheel hat
Necklace -Bakelite recently purchased
Bracelet -vintage but probably just regular ol'plastic.  No matter, bought it to match:)
Dress-details below made by me from Simplicity 2444.   Fabric is out of print but it is from Michele D'Amore Marcus Brothers, Metro Collection.
Shoes- Vintage

I added a little hook and eye but forgot to close it in this picture.

You can see how I had to add a couple of darts to the front  at the top (also to the back).  I hope in my next draft this will be corrected.

Work in process images:


1.     Biggest issue - I had to add a couple of darts to the top neck area on front and back that I'm not too happy about but I didn't like how much  bulk there was on the top.  I've seen this issue on a couple of blogs so I'll have to figure out how to fix the pattern up for my next draft.    If you have this problem when you try it out, here is a great blog post.  I'll try this next.

2.  The pattern called for you to cut the skirt into four sections.  I don't understand why the front couldn't be one section.  Next draft will be one section to the front.

3.  I'll probably add to the hemline as I like it a bit longer.  In this case I didn't hem anything under so there was no seam allowance.  I added a bias strip to the bottom.

4.  Next dress I will learn how to add a lining.  I didn't like the interfacing on the sleeves and neck area.

5.  For some odd reason when I was making the sleeves, one turned out slightly bigger than the other, I'm sure this was totally my fault.  Next time, I'll make sure they match before stitching them on.  I was able to fix this.

6.  When I went to put in the hook and eye, I realized my top was slightly off at the top with the bias binding, too late to correct.  I'll have to keep in mind to make sure this lines up better next time before stitching in place.  This is completely my fault and not the pattern.

Things I Loved and Learned:

1. I tried out a couple of different stitching foots for my sewing machine.  I didn't like the bias foot for my machine ended up doing it by hand with a neat gadget.  Much more fun!  I also loved making my own bias tape from coordinating fabric.  This isn't part of the required dress pattern but is great for finishing off edges.

2.  Loved the pockets in the dress, some people have said that they add bulk, but I don't think so.  I almost considered not having them, glad I didn't.

3.  I barely scraped by on my fabric amount, but this was my fault as I just grabbed the polka dot fabric I had, eyeballed it and thought, "I have more than enough".

4.  I think I memorized this tutorial.   So glad I had this to refer too!  Thank you Professor PinCushion!  I actually had bought the pattern and was looking around for resources and came across this one.  Boy, did it make it so much easier for me not knowing a thing about how to do a pattern, how to cut, basically everything.

5. Keep note of the grain lines on your pattern, these could be your best friend.   I was having a little difficulty laying out some of my pieces based upon the pattern directions.  I had cut off a section thinking I didn't need it when, I probably did.  But, lucky for me, I just followed the grain line on the fabric pattern and it was okay.

6.  Actually loved putting in a zipper.  I put in an invisible zipper and it wasn't too difficult.  It helped me out a lot that I bought an invisible zipper foot.  I recommend this foot to those of you considering making dresses.

7.  This pattern does give you the confidence to go out and try other patterns.

8.  My belt was total fate!  I love the idea of fabric matching belts (in general).  It is difficult to find the resources to make these.  I was cruising around ebay a few weeks ago and an auction for a bunch of vintage belt kits with just the belt material caught my eye.   You may also remember my button buy here.   Isn't it great that in this batch of buttons was a matching buckle the perfect color for what I needed for this dress?


Monday, June 17, 2013

The Sewing Bandwagon...All Aboard! A Tissue Holder Giveaway-Retro Style

I'm almost there, almost complete with my first dress!  Me-o-my what a process but fun none the less.   Gosh, if I can get the nack of sewing on vintage patterns, a whole new world is opened.

My first dress will be from a vintage reproduction pattern.  I suggest the same to anyone else who has not yet tried sewing a dress.  This is because there are other people out there who have made the dress and you can see their successes and failures.  Also, if you totally mess up, you can always get another pattern pretty cheaply.  I'll share more on my pattern and process (and of course dress!!) in an upcoming post.

Would you be interested in hearing about some sources for fabric and where to begin with sewing a dress?  I know it can be intimidating but it is also very rewarding.  I suppose not so rewarding if the dress or item doesn't fit lol.  You know what I got the most kick out of was putting in my very first zipper.  I know small things but hey, I did it!!

Before I began sewing together my very first dress, I thought it would be fun to dust off the ol'sewing machine by making some tissue holders from some of my novelty prints I had hanging around.   It certainly did help my case that I liked to make quilts.  I haven't made a quilt in quite a few years but I still have quite a bunch of fabric lying around.

The problem is though that some of the dresses I like will require yards and yards of fabric.  Those  "New Look" dresses are like a black hole for fabric yardage.  Can I also say that there are many types of 100% cotton lol?   I found this out the hard way that there are varying thicknesses and even though it says 100% cotton in a description for online fabric, you may end up with a weighty piece too!  

My first dress is with a light weight "quilters" cotton.  This is what you see with most novelty prints in cotton.

Anyways, back to the tissue holders.  I made a bunch of them and I thought I'd offer up three to giveaway to three different readers.

Choices are:

Viva Vegas
Charleston Dancers
Mod Sunglasses
Spring Tulips
Dutch Landscapes

Would you like one?  Leave a comment below which one you like best and three winners will be randomly selected.  I'll close the giveaway Friday.  I'm totally partial to the retro Vegas print.  Expect a dress in this print in the future, just love it!  How cool will I be when I make my Vegas dress with my very own matching tissue holder? <smile>.

Hey, I even think these would store lovely vintage hankies too!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Irene - A Suited Adventure

Part of my "Well-Suited" series....

The fabulous Irene!

What's not to love about a well-tailored classic vintage suit?

I've been wanting to do a blog post on Irene (Lentz) (Gibbons) for sometime.  

There is a kind of a nitche within the historical world of post-WW2 fashion..... a sub-world of fantastic California couture...shall we say a breath of Atlantis?  I'd like to explore this topic of California fashions more in future posts.   There are fashion magazines such as The California Stylist and The Californian which were dedicated to California style and showcased California designers and fashion.  Good luck trying to locate some of these magazines as they do not come up for sale often and can be quite pricey;)  

Can you imagine how California would be the place to be after all the hardships of WW2?    It's an interesting sub-genere with edgy designs, colorful prints, and sunshine enfused fashionable visions.

thought it was fateful that I should discuss this designer now that I am fortunate to own one of her fabulous suits.  Her ready-to-wear garments are very difficult to come by and do not come up for sale very often, very much on par with Adrian. This one was very reasonably priced because it also had a couple of small holes and a tiny bleach stain that is barely noticable.  I think even with these small issues it was a good investment.

As with Lilli Ann, you can feel that this suit is very well designed.  Now that I am a total novice sewer, I appreciate even more the art of contour and form in making garnments.  What may look simple may really have required a lot of thought to make.  

  Irene was also known for her geometric designs in her suits.   She also played around with buttons as a design influence in her suits, interesting results.   

I can unquestionably see what all the fuss is about with Irene.  The tailoring is stunning and the little details very much ad to the magic of the garment.   This is what I love so much about vintage is the quality and workmanship.   The silhouette of this suit is form-fitting and it is almost like I stepped back in time and had a dream visit to the Irene studio.

This particular suit label indicates it is from the Halle Brothers  Irene shop.   Check out the link, this website delves into old department shops.  I encourage you all to revel in the history.

Adrian and Irene were both designers who designed for the Hollywood movies.  Adrian left MGM in 1941 to begin his own studio.  In 1950, Irene left MGM to open her own studio.  While at MGM,  she created gowns for Ginger Rogers, Hedy Lamarr, Joan Crawford, Carole Lombarde, Marlene Dietrich, etc.  She had a famed boutique inside Bullocks Wilshire catering to exclusive clientel.  She was the first designer with her own butique in a department store.  If any of you readers are in the L.A. area, from what I understand,  her boutique framework still remains.     It is quite sad in that she ended her life at the age of 62.  I'm not sure why she ended her life but her legacy still remains, which I'm sure she'd be pleased with.

A New Collection For Fall 2013 With Vintage Flair

In my search quest of looking for Irene suits, I came across Greg LaVoi's new collection for Fall 2013 adeptly titled Irene.   Greg is a costume designer for "The Closer" and you can also see some original Irene's on Kyra Sedwick in the show.   This new fall collection uses some of Irene's original patterns.  Isn't this great to bring vintage back to the modern world?  I'm very much looking forward to following this collection. How fabulous to hear about wools milled in the USA in this collection!  I'm not sure what the price points are yet but if they are in the right price range, I'm certainly adding a suit to my list.  It's nice to see a recent designer embracing the vintage tailoring and details in women's suits.  This collection certainly savors the elemental forces of the late 40s to mid 50's.  

You can find all the information at for the new "Irene" collection.  Please go check it out.

The photographs were taken on a very sunny day so some of them do have a little of the "washed out" look but mark my words, the suit and outfit both have lovely colored hues.

Outfit Details:
Suit: Vintage early 50s Irene ebay
Brooch: Eisenberg ebay
Earrings: Eisenberg ebay
Scarf:  Local vintage shop
Necklace 50's multi-colored blue beads
Hat: Hattie Carnegie (Miss Carnegie) blue velvet with rhinestone accents
Umbrella:  NOS ebay 50's (came in a lot auction with three other umbrella's, woo hoo!)
Shoes: Etsy classic "baby doll" 50's pumps, a wardobe staple for the 50's vintage suit look.
Vintage Gloves-ebay

Buttons as a decorative accessory.  This is intriguing to look at buttons as a fashion statement and not totally as a function.  We don't see this too often nowadays.   This suit has key fashion button elements.  The button design is well thought out and ads to the form of the suit.  

I believe this Irene suit to be from the early 50's.

Excuse my off center necklace.  I quickly grabbed the only Irene ad I had access too to replicate a reference pose.   I'd also like to try taking more pictures of this marvolous suit again in the future.  I wasn't that happy with the lighting.

The only Irene ad that I had handy.  I know I've seen other images of her suits as I have looked through vintage Bazaar and Vogue magazines but I didn't flag them.  As I uncover more images of her suits, I will be sure to share them.  This image is from a The California Stylist Magazine.

This umbrella is what we all seek in vintage charm, the allure of character that can't be found in a "today's" department shop.   This umbrella is why I love vintage.  There is a harmonous edge to it.   Am I over-analyzing an umbrella? Maybe...maybe not:)   It was never used and still had the tag attached to it when I received it.  Yes, you could say that I love to hord vintage umbrellas.  I'm sure there are others out there that do too.  Please identify yourself.  I have a Pinterest board dedicated to the awesomeness of the vintage umbrella.  Feel free to check it out.

Flashes of Eisenberg rhinestones:

The lining of this suit has a charming color of pink in crepe.  Just lovely!

An additional Irene Ad:

Irene Ad: Source My Vintage Vogue.