1950s · Vintage · Vintage Saturday

Vintage Saturday: 1950s Umbrella Dress in Montenegro

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During our time in Dubrovnik, we took a side-trip to Montenegro, which is just over the Croatian border (for you James Bond fans, this is where Casino Royale took place). I wore this adorable (if I do say so myself!) 1950s umbrella print dress, which ended up being perfect for the occasion. It was acquired in August and worn only once before, to our housewarming party. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get photos of it then, as I was frantically running around making appetizers and sewing pillows!

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I believe the fabric is a linen rayon blend; regardless, it’s incredibly breezy and lovely to wear. The bodice is cut on the bias, which allows for greater movement, and the sleeves have a really great tie detail (unfortunately, every time I wear this dress I need help with the sleeve ties!). I paired it with a floppy straw hat, which was a lucky find in Dubrovnik’s Old Town the day before (silly me forgot to pack her hat).

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The dress photos were snapped at the villa we were staying in shortly before we left for Montenegro. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of me in it there, but I did get some scenery photos of Montenegro, and it’s just GORGEOUS.

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Before we left, we ate lunch at a restaurant right next to the sea, and met this adorable one-eyed restaurant kitty. Peter tried to sneak her some food, but I don’t know if the one-eyed thing meant she couldn’t see it. At least living at a seafood restaurant means she’s well-fed!

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Speaking of kitties, it seems Pugsley has come down with a bit of a kitty cold as well as having Giardia, a water parasite. It’s been poop-a-palooza here, and we’re really hoping the medicine that he’s on starts to take effect soon, although, luckily, he does seem to be getting over the cold. In the meantime, we’ve learned a ton about kitty care and gone through a ridiculous amount of paper towels! Anyways, I’m planning on doing a ton of autumn crafting this weekend, and also have a design consult meeting for a potential (very exciting!) commission! Hope everyone else is having a great weekend!

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1940s · 1950s · Outfit · Vintage · Vintage Saturday

Vintage Saturday: Summer is here!

Happy Saturday, and Happy Summer, readers!

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It seems as if the heat has finally hit us here in the Pacific Northwest, with forecasts in the 80s and 90s predicted over the next couple of days. Of course, being pale (and Polish) this doesn’t always bode well with me, as I burn very easily. That being said, one must look fabulous is all kinds of weather, so I decided to bust out my reproduction high-waisted shorts I got from Stop Staring! (I must admit that I didn’t buy directly from them, but from a gal that was getting rid of these, so the price was *much* lower), as I love casual vintage summer looks, especially since I’ll be headed down to Portland today, and these will be super comfy for the long drive.

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I’ve paired these with a plaid shirt that ties in front (I definitely plan on taking a pattern off of this and making my own version in just plain white), and my new (to me) vintage red sunglasses that I picked up at a local antique store for like 10 bucks. Definitely a steal, considering that all of the vintage sunglasses I’m finding on Etsy are at least 50.

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As for the hairstyle, it’s one that I’ve been sporting a lot lately, a sort of 1940s-inspired side pony. My hair is getting really long, and I know that I will inevitably cut it at some point within the next month or so, as I always do. 😉

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Anyways, I’ll be cohosting a fabulous Breakfast at Tiffany’s tea party tomorrow with my lovely friend Kady. Really looking forward to wearing my cute 60s LBD, and the tiara I just bought, cuz, ya know, it was the only accessory I was missing from my wardrobe. 😉

And if you’re not a fan of the FB page, I’ve promised to hold a spectacular giveaway once I reach 100 followers here on the blog. As of right now, we’re at 98. So, motivation right there. 😉

Alright, hope everyone else has a fabulous weekend!

1950s · Outfit · Vintage

Bowties, Bakelite, & the Vintage Photoshoot

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No, I’m not really a hunchback . . .

The fabulousness of this weekend did not end with Saturday’s stint in the 1850s, readers. I spent a lovely day down in Portland on Sunday dressed in vintage (which is a lot less layers than 19th century stuff, let me tell ya!)

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First up was the Bowties & Bakelite Brunch at Gracie’s. There were some very dapper gents and fabulous ladies (including Julie and Jesse of Fab Gabs, Janey of Atomic Redhead, and Solanah of Vixen Vintage) in attendance.

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I went all 1950s for this one. I wore my Swirl Dress from AlexSandra’s Vintage Emporium, and also did my hair a bit differently with a scarf (Kristen Behlings’ workshop has definitely inspired me to try some new things!).

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I really like this style and am thinking about doing a Youtube tutorial on it (and its been ages since I’ve done a video). Thoughts?

Afterwards, some of us headed out for a nice little drive to do a quick vintage photoshoot. I’ve included some of my favorite pics that I managed to have snapped with my iPhone down below, but if you’re interested, you can see the more professional ones (including my impromptu Charleston!) here.

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New (to me) vintage shades
New (to me) vintage shades!

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1950s · Outfit · Vintage

Polka dot skirt on a Tuesday

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So, I go swing dancing downtown on Tuesday nights and like to dress vintage-esque. Well, we’re also battling the heat here in the Pacific Northwest, so this seems like the perfect outfit for work and then Tuesday night swing dancing – white t-shirt, red pumps (love these!) and black and white polka dot skirt.

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The skirt is actually this one from Heartbreaker Fashion (although I did get many inquiries about whether or not I had sewn it myself!), and now that I’m linking to it, I’m realizing how much I look like the model. Totally not intentional! Red, white, and black just happens to be one of my favorite color combos (despite the awful sun-burned zebra and newspaper jokes).

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I have to say that I’m really starting to embrace vintage repro. I really don’t feel like I’m wearing my vintage clothing particularily hard, but it seems to disintegrate a little bit each time I wear it. That being said, vintage repro (and vintage) can be quite spendy, so I think I’m going to start sewing more of my own. 😉

Also, I just wanna say that all the pics here were taken on my iPhone (silly me forgot to charge her camera batteries), and I am super impressed with the quality. Why I waited so long to get this handy little device, I don’t know, but I’m glad I have it now. 😉

1950s · 1960s · Contemporary Pattern · Dress · Finished! · Modern Sewing · Vintage

The Julia Lennon Dress

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Ok, so Julia Lennon didn’t actually wear a dress like this, BUT Anne-Marie Duff wears one very similar in her portrayal of Julia Lennon in one of my favorite movies, Nowhere Boy. It came out in 2009 and chronicles John Lennon’s adolescent days, and the start of the Beatles (who are surprisingly never mentioned by name in the film).

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Speaking of the Beatles, one of my new co-workers is an older gentleman who told me this past week that he remembers watching the Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964, after he saw the Beatles picture that I keep in my cubicle. Suffice it to say, I was totally jealous about this and we’ve now bonded over both our love of the Beatles and how we wish it was still the 1960s (which is kinda funny, because I wasn’t even alive then, but minor detail).

Anyways, I wore this dress to our curator’s housewarming/wedding reception party he had today. I had a lovely time chatting with friends about reenacting, antiques, and history, all in this amazingly beautiful decorated home with all this wonderful old stuff.

The punch was excellent . . .
The punch was excellent . . .

As for the dress, I started it last year, but finally finished this morning, as I had so many issues sewing it (I broke 2 machine needles in the process of constructing it, and had to take out all the gathering stitches because they looked awful, so I decided to pleat the skirt instead). The fabric is this great border print I picked up at a thrift store last year, and I used Vogue 8184 for the bodice. This is actually the first strapless dress I made, but more out of necessity as I ran out of fabric. Now I understand why strapless bodices are boned, because this thing kept slipping down. Luckily I had the vintage cardigan to pair it with, so you can’t really see it, but I may have to use some of that boobie tape in the future.

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Oh! I also fully lined it, since the main fabric was so thin and sheer.

Alright, time to get ready to go to bed, as it’s back to the daily grind tomorrow. I had a lovely 3-day weekend (it was President’s Day today here in the US), but I need to pick out my outfits for work this week. Yes, I do that, don’t judge me . . . .

1950s · 1960s · Reenacting · Vintage · Vintage Saturday

Vintage Saturday: What I would’ve worn to the Fur & Feathers Luncheon

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What a room full of history nerds eating dinner looks like . . .

Yesterday evening was Burns Dinner, the annual volunteer awards and recognition dinner for Fort Nisqually. I decided to go 1950s, wearing the outfit that I would’ve worn to the Fur and Feathers Luncheon last weekend (you can see fabulous event photos here and here. Don’t the ladies all look lovely!?), because though the organizers requested we wear “period clothing,” they never specified what period. 😉

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Readers, I got so many lovely compliments, from being compared to Judy Holliday and Lady Mary from Downton Abbey, to someone telling me I looked like I had walked off the set of Mad Men (gah!!!!). And I have to say that I am just so grateful to be part of nerdy, fabulous history community that embraces my quirky vintage side.

Of course, dressing vintage, I had to make a pineapple upside-down cake the for the potluck, and here I am triumphantly showing the leftovers in my vintage camel wool coat.

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I also got compared to an airline stewardess, so of course I had to do an airline stewardess pose once I got home.

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And dressing vintage would not be complete without the accessorires, right? In this case, I wore my blue velvet vintage hat, my pearl and diamond earrings, and my grandmother’s pearl necklace.

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I think every vintage-loving gal should have a sassy Southern grandmother to inherit pearls from, don’t ya think? 😉

1950s · 1960s · The Vintage Closet · Thrifting · Vintage

The Vintage Closet: Warm woolies. And mink.

Readers, I’ve decided to start a new feature on the little blog here that I’m calling “The Vintage Closet.” You see, I believe I’m developing a shopping addiction, which is probably the direct result of working full-time and therefore having more money than time. It’s a weird thing to adjust to, because for so long I’d been a poor student that had more time than money. Anyways, with this shopping addiction comes not only the purchasing of more clothes for my modern wardrobe, but more clothes for my vintage one, as well. So, The Vintage Closet is my attempt to show you all the fabulous vintage things I’m filling my closet with!

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First off is the new 1950s blue wool sweater dress I just bought yesterday. I’m going to a “Fur and Feathers” luncheon next weekend (how fabulous does that sound!?) and wanted a blue vintage dress that I could combine with the mink collar I just got, as blue and brown just happens to be one of my favorite color combinations.

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I snapped up the mink collar after spotting it in my favorite local antique store, where I also got the pearl charm bracelet. I brought it home and my southern grandmother randomly told me one night while watching television, “You need to put fur on something” (we had been talking about the Fur and Feathers luncheon earlier that day). So, I grabbed the mink collar I had just bought and my black peacoat, draped it along the collar, and showed it to grandma. Of course, she replied, “You can’t get better than that.” No, grandma, you can’t. 😉

However, when I went to go sew the collar on, it was a bit too long for the coat, so I think it will work much better draped along the neck of the dress, like so:

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I also picked this cute 60s green wool blazer up while thrifting last week. I have no idea what I’m going to wear it to (or with), but that really doesn’t matter, does it? 😉

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Finally, if you haven’t entered the Multi-Era Pattern Giveaway yet, there’s still time! I’m giving away 3 patterns to 3 lucky readers, wouldn’t you like to be one of them?