Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sexy, but not in a Brigitte Bardot way

These goddesses are a perfect way to show sexy but covered up, which is something a lot of girls have forgotten how to do. The one on the right reminds me of the 50s playsuit/swimsuit pattern on the Vintage Fashion Library website. These white maillots are from Sirena, and retailed for $19 (can you imagine?). "A figure hugging cotton and Lastex knit reveals what the other suit of soft Arnel jersey conceals with flattering drapery."

I'm all about flattering drapery! The white is, I'm sure, just for show, but I'd wear this in a royal blue or a green.

From Look magazine. May 10, 1960.

Friday, July 24, 2009


I love mid 60's swimsuits and I love Sally Field, so by default, I love anything Gidget-y. This swimsuit is no exception. I'd love to know what colors it came in. The name even makes me giggle: it's called "Bouncy." Wink Wink.

From Life Magazine, June 4, 1965.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Answer Dress

I like that this pattern calls itself the "Answer Dress." Bateu necklines and a V back means that it's sexy without showing a lot of skin. Kind of that "leave it to the imagination" thing your mama told you about. Why buy the cow and all that.

And it can be worn as a jumper. Or belted. I see this dress going into a suitcase for a tour of the continent, being pulled out and dressed up or down, depending upon the occasion, but never taking up a lot of room when you pack. Make two -- one in a print, one in solid. That way, if you make the blouse (sadly, the wonderful sleeve piece is missing), then you can switch up the outfits even more.

Answer dress, indeed.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Why I love the 1910s so much

On the right: "an adaptable frock...It is willing to be made of satin, serge, or crepe de Chine, to suit the owner and the occasion, but whatever the material, trimming sections are of black satin, embroidered in shades of blue and green, with a touch of mahogany.

On the left: "the left of the figure...gives a glimpse of what coat linings are to be like this winter. Do not be deceived by the complicated look of the coat skirt. It is cut in one piece on each side and proclaims how much of style can be achieved by a clever arrangement of gathers and folds. The suit is of brown velour."

Paris fashions, from 1917, as shown in Modern Priscilla. Beautiful, yes?

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Newly imported from Italy, 1952

I love the smocked hipline on the skirt. The sleeves may not be very practical, but they sure do make a great picture. I love this outfit.

The other Queen of Hollywood

Hedda Hopper. Love the neckline on her dress. I have a hat that is just about exactly like this one, in lime green. It makes me smile too, because lime green is a chipper color.

She's rocking an awful lot of accessories though, with the earrings, pearls, flower, and probably some rings and bracelets thrown in there. Personally, I would do without the pearls, so I could show off that neckline, but Ms. Hopper probably had a middle aged neck, and I'm sure that no one would've told her not to do whatever the heck she wanted to do.

In either event, she's working that hat a bit better than Louella did her beachwear.

I think she's pretty proud of herself!

The Queen of Hollywood herself, Louella Parsons, at the beach in the 1930s. She definitely is working that outfit!

Sacony suits, 1952

I had one Sacony suit in the past. I did not look like this! This is the height of 50s glamour. From Life Magazine, 1952. Impeccable tailoring, and the styling is perfect.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hurry up and get here

Anyone who's handled many vintage sewing patterns knows that you can find interesting bits of history inside them. Legend is that many ladies hid their "mad" money inside the envelopes, though I've never found any. I keep hoping....

I have found lots of snippets of fabric, buttons, and newspaper clippings. I once found a WW2 love letter that was so sweet, it almost brought me to tears. But this particular pattern really made me stop and think.

When I got it, it was in the original mailing envelope. In our moving of the store, it's somehow gotten separated from it, but I'm sure it's going to show up soon. The envelope was from Vogue, of course, and was address to Miss So-and-So, and marked as Rush. Almost fifty years later, this pattern is still in factory folds. This got me thinking.

What made Miss S0-and-So order this pattern (in 1959, btw), and what made her order it as a Rush? Did she have an event to go to? Was the weather changing, requiring a new coat? Did she have a new job? Then take it a step further and ask, why did she never sew it? Did she break an engagement? Was there a horrible accident? What would make her rush it, then not sew it?

This pattern intrigues me like none other. What do you think?