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In Which I Finally Wear my Perfect Christmas Dress

31 Dec

I know, I know, Christmas is over and many of you are glad to see it go. Due to being at the hospital over the holidays I didn’t get  a chance to post too much about our holiday and I hope you’ll bear with me while I catch up some.

A dear friend of mine hosted her annual Christmas ornament exchange and I thought it would be the perfect time to finally wear a dress that I bought ages ago. You see, when I was living in Florida, I modeled vintage clothing for the BEST vintage shop I’ve had the pleasure to frequent; Sherry’s Yeserdaze. Her etsy shop is here. It was so much fun to go and pick out clothes and basically play grown up dress up. Sherry often admonished me not to pick things I was in love with since they had to go on the site to sell. A tough thing for this vintage loving gal. And so it happened that I modeled and fell in love with this dress.

Eileen

The original modeling picture

It’s a lovely 1950′s velveteen that has been well loved over the years. There are several tucks in the bodice that are not original, as well as lines where the hem has been raised and then lowered again. Oh, if this dress could talk! It also has glorious, hefty pockets; a must when all you have is a little clutch.

This is how I wore it to my friends party:

201The jaunty little fur capelet was a gift to me from my Mom’s cousin. The cape was her mother’s and let me just say, it is WARM! It was at least 40 degrees out when I wore this and I didn’t need anything else. The interior has the cutest little pocket.

Showing the interior and my brooch

Showing the interior and my brooch

The cute little brooch was a gift to me from none other than Casey herself! It garnered many compliments and many thought it was part of the dress they were so perfect together.

Pocket evidence

Pocket evidence

And here is me showing you the spaciousness of the pockets! They are perfect for parties when you don’t know what else to do with your hands as I often feel.

Finally, here is a picture of how I did my hair. I set the sides back with combs and then rolled the back up using a rat and pinning it into place. Simple, easy vintage updo for those times you don’t feel like setting your hair!

202And that’s all folks! I had a great time at the party and I think a large part of that was not only the wonderful company, but the fact that I felt like I looked pretty fabulous!

I hope you all had a fabulous holiday season as well.

Eileen

Previously Unblogged Part Deux

17 Jul

Scrolling through my personal digital Vintage Pattern Library, I stumbled upon yet another previously unblogged garment. This is the beautiful Hollywood Pattern #457 featuring the gorgeous Maureen O’Hara.

I made view one to wear to my former employer’s Christmas bash. I made my version from an oh so soft bolt of forest green velvet.

Surprisingly, I don’t have too many pictures of the full view of the dress. I had originally intended to add the pockets and lace detailing. I even went so far as to buy cotton lace with the holes (what is that stuff called? I know it has a name) which one can then thread ribbon through. I bought a skinny red velvet ribbon to use for this purpose. When I placed it all on the dress it just screamed “little girl’s holiday dress” rather than “sophisticated vintage lady” like I wanted it to. Alas! No frippery on this dress for me.

Here is a better detail photo of the gathered neckline and sleeves which feature that tiny box pleat at the hem so typical of the period. I think someone should have worn some shape wear with this! I’d gained a lot of weight for me during this period of time while finishing my degree. Not only did I go to school more than full time, but I worked full time and obviously had my family to tend to as well!

And again, a close-up of the neckline. This also is a good view of the way I wore my hair to the party. This was right after I started learning how to pin curl and I think I did a pretty good job! This is also after I had my stylist cut alarmingly short bangs. I was trying to go for a Bettie bang look, but somehow didn’t quite make it. She told me later when I left that the other stylists asked her what she did to me and she had a hard time convincing them that I wanted bangs that short!

So there you have it, another previously unblogged garment is now blogged!

Eileen

Rolls are in Dahling!

16 Jan

I was recently perusing my one guilty magazine splurge, Lucky, when I noticed this interesting picture.

What, you didn't know?

Apparently, the rolled hair look is in, in, IN on the runways this season. However, Lucky has left those readers who would love to try this style in the dark as to how to actually go about doing so. Luckily for my readers, I have now created a little button there to the right which, when you click on it, will take you to a downloadable PDF so that you can create a rat in order to mimic this fabulous hairstyle.

A question for those of my readers in the know; was this style popular in the ’20s or ’50s as this blurb suggests? I know some women who were too traditional to bob their hair in the ’20s had rolling as an option, but I believe it was more of a discreet little thing at the back of the neck rather than the ostentatious and eye-catching style sported in the ’40s (like the picture in the middle from Preen). Additionally, I’d call the second from the right more of a pageboy style as the curl is done under rather than over. What say you astute readers?

I’m pleased as punch that I was able to create a button at all and even better, link content to it. Do let me know if it works for you- any bloggy feedback is greatly appreciated. This is all in the spirit of making this blog more like what I want it to be.

Until next time-

Eileen

Image credit:

Lucky Magazine. (February 2012). Stop, Drop and Roll. p. 90.

Luau Lass

27 Mar

Hello there!

On Friday my work had a bar-b-que that had a luau theme. I immediately knew what I was going to wear- I’ve had this reproduction 1950s “Tiki” dress in my closet since October and haven’t had an occasion to wear it. Of course I knew that I’d be way overdressed but ask me if I care!

Va-va-VOOM!

I LOVE this dress. It does all the right things for me. I swear, there’s some SERIOUS rigging in this thing that ah-hem, emphasizes certain attributes while slimming and whittling others. This dress works MAGIC on my figure! I got a lot of compliments and one  person said I reminded them of Jessica Rabbit! Oh-kay . . . compliment? Not so sure.

Sans Bolero!

As you can see my hair fell a little flat. This is what it looked like when I left the house.

Hooray for pincurl sets!

As you can see, I wore something a little less dramatic to work until it was time to change for the luau :)  The bar-b-que was fun; beats working all afternoon, that’s for sure! It was a great way to kick off the weekend.

Also last night the hubby and I went to see our favorite band, The Avett Brothers. It was an amazing, amazing show. The opening act, Langhorne Slim, was really good as well. So good we bought their album after the show and the band was there signing records! We were able to meet them and they signed it for us. I wished we could have met the Avetts!! I haven’t been this excited about a band since I was a teenager. If you haven’t yet checked them out, do yourself a favor and do so.

In school news, I just finished an assignment that I’ve been working on for 12 hours straight! Yikes. I plan to spend tomorrow learning to use Norma (my 1938 Singer 201-2). Enjoy the rest of your weekend- I know I will!

The Much Anticipated, Long-Awaited Hair Roll Tutorial

11 Oct

It makes me feel better to pretend that's not real human hair in there!

The inspiration for this project comes from an original hair “rat” from the Forties that I was lucky enough to win on ebay. It was created using human hair sewn into a hair net with brown cording on either side. It’s placed on the crown of the head and the hair is tucked up and over it and secured with pins to form a roll. The first time I used it I snagged the hairnet on my pin and tore a hole which inspired me to create one using modern day supplies that could take more of a beating. Now, on to the tutorial!

First, you’ll need to gather your supplies.

What you’ll need is about 1/2 yard of ribbon or cord, two chignon foundations, needle and thread, and a pair of scissors. If you’re a sewist you’ll have many of these things laying around the house.

  • First, take your ribbon and use it to measure your head from the base of your skull up to the crown of the head. Add two inches to this and cut the ribbon. For example, my head measurement is 22 inches so I’d cut a 24 inch piece of ribbon. For my hair rat, I’m using 1 inch wide red velvet ribbon. Cut the ends at an angle to prevent the ribbon fraying. If you have some Fray-Check you can add it to the tips of the ribbon as well.
  • Next, open your chignon foundations. Fresh from the package they look like donuts. Make one cut through them to open them up. Do this to both foundations. They’ll look like this:
  • Take the two chignon foundations and whipstitch them together using your needle and some waxed thread  so that they form one long foundation. This is the foundation for your roll. It doesn’t have to be neat as it will later be hidden underneath your hair. To illustrate, mine looks like this:
  • Now take your piece of ribbon and cut it in half. Stitch each half to one end of the roll foundation that you’ve just created. If you want a dressier look, use a fun ribbon. If you’d like the roll to be hidden, you can use a length of cord that matches your hair color here much like the original. Again, your stitching doesn’t have to look pretty because it will be hidden by your hair. This is what it should look like when you’ve finished:

    I Heart Hair Rolls

  • At this point you can do one of two things; if you think you’d like to tie your roll onto your head and make a pretty bow then you are finished! I opted to add a few snaps to the top of the ribbon to secure the two ends together but again, this is entirely up to you. What I did was place the roll at the back of my head and sew snaps to the ribbon where the cut ends overlap. I cut off the excess ribbon at this point.

Now, the fun part- using your new hair roll!  First, I curled the top of my hair into a backwards roll at the top of my head. I  put the back of my hair up in a loose ponytail. I took the hair elastic and slid it down to about an inch away from the ends of my hair:

Slide the hair elastic to the ends of your hair

Then, take your new roll foundation and place the center of it on top of where you slid the hair elastic to. You can then begin to roll your hair up towards your head.

Rolling Hair Upwards

Once you’ve got it up to the base of your head, you’ll take the two ends of ribbon and either snap them (as in my case) or you’ll tie them in a pretty bow. For extra security, take two bobby pins and pin the ribbon or cord to your hair just behind your ears. Layered hair like mine will have a lot of ends hanging loose; at this point take any stragglers up and over the top of your roll and stuff and pin them down. Smooth the hair and arrange it in a fashion to where the roll is no longer showing. Secure with a liberal use of bobby pins. It should then look like this:

From Behind

From the Front

Side View

Viola! Now go rock your fabulous vintage ‘do with pride. But don’t be surprised when you get questioned as to how you got your hair to do this. I got stopped more than a few times when I wore this to the mall! Hope this has been helpful and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments.

Sorry for the Delay!

10 Oct

I had every intention of posting my hair tutorial today but a terrible allergy attack has left me drained and tired.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get it up tomorrow! See you then.

Get This Hairstyle!

8 Oct

 

My hair was really co-operating!

 

 

Could be neater but you get the drift!

 

One consistent thought when I’m watching movies from the Thirties and Forties  is “How did they get their hair to do that!?” I’ve puzzled over the hairstyle above for quite a while.  It’s one I’ve always loved- some sort of wave or roll to the front of the hair paired with a roll that encircles the head. It’s one I see a lot on Joan Crawford.

Recently, I had the good fortune to  stumble upon an auction that answered my burning question. It was  a hair rat that basically looks like a hair net stuffed with hair (I try not to think about it, but I think that’s real human hair!) with both ends attached to a thin brown cord. The rat is placed on the crown of the head and the hair is brought up and pinned around the roll. I thought I’d do a tutorial this weekend for those of you out there who don’t want to shell out the money I did to win this baby! The best part is that making a similar rat would be very inexpensive- under five dollars. You read that right, you can make your own hair roll and get an authentic vintage do all for under five dollars. Stay tuned!