Vintage Vogue 1940s Scissors Dress!

It has been too long since I sewed a dress! My patchwork Sally dress for Halloween took an enormous amount of effort, and then the holidays happened, so recently I decided to remedy this by making a simple pattern with a fun print!

IMG_1131

Vintage Vogue Pattern #2787! I found this great red/black scissor fabric on sale at Hancock’s and couldn’t pass it up!

So dramatic, Vogue! Obvs, I double checked on Pattern Review to make sure this fancy promo photo wasn't an impossible dream.

So dramatic, Vogue! Obvs, I double checked on Pattern Review to make sure this fancy promo photo wasn’t an impossible dream.

I have an armoire full of fabrics, but most of them are either insanely fancy (dupioni silks, and the like), or inappropriate for the season. So, in an effort to ease back into sewing clothing, I knew I would need a straightforward pattern, but not one I’d sewn before (there’s no adventure in that!), and fabric that’s not difficult to work with. This, to me, usually means cotton, because it tends to be inexpensive and/or on sale, plus the prints are fun and the fabric is super cooperative/non-stretchy.

IMG_1139

This is my final product! Although you can’t see it, there’s a closure in the black I framed with eight black jet buttons! It’s pretty darn cute!

As a general petite-person rule, I shortened the hemline by (an insane) 8 inches! Since this is a 1940s pattern, fashions dictated longer hemlines, however, as you can tell, it still comes to my knees. If you are on any kind of budget, make sure you have a working idea of where you prefer your hemline. (You’ll save enormous amounts of time, money and fabric this way!) If I hadn’t removed the extra length before cutting out my pattern pieces, I would have needed an additional yard of fabric! As it was, I managed to make this dress using only three yards (sans the suggested shoulder pads), and it is completely appropriate for work, or as a vintage-style cocktail dress!

IMG_1143

I opted for knee-high, black suede boots, and victory rolls to really punch up the 40s glam!

This pattern was definitely simple to sew, and although I did need to make some adjustments, they were all completely doable with a minimal amount of seam ripping! For my figure, that included taking larger darts (front and back), amending the curved front seam, as well as taking in the side seams between the sleeves and hips. All of these changes were made due to my “hourglass” shape, which requires making a larger size to accommodate my bust/hips and then making the necessary changes through the waist and shoulders.

So many curves!

So many curves!

Not only did I manage to create this dress with slightly less than the suggested yardage, but I have enough left over to make a matching hat! (When I do, no worries, I will absolutely post the final results/fab ensemble!) During one of my estate sale excursions I found, and immediately purchased, an un-covered hat form. It just so happens to be a lovely 40s-style, wide brim just aching to be covered in scissor fabric, with a contrasting black under-brim and ribbon! Also, I’m officially on the lookout for antique and/or vintage tiny scissors to help create the feathered accent piece! (It will double as a brooch for those rare occasions that aren’t hat-propriate.) If you see some, let me know!

Brimming with possibilities, isn't it??

Just brimming with possibilities, isn’t it?? (Ha!)

The brim is so perfect! It's off-center, so it is supposed to be worn atop an elaborate hairdo!

It is so perfect! It’s set off-center so it can be worn atop an elaborate hairdo!

For those rare occasions not requiring a hat, a fabulous 1940s inspired hairdo will definitely be an acceptable substitute! I know there are lots of tutorials, inspiration, and celebrity throwback styles to choose from! Some of these styles are easy to reproduce at home with some hot rollers and bobby pins, but obviously there are others that require finesse, four arms and extra eyes, so maybe go to a stylist. Here’s some vintage hair inspiration to help you decide!

SDBetty

Betty Grable looking stunning in victory rolls that are glossy perfection! Don’t be fooled, during the process there’s a lot of teasing. It’s only smooth on the top!

SDRita

Rita Hayworth has iconic hair, and you can absolutely recreate that gorgeous wave! Even with shorter hair, just use smaller curlers!

SDVeronica

Veronica Lake created a sly, sexy persona with her deep part and lovely wave curls! Again, grab those curlers and this one’s an instant success!

SDDK

Diane Kruger’s modern interpretation, complete with beautiful flower fascinator, proves that a vintage style can be done with fine hair and still look stunning!

SDDita

Last, but never least, the fabulously coiffed Dita von Teese in all her 1940s glory! Everything about her is flawless.

See?? You could absolutely do that! If I can pull together a couple of victory rolls before 9:00AM with my unwashed, super fine hair, you too can recreate a glamorous vintage-inspired look! Besides, once you invest in a set of hot rollers (I bought these several years ago for $15 at Walgreens!), you can create almost any 40s-60s hairstyles. It all comes down to effort, brushing, and maybe some teasing. It’ll all be worth it when you look amazing and feel super confident! So, if you’ve got fun plans this weekend, try out a retro outfit and/or hairstyle and enjoy the compliments!

Do you wear vintage and/or vintage-style clothes from the 40s? What about hairstyles? Would you pair a vintage hairstyle with a modern/trendy look? Why or why not?

Advertisements

Farewell, 2013!

Well, it’s almost the beginning of a new year! Welcome back to the office, if you’re at work again. (Sorry, I am, too.) Those of you still lolling around the house, go take a shower! Wash off the post-Christmas crust, and go have a drink with someone who isn’t in your family.

Yep.

For everyone: WHAT ARE YOU WEARING NYE?!?! I have a fantastic vision of a black and white ensemble, inspired by the 1970s and Madeline Kahn’s Young Frankenstein turban!!!

Yes, THIS turban!

Yes, THIS turban! I’ve got a diamond brooch picked out and everything!

I haven’t decided exactly what to do with my hair (completely engulfed or flowing out in a billowy cloud of curls?!?!), but I am positive that it will be fabulous! The real kicker is a vintage black velvet, rhinestone-studded belt from Neiman-Marcus!!! I needed an ensemble to show it off, and for whatever reason a jumpsuit seems to be the ideal option, so I’m GOING FOR IT! If the jumpsuit does (and likely should) bow out in the coming year, at least I can have some farewell fun before it does.

They've been on the red carpet for several years now! If Kristen Wiig can do it, so can I! Cheers to getting totally naked to pee!

They’ve been on the red carpet for several years now! If Kristen Wiig can do it, so can I. Cheers to getting totally naked to pee!

So, the options for NYE are endless! They can be, but are not limited to: fancy dinners, fancy parties in hotels and/or bars, fancy house parties, more laid back affairs, or drinking alone. Although all the planning can be a bit exhausting, once you’re there, it’s always a good time! The point is, however you celebrate, it ought to be completely covered in glitter, your makeup should be outrageous, and even if you know it’ll all be melty and slightly sticky by the end of the night, it’ll look damn good when you walk in the door.

We’re talking a disco and glitter light show presented by RuPaul on a Disney budget!

If you haven’t put together an outfit, it’s not too late! You still have an evening and a lunch hour to make this happen, and Charming Charlie stays open LATE! Plus, the post-Christmas sales on extra-shiny things are currently going on, so coming up with at least one statement piece won’t be that difficult. You can be wearing all black and throw on a fancy scarf, feathers, sequins, or a necklace and you are set!

See?? Insta-fab!

See?? Insta-fab!

Or those CRAZY heels you never get to wear!

Or those CRAZY heels you never get to wear!

See also: Glam hair accessories!

See also: Glam Hair Accessories!

There are TONS more amazing looks, some inspired by celebrities, others by Pinterest, but basically if you’ve got gold, feathers, or fringe, you will be the belle of the ball! Also, try taking a look in your closet to see what possibly amazing ensembles have been hiding! If you’ve got a small/non-existent budget, wear something simple and/or elegant, and let your makeup and hair create the statement!

LOVE this!!! The makeup is gorgeous, ties in with her statement necklace, and her hair is a magnificent halo!

LOVE this!!! The makeup is gorgeous, ties in with her statement necklace, and her hair is a magnificent halo!

I adore this retro-inspired wave, bold lip and necklace combo!

I adore this retro-inspired wave, bold lip and classy necklace combo!

She looks so incredibly elegant, but absolutely modern at the same time, and her updo is perfect!

She looks so incredibly elegant, but absolutely modern at the same time, and her updo is perfect!

Whatever makes you feel your best, that’s exactly what you should do! That being said, sometimes a little bit of extra prep/effort is usually worth it, as long as you have fun during the process. Since some folks are coming from the office, it may be a more subdued look, but no matter how you look or where you go, have an excellent NYE! I’m all about themes, so forget about your resolutions for one more night, and let’s all get super fancy!

Do you have fun plans for this NYE? Do you have a NYE tradition? Have an outfit picked out?? What do you love about it?

Vintage-Inspired MakeUp Tutorials!

On this particular Monday, I am reflecting back on a gorgeous weekend of fancy parties, raucous dancing, and general merriment. Among the hazy memories of tasty food, flowing champagne, and beautiful decor, are the recollections of getting ready for the wedding with my fellow bridesmaids, and the lovely bride, of course! Co-prepping is always fun, especially if you get to delve into someone else’s makeup stash, and happen to have a beauty/makeup professional there to recommend colors and/or style tips!

We got our hair done by professionals, but all did our own makeup, and we looked FABULOUS!

We got our hair done by professionals, but all did our own makeup, and we looked FABULOUS!

Since I bought my dress from the Trashy Diva, it was a vintage-inspired look, and therefore, my hair and makeup followed suit!

The lady at Blow Dry Bar did such a magnificent job! It seriously did not move the entire night, plus I got FIFTY new bobby pins!

The lady at Blow Dry Bar did such a magnificent job! It seriously did not move the entire night, plus I got FIFTY new bobby pins!

Obviously, most of us don’t always/usually have access to these wonderful life-amenities, therefore, we must continue to hone our own makeup and beautifying skills. Thankfully, we live in a world with the Internet, so there are lots of amazing tutorials that can help! The first of which I found via HuffPo, but is on YouTube (of course), and is basically watching a master at work. The precision and unflinching assurance Elizabeth Taylor implements are truly indicative of an experienced hand. It’s kind of mesmerizing, and definitely offers some clues as to how to recreate her timeless style! Enjoy!

ModCloth, in addition to selling some insanely cute clothes, has a beauty tutorials page on their blog! They were kind enough to send me an email not too long ago that collected some of these links, and I’m happy to pass along at least some of that valuable info! (If you’re not getting emails from them, you definitely should, btw.) They feature many different techniques from multiple decades, and since we saw Liz do the “smoky eye,” and I my favorite is the vintage “cat eye” style, here are these gems to consider for your upcoming holiday parties!

Into a cleaner, more vintage look? Check out this vintage-inspired cat eye look by Fox & Doll!

I know there are lots of other amazing tutorials available, but these are a good start! If you’re interested in a more ’40s look, Casey has some tutorials on her adorable blog, Pinterest (obvs), this vintage tutorial with tips on more than just makeup, and entire blogs dedicated to beauty and makeup guides! So, if you’re looking for something unique to try for a special event/holiday party, or you just want to hone your skills, check out some of these sites and videos!

Have you tried a vintage makeup look? When/for what event? How did it go? Any tips to share??

Random Fun Wednesday – Vintage Style, Hair & Ads!

For whatever (awesome) reason, this week has been full of lots of great articles about vintage style! I’m always excited to hear about it, whenever and where ever (as long as they’re for it), so I’m passing along some of the vintage delights!

First up, one of the more well-known icons of the 50s and 60s, Marilyn Monroe! There are so many other talented, beautiful, amazing ladies from that era whom I adore, so Marilyn is one among many for me, but I know for lots of folks she embodies hyper-glam and fabulous. All the more reason to share these photos:

RFWVMM

Of course she literally looks amazing in a POTATO SACK!

RFWVMM2

The shoes in this one are my absolute favorite!

See more photos, and read more about the reason for this shoot on the Trashy Diva’s blog! (Also, buy some of their stuff, because it is GLORIOUS, and Kristen Schaal totally shops there!) It’s so funny that I ran across these photos, since I was just looking at a “potato sack dress” pattern in the midst of some 70s sewing patterns my grandmother gave me last Christmas. Apparently this was a thing, and I bet it’s on the way back! Let’s all hope we can pull it off as well as Marilyn!

Speaking of the ’70s, HuffPo has been kind enough to share a few vintage sales ads distributed by mega-retailer Target from the heyday of sweater vests and leisure suits!

I have always been jealous of stylized cartoon 70s hair. It's like Disney Princess hair with a halo of Aquanet and a tinge of polyester.

I have always been jealous of stylized cartoon 70s hair. It’s like Disney Princess hair with a halo of Aquanet, brightened by a haze of polyester.

Rock those enormous pockets, you sexy, ready-to-wear shoppers!

Rock those enormous pockets, you sexy, ready-to-wear Target shoppers!

My personal style pretty much glides from the late ’40s through to the late ’60s, skips the ’70s almost completely (since I’m neither waifish, or tall), and picks up again with the enormous shoulder pads and poufy, ’50s throwbacks of the 1980s. That being said, the style drawings from the ’70s have always caught my eye, not just because of their flowing manes, but also because the “ideal” of beauty includes such specific faces. The ladies all look like “Charlie’s Angels,” and the men all look like swaggering, square-jawed TV soap opera stars. It’s a pleasant, attractive fantasy, but an itchy, disappointing reality, given the leftover clothes, anyway.

Everyone was so slim and pretty, with such gorgeous, feathery hair!

Everyone was so slim and pretty, with such gorgeous, bouncy hair!

Knowing that styles ultimately rotate in and out of fashion, and that I’m completely content to leave the ’70s revival to people who are both taller, more lithe, and have bodies better suited to those styles, I AM all about a return of the (actual) vintage styles of the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s returning in full force! Thanks to Mad Men, vintage style has moved from more fringe group of rockabilly revivalists to the mainstream. Thankfully, walking around looking like Joan Harris (née Holloway) or Betty Francis (formerly Draper) is no longer considered more of a costume than an ensemble.

She's just so fabulous! How could you NOT want to look like that??

She’s just so fabulous! How could you NOT want to look like that??

The more classic 50s look, as worn by a beautiful, unhappy narcissist.

The more “classic,” full-skirted ’50s look, as worn by a beautiful, unhappy narcissist.

So, while the Style team at HuffPo is a tad late on the draw, as some of these (at least, according to me and other awesome vintage lovers) have already made a significant comeback, here are some they are now officially supporting!

Lynn Collyer in the '40s, wearing an incredible hat, and gloves! I actually have a pair of white leather "driving gloves," because who wants to look like they've been out in the fields?? Protect your hands, too ladies!

Lynn Collyer in the ’40s, wearing an incredible hat, and gloves! I actually have a pair of white leather “driving gloves,” because who wants to look like they’ve been out in the fields?? Protect your hands, too, ladies!

HATS! Let's all wear hats constantly, please!

HATS! Let’s all wear hats constantly, please!

Joan Bennett, photographed in 1925, definitely vintage, and wearable whenever it's cold! I bought a children's fur coat at the thrift store, and fully intend to make a muff (or two!) from the sleeves!

Joan Bennett, photographed in 1925, sporting a beautiful fur muff! An amazing accessory when it’s cold! I bought a children’s fur coat at the thrift store, and fully intend to make a muff (or two!) from the sleeves!

Wide-leg pants are beautiful for work, or for a causal stroll (while wearing an enormous hat, obvs.) Despite my stance on pants, I'm for these!

Wide-leg pants are beautiful for work, or for a causal stroll (while wearing an enormous hat, obvs). Despite my stance on pants, I’m super for these!

YES! Pier Angeli looks beautiful, and the added pop of color a neck scarf can provide brings attention to your face!

YES! Pier Angeli looks beautiful, and the added pop of color a neck scarf can provide brings attention to your face!

Gorgeous! Love everything about it, and since I currently own three petticoats, I'm definitely for full skirts!

Gorgeous! Love everything about it, and since I currently own three petticoats, I’m definitely for full skirts!

Last, but not least! Take a tip from Dita von Teese, and find a pair of seamed tights for that extra glamorous sex appeal!

And for underneath, take a tip from vintage-inspired burlesque star Dita von Teese, and buy a pair of seamed tights for that extra glamorous, vintage sex appeal!

So, for those of you who didn’t already know, these fashion statements are IN, and if you choose to incorporate some, or all of theses items into your fashion rotation, you’ll be right on the money! Fortunately, we live in a time when most fashion statements (even the unfortunate ones) tend to be socially acceptable. Ultimately, wear whatever makes you feel and look your best, and if adding a hint of vintage, or going full-out glam, does it for you, go for it!

What’s your favorite style decade? Do you wear vintage clothes and/or accessories? Which are your favorites? Do you own some, but aren’t sure how to style them? Wear them constantly and have advice to offer? Please share!

“21 Beauty Secrets Southern Belles Swear By”

Thought I would share this piece by The Huffington Post‘s Style section, and just save us all a ton of time! They have been kind enough to poll their massive following for beauty tips, and I’m all about it!

Apparently we’re still operating under the ultra-dramatic shadow of Gone with the Wind, a movie I cannot stand. (I am not sorry!) It’s absolutely beautiful, devastating, iconic, and heart wrenching, but it’s also a MILLION hours of overwrought, “faithful slave” hocking, romanticized nonsense. According to people in “the know,” Margaret Mitchell didn’t even like it, and refused to be involved with the adaptation!

DRAMA!

Exhaustive drama! War, Multiple marriages, Death, Starvation, Hoop Skirts, Endless Wounded Soldiers, Business Ownership, Unrequited Love, Dresses made out of Curtains and Desperation, Birth, Fire, Madness, and so many Horses!

Don’t get me wrong, I love the way it looks; the actors, costumes, cinematography and settings are all completely gorgeous. I would just rather look at the pictures than have to sit through the drivel.

GWTWAshley

Ohhh, but I love YOU, Ashley!

In any case, I think we can all agree that Vivien Leigh was ridiculously beautiful as Scarlett O’Hara, and managed to create one of the most well known, snappy, manipulative, desperate, conniving, delightful, homesick, dedicated, intense Southern women in cinema.

Tighter, Mammy!

Tighter, Mammy!

What a flirt!

What a flirt!

This dress is incredible.

This dress is incredible.

Beautiful and Desperate

Beautiful and Desperate Dress

It looked great on Carol Burnett, too!

Aside: It looked great on Carol Burnett, too!

All giggles.

Scarlett’s all giggles. That’s what a roll in the hay with Clark Gable does to ya.

"I'll never go hungry again!" (Until you want that 18" waist back.)

“I’ll never go hungry again!” (Not until you want to get that 18″ waist back.)

And, whether or not you’re a fan of the film, these “Southern Beauty Tips” are sure to be useful, if not entertaining. So, take your pick, add to the list, and let me have it in the comments!