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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

· Sisters, Sisters... ·

Oh boy, this was a fun photoshoot!! When my grandma's twin sister passed away a few years ago, we came across lots of old photos that I'd never seen before. (you can see a post here) They grew up in the 1940s and 50s and really did dress identically almost every day!  My younger sister and I are not super close in age, but as we were growing up I always had a fondness for matching dresses and roped her into it whenever I could!  When I saw all the twin photos I knew I wanted to do a recreation of at least one. :-)

One of my favorite photos of Grandma and Aunt Daisy was this newspaper clipping- a candid photo when they were out shopping in town one day in 1948.  When we saw we already owned a strikingly similar compact, the idea was clinched- I knew this was the photo we needed to recreate.  Since my sister and I both dress in vintage styles on a daily basis, I tried to keep the styling as natural as possible- the focus was less on an exact recreation and more on an accurate representation of our daily attire.

The photo has been many years in the making- first we needed trench coats, then we needed to coordinate schedules between both of us and our trusty-yet-inconveniently-out-of town photographer.  Added to that- my sister went through an extended period of chronic illness which put the entire project on hold for a couple years.

All the planets finally aligned this year and I couldn't be happier with how well they turned out!  A rather nice recreation, but even more special- some wonderful sister photos to document our friendship. <3

· Photos by Kathryn Grace Photography ·

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

· May Flowers ·

I don't know about you, but I'm hearing the siren call of fresh pastels loud and clear this spring!  This outfit ticks all those boxes and puts me in the perfect spring mood!

I shared this skirt on the blog before, but I've had a few additions to my "true vintage" wardrobe since then that I wanted to share! :-)

This cardigan was a purchase at a vintage store several years ago and I love it!  It's such a simple style, but so quintessentially 1950s and comfortable to wear.

The dickey was a great find at an antique store last spring- one of my favorite booths was going out of business (boohoo!), but everything was 50% off of the already wonderful prices.  I ended up getting out the door with a bunch of things that I never knew I was in dire need of... but really, when it's right there and affordable, how can you say no? And thus begins the hoarding....

I've had fun layering the dickey with several sweaters in my wardrobe and it works particularly well with this one!  I find it amusing how many comments I receive along the lines of, "what a beautiful blouse! you shouldn't cover it up with a sweater!".  Heehee, well, what you see is what you get with this one- there's really not much more to it!

The dickey is made from a cotton organdy and is embellished with lace appliques and accented with mini buttons.  Super achievable, but very effective!

This skirt has become a nice addition to my warm-weather wardrobe and I'm so glad for more separates to wear with it!

Does anybody have a source for lightweight/finely knit fabric and binding like this? I have a few pieces of vintage knitwear that are super simple and they would be satisfying projects to whip up if I could source the right materials!

The couple pairs of shoes I've purchased from Hotter have been well worth the investment!  Hotter has many vintage-inspired styles PLUS an emphasis on comfort.  Padded insoles? Yes please! ;-)  They also run excellent sales and have nice discounts on clearance items.

· Lovely photos, as ever, by Kathyn Grace Photography! ·

Monday, April 30, 2018

· April Showers ·

For our trip to Europe a few years ago, I knew I'd need a lightweight water-resistant coat.  I toyed with the idea of making my own, but the fabric I found online ended up being totally not what I expected- either in color or content!  I ditched that idea and turned to Etsy- I ended up finding this coat which is maybe not my first idea but it's turned into an essential part of my outerwear wardrobe!

It's a London Fog trench coat (from maybe the 1970s?) with classic styling that helps keep it timeless!

This April was unseasonably cold for us and we actually had more *snow* showers than rain showers, so I got more use from my wool coats than this one! Now that it's the last day of the month, we are finally settled into glorious spring weather and my! does it ever feel glorious!

What do you do for water-resistant outerwear?  I'm always up for recommendations for another coat- maybe next time with less structured, military styling and with a hood!

· Photos by Kathryn Grace Photography ·

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

· Keeping it Quiet ·

This outfit is quite a bit more subdued and quiet than my normal, but I love the play between brown and black and honestly, I'm surprised by how much I like wearing dark colors!  I've noticed this mood coming around every fall/winter and I've started sewing some things to accommodate it.  I used to scoff at the idea of wearing lots of black... now I'm starting to understand the allure!

I've always loved Simplicity 3673 and I made the flared skirt view several years back. This time around, I was looking for a more tailored secretarial look and we had just enough of this thick wool suiting left for a classic neutral jumper.

This project turned into such a warm, cozy outfit and I really do love this pattern!  It might be a bit over-represented in the vintage sewing community, but I think it's got enough redeeming qualities to earn its place as a classic. I really like the empire waist accented with the band, and a boat neck is universally flattering! The faux bow at the front is finished off with a vintage buckle.

This vintage double-strand necklace dresses up the outfit a little more than maybe it deserves- this jumper is so warm and cozy that it makes me feel like I'm wearing a vintage-styled, office-appropriate version of sweatpants.

Granted, it's been a loooong time since I've worn sweatpants.... so this notion is just a bit suspect. ;-)  The fact remains that it makes me feel like settling in with a good book!

More shoe clips! I feel like Marilyns are perfectly suited to shoe clips and I got both this set and my buckle pair at an antique mall last summer.  I'd never specifically looked for them before, but this makes me want to go on a little online shopping spree for more additions!

This vintage purse has become my standby- it's sturdy and it's just the right shape to hold massive amounts of things very efficiently so it doesn't look bulky!  Gum, sewing kit, tape measure, pad of paper, wallet, checkbook, pillbox, mirror, 4 colors of lipstick... you know, just the essentials. ;-)

Plus the black/brown combo makes it an ideal match with this ensemble!

· Photos by Kathryn ·

Saturday, March 24, 2018

· Effortlessly Chic ·

We're having one last blast of winter weather and this seems like the ideal time to share my latest, greatest thrift store find!  Whenever I wear this coat, I feel like I'm a model in some 1950s ad and like I should probably be hanging out in Paris or somewhere else super cool.  Consequently, I try to wear this coat as much as possible.

I went thrifting with a friend at the best charity shop around- the prices are rock bottom and there are always vintage knick-knacks to call our names... This time I got preferrential treatment and was ushered into the secret inner sanctum storage room- since I was wearing vintage styles, the woman working behind the counter knew that I'd appreciate some of the coats they currently had in storage.  I ended up coming away with several and since then, I've added a few more to my rapidly-expanding collection.  One can never have too many vintage coats, right?

I really like cold weather anyway, but now every autumn I start itching for temperatures low enough to break out my collection of vintage outerwear.  This coat quickly became one of my standbys and it's just perfect for the commute to work.  The style is not as suited for bitter, windy days... but that's what I have a complete coat wardrobe for- options. ;-)

The coat is made from a soft thick wool felt, unlined.  The scarf is attached at the back of the neck and its exact purpose is a bit open to interpretation, but I am fond of the styling shown.  The coat closes with just one button- and a giant one at that!

The construction is very simple, with a few details that make it stand out.  I love this aspect of vintage clothing- I can tend to overthink all of my own projects, but it's a good reminder that sometimes less is more!  The loose swing style is versatile for layering over full or narrow skirts and is so cozy to wrap up in!

The back is angled and overlapped at the back. The sleeves are a gentle bell shape and have a slit with rounded edges.

The pockets are accessed through slits in the front of the coat and just "float" on the inside without being attached to seams- ingenious!

This hat is one of my all-time favorites!  Delightfully quirky and flattering to a variety of hairstyles!

Overall, this coat just makes me feel super chic. And what's not to love about that??

Shoes- Marilyn by Royal Vintage
· Photos by Kathryn! ·

Saturday, March 10, 2018

· Checking It Off The List ·

I am SO excited about sharing this dress!  Check out this fabric- isn't it the most adorable ever??  What's not to love about a dress covered in checklists, right? The moment I saw this fabric line (Five and Dime) from Penny Rose fabrics, I knew I had to jump on the chance to make a work dress out of this ever-so-motivating print.  I mean, with a dress full of checkboxes and checkmarks, how can you not stay motivated all day long??  Coincidentally, my job just so happens to involve using lots of checkmarks as well, so it really couldn't be more appropriate!

I found the pattern for this dress at an antique mall somewhere along the line and it seemed like a great fit for this fabric- streamlined, but with a few details to set it apart. I can never keep things simple, so I took the opportunity to highlight the details with a narrow piping.

It also pairs rather nicely with my vintage black wool sweater, so it works for cooler weather too!

I was a little hesitant to use a cotton print for a sheath dress, but I wear a linen slip under it and I've never had any complaints about the way it behaves- yay! Penny Rose is also a nice-quality fabric, so I can rest assured that the dress will wear well and remain professional-looking for a long time.  Penny Rose very generously gifted me the fabric and I'm so grateful!  All opinions are still my own. :-) 

The dress buttons all the way up the side of the dress and that was one of my favorite elements of the design!  I'm so glad I ended up finding these buttons that can do such justice to the idea!

While I was in the production process of this dress, I visited a friend down in Dallas and we stopped by Dallas Button Supply in the warehouse district. Thousands of buttons! SO. MANY. BUTTONS.  I was glad I had very definite parameters because otherwise I never would have decided.....  I ended up with exactly what I was hoping for AND at wholesale prices!

One of my perennial favorite colors is green, but it's a rather uncommon color for fabrics. I had to jump on the chance to add a completely green dress to my wardrobe!

This dress checks every box for me (pun not intended)  (wait, who are we kidding? that pun was totally intended.) - it's appropriately quirky, vintage, and green!  Hard to get much better than that!

I finally, finally, finally took the plunge and ordered my own pair of Marilyns from Royal Vintage!  A perk of having an office job is that I now have an excuse for wearing cute heels 5 days a week and consequently.... I can justify buying more pairs! The shape of the Marilyns is a flattering, classic style that works well from the 1940s into the 1950s and since they come without extra embellishment they were the perfect candidate for these fabulous vintage shoe clips that I got for my birthday!  I love them so much and they add such a fun detail!

(link contains an affiliate code- which gives a little boost to my shoe fund! thanks!)

The final detail to this dress is the asymmetrical pocket. Between the cute pocket flap and the pointed collar, I knew I'd need to accent them so they didn't get lost in the printed fabric, and the narrow piping was just the trick!

· Photos, as ever, by the inimitable Kathryn! ·

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