On Wearing Polka Dots

Thursday, April 30, 2009 0 comments
Polka dots - you probably either love 'em or hate 'em, but anyone can wear them. This perennial print has a tendency to look juvenile if not done right, though. Here are a few tips for wearing dots without looking too "dotty".

- Mix it up. This dress works because it uses two different sizes of dots. With this mix, the print avoids becoming overwhelming.
- Add solid color accessories. The solid black belt breaks up the dots and adds just the right touch. And guess where your eye is drawn? To your tiny waist.

- Smaller dots work better for dressier styles. The bow blouse at left would look silly in larger dots.
- Or break up polka dots with solids to tone it down. The green dotted dress would be far too much without the white vest worn over it.

- Wear dots in spring and summer. Somehow, polka dots just work better in warmer weather. They're bright and cheery and they send off a more casual vibe.
- Think color! Dots don't have to be white. Orange on purple works great for a casual summer shift. Pink on yellow makes a great swimsuit. Stick with two colors, though, to avoid looking clownish.

All fashions made from McCall's patterns in 1964.

Show & tell~

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 0 comments
This week I am showing off my new/old bear that I recently made-over. I wanted it to look just like....
this one being sold for $299.95.
Here is a before photo of the bear that I started out with...
The bear cost me $1...and the little dress was $1 as well. I saved myself hundreds of dollars! (not that I was going to buy that bear in the catalog) :-) Anywho, I snipped the bears fur off of its snout, ears and his paws with scissors so it looked very worn. Then I hit the ears with some watered down paint & a little smidge with my brown ink pad. I then cut off the protruding nose a little bit to make it more like the one in the catalog. I then stitched on a new felt nose. I also gave it a new mouth...and I covered up the dark felt pads on the paws with a camel colored wool fabric from a vintage coat. I am very happy with my new/old bear! Isn't she a sweetie~You can see more "Show & Tells" by visiting Kelli's blog, "There is no place like Home" If you have linked here and wish to view more of my blog you can click here~

1963 Vintage Swimsuits

Swimsuit fashions from 1963. All photos by Helmut Newton for Vogue.

Elisabeth Stewart two piece suit with cover-up in red, green, and blue nylon jersey. Sold for $20.00 (about $143.00 in today's dollar).

Peter Pan quilted cotton suit in deep turquoise. Sold for $24.00 (about $171.00 in today's dollar).

Maidenform two piece suit with a white top and pink bottoms. Both in cotton sharkskin with elastic shirring in the back. Sold for $16.00 (about $114.00 in today's dollar).

Roxanne black cotton suit with boy-cut shorts. The top has a high neckline in front that drops low in the back. Sold for $13.00 (about $93.00 in today's dollar).

Pirate season...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 0 comments
It is pirate season around here, I am working non-stop on all things "pirate" for the upcoming 2nd annual pirate party~ okokok--- I am including all the yard work I've been doing in preparation of the big 3 day event :-) I have been working on a few things "artsy" I found this fabulous teddy bear in a catalog that I LOVE...but the price of $299.95 made me chuckle. I mean come on.... for that price I had better be able to drive it around the block. Anywho, I am recreating a teddy bear to look just like this one pictured above.... I am also working on a pirate chest that is getting a makeover. I would like to post some photos off of my camera but my wonderful virus detecting thingie on my computer keeps taking the camera downloading program off of my computer lol

Ann Fleischer Silk Ribbon Fashions

Ann Fleischer designed exquisite dresses, suits, and ensembles from silk and rayon ribbon that was either crocheted, knitted, or woven completely by hand. The dress shown above, in an ad for Neiman Marcus, dates to 1955 and was handknit of silk organza ribbon. Saks Fifth Avenue offered a complete collection of Fleischer suits and dresses in 1964 which sold for $275.00 - $350.00 (about $1937.00 to $2500.00 in today's dollar). If Saks didn't have the color you wanted, you could have a suit or dress custom made for you. By the late 1960's Fleischer was offering men's ties.

Not labeled Fleischer, but still an excellent example of woven ribbonwork, this 1940's suit is available at Couture Allure for $135.00.

Vintage Train Travel 1941

Monday, April 27, 2009 0 comments
Cross-country train travel - it brings romantic images of club cars, sleeping berths, and travel at a less frantic pace. Of course, in 1941, one didn't wear jeans and t-shirts or sweats for travel. And you didn't go on vacation with just one carry-on bag. You traveled with a trunk or two of clothing, which were stowed in the baggage car. And you had at least one suitcase of clothing that you kept with you for your days on board the train. Those clothing items became the basis of your wardrobe at your destination. Here, two women board "The Chief" at Chicago's Dearborn Station en route to Palm Springs.

Lightweight wool top-coats are worn over co-ordinating wool dresses, all by Eisenberg. All 4 pieces can be mixed and matched with others in the ladies' travel wardrobes.

Grey silk shantung dress for dinner on the train and for less dressy evenings in Palm Springs by De Pinna.

A beige and white stripe cashmere suit for daytime leisure in the drawing rooms of the train.

In the Observation Car, the woman on the left wears a red Forstmann wool suit by De Pinna. The woman on the right wears a dress with matching jacket by Charles Armour.

In other news, Gladys of Gladys Tells All blog has bestowed upon me a Your Blog is Fabulous! award. Thank you so much, Gladys, and I'm so happy to have you among my faithful readers. And if you haven't had a good giggle today, go read Gladys' blog for a daily portion of mirth and memories.

I was lucky enough to be the winner of a Blog giveaway by Lizzie over at The Vintage Traveler. Lizzie offered the book "Signature Prints" on her blog a couple of weeks ago. The book arrived on Saturday and a quick flip through the pages reveals some wonderful dresses by Pucci, Leonard, Mr. Dino, and others from the late 1960's. I'll share some of them with you soon, and thank you Lizzie!

Vintage Roadshow - Links of the Week

Sunday, April 26, 2009 0 comments

Glamoursplash gives a brief history of 1950's swim cap glamour.

Here's Looking Like You, Kid says, "Maggie the cat is alive.".

Couture Allure looks at shoes from 1949 and readers share where to find modern reproductions.

New at Couture Allure - Vintage Dresses and Accessories

New this week at Couture Allure are a couple of wonderful 60's evening dresses from a recent estate as well as a few scarves and necklaces.

In the 50's and 60's, if you needed a party dress or an evening gown, you headed over to the Lillie Rubin store because that was their specialty. This early 1960's cocktail dress has dangling crystals on the beaded bodice that move when you do.

The next time you want to channel the drama of a 1940's Hollywood film noir starlet like Rita Hayworth or Barbara Stanwyck, you'll want to pull this dress from your closet. Velvet and crepe combined with a side drape at the hip give you all the allure you need.

Perfect for a summer formal event or even a bride, this early 1960's evening gown is fashioned of off-white cotton pique with a dramatic band of beading that curves under the bust.

Sparkling crystal rhinestones surround marquise shaped emerald rhinestones on this exquisite vintage 1950's necklace.

This vintage Burberrys silk scarf is one of several scarves we listed this week. Check out the rest here.

Weekend Eye Candy - 1946 Charles Montaigne Evening Gown

Saturday, April 25, 2009 0 comments
1946, charles montaigne, evening gownOctober 1946 - French designer Charles Montaigne fashions an evening gown from yards and yards of pink and lavender striped silk. Two criss-crossed swathes of fabric form the bodice, leaving a bare midriff at the center.

Two new chandeliers~

Friday, April 24, 2009 0 comments
There is a Frugal Friday Linky party over at "The Shabby Nest" and Jen is hosting her monthly "make-over" open house party. Who can resist a good party right? I always appreciate it... it is like a little flame under my butt to get me to actually complete a project! I am soooooooooo hooked on finishing projects!! The blog "Hooked on Houses" is hosting a "Hooked on Fridays" linkie to share what your currently hooked on... good-night, what aren't I hooked on? lol The Inspired room is also hosting a party!! Anywho~ Here is my make-over. I used this one chandelier that I picked up this past Saturday for $5 bucks!! (blogged about here)......
I took it apart and made two matching chandeliers! I've made a tutorial on how I made them. If you are interested in seeing how I did this.... click here!

Chandelier tutorial


I was wanting/needing two small chandeliers to hang from my two gazebos in my backyard for a upcoming party...so whats a girl to do but make them herself~ I was extremely lucky to pick up this large chandelier at a tag sale for $5 bucks (seen in the before photo) The after photo shows just one of the two chandeliers I've made....not to bad if I do say so myself! Anywho.... here is how I did it if anyone is wanting to make their own chandelier.

Firstly, your needing crystals from a thrifted chandelier... or you could use those long strings of beaded garlands that are so popular around Christmas time. I could imagine this made with white pearls...hmmm, now I'm wanting one of those! I pulled off all of the crystals from this chandelier.....then I took the brass frame outside and started pounding apart the rings with the predrilled holes in them that I wanted to reuse on my two new chandeliers. Here are those parts shown below. I cut open the old metal circles so that I could make them smaller. I simply wrapped wire to secure the ends together to keep the new/smaller circle shapes.I also used 3 metal rings to use as the part of the structure to hang the crystals from. I used a total of 5 circles, 3 store bought and 2 made from reused parts from the old chandelier. (If your not reusing parts from a thrifted chandelier your going to purchase more of the metal rings to create your chandelier) I picked these metal rings up at Joanns fabrics. I imagine all craft stores would sell these. The large one which is 10" was only about $2 bucks, the 5" was about $1.50 and the 3" was .50cents. Your also needing some wire. I just pulled from my wire stash-- the nice silver wire pictured below is 26 gauge and the large messy bundle of wire I have no idea what gauge it is.... but it is slightly thicker than the 26 gauge. Now...lets start having some fun shall we?I've never made anything like this before, I'm just winging it, keep that in mind lol~ I used a wooden skewer and wrapped the thicker of the two wires around that... I pushed the wire close together on the skewer so that the loops would be the same size in diameter once I pulled it off.Next, I pulled off the wire from the skewer and started to flatten the wire so that it would be one long wavy piece of wire. I then attached the wire with tape to the round metal circle temporarily while working to attach it permanetly with wire. I used the 26 gauge wire to attach the thicker wire to the ring by going around the entire thing catching the wire next to the metal ring and just pulling it tight. Easy-peasy. When I had went around the ring back to where I started, I just wrapped the wire several times around to secure it. I did this to all 3 rings. Next, I painted the 3 rings with some gold metallic paint. I like the Krylon brand, it dries in 15 minutes or less~Here is the bottom of the chandelier I made (it is shown upside down so you can see the different heights I've created) To attach each circle to the larger circle I used wire that I simply wrapped around each ring trying my best to keep the circles centered each time I did this. The very bottom circle of my chandelier I was wanting to hang down a little bit more than the rest...so I just lengthened the wire and attached it about 2 inches lower than the rest (below, it is pictured upside down)Here is what is going to be the top of my chandelier. You can see the 4 pieces of wire that attaches the smaller inside circle to the larger outside circle... then I spray painted it all with the Krylon gold paint. I then divided the crystals from my thrifted chandelier into two piles. I had to stop and wash the crystals as they were pretty filthy! Once dried I had a fun time adding them to the rings to create my two new chandeliers. You can see in this photo below the top and bottom of the new chandelier starting to take form. I attached the top circle to the bottom circle only with the strands of crystals. This is being created so it will be able to collapse somewhat flat as these are only going to be used once a year for my yearly pirate party and then stored for the rest of the year! (the green wire is only being used temporarily while the chandelier is being created) I kept adding crystals spacing them somewhat evenly as the wire loops would allow me to lol.... then I added some crystals into the reused predrilled metal pieces that I bent into smaller circles. Thats it....easy-peasy! Here is a close up photo showing the chandelier all finished.
Here is another view...
I am going to add this light fixture (below) that is normally used in paper lanterns for the light source for my two new chandeliers. Thats it...I hope you try it. Remember, you could use those beaded garlands as well!

Vintage Co-ordinates by Bobbie Brooks

Bobbie Brooks - almost everyone remembers that name. The company started as Ritmore Sportswear in 1939 in Cleveland, OH. Maurice Saltzman and Max Reiter took a $3000.00 investment and built a women's apparel business worth several million dollars over the next 15 years. In 1953, Salzman bought out Reiter's share in the business for $1 million and changed the name to Bobbie Brooks.

Bobbie Brooks produced co-ordinating stylish garments for the teen and junior market, and expanded into women's wear later. In 1959, the company became the first women's garment manufacturer to be listed on the NYSE. By the 1960's, Bobbie Brooks was one of the top 5 clothing manufacturers in the US with 15 factories producing 18,000,000 garments a year.

Here is an example of the genious of the Bobbie Brooks company. From 1955, 7 basic garments with enough style and panache to take a gal anywhere she wants to go. Mix and match them to your heart's content, add a couple of extra tops in colors, and you've got a wardrobe to last all summer. There are more ways to mix these pieces than I can count, but my favorite would be to wear the white blouse with the capri pants and the 3/4 sleeve jacket worn open over the blouse.

The sleeveless white blouse sold for $4.00 (about $33.00 in today's dollar).
The swing skirt sold for $6.00 (about $49.00 in today's dollar).
The hat sold for $2.00 (about $16.00 in today's dollar).
The 3/4 sleeve jacket sold for $6.00 (about $49.00 in today's dollar).
The walking shorts sold for $5.00 (about $41.00 in today's dollar).

The short shorts sold for $4.00 (about $33.00 in today's dollar).
The cuffed capri pants sold for $6.00 (about $49.00 in today's dollar).

How would you mix these pieces to make a favorite outfit?

Vouge baby~

Thursday, April 23, 2009 0 comments
Ok Chloe...strike a pose.... hold it-- hold it.... show a little leg.... perfect!Ok, now howza'bout some Angelina Jolie lips....Work those pouty lips girl.... work it-- work it.

Bad kitty~

tisk......tisk....tisk.... oh don't you give me that look!oh go to sleep you knuckle head~