Wednesday, July 20, 2011

1930's: On the Beach

30s beach
On the beach in the early 1930's. Staying cool in style!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

1950's Summer Pool and Play Set

1950s fashion

1950s play suit
When sewing vintage fashion styles, sometimes you have to copy an idea, rather than use a pattern. This Simplicity sewing pattern from the 1950's has a classic detachable skirt worn over a short playsuit. The wrapped bodice seems strongly influenced by Claire McCardell and other American designers who were creating styles with an Indian sari influence. The jumpsuit image shows how the edge of a sari could be used to create a dramatic diagonal on the one shoulder top.

For a sewing project, this outfit is worth taking a second look, especially for the wrapped neckline which can be made with or without the second shoulder panel. The easy to sew gathered skirt is accented by a detachable cummerbund. The skirt fastens in front and it acts as a cover-up for going indoors at the country club.

The back of the pattern shows how the pieces are cut. Even though this pattern is no longer available, it is possible to re-create the same look with a gathered skirt over a jumpsuit or shorts and halter top.

The original pattern seems to be Simplicity 7605, however with the torn edge I can't be sure. Currently Butterick 6582 has a similar wrapped bodice that could be used for the top and Vogue 1003 has a basic pant pattern that could be good place to start the shorts.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

1930's Bridal Bias Cut Gowns

flapper bride

flapper weddingDuring the 1920's and 1930's, flapper brides had real style. Wedding looks broke away from the rigid silhouettes of the previous generation because these were modern girls with a new point of view. The first bride shown here dates from 1930 and wears a 'Juliet' inspired gown. It has an empire raised waistline with short puffed sleeves that have long fitted lace arms. This bias cut gown has a long fitted body with flared hemline in a silhouette will become very popular in the years that followed.

flapper brideVeils were a dominant look coming down the aisle. This bride is also from the early 1930's and shows that to be wrapped in a haze of netting can create an air of mystery we don't see often in current bridal looks today. Seen through the gauze, we can see her soft leg-o-mutton sleeves and draped cowl neckline. I bet there is a row of covered buttons down the back of this bodice. Her flared hemline is sewn to the fitted gown at about knee level, creating a long train behind her.

1930's bride The third bride dates from a bit later in the decade. Her dress is a classic bias cut, with a softly flowing wide flared hemline that the photographer will manipulate into a swirl of fabric at her feet. Again, the veil plays an important part in the overall silhouette of the bridal ensemble.

As you look at these, don't miss the men's attire. Wouldn't it be lovely if fathers, attendants and grooms once again wore morning coats to daytime weddings? The longer, tapered coat is so elegant, and it creates a wonderful look to the bridal party 'scene'.