Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Vintage Detail: Red Silk Dress c. 1960

This dress is fully lined. The hem appears to have been shortened. All beaded has been sewn by hand around the neckline and wrists of the long sleeves. The waistline has piping to match. Small hooks and thread loops are sewn at the neckline and waist of the center back metal zipper.

click on the photos to enlarge themr

Friday, August 26, 2011

Featuring a 1970's Dress, "Jerry Silverman" label


The designer label "Jerry Silverman" showcased wrap dresses during the 1970's that were trimmed with UltraSuede. This deep peacock blue matte jersey wrap dress has UltraSuede used in the yoke, at the hip, shoulders and collar. The drapey matte jersey is shown in a Halston-style bodice. This dress has a distinctive look that is higher in quality than most of the 1970 jerseys we see today.

Style details:
Ultra Suede
scluptured hip yoke with mock buckle
banded wrap front and collar
rounded shoulder yoke
rounded wrist cuffs with hook closure

matte jersey
gathers around the shoulder yoke
gathers around the hip yoke (skirt is nearly a half circle)
- dress is unlined, and is meant to have a draped bodice

About Jerry Silverman

It's interesting to note that Jerry Silverman began his career as a Harvard trained New York lawyer in 1933. He made a career switch to fashion in 1938, working for "Martini Designer" and becoming an owner before joining the military in WWII. After the war in 1946 he met his future business partner, Shannon Rodgers, a former Hollywood costume designer. Together they formed "Jerry Silverman" in 1959. Rodgers was the designer for this new venture of high end women's fashion. A dynamic team, they attended the couture shows in Paris to keep on up with current trends. Their dresses were popular with first ladies of the day, along with countless New York wives. The "Jerry Silverman" label was later bought by Warnaco, yet Silverman continued to be still involved. Silverman and Rodgers were active in promoting American design and supported fashion education, donating their huge historical fashion collection to Kent State.

Ultrasuede, early 1970’s

Probably the most important fashion textile development of the 1970’s was Ultrasuede, by Dr. Okamoto at Toray in 1970. This was the first mircrofiber, an ultra fine fiber that would continue in development as it produced softer fabrics. Ultrasuede was an expensive washable alternative to suede, and became popular in higher priced fashion during the decade of the 1970's. Designers such as Halston would make this a fashionable textile, using it in his shirt dresses and jackets.

Find more information on this designing duo HERE.

Find this lovely dress HERE.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Asher Fabrics: Couture Fashion, 1958

Ascher, London has posted five couture fashion portfolios from 1958. These scrapbooks with photos showcase designs using the original textiles by Zika Ascher, including mohair fabrics that Ascher was developing. It is wonderful to look through each collection. They captures the couture look from that year so well.

Also on this site is a gorgeous gallery of Ascher Scarves from the mid-1940's that were designed by known artists of the day.

Ascher Fabric Couture Collections, 1958

Haute Couture, Paris: Spring and Winter

Haute Couture, London: Winter

Alta Moda, Florence: Spring and Winter
De Luca

(a special thanks to BonBon Atelier for reminding me of this collection)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Vintage Simplicity Sewing Patterns: 1958

Vintage sewing patterns are a great resource to have. Whether I am trying to date a dress, or looking for new ideas, I just can get enough of them!

Mena Trott of Sew Weekly recently found a Simplicity 1958 pattern book. She has posted page after page on flickr for all of us to see. It's great fun to view these, and what's even better, the back views are there too. How often do we need to get those details and they aren't available? I think you'll enjoy this new resource, and if you're unfamiliar with Sew Weekly you may want to check that out too.

(the Simplicity pattern shown in this post is from my own collection)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sewing Vintage Fashion: Vogue Patterns, April 1960

vintage vogue 9967
vintage vogue 9967
Vogue 9967. Blue eyelet, embroidered with dots, great full sleeves on fitted shirt waist dress

vintage vogue 9991
vintage vogue 9991
Vogue 9991. Floral border on cotton with matching stole wrap, sleeveless bodice with deep "V" back

vintage vogue 4104
vintage vogue 4104
Vogue 4101. Small kimono sleeve bodice with 3.5 yards wide gathered skirt in mauve ribbed cotton

These three vintage Vogue patterns are all sewn in cottons. They appear in "Ladies Home Journal", April 1960 (the Kim Novak cover is so sadly damaged I couldn't include a photo for you). It is interesting to note how easy the dresses would be to sew. The seam lines are classic, so that they might be duplicated today using patterns available.

The slides below show some current sewing patterns from Vogue, Butterick and McCall's that I found online. These could provide the basic garment to work from. Gathered skirts are not common in today's patterns, so that style would need to be improvised (easy stuff to do).

A kimono sleeve bodice is not common today, but there is one vintage styled pattern from Butterick that is similar. This pattern also has a "V" back (remove the bow). Small cap sleeves will also get the 'look'. When sewing a "V" back, that diagonal cut seam will need to be stabilized with twill tape, a strip of interfacing or elastic. That way it won't gap or fall off the shoulders.

The fitted top with deep "V" back on the blue floral dress is very simple. When cutting a "V" back neckline, be sure that the front neckline stays high enough to keep the shoulders in place. If the front is also low cut, the shoulders slip down easily. Dressmakers would add little snaps inside that neckline so the bra strap could be fastened to the shoulder, keeping it in place.

Basic fit patterns are great for classic bodices such as this one. For the vintage sewist, this type of pattern is essential to own. It can be used for many styles once a true fit has been made. All three pattern companies carry a version of this pattern.

An alternative to simple darts is the princess bodice. Those vertical seam lines make for a better fit on curvy bodices. I show a princess pattern for each style.

This full skirted shirt dress with puffed sleeves can be duplicated in two ways: as a dress or as a blouse with gathered skirt (an easier fit for most). Those great gathered sleeves are probably easier to locate in a 1980's pattern, since current sleeves have a slender upper arm. I found a few blouses that might make a fitted bodice, and two have fuller sleeves.