Saturday, September 29, 2012

Hedy's Turban Tutorial

Welcome to my very first tutorial!
Well, it's kind of a pattern too - even better, right?

I'm a total rock star at tying scarves into turbans, and I have a lot of turban-style '40s hats, so I always figured my turban needs were fulfilled.... and then I saw this clip of Hedy Lamarr & Jimmy Stewart in Come Live With Me.  (Which, I confess I must see. Hedy and Jimmy?! I might explode.)

Turns out, I needed this kind of turban in my life. I mean really, if only to reenact that scene. Ahhhh!

So I made my own version. It's slightly different, it has gathering & ties at the top, but I think this one is actually much more flattering. I mean after all, not everyone is Hedy Lamarr, amiright?

First off: here is the pattern!

- The top is folded, so your fabric should look like this, but doubled into a mirror image. 
- The seam on the left can either be hand- or machine-stitched, and will result in a seam that travels over the back of your head.
- I've been finishing my edges by rolling them over & top-stitching, but I've also lazily made a few out of old t-shirts & other non-fraying material that didn't even need to be edged!

So if you ignore finishing your edges, there are basically only two things to sew on this endeavor - the 11" seam on the left, and the gathering of the top. 

Once you've sewn that 11" seam, all you have to do is gather the two top corners, and loop the little strip through it! I roll the strip so the raw edges are hidden, hand-stitch it so the loop is a desirable width, and make sure the stitches are hidden on the underside. A 5" strip is way too long, so I usually end up trimming the ends off. But I start there, for better safe than sorry!

So once you finish the dang thing, it's pretty simple to tie:

Drape over your head, so the gathering is at your bangs & the seam travels back towards the nape of your neck.

Crisscross the tails in the back & bring them up to the front, like so.

Take each tail, and pull them each through the convenient loop... 

Tie the ends into a knot, and tuck the ends under.


Serious apologies for not having... me... in this post. Somebody has a cold right now, and regardless of how many photos I attempted to take, I ended up looking flushed, red about the nose & tired around the eyes. Stupid body!

Here's some ideas for wear/variation:
1. Sometimes, I take another scarf (or something) and hide it under there, just to give it a bit more height.
2. Instead of folding the material at the top, you could create another seam & use a contrasting material. Cuuuute!
3. Extend the length of the tails, allowing you to tie big, adorable bows.
4. You can sweep contrasting scarves or ribbons through the loop, and tie large contrasting bows, just for funsies.
 5. Instead of a fabric loop, use a brooch to gather the top together. Extra sparkle, and less effort!

I'm sure there are plenty of other options, so feel free to suggest more variations!!

Please message me if you have any questions. I'm hoping my how-to was clear, but you never know... don't hesitate to ask!


Monday, September 24, 2012

Fresh Plans & Crisp Coats

Hello to all my lovely followers!

Well, it's officially Fall! Huzzah! I'm feeling great & am super looking forward to some life changes coming up here. I've been seeing a lot of "Autumn goals" posts on other people's blogs, and it really got me thinking about what my own goals are.

Honestly, I've been feeling a bit lazy, uninspired, and just... stagnant lately. I really needed a big slap in the face, but sometimes it's hard to muster motivation. Especially when I'm feeling a bit low. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way sometimes. What do you all do to snap yourself out of a funk? I needed a big change. So here's what I'm doing - working more (because I'm certifiably insane), and moving into a new place!

I don't get to move in til the end of October, but I'm really looking forward to it. I'll have a roommate again! I'll live a little "further out" if you will, but the rent will be much, much cheaper & I'm hoping it'll force me to stay at home a little more often. This is what I want: finish more projects (even if it's just mending!), read more books, be more proactive about saving money. I can do this! What are your guys' Fall goals?

Anyways, enough of my rambling. Onto what you are actually here for;)

This is a pretty standard "everyday" outfit for me, and I've been wearing this coat a lot lately.
It's just the perfect it's-slightly-chilly-but-not-really coat. And I absolutely adore the tailoring of the shoulders. It creates the perfect strong '40s shoulders, no shoulder pads necessary!

Those bows are actually shoe clips, not dress clips. The canvas WWII-era shoes they came on finally encountered their true death. I literally danced them to the ground. As in, they crumbled on a dance floor... but at least they went out with a bang! (Although... that was not a fun walk home.) In any case, I wanted to find a new use for these lil bows. I'm into it.

Want to see the best part about this coat?

Chartreuse rayon, with horses, roosters, doves & trees.
(Novelty print nerd alert.)

I have a hunch the coat originally had a matching dress, made of the same material as the lining. I bet it was a devastating set. A girl can only dream.

I've been wearing this hat a lot lately as well. The front is covered in wool curls & it seems to effortlessly pair well with everything. It's striking, and yet totally low-maintenance.

Last but not least, I wanted to share some recent photo booth pictures with ya'll. They were taken on a later date, but they are wonderful. I wish I always looked like this...yikes!

Welp, that's all for today! I hope you all are doing well & feeling fabulous!

1940s coat: Le Frock
1940s hat, 1930s necklaces, fox fur: antique stores
1940s purse: Red Light

All photos (excluding the last ones, of course) courtesy of Irene Wang (of Heirloom Attire)

Monday, September 17, 2012


I buy the local newspaper almost every day... And I literally never read the news.
So why on earth would I buy the paper every day? Easy: the crosswords, and the obituaries.

I started reading the obits because they are printed right next to the puzzles... and now I'm hooked. They offer such a personal glimpse into the lives people led, it's completely fascinating. And touching, and mysterious, and sad. But sometimes, downright adorable. Of course, my favorites tend to be ones with pictures of young women back in the day. Lately, I've been cutting these out & saving them - but perhaps they are too good to keep to myself. 

Here are my favorites from the past couple weeks, I hope you appreciate them too!

This plucked at my heart strings, for sure.

What an absolute doll! She sounds like she was a lovely & fascinating person, this makes me wish I could've known her. An antique collecting, traveling, animal loving, sandwich-making mother of nine kids? Oh man! And I love that they used both pictures - it goes to show you that true beauty is ageless.

Last, but not least. This lady is way too cute! I bet her & her "handsome young Air Force Pilot" were a knock out couple, it would be such a delight to see pictures of them together when they were young. My thoughts are definitely with her family this week!


What do you guys think? 
I'll keep squirreling these away regardless, because I'm a total weirdo. 
Would you like me to keep sharing?


Friday, September 14, 2012

Victorian Revivals

Hello lovelies! Outfit time!
Basically, going for a 1930s Victorian Revival look here - I blame the cameo necklace.

I suppose this is mostly a 1930s ensemble - dress, bakelite, monkey muff. Then again, perhaps some of the bangles are '40s. And the bra. And the shoes are probably Edwardian. In any case... mainly 1930s.

I usually wear this out at night, but for once I happened to be wearing it before nightfall, woohoo! It's not even that I think it's too dressy for day wear.... because I'm often overdressed. But I'll be overdressed while like, scrounging around the floor at work/home (for whatever reason). So maxis aren't exactly a go-to, ya know?

Oh yeah, and this dress gives me even more curves.

Sometimes it's funny seeing myself in pictures, it gives me a different perspective of how I actually look... Like right now I'm thinking HOLY CRAP, that is such a pointy bra! (And now it's my favorite, lol.)

Good grief, I need to dye my hair sooo bad, but keep putting it off. Too busy, with a splash of laziness.

'30s Victorian Revival celluloid & bakelite cameo necklace = <3!

Any guesses on how old these boots are? I'm holding out a broad umbrella of "Edwardian"... but obviously this isn't my area of expertise! Regardless, these are extra comfy & a complete classic.

Bird bangle! *Squee!*

Last but not least, a little monkey fur action. I looove monkey fur. If I could just creepily drape myself in it, a la Gloria Swanson, I totally would. More realistically - yet still ridiculously - I just have this muff & a matching cape. You'll meet my cape eventually, I'm sure.

Okie dokie, that's enough for one day, I hope you all have an extra fabulous weekend!


1930s lace gown: Lucky Vintage
Boots, bakelite bangles & necklace: Antique Stores
Monkey muff & bakelite earrings: Red Light
Black bangle: Rhinestone Rosie

All photos courtesy of Irene Wang (of Heirloom Attire)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pastel Pretties

Hooray, it's September! Which means it's almost Fall - my *favorite* season! It starts out sunny & strangely hot, and results in warm blankets & cloudy days. Best of both worlds!

I hate to say it, but I've been really missing cold, rainy weather. I know in a few months, I'll regret that statement, but for now.... I can't even remember the last time it rained. I'm looking forward to the first downpour, when the air reeks of fresh rain & all the dirt of Summer gets washed away. Plus, I've been dreaming of coats, fur, layering, galoshes, umbrellas, warm wool hats... !!!!

But for now, I'll embrace the remaining remnants of sunshine. I mean after all, I won't be able to wear this sheer '40s dress in Winter, right?

I don't know if this dress will see another Summer. It's on its last legs, to say the least. Granted, it was found on a sale rack, accompanied by rust stains & a few holes. But hey - the price was right (aka dirt cheap), and the print is still quite spectacular!

Speaking of last legs.... these '30s-'40s (?) canvas oxfords need a new paint job! 
Originally, I was just going to paint them cream again, but that is a bit boring.
Ideas: sage green, mustard yellow, burgundy, dusty rose? I could get contrasting laces, or even mask off the net part & make them two many possibilities!

What do you think?

I bought this early '40s tilt hat on a recent trip home to Vancouver, WA. Despite the fact that it's a little uh... pastel?...for me, I went for it. Mainly for one silly reason: it has a label for a store in Vancouver, and that is adorable. Hometown pride? Sure.

My great, great aunt's Victorian gold & carved coral cameo ring. So tiny & detailed! 

Oh... and one more, for the road<3


1940s shabby, but wonderful dress - sale rack at Lucky Vintage
1930s-40s oxfords - Red Light - (Ok, so if anyone has an opinion on how old these are, let me know! The shape reads late '30s to me, but the lack of leather screams WWII ration. Help!)
1940s hat: Urban Eccentric, Vancouver WA
Victorian ring: family!

All photos courtesy of Irene Wang (of Heirloom Attire)