Saturday, June 29, 2013

Smart & Young Knits, 1940

Hello darlings! It's finally hot in Seattle.... aaand I'm melting. 
The grass is always greener, yeah? So here I am - drooling over these knitwears from a December 22, 1940 Life magazine. But really, regardless of the time of year, these are tip top. Besides, I think I have some Australian followers out there too. Bam! Justified.

The Smart and the Young Knit Sweaters Like These
That knitting has now become the pastime of the smart and young is conclusively proved by the sweaters pictured on these pages. 
When only spinsters and grandmothers knitted, whether for themselves or for their young, the output was mostly functional and bulky. Now with college girls, debutantes, career women and even Elsie the Borden Cow all taking to knitting, needlework shops and yarn manufacturers have put new pep and zip in their yarns and instructions. The results may make grandma blush but they have created a boom in the yarn industry.
Knitting, a pursuit that looks extremely complicated to the uninitiated, can be and frequently is mastered even by nitwits. Novices usually start with simple sweaters like the white one worn by the model above. Any of the sweaters on this page can be finished in from 12 to 36 hours actual knitting time. For those eager to try their hand at duplicating any of these garments, knitting instructions are available.
 This checkerboard sweater is a "jiffy knit", and can be made in 12 hours

This pullover made with trick stitch has different pattern on underside

 Midriff sweater consists of two pieces held together by center tab

Boucle wool, silver thread, are knitted together in this evening sweater

Duplicate stitch is used to make the inititals on this cardigan

 In 24 - 36 hours this deep v evening sweater can be finished

Skating outfit has brief pants, pullover top, cap done in mock cable stitch, takes eight skeins of Shetlandown for top, seven for pants, and can be knit in 22 hours.

Lumberjack is made of 2-ply heavy zephyr wool in stockinette stitch with large wooden needles. it requires 10 skeins, costs about $6, and can be finished in nine hours

I love them all... I really can't even pick a favorite. What about you, can you pick just one?

On an unrelated-to-this-article note, I have to also share the cover of this issue. The story related to the cover was pretty boring, but AHHHH THE CLOTHES! We know I'm super obsessed with 40s clothes that look like they could be 80s clothes, and this is the creme de la creme of 40s does 80s.

I may or may not have pulled it off the magazine rack while repeatedly (and probably loudly) going "AHHHHHH! AHHHHHH!"

Are you freaking kidding me?! Her gloves, those furry buttons, the military inspired blazer, the chain necklace, the hat, the pageboy hair = I'm dead now. Not to mention her beau's outfit, with the contrasting zigzag & houndstooth prints... *headdesk*

Oh geez, now I'm all riled up. Thanks for (possibly reading) all the enthusiasm.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Blue Sunshine

Hooray it's finally summer! Of course that means it's kinda still raining here, thanks Seattle. In any case, these were taken when it was pretty-ish outside, and I was feeling summery. As I mentioned before, I'm reaaally trying to wear more colors these days. This is so bright & girlie, it makes the goth girl in me feel uncomfortable.

... Let's be honest, once the sun sets, I'm back in black. But still, baby steps.

This pretty silk 30s dress is hilariously obnoxious, for it closes via a long strip of hooks & fabric eyes all the way up the front... Seriously, it takes an eternity to get in & out of. But (chartreuse!) potted plants & a double pointed peplum? Alright, worth the effort.

Ever since my recent floral post, I've been wearing a weird amount of fake flowers. I borrowed these silk flowers off a 40s sunhat, and I'm glad I did! I can tack em back on the hat if needed, but it's nice to have options.


Hope you folks are doing fabulous! I picked up a new stack of 40s magazine gems on Sunday, so there's some ridiculously drool-worthy early 40s fashion coming your way soon! Stay tuned.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Vintage Queen

Hello darlings! 

The internet made me very happy this morning. I woke up to discover I was named this weeks Vintage Queen, by the fine folks on Queens of Vintage! So obviously, I was completely flattered. Not only is their website fantastic, but I am honored to join the company of some of my favorite bloggers (not to mention some fab vintage lovers who I wish had blogs... because I'd totally read them.)

So if you are curious.. check out my interview here. And regardless, check out their site, for it's tip top!

(photo via Mothgirlwings)


Friday, June 14, 2013

Painted Bird

Hello darlings, time for a good old fashioned outfit post.

This one is basically an ode to this dress. So smitten. Obvious statement of the century: we all know how much I love rayon jersey, and what a sucker I am for a good novelty print. Regardless of how much I love ridiculous hats, decadent old furs, and cocktail dresses.... All I really need is a comfy novelty print day dress and a pile o' bakelite, and I'm the happiest girl in the world. So if I could just wear this dress everyday for the rest of my life, and no one noticed, I really would.

Birds, swirling clouds, palm tree plumage, and little huts!

I love the cut of the skirt - sweeping layers across the tummy & hip, plus layers of loopy swag business at one hip. To top it off, the loops are covered in swirls of brown sequins.

Ahh, love it so much. Wish I were wearing it again right now as I write this.
What are your vintage wardrobe weaknesses? I don't mean basics, rather indulgences that you wish you could wear every day ever, and never tire of. Curious!


1940s dress & 1940s cobra heels: Red Light
1930s - 40s bakelite & celluloid necklace: antique store (screaming deal!)
Bakelite earrings: thrifted... $.99... f yeah
Bakelite bangles: here, there & everywhere

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Fresh Floral Accessories, 1941

Today, I want to share this lovely article I found in a Life Magazine from June 9, 1941
 ... Almost exactly 72 years ago! (Yes, that just occurred to me now, and I'm geeking out about it.)

Fresh Floral Accessories


The lady spy of a vanished era was always pictured on a leopard skin rug languidly smelling a single flower and luring state secrets from a devastated male. Whether it was the flower or whether it was the lady, history does not report – but florists nowadays are encouraging all kinds of ladies to wear single flowers for reasons other than state.
Flowers today are being worn as decorative accessories to a dress. A blue flower in the hair compliments blue eyes. Flower shoe buckles enhance dancing feet. Twin boutonnieres widen narrow shoulders. A flower necklace conceals a scrawny neck, and a flower, a hat pin and a mite of veil make a hat.
Fastidious men support a daily delivery service of a single boutonniere. A man’s flower costs 10 cents, but a lady can spend up to $15 for one orchid.
        Many single flowers will last a second day if refrigerated overnight. Raw stems should be placed in water and wrapped stems should be placed in airtight cellophane bags, which are supplied by most florists. 

.... Now here's where the novelty nerd in me freaks out: a hand brooch holding a flower, a little sign brooch saying "do not pick the flowers", and a rabbit & egg brooch holding flowers. Ahhh, stop it!

I'm so obsessed with all of this. First of all - their hair! Seriously dreamy, on all fronts. I'm really happy they did part of this in color. First of all, we get to see the vivid flowers, but we also get to admire (and maybe replicate!) her makeup tones, which are often hard to see in black & white.

The written intro... well I'm more into it in that "lol, what?" sort of way, which is often what I end up thinking while reading old magazines. (But sometimes that's the best part!) From the out of place vamp fatale opener, to the "how flowers can hide your awful flaws" part, to the idea of spending $15 on one flower - that is about $230 factoring in inflation - Ummm. What's going on, guys?

But what I found most fascinating is when this was published. This was June 1941, so we weren't technically in the war yet - Pearl Harbor didn't happen for another 6 months. So while they are suggesting that "some women" spend a ridiculous amount of money on a flower (doubt it), they are also unwittingly encouraging a trend that will gain serious momentum through the war years. It's an accessory that requires no scarce materials, can be completely free, and is incredibly versatile. It's genius.

I also found this primo ad - featuring the insanely gorgeous Dorothy Lamour! - in a 1945 magazine. I forgot to note the date of this one, other than the year, so I'm a bit unsure whether Japan had surrendered yet. The tone of the ad makes me think they hadn't, but I'm unsure. It's not as if the war ended and people were instantly mass-consuming wasters... that took a bit of time. Not only is this an exact replica of the 1941 article's 2nd photo, but the whole selling point is how DIY it is, plus... built in perfume!

Serious tangent: has anyone seen Masquerade in Mexico? Any good? Edith Head did the costuming, so I'm sure it's worth it, but... I'm always rather wary of old movies that take place "elsewhere," for they tend to be even-more-racist than the already-super-racist films set in regular old America. I rewatched both Algiers and Lady of the Tropics last week, and was reminded why they are slightly agonizing. You'd think it would be a match made in heaven, what with the dreamy combo of Hedy Lamarr and Adrian's costuming, not to mention some Charles Boyer (Oh I'm sorry, Pepe le Moko?) But instead I just can't. Sorry for the rant guys - just be glad it wasn't the Woman of the Year rant Jaynie got to endure last week;) Anyways, I could blather on all day, so I'll spare you and wrap it up.

What was your favorite floral look? I'm having a hard time picking one.. it's a tie between the hand brooch holding the flower (now on my shopping radar), or the "do not pick the flowers" (now on my craft to-do list)!


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Clearly Beloved

Hello lovelies! Vintage nerdfest time!

I know I've broached this subject before, but I'm such a ridiculous sucker for 40s dresses that the 80s directly ripped off. I'm sure it stems from how much 80s I used to wear, and how 80s style holds a super soft spot in my heart. And perhaps because I accidentally bought my first 40s dress at a thrift shop, thinking it was an 80s dress. (Yeah......) Welp, same goes for the 30s/70s parallel. Like this dress. It's late 30s - early 40s rayon jersey.... but it really just looks like a Brady Bunch dress. 

Yes, please.

Plus you know, crazy vivid novelty print, nbd.

Lil bakelite cameo action <3

Hair is not one of my strongpoints, which is fine. But I've been working more updos and such lately, and I was pretty pleased with how this one turned out. Not perfect, but a good jumping off point!

Ok so enough about me, we get enough of that around these parts... meet Jaynie! Not only is she the best person on the planet, my best friend & partner in crime, a talented seamstress, and the photographer for this here blog... but she's also really stinkin adorable. So she let me turn the camera around, and catch a few shots of her for once.

This is one of my favorite dresses of hers - 50s style with paper crane novelty print. 

And check out this WWII sweetheart necklace of hers. Instead of the usual clear heart, it's iridescent. I don't know about you guys, but I've never seen that before.

See? Told you she was the cutest.

Hope y'all are doing extra fabulous!


1930s-40s dress: Red Light
1940s oxfords: Lucky Dry Goods
1930s Victorian Revival bakelite brooch: antique store ($15! Hell yeah.)
Jaynie's WWII necklace: Rhinestone Rosie