After eating brunch at a 1950s themed diner, stopping along the side of the road to take lovely autumn color pictures, and spending some time at a thrift store before the roller rink opened, we finally headed out to go roller skating! I had been jokingly warned that we were likely to be at the roller rink with a whole lot of 8 year olds and the warning was pretty accurate. There were a few adult couples on dates and a few by themselves, but mostly there were a ton of 5-13 year olds and their adult chaperones. It was a Saturday afternoon, after all, so it was to be expected that there would be a lot of birthday parties… It didn’t bother us, though, we’re used to being unique. And lots of the girls called out that they liked our dresses as we skated by. Perhaps one day they’ll be inspired to make or wear historic clothing!
Some of us had been more used to roller blading, but in the spirit of trying to be 1950s-ish, we all rented roller skates. Granted, the roller rink and the skates are obviously modern and not 50s, as you’ll see, but we had so much fun it didn’t matter at all!
Fun, right? We really enjoyed ourselves and no one actually fell! But the day wasn’t over… we still had a Regency ball to run/attend that night. I’ve got pictures of that coming soon. It sure is a transformation from 1950s!
Back to 1950s adventures! I started the adventures with my previous post about the beginning of our day at a 50s themed diner. After leaving the diner we wanted to get some pictures with the beautiful New England autumn colors in the background, so we thought we’d find a place along the side of the road. We took a wrong turn over a bridge and got a little confused, but the confusion wound up with us driving past a lovely side road/private drive with lots of lovely trees and rock clumps. Rather impulsively, we pulled over a hopped out to take some pictures… and here are some of the results!
So there you go. I hope you enjoyed all the leaves! Next stop is the roller rink…
Remember when I posted the details about my 1953 dot dress, I mentioned that I was waiting to participate in a grand adventure to get photos of the dress on me? It worked out recently that schedules were free on the same day, so we were able to have a 1950s adventure! We started out going for brunch at a 1950s themed diner, then stopped by the side of the road to take fall color pictures on our way to go to a thrift store (where I purchased a flip top picnic basket for $4!), followed by roller skating, and then we finished off the evening with a Regency ball. It was a long, awesome day. I was absolutely exhausted by the end of it.
But I’ve got lots of fun pictures to share! Yay! I’m going to break up the 1950s pictures into three parts: photos at the diner, fall color photos, and photos of roller skating. There will be a separate post about the Regency ball (which includes pictures of my Refreshing Apron in action and my new tiara!).
I noticed crayons on another table the waitresses were clearing off and asked if we could have them… because you never really stop being a child! Though I have to say I was more easily inspired when I was a child. It was hard to come up with something to draw!
Now is as good a time as any to talk about my hair and accessories (especially since I’m about to subject you to a series of me-shots). I tried to do rolls with my hair. I think they were quite successful, though they did take a very long time. I had to dry my hair, straighten my hair, then curl my hair while adding hairspray and trying to contain the waves and the frizz… I aimed for an asymmetrical style but in some pictures it looks like I just have an odd halo of hair on one side of my head and not the other. I ran out of time and inspiration for the back, so my hair is just in a bun. It’s the first time I’ve attempted this sort of hair style, so I certainly don’t have lots of practice. Ah well, I like that I look very put together and made up–that just seems like a 50s way to be.
Oh right, and accessories! Well, I’ve got a modern sweater from Old Navy. I’ve got Nine West brown heels (a little tall for the 50s, but other than that they have a great shape). And I’ve got a faux pearl and jewel bracelet (another of the costume jewelry presents from my mom). Thanks mom!
Finally, step outside and there’s a cute scarecrow waiting for you (at least during the month of October…)!
See? So many smiles. Next stop will be the side of the road where we stopped to take fall color pictures…
It’s been months since I bought the fabric for this dress (I actually had to look back to see when I purchased the fabric: it was February). I bought it rather on a whim, with the goal of expanding the number of patterned dresses in my historic wardrobe. Well, success! My 1953 dot dress is complete!
I think it looks more flattering on me than it does on Squishy, but the opportunity I’m hoping to use to wear it and take pictures has been postponed due to the busy lives of my friends. We’ve got a grand plan involving roller skating, a 50s diner, and ice cream. All of those things just scream for pictures!
But for now, the facts (a la the HSF, though unfortunately the cutoff for the HSF is 1937, so this doesn’t qualify!):
Fabric: The dress is constructed from about 3 yds of lightweight cotton lawn printed with dots and lined with some of my white striped $1 a yard cotton fabric. It’s a perfect pairing, because it creates opacity but keeps the lightweight feel of the lawn.
Notions: 10-12 yds of pink Hug Snug; white, off white, and pink thread; and an off white plastic zipper (It was all I had that wasn’t dark since I don’t use zippers much for historic sewing…).
How historically accurate?: I give it 95%. Cotton is entirely reasonable for the 1950s. I’m not sure when Hug Snug was first marketed, but the design on the spools certainly looks vintage (and rayon had been in use for at least 20 years by the 1950s). If they didn’t have Hug Snug, they probably had something similar. The pattern was printed in the 1950s and a basic darted bodice is seen on many 1950s dresses and patterns. The sewing machine was in widespread use by the 1950s. The only thing is that my plastic zipper is probably a bit modern (in the 1950s zippers were still metal, I believe).
Hours to complete: 30: lots of interior finishing by machine and hand .
First worn: By Squishy for pictures.
Total cost: My entire 50 yd roll of Hug Snug was only 50 cents, the fabric was about $15, and the zipper was probably about $2… Total: about $17.
Now, you know that I love paying attention to details. I had a lot of fun spending time on the interior details of this dress. Unfortunately, they won’t be visible, but I know that this dress is as cute inside as it is outside, and now you will, too!
I might even like the inside more than the outside… I’m really looking forward to wearing this at some point! I was even thinking that perhaps I could wear it in my modern life without a crinoline petticoat under it, but I think the skirt is a little too long and the waist is a little too high. If I had more of an every day vintage style I might be able to pull it off, or if I was getting dressed up, but for normal days, unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be wearing it around my everyday life. All the more reason my friends need to clear their calendars!!!
If you look at my clothes, modern and historic, you might notice that I usually wear solid colors. Yes, I do mix solid colors in outfits. But there it is: I hardly ever wear patterned fabric. I want to branch out a bit, at least in my historic wardrobe, so when I saw these patterned fabrics on sale I couldn’t resist.
So here they are: my most recent stash additions. On the left, a rayon challis with a slightly lilac tinted grey background and little teal clovers all over. On the right, a super lightweight cotton lawn with dots in shades of purple and pinkish/redish/orange. What for? I’m thinking 1930s or 40s for the challis and a 50s summer dress for the lawn. I’m pushing the envelope, thinking outside my normal eras! Of course, these projects are pretty low on the list of things to get done… so don’t expect to see them again soon. But maybe this summer the 50s dress could be a fun project. We’ll see. In the meantime, I’ll know I have patterned fabric in my stash, and that’s enough for me!
In August for each of the last eight years, I have been blessed to be able to enjoy an annual trip to Cape Cod. By this point the trip feels just like going home: I know the places I like to go, that I like to eat (and they recognize me, even though I’m only there one week out of the year!), that I like to shop… and I only deviate from these things when I want something new–a sense of adventure.
Well, a few years ago I was encouraged to visit a new store, which I did, and since then I have returned on every visit to the Cape. What store, you ask? Vintage In Vogue. This unique vintage clothing store is run by the wonderfully passionate Maureen Leavenworth. Truly, Vintage In Vogue is a unique vintage store. Maureen really cares about the stories behind the items for sale and she takes the time to share those stories with you when you are interested in an object.
The store is full of fun things like shoes, hats, jewelry, furs, patterns, fashion plates, and of course, dresses. There are some pieces from the 19th century, as well as many items from the 20th century. There is also has a whole area devoted to vintage wedding gowns and accessories. This year as I was poking around looking at the fun things… I found a few things I decided to take home with me.
First, a 1950s vintage Vogue pattern!
Then, a fur collar, separate from any garment that it once adorned.
And, lastly, a framed fashion plate from 1894!
I was very pleased with my finds. The pattern and fur collar have been put on the far back burner, but the 1894 lady enjoys a place of prominence on top of my dresser. I know that doesn’t sound very glamorous, but she has a light above her that I can turn on so it looks like she’s in a spot light, and she’s in a place where I see her every day as I’m getting dressed. It’s kind of perfect for me and my interests, actually, to see an image like this each morning.