Vintage Sewing

My Ode to the Ballet Russes in Paper Lace

By on January 7, 2013
It's all paper!!!!

I was recently invited to submit a piece for the New Orleans Creative Alliance’s annual Bal Des Artistes. This event is comprised of a runway show of local designers and artists and a masked ball. The theme this year was “1920’s French Quarter Bohemian”. Now, I jumped on this train rather late. Just three weeks before the event and in the middle of the Christmas holidays. So on a budget and a short deadline I had to get creative. I wanted to pay homage to what I think were some of the greatest costumers of the time period: The Russian Ballet. I found that paper lent itself very well to the Deco look I was trying to achieve. The headdress is modeled after the traditional Russian Kokoshnik which was still a popular motif with the ballet in the 1920’s. I am quite pleased with how the whole thing turned out!

Jazzy looking fabulous and me stoked to get to finally drag out Grandma's fur.

Needless to say there was a lot of folding a ironing here.  Not to mention paper punching to get the lacy edges.  The bodice is wheat pasted to achieve the form of my model.  The headdress I made by making a buckram and wire base and wheat pasted the paper fans and doilies to it.  The paper doilies on the skirt, bodice, and headdress are from my secret stash (yes I have a doilie  stash) and some are from the very secret vintage 1950’s collection.  Never mind they put the skirt on sideways.  She looked just grand.  I know this is a bit of an unusual entry but I just had to share,

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1930s

A Day at the Races

By on November 24, 2012

So, to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday here in New Orleans we like to go down to the horse track for opening day dressed in our holiday best.

This is a lovely little dress I whipped up some months ago and didn’t know where I was ever going to have a chance to wear it. It is made from a 1930’s Marian Martin mail order pattern. It is made with a wonderful Sailor Jerry (they make fabric?!) silk/cotton blend with a classy butterfly print. The pattern called for a ruffle collar but I was having none of it. So I knocked out a peter pan collar for it in contrasting black cotton. I love this dress!!!

The hat was a busted, navy, vintage affair that I dyed, reshaped, and gussied up a bit to be fit for the track.

Coincidentally I also made this bunny suit for my buddy last Mardi Gras season.

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Vintage Sewing

Happy Mardi Gras! My Victorian Lobster for Your Viewing Pleasure

By on February 21, 2012

It’s officially Mardi Gras day down here in the Crecent City. I made this piece for a solo costume show last season. I was so slammed this year with costume commissions that I neglected to make a costume for myself this year. This is still one of my favorites in my collection. It was one of those pieces that kicked around my head for years before I finally actualized it. I made everything but her pasties, shoes, and wig. The chemise is based off a 70’s peasant blouse pattern. The under bustle and under-bust corset (greatly altered) are both based on Past Patters patterns. The bustle skirt I made sans pattern. It was one of those “make it happen” creations. Everything but the corset are silks. My beautiful friend Oops models it in these pics.

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1970s | Lingerie | Vintage Sewing

Not Your Grandma’s Undies

By on January 11, 2012

I had a revelation this summer. Where do all my panties go? They are worse than socks for going missing in the wash! Me being me, I, of course, went straight to the internet to hunt up some cute vintage pantie patterns. I was thrilled when I found this 1970

Sew Lovely bikini pattern. I was never going to buy panties again. I think these are just as cute and stylish as the over priced ones I was buying at the mall. They are made from hand dyed bamboo stretch knit fabric, black net mesh with red swiss dots, and black picot elastic. The best thing about them? They are so easy to make!

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Vintage Sewing

Polka Dot Shirtwaist

By on January 8, 2012

I was recently inspired by a recent post of a 1950’s shirt waist.  I thought I would share one I made a while back.  This dress was made from an old mail order pattern with no pattern marking and very sketchy instructions.  Needless to say I altered the heck out of it (I made the bodice 3 times!), raising the drop sleeves, removing the armpit gussets, and adjusting the massive amount of blousing in the bodice.  I made this in white Italian cotton with lime polka dots with plain white cotton contrasting cuffs, collar, and belt.  It turned out quite nice in the end.

I always feel like I should be selling vacuum cleaners when I wear it.

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