Burlesque / Pinup

These past few weeks, I had two lead styling gigs where I had to wear white. I don’t have very much white in my closet, so I had to go out and buy something for one of the gigs.

In between the two events, I decided to clean out one of my closets where my UFO’s (Unfinished Object) are stashed. I stumbled across this white dress that I started here. Yes that’s right, it’s been sitting unfinished since Spring 2011. The dress is fully lined and the only finishing needed was the hem. I then remembered that because the dress was lined it fit snug and wouldn’t go over my hips. I was desperately needing a white dress so I thought why not? I tried it on and it fit fine. I suppose I must have lost weight since then, which is never a bad thing (;

Unfortunately, I didn’t get around to him the dress until after the last event.

I wore the dress yesterday, but I feel like it’s one of those dresses I’m going to wear once or twice a year. I just don’t like white on me.

For more pictures & how I styled this dress, you can check that on my blog here.

-Allie

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Hi everyone!

A few weeks ago I made this white gypsy top… I had been wanting one for agessssssss and have always loved them!

I made the cropped version as it is perfect for summer and can be paired with high waist skirts, short or jeans etc.

I found the pattern at a op-shop (thrift store) for 60 cents! Next time I might add the material frill trim and possibly attach the pom-pom trimming. I am currently making the longer version of this top with red ric-rac as a gift for my friend’s birthday and it looks lovely so far!

I like that I can wear the sleeves up or down!

Here are a two ways that I styled it!

(Lemon/Lime skirt is by Tara Starlet)

I also made these shorts with a 1940s pattern and paired them with my gypsy top at the beach! I bought the pattern as a PDF file on esty…

It seems like not all of the directions for the shorts were properly scanned and were missing so it made it a bit tricky… I have made quite a few pairs of shorts though with a 1960s pattern so I did understand the construction of shorts and just went with the flow. The fit is not perfect (A little loose, but I don’t mind that on a hot summers day, they still fit and look quite nice). Next time I will work on the fit around the waist and probably sew an attachment belt onto the shorts instead of just folding them over, I could then add a button above the zip to improve the fit even more.

I was lucky to score 6 of the Butterick Retro reproduction patterns today at the sewing store, 3 patterns for $10! I can’t wait to get started on them!

See the full Lemon/lime gypsy post here and the beach post here!

Kayla – Gracefullyvintage

 

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Glitz, glamour and silly headpieces, that’s what! My home town Stockholm, Sweden, is blessed with a great burlesque club, Fräulein Frauke Presents, housed in one of the city’s classic dance palaces with quite the bad reputation back in the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s. Their annual New Year’s masquerade is the perfect  opportunity to break your sequin seaweed and your frivolous mask-making abilities.

New Year's Eve, photo by John Paul Bichard.

I bought this red sequin seaweed for last year’s celebrations, actually, but it got delayed at my local post office and I’ve been sitting on it since. The plans for the dress have changed during the year, for the better I think, and instead of a complicated, slinky number with a high slit and back cut-out, I made… a dressing gown. Sort of. I drew inspiration from a simple, but very glamorous and slightly quirky evening gown that Katharine Hepburn wore in the 1938 screwball comedy Bringing Up Baby, the one that has the entire back panel of the skirt ripped off in a memorable scene. I translated the inspiration into a long gown with an a-line skirt, containing all the width I could squeeze out of 3 yards of fabric, and a surplice bodice, buttoned at the side, with elbow-length sleeves and a modest v-neck. I really like that combination of the rather casual, simple cut with the inherently festive fabric. It’s a dress that looks comfortable, and feels easy to wear.

The entire garment is flatlined with red cotton poplin, to protect the skin from the somewhat scratchy sequin fabric and counteract a slight transparency, since the base material is a synthetic tulle with very little stretch. I put it together with french seams throughout, for further protection against scratchy sequins on the inside of it, and finished the hem and edges with poplin bias strips on the inside. I also spent a lot of time cutting tiny 2 mm sequins in half, to clear at least some of the seam allowances of the extra bulk. The end result is a very heavy, but, yes, quite comfortable evening gown that I really think I will get a lot of use out of. It’s formal enough for white tie events at a pinch, what with the full length, but also frivolous enough for black tie and just plain parties, and I also think it turned out quite flattering.

Cutting a thousand little sequins in half to clear the seam allowances = major pain in the behind.

I also made the pearl… thing. It’s a masquerade, after all, of course you want a mask of some sort, and I didn’t feel like repeating last year’s sequin glove mask, especially since this year’s theme was the roaring 20′s, which really isn’t my decade, normally. I toyed with the idea of simply draping a few strings of pearls across the eyes, but that seemed a little too easy, and the project grew into this, after having a closer look at showy Art Deco headpieces, the Ballets Russes and Russian kokoshniks. It’s all based on a plain plastic headband with teeth, my favourite notions shop turned out to have an old lot of vintage glass pearls in stock, and the  rest is steel wire, lots of pearl string and thousands of knots, topped off with two enormous artificial peonies.

Pearl headdress in progress, from the very beginning to close to finished.

And it was fun. All of it, including New Year’s Eve. Hope you all had a great New Year’s too, have yourselves a happy new year!

More on both projects over at the Fashion in Shrouds, for once.

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I’ve recently picked up some bra making skills (as documented on my blog) and am so excited that I can now experiment with different vintage bra shapes.

I also discovered a great site for retro lovers, called Foundations Revealed, which has various articles on how to draft and make retro bra styles (although the majority of the site is dedicated to corsetry). Most articles are only available for paying members, so I decided to become a paying memeber for a while and devoured all the articles on retro bra drafting and construction. I ended up drafting and sewing my own bullet bra. Yeah!

I practised both fitting and construction on a trial bra and then made this much more successful second one. Still not a perfect fit but very much improved. This was so much fun that I’m planning to make many more vintage-inspired bras in the new year.

Happy sewing!

And for more on this bullet bra, you can read my blog post here.

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