Sometimes, you need a fancy dress. Sometimes you need that dress to be fancy enough to go out for dinner and a show but not quite so fancy that you can’t wear it all day. Sometimes, you accidentally purchase just such a dress because you underestimated its fanciness from the listing photos.
I was on the fence about ordering these, because suede is a little harder to maintain than smooth leather and I don’t wear brown a ton, but I had decided to consign my older pair of brown shoes from Royal Vintage because slingbacks and I aren’t friends so I figured it would be good to have something available.
Continuing with last week’s theme of writing about shoes, but in a slightly more timely manner, I’ve got another shoe review for you all today!
Royal Vintage Shoes‘ fall “Spice It Up!” collection has just arrived, and since I had pre-ordered my top picks, a big box-o-shoes arrived on my doorstep a little over a week ago.
It’s a good thing I’m a vintage fashion blogger, because staying on top of writing about the latest trends and releases is not my forte.
Unfortunately (or fortunately), even in the vintage world there are new things, especially from reproduction brands, and although I always make sure to buy the things I want as soon as they’re released, I’m pretty terrible about writing about those in anything resembling a timely manner. Case in point: these shoes.
Those of you who have been following along here for a while may know that one of the many (metaphorical) hats I wear is “professional musician”. Since college, I’ve held an assortment of part-time jobs as a paid church choir member. The choirs have varied in size and skill level, but for almost 10 years my routine has been that Sunday mornings between September and June are for putting on my Sunday best and going to sing.
As I mentioned in my last post, I had a second dress started before the end of the dressmaking retreat I attended in Beacon, NY last month. With my first dress successfully finished, I decided to pick up Gretchen’s new Night and Day dress pattern (conveniently stocked in the shop we were in!) and give it a try. I actually hadn’t originally planned to purchase the pattern, because it’s similar enough to some vintage patterns that I own, but now that I have it I’ve been putting it to good use!
Earlier in the summer on a whim I decided it would be a great idea to sign up for one of the Beacon Dressmaking Retreats led by Gretchen Hirsch of Gertie’s New Blog For Better Sewing and various pattern and book publication fame. The location for the class is only a few hours’ drive from my house, and I definitely felt like I could do with some more guided sewing instructions since my general approach is a bit… fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants.
I still have to grab pictures of my dress from last weekend’s sewing retreat, but since we’re on the sewing subject, I thought it would be a good time to share a dress rescue project from earlier this summer.
I found this dress at Modern Millie (as usual) and although it was pretty something was just not quite right about it.
Hello dear readers, however many of you are still straggling along with me and my infrequent posting habits. I’ve moved my blog (again) and am having some difficulty getting the posts to come with it. I’ve realized I need a blogging solution I can do from anywhere, which my last one… was not. So here we are, back on conventional hosting. If I can convince myself to write, I promise that I have interesting things to report on soon, including a whole lot of sewing that has been happening lately. In the meantime, here’s a sneak look at my latest make on Instagram:
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I’ve finished up a second @gertie18 #nightanddaydress — but this time, with a few modifications since I am after all a home sewist. I wanted to have an uninterrupted border around the collar for this vintage cotton, so I moved the zipper from the center back to the side and cut the collar and back on the fold instead. I also ended up going for a plain gathered skirt instead of one of the skirts in the pattern just for simplicity and a slightly more 40s look. Paired with some Bakelite, @rocketoriginals and a vintage belt. ☀️🌙 #nightanddaydress #wesewretro #charmpatternsbygertie #vintagesewing #rocketoriginals #thedailybake #vintagefabric #dslr
On Friday morning, I (aided and abetted by my husband) made a very last minute decision to attend the Roaring Twenties Lawn Party at the Crane Estate. There was just one problem – I generally dress in 40s and 50s styles and had nothing to wear. My husband picked up the tickets online, and I ran to the nearest fabric store on my lunch break and texted pictures of every likely print to a friend. I eventually settled on a nearly-empty bolt of an umbrella print and some solid blue to pair it with. I had a 1930s pajama pattern and I figured that with a few tweaks and a daywear fabric I could make them into passable beach pajamas.
The pajamas said that I needed just shy of 4 yards of 36” fabric, plus optionally a yard for the contrast. There were 2 yards of the umbrella print fabric left, and somehow in my hunger- and panic-addled state I decided that I only needed two yards of the coordinating blue fabric.
When I returned home in the evening, fabric in hand, I threw everything in the wash and got out my pattern to trace. This is where I hit the first snag – it turned out that the pants pieces were no longer in the envelope! After a moment of panic, I remembered that print-at-home patterns were a thing and headed to Etsy.
I settled on the Wearing History Chic Ahoy culotte pattern, which I figured would be close enough, and got to work printing and taping. I made a few modifications to the pattern – I shortened the waistband to the natural waist, omitted the ties, and left out the pockets – and crossed my fingers. Of course, at this point I realized that there was no way I was getting an entire pair of pants out of my umbrella fabric – it had a one-way nap, and there just wasn’t room. I swapped the main pants pieces to my solid fabric and cut 10-inch hem extensions from the umbrellas instead, hoping to recreate the look of the pants in the original pajama pattern.
Satisfied that the pants would come together, I went to bed and planned to resume sewing in the morning.