Vogue 7092, Beach Cover Up

Ever since I found the vintage nautical print terry cloth seen above, I knew it was destined to become a swimsuit cover up.  I had several patterns from which to choose, but I was favoring Vogue 7092, which is dated 1950.  I liked it because it is not a jacket, it is a stole with the sides open.  My plan was to use the terry on the inside and to use a solid white on the outside.

When I found that $2 bolt of vintage white pique, I knew I’d found my other fabric.

The pattern was listed as “one size” which meant I needed to make a few adjustments, especially for length.  I shortened the front and the back, but I also decided to take out some of the fullness in the back, mainly because I was using such a bulky fabric for the lining.

I had finished the stole except for attaching the belt when I showed it off to my husband.  He said he didn’t think I ought to hide the print on the inside as it was so nice.  And while I wanted it for the inside because of the absorbency, I could see his point.  So instead of attaching the belt to the back, I made belt loops (not seen in photos) so I could wear it either way.  I do love a reversible garment.

I love this vintage terry, which I found at the Goodwill outlet.  So with the amount of pique and the cost of the pattern and the terry, I have about $3 invested in this project.   I’ll probably use the money I saved to buy more fabric.


Filed under Vintage Sewing

Happy Bug Day, Warhol Print Skirt

When I spotted this super skirt on {the evil that is} Pinterest, I had a sinking feeling.  Sinking because I wanted this skirt, and it seems like 99.98 percent of the things I see on Pinterest that I want are sold.  I clicked through (thanks Karen, for making sure the links are always there) and there it was on Adored Vintage.  And yes, it had already sold.

So why did I want this particular skirt?  One of my smaller areas of collecting involves fabrics that were either influenced by art, or which were actually designed by artists.  In the case of this skirt, the fabric was designed by Andy Warhol in 1955.

I only know this because of my obsessive reading and rereading of Textile Design: Artists’ Textiles 1940-1976 by Geiff Rayner, Richard Chamberlain and Annamarie Phelps.  The book was published in 2012, and there is an exhibition currently at The Fashion and Textile Museum in London that is based in large part on the collections of the authors.

There is the bug print, in a different colorway, and a very similar print titled Happy Butterfly Day.  The bug print was based on a greeting card Warhol made in 1954.

Unfortunately, not a lot is known about the textiles Warhol designed in the 1950s.  For a man who was a collector of everything, he was a notoriously bad record-keeper when it came to business, not letting the people who worked with him even know for whom the designs were intended.

It was remembered by a Warhol associate that some of the fabrics were produced by Fuller Fabrics, who also did the Modern Masters line.  In 1955, Warhol was still a commercial artist, years away from being considered a “master.”

I hope the lucky buyer of this skirt loves it and treasures it.  I just wish it were me!

Thanks so much to Rodellee at Adored Vintage for the use of her photos.


Filed under Novelty Prints

March in Review

March came in like a lion and hung around and roared all month.  Yesterday, the very last day of the month, that little lamb finally showed up.   I hate to complain about the snow because it has been very pretty, and even though it was of the clinging variety, we never did lose electric power.

In order to rush spring along, I tried doing some summer type sewing.  It didn’t work, but I did get a cute beach cover-up out of it.  (To be shown off later).  It was my very first project using the thrift find of the month:

I found and bought an entire bolt of vintage cotton pique for $2.   It was a bit yellowed, but a good hot wash with oxyclean did the trick (and made sure it was shrunk as well.)

I’ve had these antique buttons a while, but that didn’t keep me from bragging about them on Instagram.

Another thrift find was a huge, tangled pile of embroidery floss.  It was actually the very thing I was seeking, but without the tangles.  I have now started an embroidery project that I predict I will finish when I’m 79 years old.  Yes, twenty years should do it.

My book purchase of the month is this gigantic thing, The Encyclopedia of Textiles, published by the always superb American Fabrics magazine.  It is full of information, 600 pages of it in fact.

The happy accident of the month was went I pulled this Liberty of London Tana lawn blouse out from the bottom of my mend pile.  The cuffs were frayed, so I’d stuck it there years ago.  Cuffs are now bound with grosgrain; shirt is now back in closet.

This is our sweet Spooky Dog, celebrating his birthday.  He just turned 17!

My daily walk, on a particularly misty, smoky day.

The bunny Rockettes.

How was your March?


Filed under Viewpoint

1920s Deco Dress with Sports Motif, Part 2

You might remember this super two-piece dress from my post two weeks ago, only it looks slightly different today.  After a lot of self-debate, I decided that there was enough of the original design intact to try and remove the later alterations.

The top was pretty straight forward.  I took out the hem and lengthened it as much as possible, one and a half inches.  I have no way of knowing if that was the original hem placement, as it is possible that some fabric was removed from the bottom of the over blouse.

This is the interior, showing the hem.  As you can see, I let it out as far as possible.  The hem tape is rayon, from the 1920s.

I also took out the side zipper and let out the seams as far as I could, which was not much.  I removed the half belt in the back, and the back darts.

The skirt was a bit more difficult.  I removed the added waistband, preserving all the original fabric.  I then made a camisole from white linen to which I attached the skirt.  In doing so, I shortened the skirt a bit so that the pleats would break at the bottom on the over blouse hem.

There were also long darts taken in the top of the skirt so that it would fit at the waist.  I removed these and stitched up the opening that had been made.

I used a basting stitch to attach the skirt to the camisole.  If the dress is ever put on display, it will need a stronger stitch.

It was a lot of work, but to me, the charm of the decoration is that it is so 1920s Art Deco.  The dress needed to look like what it started its life as – a 1920s dress.



The after shot shows a longer top and shorter skirt, just like the dress would have had originally.  There’s not a lot of difference, just enough to make it look “right.”


Filed under Collecting, Vintage Clothing

Vintage Miscellany – March 30, 2014

Sister Dorothy is wearing the outing outfit that was almost a uniform for young women in the late 1910s and early 20s:  middy blouse, large brimmed felt hat, full skirt and sturdy boots.  But is that a necklace I’m seeing?

*   It could happen that 100% cotton fabric could be a thing of the past.  Thanks to Pintucks for the link.

*   I posted a bit about Avoca Weavers several weeks ago, and here is a lovely film about them.  Thanks to Scrapiana for the link.

*   This one is for the guys:  Nettleton shoes has re-released a shoe that was THE shoe in Greensboro, NC.  Who knew?  Thanks to Jan S.  for the link.

*   L’Wren Scott as remembered by her friend, Cathy Horyn.

*   This blog post about Bill Cunningham’s Facades photo exhibition really makes me want to see it.

*   Museums are now working to recycle their exhibition materials.

*   Chanel and the Scottish Cashmere industry.

*   Here’s an interesting look inside a dressmaker’s dummy factory.

*   Thread Cult has an interesting podcast interview with couture expert Claire Shaeffer.

And finally, it seems that everyone has an opinion of the latest Vogue cover.  After years of rumors about how Anna Wintour hated Kim Kardashian, about how she was refused a ticket to the Met Gala, and how she would never grace the cover of Vogue, we now know that at least two of the above are no longer true.

I really don’t see what the big deal is.  People argue that Vogue is a fashion magazine, and Kim has nothing to do with fashion.  The way I see it, Vogue covers have not been about fashion for a very long time.  They are about money and celebrity and selling issues of Vogue.  Period.  Ever since Wintour replaced models with the celebrity du jour, (in the 1990s?) it stopped being about fashion.

You can almost predict who is going to be on the cover by following movies, TV and music.  Crazy Great Gatsby movie being released?  Get Carey Mulligan and have her dressed in faux Twenties look!  New Beyonce CD?  Put her on the cover!  We love a good cross-promotion.

Just so we don’t forget, Wintour did not originate the idea of celebrity covers on Vogue.  Diana Vreeland was doing it in the 1960s.  But there’s a difference.  Look at the vintage covers of Audrey Hepburn or Cher or Sophia Loren, and you see photos that show women of style.  And then there were the cover photos of the models, like Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton, who Vogue helped make into celebrities.  But always it was about fashion and what was intriguing about each woman.

But getting back to the present, another complaint about the cover is that Kanye West had to have pressured/paid/whatever to get his woman on the cover of Vogue.  Wintour anticipated this, and even denied it in her letter from the editor.  The lady doth protest too much, methinks.


Filed under Vintage Miscellany

Interesting Updates – The Rest of the Story

One of the great things about a blog is that years after a post is made, someone will find the post and add to the story.  The bad thing is that sometimes I’m the only person who is aware that the conversation continues.  So now, every now and then I’m going to post updates to old posts so we can all enjoy learning more.

Last April I posted about this hat with the built-in sunglasses.   At the time, several people posted that the hat style could be seen in various films.  Recently  thriftanistasocialclub posted that she’d seen one in A Summer Place, a 1959 film staring Sandra Dee.  And here she is.

I took this photo from my TV while watching the film via Netflix.

I showed off this Liberty of London scarf in 2012.  Reader  Diana at Past Pieces Vintage found the print in  Scarves, by Nicky Albrechtsen and Fola Solanke. According to the book this scarf is  “Liberty, silk, 1950s, possibly based on a Harry Napper textile print from the 1890s.”

Photo taken of the book page by Diana.

Last year I posted about the Vanderbilt Shirt company.  The post was found by Jan Schochet, who co-wrote a book on Jewish businesses in Asheville.  She has been able to supply me with quite a bit of information, and now the family that owned the factory has been in touch.  Stay tuned.

I posted about these slightly naughty braces with a Brooks Brothers label in 2011.  I was puzzled because I found an ad for the same braces that were made by Calvin Curtis.  Michael, who actually knew Calvin Curtis cleared up the mystery by saying that Curtis made that one model for Brooks.

Last July I wrote about Enna Jetticks shoes.   Ed commented about how his grandmother had worked there, and he told what eventually happened to the factory.



Filed under Updates

Ad Campaign – Hockanum, 1948

TROPIC SEA… the new blue with the sparkle of a holiday mood..by Hockanum, makers of beauty, quality and lasting wear.

If this East Coast weather continues, it looks like it will be coats at the beach this summer.  I love the Tropic Sea color with that touch of green at the neck.  I can’t help but wonder if the “sparkle of a holiday mood” is literal or figurative.

But what I love the most about this ad is how Hockanum bills itself as “makers of beauty…”  They really cut to the heart of the matter, because I think what people really want and need is more beauty in their lives.  And that includes the fabric of one’s coat.


Filed under Ad Campaign