Tag Archives: shirt

Lady Manhattan, Part II

I’ve spent a great deal of the past three days looking for ads for Lady Manhattan, but I’ve not found a single one in my fashion magazines in the years between 1953 and 1962.  They did advertise, as there are ads for sale on ebay (something I really do not understand) but maybe they were placed in regular women’s magazines like Good Housekeeping or McCall’s.

One thing that made me think my silk blouse was later 1950s was that a 1954 ad I saw on ebay  had a facsimile label as part of the ad.  That label is the one you see above.  While I could not locate an ad in my magazines, I did happen upon a second Lady Manhattan blouse.

What is really interesting about this earlier Lady Manhattan shirt is that it is so similar in construction to a man’s casual shirt.  I’ve seen a lot of men’s shirts from the early to mid 1950s that have an open collar like my new lady’s shirt.  The fabric is a nice cotton shirting like you’d expect to find in a man’s shirt.

There is a chest (breast?) pocket, and the sleeves are inserted like those in a man’s shirt.

There is a placket for the cuff opening, something that is not usually seen in a woman’s blouse.  I was really surprised at the French cuffs.

The seams are flat felled, and are the smallest, neatest ones I’ve seen on a mid-priced garment.

If you look back at the later silk shirt, you can still see vestiges of a man’s shirt in the design.  The open neck collar, the French cuffs, and the curved hemline are almost identical to this cotton shirt.  But the fabric is softer, the pocket and cuff plackets are gone, and the seams are French.  It has the feel of a blouse rather than of a shirt.

I actually bought this piece to wear, as I’ve been looking for some prints to add to my mostly solid and striped wardrobe.   I found it in a fantastic vintage clothing booth in an antique mall in Taylors, South Carolina, which is in the Greenville area.   She also has an Etsy shop, Kate Dinatale Vintage.  It was such a pleasure finding a vintage store in my area where the items are beautifully presented and reasonably priced.


And finally, here is the full view.  And today while rummaging through my button box, I found a forgotten pair of mother of pearl cuff links.



Filed under Shopping, Sportswear, Vintage Clothing

Beach Blanket Novelty Print X 2

I adore a great novelty print, especially one with a travel or a vacation theme, so this beach blanket print was right up my alley.  It was a tiny piece, maybe a fourth of a yard, and I’ve had it a long time – so long that I can’t remember where I found it.  Several years ago I used most of it to make a beach tote.

The tote is made from blue chambray  and the pockets are the beach print, trimmed with red dotted binding and blue rick-rack.  The interior is lined with a flowered bit of feedsack, with chambray pockets.

Last week I was stumbling around etsy, when I found this:

I know I don’t have to say how much I love this shirt.  It is in the shop,  WitchBabyKitsch, and the owner very kindly let me show off her photos here.  If it were my size, I’d have bought it already.

Finds like this remind us that most of the vintage items we encounter were massed-produced  and often you’ll see the same print used by different companies, or even yard goods matching manufactured garments.   I’ve even seen matching garment and fabric advertised together.

I love seeing prints that I have in a different colorway.  Now I’ll have to keep my eyes open for other versions of this print.  How about yellow and turquoise?

Finally, the label.  What could be more perfect than a Made in California label?

Shirt photos copyright WitchBabyKitsch.  Do not copy or Pin.

Did you notice my attempt at watermarking?


Filed under Novelty Prints

1970s Up-Cycled Shirt

Up-cycling is a 2000s term, but the concept behind the term is not.  Taking old clothes and turning them into something new or decorated goes way back, even further than the 1970s.  But like so many young crafters on etsy and 10 thousand DIY bloggers who think they invented the idea of re-using a garment, we girls of the 1960s and 70s thought we discovered recycling and crafting.

I usually don’t buy other people’s craft projects, but the shirt above is the quintessential 1970s crafted garment.  It is actually a man’s shirt – a navy issue chambray work shirt.  It’s very possible that it came from an army-navy store, one of the chief suppliers of clothing for all of us who were protesting the Vietnam War.  I actually have a similar shirt, but in denim, that I embroidered flowers and butterflies and such onto in 1972.

Don’t you just love how the stem goes through the hole?  What is that hole for, anyway?

There are even more appliqued flowers on the back, along with a speckled butterfly.

Nothing like a little eyelet edging to add a feminine touch!


Filed under Collecting, Sewing, Vintage Clothing