Alice Faye was an American actress and singer who starred in films during the late 1930s and the war years in the 1940s. She sang in a husky, honey contralto voice that many song writers of the time loved, like Irving Berlin, who was once quoted as saying that he would choose Faye over any other singer to introduce his songs, and George Gershwin and Cole Porter called her the “best female singer in Hollywood in 1937″. In her acting she displayed solid comic timing and had a flair for carrying off the era’s popular and lucrative cookie-cutter starry-eyed romantic musicals. After her break out role in the film “1935 Scandals”, the Fox studio decided to give her look a make over. She was transformed from a version of Jean Harlow to a softer look with a more natural tone to her blonde hair and more mature makeup, including losing the notorious “pencil” eyebrows.The following are photos of her beautifully sculpted WWII era hairstyles. With her beautiful thick hair, she must have been the studio’s hairstylists dream. I so wish I could replicate these styles!
My curiosity inspired me to do some quick research. It’s called “fotoescultura”, a photo sculpture. In Mexico, in the 1930s and 1940s, skilled artisans would take a photograph then carve and paint a wooden bust based on it. After adhering the photograph to it, the artisan would hand-tint the photo and add embellishments such as jewelry and costuming to create a startling likeness.
The ornately carved frames are an artwork unto themselves. Too bad this is a skill that will soon disappear.
I am still playing around with ideas for the Crazy Cat Lady sewing challenge. And although labor intensive in Photoshop Elements, I’ve been having a blast coming up with these idea boards. Michael Miller’s silly Atomic Tabbys print would make a super cute apron. I found these coordinating prints at Fabric.com.
This print from a Spoonflower contributor works better on an apron than the dress I overlaid on it in a previous post.
I love the princess seam lines of this vintage dress pattern and I am partial to sweetheart necklines. I’m most drawn to the turquoise Atomic cats fabric, although the Bowtie Cats print on the end is appealing too.
In the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, there is a scene where Sir Galahad The Pure, is making his way through a deep forest in the middle of a thunderstorm and sees a grail-shaped beacon atop Castle Anthrax. Banging on the door with his armored glove, he is welcomed into the castle by a woman named Zoot. She tells him the castle is only populated by women. Zoot: (leading Sir Galahad upstairs) “Oh… I’m afraid our life must seem very dull and quiet compared to yours. We are but 8 score young blondes and brunettes… all between 16 and 19-and-a-half… cut off in this castle with no one to protect us! Oh… it is a lonely life. Bathing… dressing… undressing… knitting exciting underwear….”
Today’s knitted underwear is more novelty rather than functional. Practical, hand knitted under-things were more common in the first half of the 20th century. I suppose a woman needed knitted undies in the winter months for extra warmth. Especially during WWII when everyone needed to conserve heating fuel for the war effort.
The all-in-one seems to have been a popular item, judging by the many patterns available in that era. How did a woman get into it? Did she step in from the top? And how did she go to the loo? I haven’t read this pattern, but maybe it has a vintage version of a snap crotch?This is an interesting knitted brassiere with a kind of spiral design on the bra cups. The coordinating panties certainly brings the term “granny panties” to new heights. There’s a matching camisole too.The knickers for this set are so decidedly UN-sexy that the woman here wouldn’t even have to say, “Not tonight dear, I have a headache.”
Here’s a pattern from the late 1920s very much reflecting the straight up and down twenties silhouette ideal.
Well, if you have got to wear a onesie, this is one of the cuter ones.I would willingly knit a camisole if it were designed to be outerwear, but vintage knitted undies will probably never make it into my queue on Ravelry.
Erin Fosmire of Miss Crayola Creepy blog fame is hosting a fun Cat Lady Sewing Challenge for all us crazy cat ladies (and gents I’m sure). The only parameter is to use a cat themed fabric and the deadline is the end of October, so there’s plenty of time.
I’m thinking that a kitty themed print would work well with a vintage or retro styled dress. I went surfing around the web and found some fun kitty prints on Spoonflower and Fabric.com. I think the cat print will look best on a sundress and manage to not look too silly. Since I am of mature years, I can’t carry off over-the-top cutsey anymore without looking like a total nutter!
This “Paw Prints Luv My Kitty” print in lavender would look very sweet.Or this black and white print with black contrasting bands could look a little more sophisticated.I always love shades of aqua and sea foam green, as they are one of my colors, according to “Color Me Beautiful”, although this print starts to verge on the juvenile. It would probably make a super cute little girl’s dress. Or a really fun apron.Then there’s this print in earthy shades of yellows and browns.I was wanting another vintage style challenge, but Lucky Lucille is putting off Fall For Cotton until next March. So although this sewing challenge isn’t vintage oriented per se, I’m going to give it a retro twist.
Oh boy! A stylish new period-piece series on Masterpiece Mystery! The year is 1961 and the brilliant Dr. Otto Powell (harboring a dark secret) trapped in a loveless marriage to Elizabeth, develops an attraction to lovely Nurse Angela. I just streamed the first two episodes on PBS.org. As usual, Masterpiece nails the setting, clothes and feel of the early 1960s, especially the women’s dresses and the men’s haircuts.
The unhappy couple, Otto and Elizabeth.
Love those retro style dresses!
Nurse Angela’s sister, Jean, pictured seated below in the red dress, is the scheming tart who tricks Dr. Truscott into marrying her to escape her unhappy home and father. And so because she’s the bad girl, the actress Zoe Boyle, gets to wear some of the prettiest, sexy dresses on the show.
The love triangle number two between Jean, her new husband Dr. Richard Truscott, and his old flame Margaret. I just love the red satin cheongsam Jean wears in the first episode!
In episode 2, Air Hostesses of 1961.
A show worth watching for all lovers of vintage and retro style!
This fun little project is Butterick 5054. It offers 2 different styles of backpacks and Mp3 Player cover. I made view C/D because I just dig the teardrop shape.
Views C and D have different styles of outside pockets but since I wanted LOTS of pockets, I used them both on one backpack. This fabric is a very heavy, Mexican style cotton stripe I got from Fabrics That Go, a really cool interior fabrics store in Tucson, AZ. I was just visiting there in the beginning of August and my mom, who also sews, took me around to all her favorite fabric stores.
This is now my new, favorite gym bag. It is just the right size to take a small towel, weight lifting gloves, water bottle and other small necessities, and with enough pockets on the outside to hold my keys, sunglasses, and cell phone. I used 4 zippers on this bag, so you’ve got to be comfortable inserting zippers. I made a few changes by elongating the outside pocket on the gusset by an inch so it would hold my sunglasses. It was supposed to be used for an MP3 player, but I wanted my sunglasses to be more protected rather than just hanging by the loop like shown in the photo on the pattern envelope.
The lining is just a mishmash of leftover fabrics from other projects. I added an extra elasticized pocket in the interior, and I used the instructions from the book, A Bag For All Reasons by Lisa Lam, to add an additional zippered interior pocket.
I wish I would have read the instructions for the exterior pockets more carefully. They aren’t the clearest I’ve ever read. I botched it slightly, but they still came out fine. I did not have any hardware buckles on hand, so the strap is just sewn directly into the gusset and isn’t adjustable, which is okay by me. I varied from the pattern just a little by making the zippered gusset for the main compartment with two strips of fabric instead of a single piece. This way I was able to get some extra length from the zipper; I needed it to open wider for easier digging around in the main compartment.
This is one of those projects where a crafter could get really creative and have a lot of fun with fabrics. I’ll be making another one soon.