Catnip Reproduction Vintage Clothing

I was looking around the web for a swing era dress to wear to a WWII USO Swing Dance I will be going to, and found this charming site: Catnip Reproduction Vintage Clothing. The owner, Kristine Anderson, ran a vintage clothing store in San Diego, California, for 36 years. In 2010 she closed the store and put it all online so she could share her love of classic vintage style and design with a wider audience.

This is her “USO” dress. I love the polkadots and the contrasting bright red buttons. The rayon fabric will ensure that the skirt drapes prettily and swishes when dancing.POLKA DOT RAYON PRINT 1This capris and cropped top outfit looks like the ensemble worn by one of the models in the movie “How To Marry A Millionaire”.matador caprisThis hawaiian playsuit looks great for hot weather.hawaiian playsuitAnd if you want the complete look, Kristine carries lingerie too, like this Tigress Garter Panty ensemble. Va Va Voom!tigress garter pantyShe even carries the delectable Miss L Fire shoes. I’ll be asking Santa for these shoes!Red Peep Toeswhat to giveHave a Merry Christmas!

Christmas Sewing – Vintage Toy Patterns

If you are in the mood to sew toys for Christmas, there a lots of vintage soft toy patterns out there on the internet. Cruising around the web, I found many vintage doll and stuffed animal patterns available. And who knew Raggedy Ann & Andy rode on camelback?

VintageXmas1

VintageXmas2I’m sure serious collectors are on the hunt for this vintage Micky & Minnie Mouse original pattern and will have to pay big bucks for it!Mccall 91 The dolls on the McCall pattern have strange looking eyes to me. Maybe they look cuter when sewn up. And the red eyes on rabbit on the left look evil. I would choose less demented looking eyes. VintageXmas3 These Advance patterns look like they’re meant to be a bit floppy. They could be stuffed to be like “Beanie Babies”.VintageXmas4Have a Merry Holiday!

christmasmusic1

Christmas Sewing – “Christmas In Connecticut” Style

Well now that Thanksgiving is over here in the USA, and we’re just left with eating all the leftovers for the next few days, my mind turns to Christmas sewing. I recently acquired Hollywood Pattern 779, and the artwork on the envelope triggered a memory.xmas in connecticut 4If you reverse the plaid on View 1 to the top and make the skirt plain, it reminds me of the ensemble Barbara Stanwyck wears in the country dance scene in the movie “Christmas In Connecticut”.xmas in connecticut 2xmas in connecticut 1Although if I were to sew this pattern anytime soon (it’s way back in the queue), I find the plaid skirt on the pattern really appealing. It could make a very fetching outfit for a holiday party.

Hollywood 779c

I love “Christmas In Connecticut”. It is one of my favorite holiday movies. I’ll be putting the dvd in the player soon.Xmas in Connecticut 3

Atomic Tabbys Dress – almost finished

My dress for Miss Crayola Creepy’s Crazy Cat Lady sewing challenge is almost finished. The side seams are basted, so I just need to do a final fitting and then hem it. I’ll have it finished tonight but then it will be too dark to model it. So my dress form is wearing it so I could get a photo of it up in the Flickr group before the deadline.

Atomic Cats dress 1Here’s a close up of the kitschy kitty detail on the bodice where the loop goes around the center gathers.

Atomic Cats dress 2

I used New Look 6935 although I wanted to use my vintage pattern.

New Look 6935

New Look 6935

Unfortunately I didn’t pay attention to the fabric requirements even though I did get what was listed on the envelope. Turns out it was for fabric without nap or a one-way directional print. Mail Order 4543I had my fabric laid out on the cutting table and when I looked at the cutting layout diagram I uttered a very bad word. The dress pieces are flip-flopped around to utilize every inch of the fabric.Mail Order 4543 fabric layoutAnd my “Atomic Tabby’s” print from Michael Miller has a definite one-way direction.Atomic TabbysChalk up another sewing lesson – pay attention to ALL the information AND take a quick look the cutting layout BEFORE buying the fabric. Isn’t that along the lines of “measure twice, cut once”? Lesson learned.

Colette’s “Dahlia” Sewalong

As I am finishing up my sewing project for the “Crazy Cat Lady” sewing challenge, I’ll be starting on Colette Patterns Dahlia sew along.Dahlia 1031

The short sleeve style looks like something I wore to grade school in the 1960s, especially in plaid. I think mine was a red and navy blue plaid.Dahlia plaidSince I haven’t worked with plaids in ages, I picked up this cheapie plaid from Walmart to practice with. It would be nice if it turned out to be a wearable muslin. We’ll see.

walmart plaidJoin in for the fun!

Alice Faye’s WWII Era Hairstyles

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. Alice Faye 1943 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.Alice & JeanThe following are photos of her beautifully sculpted WWII era hairstyles. With her beautiful thick hair, she must have been the studio’s hairstylists dream.Alice Faye 1a Alice Faye 2 Alice Faye 1940s Alice Faye 1 Alice Faye 4 Alice Faye 5I so wish I could replicate these styles!

The Lost Art of Fotoescultura

While I was cruising around eBay, I ran across this item from the 1940s. It’s a photo that has been applied to wood and carved to give it dimension.Fotoescultur 16a

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. Fotoescultur 13

In the early half of the last century, most Mexican families did not have a camera, so just to have an image taken of a family member would be a very big event.Fotoescultur 15

The fotoescultura would take pride of place on the mantel, transforming beloved photographic portraits into handmade sculptural keepsakes.Fotoescultur 14

Many surviving examples are of men in uniform.Fotoescultur 02Unfortunately this is a dying art, with very few artisans still living.Fotoescultur 03

The ornately carved frames are an artwork unto themselves. Too bad this is a skill that will soon disappear.

Fotoescultur 04

Fotoescultur 12Fotoescultur 05Fotoescultur 11

Cat Print Fabrics for Crazy Cat Lady Sewing Challenge

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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.

Dubarry 5747 Atomic Kitty Apron

Pairing this kitty print with the purple gingham is tempting.Dubarry 5747 PawsnPlay board

This print from a Spoonflower contributor works better on an apron than the dress I overlaid on it in a previous post.Dubarry 5747 Cats Baking Cakes Board

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.

Mailorder 4543

Mailorder 4543

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