McCALL’S NEEDLEWORK MAGAZINE FEATURE FROM 1956 – MAKE YOUR OWN HATS

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Since, at that time, a hat was a must-add to your outfit almost every day, being able to make your own saved women a lot of money.  At the beginning of every season, women would hustle to up-date their accessories.  Of course, a new hat from a milliner or a dress shop would be the first choice, but those could be pricey, even then.  And, like shoes, a variety of different hats was the best thing!

These DIY styles are so cute.  Like the dresses and sweaters I’ve shown from these vintages magazines, they range from casual to very dressy and can be surprising in how professional they look.

Up through the Fifties, at least, being able to construct and maintain the family’s clothing was an essential part of most housewives’ duties, along with cooking and cleaning. Although I’m told it could be fun, it was not a hobby . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

YOU’RE SO VAIN: The Oft-Forgotten but Fabulous Accessory – HATS

The Oft-Forgotten but Fabulous Accessory - HATS

Although I always love hats, the beginning of Fall always gets me thinking about them more.  And,  there couldn’t be an easier style to wear than this one.

The average woman before 1970 understood the allure and the impact of hats.  They used to be a central part of any outfit and occupied a center-stage position in the wardrobe of any woman or man.

This one is a simple but very effective style from the late ’60s or ’70s,  it has a chain and ribbon band and is made of wool felt.   Carley Simon wears a similar one on the jacket of her famous debut album in 1972.

A wide brim is flattering to most faces and the key, as always, is to try it on before you buy and to learn what flatters your particular face and body.  A great hat can be the most important thing you wear.

They’re also very effective if you’re wanting to be a bit mysterious or difficult to recognize . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

STARTING TOMORROW – A TRUE VINTAGE HAT SERIES

Although hats are no longer an essential part of our daily wardrobes, excepting in cold weathr, they’re one of the most wonderful accessories to an outfit or ensemble. Now, of course, is a perfect time to be showing off your collection. Starting tomorrow we’ll run through mine, whether they’re appropriate for this particular time of year or not.

Be prepared for first plaintext early a.m. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

1960’S OR ’70’S SUPER WELL-MADE HOUSE DRESS

While admittedly this housedress is not among my most stellar finds, first impression was that it was too good to leave behind. When I had a closer look at home, I could really see why. The quality features are far beyond what I first noticed.

OK. We’re going to talk about QUALITY only here, because the design is not exceptionally different from many other garments of its type. One of the best things about this particular cotton/polyester blend fabric is that it is opaque enough that I could go to the door in it without being indecent. That’s a huge plus when it comes to most housecoats of this genre.

Going on to the most important questions about the quality standards of clothing, let’s talk about the construction. We like the fabric – next is the notions. In this case, that includes the buttons and the lace trim. Both are very good – lace is the nicest I’ve felt or seen in a long time, on items of this type. The buttons are little stemmed pearlized plastic buttons which are very classic. The machine embroidery on the yoke is very nice, too, but nothing to write home about when it comes to what I expect on a vintage garment.

Finally comes construction. I took a separate photo of the yoke because the design is outstanding. It raises the bar when compared to the things that are usually seen and this design is echoed on the back yoke, too. Also, the seams are really tight and neatly done – very important on an at-home garment which will be worn a lot and won’t get special care. Finally, the hem has a 1″ allowance and has been finished BY HAND!!

That is probably the sweetest thing about this piece. Makes me nostalgic for my mother’s and grandmothers’ times when these features and touches were standard on almost everything they bought. Maybe, with all the disruption and change we’re experiencing in the world today our priorities and lifestyles will change and these kinds of production standards will return. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to count on things you buy to last at least a decade or two (or three or four) instead of just a few months?

In the meantime, there’s nothing like true vintage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

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NEW WAVE DESIGN, EARLY 1980’S DOES 1940’S SILK DRESS

Another great find, and in perfect condition, like the one shown yesterday! Let’s talk QUALITY and DESIGN again. First off, I love silk dresses. This one needs a steaming, but that will happen when I give it a cleaning – couldn’t wait to share it.

So, high-quality fabric. Also, high-quality construction, made in Hong Kong. That’s a location that could always be counted on for superior workmanship. The turquoise edging has been applied so expertly and carefully that it adds to the overall impression of a higher-end piece. The buttons are fabric-covered and the pleating detail is beautiful. Also, inside, the little hand-done fabric fans at the shoulder seams that widen the shoulders a bit are really nice. The covered elastic at the waistline has retained its stretch, so was good-quality, as well.

I just love the pairing of a New Wave true navy/turquoise color combo and detailing along with 1940’s style. Avant-guarde meets vintage. Some better-made Forties garments were very much like that, back in the day. I would expect that this dress was worn with a belt, although there are no belt loops. A simple, dark navy belt would be called for, as the collar and cuff detail take center stage. There’s enough fabric, unless you’re quite tall, to harvest material from the hem for a tie belt or to cover a custom buckle belt.

A much simpler and “homey” style tomorrow, but still a star on the quality stage. Stay tuned . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

1970’S – 1980’S HAWAIIAN SHEATH DRESS – ONE OF THE BEST!

It’s SO good to get out into the field again! Here’s part of what the latest investigation uncovered. A classic fitted-sheath design, which we still see a lot of on the market, always flattering and always in style. So, what makes this one stand out amongst those that are on the racks today?

1. THE QUALITY:

  • the FABRIC – 100% rayon in a really nice artistic print, substantial but with a soft hand and glossy finish.
  • the CRAFTSMANSHIP – Careful finishing, with piping around the neckline and armholes. Facings and hem allowance with some depth.

2. THE DESIGN:

  • AUTHENTICITY – Hawaiian style, made locally in Hawaii.
  • CUT AND FIT – shaping darts front and back to fit the curves of the torso gently and move with the wearer.
  • WALKING SLITS – on each side of the skirt enhance comfort and prevent tearing.

I don’t see garments this nice in the stores today. The material is to die for – both in how it looks and feels. The dress has a real authentic vibe. Garments this well-made also fit more nicely, last a long time and rarely need any kind of repair. The only possible downside is that dry-cleaning is the proper care but, since we can now do this safely and effectively at home in the dryer, extra expense is minimal.\ It’s another one that I’ll wear frequently and forever! More to come . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

A TRUE VINTAGE KNITTED SWEATER CAPE BY BANFF, FROM THE 1960’S OR EARLY ’70’S

A TRUE VINTAGE KNITTED SWEATER CAPE BY BANFF, FROM THE 1960'S OR EARLY '70'S

These types of sweaters/capes/ponchos were popular in the ’60’s and a lot of women knitted them themselves. This one is made by the Banff company, which produced a lot of really nice knits. I have a beaded sweater, knit dresses and suits by them, too.

The greatest feature, to me, is the armholes that allow you to have hands free. Any cape with this design is wonderful because it raises the convenience level big time!

Another nice thing is the button front. Also convenient. The fringe is lovely and the acrylic yarn also great because it washes so nicely and gives warmth but doesn’t have the weight and care issues of most wool items.

Sweet little sweater things, whether cardigans, pull-overs, jackets & coats, dresses and skirts,etc. were really popular in the ’60’s and early ’70’s and are very different from the things made now.

I love finding these beautiful vintage garments that are so unique, stylish and of exceptional quality. This one is an open-weave, so perfect for late Spring, early Fall and cool Summer nights.

True vintage sweater knits are not common finds (are any really common?) but definitely worth the treasure hunt . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

BOOK:  HOW TO FIND THE BEST IN VINTAGE FASHION – AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM

TRUE VINTAGE 1940S – ’60S CORDUROY JACKET/SMOCK

TRUE VINTAGE 1940S - '60S CORDUROY JACKET/SMOCK

Okay, we’re back to the jackets and coats that will take us out of late winter and into Spring! Since I’ve been doing a lot of red lately, here’s a cute shirt-jacket that I suspect is from the early 1960s but could be older. It had a girls’ school patch on front (which I have, of course, saved) and zips part-way down the front with a metal zipper.

This is cute and very different, easy to pop on over slacks, jeans or even a shift dress or skirt and blouse. I try to picture how it was worn by the original owner.

The corduroy is of a quality rarely seen today. The photo doesn’t do it justice, as the color is actually very bright and there’s no damage and very little wear.  100% cotton and, though it is fairly lightweight, is a dense weave that stands up for years rather than breaking out in thin patches or holes quickly. That’s what I love about the older fabrics. Although some of them have some vulnerabilities and require special know-how to care for them, they all have benefits that make them special in the way the color pops or how they hang or drape on the body. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to find something as good now. Although this is just a simple item, I love it and you can see how it has held up despite its age.

In a couple of weeks, I’ll begin publishing photos of a few true vintage things that I’ve kept at this second home for the warm weather, and my most recent finds! I like to keep the posts seasonal to North America, so stay tuned. You just never what will show up!

Morgana Martin, the magicvintagespy
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