I CREATED A VERY COOL VINTAGE SKIRT

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Look what I did to my dress!   You had seen this late 1960’s wool dress before, and I loved the red knit top of it, BUT,  the years had not been kind before it came to me and some moths had had a banquet.  Just couldn’t live with the little holes here and there, and no good way to fix them.

SO – why not snip it off at the waist and fashion a dirndl/pencil skirt instead?  So easy!  All I did was finish (by hand) around the waist with a piece of grosgrain ribbon, sew a few hooks and eyes in the placket left where the zipper used to be et voila’!  Just for extra fun, I threaded a black tie belt through the crochet so that it ties off in back.  Wouldn’t have had to, but it allows me to fit the waist a little more snugly and adds a cute touch.

Brainstorm!  Maybe I can wear it with that neat green sweater found recently – and black boots – must check it out . . . . .. … .. . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

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ANOTHER GREAT DISCOVERY! FABULOUS FIFTIES FROCK WITH FUR TRIMMING

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CUSTOM-TAILORED 1950’S PARTY FROCK WITH RABBIT TRIM

Although this dress looks very cute on Stella’s figure, it really must have been sewn for a petite woman much shorter.  I can’t quite imagine a style like this with fur and rhinestone trim made for a teen or a child in the 1950’s.  At any rate, the average height of a Fifties lady would have been 5 or 6 inches shorter while still perhaps being a tiny vintage size 10, like Stella.

Imagine my surprise to see this rare garment!  If you’ve been with me for a while, you may remember that several years ago I encountered a similar frock in ivory brocade with mink trim on the 3/4 sleeves.  That seems to have been a popular early 1950’s trend. In this case, we are seeing very pretty rabbit fur, with a little rhinestone trim nestled in the bodice ornament.

Another surprise is that this frock, despite it’s elegant style and up-scale materials, appears to have been hand-made.  It’s construction demonstrates the handiwork of someone who was very skilled, so perhaps it was made by a professional tailor rather than a home-based seamstress.  However, who actually knows?  With no labels to point the way, it’s just another delicious mystery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

1940’S SLEEVE TREATMENTS – WHAT’S OLD IS NEW AGAIN, AND AGAIN, AND AGAIN . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This post was inspired by the fabulous Theodora Brack and her post of a few weeks ago on the blog, Paris: People, Places and Bling.  Shirt sleeve styles are, again. doing some very interesting things with pleats, gathers and puffs.  Here are a few from my  own true vintage collection which show how these styles cycle through the decades.

Pictured here are 1930’s and 1940’s blouses excepting, in photos #1 and #3, the right-hand and left-hand examples are retro Forties, which were made in the early 1980’s. Cotton, silk, rayon and poly.  Kimono, pirate, Western-inspired and prissy designs all had their day in the 1940’s and have wound their way up and down runways every decade or two since then.  Of course, some decades were known for their beautiful craftsmanship, gorgeous fabrics and special tailoring details so these aspects will always be showcased in true vintage garments from those times.

Modern blouses which follow these style trends will not be nearly as beautiful or as well-made but, I love my finds.  Thanks for the opportunity to put them in the spotlight again.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

 

 

BEAUTIFULLY TOOLED LEATHER BAGS FROM MEXICO – CIRCA 1960’S – 1980’S

BEAUTIFULLY TOOLED LEATHER BAGS FROM MEXICO - CIRCA 1960'S - 1980'S

Soft, supple leather inside and out – these bags were made in Mexico and probably picked up by vacationers who used them very little, if at all, after their trip.  Both have vintage hardware, but the designs – especially on the left-hand purse – are more modern.

On the right, we see a traditional floral/cactus pattern similar to those made in the western United States while the left-hand one has a farm worker pictured and, on the back, the Mayan calendar.

What I like best about these handbags, whether made in the ’40’s or the ’80’s is that they are 100% hand-made and usually the workmanship and quality of the leather are excellent.  Plus, they are SO distinctive and unusual . . . . . . . . . . always a priority for me.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

MORE DRESSES! 2: CUSTOM-TAILORED MID-CENTURY SLINKY SHEATH

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This one’s a sexy day dress with ruching at the waistline to give it a bit of curvy shape, while still staying very proper.  Love the abstract atomic print in subtle shades that could go to work, or dinner, or . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Hand-tailored frocks are so much fun to discover because they always tell a story about the designer.  This style is so versatile – I’ll enjoy it, too.  More on the way . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

HAND-TAILORED AND ELEGANT: MID-CENTURY SILK SHEATH DRESS FROM HONG KONG

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This dress is another keeper!  I wish Stella were here to model it for you – it’s so beautiful. So chic and elegant, of 100% silk with a floral jacquard design, with all the fine details that would be expected from an expert tailor.   This dress was made in the late 1950’s – early 1960’s by a tailoring firm especially for a higher-end shop in the Bahamas.

Excepting for the missing original belt and a few stitches in the hem which need to be repaired, it is in perfect condition.   A dress of this type would have been especially prized by it’s mid-century owner, and protected from damage.  That’s why it’s still possible, if you are lucky, blessed and skilled, to discover these frocks today.

I’m also fortunate to be of a size that was more or less average at that time, so I can wear many of my finds without alterations.  However, an expert cleaning service will have skilled seam-sters who can work wonders when necessary, so carry on . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY’

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

HEADING FURTHER BACK IN TIME – A HAND-TAILORED FLORAL FROCK WITH A FULL CIRCLE SKIRT

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In a ’50’s to early ’60’s style, but with mid-1960’s-type fabric this dress illustrates the creative power that home-sewers in the mid-century had over their wardrobes.  The size, style and fabric were completely at their discretion and genre’s could be combined in any way.

This example was made for a teen or a petite woman (the photo is somewhat foreshortened, too, so it’s not quite as short-waisted as it looks), probably as a dressy day or party dress.  It’s a simple style in cotton blend with a zip back and elasticized sleeves but shows evidence of extra care and skill in the insertion of piping detail at the waist and flounce on the skirt.  There are also strap-keepers sewn in at the shoulders and some seams that were done by hand.

What a fun little mystery-history to unravel!  More back to the future on the way . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM