THE FIRST OF TWO FABULOUS MID-CENTURY FINDS – NEW LOOK CUSTOM-TAILORED BALL GOWN

This gown is hand-tailored with extreme attention to detail.  It would be worn with a crinoline for a full, bell-shape.  Because of the styling, I would guess that it was made in the early 1950’s but, possibly, as early as the late 1940’s.  A special occasion dress, of course, and there’s hardly any evidence of wear.  Maybe it was even made for a Prom or Homecoming dance back in the day.

Women were so happy to dress in longer skirts, sumptuous fabrics and new styles after the austerity of the war years.

I’ll be showing a sister gown tomorrow – very similar style and probably made a few years earlier.  What fabulous discoveries!

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

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TRUE VINTAGE 1940s – ’50s LIGHTWEIGHT KNIT SWEATER OR BLOUSE

TRUE VINTAGE 1940s - '50s LIGHTWEIGHT KNIT SWEATER OR BLOUSE

Lovely nylon knit sweater-blouse in soft green. Perfect for making a transition to the cold weather. By Canterbury – a company which was known for beautiful cardigans, too. What’s the special magic about this one?

Look at the fit.  The knit drapes so nicely and it is full-fashioned, which always improves the way that a sweater fits the body.  At the neckline there are many tiny vintage shell buttons – the kind that are substantial and well-shaped, even though they are very small. They do allow you to close the neckline, if desired, but are mostly for decoration.

As long as you protect it from snags and stains, an item like this is very easy to care for. Hand washing (or delicate in a newer machine) is best, with similar colors.  This avoids stretching and, also, protects the color.  Nylon can absorb other colors in the wash so it’s always best to wash it alone or to avoid washing it with contrasting shades.  If you want to change the color of a nylon item, they accept dye very well.  Just be sure to follow the directions very carefully because they may end up streaky if you don’t.

With any kind of pants or a pencil, a-line or pleated skirt (depending on your figure) it looks wonderful.  This is how it was worn back in the day. Put a scarf at the neck, or pearls.  Perfect for every-day or dressed up – clothing of this quality is always elegant.

I found this at a small vintage shop, on the sale rack. I usually find the best things in unlikely places and at unheard of prices! I wonder who wore this one and where? You just never know . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

 

A TIMELESS FIND FROM “DOWN UNDER” – TRUE VINTAGE CLASSIC WHITE BLOUSE

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     This shirt joined my true vintage wardrobe when I was in Australia several years ago.  It’s of the most wonderful cotton/cotton-blend fabric! That was my first tip-off to its age.  I have another white blouse from the Forties with similar tailoring details, but this one is not quite so old.  Although it’s a timeless style, the little clues that it isn’t modern are all over.

With no label, its origin is a mystery.  It looks as though it was commercially-made, but not completely.  Sometimes custom-made garments from tailoring shops had that look.

Although the answers are elusive, it’s different and I know it.  Imagine my delight to discover this hiding among all the ho-hum modern things . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

BACK TO THE EARLY 1950’S – JUST FOUND A BEAUTIFUL WOOL SKIRT SUIT

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Made of the finest Scottish wool and specially tailored for a specific brand name.  Very nice detail on the jacket front, and in back it’s got a little belt with a center button that matches the silver ones on the pockets.  The skirt is straight style with a back kick pleat.

A little big on me, but it might be worth having it altered to fit.  I can’t get enough of the gorgeous jackets from that time and a pencil skirt is always wonderful.  Classic mid-grey, also, is great to have on hand in mix-able pieces.  I’m thrilled!  One of the handbags I’ll show you tomorrow would look just lovely with this . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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

 

ANOTHER CLASSIC FORTIES FROCK, IN BLACK CREPE

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When it rains, it pours.  I’d like a better picture, but it’s that black thing again and the fact that it’s really too big for Stella, who might show it off a little better.  Midi-length, with dolman sleeves, faux pocket detail and elegant stitching on the upper bodice.  Looks like something Joan Crawford would have worn.  Just my style . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM