MID – CENTURY TRUE VINTAGE ELEGANCE: WHAT REALLY MAKES THE DIFFERENCE

IMG_1400IMG_1403In these few photos IMG_1404from an early – 1960’s needlework magazine, the styles are very plain and, in some cases, they are so generic that they’re very boring!  BUT, every woman pictured looks smart, elegant, fashionable and attractive.

Obviously, it’s not mostly about their clothing.  Sure, they’re all slim and attractive people but that’s not the main thing, either.  Take away the good fit and quality of what they are wearing (super-important as a base for everything else) and what is left that REALLY does it?

It’s their grooming, posture and ACCESSORIES.  None of those ensembles would look half as good without the accessorizing touches – imagine each of them without the necklace, bracelet, gloves or handsome handbag.  Makes a big difference, doesn’t it?

So, as much as I love fabulous true vintage style and details I also know that I can easily stand out in a room dressed in a plain ’50’s skirt and sweater, or even a pair of jeans with a great true vintage shirt.  Our grandmothers understood that perfectly.  And today, it’s VERY easy NOT to stand out . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

 

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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

AGAIN, FUN AND RARE TO FIND – ANOTHER HAND-KNIT BABY JACKET

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It is just incredible that these things survive!  Although this cute little coat could have been made more recently by a master needle-worker, I’m betting that it’s a mid-century creation.  Much prettier in person, the yoke is composed of very intricate-looking sculptural stitches and the yarn feels like angora.

Similar to the one I showed several weeks ago, it’s pink – probably made for a girl back in the day since pink for girls and blue for boys was pretty much what everybody did when it came to babies.  There are still some women around who can knit well and a few who have taught themselves in order to revive these old skills.  But, they are a rare breed.  A classic garment like this is worth collecting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

 

McCALL’S NEEDLEWORK SPRING CARDIGANS FROM 1961

IMG_1086IMG_1087IMG_1088IMG_1089     Dig the hairstyles, too.  Now that Christmas and New Year’s celebrations were over, women in 1961 turned their attention to Spring and travel styles, as well as Prom & Easter.

With the crazy weather, we’re also thinking of flowers and sunny colors.  Although our grandmothers and great-grandmothers thought about new needlework projects  in their spare time, it’s still FASHION, and we continue to think about it now, but in different ways (what’s on my favorite Internet site?).

in 1961, the subscribers to McCall’s Needlework and Crafts magazine looked forward to these styles.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

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

RARE FIND!! THE SWEETEST LITTLE TRUE VINTAGE BABY JACKET – A MID-CENTURY TREASURE

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SUCH FUN FINDING VINTAGE CHILDREN’S CLOTHING!  THIS COAT WAS HAND-MADE WITH LOVE.

What a gorgeous little sweater-coat!  So well-made.

It’s so unusual to discover baby clothes and toddler’s outfits.  Other than special-occasion garments like christening gowns that are made to wear only once and then folded away as keepsakes, children’s-wear tends to disappear after it’s been through months of dirty diapers, falls and messy meals.

Although this little coat probably wouldn’t have been worn every day, it would have experienced some wear and tear and has been beautifully preserved.  The style and the buttons put it smack-dab in the 1940’s – early 1960’s, when the wool yarn would also have been more common for an infant’s garment than something made since then (too hard to clean when easy-care acrylic yarn is available).  The knitter’s label, however, would have been attached some time in or after the 1960’s – or it could have been made with vintage materials and a vintage pattern at a later time.

Since the blue-for-boys, pink-for-girls thing was pretty rigid until recent years, I feel safe to say that it was made for a little girl.  It’s so intriguing to wonder about the story behind it.  Was it made by a relative or close friend or even purchased at a craft show?  I’ll always wonder – you just never know . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

RARE FIND! THE SWEETEST MID-CENTURY HANDMADE BABY JACKET

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I love finding true vintage children’s clothing!  So often, they’ve been worn out or wrecked long before they could be enjoyed 50 or 60 years down the road.  This one is lovely wool with angora trim and true vintage plastic buttons on stems.  Someone saved it and cherished it after it was lightly used.

The custom-made label at the neck would date no earlier than the 1960’s, but it’s hard to say when it as put there.  The jacket itself, knitted and crocheted by hand, was either made in the 1940’s, 1950’s or early 1960’s or was made more recently from a pattern from one of those mid-century dates.

The flared style was probably for a little girl, back in the day when pink and blue colors were reserved exclusively for female and male babies.  Plenty of room for a diaper and plastic pants under that full skirt!  The infant who wore this was probably still in them.

Who was the knitter?  Grandma?  Auntie?  Sister?  Mommy?  So much fun to guess.  Whoever made this jacket was a very skilled needleworker and probably had some time on her hands.  It’s just so very precious . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

 

 

McCALLS 1963 NEEDLEWORK MAGAZINE SAYS – START KNITTING YOUR NEW YEAR’S DRESSES NOW!

IMG_1033 IMG_1029 IMG_1034Although these frocks are in pastels and the weather is often dark and gloomy now,  these are the styles and colors that used to appear as soon as the Christmas and holiday season was over.  Late winter/Spring fashions and travel clothing came out in the magazines and department stores back in the day.

For our grandmothers who were crafty, it would be time to start making your dresses like these that do take a little time to create.  Although they would almost always be knitted or crocheted in wool, they really have a Spring-like feel to them and that was what people loved when travel to warmer places during the winter was short or not possible at all.

Lightweight wool goes through 3 seasons very well.  Clothiers and fashionistas have always known this and included smart and beautiful wool garments in their wardrobes almost all year long.  Now that it’s become easier to care for them, with hand-washing and at-home dry-cleaning, I love my vintage sweaters and dresses up until May, too . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

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