MID-CENTURY COTTON DRESS BY POLLY FLINDERS

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Children’s vintage clothing is not my specialty, but when I see a classic dress that has survived in such good condition I usually pick it up.  Polly Flinders brand made pretty, traditionally-designed frocks for babies and children during the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s.

What could be more classic than cotton with hand-smocked design.  Babes, toddlers and pre-schoolers have been wearing similar little day-dresses for decades.  Unfortunately, we all know what usually happens to children’s garments . . . . . . . it’s lucky if they last long enough for the next  brother or sister to wear them before they’re ready for the rag bin.

So, here’s a piece of history that WILL get passed along many decades later.

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

 

RARE, RARE, RARE NEW FIND! 1960’S MOD PLAY-SUIT – JUMPSUIT

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This is really something!  Mid-century play-suits are rare as hens teeth, so I’m thrilled to discover another one.  So cute – flower-power mod print in cotton, with a long metal zip up the back.

So much fun!  Fashion used to be both and either restricting and full of novelty.  Now we can wear everything and anything we want but you’ve gotta go Indie designer, independent artist or true vintage to be unique.  I guess there always has to be both sides of the coin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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

 

THE SWEETEST MID-CENTURY BABY DRESS – FROM LORD & TAYLOR!

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Talk about RARE!  This one is a real treasure.  Cotton comfort with smocking detail and vintage shell buttons in back.  There’s an embroidered cotton tag inside the neck from the high-end department store retailer Lord & Taylor.

Love finding old things from Saks Fifth Avenue, too.  They’re always nice.  No babies at home for me, but how could I resist?

Several decades ago, little girls (and boys) were routinely dressed in beautifully-made clothing of very high quality – even it it came from a mid-priced store.  Mothers enjoyed dressing themselves and their children nicely and it wasn’t such a competitive brand-driven thing like today.

If I were parenting a child, it would be so much fun to dress him/her in true vintage, along with myself!  Yes, these garments take a little more care, but the rewards . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.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

HALLOWEEN’S IN THE BAG – TIME FOR ALL 1950’S HOMEMAKERS TO THINK ABOUT THANKSGIVING & CHRISTMAS . . .

IMG_0935 IMG_0936Although we do Christmas marketing almost year-round, back in the mid-century time no one thought seriously about Christmas stuff until after the American Thanksgiving in late November.  But, if you’re making lots of your gifts . . . . .

McCalls needlework magazine promoted doing just that – to economize as well as adding a personal touch.  Can you imagine getting all that done ?!

For many of our grandmothers, that was just part of the day-to-day.  And, they did produce beautiful things – from hats, gloves, sweaters, socks and scarves to dolls & their clothing, tablecloths & bedspreads, just to name a few.

I love discovering some special true vintage handmade item that was probably made as a gift or a table decoration for a special family holiday. . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

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

EARLY 1960’S FUN AND GAMES – WHAT A DIFFERENT LIFE OUR GRANDMOTHERS LED!

IMG_1039IMG_1040These McCalls magazine needlework ads would make you think that our grandmas’ lives were all about simple fun in the kitchen and scheming to get their husbands to give in to their wishes.

That’s the stereotype, isn’t it?  I wonder how much of that is true?  Don’t think I want to go back there, but the sweater is gorgeous!

Hand-knits from that era are really special, sweet and innocent styles . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

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

HEY, MOM – I NEED A HALLOWEEN COSTUME! NO WORRIES FOR OUR 1950’S HOMEMAKER . . .

IMG_0966 IMG_0963     She’d just pull out the latest edition of her McCalls Needlework magazine.  And, of course, there is the Christmas Pageant, too . .. . .

I can’t believe the intricacy of these home-sewing DIY patterns.  Women used to do this all the time!

Once when I was a kid, my (I thought) non-sewing grandmother did  whip up a very convincing 1960’s black collarless jacket for me when I wanted to be a Beatle for Halloween.  Who knew?  . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

BACK TO SCHOOL TIME! 1950’S/1960’S SWEATERS THAT MOM & GRANDMA WERE BUSY KNITTING . . . . .

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Yes, it’s that time of year again.  I don’t know how many of you had mothers or grandmas who made most of your wardrobe, all year long – BUT, it was not at all unusual back in the day.   And, aren’t these cute and good-looking!    I’ll bet no one else would have had one like it.

These kinds of needlework magazines with patterns were really popular and there used to be little knitting shops around that sold all the necessary supplies.   When I was cleaning out some of the OLD family stuff recently, I found a lot of knitting needles of every size and configuration you can imagine.   I couldn’t begin to understand how they were used . . . . .

In these old magazines that were given to me, I’ve seen ads for knitting machines, too – something small that you could set up and use at home.   Although I can’t imagine devoting the time it would take to make these garments really well, they are SO beautiful that it seems it was well worth it.

I’d love to hear about your own family stories . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM