A COUPLE OF LATE ’40’S – EARLY ’50’S FUN SHIRTWAIST DRESSES IN SUNNY COLORS

A COUPLE OF LATE '50'S - EARLY '60'S FUN SHIRTWAIST DRESSES IN LEAD-INTO-FALL COLORS

I love the colors of these dresses – pink to lavender, with black and white.  Both in a similar shirtwaist style, below-the-knee length and made of a substantial cotton.  Perfect mid-century design.  Absolutely LOVE the collar shapes!

The dress on the left has little houses in a novelty print and some interesting tuck and piping details.  The fabric is a bit heavier, and I’d wear it into Fall.  The one on the right has cute pockets, ric-rac trim and a great plaid.  It really says “summer” and farmers’ markets, to me.  I took the sleeves off for a more flattering fit for me (and saved them, of course!) and wear it often.

Neither one has a label, but I doubt that they were made at home – especially not the left-hand one.  Just goes to show, that labels often go by the wayside. . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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TRUE VINTAGE 1960’S SLEEVELESS FROCK IN PRETTY YELLOW POLKA-DOT FABRIC

I’ve had such a run of finding 1960’s dresses lately!  But, I’m also finding items from decades before and it’s all so exciting.  This pretty summer frock is a dropped-waist style that adds a twist to what would otherwise be a plain, but very elegant, sheath.  This kind of casual elegance was so much a part of early-Sixties fashion.

The fabric I love because polka-dots and bright yellow are always so great for summer dresses.  It’s a synthetic with a nylon feel, but may be a blend.  Might have been custom-tailored, as so many true vintage dresses are, but it’s hard to say since the sewing skills our grandmothers had were so professional.  Labels can be missing for many reasons.

This one just makes me want to wear it to a carnival and go on all the rides while eating cotton candy and winning at least one Teddy Bear . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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LOVELY COTTON SHIRT-WAIST FROM THE 1950’S – EARLY 1960’S

LOVELY COTTON SHIRT-WAIST FROM THE 1950'S - EARLY 1960'S IN FALL COLORS

Here’s another dress from about the same time as the last one.  It has the same features of design – the side metal zipper is the most significant.  I don’t know why that was a favorite feature, rather than allowing the front opening to be longer.

Although it was more trouble to put that side zip in, it was hidden (more or less) from view and allowed the front and back lines of the garment to be unbroken.  My best guess is that this style feature is more elegant than a back zip or long front opening would be.

So many of the styles and tailoring methods from the ’50’s and before paid a lot of attention to keeping the lines of a garment very elegant, with good fit and clean silhouette.  Back zippers on pants and skirts are a good example of this.

This dress is, I’m sure, custom tailored.  The skill of the sewer is excellent and it would challenge the quality of any commercially-made things today, outside of haute couture.

The reds, golds and mossy browns in this print make me think of leading into Fall, but let’s not rush our summertime, when the livin’ is easy . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, the Magicvintagespy
Blog: Magicvintagespy.com
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ANOTHER 1960’S SUMMER SHEATH DRESS

A SECOND VIEW OF THIS 1960'S SUMMER SHEATH DRESS

Notice the way in which the embroidery follows the curve of the figure by placing it along the side seam.  So pretty and flattering!  A woman could always feel attractive and well-dressed in a frock made this nicely and with such gorgeous details.  This is another of my earliest finds.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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A TRUE VINTAGE SHEER DAY DRESS, PROBABLY 1950’S

A TRUE VINTAGE SHEER DAY DRESS, PROBABLY 1950'S

This dress was custom-tailored at a time when sheer fabrics had become very popular. I’ve found several of these. Of course, you’d want an un-fussy slip underneath.

It’s a pretty print in pink and red on white voile, with a ruffle around the neck and little cap sleeves. Fifties styles tended to be, on average, more “feminine” than those designed in the 1940’s, when clothing was more tailored and, sometimes, even masculine in its lines. (Remember the huge shoulders popular then.)

These dresses give a lovely opportunity to show off beautiful lingerie but, as mentioned above, keep the slip simple – not full of lots of frills and details – so that it doesn’t overwhelm the dress itself. You’d also want it to be of the same length, and white.

I love to collect true vintage slips in all styles, lengths and colors so that I have the right one for every dress I own. Some are even great to wear as a summer dress by themselves!

Morgana Martin, the Magicvintagespy
Blog address: Magicvintagespy.com
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GORGEOUS MID-CENTURY SPECIAL OCCASION SILK DRESS FROM AUSTRALIA

IMG_1056     Back to my Australian find – I found the best photo and description of this gown and Stella shows it off properly.  I gasped when I discovered it.  It may even have been a wedding gown back in the Depression and World War days of the 1930’s and 1940’s when they were often simpler.   But, I suppose they had the equivalent of “debutantes” in that society, too.  The custom of showing off young, marriageable women “of good family background” was a widespread practice that still persists in some places.

Lots of clues:  Since Australia is closer to Southern Asia than we are in North America, silk may have been a more  popular fabric for better dresses than it was here.  A friend of mine says that she remembers the wired necklines from the 1950’s.  This dress was made for a VERY tiny person (even more so than Stella), so it could have been floor length on the original owner.  Impossible to say for sure.

Anyway, it’s beautiful and unique with an interesting history. I’m glad to have it home where I can show you a better photograph.  Fully lined, with covered buttons at the wrists and that collar with  wiring all around the edges – it was quite a tailoring project for someone!  It’s really one that makes me wonder what stories it can tell . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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STELLA’S TRUE VINTAGE 1940’S 2-PIECE WEDDING SUIT

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This is the ensemble that Stella was wearing when I met her and I’m glad she didn’t want to give it up.  I’ll be showing some white satin 1940’s wedding pumps tomorrow.   Although they didn’t come with this outfit, they’d be just perfect with it!

During wartime, this was a relatively modest choice for her wedding and the bride probably had this suit custom-tailored.  Naturally, it has many of the 1940’s styling details which were popular then – shoulder pads, nipped peplum waist, a handkerchief hem and a rare coil metal zipper in the skirt.

Also, some of the favorite classic features of a wedding gown are also present – rows of tiny, covered buttons and medieval-style points on the sleeve hems.  The fabric is a substantial brocade/jacquard floral – not a high-end textile, but nice.  Clearly, this wedding took place in a formal setting.

I wonder about her hair . . . . bridesmaids?  Wouldn’t it be fun to go back as a guest? . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

BEAUTIFUL TRUE VINTAGE SILK FORMAL DRESS OR WEDDING GOWN FOUND IN AUSSIE-LAND

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis frock is another of my stupendous finds in Australia!   Made somewhere between the 1940’s and 1950’s, it’s a gorgeous dress and I suspect that it really is from the Forties.

Looks like it’s hand-tailored, but by someone who was REALLY good.  The collar is reinforced with hidden wire that is soft to wear, but holds the shape and lets you reshape the neckline as needed –  an unusual tailoring feature that emphasizes the irreplaceable value and uniqueness of true vintage clothing and accessories.

It’s a demure style, despite the neckline plunge, and could be full-length on a petite figure.  I wonder if it was made as a wedding gown?   Although some were very fancy, many of that time did not have a lot of frill and fuss and were actually very tailored styles.

No matter what, I’m sure that this gown has at least one fabulous story to tell!  I wonder . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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SLEEK AND SHAPELY. A CUSTOM-TAILORED FIT AND FLARE FROCK, 1960’S

I just LOVE this dress with its big hem allowance, like the sundress from yesterday, vintage metal zip and beautiful color palette. The photo doesn’t do the fabric justice – tones are a bit darker and more vibrant in person. It’s a cotton twill with just enough heft to hang well. The dress fits me perfectly and the cut is very flattering. This photo makes it look as though something a little wonky is going on at the sides of the bodice, but that is not the case. The dress is seamed in a way to define the waist a bit and make the upper body fit more closely.

This combo of deep red, scarlet and turquoise is one of my favorites. The addition of orange, yellow and greenish accents make a really lovely color experience that almost seems to draw me into an interesting landscape or a Moroccan souk full of beautiful carpets, fruits and vegetables. It’s wonderful to discover handmade garments made in ways that follow the techniques of excellent construction. Can’t wait to try this one, in particular, on Stella. She always does justice to my fitted finds. Take a look at previous posts and see what I mean.

Tomorrow we’re in for fabulous fun with dress discovery #3. Stay tuned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

CUTE CUSTOM-TAILORED DAY DRESS WITH MATCHING SCARF – TRUE VINTAGE FOR SPRING, SUMMER OR EARLY FALL

IMG_1671 IMG_1665This frock is another of Rosalie’s creations.  (The mother of a dear friend and a fantastic seamstress).  A simple design made interesting with inverted pleats on the bodice and skirt. She was such an exceptional tailor! The fabric is a textured type that was very popular in the mid to late ’60’s which resembles burlap or “hop sacking”.

I have added the chain belt, though the dress was intended to hang straight and falls nicely without it.  The scarf is another addition – also Rosalie’s, but it was commercially made.  Since the colors blend so nicely and both are from the mid-sixties Mod era, they are really good together.  This is a good example of how accessories can transform an outfit.

So, here’s an everyday ensemble from 50 years ago that’s so easy to wear and has a different “twist” that makes it absolutely unique today!  Even though it’s not pop-your-eyes-out vintage, people will see it and say “hmmmmm. . . . . . . . . . . . . .?”

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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