3-SEASON DRESSY FROCK FROM THE KENNEDY 1950’S – ’60’S

Mint green acetate(?) satin with floral embroidery, a sweet bow at the waistline and box-pleated skirt make this pretty dinner frock an iconic mid-century style. All hand-tailored for semi-dressy occasions.

The color says SPRING, but the fabric weight and style would take it through most of the year. Obviously, the woman who owned it had kept it for many years and worn it to many events or saved it because of special memories.

I love finding garments that were custom-tailored because they tell a lot about the former owners as well as the time period in which they were made. There’s nothing much more personal than having clothing hand-made exactly as you want it and fitted on your own body. That used to be a common practice no matter how poor or wealthy a person might be, but now is mostly a lost art.

“Printing” our clothing in the not-too-distant future won’t be the same as having a personal tailor, but might be interesting in many ways and certainly a lot faster! However, I won’t stop searching out and wearing beautiful old fabrics and hand-done work, . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

MORE FINDS – TRUE VINTAGE HOME-SEWN HOUSE DRESS 3 WAYS

I’ve seen many classic house dresses like this one in the rural mid-west. I’ll bet the woman who made it had sewn lots of them for herself over the years. It’s got decorative vintage buttons and a waist seam, but no pockets.

And, it’s a BIG size – the sleeveless style turns into cap sleeves – much too big for size 2 Stella, but look what happens with the addition of a belt. Belt around the waist seam at the hip level and it’s a 1920’s day dress. Cinch the waistline and it’s stylish in the 1940’s and 1950’s. So much can be done with a classic design. Leave it to those farm women to make the most cool and comfortable frocks for daily household chores, with a quick shopping trip into town thrown in.

Next, we’ll look at a dress for a city gal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

VINTAGE HOME-TAILORED COTTON SWING DRESS

Can’t say exactly when this dress was made – definitely 1970’s/’80’s or before – but isn’t it cute! Again, it’s too big for me but will be an easy alteration because of the style and construction. LOVE the print and colors and the swing design. I’ve added this bright red belt for fun but it would look just as nice with a navy belt, which would be much more subtle.

Can’t wait for next summer!

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

AN ICONIC TAILORING CLUE ON THIS DRESS PUTS THE DATE IN QUESTION . . . . . . .

At first look I would immediately say that this dress is of the same era as the previous one shown yesterday. Well, almost . . . . . . . . . . .BUT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The raglan sleeves have gussets sewn in the underarms. This is a feature usually seen in 1950’s dresses and earlier. So, this little number may be a bit older. It’s also very well-made with a beautiful shantung fabric, made of rayon rather than the more common silk shantung. The bolero jacket is very practical and pretty.

I could have these dresses altered to fit me but, since I have others very similar, they’ve gone on to eBay. The find was the fun this time. One more to go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

1970’s CUSTOM-TAILORED EVENING GOWN

At first glance, this frock looks like something modern but the tailoring details and fabric tell it’s true age. It’s hard to be sure of the true color in this photo, but it is another beautiful velvet, in aubergine with iridescent flocking in a floral design. Again, sorry for the poor focus.

This dress could go from being a swanky hostess outfit at home to a night on the town. Long sleeves are so practical in the evening and the deep slit in front adds the drama that is lacking in this otherwise conservative style.

Very well-made and fits like a dream. I’ll get a lot of use out of it, when the occasion calls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

1950’s FUR-TRIMMED GOWN

OK, we’re going from oldest to youngest in these next 3 posts. My apologies for the poor focus. Cropping efforts didn’t come through, either, but you can see all that is necessary for this description. Was astounded a few days ago to find this rare garment! In the past two years 3 or 4 frocks in this early 1950’s style have suddenly come my way; haven’t seen them before that for quite a long time. . . . . . . . . . . .

Like only one of my other examples of this fashion, the gown pictured here was custom-tailored (probably at home) and made for an adolescent girl, from the style indications. Usually, dresses made with the fur-trimmed sleeves, neckline or hem were sophisticated styles made for women. Of course, girls like to wear their own versions of adult designs in every decade.

Aside from the empire styling, rather than a New Look design, one tell-tale clue is the type of fur used. Garments made for women usually had mink trim, whereas the 2 girls’ dresses I’ve discovered have had what looks like rabbit hair. However, the cranberry velvet is plush and I’m sure the young miss who wore it was pleased. It’s so much fun to follow the stories that these old clothing items tell. Stay tuned for a 1960’s item – a repeat of another recent find . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG: MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

FOUND YESTERDAY – A “TRUE BLUE” VINTAGE LITTLE HOME-SEWN SUMMER DRESS

From about 1965 – 1970, this ordinary-looking little frock is an exciting find to me. Why? It’s rare to find a dress from this era in perfect condition and with all the hallmarks of a true vintage piece. And, it’s very cute!

In traffic – sign yellow, which was a very popular color for clothing at that time, it’s an eye-grabber. It’s a slightly – fitted A – line style that is very flattering on the body. Although there are many dresses on the market in recent years that may look identical from a distance, this one stands out on closer examination with authentic construction and styling from back in the day. Always thrills me!

Although some modern companies have tried to mimic these features and fool shoppers into thinking they’re buying a vintage garment, they’re not successful if you know your stuff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG; MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM