THE QUINTESSENTIAL MID-CENTURY SHIRT-DRESS, IN ALL IT’S COUTURE SPLENDOR

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Handmade back in the day by “Rosalie Couturier” – I’ve never seen this common and popular style done so elegantly, by one seamstress.  All the best of beautiful little details and stunning fit are really only found in purely hand-tailored examples.  What a treat it was to find this one!

The fabric is also very special – a rayon or rayon blend that was used in off-the-rack garments only in the 1940’s – 1950’s, if you were lucky.  And the buttons!  I’m over-the-moon on those – heavy, polished and perfect in their iridescence.  Nothing can compare to old shell buttons.  You can see in this photo another example of the phenomenon I mentioned a day or two ago – the belt looks slightly darker, probably because it was never cleaned along with the dress.  Spy-craft!

Just in time for Spring, right out of classic cinema – Mrs. Miniver or June Cleaver would be right at home wearing this frock any old day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

A PRETTY BELTED SHIRTWAIST DRESS FROM THE 1950’S

A PRETTY BELTED SHIRTWAIST DRESS FROM THE 1950'S     This conservative little style is very sweet, no?

It is made of a pure cotton material, I would guess, and was probably custom tailored (from looking at the details).  I have at least one more dress which has cross-stitch embroidery on it but, to tell the truth, many true vintage dresses that were commercially made have lovely detail, too. And, of course, it could have been added later by the owner.

I also really love skinny, fabric-covered belts on dresses – a common feature on dresses made at this time. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ll sometimes shorten an extra-long hem and make a covered belt from the extra fabric when an original belt is missing.

These dresses look nice with a cardigan sweater or a shawl, so they can go from Spring into Fall with ease. They were standard daytime wear for just about everybody back in the day. It’s so great to see how the classic styles remain elegant and wearable for decades.

And, because fabrics and construction were so well done and women took good care of their clothing, I continue to find them. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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LOVELY LONG GREEN SHEATH DRESS FROM THE EARLY 1960’S

LOVELY LONG GREEN SHEATH DRESS FROM THE EARLY 1960'S

For a Spring cocktail party or a dressy date, here’s a lovely gown custom-tailored in the early Sixties.  Blue and green combined was a big trend at that time.

In a mid-weight embroidered fabric, with back zipper and simple lines. Purely sophisticated and elegant, but not a bit stuffy.

Tomorrow I’ll show some embroidered pumps that you might wear with this gown, or with the one that I’ve picked out for the  St. Patrick’s dance!

More pretty Spring fashions to come – stay tuned . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

2 FINDS TODAY – 1. HANDMADE 1940’S EVENING GOWN

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Love, love, love this beautiful dress!  It’s all handmade in elegant simplicity, with gorgeous fabrics.  The black velvet bodice is off-set by the pale sage green satin skirt and trim.

What a lovely surprise – and it wasn’t the only one.  Wait till you see the fabulous gabardine jacket . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

TRUE VINTAGE SIXTIES SHEATH DRESS WITH SURPRISING TAILORING!

TRUE VINTAGE SIXTIES SHEATH DRESS WITH SURPRISING TAILORING!

The first thing I noticed about this dress was the style, and the long metal zipper on the left side.  When I looked more carefully, the unusual fabric and careful construction wowed me!  With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, need I say more?

The lining, which can be seen at the neckline, is a pale yellow.  The patterned material is light green, yellow and blue . Over that is a sheer layer of light olive, which is hardly noticeable at first but really intensifies the color of the underlying pattern!

This is a  mid-century, maybe custom-made dress of exceptional handmade quality and with beautiful design and fabric.  I LOVE finding things that are different from what I’ve seen before and being surprised!!!  That’s the best fun of sleuthing for true vintage fashion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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ANOTHER MID-CENTURY HANDBAG FIND, BUT SO DIFFERENT!

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Handmade by someone in the 1960’s – 1970’s era, this was a popular tote-style purse during that time.  Many were handcrafted and decorated.  It’s fun to see where she ran out of one green thread and switched to another – true vintage fashions always have a story to tell.  There’s just enough green to get you started toward St. Patrick’s Day.

Back in the day many women made these bags from scratch or from kits.  Macrame’ was common.  Unless a home wood shop was handy, the handles would be purchased and then she’d go from there in whatever fabric or weaving she chose.  Some would even be lined, but usually the handcrafted bags were not.  Designs were as original as the people who made them.  I like the pretty Spring feeling on this one, and the lavender color.

Hadn’t come across one of these in a while but, you just never know . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

TRUE VINTAGE 1940’S HAT – ONE OF THE BEST ERAS!

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“Styled by Cinderella  New York” – a classic wool brimmed hat with a sophisticated schoolgirl look. The crown is stamped “Berkshire – Mohn Brothers Co.  100% Wool”.  Love the plaid ribbon band that forms a bow with streamers in the back. There is also a little elastic chin strap attached!

Picture this with a little suit, skirt and blouse, dress, or whatever you like. Hats were SUCH a big thing in the ’40s with imaginative and flattering styles. Some of them were way over-the-top, but this one is understated and just too cute.  Look carefully for gems like this one.

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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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

EARLY ’60’S (OR LATE ’50’S) DRESSY 3/4 SLEEVED COAT JACKET FROM A CHICAGO DESIGNER

EARLY '60'S (OR LATE '50'S) DRESSY 3/4 SLEEVED COAT JACKET FROM A CHICAGO DESIGNER

This is an LBC  rather than an LBD – a Little Black Coat.  One of my very favorite surprise finds!   And, just perfect for shoulder-season wear – when it’s not too hot or too cold outside yet.

Late ’50’s – early ’60’s – just about First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s time.  She could have worn one like it over a dressy LBD or evening wear.  Look at the trim around the collar and the heavy, glossy fabric.

It has 3/4 length sleeves with bows at the cuff, large covered buttons and a bow at the neck and falls straight in a boxy cut.  Two side pockets at the hips.  The length of the hem would also be 3/4 on a taller person.

From a Chicago clothier – maybe tailor-made and very distinctive.   I’ve never run across one like it before, or since, but I have seen pictures of them from that time.

Just perfect for Stella!  I love it when something like this appears . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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TRUE VINTAGE MID-CENTURY FALL COATS & JACKETS TO MAKE AT HOME!

IMG_1030 IMG_1048 Need a new coat?  Well, in just a few minutes of your spare time . . . . . . Right!   McCalls Needlework Magazine used to publish patterns for projects like these all year.  In the 1950’s and 1960’s it was so common.

Aren’t they beautiful? – But, can you imagine making one??  Your grandmother might have.  I rarely find a hand-knitted one now, but once in a while . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

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