While admittedly this housedress is not among my most stellar finds, first impression was that it was too good to leave behind. When I had a closer look at home, I could really see why. The quality features are far beyond what I first noticed.
OK. We’re going to talk about QUALITY only here, because the design is not exceptionally different from many other garments of its type. One of the best things about this particular cotton/polyester blend fabric is that it is opaque enough that I could go to the door in it without being indecent. That’s a huge plus when it comes to most housecoats of this genre.
Going on to the most important questions about the quality standards of clothing, let’s talk about the construction. We like the fabric – next is the notions. In this case, that includes the buttons and the lace trim. Both are very good – lace is the nicest I’ve felt or seen in a long time, on items of this type. The buttons are little stemmed pearlized plastic buttons which are very classic. The machine embroidery on the yoke is very nice, too, but nothing to write home about when it comes to what I expect on a vintage garment.
Finally comes construction. I took a separate photo of the yoke because the design is outstanding. It raises the bar when compared to the things that are usually seen and this design is echoed on the back yoke, too. Also, the seams are really tight and neatly done – very important on an at-home garment which will be worn a lot and won’t get special care. Finally, the hem has a 1″ allowance and has been finished BY HAND!!
That is probably the sweetest thing about this piece. Makes me nostalgic for my mother’s and grandmothers’ times when these features and touches were standard on almost everything they bought. Maybe, with all the disruption and change we’re experiencing in the world today our priorities and lifestyles will change and these kinds of production standards will return. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to count on things you buy to last at least a decade or two (or three or four) instead of just a few months?
With true vintage, I always expect better quality and design than is usually seen in stores and on the Internet now. But, the excellence of these pieces really stands out and it’s worth highlighting in detail. They’re in the queue in the next few days – so, stay tuned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
From the mid-1960’s a psychedelic print wrapper house dress made at home from wonderful fabric. The material has the feel of smooth, glossy slinky knit but is woven instead. So interesting.
When I finish adding snaps where some are missing and re-attaching 1/2 of the belt tie, it’s got a comfortable but very sexy fit. You’ll have to wait until I return to Headquarters to see it properly displayed.
The moment I saw this I knew it was old and, even with the missing fasteners, the potential of a really neat house dress was obvious. Can’t wait to wear it! After this latest haul, I wonder what’s next? You just never know . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . .. . . .. . . . . . . . . .
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 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Very simple, but with the 1960’s bona-fides. This fabric can’t be found today, no matter that some modern materials may be lookalikes at a glance. Maybe some girl made this as a first project for Home-Ec class, though whoever it was did a pretty good job. Not fancy; no bells and whistles, but sturdy, useful and very cute.
The elastic neckline is still stretchy and there are no stains, so someone stored this for a long time and didn’t use the heck out of it. It’s our good fortune that many great true vintage garments were cared for this way by our moms and grandmothers, let alone the generations before. Our current throw-away culture has played havoc with the quality of items that we can buy as well as any encouragement to keep things. However, prices just keep going up and up out of all proportion.
Well, la-dee-da – not so much of a problem for the Magicvintagespy. Wonder what’s next . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ?
Long, sweeping gown in a beautiful, heavy cotton(?) – the photo on left shows the cut while the photo on right gives the true color and close-up of the interesting print. This dress has many construction contradictions; some point to 1940’s and some to 1960’s. Undoubtedly, it was custom-tailored.
Maybe our mid-century tailor was very experienced and knew how to use various methods to achieve exactly the slinky, hourglass fit she wanted. The bell sleeves and commercial braid trim say 1960’s but the mid-back zipper placement, dip in the front waistline and fabulous art print fabric say 1940’s. Looks like a film noir hostess gown. I love a mystery!
Anyway, it’s an absolute beauty and fits me like a glove. Dresses with the zipper placed mid-back are always a trick to get into and out of – pays to understand the method. However, when the fit is right and the construction good, it’s a snap. Tomorrow I’ll show you a cute shift with a clear Sixties pedigree. Stay tuned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A frock with some of the best elements of 1960’s casual style – soft cotton fabric, empire styling, ric-rac trim, vintage sculpted buttons and gathered sleeves. So comfy and can go from house-dress to patio party to any basic everyday event.
I’m suddenly on a roll again. Not sure when the next find may be but, you just never know . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Fun find today! A custom-made prairie-girl dress that can go all year round. Just put a blouse, t-shirt or t-neck underneath and there you go. The fabric is a woven synthetic of the late-mid-century time so it’s a Sixties take on a much older style. There are Amish in the area where I discovered it, but I’m not sure this is their style. May be some other groups who wear slightly less modest clothing and would be allowed to show their arms. ? It’s got an old metal CC zipper and hardly any wear so, who knows. The sash ties in back and there’s ric-rac all around.
Just fun, so true vintage and cute! Another mystery, which I love. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I always love finding dresses like this from back in the day. Many women wore these at home on a daily basis, and didn’t worry too much if they had to run out for an errand – a little freshening-up: a combing and touch of hairspray, powder & lipstick and off they went to the supermarket.
Other women, who worked in the garment unions, made these dresses in large quantities. Most of them found their way to the rubbish bin after being worn for years of cooking and housecleaning, but a few of them made it out alive. Love the lines of the slightly older style on the right.
So, here we have two of those gals who were well looked-after and might have lived a more leisurely life. They were half-sizes (plus) in their time but now would be lucky to qualify as large size. However, their styles are forgiving and may serve me very well just as they did their first owners. Fun!
This is such a WONDERFUL find (aren’t they all?)! It’s a bit of a mystery, which I love. . . .
The style is late 1930’s – early 1940’s and it’s been custom – made. There’s no label or sign that there ever was one. The bodice has embroidered netting (similar to the 1930’s house-dress I found a few months ago in Montevideo – remember?). It’s finished almost entirely with french seams. Little bow detail on the bodice – lots of hand-work.
The fabric is some kind of synthetic which isn’t like vintage fabrics I’m familiar with NOR modern ones!?# There is virtually no sign of wear and just a little bit of age or storage-related damage, which was easy to fix. The conundrum is – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – :
it’s either true vintage from the WWII era OR a reproduction (not retro-style fashion) which has been expertly made to be identical to the originals. Whoopsie doo! Either way, it’s a fabulous gown and a rare and unique discovery which will look stunning on Stella. More to come . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .