PRETTY 1960’S SPRING INTO SUMMER DRESS ENSEMBLES OUR GRANDMOTHERS KNIT AT HOME

IMG_1482Ready for a big project?  These patterns from a true vintage McCall’s needlework magazine from 1962 are just what you need!

Aren’t they elegant and very lovely?  A handmade ensemble like this would be totally unique today.

When everyone tended to dress up a little more and women almost always wore dresses  or skirts, it was easy to glide from more casual activities to something more dressy without having to change an entire outfit.  Add a matching jacket or coat,  maybe change your shoes and accessories, comb your hair and touch up make-up et voila’ . . . . . . . . ..

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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TRUE VINTAGE 1950’S PROM DRESS GETS REFURBISHED

Here’s a mid-century  Prom or dance party dress for Spring.  I’ve had this frock for several years and it is in wonderful shape EXCEPT that the bodice had some old perspiration damage under the arms.  No fixing that . . . . . . . .SO, I replaced the overlay fabric on the bodice with a nearly – identical modern material.

To the naked eye in normal room light, the dress looks perfect.  Only the digital camera with flash shows the difference – that aging of the fabric over 60 – 70 years has slightly changed its color.

I’m pleased with my repair, but here’s a good example of why saving any old fabrics left over from sewing or hem changes makes a lot of sense.  You might need them some time and, you just never know . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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A CLASSIC CASUAL DAY-DRESS FROM MID-CENTURY

A CLASSIC CASUAL DAY-DRESS FROM MID-CENTURY

In a pretty blue & white print cotton or cotton blend knit, this dress has classic fit and style characteristics i.e. cap sleeves & a keyhole neckline.  It falls to mid-calf.

This one will take you into Spring and right on into Summer.  There is no identifying info inside and I’m placing it 1950 – 1970.  I have seen others similar from those times.

With such an attractive silhouette and pretty fabric, I’m not going to nit-pick.  Sometimes the clue trail is tantalizingly inconclusive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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MY FAVORITE (FOR NOW) 1940’S RAYON DAY DRESS

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A super-startling surprise find!  Beautiful 1940’s fabric, perfect condition and just my size.  Fun floral for spring and my favorite dark, dark navy in the background.  These rare and interesting flaps that fall from the waist at both hips are a style feature I’d never seen before finding this beauty.  They were a common sight on many 1940’s dresses.

It’s a simple, easy pullover style that falls just right because of the cut, the fabulous rayon drape and the shoulder pads.  I think I’ll be wearing this one for at least the next 40 years. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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TRUE VINTAGE 1970’S ELEGANT DINNER-DANCE-DATE DRESS

TRUE VINTAGE 1970S ELEGANT DINNER-DANCE-DATE DRESS

It seems to me that nothing from the 1970’s could be as wonderful as a beautifully made dress from the 1920’s, 1930’s, 1940’s or 1950’s, but I still like some of the ones made during the Seventies.  These crystal pleats in the skirt started in the 1940’s, I think, and are always great.

For a more relaxed time while you still want to look well-dressed, elegant but comfortable this is a good choice.  It’s still cool enough in many parts of the world to wear this dress.  It would be very nice for a dinner date and, like some others I’ve shown, excellent for dancing because of the ease of movement.

Although it’s made of the ever-present 1970’s polyester, the fabric is lightweight and hangs well.  I love the pleats in the skirt for that reason.  That’s one nice thing about polyester, no matter what decade it’s from – it holds its shape and travels really well.

The colors in this dress are fresh for Spring, but would carry you through any time of year if the weather permits.  Very versatile and also figure – enhancing because of the cut.  It’s another of those vintage styles which intrigues by draping over and moving with your shape, but not too much.  Bateau necklines are always a favorite of mine, too.

With a skinny belt and very simple jewelry, this one is a winner and worth the investment.  I always like getting big dividends from small investments. . . . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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CUTE LITTLE SEERSUCKER MINI SKIRT SUIT FROM THE MID-SIXTIES, FOR SPRING, SUMMER AND EARLY FALL!

CUTE LITTLE SEERSUCKER SKIRT SUIT FROM THE SIXTIES, FOR SUMMER!

A cotton suit like this is a very unusual discovery.  Casual wear often didn’t stay in good shape over the years and separates, especially, didn’t stand the wear and tear of frequent use.  It’s not rare to run into seersucker, which is a really fun and durable fabric.  But, to find a true vintage piece is quite uncommon.

Like in the Fifties, it seems that little casual suits were also popular in the Sixties and were worn like day-dresses used to be.  Pants were STILL not hugely popular, with women generally sticking to dresses and skirts more often than we do now.

This outfit has cute little details like waist tabs and notches in the hems – nice tailoring details that are a hold-over from the 1940’s and 1950’s, though I think this suit was sold through one of the catalog houses that were popular then, like Montgomery Ward, Penneys or Sears & Roebuck, and wouldn’t have been considered a high quality item.

Not quite my color and a little large for me, so it probably won’t stay in my closet forever. But, can’t pass up a beauty like this! Such fun . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

BLOG:  MAGICVINTAGESPY.COM

A FAVORITE TRUE VINTAGE SPRING/SUMMER DRESS FROM THE FIFTIES, WITH A FRENCH THEME PRINT

A FAVORITE SPRING/SUMMER DRESS FROM THE FIFTIES, WITH A FRENCH THEME PRINT

I love this little shirtwaist with a saucy, sassy French foodie print. The style is what almost every woman wore as everyday dresses in the Fifties and early Sixties.  A classic day dress – house dress.

It’s a little bit sheer, so you have to wear one of your lovely slips underneath, but women almost always did during the mid-century era – sheer dress or not.  Because they were usually wearing a garter belt or girdle and nylons, they needed lingerie to mask the lines and let the dress move on top.

Perfect for shopping and light work around the home; coffee with the neighbor.  Easy to wear.

It’s what “happy days” was all about . . . . . . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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TRUE VINTAGE RAYON DAY DRESS FROM THE LATE 1930s TO EARLY 1940s

TRUE VINTAGE RAYON DAY DRESS FROM THE LATE 1930s TO EARLY 1940s

Here’s another lovely shirtwaist dress for a Spring day, this one in rayon.  It could have been custom made or ready-made – no tags or tell-tale details to help me be sure.  In most cases, dating true vintage clothing is not an exact science, but with knowledge and experience can be pretty close. This frock makes me think of something Bonnie, of Bonnie & Clyde, might have worn.

Due to its age and previous history of wear, it did require a bit of rehab despite the wonderful condition.  Buttons had to be replaced and, as I mentioned in a previous post, a “new” belt had to be constructed as the original was missing.  I keep a store of vintage buttons for cases just like as this.  Also, I keep vintage belts that are worn in order that they can be re-covered.  That’s exactly what I did here – as there was lots of extra fabric in the hem allowance, I was able to harvest enough to re-cover a belt without messing up the original hem length.  You can see that the color of the fabric in the belt is slightly darker than that of the dress, but I don’t mind.  Sometimes that is done on purpose to add extra interest.  Also, since covered belts usually would not be laundered along with a dress (since their insides are like cardboard), the dress fabric might fade a bit more over time.  So, this un-faded piece of fabric from the interior of the hem (never exposed to sun) ends up being a perfect authentic-looking touch!!

To me, nothing says “Spring” more than these pastel printed dresses in breezy styles.  The lingerie that must go with them, because of their sheerness, just adds to the package.

When I find one of these I really jump for joy! It’s just one thrill after another because, you just never know .. . . . .

MORGANA MARTIN, THE MAGICVINTAGESPY

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