Monday, August 19, 2019

Adventure 4: Greece

Woohoo! It's been a busy summer. But I have another adventure that I've recently taken from my 'bucket list' of 40 adventures for my 40's in 1940s style! See my list of planned adventures at this link.

Greece has always been high on my list and it's so close to where I live in the UK (comparatively to all the longhaul international travel I do for work). When my dear kitty passed away this year, I thought it was time to treat myself to a bit of self-care. So I signed up to an SJE trip --which is basically a holiday plus photoshoots.  What better way to meet new people but also get some great shots from my adventure and document my me-made and vintage outfits? Sign me up!

We stayed at an amazing self-catering villa. Everything we needed (view, comfort, pools, gym, etc) was there! It was so amazing and relaxing!

And I met a fabulous bunch of people!  Lots of different models from fitness folks to alternative models to fantasy and pin-up/vintage. It was so much fun meeting everyone! And the photographers were great as well (Simon Morton, Sally Sparrow, Brett Seeley, and Jody Wright).

There were several highlights from the trip! One was going on a catamaran out in the Mediterranean at sunset. I even wore my 1940s sailor dress (yay!):

Another huge highlight was going into the Mykonos town. It is classically Greek with white buildings and flashes of blue colour. So pretty and picturesque. The streets were small and winding. Here I'm wearing another me-made dress from a 1950s pattern:

Another great trip was hanging out at the Mykonos beach. While it was busy, we had our own beds and umbrellas and there were cafes that dotted the boardwalk.  Was so relaxing and I got to wear my 1940 me-made swimsuit:

Lastly, the views were just phenomenal and the owners of the villa also owned a vintage Rolls Royce that I got to take some photos with and imagine that I lived there and rocked the island lifestyle! hahaha. I love it so much!

Now that I've tasted Greece, I definitely want to explore more of the islands! Have you ever been? Is it on your bucket list?

Photos by @jody_wright1 and @sallysparrow_photography and make-up by @makeupbyemilyanna and shoes from Bait Footwear


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Butterick 6323: The MidCentury Goddess Dress

This dress has unexpectedly stolen my heart. It's not a style that I ever thought I would completely love...but I do!

I used Butterick 6323, a pattern designed by Gertie. I have been following Gertie since the early days as we both started blogging around the same time and I have just LOVED everything she has created.

This was one of the patterns that I saw at the local fabric shop when I was visiting family in the United States. It was a pattern that I bought because I really liked the illustration but I kinda knew I probably wouldn't get to sewing it soon. It's a bit of a departure from my normal 1940s style.

Wow, I couldn't have been more wrong about how much I love this style.  The thing that prompted me to sew it was the unique Nigerian wax print fabric that I got as a present on a recent work trip to Abuja.  I just love Nigerian fabrics and styles but this fabric also had a bit of a midcentury feel with the colours and the circles.  But as you can see from the fabric below, the border print was unique and I wanted a pattern that would really show it off (it's also pictured with some other fabric that I still have yet to sew with.....exciting!).

So I searched and searched through all my patterns for ones that would showcase a border print and up popped Butterick 6323 and I decided to give it a go.

The pattern was brilliant. It was my FIRST time sewing with boning and it was relatively painless after looking up some online tutorials (and having bought the supplies in the US).

I did struggle with getting the bodice to fit tight enough and I was a silly girl and didn't make a muslin of the bodice (I know, I know...). So I ended up with about a 1 inch gap in the bodice front where it was a bit too wide (but just at the front)! So I ended up just taking a tuck under the shoulder bow (you can kind of see it in the photo above, the small gathers under the bow--that's from my 'I should have made a muslin tuck'. hahaha.

I do LOVE the shoulder tie and how it classy.  In future iterations, I will also take a bit of length off the back and front bodice (not too much though).  You can see some small wrinkles in the back and in the photo below on the bodice front--especially in how it looks without the belt.  But if I stand up straight and wear a belt, it virtually disappears (or maybe the viewer gets distracted? hahaha. I'll take it!)

The photos above were taken in Abuja, Nigeria in their central park area--such a beautiful place.  The photos below were taken at a classic car show in California--for more midcentury vibes!

Overall, I am super pleased with how it turned out--I feel like it really makes the fabric happy :)  And I'm now wanting to try more unique 1950s styles!  This dress makes me feel like a midcentury goddess with the one-shoulder tie!

I definitely want to make more of these and will be on the look out for more fabulous and unique border print fabrics!  What about you? Do you love a good border print as much as me?

Photography: In garden: Godwin Oisi Photography
At classic car show: Spike and the Camera, MUAH: @lizcarrillomua
Shoes for both: Bait Footwear

Friday, July 12, 2019

Adventure 2 and 3: Dapper Day and Viva Las Vegas

Whooohooo...I'm making progress on my bucket list for my 40s.  This spring I completed two big things on my list-- going to Viva Las Vegas, the biggest rockabilly event in the world, and going to Dapper Day at Disneyland!

Let's start with Dapper Day.  I never really went to Disneyland as a child, it's only by getting into the vintage scene have I really started to appreciate Disneyland and all things Disney.

I think I was expecting to see more people in the actual park on Dapper Day--and we did see quite a few but gazillions of people go to it's like a drop in the bucket.

But there is a separate expo for Dapper Day where it was great to catch up with everyone. Folks dressed in mostly 1930s-1950s styles and lots and lots of vintage and vintage inspired vendors.

Overall, I would definitely go again...Disneyland is so much fun and I want to explore Euro Disney too. I think Dapper Day would be most fun with a large group of people--so I'm hoping the Edinburgh vintage ladies can come to one of the Dapper Days!

Next up: Viva Las Vegas:

Holy Macaroly! Viva Las Vegas was loads of fun and something that is quite easy to go to on your own or with a group of friends.

If you've ever been to a conference or an event in a hotel, it's like that but all the rooms are jumpin' with music and fabulously dressed people.

There were huge venues for the burlesque and music:

There were some vendors but I was expecting a lot more vendors (and the vendors at Dapper Day were better in my opinion!).

But there were some good vintage shops and I did get one of my favourite dresses from Swanky's Vingage:

A highlight was the car show....I'm so in love with classic cars and they have some of the best. I also hear it's one of the largest classic car shows in the world....swoon!

I had an awesome time hanging out with Liz and Matt and just wandering off by myself and dancing like crazy to music....

I also got the chance to venture out and explore downtown Vegas and get some awesome photos from @spikeandthecamera! What a crazy and fun place. Was a blast....

Loved all the lights:

The pink slipper in downtown vegas (photo by Spike):

Viva Las Vegas was an AWESOME experience and I think I might have to go every year or every other year. It will definitely move from bucket list item to staple in my social life. It's just so nice to meet up with people that are into all the same things you are....the vintage community is amazing.

So what's left? Here's the current state of my 40 adventures list...

The 40 Adventures for my 40s List (in no particular order...)

Places to Travel:
1.  Namibia and Botswana
2. Cuba
3. Bali and the Pacific
4. Jordan (DONE and blogged!)
5. Myanmar (did this as well but want to explore more!)
6. Greek Islands (did this as well--coming to the blog soon!)
7. Morocco
8. Egypt
9. Bolivia
10. Argentina and Patagonia
11. Easter Island
12. LA/Hollywood/Disneyland/Dapper Day (whoohoo!)
13. Hebrides Islands
14. Mongolia
15. Japan
16. Croatia (going here at the end of the month!)
17. Sri Lanka

18. Alaskan Cruise (doing this in August!)
19. Ice hotel + northern lights + reindeer
20. Multi-day steam train journey
21. Tall ship sailing
22. Steam ship sailing
23.  Tiger Moth or Spitfire experience
24. Hot air balloon in either Cappadocia or Bagaan
25. Floating in the Dead Sea (coming to blog soon!)
26. Cruise on the Nile
27. Touring the UK in a vintage car
28. Route 66 road trip
29. Learning to ride a motorcycle

30. Up Helly Aa
31. Attending an international film festival (either Cannes or Sundance)
32. Vienna Opera Ball
33. Celebrating Carnival 
34. Attending Gertie's Sewing Retreat in NY
35. Lantern Festival in Thailand
36. Attending Viva Las Vegas (DONE!)
37. Goodwood Festival
38. Attending a swing dance camp
39. Seeing Wagner's Ring Cycle at the Bayreuth Festival

40. Freebie (to be decided later)

Are any of these things/places on your list?

Awesome photos by @spikeandthecamera
MUAH by @lizcarrillomua

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

1950s Inspired Dapper Day Dress

A dream is a wish your heart makes...these awesome photos were taken at Disneyland during 'Dapper Day'--an amazing vintage experience.  For the occasion, I made my fifth iteration of a dress copied off a dress that I got in Florence, Italy (see stripy dress in the photo below--that's the store bought one!).

It's quite a simple design. A v-neck, sleeveless bodice that leads into a pleated skirt (but where the pleats are only tacked down at the top).

The dress zips on the side and for this iteration, I made a matching fabric bow belt:

I like this dress because I can make it in a variety of different cotton weights and it's just perfect for traveling to warm weather places.

Here's some of my previous iterations. This blue version was made using African wax print --which is quite thick cotton:

This one is also a stiffer cotton. You can see both of these hold quite good pleats.

 The one I made in the picture below is the only one that I've made with a super light and soft cotton from Gertie's collection. It is the most comfortable...I just love it.  Really perfect for hot weather.

So I think I've reached my threshold with this dress--I do love the design but am itching to sew other designs.  Do you do this, sew multiple garments from one pattern? Which dress do you like best?

Friday, March 29, 2019

Butterick 8761: The Teal Pencil Skirt

It's been ages since I've sewn a pencil skirt--and I love them so much! So this new classic teal pencil skirt is a welcome addition to my me-made collection.

It features a high-waisted and longer length styled pencil skirt:

I used Butterick 8761 which is a 'quick 'n easy' pattern.  I made version A with the great tab detail at the back. I also really like the cute little faux pocket on Version B (hmmm...perhaps another version in my future?).  The pattern is literally one main piece that is then darted at four places in the waist front and four places in the waist back to create the silhouette.  It was pretty quick, taking about 2 hours to make! Score!

I had this amazing teal lightweight wool fabric in my stash from a previous project--this 1940s swing coat.  I made the swing coat about 8 years it's taken some time for it to find it's perfect companion in this pencil skirt!

I made this swing coat from a 1940 McCall pattern, which I subsequently gave away (now slightly regretting that as I would have liked to make version B with the belted back!--but alas, I have so many other 1940 McCall patterns to get to--so I hope it's new owner is giving it lots of love :)

The 1940s swing jacket paired with the pencil skirt is so reminiscent of the classic 1950s shapes. I paired the outfit with some amazing teal seamed stockings from What Katie Did UK and my favourite teal tartan Ness shoes.

Va va voom...pencil skirts are so sexy despite being quite modest!  I love the tab detail at the back:

We took these photos in an area of Edinburgh where I used to live when I first moved to the city and one of my favourite places: Dean Village.  It's almost a small secluded village type feeling right in the city centre. It used to be an old mill town on the outskirts of Edinburgh and well, the city just grew up around it. It's still a hidden gem--not immediately visible but super easy to get to and so beautiful!

I also really like my half poodle hairstyle done by Ariana at Vanity Thrills :-) I'm trying to experiment with more 1940s and 1950s styles!

Doesn't this look like a German village? I love the colours and I'm really so happy with this bright and cheery pencil skirt suit!

What about you? Are you a fan of pencil skirts? Swing jackets? Have you paired them together?

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