Sunday, May 20, 2018

True Vintage: RAF Compact

Today I'm sharing one of my absolute favourite vintage pieces --this amazing RAF compact purse.

I got this compact purse from Herman Brown Vintage and it was still in it's original wrapping complete with fake cigarettes in the side, the original powder puff (I've since added power to the container), mirror and lipstick case.

The woman at the vintage store thought it would have been a possible gift for the military wives whose husbands were serving in the RAF.

I'm so excited to have found this! I just love the vintage RAF colour as well. I think I will try and make a military inspired dress to match the exact colour!!

Happy to give this exquisite piece a second life! YAY!

The 'Caley Dress'

This 1960s dress make is inspired by the old Caley Train Station gates that are still visible in Edinburgh.  In the 1890s the Caledonian Railway Company wanted to build an Edinburgh city centre station that rivalled that of the Edinburgh Waverley station (still the main station today).

Here's a photo of the Caledonian Railway Company's 'Princes Street' Station in 1963 (more history and source of picture available here):

Picture: TSPL
Two years later in 1965, the station was demolished.  The dress I made is from a basic Butterick sheath dress pattern from around 1963-1965.  So I felt it was perfect to recreate what it must have been like to be in Edinburgh at the time of this other great massive station (which by the way is now right at the back of the Waldorf Astoria and these gates lead into a car park!)

I bought this vintage yellow flowered fabric with subtle grey tones from an antique mall in Washington and have been waiting for the perfect project for it!  I didn't have a lot of fabric so I knew I had to do a fairly simple type dress (no big shirtwaist dress pattern for this amount of fabric!)

I'm so happy with how it turned out!  And looky at the matching belt I made (matching belts make me so happy --in fact, matching colours makes me super happy! lol.).  Speaking of matching colours, the dress goes perfectly with my Bait Footwear shoes (actually, I bought the shoes after I already had the fabric! My favourite thing about sewing!!)

Here you can really see the gates against the Waldorf Astoria Hotel:

The dress consists of a narrow panelled skirt attached to a basic v-neck bodice with a side zipper.  I did extend the sleeve length a bit so that it is a bit longer than the pattern called for. 

 The suitcase is from my Grandma--from around this time..probably 1950s.  It's great inside as it has fabric barriers for each side that slot into hooks.

Overall, quite pleased with this great spring dress. Makes me want to take a steam train trip! ;)

I hope to get more into train travel history in the UK--it's so interesting and I just love all the old train posters...would be fun to learn more about which stations still exist and the histories behind this great way of traveling!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

McCall 1004: The 'Town and Country Wool Beret'

Here is the matching beret to my recent 1940 McCall 'Town and Country Tweed Dress Suit'.

This is from McCall 1004 -- a hat pattern from 1941 (so not technically part of my 1940 McCall Project--but close!) 

I'm wearing the hat with the pointy bit up--hahaha. Opposite the way they are wearing it on the pattern envelope. That's because I wasn't really thinking when I got my hair done and the victory roll is on the right--so it was easier to wear the hat this way!  I think it looks fine either way to be honest!

The pattern was very easy to put together--all the pieces go together like a charm.  It is a bit big and pouffy but it rests down into a nice beret shape.

I used the same wool tweed that I made the jacket from and then had some grosgrain ribbon on the top.  In retrospect, I probably would have sewn up a ribbon from the dress fabric instead of using the black grosgrain ribbon. But I think it looks fine!

We took these photos on a gorgeous Edinburgh day down by Arthur's Seat and Holyrood Park.  It has the perfect Scottish backdrop for the tweed!

Overall, very happy with the hat. I can't wait to try making more hats. There's about three patterns in the 1940 catalogue that I still have yet to try but I also want to try the other looks from this pattern too!

What about you? Have you ever sewn up any vintage hats?

Photos: Darja Bilyk
Hair: Vanity Thrills
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