woensdag 17 augustus 2016

Cycling trip down memory lane

The last and the comming weekends are full of sleepovers, but I'll try to post a full catch up somewhere next week. This post is about my trip of this weekend only. I went to my grandparents by bike togehter with my dad. We made this trip every year when I was little and was brought there to spend a few weeks during the summer. So it was very litterally a trip down memory lane.

Eventhough it was only a 3 day trip I packed several (too many) outfits.

We left from my parents house. I wore a practical skirt with kick pleat and a little rayon knit top. Practicality was important because it was a 70 km bikeride.

Some flowers along the way.

We visited the gardens of Warmelo Castle near Diepenheim.

Because the summer has been so wet (and cold) there was a lot of intense green.

View of the castle from over the pond.

There were some sand sculptures in the garden and here I'm posing in a silly way.

This is my childhood bedroom at my grandparent's, it has hardly changed since I was little. It is called the little flower room, maybe this is were my love for floral prints started. The walls are covered with paintings of fairytales made by my grandfather.
My grandmother was very happy to have a granddaughter (she had two sons) and spoiled me with lots of dolls that were dressed differently every time I visited. I had my own toys, books and wardrobe at my grandparent's as I spent several vacations a year there. My gran made clothes for me from her old (floral) dresses.

I dressed barbie dolls in clothes made from scraps of material and ribbons.

I only just realized how bizarre all the arrangements of toys really are ;)

I mean a bus full of plastic pigs?

From my bedroom window I could see the Palthe Tower on a hill. This fueled many Rapunzellike childhood fantasies (I loved fairytales). In fact it was built in the early 20th century by a rich textile family, so there was nothing romantic about it except the view.

In 1998 I first made the entire journey by bike myself and a picture was taken in the heather front of the Palthe Tower. The distance seemed so much longer when I was little. I was a bit apprehensive of getting a sore backside and legs but it turned out a piece of cake. We took another picture at the same spot, 18 years later. It was taken during a bikeride the next day as you can see by my changed outfit.

Before this we had made a walk on the heath during the morning. My grandparents live next to a beautiful nature conservation area on the 'Sallandse Heuvelrug'. My father and I go there for a walk when the heather is in bloom every August.

The dress I'm wearing is an actual 1940's red polkadot dress. Though many repro 40's/50's dresses are red with polkadots actual garments from the era with this print are not that common. I was in serious doubt whether to buy the dress because it might look to 'repro'. Quite silly, I know, with all those black dresses being around and this being a nice color and cut. So I bought it. I only had to add some new shoulderpads as you could still see where the old ones were cut out. Nothing beats a well padded shoulderline ;)

Contemplation on the moor

All the nature made me remember this girl's book from 1942. My gran got it as a present in 1944 when she was 13. I read it during my holiday at about the same age. The story isn't anything special, a soppy romance, but the pictures are wonderful. This was the reason the book was quite special to my gran, something so pretty during a time when there was almost nothing in the stores.
The paper is of that greyish wartime quality but the illustrations are on thick shiny pages.

Cornflowers and heather.

The main character sports some lovely outfits. You can see the pictures were drawn over several times (by my gran as a girl).

That red and white combo! Next to the outfits I like the flowers that are so particular for the different seasons. The illustrations look like they belong in a fairytalebook, yet they capture the look of the time too.

A very true 40's  autumn look.

The detail of the little girl's stockings! There is clearly some comment on social circumstances such as the main character's love interest being a healthy young man out of a job and finally becomming a farmer. Not sure how to place them in the time it was published.

The folklore element is also very present, the settings are all very Dutch.

Women in regional dress in the eastern part of the country. They're eating 'krentewegge', bread with currants.

And the very particular style worn on Marken.

I noticed the main character is wearing a dirndl style ensemble on this picture, which also has a (albeit different) folkore element in it next to being in fashion at the time.

The 3rd day we cycled back home without any pictures being taken and that concludes my trip down memory lane!

Will be back next week!

dinsdag 19 juli 2016

Vintage sewing: a throwback and a newly finished project

Sewing from scratch, I don't do it that much. I must admit that I often find it easier to buy real vintage that needs some TLC than making an entire garment. But I used to do it a lot more, especially when I was into Victorian styles as a teenager and when I started wearing 30's-50's vintage and my wardrode wasn't as complete as it is now. When looking through a pile of fabrics at my parent's a few weeks ago I found this dress between scraps of the same fabric. I had quite forgotten about it. Such a nice rediscovery!

It was made from a 1939 pattern in the Dutch women's magazine 'Het Rijk der Vrouw' (freely translated: the woman's domain'). This magainze offered lots of models of which the patterns could be ordered either in a standard size or made to measure. Some patterns were printed for free in the magazine though. Usually in a size 42, probably the most common size. It still is the most common size in the Netherlands, but due to vanity sizing a 1939 42 is smaller than a modern one. But not even that small (92b/74w/101h cm or 36/29/40 inch), might even be called volup on modern vintage listings. Which shows that in general women were slimmer (as 42 is now about a 96 to 102 bust depending on the shop), but not all tiny as extant vintage clothes sometimes seem to suggest.
It is called a simple summerdress, and the pattern is easy to make. Because of the size of the pages the patterns sometimes have to be elongated. There are no real sewing instructions, which is fine for me as they tend to only confuse me.

Last week I took the magazines with me to a pattern exchange/sewing day with my friend Lynn. I drew the pattern of the dress out for her again.
You can see that instead of a dart the use of a mock yoke creates space for the bust.

A typical 1930's puffed sleeve.

Lynn made us such a pretty salad for lunch I just had to share a picture.

When working on het pattern I was surprized I remembered it so well. I made the dress in 2009.
This picture was taken in my parent's garden when the dress was not at all finished, and partially pinned togehter. At that moment I wanted to add a belt, but I didn't in the end. And how long and blond my hair was! Seven years.....

There are even pictures of me working on the dress :)

It must have been quite a lot of work because of all the bias binding and self fabric covered buttons (with handmade loops)

I only used the basic pattern but took some details from other designs from the same magazine.

I particularly loved the dress in the middle of this picture with all the buttons at the waist. I added a button side closure on one side a a row of decorative buttons on the other.

This is how the finished dress looked in 2009. Because my bustsize inscreased somewhat over the years and it was a bit low cut I inserted a V shape of fabric as you can see in the first pic.

That not all women were used to making their own clothes is shown by these series of instructions for making clothes from the same magainze as the pattern of the dress. The title is 'a thread a day' and is the beginning of a saying that ends 'is a shirtsleeve a year'. Meaning that doing just a little bit will become something substatial over time.

What I think is very usefull is that they discuss basic patterns for skirts, bodices and sleeves that were common at the time.

When you understand these you probably won't have too much trouble understanding more complicated patterns even without instructions.

The latest thing I've made from scratch is a pair of lounging/beach pyjama pants. I used a pattern I ordered from Eva Dress years ago. It is a reproduction of a 1934 set of loungewear.
The pants don't look nearly as wide as they really are on this picture.

This is the finished product. I used dark blue rayon  with dots in white, pale yellow and lighter blue I had had for years. This was perfect as I wanted it to match the 4 blue bathing suits I own. It was when looking for this fabric I found the 'lost' dress from 2009.
And so this post is drawing to and end!

Hope to be back soon with some 'summery' posts :)
But let's finish with a question:
Do you prefer buying actual vintage or making clothes yourself?