Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Found in a Bag, a Second 1920's Dress!

In a recent post I mentioned that I had a few boxes about, filled with bits, scraps, and bags of things from my late mother's house. This next dress in a bag came from this stash of goodies as well. The dress has recently found a home with a collector who is skilled and dedicated to restoring 1920's dresses. I'm glad it's going to a loving home, and I thought that you might like to see some pictures showing some of the amazing details this little beauty featured.
I present to you, Dress in a Bag 2.0.

The upper body of the dress was shattered - a sadly common weakness of dresses like these. With so much added weight from the beads, a dress like this sitting on a hanger for 60 years or so may very well start to fall apart at the weight-bearing uppers.

Remarkably, after a detailed search, it looked like maybe only 3 or 4 beads in total had gone missing.

This floral motif was amazing - the silk was painted inside the beaded outline.

Luckily, the under-slip was in almost pristine shape; even the snaps were still securely sewing in place at the side.

I think by far though, my favorite detail was the ombre effect of the dye at the petalled hem.

Happy sewing,

Friday, January 13, 2017

Some Catalog Love from McCall 1929...

Hello my dears,
Today's post is simply some eye candy from a McCall's  Sewing Pattern Catalog from 1929. I've been catalog obsessed this last year. I started with one, fell in love and before I knew what had happened, I had just under a dozen.
Lord help me, but they are beautiful to behold.
So without further ado...

Friday, December 16, 2016

Found in a Bag - the 1920's Dress - Make Your Own.

I recently sold the Dress-in-a-Bag to someone that will love, cherish, and re-purpose it, and as I was packaging it, it occurred to me that if I wanted to make my own, I really already had everything I needed in my current pattern arsenal.
So here is just a bit of my thought process on how I would do it if I had the time (jury is still out on where said time will come from).

First I would start with a basic 1920's foundation slip. These are easily made, and can often be whipped up in about an hour.
I have a couple that would fit the bill of having a straight top and bottom with few frills and Depew #3032 is easiest to make. This I would sew out of opaque rayon or satin.

1920's Draped Slip #3032 (1928)

The Pattern for the rest of the dress that I would choose is Depew #3063. I would forgo using the bodice as pictured on the right in green, and use only the skirt and over blouse. The skirt could be sewn directly into the slip above, and the blouse could be worn over that. For this I would choose a slightly sheer Georgette.

1920’s Martial et Armand Couture Dress #3063 (1927)

This pattern was adapted from a Martial et Armand couture pattern released in 1927 and has a lot of little details in common, especially the long bloused sleeves that end in tied cuffs, just like the dress in a bag.

The blouse also had a band of rosettes at the hem (I'm assuming, it was badly injured here) and these I would likely add to the tied band at the hem of the couture blouse. If one wanted to be very like the dress, the ties could be trimmed short and replaced with an Art Deco buckle, or a hook and eye closure hiding behind a rosette!

To make the rosettes is simple, they're really just a strip of fabric about 2" wide, sewn together along the long edge to hide raw edges, turned, and twisted a bit and pressed flat with a hidden stitch here and there. You can also learn how to make more complicated rosettes from Ribbon Art.

As for the lace inset at the back, that's pretty easy. It's is about 3/4 the height of the back of the blouse, and about 5" wide at the bottom. I would choose a piece of lace, cut it out, and applique-stitch it to the back of the blouse, then cut away the blouse fabric underneath once that was securely stitched in place.

And that would be that! How about you? Have you ever tried to copy a damaged garment with vintage patterns? Or have you tried to restore something badly in need of repair instead? I'd love to hear your tales - what would you do with this dress?

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Holiday Sale Coupon Code

Hello my dears, I hope everyone has had a lovely weekend so far. This is just a quick post to tell you that until Nov 28th, everything at Mrs. Depew Vintage is 30% off!

Simply use the coupon code above at checkout. This code will work at both Mrsdepew.com, and in our Etsy shop.

Happy weekend!


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Found in a Bag - the 1920's Dress

As many of you already know, my mother was an antique dealer - her specialty happened to be vintage clothing and she was a master at restoring difficult pieces. Those great items though that she found beyond repair were always saved hoarded to be later used to help in the restoration of something else. Some pieces ended up as parasol covers, beaded purse linings, or period correct doll clothes.
Others were forgotten about and tucked away in every spare corner and cranny she could find in the antique house she owned - also slowly being restored. When she passed away, my sister and I went through many boxes, and sometimes, rather than digging through the contents of an entire box, I would follow a hunch and decide to give an entire box a new home in my sewing room hoard, sight unseen.
It has felt special, opening these boxes over 2 years after her passing, and feeling close to her again.
My most recent excavation brought to light a dusty Dollar General bag with what I can only describe as the pleasing weight and bounce of silk inside.
I decided to photograph the bag as I dumped its contents on my sewing table, and what follows is my experience of said bag. I though you might like discovering the "Dress in a bag" as much as I did.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

My 1938 Simplicity Catalog - Equal Parts Sad and Beautiful...

Hello all,
Today for your enjoyment I have more photos from my 1938 Simplicity store counter catalog.
This is the first vintage catalog I ever purchased, and I was delighted to find that it helped me accurately date my Simplicity S-Series sewing patterns.

More importantly though, it has also become a fascinating and sometimes personal glimpse into the mind of one of its previous owners. The lady who had it starting in 1939 used this big, heavy ungainly tome as a recipe book and war-time journal!
Beautiful page after beautiful page is peppered with recipes, articles, and jokes pasted over stunning illustrations and written over with notes like the following...

"1944 December 21. Thursday A.M. 11-20 o'clock. (So and so) has just stopped by on her way to the auction farm. She had been to the hospital to get a shot in the arm - I have just finished making the children some fruit divinity candy. It's so good. Must get the box packed and in the mail. How I wish they were home with me. ... God Bless them, and every soldier and sailor..."

As she is writing this blessing on her troops, the U.S. 101st Airborne and others are surrounded at Bastogne, fighting for their lives and cut off from supplies and reinforcements. This was part of one of the bloodiest battles of World War II, the Battle of the Bulge, where the U.S. alone lost 19,000 brave men, the allies nearly as many, and the Germans so many more.

It makes my heart break a little for her and every other woman who has ever waited for a troop to come home safely, no matter what side they were on, and reminds me how blessed I am that mine hasn't been called to an active war-zone yet.

Note, you can find an interesting looking recipe for old fashioned divinity candy here. I'm going to make some myself, sit in some warm sunshine, and hope that the box of candy made its way into the warm, safe hands of whoever she sent it to.

I'll just leave these here for you to read and enjoy without my commentary on the rest of them. Her notes are perfect enough all on their own.

Yes, yes it is!

We have previously talked about Simplicity 2229, featured above, in one of our Sew Expensive posts.