Author: The Dreamstress

Advertising at the end of the War (WWII, that is)

I  found a wonderful magazine page a few month’s back, full of advertisements. None of the products advertised would be particularly interesting to me, except that the magazine is from late 1945, and the advertisements make specific reference to the (hopeful) end of wartime shortages.  It’s a fascinating glimpse at rationing, and the foreseeable end to it: Unfortunately I just found two pages of the magazine, and there was no identification of what magazine it was, or a precise date, though I’m certain it’s either English (most likely) or Australian (less likely), and that it dates from late 1945 or early 1946. First, a rather sad version of Mary Had a Little Lamb: The Loving Stitch: A History of Spinning & Knitting in New Zealand, gives an excellent account of wartime wool (and knitting needle) shortages, and how women coped with them (hint, it includes #8 wire!) Next, a rather standard beauty ad, though my modern mind can’t help wondering precisely what it is men who call her Pat know about her… Another classic ad …

Rate the Dress – Lady of 1650

When I posted last week’s 1910s Rate the Dress I knew that the colour scheme wasn’t likely to be popular (personally, I’m sure you know I adore neutrals, and I thought the plum-y contrast of the collar was an inspired choice), but I forgot about your hate of the top-heavy, blouson 1910s silhouette. Despite that, you did like the crisp tailored look of the ensemble, so it managed a passable, if not brilliant, 7.3 out of 10 For this week’s rate the dress, we’re going allegorical.  Our subject, possibly Jeanne de Marigny, is shown in a mid 17th century allegorical portrait, possibly as ‘Fortune’ or ‘Vanity,’ literally dripping in wealth. She has a pearl circlet on her head, pearls around her neck, garlands of pearls festooning her neckline, with further strands of jewels and pearls across her chests.  She carelessly lets more precious gems and gold coins drip from her fingers, and gathers them up in her skirt as if they were no more than flowers. While the painting is an allegory, and her dress may …

The 1930s inspired Stella Skirt thedreamstress.com - 4

The 1930s inspired Stella Skirt

The weather in Wellington has been conspiring to make it easy for me to get lots of sewing done, and hard for me to get the sewing photographed.  It’s been cold, dark and wet – or at least it has on any day when I’ve had any time to get photographs. This weekend a sun, free time, and a photographer (Madame O, yay!) finally managed to all happen at the same time.    Unfortunately, the rest of the circumstances conspired against me.  It may have been sunny, but it was still very cold.  And we were late setting out, so the best of the sun and light had passed.  And it was even more cold. Plus, I’ve got muscle and nerve damage above one eye (word to the wise: try not to get bitten on the face by a centipede, those bastards are evil), and when I get really cold the muscles just stop responding, and I end up looking like a literal Picasso. And to top it all off I’ve had a little problem that’s making me very bloated, …