All posts tagged: 1930s

The Little Bit of Red/Lips Kiss My Blues Away remake

Last week’s challenge on the Sew Weekly was music.  I had dreams of something elaborate involving metres & metres of  blue crepe, but the plans went awry (not sewing mistakes) and made me very blue indeed.  So I needed something to chase those blues away, and what better than one of my favourite songs, a fix up of my Little Bit of Red dress (remember how I was never thrilled with it?), and some Besamé Red lipstick? The song is  Red Lips Kiss My Blues Away, and the cover artwork is adorable: My Little Bit of Red dress is not a perfect match to the Red Lips Kiss My Blues Away cover art, but I thought with a bit of tweaking the Little Bit of Red dress could effectively capture the mood of the poster, and rescue my sewing week (plus get something off my UFO pile). So I completely pulled apart my Little Bit of Red Dress, re-shaped the bodice, re-set the bodice ruffles, took in the skirt, cut hip ruffles, hemmed said hip ruffles, put the …

Terminology: What is Roshanara?

Roshanara is the trade name for a silk or silk-worsted wool blend fabric with a rough crepe texture. Roshanara was popular in the 20s and 30s, but was notorious for shrinking when wet.  It is nearly impossible to find Roshanara, or a Roshanara equivalent, today. Roshanara was first introduced into New Zealand in 1920, but appears in ads in the US from 1918.  The name probably comes from the famous Roshanara Club in Delhi, which was in turn named after the Mughal princess Roshanara Begum. While Roshanara was primarily made of silk (possibly with a small amount of wool), it was meant to replace wool fabrics, which were in short supply due to the use of wool in soldiers uniforms during WWI.  This ad from an April 1918 El Paso Herald extolls the economic virtues of silk, and encourages women to buy it instead of wool.  Note the inclusion of the very patriotic and military inspired ‘Khaki Kool’ fabric. The exotic rough texture of Roshanara, and how closely its introduction co-oincided with the discovery of …

The ‘Penciling it in’ skirt

I’ve been having fun finding music to match my ‘me’ sewing lately.  This week’s me sewing is a ’30s skirt, so it needs one of my favourite swing songs, Lavender Coffin.  Great to dance to, and a good conversation starter – we have an ongoing discussion of ways to make a lavender eco-coffin.  I’m advocating dye made from blueberries or java plums.  It’s not like the colour needs to last! (yes, I have macabre interests). On a much more random note, I’ve also been doing a lot of sewing to Julietta Venegas lately.  It gives me a chance to practice my rapidly fading Spanish.  If only I’d known I’d be spending my adult life in New Zealand I could have spared myself years of torture in language classes, or at least taken something I was good at, like Hawaiian. But whether I understand it or not, I enjoy Julietta Venegas.  I particularly like Limon y Sal and its cute silent movie aesthetic. Right!  The sewing!  The skirt! This week’s theme on the Sew Weekly is ‘Reality Check’: make …