All posts tagged: 1930s

Rate the Dress: Fireworks by Chanel

High marks for the Va-va-voom stripey ’50s number last week!  That is, unless you didn’t like chartreuse, or had misgivings about the bag-pouf on the hip.  Those little niggles dragged the dress down to a still impressive 8.2 out of 10 (though the jury is still out on who would look good in it: Grace Kelly, Cyd Charisse, Marilyn Monroe or Christina Hendricks?  My money’s on Cyd.  Grace is too prim, Marilyn too cliché and Christina too curvy – it would just be too OTT, not to mention obscene, on her figure!) Last week I missed out on posting a Halloween Rate the Dress – no real reason, I simply forgot. To make up for it, I thought I’d post a Guy Fawke’s Rate the Dress this week.  The problem with that is that I’ve already posted James I, his wife Anne of Denmark not once but twice, his son and heir Charles I as a teenager, and his daughter Elizabeth of Bohemia (who the Gunpowder plot had aimed to replace James with) as a child.  Without good images …

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!  Hope you are all having a delightful holiday with lots of inventive costume fun-ness, apples to bob for, caramel corn, doughnuts on strings and other delicious old-fashioned treats. Do you need some last minute costume inspiration?  Let’s look at some suggestions from a 1930s Bestway Fancy Dress and Carnival Costumes catalogue. Would you go as a ‘Flower’, a ‘Clown’, or ‘May Day’? Or perhaps you want to lord it over ‘May Day’ as the ‘May Queen’, go as a different variant of the clown look in ‘Hoop-La’, or throw political correctness to the wind as a ‘Red Indian’? A more acceptable form of national dress might be ‘Tyrolean’, or you can avoid cultural issues altogether as a generic ‘Peasant’ (I’d love to see the kid who dreams of being a peasant for Halloween).  Slipping even lower on the social scale is the ‘Charwoman’ costume, and slipping between the sheets is the adorable ‘Lavender Bag’ (sorry, that sounds wrong). How about an adorable ‘Kitten’ (or Black Cat, if that’s how you play it), ‘Drummer …

The ’30s Garden Party frock

Reminder!  One day left to enter the Giveaway! One of the upcoming classes I’m teaching is a ’30s garden party dress class.  I love ’30s garden party dresses – you know the ones; chiffon, ruffles, floral prints, with that incredible ’30s ability to be ridiculously cutesy feminine and very glamorous and sophisticated at the same time. For the class, I’m debuting an idea I’ve been working on.  A lot of 1930s dresses are made from very similar patterns: a basic bodice, married to a full-ish skirt attached with an interestingly seamed dropped waistline, with a choice of sleeve treatments.  I’ve taken this formula, and am turning it into a pattern that allows lots of choices, while still being a good introduction to vintage ’30s sewing techniques. To start with, my pattern has a basic bodice.  I’ve taken the bodice from patterns like Excella E3006 – this type of bodice has the advantage of back princess seams, great for adding a little more shape and fitting a wider range of bodies. For necklines, my pattern has the choice …