Monday, May 30, 2011

Clothing and Hats (from 1909 and 1914)

As promised, here are a few images from the magazine pieces I bought. Some of the images are from 1909 and the rest are from 1914. I must admit I was never a bit fan of fashion from that time period, but since watching Downtown Abbey I have grown to appreciate it a lot more. I still don't think it is a look that is easy to pull off but it is very interesting to see the shift between the Victorian fashions and those of the 1920's. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hats, Magazines, and a little bit of Knitting

Outfit Details:
Dress: Made by me from a 1960's pattern
Sweater: Costa Blanca
Flats: Payless

I have been out antique hunting today. I was very disappointed I won't be able to get to the Christie antique sale this year, so I went to my favourite local store to make myself feel better. I wore a vintage inspired outfit today due to the weather (thunderstorms...), and the fact most of my poofy 1950's dresses make it difficult for me to sit on the bus without someone sitting on my dress!

I found lots of things I wanted to buy (I always do...) but in the end I settled for a hat, some magazine pieces, some 1950's knitting books, and some reeeeaaaallllyy cheap knitting needles. Most of the magazine pieces are from about 1910. I suspect someone learned that they could make more money by selling the covers and ads rather then the whole magazine, and that the pieces I bought were what was leftover. It makes me quite sad that people destroy perfectly good vintage magazines, but at least I rescued some of the remaining pieces. I will post some scans of the pieces later this week.

I have been working on designing a new pattern for my Etsy / Ravelry shop. It's not quite done yet, but here is a little sneak peak at my new vintage inspired hat pattern. It looks a bit like a rose.

That's All.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

DIY No-Sew Hair Bows

Thank you to everyone who suggested names for my knitting pattern. I had a very hard time deciding between your wonderful suggestions but in the end I decided to go with "A Jaunty Little Bow" as suggested by Tasha ("The Ruby" as suggested by BaronessVonVintage was a very close second but I was worried that most people wouldn't get the reference). The pattern is now for sale here on Ravelry and here on Etsy (it's 20 cents cheaper on Ravelry since I don't pay a fee for listing the pattern).

I haven't done a DIY post in a while, since it seems most of my DIY posts involve sewing and, as I am at school, I no longer have access to my sewing machine. However, I thought I would share my method of making no-sew hair bows. There are a variety of ways to make these, but I prefer this method as it seems to use the least amount of fabric per bow. This is a great project for using up scraps of fabric.

You will need:
-Two rectangles of fabric. The size doesn't really matter as long as one is smaller than the other, but mine were 5 ½” by 4” and 8” by 5”.
-4" of ribbon
-Glue gun and hot glue
-A hair comb or hair clip

To make:
1) Start with one of your rectangles. Fold long edges towards centre (you can iron it in place but I don’t tend to bother), so that the right side of the fabric is on the inside. Unfold and place a straight line of glue along the short side about half an inch from the edge. Refold and carefully press down along the glue line. Wait a few seconds until the glue dries and repeat on the other side.
2) When the glue is dry, flip the bow right side out. Place a few small dabs along the inside of the bow, particularly around the open centre edges, and press closed.
3) Repeat with the other fabric rectangle.
4) Place a dab or two of glue in the centre of big bow and press the little one onto it.
5) Wait until all the glue has dried. Get your ribbon and tie it around the centre, with the knot at the back, and glue down loose ends of the ribbon so that they don’t show from the front.
6) Glue on your hair comb or clip.
Tada! All finished.

There are many possible variations you can make:

I now have quite a little collection of hair bows to match my various dresses and skirts :)

That's All.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Well my lovely readers, it has been a very busy week at school but I managed to fit in a photo-shoot for my newest knitting pattern. My friend, Britt, was nice enough to be my model for the day and we got some great shots (despite the fact her hair refused to hold a curl!). Since then I have been working at writing the pattern which should be up for sale on Ravelry and Etsy (in PDF form) before the end of the week.

Only problem is that I can't decide on a name for my design. It is a 1930's inspired hat that can be worn two ways, pointed or flat. So I thought I would see if any of you could think of a name. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. If I pick your name I will send you a free copy of the pattern :)

All the Latest Steps: The Paul Jones

This week's dance is the Paul Jones. I was unable to find any historical footage of this dance, possibly because it is merely a variation on dances such as the foxtrot.
Next Weeks Dance: The Grand March

The Paul Jones is the name of a "mixer dance" (a dance where partners are changed during the dance) that was very popular during the early part of the 20th century. The dance was named "after John Paul Jones (1747-1792), Scottish naval officer known for his victories in the American Revolution".

The Instructions (click to enlarge):

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Buttons, Bows, and Earrings.

It has been a busy week! I am finally getting time to set up my room. Hopefully it should be done within the next week and ready for pictures, but as a sneak peak what do you ladies (and gentleman of course) think of my hair accessory 3-tiered tray? I have been making even more hair bows lately and needed something to fit all my flowers, bows and clips.

Despite not going outside due to an injured foot, I wore my new sweater today. I took several 1920's knitting patterns for inspiration and came up with this (sorry it's a bit of a dark photo, still experimenting with lighting!):

Before the foot injury, I did manage to get to my favourite antique store for the first time this term. I bought a big bag of buttons, some gloves that actually fit (!), and some clip-on earrings (which I will likely convert to something else).

Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

That's All.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

All the Latest Steps: The Fox Trot

This weeks dance is the Fox Trot. Although it is not the most exciting dance in the book, I've decided to post the dances in the order they appear. Next week: The Paul Jones

The Fox Trot was invented in 1914 by an American vaudeville performer, Henry Fox (or, according to some sources, merely popularized by him). The Fox Trot is based on the two-step but is done with a "broken beat" (ie slow-slow quick-quick). It was considered "the easiest [dance] to pick up and the hardest to master" and was one of the most popular social dances of the era. Over time the dance was split into a slow version, the slow Foxtrot, and a fast version, the Quickstep.

The Instructions: (Click to enlarge)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

All the Latest Steps

Hello everyone. It has been a hectic week of moving into a new place and starting classes. I have school some days for more than 12 hours straight so I expect to be more tired than usual for the next few months. This means I will likely also have less time for blogging. But nevertheless, based on several requests, I have decided to start a new series of posts based on the book "All the Latest Steps". It was published in the mid-1920's and contains instructions for various dances.

Over the next few months I will be posting the instructions to the dances (some contain diagrams, and some unfortunately do not) and some historical footage of the dance (if I can find any). I'm planning to post once a week, but this may be changed to every two weeks if school gets too busy. (Don't worry, I will still be doing my normal posts as well.)

So dust off your dancing shoes and get ready to learn the "latest steps". Here is some Fred and Ginger to get you in the mood!