The one thing that is standing in my way to being a full time vintage girl is my hair. #vintagegirlproblems. Right?
My hair does not hold heat curl, and I have to wash it every two days because that's just the kind of hair I have. It's never been coloured (humble brag) and I do treat it weekly with delicious masques. As a result, any curls fall out pretty fast. My hair is thick so it's hard to fun flirty styles - they get weighed down. It also doesn't hold teasing. So there goes all the fun 60s beehive styles.
As a result, I need to find bankable options that look retro but don't need curl or teasing. Enter the up-do.
While at work I have to have a headset on. That seriously decreases the ability for high victory rolls or poodles. Shame really.
What I can do are 40s rolls, milkmaid braids and assorted scarf things.
This little 'do is a flat victory roll on the left side, a twisted pull back on the right side and then the rest rolled with a hair rat and pinned within an inch of its life. I must say, sometimes this hairstyle can give me a bit of a headache. I've got a tutorial below for you! Interesting outfit note - same fabric, two different days, one is a dress, the other is a blouse!
This next one is a pretty standard headscarf Rosie the Riverter style. I plait my hair down the back and then fold it up onto itself. A proper braid would be better but I ain't got those kinda skills. Whack on a headscarf and boom. Vintage cool. This one isn't as great for the office headset, but I make it work. I always recommend nylon scarves over chiffon. They stay in place better. Or, the CanTeen Bandanas! They are a great size, come in awesome colours and makes you feel good.
(CanTeen is a charity raising money for children and teens with cancer. They have recently added many more styles to their range. Check it out here).
A lot of my life has been spent in dance studios. A very easy up-do for me is the classic ballet bun. Use a hairnet for maximum neatness. Gosh. There is that same fabric again. In all seriousness, the ballet bun is about the fastest hairstyle I can do. A flower is always a great addition.
Tutorial: My Go-To Up-Do!
Let me know what your go to vintage hairstyle is - I would love to see!
Behold! My most recently completed sew. It's the Simplicity 1692 blouse reproduction from the 40s.
Usually I steer clear of Simplicity patterns, but this blouse goes alright. I cut and made the size 12 with no alterations. (I still have a partially embroidered toile of this pattern on my dress form right now to be finished soon.) I don't know if you can see but there are little pearl buttons on the shoulder and the stupid loops. Those loops took me 4 hours to turn through. Yeah, 4 hours. I was watching telly. After some internet stalking I found one version of this blouse where they used ric rac trim as the shoulder loops. Brilliant idea.
The blouse neckline is really pretty with the low narrow scoop at the front. The waist tucks means it sits nicely under skirts and pants. I even did a pretty great invisible zip in the left side! Kimono sleeves are the best kind of sleeves. I might make this blouse again. If I did it would probably be in a textured black something - like a seersucker? Or maybe even a draped velvet? That would be decadent.
The skirt is Simplicity 3766 from the 50s, a true vintage pattern. It's a perfect go to skirt with a grey-blue colour which is great for this navy based Japanese cotton lawn print. You may recognise the cotton lawn fabric from an early post about this 1940s Vogue dress. This little blouse was made from the leftover fabric. The pearl buttons were also in my stash. And I stole the invisible zip from mum. So... the blouse was free!
Blouse: Simplicity 1692
Skirt: Simplicity 3766
Brooch: Sarah Coventry from the Rock N Roll Markets
This dress was made in one day!
Well, it was cut out on a Friday night, and then sewn from beginning to end on the Saturday, worn on the Sunday. It has neckline facings, French darts on the front bodice, standard darts on the back bodice, a hand picked side zipper, a 'hug snug' bound waist seam and a thread loop at the back neck also done by hand.
All that aside.... LOOK AT HOW PRETTY IT IS.
The fabric is a navy blue based Japanese cotton lawn from Spotlight (available here). It is a delight to wear, especially in the Australian summer. Or more specifically, the Sydney summer. We've had on and off heat waves of over 40ºC over the past few weeks. This dress is a dream in those temperatures.
The high neckline is flattering and great for sun protection, same as the kimono sleeves. The tea length skirt keeps behind-the-knee sunburn at bay.
Have a look at the beautiful back detail. The handmade thread loop is a delicate touch, and I was lucky enough to have a perfect green button hiding in my stash. Vogue 8811 is such a simple and stunning pattern. If it's languishing in your stash neglected and unused, then pull it out and get sewing!
The only modification I made was to omit the kimono sleeve facings like I did last time. It adds extra bulk that isn't necessary. In fact, I did a narrow hem by folding up 1cm and pressing it, then folding the raw edge inside again so I have a 5mm narrow hem. It was fiddly but it's so light and delicate.
I also did a small horizontal line of stitching just below the peek-a-boo keyhole at the back. It's to keep the facing down and sitting flat at the bottom of the keyhole. The neckline facings are kept in place by stitch-in-the-ditch at the shoulder seams.
One more picture because the neckline is so pretty!
Dress: Vogue 8811, size 12
Earrings: Equip from years ago
Hair flower: Kmart
Check that collar out, yo!
Classic 80s dress with a cute 30s vibe. The neckline has a frilly cascade of fabric that tumbles down in gorgeous folds. It's a lot of fun to wear. There are tiny shoulder pads which help to keep the dress in the right spot - not falling forward with the weight of the frills.
The fabric is sheer and delicate so I have a short slip on underneath. The matching self fabric belt is really lovely too, with a delicate little gold chain detail.
The more I get into vintage styles full time, the more I am drawn to the 1930s. The day dresses are feminine and floaty, with some delightful details in necklines and shoulders. Don't get me wrong, I am still a big fan of the 40s, 50s and 60s, but there is a slow creep back to the 1930s happening. Seems a perfectly acceptable way to float through the hot Australian summer (it's a top of 43 degrees here today).
The shoes are from Kitten D'Amour. I dig the 30s vibe and the t-strap. The colour is a beige with a slight pinkish undertone. Not the most comfortable shoe I own, but okay for sitting down at work.
I made a hat. Well, I chopped a hat apart and then re-made it! It is the hat of my vintage dreams.
Emileigh Rogers has a great blog with this tutorial to create a gorgeous vintage style hat. It was really easy to do and took perhaps 15-20 minutes to complete.
First, I had to remove the black ribbon band so I could use it later on. Then I hacked the top from the brim, and then the very top part off as well. I went for about an inch of height at the crown of the hat.
The top was a bit smaller than the hole at the brim so I hot glued the inside hat ribbon to the top. It's a bit terrible, but got the job done!
The photo below show the new shorter height of the hat. I have to pin it to my head. I might experiment with combs, or even a cute ribbon to tie under my chin... something removable maybe. The flowers were lying around and I jammed them into the ribbon.
Having the flowers underneath are a winner! They are only in my hair, not attached to the hat at all. So cute. Bring on summer!
Flowers: Kmart years ago
Hat: from Big W here
Knitter. Home seamstress. Dance Teacher.