I know I haven't been exactly communicative for some time - sorry 'bout that. Production of our new brochure was harder work than usual (not that we hadn't know that) and the last week, when the goal was pretty much in view, cumulated with a few ummmhh... night shifts. Anyway, I have have learned a lot, and the thing is at the printers' now, so I actually have my life back!
I know, the Scarf a Month is already overdue, so I won't dally but introduce it right here:
Silken polyester??? What an incredible idea for a fabric! The weave certainly looks like a heavier silk, but the touch, even the sound of it and the way it falls immediately give it away as synthetic. Still, I like it! I've a mind to test it that claim on it being water repellent...
Despite all the chaos at work, the late evenings and the rare time spent at home, I did make some more fab online vintage buys, and I shall present them here in time. The first search, which I had started on already in December, was for vintage housewear. There was a time when one would have a house dress or lounging gown or whadammayacallit... The idea was that it should be "dressy" enough to answer the door in - or even receive friends in it, if it had to be, yet it was something that could be pulled on fast & easy, and it should also be practical for wearing probably all-day at home. Styles, and maybe also reasons to wear it changed over the decades, but anyway, after spying some fab pieces online, this seemed to be just THE thing. Stylisher than a track suit, and maybe even comfier. Of course, the best pieces also command prices that you probably wouldn't pay for something you buy to slouch around at home in. In the end, after a few long evenings searching through etsy and VFG member shops, I came up with these two that I finally bought:
Okay, this is later than what I had been looking for, my guess is early 70s, but it's just too darling not to buy it! Synthetic velour, but comfy & warm enough, easily washable, and the victorian styling is adorable.
This is about what I'd actually been looking for, and it was just a little bit over budget, but too perfect to resist. A beautiful 40s house dress, slightly longer in the back, with a sweetheart neck, a long zip down the front and two big, practical front pockets, made from the most beautiful rayon. The fabric is relatively heavy and falls beautifully. And of course the dress has shoulder pads too... (and no, I have still kept two track suits - for cleaning...)
Even though I said that my living room walls are full... they have recently received a few additions. First is this lovely set of illustrations, which might originally have been ideas for book or advertising illustrations. They're beautifully framed, and even though the black and yellow would fit perfectly with my bedroom's color scheme, their style is just too pop-artsy as not to put it up on one of my living room walls.
Also, my gorgeous vintage souvenir plates have finally found their place just above my sewing table.
Why not in the kitchen, you ask? I found that I don't have a heart to take anything on those walls down, to be honest! And besides that, my sewing table has recently developed such a "domestic kitsch" leaning, that it seemed only naturally to put them there.
In fact, that all started with a Christmas gift - the cutest ever pincushion, made from a vintage silver plated cup and saucer. Add to that a small porcelain pot that I took out of my display case when selling part of my small china collection online. Nobody wanted this one - no wonder, besides the hand-painted Augarten and Herend stuff, this one here, whilst pretty, is transfer printed and just didn't impress anyone. However, I've decided to keep it to hold my sewing machine needles, which keep lying around here & there because I have to change them quite often, depending on the fabric I'm working with. Add to that my new sewing machine cover, which I whipped up on a Sunday afternoon when I desperately needed to do "something different". Fabric courtesy of Forget Me Knots in Christchurch.
On another note, I have also recently received a few issues of a very interesting vintage magazine. My friend in Vienna found them - don't ask me where. They're practically falling apart, and she thought they might provide some fun additions to my Willy-nillies. It's called "Little Puck" and was a bi-weekly magazine aimed at those wanting to learn or better their English. It contained a few pages of short essays, conversations, jokes etc. with explanations of more "difficult" words, together with some readers' letters and some grammatical explanations. Judging by the ads, the target audience of Little Puck seems to have been young men (the kind who needed to earn their own money) all over German-speaking Europe. The letters from readers and companies in the ads range geographically speaking from Switzerland to Germany to Austria-Hungary to Romania and wherever else German was spoken at the time. They were all published in 1909 in Hamburg. A lost world, if you will. I don't know yet if I will cut them up or not, to be honest. Somehow they feel too much like a piece of history.
Those living in Switzerland will have seen the cover of last month's issue of the fashion magazine Annabelle everywhere I guess... To celebrate the 40th anniversary of women's vote in Switzerland (yes, we are THAT much behind!), and aided by the fact that our national council for the first time in history is dominated by women, they put said four women on the cover. Nope, I did not buy the mag. I don't usually spend money on fashion mags - too many expensive ads and not enough brains if you ask me - but this issue miraculously landed in my letter box as a "try out issue". Oh yes, once the Ringier publishers have your address, you're registered for life! I'm just wondering I haven't received one of their famous "would you like to subscribe" calls yet. Honestly. Oops, sorry, I'm losing the thread! Anyway, to be honest, I found the cover pretty bad. Stilted, posed, and the black & white didn't help either. Can't see why they needed a "star photographer" for that. Sorry. However, upon opening the mag, I found a spontaneous shot that is just so much better...!
And will I subscribe? Or by the mag again? Nope. They may say all they want, and Annabelle might have a little more brains than most of them, I still can't get into it. I'd rather spend my money on the occasional celebrity rag - at least those are a laugh!
On a last note, as today was my sew & mend day it seems, I also took care of this little lovely, which I picked up looking like this last autumn at the Caritas:
Even though it had two rather nasty looking, but not very big, stains, I bought it. The embroidery is exquisite, the fabric a lovely, soft, light cotton, and the price was reduced due to the stains (I have already reduced them but am still working on them).
Looking at it at home, I came upon some obviously newer alterations like shortened straps (it actually closes with metal snaps at the straps on one side), a not very nice, more utilitarian looking cotton ribbon through the loops, and some traces of darts, which had been removed at some time.
I asked the VFG forum about it and they deemed it older, possibly even late teens to early 1920s, probably a shift - the thing you wore underneath your corset. Wow.
Well, today I removed the old ribbon, added a nice satin one (though that's just for show - I will have to buy one that's a bit wider), ironed it and re-sewed the darts, which give it a bit more shape:
Now, I have the idea of wearing this in summer. Don't know yet with what underneath, bit it a non-see-through slip, three-quarter-lenght leggings or whatever... (suggestions, anyone?). But I finally found that perfect wide waist belt at Yendi on Saturday (so much so that I bought it both in white and black), and I say I find it rather fetching paired with that:
Well, that's all for now... there'll be more to read here again sooner than the last time - promise!