Trying to put my thoughts & ideas down somewhere and give another outlet to my creativity. It's all connected, so I can't say it's a blog about just this or just that. Dolls. Fashion. Art. A little bit on travel, whatever... let's take it wherever it goes...


Something new on my kitchen wall... and I've been blogged again!

Now, for something different than the last few days! Something really cool actually: I've been asked if I'd submit some photos of my personal styles wearing vintage to Louise's Personal Fashion Blog. We know eachother from the VFG Forum (wherelse?), and she has a "Stylish Ladies" section, to which I'm the first addtion - see it here: Thank you so much for including me!

And... something's changed on my kitchen wall...
I've replaced the page of ads from then 1926 "Le Petit Eco de la Mode" on the right with a this October-November 1939 cover of Harber's Bazaar. I saw this in a book and found a website that sells photo prints of it, so I ordered one. It's just so incredibly chic and modern - that short raincoat, timeless handbag (Gucci? it seems to have a bamboo handle) and the fairly short and slender skirt. The Paris opera in the background, and two sailors, cigarettes in their mouths' corners, looking appreciatively at the model (or rather her legs *g*). I just like it - it's so positive, even though these weren't happy times. Funny enough, the Coke ad in the middle is just ten years later, from 1949, and shows a New Look-like style in the middle - it shows nicely how styles changed completely between those years.


More from my "crusade"

So, more to update on my "crusade"! I just got the next reply, which turned out to be a two-in-one! It came from the shop chain from whose shop we'd picked the magazine up. Again, a very nice message, apologizing for the content and that they had no influence on the content of the magazine, but that they distance themselves from this and don't approve of such things. Also, they had taken consequences, which I guess refers to withdrawing the magazine from their shops. What's even more interesting, she was able to forward to me copy of e-mails that the publisher of the magazines had sent to me in reply to my two messages!
I swear, I never received them, they never landed in any of my spam filters, and I couldn't find that e-mail address in any of my blocked lists! But the only explanation is, that they got stuck somewhere in some filter - be it from the sender's side, or be it from Yahoo on my side, though I was able to check that! So, without further ado, his reply: 
He apologized for the "unfortunate word-play" (well, that's putting it a little mildly in my eyes...), and said that they distance themselves from any such ideas or ideology. They had also already taken consequences (not further explained - did they already have the mag withdrawn everywhere? That would explain why it seems to not be available anymore), and that they were going to publish a statement in their next issue. Well, I'll be very interested to see that, and I hope I can get it!
I'm still wondering how that thing flew by everything, if the publisher has classed this as a no-no too. I mean, this must have been written by someone and certainly been approved by someone else, so at least two people thought this was quite okay? Questions, questions...

Cut 'n slash your t-shirt for a hot day!

This is just the ticket for hot and humid days - a loose-fitting cotton top with a too-cool-to-leave-it-there motif! When I found it though, at the Caritas shop, this was a large-sized T-shirt, ca. early 90s, decorated with rhinestones and sequins that all still looked good.

Loose-fitting is good, but a bit of shape is still needed. It was definitely too big as was, but I didn't want to do anything to the motif either. The solution? I got my scissors out! Basically, I shortened the sleeves and made a band from the cut-off sections. At the back, I cut slits to thread the band through, giving it a slight peplum effect and bringing it into shape at the waist. Thanks to that, nothing else needed to be done.
 Capris: H&M, shoes: Charles & Keith.


Update on my "crusade" - part one!

So, today I got the first serious reply back regarding the article I posted about yesterday here.A chain of higher end fashion stores that operates in several countries, they replied very nicely, saying that of course they couldn't know what's in the free magazines they have at their stores, but of course such an article is indiscutable, and that they are going to remove all issues of this particular magazine from their stores. Well, it's definitely an improvement to what I got yesterday! My letter of complaint is still on the magazine's Facebook page - it really seems they don't give a care on what's being published on their page - or nobody is actually checking it. Well, that says a lot about them too...

On another note, a dress I bought in Vienna two years ago, and that I like very much, has gotten a few comments here, and now I actually know when it is from exactly! This is ever so cool - there really seem to be collectors of this label around. Check it out here:


Unsavoury... fashion magazine extolling the coolness of the "fascist look"

This is not a political blog, however, here's a story that I just want to put out there as it has angered me so much. Besides, it does have something to do with fashion as well, but in a very unsavoury way. And I feel it puts anybody who likes the 1940s look in the wrong place too.

Whilst I was on my holiday in Vienna, my pal and I picked up a free fashion magazine at a cosmetics store. It looks like any mainstream fashion mag you can get at the news stands, minus the stories - so it's just fashion - and lots of ads. How to wear this trend and that etc. The intellectual content is about zero, I'm not kidding myself there. However, I think this doesn't mean whoever publishes it shouldn't show a bit of responsibility and a minimum of political correctness, or at least common sense.

There was an article in it about the comeback of the 1940s look. From my perspective, it was a piece of fluff and they could have shown better examples, and been more precise about style elements etc. But nothing to offend anybody. Only, on the next page, there was a separate text insert titled "Cool im Fascho-Look" (Cool in the fascist-look). That boxed text basically implicated that since World War II "is so long ago", it' ok to find the Nazi-Look fashionable, and that Nazi uniforms look ever so dashing on men - even today. Therefore it mentions a German actor and an actress in Nazi roles as looking so elegant, and also claims that all that is needed for the look can be found through the "well sorted specialist trade". That really only implies one thing to me, and that is unsavoury to say the least.

This is a spit in the face of anybody who survived that time, and completely irresponsible, misguided and wrong. I was disgusted to say the least, and so was my friend. It's one thing to like the look of 1940s fashions, which I do too, but it doesn't mean I condone anything the Nazis did, or that I would even think of finding their uniforms something to copy! And no, it is never too long ago to not remember! There are countless wonderful 1940s Hollywood films that show the fashion of the time off to it's best that they could have cited.

Anyway, I was so put out by this, that I sent the magazine's publishers an e-mail. It's now a good two weeks since I did that, and they haven't replied. Well, I thought it's been long enough, and I'm still angry. So I sent another message to them, then I wrote to the Austrian press council to alert them to this, to the cosmetics chain where we picked the mag up (who would want to be associated to something like the?) - and all the other cosmetics or fashion shop chains, airlines, café chains and more that are listed as partners where the mag is available. Some of them are even international companies.

I see this now, besides working of my anger and disgust, which I think is the only thing one can feel in such a case, as a kind of experiment - who will reply, how fast, and what. 

So far, one e-mail has come back, claiming I was sending spam. Well, any client of theirs who has a Yahoo e-mail address will be very happy then!

The press council has replied, thanking me, and saying they'd like to look into this, however they needed the article. Of course I don't have that anymore, we threw the mag out. And they say they can't get it anymore anywhere near them. Oh dear!

One of the distributors has replied, basically telling me that I shouldn't have gotten myself so worked up, since this was obviously a magazine of not very intellectually highstanding content (really? I wouldn't have known...!). At the same time he admitted he hadn't read that (of course). And that was from the company's CEO. Very reassuring! Well, I'll make sure never to set foot into any of their outlets anymore.

So this is where we are at the moment. I will keep posting further developments.


Sew retro - and some scarf ideas

As you may have noticed, I've been posting lots of sewing patterns on my Etsy shop lately. Most of them are Vintage Vogue sewing pattern re-issues. Ca. 1999 Vogue started re-issuing sewing patterns from the 1920s to the 1950s roughly. In case you ever wondered if they really were the "real deal" - meaning actual re-issues, yes, they definitely are! For example, Vintage Vogue V1043:
Now, check out the original at the Vintage Pattern Wiki - it was originally Vogue Special Design S-4382 from 1953:

Vogue did obviously not reproduce the exact illustrations one to one, but kept the poses, colors and fabric prints from the original illustrations. Going back a little further, there is Vintage Vogue 2495:
Originally: Vogue 6111 from 1947: Again, they "fleshed out" the drawn models a bit more, but kept the other details "as is", even down to the accessories. The drawing of the back view seems to be the exact same.

One of the first Vintage Vogue re-issues to appear must have been a particular favourite of whoever decides which patterns they choose. Before the "real" re-issues, way back when Gene doll ruled the world of 16" fashion dolls, Vogue started issuing sewing patterns for Gene and her pals (or enemies... as if Madra would ever accept anything but her own sewing patterns, which she did get from Vogue!). Some of them were quite intricate and not too easy to execute. They were not simple "doll clothing" but really miniature versions of real clothing, and made in that way. One of the first patterns issued was Vogue Craft 7106:

A long evening dress, in two versions, the main one having an Asian-inspired look about it, with a long self-shawl thrown over one shoulder. Pattern's copyright year is 1998, so it came out that year or in '99 latest. Soon after that, Vogue started with their "real" vintage re-issues, and lo and behold, one of the first ones was Vintage Vogue 2494:
It's identical to View A of Gene's outfit (sorry, these are not for sale...)! The cut is exactly the same, down to the darts. I guess they invented the second version for Gene's pattern to give people a little more "value for money". Gene's pattern also includes the bag, snood and gloves, so that one could make a complete outfit. And now, for the original: that was Vogue Special Design S-4765 from 1947:

Fascinating, isn't it? The Vintage Patterns Wiki certainly holds many treasures, it's a little hard though to find something without knowing the original pattern number. Being a bit of a nerd, I would generally have appreciated it, if Vogue would have mentioned the original pattern number somewhere on the envelope of the re-issues. It would also make searching easier for those who, say, maybe have a vintage one or seen it somewhere and wonder if there's a modern re-issue. The advantage of the modern ones of course is that the instructions are probably a bit more detailed, the instruction sheets aren't crumbling, the patterns are printed - and they come in several sizes. Vogue seems to issue most of them in size ranges 6-8-10, 12-14-16, 18-20-22, which of course offers more possibilities to modern-day sewers.

Speaking of doll sewing patterns, you'll find some of those in my Etsy shop too under , as well as some modern "real life" sewing patterns at . All are uncut and have at best been used to copy a pattern. The thing is, if you are planning on using a pattern more than once, or may have to use a pattern piece more than once, you're always better off just copying it, which is what I do with all commercial sewing patterns. It also makes small variations in size easier, as you can first trace it and then make the changes before cutting out the copy.

Since I've been talking about scarves a lot here last year, for those looking for a way to make something out of that big scarf (or maybe two) , this blouse/top pattern is just the ticket:
I do have a lovely, sunny 1970s silk scarf on offer as well at the moment. It's top quality, beautiful heavier silk, made by Kreier - I would not suggest cutting this one up though!