Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Vintage patterns: A new vantage on vintage

I recently purchased a buttercup yellow 1950s petticoat. It's lightly frothy, it's subtly frilly, it's totally fabulous. But where to wear it? My fear is that wearing it under one of my 1950s dresses might be too obvious, looking costumey rather than cool. But at the same time, wearing it makes me so inexplicably happy that I MUST find just the right thing. And what are the chances of that, really?

So I've been racking my brains for weeks, trying to figure out how I'm going to wear the crinoline. Spring is upon us, summer's fast approaching--I needed a solution.

And then I tripped over my old sewing machine, strategically located in a far corner of the dining room (I like to sew in there...that one time...when I made a pair of 1940s style jeans...once), and fell onto my laptop keyboard. Somehow, the pattern made by my flying fingers and elbows spelled 'rusty zipper' in Google. Intrigued, I hit 'enter'. And there it was: a great new vintage site, with lovely clothes and about a zillion patterns. The gods of retro cool were speaking to me! I could MAKE myself something to wear with the crinoline. MAKING your own clothes is so retro! And I could use a vintage pattern to do it!

So, in a nod to the fabulous canary-yellow/deep-red-burgundy combos sported by Michelle Williams and Cate Blanchett (fabulous sense of style, both of them) at the Oscars in recent years, I have decided to make myself a burgundy (true red burgundy, not the more purple version) 1950s button-front shirtdress. And I'll do the stitching in dark pumpkin! I think that will be a really cool colour combo. And I will wear it with the bottom few buttons undone in order to reveal...the buttercup yellow petticoat.

So I'm posting all this here as motivation to follow through on this project. I just ordered the patterns--they haven't arrived yet (that's not one of them on the right--just a sample). But as soon as they do get here...look out Fabricland.

Vintage patterns: another great way to keep the unique beauty of vintage alive.


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