vintage

A Fashion Moment With McCall’s Treasury of Needlecraft

McCall's Treasury of Needlecraft front cover the artyologist

Today’s Fashion Moment is brought to you by The McCall’s Treasury of Needlecraft.

We inherited this book from my Grandma. It was published in 1955 and is a pattern book and resource guide for all kinds of needlecraft, including knitting, crocheting, embroidery, tatting, lacework, and more. It is a great book that offers a glimpse into what crafty ladies from the era were making. I sometimes think that so much of what women wore back then was store bought, or came from the famous fashion houses, when of course women were (and still are today!) replicating many of the trends of the day themselves, either because of cost or just creativity. It’s nice to see what everyday women were wearing.

If I could knit or crochet, I would own almost everything in this book in a heartbeat. However, since I don’t knit or crochet, I will have to content myself with just looking at the pictures. (And perhaps seeking out someone whom I can bribe to make me everything in this book.)

This book includes plenty of patterns for hats and accessories, and many of them are matching sets. Today I bring you hat pictures, but don’t worry! There are so many good images here, there will be definitely be future instalments!

So, without further ado, shall we take a peek inside?

McCall's Treasury of Needlecraft the artyologist

McCall's Treasury of Needlecraft the artyologist

A closer look at these two lovelies- the hats are nice, but look at that eyeliner!!! Gorgeous!!

McCall's Treasury of Needlecraft the artyologist

Not sure how I feel about wearing a doily on my head. . . thoughts?

McCall's Treasury of Needlecraft the artyologist

McCall's Treasury of Needlecraft the artyologist

McCall's Treasury of Needlecraft the artyologist

A Sequin Set, and Three Accessories That Glitter- add a bit of sparkle to your look!

McCall's Treasury of Needlecraft the artyologist

I love that hat. . . crown . .  cap? Whatever it is, I’m adding it to the list of projects now!

McCall's Treasury of Needlecraft the artyologist

McCall's Treasury of Needlecraft the artyologist

A Queen Amidala inspired look. . . 

McCall's Treasury of Needlecraft the artyologist

McCall's Treasury of Needlecraft the artyologist

McCall's Treasury of Needlecraft the artyologist

Put your money on the outside of your bag rather than inside it. . . 

McCall's Treasury of Needlecraft the artyologist

And let’s end on this sweet classic look with a lovely bag and hat combination. I really want to see the rest of the outfit. . .  is that a shirt or a coat? I can’t tell!

So, which one caught your eye? Do you knit or crochet? Would you make any of these styles?

Peony Hued

peony hued the artyologist
As sad as I am to see the end of lilac season, we are now entering peony season, and that is a reason to celebrate! If I had to choose a favourite flower (and really who could do that?), I would choose a peony. Peonies come in so many hues, ranging from dark fuchsias, to soft blush pinks, to creamy whites. They come in single and double petal varieties, and can have spiky or rounded petals. My favourites are the double flowering blush pink varieties, with their massive, deeply layered petals and heavenly scent.

This ensemble I wore last Sunday reminded me of peonies; because the hat is accented with one, and because the colours were in the same shades as the flowers.

image of peony and hat the artyologist

peony the artyologist

I was so glad that we had a sunny day in the middle of the rain we’ve had lately, because as I mentioned in my last post, I wanted to wear my new hat- but the hat stiffener is water soluble! The day dawned beautifully though- and I was glad to be able to wear it out for the first time.

When I was planning what to pair with my hat, I looked in my closet only to discover that I had nothing to go with it. 🙁 Then, I remembered this dress. This is the first time I have worn this dress, and it is a special one, because it was my Great-Grandmother’s dress. She wore it in the 1950’s to her son’s wedding. This past January my Aunt and Uncle were clearing out their basement, and they found it hanging in one of the closets. They asked whether I wanted it, thinking that it was probably my Grandma’s dress, but when I talked with her she said it was actually her mother’s dress. There are not many vintage garments in our family that have survived through the years, so it is special to have one of the few pieces that is still in wearable condition. (We also have my Grandma’s wedding dress, but it is in very tattered shape. Maybe one day I’ll put pictures of it on here?)

The dress has suffered a little bit of damage, and was quite musty after being stored in a basement for so many years, but the good thing is that it is polyester taffeta, rather than a more fragile material like silk, and so the stains came out, and the smell is (mostly) gone after a good airing out. (You can still slightly smell the mustiness if you stick your nose right into the cloth, but usually people don’t do that to a dress someone is wearing. Although you never know. . . )

I am so glad that I got this dress though, and can give it a second life after so many years. It was lovely to wear a vintage garment that I know the history of, rather than wondering, “Who wore this?”. Sometimes I wonder at the stories vintage garments could tell. . .

Do you ever wonder at the history behind your vintage pieces? Do you have any vintage pieces handed down from your family?

vintage hat and dress closeup the artyologist

hand and peony the artyologist

back of hat and peony the artyologist

vintage 1950's dress the artyologist

image of vintage 1950's pink dress and peonies

image of bee and peony the artyologist

image of 1950's vintage pink dress the artyologist

water droplets peony and back of dress the artyologist

peony 1 the artyologist

Why Everyone Needs A Flower Covered Hat

image of simplicity 1777 and flower covered hat the artyologist

Quite simply put, flower covered hats are the best.

Sometimes elegant and graceful, sometimes verging on the point of ridiculous, they inject a bright touch of colour and fun to any outfit they are paired with. Flower covered hats have been around since, well forever, considering that women (and men!) used to wear wreaths of flowers in their hair in ancient Greek culture even before traditional hats were “invented”.

Adorning the heads of women the world around, throughout history and still today, it’s no surprise that flowers are so popular for headwear, considering they are so naturally beautiful. Flowers add a lovely touch to any ensemble, whether there is one flower or many, whether they form a crown, an accent or a full fledged hat, whether they are real or fake or whether they are brightly coloured or muted pastels. There is just something about wearing flowers in one’s hair that adds that sweet touch of whimsy to any ensemble.

image of grass and simplicity 1777 and flower covered hat the artyologist

Now take this outfit for example, I wore last Sunday. Without the floral hat, this navy dress would be prim, proper and conservative. Adding a peach and coral flower covered hat however, takes it from a quiet and traditional vintage look, to one resembling the vibrant and eccentric early 1960’s. It kind of reminds me of the bridal hats of that era, except for the fact it’s not white. 🙂

It was the perfect thing to wear, on Sunday for two reasons. One, since we’ve had a rainy stretch lately, and are in need of a touch of spring, a floral hat reminded me of the fact that the rain will not last forever! 🙂 (I actually like the rain, but still, a Spring hat was needed)

And reason number two, we are 2/3 of the way through the month of May, and I pledged to wear each of my handmade garments this month. (Read about Me Made May here) This hat and dress are two of the items I made that I still needed to wear, so Sunday was the day!

I actually made this hat a couple of years ago, but it wasn’t very good, and every time I attempted to wear the hat, it just looked stupid. Really it did. So this last week I examined it to see why exactly it was stupid and I came to the conclusion that I had made the cap too small, so it didn’t look like a hat, and it was too large to be an accent or fascinator. With that realization, I was able to fix the hat by adding two bunches of flowers to the ends, so it now comes down to the ears like a crown (or bridal hat!) instead of just floating on my head without any purpose. Note to self- do not make hats too small, or they look ridiculous!

image of trench coat and flower covered hat the artyologist

Anyways, I’m not sure what era this outfit is supposed to resemble, since the hat looks late 50’s/ early 60’s to me, but the dress is Simplicity 1777, a 1940’s repro pattern, and the shoes also resemble the platforms of the 1940’s. Whatever, that’s the nice thing about living in this day and age- we can choose what we want to wear. And hopefully for you that includes a flower covered hat 🙂

So, what do you think of wearing flowers on your head? Do ever wear hats with flower accents?

image of flower covered peach hat the artyologist

image of grassflowers the artyologist

image of flower covered hat and simplicity 1777 the artyologist

image of simplicity 1777 and flower covered hatThis unique and dramatic pose is called “the Goose” 😉 Don’t you think?

image of log with moss the artyologist

image of leaves and peach flower covered hat the artyologist

image of purse the artyologist

image of grassflower and simplicity 1777 dress

 

Sundresses in the Rain

image of lilac blooms portrait the artyologist

It is lilac season again! I’ve never lived in a place with so many lilacs before, so it is very nice to experience this year two hedges just bursting with lilac blooms. Are the lilacs blooming where you live? Or are they already done and gone? (Alberta’s spring comes slowly!) This is a photo heavy post I warn you, simply because the lilacs are so beautiful, I couldn’t narrow the photos down. . .

image of lilacs, seersucker dress and umbrella the artyologist

image of seersucker peasant dress the artyologist

It is so strange how quickly the weather can change, as earlier this week the temperatures were +30 (celcius) and now for the next few days we have hit a rainy spot. So, what do you wear when it is Spring, but you look out your window and it’s raining? Why your sundresses, of course! Dressing as though it is the sunniest, warmest day does wonders to improving a cloudy day. (This is my scientific hypothesis of course!) Do you ever dress contrary to what the weather demands?

image of trenchcoat lilacs and umbrella the artyologistOk I concede, I did wear a coat when I went out! But the rain did stop long enough for these pictures.

image of seersucker dress and lilacs

So, this seersucker dress is one that I got a nice little kick in the pants to finish, because of my Me Made May challenge. I was looking at my closet at the beginning of the month thinking, “wow, I don’t actually have that many me made garments at the moment”, and then I saw this one sitting in my mending pile, (yes… pile) as it had been sitting there for months just begging to be fixed.

I sewed this dress last summer and spent an extreme amount of time on it, even hand picking the zipper in place, and meticulously sewing the lace waistband in place, because the seersucker was a bit of a pain to work with. The lace piece that I used for the accent detail was the perfect shade of grey/brown and it matched the stripe in the seersucker perfectly. It was wonderful, but I only got to appreciate it once, as when I washed the dress the colour washed out of the lace and faded to a disgusting shade of yellow 🙁

image of lace waistband before after the artyologistJust gross.

Now, that feeling of accomplishment you get when you finish a dress and it is hanging proudly in your closet is one of the nicest feelings, but that was very abruptly replaced with the horrible feeling of having to redo something. And if there is one thing I hate, it is redoing something I have already finished- especially when it was perfect the way it was. So, alas, what to do? I didn’t have any other coordinating lace in that width, and the waistband looked so bland without any accent. I wasn’t sure what would be the best option with the least amount of deconstructive work (I really didn’t want to take the dress completely apart), and then my mom suggested that I edge the waistband in narrow lace, and tada! It worked!

image of seersucker dress waistband the artyologist

Whew, a dress saved, and just in time to wear it out into a rainshower! Ah well, the rain won’t last, although I actually do love a good stretch of rain, and goodness we need it, but for now, when I wear my sundress in the rain, I’ll be singing in the rain 🙂

image of seersucker dress and lilacs the artyologist

image of lilacs and umbrella in grass the artyologist

image of lilacs the artyologist

image of holding lilacs and portrait the artyologist

image of shoes lilac and coin purse the artyologist

image of seersucker dress back and umbrella the artyologist