Wednesday, 31 August 2011

How to choose a flattering hairdo

My trusty book, Alla kvinnors bok has opinions on everything, so of course it gives advice on how to choose the perfect hairdo. It start out by saying that Swedish hair colours are usually quite boringly mousy, but if your hair is on the blonder side then you can bleach the top hair around your face. A darker blond will benefit from using henna shampoo to give the colour depth. When choosing your new hairdo, take the advice from a good hairdresser, but never from a man. The Swedish man, according to my book, are extremely conservative when it comes to female hair and don’t want flowers or any other kind of jewelry in it. It shouldn’t be too curly or too straight or too much in any way. So don’t even ask him.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

I read blogs

I read Diary of A Vintage Girl . You probably do too, but if not, then I think you should go and have a look. Fleur look like she has stepped out from a glamorous Hollywood movie and indeed she work as a model, so there are a lot of eye candy to be found in her blog. She’s smart too and writes eloquent and thought provoking posts about dressing vintage, like this one. I first found her when I was looking for hair tutorials and then I got hooked.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Planning a 1940's bedroom

A little over a year ago we found our dream apartment. Five rooms, if you say it in Swedish, a three bedroom apartment if you say in English. Built in 1954, it has two floors- the upper floor is one giant living room with a window in the ceiling, bay windows and a fireplace. Unfortunately it’s only the living room that has all its original features intact, though throughout we still have the original radiators and windowsill in green marble. Needless to say, perhaps, we plan to change things that are far too modern for our taste. Luckily, when it comes to the bedrooms and dining room, it’s just a matter of new wallpapers and a few odds and ends when it comes to details. You have already, I’m sure, guessed that we are going to turn back the dial a decade or so, and do our bedroom in a 1940’s style.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

How does your wardrobe grow?

The original purpose of this blog was to build a 40’s wardrobe and of course I’m steadily working on it. However, I am not at all so far gone as I had hoped by now. Partly because I have made some clothes that I have worn this summer that is just summer clothes, partly because this first year needs more clothes to be sewn or purchased than the next three. So here is a little overview on the autumn/winter wardrobe status, so far. Perhaps this is also a good opportunity that when I have bought or finished and I have showed it here, then I link to that post in the static year-posts at the top of the blog. So you can easily check there to see what is still missing.

Grey wool shirt dress
I decided a long time ago that I would use the long-sleeved version of this pattern:

Monday, 22 August 2011

Lovely lipstick ads

Wasn’t make up ads lovelier back then? Some of these I could happily frame and hang on the wall. And some I would love to try out, like this liquid lipstick.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Brox Sisters

Thanks to one of my workmates who has a wonderful knack of finding old music on YouTube (He once spent a whole Saturday when we worked playing only different versions of Plaisir D’Amour), I discovered an American group called Brox Sisters, who had their heyday in the 20’s and 30’s. Working first on Broadway and later in Hollywood, evidently doing a good job in both places. They were sisters, Bobbe, Lorayne and Patricia, though they were born Josephine, Eunice and Kathleen Brock. They last sung together in 1939, but I feel they can fit into this blog anyway, as people in the 40’s didn’t stop listening to music just because it was recorded in another decade.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Those Verney Girls

I hope you don’t think I’m too odd if I recommend you to read a girl’s book, but that is exactly what I do here. This is one of my ultimate comfort books that I always rerun to when I need a bit of cheering up. Gwendoline Courtney (1911-1996) wrote several girl’s books that I have been told are all very funny, but I have only ever read Those Verney Girls. It was translated to Swedish, but I would probably never have read it had not my Mum had a copy. It was first published in 1948 with the title Stepmother and have also been released under Elizabeth and the Garret Theatre.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

The best pin curls

The best for me, that is. I’ve been doing pin curls for a couple of years and read up on tutorials all over the web and in every book I could find. There are a lot of opinions on how to do them the best way and I don’t think any of those are wrong. They just didn’t work so well for me. I came up on the way that suited me best quite by chance and perhaps some of you will find it useful too. It depends, of course, how you want your final “do” to look. You may not like the effect that I prefer. Hair quality is another factor. My hair is fairly thick and with a natural wave and reaches just below my shoulders in the back. It is also cut in a middy- the best haircut I ever had and one that really makes it easier to curl your hair.

I start with my hair wet, but again, that is a matter of preference. My hair dries overnight, but you may have better result with only damp hair. I don’t use any setting lotion, but that’s because I never get around buying some. I probably will one day and be converted, but with this method my curls lasts three days, which I’m fine with. I use a rat-tail comb, booby pins, hairclips, a brush and some pomade. Setting and lotion and hairspray could be used too, even if I don't.

New sweater

I recently bought another sweater from Rocket Originals as I was so pleased with the red one I bought. The cut is the same, but this one has a fairisle pattern. I did a little change of colour as my list says a white jumper, and this one is in "stone", which is a pale grayish beige. A bit more practical than white. The pattern is in green, cream and brown, so it will work well with the wardrobes colours.

I know, I know, horizontal stripes are a big fashion no-no when you have a well-developed chest, but I like this sweater anyway.

For once I thought a little before and took photos when I rolled my hair. I know everyone make a post on their pin-curls, but we all do it a bit differently, so perhaps it will be appreciated anyway.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

A Facebook page of my very own

I succumbed and did it, created a Facebook page for this blog. I have been thinking about it for a while, feeling that my blog is way too small for such a grand gesture. But it seems so practical! I often read blog posts that I’d like to share, and a Facebook page seems to me to be a very good way to share those. It also gives me opportunity to keep track of them myself. And I won’t need to flood my personal Facebook account with my 1940’s obsession, especially as not all of them there share it…

So please, go and like it if you feel so inclined. I will add the Like gadget here too, as soon as I can figure out how to do it…


Last night I dreamt about Manderley.

Rebecca from 1940 is my favourite Hitchcock movie and in my view also a very good adaption from the book by Daphne du Maurier. A young and rather insecure woman (Joan Fontaine) meets and falls in love with the glamorous widower Max de Winter (Laurence Olivier. Despite knowing that he mourns the loss of his prefect wife Rebecca, who has drowned a year previously, she marries him and comes with to his manor house Manderley. There she is confronted with the very scary housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson) who was fanatically devoted to Rebecca. The heroine feels if anything even more insecure and increasingly uncomfortable at Manderley and when Rebecca’s body is recovered from the sea, everything comes crashing down.

This is not a grand costume movie, but just because the heroine is so very ordinary, her clothes are quite interesting anyway. And of course, the movie is well worth watching for the suspenseful plot and the excellent actors. Joan Fontaine is perfect as the ugly duckling and Laurence Olivier is dreamy. Judith Anderson is perfectly horrible and then there’s my favourite Golden era bad boy George Sanders as Rebecca’s nasty cousin.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Tabac Blond and reformulating perfumes

Tabac Blond was actually the first vintage perfume I tried and it was love at first smell. Looking at the notes it was not a perfume I expected to suit me, even if carnation and ambergris usually work well on me. Patchouli, however, usually have the dreaded “old lady” smell for me and I felt very, very unsure of the leather

Top notes: leather, linden, carnation
Heart notes: iris, vetiver, ylang ylang
Base notes: cedar, patchouli, vanilla, ambergris, musk

I’m not a smoker and I don’t like the smell of it, but tobacco does smells different from smoke. When I was a child my grandmother had an antique snuff box in silver and her brother once filled it with tobacco. Probably to tease his big sister as she was vehemently against smoking, but the tobacco stayed put and over the years it dried and the scent grow fainter. I remember opening that box and sniff at times, it smelled so nice, somehow. The first whiff of Caron’s Tabac Blond reminds me of that smell and it smells lovely. It may sound like a paradox, but it’s true. It evolves into a lovely spicy scent that is a little bit naughty- sexy, but rather quiet about it. Of the leather I detect nothing much, a mere whiff, , but when the patchouli arrives in the dry down it plays nicely and smells divine. Finally a patchouli scent I can wear! Oh, I love Tabac Blond.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Green felt hat

Here it is, the green felt hat in action. I am very pleased with it, despite all the problems I had when I made it. One thing I noticed when wearing it that the elastic did nothing to keep the hat on. It just slid on my hair- I guess it would work better if I had had my hair down. Luckily I inherited a few hat pins from my grandmother, so I used one of those to keep the hat in place. Much more becoming than elastic anyway.

An illustrated guide for making Vintage Vogue V7464, hat B, part 2

The second and last part. The first one can be seen here.

There are actually no markings on D to tell where you are supposed to attach it, but trust me, it is supposed to wrap around the gathered bit on B. The instructions said to stitch it to the inside first, but I did it the other way around, as I found it easier to place. Just stitch it down at the ends.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

An illustrated guide for making Vintage Vogue V7464, hat B, part 1

Due to all the images I break this guide up in two parts. I hope you will find it helpful. Now when I know all the steps, the hat isn't so hard to sew- I just wish I had known them before I started...

It’s meant to compliment the original instructions, so you need those too to get all the information you need. I made my hat in green wool felt that probably is a bit on the thin side. I starched it heavily before I started to sew and I think it will hold up well enough, as long as I don't get it wet. I used ordinary heavy wire when I made it, but have since found my millinery wire in a box where it wasn’t supposed to be and replaced it.

Here are all the parts cut and thread traced. I really recommend you to thread trace here. It doesn’t take long and you need to be able to see the marks on both sides. Pattern piece A is the front and the curved end is the one that curves down toward the face when you wear it. And though it wasn’t clear to me when I started, the opposite, pointy, end is one part of the “bow” on the finished hat.

Monday, 8 August 2011

A review on Vintage Vogue V7464, hat B

This review is solely for hat B, not any of the other hats you get when you purchase this pattern. I have not tried to make the other hats and have no idea if the instructions for them are good or bad.

Before I started this hat I had heard a lot on how bad the instructions were for it. I decided to give it a try anyway, as it is a cool hat. Unfortunately every bad thing I have heard proved to be true. The instruction for this hat is the worst I have ever encountered. For a start, the black and white drawing seems to be of a completely different hat. You get no help for figuring the pattern out by looking at that, so don’t. There are two nice photos of the finished hat, but they are both from the front. As the hat is asymmetrical it would have helped if there had been a back view as well.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Yellow and white skirt

I’m back from my vacation and a very good vacation it was. I have spent a lot of time in my family’s summerhouse, swum in the sea, spent time with family and friends, hosted a cocktail party and generally had a good time. I have sewn a little too, but not as much as I had hoped. I did finish my green hat after much gnashing of my teeth and have started on a brown felt hat and I have made a white washable dress. I also renovated my grandmother’s skirt that I mentioned in an earlier post.

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