Friday, 30 December 2011

Giveaway reminder and a Happy New Year

Don't forget to enter the 200th follower giveaway, if you want to get the chance to win some vintage perfume samples.

And a very Happy New Year to you all! I have had so much fun writing this blog and I'm so happy you enjoy reading it! I look forward to next year!

The lady on the picture is my grandmother Greta at a New Years Eve-party in the late 30's. I still have the blouse, it's in pale green with darker green leaves and is probably one of her "America-blouses". I have forgotten the exact story, but a relative or friend worked in a clothes store and they were sent blouses from America to get to choose what to buy to the store. They came in a very small size and my grandmother who was very petite was just about the only person who could really wear them, so she was given a lot of them. I really need to take pictures of that blouse, doesn't I? (And no, the gentleman is NOT my grandfather, it muct have been taken before they got to know each other around 1940.)

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Revlon lipstick

I found this nifty piece of information on The Fedora Lounge. Mosly 50's shades, but still. Now I don’t really need more lipsticks, but I get cravings nevertheless…

I do wish Raven Red were available as a lipstick too.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Looking back and forward

A new year is almost here and I realise that I will need to start on my spring/summer wardrobe soon if I am to have anything to wear. I'm a little annoyed with myself for not completing the autumn/winter wardrobe this year, but I shan't be too upset about it. This first year demands more clothes to be fixed than the rest as it assumes that a lot of clothes already exists in the closet when you start. Looking back I realise that I could have made this into a five-year plan instead, splitting the first year into two, but now it feels a bit too late. So instead I will finish the clothes I have already started, but will leave the grey wool dress , the brown wool jacket and the faux fur to next autumn instead. There are also a few details I haven't been able to get to yet.

I don't do New Year resolutions but I will try to focus a bit more on my sewing time. Much too often it gets neglected, which is bad as sewing makes me relaxed and happy (if I'm not stupid enough to give myself deadlines). We're also going to fix the sort-of sewing room up and make it a proper working space both for sewing and writing. Right now the sewing room is a bit of a place to store furniture that really isn't practical to have in a sewing room like a Regency sofa and a 1950's radio gramophone. Beautiful, but really no help at all when you work.

Here's an overview with links to the completed items.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

A 1940's updo tutorial

I was asked how I did my hair here and as that may interest more people, here is a little how-to. My hair is cut in a middy that is quite long- soon it will be a femme fatale. The longest part is a little below my shoulders and the shortest layer reach me to my chin. It's also rather thick. You can do this style with both shorter and longer hair, if shorter it needs to be long enough to roll and with longer hair your rolls will be bigger.

What you need is booby pins, pomade, hair spray and some patience.

You also need to know a few things to start out. First you need to curl your hair. I always do my standing pin curls, but you can curl you hair any way you like best.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Nuit de Noel

I hope you are enjoying your holiday! Let’s have a perfum-y Christmas-post today, shall we? It seems rather suitable. I could say that I have eagerly waited to try this perfume until Christmas Eve, but that wouldn’t be quite true. I did try it before, just to make sure I liked it, but I have waited until now to talk about it. Nuit de Noel was released by Caron in 1922 and in case your French is lacking (mine is very rusty) it means Christmas night. It has a bit of a romantic story; it was created by Ernest Daltroff for his lover, who loved Christmas and its scents.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Merry Christmas

It’s Christmas Eve tomorrow and as that is THE big day in Sweden as opposed to Christmas Day, I will take the opportunity to wish you Merry Christmas today. I do so with a flood of glamorous winter and Christmas photos from the 1940’s. They are all courtesy of Mothic Flights and Flutterings, an absolutely wonderful source of beautiful pictures!

I wish I was a rich girl #5

I’m still feeling very un-intellectual, so here comes an easy shopping post instead. There’s a life after Christmas too, after all and plenty of time for long and interesting posts. Up until this week the weather in Sweden has been very unwintery and there have been more need for umbrellas than warm coats. So here is a little umbrella post- I especially love the fanciful handles!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Upcoming attractions

After writing about the ideal body I had planned to tie that in with an intelligent post about the ideal body shape, comparing it with the decades before and after the 1940's, but today is the day after our cat Adolf had surgery and all the tension has gone out of me and left me feeling a bit worn out and not very creative at all. You may have seen that we had to take away our cat Frida last week and the same day we found out that Adolf had a cancer tumour on his hind leg. Luckily it could be removed, thought it was as large as his paw! He is currently very annoyed with us, having to wear a big collar to prevent him from licking his wound.

But I promise, there will be a long post about girdle's and whatnot's very soon!

(Picture source:

Sunday, 18 December 2011

The 200th follower giveaway!

Being a rather niched blog I have been very flattered by the attention it has been given since I started it. Now it has reached 200 followers on Blogger and I felt that’s worth a little celebration in the form of a giveaway. During the year I have tried and tested many vintage perfumes and not everyone has been ones that suits me. Instead of letting them collect dust I have decided to give them away. It's a very small giveaway when it comes to size, but vintage perfume samples can be rather pricey, so I hope it will be appreciated.

1st prize: Choose three samples from the following perfumes: My Sin, Shalimar, Joy, Scandal, Blue Carnation and Fracas. A sample of Shocking will also be included.

2nd prize: The three samples remaining plus a sample of Shocking.

3rd prize: A copy of The Little Book of Perfumes: The 100 classics by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez.

I read blogs

I read Solanah at Vixen Vintage. She has an incredible style sense as well as a seemingly endless wardrobe. Reading her blog is truly inspirational, shock full of beautiful photographs as it is. There is also some tutorials- only today I got the tip on how fill a vintage with loose powder that you press.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

A review on Sense and Sensibility's swing dress pattern

In the beginning of this year Casey at Elegant Musing hosted sew along for Sense & Sensibilities swing dress pattern. I joined, but when it was time to hem it I completely lost steam and only last week I finished it. Here is my review on the pattern

Sense and Sensibility says this about it:

Here is my 1940s “Swing” Dress Pattern, inspired by an original Hollywood design, circa 1942. The design comes from the WWII days of fabric rationing, which meant narrower skirts and more tailored lines.
• Sizes 8-26 all included in one envelope.
• Unique yoke with gathered shoulders and two sleeve options (short and “bracelet-length”).
• Gored skirt great for twirling! Put on your dancing shoes!
• Transition this pattern to evening wear by lengthening the skirt.
• Photo Instructions online (coming soon in PDF format).
• Click to download the Swing Dress Pattern yardage chart.
• Available for instant download as an ePattern in PDF format!
• I also have an online class available for this pattern.

Friday, 16 December 2011

The ideal body

I have talked about the ideal body when it comes to the ideal movie stars, but how about the ordinary woman? Well, slim is pretty much the ideal now and it was the ideal back then too. However, it didn’t mean exactly the same thing as it does today. The thin athletic body that we see on fashion spreads today is not the same as the slim, but still rather curvaceous ideal of the 1940’s.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

I wish I was a rich girl #4

Today’s shopping is all about cats as a tribute to our 13-year old cat Frida who we had to put down yesterday. Her kidney had stopped working so there was nothing to be done. She was a remarkable little cat who lost her sight when she war around seven, but didn’t allow that to stop her. I think she saw it as a challenge, not a limitation. She was easily the cutest cat I have ever seen and the smallest too- she was absolutely tiny. Despite that she has left a big hole in our lives. No more bellowing at my feet when I cook, in case I would forget to give her something nice to eat. No more demands to my darling that he was to make the bed NOW and then lay down on it so she could take a nap in his chest. We’ll miss her a lot, even if we still have four cats and a dog to keep us occupied.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Living the vintage lifestyle?

This is something I have been thinking about, from time to time, since I started this blog. When reading this thread at The Fedora Lounge about what it is that attracts you to the vintage areas, I started to think about it again.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Min boudoir

I guess my Swedish speakers already know about this new magazine, but if not, then I think you should. Min boudoir. To quote the website it’s “A Swedish magazine for all things retro/burlesque/vintage/pinup in Sweden (incl Finland, Norway and Denmark)” The founder is the beautiful Tifa De Leone.

The first number is out and as I understand it is meant to be a quarterly magazine. 60 pages on high quality paper which made it very nice to handle. Well, the reading was very nice too. Interviews, shopping tips, music and fashion, beautiful photographs, btw, which made for a good reading mix in my view. I especially enjoyed to relationship column which had two answers, one appropriate for 1956 and one for 2011. And not t be missed- my hairdresser Retroella gives hairstyling tips in every issue.

I really hope this will take off as I think it's such a great idea. There are similar magazines in English, but I think it’s great with one in Swedish. There is a growing scene for vintage and burlesque in Sweden and it’s nice to get a Scandinavian angle. And Min boudoir is no slapdash magazine, it’s obvious that a lot of hard work has been put into it.

(Picture borrowed from

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

I wish I was a rich girl #3

When I was a kid, hair combs were brightly coloured pieces of plastic. Not very pretty at all. It took me a while to realize that many of those pretty hair ornaments that you see in old movies and pictures are actually combs and forks. Here is a collection of Art Deco and 1940’s combs for your pleasure.

1940’s celluloid tortoise comb. I really like the shape!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Brown skirt

Not the best of pictures, but this skirt have been finished for a while and it seems next to impossible to find daylight and someone to take a pic at the same time right now. The patterns is the skirt part of one of my 1940's dress patterns. An A-line like the grey skirt, but this one fits much better. The fabric is a wool blend, a totally hateful fabric that just didn't want press properly. Apart from that I like it. The blouse is the Betty blouse from Puttin' On the Ritz that I bought at the same time as my coat.

Also me in glasses- totally non-vintage one and what I ususally look like when I haven't curled my hair. Which DO happen. :)

Monday, 5 December 2011

The good china

When my maternal grandparents got married in 1943 they bought a new, smart set of china to have as their “good one”. In time my grandmother collected several sets, but this first one was in use all of their life. And eventually I inherited I use it as my good china too. The set is called (Blå) vinranka (blue wines) and was designed in 1939 by Arthur Percy for Gefle porslinsfabric. It became quite popular and was in production until 1969. My grandmother used to call it “flytande blå” (flowing blue), which seems to be a quite common nickname for it, due to the way the blue floats out. Percy also designed a red version which was much more distinct, but never seem to have become as popular.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Agatha Christie

(Picture source:

I couldn’t very well ignore Agatha Christie, could I? The 1940’s was part of her Golden Age; she wrote 12 novels during that time, though her whole career span over 50 years after debut in 1920. If you are familiar with her works through the very excellent TV adaptations of Poirot, with David Suchet and the visually beautiful but not quite as good adaptations of the Miss Marple mysteries, then it may surprise you to that not all the Poirot- books takes place in the 1930’s and not every Miss Marple is set in the 1950’s. And not all of her stories feature her two most famous sleuths, of the 40’s books, six are Poirot novels and two are Miss Marple.

I started to read Christie’s crime novels when I was around 12 and I still re-read them. It’s true that she often uses stereotypes instead of fully rounded characters and if you read enough of her novels you learn to recognize them, like the handsome never-do well man with just a little to close between the eyes, the vamp, and the straight-backed military man and so on- but you can never count on who is the murderer. Of course, having read them all, I know who the murdered is, but I enjoy reading them anyway. Christie had a knack for describing atmospheres and they don’t have to be spectacular to appeal. Try reading 4.50 From Paddington when you feel sick to death on household chores. I promise, when you have followed Lucy scrubbing the kitchen table, you can feel her enthusiasm. It helps that she does so looking stylish too.

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