Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Autumn/winte year one, recap and a re-start

It has been a while since I updated here, but I am still working on my wardrobe project and I have no plans on giving it up. 2013 has been a year of finishing off as many old projects as possible on my huge unfinished pile and I have been doing very well. However, even if some of those things were for the 40's wardrobe, I did focus on my 18th century clothes, but I will change that next year. One thing I have learned this year is to plan my sewing and it has worked really well, so here is what I have planned for my 40's clothes.

I am behind, there is no sense in denying that. Year one was to be 2011/2012, so if I had been a good girl I would start sewing the spring/summer clothes of year three now. But I want to finish the previous years, not just push them back, so I have decided to work on the autumn/winter clothes until the end of February as it is winter now, starting with year one's autumn/winter items, progressing to the autumn/winter clothes in year two and three, as many I have the time for until March. Then I will go back and start on spring/summer year one, as spring will be approaching then and I will need appropiate clothes.

So, let's see what I have left of year one's autumn and winter clothes:

Grey wool shirtwaist dress I have had the fabric for this one for a long time, a lightweight grey wool with very narrow red stripes, but I just haven't wanted to start. The truth is that I feel that a shirtwaist dress isn't the best cut for my figure, I prefer a more tailored look. Then I found this pattern from 1938 at New Vintage Lady. As you can see it looks like a shirtwaist, but it is in fact not. I think it would be easy enough to make it into one, but I am thinking more in the line of adding buttons in front for a fake shirtwaist look. I plan to start this dress right after Christmas.

As it is for winter wear, I will make the long sleeved version.
Coat in grey lamb fur This mean fake fur as I'm sewing it myself, but I couldn't find any grey lamb fur that I liked, indeed no grey fur at all. I did find, however, a really lovely Russian wolf fur from The Throw Company which is grey/brown. As there are a lot of brown in the wardrobe I felt that it would work well colourwise and wolf fur were used in the 1940's. I am currently working on this one and it will be in a swagger model. I hope to finish it soon.

A brown sport jacket. I am making this one in brown wool and I have come as far as the first toile, I need to do a second fitting now.

Raincoat in a "natural" colour. I am making this in waterproofed grey cotton, reversible with pink/rust tartan wool. It is actually quite close to being finished, it just needs pockets, hemming and buttons.

Four Projects left for autumn/winter year one and three of those are already started. It is nice to know that I have finished, or bought,  most of it. To cheer me some more, let's see what that was:

Simple, long evening gown in black heavy canton crepe. Well, obviously I haven't made a black one, but as there was a blue one in year three I just swapped them.

Housecoat with a belt in thin cotton Not made by me but a vintage housecoat in mint condition.

Black wool dress It is finished, but I have yet to take pictures of it.

Brown sport suit in three pieces should have been made in water-proofed gabardine, but I have made this one into three separatees instead. The jacket is unfinished and the trousers were bought at Heyday. Here is the skirt, which is in gabardine, but not water proofed. 

Red Sweater

White sweater, adapted to be a stone-coloured one. Both sweaters were bought at Rocket Originals.

There were also accessoires. I have yet to find heavy boots and brown sport shoes that I like. I do have a pair of black walking shoes, though, as well as evening shoes. And, of course; rubber boots . I also bought a grey beret and made a rown one out of fake Suede. It ought to have been a sports model in brown felt and if I find one I will definitly buy it!

I also have a brown bag in reptile skin and a black bag in suede.

Brown knitted gloves and homemade knitted mittens are the last items and I do have them as well, but no photos. I have taken a few liberties with my directives, but I feel that this is a working wardrobe that I use, I need to adapt it to fit my needs and taste. So, back to the sewing rooms and also to see if I can find enough saylight to take photos of the black wool dress!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

On instant gratification and long term goals

Cross-posted to Isis Wardrobe


The Reader by Jean-Honore Fragonard, 1771
All in all I am in a very good place right now. Relationship, family, living, work, economy, health, they all work and I’m very happy about it. But there are a few kinks that I’m working on and one is the kick of instant gratification. You get it when you blog- I love getting comments on what I write and it is great for the Ego when I have made something and it gets admired. Instant gratification is around when I shop all those nice things that I don’t really need, and I don’t go over my limit, so why worry. For example- I generally feel that I’m allowing myself the easy way out on several aspects of my life right now and I would like that to change, to give myself what I really want, even if it takes a bit longer and doesn’t get as much attention.

I want to travel more than I have. I want to go back to Rome, Paris, London and Edinburgh. I want to see new places like Prague and Venice, for example. And I know that a bit of not spending so much of what I don’t really need would go a long way toward that. As for now, J and I have decided to let September be a non-spending month, apart from bills and groceries. I think it will be easier if we do it together and can cheer each other.

As for blogging, well, the instant gratifications are only part of it and not even the biggest part either. Another reason is because I’m a compulsive writer. I wasn’t always, but ten years ago I saw a picture online that triggered something and I started to write and since then I haven’t stopped. I write stories and I blog because I love to write. It isn’t always easy, but if I don’t write I feel a bit odd. I certainly don’t want to bash blogging, I love it, but I have, for quite some time, felt the need to write something with a little more weight, something lasting. I have wanted to write a book.

And for the same amount of time I have struggled with little demons that tells me that I don’t write well enough, that it won’t be interesting enough and that no one will want to print it, but in the end, what I really feel, is that it doesn’t matter if I’m not good enough for other, because I need to write this for me. Even if no one else reads it, I want this for myself. I have already blown the whistle at Madame Isis Toilette, so some of you already now that I have swatted away my demons and have started writing a book on 18th century beauty and makeup. I have a lot of fun right now, researching, trying out recipes and writing. I want o write a book with accurate history, doable beauty recipes and makeup tutorials and I know that is an interesting enough subject and I will do my best to make it good enough for others to read as well.

But this also means less blogging. I’m not going it up, because I still sew and it isn’t a chore at all to blog about sewing, but other kinds of posts will have to stand back for book writing. Less instant Ego stroking for me, but I think the more long term reward will make up for it.


Friday, 21 June 2013

Summer plans, autumn plans

I hope I don’t bore you too much with these planning post, but I find them a good help for myself to structure my sewing. I am terribly behind on my wardrobe project, mainly because I was ill for most of last year and just didn’t have the energy to sew. I’m trying to not mind that, but instead work myself though my accumulated pile. And I am very pleased that I have managed to finish four wardrobe items during May. Now I’m trying to finish the raincoat I have been talking about since last summer.

The five years of my wardrobe project don’t demand the same amount of clothes to be purchased/sewn ever season. The two first years are quite heavy, while the upcoming third year has considerable fewer garments. Also, this isn’t a contest. I’m making these clothes for me, after all.

My summer wardrobe probably has the biggest holes yet, with quite a few clothes that I haven’t even started. There is the raincoat which is almost done as well as a dotted dress with very little left as well.

Brown silk noil dress consisting of jacket, blouse and skirt I have cut out the blouse and I have a true and tried skirt pattern, so I will try to finish those this summer. The jacket, however, may have to wait until next year.

I'm actually making the blouse after the dress pattern, though I have straightened the hem. And I plan to make this particular jacket as well.
Green silk noil blouse I have a fairly simple blouse pattern lined up, so I think I can probably do this one quite quickly.

Artificial silk dress patterned with flowers I have it all cut out, but will probably put this one on hold for now.

As soon as I saw this pattern I knew that I wanted to make this dress. It wasn't until I came home and compared that I realized that it has exactly the same colours!
Sand coloured coat I recently found a lovely corduroy that will make a great summer’s coat and I feel quite exited about it. And I have wanted to make the Claremont coat from Decades of Style for a while. However, I will keep myself in check until the brown skirt and blouse is finished.

I don’t think this is too much, but summer is also in full swing and it is time to look ahead to autumn a bit. Here is what I ought to have finished, but haven’t:

A grey wool shirtwaist dress I have the fabric for it, but I don’t feel much exited about it, so if necessary I will put this one on hold.

Fur coat I really want to make my faux fur coat now! I have the fabric and I have the pattern. Furthermore, the pattern is quite easy, so I hope to start this one by the end of August.

Brown sport suit This should have been made in matching brown gabardine, but will, in reality, be a gabardine skirt (already finished) a pair of brown trousers from Heyday and a dark brown jacket. So, just the jacket left. I am fiddling with the fitting right now.

Grey flannel suit After much humming and hemming I have finally decided to buy this one. I have been ogling this one from Puttin’ On the Ritz since forever, and I plan to order it as soon as I measured myself. It will be in treed and not flannel, but I can live with that.

Strictly speaking this is a late 30's suit, but I like it.
That takes care of year 1 and two. By the way, you do know that you can see the wardrobe list for each and every year on top of the blog? As I finish I update the posts with photos and links to the relevant blog posts, so you get a nice overview over the wardrobe. For obvious reason, Year one and two are the most filled in.

But, as I said, year three is starting now, and this is what my list says I am to get:

Blue wool dress.I know which pattern I want, but I haven’t found the right fabric. I have quite a few dresses, so this one isn’t any priority.

Grey wool blouse. Here is a dilemma as my book says that I am to make this out of the grey shirtwaist dress. You know the one I haven’t started yet. I do need a few separates, though, so I want to make it. I plan to find some suitable grey wool fabric and make a blouse out of another fabric.

Black wool skirt Again a garment made out of a previous one, namely the black wool dress. I have actually made that one, but have hardly ever worn it (and not taken any photos) so I don’t feel prepared to cut into it to make a skirt. But I have other black wool fabrics and a skirt isn’t hard to make.

A black coat I have been mulling over this one, but only just recently it struck me that I have my grandmother Greta’s winter coat from 1939. It is in great shape and it actually fits me, so this one if already finished! Yay me! Or rather, yay grandmother!

So you see that the third year autumn/winter list is quite short. I plan to focus on the fur coat and brown jacket and then the skirt and blouse.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

A white summer dress

I started this dress two years ago, for the better part of that time, the only thing left have been the buttons, buttonholes and the hemming. As predicted it didn't take me long to actually finish it, when I sat down to it and now I can cross off another item on my wardrobe list. Namely the white, washable shirt dress for spring/summer year 1. The pattern is an original 1940's pattern from Simplicity. For once I didn't need to make any adjustements to it, probably because the bodice is meant to fit loosely. It fits well around the waist, but it do need a belt to give it a better fit and a more finished look. It is the first time I make a collar like this and I must confess that it shouldn't be looked at too closely... The fabric is a very sheer cotton with a woven checkered pattern, completely interlined with plain white cotton to make it opaque. It made the whole cutting process a bit of a bore as I first basted the two layers together and then handled them as one fabric. The buttons are white glass buttons that once sat on one of my grandmother Greta's dresses. Back then they all had  blue flower painted on them, but wear and tear had reduced them to blue irregular flecks, so I scraped that off. I try to incororate something from my grandmother's huge stash of sewing supplies whenever I make something, even if it is just basting thread, so I', very pleased that I was able to use something more visible this time.
Today was the first time I wore it and it is a very comfortable dress. It was quite hot, but the dress was quite cool. As we were going to drin Afternoon tea with some friends that had stipulated hats as a must I also got the opportunity to wear the green Vintage Vogue hat I made some time ago, but never really had chance to wear. The dotted stockings are from What Katie Did and the black suede shoes are from the late 80's. They do look quite a lot like shoes from the 40's, though the toe should be a little more rounded.
I'm not sure if this is really the best cut for my ample bosom, it kind of look like my front are all breasts until my waist start. I usually prefer a more fitted look to avoid that trick of the eye. However, the blousy fit is probably part of why this is such a comfortable and cool summer dress. I predict I will use it a lot!

On our way home. The angle of the hat got more and more absurd as the day progressed. The sun glasses are from my grandmother as well and are original ones from the 1940's.


Monday, 3 June 2013

Very brief update

I'm a bit busy right now, but I have also worked quite hard on my UFO's. As a result I have finished four garments in three weeks and feels quite pleased with myself. Blouse, skirt and bolero in yellow printed cotton with white details and the white washable dress. Right now I'm working on the raincoat and with a little luck I will be able to finish it this week.

No time to take photos yet, though- hopefully there will be opportunities for that later in the week. Here is a sneak peak of the white dress, just before I hemmed it. I look a bit lumpy as I tried it on over jumper and skirt. In reality it fits me better than this.

Apologies for very undone hair.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Spring and sewing plans

LIFE May 1946 via Johanna Öst
Long time, no see, I know. Most of this year has been about the 18th century. I have finished four projects, and I am quite pleased with them. Especially this gown that I finished last week. I felt like a princess all day! But now I feel quite tired of the 18th century and very eager to come back to the 40’s! It’s finally spring here in Sweden and I want to feel shiny and new. During the weekend I looked through the spring/summer wardrobe and the realization that I have started on a lot of the garments, but finished very few. I am very aware of my tendency to never finish my projects and one of my goals this year is to finish as many of them as possible. My check revealed that many of these started projects have very little left to be finished, so if I make an effort now, I will probably feel very accomplished soon.
# Dress in artificial silk with a flowered pattern. Cut out and partly sewn together.
# White shirtwaist dress Needs buttons, buttonholes and hemming.
# Raincoat Needs cuffs and pockets and then the two layers are to be attached.
# Yellow and white sundress in three parts. The skirt needs a buttonhole and to be hemmed. The blouse needs hemming. The bolero needs the collar to be finished and sleeves and bottom hemmed.
# Dotted dress Needs a zipper, the shoulder straps needs to be attached and hemming
I need to finish these and then I have more to sew.
#Brown suit and blouse in silk noil Fabric ready
# Green blouse in silk noil Fabric ready
# Black beret Fabric ready, or possible to be bought.
# Grey suit in flannel
# Coat in a sand colour
I do have some sewing ahead as I also want to finish the brown tailored jacket before I start the flannel suit. This week I’m focusing on the projects with the least work left, just so I can feel good when they are finished. Right now I’m hemming the sleeves of the bolero. When it comes to the coat I feel a bit uncertain. “Sand” colour sounds like it ought to be a kind of beige, which is a very unflattering colour on me. But sand can be white, grey and brown, so I will try to find a colour that suits me better.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Goest perfumes revisited

Sometimes I think that every perfume review should be preceded by a disclaimer, saying something like “How a scent is perceived is subjective and what is one person’s love may be the next person’s hate”.  That is true not just for perfumes but for smells in general. I, for example, can’t stand the smell of bananas. Just the thought of them  makes me fell a bit queasy. I got train sick on a very hot train journey when I was quite a small child and I still remember vividly how horribly sick I felt and opposite me, another girl was eating bananas and since then the smell of this rather innocent fruit, reminds me of feeling nauseous.

I didn’t like all the perfumes I tried from Goest, but that don’t mean that they are bad perfumes. My overall view on the perfumes is that they are all interesting and well blended. They were also all very true to their description, which isn’t always the case with perfumes. Though I had read the descriptions when I purchased them, I didn’t re-read them until I had actually tried them, but I found that my impression was quite close to the descriptions.


Divinely innocent, incandescently pretty.

Inspired by the redolent imageries of Sophia Coppola's film 'Marie Antoinette', Dauphine is a clean, ideal, fresh skin scent, pink and cream and white all over. This scent has notes of pink, full blown rose; milky, fresh, sweet almond; and a reveille of innocent, airy musks. This scent is sweet, but not in a lurid, hard-candy-way; it's sweet like fresh, cream-filled, rosewater-scented pastries.

Innocent, but not immature; quiet, never cloying: this charming and refined scent is superlatively, incandescently, and, quite simply, very, very pretty.

Notes: Muscs, Almond, Roses, Cream

Aspects: Fresh, Gourmand, Ambrosial, Refined

Upon application I got roses and almonds at first whiff, with, yes, a hint of soap. The almond and soap disappeared quickly though, and I got roses and musk, with time the rose faded more and more, leaving just a trace with the musk. It really smells just as it is advertised, creamy, clean roses that are sweet but not cloying.

This perfume gave me the biggest surprise of all the Goest perfumes, because I don’t like perfumes smelling of roses. It’s not that I don’t like the smell, I do, and I can like rose perfumes when other people wear it, but it never feel like me, when I wear it. So I was hugely surprised when I not only liked Dauphine, but that I like it a lot. In fact, next to Silent Film, this is my favourite! There is something in it; I believe it may be the musk, which tugs at a memory and a good one too. I get a little tug in my heart every time I smell it, but I can’t for my life recall what it is I’m reminded of. Nevertheless, I love this!,

Grand Tour

Sport, spirit, and straight-out polish.

Grand Tour makes an excellent first impression, opening with a burst of traditional aromatic herbs and five delicious citrus fruits. As it wears, the excitement at the heart of this scent is revealed: fresh and pure sweet basil and a smooth, abstracted cedar note combine for a distinctive and energetic spiciness that revs at 4000 RPM. This effect is backed by a foundation of well-tanned leathers and elegant oakmoss for a long-wearing and sensual yet subtle sillage.

Although the classic structure of Grand Tour alludes to great bygone masculine fragrances, this scent's not just for the boys. On women, it's incredibly sexy - think a well-heeled, natural woman in a crisp men's white oxford shirt.

Fresh and invigorating for day, sensual and elegant for night: man or woman, Grand Tour is built to be your constant signature.

Notes: Woods, Tanned Leather, Oakmoss, Herbs, Citrus

Aspects: Vigorous, Adventuresome, Neat

Most of Goest perfumes can be worn by men and women, but this is the only one that really feels like a men’s perfume to me. The fist impression isn’t any notes in particular, but just men’s cologne. Not in a bad way at all, but just masculine. After a while I can detect the oakmoss and there is a faint citrus somewhere behind that. After several hours it is leather and herbs. I like it; it is perfectly wearable for a woman as well and feels very fresh.


Mad, bad, and dangerous to know.

Jackal opens with the scent of dry, powdered chocolate tempered with a hint of beckoning, mouthwatering vanilla. As it settles into the skin, the most darkly charismatic side of patchouli appears, cloaked in a multifaceted, sensual smokiness of many associations: the sweet, swooning scent of toasted tobacco - the bitter, magnetic smell of money - faraway fires in the woods.

This bottomless scent is the epitome of the anti-perfume. Though it has an original glamour, it is not the cosmetic powder-cloud of classic scents of fashion; and though it is natural and earthy, it has nothing of the biting, traditional terpenes of the hitchhiker's tonic. Jackal's essential effect is that of your own skin, only sexier; it is the essential effect of you, made simply more magnetic. Jackal wears very close to the skin and easily enhances other perfumes.

To all sensual men and women: where will you end, and Jackal begin?

Notes: Sweet Smoke, Dirt, Bitter Chocolate

Aspects: Earthy, Animalic, Dark, Vast

Jackal was all chocolate when I first applied it, with an interesting earthy quality. I was, however, not sure if I liked it and then J came into sniffing distance and had a very dramatic reaction on it. Now, J is interested in perfume all by his own and has a nice collection himself, so he is definitely not anti-perfume. This one he disliked intensely, though and I think it may have biased me a bit as well- I do prefer J to think I smell nice. But there is also the matter of that earthiness that soon revealed itself as patchouli. My body amps patchouli and most perfumes that have that note ends up smelling just patchouli on me. And though it isn’t a bad scent, my paternal grandmother wore a perfume where it was a prominent note. So even if I didn’t dislike Jackal, it truly wasn’t a perfume for me. If you like chocolate and patchouli, though, then I think you have a hit.


A little bottle of precious sun, swim, and sail.

Lartigue opens up on the skin with a bright, airy, and succulent show of abstract fruits and superfresh citrus. It progresses to reveal a green, clean, and joyous heart backed by a base of watery woods and clean earth. Inspired by the beatific and eternal Riviera portrayed in the images of 20th-century master photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue, this Goest scent celebrates all in life that is liberated, enthusiastic, and on-the-spot.

Forget what you know about usual "sport" scents, those brash and metallic colognes that are the olfactory equivalent of shoulder armor, spandex, and a helmet. Lartigue, by happy contrast, is modern, clean, and elegant, and cuts a handsome figure clothed in pristine tennis whites.

(And, in the true spirit of modernity, this scent is great for both men and women.)

Notes: Woods, Peach, Citrus, Sun, Air

Aspects: Succulent, Bright, Modern, Fresh

This perfume opens up with a blast of lemon on me, and there it stays. I can’t detect anything else and it fades very quickly on me, after an hour it is gone. It’s very nice as long as it lasts, though. A very good scent for a hot day, as the feeling of it is so cool and light.


A green tableau in four dimensions: bring the outdoors in.

Realism opens with a buzzing, resinous green swell of grasses, herbs, and blossoms giving off their freshness in the heat of the sun. Supported by damp petals and black soil, the soft and expansive smell of crushed stems from a fruit tree fills the heart of this scent, breathing a sublime greenspace for hours. In the drydown, a sleepy accord of ultraprecious hay absolute and quiet cedar.

It's Realism, but more than that. Its realism isn't that of a bookplate from a botany book, but that of one of Courbet's tableaus, if it unfolded in three--actually, four--dimensions.

Unisex, and no less gorgeous for it.

Notes: A Crushed Stem, Soil, Herbs, Hay, Citrus

Aspects: Green, Sunshot, and Blooming

If Lartigue was a blast of lemon, Realism is a blast of freshly cut grass. This is truly a really green scent and it reminds me, though I have yet to smell them side by side, of vintage Vent Vert from Balmain. That is a very good thing in my book- I love Vent Vert. I get the same feeling of it as I got from Lartigue, a scent for a hot day, but Realism also have staying power. The dry down gets just drier, the grass turns into hay and you can detect the cedar. Unusual and lovely.

I am very happy that I tried Goest, I think the quality match the bottles and advertisement. I really want a bigger bottle of Silent Film, and I want more of Dauphine, Grand Tour and Realism as well. I would also try any new perfumes they may present in the future.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Goest perfumes

 I think I have found a little gem. Last week I stumbled over a picture of a perfume bottle that I felt compelled to look at a little closer. It had a nice Art Deco feel to it and when I followed the link I found this little perfume company, Goest, on Etsy. As you may remember I really love perfume and investigating the wonderful world of vintage perfume has been a joy these past years. It has also been quite expensive. So I wouldn’t mind at all finding perfume that evokes a vintage feel while being new. I think I may have found it.

This is what they say about themselves:
We're Goest Perfumes. Welcome to your new metaphysical wardrobe. Our purpose? To bring you prestige-quality fragrance that's distinctively-designed, very handmade, and whose aim is true.

We don't set any artificial bars to excellent fragrance, and work (with our very own hands) with small quantities so you can actually afford to have things like rose absolute (which you're not going to find in mainstream fragrance due to price) in the perfume you wear every day. No material is off limits, and our sources run the gamut: we've used precious flower absolutes, low-tech essential oils, hi-tech commercial syntheses, house-made herb and tea tinctures, and traditional Indian attars. Our only binding parameters are safety, excellence, fair prices, and always, great scent design.

There are a lot of fragrances out there. But between dandy, highfalutin, exclusive "branding" perfumers where you're just paying for marketing, and cheap and cheery--and terribly boring--fruity florals, there isn't a lot for the aesthete who wants to smell good. We aim to fill that niche with a vengeance.

This company is also somewhat experimental. You'll be able to get things here that you absolutely, positively, would never find anywhere else. That we don't go along with the crowd more or less entails that not everyone is going to like what we do. But if you find yourself going to Sephora and not relating to any of the cotton-candy-florals or deodorant/cleaning product scents they offer; if you feel like you put a lot of thought into your style and environment but can't seem to find a fragrance that actually fits into your world; if you just don't think perfume is that interesting: we exist for you. Welcome to your new metaphysical wardrobe. You won't smell like anyone else in the room, and before now, you've never known what a good thing that can be.

HOW WE DO IT - - - - -

Every scent we make is made with super high quality raw materials, some of which are house-made (which means you're not going to smell like the person next to you on the bus, though they might end up wishing that they smelled like you). We do everything in super small batches, testing them all rigorously (not on animals). What you get in the mail when you order your new scent is basically the result of a ton of hand-labor. We even cut and score our packaging to order. This is a couture experience that you can't get elsewhere and we're elated that we can do it for you. These aren't cheap, repackaged "fragrance oils", nor are they whole-food essential oil blends ("not that there's anything wrong with that"). They are thoughtfully, painstakingly, creatively designed, real-deal products. And you'll smell better for it.

Very seductive, if I may say so. Then there was the visual impact. Clean, nice lines with, as I said, a clear Art deco vibe. I must say that I felt instantly compelled to buy one of the large bottles just for the joy of displaying it on my vanity table. Miniature bottles, samples and general packaging are also very well designed. Someone here knows marketing- I felt prepared to buy something even before I had read the perfume descriptions. Of course, a good description is equally important- if one hasn’t had the opportunity to actually smell a perfume, you need to be made wanting to smell them.

And Goest succeed:

Silent Films opens with an aromatic burst of old-world lavender and mint, and settles to reveal a hypnotic and cool heart of vanilla and black spicy earth; before the night is gone, it gives way to a smoldering, powdery, and purely addictive drydown of seductive leathers, musks, and smoke.

Dark, cool, and narcotic, this animal is cast in polar absolutes: no fruit; no flowers; no noise. This perfume is not as a warm and rosy body itself, but like an uncanny image of the body, a mercurial impersonation--almost as if in a mirror, or projected on a screen…

Silent Films takes its cues from the dark and restrained drama of its namesake. Yet showy it is not. It is only the drama of significant looks exchanged from eyes rimmed with kohl; of the thrill of the unspoken; of the gestures of love which pass by silently, in the dark, on a flickering screen: where black is very black indeed, and white shines out like silver.

Totally distinctive; totally addictive; Silent Films is for bold men and bolder women.

So, it took me about ten minutes to decide I wanted to try these perfumes. As they offer a three-sample set for $11 and as they currently only have six scents, I ordered samples of all of them. Here’s my experience.

Customer service When I made my order Etsy claimed that the seller didn’t sell outside US, despite the store said otherwise. I mailed Goest and got an answer within hours that it was indeed a mistake and that they do ship internationally. I placed my order and I got a mail that my samples had been shipped the same day. It took eight days to reach me, but that is normal for packages from USA to Sweden. The samples were beautifully and well packed. I’m really pleased!

Products and price Apart from the samples, the perfumes are sold in 20 ml splash bottles for $36 or 5 ml mini-bottles for $11. There is a possibility to buy all six perfumes as a set in the mini-bottles for $50. A few of the perfumes can also be purchased in 60 ml spray bottles for $52. For perfume, that is pretty fair prices, I think. US-residents may be happy to know that samples ships free for them as I write this. Also, when purchasing a large bottle, one gets a free sample, if you request one.

And, after having waxed so lyrically over the looks and language, what do I actually think about the products? Well, I have only tried Silent Films so far and as this post is long enough as it is, here is my thoughts on that, the other five scents will be reviewed in a later post.

Notes: Vetiver, Vanilla, Leather, Smoke.

Aspects: Mysterious, Powdery, Brutal, Nostalgic.

First impression was not lavender and mint, but vanilla and smoke. Then there was vanilla and leather, with vanilla as the dominant note. Several hours into wearing it that has shifted and the leather goes more dominant. The vetiver keeps in the background, but I suspect does a lot in making this scent special.

I like this perfume a lot. I’m a former vanilla-addict, but have come to regard most vanilla-scents as too sweet and cloying. The vanilla in Silent Films is prominent, but the other notes give it a balance, depth and edge. It wraps around you like a luxurious fur coat and I have sniffed my own wrists all afternoon. I can agree on mysterious, powdery and nostalgic, though not brutal. Perhaps it would if I amped leather notes more than I do. A co-worker who sniffed me pronounced the small “warm”. Quite apt description.
So this first perfume has definitely delivered. I look forward to try the rest of them.


Friday, 22 March 2013

Fitting your body

Madame Grés fitting a model in the 1940's
Last Wednesday we had our first tailoring meeting. The usual difficulties in getting a time when everyone is able to come, applied, so it was just Pimpinett and Betty and I, meeting up at my place. After scones and tea, we talked tailoring and Pimpinett worked on her jacket and I on my first mock-up. Which is bringing this post, as some of the, for me usual, fitting issues applied. It is also partly inspired by this post by Pimpinett.

A great thing with sewing for yourself is that you have the chance to make clothes that actually fits you. Ready-made clothes are, by necessity, made after a standard figure, a figure that very few of us possess. But to make your creations fit, you also have to take a long hard look at your body and address the way you look without fibbing. If you ignore something because you don’t like the way you look, the result will be badly fitted clothes that probably will highlight what you want to hide.

This is what I see when I look at myself: From the front I look like an X. My bust and hip measurement are rather equal, with a waist that is significantly smaller. But from the side I look much more like a B. Basically all excess weight I carry around are placed on my bust, hips and tummy, but I have a very flat derriere and also no sway to my back to talk about. Other important points are my high waist and rather narrow back. This is what I look like. I may, and I do, like some parts of my body better than others, but they are all part in how my figure looks and I need to take them all in account.

Clothing Construction Lab, 1943
When I was new to pattern construction I regularly lengthened the waist on my patterns too much. The pattern pieces looks so odd having such high waist, they looked better proportioned, as pattern, with a longer waist. This invariably led to wrinkles at the waistline, as they got too long for my body. That’s what I got for ignoring what my body actually look like.

My jacket, after Pimpinett has helped me with the fitting, has few alterations in the front, the waist darts has been tweaked a little. The side seams are left as they were, but the back has some drastic changes. The waist darts have been tweaked, and the whole back shortened, which has also lead to a new armscye. An excellent example on what a large bust can do- here it is eating up length in the front. Another option is to make a full bust adjustment, but I think it will be easier to change the back. The jacket is also too long, which plays havoc with my proportions- my legs look shorter and the lower body longer.

Regardless of body shape, clothes that fits you well, makes you look better. And if you know your body, you have a much easier time when it comes to choose a fit that looks good on you. To use myself as an example once again, a jacket shouldn’t be too short either. My narrowest point on my body is my waist, and a jacket that ends there, makes me look bigger than I am. A reason to why I rarely use this faux fur jacket, despite liking the style a lot.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Tailoring a jacket

Lägg till bildtext
Am I right in thinking that everyone who enjoy sewing clothes, there are one thing that completely daunts you? Me, I have never dared to tailor a garment. I know the theory, but I have never dared to try it. My wardrobe list, however, contains several suits, jackets and coats and I have known for quite some time that I really need to do something about my tailoring fear. Luckily for me I am not alone in my longing for something tailored, so a couple of friends and I are going to gang up together to help and support each other. Tomorrow we are going to meet up for the first time.


My immediate needs are a brown suit in silk noil, a grey suit in wool flannel and a brown jacket for a sport suit. As the silk noil suit probably shouldn’t be overly tailored and I don’t have any wool flannel yet, the sports jacket it is. I also think it may be a good idea to start there and work up for a more fitted jacket for the grey one. I have a pattern, a reproduction one from New VintageLady.


I have fabric as well, dark brown wool with a discreet plaid pattern in thin off-white lines. I need to make a mock up so I can get some fitting help tomorrow and I also need to sit down and think through what I need more like lining, buttons, interfacing, etc. I’m also going to read through New Vintage Lady’s own account of making her pattern.


Also, if you have managed to miss it, check out By Gum, By Golly's tailoring project.

Spring/summer 1944

Monday, 11 March 2013

The shoe problem

Fabric and snakeskin platforms, 1944
I have a very particular taste when it comes to shoes- I always know exactly what style I want. I also need shoes that are comfortable and don’t make my bad heel flare up. Unfortunately this means that I almost never find shoes I want to buy. I do have a lot of shoes, but I have recently culled six pair and more will probably go soon. And most of my remaining shoes are party shoes, so even if I love them and they are comfortable, they just aren’t practical for everyday. At the moment I wear winter boots suitable to the snowy and icy Swedish winter, but spring is coming and when it comes to shoes for everyday use, I just don’t have much. I have a pair of black T-strap pumps and a pair of buttoned brown ones. Both pairs are about six years old and are now rather shabby. I love these shoes and it shows. So what my shoe wardrobe badly need are one pair of black and one pair of brown shoes, suitable for an ordinary day, but still nice looking.

1930's style black velvet oxfords
I have talked about dance shoes before; I often buy them because they are very comfortable and often look like the 30’s-40’s style that I like. Aris Allen, for example, has several designs that are copies of old shoes. I recently bought these to wear at work which I’m very pleased with.
Comfy, pretty, but in extremely unpractical velvet. The work well indoors, but I suspect that the velvet will wear very quickly if used outside.

What, exactly do I want then? Well, a pair of black t-straps is quite easy- dance shoes often come in that design. But I also want a pair of brown oxfords. With a 6-7 cm, elegant, but not thin heel and not too pointy toes. Basically these, but alas, they resides in a museum, not in my friendly neighborhood shoe store, so no can do.

My taste in shoes is also really conservative. What I wanted in shoes when I was 18 are the same today. If my taste hasn’t changed in 25 years, well, it doesn’t seem likely that it will change soon. So J wondered why I didn’t check out shoes a bit pricier than I usually go for. More expensive, yes, but probably also better quality. So I have, but I still haven’t found anything I like.
But, a couple of years ago I bought a pair of 18th century style shoes from Harr. It’s a company in Germany that makes shoes for the theatre, so you can find styles from any era there. You can also do some changes in the design you want, like toe and heel shape as well as heel height. And colour and material as well. You also send them the measurements and outline of your foot. I have a friend who is a cobbler so I ordered my pair though the store she works in and she helped me with that.
My very blue shoes

They were a little stiff when I first got them and took a little time to get used to but  leather adapt to your shape and now they are actually the most comfortable shoes I own. They are also very well made. So, why not order shoes, very nearly custom-made, in exactly the design and colours I want, from them? Indeed, why not. Their 20th century collection has several styles I like. These, these and these, for example.

They are not cheap shoes, prices start at €100 and I paid €300 for my 18th century ones, but even if €300 is a hefty sum to give out all at once, if the quality if good, then it isn’t so expensive in the long run. If my rather inexpensive current favourites have kept for six years and I think the quality of Harr’s shoes is a lot better, then then six years of wear will mean €50/year. I would need to budget my shoe shopping better, but almost every time I have bought shoes on a whim I have ended up disappointed. Most of the shoes I have given away had been worn once or twice so even if they weren’t expensive shoes, the cost per wear got rather high in the end.

A pair of brown oxfords from Harr seems to be the most likely shoe purchase I will do this spring. Or possibly year, but they would be exactly as I want them.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Playing vintage tag

Jessica at Chronically Vintage posted a game of vintage tag, which was very fun to read, so I thought I considered myself tagged and post my answers. Consider you ALL tagged.
{21 vintage lifestyle questions and answers}
1. Who are your style icons? Tricky question, actually. I love so many old-time movie stars, but style icons? An important aspect of style is that it should fit you, otherwise it isn’t really style. And though I adore Audrey Hepburn and her style, I have more in common, body wise, with Jayne Mansfield. Or Christina Hendricks. If I tried to look like Miss Hepburn, it wouldn't suit me, however much I love her style.


50's wiggledress


So I don’t think I can say I have one particular style icon, but pick here and there.

2. What is your favourite way to get inspired? Watching movies. Reading blogs. Seeing friends who share my affection for vintage. Like Pimpinett who always makes me want dress better when I see her.

3. What's your most-used hair tool? Booby pins. I use them all the time, for pin curls and when I’m fixing hair.

4. What's your favourite hair tool? The booby pin again. Versatile and practical and can even be dressed up.
40's evening gown made after a
Vogue Vintage Style pattern.

5. Updo, down, or half-and-half? Up. I had long hair for many years and I always wore it up. I can’t abide having hair falling down around my face. Even now when my hair reaches my shoulders, I usually put it up. Or, at the very least, up around the face. I only wear my hair completely down for a party, when I have had time to fix it nicely.

6. Is vintage something you do every day, on weekends, or for special occasions? Every day, more or less. I wear a uniform at work, but otherwise I do. I’m a bit bad with being home, I have a tendency to slouch around in any old thing, but I’m working on that.

7. What's your favourite blush and lipstick? Bèsame’s lipsticks are my absolute favourite. I have several shades, but I can’t say that I have a favourite colour, more than something red. As for blush, I have very few and I find them nice enough, but I can’t say that I have a favourite.

8. Dress, skirt, or pants? Heels or flats? I prefer dresses and skirts. I gave up wearing pants 20 years ago because I never found a pair that both fit me and looked good. I am toying with the idea of getting some 40’s style trousers for leisure wear, though. Heels, heels, heels. I have a bad heel and I learned to walk in heels on my doctor’s orders. I have some well-cushioned trainers only used for dog walks; apart from that all my shoes have at least 2 inch heels, most of them higher.

9. Off-the-rack or homemade? I usually get luckier with homemade when it comes to fit… But I’m not at all averse to off-the-rack if I find something that looks good on me.

10. Do you swing dance? Not really. I learned in my teens and I know the basic steps, but I haven’t danced in years. I could probably pull it off with a good partner, though.

11. Extreme vintage or subtle touches? Both, though I rarely go to the extreme end of the scale if it’s not an occasion. Having to wear a uniform at work makes it impossible to do more than subtle touches on workdays. For a casual look I probably land somewhere on the middle of the scale.
12. Favourite perfume. Caron’s Tabac Blond. I’m also rapidly falling in Love with Chanel’s Cuir de Russie. My wallet hates my taste in perfume.

13. Favourite skincare product? Phytic cream from M&M. And regular facials. I can’t recommend that enough.
Handbag in lizard skin that my grandmother Greta
 made in the late 40's.

14. What does your family think of your style? They like it and a very positive about it.

15. Favourite accessory? I have a confession. I’m really, really bad in remembering to add those. So I have to say handbags, as I never forget those.

16. Do you find the vintage community welcoming or snobby? I have only had positive experiences, in real life as well as online.
17. What drew you to vintage style? A long time love. I used to love watching old movies as a kid, being a bit surprised that people looked so different from people around me. So neat and polished and smart. (I’m a child of the 70’s.) So I have always been drawn to the style.
18. Favourite places to shop vintage? Etsy and various shops in Stockholm like Epok and Old Touch.
19. What vintage eras are your favourite? The 30’s and 40’s.

20. Most glamorous film stars? Goodness, weren’t they all glamorous? But I will have to say Rita Hayworth, as she was my first movie star crush ever.
21. Favourite vintage object that you own? My Radiola radio gramophone. My maternal grandparent’s bought it in 1955 and as a kid I loved to listen to it. When I was 18 I got it and it is in almost perfect shape and works just fine.
40's quilted bed jacket.

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