1960s · Finished! · Millinery · Vintage

Treason! Animals. (AKA The Fur & Feathers Luncheon)

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Readers, I had  fabulous time yesterday at the annual Fur & Feathers Luncheon hosted every January by Julie of Fab Gabs. Everyone looked smashing in their vintage dead things, and it was so lovely catching up with old friends and meeting some new ones (I even learned about Portland’s swing dance scene!). I really wanted to wear a red 60s suit with leopard accessories; however, the cost of vintage leopard can be quite prohibitive, so I decided to sew the accessories myself using vintage patterns. In true annaintechnicolor fashion, I waited until the last minute to start sewing, and so the pillbox hat was actually made the day of (using Simplicity 4124 from 1962. I plan on making the muff, too, when I have time!) and the wrap was not able to be lined yet (I used Simplicity 4216 for that).

Unfortunately, I had to leave early due to expired parking downtown and a date with Peter. Fortunately, when I got to his place, this happened:

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Readers, after all these years of trying to make friends with cats, I finally discovered the secret – dress like you’re one of them! And I made friends with not one, not two, but three cats!

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Alright, hope everyone had a great weekend (whether you pet 3 cats or not!)

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the odd post title refers to this Franz Ferdinand song off of their latest album, which I’ve been listening to on repeat. Definitely looking forward to seeing them live when they come to Portland in April!

1960s · Hair · Personal · Vintage

The Breakfast at Tiffany’s Tea, and an announcement!

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This past Sunday I hosted a fabulous Breakfast at Tiffany’s-themed tea party in Portland with my lovely friend, Kady. It was so fun to pay homage to Audrey Hepburn, one of my favorite style icons.

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The dress code was, of course, a little black dress, and all of the ladies looked lovely.

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The menu was incredibly eclectic, and featured homemade crackerjacks, Brazilian banana cake (since Holly was supposed to marry a Brazilian man in the movie),

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Of course, we also had tiaras and cigarette holders for everyone, which I took advantage of for some of my poses.

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As for my dress, it’s an original LBD from the 60s, with a white yoke beaded with rhinestones and pearls that I picked it up in Seattle a couple weeks ago at Red Light Vintage.

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I accessorized with pearls and other bling, of course, including a tiara that I recently bought, as well, because, let’s face it, it was the one accessory missing from my wardrobe.

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As for the hairstyle, it was a total spur of the moment thing. Kady and I were frantically putting the tea together on Sunday morning and early afternoon, so I just sorta threw my hair up in a semi-60s do, using one of those bump-it hair accessories. I think I might do a hair tutorial on this one (if I can remember how I did it, of course!), as it was super-easy.

And, finally, for my special announcement – I’m moving to Portland! I just got offered a job down there and will be starting in about 2 weeks, so I’m frantically looking for a place. I love the vintage community down there, and I’m in the city like every other weekend, so it seemed as though I was slowly gravitating there anyway. Very much looking forward to having a place of my own and not having to drive 2 hours to vintage events!

1950s · 1960s · Contemporary Pattern · Dress · Finished! · Modern Sewing · Vintage

The Julia Lennon Dress

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Ok, so Julia Lennon didn’t actually wear a dress like this, BUT Anne-Marie Duff wears one very similar in her portrayal of Julia Lennon in one of my favorite movies, Nowhere Boy. It came out in 2009 and chronicles John Lennon’s adolescent days, and the start of the Beatles (who are surprisingly never mentioned by name in the film).

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Speaking of the Beatles, one of my new co-workers is an older gentleman who told me this past week that he remembers watching the Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964, after he saw the Beatles picture that I keep in my cubicle. Suffice it to say, I was totally jealous about this and we’ve now bonded over both our love of the Beatles and how we wish it was still the 1960s (which is kinda funny, because I wasn’t even alive then, but minor detail).

Anyways, I wore this dress to our curator’s housewarming/wedding reception party he had today. I had a lovely time chatting with friends about reenacting, antiques, and history, all in this amazingly beautiful decorated home with all this wonderful old stuff.

The punch was excellent . . .
The punch was excellent . . .

As for the dress, I started it last year, but finally finished this morning, as I had so many issues sewing it (I broke 2 machine needles in the process of constructing it, and had to take out all the gathering stitches because they looked awful, so I decided to pleat the skirt instead). The fabric is this great border print I picked up at a thrift store last year, and I used Vogue 8184 for the bodice. This is actually the first strapless dress I made, but more out of necessity as I ran out of fabric. Now I understand why strapless bodices are boned, because this thing kept slipping down. Luckily I had the vintage cardigan to pair it with, so you can’t really see it, but I may have to use some of that boobie tape in the future.

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Oh! I also fully lined it, since the main fabric was so thin and sheer.

Alright, time to get ready to go to bed, as it’s back to the daily grind tomorrow. I had a lovely 3-day weekend (it was President’s Day today here in the US), but I need to pick out my outfits for work this week. Yes, I do that, don’t judge me . . . .

1950s · 1960s · Reenacting · Vintage · Vintage Saturday

Vintage Saturday: What I would’ve worn to the Fur & Feathers Luncheon

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What a room full of history nerds eating dinner looks like . . .

Yesterday evening was Burns Dinner, the annual volunteer awards and recognition dinner for Fort Nisqually. I decided to go 1950s, wearing the outfit that I would’ve worn to the Fur and Feathers Luncheon last weekend (you can see fabulous event photos here and here. Don’t the ladies all look lovely!?), because though the organizers requested we wear “period clothing,” they never specified what period. 😉

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Readers, I got so many lovely compliments, from being compared to Judy Holliday and Lady Mary from Downton Abbey, to someone telling me I looked like I had walked off the set of Mad Men (gah!!!!). And I have to say that I am just so grateful to be part of nerdy, fabulous history community that embraces my quirky vintage side.

Of course, dressing vintage, I had to make a pineapple upside-down cake the for the potluck, and here I am triumphantly showing the leftovers in my vintage camel wool coat.

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I also got compared to an airline stewardess, so of course I had to do an airline stewardess pose once I got home.

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And dressing vintage would not be complete without the accessorires, right? In this case, I wore my blue velvet vintage hat, my pearl and diamond earrings, and my grandmother’s pearl necklace.

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I think every vintage-loving gal should have a sassy Southern grandmother to inherit pearls from, don’t ya think? 😉

1960s · Outfit · Vintage · Vintage Saturday

Vintage Saturday: Black cigarette pants

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Here’s to the weekend, readers! My original plan for today was to head down to Portland for the Fur and Feathers Luncheon Julie of Fab Gabs is hosting. However, I’ve been battling a horrible sinus headache this week (I even went home from work early on Thursday) and the drive to Portland is 4 hours round-trip, so I decided to stay home to catch up on some much-needed errands.  Of course, I want to be comfortable, yet chic, and I love dressing vintage on the weekends, so black cigarette pants were in order.

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I’ve been looking for a pair of black cigarette pants for ages, and I picked this pair up about two months ago and have been living in them ever since. They’re made by Gloria Vanderbilt (who also birthed one of my favorite dapper men, Anderson Cooper). Let me tell you, that gal knows how to make a pair of pants. I love to pair them with my black and white striped shirt (although the stripes are a bit narrow and hard to see here), ballet flats, and red lipstick for a modern 60s look.

Other than my boring run to the post office and grocery shopping, I also went to see Les Miserables today. I’m probably the last of my female friends to have seen it (even my bestie that I went with today had already seen it!), and I have to say, it didn’t entirely live up to all the hype surrounding it. Don’t get me wrong, the music was great (although, they could’ve let Russell Crowe sing less), but some of the costumes were a bit disappointing, and I would’ve liked to see Anne Hathaway belt out “I Dreamed a Dream.”. Overall, it was a good movie, and I thought Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne (who we all know I just adore), and Hugh Jackman all did fabulous jobs. Of course, now I have “Do You Hear the People Sing” and “Master of the House” stuck in my head. 😉

1950s · 1960s · The Vintage Closet · Thrifting · Vintage

The Vintage Closet: Warm woolies. And mink.

Readers, I’ve decided to start a new feature on the little blog here that I’m calling “The Vintage Closet.” You see, I believe I’m developing a shopping addiction, which is probably the direct result of working full-time and therefore having more money than time. It’s a weird thing to adjust to, because for so long I’d been a poor student that had more time than money. Anyways, with this shopping addiction comes not only the purchasing of more clothes for my modern wardrobe, but more clothes for my vintage one, as well. So, The Vintage Closet is my attempt to show you all the fabulous vintage things I’m filling my closet with!

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First off is the new 1950s blue wool sweater dress I just bought yesterday. I’m going to a “Fur and Feathers” luncheon next weekend (how fabulous does that sound!?) and wanted a blue vintage dress that I could combine with the mink collar I just got, as blue and brown just happens to be one of my favorite color combinations.

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I snapped up the mink collar after spotting it in my favorite local antique store, where I also got the pearl charm bracelet. I brought it home and my southern grandmother randomly told me one night while watching television, “You need to put fur on something” (we had been talking about the Fur and Feathers luncheon earlier that day). So, I grabbed the mink collar I had just bought and my black peacoat, draped it along the collar, and showed it to grandma. Of course, she replied, “You can’t get better than that.” No, grandma, you can’t. 😉

However, when I went to go sew the collar on, it was a bit too long for the coat, so I think it will work much better draped along the neck of the dress, like so:

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I also picked this cute 60s green wool blazer up while thrifting last week. I have no idea what I’m going to wear it to (or with), but that really doesn’t matter, does it? 😉

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Finally, if you haven’t entered the Multi-Era Pattern Giveaway yet, there’s still time! I’m giving away 3 patterns to 3 lucky readers, wouldn’t you like to be one of them?

1960s · Contemporary Pattern · Finished! · Modern Sewing · Vintage · Vintage Saturday

And so I wore a red shirtdress instead

This past weekend was my college graduation party, and I’m still recovering from all the fabulous-ness!

As you recall, I had planned on making a fabulous red silk party dress. However, instead I wore the red shirtdress I made for my 21st birthday last year (but never blogged about). I realized the morning of the party while doing all the food prep that a) I wasn’t going to have time to finish the dress and b) even if I did, I would be freezing in a sleeveless dress in overcast, rainy Washington weather. Because, of course, a garden party in Washington state involves cloudy and overcast weather. 😉

Old photo from my 21st birthday, when I was 6 months younger . . .

Anyways, this shirtdress is made out of a stretch red cotton poplin, with the buttons being ones that I took off a shirt that my mom used to wear when I was a kid (don’t worry, she gave me the shirt to take the buttons off of! I didn’t start hacking away at things in her closet). This is the third shirtdress I’ve made (the other two being very vintage-inspired with either floral prints or polka dots), and I use a very heavily modified version of (the now out-of-print) McCalls 2094 for the top, and then just drafted my own skirt. Though I’m not participating in Sunni’s fabulous shirtdress sewalong, I am eager to try the pattern that they are using, Simplicity 1880. Although, I have to admit that being the lazy seamstress that I am, having a shirtdress pattern that I already know fits me is very tempting, in that I’m not sure I want to go through the hassle of making a muslin for another pattern.

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I also paired the shirtdress with my new black and white gingham slippers (with red polka dot bows!) that I recently got from my favorite Polish auntie! She wears these slippers all the time, especially in the kitchen when she cooks (she’s a fabulous cook, btw) and I just had to have a pair. Luckily, she bought two pairs of them, and since my sister didn’t want the other (yay!) I now have a second pair for when this pair wears out.

As usual, I made way too much food and now have a ton of leftovers. Silly me forgot to take a picture of the whole food set-up, but here were my two favorite things I made.

A fruit tart, cobbled together from many different Martha Stewart recipes . . . .

. . . .  and fruit tartlets! I put them on this super chic stand (originally designed for cupcakes) that I got from Michael’s for a really good price. Of course, the tartlet shells kept breaking when I went to go fill them, so I didn’t have quite as many as I wanted for the stand, so I just topped it with organic strawberries from my mom’s garden and nobody really complained. 😉

Anyways, it was a really great party (if I do say so myself!) and it was lovely to see so many old friends and catch up! I got some super awesome gifts, and I’m just humbled to have such kind and generous people in my life who took time out of their busy lives to help me celebrate such a momentous occasion.

1960s · Dress · In-Progress · Pattern · Vintage

Toile-ing away on a frock for my graduation party

In terms of graduation parties, I realize that I’m having mine a bit late in the game (the party is this Saturday and I graduated, oh, 2 weeks ago?). That being said, having mine later means that I get to channel my inner Bree Van de Kamp and make sure that everything will be perfect (and I actually will be baking a pineapple upside-down cake). The theme that I’ve picked is “1960s Garden Party” based on the photo “Summer Pleasures” taken in 1960 for Life magazine:

Anyways, I’ve already planned the food and decorations, and now I’m working on the most important part (he hee): the dress!

I’m using a shot silk synthetic blend fabric that I got from the fabulous Kendra of Demode during her last blog sale, coupled with Butterick 5748 (a modernized reprint of an original pattern from 1960).

I’m really glad I made a toile/muslin mock-up of the bodice before I cut into the fabric, as there was a ton of ease added in to the pattern! This was my first time using a reprint pattern, so for those of you with more experience: is this a common issue with pattern reprints? I didn’t have to do too many alterations, except take extra fullness out of the center front (I just made a 5/8″ tuck) and take in the shoulder seam 1/2″.

Sorry for the shoddy quality on this one . . .

And in related graduation news, I just wanted to congratulate my little sister again for graduating from high school last week! We’re so proud of her, and she’ll be going to my alma mater in the fall. 😉

Alright, back to sewing!

1960s · Contemporary Pattern · Dress · Finished! · Modern Sewing · Vintage

The sheer-yoked Macaron and pineapple upside-down cake

Hard to believe we’re already in the middle of the week, readers! I meant to get this post up earlier, but the last few days have been a bit crazy for me, with both my museum internship and starting my last quarter as a college student (which has been scary, nerve-wrecking, and bittersweet all at the same time).

Anyways, Sunday was the much-anticipated Season 5 premiere of Mad Men, and I held a little cocktail party to celebrate! Of course, I had to have a new frock, and so I wore the one that I whipped up during spring break, using the Macaron pattern from Colette Patterns. I made several design changes, most notably omitting the sleeves (I did a bias facing along the armholes instead) and using a sheer lace fabric for the yoke. The rest of the body of the dress was made of a stretch black cotton sateen.

I really loved working with this pattern, it was really easy to sew up, and I love the pockets that are put incorporated into the pleats.

Back of the dress and view of the keyhole neckline, which closes with a snap and allows the dress to go on easier without tugging at the lace.

I definitely wanted to go with a more mid to late 60s feel with this dress, but also have a modern take on it as well, and so the Macaron was perfect for that. I also used this hair tutorial from the fabulous Casey of Elegant Musings to make a 60s-inspired chignon, and though it took a little fiddling at first, I was so pleased by the results at the end that I didn’t want to take my hair pins out when the party was over!

Speaking of the party, I mulled over the menu quite a bit, but in the end chose to make an Old-Fashioned Chicken Fricassee, which was delicious, albeit a little spicy.

Pineapple upside-down cake! Complete with my vintage 1950s white sheer apron.

I also made one of my favorite desserts, pineapple upside-down cake, using this recipe and substituting pecans for cherries in the center of the pineapple pieces. Readers, it was *so* delicious, and if you can get over the high sugar and fat content, I would highly recommend making one yourself (although butter does make everything better, doesn’t it?). In fact, it was so good that I made two (one for my party on Sunday, and another for the museum staff at my internship on Tuesday).

Anyways, I’ll be putting modern and vintage sewing on hold for a bit, as I have several 1850s projects I need to work on. Oh, and the Titanic tea is like in 2 weeks, and I’ve only made a petticoat. So, hopefully I can get a good start on the rest of my Edwardian stuff this weekend.