1930s · Holidays · Outfit

Happy Independence Day!


For my US readers, Happy Independence Day! I whipped up some patriotic dessert (blueberry pound cake with strawberries, yum!) and introduced British Boyfriend (TM) to Pop-Its, something he’d never heard of nor used before (he also referred to America as “The Colonies” throughout the day, which was quite amusing).


I always try to dress vintage on 4th of July, and this year, decided to go for a 1930s casual vibe, as I’m working on a pair of reproduction beach pajamas for a vintage beach party I’m having next weekend (gah, so excited!!!). All of the clothing in this ensemble is modern, including the new red wedges I got from Modcloth (which, sadly, are no longer on their website).


I did a faux 1930s bob for my hair, which took a bit of time (it’s the same style I did for the 1930s murder mystery party I attended. Tutorial coming soon, I promise!), although the head scarf really helped with keeping it in place.


Hope everyone else had a fabulous 4th!

Outfit · The Vintage Closet · Vintage

The Ava Bergman Swirl


Although Swirl is a vintage brand most known for their wrap-around dresses from the 40s and 50s, the company was still manufacturing these ingenious pieces of clothing well into the 1970s and 1980s. Enter the Ava Bergman Swirl, my latest vintage clothing purchase and second Swirl dress (you can see my first one here). While I don’t tend to buy vintage from later decades, this dress was just too perfect to pass up (polka dots AND floral appliques that also include a snail!?).


Designed by Ava Bergmans, this Swirl incorporates a number of similar design features to its predecessors, including pockets (earlier Swirls have patch-pockets, whereas this Swirl has pockets sewn into the side seams of the skirt) and a very forgiving shape. Though this dress isn’t a wrap dress, it is essentially one big tube of fabric that is cinched in at the waist with a belt to fit the wearer.


While I absolutely adore this dress, there is one design feature that I would change  – I would prefer to have the darker polka dot fabric extend all the way around the bottom of the skirt, and not just in the front. I definitely plan on taking a rub-off of this dress at some point and reproducing it, so that should be an easy fix.


Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find much (if anything) on Ava Bergmans, although there is a ton of information about Swirl dresses out on the web if you are interested (this article provides a great overview). That being said, I did think it was a nice homage to the designer that her first name is embroidered on one of the leaves of the applique flower.


1940s · 1950s · Outfit · Vintage · Vintage Saturday

Vintage Saturday: Summer is here!

Happy Saturday, and Happy Summer, readers!


It seems as if the heat has finally hit us here in the Pacific Northwest, with forecasts in the 80s and 90s predicted over the next couple of days. Of course, being pale (and Polish) this doesn’t always bode well with me, as I burn very easily. That being said, one must look fabulous is all kinds of weather, so I decided to bust out my reproduction high-waisted shorts I got from Stop Staring! (I must admit that I didn’t buy directly from them, but from a gal that was getting rid of these, so the price was *much* lower), as I love casual vintage summer looks, especially since I’ll be headed down to Portland today, and these will be super comfy for the long drive.


I’ve paired these with a plaid shirt that ties in front (I definitely plan on taking a pattern off of this and making my own version in just plain white), and my new (to me) vintage red sunglasses that I picked up at a local antique store for like 10 bucks. Definitely a steal, considering that all of the vintage sunglasses I’m finding on Etsy are at least 50.


As for the hairstyle, it’s one that I’ve been sporting a lot lately, a sort of 1940s-inspired side pony. My hair is getting really long, and I know that I will inevitably cut it at some point within the next month or so, as I always do. 😉


Anyways, I’ll be cohosting a fabulous Breakfast at Tiffany’s tea party tomorrow with my lovely friend Kady. Really looking forward to wearing my cute 60s LBD, and the tiara I just bought, cuz, ya know, it was the only accessory I was missing from my wardrobe. 😉

And if you’re not a fan of the FB page, I’ve promised to hold a spectacular giveaway once I reach 100 followers here on the blog. As of right now, we’re at 98. So, motivation right there. 😉

Alright, hope everyone else has a fabulous weekend!

1950s · Outfit · Vintage

Bowties, Bakelite, & the Vintage Photoshoot

No, I’m not really a hunchback . . .

The fabulousness of this weekend did not end with Saturday’s stint in the 1850s, readers. I spent a lovely day down in Portland on Sunday dressed in vintage (which is a lot less layers than 19th century stuff, let me tell ya!)


First up was the Bowties & Bakelite Brunch at Gracie’s. There were some very dapper gents and fabulous ladies (including Julie and Jesse of Fab Gabs, Janey of Atomic Redhead, and Solanah of Vixen Vintage) in attendance.


I went all 1950s for this one. I wore my Swirl Dress from AlexSandra’s Vintage Emporium, and also did my hair a bit differently with a scarf (Kristen Behlings’ workshop has definitely inspired me to try some new things!).


I really like this style and am thinking about doing a Youtube tutorial on it (and its been ages since I’ve done a video). Thoughts?

Afterwards, some of us headed out for a nice little drive to do a quick vintage photoshoot. I’ve included some of my favorite pics that I managed to have snapped with my iPhone down below, but if you’re interested, you can see the more professional ones (including my impromptu Charleston!) here.


New (to me) vintage shades
New (to me) vintage shades!


Outfit · Vintage

Outfit: Swing Dance Tuesday


Yesterday evening, I got dolled up to go to swing dancing! I had my swing dance partner take some quick pics of my outfit before we headed into the dance hall.

Practicing my vintage modeling, lol

The dress is a new one I got along with the polka dot skirt from Heartbreaker. It’s repro vintage and fits very well, if I do say so myself! 😉


I do have a black hair flower in my hair, but being a brunette isn’t really conducive to showing that, lol.


Oh! And I finally got a proper pair of dance shoes! They are these ones from Capezio, and I have to say that I ordered the tan, and I’m sorry, but this is not tan, it’s more olive. I’m thinking about exchanging them for a black pair, this is a very odd color. Thoughts?

1950s · Outfit · Vintage

Polka dot skirt on a Tuesday


So, I go swing dancing downtown on Tuesday nights and like to dress vintage-esque. Well, we’re also battling the heat here in the Pacific Northwest, so this seems like the perfect outfit for work and then Tuesday night swing dancing – white t-shirt, red pumps (love these!) and black and white polka dot skirt.


The skirt is actually this one from Heartbreaker Fashion (although I did get many inquiries about whether or not I had sewn it myself!), and now that I’m linking to it, I’m realizing how much I look like the model. Totally not intentional! Red, white, and black just happens to be one of my favorite color combos (despite the awful sun-burned zebra and newspaper jokes).


I have to say that I’m really starting to embrace vintage repro. I really don’t feel like I’m wearing my vintage clothing particularily hard, but it seems to disintegrate a little bit each time I wear it. That being said, vintage repro (and vintage) can be quite spendy, so I think I’m going to start sewing more of my own. 😉

Also, I just wanna say that all the pics here were taken on my iPhone (silly me forgot to charge her camera batteries), and I am super impressed with the quality. Why I waited so long to get this handy little device, I don’t know, but I’m glad I have it now. 😉

1940s · Outfit · Vintage · Vintage Saturday

Vintage Saturday: Flying in Style

Departing a luxury vintage Pan Am plane. Ya know, just a typical Saturday for me.
Departing a luxury vintage Pan Am plane. Ya know, just a typical Saturday for me.

I spent a lovely afternoon today with my WWII peeps at the Historic Flight Foundation for their event, “The Art of the Flight Jacket.” I have to say that I am really loving this era, and I think in large part it’s because a lot of this stuff is all new to me, in addition to the fact that I now have an outlet to dress vintage. I mean, it’s nice to dress vintage about town, but having historic planes as a back-drop is way more fun. 😉


After the presentation about flight jackets (which was heavily focused on WWII), there was a vintage fashion show (and I am aware of what a lucky duck I am, going to 2 vintage fashion shows in the same week!)


And after that, we headed outstide to get some quick photos in this really neat luxury Pan Am DC-3 from the early 1950s. Luckily, I wore my late 50s/early 60s camel wool coat, because it was perfect for this.


Anyways, I can’t wait to go back, as there are plans to do a photoshoot in this plane with vintage luggage, with yours truly possibly being a stewardess. I’ve always loved those little hats. 😉

1940s · Outfit · Vintage

A vintage outing in Portland


I spent a lovely day in Portland dressed in 1940s vintage yesterday. The Ladies Tea Guild of Portland put on a great event at the Bomber Complex, which was originally a gas station that had a B-17 over it, but expanded into a restaurant, motel, and now museum. I carpooled with Captain Miller, the head of the Historic Aviation Guild, which is the WWII living history group I just joined.

Captain Miller and I in our shades
Captain Miller and I in our shades

First up was lunch at the Bomber. If you ever get a chance to go, I would definitely recommend it! It’s got a great vintage vibe, and a lot of the menu options are named after things in vintage aviation. One of the gals there brought some neat vintage magazines (including the obligatory Life) so much fun was had chatting over those.


After lunch, it was off to a fabulous vintage fashion show hosted by AlexSandra at the Elks Lodge. Unfortunately, I only got a few pictures on my phone (there was too much fabulousness, I tell you!), but I felt the whole time that I had just stepped onto the set of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day!

1940s fashion show

I was also fortunate enough to meet Kristen Behlings (who is the model in the above pic), who is an amazing vintage hairstylist and looks like she walked out of the 40s. Lucky me will be taking a class offered by her next month on how to do vintage hair, which I’m super excited about!

After the fashion show, we headed back to the Bomber for a private museum tour. They have some really neat stuff, including this WWII nurse’s uniform:


And, after the museum tour, it was off to my friend Kady’s apartment complex, which was built in 1941.


There are also gorgeous inner courtyards, so of course, photos were in order.


As for the dress, I got it off Etsy recently for a different vintage event, but ended up wearing it as the swing dance dress I’m working on was just too tight (which annoys me, since I made a muslin mock-up first). Anyways, it was handmade in the 40s (no label, pinked seams) and I paired it with this super cute hat.

Kady and I are in the midst of planning the June Ladies Tea Guild event, which is going to be Breakfast at Tiffany’s-themed with little black dresses. Super excited about that!

1960s · Outfit · Vintage · Vintage Saturday

Vintage Saturday: Black cigarette pants


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.


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. 😉

1850s · Modern Sewing · Outfit

Outfit: Sunday matinee

Last week was finals week here at Chez Anna (which is why there have been so few posts lately), and I finally feel like I’m catching my breath now that it’s Spring Break. Speaking of which, the weather is finally warming up to the point where I can wear tights with my skirts, rather than leggings with two pairs of socks and boots. 😉 So, in addition to tights, I also wore my new (to me) beaded cardigan and me-made black wool skirt to the theater this afternoon to catch a matinee of The Artist!

Readers, I adored this film. I’m sure many of you have heard of it since it recently won several Oscars, but it’s basically about a silent film actor from the 20s who struggles while the film industry is getting in the business of producing only “Talkies.” And I find it so interesting (and fabulous) that a silent film has been so popular in the 21st century. Despite the lack of sound, the plot came across clearly, the music was astounding, the costuming on-par with the actors looking like they stepped directly out of the 20s, and the dance scenes were incredibly entertaining.

My favorite scene from the film:

Oh, and the dog in the film was *so* adorable! He could do some really neat tricks (like pretend to be dead after fake getting shot). So, when I got home I immediately had to hug the puppy (ok, he’s 4 but he’s tiny!) Marshmallow may not be able to play dead, but he’s very good at being yappy and only sitting when you have food. 😉

Oh, before I forget: one of the things I’ve been working on lately have been reproduction Victorian bookmarks made out of perforated paper (which is sort of like a stiff cardstock that has holes punched into it so you can embroider and cross-stitch on it).

Anyways, I whipped up a few of these for the mini-workshop that I taught on how to make them on Saturday. It was slightly nervewrecking, since I’m not an embroidery or cross-stitch expert at all, but it went swimmingly. And for those of you that do mid-19th century reenacting, this is a great project since it’s so easy and portable.

Alright, that’s it for now. Hope everyone had a lovely weekend!