Monday, February 8, 2010

Coral and Black

One of the many things I did over the weekend was put the finishing touches on a blouse and a skirt, both made from early 50s vintage patterns. The blouse is Vogue 7347, a VoNBBS (Vogue's New Book for Better Sewing) pattern, which you've seen made up before in a baby blue wool jersey. I've had this lovely coral silk twill in my stash since last summer, and I'm so glad I've finally made it into something. I got it at Paron's here in New York, and if I remember correctly, it was a Cynthia Steffe designer remnant (ooh la la!).

Here's the back! I did my usual bound buttonhole and covered button bit on the blouse back. (It looks a little rumply in this shot, doesn't it? I find that while wearing blouses and highwaisted skirts, it's sometimes so hard to keep all the works from gumming up in the back there. Ah well.)

The lower back skirt has two really cute pleats that I failed to get pictures of, but here's the pattern line drawing so you can get the point.

In a lovely twist of fate, I bought both the skirt pattern and fabric from two companies that would later become my fabulous sponsors.
The skirt is Vogue Couturier 783 (purchased from The Blue Gardenia), which also has a fabulous jacket and blouse.This pattern was (for once) too big for me rather than too small, so I did a lot of work fitting it (and nearly messed it all up). The fabric is a drapey black wool boucle that I bought months ago from Gorgeous Fabrics. I don't believe they have this particular boucle anymore, but this one looks quite similar.

Inspired by Emma Pillsbury, I also styled this with a little cardi in an almost monochromatic color scheme.

Here's a better shot of the full skirt. I got it to the perfect below-knee length for me. Woo hoo!

Yay! I know I'll be wearing both these pieces all the time. The part of the outfit you're missing is that my shoes are lime green pumps. (Jeff is an excellent photographer, but he's still working on honing his fashion styling instincts and I forget to remind him to get the really important details sometimes.) I set my hair in large hot rollers and then did some Victory Rolls which I'm worried are verging a little on Chloe Sevigny in Big Love here. What do you think? (Extra tip: I left the rollers in for longer than usual since I had the time - probably around 45 minutes or more. The curls have had the best staying power!)

Funny story: when I first showed Jeff the outfit, he was very enthusiastic about the skirt, but of the blouse said, "Hmm, I don't know about the bow." I was incredulous, readers. I mean, this blouse is nothing without the bow. Nothing! He saw my shock, and amended his thoughts to: "Well, perhaps it's just a little too big? It seems a little . . . clownish." Clownish? Aarrgh! Luckily, I looked in the mirror and saw what he meant. It just took a quick adjustment, making the actual bow smaller and the ties longer, and it was in better balance. But goodness, it was a scary moment.

No bow! Have you ever heard of such a thing?!

59 comments:

  1. I admit, the bows below the chin are not for me :) to reminiscent of folkloric dancing (which I did a lot of before I went off to university). I love little bows on empire style dresses though!

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  2. Lovely! it's a great colour on you!
    I wish Vogue would republish more of their vintage patterns - also the 'New Book for Better Sewing'. I would love to make all the garments from the book but sadly it would be tricky and expensive to source all the patterns and the book in New Zealand. Maybe the market for vintage patterns isn't actually that big? I'd be interested to find out...

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  3. Loooove it. Funny thing, just as I got to the part about what your husband said, my husband walked in. I showed him the first picture and he said "Uuuugh... The bow." Boys are silly. They don't understand what's really important.

    Also, Josephine, I live in Australia and buy plenty of patterns from the United States. Postage usually costs around $4, sometimes more than the pattern, but still. It is not prohibitive. Ms. Dressaday likes to talk about what a fantastic resource ebay.com.au can be for vintage patterns, and she's not wrong.

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  4. Haha, I think the conversation you had with Jeff is very funny. Especially since I recognize it from conversations I sometimes had with my husband about items I thought were all incredible and he had to get used to :-) I have no idea whether or not a blouse with a bow like that would look good on me. I am pretty large chested and I usually wear blouses that keep my neckline a bit more open, to avoid the look of being only breasts on legs (;-)), and with a bow like that that wouldn't be possible. But! I have some fabric and a pattern ready to try a blouse like this, because I do think it's so lovely. I can't wait to find out if it works for me as good as for you. And if not, well, I guess I could always give the blouse away to someone else...

    Anyway, I love this combination. You look wonderful!

    (And is Big Love still broadcasted there? I think we only saw one season here, so I thought it stopped after that..)

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  5. Very nice combination! The colour of the blouse looks really good on you.

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  6. I love the color of the blouse!!! So, so gorgeous! That skirt is pretty as well; isn't it always a fantastic feeling to have hemmed something the perfect length? ;)

    haha... I've had similar reactions to bows as well! lol. I do love a good, moderate bow (and well, even some larger ones too... ;) on a blouse or dress any day! I think I fell in love with them as a little girl and had a dress that had bows on the shoulders (right above the puffed sleeves. Icky, I know--but this was the 80s. I did think myself quite fashionable though. ;), and then discovered as time went on the many variations of bow placement on dresses and blouses!

    Anyway, 'nuff rambling about bows. Another fantastic project, Gertie! Bravo!!!! :)

    ♥ Casey
    blog | elegantmusings.com

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  7. Oh I totally LOVE the skirt!!! It's fabulous! And also the blouse is very flattering, and buttons on the back is super cute. Adorable outfit! It's strange because I love bows and blouses like that on other, but are very reluctant to try out myself. Nevertheless, as I'm planning quite a few pencil skirts, I have to have blouses... So maybe I'll try something similar. Otherwise I'd normally go for something with a more open neckline. Very inspiring, as always, Gertie!

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  8. Love this outfit! Very pretty colors!

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  9. I love the colour combination and the skirt is a perfect shape as well as length.
    To stop the blouse riding up at the back try tucking it into your pantyhose, but only with high waisted skirts!
    I recently knitted a 40s style sweater that has a bow on the 'V' neckline. I've had a lot of compliments on it - it does look good but it annoys me for some reason, I think it just sits in the wrong place. A higher one like yours is better.
    You have to symapthise with men - how scary for them when we ask for an 'honest' opinion. Particularly if 'it looks good/nice' isn't enough and we ask questions! Poor souls.

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  10. Beautiful! Love all of it! I always leave my rollers in until they are pretty much cold to the touch - my hair falls out so quickly, so I tell myself it makes all the difference. I also use setting lotion (do you?) which does seem to make a huge (real) difference too :)

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  11. OMG how SWEET you look! Very Emma Pillsbury, indeed. Coral is a great color, and you wear it very well. I'm loving the cut of that skirt.

    I had to giggle over your comment about Jeff's missing the shoes in the shot; when my hubby and I got together, one of the first things I taught him about me (and about women in general) is that it's ALL about the shoes. Notice a woman's shoes and she's putty in your hands.

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  12. You look fabulous - the colour of the blouse is just gorgeous and the bow too!! And, best of all, it is comforting to know that it is not just my husband who can burst the bubble of euphoria that surrounds me when I have finished a garment that I think is gorgeousness in fabric. Maybe we should set up a short training course for our husbands - it needn't be too long but just enough to teach them that words like "clown" should never be used, no matter how much we want to hear their constructive criticism!!!

    p.s. the training would also be available to wives or boyfriends/partners of male sewers of course!!!

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  13. Oh, pretty! I love the color and I love the bow. And you're right, that is a great length on you.

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  14. Super lovely! Try sewing little weights in the hem of the blouse to keep it from riding up-it does work! I love that color combo!

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  15. vintagekitchenkitschFebruary 8, 2010 at 9:37 AM

    Gorgeous outfit on you. That color is just WOW. I love high-waisted skirts but do not have the body for them to my dismay. Hem length is right on, too. Dontcha love it when a plan comes together.

    On a side note, I just realized that I have that Simplicity Slenderette 3758 pattern that you gave away a while back. A post that I did read and then never made the connection later when I purchased the same pattern. he he I'm going to make version 2 in a blue retro print with shortened sleeves. : )

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  16. If you don't have one you NEED to get an old-fashioned hem marker! As a little girl I would pin my Mother's skirt hems using one exactly like this one listed for $5 on eBay: http://cgi.ebay.com/Pin-It-Skirt-Marker-for-Hemming-Skirts-or-Pants-Evenly_W0QQitemZ220530491328QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item3358a43fc0

    I have trained my boyfriend to use it and my hems are always perfect. He's very sweet and he actually feels really good about helping me with my sewing!

    You can also get a more modern one that allows you to mark you own hem with chalk marks, but I like the classic old-school one that uses the straight pins. Here's the modern do-it-yourself version: http://www.clotilde.com/detail.html?source=froogle&prod_id=1806

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  17. Love the coral-and the bow. Lovely outfit.

    I think I have the same boucle in my stash. I was thinking of a jacket, but your skirt is so lovely. Hmm.

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  18. I bet that skirt would look awesome in wool flannel or wool suiting as well. And, I love the blouse. The color is delish and I love the bow. You might experiment on the back with little flat buttons and see if you still have issues with the back. I have a vintage blouse where above the waist, it has covered ball buttons, but where the waist is and below, little flat buttons, which looks like a definite 'on purpose' deal.

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  19. P.S. I just did an eBay search for "skirt marker" and there are a TON of the vintage hem markers like I have, so all ya'll can grab one! In my opinion, this little tool is invaluable and will ensure that your skirt hems are always perfectly straight and parallel and helps out with fitting issues like a very round bottom/tummy or if one hip is slightly higher than the other.

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  20. I love the skirt!! You're setting a trend for that amazing curved in waistline. Some designer in New York is bound to copy it, and next winter, we'll see it all over the runways!!

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  21. Whew, lady, that coral is GORGEOUS on you. And the cut of the skirt is perfection. And glad you two came to a compromise on the bow!

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  22. My fiancé *always* says I look cute when I wear bows. Usually I wear them in my hairdo, but sometimes on clothes as well. ;-)

    What I like to do when I feel unsure about the bow is that I make it removable, like a pin or brooch. So I can wear the clothes with or without the bow.

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  23. I think I'd like the shirt just as much if the bow were bigger! It's such an unabashedly girl detail. Love the monochromatic styling, too.

    I made a shirt with buttons up the back in the fall - at first I thought it was a strange closure system, but someone commented that it's such a special feature, and I began to see that it is. Very vintage, too. You did a great job on the covered buttons - that'd be a wonderful tutorial!

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  24. I think it looks fabulous! About the bow -- I think there are certain things that women love that men could do without. Bow being one of them. Informal polls of the men I know also confirm they hate capri pants. My husband has a similar reaction to the bow I put on this dress (though I will readily admit I like the bow on your shirt much better).

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  25. I love them both! Gorgeous color on the bow.
    Love the bow conversation. HA!

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  26. I love the way the bows look. I have a pattern for a blouse that I plan to make. That color looks divine on you!

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  27. Very nice! I especially love it paired with the cardigan, and the (unseen) lime heels!

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  28. Hey Gertie, nice outfit. Love that coral shade, lookin' great on you!
    Can you imagine, last night I had a dream in which I was reading your blog!? The funny thing was that it was all in Serbian (I'm from Serbia). I guess I'm not entirely bilingual, otherwise I suppose I wouldn't have problems dreaming in English. :-)

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  29. You look lovely! I've spent so much of my life trying to not look younger that I don't think I could do the bow. I do like it on you and I love the color. The skirt is great! I posted a preview picture of the atomic red sheath dress I've made for Valentines day on my blog. I just wanted to let you know that you were the inspiration for me even attempting a piece like this. The fit is great and I am madly in love with the dress. Thanks for your adventures back in sewing time!

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  30. The cutest outfit ever! I love the colors!

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  31. Gorgeous. Love the colour, and the bow! Every time you make one of those tops, I look on admiringly and wish I had a smaller bust (I worry mine would rather sit there, and not hang as nicely as yours!). The skirt looks absolutely fab too. Another triumph.

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  32. It's so stylin! I love the bow and no I don't think it's clownish! I'm beginning to think more and more that we women dress for each other than for men. Ha ha ha. The coral is simply sensational and the fit of that skirt is so fabulous! I love it!

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  33. Men are clueless when it comes to compliments. I just finished an awesome pair of wool trousers and fully lined them with satin. I made 3 muslins to make sure I had the fit right, and did all sorts of neat tailoring tricks. Took forever. My husband's comment: "The swish of the lining makes it sound like you have hairy legs!".

    Anyhow, love the skirt-that dip in the back waistline is SO sexy! And the blouse looks very cute with it (bow and all)...

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  34. Your outfit is awesome, including your victory rolls. You look gorgeous.

    I just did my first "What I'm Wearing" post. I'd love for you to take a look and let me know what you think and if you think I should do more of these.

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  35. Did you, by the way, use the Threads way of doing the bound buttonholes? I've been going into former posts... I see that I have so many things to learn, and the bound buttonholes look amazing! I'm still very impressed and you inspired me to come up with an idea for a pencil skirt! Thanks!

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  36. My significant other definitely does not get bows and other embellishments... he usually tells me I look like a sailor, and I usually ignore him. Do you have a tute or a link for the bound buttonholes? I'm thinking of trying it out on the next blouse I'm making. I love the skirt, too!

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  37. I absolutely love the outfit! You look great in coral! I agree that the bow definitely makes the shirt, too, lol.

    As for the rumply-uppy bit in the back: When I was in CAP (Civil Air Patrol) we wore shirt garters to avoid that very same issue. They worked for us! Some of them are made to go clear from the bottom of your shirt to the top of crew socks, but I'm sure you can get shorter ones, or shorten them, or make them altogether. In my opinion they aren't any more fussy than a regular old garter belt.

    (love your whole blog, too btw ;) )

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  38. Love the colors! Love the skirt! Love it all!
    And since you don't have the permanently pinched, "I'm going to make you suffer" facial expression of Chloe's character - don't worry about the hair. It looks wonderful.

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  39. I love that blouse and the detail of the skirt.

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  40. Total rapture over that skirt! The blouse is great too; doesn't Jeff like your blue one? Anyway, the look is great; I really like your new glasses with the outfit too. Sometimes to balance an ultra-feminine thing like a big bow you need something just a skooch badass. Which is not how I ever thought of those glasses before but I think they bring that here.

    I'm so glad you solved the skirt problem- how great to have something with such great style/design that it's really a work of art, and at the same time it can be an absolute staple of your wardrobe!

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  41. The coral blouse is absolutely beautiful! The skirt is awesome too. Kudos!!

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  42. Gorgeous outfit! I do wish I could have seen it with the lime green shoes.

    How did you hem the blouse? I'm trying to figure out the best way for hemming silk. Yours looks so clean and neat.

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  43. Gertie - the complete outfit with the cardie is beyond adorable. I love love love it!

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  44. Such a gorgeous outfit! I love the detail on the back waistband of the skirt.

    Completely agree that the bow makes the blouse. I love blouses and sweaters with pussy bows so much that I ignore my self-imposed ban on all things high-necked for them on a regular basis!

    That blouse pattern is beautiful, btw. I love both versions you've made!

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  45. You look amazing in this outfit! I especially love the skirt. I've been meaning to sew myself a high-waisted skirt, but haven't managed yet. Your post made me want to do it straight away. Thanks for all the inspiration!

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  46. It's ana absolutely adorable outfit. The lines of the skirt are so beautiful and the color of the blouse is awesome!

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  47. Oh man, I LOVE Paron. I've gotten some of my most prized fabric from there... and now I've banished myself back to the Midwest, so I can no longer peruse designer remnants. Ah well. You wear coral beautifully!

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  48. I tuck my shirt into my garter belt! They are good for something!

    The coral looks gorgeous on you, wish I could find some fabric in that colour!

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  49. Adore! I really cannot get over how awesome the back dip is in the skirt. Such a lovely design detail. :)

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  50. I absolutely love this outfit! But I have to ask-- do the buttons hurt when you lean back in a chair?

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  51. That colour is great on you! I love this outfit and I love that you wore lime shoes.

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  52. http://www.vam.ac.uk/vastatic/microsites/1486_couture/create.php
    Above is a link to the Victoria and Albert Museum Golden Age of Couture exhibit. The particular link is to a couture dress pattern which can be downloaded and made up. It really is extraordinary. The exhibit site itself is very beautiful and well pulled together.
    I thought you might like to have a look and I also want to thank you for your enthusiasm as I have been in a sewing funk for months now and what with reading your blog and vlogs I'm beginning to get my sewing mojo back. I am slowly getting back to sewing again and remembering why I love it so much. Thank you.p.s. I adore the coral blouse - I adore all things coral; I believe it should be right up there with black, white and beige as a colour basic.

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  53. This is absolutely gorgeous! I love the covered button details.

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  54. I love the color coral!!! this blouse is beautiful! and the skirt is divine!! The blouse sort of looks like the sencha... I have that pattern... looks like I know what I will be making :)

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  55. I'm pretty late on this post but I needed to take a break from reading your blog from the beginning on and what better way than to leave you some praise and compliments? I have read almost every entry so far (bookmarking the video entries for later use and even going off to some of your recommended links for extracurricular reading) and am fascinated. I am trying to take the plunge into sewing clothes for myself (I have made myself a blouse and a dress, neither one fitted very well, so my next sewing venture will start with a muslin) and your blog is full of inspirations. And may I say, I really, really love this particular outfit. It looks lovely on you. I don't know about making a high waisted skirt for myself (I have a really short midsection, whatever goes past "natural rise" will touch my boobs), but I adore your blouse. I'm hoping to find a pattern like it when I feel comfortable around knit fabrics.

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Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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