Monday, July 14, 2014

Mysterious Hat of the Blue Bows

I still feel like a relative newbie when it comes to wearing hats and I certainly don't wear them everyday. I don't have the confidence or the style to wear one like Jessica from Chronically Vintage (who has great taste and style for wearing hats), but I'm learning what I like and what works with my hair or how to wear my hair with a hat. I am wearing them more often this summer than ever before and more than just sun hats.

Much of my anxiety in the past about wearing hats has actually been less about worrying what others will think and more having to do with the fact that I didn't know what hat to wear where or how to fix my hair with them. Not to mention, that some of the most fabulous vintage hats call for a stupendous outfit and/or occasion for them and I don't have a lot of fancy clothes or fancy places to wear them. So, sometimes I would buy a hat that I just loved the looks of, but couldn't quite figure out how or where to wear them.
This cute blue bow hat was one of those, not necessarily super fancy, but definitely a hat that I couldn't quite figure out how or what to wear it with. To tell the truth, it was a mystery to me.  Well, whether it worked or not I finally wore it out of the house for the first time the other day and decided to take pictures and post about it.
I feel sure that when I can look outside of my maternity wardrobe I will find more outfits and opportunities to wear this hat and perhaps it will get more outings. I am so glad I gave this hat another chance. It was one of the first vintage hats I ever purchased and I was thrown off by what to do with the veil and the color. Yet, a change in my hair and a different positioning of the hat and veil, and I felt much better about the hat.
Do you ever have a hard time figuring out how to wear certain hats? Do you try wearing your hats different ways?

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Special Day For Papaw, Oh, and the 4th of July Girls


My Dad's birthday is the Fourth of July, which happens to be a national holiday here in the U.S. and is considered our nation's birthday. So, basically there's lots of outdoor fun, fireworks, and red, white, and blue. Every year we have a party/cookout for my Dad, and all the grandkids dress in red, white, and blue for their Papaw's special day.

My daughter really looks forward to picking out outfits in general. Yeah, I don't know wear she got that, lol. She also really likes for me to sew her up one of a kind special clothes. So, it was inevitable that I would try to sew her up something special for the Fourth of July/Papaw's Birthday. The only obstacle being that I started it three days before said event. Honestly I had forgotten she had chosen the fabric and all.

I did a quick search of my box of girl's patterns and found this size 6 little Advance version of the popular patio dress of the 1950s. Knowing that this kind of skirt and top would be a quick and easy sew, I got to work right away and hoped I could at least get the skirt done. The hardest part was getting the fabric chosen and cut out, and then a million gathers and pins later there was a skirt.

Although I didn't get the blouse finished for her, she was still delighted with her new skirt and she had something red, white, and blue to wear to Papaw's birthday party which is all she really wanted.

The day also gave me the opportunity to try a 1940s updo that I'd been wanting to try for a while. I'm not sure how often I will repeat the hairstyle as it came out looking a little like Aunt Bee, but it did keep me cool and looked better with a vintage 1940s straw hat. It was fun to wear 1940s hair with my blue 1940s pinafore dress, though, and the 4th of July always stirs up images of the 1940s patriotic propaganda.

Aunt Bee's Online Cookbook

I really do enjoy sewing for my kids and particularly for my daughter. There just aren't as many fun and cute options for little boys. Even with vintage boys patterns it's hard for me to get all fired up about it, and I usually sew things for them out of necessity, but for girls its super fun.

Only picture I got of two of the kids with me and of her skirt that wasn't a blurry running picture outside. 
Do you dress for holidays or in themes? Do your kids take some of their style from you?
The 4th of July Girls and doll Grace :

Monday, July 7, 2014

Seeing Dots: A Vintage Maternity Top

Simplicity 1174
Okay, okay, I know at the beginning of this pregnancy I said I would be sewing more separates this time. Yup, I ended up sewing more vintage dresses, but in my defense, they are just so easy to sew and cute to wear. Not to mention that I already had more modern separates that I had either bought and worn in previous pregnancies and that had been given to me. It seems like there is no shortage of modern separates for maternity in my wardrobe, but I did get around to sewing up a maternity top the other day and now wish I had more time to sew some more versions of this awesome top. Probably not going to happen, so don't hold your breath. I'm looking ahead to my post baby sewing queue and especially fall dressing. (Hey, thoughts of cool autumn mornings are helping me not to go crazy as I literally melt in all the heat and humidity here in the south.)

I really love the fun details of this design.

I used two remnants of a quilting cotton with baby blue dots on a soft brown background and sewed up the sleeveless version. Not only was it a relatively fast and easy make, but it's insanely comfortable and I get lots of compliments every time I wear it. I seriously love this top and am contemplating sewing another version even though I'm getting into the home stretch of this pregnancy and might not get to wear it much. 
Trying to hold photobombing daughter still.
It's more comfortable than the usual stretchy maternity t-shirt or tank top and the swingy loose nature of the top makes it super cool for the hot and humid summer weather we're having. If you're expecting and can sew or know someone who would sew for you, I cannot recommend a loose fitting vintage maternity top enough. This will, God willing, be our fourth child and I can tell you from experience that  you will want to wear nothing tight fitting again while pregnant if you try one of these loose vintage styles. 

I even had enough fabric leftover to make a pair of cute shorts for my daughter (to be seen in a future post).
Youngest son was napping, but Sir J the Brave couldn't let the Fairy Princess Cowgirl have all the photobombing fun.
Since I'm getting a little burned out on making maternity clothing and I'm in the final weeks of this pregnancy, I'm thinking ahead to sewing for fall. I've been sewing a lot for the kids and trying to get into getting everything ready for the new baby. I don't think I'm "nesting" quite yet, but I am excited to plan out projects for the fall for everyone.

So, how do you plan out the coming season's wardrobe? Does it change your buying or sewing plans?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

60s Mama Dress

I know it's been forever, literally, since I've posted, but since the last post there's been a lot going on. Not only am I in the last trimester and closer every day to having the baby, but I had a debilitating stomach virus, finished up our homeschool year, grades, and attendance for the spring as well as turning in my lesson plans for next fall, as well as finding out our oldest son is going to have to have surgery right away and I will have to have surgery sometime after the birth of this baby. Needless to say, blogging has been a priority, nor has there even been time for it, but I've missed it and am looking forward to getting back to more regular blogging again. 

This has turned out to be another favorite maternity dress. It's made of a nice breathable, but solid linen printed with all these large colorful flowers. It looks a little too dressy for everyday wear, so I save it for special occasions and have already worn it to a wedding. My husband really like this dress, so I'm thinking it would be great to wear if we ever get a date night before the baby comes. 
Simplicity 5271
I made it up in the exact size on the pattern and again had to do some fitting around the bust. Tent style dresses from the 1960s seem to run a little too large in that area for me, but a little dart adjustment and taking in of the side seams fixes it right up. That was the only altering I did to the pattern, but I tied it in front instead of on the sides, because even though I feel huge, I'm apparently not large enough yet to fill it out properly with the side ties. So, as baby and belly grow this last little bit, I will keep trying the side ties, but am not sure it will ever be very flattering since I am already huge here. 

It's slightly shorter than I usually wear, but no where near mini skirt length, plus the tent-like drapiness of the dress keeps things well covered when sitting down. I'm think this makes a great summer dress for when I want to be a little more polished and yet keep cool in the southern U.S. heat and humidity that is already come to stay. 

I wore a vintage rhinestone brooch that I got for extremely cheap while I was in high school, but don't wear enough now. (That will have to be soon remedied.) I also had another photobomber for these pictures in the form of my youngest son who is 22 months and the only redhead so far.

Outfit Details:
Dress-made by me from vintage Simplicity 5271
Bangles-vintage lucite and bakelite from various sources
Earrings-Vintage style rose earrings from Etsy
Brooch-Vintage Rhinestone flower purchased at local antique mall
(I wore shoes, but they weren't pictured, sorry.)

 I was the most fortunate recipient of a great compliment lately, when a reader remarked how elegant I made pregnancy look. I must confess I was taken aback and very flattered, possibly even blushing a little as I read it, because I certainly don't feel that way. I've incorporated some vintage into my wardrobe since I was about 12, but really it was after my oldest was born and even though I lost a lot of the baby weight, I never really felt like my old self in my post-baby body. I took up sewing garments more in an effort to find more flattering styles and fit. As I got more into collecting vintage patterns and wearing more vintage styles, I found them to be much more flattering than most things I could just buy at a store. Learning older techniques for makeup and hair soon made getting dressed up a lot of fun. I realized that I still didn't have to spend tons of time doing hair and makeup, but with a little effort I could avoid some of the frumpy mommy looks. I don't dress to the nines every day, but I do often wear dresses and if I throw on a couple of easy accessories and a dash of makeup I feel better, am more productive, and have a better day. That doesn't mean I never wear jeans and a t-shirt, but that it's just as easy to wear a cute skirt and a t-shirt or a dress or a nice blouse with jeans.
For me it's a way to celebrate motherhood and bearing children and to accept and even welcome the changes that come to a person's body as a result and to give thanks to God for it. I don't by any means feel perfect, but I can take what I have and be content. This to me is a pathway that leads to true beauty, the inner kind that lasts, and as a Christian it is a way I can praise God for making me just as I am in this moment.

I'm not suggesting everyone has to share my viewpoint on having kids or even on dressing, but that what we wear is deeper than just putting on clothes in the morning. They do say something about us and to us, and that is something that should be considered when we get dressed.

We see too many images and read too many articles or advertisements that are all about making us discontented with ourselves in every possible way. They scream to us that we are not enough, whether in looks or in personality or whatever we do, but if we remember and realize that is their function and aim, solely for the purpose of convincing us to spend our hard-earned money on whatever they're selling, this realization means they can lose their power. 

As a mom, I want desperately for my kids to know that they are enough. That I love them just as they are for no other reason than I love them. To me as a Christian, it's because that's the kind of love God, through Jesus Christ His Son, has shown me when I deserved nothing but anger and rejection.

The only not blurry picture I could get of him smiling. He's a mommy's boy.

I know everyone will not and does not have to agree with my views on dressing, parenting, or kids, and I'm okay with that. All this to say that my dressing this way, whether pregnant or not, is a part of the process for me of being who I am and a desire to be the best me I can be for my God, my husband, my family, and for me.

Do you see how you dress as more than just clothes? How has dressing vintage changed you?