The Fancy Dress Costume

The fancy dress party, in many ways, takes on the traits we associate with today’s Halloween: unique costumes, large get-togethers, and a night enjoying being someone other than yourself.  While limited information is available, there are a variety of drawings from the 19th to early 20th century that show the ornate creativity of these inspired seamstresses.

Amber Butchart from Amber Butchart:Fahsion Historian gives a fascinating overview on the History of Fancy Dress Balls.  I highly recommend popping over to check out this wonderful source!

I also thought I would share with you several examples of these “fancy dress” outfits to inspire you on the eve of Halloween!

Historical fancy dress

Many more can be viewed here.

Have a wonderfully spooky Halloween everyone!

-Aimee

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15 Fun Activities to do this Fall

What is better that enjoying a fall day?
Enjoying a fall day with friends, family, and maybe some delicious food!

 

I thought I would share 15 fun (and in many cases, free) activities to share with others in the goal of creating some wonderful golden memories.

Here we go!!
  1. Decorate for Fall.  I love the warm colors and the earthy nature of fall decorations.  For some beautiful ideas, check out this post from Eclectically Vintage.

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Image from Eclectically Vintage

2. Make an apple pie.  Joy, from Joy the Baker, created this delicious looking apple pie.  Yummy!

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Image from Joy the Baker

3. Get a head start on creating Thanksgiving cards!  A fun activity for the whole family, grandparents, aunts, and uncles alike will love getting a handmade card for this wonderful holiday.  This post from monkeyingaround.com offers a step by step tutorial for this card…

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Image from monkeyingaround.com

4. Take a long walk to enjoy the turning fall leaves…
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5. Host a Tailgate Party…in your own driveway! This party by Chris Nease from Celebrations at Home is awesome!  Enjoy pre-game outside and then head inside for game time…the best of both worlds!

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Image from Celebrations at Home

6. Create a fall wreath.  This wonderful earthy wreath from Finding Home Farms is simply breathtaking!

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Image from Finding Home Farms

7. Take some time to appreciate the adventurous spirt of the Bad Jelly Blog.  With a tagline of “Trying retro recipes so you don’t have to!”…it is a great way to spend an afternoon if you need a laugh and a little vintage fix!

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Image from Bad Jelly Blog

8. Take the family fishing!  Coming from a family where fishing is very important, this is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and learn a new sport! Beginniner kits for fly fishing is a great way to start!

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Image from Orvis

 9. Create a fall-inspired candle holder.  Alicia and Geneane from Spark & Chemistry created this wonderful fall candle holder.

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Image from Spark & Chemistry

10. Have an outdoor bonfire.  Chilly weather shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the outdoors…just have the fire in the daytime when it is a bit warmer! 🙂

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Image from Love Grows Wild

11. Go apple picking…the ultimate fall family outing!

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Image from Southern Living.

12. Have pumpkin waffles for dinner!  Try this recipe from Pumpkin Waffles…I mean the name of the blog should be enough to convince you! 😉

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Image from Pumpkin Waffles

13. Enjoy a long drive to see the stunning fall scenery!

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14.  Make some delicious pumpkin muffins.  The Smitten Kitchen blog created this wonderful tutorial for these delicious looking muffins!

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Image from Smitten Kitchen

15. Watch an old movie...complete with cozy blanket and buttery popcorn.  My favorite fall movie is the 1939 version of Wuthering Heights.  The chilly landscape adds to the desire for a warm blanket!

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I hope you try one or all of these Autumn activities!
Enjoy!

~Aimee


A Plum 1930’s Day Dress

This little day dress is actually a blouse which hooks into a skirt.  The skirt was created from a simple 1930’s pattern found in one of my books, while the top is from a vintage inspired Vogue pattern I purchased at Joann Fabrics.

The hardest part of this particular project was how flimsy the bodice material was.  I had to work very hard at keeping my patience while I painstakingly pinned and repined and then pick up dropped pins for longer than I would like to admit…..

But jeepers, didn’t it turn out adorable? 🙂

Here are a few pictures:

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Happy Monday everyone!

~Aimee

 


Sewing Tip Saturday: Collars Part Two

With a basic understanding of attaching a collar to a neckline, I thought I would share some basic patterns.  Please note that these patterns are true-to-size, however may need to be adjusted based on your own measurements.

Peter Pan A.K.A. Round Collar

Example:

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Sample Pattern:

Peter Pan Collar Pattern

** Round the front of the collar as much as you like to create various looks.

Pointed Collar

Example:

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Sample Pattern:

Pointed Collar Pattern

A Stand Up/Self Collar

An Example:

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Sample Pattern:

Stand Up Collar Pattern

 

Try one or try them all!

Good luck!

~Aimee

Fun with Fashion Advertisements

I absolutely love advertisements, whether on paper or on the T.V.  I love jingles, slogans, and unusual situations that marketers place people or products.  To honor my appreciation for trying to sell a product, I thought I would share some of my favorite fashion advertisements/catalogue inserts from 1900-1950!

1900-1910

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While this isn’s a true advertisement, I still find this fascinating as the shoes on display are simply to die for!

1910-1920

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A cover for a clothing catalogue gives just a glimpse at some of the, I’m sure, wonderful items for sale.  Of course, a little support of the war effort doesn’t hurt either!

1920-1930

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Need I explain why this is wonderful?  I didn’t think so! 🙂

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Okay, I know this is an advert for Milky Way, but just look at how wonderful this couple is dressed.  If Milky Way gives you this sort of fashion sense, sign me up!

1930-1940

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I hope she gets a picture of herself…look at that perfect finger wave!

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Fall fashion in both clothing and footwear…the perfect combo!

1940-1950

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I only wish I could look this good in a sweater featuring a reindeer or love birds!

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Sometimes less is more…and this advert hits it right on the head!

1950-1960

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What a lovely green…I wonder if it is still possible to find thread and fabric and zippers that match?

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Unique, ornate, and colorful…what more could you want!

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Look at that cute bottle of foundation!

I hope you enjoyed this little blast from the past!  Seeing pictures like this encourages me to save my current magazines so I can look back in twenty years and reminisce over fashion, beauty, and the thought of “did I really think this was in fashion?”

~Aimee


Tulip Shaped Apron

Fun, floral, and fall-inspired all describe this one of a kind apron.  Perfect as a gift for a friend, a family member, or for yourself!

Materials:

  • 1 yard solid fabric
  • 3/4-1 yard contrast fabric

Pattern:

Tulip Apron Pattern

Process:

  1. Begin by sewing the bottom of each “petal” to the top, right sides together.  This is a little tricky as you have a pretty sharp turn to make in the middle, but with a little patience, you will end up with a clean look.

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2. Stitch all the petals together, right sides.  Press and trim excess fabric near seams.

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3. Hem all the raw edges.  Take your time around the edge of the apron to ensure a crisp and rounded edge.

4. Mark center of tie and pin to the center of the apron.  Continue pinning on both sides until you reach the end of the apron.  Stitch.

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5.  Fold the waistband on itself, right sides together and pin from the end of the apron to the rod of the ties.  Stitch and then turn right side out.  Leave the middle of the waistband (part connected to the apron) free.

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6.  Fold the middle of the waistband over the wrong side of the apron and pin.

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7.  Whipstitch or stitch in the ditch.

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8.  Give it a good press, and you are all done!

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Happy Sewing!

~Aimee

 


Autumn Supper Parties

The foods of the fall season are as iconic as foods for Christmas.  Pumpkins, apples, squash, and of course, turkey, make their way to the dinner table in many homes during the month of October.  However, it seems as if large gatherings diminish during this time as the warm days of summer picnics come to an end.  To combat this apparent doldrum, why not host you own Autumn Supper Party.  Popular during the turn of the 20th century, these happy gatherings feature rustic decorations, hearty food, and plenty of happy company!

Here is an excerpt from an article in Good Housekeeping (c. 1904) detailing the table decor and some rather interesting menu options…

“Always use a bare table for a supper….veil its imperfections with doilies, small dishes, candles, and plenty of flowers.  To light the table, use silver or brass individual sticks if you have them, if not, invest in two pairs of the pretty twisted candlesticks to be had now for fifty cents a pair.

In small dishes on the table have peeled radishes, olives, celery tips, salted nuts and bonbons, and, if the table is a long one with plenty of room, a glass or two of prettily colored jelly or spiced peaches or candied ginger.  

As to the menu, remember that it is no longer good form to have a prolonged meal, even at dinner there are fewer coursed than formerly.  Do not end with an ice, for, absurd as it may seem, it is tabooed at supper.  Serve coffee in large cups with the main course, or, if the party is a large one, offer a choice of coffee or chocolate.  

This menu is easily prepared and very nice:

Autumn Supper Menu1

One more menu, and a short one, suitable for a supper served late at night.  In this the sweet is especially good, and one seldom seen:”

Autumn Supper Menu 2

Recipes for many of these dishes are readily found on the internet or in vintage cookbooks.  Here is one version of the French Charlotte Russe.

Wish to host a Autumn Supper of your own?  See below for my top picks to create the perfect fall gathering:

Autumn Supper Party products

Plaid Picnic Blanket from Pier One

Brass Candlesticks from Etsy

 Crystal Bowls from Macys

Birchbark candles from World Market 

Autumn in the Country Cookbook

Autumn Plates from Pfaltzgraff

Happy Planning!

~Aimee

Sources:

Autumn Supper Parties by Caroline French Benten, Good Housekeeping, October 1904

Menu 1 Photo: Autumn in the Wasatch by David C. Schultz

Menu 2 Painting: Edgar Alwin Payne (1883-1947), Sycamore in Autumn, Orange County Park, c. 1917


Fall Bulb Planting

I promise myself every year that I will plant bulbs in the fall, and this year I am doing it!  I always have good intentions, and then the weather gets away from me and I am stuck with another year of a brown garden in the spring.

Not this year!  🙂

As I began researching which bulbs to plant, where, and at what time, I was amazed at the variety of resources available, in addition to some wonderful vintage advice.  So I thought I would share my findings with all of you!

Now Is the Time to Plant Your Bulbs by Helen Van Pelt Wilson

“Gardens are ruled by a gay triumvirate – bulbs, perennials, and annuals – but in the spring the glorious flowering bulb is the mightiest of the three garden kings.  

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In long loved drifts blossoming bulbs will glorify even a tin garden from February until June and, if lilies are included, there will be scattered flowering far into September.  Planted with such bright ground covers as forget-me-nots, pansies, English daisies, hardy candytuft, and yellow alyssum, bulbs will create such spring beauty as is breath-taking in its swift, exciting gayety after the dull gray days of winter.  

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Intro to Heirlooms Bulb Sampler

Yet long before spring the thoughtful gardener must plant bulbs.  Through the autumn she must tuck into the soil these surest of nature’s promises – for good bulbs can absolutely be counted on to bloom.  Within its plum brown skin, each carries an embryo blossom with enough food to nourish it for a season.

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Many of the smaller kinds are appealingly pretty for the very early garden.  Snowdrops bloom in March or early April, while the bright yellow crocus, grape hyacinth, and Scilla Sibrica carry on into May.  

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Small Bulb Sampler

Of the larger bulbs the narcissus family blooms first.  In this group are the white, cluster-type narcissus, the trumpet narcissus common called jonquils or daffodils and the Narcissus Poeticus which blooms about two weeks later than the other two.  

Many varieties and colors my be included even in a small border.  Mixed collections of the tiny bulbs and of the larger narcissus are entirely safe.  Hyacinths will not clash either, but tulips, because of their vivid contrasting colors, are best planted in named groups.

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Good bulbs this year are offered at most attractive prices.  For less than twenty-five dollars a boarder six by twenty feet, for example, can be solidly planted with a large variety of spring bulbs.  Follow theses with a few packets of summer and fall-flowering annuals and you will have a complete garden.

How to Plant a Bulb Border

Along the edge of this border plant a single row of fifty mammoth yellow cross.  Behind these in an eighteenth-inch drift, plant a mixture of fifty glory-of-the-snow, fifty snowdrops, and fifty Siberina squalls.  Sow seed of the annual sweet alyssum month these in the fall or in very early spring.

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Behind these tony bulbs, plant a second eighteen-inch band of three spaced groups of five dozen mixed single narcissi, including Star and Trumpet varieties.  Between these three groups, in the same band, plant three dozen heavenly blue trap hyacinths hacked by three dozen pink wood hyacinths.  Sow this autumn seeds of the annual pink Shirley poppies between these bulbs.

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Bulb Planter

Of course, there must be lilies, too, but none growing so tall that they exceed three to four feet or their height will be out of proportion to the width of this bed.  Set a dozen lilies in four groups among the tulips, each group con tainting one each of the three varieties – the Candidum set within two inches of the surface, the Regale five inches deep, and the Auratum twelve.

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Landscaping with bulbs

To make this border a success, remember that bulbs have four requirements – good drainage, adequate nourishment, enough time to mature, and a light winter mulching.”

Source: Good Housekeeping, October, 1933

While this border described sounds a bit more intense than I am looking for, I love the ideas of various types of bulbs in my garden!

Enjoy and Happy Planting!

~Aimee

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