Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Knits, Part One

I'm always so jealous when I see those lovely 1930s knits that I have, so far, not been able to get my hands on. Baroness Von Vintage seems to have an unending collection of beautiful vintage knits, including this one, which makes me especially covetous. I'm also ridiculously envious of those who know how to knit and can make themselves reproduction garments from vintage patterns. Here is a wonderful sweater recently knitted by Jennie of "The Life and Times of a Vintage Obsessive", and here is another one expertly made by Tickety Boo Tupney. I would love to learn how to knit and crochet, but even "Knitting For Dummies" is apparently too advanced for me! Since I haven't been able to learn yet, I have been putting my sewing skills to good use by altering. I have found that '80s knits are often good candidates for this, as many of the style features are similar to '30s knits: pointelle and crochet accents, chevrons, colorblock, leg o'mutton sleeves, etc. The fit is usually way off, though, as everything was so blousy during that time (how well I remember it). Here is a sweater that I recently altered:

Here's how it started out. I originally removed the sleeves intending to move up the shoulders a few inches, but once I had them off, I really liked the way they looked on their own. Of course, I made another sweater using the sleeves, as they were the feature that prompted me to purchase the original in the first place. It's just too darn hot to get any pictures of that one now!

The jabot is made from the ends of some old crochet gloves. The fingers and palm sections were filled with holes, but the ends were still intact, so I just cut them off, sewed them together, and wove them through the holes in the top of the sweater.

I took it in by about 6 inches around. I also shortened it by cutting off the waistband, trimming off about 5 inches, and sewing the waistband back on. I don't have a serger, so I use the zigzag stitch on my sewing machine to alter knits. The gloves are vintage from ebay, and I blogged about making the skirt here. The shoes are brand new; I have them in brown, too. Sorry they're not very visible; it's been so hot here that my husband has not been in the mood to mow the lawn as often as he should!

This is my new favorite hat. I found the original at Goodwill for $2.00. It was huge; my husband tried it on, and it was even too big for his large head. Of course, I forgot to take a picture of it before I started cutting it up, but here is one that I took after I cut the crown off.

It was originally a fedora of sorts; you can see how the crown was shaped. After I cut off the crown, I shaved about two inches off of the bottom. I then got it wet and shaped it so that it would be more rounded on the top. After it had dried, I sewed two tucks lengthwise across the top of the crown. Since the hat was so big to begin with, I was able to put three pleats in the brim. I then sewed the crown and brim back together, trimmed it with some vintage ribbon and a vintage mother-of-pearl buckle, and finished it off with grosgrain ribbon on the inside.

I love it so much! When I wore it to the Farmer's Market, an elderly man approached me and said, "My mother had a hat just like that in 1934." How great is that?!

I've got many more altered knits to show, so stay tuned!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I'm Back, And A Blog Award!!

Well, as terrible as I am about blogging regularly (has it really been a month?!), I am even worse when it comes to reading and commenting on my favorite blogs. It seems that I was given a Liebster Blog award, which is for blogs with fewer than 300 followers, by Lauren Hairston a few months ago, and I've just discovered it! Check out her blog; one of my favorite regular features is her "Dinner and a Movie" posts, in which she summarizes and reviews a classic movie, and then cooks up a yummy-looking dish to accompany it! Thanks so much for the award, Lauren, and I'm sorry that it took me so long to acknowledge it! I have also been tagged by her to list 10 of my favorite things, so here we go:

1. Favorite food: Although handfuls of Almond M&Ms are what get me through the day with my sanity intact (taking care of a two year-old is stressful, okay?!), I'd say that my favorite food is Thai food, specifically Pad Thai.

2. Favorite Movie: I have so many, mostly because I think that comparing films from different genres is like comparing apples to oranges, so I have a favorite from each! I'll just list a few: favorite classic movie: "Bringing Up Baby"; favorite musical: "1776"; favorite romantic comedy: "French Kiss". My all-time favorite is probably "Far and Away". Any movie that has the words "epic romance" in the trailer is on my list.

3. Favorite TV show: My favorite TV show is a little-known Canadian-made western from the early '90s called "Lonesome Dove: The Series". It's based on the Larry McMurtry characters but not on the books, and was canceled after only two seasons. The first season (my favorite) is a little cheesy and Hallmark-channelish, and the second season is much more gritty; it's like an early version of "Deadwood", but without all of the profanity. My favorite character is Col. Clay Mosby, a transplanted Virginian scarred by the war, who is played by a pre-"Will&Grace" Eric McCormack. Here's a clip from YouTube (he's the one kneeling behind the bar). You can also spot Olivia Hussey (Romeo and Juliet) being used as a human shield:

4. Favorite Architectural Style: Craftsman. Luckily, I live in my dream house! This is the only picture that I can find of the inside right now, and it's from Christmas (ignore the baby).

5. Favorite Book: Jane Eyre. I also have a secret fondness for trashy romance novels (only the historical ones; that makes them historical fiction, right?! Let's say yes).

6. Favorite. Post. Ever. This Easter one from Debi of my Happy Sewing Place. This might be the funniest thing that I have ever seen.

7. Favorite Author: Oscar Wilde

8. Favorite Singer: Annette Hanshaw. Also Sebastian Bach (Skid Row). I mean, he was on Broadway too, so I don't need to be embarrassed about this one, right?!

9. Favorite Flower: Hydrangea

10. Favorite Song: "Against All Odds" by Phil Collins. Any song that could be classified as a "power ballad" will definitely be on one of my mix tapes. Oh yes, I still listen to my mix tapes.

So, now that you know more about me than you ever wanted to know, I will pass this award on to some other bloggers! There are so many great blogs out there with fewer than 300 followers; way too many to list here. At first, I tried to omit the blogs to which I have given an award previously, but in the process of going over them again, I decided that I just couldn't do it; all of these blogs are great!

The Deco Devotee
Sailing Over a Cardboard Sea
The Life and Times of a Vintage Obsessive
The Vintage Knitter
The Ziegfeld Boudoir
My Pretty Baby Cried She Was A Bird
The Swing of Things
Tickety Boo Tupney
Porcelina's World
Vintage in a Modern World
A Passion for Vintage Textiles
The Butterfly Balcony

Thanks again for the award, Lauren! And thanks to all of you for your lovely comments on my (infrequent) posts! I have so many things to show, but I just can't seem to get any good photos of them. I've borrowed my mother's good camera, so if the temperature outside would just fall below 95 degrees, I should be able to get something to show you!

Also, welcome to my newest followers: Dakota, The Vintage Knitter, Katia, Spinnakersu, Living Vintage, Linda, Chelsea, Carol, WanderlustPixieDust, Evie Graham, TwilaTee, Jess, Andrea, Lauren, Charlotte, Lisa, Diary of a Vintage Modiste, Anne Toft, GreenPea, Black Opal, K Boulton, Teresa Liao, Temporary Cat, and Chris Simich. Whew!!

Edited to add: I just noticed that I have given this award to a few blogs that Lauren had already passed it along to. Gah!! Please don't feel that you have to acknowledge it twice (or at all, if awards aren't your thing!); sorry about that, Lauren! This is what happens when you take three weeks to write a post; you stay up really late one night determined to finally get it finished, and you make a lot of mistakes! Maybe I'll just stick to outfit posts from now on...