Adventures, Uncategorized

Happy New Year

New year's Eve Dance 2014
New year’s Eve Dance 2014

Happy New Year to you all, may it be filled with health, wealth and happiness! I hope you had fun celebrating! this year we went to a Vintage Swing Dance just outside Brighton.

The music is mainly from the 1930’s right through to the 1950’s with all the fun of dressing up! I made this dress specifically for the evening, it is a oriental satin fabric and had a fabulous drape, so that it swirls out when I spin. (More about the making of this dress later). I had just popped out for a breather which is why my petticoat is all over the place!

We are very fortunate there are so many wonderful dance events on in West Sussex, there is a very active Vintage community with regular events including the famous Goodwood Revival in September. I love the upbeat music and the opportunity to dress up with flowers in my hair without people looking at me sideways! Its great that the guys dress up too, shirt, ties, braces and trilby’s are the order of the day! We had a brilliant time – spending it with lovely dancers. Everyone goes all out to dress up so it becomes a joy to see so many lovely clothes!

NYE swing dance poster

If you aren’t sure what swing dancing is here’s a little taste 

We had an interesting discussion on the way home, how the English mostly celebrate New Year’s Eve, versus the Scotts New Year celebrations. Here in the Uk we go out early, usually until the clock chimes! Then we are off home, even though the music went well on to 1am it had thinned out considerably!

The Scotts do it differently, staying home quiet until the midnight chimes strike and then its time to go out and celebrate. They visit friends and neighbours – with allocated times organised so that everyone can go from house to house together, with whisky and food, usually lasting well into the next day. Its why the 2nd January is also a bank holiday in Scotland! Lucky them!

Dancing just after midnight
Dancing just after midnight 

 

The Hall was bedecked with bunting and flags just as if it were the 1940’s! Here we are in the centre of the floor dancing just after the midnight chimes had rung out. (you can just about make me out in my pink dress)

May the New Year be Happy, Healthy and full of blessings  xx ttfn xx

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1940's, sewing

Forties style

 

Dresses used fabric economically
Dresses used fabric economically

Remember that wonderful dressing up box we used to have as children? Well the great thing is that we can have this feeling every day. The wave of Vintage style I believe is our desire to go back to dressing in a feminine way, and possibly some of the old fashioned values.

I go dancing to a wonderful venue in Brighton, it is set up just like a 1940’s dance and I really enjoy dressing for the occasion. I am at heart an old fashioned girl, I love to look feminine, I love hats, wool coats and summer dresses and I find it so wonderful that at last we can all dress in this style and for it to be accepted. I still get some rather odd glances at times but mostly I am thrilled that many people will compliment me in the street!

The difficulty I have is deciding what style I like, I do enjoy the victory rolls and fabulous music of the 1940s and love swing dancing, but I also enjoy the upbeat notes of the fifties which leaves me smiling just listening to it and the sheer joy of spinning with a circle skirt! Then again, I’ll watch Downton Abbey and swoon at the gorgeous cloche hats….

Being able to sew opens up a whole heap of possibilities, there are many wonderful retro stores available now, but I find its the detailing that really hits the note for me. So after that rather lengthy introduction here are some elements that might help you to ‘revamp’ a modern dress and introduce elements that can give you a more authentic look.

 

Single breasted, four gore skirt
Single breasted, four gore skirt

As you can see from this pattern the jackets were single breasted, skirts were made up of several pieces, often with seams at the front sides and back, this cut allowed the maker to cut more economically, as the pieces would be smaller.

 

 

A big feature of forties fashion was a yoke

A big feature that stands out in most of the forties fashion was the shoulder yoke, it reflected the male shirt, but was softened by details like bows and cuffs. Dresses had shorter sleeves (also an economy of fabric) finishing just above the elbow.

Use of drape
Use of drape

Forties fashion diverges – American Patterns was cut off from the influence of Paris, did not have the same restrictions as in Britain so you can often see more generous cuts and elements of the 30’s bias cut in US patterns at the time.

If you want to make your dress have an authentic forties feel, look to the sleeve cap, often this was full giving the sleeve a boxy look (a good balancer if you are pear shaped). You can see it more in the knitwear designs from that period.

What ever you decide, the important thing to remember is to have fun

ttfn xx