Recently I added some brand new listings to my Etsy shop.
Of course, these include vintage patterns...
Lot of two 1960s patterns, size 16 and 16 1/2.
Lot of two 1960s patterns, size 16 and 18.
Also a crochet pattern of my own, in PDF download format.
Toy Gentleman Teddy Pattern in three sizes.
And a new old stock vintage girl's formal dress.
And I'm offering a special coupon just for my blog readers - take 10% off anything and everything in the Etsy shop, with the coupon code VERITYREADER10. The coupon expires one week from today.
Let's talk about 1940s hairstyles for a bit!
We're all familiar with the face-framing, often elaborate hairstyles of the 1940s, especially during WWII. Perhaps the most iconic form is the victory rolls. But while victory rolls are lovely and often one of the easiest to re-create for someone into vintage styles, we may forget the wide variety of hairstyles that were all part of the fashion of the day.
A lovely example of one of the most iconic hairstyles of this era - victory rolls, here done asymmetrically.
They could also be centered on the forehead and vary in size from small to enormous.
It's amusing to me that sometimes the simpler hairstyles are actually harder to do correctly, since the hair has to be cut and curled properly - while victory rolls and a snood, for instance, can be worn by ladies with more modern or longer hair styles - which is good news for anyone who needs it!
Not everyone wore elaborate styles. Many ladies parted their hair on the side and simply had it brushed out for a simple look. This is true of many movie stars of that era, like Bette Davis, Katherine Hepburn, and Hedy Lamarr, who wore their hair almost always the same simple style throughout their various roles. However, for many women hairstyles varied according to what flattered her face, and according to the day's events. Fancier styles were often worn for an outing, dance, or party.
Anyway, here is a roundup of vintage photos of ladies from the 1940s sporting their lovely 'dos, for your personal inspiration.
Long Hair in the 1940s
Starting with some long-hair styles (believe it or not, there were some quite lengthy styles worn). Here Ginger Rogers has her front and side hair in large rolls, and the rest of it smoothly brushed, with the ends cut in a U shape and curled under. A rare style with almost straight back hair.
This lady has a little more of the curled layer look, only long instead of shoulder length, and her top hair is probably shorter.
This lady has a much simpler style - a side part and headband. Her hair is still cut in the layered U shape, but the curls are loose.
Rita Hayworth here shows what is probably the closest to a "tousled" 1940s look. Longer hair, more ringletty at the ends than the one above, brushed across her forehead and held with pins - a sort of faux bang style, though her hair is shorter at the top.
A Bevy of Up-dos
Updos are also great for ladies with long hair. The lady with the daisies has her hair center parted (probably also center parted down the back) and in braids across the top. This might look like Sound of Music costume-ish, but if you pair it with hair flowers like hers, you definitely have a 1940s vibe.
Here's a rolled up-do with bumper or faux bangs. You can make these with long hair if you section off the top front of your hair and roll it around a rat. The side rolls hide the ends of the bang. And those handy little flowers sure help when it comes to adding the finishing touch while disguising an otherwise unsightly roll end!
It probably looks similar to this in the back. I could never keep mine smooth, when I had longer hair, so kudos to you if you manage it!
Another way to do bangs, or faux bangs if your hair isn't too long.
Lucille Ball wears a gorgeous puffy upswept hairstyle here, with many small rolls. This would have been more of a formal hairdo, and might be sprinkled with rhinestone combs or pins.
Another rolled up-do, this time rolled all the way around over hair rats with the ends becomingly curled over her forehead. This time instead of flowers or a headband, you can see a taffeta bow.
This one is more of a piled look than the tight rolls of Lucille Ball's hairdo above, and it holds one giant rose.
Side and front of an elaborate hairdo, for shorter hair.
And one more from Lucille Ball, this time with "fuzzy" combed out light bangs and the rest pinned in curls to the back of her head instead of the top. More flowers...I love this placement.
You can also do a structured half-up hairdo, like this lady with 4 rolls on the top and sides, and her back hair gathered with a ribbon.
Back view of a similar hairstyle, with victory rolls and ringlets. This looks like it was done with at least medium length hair.
A formal, almost up, hairdo. The pompadour is higher here, and the jewels comb holds the side hair in a puff. The back is probably brushed curl under and held in a net.
This one is cute, because it shows you what to do with the ends of your top hair when you brush it back like this lady in a small pompadour.
But as I already said, elaborateness was not always the order of the day. Here are a few short, well brushed bobs. The top one has a side part and the hair is brushed away from the face but with no visible pins or rolls. The bottom one also has a side part, with the hair brushed to the side and down for a flatter top. These are the kinds of hairstyles that you simply have to have the right cut for in order to be convincingly accurate - no fudging here.
Simple and short, with a center part and headband that keeps the hair away from the face, as opposed to the previous 2 photos.
The simple, brushed out style could also be worn long, though perhaps it was more common worn short.
More lovely flowers, a side part, with the heavier section held back by a comb. The curls are brushed down and under, more like a pageboy.
A more tightly curled short version of a simple look, worn by one of my favorite actresses - Myrna Loy.
Katherine Hepburn wears a style that is not so round-the-face and takes less layers. More of a straight bob instead of the usual U shape cut. Side part, the long front hair is brushed back and held by a clip or small barrette.
Wrapping it Up
Hopefully these images have given you an idea of the variety out there when it comes to 1940s hairstyles. You'll never need to feel in a rut again. You can wear your hair long or short or very short, up or down, in tighter or looser curls. The top can be built up (brushed over a rat), rolled in various ways, brushed forward over the forehead, made into bangs, or worn in a simpler "flatter" style from a center or side part. Brush all the curls out into waves, save some as ringlets to arrange as pin curls. Lots of accessories can be used, from flowers to ribbons to clips and combs. And for a bad hair day, there are always snoods and turbans that can be paired with every dress code from house dresses to street wear to formal. If are happy with your back hair but not the front, wear a tilt hat which will cover the front. If you like the front but want to camouflage the back, wear a hat that sits on the back of your head.
The nice thing about these hairstyles is some of them can do double duty and be borrowed for other eras. The shorter, tight-curled styles, or the up-dos with plenty of pin curls, can also work for the 1930s - especially late '30s. The simpler bobs, minus the hair flowers, can look very 1950s too. The more elaborate, high hairstyles are pretty strictly WWII era fashion, however...they went out of fashion within a year or two after the war's end, to be replaced by a non-face-framing, simpler side or center parted hairstyle worn longer and with looser waves over the shoulders - which in turn evolved into the short, sculpted waves of the 1950s.
I'll leave you with a photo of one of my own attempts at replicating one style in this fascinating era of hairstyles.
Come to think of it, digging up these images has inspired me. Time to do some experimenting and get out of my own rut. :-)
Please note all vintage images are not my own and believed to be in the public domain.
Due to a hectic last week or so, a bout of the flu galloping around the family, and one of my thankfully rare creativity blank spells, there will not be a tutorial this month. Hopefully we'll get that back on track. But meanwhile, I wanted to share a few fun things from my April 1950 copy of Women's Home Companion.
I posted last year on my discovery of vintage women's magazines, and since then I have acquired quite a stack - although almost without fail, if I am reading an installment of a story that I really want to finish, the "to be continued" issue is still missing from my collection! I hope someday to have a copy of each month at least from the mid 1930s through the mid 1950s, in both the Women's Home Companion and the Women's Home Journal. With 12 issues a year of each one, that might take a while to collect, and even longer to read. But as I said, I have a good start!
I have to say that there were quite a few recipes I want to try from this issue. That's unusual, since many times vintage recipes and meal ideas do not pique my interest, and the more bizarre ones are...rather too bizarre. Like this one, which amused me. Ever try Miracle Whip as dessert with fruit and jello? Me either. Ever intend to try it? Me either!
The fashions in the late 1940s and very early 1950s were lovely and feminine, with classic lines that were a middle ground between the fabric restrictions of WWII and the super narrow or full silhouette of the 1950s. This ensemble caught my eye with its color coordination. I may have to try to copy it sometime. Usually I would pair light brown with a dark brown, or with a contrasting color like blue. But I am drawn to the variations on the same neutral color. It was described as a "garden party dress" and that's a good description for it.
And do my eyes deceive me, or do I recognize the pattern in this ad? It's always exciting to come across references back in the day to something in your own personal collection. The bolero this lady is wearing has a collar and cuffs, but otherwise it looks very much like my Nancy Goes to Rio pattern, a costume designed by Helen Rose for one of the actresses in the movie. Which would make sense, since Nancy Goes to Rio was made in 1950!
My copy of the pattern.
I spotted the skirt on the mannequin first, thinking, "Hey, I know that skirt!" Then when I saw the bolero I was sure. The pattern is still on my to make list, but I do love the fabric choice shown here with a solid and a print. The bolero is shown worn with a matching dress (probably sleeveless) which would make a mix-and-match 3 piece. Such a pretty style with a touch of those unusual style elements which makes vintage fashion so special! (Especially as compared with modern "everyday" fashion, which is sad.)
What do you think? Same pattern?
Christmas shopping time! While these are not gifts, I wanted to share with you some of the goodies I brought back from a recent shopping trip that was ostensibly to look for presents, but ended up...well...mostly adding to my own collection!
One antique store, though overall expensive, yielded up these delicate earrings and a 1930s hat to add to my very limited collection of 1930s hats.
The details even on a simple felt hat are just one reason why I love vintage millinery!
Also a whole stack of vintage patterns, for $1 and $2 each! This is the biggest find of vintage patterns I've found in person, and I got a bunch of them. Some I'll keep, and some I'm passing on via Ebay.
This one I'm keeping! I'm not sure about sleeping in a fitted nightgown, but I'll bet if I made a shorter version in the right fabric I could wear it as a dress and no one would know!
I rarely collect patterns later than the 1950s, but I loved this jacket pattern so much that I'm going to keep this one too.
Then at another store, at flea market prices, I scored some sewing notions (not pictured), and a few pieces of vintage jewelry for a few dollars each. I'm not good at dating vintage jewelry, but I'm going to use the rhinestone pin for 1940s and 1950s wear, and the wreath is perfect for holiday wear and had a unique color scheme. It seems to be quite old plastic - the kind that doesn't feel cheap! - so my guess is it's from no later than the 1940s.
This balloon pin I don't think is vintage, though it's in the 1950s novelty brooch style, but it was too cute to let!
I hope to convert these gorgeous 1950s clip-ons to pierced earrings and wear them this holiday season! Not specifically Christmas as such, but the right color scheme. I hooooope they don't turn out too heavy as pierced, since they're too painful to wear as clip-ons and I really want to wear them!
Also I picked up there a pair of 1950s heels in my size, for $2.50! It can't get much better than that. I'd initially thought of selling them, since they are not my favorite style of shoe, but reconsidered since I'd like to have them to wear with my later 1950s costumes. Period correctness is important!
Altogether, it was a profitable shopping trip and I was tired but very happy afterwards!
Today when the poor laden mail lady delivered all our packages, I received a lovely big envelope...from Chronically Vintage! My 2nd prize package from winning the photo contest held by Emily's Vintage Visions (see the 1st prize package from Wearing History, here). It had taken a while to arrive, since it was shipped from Canada, and then forwarded from our old address - I was a little surprised to see it turn up. And when I opened it, out came all these delicious little packages.
Everything was individually wrapped with the prettiest little ribbons and and mini white boxes and pink tissue paper. They were so pretty I hated to mess them up by unwrapping them! It was like Christmas-before-Christmas! I just left them piled on the table and started right in.
When everything was unwrapped, here's what I found:
Soooo many vintage goodies! Including these gloves, brand new and still with the old tags. The green bead necklace is another favorite, and the triangle mesh hairnet will definitely come in handy this winter!
I had so much fun exploring everything in the package, and will get a lot of use out of my favorite pieces. Thank you so much, Jessica!
Later this week stay tuned for a lengthy post on a local car show. But first, the spotlight is on a few brand new listings to the Etsy shop!
Rare Vintage 1950s Coverall Pattern (no envelope), size 12
Crocheted Chenille Baby Bolero, 9-12 mo.
1940s Mail Order Housedress Pattern, size 18
Not long ago on Ebay I garnered another gorgeous pair of 1940s heels for my collection at a great low price - and they fit! The shape is lovely, with classic 1940s styling and as always, beautiful detail.
But they needed some TLC. The seller said they needed a good cleaning, and they did. Originally a lovely off-white linen, they were grayish in tinge - more noticeable in real life than in the photos - and had multiple spots and bumps.
They also had, very faintly, a white design on the toe around the rhinestones and faux pearls.
I tried tracing it with a white coloring pencil, and while that helped a little, the design still wasn't noticeable from a distance.
So I set about restoring them. First, after looking up ways to clean fabric shoes, I tried a toothbrush and small amount of water and soap. That didn't work - only made the glue underneath show through in a yellowish circle.
So the next idea I had was fabric paint, since these are a linen-like fabric. After some research, I ended up purchasing 2 ivory shades of DecoArt's So Soft fabric paint, in hopes that one would be close enough to the original color - since that was the color I really wanted! It's so hard to find an off-white not too yellow or tan. But their Buttermilk was an almost exact match!
I put down a newspaper to cover my work surface and started painting. The fabric just ate up the paint, with a brush full doing only a square inch or so, but it adhered instantly and I could tell it was going to stay. I brushed in both directions following the grain for solid coverage.
The first heel done. See how it contrasts with the main shoe. And all those marks gone!
Here's the heel from the inside, with one half painted and one not.
Over the toe, I tried to work around the rhinestones, but usually got some paint on them anyway. But since this is fabric paint, it scratches right off the rhinestones.
After it dried a little - the paint dried very quickly for me - I tried the paint marker on the toe. The first half went well, but then the marker started acting up, so the rest isn't quite so nice. I think a ball-point would have worked better.
Here is the shoe with the design half done, next to the unpainted one.
What a contrast! The painted shoe makes the unpainted one look all the dingier.
After that it was a quick matter to paint the other shoe - I gave each one only one coat of paint - then I left them sit overnight to dry completely, though they were dry to the touch in a very short time. I was so happy with the result! Plus, I can touch them up and make them look like new again if they get scuffed or marked with use.
I'm not an artist, so the designs have some unintended individuality. Especially since the marker was acting up. Maybe someday I'll repaint the toes and draw the design with a better behaved tool.
But meanwhile they look so nice - almost like new - and are the perfect shade of ivory. Just what I wanted! My first trial with fabric paint is a definite success.
And the result is so very '40s!
(I can't wait to pair them with my ivory-and-lavender Easter dress. Stay tuned for a photo later!)
Last week I posted about my almost-Lilli-Ann jacket (scroll down to see the post), a find at a thrift store which reminded me of a certain designer's 1940s and 1950s garments. Now it's time to give a a blog airing to my genuine Lilli Ann!
I first discovered her work through Joanna's interest often expressed on her lovely blog Dividing Vintage Moments, and after seeing more images on Pinterest I became a big fan of her designs, especially her wonderful jackets, usually with pleating, tucks, draping, or other special details. Someday I would love to own one (only one??), or a whole suit.
But meanwhile I was also interested in acquiring furs while it is yet winter, and when I found this coat on Ebay for a good price, I was happy. The seller said it was a 1960s coat, which I think is accurate, but the cut is classic enough that I feel it can work for a variety of styles.
And it fits perfectly!
I've had it for a few weeks now, and took the opportunity of a fresh snowfall for a quick photo op!
The faux fur coloring is very well done, like real golden mink pelts, and I love the band at the bottom.
It has interesting suede inserts on the sides of the sleeves and coat, which I like because not only does it add interest, it gives a more slender silhouette and keep the bulk down.
It's so cozy! (The hat, incidentally, has real golden mink bands on it - a good match, don't you think?)
The only flaw I could find was it is missing the waist hook and eye, which means the front bands don't alway stay aligned properly...but that's ok. And it really was a steal.
I had a lot of fun wearing it and am so happy to add a real Lilli Ann to my winter wardrobe!
This gorgeous 1960s vintage coat was my latest special vintage find at a favorite thrift store.
It has fabulous shape and real fur cuffs and a unique collar. I love it!
Sure, it has moth spots several places, and some ancient thread in the lining and edges is beginning to give way. But for the price I paid, it was a steal. So classy! See the little details that make it special...
I'm happy and can't wait to wear it!