Monday, October 19, 2015

• Black and Purple 1940s •

It's so nice to have a new way to wear my black dress! A friend of mine got married this past weekend, and I needed a special outfit to wear. I had started a dark teal rayon 1930s dress, but I just wasn't having fun with it at all, so I decided to go with something easier. 

I bought this purple fabric (polyester satin-backed shantung) probably a year ago, with the intention of making it into a regency ball gown. Yeah. Yikes. Even I, who am not a fabric snob by any means, just couldn't do such an abominable thing. Using it for a 1940s garment is still rather unethical, but at least it's a little more appropriate. 
In any case, after searching high and low for something remotely appropriate to make, and seemingly ruling out everything I came across, I finally decided to make a bolero! I used Simplicity 1578, a pattern from 1945.

I made a mockup of it first out of some cotton I had in the stash, but never really expected it to fit. I was already planning on listing it in my Etsy shop. Well, to my great surprise and happiness, the Etsy shop did not and is not going to get a glimpse of it! It fit beautifully, and I just loved it. Unfortunately, I haven't a thing to wear it with, but I'm still quite content to hang onto it until I do. 

Meanwhile, I could get to work on the real bolero!

I really didn't feel like facing the bodice all the way around, so I decided to line it instead. And rather than having the same fabric showing on the revers, I used the back (satin) side of the fabric. It gives it a really neat look; just different enough to be contrasting, but not blatantly shiny. And, it was a breeze to sew it together! The hardest part about the whole bolero is clipping all those curves!

I had two buttons leftover from my 1950s Floral Dress that were perfect to accent the revers. Plus, I can take them off and switch them out with something more "fun" when I make a dress out of the remaining 3+ yards of this purple fabric! Yay! 

This rhinestone necklace is my new favorite. I had gazed at it for probably a year and a half, every time we went to the local antique shop, but never felt like asking to get in the cabinet to actually look at it. I finally did last week, however, and I am so glad!! It fits perfectly, looks beautiful, and only cost $6. 

Since my bolero is lined with the reverse side of the same fabric, I thought it qualified rather well for this month's HSM!
The Challenge: #10 - Sewing Secrets
Fabric: 1 3/4 yards of polyester satin-backed shantung
Pattern: Vintage Simplicity 1578
Year: 1945
Notions: Thread and buttons
How historically accurate is it? 50%, if that, because of the polyester fabric. But the lining, the pattern used and the bias-faced sleeves make it a little more acceptable. ;)
Hours to complete: 4-5
First worn: Last Friday, to a wedding.
Total cost: I can't for the life of me remember how much the fabric, I have no idea! 
because you just *have* to be silly sometimes....

This purse is also one of my favorites! It's such a neat size and shape, and that satiny stripe on the front is gorgeous. One can never have too many vintage purses!! :)

It was a lovely wedding! It was wonderful to see Hannah and Josh get married, AND I caught the bouquet, was a VERY good day. ;)
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  1. So classy! I love the whole ensemble.

  2. A very stylish outfit. I love the contrast between the purple and black.

  3. What a great outfit, I love making things to wear to people's weddings. How did you find the polyester to sew? I am making a polyester dress at the moment, and it's so much harder than cotton.

    1. Thank you, Kaitlyn!! This particular polyester wasn't hard to sew with at all, but that's mainly because it isn't as slippery as most poly fabrics are. The hardest part with this was pressing the seam between the lining and main fabric - it didn't want to! - and tacking the sleeve facings down.
      Other polyester fabrics I've sewn with have been awful though! I can't wait to see your dress! I do like cotton a lot better - it's just rather hassle-free! :)

  4. Quite classic indeed, dear lady! :) I was curious how this project was going to turn out and so I was excited to see your post this morning. Love how you used the back side of the fabric for the contrast! And the wedding venue looks positively lovely. :)

    1. Thank you so much, Sarah! :) The wedding venue was lovely, although it was SOOOOOOOOO cold. It was in Michigan, windy, and it felt like about 30 degrees out. My mom and I were literally shaking the whole time. Visibly. :\
      The reception was indoors though, so we were able to thaw out. ;)

  5. What a lovely outfit! The lilac and black go wonderfully together, and your purse is very cute. There can never be too many cute vintage purses.... :) ❤

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

    1. Thank you so much, Bonita!! I agree; purses are an absolute necessity. ;)

  6. Such an elegant little jacket and surely a great addition to your wardrobe :-) And the buttons are so pretty!

  7. Oh what fun! Love the black and the purple together and your bolero is wonderful! The fabulous black buttons really make my button loving heart rather happy! You look wonderful as always and thanks for the vintage inspiration!!

  8. What a lovely sophisticated ensemble Esther. Delightful!

    the Middle Sister and Singer

  9. Immensely elegant ensemble. I love that you married lilac and chocolate together here. The two are so feminine and beautiful - not to mention positively breathtaking on you.

    ♥ Jessica


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