Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Outlandish Loungewear Part II

On the subject of imaginary Coronet Weeds Vintage spending sprees, I love that I could get the ingredients to re-enact a very adorable version of a darling beach outfit I saw in a 1930s knitting pattern images:

Outlandish Loungewear, circa 1933

If a big bag of money suddenly tumbles from the sky and plops on my lap (and my hips magically shrink several inches), this 1933 lounging suit for sale in Coronet Weeds Vintage's Etsy shop just might be the first thing I'd go for (although, even with a bag of cash, I would still find the $550.00 price tag far too pricey).  Bag o' cash or not, I probably should just buy this Eva Dress pattern and make it myself.  I love that it's a bit over the top...just what I, the outlandish Baroness, would like to lounge or garden in ;)

Monday, March 29, 2010

From Baroness to Queen!!!!!!!!!!

I am utterly honoured and elated to announce that I have been crowned Queen of Vintage #65 by the prestigious Queens of Vintage (called "the global Vogue for Vintage"). For full article, click above link(s) or visit  For the record, I have a feeling I might just be the first and only Canadian Queen (correct me if I'm wrong), which makes me feel doubly proud. This all really further prompts me to see it as my mission to grow (and/or increase the visibility of) the vintage scene in Canada....

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Location, Location, Location!

So, yesterday, we did a little bit of exploring to find some neat historical locations to possibly return to when the weather is warmer.  It was a sunny day, but the temperature was around freezing level when we headed out in the morning, so didn't think a dress would be practical.  Instead, I wore my 1930s knitted sailor sportswear sweater and some trousers.

Boy, oh boy, did we find the most AMAZING set of places, all accessible along the same hiking/walking trails, all in the same park, called the Dundas Valley Preservation Area, which is only a short drive from home.  Really, there were three main sights: 1) a turn of the century train station (I think it is a replica) with two authentic Canadian Pacific rail cars stopped on the abandoned tracks.  I must point out that, apparently, the station was the one that appeared in the promotional images for the first Anne of Green Gables movie.  It was also apparently used in Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel as Kingsport train station, where Miss Stacey meets Anne, and in Road to Avonlea in the episode entitled "Comings and Goings"!!! Oh my goodness!  I'm only going to give you a little peek of the place for now, as, we want to do more photo-taking there in future.

The second place was the ruins of a place called The Hermitage, which was built in 1855 by a Scottish settler named George Gordon Browne Leith.  Once a magnificent stone mansion, the structure is now a ruins due to a fire. 

The third place, which is boggy and muddy right now, so we didn't take any pics, is an old apple orchard and orchard house.  In a few weeks, once the blossoms start blooming, we are thinking this is going to be just a fantastically picturesque place!!  So, that's our sneak peek.  Will post more when we go back in warmer weather!!

Further to the above Anne of Green Gables info, I have just found out that most of the Anne of Green Gables movies' sets are in within a short distance of my town!!!!!!  I almost swooned when I read that the house which served as Green Gables in the movie is NOT in Prince Edward Island but a short car ride away!!!!  Moreover, most of the buildings serving as the town of Avonlea are also close by.  Finally, apparently, L.M. Montgomery, the author of the Anne books, spent her last years living in the Toronto area, so there are more Anne related exhibits and buildings to see around here than I EVER imagined.  Seriously, I don't think anyone (except my mom) knows just how important the Anne books were to me as a child.  This promises to be an incredibly exciting summer!!! I'll be sure to post more pics as I make my way to all these planned stops on my Anne pilgrimage!!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Le Birthday Part Two: Gathering at the Old Mill

Part Two of Le Birthday involved an AMAZING dinner at a restaurant called the Old Mill. This was the PERFECT location for a double birthday celebration (my brother in law's birthday was a few days before mine, so hubster invited him and his wonderful girlfriend to join us)!! I wore my beloved Miss Iris Henderson dress from Able Grable, as well as my favourite vintage 1930s shoes (from Dear Golden Vintage), and my carved celluloid bird bangle, which I find myself wearing ALL the time. As you may be able to read from the exterior plaque, the building was once a grist mill. Apparently in the 18th century there had been a different mill there and in the 19th century another mill (the one you see in the pics) was erected in its place. The interior was all dark woods, old Victorian photographs, and windows allowing us to peer at the waterfall and stream that once powered the mill. The menu was also amazing: this is a restaurant committed to the Local Food Movement (or Earth to Table dining), so pretty much everything we ate was sourced from local farmers and vintners. We all ordered the set three course meal with wine pairings (proceeds of which goes to charity), so it was a pretty decadent evening, but such fun!!! I had the BEST profiterole birthday dessert ever (instead of whipped cream inside the puffs, the chef had put the best chocolate gelato or ice cream I can truly say I've EVER tasted). Today I have a bit of a food hangover, but must try to snap back, as we have ANOTHER dinner to go to tonight. We haven't even started celebrating our anniversary that's in a few weeks. Eeeks.

Old Mill 1

Old Mill 3

Old Mill 2

(Image above by Erik Siebel)

Old mill 9

Old Mill 6

Old Mill 9

Old Mill 10

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Play (Suit) Time (well, almost)!

Oh me oh my, as usual, Glamour Daze blog has me swooning, this time over a video clip showing the Ambassador hotel and its Hollywood poolside guests attending a pretty over the top party, circa the 1930s. To make it even more perfect, it's set to Al Bowlly singing "Heart and Soul."  Double swoon!  This clip really externalizes what I have on my mind right now, fashion wise:  30s resort and sportswear separates.   I seriously want everything in this video, especially the sailor-inspired dresses and the various halter and deco playsuits which I screencapped below.

If you love that second image like I do, luckily, Lauren, of Wearing History has got a fantastic pattern for a sailor dress and playsuit. The one she has repro'd is from the 40s, so the dress might be a bit shorter than a 30s one, but the look is similar to the early 30s playsuits shown in the clip.  I know the amazing Casey over at Elegant Musings made the playsuit using Lauren's pattern and her finished product has definitely inspired me to consider tackling it as well!

I think I might go with more of a stripey pattern for my "playsuit," like below:

In addition to the sailor inspired dresses and playsuits, I've got my eye on some 30s halter tops and playsuits.  Once again, Wearing History has just the thing for the seamstresses:

Eva Dress also has a couple of great vintage repro. patterns for 30s halter tops and halter sport suits, which seem to combine elements shown in the above Wearing History patterns.   The first pattern includes a hat pattern!

If I can just keep my sewing momentum going I may just have what I desire by summertime;

Oh, for period perfect footwear, I saw a vintage pattern being sold by Tinpotlil on Etsy that tells you how to make your own 1930s beach slippers/sandals!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

LeLong Longings

Sorry for being scarce lately: I've been a bit too preoccupied with various things (including my birthday tomorrow [if you knew how old I actually am going to be, you'd see why this is preoccupying me!!] and another neat bit of vintage-related news that I cannot reveal just yet) to sit down and construct a coherent post.  Anyway, I felt so inspired while browsing one of my birthday presents, which is the book Lucien Lelong by Jacqueline Demornex that I thought I'd share a few images.  Lucien Lelong was one of the most important fashion and parfume designers of the 20s and 30s in France, but if you've never heard of him, you are not alone.  Demornex's point in her book is that, while Chanel has been immortalized, Lelong has sort of disappeared into obscurity.  It's a shame, really, because his creations are DIVINE (my favourite is that gorgeous gal in the white hat and striped dress, which is the book's cover image as well, though you may notice I've just taken that second to last image as my new profile image. Very baronial)!! Side-note: most of those bathing suits shown in my earlier Hoyningen-Hune post were Lelong designs!!

queens 8

Tee did THAT get in here?  This is one of my most cherished dresses.  While it doesn't have a Lelong label in it, I am certain it was inspired by Lelong's designs.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

It Has Begun

FINALLY, I have decided to stop talking about sewing and just dive headlong into my first garment in DECADES: a blouse from a 1932 pattern (reproduced by Vintage Pattern Lending Library).  I'm wild, really. I skipped over some more straight forward projects, like an apron or a simple curtain.  Will probably regret my approach back into all this.  Oh, taking my time, I successfully marked and cut out the pattern, although the various tailors' chalks and waxes I bought don't seem to like the vintage feedsack material I've chosen (it won't show up on it unless I push really hard with the tracing wheel).  I decided to get Hazel, my dress form, and pin some of the parts together to get a rough idea of where I'm going.  I'm so excited, but nervous at the same time: this blouse has bust darts and requires me to do a bit of gathering at the waist. It's also got this front and back "belt," which looks fantastic in the finished version, but it sort of freaks me out.  Anyway, my eyes are starting to cross, so I'm definitely not going to start sewing tonight, even though I've had so much tea I will probably just lie awake all night anyway.  Better not push it.  Sort of like with skiing--accidents happen when you push past fatigue.  Maybe tomorrow... PS: Mom, does this look better than my famous attempt to turn an old sweater into a toque and mittens?  Thank goodness no visual records of that debacle survive.

Music I'm Listening To:  
Elliott Smith (what else is new?). Lately, I just can't get his song "Place Pigalle out of my headbut couldn't find it in an embeddable form, so here's a link ...) and below is an embedded 
vid. for the OTHER E.S. song on repeat in my brain: "Pretty Mary K" (alternate version)

The Glory of George Hoyningen-Huene

Summer cannot come soon enough.  In the mean-time, I shall bask in the glory of George Hoyningen-Huene's amazing photographs, which sort of inspired my photo from yesterday, but which also clearly connect to the look of Jantzen's diving girl logo (not sure which came first?).  The striped booties the lady in the last image is wearing make me weak in the knees.  All in all, these capture bronzed deco brilliance. Side note: I only discovered this photographer recently (too much English studies, not enough visual arts in uni.), but I think I have had a Hoyningen-Huene print hanging in my bathroom for the past six months without knowing it (one of those Ikea jobbies that doesn't give photographer's name, but the style and subject seems EXACTLY like these.  Hmmmm.....)