Monday, December 30, 2013

Bewitching For Parties, A Gay Blouse in Icing Sugar Colours c. 1950s

Today's free vintage knitting pattern just cracks me up.
The model's hair looks like it's sliding off her head, and the gentleman behind her looks like he's trying to see down her blouse. I'm waiting for her to whack him in the head with her flowers.

And the colours are certainly reminiscent of icing sugar/frosting!
I really do think the pattern is pretty cute, but I would knit it up in a less-cutesy colourway; maybe hunter green, with rust and yellow fair isle? Or pale blue instead of pale pink?

Either way, it's a pretty unusual style and I hope you like it too.
Knit on fingering weight yarn, using 2.75mm and 3.25mm needles.

free vintage knitting pattern 1950s 50s blouse

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Midcentury Gelatine Mystery Dish - Vegan Style!

On the weekend we were invited to a 1950's-themed dinner party - so I wracked my brain for something Mid-Century to bring...  And there's nothing more 1950's than a gelatine dish!

After going through my cookbooks, and searching the internet, I settled on 'Jellied Avocado Ring with Strawberries' from MidCentury Menu, set in a fish mold for full effect.
Actually, I don't think it looks too bad!
We couldn't figure out if it was meant to be a sweet or savory - in the end we ate it as both! It's savory enough for an entree, and mild enough for a dessert..

Now the vegan bit - have you ever looked at a product label (i.e. yogurt, jellies, ice cream) and went 'oh, yeah, gelatine, whatever'? Gelatine is made from animal's skin and hooves. Just saying. I try to be vegetarian, but gelatin can be tricky to avoid sometimes.

Luckily we live in a mostly Muslim neighbourhood, so vegan jelly (made with seaweed gelatine) is readily found -  here is my version of the (vegan) Jellied Avocado Ring if you'd like to try it.

1950s Vegan Jellied Avocado Ring:
1 x packet of Ahmed Instant Set Lemon Jelly (get it from your local mixed business, it's cheaper)
400 ml of water, boiling in saucepan.
1 x tsp of salt
1 x mashed avocado
1 x tb of lemon juice
4 x tbs of Melrose Sunflower Mayonnaise
1 x blueberry for the eye

Add jelly crystals and salt to the boiling water, stir to dissolve. Let jelly sit until it thickens slightly (not too much though as it will thicken up really quickly).
Mix mayonnaise, avocado and lemon juice. Pour jelly mix over the avocado, mix vigorously and pour into a damp three-cup mold. Leave somewhere to cool down (takes about an hour). Pop in your blueberry for the eye.

Vegan Lemon Cream Dressing (I didn't make this, ran out of time)
100ml (half small tin) of coconut cream
1/2 tsp of lemon juice
200ml of Sunflower Mayonnaise
1 tb of golden syrup

Blend the above together until smooth.

Once the jelly has set, carefully turn it onto the plate and serve with Lemon Dressing and strawberries. Or cucumber. Or whatever you think goes best as it confused the heck out of us!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Tutorial: How to Alter HeyDay Tailored Trousers

While the majority of men's pants have an adjustable back seam, not many women's pants do - HeyDay Vintage Style is the exception! I always buy their Swing Pants in my hip size as the waistband is adjustable.

The tailored back seam means if you're pear shaped it's easy to get the trousers to fit well, instead of gaping at the back. If you're less curvy, you can also let out the waist band a couple of inches to get more room.

For example...

Dark Chocolate Swing Trousers

Heyday's trousers fit my hips really well, but as my waist is much smaller there's a definite gape.
So here's how you can alter them, and I promise it will take you less than five minutes!

1. Measure how much you need to take them in by, and mark it in chalk on your trousers. (If you need to let them out, skip this step).

2. Unpick the centre of the back waist band (switching to the Beige as the sewing is easier to see).

3. Unpick where the waistband joins the trousers on the inside. I unpicked for about four inches either side of the centre back.

4. Transfer the markings from the right side of the pants to the inside with chalk. Fold the pants along the centre seam and pin. Note that the transferred line makes a slight < shape? That's to taper the waistband in at the top.
(If you are letting the waist out, now is where you would try them on to figure out your new stitching line and mark it similarly.)

5. Stitch the chalked line, being careful to join the point of your new seam up to the original seam lower down.  Ensure you continue your new line of stitching over the top of the old stitching for a centimeter or two.

6. Unpick the original seam to where your new stitching line meets it. Press this seam open.

7. Fold waist band back over, pin and press.

altering heyday vintage trousers plus size

8. On the right side, stitch the waistband back down by stitching along the seam line (stitch in a ditch).

Wear them and enjoy your custom fit pants!

heyday vintage swing trousers forest green cowboy flamingo
Forest Green Swing Trousers

Sunday, December 15, 2013

FO: A Retro-themed Christmas Look for Summer

While I don't normally dress 'Christmassy' (people stare at me enough - why give them another reason?) this year I thought I'd give a couple of vintage-style-Christmas looks a go, and here's my first result:

bakelite 1940s 1940s tourist skirt mexican scottie dog clothing pinup

 Skirt Pattern: Peggy from BlueGingerDoll
Blouse: FunnyGirl Top, Dangerfield
1940s Jewellery + Wedges: various, Etsy

I was trying for a 1940's-style tourist theme; bright fun colours, easy to wear clothing and novelty jewellery.

(Please excuse how dry my lawn is! It's Summer and we are trying to save water.)

bakelite 1940s 1940s tourist skirt mexican
Delicious, fruit-coloured Bakelite Bangles

I love the Peggy skirt pattern from BGD - it's so versatile, quick and easy! Abby has just released the pattern as a printable PDF, which saves postage for anyone overseas.

I used 100% cotton drill from Spotlight, and alternating lines of lime, yellow and red ric-rac trim - plus ric-rac around the pocket, just like last time
There's a great place to get ric-rac in bulk called SabieSupplies on Etsy - even with postage its much cheaper per meter than what we pay in Australia.

I set my hair using curling tongs (24mm), and a comb out instead of a brush out.
Then off to the Christmas party at the Creative Vintage Centre for dancing and fun.

Coming up soon - my Christmas day outfit (a 1940's Christmas tablecoth-turned-skirt), and a Tutorial on how to take in tailored pants!
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