Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hanky skirt: Celebration or desecration?

OK, I've been wanting to try one of these out for YEARS. I'm sure I'm not the first one to come up with this. Oh, the lonely pile of hankies. $1, $2, maye $3 each, hanging out in their pristine pressed-ness with their crocheted doily cousins and tea towels aunties. Times are getting tough in the antique market, and though I'm not finding 6 yard pieces of 1940s rayon any longer, there the hankies sit. And sit. But they are just so sweet, begging to etch out a home in our not so delicate modern lives.

As a disclaimer, I too shudder at the scads of "jewelry" made out of epoxied bakelite buttons, permanently locked into a crafty death grip for the rest of eternity. I don't feel guilty about using vintage buttons for the clothes I make because of course they can be cut off and re-used. As for the vintage fabric, I try my very hardest to replicate the authentic garments with the original patterns and everything.

But I've always eyeballed those piles of dainty hankies at the flea markets: their adorable scalloped trimes, embroidered details, delicate flower and geometric designs and thought, darn, how can I use them to show off their wonderfulness?

This skirt has the practical pockets, the large horseshoe design that is double topstitched onto the front of the skirt. The hankies would also make darling patch pockets also, especially the children's hankies that are a bit smaller.

So what do you think, is there a possibility here, or is it offensive to cut these lovelies up and sew them onto a skirt? I would love to say that people are using them for other purposes, but I've been watching them for over 10 yrs now and I just don't think they're going to make a big comeback. I've tried to show them off as an accessory--I've actually made several garments specifically to showcase a little hanky pocket-- a black wool 40s jumpsuit and a slim pencil skirt to feature a color coordinating hanky peeking out. But permanently attaching it, am I committing a sin? They are all so unique and fabulous, I just love that.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Ric Rac Paddywhack

Hey Girls,

Burning issue here~ need your input! I've been getting a lot of requests for this style of 1940s sundress, and I FINALLY tracked down a pattern on ebay (I guess I wasn't the only one hunting), and whipped up this sample dress for myself. These dresses usually feature ric rac trim and cute pockets, and either button up the back or have a zipper. They typically have a sash. I was inspired to use the denim/feedsack combo, I think it turned out cute, what do you think? I like how the straps look with the piping. It kind of has a 70s folksy vibe, but I think that's cool! All styles are connected somehow throughout the decades anyhoo.

So should I keep it ric rac free, or use the trim, and in white, or the teal?

I'll be sure to post some final pics of me actually wearing it as soon as it's done! Thanks in advance for your advice!