Art Journal

Nature Ramblings ~ Past Times Time Travel ~ Romancing Daily Life

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Antique-Retro Threads: Plum-Purple Pocket Dress - Mid Twentieth Century


 I have  been thinking about adding embellishments to basic patterns lately, as I've been working on creating a rather
challenging embellishment on the straight skirt I've been sewing, using a pattern I created from my sloper. I haven't blogged about that project yet, other than a posting describing how I created the pattern.  

My own embellishment work got me thinking about this plum-purple frock,  that caught my eye at  the exhibit From Rationing to Rationing at the Museum of Vancouver. I saw it on our visit to Vancouver Canada in the fall of 2014. Yup, that's the visit, for which, I created my audio show  Embellishment Via Vancouver B.C.
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Pensamientos/Thoughts for this plum-purple pocket dress...

Fashion doesn't necessarily move as fast in real life as it does on the pages of a magazine. I recall dresses from my own childhood, in the 1960's, that harked back to many of the design elements in this dress, which is probably an end-of-the war, or just post-war creation.
* The fitted bodice is very mid-twentieth century
* Dainty collars added a popular innocent look
* No-button buttons were a simple embellishment many home sewers added. Buttons were often recycled from worn-out garments, so sewists had them around
* Short puffed sleeves stayed in style for several decades, certainly through the seventies
* Yokes also stayed popular through the late seventies
* Lots of pretty edging and trims like these, served up on plain fabric backgrounds,  are really reminiscent of the mid-century, before the mid-sixties, when dresses got much shorter and styles became all about crazy prints. Sewing up prints was in vogue, because printed fabrics were suddenly much more affordable and available.

And what about that pocket!

I created a similar pocket on my favorite black velvet bath robe, a few years back, by angling out the sides of a rounded pocket pattern. This one looks even more full. I must try fooling around with a pocket pattern to get a similar effect.

The pocket also  dips down in a heart shape in the center. And what about that beautiful embroidered velvet trim! It really tops off the pocket nicely.
* Lots of detail on the yoke was again very popular. It works because of the plain-colored background, even this peach colored lace can be over-embellished. I think that trim worked with ribbon is called insertion.
* Dark colored velvet bows at the neckline have a very mid-twentieth-century look as well. Doris Day often wore bows like this in her movies, especially black ones. Velvet bows were also popular as hair adornments. That was a signature style for Rosemarie in the Dick Van Dyke show, of course. Well into the sixties we could buy velvet bows on hair clips at the 5 and 10 cent store. I guess that would be the 5 and 10 dollar store now!

Reflecting on styles that affected fashions from my childhood, and considering embellishment elements that still work today - That's the kind of thing that keeps me ...
Enchanted By Sewing!