Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Let It Snow!

Looks like the chances of a white Christmas here in northeast PA are small. But I've managed to see a few at the end of my long life. The first one was in Provo, Utah a few years ago. For the first time in my life, I was going to see snow at Christmas. And guess what? No snow there except in the mountains. And that was the year that it snowed all over Texas! So it was snowing at home and I was missing it! In fact, it did snow a little before the big day and I was happy. Last year, there was so much snow in Provo that we almost didn't manage to drive from our hotel to see the kids!

As a child in Louisiana I was fascinated by snow because I had never seen it. These snowsuits were something I never could have used. I remember my cousin used to send down her hand-me-down clothes. Some were wonderful. Others in heavy wool were completely useless.

This DuBarry pattern is a honey from the 1930s. The suits have great features including separating zippers in front, a belt to keep warmer, a cute hat pattern and even extra padding at the knee for extra wear. And the cuffs and ankles have knit ribbing. A kid could have stayed pretty dry and warm in this outfit while out having a good time in the snow.

Nowadays I don't see children in snowsuits, even up here in Pennsylvania. But this pattern reminds me of a golden time when kids played outside whatever the weather. I love the fact that the boy has a snowball in his hand all ready to throw!

You can read more about this pattern here

Friday, December 16, 2011

Jackie Kennedy Style

Wouldn't we all just want to copy Jackie O's style just once? Sometimes I find a pattern that is so Jackie, I want to swoon.

I have a lot of back stock and have no idea how this one didn't get put in my shop before now.  You can find it here.The cape with the front button and notched collar just send me. And anytime I see a pillbox hat, I think of Jackie Kennedy's style in the White House. I was a very impressionable preteen and teen while she was the First Lady. Her grace and fashion sense will always be unequaled for me regardless of who wins presidential elections from now on.

What were some of the elements of her style? Silhouette for one thing. Slim, column dresses always make me think of her. Accessories like short gloves and those glorious pillbox hats, and a string of pearls on a black dress always bring her back to me.

And since we're talking about patterns, it is amusing to me how one person can define an era. When you look at pattern envelopes, you often find one person's look copied. There are a ton of patterns from the early sixties that remind me either of Jackie or Audrey Hepburn. There's also a time when a lot of women on pattern envelopes looked like Marlo Thomas. She even had her own line of clothing. Pattern companies weren't stupid. They knew that they could sell patterns if they sold you the dream of looking like a fashion icon.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Dresses

I was bopping along the highway on my way to a newspaper assignment when "Jingle Bell Rock" came on the radio. Not any newer cheesy version but the original with Bobby Helms. And what came back rushing to my mind was the dress my mother made me for the Christmas party with my social club called "Belle Jeunesse" in junior high. It looked something like this pattern in my Etsy shop.

The whole idea of a social club for middle schoolers is pretty ludicrous. Not many boys that age want to dance. But all us girls went to the dances with high hopes of romance. The dress was red chiffon layered over red taffeta and it had a full skirt and a long drape over one shoulder. I felt like about a million and a half bucks. And I remember my mom having fits cording the waistline. It was beautiful.

I remember another Christmas dress which I had mom copy from a Seventeen magazine. It was fuchsia with a green band around the hem and wide sleeves. Very, very mod!

I guess it's no surprise I ended up being a seamstress and pattern lover if some of my most vivid memories of events are tied up with the clothes that I wore!