Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Have you ever wondered.....

Hi everyone, hope you are having a good week.  I thought that I would use my mid week post to illustrate and describe some of my inspirations (and perhaps to hint at some of my plans for the weekend.)

Have you ever opened a book and seen a picture of a dress and just gasped "Oh Wow".  That's what happened to me when I bought "The Film Star Album" which dates from around 1958.  In this book there are a number of amazing photos of movie stars and articles such as "Meet My Family" by Jane Russell, "I love Parties" by Ann Miller and "Around the Clock on a Ranch" by Joel McCrea.  But the standout feature to me are the photos of clothes.  My all time favourite is this amazing dress worn by Yvonne de Carlo:

Oh how I want to make this dress.  It looks so Mediterranean and makes me think of Monte Carlo.  I love the fabric with the sailing flags on it and have looked on the internet to see if I can source any, but nothing (so far) seems suitable.  I have dallied with the idea of making the flags separately and then attaching to the dress.  I wonder what the top of the dress looks like - its concealed under the cute jacket.

Another outfit featured in this book is worn by Barbara Rush:

Oh my goodness, she just looks amazing!  The soft fabric draping over the shoulders is either supported by a generous bust or some kind of stiffening.  Look at the enormous pockets and the belt!!!  So big and the so luxurious.  I imagine wearing this outfit would be like being an exquisitely wrapped gift.

Another of my favourite books is the "Bumper Film Book" published by Spring Books London.  This book has lots more colour pictures but they are not as crisp as Move Star Album.  There is no publication date but I guess it to be earlier than 1958 and the beautiful dress worn by Patricia Owens below, seems to be more of the mod-1950s style:

This wide neck dress with bows at the shoulders  has a fitted bodice and a wide skirt.  I am not sure how realistic the colour is, but like many vintage fans, I love roses and I think this fabric is gorgeous.

Back in the 1950s the men dressed very well too.  Cary Grant is one of my favourite actors and features in a number of Hitchcock films.

I could post pictures from the whole book showing examples of the fashions of the day - like this photo below of Luciana Paoluzzi.

What I want to know is what is she wearing underneath???  I mean I am absolutely certain that I would never have enough to fill any bra to make that kind of profile!!  She looks like she one confident woman - those sultry dark eyes promising something sexy!!

In contrast Jill Ireland looks sweet and innocent in her cropped pants and ballet pumps.

As it happens I bought a pair of gingham polyester 3/4 pants today ($2 from Butterflies) in my op shop travels inspired by this image and others.  I imagine pairing them with a red top or a white shirt.  My dear darling H said they look like Chefs pants.  In retribution I am going to take them in around the calf, maybe in a pleat and add a black bow, so that they will be nothing like chef's pants at all.

Finally, I have to show you this photo which was tucked in the pages of the Movie Star Album and was an unexpected bonus as I bought the book online.  I have no idea who this is, she looks so cute in her fluffy sweater with what looks like fur around the sleeves.  The wide belt makes her waist look tiny.  Like many movie stars she is practically choking on an enormous pearl necklace and her ears are weighted down by large earrings.

She looks so young - not wearing a wedding ring I notice.  I wonder if this was a promo photo or one of set she had taken so she could get a part in a film.  Was this part of her portfolio??  I wonder.  Is there anything from a book or a magazine which inspires you?  Perhaps a picture of something you would like to sew for yourself or an image which captures your imagination?  I would love to know.  Hope you are all having a good week.

Oh nearly forgot, assuming I am still feeling better, this is what is on my "to do" list for the weekend:
1. sew pair of cotton shorts to be worn as underwear made from fabric from my stash
2. sew pair of undies made from $1 cotton top from Yellow Shop
3. finish this dress - the one with the vee- neck but without sleeves and just below knee length

made from this material which was $5 from Butterflies shop, its a sort of 1970s silky knit and an absolute devil to sew with:

So what are you plans for the weekend??


  1. That movie star book is right up my alley.I havnt found one for ages hope that changes soon.I always have a list to do dont always get it done tho lol

    1. I have three of these types of books and can pick them up and browse through them at any time. Movie stars from today are so different from those from the 1950s and earlier.

  2. I love books that offer a snapshot into a different world.
    Enjoy your weekend!

    1. I have been wondering what you have been up to since your Gollum post, hope you are enjoying the summer!

  3. I love that first dress! Really makes me wish I knew how to sew :)


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