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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

· Foyle's War Party! ·

Last month, Kathryn and I hosted a Foyle's War party!  Or rather, Kathryn hosted the party, and I was the trusty sidekick. (personally, that's my favorite role anyway! :-) )

Foyle's War is a British TV show set in the Hastings home front during WWII.  It follows a police detective throughout the war years and covers many aspects of wartime life and crime.  My family have been big fans of the British show since we discovered it several years ago, and we've slowly recruited fellow mystery/history buffs to our Prestigious Fan Club.  Kathryn and I had talked about throwing a Foyle's War themed party for a long time, but we finally got around to it this winter!

The evening was filled with mystery solving, WWII food eating, movie-based trivia, photobooth posing, and general merriment! :-)

Each guest was given a "ration book" with trivia questions inside.  We had fun watching the show to get ideas for trivia questions, but consequently the trivia was not for the faint of heart.  But really- who doesn't know the names of all the Assistant Commissioners mentioned in the series?? ;-)

We tried to squeeze in several episode references throughout the evening, so if something seems... odd... that's probably the explanation. ;-)  Consider this your excuse to watch the show!

Drinks served:
Uncle Aubrey's Green Gage Wine
(or: sparkling pear juice)
(or: sweet tea)

Kathryn and I had a blast going through old propaganda posters to choose some to print off.  We decided against the more, ahem, intense ones. ;-)

Even the prep was fun!  We made bouquet garnis for the Coq au Vin- I'm a fan.  If cooking involves cute little arrangements tied up with bows, count me in!!

We had a photobooth set up with props, and all had a blast goofing off!

I wore my "surprisingly pleasing" 1940s dress, and my friend Grace borrowed my very first 1940s dress!

The ration cakes (both strawberry and chocolate) were a fun challenge, and mostly successful. ;-)  It was very fun to follow historically accurate recipes, though!

Would you just take a whiff of that onion?!?  Scrumptious!

One of the Foyle's War episodes discusses the ration on onions.  I had no idea why until we researched it- apparently onions were rationed, not due to a shortage, but as a ruse to trick the Germans into thinking the British were using onions as a vital ingredient in making explosives.  The plan was codenamed Operation Omelette.  No kidding!  Personally, I think I'd be a bit unimpressed that the only reason I wasn't able to have onions was to trick the Germans....

My parents- aren't they cute?!

The resident maids.  Or at least they played maids in the murder mystery game we played at the beginning of the party. ;-)

Kathryn and I spent the entirety of a day (and a portion of the one previous!) constructing and assembling the patriotic bunting!  We didn't intend for the room to be so very decorated that it was reminiscent of the Police Station on the eve of VE Day, but once you start.... it's hard to stop. ;-)  And really, you can never have too much bunting.

This project was a wake-up call to me, though.  I love the way it turned out, and I'm glad we did it that way, but it was so. much. WORK.  Each of the pennants is cut from 2 pieces of fabric, sewn on 2.5 edges, turned out, pressed, and strung on a piece of string.  Oh, and did I mention that we made 100 feet of this?!  After we were 2 hours into the project, our insanity dawned upon us.  After 10 hours, it was inescapable.

As it is, we are now completely prepared for any red, white, and blue themed party.  Fourth of July- check!  Bastille Day- check!  Australia Day- check!  Norweigan/Icelandic/etc national celebrations- check!

Me and my partner in crime- thanks so much for making this happen!!  It was a blast to plan! (and attend!) (and relive through pictures!) :-)

I credit Foyle's War entirely with making me tolerant of the 1940s.  Previously I was decidedly unimpressed with the decade and particularly WWII.  I know, scandalous. ;-)
But at any rate, Foyle's War changed that for me.  Learning about the British home front during the war years was enlightening and opened up a much more interesting aspect of the war!  If anyone also has a distaste for WWII (or even if you already like it!), I'd highly, highly recommend the show. :-)

· Photos by Kathryn ·

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Novelty Print Jacket · 1780s Style

Next up in my installments of 18th century garments: my Fabulously Colored 1780s Jacket!

I have such a hard time not being extremely critical about my 18th century clothing, and this one is no exception.  I love the jacket, but my accessories really need to step up a few notches!
So please- turn a lenient eye, and let me know if you have some ideas on improving the look! :-)

Why is it that I only remember my need for updated accessories when I actually put on the garment at the event?!  At any rate, here's the outfit in its current state.  Maybe at some point it will get a bit of a refurbishment. ;-)

I absolutely love this fabric (purchased from Colonial Williamsburg) and I knew it would be perfect as a jacket.  It happens to go with almost every single one of my petticoats, so the variety in colors definitely payed off!

I made this jacket 3 years ago, but this past December was the first time I was able to wear it in a seasonally appropriate setting!  So nice to be happy for the long sleeves, rather than gritting my teeth through an 85° day. ;-)

The jacket is trimmed around the sleeves and peplum with a gathered self-fabric trim.  This ended up being the most time-consuming method of trimming I've ever done, but the effect was worth it. :-)

The back seams release into box pleats at the waist and are accented by (ironically nearly-invisible) covered buttons.

You know how I was saying that I forget about all the fixes I need to make to my outfits until I'm wearing it?  Well, I completely forgot that I needed to pack my bum roll for our trip.  This jacket positively begs for a little extra "oomph", so I was desperate for a substitute.
Enter: socks.
They're perfect!  In fact, so perfect that all of us ended up safety-pinning socks inside our petticoats all week long. ;-)

Ahhh, the silly things you do for fashion.

Closing with pins down the front, like usual!

I used J.P. Ryan's jacket pattern as a base, lengthening the sleeves as referenced from period sources and changing the armhole shape so that it joined in at the intersection of the back/strap/side back seams.

That angle where the peplum starts and the front point begins is such a bear!  Too low and it runs into the skirt pleating and bunches up.  Too high and the skirt waistband shows!  It's just unforgiving!
I ended up getting it *almost* right, but it's still a tad short-waisted.  I've discovered the wonder of using straight pins to corral all my unruly bits, and a little pin at this point does wonders!  No more constant fiddling throughout the day!

My original inspiration came from this print, Cries of London: Knives, Scissors, and Razors to Grind.
The end result, however, took advantage of a little creative license and used other garments for additional inspiration, as you can see. :-)

· As always, lovely pictures by Kathryn! ·

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

· Shop My Closet! ·

It's that time of year- time to clean out my closet!  I have a pile of things to list on my Etsy shop within the next couple months, but before I listed a few of my "blog-featured" outfits I wanted to give my readers first dibs! :-)

All of these dresses are handmade by me.  They are all made to fit measurements of approx. 32"-34" bust, 25"-27" waist.  I'm 5'6", so all lengths will fit accordingly.  If you have questions regarding more specific measurements, please feel free to contact me at modedelis (at) gmail (dot) com. :-)

All of these dresses are marked down from what I would sell them on Etsy.  I will be listing them in the shop on Feb 26th- so make sure to reserve them before then!  Contact me by commenting or emailing me at modedelis (at) gmail (dot) com to claim a dress!

All payments will be through PayPal, shipping will be determined by your location- I'll give you a quote before billing.  First come, first served!

· Lemon Dress ·

ETA- Listing on Etsy here

You can read more about this dress on the outfit post.

- Cotton dress
- Button closure
- Ric-rac trim around collar and front edges
- Belt and accessories not included
- Gently worn- minimal visible wear

More pictures on the main dress post.  

- Cotton/Linen dress
- Made to be worn over period undergarments, but can work with modern undergarments
- All visible stitching by hand
- Sleeve caps were altered and there is some piecing visible- but piecing is period, after all! :-)
- Closes with hooks and eyes at front
- Gently worn, some slight fading- otherwise no wear visible

· 1950s Green Dress ·  SOLD!

More pictures in post.

- Cotton dress
- Bias trim at neckline, hem, sleeves, and pockets
- Side zipper closure
- Faded overall and some slight wear- not bad, but enough that I'm marking this down a lot 

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

1950s Separates · Winter Sunset

Did anyone else get snow this weekend??  I'm reveling in the beauty of it all! :-)

It's kind of funny how my style changes though the seasons of the year!  I usually can't stand blouses and skirts (I hate how they shift around- give me a secure dress that doesn't need constant adjusting any day!), however I tend to be drawn towards them in the winter.

I'm slowly trying to build up a collection of blouses to wear with my sweaters, since my previous T-shirt default is just not cutting it for the vintage vibe. ;-)  This blouse was a quick project this fall, and has proved to be invaluable!  I really don't know how I got along without it!

Simplicity 2154 was the perfect candidate when I had this small piece of linen tucked away for a blouse.  I only had about 3/4 yd of this fabric, but it was just barely enough for this sleeveless blouse- in fact, it was such a close fit that I didn't even have enough for bias binding or collar facings!  Whew!

I didn't have enough fabric to cut the bow on the bias as instructed, but so far the straight-grain bow has behaved well enough. :-)  This was yet another back neck keyhole closure!  I've been making a habit of doing those lately, and have been rather pleased with them. :-)  They are the perfect way to use up the fun-yet-loner buttons I've accumulated!

Isn't this a cute little brooch?  We picked it up recently, and I love the way it complements the colors of this outfit. :-)

(Astute readers might notice that it is being worn on different sides of the collar in different shots.  Well, let's just say that our continuity-checking wasn't quite up to snuff during the 2 days we did this shoot.... ;-))

My new favorite shoes.

OK, so I have so many "favorite shoes" that the word favorite is starting to lose any value.... But really, these are my favorite!

For now. ;-)

I was so thrilled when mom found these discontinued Miss L Fire shoes- and in my size!  The cuffs can flip up to keep the ankles extra cozy, but even like this they're great! :-)

This cashmere sweater was a re-styling project a few years ago.  It is so soft and cozy and has been a great favorite!  I absolutely love this color of pink!  And the rhinestone buttons are perfect. :-)

The wool skirt was a quickie project for a "Briar Rose" costume years ago, but has turned into a staple!  It's super simple- double box pleats at each side and the centers- but goes so well with lots of my sweaters. :-)

I love how the colors of this outfit match the grey/white of snowy winter with the orange-pink of winter sunsets!  Bonus for our photoshoot was that we waited until last light to capture this outfit and the colors are mirrored in the landscape! ;-)

· Pictures by Kathryn ·

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