I love vintage clothing, and I love knits, so it should come as no surprise at all that I adore vintage knits. This past season, I worked on my collection of vintage sweaters, focusing on wool. I buy vintage sweaters that most people don’t want because they need repair or are obviously out-dated, and I usually buy them CHEAP. I’d like to focus my Mondays on these sweaters as I get them each washed and repaired. If you do not want to hear a woman wax poetic about knits, these will not be the posts for you.
Let’s start with this ridiculously pink cardigan. This is a mid to late 60s hand knit. If you recognize this from a vintage pattern book, please drop me a note; I’ve been hunting and can’t track it down. Special features include a saddle shoulder and paired cable braids on front and sleeves, with little open breast pockets at the top of each of the front cables. It has no shaping to speak of, and I really don’t know how to style it. Open over a white T-shirt and black jeans? Every time I look at I feel different about the color. Half the time I think it is perfect, the other half I make up my mind to over-dye it with purple. At the very least, I think I will update the buttons.
Now, this is also my first serious attempt at mending a sweater. I’ve fixed seams in the past, and even holes, but never with the intention of the sweater being as good as new. One of my previous attempts was a sweater of my husband’s that was worn a lot during our dog’s younger years, and lots of tooth and toenail snags latter was in the throw-away box. But he thought it was comfy, and lamented that it was ripped to shreds. So I mended it to good-enough, so he could slouch about the house in it. He could never wear it to work again, though. With my vintage sweater collection, the goal is to make the sweaters every bit as wearable as they ever were. This sweater had a hole in the back, and a weirdly crusty stain on one sleeve. After washing, the crusty stain turned into a lightly stained hole, and right over a cable, too. I couldn’t find any yarn quite the same pink, but found something pretty close and did a swiss-darning-style mend on the back to make it as invisible as possible, and then basically just tried to reconstruct as well as possible the damaged cable. It’s in a spot that won’t be noticed, and will most likely be taken for a stain rather than a darn, but my mixed-success was successful enough, I think, and will be even more so after another good blocking.
Sweater: Vintage cotton dolman sleeve, Thrifted
March is here, and that means it’s starting to warm up here in sunny Nebraska. I love a light sweater for spring, and I also love the new/old dolman sleeve trend. It happens to be flattering on me, as well as being handy when you find a lovely vintage sweater and don’t want to look too terribly out of date. Once again, I really don’t know how to style this garment, but I feel like (my winter weight not withstanding) a pair of skinny jeans is the right direction. Perhaps that’s a little too 80′s, though. As always, let me know in the comments if you have any ideas for ways to style this garment.
Dress: Vintage Junior fashion dress
February’s vintage look isn’t really a look. I found this adorable shades-of-gray dress from the early 1960s, and it fits me like a dream. But I have NO earthly idea how to style it. I like the bright shoes, but I don’t know if red is the color. Perhaps a blue or turquoise would be better? I need more shoes. (Don’t tell my husband I said that.)
Ideas for how to style this dress? Leave me a comment!
Shirt: Cotton/Silk knit shell, Express, Thrifted
Skirt: Wool tweed, vintage John Meyer of Norwich, Thrifted
Boots: Franco Sarto
Wrap: Wool, printed in India, Thrifted
The first Monday of every month features an outfit from my own wardrobe. Every outfit either incorporates vintage pieces or is inspired by a vintage look. January’s look features my outfit for my husband’s office Christmas party. The skirt is a beautiful vintage tomato red wool tweed, and I was lucky to find the wrap, which doesn’t actually match, but coordinates really well.
Disclaimer: I am NOT a fashionista. In fact, I do a lot of blundering as far as dressing myself is concerned. However, I do have a very good eye for materials, and over the course of the last few years have managed to add some really lovely vintage pieces to my wardrobe. I don’t know how often I’m successful in wearing them, but I love them. Let me know in the comments if you think there’s a way I could better style any of my vintage pieces.
Time for another free pattern! This one comes from a knitting/crochet booklet I bought without part of the cover. There isn’t a copyright date on the front cover, the back cover is missing, and I’ve never seen another copy of it with which to compare. Based on the model designer and the style shapes, I’m dating it to the early to mid 40′s, although it’s possible it’s a late 30′s booklet. I can find no copyright renewals for the copyright holder or for the designer. That all out of the way, the pattern is an adorable knitted bathing suit. No gauge is given, but I can tell you that the Shetland Floss would be a fingering weight wool or wool blend. Download the PDF here.
This beautiful piece is by an artist, Helen Grant, who was regularly featured on the cover and inside Needlecraft Magazines from the early part of the century. It pictures matching mother and daughter dress styles, the patterns of which could be purchased by mail order. It is beautifully done, sweet and so characteristic of the time period. I think it would make a lovely embroidered item, decorations for stationary, or even framed art. Click on the picture to get a larger version.
It has been quite some time since I made this item, but a variety of factors inhibited me from posting about it. The short and sweet is this:
Kit and I went to the fabric store together to buy supplies to make her first-day-of-school outfit for her 1st grade year. She chose a couple of patterns that happened to be on sale cheap that day, and were very simple, so I bought them in two sets of sizes, to fit now and to fit later. Of those, we alighted on Butterick pattern 5022, item B, a jumper-style dress. We went hunting for fabric, and Kit chose bright guitars on a green background and purple with white dots. (You might recall that when I made her stocking I thought her choice of greens was… weird… but once I got them together, they looked great. Well, the same could be said of this experience.)
Some sewing, some adjusting, and some time later, here is Kit in the finished product:
She looks cute, and she loves it. I did some extra work to make sure there were almost no raw edges, and it’s made of quilting cotton, so it is very washable and is a nice, light and airy dress for her to wear on these HOT summer days!