Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Fabric of the week: Batiste

Although it has streaks in both directions, you can tell batiste from its cousins by its plentiful lengthwise streaks. This, along with all my Fabric of the week posts, comes from the VFG Fabric Resource.

Cotton batiste 

Named for Jean Baptiste, a French weaver of the 13th century who wove fine linen cloth, batiste is now most commonly made of cotton or a cotton/polyester blend, The fabric is light and sheer, with lengthwise streaks. It is a balanced plain weave. When cotton is used, the soft, limp fabric is often mercerized to bolster its luster and strength. The fabric is often white, pale solids or delicate prints. 
There are also wool, silk and rayon batistes. 
Uses: Blouses, shirts, nightwear, infant clothing, lingerie, handkerchiefs and dresses 
See also:  Cambric,  Lawn

Cotton batiste
©Vintage Fashion Guild - Text by Margaret Wilds/denisebrain,  photo by Hoyt Carter 
1920s embroidered cotton batiste blouse in my Etsy shop

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

5-year old daughter photographed by her mother as inspiring women

This certainly inspires me! Go see all the photos...and vote Emma for President in 2044! ♥

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Fabric of the week: Plissé

Fabric nerd alert: Not all fabric with puckered stripes is called seersucker. If you learn how plissé and seersucker are made, you probably will be able to spot the difference.

Cotton fabric with a puckered stripe texture caused by a chemical treatment (with sodium hydroxide) is called plissé. The chemical is applied in stripes which causes the fabric in those areas to shrink, leaving the remaining area puckered. The puckered stripes usually follow the warp of the fabric. The appearance is much like seersucker. 
The term plissé (French for “pleated”) is often applied to chemically-puckered manufactured fabrics as well. 
Uses: Summery shirts, sportswear, children’s clothing, nightgowns 
See also:
Cotton crepe
Cotton plissé
Nylon plissé
©Vintage Fashion Guild - This photo by Hoyt Carter, Text and additional photos by Margaret Wilds/denisebrain  

1940s cotton plissé sun suit/romper currently in my Etsy shop

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Where everything is not OK

Through May 23 I will donate 50% of your purchase price to the Red Cross Disaster Relief fund, aiding the victims of the Oklahoma tornado.

The stores: denisebrain on Etsy
denisebrain web store

A teacher hugs a child at Briarwood Elementary school after a tornado destroyed the school in south Oklahoma City, Monday, May 20, 2013.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Fabric term of the week returns with Leno weave

Did you miss the Fabric of the Week? Well like it or not, it’s back! :)

With things starting to warm up here in the Northern Hemisphere, I hope to concentrate on fabrics well suited to summer.

Airy leno weave is not one of the basic weaves, rather it is a variation on plain weave. Read on:

Leno Weave 

Leno weave insures a more stable open weave than could be accomplished with a plain weave. It is made by pairs of warp yarns arranged crisscrossing the weft yarns, holding the weft yarns evenly apart. 
It is also called doup weave, named for the doup attachment on a loom which manipulates the warp yarns. Somewhat erroneously, the weave is also called gauze weave. Gauze fabric can be in a leno weave, but is often plain weave. 
See also:
Mock leno

Leno weave

Leno weave, heavily sized

Leno stripe
©Vintage Fashion Guild - Text by Margaret Wilds/denisebrain,  photos by Hoyt Carter 

Early 40s leno weave rayon dress in my Etsy shop

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Future vintage 9: Maker’s Row

I’m always interested in non-disposable clothing—the type of clothing, made today, that will be worn and appreciated decades from now as great vintage clothing. This includes knowing that the people who made the clothing were not subjected to dangerous and unhealthy working conditions.

To an extent we have been handed this gift from our parents’ and grandparents’ generations. Maybe I’m a dreamer but I’d like to see us be able to do the same for future generations.

I have an every-now-and-then series of posts dedicated to this subject which you can find by clicking on the label future vintage at the bottom of this post.

Maker’s Row is a website devoted to factory sourcing in the U.S. (“America’s Best Factories in one Place”). Listening to a story on NPR’s Morning Edition, I came to realize that there was no such comprehensive website before.

Are you a U.S. designer? A U.S. manufacturer? This seems to be a good place to make contact. Is there a modern day Claire McCardell or Bonnie Cashin among you? Let’s get you together with some of our U.S. manufacturers.

A screenshot of a very small sampling of manufacturers under the category dress

Claire McCardell’s 1942 popover dress with attached oven mitt sold in the thousands for $6.95 while Norells, Mainbochers and Hattie Carnegies ran in the hundreds of dollars. She adroitly took advantage of American mass production capability.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Another vintage convergence

...Already! (see my vintage convergence from two posts ago)

If you’ve ever seem a hat like this I wager you won’t have forgotten it. The hat is practical for sun protection, but what really makes it are the built-in sunglasses. How fun can a hat get?

The photo on the left comes from Libelle (a Dutch publication), May 1965. I assume my hat, labeled Joyce Creations of California, is of about the same vintage. No, they aren’t the very same hat so this is a vintage semi-convergence. Don’t get technical on me!

It’s May...time to have a little fun, don’t you think?

Sun hat currently available in my web store

Thursday, May 2, 2013

May wallflower?

Let me coax you into blooming~! 

My inspiration for my May theme was a small hoard of bright, unused, bright, flower power, ca. 1967, bright (...did I say BRIGHT?) items I have ready to list. You seriously can not hide in these dresses!

{Click to view my May theme, sound up}

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Vintage convergence: Homemade Swirl-style wrap dress

I know from hearing from you that I am not the only one who loves what I call a vintage convergence—a vintage ad or a pattern (etc.) that is clearly the same as the vintage item you have in hand.

In this case, I have a homemade wrap housedress that reminds me of a Swirl dress from the 1950s or 60s. It is in fact from the 1970s, which I know because I found its pattern on the sweet Tomato Soup Cake blog, where the writer also talks about Swirl dresses.

Homemade wrap dress available in my Etsy shop

Very lovable, Swirl-style wrap dresses! Where I found this dress there are about five more in a variety of great fabrics...I think the original seamstress must have been crazy for this dress. Depending on enthusiasm I may run back and pick up the rest of those dresses. I've kind of going nuts for it myself!

See my previous installments in this now-and-then series by searching vintage convergence on my blog.