Guest Post by Lauren the Homemade Pinup
Hello dolls! I’m pleased as a peach to be contributing for Pinup Persuasion – this is almost the Holy Grail of vintage and pinup blogs, wouldn’t you agree? Over at my own blog, The Homemade Pinup, I frequently write about me-made vintage pieces or re-dos and I thought I’d share one of those with y’all today.
Environmental responsibility is a big priority for me, and that is part of what makes vintage so appealing. Rather than creating a higher demand for newly made products, I prefer to find a unique piece from decades ago that saves resources to boot.
While vintage is clearly about a certain aesthetic, I also feel that it can be about a certain mindset or way of living. As I’m sure many of you know, during World War II women were encouraged to refashion or repair their old, worn clothing rather than buying completely new garments. For our own time, I’ve interpreted that to mean that while I may not be able to realistically have a brand new clothing item each week, I can find inventive ways to repurpose or mix-and-match what I already have. I’d love a larger vintage wardrobe, but right now, it just ain’t gonna happen! In true forties fashion, however, the Make Do and Mend movement is still alive and well today – or at least I hope to encourage its resurgence!
Remaking or refashioning thrifted garments – or even better, ones already in my own wardrobe – is my easy contribution to helping both the environment and my budget, and be perfectly forties to boot! I recently remade a dress of mine that I originally completed back in 2011, which I had named the “Sunshine Dress.” It was certainly not my best work, as I was still learning then, and was showing its age as well as its lack of style. I always felt the dress lacked a certain panache or detail; additionally, it had too short a skirt for my current taste, so apart it came! Here’s how it used to look…
It was originally sleeveless, though even then I covered the bodice with a sweater since the neckline didn’t turn out how I intended. (Also, I couldn’t resist including the latter photo! I’m wearing a pair of gloves my grandmother gave me, which were gifted to her by her father in the forties. Aren’t they divine?)
My newly refashioned dress is constructed from Simplicity 1459, a delightful reprint from a late fifties/early sixties original. This dress was supposed to be the one I graduated in, as yellow is one of my university’s colors, but my sewing machine chose to revolt and conk out when I was about halfway through. Oh, well. Sometimes the sewing fates decide things for you. It was finally finished about a month behind schedule, but better late than never!
The white collar and skirt panel were done by necessity – I simply didn’t have enough fabric leftover from the last dress to do otherwise – but I think they added so much more charm to this number! And isn’t that just “Make Do and Mend” to a T? Additionally, gingham skirts with a thick white border are quite authentic and I think the effect is darling. (As a side note, there’s some GREAT inspiration here for Mommy/Daughter outfits! Miss Betty Doll, I’m lookin’ at you 😉
I was overjoyed to find the below image from Montgomery Ward 1959 and realize how similar it is to my own dress! Finding a period photo like that really solidified how suitable my design is for the era I’m emulating.
The reception of vintage is unlike anything else, I’ve noticed. People respond incredibly well to these classic fashions, from young children to mothers and fathers and grandparents alike. I think there is something wonderfully relatable to vintage era ensembles, as they can be demure, sweet, sexy, adorable, and more all within the same outfit – a very hard thing to achieve, particularly within the limits of modern fashion. What’s your favorite adjective for how dressing vintage makes you feel?
Do you, like me, have any specific reasons for dressing vintage besides how it looks? My passion for saving resources and time through my vintage and re-do lifestyle has led me to coin the term #WomensFashionArmy – modeled after the Women’s Land Army of WWII – for those of us who creatively rework our wardrobes to better make use of its infinite possibilities. I’d love to have y’all jump along my bandwagon!
Stop on by my blog for more inspiration and be sure to drop me a line if you do. Thanks for having me!
Until next time,
Lauren || The Homemade Pinup
P.S. Watch out for Part Two of this post, filled with ideas to eek out more outfits from your current vintage wardrobe!