Sunday, 31 July 2011

Rīgas Modes fashion magazine - 1975

My mum recently spent a while in Latvia visiting her parents, and helping them clean out my great-grandmother's attic. While there, she happened to come across a fashion magazine from 1975 Soviet Latvia, with the dress patterns still stapled to the middle, and she brought it back for me! While some of the styling is.....interesting to say the least (check out the front cover!) some of the images, especially the illustrations, really appeal to me. So here is a collection of a few images I hope you will enjoy! Each of the outfits is numbered, and where the number is circled, it means the pattern for that outfit is included in the magazine. Scroll to the bottom to see a sample of what the pattern sheet looks like - quite hard to follow! Also, interestingly, there appear to be no instructions!! So, I guess I will wait until I have a bit more experience before trying some of these patterns! :)

Here is the cover. The title is in Latvian, with the Russian translation underneath, and the rest of the magazine is in Russian. Rīgas Modes means "Riga's Fashions." Riga is the capital of Latvia, and is where I was born!

This is one of the illustrations the magazine contains. I love all the jackets!

Another, very colourful illustration! The title on this page translates to "Outfits for every day."

This spread is part of the "Outfits for every day" feature. The hairstyles and hats are quite cute!

This page is an advertisement for a Polish clothing company, so none of these outfits are inluded in the pattern sheet. Unfortunate, as I love the red coat with the pleats on the back on the top of the right page!

The title of the following page reads "From black and white material." Each of the dresses here feature removable collars and cuffs, and there is an instruction sheet further on that tells you how to make them (the only set of instructions I could find in the whole magazine!)

This is my favourite set of pages in the whole magazine. Isn't the illustration beautiful? The dresses aren't what I would usually associate with 70's fashion!

And, if I decide to endeavour to create one of these outfits, here is what I will have to deal with! Quite a lot busier than the pattern sheets I am used to dealing with! 

I find it interesting that most of the pictures do depict items that look "70's," even though my ideas of 70's fashion come from the fashions in America at that time, and this would have been published during the Cold War when limited information was coming into the USSR from America and other Western countries. I wonder how the fashions came to develop along such similar lines, or whether there were a few sneaky seamstresses smuggling in fashion magazines from overseas for inspiration?

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Work, Rest, Play - Full pleated skirt

You know the "work, rest, play" mantra? 8 hours work, 8 hours rest, and 8 hours play, everyday? I decided to take this philosophy, and apply it to my wardrobe. Could each item I own be styled such that it would be suitable for a work environment, such as a day at the office, a rest environment, such as hanging out on the weekend or shopping, and a play environment, like going out to a party or restaurant? We shall see! I decided to start this test with my newest item of clothing, the pleated skirt I just made. Here's what I came up with!

The item:
Pleated, stripy skirt, made by for a total cost of ~$7. Planned on wearing it mainly in a casual environment.


Outfit Details: 
Light pink shirt, Kmart
Grey blazer, Kmart
White and gold belt, Valleygirl
Striped skirt, me-made
Grey shoes, Target

I think this look is do-able! With a shirt and blazer, I would feel comfortable wearing this to the office, I think the skirt is just long enough for this to work. However, I would consider wearing a shirt or blouse that didn't have to be tucked in, as I have in this example, as I think the super high waisted look is a bit too much for the office!


Outfit Details: 
Grey scarf, Cotton On
White Stella McCartney blouse, Myer
Black jacket, Target
Striped skirt, me-made
Black tights, who knows
Tall black boots, Faull's

Definitely a winner! I plan on wearing the skirt in this style a few more times during winter, and am looking forward to being able to wear it in casual outfits during the spring and summer, too.


Outfit Details: 
Silver headband with fabric flowers, Valleygirl
Pink strapless top, don't remember
Striped skirt, me-made
Navy strappy heels, Target

While I am not too keen on the actual top I used for this (too close to my skin colour!), I like the idea of this look, in the way that it makes the skirt look like a dress. This is a look I will definitely play around with!

So, in conclusion, I think this skirt is more versatile than I gave it credit for. I will certainly continue to wear it in everyday settings, but won't be scared of dressing it up for other events!

Do you tend to wear the items in your wardrobe in a number of different settings, or is your wardrobe divided into work, rest and play gear?

Friday, 29 July 2011

Finished Project - Pleated full skirt

Remember this skirt? Well, without further ado:

Tada!! I finally got around to making it.

Fabric: Striped cotton poplin from Spotlight, $3.50/metre.
Pattern: Tucked full skirt from Handmade magazine
Year: 1988
Notions: Zipper from op-shop, $0.25
Total cost: ~$7

Changes made: I decided to only do 2 tucks on the front panel instead of 5, although I'm sure it would look nicer with more, as well! It was just that for some reason I imagined that it had a flatter front than the instructions suggested.
Changes I should have made: No major ones! Maybe I would make the waist not as high the next time, but I like the empire style it creates.

I am quite happy with how it turned out in general, and while I am intending on wearing it with tights and boots for the remainder of winter, I am looking forward to wearing it this coming spring. Oh, yes, don't let the pictures deceive you, it is still pretty cold here in Melbourne! So I will leave you with a more realistic idea of how I will be wearing the skirt in the coming weeks:

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Nifty Thrifts - Gloves, a bag, and more sewing things!

Another day, another post of thrifting finds! I don't usually get that much time to shop, but these are all trips I made after I had finished exams last semester, so it was a bit of a thrifting spree! Here are a few things I picked up in my most recent trip:

3 Handmade magazines for $1 each. 2 of them include clothing patterns:

2 pairs of gloves with fur trim, $6.50 and $7.50:

Some navy buttons for $1.50:

A Vogue pattern for 50c:

And this bag, which I thought I could use for uni, for $7.50:

I have something else exciting to share another time - my mum recently got back from a trip to Latvia, where my family is from, and she brought me back a vintage sewing magazine she found in my great-grandmother's attic. There are some quite nice illustrations and photos, which I will post once I get around to scanning them!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Nifty Thrifts - Notions, patterns, and a magazine!

I mentioned in my last post that I finished my last project approximately 6 months ago. Well, that is also approximately how long I have been planning my next project for, the pleated skirt. Every time I told myself to start, something always got in the way! Recently, I kept telling myself I couldn't start because I didn't have a suitable zipper, and I wanted to have everything I needed there when I began. Excuses, excuses! So to solve the problem I decided to go to a few op-shops to see if I could find what I needed. I picked up quite a few zippers, and some other things as well!

Here are the zippers I got, some of them look used, but 2 of them are still in their packets! Luckily one of them was a 30cm white invisible zipper, which is perfect for my pleated skirt project. The total cost for 20 zippers: $5.

 These button sets were 50c each, and the snap fasteners were $1: 

Some patterns at 50c each:

Also this Burda magazine, which has a few nice coat and skirt patterns. 
It set me back $1.

And a scarf, 50c:

Now I have no excuses, and a nice stash of zippers and things for future projects! Do you tend to buy notions as you need them, do you have a stash you can usually find something matching in, or a bit of both?

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Project Planning - Pleated full skirt

This is the skirt I am planning to sew next, as it appears in the S/S 1988 edition of the Australian Women's Weekly "Handmade" magazine:

My mum has a few of these old magazines, and a few of them contain some pretty patterns - whenever I visit, I take copies of the patterns that catch my eye. In fact, the last skirt I made was from the same magazine (I'll be posting pictures of it sometime soon!).

So back to this pattern - they call it the "Roses - Heaven Scent" tucked full skirt. I have decided to make it in a striped version, as I noticed that striped pleated skirts keep catching my eye:

Source: Anne M Cramer
Source: etsy
Source: etsy
Here is the fabric I am planning on using, along with a zip and the photocopied pattern:

It is not much of a pattern - really more of an instruction sheet, since it is really just 2 rectangular pieces of fabric. Hopefully it should be pretty easy to put together... as soon as I can get around to it, that is! Although I love the idea of sewing, and I love the finished result, and (most of the time) I enjoy the process of sewing, I find it takes a lot of time to get me going. Once I start, though, I can't wait to finish, and will usually not stop until I get it done!

How do you motivate yourself to start your next sewing project?

Nifty Thrifts - Scarf

I don't usually wear scarves, and if I do they are usually warm knitted ones, not pretty silky ones. However, something drew me to this scarf recently. It looks really familiar to me, but I can't remember where I've seen it before!

Here it is, modelled by my good friend, Beethoven:

I guess I will have to try wearing scarves like this more often!!

Nifty Thrifts - Patterns!

I love the word "thrifting" - in Australia, we usually call it op-shopping, but thrifting just rolls off the tongue, don't you think? I though I would take this opportunity to share a few patterns I have recently thrifted! I have been doing quite a bit of op-shopping lately, actually, but let's take it one trip at a time!

First up, this lovely pattern, Butterick 6730, setting me back 50c:

And secondly, these patterns at 25c each: Style 3997, Style 1481, Butterick 4051 and Vogue 7621 

I think I'm really into the pussy-bow type neckties at the moment! Stay tuned for some more thrifted finds soon, some sewing related and others not!