New York, New York!

As predicted I can safely say I ate more than my, and the baby’s, fair share of food whilst in New York!

This photo does risk proving what a questionable role model I am going to be when it comes to table manners, but I have decided we are all friends here so it is safe to show you. Dave also kindly posted it on Facebook, so it is already out there anyway!

These had to be by far the best cupcakes I have EVER tasted – Sno Cap Cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery. Almost worth the cost of a flight just to eat one I would say (although not recommended if you’re trying to impress someone, about to romantically propose outside Tiffany’s etc).

Now, on to New York-y sewing-ish related things. I didn’t buy any fabric this time as I still have some left from a previous trip, instead I got this little beauty…

Look – even Peggy has been admiring it in all its sparkly glory!

Found on sale in a vintage shop in Williamsburgh, I could just about get in to it a week ago with a little help from the lady in the shop. I am guessing I won’t be able to now though as my bump is blossoming (no, it’s not twins thank you very much Walter The Bell-Boy, hummmmph).

Instead I will have to save the dress for after the baby is born in July. So if anyone fancies planning some kind of event that I can wear it to in the autumn I would be very grateful!

Looking at the design and the details I would estimate it is from the 1960s. The zip is metal which is often an indicator, as apparently plastic zips came in in the 1970s.

Much, if not all of the dress is handmade to a really high quality by a company called The Needle Craft, Atlantic City. A quick search hasn’t really uncovered much about the company except that The Needle Craft Shop was owned by Ruth Preis Bloom and her husband Maurice Bloom from 1934 until 1980. According to a press notice for her funeral in 2009, it was “…a widely known destination for designer women’s clothing…”.

I think all in all you’ll agree this is a highly practical dress for me to be wearing as a new mum in the autumn 🙂 Definitely one for special occasions, but one that I just couldn’t resist.

I also found this collar at a flea market which the seller suggested might be from the 1950s / 1960s.

A similar one sold on Etsy was dated as 1940, so who knows! I think I might try and make a really simple black shift dress to go with this.

And finally I bought a Tomberry! I have know idea if this pincushion is meant to be a strawberry or a tomato, or both, so I have officially renamed it the Tomberry.

This was dated by the seller as from the 1930s which I think is a bit questionable, but I’ve been wanting one for a while, and I love junk vintage collectibles so I don’t really mind when this is from – it looks nice on my shelf!


The Magic Dress

On my way back from College yesterday I saw this poster by French Connection:

It set my imagination off thinking about what I would like from a Magic Dress, and did I already own one?

Having watched the short film that comes with the ad campaign, I now know that I definitely do not own a Magic Dress in the French Connection sense of the word.

None of my dresses enable me to shoot flames from my hands, multiply myself into many more me’s, or make glitter fall from my armpits when I do archery.

Despite being a little disappointed at my now frankly quite dull dresses, I started thinking about what made makes my dresses magic to me, and which one is the most magic of all. At first I thought about the really dressy ones that I can only wear on special occasions, like the red one I showed you in a past post. Some of them do make me feel fantastic and transport me to another era, but I still wouldn’t say they are magic.

Then I thought of the dress that I always turn to when I:

a) Want to feel pretty
b) Want to feel like I’ve made a bit of an effort, but without having to do too much
c) Want to be reminded of happy things that have happened
d) Need cheering up
e) Want to be comfortable

I think the dress that helps me do all of those things is my Magic Dress!

I also thought it would be the perfect dress to show you as I was sure there were already lots of photos of me wearing it. However, having trawled though a couple of years of photos, I do indeed wear it alot but there are very few photos of the whole thing!

There are plenty of me wearing it whilst eating…

And drinking…

And this one is particularly helpful…

Here is the dress on a hanger. It isn’t ideal I know (I am crossing everything that Father Christmas / the 30th Birthday Fairy brings me a mannequin this year. Is that a big enough hint? :-)), but then I will show you some details.

Dave bought me this dress from a vintage stand on Brick Lane a few years ago. The fabric caught my eye first of all, and I am rubbish at hiding when I like something so the stall holder knew she was on to a winner, and Dave knew he was on to a loser! The seller ‘forced’ me to try it on, and of course after that there was no going back. I love it not only for the way it makes me feel, but also obviously because of its design and fabric.

I think the collar and neckline are quite unusual, and I love the huge patch pockets.

The seller suggested it was probably a 1960s dress, and these types of pockets were definitely popular then as these patterns show.

This is the label inside, but I haven’t been able to find anything out about the company other than there are quite a few DL Barron things being sold on the internet, all from the 1960s and 1970s.

As it’s a summer dress I will have to wait a while to wear it again, but it is definitely my feel-good dress for all occasions! I would love to hear if you have a Magic Dress?

Image sources
A lovely holiday in Italy, boy do I want some gelato right now…

The Help

While on holiday back in June I read a book called The Help, about an American town in 1960s Mississippi. The book tells the story of black African-American maids who care for the children and clean the houses of white people, and also the perspective of a white girl who see’s that things need to change.

The Help was made in to a film, and released here in the UK in October – so off I went to go and see it. While the book delves a bit deeper in to the issues of the time, I did really enjoy the film. However, this is not a film review blog it is a sewing blog, so I am going to run away from the self-inflicted pressure I’m feeling to give a detailed account of the pro’s and con’s of the film, and show you some pretty pictures instead…

As well as the big, no HUGE, hairstyles, I wanted to show you some of the costumes as I thought they were amazing!

I really like the gathered neck and brooch on Aibileen's dress

If only I could pull off wearing glasses like that!

Aibileen's got pintuck's on her uniform - I know how to do them!

Blimey! If you can tear your eyes away from that hair, the scalloped detail on her dress is lovely!

Images sources