1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, knit-a-long, knitting, knitting community, sew-a-long, sewing, vintage, Vintage Community, vintage knitting, vintage knitting patterns, vintage life, vintage pattern, vintage reproduction, vintage sewing, vintage style

2019 Pledge

This time of year, people start thinking about their New Year’s resolutions and the majority of these, last for maybe the first week of January. Many years ago I stopped making resolutions. Instead, I have been making pledges and for things that will make me happy. This year I’m extra excited about my pledge for 2019!

Back in June I talked about my Me Made promises to myself and my wardrobe goals and though I wasn’t able to make everything in the potential queue, I’ve made quite a lot. I just did the math and since that post, I have sewn eighteen garments and in 2018 knit nine garments. I was basically sewing a garment a week for a while, though the last few months I haven’t quite sewn as much due to it being a busy time.  I have to say, I’m very proud of myself for what I’ve accomplished so far. In 2019 I plan to have even greater success.

Now onto my sewing and needlework plans for 2019! I’ve decided that I don’t want to just sew individual random pieces. This worked perfectly in 2018 because I needed to fill holes in my wardrobe, however, in 2019 I want to go bigger! With the exception of the sew-a-longs over in our Facebook group, I want to focus on very specific themes. The ones I want to do at the beginning of 2019 are Audrey from Little Shop of Horrors (the original) and Miss Lemon from Poirot.  These two I am firm on and am thinking about other themes for the rest of the year. I’m also considering re-producing some of Clara Bow’s outfits more towards the end of the year I have them to chime in 2020! The twenties are back baby!

My scariest feat for 2019 will be…. I’m making pants. Being a skirt and dress girl, I don’t remember the last time I actually wore pants. It’s been years. I generally don’t like pants because they have never fit me properly. To get them to fit my hips the waist is always way too big or too low. Solution — make my own! The plan is to make 1930s/1940s wide-legged trousers. They tend to be the most flattering to curvy figures. For my first pair, I may go with an indie pattern or use the one in the Gertie book. I do plan to self-draft trousers, but for the first one, I make go that way.

When it come to knitting, I’m not too concerned because I mostly knit from the patterns from the 1930s to the 1950s. That said, I really want to focus in on themes and I already have a solid plan! AND, I have a few patterns I am creating myself and hope to have them ready in the first half of the year.

A pledge I have made for the blog is to write-up more blog posts about my own makes and with many more photos of those garments. There is something empowering about making your own garments and I want to share it with you all!

As I said earlier, I am really excited about my pledge this year!

What are your pledges for 2019?

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1920s, 1930s, classics, joan crawford, movies, old hollywood, silent films, silent movies, vintage

Silent Movies Are Good For the Soul

Ever since I can recall, I’ve wanted to be a Flapper and even to the point, as a young child I would often ask my mother to dress me like one. In my early days of high school, I would mix styles of punk, Edwardian and Flapper. A look that made a fourteen-year-old stick out in the hallways, clashing with her fellow, small town, plaid wearing classmates. I would be seen wandering the halls with books on ghosts and a notebook to write in.  When I was home, I would either be in my room writing, doing art, or sewing or watching classic movies, especially silents. No one understood why I would want to do this, no one really got me. Why would a teenager, be so intrigued by silent movies or prefer reading the 1927 Eaton’s Spring and Summer catalogue replica she inherited from her grandfather? Shouldn’t she be out running amok in the streets or listening to that rock and/or roll music?

 

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At some point in grade ten, my love of German Expressionist film started. Unfortunately, being in a small town, my only options for silent movies was TVO or rentals. At that time I didn’t have a huge selection and unlike here in Toronto, our public library didn’t have a huge selection of rentals. I was able to get my hands on Metropolis and Nosferatu from our local rental place. I watched both of these movies so many times, I could have shadowcast them. When I moved away from that small town and to Toronto, my world opened up. Not only did I have access to places like the Toronto Reference Library and Blockbuster, but there were groups and organizations that also loved silent movies. Pre-Facebook (yes there was a time before Facebook) I was able to find meet-ups via the classifieds in Now Magazine or posters, found on the telephone poles along Queen street.

My fourteen-year-old self would be beside herself today if she had those options. Social media has helped bring together large groups of silent film aficionados and like-minded, dames and fellas. Every April in Toronto, there is a Silent Film Festival. Sadly, I’m not able to see all of the movies at the festival (if only there was more time), but my dream is to one day get a pass and see every — single — one. This year we were able to see some ‘found’ movies and serials such as Sherlock Holmes, a Buster Keaton short and the 2nd reel from an epic pie fight brought to you by Laurel and Hardy called ‘The Battle of the Century’. It truly was the greatest pie fight in history.  I have included a YouTube video below of a shorter version of the video. If you can, you should see the restored longer version.  Side note: at 3:22 mark, I still drool over how stunning the outfit, worn by the woman who lands fanny first on a pie. I’m so glad her dress missed the pie!

I have an ever growing collection of silent movies on DVD. I fantasize often about owning a projector and film on reels, but due to the condition of most original silent films, this may remain a fantasy and a whole other blog post. Fortunately for me, a streaming service called FilmOn has a silent film and classic movie channel. I have discovered films I’ve never seen and also get to re-watch and fall in love again with, old favourites. I will never grow weary of watching the Barrymores, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Clara Bow, Mary Pickford, Errol Flynn, Valentino or Joan Crawford. Joan Crawford you say? Absolutely.  She got her start, on the big screen, in the silents. There is something so delightful in watching her in Our Dancing Daughters.

As I continue to watch silents, I am finding new favourites. Recenty I watched ‘The Married Virgin (1918) – Rudolph Valentino. As soon as Valentino walks into a scene, you can see why women swooned over him. As I watch Valentino and other stars like Clara Bow, Jean Harlow and Joan Crawford, I often wonder what it would have been like to have been alive in the 1920s and 1930s. It would have been incredible to see these movies, for the first time, in the cinemas of those eras. We are fortunate for festivals such of The Toronto Silent Film festival, but if I could hop into a time-machine, I would set the dial to that era.

What are your favourite silent films?

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