Friday, November 18, 2016

By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953) | Movie and Fashion Review


And here we are again for the list of fall favorites! For years we watched On Moonlight Bay and loved it. But more recently we were ecstatic to discover its sequel, By the Light of the Silvery Moon. Since the movie centers on Thanksgiving and right before Christmas, I consider this an appropriate time to review it.

Doris Day and Gordon MacRae are just as good in this as they were in On Moonlight Bay. It was a thrill discovering there was another movie like the first. My third favorite with these two would have to be Tea for Two.

The best thing about By the Light of the Silvery Moon is that the cast and sets are still the same. The story this time centers on Bill and Margie's plans for marriage and a misunderstanding that finds its way into everyone's relationships.


Synopsis

Bill returns home at the end of the first war with a more mature look at life. He tells Margie that they should wait until he has a job and can save some money before they marry as planned. At first Margie is angry but as usual, she soon comes around to his way of thinking. Bill gets a job at her father's bank and discovers the "beauty" of loans; only when he tells Margie that they can get married now, she is strangely unsure. Little does Bill know that Margie, Stella, and Wesley have discovered a note from their father to a French actress of an alarming nature. In truth, Mr. Winfield wrote down an objectionable speech in the actress's play that he needs to discuss with his partner before leasing the theater to her, but his family assumes the letter is from him to the actress. The situation only worsens when Bill catches Wesley trying to burn the note. He reads it and believes it is a love letter from another admirer to Margie. Margie's only chance is to take her parents back to the spot they first became engaged in hopes her father will remember his "first love". But no need to worry, everything gets cleared up and happy plans are resumed.


Fashion Review

Margie's early 1900's wedding dress is absolutely lovely. Although most of her outfits in this movie are more "contemporary" than they should be, her costumes are every girls dream vintage wardrobe.


As a great fan of browns, I really love this outfit. Margie wears a pleated, chocolate brown skirt with a black belt and brown, white, and pink striped blouse. Later she wears the same skirt and belt but with a tan blouse and a red kerchief.


Here's another great shot of Margie and Bill. He looks dapper with his pressed suit and slicked back hair, even if he does have a kind of dopey look on his face. Margie wears a blue satin dress with white neckline and red ribbon tied around the neck.


As always, the winter wear is delightful. Bill wears a heavy fur coat and a chocolate colored pork pie hat. Margie wears a deep polka dot suit with deep red velvet trim and wrap. Her beret is matching with polka dots and a red pom-pom.


This outfit is definitely early 50's, instead of 1910's, but I love it all the same. She wears a navy turtle neck and navy A-line skirt with a slender chestnut brown belt.

Another thing I really like about the movie is the decor. The wallpaper is so Victorian and the steps look like they are carpeted in an Indian blanket. But more on decor later.


Although I love the color of this gown, the flounces at the hips are amusing. The bodice is simple but lovely, and I think the embroidered flowers on the straps make the dress. Notice also her very simple jewelry --a slight touch of gold with the necklace and nothing more.


And here we are to my absolute favorite. Margie wears a red knit blouse and contrasting plaid scarf. Her beret is red as well with an extra large pom-pom. Her skirt is full and plaid like the scarf. Later she dons a fluffy, beige dress coat that comes rather short and full.

Stella wears darker plaids and an outdated mink scarf. Her beret is obviously crocheted, in brown and dark green with a tassle hanging off the side.


I talked about polka dots being popular in the 40's and 50's in my last post, and here is another example. Mrs. Winfield's dress has a 1910 style but in a later period pattern. She always has such a lovely look.


They really succeeded in the early period with this dress. Mrs. Winfield's dress for Thanksgiving Day is a chestnut brown velvet with a beige cover.


Tuxedos don't change much over the years, and it's a funny thing that this is true with most men's suit styles. Bill wears a gray pork pie with his tuxedo and looks spectacular!


I've already talked about this scene but I wanted to point out the lamp in the back. The shade is covered in a sheer and trimmed on top with a blue ribbon.


Children's Fashion

I talked a little about the boy's fashion from this period in my review of the last movie. But briefly note the newsboys hats, cardigans and short pants. The little boy, PeeWee, is too cute.



Wesley is up to his antics as usual, escaping from trouble and creating fantastic stories.


PeeWee wears a wool plaid coat and knit toboggan.


Like PeeWee, Wesley wears a plaid, double-breasted coat and his typical newsboys hat.


In comparing characters, I would say Wesley is less spoiled in this one if still just as ornery. Mr. Winfield's character is a bit easier-going I think too, but everyone is still just as enjoyable. My only regret is that they didn't make a third film where we actually get to see Margie and Bill get married. But I guess it can't go on forever.

Thanks for reading. If you have enjoyed this review, let me know in the comments below!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Vintage Polka Dot Dress and Hair Wraps | 50's Fashion

There was a time when I wanted my entire wardrobe to be vintage. At that stage of my life I was a stalwart 40's - 50's fashion advocate and I frowned upon any later period fashion. Note that I was quite young and impressionable.

I've grown out of that impractical stage, obviously, and come to appreciate aspects of fashion from all other periods. But to come back to my "first love", today I want to share with you an excellent example of early 50's, late 40's women's dress.


Polka Dot Dress

In the film The Jackpot (1950), James Stewart and Barbara Hale play a married couple by the name of Lawrence. At one point there is a polka dot dress that causes a minor stir. Having bought too many for the department store where he works, Bill Lawrence buys one for his wife, Amy (she has a great name, doesn't she?), and tells his fellow employees to do likewise. Later at a party, a fellow employee's wife finds she and Amy are wearing the same kind of dress and is mortified.

Thankfully, the situation is diffused when Bill tells the group that they have been selected as contestants in a radio program, Guess the Mystery Husband, that is about to air.


The polka dot dress in question is so typical of the 40's and 50's with its broad shoulders and wide lapels, in addition to the aforementioned pattern. Amy's style is simple while her friend wears pearls with hers.

The material for the dress is lightweight, most likely cotton, with a stiffer material used for the lapels and pockets. Where the sleeves and upper bodice are loose, the waist is fitted before evolving into an A-line skirt that reaches just below the knee. A beautiful dress worthy of reconstruction.

But naturally, I noticed some other pieces I want to point out.


Aprons

The housewives of the golden era are characterized by their aprons and high heels. I envy the day-to-day beauty of this simple style. I can't say that I would like to clean the house in heels and a dress, but I think I would hold my head higher if I did.

Aprons in general have lost their usefulness in this day and age, partially because of peoples lack of cooking skills. Either way, I think they need to come back. I would love a vintage apron to work around the kitchen in!


Amy's aprons in both of these pictures are full length whereas later she wears a half apron. The first is a plaid-- colored stripes on white. The second one is patterned, most likely floral with a darker edging. I recently found many patterns available for vintage aprons and other vintage pieces at the VintageDancer.com. I have yet to explore the wealth of information on this site, but I am greatly impressed by what I have seen so far.


Hair

I can never go on enough about vintage hair. It's curly, it's cute, and I just love it. But, I have always worn my hair long so that I can't do this hairstyle. Regrettable. Seeing the back of the head helps a person see better how the hair was done. Barbara Hale wears her hair short and parted on the side. No doubt she slept in curlers to attain this effect. Curl perfection.


Here she has her hair up in a wrap while washing dishes and doing other housework. This style is often reconstructed by vintage costumers since its popularity for practical use in the war era. It's been called a hair scarf, wrap, vintage bow, square scarf, bandana, and much else.


Although I have no specific object to point out in this picture, I couldn't help adding it. This picture encompasses the vintage housewife. Notice the flouncy curtains on the open windows. She stands at the sink washing dishes, her hair done as if she were going to the store, wearing a lovely housecoat that would pass as a dress now days. A picture of femininity and strength.

I hope you have enjoyed this look at the past. I'm always finding new styles from various eras to point out so be sure to come back soon!

Meanwhile, be sure to let me know what you thought about the post in the comments below!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Charlemagne Cowl | New Crochet Pattern


Each day I don a sweater jacket or my Peruvian tunic in the morning only to shed it by midday. Yet I am not disappointed; it is finally getting colder here in the Mid-South! I've been eyeballing my sweaters, telling them it won't be long. I've even taken the time to create a new Pinterest board called Sweaters!. I think I am psychologically endeavoring to usher fall weather in.

And yet, despite the floundering temperatures, I am trying to think in cold terms anyway. Thus the creation of this new, brilliantly regal cowl.

Most of the time creating patterns begins with a design idea and the materials you choose to use are based off of that. But on occasion, I find myself buying a yarn that I don't have anything in mind for. Usually these are discount or clearance novelty yarn.


Such is the case with a skein of Lion Brand Landscape yarn. I had never used this yarn before but when I saw it in the clearance basket at Joann's the other day, the orange-red color of their Pumpkin shade just grabbed me. As a general rule, I do not like or wear red. One reason is because I don't look good in your average blue-red. My shade of red is more orange, like this yarn, and it is rarely available in clothing lines. But another reason is how bold red is. They say it's a power color, and I don't care to exhibit that much power.

And yet, when paired with white, or off-white in my case, red is the perfect choice. I love the wintry scenes featuring some object of red on a snowy background. A cardinal in a snow covered tree, for instance. Or someone wearing a red scarf (I think of the Fleet Foxes song, White Winter Hymnal). Therefore, it is no surprise that for the last two years I have been in love with the Scandinavian Christmas theme. But I'm digressing.

Back to the subject at hand, I had an exciting time designing this cowl. It was relatively easy and I only had to rip a few times. Previously, I had created a handful of cowls for Crochet Spot that are just as simple but normally longer (for instance, Démodé Summer Cowl, Wildflower Cowl, and Hyacinth Cowl). This time I had an inspiration for a shorter but taller cowl, one with an average drape and a picot border.


At first I was going to select a simple stitch pattern and incorporate a unique stitch on top and bottom, with a row in the center. Only I couldn't find a satisfactory stitch pattern. So instead I selected the Spatter Pattern (page 51 of the Ultimate Crochet Stitch Bible), and created my own shells and picots border.

One thing I have learned along the crocheting way is that if you want a piece to feel as loose at the beginning as it is at the end, you will need to use a bigger hook for the beginning chain. I really despise creating a lovely cowl but the bottom is more resistant to stretching because of the tight foundation chain. To prevent such an effect I chose hook size L (8.00mm) and chained 72. I joined the chain to form a ring, the base of the cowl. This part is always interesting since I always work into the bottom ridge of the chain instead of alternate methods like the front, back, or two chains. But it works out just the same. For round 1 and the rest of the cowl I used crochet hook size J (6.00mm).

I worked the Spatter Pattern for the next 14 rounds in no time. Since I wasn't happy with the border suggestions in the book, I decided upon a simple 5 double crochet shell with a 3 chain picot in the middle of each shell. The result was very pleasing. It gave the piece an old kingdom air so that I was tempted to call it Spires and Parapet Cowl, only I was sure this was too wordy. Out of the list (see here for my list of possible names) I chose Charlemagne. I don't know about you but I think it really gets across the feeling of knights and maidens, castles and kingdoms.


It took so little time to create I could have posted it right after posting my Snappy Fedora pattern, but I always pace my posts, a little this, a little that. Besides, since I am so fond of this design I wanted to take the time to get good pictures for it.

My sister took the pictures for me, like she has done often. But then again, on most occasions I use her as the model and take the pictures myself. She makes such a good model, doing what I tell her to do, wearing what I tell her to wear, allowing me to try crazy hair/makeup tricks on her, etc. I train my sisters well.

Anyway, the pictures turned out well and I am trying not to think too hard on the fact that they are actually pictures of me. I in turn regard them as product pictures.

Are you interested in the pattern? I hope so! Here it is:


Charlemagne Cowl


Skill Level easy

Finished Size 11” (28 cm) long and 8” (20 cm) wide, laid flat

Material
Medium Weight Yarn (approximately 147 yards or 1 skein of Lion Brand Landscape – Color Pumpkin in the picture)
Crochet Hook J (6.00mm), and L (8.00mm) for beginning chain

Gauge
6 sc = 2’’
6 rows = 2’’
Gauge Swatch: 2’’w x 2’’h (5 cm x 5 cm) ch 7.
Row 1: sc in second ch from hook and in each ch across: 6 sc
Row 2 – 6: ch 1, turn, sc in each sc across: 6 sc
Finish off.

Stitch Notes
Picot: ch 3, sl st in previous st to create a point.

Cowl
Round 1: with larger hook, ch 72 and sl st in first ch to form ring (careful not to turn chain), ch 1, * sc in next ch, skip 2 ch, (dc, [ch 2, dc] twice) in next ch, skip next 2 ch, repeat from * around, sl st in first sc: 36 sc
Round 2: ch 5 (counts as dc and ch-2), turn, dc in first sc, * skip next dc, sc in next dc, (dc, [ch 2, dc] twice) in next sc, repeat from * around, skip next dc, sc in next dc, (dc, ch 2) in beg st, sl st in 3rd ch of beg ch-5: 36 dc
Round 3: ch 1, turn, sc in nextst, * (dc, [ch 2, dc] twice) in next sc, skip next dc, sc in next dc, repeat from * around, instead of last sc, sl st in first sc: 36 sc
Round 4 – 14: repeat Rounds 2 – 3
Round 15: ch 1, * sc in next st, skip next dc, (3 dc, picot, 2 dc) in next dc, repeat from * around, sl st in first sc: 60 dc
Finish off.


See? It's quite simple and won't take any time at all to work up. If you would like a personal copy of this pattern then you can purchase one at Ravelry or Etsy (just follow the links).

But I am dying to know, what do you think?! Do you like the pattern? the stitch choice? the color? Any ideas or thoughts are greatly coveted, just leave me a comment below!


This is an original pattern created and designed by Amy Yarbrough of Ginger Peachy. You are welcome to copy the pattern for personal use but do not sell the pattern, distribute, or reprint it. Feel free to share a link to the pattern. You can sell products made from this pattern but please credit me, Amy Yarbrough of Ginger Peachy. Do not mass produce or factory manufacture using my pattern. Thanks for respecting the wishes of the designer, and be sure to ask me if you have any questions regarding this copyright.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Cowl with Lion Brand Landscape Yarn | Crochet Pattern Coming Soon!


Heads up, everyone! I will be posting this crochet pattern very soon, but at the moment I am trying to choose a name for it. Here are my options:

Buckingham Cowl
Charlemagne Cowl
Notre Dame Cowl
Spires and Parapets Cowl

What do you think? My ever-helpful siblings gave me these suggestions:

London-"Dairy" Cow-l
The Utter Cow-l

But no, they will not make the possible list.

Any suggestions? Let me know what you think!!