Style an LRD 3 Ways for 4 Seasons

The Little Red Dress is the sassy sister of the LBD.  It's still versatile and classic, but it's got a little more fire to it!

The Little Red Dress works for so many occasions, and Evelyn of Evelyn Wood Vintage Fashion House is here to demonstrate using a fantastic LRD from her shop.  It's a 1950s style coat-dress, which makes it even more practical!  The key to choosing an LRD that is still versatile is to keep it simple.  Solid color, classic cut, and subtle details keep the dress fairly neutral and leave the color and fabric as the "statement piece" of the outfit.  This allows the dress to be accessorized in lots of ways without looking "busy."

Fall and Spring are both "in between" seasons in many parts of the world.  The temperatures are not quite to full winter coat levels, but they're a bit chillier than summer.  A great way to use the Little Red Coat Dress is to wear it over another dress as a top layer with flair!
Pair it with: practical shoes (in case it rains!) - gloves - hat (and secure it with hat pins, should it be windy!) - stockings (to keep your legs warm!)

This is the season for chilliness, holidays, and hot chocolate!  The Little Red Coat dress is a great frock for cold weather.  Layer stockings and a petticoat underneath for extra warmth and a fur-trimmed cape and gloves to ward off the winter chill.  In the dreary days of winter, red is a welcome pop of color!
Pair it with: more practical shoes (now it might SNOW) - warm hat (or with a hairstyle that can cover the ears) - purse (to keep your hot chocolate money in!)

For the fun, dog days of summer, an LRD is perfect for going out and about.  Its easy classiness and simplicity are perfect for summer shopping trips, barbecues, and hangouts.
Pair it with: FUN shoes! - flowers, lots  of flower accessories - light gloves (lace, crochet ones are great) - bare legs (because you can!)

And if you aren't as into the coat-dress idea, this is another fantastic LRD from her shop that is now available!  It's just as versatile and great for layering with sweaters in the cooler months while showing off some skin in the summer!

1930s Inspired

The 1930s is one of my favorite eras, especially for pants.  Pants had really just become barely acceptable for women to wear (especially off the beach) in the U.S., and many designers were still modeling pants after skirts, not menswear.  This gave the trousers a loose fit and (by today's standards) a ridiculous long rise.

Lauren over at Wearing History has a fantastic post on an overview of pants history to explain all these things!

Some designers made menswear-inspired trousers for women, but many women just wore men's trousers instead, like the fabulous Marlene Dietrich!

What I love about these 1930s trousers is that they aren't skin tight, they aren't even fitted at all in some cases.  But they're still so dang fabulous.  It's like the 30s were saying, "I don't have to show off every curve I've got to be attractive.  In fact, I'll hide a bunch of them and wear it with so much sass and glamour that it will only make the mystery that much more appealing."  Of course, it doesn't hurt if it's worn with a backless shirt!

So, I decided to take a 1940s trouser pattern I have a tweak it a bit for a looser 1930s style.  The only change I made was to sew the pleats to end right at the waistband instead of lower down like the pattern intended, and I rather like the effect!

I used a 100% cotton, flannel-like fabric, so it feels like pajamas... That I can wear to work!

Sure, pleats at the waist aren't the most ideal thing for accentuating one's shape, but sometimes there's a classic-cool appeal that just can't be denied.  I like these trousers and that's all there is to it!

Outfit details
shirt: F21
necklace: gifted
1930s hat: flea market
sweater: JC Penney?
pants: Simplicity 4362

Also, I am working on another blog anniversary giveaway like the one I did last year!  I'm planning to start it in mid-October.  If you'd like to partner with me to promote your shop/blog/services to my readers, just let me know!  I'd love to work with you!

Cider Days 2014

Flashback Summer: Cider Days 2014, Springfield Missouri, 1940s outfit

Flashback Summer: Cider Days 2014, Springfield Missouri, 1940s outfit

The past weekend Jacob, Dietrich and I stopped by Cider Days, the annual fall festival here in Springfield.  It's always a good time!  There are performers, vendors, artists, and anybody who's anybody at the two-day festival.  We decided to bring our dog, Dietrich, to see how he'd do on the outing with so many other people and dogs, and he did well!  That means he'll get to go on other adventures with us!

(Also, random fact: this is the first vintage dress I ever bought!)

Flashback Summer: Cider Days 2014, Springfield Missouri, 1940s outfit

Flashback Summer: Cider Days 2014, Springfield Missouri

Flashback Summer: Cider Days 2014, Springfield Missouri, vizsla dachshund dog

Flashback Summer: Cider Days 2014, Springfield Missouri, 1940s outfit, vizsla-dachshund

Also, in case you're bummed you didn't get to go to Cider Days, here is a list of all the fall festivals in the Springfield area, with some of my favorites bolded!

  • Stockton Black Walnut Festival, September 24-27, 2014
  • Fair Grove Heritage Reunion Festival, September 27-28, 2014
  • Norwood Farmers Day, September 27, 2014
  • Ozarks Model Railroad Association Fest (Springfield), September 27, 2014
  • Hawks Family Corn Maze (Lockwood), September 27-Nov 1, 2014
  • Exeter Cornmaze Craft Fair and Grand Opening, September 27, 2014
  • Pioneer Day (Mountain View, Mo), September 27, 2014
  • Frontier Day (Cassville Area), September 27, 2014
  • Autumn Fest in Mountain Grove, September 27, 2014

  • Republic Pumpkin Daze, October 4, 2014
  • Halfway PTA Fall Festival, October 4, 2014
  • Jenkins Fire Department Fish Fry, October 4, 2014
  • Whispering Oaks Vineyard Grape Stomp & Harvest Fest (Seymour), October 4, 2014
  • Southern Stone County Fire District Chili Cook-off (Reeds Spring High School), October 5, 2014
  • Ozark Arts and Craft show In Ozark, October 3-5, 2014
  • Ozark Farm Fest at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds, October 3-5, 2014
  • Apple Butter Makin' Days (Mt. Vernon), October 10-12, 2014
  • Hollister Grape and Fall Festival, October 11, 2014
  • Haunting in The Hills (Eminence, Mo), October 11, 2014
  • Urbana Rural Fire Dept Harvest Festival, October 11, 2014
  • Yellville Turkey Trot, October 11-12, 2014
  • Pets and Pumpkins on C-Street (Springfield), October 18, 2014
  • Backroads to Main Street Heritage Festival (Ash Grove), October 18, 2014
  • Warsaw Heritage Days, October 18-19, 2014
  • War Eagle Mill Fall Arts and Craft Show, October 16-19, 2014
  • Mansfield Woods October Colors Festival, October 24-25, 2014
  • Cassville Chili Cook-off, October 25th, 2014 

  • Holiday Shoping Expo (Lebanon), November 1, 2014
  • PTA Craft Bazaar at Kickapoo High School (Springfield), November 1, 2014
  • Asbury Methodist Church Fall Festival (Springfield), November 8, 2014
  • Ozark Craft Festival (inside the OC in Ozark) November 21-22, 2014
  • Marshfield's Annual Shop Local Bazaar November 29, 2014

Flashback Summer: Cider Days 2014, Springfield Missouri, 1940s outfit

Flashback Summer: Cider Days 2014, Springfield Missouri, 1940s outfit, vizsla-dachshund

Flashback Summer: Cider Days 2014, Springfield Missouri, Walnut Street Victorian house
Flashback Summer: Cider Days 2014, Springfield Missouri, 1940s vintage outfit

Outfit Details
dress: flea market/boutique
shoes: Target kids
belt and headscarf: flea market
bakelite and earrings: gifted

1940s Trouser Pattern and Midvale Cottage Shop Review

Flashback Summer: 1940s Trouser Pants Pattern, Simplicity 4362

Flashback Summer: 1940s Trouser Pants Pattern, Simplicity 4362
Trousers seem to be the pieces in a vintage wardrobe that constantly elude us vintage wearers.  They're hard to come by (in comparison to, say, dresses), pants are more difficult to fit correctly, and they are expensive in the repro world.  


I walk to work.  I run up and down the stairs of my office building.  Sometimes my legs are cold.  Sometimes I haven't shaved.  Sometimes I just don't want to wear a skirt.  I need trousers!

Finally, after realize that I have no office-appropriate pants (aka, my two pairs of jeans aren't allowed, except on Fridays), I decided that I had to do something about it.  Repro, like I said, gets expensive (and the sizes don't usually fit me because I'm so short), so I went the me-made route.

I went to a pattern shop on Etsy that I frequent: Midvale Cottage.  I've bought things from the owner, Kathleen, before, and she is great to work with.  (I bought this Vogue robe pattern from her as well!)  Her patterns always arrive in perfectly fitting plastic sleeves which I keep the patterns in while I store them to keep them safe.  Her shop is also beautifully curated with almost 350 patterns in just the 10s-40s and 50s sections right now.  Personally, I'm a sucker for the unique older patterns, and that's just what she's got!

Flashback Summer: Midvale Cottage Etsy Shop

So, I decided on Simplicity 4362 and a couple neutral, yet comfy and wrinkle-resistant fabrics to work with.  (This post will feature the brown fabric; another color will be featured soon.)  Look!  The pattern even has BICYCLE STRAPS!

I love the trousers in this pattern!  They're relatively easy to make up, even with the pocket.  (I had never put in pockets like this, and I got it right!  The instructions were actually clear enough!)  While I did have to struggle a bit on getting the pattern to fit me, that's not the pattern's fault.  Nearly all pants patterns, I'm finding, have to be adjusted to get proportions right.  (There are more pattern details at the bottom, as usual!)

The way the pleats drop below the waist is nice, in my opinion, and helps me not look so bulky around the waist.  (This is my 1940s catalogue pose.)

Flashback Summer: 1940s Trouser Pants Pattern, Simplicity 4362

Flashback Summer: 1940s Trouser Pants Pattern, Simplicity 4362

Flashback Summer: 1940s Trouser Pants Pattern, Simplicity 4362

Here is a summary of the pattern details and things I changed:
Fabric: Cotton with a twinge of polyester, I think.
Pattern: Simplicity 4362
Year: early 1940s
Notions: zipper
How historically accurate is it? Pretty accurate!  I didn't use a metal zipper, and I think the scrap cloth I made the pocket out of may be synthetic.  The shape of the garment itself, though, is totally accurate!
Any tricky parts to the pattern?  Just general fitting, but most pants patterns need that.
Did you change anything?  Yes, I had to shorten the pattern (shocking? No.), and I widened the hips and decreased the rise to have a longer inseam.  It helps me not look as short!
Time to complete: A week (fit issues, mostly.  DEFINITELY make a muslin first.)
First worn: August 28, 2014
Total cost: $14 pattern + $2 shipping + $12 fabric = $28
Notes: Seriously, make a muslin.  Figure out the fit you want first!

Midvale Cottage Etsy Shop is a sponsor of Flashback Summer for the month of September 2014.  I was compensated for this post through the purchase of a sidebar ad, but all thoughts and opinions are my own!

My Vintage-Maldives Fusion Dress, McCall's 5517

Flashback Summer: My Vintage-Maldives Fusion Dress, McCall's 5517

This past summer, my sister got a chance to go to the Maldives, and while she was there, she got me this fabulous fabric!  It's actually a men's garment that is tied around the waist, but, hey, I don't mind.  It won't look mannish when I'm done with it!

It used to look like what the men in this picture are wearing:
Flashback Summer: Maldives Fabric

The only issue, as you can see below, is that the design is not quite straight.  Which was something I had to work around.  And it was tricky.  You can also see that there are many stripes.  Which needed to be lined up.  On crooked printed fabric.  Very tricky, which is why you should more fully appreciate the fact that...
Flashback Summer: My Vintage-Maldives Fusion Dress, McCall's 5517

... I lined up the stripes on the final garment!
Flashback Summer: My Vintage-Maldives Fusion Dress, McCall's 5517

Flashback Summer: My Vintage-Maldives Fusion Dress, McCall's 5517

(Being "hippy" for my size, I took a risk in putting giant horizontal stripes across the widest part of my bum.  But my thought is: balance out the hips with the shoulders, and the wider the hips look, the smaller the waist looks!  Woo!)

Flashback Summer: My Vintage-Maldives Fusion Dress, McCall's 5517

It was a lot of mental work to figure it out, but I totally love this dress!  I used a pattern I have tried before, McCall's 5517, but that time I had no idea how to really alter things and it turned out much too small.  (There's no way I could get it over my hips now!)  So this time I took alterations into consideration and also tweaked the design a bit to include an overlapped skirt (I couldn't give up the fringe!) and short sleeves.  I managed to get all the pieces except the back out of the Maldivian fabric, so I just used black cotton on the back.  I also lined it with a satiny black material I had in my stash to make it extra lush and easier to wear day to day, and I added shoulder pads for a bit more shoulder definition that could transition from a 60s to a 40s look more easily, which is how I will style it.

I really love this dress, and I feel like it's a great reflection of who I am!  It's definitely vintage and tailored, but it ties in my love for travel and other cultures by using a foreign, traditional fabric.  

Flashback Summer: My Vintage-Maldives Fusion Dress, McCall's 5517

Flashback Summer: My Vintage-Maldives Fusion Dress, McCall's 5517

Here is a summary of the pattern details and things I changed:
Fabric: I'm not sure.  Maybe some sort of cotton-synthetic blend?
Pattern: McCall's 5517
Year: 1960s
Notions: 2 zippers, shoulder pads
How historically accurate is it? Eh, not so much. I "franken-patterned" (to use Frances' word) everything together and blended decades to get the look I wanted: va-voom, intercultural, 40s!
Any tricky parts to the pattern?  This is a very fitted pattern, so it requires good tailoring skills, especially on the top.  I'm still not quite sure about the fit of the top....
Did you change anything?  Yep, sleeve length, and made a wrap skirt instead of a normal pencil
Time to complete: 4 days (give or take. Cutting and arranging pieces took a LONG time)
First worn: 15 September 2014
Total cost: Everything was from my stash!
Notes: I would recommend staying true to the body measurements recommended on the pattern and assuming you will need to wear a girdle or foundation garment to make the proportions work (or altering the pattern for less "va-voom" proportions); the sleeve shape also doesn't let your arms lift more than halfway, so don't wear it where you'd need to move a lot!

Flashback Summer: My Vintage-Maldives Fusion Dress, Bakelite

Flashback Summer: My Vintage-Maldives Fusion Dress, 1920s art deco purse

And here's a map in case you didn't know, like me, where the Maldives is:   (It's so tiny you can't even see it when zoomed out!)
Flashback Summer: My Vintage-Maldives Fusion Dress, McCall's 5517

Outfit Details:
Dress: handmade by me, McCall's 5517
1930s-40s hat: flea market
shoes: Kmart?
bakelite bangles and earrings: gifted
1920s leather purse: swapped

Photo credit to my sister, Aria, for her awesomeness!