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Thursday, September 15, 2016

· 1910s Bathing Costume ·

One of my most-needed projects for this summer was a new swimsuit!  While I adore vintage style everyday and also rather like vintage swimwear, I'm just not comfortable sporting it.  Too little coverage to make me comfortable, plus I am pretty much the polar opposite of a "sun worshipper".  I don't love the way sunscreen feels, but I also hate getting burnt or tanned.  Consequently, I love garments that will cover my neck and shoulders when I'm likely to have sun exposure for a long period of time.  Enter: even older "vintage"!  The bathing costumes of the early 20th century really appeal to me, and I love having an excuse to go full-out, unabashedly sailor style!

I'm not super big on water activities, but even I have to admit that they *are* a natural part of life in the US and are mildly diverting. ;-)  I used to be super fond of swimming (and was quite good when I was young!), but I think it's one of those things that becomes more enjoyable when it's a habit.

All this to say that I have been sadly neglecting my own swimming attire for years...  My mom made me a really cute 1900s style bathing costume 12 years ago from this Folkwear pattern, and while it was a quite forgiving style for growing... it became obvious that I needed to accept the fact that something made when I was 13 years old was just really never going to work again. ;-)  I'm pretty good at procrastinating on projects and also pretty good at avoiding water sports.  Consequently I went several years without any swimsuit.  I think it's one of those things that, while you can manage without it, once you have the garment, you'll be using it a whole awful lot.  So I look forward to many more outings to put it to good use!

Blah, blah, blah... I talk/ramble/blather so much on this blog!  I think this is really just my way of getting a captive audience and getting out everything I could possibly want to say but usually am too inhibited by myself to do. ;-)  And besides, you can always skip to the photos if you don't give two hoots!

I changed the neckline to a shallow V and altered the collar accordingly.  I really wanted to do a wide, square neckline, but my desire for maximum sun coverage won out. ;-)

The buttons down the front are fully functioning to allow extra room for pulling it on.

The skirt is smooth at the front and pleated on the sides and back.

The back trim and sleeves were inspired by my very favorite image (from my Pinterest board), and I'm glad I finally got around to doing something with that inspiration since it's been rattling in my head for years!

I used both 1/2" and 3/8" ribbon on all the bodice/waistband areas.  It ended up being just subtly more pleasing than 2 rows of the same width and, bonus!, it turns out that I was able to completely use up both spools this way so it was some great stash-busting!

Speaking of stash-busting, the whole project accomplished that in spades!  The buttons are all from the stash, the fabric came from all the random bits we had leftover from 12 years ago.  It was the perfect amount- hooray!

I really adored the Folkwear pattern, but after wearing it a few times, we discovered how very inconvenient and unpractical having a jumpsuit with detachable skirt was for undressing/using the restroom.  The design was very clever, but it necessitated removing every article of clothing as well as undoing every button (there are 14) and untying the tie.  In short, it was a royal pain.  We've come up with a few ways of making other bathing suits more user-friendly, and this is our latest attempt.  I haven't put it to a rigorous test yet, but I do feel like it will be perfectly suitable. :-)

The dress is a one-piece with entirely separate bloomers and honestly, I'm not sure why I didn't think of it before- seems like an easy solution to the dilemma, haha!

 I also wanted to modernize my bathing costume a bit this time around- you know, bring it all the way up to the 1910s! ;-)  Shorter sleeves and a v-neckline instead of a jewel neckline were my biggest changes.  I drew lots of inspiration from my Pinterest board, and there are still so many ideas I'd love to use for another project!  I never found historical reference to buttons up the side, so those are (plausible, I flatter myself) artistic license but I'm a huge fan!

Also, the majority of bathing costumes I came across from the 1910s had longer bloomers and shorter skirts than mine.  I'm not entirely sold on that idea yet, so when I came across a few examples otherwise, I instantly claimed them as my justification. ;-)

Triple rows of ribbon for the skirt, again taken from extant photos.  I applied this trim before deciding on the trim for the rest, so of course now I'm second-guessing the placement and I really do think I should space them wider.  Sigh- to rip off, or not to rip off?  The struggle is real.

The bodice is quite roomy to allow for full range of motion, and it is taken in with inverted pleats in the front and back.

The side opens all the way into the armhole which makes for easy on-and-off, even when soaking wet.

Speaking of which, I made this bathing costume with taslan, which we've come to love for swimwear!  It's made from nylon, but is engineered to look and feel like cotton.  It's very comfortable, although I will admit that this particular batch of fabric is my favorite of all the others we've purchased since!  The glory of taslan is how quickly it completely dries off.  Upon first coming out of the water, it sheds massive amounts of water, and then it is easily wrung out a bit.  But after being in the sun for a few minutes the whole dress dries out and, depending on the humidity/sunshine levels, it can be completely dry in 15-20 minutes.  Score!  It also makes a perfect outfit for canoeing or anything involving "accidental" water.

· Photos by the ever-marvelous Kathryn who convinces me that, yes, getting in the boat is actually a really good idea for a photoshoot! I'd be so hopeless without you. ;-) ·

Saturday, September 10, 2016

· Gingham Day! ·

Back in my post about my new gingham dress, I mentioned that my sister and I spent the weekend with Kathryn and Tara so we could officially recognize "Gingham Day".

Because the best holidays are the ones you make up. ;-)

For the occasion, we all dressed in gingham, rounded up the essentials for a typically mid-century picnic, and went off to the park!

Glass coke bottles ensued....

.... And recreating vintage ads....

..... And just generally having a good time with great friends!

In case you missed the posts about my dress and Kathryn's, follow the links! My shoes are currently available on Royal Vintage Shoes!

And what's a picnic without a lot of laughing??

· Photos by Kathryn ·

* Full disclosure- I am happy to be a RV affiliate, so I do earn a small commission on any purchases made through my link. :-)

Thursday, September 1, 2016

· Top Ten Posts of All Time! ·

Life has been quite full lately with a full schedule of traveling during this last part of the summer.  My count of train, plane, and car trips should be quite impressive by the beginning of October, and I'm enjoying every minute of it! ;-)  The downside to gallivanting off to various parts of the country is that it puts quite a damper on any sort of regular schedule, so while I have quite a few partially-completed post in the works, I haven't been able to put the finishing touches on them yet!  But in the meantime, it's that time for some celebration...

Mode de Lis is officially a grand 3 Years Old!

To do something a bit different, I thought it would be fun to share (according to my handy blogger stats) the Official Top Ten Most Popular Posts!

These are all solely listed by number of views; it has nothing to do with my personal favorites and everything to do with what is the most visited!  If you haven't read these posts yet, be sure to see what all the fuss is about! ;-)

#1- Working Class Attire · 1770s Style
While I agree that this is a major personal favorite, I do find it amusing that this very, very simple outfit is the one to be the top of the top! (a solid 25% higher than the next few on the list)

I'm so pleased this is a frequent favorite- it didn't take off very well at first as far as stats go, but it's fared pretty well due to Pinterest!

Since Kathryn is responsible for the great photography on here, it's only fitting that one of her dresses graces the Top 3!

Still a favorite of mine, especially when paired with fur!

My very first 18th century gown!

A tutorial for making your very own Christmas novelty circle skirt!

This is a new one, but boy did it shoot up to the top fast and it continues to creep up the top 10!

When my hair (wig) is this big, it makes my waist look teeny!  Maybe that's why it's so popular... ;-)

Understated detailing and a perfect base for accessorizing!

Pink and 18th century just go together like strawberries and cream, right??

And for a little something different, here are my very own Top Five Favorite Newbie Posts, back from my first year of blogging.  In fact, if you dig back into my first month or two, there are lots of other favorites- just barely any photos in each post!  We've come a long way in our photoshoot game. ;-)

#1- Titanic-Inspired Coat

#2- Sofonisba Anguissola Dresses

#3- Mid-1500s Flemish Working-Class

#4- Block-Printed Jacket

#5- 1950s Sari Dress

As always, thanks SO much for visiting, commenting, sharing, etc!  You all make this process so fun and rewarding- thanks for stopping by! :-)  I'm so excited to see what the next year holds! :-)

· All photography by Kathryn! ·

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