Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Vintage Dressmakers Box

On New Year's Eve, I was lying in bed (at 10pm.... I know!) catching up on reading my favourite blogs, and I saw this post written by Laura at Lilacs and Lace.

And I was spellbound.

And feeling kinda sad because it was New Year's Eve and I was at home in bed feeling rotten.

So I bought it.....




It seems that this box of goodies was purchased on the 15th of November 1956 from Mandel Brothers in Chicago.  I know it was purchased then because the original dated receipt was in the box.


And then she put it away and never did anything with it.  I was drawn to this box for obvious reasons.  Not only is it a preserved moment in time, which always appeals to me, but the lady intended to make a LILAC SUIT!!!!

I wish there was a way to find out who she was...  there isn't...  so I've decided to call her Martha.

From the quantities of fabric Martha purchased I think she intended to make the McCalls suit, but because she bought both patterns, there is a chance she intended to do what I'm going to do.

The Vogue pattern is a dress and jacket.  I looooove that jacket!  So I'm going to make it, and the skirt from the McCalls pattern!  I would make the Vogue pattern in its entirety, but I don't think there is enough wool.

I want to do this as a tribute to Martha who couldn't finish this project for whatever reason.



As well as the gorgeous lilac wool fabric, and the patterns, Martha also purchased a zipper, rayon seam binding and thread!  And I intend on using it all in my suit!

I really wish I could find out who she was...

The only part of this box that I won't be using is the fabric Martha purchased for the lining.


She purchased some of that god-awful acetate (the fabric on the right).  Its stiff and I can already feel it sticking to me because it won't breathe.  Ugh!  But it just so happens that I had already purchased some rayon lining (the fabric on the left) which is a pretty good match all things considered!  It will breathe and will be much nicer to touch.

This will be my next project after the Raspberry Darling suit is finished!  I'm so excited to see Martha's dreams complete.

Beccie
xxx

17 comments:

  1. Yay! I'm so excited! I saw Laura's original post and would have bought it too if (a) I could have afforded it and most especially (b) could have done it justice :) You will do Martha proud! Can't wait to see it xx

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    1. I couldn't really afford it either Hariluna... but I really hope to do it justice :)

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  2. Yipppeeee! I am so glad you got this! I can't wait to see this lilac suit! Heavenly!

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  3. Wow, so looking forward to seeing this suit! What an amazing project, a true time-travel adventure!

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    1. I is a time-travel adventure... thats so true! I may well steal your phrase - I hope you don't mind :)

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  4. Wow - this is going to be beautiful! What a unique shopping experience!!

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  5. How utterly fabulous!!

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  6. I saw Laura's original post too and felt the same way. It's so nice to see something like this go to a new home. And how exciting that you will be able to complete her project. It's going to be gorgeous!.
    Pictures please!! :)
    -Emily

    Emily's Vintage Visions

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    1. Oh there will be pictures Emily... don't you worry about that!

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  7. Oh my gosh! What a wonderful time capsule! As an art historian with the emphasis on historian I am just gobsmacked that this little gem was in its entirety. And I am thrilled that you're going to finish "Martha's" project. She obviously had impeccable taste with that purple wool. Oooo, I can't wait to see the photos!

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    1. I'm amazed too. The box must have got pushed to the back of a cupboard and forgotten about or something....

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  8. This is fantastic.What a piece of history to be able o sew. Can't wait to see the finished product

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    1. Me either Kaitlyn - but I need to finish my other suit first!

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  9. So glad to see that this treasure went to a good home! And I can't wait to see what you make!

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    1. Hi Laura Mae! Thanks so much for doing your post on this wonderful treasure. I would never have found it if it wasn't for you :)

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