pinup seamstress

Make Do & Mend | Pinup Style with Vintage Fabric

Make Do & Mend | Pinup Style with Vintage Fabric

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Make Do and Mend.

That’s what my Nana always tells me, usually as she’s unpicking old curtains, making overalls for the grandkids tearing around her garden. Vintage philosophies can be the best inspiration for vintage style, especially as a pinup on a budget!

I’m incredibly lucky to have a network of old ladies – friends of my Nana – who hand me down vintage fabric they no longer use. I design my clothes to make the most of the gifted yardage. This fifties floral two piece was cut around age stains on a length of 1950’s printed fabric.

Photographed on two different days at two locations, this post shows how lighting can change a photo from bright and crisp to soft and dreamy!

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The Outfit

Printed with rustic baskets overflowing with fruit and flowers, this fabric was made for sweet summer style. I chose a wide necked, fitted top ( which I personally find very flattering ) because there wasn’t enough fabric for sleeves! The simple silhouette displays the print nicely, so I made sure the basket motif would match up when the blouse was closed. Press studs and a tie front finish the blouse.

The circle skirt is cut in two panels and hemmed with synthetic horsehair braid for extra volume. A side zip and tap with novelty pink flower button allow for a tidy nipped in waist – my preferred silhouette for almost any occasion!

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The Styling

Matching accessories to a colour in the fabric makes choosing an outfit easy . I love the pink roses in this print, so that means all pink everything!

The sugar pink gloves have the cutest pleated trim, I think they’re from the 1950’s or 1960’s. The pink petticoat, cat eye sunglasses, hair flower and shoes are all modern made but worked so well with the colours and style of the outfit nonetheless!

Due to shooting forties style outfits on the same days, hair and makeup on both days were a mix of 1940’s and 1950’s. The half up – half down hairstyle was more successful, with fuller and better shaped rolls. No matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t recreate them for the updo when we re-shot! I find victory rolls in any style tricky due to my baby-fine, thin hair. There never seems to be enough of it.  ( I’m envious of all you thick haired ladies who can do multiple rolls and poodle ‘dos! )

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Top & Skirt | Velvet DeCollete
Gloves | Tock Tick Vintage
Flower | Coin Save
Shoes | Number One Shoe Warehouse
Petticoat | Online through a Facebook sale page

With Style & Sass,

            Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 0 comments
Secret Garden | A 1950’s Inspired Cocktail Suit

Secret Garden | A 1950’s Inspired Cocktail Suit

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Power dressing is nothing new. From the Phoenician purple robes of the Romans to 80’s power suits, we’ve been using clothes to boost our confidence and social standing for thousands of years. Which got me thinking; what does power dressing look like to a vintage loving gal?

For me the answer was a well cut suit. The suit worn by a film noir vixen perched on a detective’s desk, knowing he’ll do whatever she asks. A suit that says you’re 100% business, and 100% woman. A suit you’d wear to the funeral of your fifth wealthy husband mysteriously dies.

Obviously I needed to make this suit.

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The Suit

Drawing inspiration from 1950’s clothing company Lilli Ann, I sketched a figure enhancing peplum silhouette. The wide neckline, fitted waist and flared hip accentuate my hourglass figure, while the slimline pencil skirt puts a wiggle in my walk – I’m known for walking quite fast and this skirt definitely hobbles my stride a bit!  A textured black fabric with a woven pattern of golden roses balances the hyper feminine cut with dark glamour.

This is my first ladies suit ( I’ve made one trouser suit before ). Delayed for months due to costume commissions I finally finished it in time for the Duke and I’s seven year wedding anniversary. ( We stayed at Hotel Debrett and watched Horror at the Civic Theatre. ) There’s a tiny area of fit I’m not quite happy with in the jacket, but considering I had to fit it on myself I’m very happy with the result!

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The Outfit

Two statement collars are better than one and the PUG Lauren top creates a striking inky black layered neckline.

No well dressed dame would be caught without gloves and hat.  The beaded gloves were a serendipitous find at Tock Tick Vintage long before I started the suit. Their glossy floral beading was too pretty to pass up!  The velvet tilt hat is from the Auckland Textile Fair. A band and bow of woven black straw circle the hat, and I added the veiling for extra sass.

My earrings are green and gold vintage clip ons . The frosted glass matches my eyes (a rarity) , and seems to glow from within . Classic back seam stockings, black leather Alonso Andretti shoes and a gold beaded clutch finished my 50’s power dressing dream.

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We shot these photos in the picturesque Hamilton Gardens while filming my entry video for Miss Pin Up New Zealand 2017. Subscribe to my blog to follow my progress in the competition!

See more outfits from my entry video below!
1940’s summer style

With style & sass

         Velvet x

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 1 comment