Monday, 31 January 2011


There is one person that is the biggest reason I started this blog. That I started sewing. That I started to have an interest in clothes. That person is my maternal grandmother, Greta. I have no intention to reflect my personal life in this blog, but my grandmother is such an essential person when it comes to developing my interests that I feel she has to be here. She was also the kind of woman who Alla kvinnors bok was written for, middle class with enough wealth for some luxuries, but still seeing the importance of mending and re-use. She was not an altogether easy person, she could be annoying and exhausting, but she was also wonderful in so many ways and I loved her very much. Now, seven years since she passed away, I find that the less good things are of no importance anymore. Just all the great things remains.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Cover Girl

Movies are always a good source for inspirations. So yesterday I watched one of my favourites; Cover Girl from 1944. It is a musical with Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly and the story is pretty light-weight. A talented dancer, Rusty, would like to get famous quickly, which puts her at odds with her handsome, but rather priggish boyfriend, who thinks there are no short-cuts to fame, but only hard work. Rusty, however, comes to attention to a media mogul who was once in love with her grandmother and he decides that she is to get everything. Of course, that means she has to forego true love, but in the very last minute (marriage) she is reminded of that and reunited with her priggish boyfriend.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Autumn and winter year one

A wardrobe is an ongoing project, bits and pieces are added and discarded over time. Therefore this projects starts with the assumption that some things already hangs in the wardrobe.The basics, so to speak. So let's see what the good book says about those.

Dresses and blouses
A grey wool shirt dress
Simple, long evening gown in black heavy canton crepe
Housecoat with a belt in thin cotton

Coats and suits
Coat in grey lamb fur
A brown sport suit in three pieces, jacket, trousers and skirt
A red sweater
A white sweater
A raincoat in a "natural" colour

Heavy boots
Brown sport shoes
Black walking shoes
Black evening shoes
Rain boots

Grey beret
Brown felt hat

Brown bag in reptile skin
Black bag in suede
Brown knitted gloves
Homemade knitted mittens

Every colour is beautiful with a grey fur coat.
The grey shirt dress should be tone in tone with the fur coat and with grey buttons. Then it will look great with brown accessories
The sport suit should be made in water-proofed gabardine.
A black simple evening gown is suitable for most occasions.

This was the basics- there are some "new" things to add.

Dresses and blouses
A nice black dress in wool

Coats and suits
A grey/brown overcoat in tweed

Black pumps
Green shoes

Black beret, made from the same fabric as the black dress
Green hat in felt

Belt, scarf and clip in green

All the green things should match each other.
A tweed overcoat are practical all year round.
A tailored black wool dress should always be in your wardrobe.

My notes
As you can see the cut is very much up to yourself. There are suggestions, but they are very general. The colours and materials are more important, as they are suggested with the idea that the various items should mix and match. The only thing where colour is up to the wearer are the housecoat, which you presumably only wore at home. I'm a bit uncertain what a clip is, but I think it's a brooch that you clip on. It is also clear that the suggestions are based on a rainy Swedish autumn followed by a cold winter. As I quite like all the colours suggested I will go for them. However, I will not wear fur. Either I will find faux fur, or make a wool coat instead. I also need to decide on cut and find patterns.


In my library I have a Swedish book from 1944 called "Alla kvinnors bok", which translated to English means "Every Woman's Book". It's a rather thick volume that covers a lot of things like proper behaviour, housekeeping, decorating a home, marriage and children. Those subjects are all at the end of the book, the first half covers the most important subjects of all, beauty and clothes. As a time document it is all very interesting, but it is just those first chapters that got me thinking a night when I couldn't sleep and I leafed through the book while drinking tea. The book describes how a woman with the ability to sew can create and vary a good wardrobe, if she plans a little. There is a four-year plan how to achieve that and the idea occurred to me that it would be fun and interesting to try to do just that. I like the fashions of the 1940's. I like to sew.

The idea would be to start now with the autumn/winter wardrobe so I have it when it's time to wear it. Though I have a fair knowledge of the fashion of the time, I'm not an expert, so I expect this to be a learning experience for me. I will also need to adapt the clothes so that they will be wearable for me. I don't think I will wear these clothes every day, but I want them to work for every day. There is also the question of materials. Is it possible to use the same materials? Do I want to use some of them, like real fur? And, of course, I need to make these clothes within my budget.

So why a new blog when I already have Isis' Wardrobe? Well, I feel that this is such a special project, that it needs a space of it's own. A place to collect what I do, resources and hopefully some interesting discussions along the way. To call it Fashionable Forties is perhaps not the most original, but that was what my brain came up with. And being in my forties as well, makes it a bit of a pun. So I hope you will find this venture interesting. And perhaps you would care to join in? I would love to see what others would make out of it.
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