Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Sew What?" Edition 1 Chapter 1

I get these ideas in my head that I can do these miraculous things. For example, I see a dress or a sewing pattern I don't have and think that I can make it by combining various patterns and then figuring out how to alter any section that I don't have a similarf pattern to. I really think I can do this stuff to! Truth is, I can't. While I have basic sewing "skills" I lack any real technique and understanding of the construction of apparel. Do I care, hell no! That is why I sew for me and no one else.

"Hollywood 1406" - 1937

I am going to attempt to make a version of this dress using salmon colored cotton linen and 3 different patterns. The linen is light and airy enough for the Phx climate yet heavy enough to add a little warmth during this upcoming fall. I also enjoy the color of this material and think it is a interseasonal choice. The pink is perfect for the gayer spring and summer months, but it isn't so bright that it looks out of place when the ocean of colors flowing through the streets is muted, earthy and neutral.

When it comes to the patterns I have on hand, no piece will match the original design exactly. The skirt pattern* that I have choosen to use has different stitching than that of the original skirt. I just wanted to mention that the skirt pattern I an using is a fantastic 30's pattern on loan to me from the very talented Jenny Kuller. I still have to make a copy of the whole pattern, but it is still unharmed by the boys! :)

Now, when it comes to the blouse of the dress, I plan on using main part of the tan shirt and the sleeves of the green shirt with slight changes. I won't use the decorative stitches along the button facing on the first and I will replace the bows with buttons on the second. I want to try to get it as close to the original as I possibly can.

Speaking of the buttons. I haven't picked any out yet. As much as I would like to use vintage ones, it is difficult for me to find 6 matching ones, in the same size, that coordinate with the material, and are affordable. After writing this out, I thik I might try to look on ebay and etsy to see if there may be some workable buttons out there. If not, I will pick up some new cheap ones. I don't know what coordinating color I would like to use though. Something muted so that the dress can still be interseasonal.

I think tonight I will get started on at least cutting out the pieces. Perhaps tomorrow I will start sewing parts together. Cross your fingers that this dress will turn out half way decently so that I can wear it with pride! Yay!

I will return with "Sew What?" Edition 1 Chapter 2 soon!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bonita Granville Glamour Hair Tutorial

Having as much hair as I do, one thing I enjoy about Bonita Granville is her thick hair. It was nice to see normal starlet hair that I could emulate without worrying about perfect smoothness and over poofness. So when I decided to try and make a hair tutorial for my dear readers, I was originally planning on copying an extra simple style from her Nancy Drew Mysteries years, but when I searched for images of Bonita, I came across two beaitiful portraits of her. From the look of them, she appears to be a smidge older than in her Nancy Drew photos. Her hair is more glamorous than the originally planned simple do, but just as simple. In fact, the only real difference is the final finishing touches!

So for you vintage lovers out there, here is a Bonita Granville Glamour Hair Tutorial.
*Warning! Beware of Starlet with no makeup!!!*
Also note some photos were taken in the mirror and some were taken directly so pay attention to your own sides!

What you will need:
perm rods (I use 9/16 long)
hair brush
setting lotion*
bonnet dryer*
hair combs
bobby pins*
hair spray

First off I will show you my hair. When I begin my hair is about as straight as it gets without the aid of a straightener. My hair is way curlier than this naturally, but I let it air dry in a ponytail and had some glossy serum in it for a couple of days before this tutorial. As you can see for the most part my hair is all one length. Any "layers" seen is just hair breakage from bleaching and poor care. It is also a bit longer than I would like, but I have been lazy about getting it cut. The final outcome would probably be better with the right cut. So use this tutorial as a guide for your own hair, rather than a exact step by step.

For best results this set should be done with a cold set. A cold set or wet set is when the hair is damp when wrapped or set and allowed to dry completely before removing the curls and styling. Most ladies will want to use a setting lotion for a set that is stronger and lasts longer. A popular setting lotion is "Lottabody" and can be purchased at most beauty retailers. I, myself, have yet to find my perfect setting lotion, but have had success in the past with Lottabody. When setting, do not saturate each section, but rather spritz or mist it just enough to get it slightly damp.

Firstly, I part my hair off to the side allowing the part to go straight back to about the middle of my head. I then grab the front section of my hair that runs all the way across my forehead about an inch thick. This will be where I will create the front curl bump. When I begin, my hair is completely dry, so I just mist the sections with water before I put the perm rods in. My hair takes to curl easily, so setting lotion for me isn't always nessisary. When I put the rod in, I take the hair straight up and wrap it in a backwards motion towards the back of my head. Right before I get to the bottom, I twist the rod so when it is clamped is is sideways. This will help create that marvelous forehead curl/bump.


Next I take the hair on each side from the ear to the part and comb it straight up. While holding it straight up, I wrap the rod downward clamping it at the temple. This will help create the strong waves that are along the hairline.

From there I just take small sections of hair, about an inch thick, and wrap the rods upward in an under curl motion. This is a towards the face motion. Hey! It's My Name is Earl! At this point, I don't use a setting pattern as Karma doesn't care. Each rod is wrapped randomly. They are, however, all wrapped using the same under motion. Also, the rods are not wrapped all over the head, but rather go up only to the middle of the head, but mostly stay at the nape.

Also note that stupid faces and or pissy faces are completely optional.

Being that I started this tutorial in the every late afternoon, I decided I will sleep on my curlers for drying time. However, if I am in more of a rush or if it is early enough, I like to "set" my hair by using my bonnet dryer. Because of the thickness of my hair, I have to sit with the bonnet on for about an hour to get a lasting set. For those with normal hair, 20 mins should do the trick. Also, I like to finish up the dryer set with 10 mins with the cool setting to help seal the curls. I use a vintage bonnet dryer from the 70's that I picked up from an antique shop for about 10$. This is not my bonnet dryer, but any like these will work.


After the hair has time to dry, or set, I take out each of the rods, careful to not twist them as I take them out. I use my paddle brush to brush out the curls and break them apart. The hair will be a massive poof of frizz at first. DO NOT BE ALARMED!! You haven't done anything wrong. From here, keep brushing! Now start using your brush to shape the curls. Instead of just brushing straight through in a downward motion, take your time to smooth and shape the waves and curls. This is done with a simple flick of the wrist at the end and purposeful strokes. Sometimes I add just a hint of serum to help smooth out any frizz that is still there. It is this extra shaping and "polishing" that turns a casual style into a glamourous style.


For the top front, extra care is used so the shape is not brushed out. I brush the hair back and allow the hair to fall where it wants to. Here is where I have the most difficulty in styling my hair. Because it is bleached and fried, the front section has a hard time taking a crisp bump, so I have to re-wet it in order to shape it nicely without extra poof. I am careful to dampen just the hair along the hairline so I don't pull out the curl from the set.

Hair combs are the best way to keep the sides in place. Simply pull the sides back and secure them with the combs. The curled ends should fall forward creating those voluminous waves. If nessisary, reshape the waves with your brush, but do it gently!

Use bobbypins to secure any wayward curls, or to help lift any saggy ones. You can also use the pins to secure the front bit of hair.

To finish up, spritz with your favourite hair spray. Add a little bit of makeup to complete the look!

There you have it The Bonita Granville Glamour Hair Tutorial. If you don't have success this time, keep trying. Get familiar with your hair and it's abilities and modify any steps to your own advantage. Most importantly, bookmark this page and post photos of your hair in the comments so I can see!! Good luck ladies! I hope this tutorial works well for you. As this is the first time I too have tried this style! That is right, making this tutorial is the first time I tried this style!!

New feature on VS

Make sure you keep tabs on that side bar! I just added a new weekly feature on this blog... Blog of the Week! Each week I will spotlight a different blog that I think is note worthy of attention. :-D

Thursday, September 24, 2009

New Blog layout.

Still tweeking a few things, but I think it looks alright. What does everyone think?

Wow! Great hair!

Ok... I am posting this to show my hair. I am just being lazy by not cropping it. So focusing solely on the hair... what do you think of this style?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Perry has this fan. I love it. It's an oscillating pedestal fan. Probably from the 40's. I am wondering if I can steal it from him.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A day in the life of...

So yesterday was an amazing day!!

The normal breakfast and lunch routine went down. Then Perry and I did a small photoshoot before we had to start getting ready for his gig last night. The shoot was fun, but tiring. Man, I am a whiney brat after an hour or so of shooting. Poor Perry.

The Heymakers and Jump Back Brothers gig was great!! A lot of dancing and a lot of love.

I am actually a bit too tired to make a real post as I didn't sleep at all last night so I hope photos will do just fine.

Enjoy the photos like we were all enjoying our candied cigarettes! :-)