September 08, 2016

Queen For A Day: Vintage Tiaras

Can't find a vintage tiara that suits you?  Here are four (with directions on how to make them) courtesy of Woman's Day Magazine circa 1953.


Sequined Tiara
Materials: 1 yard of 5/8" pale-green grosgrain ribbon; about 12 dozen pastel-colored sequins; milliner's plastic bicycle clip; 1 spool bead wire: household cement.

Twist wire to make about 20 twigs with three "branches" and one "stem", each 1 1/2" long in total; twist wire to make 15 twigs, each 2" long and with 4 side branches.  Leave loop for sequins at end of each branch.  Wrap bicycle clip with ribbon, catching stem of 1 wire twig with each twist of ribbon.  Bend end of wire around clip.  Use the larger twigs across center.  Tack ribbon at each end of clip.  Cement a sequin to each loop on twigs.

Silver-Braid Tiara
Materials: 14" of 1-inch silver braid; about 2 dozen blue stones; about 2 dozen rhinestones, cement-on kind; 14' of millinery wire; 2 small side combs; 4" of round elastic; household cement.

Join ends of millinery wire, making 13" circle.  Sew ends of braid together to form 13" circle.  Whip to wire base.  Spacing evenly, cement stones around tiara.  Center 2" of elastic along top of each comb; sew in place, and tack ends to inside of tiara, one comb on each side.

Felt Tiara
Materials: 2" x 13" piece of white felt; 14" of red velvet cording; 14" of millinery wire; 24" of bead wire; about 300 seed pearls; white cotton thread; 11 rhinestones, cement-on kind; 2 small side combs; 4" of round elastic; household cement.

Cut felt in shape of crown, making 11 points and graduating them from 1" high at center back to 2" high at center front.  Measure bead wire to fit along pointed edge of felt; add 2".  Whip in place.  String pearls on bead wire; twist ends of wire together.  Cement rhinestones 3/4" below center of each point.  String 10 pearls on white cotton thread; knot ends together to form a circle, and tack circle around a rhinestone.  Repeat.  Run millinery wire through velvet cording; join ends to form 13" circle; whip to base of crown.  Center 2" of elastic along top of each comb; sew in place, and tack ends to inside of tiara, one comb on each side.

Rhinestone Tiara
Materials: 1 yard of 5/8" black grosgrain ribbon; about 12 dozen rhinestones, cement-on kind; milliner's plastic bicycle clip; 1 spool bead wire; household cement.

Follow directions as above for Sequined Tiara.

April 22, 2016

Shirtwaist Deja Vu

 What comes around goes around... have a look at this Serbin shirtwaist dress in striped cotton chambray, made in the late 50s with a fantastic spiderweb style design.


And here it is again!  This time it's a 1980s version, nearly a line for line copy in synthetic knit from J.J. Dean of California.  

Designers have always borrowed from the past, and they still do.  Our huge vintage clothing collection is a treasure trove for inspiration!

September 10, 2015

Then & Now: National Shirt Shops

 National Shirt Shops was a men's retailer that began as a line of shirts in 1911 and expanded to a full-scale storefront with many locations nationwide by the 1940s.  In Florida alone, there were nine National Shirt Shop locations.  The photo above shows their storefront in a Kentucky downtown area in 1948.

That black & white photo belies the colors that collectors seek today from the National Shirt Shop line.  This vivid tropical print rayon shirt is typical of their label's brilliant hues, meant for summer weekends of carefree style.

National Shirt Shops appeared to have a heyday in post-World War II years, benefiting from the popularity of Hawaiian shirts at the time and the prosperity of post-war America. As their slogan says, they literally spanned the country "Coast to Coast"!

This 1940s Hawaiian style shirt is currently available as of the time of posting.  Write us if you're always seeking them, and we'd be glad to hunt them out for you.