Sorry about the long absence, I kind of lost all sewing mojo, I've basically just kept draping fabrics all over myself trying to figure out what to make. Major uncapability in the decision-making-department.
I think that's usually a sign that you need a break, so when Midsummer (which is the summer-opposite, or equivalent if you like, of Christmas for us Scandinavians, one of our biggest public holidays) came up, with a three day weekend, me and my brother went up north to our family's summer house. I love it there! I'm back now, well rested and in all harmony. Hopefully I'm a bit more creative than during the last weeks too.
On the way back we visited my grandmother on my fathers's side (my grandmother on my mother's side died a bit over a year ago, btw, that's her red belt in almost all the following pictures).
She's very old now, I think she's 94, but still lives in her old apartment. She and my grandfather always had two apartments, next door, one - tiny one! - was my grandfather's office. My grandmother doesn't use it now and there are plans to clear it out. Consequence: I was allowed, or actually asked, to look in a chest with old clothes if there was anything I liked.
Here are a couple of decades of dresses from my grandmother (note: they are all awfully creased. They've been tucked away in a chest for about 70 years and I couldn't wait to photograph them, I'll show them again in more detail when I've washed & ironed them!):
The material is veeery sheer, I'm wearing my most skin-toned underwear, and you can still see the bra really well. I need a slip if I'm ever going to wear this in public!
The fabric around the neckline is shirred, and the whole dress seems to be crincled (I wonder if it was a dress for travelling, it's also very light weight). I can't really tell though, since all the dresses have been scrunched into little bundles and are about the most wrinky/creased clothes I've ever seen!
There are snap-buttons along one side-seam and little straps to fasten the bra-straps (?) next to the neckline. The material is probably a viscose or acetate (I must bring it to my favourite second-hand-store owned by a wise miliner-lady with an eye for old materials and ask what it is and how to care for it!).
I can picture my grandmother running around, chasing my father, dressed in it (he was born in 1945). She used to be a gymnast (she worked as a physiotherapist) and was quite a wild child. She later used to rescue both us kids and my grandfather by chasing us (kids, that is) around the house when we got too restless and noisy (she has 12 grandchildren, and about nine of us used to spend summer at their summer house, at the same time. At times too much for any grandparents in their 60's I think).
She was actually a member of the Swedish troops at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. Her group didn't compete but did a gymnastics-show. She used to show us kids what Hitler looked like when we asked her to; angry face, two fingers held underneath the nose as a mustasche. Very amusing to little kids!
I had two much loved grandmothers!
Back to the dress! It's a very nice viscose with mother-of pearl-buttons in the shape of flowers, and much of it is hand-sewn. I'm a lucky girl!
The shoulder pads must have undergone some kind of transformation, they're very, ehum, compact. Like a bun on each shoulder (that's why I look a bit stiff in the pictures). I have to exchange them for something a bit more flexible!
I didn't think I would like the dropped waistline, but with a belt I do. It actually looks very ladylike, I think. Nice surprise!
Again, I think it's 1940's. The marked shoulders and not wide but not too narrow skirt seem kind of typical.
There are 4 pleats along the hem of the skirt (which, come to think of it, is an excellent way of temporarily adjusting the length of skirts. I must not forget).
The front of the bodice is cut on the bias, but I think it's only cut that way to add visual interest, to put the thin stripes on an angle.
Could it be a souvenir-skirt?
Sadly it's just too narrow around the waist for me... and I don't think I can make it any larger without quite a load of changes. I think it's a really cool skirt, and would like to wear it (spoken by someone who normally prefers solids to patterns!).
Guess I'll have to start doing some serious sit-ups, hehe...
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