Yesterday (Sunday) our ACG Brisbane group had a Retro afternoon tea date. We went to the Shingle Inn in McArthur Central on Queen Street. But first we went to City Hall for photos (it was too wet for the park and garden). It actually worked out nicely to have our photos there as it worked for the 1910s, 40s and 50s time periods of our clothes. I had a fabulous time (apart from the sore feet) and got heaps of photos (now put up here).
My dress was actually pretty simple to make. I used a vintage McCalls pattern that I picked up on Ebay and adjusted to fit. This was a lot easier than many patterns because it was a simple cut on the fold dress both the front and the back. Meaning all I had to do to enlarge it was add a bit in the Centre Front and Centre Back – saving me a heap of trouble. (The picture attached is the pattern I used).
For my fabric I used a seafoam toned faille. I like the fabric, it has enough weight to hang nicely but light enough to swish. And the colour really works for the 1940s style. I was wearing my 1950s corset underneath, though I probably would have been fine without it. I got to use my soft leather gloves, and I had on my lovely oxford heels which by the way are a 4 inch heel. And when I wear flat shoes all the time – me feet now hate me. I am thinking I need to wear heels a bit more often so that when I do wear costume, they work for me. Though I must say my arse, thighs and calf muscles got a work out, so yay.
I love my makeup – though being a makeup artist I know what to do. So I kinda cheat. But hey, it’s my secret weapon. I went with the full forties style, exaggerating the top lip line in a nice bright red. And my hair was the first challenge of the day. I have just put a chocolate brown dye through, so the colour is fabulous. So I went for the rolls, as they wore back in the day. After watching a couple of tutorials online, I tackled my hair. I first added mousse and put in the hot rollers. Probably not a necessary step – as long as your hair is brushed and smoothed. And my hair has enough natural wave that it would hold without curling. And then I attempted to roll my hair. Found out that it was too hard and made some rolls to wrap it around. I grabbed an old pair of stockings and cut them up, stuffed them with fabric and shoved them in. It took a couple of goes to get it sitting right but once it was rolled up I shoved in heaps of pins to hold it. Then I did the other side. The hardest thing was to do the back roll. Because my hair is so long I could not physically get the right angle on the roll doing it myself, so I had mum help me. She rolled up, and I stuck in the pins. I then added a tonne of hair spray and fringe pins to hold the fly-aways flat and neat. And eliminate my fringe.
I was really happy with how it turned out, and am now confident I can re-create the look when I need to put it on next time. With a little help of course. Through the dress will be worn to work now that I have it. Why waste all that work and the beautiful dress.