Happy New Year~

Thursday, December 31, 2009 0 comments
What a blessing to be ringing in a new year~I've always got such big-big plans starting each new year... no disappointments though if nothing on my list actually gets accomplished. Life is to precious to sweat the small stuff :-)
Anywho, here is my resolutions for this upcoming year:

Learn to paint roses~

paint all the cabinets in my studio~

exercise-- again, no pressure to actually do these things~

use things I already have.... *gasp*~

declutter.... *shudder*~


Happy new year everyone :-) Lets hope its another good one....

Fuzzy Mohair Sweaters - 1963

Mohair is the long silky hair of the Angora goat. It is a strong and durable fiber that takes brilliant color dyes well. And it makes wonderfully warm and fuzzy sweaters, as seen in these examples from 1963.

Snow white pullover with V-neckline and cable stitching at the center front. Hand knit in Italy by Blairmoor Knitwear. Sold in 1963 for $18 (about $125 in today's dollar).

A turquoise cardigan banded in brown and honey beige, hand knit in Italy by Famelia. Sold in 1963 for $18 (about $125 in today's dollar).

Beige vest edged in white by Darlene Knitwear. Worn with a white blouse and white pants. Sold in 1963 for $11 (about $77 in today's dollar).

3 piece pink suit consisting of a sleeveless shell, a cardigan, and a pencil skirt, all by Jane Irwill. Sold in 1963 for $36 (about $251 in today's dollar).

And my favorite, a brown bateau necked sweater with black and white animal spots. The 3/4 sleeves are bell shaped. Hand knit in Italy by Famelia. Sold in 1963 for $25 (about $174 in today's dollar).

Vintage Brassieres - 1948

Wednesday, December 30, 2009 0 comments
And you thought our obsession with uplift and maximum curve was a modern one?

Lovable Brassiere Co. ran a series of ads featuring the Lovable Girl of the Month. Here, their strapless bra is worn under a Margot strapless dress. The bra is boned for support, and they promise "You'll be lovely too, in a Lovable bra."

Exquisite Form patented the V shaped wire that separated the cups on their bras to be worn with low cut garments. They call it "Hi-Low Witchery".

Starlight bras and girdles will make you feel "heavenly" with their patented inner control, whatever that is. This one features circle stitching on the undercup.

I don't care about my bra making me feel lovely, witchy, or heavenly. I just want it to be comfortable!

Metal tape~

Tuesday, December 29, 2009 0 comments
I bought two brand new rolls of metal tape this past summer at a yard sale for .50cents each. The rolls normally run about $8 bucks each at Home Depot. I've been wanting to play around with the tape for some time-- and finally got an urge to use it. For next Monday's mixed media challenge piece using the theme of "leftovers" as the challenge, I have an idea in mind...... so with that said, I covered a cardboard shape and a resin heart that I hope to use in the piece I make. The resin heart I wanted it to appear to be broken, so I used a file and made a line in the heart then I drilled holes into the piece on either side of the line so I could lace it back together....The tape is really easy to work with, and I think the results are wonderful. I threaded some gold wire through the holes to give the appearance of the heart being laced back together, I even made the wire into a bow at the top. no easy task!Once the tape was smoothed onto each piece, I removed the red ink on the tape with a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol on it. To make the tape look like real metal, I smeared black paint over both pieces with my fingers. Thats it~ neat huh?

Vintage Fur Coats - 1979

It's been pretty frigid here in Boston this week. I've been adding layers to my wardrobe to stay warm rather than turn up the (very expensive) heat. Perhaps I should just wear one of these beauties while I work. These fur coats all appeared in an I. Magnin catalog from 1979. Interestingly, I. Magnin would send a salesperson to your home or office if you wanted to try on any of these coats in private. I should think so at these prices.

Left: For him, natural fisher fur jacket. $11,500 (about $34,267 in today's dollar).
Center: For her, natural fisher fur coat $22,000 (about $65,555 in today's dollar).
Right: Natural ranch mink fur coat $8,995 (about $26,803 in today's dollar).

Left: Yves St. Laurent feathered blush-dyed blue fox edged in mink fur that is dyed to match. $3,200 (about $9,535 in today's dollar).
Right: One-of-a-kind Russian white natural lynx fur coat. I. Magnin bought the fur at the Leningrad fur auction and made this coat. $50,000 (about $149,000 in today's dollar).

Left: For him, dyed rust ribbed beaver jacket. $3,500 (about $10,430 in today's dollar).
Center top: Red natural cross fox fur coat. $17,500 (about $52,146 in today's dollar).
Center bottom: White dyed Snow-Top mink jacket. $2,995 (about $8,924 in today's dollar).
Right: Natural white curly lamb fur bomber jacket with knit collar and cuffs and leather buttons. $1,495 (about $4,455 in today's dollar).

I WANT this to wear around the house. Natural white mink fur sweatshirt worked in an intricate croquet pattern. Zip front with elastic at the sleeve cuffs and bottom edge. $3,995 (about $11,904 in today's dollar).

Vestido azul com decote V e cinto floral - VENDIDO

Monday, December 28, 2009 0 comments

Vestido gola V azul claro Audiovisual

Confortável e elegante! Lindo vestido de comprimento médio, com cintinho florido marcando a cintura
Decote em V transpassado e recorte franzido na cintura com elástico

100% algodão

Tamanhos disponíveis: M

De R$161,00 por apenas R$85,00 - economize R$76,00
R$85,00 em até 2x sem juros ou 24x fixas no cartão de crédito
R$76,50 à vista - depósito bancário

Random Stuff in No Particular Order

First, don't miss out on the fabulous giveaway I posted yesterday. Go sign up!

As you know, I spent the weekend cleaning out my office bookshelves. I found so much great stuff I want to share with you I don't know where to start! Hence the mish-mosh of random stuff today before I get back to the subject at hand. While cleaning, I found this gorgeous ad my mom sent me several months back.

The 1947 ad is for the fabric, Bur-Mil (Burlington Mills) rayon faille crepe. The designer of the dress is not credited in the ad, so I can't tell you who it is. They simply call it a "petal-hipped occasion dress that is featured by fine stores throughout the country".

What I can tell you is that I would love to get my hands on this dress. As a student of fashion design, I'm very curious to see how this petal effect was accomplished. I can't tell if the petals are separate pieces sewn into seams, or if the fabric is manipulated in some way to give that effect. It's a great dress, though, isn't it?

Moving on to the Fair Warning Department: The US Postal Service is increasing postage costs again on January 4, 2010. At Couture Allure, we've been able to absorb the last two increases, but this time, we will be forced to raise our shipping costs. New shipping rates will go into effect at Couture Allure on January 1. Believe me, I am not happy about this, and I will keep the cost as low as possible, but an increase at this time is unavoidable. All orders placed by December 31 will go out at the current shipping rate.

A couple of weeks ago, I told you about the Fab Over Fifty video that features Jayne Conroy wearing a gorgeous vintage navy suit purchased from Couture Allure. For those of you who couldn't watch the video at the site, here it is!

Finally, a big thank you to Jaynie at Here's Looking Like You, Kid for bestowing the Glamorous Blog Award on Couture Allure. Thanks, Jaynie!

Canvas bags~

Sunday, December 27, 2009 0 comments
I have been wanting to start using my own shopping bags instead of using the plastic and paper ones given out at the stores. I wanted fabric canvas bags instead of those plastic covered fabric ones that advertise the stores name on them... Sooooooooo with that in mind, I purchased some canvas bags that I bought at a thrift store for .50cents each. I washed the bags first, then I used a linen dress that I picked up at the same thrift store for $1 as the "fabric" to cover the bags. I didn't bother to iron the fabric as these are going to be folded/rolled/crammed in my purse from now on.Here is a smaller bag that I recovered for my grandson, this one is going to stay in their van to hold the plastic folding toilet seat cover that he uses whenever they go out and about. Just keeping it real~It was soooooooo easy-peasy. I just turned each bag inside out and drew the outline of the bag shape onto the fabric I was using to cover the bags. I used the hemmed edge of the dress across the top of the bag. Essentially, I just made a pillowcase for the bag. I turned it right side out and dropped the bag into the "pillowcase" and then just stitched around the top of the bag. Thats it~
Now hows that for reusing, recycling and repurposing? I feel so green~ Of course, that could also be blamed on all the left overs I've eaten...

Couture Allure Giveaway!

You know how it is. The holidays are over and the end of the year is upon us. It's the perfect time to clean, organize, and de-clutter your life. Yesterday, I decided to tackle the bookcases here in my office. Those bookcases hold hundreds of books and magazines that I've collected over the past 20 years starting when I was a fashion design student. The shelves hold many of my original design textbooks, my books about famous fashion designers, vintage magazines, my history of fashion research books, and my collection of vintage sewing and needlework books. I decided to tackle the bookcases because I needed to make room for new books and magazines I've added in the past year. And now I have a pile of wonderful books and magazines to give away to my customers and blog readers over the next few months.

Today's giveaway is the hardcover book "Terry Fox Fashion Collection" published in 1994.

Before Terry Fox opened her bridal couturier salon in the UK, she was a designer and teacher of couture sewing techniques. This book consists of patterns and instructions for 10 of her designs. It's in pristine, like new condition.

The patterns are on a grid which you'll need to enlarge, and Fox includes step-by-step instructions for each design with many couture sewing techniques included in the designs. The instructions are thorough, just as you'd expect from a good teacher. Even if you don't make the garments shown, you're bound to learn a new sewing technique or two by reading through the instructions.

How do you enter to win? Simple! Visit my website, www.coutureallure.com and pick your favorite item for sale. Leave a comment here with a link to that item and you're entered! OR become a new fan of Couture Allure on Facebook, come back here and leave a comment that you've done so. Do both, and you're entered twice! The winner will be drawn on Friday, January 1st. Please note: If your Blogger profile does not include your email address, please leave it in your comment so I have a way to contact you. The book will be shipped via Media Mail in the U.S. and First Class International Mail outside the U.S. It is important to note - if you live outside the U.S. or Canada, I will need to ask you to pay the postage costs, which could be as much as $20.00 depending upon where in the world you live.

Weekend Eye Candy - Terry Fox 1994

Saturday, December 26, 2009 0 comments
A fairy princess ball gown designed by Terry Fox, one of the best known bridal couturiers in the UK. Stay tuned, as tomorrow I'll be doing a give-away of the book that offers the pattern for this dress and 9 other designs by Fox!

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 25, 2009 0 comments
May you be happy with all your presents....But most of all... be happiest in his presence~Merry Christmas~

A Holiday Gift from Couture Allure

As our holiday gift, we're offering you a 15% discount on all purchases at Couture Allure December 25 - 27. Those of you who shop with us know that a sale like this is quite rare on our website, as we strive to keep our prices as low as possible at all times. Don't miss this opportunity!

Use coupon code "Holiday09" at checkout and your discount will automatically be applied. Discount does not apply to shipping costs or previous purchases and expires on December 27.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, dear readers. May the joy of the season be with you today.

Last minute gift~

Thursday, December 24, 2009 0 comments
Well here it is Christmas eve... all is quiet... I figured I'd get some things finished up seeing how tomorrow is Christmas~ I have been wanting to make a holder for my grandaughters hair bows that I've been making her. I've made her a bag full of hair bows, which she will receive tomorrow, I figured this would tie in nicely with the bows.I've had this thrifted gold frame for about a year now-- it was tucked under my bed. I pulled out the flowered embroidery piece that was in it, I'll donate that back to the thrift store. I just hot glued the black grograin ribbon onto the back of the frame. Thats it. I think it turned out super caute! If my daughter likes it, I'm going to suggest I find one of those super big vintage type frames that are 4'x2' and do this in a larger scale. I have a funny feeling Miss Chloe Rose is going to have a large collection of hair bows!
Now, I'm off to find something else to work on... I'm soooooooooo bored~ I've started and ripped out 3 different crocheted blankets (so far) I can't find a pattern I like!

Christmas Eve~

Well the big guy had a chance to meet the grandkids recently.... here is my grandson Jonathan who informed Santa he needs "Cars, Nascar and two Monster trucks" What a vocabulary huh?My grandaughter Chloe~She informed Santa she wanted some diamonds and a new tiara. Santa said he could swing some diamonds but the tiara would have to wait. Obviously Santa felt the wrath of that statement~If Chloe isn't happy, no one is happy~

The Office Christmas Party

Having an office Christmas party today? Remember, he won't look nearly as handsome after the punch wears off, dear.

This Public Service Announcement brought to you by Couture Allure.

Decorating the Tree - 1959

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 0 comments
That's right. Put up a 10 foot tree, drag out the ladder, find the boxes of garland and ornaments, make the punch, wrap the gifts..................and watch all the guys disappear. That's because they know Christmas is work! Don't tell that to these Stepford Wives in their perfectly pressed Shapely Classics cotton shirts, though. They might gang up on you and make you put up the lights......after you've ironed your shirt.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009 0 comments
I've been feeling very bored lately.... don't ya just hate when you feel bored? I think it has something to do with it being winter and it being all gloomy outside. Mind you, I live in California, but none the less it gets pretty cold. Ok well cold for me. When it hits 59 degrees or below...I suffer! My bed looks something like the bed from "Princess and the Pea" with me being the "pea." I have layer upon layer of quilts and blankets on my bed... Anywho, enough complaining :-)
I was thinking I need a crochet project to work on during this long-long horrid winter... First things first though, I am needing a basket to hold my yarn, hook and the pattern for whatever I chose to make. I've had this basket forever, which in itself is rare. Yes, its been in the pile to be donated to the thrift stores a few times only to be pulled out at the last minute. I recently painted it white, and now I'm liking it! So, I committed myself to keeping it... and made a fabric insert for the oval basket. Now, I'm just needing to find a crochet pattern to mindlessly work on to take me into summer~


I finally got my act together and made some headbands for my grandaughter. I had planned to make her some when she was born (10 months ago) but never did.... where does the time go? I used flamingo hair clips which I covered with grograin ribbon using hot glue. Then I glued the ribbon covered hair clips onto huge flowers of different colors. I used pre-made elastic headbands in different widths for each flower. This one pictured below is a very wide headband to help hold the huge flower on her head easily. The clip allows for easy removal of each flower so I can later make some bows to add to the headbands. Here is Miss Chloe Rose modeling one of her headbands~ Look at the attitude... work it girl~

Under the Mistletoe - 1954

Uh oh. Looks like somebody got caught kissing the wrong girl in the wrong place under the mistletoe. Bet he gets the cold shoulder the rest of the evening! Who have you kissed under the mistletoe lately?

Shown are two dresses by Patricia Fair from 1954. Both were available in white, champagne, powder blue, mauve, or turquoise faille. Pretty, pretty.

We've got almost the identical dress shown on the right for sale at Couture Allure, but ours is by Suzy Perette. More pretty, pretty.

Ski Fashion - 1949

Monday, December 21, 2009 0 comments
If you watch the news, then you probably know that much of the Eastern Seaboard got buried under snow over the weekend. Here was the view out my back door yesterday morning. It was snowing at a fast clip of about 1" per hour with high winds and blizzard conditions.

It seems appropriate this morning to talk a bit about skiing, as I'm sure many folks who are on vacation this week will be heading to the hills. Skiing in America did not become a popular sport until after the 1932 Olympics in Lake Placid, NY, when the American team performed dismally against foreign teams from Scandinavia.

In 1933, the country's first rope tow was installed at Woodstock, Vermont. Other ski areas quickly followed the T-Bars, J-Bars, and aerial trams. Before that, this was how you got up the mountain.

In 1933, Saks Fifth Avenue played a big role in garnering interest in the sport by installing an indoor ski slide and hiring European ski instructors to give lessons to beginners. Macy's followed suit the following year, and both stores promoted ski equipment, and more importantly, ski clothing.

Early manufacturers of ski fashion thought that, since one was out in the cold, heavy fleecy woolen fabrics would be the best to use. But snow tended to cake up and stick to the wool, and skiers weren't happy. Manufacturers paid attention and gradually turned to hard-finish water repellant fabrics like gabardine and poplin, with nylon coming into play in the late 1940s. Simple, functional styles were the result. Here are a few examples from 1949.

Left: Ernst Engel nylon jacket with a clever tunnel belt that attaches to the belt loops on the wool gabardine trousers. Each piece sold for $16.95 in 1949 (about $152 in today's dollar).
Right: Frederic J. Dormer jacket in Byrd Cloth (a heavy and dense cotton twill) with wool gabardine trousers. Jacket sold for $25.00 and trousers for $16.95 in 1949 (about $224 and $152 in today's dollar).

White Stag brushed wool coat for cross country skiing. Sold for $22.50 in 1949 (about $202 in today's dollar).

Bloomingdale's offered this beige poplin jacket with attached surplice wrapped vest from Switzerland. Sold for $35.00 in 1949 (about $314 in today's dollar).

Mixed Media Monday~

Sunday, December 20, 2009 0 comments
This weeks theme is: "Frosty"I made this hanging piece starting with the glass circle that I had in my stash of stuff. I "frosted" the edges of the glass with sponged white paint. I created the circular shadow box using an old scrabble game-board which I cut and glued together making sure it fit the glass piece I was wanting to use. The game boards are so thick I have to cut them using sheet metal clippers. Cuts like butta' using those :-) I glued and aged some old papers to cover the scrabble text.... then I used one of my bazillion cutie-pa-tootie fairies as the center piece for this "frosty" scene. I also used some white glittered plastic fern leaves and other bits of frosted do-dads to make it look all wintery. I added some rhinestones and some clear round beads to give it a little more sparkle~ Once the inside was finished, I hot glued the round glass piece on top and soldered it all together. I am super bad at soldering, but thats okie-dokie 'cause I've seen worse! I'm just saying~

You can view more art pieces by checking out the weekly challenge site for mixed media art here---> Mixed Media Blog. If you have linked to my blog and wish to view more you can click on this link right ---> here.