Spring Must-Haves (and Must-Makes)

Greetings! I’m Mena from The Sew Weekly. Inspired by Casey’s love of the 1940s and the rich resource that is the Sears Catalog Archives at Ancestry.com, I present to you my must-haves and must-makes for Spring. I hope that these serve as inspiration for your own Spring wardrobe!

1.  “Rhumba Ruffles” Dress. That’s Sears’ phrase for these peasant-top type dresses. I actually made a very similar dress earlier this year and fell in love with it! I love how unapologetically ruffly the plaid version is! I love the pocket details! I could easily imagine having three or four of these dresses for Spring and Summer.

2. Red and White Striped Pinafore. I know, I know. There’s just something a bit too candy striper about a red and white striped pinafore. With some modern accessories, I think it can work.

3. Brown Gingham Skirt. While gingham reminds me more of Summer than Spring, I love introducing more brown to my Spring wardrobe. I love how feminine it looks without being over-the-top girly. The wide waistline in the Sears photo is a particularly cute touch. I can imagine a brown gingham wrap skirt being worn quite often over the course of the year!

4. Flowery Tilt Hat. While I do love hats, I’ve been too practical to wear or purchase them. That changed, however, when I saw the most beautiful 1940s aqua straw tilt hat at the Candlestick Park Antique Fair. At the time, I balked at the $20 price — it was just more than I usually spend on hats. Now that I have the hat, I’m so happy that I paid the (really quite a steal) price! It absolutely gorgeous and I’m saving it for Easter. So as far as item #4 goes, I can cross it off my list. Here’s a photo of the beauty, complete with netting in absolutely perfect condition :

5. Bright Sandals or Wedges in “Butterfly Colors.” Having committed to only making my clothes, I have a new appreciation for buying shoes. They tend to be my only splurge nowadays (that and $20 1940s hats). Unfortunately, I have a terribly wide foot so I can not find true vintage shoes in my size. For fairly inexpensive (mid $60s), I’ve had much luck with Chelsea Crew. But I still haven’t found my butterfly.

6. Flowery House Coat. I can’t imagine having that much gorgeous fabric and using it for something only worn in the privacy of my own home. Yet I’m still drawn to these house coats. Let’s just call them what they are: robes. I want a gorgeous Spring robe!

7. Knits! Because I sew all my own clothes, I don’t usually purchase vintage dresses or shirts. But I do allow myself three exceptions when vintage shopping: hats, shoes and knits. I love 1930s and 1940s knits and will never pass up the perfect sweater. Last weekend at the Vintage Expo in San Francisco I did the unspeakable: I spent $125 on this skirt/top sweater set from the 1930s. I love it and, as an added bonus, it goes with my hat!

A huge thanks to Casey for letting me share my Spring wish list with you! If you’re unfamiliar with The Sew Weekly, be sure to check it out and join our very welcoming community! And if you sew, check out our weekly challenges!

March 22, 2011 · 19 lovely thoughts
posted in vintage inspiration ·

Mary Beth at ✄ Yarn U ✄ iPhone app v1.2 March 22, 2011 at 15:19

I love the sweater top/skirt looks like it’s in good condition. Is it a hand knit? Looks like it’s in great shape. Congrats. I’m have tempted to take a look and see if I can recreate a pattern from your outfit. It needs to be replicated! I also have a late 1930s long skirt that looks like the bottom half of the house coat in the middle. It’s a bit on the long side, which is why I don’t wear it too much. But it is darling.

Lauren March 22, 2011 at 15:22

Holy smokes! I think I nearly swooned when I saw your hat. You lucky thing! THAT COLOR! To die for! Wow!
Love these inspiration photos! Now I want to sew these, too. Oh, sewing inspiration, you are so fickle ;)
Thanks for the lovely images, Mena!

Rebecca Jean March 22, 2011 at 15:43

Oh my goodness! Must haves is right. They’re all gorgeous. I actually own one of those robes. It’s a pink and white floral pattern. I absolutely adore it. It makes me feel so special and lady-like whenever I wear it.

Much how I anticipate you will feel when wearing that knit number with that gorgeous hat. Stunning! I love the color. Definitely says spring and would be perfect for Easter. You’ll be a knock-out!

Thanks for sharing, I’m certainly inspired!
♥ Rebecca Jean
Midnight Maniac

Caitlin March 22, 2011 at 15:51

I MUST make that gingham skirt. Alas! I don’t have my sewing machine with me here in Edinburgh, but as soon as I get my hands on it again, you can bet that skirt (or one remarkably like it) will be one of the first on the to-sew list!


Jill March 22, 2011 at 16:19

OH I am in love with your KNIT set!! Great find!! Your hat is incredible, too!

Stephanie March 22, 2011 at 16:55

Wow! A fabulous hat and a fabulous knit ensemble and they match!! What finds!!! Excellent choices for spring wardrobe additions also.

Josie March 22, 2011 at 17:00

These are definitely some must have for spring and that sweater set is divine!!

Lisa March 22, 2011 at 17:16

That outfit it TIMELESS and can be worn to a large range of outings (with or without the hat). A purchase WELL MADE!! I am JEALOUS!

Little Black Car March 22, 2011 at 17:17

I was in Galveston on Sunday, perched on the edge of the seawall to eat a picnic lunch, when I realized I was in dire need of a playsuit. Words I never thought I would say!

I was actually wearing Simplicity 4714 (1943), which I had finished at 2:00 that morning, and it was great, but it was all wrong for the beach (even though there isn’t any beach up at 81st Street, just seawall and rocks). It’s the kind of dress with which one wears loafers, and nobody should wear loafers to the beach.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to make Anne Adams 4518 (1942 postmark) in red and white ticking stripe. Am I right? What else could she possibly be??

I need sandals. I haven’t owned sandals in decades and the lack of them is starting to cramp my style.

jonathan March 22, 2011 at 17:28

What a fabulous hat and for 20 that is a steal especially for tilts and i was also at fashion expo this weekend both days, i was volunteering at the art deco society table i bought a pair of white linen plus fours and i paid 140 for them, i dont normally splurge on things unless its for me i seem to find vintage for my friends at a much more reasonable price

Debi March 22, 2011 at 17:28

ooohh! What an AMAZING hat and knit dress! The hat is an absolute steal at $20! Thanks also for the link to the shoe site…they actually have vegan shoes! YAY!

Jenny @ Kerrfect! March 22, 2011 at 19:16

I love the outfit! The color is great!
I have a pair of 40′s wedge peeptoe in that style, they are green suede with yellow leather trim. I’ve been holding on to them for years even though they are juuuuuuust a tiny bit too small for me (probably a modern size 6). I suppose I should part with them once and for all and put them on my Etsy so that someone who does fit into them can enjoy them. It’s just one of those things that are so rare to find in a thrift store you don’t want to let it go! lol

Lucy March 22, 2011 at 21:24

OMG THAT HAT<3<3<3!!!!!! If I were to ever see you on the street wearing it, I would be tempted to rip it off your head and run away,lol.

Lenora Jane March 22, 2011 at 21:50

Absolutely loving the hat…can see it atop something quite plain as an accent piece, as well as with that crazy knit ensemble…divine. And thank you for the shoe link–already trawling.

Casey March 23, 2011 at 06:55

Wowza! That hat is so gorgeous; what a great find to score! :) I love all your spring-wardrobe inspirations; especially the red and white striped pinafore. Something like that is high on my list too–now just to find the perfect red stripe! ;)

♥ Casey

Melizza March 23, 2011 at 14:54

How gorgeous is that hat! I decided to go to a fu fu English summer event and need a hat. At least I know now that very pretty ones do exist.

Renee March 23, 2011 at 23:31

I love the inspirations.

What a great find with the sweater and skirt. Very pretty color.

Enjoyed your post.

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