Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dressing December

I think I have a problem. It's twofold. First, I have project ADD--no sooner have I gotten shifts assembled and everything gathered for the Peacock 1930s gown than I find myself distracted by another seamstressing endeavor. And why is this, you ask? Part two of my problem--I want to dress like my characters.

The WIP, December, is set in the 1940s. It's a fantastic time for clothes. I want to steal from my characters' closets. They have such fabulous things--they wear hats and gloves when they go out, they know what shade of red lipstick looks best on them. I could write up a laundry list of the clothing I want from the period...in fact, I will:

A flipping amazing suit--I think the only redeeming quality of the movie Pearl Harbor (aside from the historically-inspired Dorie Miller storyline--I heart Dorie Miller) is the drop-dead sexy suit Kate Beckinsale wears in one scene. I love me a peplum. And a strategically placed brooch. I have a vintage suit pattern that I haven't quite had the guts to try yet.
A kicky day dress--something sweet and a little naive.
A practical cocktail dress--that versatile, perfectly tailored dress you could wear to any occasion, any time of year. You know, because you couldn't just run around buying clothes with a war on.
So I did what any lustful seamstress does--I went pattern shopping. I found these two zingers at the Vintage Pattern Lending Library, and can't wait to try them out. The day dress is fantastic--sweet Peter Pan collar, adorable puffed sleeves. The cocktail dress is lovely, too--simple, versatile, almost a bit wistful. I'll be finishing the Peacock gown first, but will be starting these soon, too.

Where do you get your clothing inspiration? Does the real world inspire what your characters wear, if you're a writer? Do characters in books or movies inspire what you add to your wardrobe?


Atlanta said...

Wow! I love your inspiration! I've been rather obsessed with vintage fashion lately as well.

Good luck on your projects!!

sharmon said...

Girl, you are so right! I adore peplums, red nails, and brooches! Guess there is no accounting for taste because I loved Pearl Harbor, have the movie and watch it every year--I guess its the patriotic storyline and yes! the clothes! I love her little mandarin collar number when she comes to the hanger to see Danny. oooo.
Always a treat to stop by--
happy sewing!

Rowenna said...

Thanks, Atlanta! Will be posting pics as I work on these :)

Sharmon--the clothes in that movie are pretty much to die for :) I may have slight bias against it partially because a class I was in made a study of deconstructing it...never a wise idea if you want to enjoy a movie!

sharmon said...

Too true. I thought it was perfection the first time I saw it, on subsequent viewings I saw more and more flaws. But like a dear friend, I overlook them for the beauty (of the clothes!) and the meaning, the sacrifice--sacrifice is a big theme throughout and I love sacrificial love stories.

dolleygurl said...

Man, I wish I could sew! I think the extent of my expertise ends with sewing on buttons. And I haven't really done too much of that. Way to go!

Brownpaperbaggirl said...

That is one of my favourite time period of fashion. Those ladies dressed so elegantly.

Hema P. said...

Rowenna, you not only have a way with sewing, but also with words, obviously. Whenever I read one of your posts, I feel like going shopping for a whole new wardrobe :-).

I describe the clothes worn by characters in my ms quite vividly, too, especially because it's set in India (two different time periods, too).

Rowenna said...

Dolley--you have to start somewhere--buttons are a good place to start :)

BPG--I know, I wish we had more of that kind of elegance today

Hema--Thank you! Oooohhh...Indian clothing is beautiful. And the fabric is to die for.

Jill said...

Oh, how adorable. I wish I could wear 1930s clothing. I have a gorgeous 1930s dress my hubbie bought me at a vintage clothing shop. My shoulders are too broad for 1940s clothing, however. At least I think so. I look kind of funny wearing it.