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Vintiage Inspiratation

I believe that we have entered into an era where clothing manufacturers are all living in tiny little monastic cells in some retreat where all the women are thin and perfect and probably blonde.  They really seem to completely lost contact with the reality of how some of us ladies out there look.  Shhh... it's a great unknown to them, something they really don't seem to get, but.... WE HAVE BUTTS!  AAAHHHH!  We have butts and boobs and fat and curves.  Sometimes we even have curves in places where we don't really want curves.

Every week I go to the library.  (Don't worry, I'll get back to my point.  You won't be lost for long.)  I'm a voracious reader and my normal weekly routine is five novels or biographies and two crafting books, although frequently there's more.  I don't actually look at the crafting books for patterns.  They're how I learn and study techniques to expand my abilities.  Well, once week I grabbed what looked like a crafting book but turned out to be a whole history of knitwear.  From the earliest fisherman's sweaters (and how to tell apart the design work of different nations.) to modern interpretations.  In my world, this was only slightly below some hot half naked fireman coming up and giving me fresh out of the oven chocolate chip cookies.  Mmmm  fireman.  Mmmm cookies.  Mmmm real vintage knitwear, not "vintage inspired" or "vintage like" or all the other thousands of fake names they come up with to say that it's modern.  No no no.  If I'm learning, I want to learn from the real deal.  And yes, Mister fireman, I don't mind nuts in my cookies at all.  Macadamia is best.

So... let me show you some of the tricks I learned...

  Ok.. .the thicker waist band (one I plan to exaggerate on the next design I'm working on.), it creates a firm waist line on even the chunkiest sweater.  A waist band doesn't have to be tight or binding in order to create the visual impact of a waist.  It just has to be there and showing.  The horizontal line creates the visual trick.  The dolman sleeves on this sweater are great for women who are starting to have their arms wave goodbye for them.  (Ladies, let's be honest.  It happens.)  By adding that dolman sleeve to a half length sleeve, it creates the illusion that you're actually showing off some skin when really it's more like just showing some arm.  The relaxed cowl-ish neck (it's not a full cowl from what I can see in the pic.  So cowl-ish it is.) is great for women who aren't um.... well endowed by the boobie fairy.  Essentially the rule of the torso is any place where there's extra fabric creates volume and emphasis.  That's why rouching is really much more evil and horrid than most women realize.

A classic 1950's sweater girl.  Time to go down to the sock hop and boogie down to that new fangled rock and roll our parents complain so much about.  Even this uses more visual tricks that are great for both designers and women.  Thickened and obvious waist band to show off that waist... check.  Oh so cute princess puff sleeves (that came back and got massively exaggerated)...double check.  They're adorable.  Remember the visual trick of where ever there's volume or extra fabric or detailing... that's where the eye goes.  This simple little sweater is ALL about the yoke and thus pulls the eyes up to the woman's lovely face.   Honestly it's a sweater designed for women who are ... younger....  You know like not necessarily in age but um... lack, um... much in the way of development.  Yeah.   And I totally wish I could get my hair to look that unbelievably adorable.

  So during the world wars, the ladies on the home front weren't just busy with the house work and factory work.  There were also massive drives to help out the soldiers at war accompanied with frequent shortages.  The women would finish up their days knitting socks for the soldiers and trying to figure out how they could turn the little scraps of colors into something actually flattering.  This sweater?  Yeah, it addresses just that.  It's hard to believe that it's from the 1940's.  We tend not to think of war times as inspiration for timeless classics of fashion.  But there it is.  Out of shortages, a desire to be simply warm and maybe look nice too...Wow.  Just wow.  And this one, thanks to it's traditional shaping, can work with a variety of figures.  Ladies, if you've got some junk in the trunk, you don't need to wear sacks that come down to your knees.  If you even just create the illusion of a waist, then you're not going to look bottom heavy.  You're going to look like an hourglass.

I'm sure this topic will be coming back for more.  Honestly it's something that I love.  And hey... if you love it....

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June 2012

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