Thursday, October 1, 2015

Enter the Royal Vintage Halloween Photo Contest!

It's October! Enter all things pumpkin, the spreading of polyester spider web on *everything*, and the sudden sprouting of Spirit Halloween Stores all over the country. In 31 days it shall be Halloween, which means costumes!

This year, my new company Royal Vintage Shoes is hosting a Halloween-themed photo contest! It's easy to play, with lots of categories, and many chances to win. Here we go...

Vintage, Retro, Historical! Photos should exhibit old-fashioned subject matter such as clothing, costumes, activities, places, or situations. Don't be afraid to interpret the categories in creative ways.

  • Must hashtag and tag (@royalvintageshoes photograph to enter
  • Submit as many photos as you like
  • You may submit the same photo to multiple categories
  • Photos may be old, but must be posted on your Instragram feed anew. We will not be able to find hashtagged photos from way back.
  • Photos must be your own photography work, or posted with permission from the photographer.
  • Photos do not have to be of you. Feel free to interpret the categories however you like - take photos of people, objects, places, pets, etc
  • No racist, sexist, hate-oriented photos, please.
  • ZombieLife - Rise from the grave and show us your best vintage zombie inspiration #zombielife15
  •  The Great Pumpkin - Pumpkin patch, pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice latte. Take a pumpkin-themed Fall photo #thegreatpumpkin15
  • Frankenvintage - Stitch it together and bring it back to life! #frankenvintage15
  • Monster Mash - Party like it's sixteen-, seventeen-, or eighteen ninety-nine.#monstermash15
  • The Lady in Black - mourning, magic, mystery... #theladyinblack15
  • The Devil Wears - Fill in the blank! #thedevilwears15
  • Witches and Warlocks - From Eastwick to Hogwarts... #witchesandwarlocks15
  • Hellboy - Take a Halloween-themed photo of yourself! (Boy's category) #hellboy15
  • Hellgirl - Take a Halloween-themed photo of yourself! (Girl's category) #hellgirl15
  • Rosemary's Baby - Capture your spooky spawn in their Halloween best #rosemarysbaby15
How to Enter

Post your photo on the Royal Vintage Shoes Facebook wall. Hashtag the submission category you choose (can choose multiple categories). Tag Royal Vintage Shoes in your photo.

Public Instagram accounts only, please. Tag @royalvintageshoes in your photo, using the tag people option. Hashtag the submission category (can choose multiple categories)

Example: Marie Antoinette's lost her head. Eek! Happy Halloween! My entry to the @royalvintageshoes Halloween Photo Contest! #zombielife15
One winner per category will receive a $20 gift certificate to

Winners will be announced here, on Facebook, and on Instagram November 1st, 2015!

*We must be able to contact you - if we cannot contact the winner of a category, we will pass the prize on to the second place submission.

Email with any questions.
 *Royal Vintage Shoes reserves the right to share, re-gram, and re-post submitted photos (with credit to the photographer).

Monday, September 28, 2015

Miss Fisher Chinoiserie Jacket Refashion

The Miss Fisher Fashion quest continues! So far I've made some trousers, a skirt, a blouse, a couple hats, and I've purchased a few things as well.

I've also caught the "refashion" bug, retro-cycling clothes to give them a more vintage look. It's fun to see what you can make from something discarded, and flexes some little-used sewing muscles. I find making something from scratch quite easy, but re-making an existing garment, having to work around seams and style lines, can be quite tricky!


Re-cutting old clothing is a wonderfully historical thing to do. There are many examples of 18th century gowns re-made over and over again, as well as Victorian gowns made from literally 100 year old Spitalfields silk. The practice continued well into the 20th century. We think of "Make Do and Mend" as a '40s thing, but it was big in the 1920s and 30s too.

So in the spirit of our crafty ancestors, I set to work refashioning this:

before - uurrgghhh
It was  a very boxy, thigh-length, large jacket with shoulder pads. The fabric is a faux shantung with an Asian-inspired print. I wanted to do a short jacket to wear with my at-waist pants.

I used a '50s pattern, but with the cut '30s boleros in mind. I kept the Mandarin collar and buttons on the existing jacket, but removed the shoulder pads and took the whole thing in, in addition to shortening it. Here's my refashion:

After - fun!
Miss Fisher loves her jackets and is all about Asian influences, so I think she'd totally go for this bolero. And the hat, which I just couldn't resist snagging from VenusRetro on Etsy.

Now if only the weather would cool off so I can wear this!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The 1940s in Shoes - Black Platforms (With Studs!?)

In my new endeavor to provide the costuming and vintage fashion world with the best of 1920s, 30s, and 40s footwear, I am constantly studying style trends of those decades.

Sometimes I'm surprised by what I find, thinking, "gosh, that looks so modern!" But what that really means in this crazy fashion world is, "gosh, modern looks so vintage!"

Take platform shoes, for example. What looks '70s may actually be '40s. It's amazing how popular black leather with studs was in the '40s - what a modern "rock and roll" style! But check these 1940s shoes out...

FabGabs - 1940s platform peep toes with studs (SOLD)
(source) - Leather and studs and HUGE platforms with a daytime suit. Yes. This is '40s
Antique Dress - 1940s beaded black velvet peep toe slingbacks. Disco inferno? Nope, just your average pair of 1940s shoes.
VintageVortex on Etsy - studs, cutouts, platform, AND and ankle strap. Zowie!
This kind of shoe is common in the '40s - it's the rule rather than the exception, if you can believe it. Of course, black platform shoes of varying heights and lifts went with everything - day, evening, work, play, which fits in perfectly with the thrifty '40s ideas of versatility in the wardrobe. Here are some more black platforms:

lovestreetsf on Etsy - '40s black suede platforms with floral cutout and ankle strap.
villavillavintage - black suede and leather platforms with decorative stitching
Kickshaw on Etsy - 1.5" platform on these gorgeous suede '40s shoes.
The interesting thing about platform shoes is that they *look* killer, but it's an illusion. By elevating the ball of the foot, you get the height but not the pain of a super high heel. A platform shoe with a 4 inch heel and a 2 inch platform feels like you're wearing just a 2 inch high heel.

I've been hunting for shoes like any of the above for Royal Vintage. The best repro designs I've found come from Miss L Fire:

Miss L Fire "Betty" 1940s Platform Shoes - $165 -
Miss L Fire "Betty" platform slingback sandals in black suede - $165
Miss L Fire "Lupita" 1940s Platform Shoes - $155 -
Miss L Fire "Lupita" black suede platforms with embroidery and cutouts - $155
Miss L Fire "Lila" 1940s Pinup Girl Platform Shoes - $120 -
Miss L Fire "Lila" 1940s velvet and studded suede platforms. These are epic and SO '40s - $120
Gorgeous shoes, and perfectly period. For tons more examples of 1940s shoes - platforms, slingbacks, peep toes, sandals, and oxfords - check out my 1940s Shoes Pinterest board.

Plus, here are a few more makers/sellers of '40s style platforms:
Remix Vintage Shoes - "Veronica" - $188
b.a.i.t. footwear - various designs - around $70 each
Pinup Girl Clothing - various designs - $60 - $200

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

My Version of McCall 8641 - 1936 Skirt Pattern

My 1930s "Miss Fisher" skirt inspired by McCall 8641 from 1936
Continuing on with my Miss Fisher Capsule Wardrobe, I set to making a skirt from the navy blue wool gabardine I'm using as my base fabric.

I know the show is set in 1929 (so far), but a lot of Miss Fisher's wardrobe has a very mi-1930s flair to it, which I absolutely love. So instead of a '20s skirt, I went for something I felt would flatter me more, a basic, slim, straight 1930s skirt.

I didn't want it to be *too* plain, though, so I looked through the free search section of the Commercial Pattern Archive and found this 1936 McCall skirt pattern:

McCall 8641 - 1936

And, handily, the shapes for the pieces:

McCall 8641 - 1936 - pattern piece shapes

Easy enough! I already had a 1930s dress that I knew fit me, so I just traced off the pieces for the skirt, re-drew the seam lines on the front, and added the decorative button plackets and a waistband.

A simple 1930s straight silhouette, left long-ish at the hem (well below the knee). It'll go with everything!
A day later it was done. I'm quite happy with it, although if I were to make it again I would move the side-front seams and button placket closer together. It's just a bit wide on the front for my taste, but I'm not bothered enough to re-make the skirt.

The plackets are false, just folded fabric stitched down, with 5 buttons sewn on for decoration. This sort of embellishment is very common for 1930s clothing.
Despite looking a bit like a flight attendant, I enjoyed wearing the skirt with a simple white silk blouse, burgundy wool beret, and a pair of vintage '80s Zodiac oxfords I found in a thrift shop for $7.

A great pair of Zodiac brand leather oxfords, from the 1980s, found at Savers for a steal.
I'm over the discomfort of going out in public dressed in "old lady clothes" by now, and just enjoy feeling put together, especially in things I made myself and thrifted. :-) It's just smart!