July 19, 2014

Pretty as a picture

There hasn't been much sewing these past few days. I finished the bias cut wearable muslin but I'm having doubts about it so I didn't feel confident to move on to the real design. And then, yesterday and today, the weather was very warm. I know a Dutch heatwave will sound like a silly little thing for those of you coming from countries with warmer or more extreme climates but believe me, temperatures of over 30 degrees Celsius are not nice here. I find it very hard to be productive in such weather.
And, to be honest, despite the fact that I enjoyed making E's jacket, I'd be lying if I said my sewing mojo had fully recovered. I tried to but I had to admit it might need some more time.

So, today, I'll just show you some pretty pictures. 
Last week, I went to the small book and antiques market which is held on Thursdays at the Lange Voorhout (I should have taken a picture of the place. It's a wide, tree lined street in the centre of The Hague, across from the Binnenhof and surrounded by other beautiful old buildings. I believe I have read somewhere that this space was kept open because it was where the counts of Holland and later the Stadholders and their retainers gathered for the hunt. Having lived in this city for years, it's surprisingly easy to overlook that it has many beautiful and interesting parts). 
One of the stalls was selling vintage postcards and I decided to have a look.

I bought these. I was looking for images of pretty clothes but in the "ladies and couples" drawer, most half of all the pictures were portraits and many were rather too sweet. 
My purchases can be grouped in three categories: outfits, funny and a story. I'll leave the latter two for now and show you the nice outfit pictures.

I would say this lovely lady is from the 1930's. This photograph looks rather spontaneous and it seems like it was taken in a lovely outdoor setting (most images on the postcards were studio pictures. I love her dress with the little caplet and the hairstyle with its carefully set curls at the side of the head.

And then there's this one. To be honest, I find the colouring a bit off-putting but just look at the shape and detail of her coat. A fabulous 1920's creation, I would say.On closer inspection, I think the orange of the coat, the blue in the sky and the slight yellow of her hair and the buttons are original but the bright purple was coloured in at some more recent date, by some bored individual with a felt-tip pen. 

Maybe I'll put these into frames so I can hang them in my sewing room for inspiration... 
Of course I have fashion magazines from the times these pictures are from, but there's something more 'real' about a photograph. A drawing of a pretty dress is very nice but it could be complete imagination. A photograph, even a highly stylized one which was made for commercial distribution, is an account of a real person posing in that dress or that coat. 


  1. It has been hot in London too. Our cities and houses aren't designed to deal with the heat which is why it has been so unpleasant. I thought I was going to melt in bed last might.

  2. Likewise it was really humid in the North of England yesterday, the predicted storms haven't come yet. Lovely photos. The coat is so glamorous and love the hat.