Sunday, March 25, 2007

Treasures from my costume box

Another busy weekend in coming to a close. While I spent most of the weekend working at home, I did have a chance yesterday to volunteer at a library grand opening.

Myself and two other fun loving ladies donned retro gowns, sashes and tiaras and transformed ourselves into the Library Reading Divas. We spent a few hours greeting and chatting with guests who arrived to tour and use the new library.

Oh, did we have fun! We even recruited a few new Reading Divas for future events! After all, all that is needed to be a Library Reading Diva is a love of libraries, a big smile and the ability to not take yourself seriously. Of course a retro gown with sparkles and sequins, big puffy sleeves and a big bow on the rear helps also.

The need for the retro gown is what led me to digging deep into my costume box. Yesterday morning, while pulling my Diva attire together, I discovered that the gown I've worn for the past year is now too large. With only an hour to find something to wear (and no stores open) I pulled the costume box out of storage.

And look what I found inside! I had forgotten all about this dress. It is a lovely 1940s style gown that a friend gave me years ago. It has small shoulder pads, a fitted inset midriff, ruching at the bottom of the 3/4 sleeves, a long flowing bias skirt, a metal side zipper, and a lace trimmed bodice.

The lace trimmed bodice is complete with a large lace bow.

Unfortunately, while the dress looks great on, it is incredibly sheer, which is not the look I was going for.

As I didn't have anything to wear underneath it, this dress was ruled out.

The next era I came upon was a little black dress from the 1960s. This cocktail dress also had an inset fitted midriff, with a deep v-neckline, two darts in the elbow of the 3/4 length sleeves, and a large rhinestone and velvet trimmed bow at the bustline.

That is one big bow!

This dress has a concealed metal zipper underneath the center front placket. The bow is held in place with a hook and eye above the zipper and a black snap on the bodice.

While this is a cute vintage dress, it's better suited for dinner and drinks, not for doing Diva waves and kneeling down to talk to toddlers.

I decided to wear my retro 1970s sequined butterfly top with a long black skirt. While not exactly the old bridesmaid's gown look we usually wear, it worked.

After our volunteer time was over two of us headed over to a local thrift store so I could look for a replacement gown.

I didn't find a replacement gown, but look at the new treasure that will be added to my costume box! A 1970s era long gown. I swear a sewed a gown for my mother out of this exact same fabric when I was a teen. This floral gown is just as vivid live as it is in these photos. It has an inset midriff waist with a gathered v-neck bodice and slightly gathered long skirt.

1970s Dress

I immediately knew it was sewn and not mass produced. It has an invisible zipper in the back, sew-in interfacing, and hem tape to finish the edge of the hem.

70s retro floral gown hem

The bodice is trimmed with black lace.

70s retro floral gown neckline
And get this, it is lace from the package of hem lace tape! Is that too cute or what?
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  1. Thanks for the great pics! Love ur site, btw ;)

  2. Thanks for sharing these great vintage gowns. I enjoy reading your blog.



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