Tag Archives: 1950s

Halloween and an FO

Since I have a rather overflowing closet with lots of costume-y pieces I decided to try to utilize my growing vintage inspired wardrobe for my Halloween costume this year instead of buying materials to make something entirely from scratch.

Combined with a converted serving tray, hair and makeup and I had my Vintage Cigarette Girl costume!

Vintage Cigarette Girl Costume - Halloween 2011

The vinyl pillbox hat is one I made and posted about before. The top and hemmed skirt are thrifted pieces. The fishnets were purchased new as they are actually seamed stockings and I had been coveting them.

Cigarette and candy tray

I attached a thrifted trimming piece from my stash to the tray with double sided tape and added a ribbon strap. About a month back I sent out a request to friends to start collecting empty cigarette boxes and I filled these with candy in addition to purchasing some “Candy cigarettes” which had cool retro boxes. I Mod Podged a little “tip jar” over a tissue box and filled a few metal cups with other assorted candies.

"Ladylike Gloves" Lace knitted gloves

Of course I decided a couple weeks before Halloween that I really needed some vintage style gloves, because apparently I’m a crazy person and just can’t stick with simplicity. Eunny Jang’s “Ladylike Gloves” from Interweave Knits was just the pattern I needed. I had some Classic Elite Yarns Silky Alpaca Lace in my stash that worked perfect too.

Modeling my new lace gloves :)

My only mods were to work 5 rows of garter stitch instead of the applied I-cord edging as well as adding black seed beads to the backwards loop cast-on. I added them every other CO stitch, but wish I had done every stitch to make it a little more noticeable. These were down to the wire to finish, wove in the ends around 11pm the night before our costume party, ha. Total cost, around $10 (for stockings and candy cigarettes).

Cleopatra DIY Costume

When a friend of mine decided she wanted to be Cleopatra I excitedly offered to help make the costume for her too. This was a fun one to create! We got a bed sheet from the thrift store that I cut up to make the dress, adding a graphic border in blue fabric paint pen. The blue veil and brown scarf for around the hips I had on hand. Then I got a gold fabric dress while thrifting to cut the collar out of, adding iron on interfacing to give it structure. The dress even had ties that I cut up into arm bands. Had fun decorating these with gold puff paint and gluing on craft jewels. She bought a headress, spray painted some flip flops gold and that was the finished costume!


I received my swap package from my partner for the 1950s Inspired Swap I participated in on craftster.org! This was actually my first craft swap (an irresistible theme) and a great experience. I think it really helps to get some creative ideas going and to try a few different things too.

Fair warning, lots of photos to follow.

First up some beautiful cloth napkins, adorable crocheted flower (I’m so rocking
this hair accessory) and the most amazing tie purse in a tiki-esque
print. I love it! (This picture does not do it justice either.)

Vintage style romper, how cute is this?! Just in time for our seemingly never ending 100+ degree heat wave.

Vintage style romper

Embellishment detail

Embellishment detail

And an altered polka dot (my fav!) tee with bow sleeves.

Altered polka dot tee

And now the parade of items I made for the Swap.

Needle book from some thrifted vintage fabric I had. I’m getting more and more confident in my beginner sewing abilities. Now I need to make one of these for myself, handy!

Needle Book

Another pillbox version of my Dose design, this time in teal (my swap partner’s favorite color). It’s easy to play with the demisions of this pattern. This one is probably in between the original and the shorter, wider version I made before. It has loops sewn inside for bobby pins and little teal polka dot bows for trim.

Teal pill box hat with polka dot bows

Dose pillbox pattern in teal

A pair of lace and “pearl” earrings. The lace is needle tatted from fine crochet cotton.
I acutally just free formed this simple design.

"Pearl" and tatted lace earrings

Retro makeup bag in Classic Elite’s Sundance with a vintage glass button closure. This was a nice interesting knit that went relatively fast. It was great for traveling.

Retro makeup bag

Another piece I may have to recreate for myself, it was hard to part with, haa. This little fascinator/cocktail hat was actually salvaged from a failed felting project that I had saved for that purpose. Cut the base out from it, attached the furry leopard print ribbon and made a little bow from ribbon and netting.

Little cocktail hat

Cocktail leopard print hat

Aaaand the whole kit n’ caboodle with some small gifties for her little boy and a teal flower broach.

1950s Inspired Swap package

FO: Ribbed Lace Bolero

What’s this? Two Finished Objects in a row? Maybe the world really is ending.

With several vintage style dresses scored recently I also wanted a retro styled bolero. They’re great for chilly offices and a little extra cover-up for sleeveless dress. I’ve had this pattern, Ribbled Lace Bolero, in my queue for some time and glad I finally got to making it.

It’s a great little pattern, no wonder it’s popular. I really liked the attention to detail such as the use of cables to make the ribbing transitions match. This type of knitting was perfect for TV watching and traveling too, easy to memorize

Ribbed Lace Bolero

I followed the pattern basically as written using her example measurements and Lion Brand Cotton-ease. I think I could have left out a lace repeat or two. I was worried about it being tight around the arm (I have big upper arms, meh) but it’s so stretchy that it’s no problem at all. It could have been a little shorter/tighter in the back length though but that’s a small quibble. I did cast-on in the combined knit/purl long tail method as I usually do and didn’t use the suggested bind-off, just the usual way in pattern.

A Little Hat For Me

I am finally finally getting some proper pictures up of this little pillbox hat I made! Seriously it’s been done for months and I’ve worn it several times but just keep forgetting photos (having too much fun I suppose, hee).

DIY vinyl pillbox hat

It’s a “real” hat created using millinery techniques, no knitting whatsoever. I got this wonderful book, “From the Neck Up; an Illustrated Guide to Hatmaking” by Denise Dreher and I used what I learned from that to make it. However I didn’t use traditional materials and went a more DIY/budget way.

DIY hat

First, I adore this covering “fabric”. I scored this great polka-dot printed vinyl as a remnant piece. Since it isn’t easily sewn I simply hot glued it to the hat frame. Now I actually had taken in progress photos of this but after searching everywhere I cannot find them. Sadly they must have been deleted. I really wanted to show what I used for the frame, instead of traditional buckram I used my old friend plastic mesh canvas!

You can even buy it in pre-cut circles which is what I used for the top. I then cut a strip for the sides and whip stitched the whole thing together.

Fully lined and hat band inside

The underside, fully lined with a proper hat/headsize band and bobby pins attached for wearing. The lining material is salvaged too from a thrifted skirt I’m cutting up for another project.
All in all total cost of this hat was probably around $2.

Puppy always has to get into my shots!

Wearing it here with my newly thrifted dress and t-strap shoes. <3

From a "Retro Christmas" party

And one more shot with a veil attached (borrowed from this top hat I made) at a “Retro Christmas Party” we went to back in December. (Can you tell I have a thing for polka-dots?)

A Little Different Dose

So apparently I can’t even leave my own patterns alone.

Latest headpiece- a slightly modified version of my Dose Pillbox pattern.

Dose, slightly modified

Skull and starburst needle felting detailOne of the fun things with shaped hats like this is the smallest variations can really alter the look of the piece.

This version is about half the height of the original with an extra repeat for the width. I wanted a more casual version and to play with simple needle-felting for the embellishment. What to felt? Skulls of course!

Worked in Patons Classic Wool Merino like my others. I love this stuff, felts beautifully. I’ve also found if you really work on smoothing the felt while it’s still wet/damp onto whatever you’re using to block it on, it really polishes out the finished texture.

now with skullies!

The original pattern can be purchased here.

Mr. PieKnits surprised me the other day with this awesome new retro purse! How I love it so and it’s goes so perfectly with my new hat I just had to share.

Shiny new purse!

New Pattern – Dose, Felted Pillbox

There is hardly a more fabulous accessory than a vintage style hat.

Dose Felted Pillbox Cocktail Hat

Nothing transforms an outfit like a great hat can. I think they’re such fun pieces which is probably why I can’t seem to stop making them. This pillbox hat is not full size, so it’s more a type of cocktail hat that sits tilted on the head.

Embellishments- so much fun!

From understated to extravagantly embellished, the decorations can endlessly vary the look. Make two from one skein and adorn completely differently!
Dose PillBox

The pillbox shape for hats has been around literally thousands of years but was more recently made popular in the mid-20th century. This classic shape is easy to wear and won’t mess up your hair.

The instant download rundown -after payment via Paypal you will be given a link to download the pattern. This link will also be emailed to you and will expire in 120 hours. For any questions about the pattern or whole download process please shoot me an email me at- jen@pieknits.com!

Pattern previewPattern: Dose -  Felted Pillbox Cocktail Hat
Gauge: 12 sts and 16 rows = 4″ in St st before felting
Needle sizes: Size 11 (8 mm): 16″ circular (cir) and set of 4 or 5 double-pointed (dpn)
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Merino (100% merino wool; 223 yds [204 meters] per 100g): 00226 Black, 1 ball (approx. 1/2 for 1 hat)
Skill level: Beginner-Intermediate (working in the round with small number of sts, short rows, single crochet used)
Price: $3.75
Format: PDF instant download pattern

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