Style Icon: Eartha Kitt

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This post wants to be about the lack of recognition and due respect paid to black style icons throughout history. It wants to be about that struggle being the least of their worries in their own time. It wants to be about a great many things: feminism and how it’s different when you’re black, beauty and how it’s viewed differently when you’re black, style and how often it’s copied without credit when you’re black.

BUT

That shit brings me down! Sometimes, even in my own heart and mind, I just want it to be simple! A simple post, conversation, thought, feeling about this person of color and how looking at them

MAKES ME FEEL GOOD!!!

Let’s look at Eartha.

LOOK AT HER!!

She is fucking stunning!

Even though Eartha Kitt was a singer rather than a movie star - she sure had the glamour!

And she knows it.

A STUNNING photo of Eartha Kitt! Thanks @Dee

The fabulous, Eartha Kitt

Eartha Kitt

Look at that rare, girlish smile!!

Eartha Kitt

And look, LOOOOOOK at her MOOOOOVE!!

Eartha Kitt, 1951 (Russell Westwood)

Eartha Kitt #wholesale #fall #fashion #clothing #ootd #wiwt #shopitrightnow #graphics #patterns #earthakitt #bombshell #celebrity

Eartha Kitt

Eartha Kitt dances during Dizzy Gillespie’s set at the Newport Jazz Festival, 1954.

Look at the POWER!!

Eartha Kitt

Eartha Kitt And Patrice Munsel  Date taken:	1955  Photographer:	George Silk

Eartha Kitt, 1955. Photo by George Silk

There are millions of images like these from old Hollywood, but not so many of its African American stars.

Being fitted.

Valentino Vamp. Eartha Kitt

Getting pretty.

Eartha Kitt in her dressing room in 1952.

Embracing style and motherhood, with equal aplomb.

Eartha Kitt having fun with daughter Kitt. looking like fiyah!!! get it Eartha!!

She appeared to be so unapologetic about being her full self! So proud and regal (which some might feel she shouldn’t have because of her very humble beginnings, and that is a massive understatement, but this post is not about that)!! So, SO talented and passionate!

And beautiful!!

Especially as she aged.

Eartha Kitt

I hope to see her name and likeness in more vintage style reports around the blogisphere.

She was there.

And she looked fucking awesome.

{No} Blues for Hawthorn!!

{No} Blues for Hawthorn

Another pattern pulled from the collection!! Although, this one shouldn’t really count as it’s a very recent addition to the collection.
This is Colette Patterns Hawthorn, of course. This version is technically a muslin before I cut into my Liberty fabric.
The deeeelightful buttons are vintage by way of my grandma :D
They totally make the top!!

{No} Blues for Hawthorn

Their awesome green color make this basic more of a specialty piece, since it will be difficult to match things with them. This oldie but goodie skirt was a perfect fit!!

{No} Blues for Hawthorn

This is mostly a size two. I did taper out the side seams a bit. To about a size 4 or 6. Things were looking a tad small, so I used a much smaller seam allowance than the pattern calls for. The cotton has since relaxed a bit, which makes me wonder if I should have stuck with 5/8 of an inch, after all.

‘Tis no matter! I LOVE this make!! And I am so proud of its fit and finishing!! You can’t see how neat and clean it is on the inside. Oh, wait. Let me take a pic.

{No} Blues for Hawthorn
You see!!
{No} Blues for Hawthorn
I’m sooooo pleased!

{No} Blues for Hawthorn

Tracing the pattern used the last of my tracing paper. Though, I wonder about tracing a larger size. My real concerns are the armholes and sleeves. I like the rest of the fit, but I HATE super snug sleeves and tight underarms. I planned to add sleeves to this one, but I didn’t have enough fabric. It might take another muslin.

{No} Blues for Hawthorn

You know what was super fun?? That little snap at the waistline audibly popping open (repeatedly) after I had lunch!
AHAHAHAHAHA How I LAUGHED!!
I won’t add one of those, again.

{No} Blues for Hawthorn

Well, that’s all, folks!! Did you make a Hawthorn? Link it up in the comments!

{No} Blues for Hawthorn

Graffiti & Puffs & Scallops

6.11.13 :: Puffs & Scallops

6.11.13 :: Puffs & Scallops

Graffiti :: Talented Artist
Giant Puff :: Genetics (see it unbound, here!)
Top :: Scallopized Grainline Tiny Pocket Tee
Jeans :: F21
Sandals :: Target

6.11.13 :: Puffs & Scallops

I went on a swimsuit fabric run to Mood with my Sissy, today!! I LOVE sister dates!! I also squished in lunch with my hubby. He was nice enough to snap these pics for me ;o)

It was funny, while at Mood (in the knits aisle getting my copy-cat on with the fabric Jen used for her knit Scout. ps- I couldn’t find it) I saw Jodi! What are the odds?! I love New York!! Anyway, I hightailed it to the swimwear aisle, with directions given via tweets from Sonja and Charlotte, so that I can join in on the Bombshell Swimsuit sew-along.

Bombshell Sewalong
I have a swimwear necessary event, next week. But, it’s looking like the weather is going to suck. So, I will be waiting for the sewalong to start. Check out my fabric here.
SewingCake
I also had to pump my brakes on tearing into my Hummingbird pattern as it benefits my House to sew within the specified time. I’ll be sewing along with Mikhaela! This is as close as I’ll get to being sorted at Hogwarts and I plan to relish it!

Today was a super busy day of doing exactly what I wanted to do! Can’t complain about that. Well, much. My sister and I also hit three stores in addition to Mood. F21 yielded one pair of ill fitting pants and HM another. And the Basquiat tees I wanted from another chain totally sucked in person.

That’s what I get for shopping when I can SEW MY OWN.

60s via ’13

1960s via 2013

New DRESSSSSSSSS!!!

1960s via 2013
I used the last of this origami bird/weird crown/small-ish white print fabric on this dress about 2 weeks ago, but it only made its debut today! I made a skirt with this fabric, last summer.

I was having a great time (NOT) trying to match patterns with off cuts and short yardages of fabric. Fun times….I was super psyched when I found a match.

1960s via 2013

Sandals :: Madden Girl
Belt :: F21
Dress :: Handmade
using vintage 60s pattern (Simplicity 4298) from the haul of a lifetime

1960s via 2013

This is essentially a (wearable, obviously) muslin. The bodice is a bit roomy in the chest, but still totally passable, in my opinion. I have a few go-to skirt patterns, I really want to get a good go-to bodice in my TNT pattern house. I’m pretty close with this one. I added an inch, but in the wrong place. Not the first time I’ve made this error. I’m trying to decide which fabric to use for version 2.

1960s via 2013

This fabric is cute, but quite unforgiving. It shows pin/needle holes and it tore in two (small) places on try #1000 of inserting the zipper. It was late and I should have left it for another day. Lesson learned. A little fusible interfacing and some strategic fabric marker application and it was alright in the end.

Just look how happy I was!

1960s via 2013

This was before I started sweating like crazy. It was HOTTTTT today! And this fabric left none of the evidence to the imagination….at least it dried quickly. Ahem. ;)

Last day of Me Made May, tomorrow!!! Should I make something new to wear???

Thanks so much for your feedback on being a copycat! You guys sure know how to make a girl feel better!

Also: PAVOT is totally sold out!! Sacré Bleu, lol

Do you think Lee got wind of my plans?

MMM.D14 :: Wool in May

It’s May, and I wore a wool dress, today. Comfortably.
WTF.

MMM.D14 :: Wool in May

Dress :: Simplicity 8498
Tee :: Lydia Tee
Cardigan :: Target
Tights :: H&M
Shoes :: H&M

MMM.D14 :: Wool in May

I’m glad I wore this today. I nearly cut out another one last night. Wearing it today reminded me that the neckline is too high. I’m pleased with everything else, except the facings which will be replaced with bias tape. I’m a convert.

Apropos of nothing, I had angel hair pasta with meat sauce for lunch :o

I kid. This pic shows the dress well.

MMM.D14 :: Wool in May

 Dotty tights! LOVE! Just be glad I shaved my legs before donning them. Sasquatch ain’t got nothing on me, lol

MMM.D14 :: Wool in May

Also, looking at these pics, I wonder if this dress is too short?? It doesn’t feel like it while wearing it…

A Lil’ Bit 60s

A Lil' Bit 60s

Sweater :: Handknit Coraline
Blouse :: Freecycled
Skirt :: Handmade Advance 9916
Tights :: F21
Boots :: Anne Klein

This is another of my cardigans from my former knitting life. That yoke nearly killed me! After battling with it, the end result was smaller than I wanted. It’s knit up in one of my favorite yarns, Silky Wool. The top was in a Freecycle haul. It’s from Express and it’s a size XS. I would never buy that size in the store, but I found the close (kind of shrunken) fit to be just the thing with certain outfits.

A Lil' Bit 60s

This is actually version two of Advance 9916. Version one, which is shorter and made from stretch denim, was finished before the new year and I still haven’t worn it. This longer version is also shorter than the full length of the pattern. I don’t know how tall this cover model is supposed to be, but it’s safe to say she is massively disproportionate if the skirt is this short on her, lol!

Advance 9916, 1960s

I got the pattern in the great Sew Weekly NY Meet-up and pattern swap. I’m almost positive it was Marina’s as most of the giveaway patterns were donated by her.

A Lil' Bit 60s

The only change I made to the pattern, besides the length, was to cut the waistband longer. I also lined it and finished that hem with pretty lace. I loved wearing this today! The lining prevented the dreaded static cling and it felt so slinky as I walked around. This fabric is the same one I used for my Meringue skirt. This was the last of it, some kind of poly/wool blend, I think. It’s perfect for skirts as I think it would be terribly hot worn on top. It doesn’t have much give either.

A Lil' Bit 60s

I tried to get some outdoor photos before work. I nearly froze my cheeks off! They’re not that red from just blush! I don’t know how some people take coat-less pics in the snow! Must be made of tougher stuff than me.

A Lil' Bit 60s

A Lil' Bit 60s

It was definitely hat weather, today. GEEZ was it cold! I re-twisted my hair last night so it could stay small enough to be hat wearing compatible ;0) It gets so frizzy, so fast but it was worth it as it was complimented by two very nice library patrons, lol. It has been over two years since I asked my sister to chop it (nearly) all off. This lady’s site was instrumental in helping me decide to embrace having hair that short for the first time. She has written a book about this massive shift in the way we (those of us who are naturally curly/kinky/coily/nappy) think about our hair. I think this is the most comfortable I’ve ever been with the way mine grows out of my head. I KNOW this is the most well equipped to handle it I’ve ever been.

Thanks, Nikki!

BetterThanGoodHair pb c

Black & Vintage

I have been so inspired by vintage fashion and imagery, lately. More than I ever thought I would be. Between my recent pattern haul, and my near addiction to vintage fashion blogs, I feel like vintage is all around me. But, like anything that one becomes interest in, you start to notice trends and patterns in what you’re absorbing. I had become increasingly aware of the dearth of black & vintage imagery in my diet. I knew that the material was out there. I had come across this flickr account, the Of Another Fashion movement and some fantastic stuff while browsing Pinterest.

But, shouldn’t there be more? Blacks were around during the entire history of the United States. Where were the images that represent that reality? I have seen enough images from slavery, and other important historical times like the civil rights movement, to last a lifetime. I’ve seen Lena Horne, Dorothy Dandridge and Josephine Baker dressed to the nines in any number of publicity stills. But where are the images of the average, stylish black people over the years? Where are we dressed in the styles we see in vintage pattern images? Well, I’ve been lucky enough to find more sources, lately. I’d LOVE to find a blog, or thirty, so if any of you know of one, shout it out in the comments!!

In the meantime, here are some of my current favorites!


It makes me SO happy to see people who look like me wearing the styles that I have come to enjoy!! You can visit this Pinterest board for more!

Fortunate

Despite all that has happened I recognize that I am so fortunate. I have the support of my husband, children, sister and friends. And all of you.

We made it through the hurricane with water, power, heat, food and each other. Unlike countless others, my neighborhood (and those of my immediate family) is virtually undamaged. We only have an abundance of leaves and a few downed branches to show that anything happened here. My children’s schools are OK, too. Even the pets in my daughter’s biology class were fine. The local hospital did not lose power to add more worry when my grandma was there. These are all things to feel fortunate about.

Co-chairing the holiday market at the big girl’s school is keeping me busy. It’s as much work as you would think. Event planning, is event planning. I also have a great new job (volunteer though it is) that will provide me with experience and connections that can help with my career goals. And I don’t even have to leave home. The path that led to it is a winding one that all started with a missed opportunity. Never discount a plan going wrong. It can lead to something else going right. I’ll blab more about the job and my goals, soon.

I have a lot to do this month (new job, co-chairing, running 2 crafternoons at Missy’s school, a 10 page paper and more cataloging) but I hope to blog every day in November. Writing here is a great outlet and I mean to take advantage of it. My other creative endeavors hopefully won’t suffer. I have been crocheting and knitting. Working with yarn makes me feel closer to my gran, I think. I hope to get my sewing mojo back before the Sew Weekly signs off for the year, too. I never got the chance to help grandma hunt down her pattern and fabric stash. I hope to make some time for that later this month, as well.

I’ll leave you with this pic of my latest project.
It’s the Date Maker cardigan from By Gum, By Golly.

I like to think of my grandma, young and spunky, dashing around in something similar with her pincurls brushed out just so.