Category Archives: Tailoring

Swing Dancers Sew-along

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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Los Angeles swing dancer, instructor, and blogger Beth Grover, who also happens to be an expert sewer and pattern maker, posed this question on Facebook this week: “How many dancers would be interested in a Facebook sew-along group?” She went on to clarify that it would be a place to share and encourage, and work on a quarterly sewing project, then share the fruits of your labor with the group. The overwhelming response was yes, so Beth proceeded to create the Swing Dancers Sew-along Facebook group.

Like several of the others who chimed in, I definitely need motivation to complete sewing tasks. Most of mine are mending-related (the story of vintage clothing ownership + swing dancing), but I do have one sewing project that has been sitting on my desk for 6 months. I’m sure as I watch other people’s sewing projects unfold it will make me want to get my butt in gear.

Beth set the first quarterly project, Summer 2014 Sew-along, to be completed by September 5, just in time to have something new for Camp Hollywood. Even if you don’t pick something to make, perhaps you’ll be inspired by what you see and join in on a different quarterly challenge. Already people have posted patterns they picked up at a Butterick pattern sale, soliciting advice on cute dress patterns, and seeking guidance on how to finish a circle skirt. You don’t have to go it alone – join us!

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Two Spring Sales: Prohibition Clothing Company and A Vintage Sole

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

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Two spring sales worth posting about! First, the Original Prohibition Clothing Company is offering a great sale dubbed the “Spring Made-to-Measure Event” – with a focus on spring/summer weight fabrics (hello, tropical weight woolens and linens), the following price cuts:

Unconstructed Jackets were $348, now $298
Full-Rise Trousers were $188, now $159
Fine Cotton Shirts were $88, now $75

Prices valid through March 31st, 2014. There are so many “3 season” suits and heavy suits out there, it seems that for dancing that the most practical splurge would be for a summer suit, no? If you don’t like ironing or wrinkling, my vote is for the tropical weight wool. Remember, wool is a natural fiber that breathes…

Buy these $78 early 1950's wedges and get 15% off with the Benzie code at 5% goes to a food bank!

Buy these $78 early 1950′s wedges and get 15% off with the Benzie code and 5% goes to a food bank!

Next, a wonderful sale from the I-can’t-believe-this-is-a-thing retailer A Vintage Sole, selling dead stock/never worn vintage shoes – here are the details:

“Enter ‘Benzie’ in the discount box at checkout and receive 15% OFF your entire order. By doing so, you’ll be lending a very helpful hand to those in real need.

When you use the Benzie code, we will donte 5% of your order to the Benzie Food Partners, our local all volunteer food bank.

Visit aVintageSole.com to learn more about our $hop-$ave-$upport program and the huge impact your purchase will make for those in Benzie County, Michigan.”

Buy some vintage shoes, help those in need!

Iconic Wardrobe Starter Kit

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Menswear can be a difficult world to navigate and, if you are just starting to accumulate your dress wardrobe, figuring out which pieces will be essentials, what colors to get, which fit, etc. can add to the confusion. The Original Prohibition Clothing Company is here to help, with a pretty awesome deal – a jacket, two pairs of trousers, three shirts, two bow ties, and a hat, all made-to-measure for your body, with your choice of fabrics and colors, and a helping hand to guide you through these choices to create what is, in essence, the framework for a fabulous wardrobe. At $998.00, this is a lot of bread to throw down at once, but it is an overall 20% savings off these individual items, and they are made for you, in the USA, to your specifications and measurements. If I were a dude, I’d start saving right now and treat myself at Christmas. ;) (Update: Deal runs through September 1 – rethink Christmas present, get your monies together soon!) See details below (from their Facebook page):

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Are You a Fearless Follow or a Solid Sender?

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Wear it proud!

At last August’s Jazz Age Lawn Party I happened upon a booth for the upstart men’s clothing company The Original Prohibition Clothing Company and reported on some of the most beautifully tailored men’s clothing I have seen in person. The company’s owner and designer, Corey Miller, sent me an email last week to let me know that the website was now open for business and that their offerings are expanding and continue to expand (including expanding into women’s dandy-wear – paging Sam Carroll…)

While I don’t talk a lot about tee shirts on this blog, it’s a fact that most dancers wear tee shirts dancing most of the time, especially men. Corey has noted this and when he “looked around at most of the dance tee shirts, they identified your love for dance, but the shirts themselves weren’t lovely.” I like the way this man thinks – to add to the small pool of Lindy Hop merchandise available to us, TOPCC is now offering two tees – one for “Fearless Follows” and another for the “Solid Sender.” The design on the tees is certainly lovely, with vintage styling and iconic silhouettes. Now that I am the proud owner of a Fearless Follow tee, I can attest to the fact that this is one of the softest tee shirts I own – it will be a delight to wear!

Solid!

While you’re at TOPCC website, you should absolutely look around – there are fabulous things here, too fabulous, really. I pretty much want to buy everything here for my husband to wear! Impeccable jackets, Hollywood trousers, wonderful vests, variations on the collared shirt, newsboy caps, and even men’s ties in a Tommy gun pattern (to continue the theme – cheeky).

And thanks to Corey for designing with the swing dance community in mind – a rare thing, indeed!

A preview of the impeccable tailoring that awaits you inside The Original Prohibition Clothing Company website…

Sequin Appliques

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

June Christy in a sequin appliqued dress

I am a big fan of 1940′s dresses with sequin appliques, but re-creating this look has been almost impossible due to lack of resources for good, ready-made appliques. Most of the appliques I have seen in modern fabric stores tend to be either matronly or childish. It’s hard to place sequin appliques in context during my lifetime (Dallas? Golden Girls?), but people in the 1940′s did some beautiful things with appliques and used them liberally to create embellishment on beautiful dresses, which otherwise might appear plain.

In searching for silver stars for a headpiece, I came across Sequin Appliques, a website devoted to selling…well, sequin appliques. There are so many things here – styles, shapes, sizes, colors – my mind is racing as to what I might do with some of these appliques. The obvious thing would be to buy a plain dress from somewhere and gussy it up by tacking on an applique, on the lapel, bodice, or skirt. I could also see some interesting fascinators made from some of these pieces, or simply pin one in your hair. Maybe shoe clips…or sew them on to your sueded Keds. :)

Here are some of my favorites from the Sequin Appliques web site:

I WILL find a dress for this applique

Large butterfly applique

Classic bow applique

An elaborate monochromatic floral beaded applique

Silver beaded star with crystals

Playing card set

Beaded anchor - ahoy!

Floral motif

Field Trip: Dolly’s Vintage, Durham, NC

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

This is less of a field trip and more of a weekly lunch break ritual, usually on Fridays, to a destination two blocks from my office in downtown Durham, North Carolina – to Dolly’s Vintage, a confectionery of a vintage store that is more like a trip to Candy Land than a trip back in time. And, like the board game, Dolly’s is timeless, adorable, and nostalgic at the same time.

You can’t help but smile when you walk by the store, with its vintage bathtub flower bed and cheerful wooden sign welcoming you in. In fact, much of Dolly’s business is foot traffic now that the store has moved from a small space in Brightleaf Square to its expansive new location on Main Street. The store is like a magnet, drawing both men and women into its cheerful interior, with owner Jennifer Donner ready to welcome everyone with a smile and delightful conversation.

What’s inside Dolly’s Vintage? An array of vintage clothing and accessories, mostly ranging from the 1940′s to the 1970′s. The men’s section has a great selection of ties, sport coats, dress and casual button up shirts, tees, and some miscellaneous accessories, like tie clips and cufflinks. The women’s section is a rainbow of awesome dresses, slips, aprons, bathing suits, rompers, skirts, and tops – no losers here, even the 70′s stuff is adorable. A vintage dress will set you back $20-30, which makes it easy to feed the addiction. ;)

Dolly’s carries custom items, like crinolines and ruffled bloomers that Jennifer orders especially for the store, as well as adorable gift items (Hello Kitty, Pucca, Demeter fragrances, and a ton of cool stuff you’ll want to take home with you) and a candy table worthy of Wonka’s chocolate factory.

Jennifer also works with local tailors and seamstresses to mend and repurpose vintage items with flaws to sell in the store.

Location:

905 West Main St # 20G
Durham, NC 27701

(919) 682-1471 ‎

Open Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Take a look inside!

The view from the front door - ahhh...

Looking up at the wheel-o-crinolines suspended from the ceiling

The glorious purple velvet couch, with the women's section in the background

Massive tie rack

I've mentioned 70's does 30's before and here is a good example - yes, the fabric is synthetic, but it's gauzy enough to look like a chiffon, and the shawl collar is so 30's

This one came home with me :)

I died a little when this dress with an adorable purple bird print and purple trim wouldn't zip up my rib cage

A closeup of the bird print

A rack of vintage slips...love

Live your Pretty in Pink fantasy with these 1950's prom dresses

Sportcoats!

Ruffled bloomers

Get your costume wigs here!

Nibble on some candy while you shop

Magnoli Clothiers

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

It’s back to reality, post-Experiment, but while I was away I did have a chance to chat with instructor Bobby White about some of his impeccable garments. He directed me to Magnoli Clothiers as a great source for vintage reproduction three piece suits. I must agree with Mr. Whi-te on this one, as the tailoring and fabrics look spot on.

Magnoli Clothiers is more than just menswear, it “is dedicated to the reproduction of vintage clothing, historic garments and popular film costumes. These reproductions, however, are not costume pieces, but tailor-made, high-quality clothing…any piece of mens clothing that you can provide images of can be reproduced. We can copy a garment you already own, or, by analyzing various images, we can reproduce any article from photograph or film stills.” The sky is the limit, or you can choose from their impeccable sample suits, pants, leather jackets, sport coats, shirts, vests, shoes, hats, and accessories.

The prices are no bargain, but for custom pieces…consider this an investment in looking awesome. Reasonably priced vintage repro menswear is hard for Lindy Shopper to find, but I am on a reproduction kick right now so I thought it best to share. Did I mention shipping is included in the price? That helps a bit.

Here are some of the great pieces you might want to own:

Cagney suit

Dillinger suit

Fairbanks suit

Marshall suit - more awesome belt-back action

Princeton tweed suit

Boardwalk linen blazer

McCoy jacket - with pockets and belted back for maximum sportiness

Highway jacket - because the Rocketeer is HOTTT

Hughes jacket

Joker vest

Hollywood pants

Oxford Bags

1940′s Reproduction Jumper and Cherries Blouse – Fundraiser for The Carolina Fascinators!

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

One of my favorite Etsy sellers, Time Machine Vintage, has generously donated this lovely reproduction 1940′s jumper and cherries blouse to The Carolina Fascinators‘ fundraising efforts. I will be conducting a silent auction on this blog for the jumper and blouse set – simply place your bid in the comments section and whoever has the highest bid at 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 12, 2011 will be the winner. The jumper and blouse will be on display at the Triangle Swing Dance Society Dance on March 12 at the Carrboro Century Center and The Carolina Fascinators will be taking bids at the dance as well (with updates posted here during the dance, in case you are not local and want to bid at the end).

The jumper and blouse were made to fit a modern size 6-8. The waist on the skirt is approximately 27 inches, but might fit a 28, as there’s some room to move the fasteners over. The amount of space in the hip area is generous and will drape nicely to fit. The blouse will fit up to a 36C bust and around a 34 bust, with the waist in the blouse being more generous than the skirt. If you have any questions about measurements, please let me know and I’ll be happy to measure the garments. The outfit looks even more adorable in person, I’d bid on it myself if it was my size. I love the contrast collar, the big buttons on the jumper, and that the jumper straps cross in the back. The jumper has 8 gores in the skirt, which means maximum twirly-ness and dreaminess!

Who are The Carolina Fascinators, you ask? TCF are a ladies jazz dance performance troupe based out of Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina, specializing in routines inspired by the vintage dances of the 1920′s, 30′s, and 40′s. We have hit the ground running, but are still a very new organization and need funding for travel, costumes, and practice space. The local dance community has been very generous thus far at our bake sales and we hope that you will help us out in this latest fundraising endeavor!

I’ll add that Time Machine Vintage is also making The Carolina Fascinators’ next costume and she has been so wonderful to work with during the process of costuming five gals.

The fine print: If you are bidding online, we will accept payment only through PayPal. Shipping in the U.S. will be $8.50, please email me for an international shipping quote at caab241@gmail.com. Payment due within two days of the auction ending.

Shopping Challenge: Norfolk Jacket

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Last month I put out the call for a shopping challenge, asking Lindy Shopper readers to send me on a mission for your heart’s desire, the garment you have been unable to find and add to your wardrobe. My first response was from Rich Werden, a fellow dancer and vintage clothing enthusiast who I met last year at All Balboa Weekend. One of his challenges (email subject line: “You want a challenge!?!?”) was to find a Norfolk jacket, or as Rich more aptly put it:

“The Coup de grace is a belt-back sport jacket that would actually fit me. The naming of this style is difficult: sometimes these jackets are called Action-Backs, Norfolk, or Bi-Swing jackets. The style was popular in heavy wools n’ tweed as an outdoorsman thing for going sport shooting in England, but of course, being a dancer, I wouldn’t want anything so heavy. Really, Nick Williams has an excellent white one that I have been jealous of for years! I can’t even find a place that would do one bespoke!”

Out of my element and, perhaps, out of my league, I set forth my online quest for this belt-back jacket. My first stop was eBay, to look for the right key words for my eBay searches, as the plan was to look online, but also have searches sent to me daily using the key words Rich gave me for this particular jacket. The term “Norfolk jacket” yielded the most results, almost all of them in tweed.

One of the jackets caught my eye, as it was in a lighter color and sans tweed, so I clicked through to view the auction description. The auction was for a vintage 1970′s Norfolk jacket, offered for sale by Bookster, a British company that sells vintage menswear, but also has their own retail web site for custom menswear – “Home of The Bookster Range, Craft Tailored in England from the Finest British Tweed, Wool and Linen Cloths at Accessible Prices.”

A promising start. I honed in on the word “linen” – yes, here’s a dancer-friendly fabric!

Bookster's Half-Norfolk Jacket

Not only does Bookster offer a “Half Norfolk Belt Feature” (among other lovely bespoke options), but they also offer their jackets in nine different colors of Irish Linen, including two stripes (you’ll have to scroll to the bottom for the linens).

I messaged Rich with the link, hoping that this was even close to what he wanted. Rich agreed that the linens would be the way to go. :)

The price is where things get squirrely. Everything is so customized and “bespoke,” down to the number of buttons, vents, regular v. comfort waistline, sleeve length, back length, pockets, shoulder pleats, yowza…I did a sample order, pretending to order a linen Norfolk jacket for my husband and the cost came out at around $550 U.S. This seems like a lot, but if this is THE piece you are missing and you will wear it until you are old and gray, I’d say it would be worth the investment. We do want to invest in some quality pieces, even though Lindy Shopper is always looking for a bargain. Or you could always settle for the disco-era Norfolk jacket they listed on eBay for $65.00.

As a side note, you can also order knickers from Bookster as part of your tweed or linen suit.

Matt Deckard's Action-Back

Rich upped the ante and found another website, Matt Deckard Apparel based in Los Angeles, offering several versions of the action-back jacket from this side of the pond. The photographs on this site give you an excellent idea of how the pieces will look in an ensemble – such classy gents! Prices range from $800 to $1,500 for a bespoke suit, so maybe the Bookster jacket isn’t looking so bad as an investment.

I’d like to thank Rich for this wonderful foray into menswear – I hope this information will help some of you in your searches as well!

1940′s Reproduction Hollywood High Waist Pants

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

The seller of these 1940′s reproduction Hollywood style high waist pants proudly displays them in this eBay auction and reports that he/she made these pants from a real 1940′s pair with the same specs. Very cool! It’s always nice when clothes are worn by someone, rather than a mannequin, and these pants look pretty sharp on the model. The seller, johnny-jays-vintage, reports that they are made from a lightweight gray wool and are lined in black cotton. It also looks like there’s room for alteration, so these pants could fit a range of sizes. A great basic to add to your wardrobe!

Vintage Mythbuster: Vintage Clothing is Only for Tiny People

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I hear a lot of positive remarks about my vintage clothing, but there’s always a BUT when people who don’t own vintage clothing talk about buying it for themselves – “I’d love to have vintage clothing, but…” there’s always something stopping them. I’d like to address some of the myths and concerns that people have because there is a world of wonderful, one of a kind clothing out there and you can own a part of it.

The most common myth I have heard is that vintage clothing only comes in tiny sizes or that people were smaller back then and I can’t find anything to fit me. Yes, a lot of people were smaller back then, didn’t get enough calcium in their bones, and many people didn’t grow to some of the larger proportions we have today; however, that doesn’t mean that people in the 1920′s, 1930′s and 1940′s came in one size: small. Just like today, there were people of all sizes, including YOUR size.

I’ve looked at photographs of my great-grandmother and great-grandfather from the 1930′s and she is bigger than he is. She certainly had clothing to wear every day of her life. While I don’t have any of her clothes, I am certain that she would be considered around a size 14 or 16 by today’s standards. These clothes existed!

So where do you find these not-25-inch-waist sizes? You just have to look for them and be patient. Your average vintage clothing store may not even carry 1930′s and 1940′s, much less 1920′s, clothing; if they do, they will probably only have a few garments or a very small section. They may only have one garment in your size or they may not have any. Out of the many vintage stores I visit every year I may only come up with 2 or 3 garments. If you live near a vintage store, make friends with the owner, tell him/her what you are looking for and give him/her your measurements. If you are traveling to an area with a vintage store you want to check out, call ahead – I’d rather not waste my time if they don’t carry clothes from the swing era or don’t have anything that would come close to fitting me.

As a side note to men: Men wear their clothing out. This is true back then, perhaps even more so than it is today. An exception is formal wear, which I seem to find in abundance. I wish you the best of luck, as it is generally harder for you to find garments than it is for the ladies.

This is a labor of love, if you are looking the old fashioned way; but this is the internet age. Ladies and gentlemen, the secret is eBay.

With eBay, the key to success is knowing your measurements. Items in your size are out there! For the ladies, know your bust, waist, and hip measurements, and maybe rib cage, shoulder, and arm circumference. For gents, the same, plus inseam for pants and chest, maybe a few other measurements depending on the garment (feel free to weigh in, fellow shoppers). Knowing your measurements is power with vintage shopping, as many garments come without size labels or were handmade. Even if they did come with a size label, those sizes are different than the sizes we have today. The tape measure never lies. If the seller does not have the measurements listed on an item you like, simply message the seller for the measurements you need. If you are concerned about not being able to try on the garment, I repeat, the tape measure does not lie. Get more measurements from the seller and ask questions if you have concerns.

Once you know your measurements, start looking for clothing that you like. Some sellers will try to label things with S, M, L, XL, etc., but these are never accurate – I have purchased dresses labeled M to XXL, so there is no universal set of measurements for these seller labels. Ignore them. They only make you feel bad about yourself. Even if the dress looks too small or too large, click on it. You never know what size the model/mannequin is or if the garment has been pinned to appear fitted.

Once you find an item you like, compare its measurements to yours. If even one of the item’s measurements is smaller than yours, it’s not going to work. A bad idea is trying to squeeze yourself into something vintage – there is no lycra or spandex in these garments. If the item’s measurements are the same or a couple of inches larger than yours (or for ladies if the skirt is full, it won’t matter) then it should work. If the one or some of the measurements are more than a couple of inches larger, you may be able to have a trusted tailor work on the garment to tailor it to your body, or it may arrive and you like the way it fits. I have fallen in love with dresses that were a bit too large and a tuck here and there or a belt made all the difference. Also, some sellers measure circumference and others lay the garment flat to measure it – if the garment is measured flat, make sure to double the flat measurement to compare with your measurements.

This is all fine and dandy, but where are the clothes? I find dresses every day on eBay that are in my size and larger than my size. To give you some perspective, I have a 30 inch waist, which translates to a modern size 8 or 10. I actually think buying vintage clothing is easier than buying modern clothing because with supposedly (but not actually) homogenized sizes, who knows how the garment is going to be cut in the hips, waist, or bust? Measurements take a lot of the guesswork out of fitting clothing. But I digress. I know people get sensitive about sizes being labeled large or plus sized, so I’m treading lightly here, but with the myth the bar is already set so high…if vintage clothing is only for tiny people (modern size 0, 2, or 4 for women, or for men, any chest size 38 or below? Sorry gents, I’m not sure), then any sizes above tiny will bust the myth, right? Let’s go with that. Here are some mythbusting items from eBay:

Blue 1930's Dress

1930's three piece tuxedo

1940's rayon dress with peplum

This 1950's suit is rad

1940's dress - check out the detail at the neckline

How sharp is this 1930's tuxedo?

1940's rayon dress

Swing Outfits: Custom 1930′s and 1940′s Clothing for Men, Women, and Lindy Ensembles

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Amapola dress

Someone posted on Yehoodi this week asking about where to find skirts for a dance team, either to be made or to order. This post jogged my memory and I immediately thought of Swing Outfits, a website that sells custom, made to order clothing for men and women from 1930′s and 1940′s patterns. Swing Outfits offers some wonderful options for just about any basic swing garment you could think of in an almost endless selection of fabrics.

Swing Outfits has a section of their website devoted to dance team shopping. I understand that selecting an outfit that everyone agrees on is nearly impossible; however, Swing Outfits offers some sound advice on selecting a team or couple’s costume:

“For couples that dance regularly in competition or performance it is especially important to have a costume. It is one thing to dance at a party, and a different thing to dance on a stage before an audience. It is not enough to just have nice clothes on each individual performer – you need to look like a unified couple.

What makes a good stage costume for a couple? First of all, your costume must be tailor made for you – we will need measurements from both dancers. You will also need to select a fabric and a design for your costumes. Pictured below are three sets of costumes: Silk, Polka Dots, and Plaid/Stripes. Within each set are a number of elements that you can select for your costume, and each will be made from the same material you have chosen.”

The website then walks you through three easy steps to select pieces for your performance outfit. The beauty of these pieces is that they can be mixed and matched with anything – with each other or with something you might find at Target or H&M.

Another great thing about having team costumes made for the team members is that you avoid the one-pattern-fits-all problem that you encounter when purchasing something from a retail store. Having personally experienced the pain of not fitting into the mold of a chosen team costume, I would personally rather pay more and get something that fits perfectly, that I don’t have to pay someone to alter, and that I might actually wear again dancing.

Which leads to my next point – you don’t have to be on a dance team to wear and enjoy an outfit from Swing Outfits! Make sure to browse their selection of patterns, then their selection of fabrics, and think of the endless possibilities. The Libra in me may never be able to decide…

Here’s what I love from Swing Outfits:

Classic trumpet skirt

Knickerbockers - yes, this is the photo from the web page - why hide those pretty socks when you can do them justice with a pair of knickers?

Splanky dress

Student pants - 1930's style

Splanky blouse

Single-breasted cashmere vest

Sailor pencil skirt

A nod to classic ensemble Lindy Hop performances, your ensemble can also sport silky jumpers for the ladies with matching silk shirts for the gents

Jitterbuggin on Etsy

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I love the initiative and creativity of those seamstresses and tailors who take vintage patterns and make them come alive again. Etsy seller Jitterbuggin is one of these talented people who create garments of the past in the present, and adds her own bit of whimsy through her pattern and fabric selections.

Of particular interest is Jitterbuggin’s profile: “I am a dancer and stage performer with an enthusiastic interest for fun clothes. I make quality ready to wear ranging in eras, styles and sizes. I use vintage materials when I can and often substitute with vintage reprints. Almost every garment is a one of a kind creation. My garments are made with “danceability” and modern comforts in mind while staying true to the glamor of the eras.” Dancers making clothes for dancers is always a good idea, especially when considering cut, construction, and fabric selections.

Here are some of my favorites from the Jitterbuggin Etsy site:

Red jumper and sailor blouse

1930's blouse

High waist pants

1940's Hollywood style skirt

Anchors and stars playshorts

1930's style halter top

A.J. Machete & Sons Fine Tailoring

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Based out of Denver, Colorado, A.J. Machete & Sons offers bespoke, tailored menswear items of bygone eras through its Etsy store. While the suits are in the bespoke price range, their Etsy site does offer some more affordable garments and accessories that you may want to add to your existing swing dance wardrobe, such as custom vests, spats, cravats, and a 1930′s sports jacket.

They get a custom fit by using a muslin mock-up – if you’ve ever watched Project Runway or had something custom made before, you may be familiar with this process. Here’s their process for getting the right fit:

“First we get a rough idea of your measurements. You can measure yourself or a suit that you have. We would be glad to help you through this process and to mail you a cloth measuring tape, or, if you are in the Denver area, to measure you in person.
But even the most perfect measurements do not guarantee a good fit. All of our bodies are different shapes and sizes, moreover, we have different postures. A suit made from measurements is no better than a ready-to-wear suit…. it is unlikely to fit every aspect of your body smoothly. To remedy this, we first make the suit from a rough cotton muslin fabric and send it to you for feedback and (digital) pics.

Through examining the way that the muslin wrinkles and pulls, we can get an excellent idea of your figure and posture. At this point, we adjust the pattern based on your feedback and our knowledge and begin to create a suit that fits perfectly.”

Check out A.J. Machete & Sons’ blog, Denver Bespoke, for more examples of their handiwork.

Silk cravat/ascot, shown here in cranberry dupioni silk

Custom spats - not my first choice of fabrics, but if it's custom, I suppose the sky is the limit on fabric choices

Choose a 4 or 6 button vest

Four pocket high collared vest

Peak lapel vest

1930's style sports jacket

A Custom Gem for the Ladies

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

I’ll leave you with this divine dress for the weekend – it comes in all sizes because the Etsy seller porshesplace will make one for your measurements from a 1950′s VOGUE pattern, in one of 45 colors of stretch satin. There are lots of other patterns on the seller’s Etsy site with the same offer, but this dress was the standout to me – Va-voom!