Tuesday, 16 September 2014

A vintage print skirt

Okay so one bored day I turned to Buzzfeed and came across this list of best Disney outfits and I noticed that there was sooooooo much Frozen in the top 20. I honestly can't say I'm surprised I really like the look of the folk dresses with so much embroidery and stripes and gold trim and petticoats. Its just too much amazingness!

So today I have yet another skirt that reminds me of Princess Anna from Frozen. Mostly its the vertical stripe and floral print although it is in quite summary colours, something you  would not see in Arendelle.



I absolutely love the volume of this skirt, it has a small slip built in with the lace around the bottom to give it extra oomph and make it look that bit extra Disney princess.







For my hair I managed to tuck all my fringe into the hair roll although it did make it a bit poofy. But I thought it suited this look quite well.


Do you have any outfits that make you feel like a Disney Princess?

Outfit details:
Hat: Vintage via ebay
1960s Necklace: Vintage fair
Blouse: Boden via charity shop
Skirt: Vintage via ebay
Bag: Vintage via Sue Ryder






Thursday, 11 September 2014

Laura Ashley nautical themed beach hut dress and some car booty

You know when you see something you really like, and then in an instant it is gone? I had that experience with this dress.

After something like that I typically resort to ebay's 'saved search' function in the hope that one day it will pop up, and you know what? It usually does as long as the item is not from too long ago.

Part of the reason I loved this dress so much was because the beach hut print reminded me of Brighton and the blue, red and white are some of my go to colours so I felt that it I was meant to have it. And I'm a total sucker for anything nautical...

I matched the dress with a red cardigan, sunglasses and a pair of clogs from Lotta from Stockholm.




And without the cardigan...


I wore this outfit to a car boot sale to go for a rummage and these pictures were taken after so my hair is what can best be described as 'all over the shop'.



I had a pretty good haul at the car boot, I got a load of buttons for dressmaking, they only cost £3 for all of them which is considerably cheaper than buying them new.

I also got a vintage Kigu compact, a pearl necklace, an early plastics bead necklace and a bangle that looks a little like bakelite to me so I need to investigate it more...


...and I also got a full skirted coat for 50p!

Have you ever been to a car boot sale? Did you find any bargains?

Friday, 5 September 2014

Why vintage repro rocks: A red Vivien of Holloway Peggy Lee dress

You've probably seen me talk about Vivien of Holloway before on her as it is one of my favourite brands and I think they do some amazing vintage reproduction dresses (and jeans, and skirts) and a few have appeared on here in previous posts.

Many moons ago while I was still a poor student I really wanted the Peggy Lee dress, but sadly it came and went from the shop before I ever had the funds to buy it. So when a brand new red Peggy Lee dress popped up on ebay I was powerless to resist (the seller had also listed it as a buy it now for a stupidly low price).

I decided to wear the Peggy Lee to London to visit my parents. They were staying in Stratford next to the Olympic park so I could not resist taking a few pictures against the stadium backdrop (even if it is being converted to a football ground).




I think the dress is a beautiful fit. It goes in and out in all the right places which is one of the real advantages of a Vivien of Holloway dress. If you've not tried one on before then you have to look carefully at the measurements as they are not conventional, they have more room in the bust and hips, perfect for curvy girls.

The dress also has nice big patch pockets, which I'm obviously impressed with if this picture is anything to go by:

My husband and I being completely stylistically mismatched, as always :)
I tried something a little different with my hair. Something a little more fancy. I took inspiration from Vintageous on youtube and attempted this side roll do (on a side note Natalie's tutorials are excellent, really clear and easy to follow I highly recommend them).

It was actually pretty easy to do just following the video step by step, the only part I had difficulty with was getting my fringe in there, its still not long enough to back comp properly so I couldn't really get the volume needed, but I think I just about got away with it.



A super extra added bonus of this hair do was that when I took it out I ended up with a lovely asymmetrical wave. I think if I'd taken some time to brush it out neatly I could have created a lovely pin-up inspired down-do.

Outfit Details:
Dress: Vivien of Holloway
Shoes: M&S





Sunday, 31 August 2014

Sewing a reproduction vintage pinafore or jumper

I've always liked pinafores, dungarees or any kind of skirt with straps that go over the shoulder. I've had 'vintage pinafore' saved on my eBay saved searches for years. But I've not had much luck. For some reason the pinafore skirt doesn't seem to crop up much in the UK. There's been a bit of a fad lately to have little skater skirts with braces attached to them but nothing really substantial.

So I decided to make my own.

I began searching online for patterns, and wasn't having much luck, but then I had a break through when I spotted a gorgeous pinafore on The Fiercest Lilliputian Blog (an awesome blog btw) and I saw that she called it a 'jumper'. Now in the UK a jumper is a wooly thing you have to put over a head (a sweater to my US friends) so I was a tad confused.

I took to eBay again searching for 'vintage jumpers' and got a load of Cosby sweaters...

But change that search to 'vintage jumper pattern' and a few results popped up. And then I saw on in my size (just about) from the US. It was a size too small but I was confident enough that I could adjust the pattern so that it would fit so I went for it. Being a pattern, international postage wasn't expensive and it only cost around £4 in total.


As soon as it arrived I went fabric shopping as I thought this would be a perfect Autumn transition outfit. I chose some softer green twill that was mid range in price, it cost about £16 for all the fabric I needed. I added extra full facing to the inside of the top because I wasn't doing the ric rac or binding from the pattern and that was a bit of a pain logistically. At one point I sewed the waistband on back to front and I had to unpick the WHOLE THING - that was 2 rows of stitching :( Oh, and fitting the bust was a nightmare! I've got to get a dress form.

Anywho, here's how it turned out!



Detail to the top (I LOVE top stitching!):

So here's the final product. I've not taken proper pictures yet, but I think the dress is a little too wintery for August/September so give me a few weeks. But you get the idea.
Saying that I'm pleased is an understatement. I think this will be the perfect transitioning into winter dress! I'm not on a mission to make it in ALL THE COLOURS!

If you like the look of a vintage style jumper/pinafore then Collectif's new season has a lovely one with a flock polka dot. I'm going to save up for that one now too as I'd love to try it out!


Friday, 29 August 2014

Swing coat on a rainy bank holiday

The bank holiday on the last weekend of August traditionally signals the beginning of the end of summer for us Brits so naturally bank holiday monday brings rain, yey.

I'm actually not a person that minds rain, I think as long as you're prepared for it then it can be really nice to go for a walk in the rain.


For this rainy bank holiday I decided to wear my new 50p car boot sale coat over the top of a late 50s early 1960s check dress. I also broke out the black tights, that definitely means it is no longer summer.

My shoes are Doc Martens, they are pretty cool with a buckle fastening and a bit of a heel. I bought them in the Office sale for around £40 in about April and its been too hot to wear them so far so I figured this was a good time to break them in. 



You may recognise the umbrella from some previous posts and it was the one that I had at my wedding and my graduation. I would quite like something similar in a darker colour for darker days.


I have been longing for a full skirted coat for a really long time but its not a style that's around a lot. I think the dream would be to one day own a Lilli Ann vintage coat but that is a dream for a day far in the future when I have all the monies.

For now my 50p car boot sale coat will do. It is from Next, although I have no idea when,  I think the fit is so great and it has pockets! Its just a little short. But it will be perfect until I can get hold of a Lilli Ann, or a coat inspired by her (like this one by Hell Bunny).


Since it was raining, I also decided to wear a hat. I got this had in a vintage hat job lot from ebay and I love how snugly it fits on my head.



Here is a picture with the coat open so that you can see the dress underneath.


Outfit details:
Dress: Vintage via Leyburn 1940s weekend
Coat: Next via car boot sale
Shoes: Doc Martens
Hat: Vintage job lot
Umbrella: A shop in Durham that's not shut :(

I have a couple of posts to make about some late summer bits and pieces, but after that I will be busting out the big coats (of which I bought a few vintage ones in the summer for scandalously low prices).

Did you do anything nice on the bank holiday?





Tuesday, 26 August 2014

A Vintage Hibiscus Style Print Dress

As we approach the end of summer I've been reflecting on how obsessed I've been with tropical prints lately. Hawaiian, tropical, hibiscus and tiki are great summery prints and they come in lots of different variations on colours and styles.

The repro shop collectif usually have a bunch I great designs in tiki (and more) for the summer months and this can be a great place to look but, as usual, I was after a bargain.

I found this dress on eBay (as always) and it was not very loved with only a few bids. It's. It's not often that you find anything vintage with its accessories intact so the fact that this one came with a belt too was very appealing. So I decided to take a punt and buy the dress (for just under £10  in the end).



 I have always loved the colour teal and turquoise so I was immediately drawn to this dress and I think the huge pinky orange flowers are charming (are they hibiscus?). I also really love the fact that there are buttons on the back of the dress so that you do t see any fastenings at the front or sides!

 I don't really have any idea when this dress is from and it has no labels that I can see so who knows. 


I was quite concerned about the fit. It is not often that I am able to find a more fitted dress that has a large enough skirt in which to fit my very ample arse :( But when it arrived it was near perfect! A tiny bit tight at the bust but generally pretty spot on! I also adore the patch pockets. It is a tad shorter than I'd like but there is quite a bit if hem I can let down so that's a problem easily solved.

I took these pictures on SUCH a windy day, as you can probably tell from the blustery hair so I felt that I had to tie my hair up and out of the way.


But now my fringe is on the way out!! Yes!!!

It is finally long enough to put in to rolls (although not long enough to not be a real pain when doing them). So I have been practising to try and get back into the swing of it again.

These are just 3 asymmetric elevated pin/barrel curls to get me started. They're far from perfect but it's a start!

Do you have a favourite summer dress this year?


Saturday, 23 August 2014

Highclere Castle a.k.a Downton Abbey

I have something a little different today.

During holiday periods my parents like to go on excursions to see the sights of the UK and last week my Mum was telling me about their latest trip to Highclere Castle in Hampshire. She told me about how amazing the architecture was, and how photographs inside the house were completely forbidden and... how other people on the trip were frolicking around pretending to be moody Lady Mary or Matthew Crawley...

It wasn't until this point that I realised where she was talking about! My parents had been to visit DOWNTON ABBEY!!!

This actually really confused me as Downton is set in Yorkshire (in the North) but filmed in Hampshire and Oxfordshire (in the South) but I can't really argue with filming locations of a TV show, especially one so grand as this.

I have spoken about my appreciation of Downton before on this blog, and I was so excited at this point and demanded to see pictures. I am lucky because my Mum is a really great photographer so I knew I could trust that her pictures would be fantastic, and indeed they were!

She agreed to let me share a few of them, it might show you Downton in a light you've not seen before:


I love the vapour trail in the background of this one, that wouldn't be allowed on the show (unlike plastic bottles)!



They also went to Bampton a small village not too far away (although in a different county) and had a look at the now famous St. Mary's church where some of the characters in the show tied the knot *spoilers*!


Some of the streets around the church are used as scenery and sets for the show too and I think it looks pretty weird to see all the cars parked there.



If you like her photos, you can check out my Mum's instagram feed @JanetteWPhotos.

Hopefully one day I will get to go and see the inside of Highclere Castle too!

Have you ever been to the set of a TV show or film?






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