Saturday, 27 September 2014

A vintage Laura Ashley pinafore dress

So I have a bit of an obsession with Laura Ashley. I also have an obsession with pinafores, and the colour blue. So what happens if you put all these things together?

I throw my money at it that's what!

Luckily for me this particular blue Laura Ashley pinafore was only £9 on eBay so I couldn't resist. I really like the deck chair stripe and the large pockets on the front.

The only problem is that the waist and bust are not hugely different in size, which I think is to help it slip over your head with ease but being a 'curvy' lady I like things to fit on my waist since that's the smallest part of me.

That was partially solved by adding a waist belt although I'm currently on a hunt for skinnier one as I'm not sure this one does me too many favours. I do adore the combination of the red white and blue though! 

I'm going to try and hold back from whinging about my fringe again today, since its getting a bit old now. These photos were taken on a lazy day so I didn't do much with it, I swept the fringe back with a hairband and rolled the back using a hair elastic.

I put my hair into a ponytail and puled the elastic towards the end and then rolled it up towards my ears forming a roll. I then pinned the loose bits in place.

It is a little bit loose and isn't necessarily the neatest do ever but it was super quick and I think with a bit of tweaking it could be a great work hairstyle.

So I'm a sucker for Laura Ashley.

Do you have any brands you are always drawn too?

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Covering rollers with a vintage headscarf... or looking like a washer woman

I was deleting nonsense from my phone, when I came across these pictures that I never got around to sharing... Oh well, here goes:

What do you do if you've got your hair in rollers and you need to go out?

Hide them under a head-scarf of course! I have no idea if this was actually done, but wearing this type of headscarf it something I associate with my grandmother and house work. It seems I'm not the only one either as a delightful 'gentleman' in the street took the time to point out to me that I looked like a washer woman.

So thanks for that.

I actually don't think it was such a bad look. I am a big fan of the plain (often gypsy-style) top and print vintage skirt. I've seen quite a few pictures of Dita Von Teese wearing a similar look, although minus the head scarf... I reckon that she has one of those fancy vintage style dryers so she never needs to leave rollers in.

Image source (complaining about the outfit of all things?!)

Maybe this whole look is subject to debate? I'm not sure.
What do you think?

Outfit details:
Skirt: Vintage
Top: Gap via charity shop
Belt: Primark
Headscarf: Vintage
Glasses: Fossil

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?

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