Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Attention, attention! Vintage knitters, seamstresses, crocheters!

For those of you who haven't already stumbled across The Vintage Pattern Files, you really must go and check it out.

No, really, I insist!

It is a new blog by Wendy of The Butterfly Balcony, where she intends to keep an up-to-date online link-library (if you will) of free vintage and vintage-inspired sewing, knit and crochet patterns. This is going to be so incredibly useful...you can even sort them by decade!

Here are a few of my favourites, to give you an idea of the sort of wonderfulness she has links to on the blog:

Clockwise from top left:
1) Source, 2) Source, 3) Source, 4) Source

Pip pip! xx

Monday, 25 June 2012

It does what it says on the proverbial tin!

Hello dear readers, I do hope you all are enjoying yourselves amidst this miserable weather.

I am still in Norfolk spending time with my family, and over the last few days it seems I have acquired a trio of items tied together by one theme....they all have specific purposes, laid out in golden font across the front of said items!

A stockings case, a hairpins box and a letter rack!

I picked up the cute little 50's/60's letter rack from my very favourite Norwich shop (the old Loose's overpriced for the most part, but full of treasures). It will look a treat on my newly organised desk!

 This absolutely glorious 'hairpins' case (also found in the old Loose's shop) is going to be just perfect for keeping those pesky kirby grips from attaching themselves to everything I place in my bag when on my travels!
And the box came with two unopened packets of hair pins too...look at that packaging!

My genius Mumma found this stockings case for me and was meant to be saving it for my birthday but was too excited and just couldn't resist giving it to me whilst I was back!

I am just swooning over these acquisitions in all their useful, beautiful, golden-fonted goodness!

Whilst on our family trip to our favourite Norwich shop, my Dad also made a purchase. A pretty phenomenal one at that! I'll give you a hint: it is much more sizeable than my purchases, and a total one off. But more on that later in the week....
Pip pip x

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

On the edge...

...of my bed!

I arrived back to Norwich yesterday for a little break and some family time.

And just look what I found waiting on the end of my bed when I arrived....

I can't wait to cook some 'girdle scones' from the Be-Ro recipe book!

Boy am I a lucky girl!

Pip pip x

Friday, 15 June 2012

Spending rainy days in my finest vintage find!

Yes....the *great* British weather strikes again.
Grey skies and lots of rain has been present for the most part since we had that burst of glorious sun a few weeks ago! And such weather can be a pain for a girl who likes vintage- I have an abundance of summer dresses and cardigans, but what do I wear when it's cold and soggy?

Well, I have recently been getting a lot of use out of my very finest vintage find. 

Wait, that's a big claim, I hear you cry! What's so special about it?
Well, price vs. age, vs. condition.
It is most certainly and undoubtedly my biggest vintage bargain....ever!

The item in question was happened upon when, 3 years ago, I decided to pop into a local synagogue's table-top sale to see if there were any bargains to be had. Now, as me and Mr Mike walked in we felt all eyes on us; there was literally no one there except the stall holders (all 4 of them) and their children. We got an overwhelming urge to run but, of course, that would have been rude! So we politely declined offers of kids toys and and baby clothes from eager stall holders as we made our way round the stalls.

...And then we arrived at one that looked promising. It had lots of clothes, neatly folded and priced at 30p each. I happily handed over a whole 60p for a couple of 60's-stye shift dresses; one Naf Naf and one Karen Millen. Result.

But as I turned to leave, something caught my eye. Just next to the table, laid out on a chair, was the most glorious coat I had ever seen! I tugged at Mike's hand and went back for a proper look.
As I picked it up the stall holder told me she had hoped I'd notice it as she wanted it to go to a good home, and that it was in fact a coat her mother had saved up for in the 1930's and treasured ever since!

I tried very hard to contain my excitement, as me and the woman discussed it's history. And then I tentatively asked how much it was....I was a rather penniless student who couldn't afford to spend a fortune on a coat, but I had fallen head over heels for it!
....the woman replied, rather apologetically, that unfortunately due to it's age it was a little bit more expensive. It was a whopping great £1!

Yes, you heard me right, ONE squiddly little pound!

I offered her more for it, but she wouldn't take it. In the end she let me donate her an additional pound but that was all, claiming that all she really wanted was for it to go to a good home.

The coat in question looks like this:

Look at the wonderful black velvet cuffs and collar, embroidered with rich yellow thread. 
It unfortunately doesn't do up over my *ahem* front....but I have plans for that!
The coat has the most phenomenal weight to it which gives the skirt a swing that is to die for.

Just out of sight are these boots, which are perfect for splashing around in.
Boots: Clarks via ebay, lined by me- you can see how here.

 And to keep my wrists from catching a chill (is that possible? I'm sure it is!), I wear these beautiful gauntlet gloves knitted for me by Iwona Jenner...psst, she takes orders, if anyone's interested!

What is your biggest ever vintage bargain?
And just what do you wear to keep you warm when the weather's this drab?

Pip pip xx

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Sew What?: My 1940's repro dress for under £2!

Now in recent weeks I have managed to buy myself a new sewing machine after MONTHS without a fully working, fully functioning one...my last decided to give up on me during this project. I have since been squirrelling away with hand sewing for crafty projects and minor mends, but my pile of big vintage mends and makes had been growing and growing!

But on arrival of my new machine (thanks to Tesco who have been offering a voucher exchange on domestic electrical items, I managed to swap my £40 of clubcard points for £80 of vouchers off a sewing machine...hurrah!) I decided to undertake a project I've wanted to do for ages. I decided to remake a navy blue rayon 1940's dress I bought from ebay which was badly sun bleached and had damaged seams.

Here is a photo of the original dress. You can't actually see in this photo, but sadly the sun damage on the shoulders was beyond saving.

So, I set about remaking it in a fabric from my stash. The fabric I opted for is a beautiful navy blue moleskin type fabric with a bit of stretch, which I used for my graduate show menswear collection and had plenty of surplus. I managed to pick it up from a fabric stall on Dalston market for a ridiculously bargainous £1 per metre. And considering the price, it's very surprisingly NOT a horribly bad quality fabric at all.
The fabric itself was a dream to work with, and my new machine is just a glorious, beautiful beast of a machine.

I didnt want the buttons and zip to go to waste but luckily the fact that I used a navy blue fabric to remake it meant that I could reuse the original zip and decorative fabric-covered buttons on my remake.I like that my new dress has a couple of the original parts to it.This gives a coy little nod to it's direct descendant, the original dress,

Want to see the fruits of my labour?
No? Well, look away now because here I am, looking rather pleased with myself!


The dress has a pleated shoulder detail, and small pockets on the skirt which feature 3 little decorative buttons on each.

So what do you think? I am enormously pleased to have finally gotten around to remaking this dress, and the fact that I have used a fabric with a degree of stretch to it means that it is enormously comfy and I can hop, skip and jump (or just move around) to my hearts desire without the overriding fear of splitting a seam.
And, as this dress cost me only the fabric I used (which totalled under £2 in all), I'd say that it has been a very cost efficient project.

I think I shall be getting an awful lot of wear out of this 1940's repro beauty!

Pip pip xx

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

My accidental collections: Royal souveneirs of the past!

Hello all!

I hope you have all been having a wonderful long weekend of Jubilations for Queenie.

Now, today I thought what would be better to share with you than my collection of royal memorabilia. I call it an accidental collection as it is one which has come together somewhat by...well...accident. I adore the images on vintage royal memorabilia, and the glorious colours, and so after picking up a a few little things and showing my admiration of certain other pieces, my family soon began to gift me items they found.

And thus, my collection came about!

My first piece of royal memorabilia, a jewelled carriage brooch from the 1953 coronation! Gifted to me by my Auntie.

This darling little coronation toothbrush mug was a present from my lovely chum Frankie as we perused a rather fruitful carboot. I bought him a royal mug at the same carboot, a sort of royal present swap!

 I also picked up this beautiful coronation flag for only £5....near perfect condition and rescued from under a pile of junk in a box. I told you it was a fruitful carboot that day!

Silver jubilee mugs: gift from my Dad and Step-Mum, coronation mug: gift from my Mum.

Silver jubilee glasses: gifts from my Dad and Step-Mum.

Silver jubilee shot glasses: gift from my Dad and Step-Mum.

1937 coronation book: a super bargain at only 50p from a carboot.
Look at the photos of a young Queen, with her Mum, Dad and sister!

My gorgeous tin coronation souvenir plates: a gift from my Dad and Step-Mum. 
These live on the wall either side of the bed, Queenie on my side and Philip on Mr Mike's, naturally.

My parents gave me this beautiful framed print of the Queen that had been hanging on the wall in their house making me jealous for years! She has glittery jewellery and crown!

Coronation hairclips! Purchased from ebay.

Wonderfully grotesque Diana and Charles teatowel: gift from my Dad and Step-Mum.

My lovely pal Hannah sent me this vintage postcard.

This impressive tankard has a copper lustre effect and is 13cm high! It was produced by Ridgways in 1953 to celebrate the coronation and is truly wonderful.
It was bought for me by my Dad and Step-Mum.

This little chap is a beefeater given to me by my Dad and Step-Mum.

This wonderful item was produced to celebrate the 1937 coronation of King George VI. It is a 3 piece brass-plated money box, and I was lucky enough to pick it up from a carboot for £3.

This odd looking chap is a beefeater that lives on a rug in my flat. I, in fact, have two....no idea of why they exist, but I am rather fond of them nonetheless.
Passed on to me from....well, can you guess?
Why, my Dad and Step-Mum of course!

 I  don't think I realised quite how much I had until I set about on my mission to photograph it for this post. Blimey!

I hope you've not dozed off just yet, for I have one more piece to show you...

 This is my very own homemade Diamond jubilee souvenir; a pretty royal rosette badge!
I spent Sunday working in the WI tent at Battersea Park, teaching soggy but excitable children to make these as souvenirs for the day. The rosette's went down a treat, and I had a jolly good time!
And the best bit? It is based on a rosette badge that was given out as a souvenir for the 1953 coronation, which my boss was lucky enough to find and decided to recreate.

Have you got a collection of royal memorabilia? Have you been making anything special for the jubilee?

Do show and tell if so, I'd love to see!

Pip pip xx