Wednesday, 20 August 2014

In The Bedroom

These vintage feather filled quilts can fetch a small fortune on eBay and although undeniably pretty they do crop up regularly when I'm out charity shopping. I found this one for £2.99 in the British Heart Foundation yesterday, making a total of three in my collection. 

I machine-washed it on a regular 30 degree cycle with a tablespoonful of Wilko's soda crystals (other varieties are available!) and dried it in the tumble drier. 

me on Make A Gif

Ready for the cats to deposit their fur on, no doubt!  

I'm having a lovely time of it between vintage fairs, my hair is freshly dyed, Kinky Melon has some spectacular new stock, the house is getting a rare tidy up, the mending pile is no more and everything that can be patchworked has been.  

So what have I been doing today? 

Sorting out my vanity cases.

Dusting my Spanish doll collection.

Tidying my shoe rack.

Pondering on where to hang this sweet vintage souvenir print I bought from a car boot sale for the other day. 

Looking forward to wearing a gorgeous Levis jacket my old school friend Kate bought in 1981 and passed on to me today. 

Playing a CD I bought Jon for his birthday.

Untangling my necklaces. 

Contemplating which shade of Barry M to paint my nails.

Remembering the 1950s fake fur stole I bought for a jumble sale weeks ago and promptly forgot all about.  

Swapping three dresses in my wardrobe so I can keep my latest 1970s beach dress.

Wishing it wasn't so bastard cold that I'm seriously considering wearing fake fur to the pub tonight even though its August.

Colonial style bed (eBay, 2005), Edwardian Indian rug (eBay, 2004), Bentwood chair and velvet cushion (jumble sale finds), Bohemian glass chandelier (40th Birthday present, 2006), "Caroline" print (car boot sale), wallpaper (Laura Ashley, Kimono), all patchwork made by me
See you soon!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Suits You! Further Adventures In Curtain Couture.

When I posted about my Grace Sullivan curtain couture me-made dress HERE I'd mentioned that the seller kindly threw in a set of 1950s satin boudoir curtains for free. Being a fan of neither conventional curtains or the Fifties I simply had to drag them into my favourite decade, the 1970s.

It was the perfect opportunity to get cracking with the 1971 Maudella pattern bought from last weekend's Vintage village at Stockport for £2.

My plans for an evening of midweek sewing got postponed until the weekend after Stephen Squirrel asserted his authority.

Instead I cracked on with transforming an Edwardian wheeled bench into a patch-worked & pompom-ed wonder instead, immediately claimed by Polly Piglet. Thankfully I'd had the foresight to make a removable cover rather than a full reupholstered number.

I'm a slave to those cats!

But my suit got made in the end.

Jon was a busy boy, too; rescuing & revamping this discarded vintage kitchen cupboard into useful storage for our cluttered utility room (and a handy backdrop for my latest creation). Transforming those soda siphons are next on his to-do list.

A placket, a Petersham waistband and a Mandarin collar - all new to me but surprisingly simple to master. Forget enrolling in costly sewing courses, if you get confused with a pattern just use Google, you'll find a simple explanation for free and feel empowered in the process.

Perfect with my original go-go boots from Vonda.

Just the thing for brightening up the depressingly drab Post office queue on a damp Monday morning.

Linking to Sacramento's Share In Style.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Patchwork Crazy

Not content with dressing in, making a living from and filling our home with other peoples' cast-offs, I can't resist doing something with our own leftovers, either.

Vintage Sears tie-front maxi (from Krista), patchwork curtains (made by me, tutorial HERE
Welcome to my crazily colourful, patchwork covered world. 

If you look closely enough, you'll spot tatty tea towels, naff old aprons, discarded table cloths and offcuts from vintage clothes too far gone to sell, alongside scraps of fabric salvaged from previous sewing projects like these:

Clockwise from top left: Blue paisley me-made maxi (fabric courtesy of Em); Skirt made from a 1960s Conran curtain from a jumble sale; 1960s shortened monkey print mini (bought on a bloggers day out to Sheffield); jungle print maxi skirt (car booted curtains); Halterneck maxi (Hawaiian fabric from Tamera); Frances Prince sunflower culotte suit (salvaged from a friend's parents' loft)

Here's my latest saved-from-landfill creations.

This appallingly dull lampshade came with the mid-century standard lamp (with handy built-in booze shelf) we bought from chazza last month. I swapped it for a lampshade I'd pimped up previously as the mere sight of the off-white monstrosity made me feel miserable.

That's better...

Tutorial HERE
...and, of course, everything's better with pom poms.
(The fake green onyx lamp base came from a car boot sale years ago.)

This curvy lady used to look like this:

She was a freebie from an interiors company. Despite retailing at over £100, after a week, the stand snapped in two and the joie de toile print covering the body started to seep glue-y gunk. (No wonder I got sent the sodding thing for free). She nearly went to the council tip this week but I had a change of heart.

We used a charity shopped 1970s hair drier stand as a base. One of those things bought months ago knowing that it would come in useful eventually (and it did).

I'm on a bit of a getting things done roll this week. I've even managed to update our website, too. We've still got no idea what to do with our free weekend but I'm sure we'll think of something.

See you soon!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Fair Play

A couple of weeks ago I had an email from Elisa. She reads my blog and asked if I'd like a chiffon maxi dress and cape professionally made for her Mum back in the 1970s. I nearly died of excitement when it arrived. As it had been made to measure it needed a few adjustments to fit but with a very welcome free afternoon I managed to get it sorted.

I thought Vintage Village at Stockport would be its ideal first outing, creating an illusion of sunshine on a miserably wet day (and I'm sharing it with the gang over at Patti's Visible Monday, too). The gloomy weather certainly didn't put the punters off, we were just as busy as usual.

That's our pitch being raided on the left. That beautiful blonde in the blue mini dress was spoilt for choice with our range of 1960s frocks.

Wearing: Vintage Aquascutum blazer, Diesel Gold label waistcoat, Tootal cravat, jumbo cords (altered into skinnies by Jon), Vintage 1970s cherry red Docs (all from charity shops, car-boots and jumble sales)
We found time to pose! 

A Stuart Thornley masterpiece!

And to treat ourselves to cake fish and chips,

I snaffled this groovy dressmaking pattern.

...and couldn't resist this gorgeous Polly Peck maxi dress from Garbo Antiques £5 rail. We also had a slap-up takeaway Bengali dinner of three bean curry, pilau rice, pakora and veg samosas from Caarma Curries (but we were too hungry to stop and take photos when we got home last night!)

Sarah, one half of the team behind Vintage Village, submitted this article to the swanky Vintexplorer magazine...we're in print!

Can you believe that we've only got one other event booked for August? The festival we were due to work at next weekend has been cancelled so we're free. Do we go camping, find another event or stay at home and do sod all? My life seems to have been booked up in advance for months. Its quite exciting to have options.

In the meantime I've vintage stock to track down, more thrilling parcels to share, 30 unread blog posts and the incredible BBC drama An Honourable Woman, to catch up on. 

See you soon!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Urban Jungle

Its the second outing in a matter of days for my jungle print maxi skirt. There's nothing quite like basking in the glory of a successful make.

Birthday or not, the relentless pursuit for vintage treasure means we've been out and about all week.

Wearing: Levis denim shirt, tsunami print shorts, fake tortoiseshell wrap round sunglasses (all charity shopped), brand new Birkenstocks (birthday pressie), 1960s curtain bag (hand made by me) 
We've been to posh tourist towns where the snooty charity shop volunteers follow us around breathing down our necks, seemingly outraged by a psychedelically dressed woman with a ring through her nose and by a six foot skinhead in sandals and where the prices are so high they're laughable. 

We've visited near-derelict ex-mining villages where you're hard pressed to spend £1 and endless Black Country towns manned by cheery volunteers, where cheap charity shops may be abundant but quality vintage clothing isn't.

Here's a taster of what we found:

Clockwise from top left: Handmade handkerchief maxi dress; Angela Gore, London maxi; 1970s John Lee leather jacket; Polka dot midi dress; Betty Jackson for Coopers orange suede culotte suit;  Assorted vintage cravats; 1960s West German towelling beach top; Handmade Afghan square crochet waistcoat; '80s silk sandals, gents leather brogues, 1950s lurex court shoes, 1980s Italian leather boots; 1960s handmade lame maxi.

(Once washed, they'll be making their way to Vintage Village at Stockport on Sunday)

...and these won't:

Mad looking Bradley Doll in a bottle (99p, Age UK), fits in a treat with the rest of my mantelpiece of vintage dolls.

Super comfy, leather lined sandals (£1, Cancer UK) with a handy zip at the back (perfect for a cripple like me incapable of bending a leg at the correct angle to fasten a buckle).

1950s satin poodle print scarf (Dawley community co-operative, 20p)

A not-very-glam 1970s multi storey car park in Sandwell - never say I don't show you a cross section of British life!

See you soon.