Friday, April 30, 2010

Beauty on Holiday (1954)

Here's one I prepared earlier...


While I'm having fun in the sun, here are some tips for summer skincare and beauty!

Happy beach-wear colour: vivid pink -- coral or shocking --vital and exciting. To wear with it, brighter pink lipsticks: Rose Coral, Forest Fire or Lido Venice Pink under Paradise Pink.

You're different from seven o'clock on: siren instead of sea-sprite. Lotion make-up stands up best to heat, creamy shades are cool-looking. Mascara, of course, and dark-touch sun-bleached brows. For adding depth to eyes: Yardley's new violet eye-shadow. Hair sun-streaked? Accent streaks with Raymond's hair lustre: gold, copper, silver. Add your most exciting lip-colour -- prettiest with a sun-gold skin.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

{Style Inspiration} 1940s Spring Frocks

From Woman's Sphere magazine, April 1941

From Woman's Sphere magazine, March 1941

From Home Fashions No. 103, c1948

From Bestway No. 348, March 1949

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

All packed up and ready to go!

***

Having spent the entire morning hemming and hawing about whether or not to take my flight, I've made up my mind and I'm now ready for my trip to Thailand!

It will be part holiday and part buying trip, as I stock up my ebay shop with more retro repro 60s mod dresses, and get shoes for customisation. I'm also planning some time on the beach, and trekking in the jungle - wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Playsuit Project - Complete!


It's finished! And it turned out great! It did require fractionally more technical skill than initially anticipated: Perhaps because the skirt of my shirtdress wasn't voluminous enough, it turned out that just snipping and sewing as per the original tutorial wouldn't be enough. We (and by 'we' I mean Joanna) took material out of the surprisingly generous seam allowances and - after several experiments involving safety-pinning the fabric together in a variety of permutations - made a gusset.


I expect she will post more sewing information on her blog. Meanwhile, I'm going to get on with packing for Thailand! Can't wait to wear my playsuit to the beach!

Monday, April 26, 2010

On top of the wardrobe


The piles of hats on top of the wardrobe were starting to get a little out of hand, so last week I accompanied Joanna to Ikea and picked up some boxes from the "Nostalgisk" range for hat storage (I would love to have all my hats on display, but we haven't really got the space). Anyway long story short, the Ikea boxes look great with my two vintage vanity cases bought at car boot sales (the white polka dot one holds my gloves), and I get to display two of my favourites from my collection of cherry hats. Doesn't it look like something out of Country Living? I'm ever so pleased with my little display! Only the largest of the set of three round Ikea boxes is actually large enough to hold a hat, so the tiniest one holds necklaces, and the middle one fascinators.

Robojunker has some great ideas for craft projects using vintage luggage.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Brighton Beach


The sunshine just keeps on coming! I don't think it's rained all month - a bit out of character for "April Showers" Britain. So after a boot fair trip in the a.m. (semi successful - bought a couple of 1950s boomerang dishes, a vintage red vanity case (love vintage luggage!), some jewellery and three dresses for my shop) we hooked up with friends and headed to the beach. Did I mention how much I love living on the south coast? Despite the sunshine the wind has a distinct chill (it's still only April, after all), but that doesn't stop Britons from flocking to the seaside. Brighton is such a classic British seaside resort - complete with pebbles, beach huts, deckchairs, windbreaks and barbecues.


1940s-50s Dress, vintage shop in Brighton; Hat, ebay; Belt, Thailand; Coat, White Stuff; Lucite daisy brooch, Squirrel Antiques in Chichester; Shoes, Yoma.


All vintage seaside pics from Lovedaylemon's Vintage Seaside Flickr set.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Break out the bubbly!

***

Woohoo, I've made it to 100 followers! Looks like a giveaway's in order - let me have a think...

Vintage vs. Old-fashioned

***

My mother told me yesterday "some of your recent outfits have been a bit odd - that green blouse the other day was very old-fashioned".

I suppose at times I get so caught up in excitement over vintage, that I might forget to update my look. Then again, is not looking modern precisely part of the fun of dressing vintage? I think there's a grey area somewhere in between basically dressing in costume, and vintage-modern, and this is where the problems lie. And the best of us can get caught out. Even my style icons have been known, on occasion, to tip the balance towards - dare I say it - the frumpy.

But how can we avoid such sartorial faux pas? Vintage daywear can be tough - while you can't fault the glamour of vintage cocktail dresses and ballgowns, they're not terribly practical for everyday. Vintage daywear, on the other hand, is often exactly that - practical. I see the clumpy repro 40s shoes at Remix Vintage and think "really?" (they do of course also have some gorgeous, oh-so-glam styles). And have to keep reminding myself, just because it's vintage, doesn't mean it's good. But, so it seems, I still don't always get it right.

Where do you draw the line between vintage elegance and fuddy-duddy? How do you determine which side of the fence a garment or outfit falls on?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Playsuits (1940)

From Everywoman magazine, June 1940

I've got a bit of a thing for playsuits at the moment - particularly with the sunshiney weather we've been having recently, and my upcoming Thailand trip (oh yes, did I mention I'm off to Thailand next week?). They're just so fun and... playful!

Speaking of playsuits, remember my planned playsuit project? Well I've finally started working on it! Well when I say I, I mean my sister has helped quite a bit. And when I say helped, I mean she's basically done it - she's so much more handy with a sewing machine than I am! She's just doing the final neatening-up, and hopefully it should be finished today - so exciting!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

{Style Inspiration} Change and Change About (1950)


A dress with interchangeable yokes - what a brilliant idea!

May we introduce our "quick-change" frock -- the frock that transforms its character just as soon as you can say "buttons"? For preference, it's a dark-complexioned frock -- perhaps in navy or fir-green shantung, or clerical grey linen-weave rayon. Belted and full-skirted, as you see, it has a centre flare pleat, a sleekly fitting bodice and dear little magyar sleeves. But the five-starred feature is its bertha-shaped neck, encircled with neatly tailored buttonholes. Team it (A) with a yoke of cloudy grey organdie, its fullness eased into a neckband of narrow binding finished with bow and long trailing ends of narrow velvet ribbon. Button on the butterfly-wing revers of crisp white piqué (D), and wear it with a Dutch bonnet, gloves and Dorothy bag to tone, and you're precisely city-bound. Then, when you wear the dress yokeless (E), with a cherry ribbon twining through the buttonholes, you're a sophisticated belle at a summer evening dance. Again, at weekends, maybe, you'll step forth in a pleated bib-and-tucker (C) of lilac shantung, topped with a spreading picture hat. Finally, you'll rifle Granny's precious rag-bag for a cutting of fresh white Broderie Anglaise, stitched with fairy-light fingers, and make it into the little vest (B), and so the dress takes on a delicate air for extra special dates noted in your diary.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Super-quick Sweet Treats


Yes I know Easter's well and truly over now, but I've been making chocolate Easter nests every few days since - they're so quick and easy to throw together, and they look so pretty. Melt approximately equal measures of cocoa powder and golden syrup (I do about three tablespoons of each for a plateful of nests) with a knob of butter, then throw in a couple of handfuls of All-Bran cereal and mix until coated. Spoon into fairy cake cases and top with mini eggs, et voilà.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunny Sunday Barbecue

Time with friends and a barbecue in the garden, what better way to spend a sunny sunday afternoon?

The pink plaid skirt came out again, paired this time with my 'new' 50s lilypad print back-button blouse. And again with the single hair roll and flower combo as seen on Tuesday.

1950s Lilypad blouse, ebay; Skirt, Vintage Critter; Hair flower, New Look. And just to prove our garden is much brighter than in the semi-sepia-fied pictures above, here I am again, in real colours:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ten Mile Hike

So in a moment of madness, I seem to have signed myself up to take part in the PhotoPLOD 40 mile overnight walk in June. That's forty miles. Yes, really. Anyhow, I'm in a team put together by Matin's work, and today was our initial training session. We met up with some others from the team for a ten mile walk over the South Downs, which is where the actual walk will take place.

We were walking most of the day (excluding a stop halfway round for a pub lunch in Fulking), through some of England's loveliest countryside. The sun was bright, the sky was blue (hard to believe that volcanic ash is supposedly filling the air up there). It was a lovely day. We've also come to the decision that we need to get some decent hiking shoes.


I'm full of the joys of spring again from all the pretty wildflowers we saw on the way round, from primroses to hedgerow blossoms, violets, even the first early bluebells just starting to bud!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pin-Up Swimwear - Kelly Brook for New Look

While I was out yesterday I couldn't help but notice Kelly Brook's latest swimwear collection in New Look. I do love bikinis (and indeed I may have one or two of Kelly Brook's designs from last year), and these are super fabulous, but why does no-one ever bother one-pieces? The only one-piece - though cute, with that retro ruching - isn't terribly exciting. My need for a swimsuit is getting particularly urgent, since my old one now has a hole in it. I would sooo love a swimsuit in one of these adorable prints (particularly the blue one - cherries and polka dots? My life is complete).


L-R: Hot pink Tiki pineapples bikini; Sky blue and coral red cherries bikini; Nautical stripes bikini; Red ruched swimsuit.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The acessories maketh the outfit

So I put on my new fabby parasol print sundress (it's slightly too big, and also a little longer than I like to wear - will try to make some alterations sometime), added my black jacket (with my homemade bow pin still attached from the last time I wore it) and found myself thinking, for about the 50th time, "what this ensemble really needs is a red bangle". And this time I actually decided to do something about it. I treated myself to a nice set of three from H&M. I also indulged in another hair flower - so huge it practically counts as a hat! I'm happy.

Ooh, and I also debuted my new lipstick, it's a soft coral shade - I wanted to have an alternative to bright red, something lighter for warm days when red might be a bit overwhelming. Today wasn't actually one of those days (red would have gone fine with my bright outfit), but I couldn't find my red one. I think it's in one of my handbags.

1950s Parasol novelty print dress, Vintage Critter; Jacket and belt, both hand-me-downs from Joanna; Red polka dot bow, handmade; Clutch, Charity shop; Red bangles, H&M; Flower, New Look; Vintage petticoat, Charity shop.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Just Added - Sweaters and Novelty Prints


Well in contrast to yesterday's sunshine today has been very grey (although it brightened up slightly in the afternoon), so I've been hard at work editing photos and adding new items to my Etsy store - including some from my own wardrobe which I love but rarely wear as no matter how hard I try, they simply don't suit me.

Clockwise from top left: 1940s Spring Flowers Peplum Dress; 1940s Floral Cotton Wrap Dress; Atomic Print 1950s Day Dress; 1940s Navy Gabardine Suit; 1950s Novelty Print Apron (this is just one of the dozens of aprons I've listed! Check the Accessories section); Vintage Handknit Sweater.

Right now I've got exactly 100 items listed in my Etsy store - quite a landmark!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Blue skies and sunshine

Just enjoying another sunshiney spring day here in Chichester! Single hair roll (only took ten attempts! But it did stand up remarkably well to my leaping about at our Boxercise class at the gym!), "not quite hatless" with my hair flower. And that's all I have today! Hope you're enjoying good weather where you are.


Cherry blossom graphics from Francesami on Flickr.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Not Quite Hatless (1946)

Loving these ideas for floral headdresses, perfect for warm days! Scanned from Everywoman magazine, July 1946

It's lovely to walk in the sun, hatless. But it's smarter to walk in the sun and be not quite hatless. Here are some ways of being hatted. Flowers, real or artificial, allied with scraps of ribbon, veiling and material, are all you need. You can have a fresh head-dress for every suit and frock, and change your flowers to match the minute - crisp for the office, dramatic for a special evening date. A little ingenuity and some bright ideas, like the five which are illustrated here, and you'll never be entirely hatless.

My take, as seen yesterday and previously:


Hair flowers, H&M; Cardigan, estate; Earrings, home-made from vintage buttons; Necklace and brooch, gifts.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

In The Pink


Today's photo collage is courtesy of Picnik.com, as my computer is temporarily out of action and I don't have my graphics software on Matin's computer. Incidentally Picnik is an awesome photo editor, and it's free online (I subscribe to the premium version, which gives you the advanced editing options - and is totally worth it). My favourite effects for vintage-ing photos are Orton-ish, Cross Process, CinemaScope and 1960s.

Anyway, on to the outfit... My new pink 1950s skirt arrived the other day, and I love it. It's perfect for Spring - cute pastel colour, but in wool so still warm for the sunshiney-but-still-fresh April days. Expect to see a lot of it. My blue wool cardigan has also become a Spring wardrobe staple. And leopard print brings the look up to date! :)


Cardigan, estate; Hair flowers, H&M; Brooch, gift; Leopard camisole, from Thailand; Skirt, Vintage Critter; Shoes, Yoma;

Thursday, April 8, 2010

DIY Vintage Earrings


Some time ago I had an idea to make some earrings - I love kitschy vintage earrings, but a) they're often expensive, and b) they're usually clip-on or screwback, which I find uncomfortable. I bought some vintage Japanese celluloid cabochons from Etsy... I got a card of 24 hard plastic sailor buttons from ebay... I picked up some packages of 1930s handpainted plastic buttons at the local Antiques & Collectables Fair... And today my sterling silver earring posts arrived, so I've been busily creating! This is just the start - we've been rearranging the room over the last few days, so I've temporarily mislaid most of my Japanese cabochons, but I've been hacksawing and sanding the shanks off buttons, and supergluing posts on the backs to make my lovely earrings! I've more of the coral roses and the blue buttons, which will go on Etsy (or possibly into a giveaway - hmm...)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

New and Coming Soon - Lingerie!


I've started adding the estate petticoats to my Etsy Store. I'm in a quandry over what to do with the 1940s camis, whether they should go into the Etsy store or out to bids on ebay. Hmm...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Monday


We spent the weekend at Daddy's in Lincolnshire, mostly eating chocolate and failing to complete the Times crossword, walking the dogs (Wellington and Nelson, above) and generally chilling out. We did go to the car boot sale on Sunday morning, at which I bought a vintage breadbin (something I've been looking for, for the house), and a really cute 1930s-50s children's tea set.

I'll try to have some more beautifully presented sartorial posts as of next week - especially with more picturesque picture locations within reach now that I've started driving again! I've barely been behind the wheel of a car since passing my test almost exactly four years ago, but Matin's put me on the insurance, so I'm hoping to get back on track - the world opens up to you when you can drive! So wish me luck, and as I say I'll hopefully be able to bring you more exciting on-location photo shoots soon.

1950s wool cardigan, estate; Faux pearl and diamante brooch, came on a sweater some years ago; Sheer red blouse, Charity shop; 1970s skirt, estate; Tights, Wolford; Boots, Clarks.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Thirteenth Day


It's the thirteenth day of Persian New Year. The Persian year starts at the beginning of spring (which seems a more logical time for New Year than midwinter, to be honest), and on the 13th day Iranians celebrate Sizdah-Bedar, the festival of nature. It's traditional to celebrate on this day by spending time outdoors in nature. We visited Matin's friend Hossein, and took a trip out to Hampton Court park to watch the sunset over Long Water. Then Hossein cooked a traditional Iranian dish, Zereshk Pollo Ba Morgh (chicken in tomato sauce, and rice with dried barberries fried in butter and sugar) - delicieux!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Miss Popular


Introducing the cutest little boy in the whole wide world, aka my darling nephew, Teddy (there's lots about his adventures over on my sister's blog). I was babysitting today while his parents moved house, and he decided that the best game ever (actually the second best game - best game ever is opening and shutting doors) was playing with the self-timer on the camera. I now have a lot of pictures of us. And check out the print on my newly arrived rayon outfit! I wasn't actually wearing this today - it's the first purchase of my latest novelty prints kick to arrive (must. stop. spending.) and I was trying it on.

Also, another award! Aren't I just Miss Popular? Gabriella on Sewing Is Hard was sweet enough to call me inspirational! She's a bit of an inspiration herself to be honest - far more dedicated to the whole sewing malarky than I can be bothered with.

So the rules say I should pass this onto ten blogs that inspire me. I have a comparitively small blogroll though, so I'm just going to highlight the most inspiring blogs I read...

Vixen Vintage
Solanah is stylish of course, but also endearingly sweet.

Millie Motts
Vintage magazine inspiration - can't get enough of it!

Twila Jean
Vintage mama extrodinaire.

Islay Makes
My sister's blog on green living, crafts and vintage buttons. She inspires me to try and organise my life.

Wearing History
Beautiful repro vintage patterns that are coming very close to inspiring me to take up sewing.

Gertie's Blog for Better Sewing
Erudite and eloquent, Gertie always has interesting things to say on fashion and vintage, plus she sews cool stuff.

Dizzy Dame
Love her photography style and post-processing - inspiring stuff.

Already Pretty
I just love the overriding "love yourself" message that Sal manages to project without sounding like a self-help manual.

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