Monday, October 31, 2011

Early 20th Century Halloween Costumes

Bat costume, 1887 - okay a bit earlier than 20th century! (source)

From Woman's Life magazine, 1906

Extravagant carousel costume, ca. 1910s (source)

Moon witch costume, 1920s (source)

Gay disguises for Halloween revellers, 1920s (source)

Dennison's Bogie Book, 1923 (source)

Witch costumes, 1920s (source)

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Steal Her Style: Vixen Vintage

Welcome to a new feature on Tuppence Ha'penny. I'll be profiling popular vintage bloggers and style icons, analysing key aspects of their look and curating shopping collections so you can get the look. First up, Solanah of Vixen Vintage, one of the most well-known vintage fashion bloggers out there.

Always immaculately turned out, Solanah favours fashions from the late 30s, 40s and 50s. Her approach to vintage is non-purist: her look often incorporates elements from different periods, sometimes mixed with modern pieces, though usually with an overall 'feel' of a particular era.



Mad about plaid (and gingham)


1. 80s-does-50s plaid shirtwaist dress $39, Fluffie Loves Vintage
2. Woven plaid scarf $11, Alacloth on etsy
3. Pendleton plaid 49-er jacket $46, Elizabeth Grace Vintage
4. 1950s gingham party dress $120, kbickert on etsy
5. Burlington argyle socks £6.03, Sock Shop


Kitty Love


1. Kitty sweater $32, Lola Vintage
2. Kitten print socks £3.50, Topshop (also in pink and blue)
3. Cat eye glasses $124, Vintage 50s Eyewear on etsy
4. Circle skirt with kitty applique
5 & 6. Tammis Keefe cat fabric by Michael Miller
7. Vintage repro cat fabric in pink by Anna Griffin



Bright colours and leopard print

1. Vintage 1940s cranberry wool knit dress $80, Commissar Vintage
2. Leather leopard print belt $28, The Vintage Closet
3. Vintage teal green nylon gloves $15, Faulkner House Vintage
4. Vintage 80s teal leather shoes $41.55, MySweetiePiePie
5. 1950s red and white polka dot hat $20, ReCultivation


Mustard with everything

1. Corn yellow fairisle cardigan £29.99, New Look
2. Carved wood bird brooch$9.00, Vintage Home Recycled on etsy.
3. Knit beret £3.99, H&M
4. Vintage carved butterscotch bakelite bangle $55.00, 1980s Excess
5. Vintage 70s Colombian Leather Camel Shoulder Satchel Bag $55, Betsey Luxe Vintage

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Car Boot Bargains

I've been a regular over at Ford car boot sale for the last couple of months, I got a few fun bits and pieces today so I thought I'd share. I'm having a great season for bargains the last few weeks - both my pink cape and everything I bought today was very cheap by normal standards (downside of living in such a terribly middle class area is even the charity shops and boot sales are expensive).

Because I need more suitcases. Ahem...

These are samples of some kind of laminate surface - there were a few more, but they were selling them at a quid each (I got a small discount because it was the same stall where I bought the suitcases) so I didn't get the lot. But I just loved the midcentury graphics - thought they might be worth turning into a fabric design.

Isn't this fabulous? A (1960s? 70s?) pink hairdryer with attachable hood. The instructions and even the matching pink hairnet is still with it.

Check these books out for 50p each! (Trust me, you never find anything for 50p at Ford car boot). I've been after a bit of Wodehouse for my library, and the other book I just couldn't resist for the cover illustration.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bright Clothes For Grey Days

Yes the weather's dreary, but in my fabulous raspberry cape I won't let it get me down. It's so much fun swishing down the street in a bright pink cape - everyone should have one. Plus, pink and red together is awesome. I think it's going to be the basis of my autumn/winter palette - I want to try and avoid wearing too much black.

Wool beret, Accessorize; Cherry umbrella, New Look; Vintage (60s?) wool cape, charity shop (£5!); Cashmere cardigan, hand-me-down from Mummy; Gloves (they're actually pale green, you can't really tell in the pictures), Sandra's Vintage in Chichester; Handbag, hand-me-up from my sister; Fishnet tights, can't remember; Shoes, Hotter.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

{Vintage For Beginners} So you want to do vintage?

From My Vintage Vogue

When I invited readers to submit their questions (ages ago!) I had a couple of requests for advice for girls just starting out in vintage and wanting to build some vintage style into their wardrobe. So now I've finally got around to tackling the question, and put together a series of posts concentrating on Vintage For Beginners. Posts over the next couple of weeks will include advice on building a vintage wardrobe, an overview of 20th century styles, and identifying and dating vintage clothing, but please let me know if there's anything in particular you'd like to see me address!

Let's get started

To begin with, it might help to define why you want to start wearing vintage. Is it because you admire the glamour of past fashions and want to incorporate some of that into your everyday life? Perhaps you want to mix vintage pieces with modern to create a unique look. Or do you admire those who dress head-to-toe in vintage every day, but are not sure where to start? Even if you just want to be able to say "what, this? Oh, it's vintage," this week will hopefully give you some pointers on how to get started.

Adding vintage touches to your everyday style

For the true vintage beginner, it may be best to start small. Vintage accessories can look great with pretty much anything. Whether it's an armful of bakelite bangles, a 1950s rhinestone brooch, a hat, or a 1940s handbag, little vintage touches are a great way to get some instant fabulous into your outfit.


Step it up a notch

If you're ready to step it up, you could start incorporating some vintage garments into your regular wardrobe to give it some edge. If you want to wear vintage and still look "of the moment", take note of what the current trends are and seek out similar items in vintage stores.

Take inspiration from hip, vintage-wearing celebrities like Sienna Miller, Agyness Deyn, Alexa Chung, Kate Moss, Chloe Sevigny, Rachel Bilson (the list is long!), and experiment with mixing vintage with modern elements: layer a "Mad Men" sheath dress with a slouchy cardigan and tights to de-formalise (yes that's a word!) it; team a lace trimmed Peter Pan collar blouse with skinny jeans; wear a giant arran sweater with tweed cuffed shorts and over-the-knee socks; or a 50s beaded cardigan with a flirty mini skirt and patterned tights. To be honest I'm struggling to write this section because I have no idea about modern fashion. But you get the picture!

Above, Rachel Bilson and Casey of Elegant Musings combine vintage with modern for a look that's so 'now'.

Modern with a vintage twist

Which brings us to more familiar (to me) territory. If you like the look of vintage styles but don't want to go all-out, you might choose to go down a route of a vintage/modern style, that is, modern pieces - or a mix of vintage and modern - worn with a retro tone.

A lot of modern clothing can be styled up for a vintage look, with the added benefits of being affordable, available in all sizes (if you buy high street), and easy to care for. I often wear an outfit which, though composed (almost) entirely of modern elements, has a definite retro bent.


If dressing conservatively for the office is a concern, the two outfits above are both pleasingly vintage and perfectly wearable in a modern setting. Items like pencil skirts, demure blouses, and simple fitted cardigans are your wardrobe basics.

Total immersion vintage

Do you yearn to go all-out vintage but aren't sure where to start? We'll cover the topic of building a vintage starter wardrobe later in the week, but in the meantime, if you're just starting out it might be worth figuring out which fashion eras best suit you. Of course, as with anything, rules are made to be broken, and most things can be made to work if you love them.

Solanah of Vintage Vixen does 1940s · Me in a 1950s look

Even here, you can choose whether to go vintage purist or play fast and loose with styles; to wear only vintage, or mix it with vintage repro and modern, thrifted finds. Some ladies favour a specific period, but while I admire the likes of the Vintage Baroness and Lauren of Wearing History for their dedication to the 1930s, there's so much gorgeousness out there you needn't confine yourself to a particular era. You can be forties one day and sixties the next. You can even mix and match different eras for a unique look. In vintage, there are no rules.

Continue reading:
» 20th Century Fashion Eras
» Dating Vintage Clothes
» Building a Vintage Wardrobe

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Retro Fabrics... and their inspiration

Since I'm keen to release a fabric line based on my growing library of reproduction vintage fabrics, I've researched pretty heavily into the copyright restrictions that might apply. As it turns out, it's common practice for big-name designers to recreate vintage fabrics and graphics - here are some of the examples I've come across...

Perhaps the most famous example is Amy Butler's Chrysanthemum print; blogger Dorie came across a vintage tablecloth at a garage sale, in what was clearly the source fabric.


Michael Miller fabrics also create not just retro, but repro. I can't find where I originally saw this one (I saved the images out of interest during the course of my research), but on the top is an original 1950s barkcloth, and on the bottom "Bobby Sock Rock" by Nicole for Michael Miller.


Lastly, I love this design from the "Fifi & Fido" collection by Anna Griffin, but it was just today while browsing on Vixen Vintage that I spotted the inspiration, this "Kitten-ettes" shoebox.


I turned up another from Anna Griffin while I was searching for a picture of the cat fabric - I noticed this dress form fabric was a perfect replica of a vintage feedsack fabric I'd saved in my 'to repro' file! Guess I'm saved a job. I prefer the original colourway though (on the left).


And these are just the ones that can be matched with their inspiration - I'm sure there are many, many more. Now, obviously I'm totally down with reproducing vintage fabrics; the only thing that slightly bugs me is that none of these openly acknowledge the copying - at least not until it's uncovered. But why make it a secret? I actually love knowing that the retro-looking print I'm admiring is based on graphics from a 1955 shoebox or a 1940 magazine!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fruity Hats

It seems I got you in a fruity mood last week when I posted two outfits with cherry hats from my collection, so I thought I'd share a few of the most marvellous fruity millinery currently available on Etsy - it's a veritable harvest festival of hattery.



1. Vintage felt fedora with cherries, from Maybel57
2. Vintage 1950s berries and chocolate hat, from Swift
3. Vintage 1950s cherry pie hat, from FabGabs
4. Straw braid hat with millinery fruit, from Get Lucky Vintage
5. 40s inspired fruity straw hat, from Swell Dame Accessories
6. Cherry Picking miniature straw hat fascinator, from Now, Voyager
7. 1930s-40s vintage red straw with millinery fruit, from Alexsandras Vintage Emporium
8. Vintage cocktail hat with red berries, from REdesignkc
9. Vintage cherry harvest hat, from Amelia Vintage

Monday, October 24, 2011

Telephone Applique Template


Just in case anyone wants to have a go at their own telephone applique skirt, I thought I'd share the template I created for the shapes. You'll notice that neither is quite symmetrical, but I liked it like that. I ended up cutting the dial slightly smaller than the original template.


Also, I actually have a spare set of ready-made appliques (in the same colour) - I originally intended to have a phone on the back (with the cord making "goodbye") so I made a second set, but now I'm not going to use them so if anyone wants to buy them, make me an offer!

London Calling

Phew, an evening of frantic hemstitching, and my circle skirt is ready for Casey's sew along party! I actually missed the entire sew along, but since I'd been planning this skirt for some time (I've actually had the fabric since early spring!), when I read that she was planning a second 'party' post I thought I'd join in. So here we are.

I was ages deciding how to embellish my skirt - there were so many designs I wanted to make, but many of the applique ideas I liked wouldn't work on the dark grey background. Then, looking through some of the pre-cut felt appliques available in the 1956 Sears catalogue, I remembered a celluloid brooch I'd seen once in the shape of a telephone, with the cord forming the word "Hello". I found a picture of the brooch (it's quite a common design, and comes up quite regularly on ebay) and digitally sketched out the template.

I ordered soutache braid to use as the cord, but as I knew it wouldn't arrive in time for me to finish the skirt for the party I bought ric rac to stand in temporarily. But having attached the ric rac, I've decided I like it so much I'm going to leave it as it is.

To sew the appliques I used the machine, but hand-turned the wheel to sew ultra-slowly for more control, repositioning the fabric frequently to get round the tight curves. The buttons on the telephone dial I stitched on by hand, and the same for the ric rac (I would have done it by machine, but I wanted it to be easily removable as I intended it to be temporary).

So here we have it, the London Calling circle skirt. I'm very pleased with it and I think it's going to be a winter wardrobe staple - it's basically a wearable blanket.



Pattern: Simplicity 4752 from 1954

Fabric: a heavyweight, felt-like wool (I guess a coating?). Wool/rayon felt for the appliques.

Make again? Oh yes! This is to be the first of an entire wardrobe of wacky circle skirts - I'm already planning at least three more!

If you're interested in making your own version, I've also shared the template I used for the telephone appliques.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Retro Art: Stellalola

Amusing puns are the basis of artist Julie Lewis's adorable paintings. The little characters she creates put me in mind of the anthropomorphised food you see in 1950s adverts.

Bowling Pin Ball

The Sweet Art of Seduction

Southern Belles

Milk Maids

And many more!

Julie doesn't sell prints, but will recreate her paintings on demand, very affordably. She sells them along with 3D felt versions of the characters in her etsy shop.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Goodwood Revival 2011

Just catching up since I missed posting about this year's fabulous Goodwood Revival! It was, as always, a great weekend (except for the downpour on Sunday). I had the very lovely Claire staying with me for the weekend, so for the first time I had a vintage buddy to hang out with (not that my Daddy isn't great company, of course, but he's generally more interested in the cars than the fashions). She's also a great photographer, and took most of these pics.

I went with a tried-and-tested ensemble, the same one as I wore for Vintage at Goodwood last year, with the addition of a record hat and bodacious victory roll by Ruby Rose (unfortunately the carefully-set curls mostly fell out due to the wind and humidity).

We met up with the gorgeous Gemma, who was working in the mock-up "Ops Room" in the hospitality suite (to which we didn't have a pass, so she had to sweet talk the bouncers into letting us in to see).


We chatted with Spitfire pilot Charlie Brown (and his moustache), and Claire got to sit in a spitfire, lucky girl!

It was nephew Teddy's third birthday weekend, so on Sunday we attended en famille. He really enjoyed it - he liked looking at the planes, and bopping to the swing band (quite cute).


That's me with Josie of the Chequers Inn - she organised the week's vintage events there.

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