Thursday, 29 March 2012

Outfit post: new circle skirt!

This week I went to a fabric shop I hadn't been to before, looking for pom-pom trim for a project I was working on for a friend, only to come home with no pom-pom trim but instead with three metres of cotton printed with deep sea anglerfish. You know, because anglerfish are so ravishingly attractive.

Here is a thoroughly educational comic strip about the plight of the poor male anglerfish and his miniature gonads.

Anyway, I made it into a circle skirt! I've made it with a tie at the waist to accommodate my ever decreasing and expanding waistline. Here I am posing in the park with Scamp.

I matched it with this aquatic hairclip by Miss Tiki Designs, and made some new bitey goose friends, who were already so stuffed with bread thrown by the horrid children who flooded the park as soon as the sun came out, that they turned their beaks up at my meagre crusts.

Must remember to bring food that geese actually like next time, I'm sure bread is not good for them.

Friday, 23 March 2012

1950s atomic box table thingy... all mine!

Here is my latest eBay purchase! I'm picking it up on Saturday. The seller had it listed as a sewing box, but I'm thinking it might be for LP storage? It's 16" wide, so as you can see, the inner width of the large compartment will be just over 12" judging by the picture.

Anyway, I will be using it to store sweaters as my LPs live in the front room and this will be a bedroom piece, with all my gloves and scarves going into the little drawers at the front. Fabulous! I may also revamp it a bit by painting the drawer fronts or changing the knobs.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

New Fabrics - Bambi and Retro Kitchen

I had a good rummage in the fabric bins at my usual shop in town today, looking for Hawaiian prints but found these instead!

Yay, retro kitchen gubbins! There is only a bit of this fabric, enough to make an amazing apron though!

Cute Bambi fabric! I want to make a skirt with this, although usually I only wear pencil skirts or circle skirts. It's too thin for a pencil skirt, but there isn't enough for a circle skirt. I may have to cut wide strips, stitch them together at the ends and do it as a border round the bottom of a full skirt, with a plain colour at the top.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Another Tiki Shoes Revamp!

Following my successful Tiki Shoes Revamp last year, I have the urge to do it again!

I saw these gorgeous shoes on the irregular Choice website and fell in love with them, only to be disappointed that they have very non-vegan suede uppers.

There's a leopard version that appear to have fabric uppers, but I think that the trim round the sole is leather, and the little leaves on the fruit look like it too, plus I don't actually like them that much - I think the small print makes them look too busy, and therefore less striking.

Also... I don't have £64.99. What I do have is a marvellous boyfriend willing to enter into ebay battles on my behalf while I'm out doing a stall. Luckily, nobody decided to engage him in battle for these, and I got them for £26.50. I think having a vintage carved wooden sole is much better than a modern moulded plastic one!

The uppers are brown felt backed with thin fake leather, and the felt is quite watermarked and needs replacing. I plan to do leatherette uppers covered with either a coral coloured velvet in the style of the red Irregular Choice ones, or with straw braiding to match this hat, and add a big bunch of fruit and flowers! (Picture for Kalandra Jane Designs by Berni Harris).

I really want the coral velvet, but can't find any anywhere - only ribbon, or some silk velvet on etsy, which obviously isn't vegan either. Booo!

Monday, 12 March 2012

New Pattern!

I just received this pattern in the post from PatternCenter on etsy.

I've been looking for a vintage bolero pattern for so long! They're usually either way too small, or close at the neck which isn't the look I want. I tried drafting my own, but it ended up fitting badly so I'm glad to have this basic pattern in my collection.

Speaking of too small...

Look at this amazing Oriental dress pattern in the Pattern Center etsy shop! No wonder the woman on the envelope looks so smug. If you have a bust that's only a bit bigger than one of my legs, it's for you!

Now I have a decent bolero pattern, I will be making lots of little jackets to go with my Summer dresses, just like these cute ones from Vivien of Holloway!

In other news... I cut out all the pieces for my Wartime Dress from Vogue 8936 and will be working on it this week!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Sewing plans: Wartime dress, and swimwear!

Spring is definitely up and springing around here, despite a small flurry of snow today (it was 7 degrees celsius! Where did snow come from?!) Anyway... this has prompted me to think about some Spring sewing. A couple of my Winter sewing projects fell by the wayside semi-completed, so I will need to finish those too, but I have been wearing the Winter items I did complete non-stop, and it is now time to contemplate some warmer weather designs.

The first thing I will be making is this dress, Vogue 8936 from 1941 - a quintessentially WWII design, although rationing didn't begin until 1942 in the US, so this pattern still has frills and isn't marked as a utility design. This dress would have been illegal to make in the UK!

I picked this pattern up on etsy last year and was a bit scared of using it due to its fragility, but the pattern pieces are in good shape, it's just the envelope and instructions which are falling to bits, I keep the envelope safely inside its plastic wallet so I will just have to be very careful with the instruction sheet when making the dress.

Here is the fabric I'll be using. I'm going to make view B, pictured in red on the envelope, but with the patch pockets from view A - no frilled trimmings though! The collar and cuffs will be in contrasting yellow, and I picked up these large yellow buttons for a bargainous 19p each.

I also procured these vintage early plastic belt buckles on ebay, and will be using the yellow one for a self-fabric belt for the dress. I'll also be making a fabulous straw hat with flowers and leftover fabric trim to match the dress!

My next project after the dress will be a new frontier for me... swimwear! I swim most weeks, and my current suit is getting very worn out. It's a plain black three-piece of bra, tankini top and shorts which I've had for eight years - very much the swimsuit of someone who is trying to blend into the background. The elastane has deteriorated and it's now saggy and partially see-through - not a good look!

This is the fabric I'll be using for my new suit.

I have looked all over for a swimming costume I like and which will be supportive enough in the bust, but so far the cheapest option I've found are these Esther Williams suits at nearly £60! Sainsbury's had a fabulous red and white spot tankini, but they've sold out of my size and failed to restock it for a number of weeks now.

I'll be using the Esther Williams suit as inspiration, but trying to incorporate proper underwired cups inside, under a draped front.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Gorgeous sparkly treasure! Vintage rhinestone jewellery.

A couple of weeks ago I had an appointment in my old hometown, so I visited my mum and stepdad while I was there, and met for lunch and fleamarket shopping with one of my oldest and best friends, Alison. She was kind enough to let me pick out a few pieces of vintage 1950s rhinestone jewellery as a belated birthday present! I bought myself a couple of pieces too, and there was even more of it I could have taken home had I taken any more money to spend.

Amazing brooches! £18 altogether.

I love this beautiful starburst brooch, and it matches exactly with this necklace, which is one of the only things I own that belonged to my paternal grandmother. The brooch does actually have a spike missing, but it's not too noticeable. I have an odd earring of the same beads that I could use to repair it which was part of my nanna's set, I have no idea what happened to the other as I don't even wear earrings, having stretched earlobes. I'm scared to take apart the earring to use for spares though, in case I find its partner.

Aurora Borealis rhinestone jewellery! The necklace has lots of different pastel tones in it with a golden surface shine, and the stones of the brooch are dark red and pink with an oilslick iridescent shine.

The necklace in better light.

This brooch is one of my favourite pieces. It's difficult to capture the colours well, it's made to look like different types of topaz in shades of grey-blue and copper opaque glass, it's lovely.

The stallholder also gave me these two cute hat brooches! They're not that old, but once I said I was a milliner she kindly handed them over for free.

50s Diamant√© bracelet, £2. One of the stones has been lost and replaced with a different one, but nobody will notice and it'll be a great staple piece to go with my other clear rhinestone pieces.

I also got a couple of household things. Midwinter jug and sugar bowl, 50p each.

Vintage bakelite glove stretcher (I think that's what it is!) to live on my dressing table, £3. The fleamarket certainly isn't anywhere near as cheap as it was when I was living there and shopping on my free Wednesday afternoons after college, I remember finding vintage glass pearl and cut glass necklaces for 30p each, but that was nearly ten years ago and the prices are certainly a lot better than online or vintage shops.