Thursday, 9 February 2017

Recent Acquisitions

I wanted to share the vintage knick knacks I've been picking up over the past week to add to my collections.

Firstly, I attended Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair in Bristol this past Sunday. I've been to a few Judy's Vintage fairs now, and I really feel I prefer the offerings in Lincoln overall, but I certainly found some lovely things! I was ever so pleased that everything fit me too, as I tried nothing on and was wrapped up in my big Afghan coat so holding things up to myself wasn't very helpful. I guess I know my body better than I realise, as I've certainly felt the disappointment before of finding the perfect thing only to not be able to pull up the zip!



First is this gingham mod shift dress, with the tie attached. I just adore the colours of this, and I've long admired the mod look of pairing traditionally male items of clothing with dresses, I even remember writing an entire post about it when my blog was still Oh! Darling. I've never had the confidence to just pair a random tie with a random dress before though, so I love that this comes preselected for me to achieve the look effortlessly. I was worried that this dress would be too small, but to my utter delight it fits! The lining is a bit too small over my hips so I can't pull it down all the way, but the dress fits me with room to spare which is odd! Upon closer inspection I noticed that at some point over the past 50 years some lovely person has very carefully hand-stitched to let the bust out an inch which I'm very grateful for! Unfortunately I don't have the boyish figure of Twiggy so I definitely needed that extra room.


Next is this citrusy crimplene dress which I was worried would be too big but fits just right. I kept looking at it and leaving it, but the fab colours would play on my mind so I'd go admire it again and leave it again. Just as I was about to leave I had that feeling in my gut that I'd regret it if I didn't buy it, so went back yet again this time to take it with me. The stall holder must have thought I was nuts going back and forth so often! I'm so glad I went back for it though, it's become my favourite of the lot.


Lastly this folk '70s midi skirt. I just love the floral pattern on the fabric and the lace trim along the bottom tier. This will be perfect for a casual outfit during the height of summer with a folk style top and my platform sandals.


I also managed to pick up a few records I've been after for a long time now. Opel now completes my little Syd Barrett collection so I was very happy to finally find it. I don't have any of the compilations of his work that have been released, but I don't really feel I need them now I have this as well as The Madcap Laughs and Barrett. I also finally picked up a copy of Ogden's Nut Gone Flake by Small Faces. This is probably my favourite of their albums, and whilst I have seen it before it's often terribly overpriced so when I saw this one I knew it had to be mine. Of course I had to make sure I got one of the originals with the round cover.


I also picked up this book from the charity shop which is exciting. It was sitting on display on the top shelf, and I almost overlooked it as you can bet as big of a fan as I am of Stephen King that I've already read The Bachman Books. If you haven't read this particular collection, I highly recommend it as it contains my all time favourite Stephen King story, The Long Walk. So I was ready to dismiss this find, until I noticed that it had not three books listed on the cover, but four. It contains the novella Rage, which has been long out of print. Rage is said to be the first novel King ever wrote back in 1965, and was first published in 1977. It's about a school shooting, long before school shootings were ever a real thing, and is said to have inspired many of the school shootings that happened in the US throughout the 80s and 90s. King himself had the book withdrawn as he was so horrified that his horror novel had come to life. So it's quite a difficult book to get hold of, and one that I'm curious to read with all of the somber history surrounding it.

And what a note to end the post on! I hope you've all had a lovely week, and let me know if you've found any goodies recently, I'd love to hear!

Monday, 30 January 2017

Preloved Vintage Kilo Sale

Yesterday I traveled into Bristol which is a few towns over from me to visit Preloved's vintage kilo sale. I'd never been to a vintage kilo sale before, but I knew the premise of it and that they're supposed to be excellent value. But from everything I'd ever seen of them, they appeared to be more "hipster vintage" than the kind of clothing people interested in vintage lifestyles would want to wear; by which I mean lots of denim and check shirts and stuff from the '80s. However I'd heard a good review of Preloved, so decided to go along and I'm so glad that I did!

Everything cost £15 per kilo and my total came to £43 which was 2.8 kilos. You're given a large plastic bag to fill as you go in, and they weigh it on your way out, so it's very easy to just throw things in your bag without knowing how much it totals but I feel I did really well! I definitely got a little carried away and bought a couple of things that are questionable, but I'm in the process of accomplishing one of my dreams and opening a vintage store so I'm not too bothered as it just means it's stock!

Before I show what I bought, I thought I'd just share a few tips about going to one of these sales in case you're considering it.

  • Wear a bag that will leave your arms completely free. I wore a backpack, something that goes across your body would also be good. You're going to be rummaging through a lot of stuff and carrying all of the goodies you want to buy so you won't want your handbag getting in the way!
  • It doesn't matter what time you go, there aren't any benefits to being an early bird. They continue to add things throughout the entire day, so it's not a case of all the good things will be gone by the end (however it's probably not a good idea to go just before closing, still keep it reasonable!)
  • You can go up to the people at the scales and ask them how much you've collected before you're ready to pay and then go back and get some more/put stuff back, that's perfectly OK. 
  • If you see something you're on the fence about, grab it and inspect it later, if you put it back it might be gone before you've blinked! If you change your mind on something, there are dedicated bins around the room to put things you want to discard (and these are also worth checking!)
  • Everything is split up according to item. Dresses are most important to me, so I made sure I checked the dress rail first and most thoroughly. Try and be strategic about your hunting.
  • Check the condition of the item before you buy it, inside as well as out! Especially if you're not a seamstress! A few of the items were damaged in some way, some as little as needing a hem being stitched back into place. One dress I saw had a silk lining which was completely moth eaten and falling apart beyond repair, yet looked fine from the outside so check, check, check
  • There are changing rooms, so you don't have to take a risk with everything you buy if you can be bothered! However I was bundled up under a lot of layers so I didn't take advantage of that.

Now onto the goodies!


This darling pink dolly dress was one of the very first things I saw, and my favourite of all of my purchases. It fits me to perfection, and it's made of a light cotton that will be so perfect for humid summer days. The white crimplene dress is too small, which I guessed it might be but couldn't bare to leave it behind. It needs a few repairs so I'll fix it up to it's former glory before passing it on.


This purple maxi dress fits like a dream, and is made from a thin crimplene so it's nice and comfortable and I just love the patterning. These next three chiffon dresses are the things that I consider questionable and where I think I got carried away! In my frenzy the pink one looked OK and like it might be nice and floaty and I liked the pattern of the fabric. It is definitely floaty, but not my thing at all so it will be passed on.


I bought this dress as I was impressed with these magnificent sleeves, and I liked the blue colour but I'm not yet decided if it'll be staying with me.


Again my love of sleeves made me weak! I saw this magnificent purple and magenta bishop sleeve poking out of the rail and it's another thing I wasn't sure of from the off, but decided to go for in my frenzy. I just find chiffon dresses a little too fussy for my personal liking, but hopefully I can find them good homes!


I loved this mod crimplene jacket, I thought it'd be perfect come spring when I want to wear lighter layers but unfortunately it's a bit too big so might get passed on. I could easily take it in to make it fit, but I feel bad doing that when I know larger sized vintage items are so highly sought after and plus sized girls already feel excluded from vintage. I'd rather it go on to a better home just as it is.


This cotton blouse is another favourite and will be perfect come summer time paired with a mod a-line skirt. The buttons on the back are surprisingly easy to manage as you only need to undo the first one near the neck.


I love a good shirt as they're so versatile, and this floral one with it's dagger collar is just my style. I've been dreaming of a Welsh tapestry vest for a while but unfortunately this one turned out to be too big, so it will be passed on.

And lastly the swimsuit is just perfect! I don't think it's ever been worn as it still has it's protective plastic stitched across the gusset which is a nice extra as I admit the idea of second hand swimwear makes me a little squeamish. However I find it really difficult to buy modern swimwear as it's far too skimpy for my taste. Not that I'm prudish, I just have areas of my body that I'm conscious of particularly my tummy and thighs as I'm a pear shaped girl and I'd just rather be covered. Even if you find swimwear that is high waisted, it still comes with high legs leaving all of my thigh on show. I love these vintage swimsuits from the late '50s/early '60s as they have a little inbuilt skirt so you're completely covered to below the crotch whilst still looking very feminine. They also have a full inbuilt bra to keep the girls firmly in place. The cups in this bra are very pointy and bullet shaped, not a style I've tried before but I have to say it looks very flattering in the swimsuit and keeps everything perky! I love the patterning and it's exactly my size, so it felt like absolute fate that it should be mine.

Have you ever had any luck at a vintage kilo sale? I'd love to hear your stories!

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Free to play alone with time

I haven't been drawing an awful lot lately, the negatives of being an art student is having barely any time to draw for yourself. And when I have had time, I've felt more inclined to sew instead. But I have drawn two portraits recently.




I wanted to draw Nick Mason as it was his 73rd birthday yesterday and as he's one of my favourite members of Pink Floyd I wanted draw something to both commemorate it and to have something to post on social media. I've been trying to simplify my portraits lately back like I used to. I've gotten into the habit of only drawing intricately detailed larger scale portraits which has made me feel intimidated to draw just when I feel like as I'm sure you can imagine they take several hours. I drew Nick in about 4 hours which is much better! It's exciting as it means my options for portraits opens up as if I'm drawing more simplified then I don't need massive HQ photographs to draw from. I'm just really excited to draw more throughout 2017 as I don't feel I did even almost enough last year.

Last month in December I also drew Rick Wright. This is one of those intricately detailed drawings I mentioned, I love how they come out but they just take too long! I had planned on doing one for each of Pink Floyd, but I'm not so sure now as I don't want to pressure myself with promises my heart is no longer into.


Sunday, 22 January 2017

Such is the silence o'er royal Camelot

I just love this dress. I found it on Etsy, and my first thought was “it’s beautiful, but when would I wear it?”. Then I checked myself and remembered that I don’t need an occasion to wear what the hell I want and bought it immediately.

dress and shoes - 1960s vintage // necklace - Topshop sale
It’s handmade from the ‘60s and in just wonderful condition. Whenever I buy handmade vintage items, I can’t help but wonder if one day my own handmade clothes will fall into the hands of someone who loves them? It’s quite exhilarating to think that could happen and although it feels unlikely to me, I bet it would of felt unlikely to these girls in the ‘60s who just wanted a dress like they saw in the boutiques but without the price tag and had no idea their creations would live on.


This particular dress is modelled after the medieval revival in the late ‘60s, a fashion movement I absolutely adore. Most of the clothing I've featured below was designed by The Fool, a Dutch design and music collective who like their name suggests were hugely inspired by imagery from the tarot. They're one of my most favourite designers of the era.







Of course much of this was toned down for the everyday dolly, but elements of the style such as lace up bodices, brightly coloured tights, huge balloon, bishop, Juliette and bell sleeves and opulent brocade and velvet fabrics became hugely popular.


Saturday, 31 December 2016

Let There Be More Light

The new year always feels so full of positivity and hope to me, which I know is silly; after all it's just a day like any other and you can make changes to your life at any time you like. But it always feels like a fresh start, and I feel so hopeful for that clean slate and welcome it with arms thrown wide open. Although the world at large may feel like it's falling to pieces, we can still improve our own little worlds as best we can and to be honest I've been thinking about my goals for 2017 for far longer than I care to admit! I thought I'd share those thoughts with you.



01.


I definitely haven't blogged much this year, and have felt quite disconnected from my blog as a whole. It's become a strange space to me, I used to feel part of a community on here and everyday would be excited to read all of the blogs I follow and it really inspired me to blog and share thoughts and ideas with people I liked and admired. And now they've all gone, and my blog list is looking rather bare and sorry for itself. Not only is that depressing as I truly miss interacting and reading particular blogs that are no more, I'm finding it difficult to find blogs to replace them with. I truly hate mainstream blogging with it's cold white backgrounds and bland generic content to appeal to advertisers, but it can be difficult to find like minded bloggers with similar interests as they're generally smaller. And that's something I'd really like to focus on this year, building up my blog and posting more regularly as well as trying to find new blogs to read and a new blogging community. I love blogging, and I refuse to give up on it. I know many have moved over to platforms like Instagram instead, but it just doesn't compare to me. Instagram is disposable, a blog is more personal and allows me to feel like I'm connecting with the person behind it.
If you know of any blogs you think I'd love, please please let me know!

02.


Draw more. I bought a new A5 sketchbook recently, and I aim to fill it. I always give up on sketchbooks as I feel a need to create perfect art in them, and give up before I get a chance to "wreck" it. I want to rid myself of this mindset, and so I'm challenging myself to draw every day until this sketchbook is full. It's a perfectly achievable goal as a drawing can literally be anything from a fully formed drawing to a 3 minute doodle. I used to draw every day, I'd take my sketchbook everywhere with me and pull it out every time I had a few minutes spare and didn't particularly care what each page looked like or whether it was cohesive, I was just having fun. I want to get back to that and loose the perfectionism.

03.


Pretty much related, but I also want to create more in general. I have so much sewing inspiration and the materials to do it, so I want to stop procrastinating and just do it! I also want to finish my crochet project before summer. And to just stop procrastinating on my crafts in general, it's something I love to do but I've built things up in my head to feel like mammoth tasks instead of something I can do as and when I feel like, which it actually is.

04.


I also just want to do more things in general and feel like I'm living more and really embracing life. I often never quite get around to things, plan to go to places then put it off. I've had enough, if I want to go somewhere on a whim then I will! No more excuses!

05.


This one is specific, and one that I'm deliberately going to be a little cagey on as it's something far in the future and I don't want to lay all of my cards on the table about it just yet. I really want to travel next year, and I'm specifically thinking next December (so I can escape Christmas), and to try backpacking. I've fully researched where I want to go and it's something completely doable, the only thing stopping me would be my own cowardliness which is a lame excuse not to do something.

I've only ever traveled before when I've had a complete booking at a well researched hotel and a full itinerary of exactly what to do on every day that I'm there. So the idea of going somewhere without a thorough plan, without extensive bookings in place beyond my plane ticket, is a little terrifying (it's also worth noting I'll be solo!). But I also think it could do my confidence the world of good, and it would be such an incredible experience that I'm really hoping I can build the courage to go through with it.

~

They're quite broad goals, but mostly for 2017 I just want to be brave, have fun, create more, explore, and above all just live. I feel like I've just been floating throughout 2016, and now it's time for me to take control.

What are your hopes for 2017?

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Yards and yards

I'm currently home for Christmas, and a couple of days ago we popped across to the next town over where there's a massive antiques centre. It's my favourite place to shop and I enjoy going as often as I can. There are several separate shops, each huge and containing a variety of different dealers so you're guaranteed to find something for your tastes and due to it being a small country town it's very casual and fairly priced. I particularly like it as there's a few dealers that specialise in 1960s and '70s clothing and home wares, so I make sure to save up my pennies! And this visit was no different, I picked up so many exciting goodies!



I was really excited to try and add some clothing to my wardrobe, like I mentioned before it's difficult for me to find vintage clothing where I now live unless I buy online. And as you can see, I wasn't let down! I saw a few wonderful crimplene maxi dresses all grouped together, but settled for this lovely blue number as I adore the bright flower pattern and it fit me the best. I've really enjoyed switching my usual mini length for maxi this winter, so I imagine I'll be getting a lot of wear out of this.

I was also on the hunt for a vintage dressing gown as my apartment gets very cold, I was imagining something bright and quilted. However the warm aspect quickly got disregarded when I spotted this perfect orange set! Its a '60s maxi nightgown and negligee, I'll feel oh so glamorous lazing around the house in this beauty. Although it's in perfect sturdy condition, I don't plan on wearing it to bed as I toss and turn far too much and would be knotted up in seconds! But I often like to change into something more comfortable for the evening and this is absolutely perfect for that.




This crimplene shirt was hiding on a hanger underneath a wool suit, I only noticed it by the collar peeking out and grabbed it immediately. I've been wanting more tops to wear with my skirts and this was perfect and I knew it would go well with my collection of scarves (of which I also bought another, as you see below!) I actually thought this was a mens shirt when I bought it until I tried it on after I got home and noticed the darts on the bust. It makes no difference to me either way!




All of the other things I got were lengths of fabric which has me missing my sewing machine desperately, it's going to be very busy as soon as I'm home! The first length on the left was the most expensive length, £24 which is far more than I would ever usually spend on fabric but it's possibly the most beautiful length of fabric I've ever seen and there's about 3 metres of it. It's certainly not something I'm likely to see anywhere else. It's groovy pattern reminds me of Peter Max. I'm not yet sure what to create out if it, it has to be something spectacular! I'm thinking of scanning it into the computer to create a repeatable background of it it's so lovely.

The rest of the fabric was all crimplene, and all super cheap. I'm a crimplene fiend and love to hoard it up whenever I see it available and I've really hit the jackpot this visit. There's about a metre of this stripy floral, and I'm envisioning a summer shift dress.




The quilted length is another huge piece of fabric (I'm not sure I'll even be able to fit it all in my suitcase, ha!) I've often admired vintage quilted maxi skirts, but never seen one in the flesh nor for a good price online. I imagine this would make a beautiful maxi skirt!

There's quite a lot of this patterned crimplene on the right, at the moment I'm thinking of creating it into a bell sleeved maxi dress. My favourite aspect of buying vintage fabric is that there's no desperately hoping something you love will fit, nor seeing something in a beautiful fabric in an ugly garment. Everything is exactly to your measurements and your design.



These were the non clothing items I got. I couldn't resist the cheese board, it'll brighten my kitchen right up! I'm always a magpie for nice pieces of jewellery and these Indian bangles were just a few pounds each. The Encyclopedia of Pop/Rock is an original from 1973 and only 50p. I don't rate it as much of an encyclopedia as there's several artists who'd made it very big at this time who are missing, but it's thorough enough and I enjoy having things from the time my favourite bands were around and seeing what was written about them then compared to what we know now. Plus how fab is that cover!



These 5 pieces weren't found in the antiques centre at all, but the local charity shop. I don't normally have much luck in charity shops, but it's always worth checking as every so often I strike gold and usually when I least expect it. All five of these pieces were 50p each, all thrown together in a huge basket with a variety of other off cuts. It's actually my mum I have to thank, I was busy digging through the pile of vintage patterns when I suddenly heard her call over to me "hey, is this crimplene?" I ran over, and we found another bit, and then another bit, and another until I had my arms completely full. I couldn't believe my luck! They're all fairly sizable pieces of about a metre, except for the green plaid pattern piece which is two metres and I thought would make a nice summer dress (I even found matching vintage buttons in the notions box, as you can see!) I have no idea what I'll do with the other pieces, but I like to have lengths of plainer fabrics in my stash to pair with busier fabrics as contrasting details like collars and sleeves.

I'm going to be a busy bee when I get home, that's for sure! I haven't had my sewing mojo for a while, so it feels wonderful to be excited about it again.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Tangerine

Dress, coat, handbag - 1960s vintage
Shoes - New Look

This little dress is my most recent vintage purchase, from eBay. It was love at first sight, it felt so perfect with it's Peter Pan collar, mod babydoll shape, bishop sleeves and tartan in my favourite shade: orange. Tartan always feels particularly seasonal at Christmas, and this was such the dress of my dreams that I found myself holding my breath as I looked at the size. When somethings so perfect, it's natural to assume it'll be the wrong size and this was listed as a size 8 which I'm certainly not! But reading the measurements and checking them repeatedly just to make sure, I realised it was actually my exact size and I couldn't order it quick enough. Whilst I enjoy wearing all kinds of psychedelic patterns and colours, there's nothing quite like the clean uncomplicated lines of mod style and it's the style that originally got me interested in '60s fashion in the first place.

As the ice has finally set in, I teamed it with my cosy orange '60s Afghan coat and I just love how it paired.





I doubt you can even tell I'm wearing anything on my lips in these photos, but I'm actually wearing a fairly pricey lipstick. Money well spent, eh? I've been intrigued by B├ęsame Cosmetics for a long time now, having heard so much buzz about it within the vintage community. It's difficult to get a hold of in the UK, so as I was placing an order with Sephora decided to treat myself and throw it into my order for an extra $22. It's makeup that's supposed to recreate colours and formulas of times gone by.

I ordered Portrait Pink, a shade which promises to be a direct replica of lipstick from 1963 and offers full coverage with one coat.


Honestly my lipstick from Poundland offers better coverage. It offers my lips a slightly glossed effect, but then so does Vaseline. Whilst I do have some vintage makeup, I don't have any lipstick to compare it to but I'm fairly certain it had to have been better than this - all of my real life '60s makeup is incredibly pigmented. I feel like I've just paid for fancy packaging on a tinted lipbalm, and personally I'd rather have basic packaging and lipstick that actually colours my lips.

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