Thursday 30 August 2012

It's The End Of The Road

We're off to The End Of the Road Festival! I'm scheduling this post so hopefully we'll be cracking open our first cider by the time you read this, looking forward to a weekend which includes performances by Patti Smith and Alabama Shakes.

Aside from the 1970s nightie I'm wearing I've packed three maxi dresses and two mini dresses, a stack of jewellery and head dresses, tights, five pairs of over-the-knee socks, waterproofs, false eyelashes, neon lipstick, waterproof eye liner, a floppy felt hat, wellies, a set of thermal underwear, 2 x long sleeved tops, leggings, a parasol, an umbrella, fingerless gloves, a bikini... 

a fake fur coat, sunglasses, bindis, flip-flops, a sun hat and a fake fur hood. That should just about cover a typical weekend of British weather.

1970s nightie (from Helga), 1960s tote bag (from Clare), Purple skull and stud bracelets (made by Krista) , Hush Puppy boots (£1.50, car boot sale), denim waistcoat (£2.49, Acorns Hospice)

I promise to catch up with you all when we get back!
Have a fab weekend!

Wednesday 29 August 2012

(Patch)Work It, Baby!

Visitors to our house go wild over my handmade curtains and I get inundated with emails from people offering to buy them off me.

Patchwork started as therapy when my Mum died two years ago and developed into a minor obsession, as you can see. If it doesn't move, I cover it!

Fancy making yourself some curtains like mine? It's not that scary, honest!

1. You'll need a mountain of old fabric. Anything will do from second-hand curtains, sheets, pillowcases, old tablecloths and tea towels to off-cuts from dressmaking projects and clapped-out clothing.

2. Using the lid of a shoe box as a template, mark the shape out in chalk on the wrong (unprinted) side of the fabric and cut out. You can do smaller pieces but I'm a slapdash seamstress and sewing up titchy squares would take me years and bore my pants off in the process.

3. Take down your existing curtain and lay the cut out pieces on top of it, making it a row wider and a row longer than the original to allow for when you sew up the pieces. Lay it out to check that you're not duplicating the same square too closely together.

4. When you're happy with the result pin each vertical strip together.

5.Clearly label each row so they're in the correct order when you connect them up.

6. Sew each strip together with the printed sides facing each other, allowing for a 3/4inch seam.

My 80 year old Sylph iron, works like a dream!

7. Iron each strip on the wrong side, snipping off any excess thread and flattening out the seams. Doing this will help you spot any areas that may need restitching. 

8. Sew each strip together width ways, with the printed sides facing, again allowing for a 3/4 inch seam allowance. Iron and snip off any excess fabric. 

9. Hem the bottom, top and sides of the curtains.

10. You can use old curtains or an old cotton sheet as lining (or, if you're a lazy trout like me, don't bother as the sun shining through the various fabric is a beautiful sight).  

11. Add curtain tape to the top (salvaged from an old pair), thread with curtain hooks, hang and enjoy. 

Miles funkier than your average window covering and if you're a vintage fabric whore hoarder like me then they're free to make, too!

I must go and pack for my festival (that's if I can squeeze anything in Gilbert, he's stuffed with more booze than your average off-licence).

Hopefully I'll see you before I go!

Updated to link to Lakota's Ta-Dah Tuesday.

Tuesday 28 August 2012

Black and White Town

Cityscape Skybaby asked what I'd made from the groovy black and white faces fabric, the remainder of which features in our new spare bedroom curtain.

I haven't worn this home-made maxi (made up using a 1969 Butterick pattern) for ages so as today saw a welcome return to blazing sunshine out of the wardrobe it came, ready for a quick sprint into town to get some last minute festival supplies.

I must make myself another dress using this pattern, I love the low-cut back.

These 1960s Polaroid sunglasses (along with their original case) were bought from yesterday's car boot sale. We managed to get round the entire field before the torrential rain started so I got my second-hand shopping fix for the week. 

As I picked them up from the seller's stall she asked if I was into vintage, which instantly made my heart sink, expecting her to come out with a delusional asking price. How wrong I was, she asked if 50p was too much.

Original 1970s suede platforms (£9.99, eBay), Leather Gladstone bag (20p, Jumble sale)

Dragon ring (from Krista),  Hindi script cuff (from Helga)

See that sequinned white leather cuff on my left wrist? It's by Jade Jagger and bought back in the last century (1998) when I obviously had more money than sense. It cost £25 (from a Paul Smith outlet at a discount village) so it probably cost more than anything else I own. 

Bank Holiday boot sale buys (clockwise from top left): 1970s long crochet coat , 1970s cocktail dress , 1960s leopard print mac , 1970s cocktail dress , Topshop knitted beanie , Neon striped top with zip sleeves, 2 x vintage linen tea towels 

Monochrome fabric (courtesy of Jennie) previously seen HERE and HERE

The sun's shining, there's rum chilling in the fridge, there's a festival on the horizon and I'm happy.

See you soon!

Sunday 26 August 2012

Culture Vultures

It's not all beer, charity shopping and hedonism here, you know.

Some people are under the misguided belief than anywhere north of London is a cultural wasteland. Wrong! We even have pretty houses like these modern town houses we walk past on the way into town.

Yesterday we watched the Bayard Colts perform traditional Black Country street theatre in the town centre.

Amazingly we watched the entire performance without a drop of rain ruining it, it had the decency to wait until we got back in the house. An hour of sunshine works wonders (and topped up the tan a treat).

We spent the rest of the afternoon sorting out our spare bedroom in readiness for Krista and Chris's stay.

Remember me mentioning a new patchwork creation? That'll be this curtain. I'll have to watch what I'm wearing if I pose next to it, most of the fabric's offcuts from dressmaking projects!

If that wasn't excitement enough in the evening we went over to Liz and Al's to celebrate his 40th (yeah, he's the baby of the bunch).

Wearing the vintage trilby we bought him.

 It was supposed to be a garden party but the weather was dodgy so we had to celebrate indoors, which was a real shame as they'd almost killed themselves laying a path, erecting a gazebo and making it all look beautiful.

Liz painted this picture as part of Al's birthday present. They're off sailing (Al's passion) around the Greek islands in a fortnight's time.

The boys (Jon, Adrian and Al)

 The girls (as quietly and conservatively dressed as ever). I had no idea I was so brown, what's going on?

Jon gets the party started

Joined by the others.

The lucky boy got two cakes.

Bombay potatoes, chicken curry, Curried goat, sweet potato and chick pea curry, basmati rice, vegetable samosas, mutter paneer rolls, vegetable pakoras, aubergine salad, tomato & olive foccacia....

Liz and Adrian braved the elements until the wind got insufferably wild.

1970s maxi courtesy of Sarah Misfit, button hair slide from talented Liz

It's August Holiday weekend here in the UK so fingers crossed for a dry day tomorrow for car booting. We're at our last festival of the summer next weekend and I'll be getting withdrawal symptoms if I can't squeeze in a rummage between now and a fortnight's time.

See you soon! 

Friday 24 August 2012

Gypsies, Tramps and Tablecloths

Last night accompanied by a glass of Rose and a repeat of Benidorm I got cracking on transforming the 1960s tablecloth Sarah sent me in yesterday's parcel of joy into something fit to wear.

Using one of the fabulous vintage Jiffy patterns Tamera sent me within an hour I'd knocked up a half-way decent frock suitable for a jaunt into town this morning.

Simplicity 8259 rocks - I've made every pattern up at least twice and I love them all!

The print and style looked familiar so I googled Cher in a mini dress as it looked like something she may have worn, but, as usual, I was bombarded with a load of images of me.

It's become a bit of a game between Clare and I, whenever we search for any images (not just Cher) I do have an annoying habit of popping up. You name it, from jumble sale1960s Bollywood actress in bikini to Man in Cape there I am.

Cher and me we're one and the same, Jon's not convinced about his new hair style though.

Tablecloth mini dress worn with turquoise opaques (bought 3 years ago) and suedette T-bar platforms (£5, local boutique), yellow wood bangles (Mrs Allnut)

Right I'm off to the pub and looking at these photos I'm in need of more eyeliner and shed load of turquoise eye shadow before I can face Walsall by night. 

Have a fantastic weekend and don't do anything I wouldn't do (wear beige, act your age, behave.....)