Monday 29 April 2013

Curtain Couture -The New Rock and Roll

 How times change. Not so long ago when Jon was working away I'd call the girls, don my glad rags and dance the night away. 

On Friday I couldn't have been happier alone, digging out the vinyl, cracking open a bottle of Pink Chill and setting the scissors loose on a pair of 1960s screen printed curtains.

I made one hell of a mess, swore like a navvy and built up an unnaturally close friendship with my seam ripper but by the time Jon came back I was dressed in the curtain I was unpicking when he left.

Before the official blog photographer's return I couldn't resist sharing a sneak preview with my friends on Facebook - check out the classic Blogger pose. 

Just in case you're bored with my sewing here's what's on my dressing table.
The Deco dressing table was rescued from the skip of the first house I ever rented and has been painted a rainbow of colours over the past three decades (currently Fairy Dust by Crown), everything else is charity shopped, car booted or jumble sale-d apart from the hot pink Blythe doll picture (from Krista-licious).

The finished culotte suit.

From the front, 

The back,

Rouleau straps, darts, covered buttons, French seams and all.
I'm linking to Creative Mondays.

I'm also linking to Patti's Visible Monday. No-one can see me in the garden but I'm sure someone will look my way when I visit Dad's nursing home and Lidl later.

Culotte suit (made from a Le-Roy pattern from the fabulous Curtise) , Francis Price Sunflower curtains (courtesy of friends, neighbours and fellow festival goers, Matt and Sonya), hair flower (made by me), Tribal brass choker (Orissan hill tribe, bought in Tamil Nadu), Ethnic earrings (belonged to my Mum)

Hope you've had a fabulous weekend and a great start to the week.

See you soon!

Friday 26 April 2013

Home Alone & Hidden Treasures

After the temperature hit the heady heights of 15C , maybe a tad optimistically, I packed away my winter clothes. Call me easily pleased but it really is exciting to get the summer suitcases down from the top of the wardrobe and get reacquainted with treasures long-forgotten after a harsh and seemingly endless winter.  

Darling Desiree sent me this a-mazing 1960s silk culotte suit ages ago but last summer was so crap that it hadn't had a single outing since 2011 so on it went. I soon warmed up after a brisk stroll into town to stock up on fruit and veg from off the market. I'm back just in time 'cos it's hailing now!

Silk culotte suit worn with leopard platform boots (like Hollie's), bastard massive 1960s copper pendant (50p, car boot sale), 1970s Ted Lapidus sunglasses (£1.95, Acorns Hospice, 2009)  and a vintage Hong Kong-made straw bucket bag (£1, car boot sale last September)
 Jon's working away so it's the perfect excuse to buy and eat food he hates. I'm not sure what's on the menu but avocado, papaya & sweet potato feature strongly!

Here's another forgotten treasure - a super-loud 1960s three piece pants suit by Butterfield 8 I bought following a drunken lunchtime session with the girls in Wetherspoons last summer.

When I was a little girl adulthood meant being just like my Mum, swanning around the house in killer heels, floaty psychedelia, jangly jewellery with a bottle of wine on the go. I'm officially a grown-up! 

Butterfield 8 suit (Second To None, Walsall) worn with perspex stripper heels (£1 charity stall, Why Not Festival, 2012), Indian pendant (Hand-made by the fabulous Edie Pop)

Anyway, you lot - stop perving over the bath towel on my washing line! I found it in Mum and Dad's airing cupboard when I was clearing the house, it was a wedding present in 1966 but Mum thought it was too nice to use - that's one trait I didn't inherit! 

Have a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Boo Radley! Charity Shop Joy - Gingham Style

You may have noticed from yesterday's post that I've a bit of a gingham thing going on so when I spotted some red checked fabric peeking out from a rail at the usually disappointing Scope charity shop in town this morning I got very excited.

My excitement escalated when I pulled out the hanger and spotted the label. 

Radley was a British clothing company in existence from the 1960s to the 1980s which featured designs by Ossie Clark and Alice Pollack. 

This dress isn't attributed to anyone but it's pretty damned gorgeous - 100% cotton, early 1970s, with bows, buttons & a Broderie Anglaise petticoat. It fits like a dream and it was FIVE frickin' POUNDS! That's less than Scope usually charge for last year's New Look and Next.

You know your chazza find is a success when you change into it as soon as you get home and frolic round doing the chores like a woman demented.

I've already taken a few dresses out of my wardrobe to make room. I've a feeling this is going to get worn to death so keep your eye on the Kinky Melon website for an influx of maxis later this week.

I can't wait to see what treasures await at the car boot sale tomorrow and Thursday (that's if it stays dry).

Radley dress worn with a stack of second-hand bangles and a Frida Kahlo necklace handmade by fabulous Tamera.
Hair inspiration by gorgeous Tania
For those who asked, our weekend sandwiches were veggie Cheddar on crusty bread.
Tonight's dinner is Pacha Thakkali Mezhkkupuratti (Keralan-style sautéed green tomatoes) with steamed rice and I'm off to eat it.

See you soon.

Monday 22 April 2013

Easy Like Monday Morning

Photo courtesy of Wolverhampton Vintage Fairs - thanks, Chicks!
In the new and exciting world of vintage market trading Monday is the new Sunday. 

The weekend went like this....

Friday - Work out, get dressed, have breakfast, walk down to the university campus to flier it again, walk back, sort stock checking the labels are intact, give it a quick once over and iron/repair anything that needs it.

Take some photos and put a sneak preview on Facebook and Twitter to tempt any potential punters.

Bag and box everything up (clothes, accessories, home-ware), collapse the rails, check for tables, shoe stays, hat stands, a tape measure, table cloths, mirrors, carrier bags, business cards, fliers for the next events and load the van - trying to avoid locking a marauding cat in with the stock.

Sneak in a quick visit to a jumble sale before settling down to a quiet night in (sharing a cheeky bottle of wine).

Saturday - Set the alarm for 6am, make sandwiches and a flask of coffee (keeping the day's spend to an absolute minimum), dress to the nines, drive to Wolverhampton, unload, set up and move the van to a nearby car park.

1970s gingham maxi dress (£1, Cancer UK) worn with velvet dirndl top (Maisie's Closet Vintage)

Smile, chat, pose for photos....and sell, sell, sell!

Pack up, collect and load the van, drive back. Count the takings, have a bath, order a takeaway, crack open the wine, replace the sold stock with more from the store room. Have an early night.

Sunday - Get up at 7am. Make sandwiches and coffee, dress up, drive to Burntwood, unload and move the van,  Jon realises he's come without the sandwiches and float so has to go back home to fetch them whilst Vix sets up...

1970s Bernshaw maxi (courtesy of gorgeous Curtise)

Pose for photos, chat to the customers, hang out with our lovely vintage family...

Try on the other stall holders' merchandise.

Pose for some photographers - thanks, Eddie! 

Pack up, collect and load the van, drive home via the off-license for cheap white rum. Count the takings, have a bath, reheat the other half of last night's takeaway, read the paper you were too busy to look at yesterday, have an early night.

California 1970s maxi (50p, car boot sale, 2010) worn with a crochet tank top (Maisie's Closet Vintage, yesterday) and  wooden necklace (handmade by fabulous Tania)
Get up at the crack of dawn 'cos your back's killing you, try on your spoils from yesterday, get dressed, unload and put the stock away (thanks, Liz). Catch up on all you've missed in Blogland and...relax! (Man, I look a total wreck today but I'm linking to Patti's Visible Monday anyway.) Another early night after I've caught up with Arne Dahl.

Hope you had a good 'un!

See you soon.

Thursday 18 April 2013

Mama Mia! My Catsuit Makeover

Despite an appalling synthetic sequin trim and naff floppy cap I couldn't resist snapping up this hand-made Abba fancy dress costume for £2 from Age UK yesterday. Who in their right mind turns down purple crushed velvet?

I originally planned a complete re-fashion but loved the fit when I tried it on. Off came the silvery inserts, which I replaced with fabric cut from 1960s curtains (what else?) bought from a jumble sale ages ago.

It was a bit chilly for bare arms this morning so I wore it back to front with a blouse underneath.
The jury's still out on the cap.

Jon reckons I'm more Austin Powers than Abba now.

It took an age to replace those panels last night but fuelled by rum I enjoyed every minute, my sewing mojo is definitely back! The fabulous Pao sent me this amazing stash of 1960s patterns from her youth and I can't wait to get cracking on some curtain couture.

I'm almost ready for our gargantuan two days of vintage fairs, even finding time to trim and dye my hair this afternoon. I've just spotted a jumble sale advertised for tomorrow, which'll be the extent of our socialising this weekend.

Crushed velvet catsuit worn with 1960s St Michael blouse (from the gorgeous Jo), 1970s Nordiska belt (20p, car boot sale), Velvet platforms (Office sale, 2011)

I'm off to do something creative with the kilo of broccoli bought for a song off the market yesterday.

See you soon.

(Thanks, darling Curtise for providing the title inspiration!)
Recycled Fashion

Tuesday 16 April 2013

The First Car Boot Sale of 2013 - What Vix Bought!

 Ever since watching Argentinian thriller, The Secrets In Their Eyes, I've had a fancy for a yellow skinny ribbed polo neck, just like Soledad Villamil wore in the 1970s flashbacks. 

What was the first thing I spotted at Saturday morning's car boot sale? Yep, the perfect 1970s sweater peeking out from a pile of mediocre high street tee shirts.

If I had a quid for everyone who commented about my groovy colour scheme today I'd be able to buy you all a drink. 

Glitzy owl ring from the gorgeous Em, wooden rectangle ring, made by Mum in the 1960s, middle ring from a car boot sale

This 1960s copper pendant was another car boot find. Bastard massive, innit?

This humongous 1960s copper hoop earrings were a gift from the rather wonderful Pao.

We've several 1970s rotary dial phones but not a wall-mounted one so Jon was very pleased to snap this one up for £4.

I couldn't resist snaffling this 1970s nylon quilted housecoat. My Mum had a turquoise version when I was growing up.

This daisy trimmed 1960s bridesmaid's dress had a horrible heavy-duty lining and sadly, an even more horrible hole in the skirt. I unpicked the lining and chopped the skirt and now I've a sweet satin mini perfect for Spring. Not bad for 50p!

I snaffled this array of pretty frocks, too. They'll be making their way on to the Kinky Melon rails at this weekend's vintage fairs.

1970s polo neck (50p, car boot sale), St Michael paisley bell bottoms (part of a 1960s trouser suit from the fabulous Curtise), River Island stack-heeled leather boots (£1.50, Salvation Army), 1960s suede eyelet waistcoat (Xmas present from Liz), 1970s faux tortoiseshell sunglasses (20p car boot sale last year), 1950s leather holdall (40p, jumble sale)
I was worried we might have forgotten how to buy at a car boot sale, it's been months but we were fine, our rummaging and haggling ability was as good as ever! Here's to a long, dry and sunny Summer so they'll be loads more.

See you soon.