Wednesday 30 July 2014

This Old Thing - Vix's New To Old Make-Over

This Old Thing is currently being aired on British TV screens. Over the series the presenter, Dawn O'Porter, aims to show the uninitiated how to shop for vintage and to incorporate into their wardrobes.

Its done our business an undeniably amount of good and we're selling to people who've never considered wearing vintage previously so I can't knock ToT too much. However, my problem is the makeovers. I don't mind altering something to make it more wearable - taking something in a couple of sizes or altering the length but reworking something old and beautiful to make it look exactly like something you could buy on the high street? Surely that goes against the whole premise of the show! I don't know about you but the main reason I wear vintage is to look different, if you want mainstream fashion fine, please buy it and leave the old stuff for us vintage lovers.

If you're itching to rework something why not do the opposite to Dawn and the gang, buy some second-hand high street fashion and make that over to look more retro and unique?

I bought this floral jumpsuit from last week's car boot sale. At least two sizes too big and made, no doubt, in some awful Asian sweatshop - the £1 it cost me went to a local animal charity which made me feel a bit better. (I've unfollowed bloggers in the past who persist in buying from unethical sources.)

Full length & strapless are not happy bedfellows as I learnt from bitter experience a couple of years ago when, carrying a couple of pints back from a festival bar, I inadvertently stepped on the hem of my maxi, bearing my breasts to thousands of revellers, unable to yank my frock back up to cover my dignity as both hands were full so, with that memory still fresh in my mind, the style needed a rethink.

I removed the side ties, unpicked the bodice from the trousers, tried it on inside out, pinning the side seams to fit me. Then I machine-sewed along both sides, trimming off the excess fabric with pinking shears.

Using the discarded ties I pinned them over the bust area of the bodice and sewed them in to place, creating a halter neck effect, far more 1970s in style and a lot more secure.

Happy that it fitted I then sewed the bodice back on to the trousers, added some leftover pom pom braid from my stash & a couple of vintage buttons and, ta dah.....

Bob's (or, in my case, George) your uncle - a modern jumpsuit altered to fit and restyled so it looked a lot more ancient than modern.

With some vintage accessories - my trusty 1970s Ted Lapidus sunglasses, original Ravel of London metallic platforms, the £1 bargain carpet bag from last week's car boot sale and my trademark bastard jewellery whose to know where my jumpsuit came from?

Even if I do bump into someone else wearing this I doubt we'll look the same.

Talking of jumpsuits have you checked out Suzanne's post today? She looks amazing.

Right, I've a festival to pack for and hopefully a sneaky car boot sale to squeeze in before we go!
See you soon.

Monday 28 July 2014

Get On That Groovy Train - Indietracks 2014


Another weekend, another road trip.

This time we were at IndieTracks, a festival combining jingly jangly indiepop with vintage steam strains.

Set at the open air Midland Railway Museum in Derbyshire, this is the very pretty Swanwick Junction on the old Midland Line, a working station since 1870.

But forget the marvels of the Great British railway system, getting this lot in Gilbert is a feat of engineering in itself.

We arrived at 10am and by 2pm were set up, basking in the sunshine with made-at-home cheese sandwiches and chilled India Pale Ale waiting for the festival to kick off.

Wearing: Vintage St Michael shirt, 1960s Festival canvas pumps & Gabicci tailored shorts (all charity shopped) 

Wearing: 1970s Sea Star beach dress (Kitty's Vintage Kitsch)

Vintage clobber galore along with some funky interior touches, a regular home away from home.

Time for a quick snap of the site before the gates opened.

Here they come, Indie kids ready for a weekend of fun, frolics, live music, late night discos, pop quizzes,


Train spotting...

Amazing food (there were other places but Jon and I have been obsessed with Gopal's South Indian food for years)

and crafting classes...

Mine's the one with the helter-skelter! 

Just like last year the weather was gorgeous.

Wearing: Vintage 1970s leisure shirt and used-to-be red skinnies from a charity shop chopped into shorts

No shoes required (except when we needed to cross the tracks to get to the portaloos).

The site is kept immaculate by the army of railway enthusiast volunteers. Train spotters rock!

Wearing: Me-made maxi skirt (using a 20p 1960s Terence Conran curtain from a jumble sale), fringed leather crop top (Helga the great), Indian gypsy pendant (Edie Pop) 

Day two and selling like a storm.

A handful of customers who insisted on wearing their Kinky buys straight away...
Lots of the festival goers stay in hotels and get the train back in every day so they're a well-groomed lot. Unlike us. Three days of camping beside a working steam engine means my feet are the colour of a Victorian street urchin.

Not only interesting thing to look at but great company, too.

Lovely to see some of our friends there. There's Kiki (in the fab green mini, one half of Kiki & Honey's vintage fairs) and Kitty showing off their art, the very dapper Baron (author of the The Hearing Aid blog) and wife, Jo and Jon (lender of our Glasto tent), Erica and the gang.

Wearing: 1970s Berketex cotton maxi & vintage tooled leather belt (Kinky Melon)

Day three and I'm wearing the merchandise,

We're still waving manically at every passing train.

 Jon explores the West Shed Experience 

 And we're entertained by The Thyme Machine. The leopard-clad lead singer showered the crowd with Tunnocks Tea Cakes and sung about a day out in the Lake District with a zombie, his favourite jumper and Carlisle Football Club.

All in all a fabulous fun-packed weekend and not a bit like work (omitting setting the alarm each morning, erecting and taking down a bastard massive structure and half a day spent unpacking the meagre remains of our stock and hosing down the black grime from Gilbert and the Gala tent).

 The good news? Only three days and we get to do it all over again at Brookestock.
Festival season? We effin' love it! 

Off to shower for the first time since Friday, a scary prospect, no wonder steam trains were phased out, I've never been so dirty. As they say on the railways, normal service will be resumed shortly.....

Linking to Patti and the Gang for Visible Monday.

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Just An Ordinary Day

I got a sweet email from Anthony this weekend, a Brit living in China. He follows my blog for a regular fix of British life and says that its giving his boyfriend a good insight into what to expect when they visit later this year.

With them in mind I thought I'd take my camera along when I popped to the market to capture a few shots of day-to-day life.

Isn't it funny how even the most ordinary of places become interesting once they're captured in a photograph?

 Walsall market has existed since 1219. Up to 15 years ago it was a huge, bustling event, legendary throughout the Black Country with regular coach trips bringing in shoppers from around the UK. Sadly, unable to compete with the vast 24 hour supermarkets that dominate both ends of the high street, it has become a shadow of its former self. Walsall's fighting back though, with a bustling once-weekly flea market and a host of specialist fabric stalls every Monday.

Sari lengths, vibrant fabric, ready made clothing, even Indian fast food.

As I've always lived here its easy to forget how wonderfully multi-cultural our town is.

You won't catch me bleating on about being given the side eye, the local ladies love wearing colour, I'm just one of the crowd.

How gorgeous are these salwar kameez? A bargain at £10.

Waiting for their wives.

Fabric from 50p a metre.

Here's my favourite place - the trimmings stall. Its where I get my pom-poms!

A girl could go mad here and my visiting blogging mates frequently do! 

I'm off for another typically British slice of life later - a trip to the pub. Its been ages!

Wearing: 1960s silk culotte suit (the divine Desiree), Vintage St Michael Shopping bag (Miss Simmonds Says Clare), Suedette platforms (£5, local retail), Huge pink sunnies (99p, Banardos)
Right, better get back in that garden and work on the tan.

See you soon!