Isn't nature amazing? Jon snapped these magical 'shrooms we spotted growing next to the washing line this morning. Combined with the outfit I wore to go charity shopping today and some Picmonkey magic, it's all gone a bit trippy.
So that's the magic but where's the practical bit? I hear you ask. Well, as we had an amazing day trading in Cumbria on Sunday, we've been on a frantic buying mission to replenish the rails ready for our next vintage fairs. As I'm always being asked for advice on cleaning vintage I thought I'd share how I will be bringing our latest acquisitions back to life.
Firstly, you don't need to spend a fortune on fancy laundry stuff to look after your vintage clothes, I use soda crystals (1.5 kg for £1 from Wilko's), Oxi stain remover from Poundland and liquid hand soap (Lidl's is patchouli scented, subtle & gorgeous). I do have a brand new weapon in my arsenal though, a 1979 Sisan handheld steamer I bought from last week's car boot for 50p and it's brilliant, especially on chiffon-y maxi dresses and coats.
This 1970s Wetherall of London reversible coat was a bit grubby. I slung it in the washing machine on a wool "hand wash only" cycle with a couple of squirts of liquid hand soap, followed it up with a long spin then shook it out and hung it to dry on a wooden coat hanger.
This 1940s moleskin waistcoat (no moles were harmed, it's just what they're known as) was hand washed in lukewarm water with a couple of squirts of liquid hand soap, rinsed and very, very lightly squeezed out (no wringing!). I hung it up on a wooden coat hanger in a warm room with a bath towel underneath to soak up the drips. I'll steam it when it's completely dry.
This pair of 1950s tailcoats will be steamed (inside and out) to freshen them up. The lapels on the one on the left are a bit shiny so I'll add some white vinegar to the steamer which should take the shine away. The lining on both had ripped in places which I hand sewed yesterday.
We got lucky today. Not one but five Harris Tweed jackets! I'll steam these to freshen them up.
I often buy tatty vintage clothes from jumble sales and car boots just to salvage the buttons. One of the jackets has naff plastic buttons and another has odd ones. I'll replace them with some proper leather "football" buttons from my stash.
This Maculette camel coat had a once over with the steamer (inside & out) and I'll resew the buttons as a couple are a bit loose.
Labelled "Dry Clean Only" I washed this 1960s John Fowler of Bangkok cotton kaftan at 30 degrees in the machine with a handful of soda crystals. The front panel is embellished with tiny shell beads which I unpicked before washing and replaced by hand last night.
Not sure what it is at the moment but I keep finding massive sleeved maxi dresses. This one is handmade with a psychedelic chiffon bodice and a green velvet skirt. Jon says I've got to keep it and I'm not going to argue. As it's already immaculately clean I'm just going to steam the skirt part using the nifty brush attachment to restore the pile. I do find that cotton velvet (as this is)washes really well, unlike the nasty modern synthetic stuff, so I usually chuck vintage velvet dresses and skirts into the machine (on a 30 degree cycle with soda crystals) and have never had any mishaps.
These 1940s & 1950s hats were held over the stream of a boiling kettle, gently bent back into shape and left to dry on these polystyrene heads.
These 1960s Fully Fashioned cardis are really popular with 1960s-loving chicks and look brilliant worn with super bright Crimplene shift dresses. I wash them at 30 degrees with some soda crystals and hang them up on coat hangers to dry. There's no need to iron them. A couple were missing buttons which I've replaced from my stash.
The 1950s Van Heusen dress shirt and pseudo-Victorian blouse were soaked in Oxyclean for 30 minutes prior to machine washing. Always wash your white clothes with other white clothes, it'll keep the colour pristine.
This 1930s smoking jacket went in the machine on a 30 degree cycle. The cuffs are quite tatty so I'll repair those by hand tonight.
I washed this angel sleeved maxi in the machine on, you guessed it, a 30 degree cycle.
After I'd steamed it I decided it looked a bit plain so I pimped it up with some 1960s metallic braid I bought from a car boot sale back in the Summer.
The 1950s Akco bow tie got a once over with the steamer.
This Italian-made silk blouson top will be hand-washed with some Lidl liquid soap and hung up to drip dry.
HERE) and Bristol (HERE) this weekend so it's a busy week of shopping, washing and sewing. Car booting tomorrow? I live in hope.
Linking to Patti & the gang for Visible Monday.
See you soon.