Thursday, 29 September 2011

Autumn/Winter Sewing Planning!

It seems to be a bit strange that I'm doing autumn/winter sewing planning when we're in the middle of a heatwave. Yes you heard it, the UK is having a heatwave at the end of September, it's glorious and set to stay with us for a few days, however we all know it won't last so I'm planning for Autumn/Winter anyway!

Despite the heatwave it is getting darker in the evenings which always get's me to thinking of sewing again. I'm not good at sewing in Summer, I have no idea why!

Anyway I am planning a few new makes, most of them run of the mill, more heavier weight skirts, a couple of new pairs of trousers, but I have a couple of more ambitious plans, fingers crossed I get round to doing them!

First up, I have always wanted a Mexican Tourist Jacket, a bit like this example on ebay.

However my large bust has always be a bit of a problem, they don't tend to come in bigger sizes, so I have decided to try to make my own! Ambitious huh? I'm slightly daunted by it, but excited to. I don't doubt it will take quite some time but if I plan it over time, it'll be ready for Spring. Obviously the actual jacket won't take long to make as it's just a simple design, however I need the right fabric. I'm keen to make mine in turquoise which is a common colour for them, I've just sent off for a sample of a fabric I think will be suitable, so then we'll see!

Then of course I need to plan the embroidery, which I may add I have never done before, told you it was ambitious ha ha! I've downloaded loads of samples from ebay and etsy for ideas and then I'm going to make my own design. Gosh I'm getting more and more scared thinking about it!

The other idea I have is another coat, which I think I'd need to do sooner rather than later. My motivation is this picture, how gorgeous!

No no no, I'm not being that ambitious, although how fabulous would a suit like this be! But I thought how lovely a yellow or green wool coat would be with a leopard collar and cuffs. So there's another idea.

Then last but not least, I am totally not taking to knitting, so I have decided to try something smaller to try to get me into it. I bought this pattern today, so I'm going to try to make some gloves, mum has yarn left from some sweaters so she's going to send them to me, so hopefully next week I'll be starting on them. Oh by the way, don't ask how I got on with the sweater I was making.....

So I have some bog standard staple ideas and then some very ambitious ideas!

Have you got any sewing or knitting autumn/winter plans?

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Weekend away and a rant!

Hello all, hope you are all well!

As my post title indicates we went away this weekend, actually to visit my Mum but I sadly didn't take many pics, though there is a load online so I'm going to nick those!

I come from the North East of England, in a small town called Eaglescliffe. You would think there isn't much about Eaglescliffe but actually it's a really old place with quite a bit of history despite it not being a particularly big town. The first ever passenger train travelled not so far from my childhood home, it was the Stockton to Darlington Railway and Locomotion No 1 was the first ever passenger train in 1825!

Anyway as usual we had some chores to do for Mum as she doesn't drive so did some heavy shopping for her on Friday but Saturday we decided to go out for the day to Barnard Castle which is nearby. Barnard Castle is a fabulous old town with stacks of history and was established around 1090, yep that old!

Here are a few, cheating internet shots to give you an idea!

This is just the middle of town, or the market cross, fabulous huh?

This is the ruined Barnard Castle itself, established about 1090 and this is what the town built up around

And last but not least the very fabulous Bowes museum, all within a very short distance, amazing huh?

However I didn't visit any of these as I have been to them all many times before, instead we decided to go to visit the many antique shops on The Bank in the town. The Bank is as it sounds the steepest road ever, but packed full of what looked like great shopping. Sadly we were disappointed.

Firstly we went to The Mission Hall Antique Centre which is worth a visit if in the area but I wouldn't travel there especially. There were some nice things but what partly attracted me was the Vintage Clothes section upstairs. Mmmm I shouldn't have bothered. There were some lovely things up there, I'm not complaining about quantity or variety but the prices eeeek, it was not unlike shopping in an expensive London Vintage Clothes shop. I'm really not sure who buys this stuff there, but I only looked at a couple of 40s dresses - out of interest as they were nice though not my era - and when I spotted that they were both in the £120 territory I walked out sharpish. I would have enjoyed having a browse but was asked immediately what I was after and then the owner proceeded to pull out 50s frou frou frocks to show me, I was polite and said not really my thing, but thanks, however the prices and the 'look at this' really put me off.

Next up, I walked ahead as you know Paul is disabled and this was a steep bank, just as well the next really interested shop was shut, on a Saturday? Really? Who shuts a shop on a Saturday?

So we crossed the road to another really interesting shop,which was interesting, but again, sooooo expensive, like London expensive! I was very confused at the pricing in the shops, I'm not saying things should be a bargain but I don't expect to see London prices in a small town in the North East. Then Mum said oh it's always featured on those antique shows, so suddenly I realised, it's a destination antique shopping place. Well they don't interest me. I don't mind paying the price something is worth but some of this stuff was so overpriced I nearly passed out when I looked at the prices, needless to say we didn't buy anything and left rather sad!

As we were driving out of Barnard Castle we spotted a sign for Raby Castle, now I've never been to Raby Castle, so I set off rather excited at the prospect. Here's a picture, how fabulous is this!

It was first mentioned at the beginning of the 1000s, amazing huh?

But guess what, it was closed!!! Again, what closes on a Saturday? Don't get me wrong I do know this is still owner occupied but if it's going to open at all surely a Saturday is the day?

So all in all our day out proved rather disappointing and uneventful. Next time we visit my mum we've decide to go to York for the day, another amazing city with an amazing and long history, founded by the Romans in 71AD in fact.

I would like to say though if you're in the area, Barnard Castle is well worth a visit, there is so much history there, amazing places to visit, but unless you've won the lottery I would give the antique shops a very wide berth!

I know this isn't my normal blog post but I do assume that people who like vintage clothes and other stuff also enjoy a bit of history! Hope you don't mind. There is so much history in the area of the world I come from sometimes it amazes me!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

A-Z of Me

I'm not one much for copying what other blogs do but I did like this! I thought it was quite interesting, so I hope you do too!


44 – 45 next month eeeek!

B-Bed size:

Double, though I do like Californian King size when in the US  - take that last statement how you will ;o)

C-Chore that you hate:
Ironing, hate it!

I’m definitely a dog woman, but we don’t have any. I’d like either a Daschund or a chihuahua

E-Essential start to your day:
Coffee, without a doubt. At the moment I’m swimming or gym before the coffee, this is a miracle

F-Favourite Colour:
I’ve got more than one, green, red, turquoise are my most favourite

G-Gold or silver:
Either I’m not fussed, I like sparkly more than gold or silver, so I’ll be difficult & say rhinestones, I’d say diamonds but that’s never going to happen!

Just under 5ft, yep that small

I-Instruments you play:
I don’t play anything right now but I can play, piano, trumpet, tenor horn, Euphonium (yes I was in a brass band when I was a kid!) and Sax

J-Job title:
Me, I work for me doing stuff for other people, so I don’t have a title


Farnborough, Hants

M-Mothers name:

I don’t really have any, Red is the only one people call me to my face as that was my stagename, who knows what they say when I’m not there!

O-Overnight hospital stays:
Loads I’m a bit accident prone, plus I’ve had my appendix and adenoids out

P-Pet peeves:
Bad manners, people swearing in front of or at kids, racism makes my blood boil, mmm I could go on, I am at that age you know

Q-Quote from a movie:
"Dear George, remember no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings, Love Clarence." From It’s a Wonderful Life one of my favourite movies
I’m not much of one for quotes from movies, but I do like that, so true.

R-Right or left handed:
Right, although I was left handed when I first started writing and they made me change, yes it was that long ago, so although I write with my right hand I’m pretty ambidextrous

No, just me

T-Time you wake up:
6.15 ish lately, to go to the gym, but it would be waaaaay past that if not!

Yes I wear it. Rigby & Peller for bras, great for ladies of large boob size, M&S for pants, unless fancy ones then What Katie Did.

V-Vegetable you hate:
Carrots, I’m a veggie but I HATE carrot

W-What makes you run late:
Only stuff that’s unavoidable, one of my pet peeves should have been I hate people running late and never do myself

X-X rays you've had:
See hospital overnights stays, so ankle, leg, arm, neck, back & ribs (car crash), is there anything left?

Y-Yummy food that you make:
I like my food & fortunately so does my husband! It’s all veggie, but I like making risotto, Mexican, Italian, curry, you name it

Z-Zoo animal:

Saturday, 17 September 2011

The big vintage dressed man question

As I've been in blogland a while now and met new people outside my regular social crowd I've realised more and more than outside the scene that I'm involved in there seem to be less men into vintage, my scene? some call it 'rockabilly' I don't cos I see Rockabilly as a form of music and anyway I'm an R'n'B gal more, but let's say my background is the Rockabilly scene for want of a better description.

In my social circle the men love vintage & dress vintage just as much as the women, it's part of our 'culture' so to speak. My husband is particularly knowledgeable about his style and he always has been. Long before I met him he was an Edwardian, or Teddy Boy as they are more commonly known. He didn't wear the garish styles of the 70s Ted, but was a genuine Edwardian. So much so pictures of him and his friend often surface on the internet as  a indicator of the 'correct' way to dress Edwardian.

Here's a picture of them long before I met him, it's not my thing, but it sure does look good and it is period correct! Paul is on the left.

His style evolved as we all do and he went to a more late 40s look for a while, settling with his now early 50s style which has been his thing for probably the past 18 years.

What I wear has no bearing on what he wears, he chooses his style, it matters to him.

With this background I find it curious that 'vintage' is so slanted towards women. In fact I know few men who don't care what they wear, I think it's a normal thing. Even the guys on our scene who are more into music than clothes still have amazing 50s gab shirts or hawaiian shirts.

Here's a great pic of Paul recently. I can't imagine him not being interested in clothes,  I'm not saying he doesn't dress down, although jeans do not exist in his wardrobe, his dress down are chinos, like today, he's in chinos and a 50s shirt.

I like that he's as interested as me, when we go to LA and go vintage shopping it's a joint passion, at weekenders he's off looking at the guys stuff, me the girls stuff. I wouldn't say our relationship is based on something so superficial as how we dress, clearly it's not but it's great that we both have the same taste and passion!

See what I mean, vintage stall holders together, Twain from Heyday Vintage Style, Mike from Home Sweet Homestyle, Paul my lovely husband and Martin from Rocket Originals, now those guys looks great, even after working hard all day on the stall!

And my favourite picture of all time, Paul looking stylish even on top of a mountain!!

So are the men in your life vintage lovers? Or are you one, I know 'some' men read this blog!

It's an interesting question, but have to say it's only come to light for me since I started meeting vintage people not originally from our scene or attached to similar scenes.

Would love to know your thoughts.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Hoarding and Vintage.....

Sorry for radio silence, what with trying to get into a new work routine along with a new exercise routine which has me out of the house and in the pool or gym by 6.45am I'm rather busy and sleepy!

Anyway as I've said before this is Sorting September, I'm going great guns, I have already sorted our bedroom, the clothes room, my office and started listing stuff on ebay. But what I notice is that I just have so much stuff and I struggle to part with a lot of it.

I do think hoarding is an occupational hazard of a vintage lover. Am I wrong? Do we all hoard? I just don't think minimalism in possessions/clothes/furniture/jewellery/shoes happens when you love vintage.

I mean I know you've seen this before, but look at our new clothes rack.

This dear readers is what we have after 3 years of culling our vintage clothes, this does not include sweaters of any type, or in fact most of our winter clothes which are currently packed away. Admittedly there are some winter coats in there but still. I hasten to add that selling any vintage clothes made me panic and I had to talk myself into it mostly. I still have stuff that doesn't fit - although I'm hoping the cutting back and exercise will help in that regard!

Same for jewellery, every time I think really I should get rid of some I have far too much, I just can't bring myself to get rid of stuff I love.

Here is just a small selection of what I have.

That doesn't include, necklaces, bracelets, watches etc etc

And don't even get me started on fabric and patterns, remember earlier in the year I had to buy this to store it all

I'm not going to lie to you, I have bought more since, not much but some.

So dear readers is it me? Am I the hoarder or are all vintage lovers hoarders? Please put my mind at rest :o)

Monday, 5 September 2011

Time to rethink my hair....

I am really enjoying my new found love - ok toleration! - of exercise however it poses a problem with my hair.

I am not someone who goes to the gym with red lipstick on, I don't feel the need to be vintage in the gym, or in the pool, I am 'vintage' if such a thing exists inside myself so I don't need to show it to people in the gym & the pool. However my hair is an entirely different matter, I don't care about wearing modern gym clothes - within reason of course - and I don't mind wearing a cheap modern swimsuit as it will get wrecked by the chlorine within a short time anyway but my hair, what to do?

I haven't been able to set my hair in more than a week, when I go to the pool even when I wear a swimming hat I need to wash the chlorine out as it seeps in, and when I go to the gym, it gets all sweaty anyway, so I'm rethinking my hair. I want it shorter anyway but I'm trying to find a style that I can set or just wear anyway without looking crazy, I have wild thick crazy hair that if I don't do at least something with I will just look like a crazy lady.

So I searched the internet and have come up with some great inspiration. First up here's me with the shortest hair I've had although at the moment it's longer. Do you think I'd be ok going shorter? I'm interested to know you're opinion, I don't want to compromise style for comfort so to speak but I need something where I feel good everyday.

How fab does Elizabeth Taylor's hair look here? I suspect though it's not much shorter than my hair above, but it's not 'set' as such so I guess this is an idea

This is kinda cute but not sure it would suit me, but it looks easy.

I do like this but it might be a bit too fussy, what do you think?

I really do like this but it's such a departure from my normally curled and set hair! It's slightly scary but it could be the one eeek

I used to have my hair very similar to this when it was bleached blonde years ago, not sure if would translate as well to red hair, although she is a cutie isn't she?

So opinions please? I will of course get the very lovely Nina from Nina's Hair Parlour to sort it out, and I'm sure she's give me an opinion too, but would love to know what you all think in the meantime!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Saturday shopping!

I rarely go out browsing on a Saturday, well I work from home so I can avoid the hordes at the weekend but we didn't have anything particularly planned this weekend, I've been sorting and DIYing for the past 2 weeks, so we decided to go out and about this morning.

The day started a little too early, I joined the gym this week and have been rather enthusiastically going there and swimming, so I got up to go at 6 and guess what it doesn't open til 8 at the weekend!! Damn, I'm not exactly a morning person so you can imagine I wasn't best pleased....

As we were up early we decided to go to Farnham Maltings Monthly Market, this used to be an antiques only fair years ago, we have got some amazing things there many years ago but now it's a combination of antiques, crafts and new stuff, we stopped going when it starting going in this direction but actually since we had a stall there a few months ago we want to go again. It's not full of stuff we want but there is the odd gem!

The first thing I came across was this fabulous 50s hanging travelling wardrobe, still in it's packaging! Please excuse the picture of it on the washing line, it needs an airing, 60 years of being in packaging has left it a little musty. It looks like it's fabric but it's actually a kind of plasticy fabric, terrible description but I hope you know what I mean!

It's tough to see what this is but you hang your clothes inside, it's like a soft wardrobe this next picture shows inside at the top, when you hang your clothes.

It's a super handy and stylish thing, I'll be using it to take my clothes to the Rhythm Riot!

I then picked this lovely bias binding up in it's original packaging. Usually I wouldn't because there is no way I'll open it, the packaging is too nice and so it would be a waste of money but at 20p I could hardly not! How beautiful are the graphics on it?

I also saw a stunning dress at a knock down price, it wouldn't have fit me, but I ummed and ahhed as I'm sure I could have found someone for it, however I talked myself out of it, I'm still kicking myself now ha ha!

We then went to a local church hall where they purported to have a small antiques sale, I didn't have much hope, but I'm so glad I went!

I bought everything on one stall, a lady had a couple of bags on the floor full of material, buttons and stuff like that, I got down on the floor and had a good old rummage! First up I picked up this lovely material, it looks like shot silk but I suspect it's rayon, the colours are gorgeous and there is enough to make a straight dress, not a full one, but something nice nonetheless! I got all this material for £2, I nearly fell over, it's not a reprint, it's vintage fabric, ah the gods were smiling on me

Next up I found a bag of buckles on the same stall, I asked how much each one was but saw loads of 30s & 40s ones, so I said how much for the lot, it wasn't expensive! I bought them all, there are some lovely ones in there, really lovely, however now I've got them home I realise I probably won't use them as they are too early for me, so I'm going to sell them on. I don't really wear 40s stuff and certainly not 30s and it would be a shame for me to hoard a load of buckles just cos I like them when some people would use them, I didn't buy them meaning to sell on but really I should. Here are just a small selection!

Aren't they lovely? Can you see the one in the middle, it's covered in fabric and was obviously done so to match a dress, I bet that was some pretty dress!

I also got some buttons on the same stall, she had a jar but I resisted in asking how much for the whole jar, see I was good, these were also not expensive, proper prices I would say!! Here are just a few.

All in all a great day for finds and all cheap prices, which I particularly love!

Hope you had as much success with your finds today.

I'm off for a snooze, 6am is far too early to get up on a Saturday, have a lovely weekend!
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