Tuesday, 31 January 2012

{Make do and Mend} Dressmaking for Dummies

There weren't many things on my wish list for 2012 , mastering victory rolls and another great 1940s hairdo was on there along with being able to swingdance properly.  

But the main goal on my list was to be able to sew my own clothes!!

Luckily on the same day I was trawling the internet for courses, a flyer came through from my local school offereing a dressmaking for dummies beginners class. I signed stratight up!

It was my first my first week last Thursday and I loved it, theres a good mix of people young and old, old hands(that are self taught) and others new to it all. We were offered a pattern to sew in class, but I didn't like it! I was really after something a little more vintage inspired....

Unfortunately vintage patterns are on the small size for me, so I was  hoping to find retro  inspired patterns instead. I found loads I loved, but set with instructions to buy a skirt pattern with a zip and to bring it to class next week, that discounted quite a few.

In the end I've bought  this pattern....

Not retro at all, but simple! I've bought material to make E (top right) but I'll be adding straps and turning it into a suspender skirt which should be perfect for swing class! I'll also be able to reuse the pattern to make some 40s style pencil skirts!

I've already bought 2 more 40s patterns off eBay!!!!

How about you? Can you sew? I know lots of you that read this do, so, any advice for a beginner? What patterns are good?

Monday, 30 January 2012

The 1940s Family: A Wassailing We Did Go...

The 1940s Family: A Wassailing We Did Go...: Hailing from somerset the 1940s family could hardly miss an opportunity to take part in this ancient local tradition. Wassa...

todays post is over on my other blog. come see what we do in somerset on a cold january afternoon xx

Sunday, 29 January 2012

The artist And Vintage Mondays

Last week for a special pre birthday treat, hubby took me to see The Artist. I was so excited! I'd wanted to see this film since I first saw the trailer. A double super thrill was that he was taking me to see it at the Little Theatre in Bath for one of their Vintage Monday showings!

Creative Bath write up
Bath’s Little Theatre Cinema will shortly be inviting the public to take part in a time travel experiment. Although we’ll be showing the same brand new films as usual, we’ll be turning the clocks back around the cinema, back to a time of gentility and refinement. Staff in old-fashioned uniforms, ice cream tray sales, intermissions – you thought these were things of the past, but on Monday nights from 16th January, the Little is bringing them back and resurrecting the truly great days of cinema.

Martin Jennings-Wright, manager of the Little, said: Lots of our customers miss the days when a trip to the cinema was a real event, and we are delighted to revive that atmosphere. We hope we can jog a few older memories, and perhaps open a few younger eyes to how cinemas used to be, at the same time as playing the latest films via state of the art digital projection.

Customers turning up in 1940s or thereabouts costume will be treated to free refreshments on the night!

Little Theatre Website

Usherettes, ice cream trays, the sound of the wurlitzer... every Monday from 16 January, come along to the Little for what made cinemaging in the 1940s and '50s so great.
You can even spend the intermission enjoying an in-cinema cigarette (of the sweet variety).
We'll be showing the same line-up of films as during the rest of the week, but all done with nostalgic flourish.
Do come in your best period outfits - if we like the cut of your jib there'll be ices or refreshing drinks on the house.

When we arrived, we were very pleased with the entrace - red carpet no less!! But unfortunately  thats where the magic stopped for us...

All the props were there but there was no feeling or sparkle.  Maybe we'd hyped it up in our heads too much? Maybe it was just the service that was lacking. To me there was no atmosphere of the 40s, Noone make the evening feel special, I had too call the usherette back for my order because they didn't ask our row, and repeat my choice twice to her before I got it. And no, even though we were head to toe in authentic and reproduction 1940s garb we did not receive it free! The cinema itself was very comfy and the building was cute. But I don't think we'll return unless its the only place showing a film I like. We'll be heading back to the westway in frome for our Independant Cinema fim watching. 

The Film was AMAZING and eclectic ephemera has done a great review here you can read. I loved every minute of it and really really hope they make more of this type of film.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

New Birthday Shoes!!!

I am always on the look out for perfect vintage style shoes that fit and I can walk in! There have been several purchases along the way, and I am haunted by the old saying 'the shoes maketh the man' -woman! So far without the shoes, my outfits always feel a bit lacking.

I have several hurdles that the shoes must overcome....

- firstly I have awful wide feet
- secondly I have problems with one leg / ankle meaning both i wear through shoes super quick and have been unable to succesfully wear heels since I was 17
- lastly because of this I am unwilling to spend alot on shoes because I'm a skinflint that won't last / will become unbearably painful after I buy them!

I was so delighted when I saw these great widefitting t-bar shoes in a catalogue at my mums and she offered to buy them for me for a birthday gift! They came today and they are soooo comfy!

A small heel *covered too - soo 40s*, that I could confidently walk around her house in!

What do you think?

Now they also came in blue.....will they tempt me too?

Birthday Time!

Yesterday was my birthday, which I am lucky enough to share with my good friend and vintage mama Bunny. Anyhoo between us we got a fair few retro / vintage images sent to us! They inspired me to find more, so here's a carefully selected favourite few, enjoy!

Aren't birthdays great!? I didn't really do too much celbrating but I'll be back soon, when I have the pics to show you what we did get up to!!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Its Raining.....Again!! Lets Brighten things up!!

Its cold , grey and wet again! What is it with January? If it wasn't for my Birthday, I could gladly fast forward the whole month!!

To keep up with my attempt to  get outside to soak up some Vitamin D where I can, I've been looking online for accessories......

Rain Hoods had definitely slipped in to Granny territory, but I found a couple of companies bringing them up to day for us vintage girls!!!

Firstly from Betty Blue's Loungerie is the Marilyn Rain Bonnet, available in pink or black. I'm just loving those cute bows!!!

I am also totally in love with this leopard Print one from Bubble Betty

It come in this adorable tin to keep your handbag dry!

Of course I could always by tempted by these umbrellas too....

and maybe even this...

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

{Beginners Guide) to Vintage Gloves


Rules of Glove Wearing

There are many rules to be observed in the art of Glove Wearing, here are  the main ones:-

* Gloves should be worn when shopping, dancing, visiting and outdoors as well as to a place of worship.    (Basically whenever they would look pretty!)
* Gloves should  not be worn whilst eating, drinking, applying make-up or smoking.
(This is common sense , don't wear gloves when they may get dirty!)
* If gloves get soiled, remove and do not wear until washed.
* Remove your right glove  before shaking hands. If not possible then you should apologise by saying 'pardon my glove'.
* When gloves are removed they should be placed directly in your bag and not carried.
* Remove rings before putting on gloves

I hope they're going straight into your handbag Audrey dear!

Marlene Dietrich 

Types of gloves...

There are many types of gloves and several lengths availablefor you to choose. A general rule of thumb is that  
            "the shorter the sleeve the longer the glove"

Opera Gloves

Three-Quarter (or Coat)  Length Gloves

These are approximately 14" or six-button in length. These may be worn with any length sleeve, tucking under longer sleeves.

Gauntlet Gloves

Suitable for most sleeve lengths, the armpieces are worn over the sleeves.

 Day Gloves

Short gloves finishing at the wrist. Made from cotton or later nylon, also popular were crocheted gloves.

During the 1950s gloves were the finishing touch to any ladies outfit, giving a polished, groomed look. Although cream or white were most popular choice, gloves were now available in a whole range of colours

Choose colours that match compliment or contrast your outfit see my colour post for help

How to find your Glove Size
  • Measure all around your hand with a tape measure. Place tape around the knuckles of your hand (indicated by the red line in the photo below). 

  • Measure your dominant hand - the right if you are right-handed, and the left if you are left-handed.
  • Compare this measurement on the chart below to find your correct glove size!
Note: some manufacturers indicate glove sizes by inches and others by Small, Medium, Large, etc. . Use the tables below to find your size.

Named Size Inches Cm
x-small 6 15
small 17
medium 7 18
large 19
x-large 8 20

If you manage to get yourself a pair of vintage gloves that need a little freshening up,  you can find a guide on how to wash them here

Monday, 16 January 2012

A Drive in the Country

At the weekend we bought a new car, which gave me the best opportunity to suggest to Hubby we went for a little Sunday Drive! We decided to drive across the Somerset Levels and I suggested we might stop at Wedmore and stretch our legs!
Nestled on the edge of the levels with the mendips in the background, its a very picturesque town, Full of hidden lovelies! We driven through a few times but never stopped.  Being Sunday, all but the village shop were closed,  but it was nice to have a wander and see where we might like to come back too later on...

 We found this gorgeous bike outside a gallery

Then wandered up Church Street, and through the graveyard

I spotted the Old Post Office. Now I always daydream I have an old  house with shopfront windows, and this was soo quaint (I'm a sucker for sage green window frames and doors).  I'm not even sure what I would even do with an old shop? Probable just have it as a coffee come craft area and just invite all my friends to call each day!!

 Flowers were out around the village but it was bitterly cold (sorry hubby) so we turned around and headed back to the car

 Although I did spot this shop on the way, it seemed to have a good mix of vintage housewares and clothing so I'll be planning a return trip soon...

Hope you all had a nice weekend too!!!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

{Beginners Guide & Tutorial} Half Moon Manicures

Dita von Teese and her Half Moon Manicure

A very vintage way of manicuring your nails, the half moon manicure where to the nail is painted but the half moon (and or tip) area is left bare, Popular in the 1920s, 30s and 40s the half moon manicure  is also making a resurgence these days among many vintage loving gals.

Now I know your thinking whats the point, your busy right? Can hardly get together a normal lick of polish let alone spend ages doing a tricky half moon manicure!! Well relax, this really is easy......

and will look fantastic!

Half Moon Manicure Tutorial

You will need
Base & Top coat
Nail polish
Hole re-enforcing stickers

How to do it...

1.First cut / file your nails into you preferred shape - I like to keep mine  fairly short but rounded.

2.Remove any old polish

3.Apply a base coat of polish, I use clear polish , but you can certainely mix it up and go for another coloured polish! Let it dry.

4. Apply re-enforcer stickers to the base of the nails to create a mask for the half moon shape - make sure they are central on each nail!

5. paint your nails with main colour varnish, painting slightly over each sticker. Let dry.

I've used 'Rapid Ruby' for this tutorial.

6. Carefully remove stickers, if your careful use can place them on other hands nails!!!

7. If required, apply a top coat all over the nails.

Go out, be beautiful!!!

Where things may have gone wrong.....

Placement of stickers - be brave you need to cover quite a deep bit of your nail to get this looking right. The top of the hole should be in line with the base of your nail, no less.

Varnish coming off with the sticker - two culprits here, you may have put on too much varnish or may not have let the varnish dry thoroughly. If its taking off  the base coat, then stick the re-enforcer to something else first before applying to your nail and the stickiness will hopefully be reduced.

Varnish creeping under sticker - make sure the sticker is firmly stuck down with no gaps. paint nails from base to tip direction

Hope you like it!

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