Lindy Hopping for Couture for Change, 17/02/2013

On Sunday I took part in a charity event called Couture for Change. It was taking place in Walkabout, Cardiff and included catwalk fashion shows through the decades (1940s, 1950s and 1960s), raffle, live music, and general entertainment, all of which was aimed at raising money for the Stroke Association. I was part of the Lindy Hop Cardiff group which had been asked to give a little demo of our swift dance moves 🙂 while dressed up in 1940s style.

Dancing, dressing up, for a good cause. What’s not to love?

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This is what I wore on the night. I was very pleased with my 40s style outfit despite my somehow stern face!! And apologies for the obvious “taking a picture in front of the mirror pose”…

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This is not a genuine 1940s dress. I got it from Laura Ashley a couple of years ago, but I think it definitely has a late 30s/early 40s feel about it. It drapes beautifully and is a real pleasure to wear.

The little veiled headpiece I am wearing was handmade by my friend Ashley, the very talented lady behind With Love from Bobbin. She specialises in bespoke, vintage inspired bridal accessories. She gave it to me as a birthday present which was very kind (turning 30 wasn’t after all that bad!). I love the fact that she managed to create something that is so me, and I’m glad I didn’t have to wait to get married to wear one of her beautiful creations. Why should brides have all the fun eh?!

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The pictures don’t do the headpiece any justice- it is absolutely stunning. Walking back to my car I felt like the belle of the ball, very glamorous. No one seemed to bat an eyelid. I even had a few smiles my way!

It was a really good night for a very worthwhile cause. Unfortunately the organisers were badly let down by the venue and their management who managed to be more and more awkward throughout the evening. They even interrupted one of the performances half-way through. They behaved in an apalling way and showed no consideration to the people who organised an otherwise brilliant event. That didn’t deter anyone from having a good night anyway. Well done Couture for Change!

Here’s the link to the Stroke association: http://www.stroke.org.uk/

Fancy trying Lindy hop? Monthly classes run every Thursday at the Royal College of Music and Drama. Check out http://www.lindyhopcardiff.com/.

With Love From Bobbin Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/withlovefrombobbin?id=257786510976898&_rdr

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Have a look at these fab illustrations from the mid 20s. Valentine’s day is over, so what? It’s always time for nice lingerie in my book.

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In honour of Valentine’s Day, some mid-Twenties illustrations for McCall lingerie patterns including embroidery transfers. The heading reads, “Embroideries That Lend Irresistible Charm to the Intimate Garments.”

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From the numbering, I’d say the page dates to circa 1925, when these types of pattern were the only ones to have colour envelopes.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

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60s kind of look

The sun seems to be shining today so I thought I’d post some pics of me wearing my scallop hem skirt. This is turning out to be one of my favourite skirts, whereas before it used to be at the bottom of my wardrobe. I have been extremely good so far in terms of buying clothes this year. I do hope I carry on being a good girl!

 

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This skirt looks so great with black, but today I went a bit overboard with a dogtooth/houndstooth combo. This jumper is from Gwen Stefani’s fashion line L.A.M.B. I got it on eBay a couple of years ago. I am not a big fan of celebrity fashion lines usually, and designer labels leave me a bit cold. But I couldn’t resist this jumper. It’s very me!

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Jumper-L.A.M.B; skirt, handmade; tights from Dim; necklace: vintage

I think the whole outfit has a bit of a 60s vibe. I’d definitely pair this skirt and jumper together again!

10 minutes makeover: scallop hem skirt

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Do you have an old skirt lurking around in need of a makeover? I made this green skirt from a heavy wool remnant a couple of years ago but never got round to really wear it. It was a bit too long and a bit too boring!!!! Inspired by a skirt I saw in Hobbs I decided to shorten it and add a scallop hem. I just cut a scallop shape on paper, pinned it to the skirt and carefully started to cut following the shape on my piece of paper. As this fabric doesn’t really fray, I was safe. I think it turned out really well didn’t it? I can see myself wearing this much more now…

I made this! Black circle skirt

These pictures are a bit old- they were taken a few months ago, but I thought I’d post them anyway (I haven’t changed that much since then!). And since it’s been a little bit quiet on the crafty side of things, well…

I love circle skirts, they look so elegant and make you feel instantly feminine and glamorous. I find them much more practical than pencil skirts as well. You can’t beat a petticoat and circle skirt for warmth, and when it’s raining, the fact that your skirt is so swooshy means that your legs don’t get soaked. And in the process you get to look like a princess!

This was made using some black, heavy cotton fabric. I really wanted a neutral skirt which could virtually go with anything I have. This is one of the most versatile items of clothing I own- and I’ve made it, which is always a bonus!

As usual I used ficklesense‘s instructions.

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Cardigan: Primark. Brooch: Vintage, Skirt: handmade, Tights: Pretty Polly. Shoes bought in France for about 10 euros!!!

 

I’ve been nominated! Reality Blogger Award

The super lovely and inspiring Gemma at Impress when you dress  nominated me for a Reality Blogger Award! Be sure to check out her blog, her fashion illustrations are fantastic and she has some serious style. She is only 17 but has a bright future ahead, she is very talented! And she looks so cute too!!!

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Here are the rules to follow for this Award:

  1. Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and link back to them (tick!)
  2. Answer the 5 questions presented (see below…)
  3. Nominate 5  bloggers for the award and notify them on their blogs. (see below)
  4. Copy and paste the award on your blog somewhere (done)

The list of questions to answer are:

  • If you could change one thing what would you change?

If I could get people to be more respectful and courteous that’s be great. Gallantry is in great danger of becoming a lost art.

  • If you could repeat an age, what would it be?

I am torn between two answers here. My last year in LycĂ©e was a fantastic time, I had a great group of friends, good grades and life was really fancy-free (although at the time I thought life was so hard, because, you know, so-and-so had a girlfriend and wasn’t looking at me). But my first year in Cardiff was absolutely amazing as I had everything I wanted. I think I’ll have to go for the second answer- back in 2003- 10 years ago!!

  • What one thing really scares you?

Mushrooms. Absolutely paralysed by them.I blame the humongously big bolets that used to spring to life in my parent’s garden. I just googled bolets and it came up with a few pictures- now I’m feeling queasy. I can’t look at Portobello mushrooms in supermarkets. I tolerate button mushrooms and will eat them though- go figure.

Big character fonts, the Honey Monster, and other, more mainstream fears such as spiders, insects, butterflies are also sources of fear. Yes, I am quite a fearful person.

  • What is one dream you have not completed, and do you think you’ll be able to complete it?

One of my dream was to be a journalist one day. It never happened but I find blogging to be a good compromise. I would love to take the time to write a novel and get it published. It’s only up to me to find the time to sit down and write something good enough to convince a publisher!

Well, and I’d also like to get married one day and have children.

I have lots of other dreams, but these two are definitely the most achievable ones. I don’t think I’ll ever make a living off my sewing!

  • If you could be someone else for one day, who would it be?

If I could travel back in time and be someone else for one day, I think I’d like to be Colleen Moore!!

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Or Bette Bright! She’s super, and she married Suggs, so I’d love to be her for one day 🙂

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All together now- Awwwww!

All together now- Awwwww!

Now it’s my turn to nominate 5 bloggers!

  • Well I could not possibly NOT  nominate my super dupa friend Tors from Girl Meets Wolf. She is one of the loveliest people that I know, she has great taste and she is just so inspirational!!! Her blog has posts on all sort of subjects, from house renovation to easy make-up routines, style, vintage clothes, inspiration from the internet and her dog is the most awesome dog ever. Go check her blog out!!!
  • I have only recently discovered Rike from Draped in Cloudlets, her blog is stunningly beautiful with lots and lots of gorgeous pictures and drawings. I also absolutely adore her vintage style, very feminine and graceful.
  • SallyAnn from Photographic Memories . I am rubbish at photography myself but love to look at SallyAnn’s blog, her latest posts about Conisbrough Castle are full of amazing pictures.
  • Another recent discovery, Le journal d’Elynor  a great blog in French focused on History and Vintage fashion. Again this is a recent discovery but I have already learnt so much from her blog. It’s also nice to see that there is a Vintage scene in France- although I don’t think it’s as big as in the UK…

How to turn tights into 1920s style stockings (~Tutorial~)

I don’t think I have posted a tutorial yet on this blog! That’s all very well to post crap pictures of my outfits and ebay findings, but there comes a time when I should share one of my very few crafty triumphs !!!

I am a big fan of hosiery, but have a bit of a love/ hate relationship with hold-ups. They can be brilliant but they can also ruin your day, like for example if they keep falling off in the bank whilst you’re trying to open a bank account (true story- it happened the week I moved to Wales, that was a brilliant start to my life here). And tights, well, they’re convenient, but on the feminine and glamourous scale they don’t fare very well do they?

A couple of weeks ago while wasting time browsing on Pinterest, I came across this lovely movie poster which features Louise Brooks. I got me inspired and I thought, why not try to have a go at making some stockings from tights?

Since then I have made a couple of pairs and the hardest thing has been trying to chop all my tights up! This tutorial works only on fairly thick tights. I wouldn’t attempt it on any pairs less than 50 denier. You can wear them on their own, or as I have been doing lately, over a pair of tights for extra warmth. Try cutting some patterned tights to wear over black tights! The big plus is that they do stay up without the need for anything else, no suspender belt is required!!!

For this you will need: a pair of thick tights (use the saggy ones that keep falling down and are a pain to wear, that is a great way to recycle them), a pair of pinking shears, sewing machine that does stretch stitches, and some ribbon (optional).

Lay your pair of tights on a flat surface and cut just below the crotch area with the pinking shears.

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Someone’s had fun with the editing software.

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You will now have 3 pieces: the two separated legs, and the top of the tight. If your two legs are not fully separated. just give a quick snip. Keep the top of the tights if you need to stuff a cushion or a door-stopper, they are brilliant for this.

Grab one of the legs, turn it inside down, and fold over the top about 2 cms. This gives a neater edge and will act as a casing if you decide to add a ribbon.

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Turn right side out and you’re pretty much done! Unless your thighs are really tiny these should stay more or less in place (tried and tested by myself). If you want extra security just make a small hole in the casing you just created and using a small safety pin thread a ribbon long enough to go round your thigh and tied. It gives a better fit and looks cute too!!

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Seriously- how cute is that? Imagine all the possibilities, you could even coordinate the ribbon to your outfit!

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So that’s it! These are fantastic to keep your pins warm and toasty. You can pull them up as high as the middle of your thighs, they do fall down a tiny bit after a while, but not much.

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So, what do you think? I used to recycle my saggy pairs of tights into stuffing for cushions but I much prefer this solution!!

Sunday roundup

Well the weekend is now coming to a close, so let’s see how I did on my crafty to-do list!

*finish the circle skirt for my mum

I have attached the waistband to the body of the skirt and fitted the zip. I just need to tidy up a few seams around the zip and hem it with contrasting bias tape. So I haven’t finished as such, but I’d rather pace myself than rush and do a botched job. Although I have made several circle skirts I have found myself feeling quite nervous. As I am making this for my mum I want it to look as good as possible.

*maybe not finish, but get back on the knitted skirt from Phildar I started years ago.

I still haven’t touched it- shame on me! But that might be a Sunday evening job though. Nothing better than chilling out with some knitting to stop thinking about going back to work 🙂

*Last week I had a go at turning old tights into 1920s style rolled stockings, this was really just an experiment but it turned out great and perfect with the current weather. Hopefully I can take decent pictures and write a post about it.

Eeeeer, no pictures yet, but I resisted cutting out all my tights!!!!

*I really want to have a go at making my own teddy/ romper suit. I got one from eBay and it doesn’t look that complicated to make so if I have the time I’ll experiment!

I kind of started, but it turned out the fabric was cut a bit too short (…) so I’m turning it into a camisole instead. I am getting to grips with elastic sewing. Plenty of room for improvement but I’m getting there!

This afternoon I also attended my first creative writing workshop, it was fascinating and I can’t wait to sit down and write my first story.

The snow has pretty much melted in Cardiff, but there are some nasty icy patches on the pavement, so I had to be super careful not to fall down! On my way home I thought I’d snap some pictures of the castle in the snow- enjoy!

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Weekend plans

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This is how I feel a bit right now. I was meant to go on charity shopping with a friend but with snow and ice on the roads we decided to reschedule. Great news for my bank account! I could go to have a look round the vintage shops in Cardiff instead, but I think I’m going to take this opportunity to stay at home and do a bit of sewing, knitting while listening to swing music and eating homemade biscuits. Really, it could be worse couldn’t it?

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Last week I decided to quickly tweet what were my sewing projects for the weekend, it went quite well so this time I’m using the blog to see whether I’ll be able to achieve what I am planning on doing. Writing things down definitely helps me staying focused!

So this weekend my plans are:

*finish the circle skirt for my mum
*maybe not finish, but get back on the knitted skirt from Phildar I started years ago.
*Last week I had a go at turning old tights into 1920s style rolled stockings, this was really just an experiment but it turned out great and perfect with the current weather. Hopefully I can take decent pictures and write a post about it.
*I really want to have a go at making my own teddy/ romper suit. I got one from eBay and it doesn’t look that complicated to make so if I have the time I’ll experiment!

There are lots and lots of other things I’d love to make but I won’t have the time. It’s pointless making a massive list-I’ll end up feeling quite unmotivated.

I’ll try to do a roundup Sunday to see how I got on!

I’m back!

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Happy times with my nephew

I have been back for a couple of weeks but have finally managed to grab 5 minutes to update this blog. So a slightly belated Happy New Year- I hope 2013 will bring you whatever you want! I don’t know, 2012 was a very strange year for me, so I’m not making any resolutions or planning anything, because you never know how things in life turn out to be. I was planning on going cold turkey on eBay and have already failed, so there you go.

Apart from the fact that I managed to be sick for the whole time with some  bizarre viral throaty infection I had a lovely Christmas break. Time was shared between my parents and my sister, and as usual I got to spend some time with my little nephew. As you can see on the picture above he was very intrigued by his auntie’s clothes! I can’t wait to play dress up with him when he’s a little bit older. The skirt I am wearing was handmade last year after I saw a very similar one in H&M. I never took the plunge to wear it before though- but that became a staple in my wardrobe during the holiday. It has such a lovely drape- I really enjoyed twirling to amuse my nephew!!!

It also happened to be my birthday. I made a ridiculously big fuss about it for months beforehand- pathetic I know. Now that my birthday is gone and I’m actually 30 (there, I said it) I am feeling much better about it. It was fantastic; I was spoilt for weeks beforehand by colleagues and friends, and then on the actual day spent a great time with my family. And amongst all my super gifts I got a tablet!!! I’m finally slowly reaching 21st century technology. The only downside is that it’s a bit of a pain to write blog posts on there- so I’m hanging on to my old laptop for updating En Vrac!

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I think she’s happy

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Super yummy birthday cake!!!

New Year celebrations were very quiet. I’ve never really celebrated New Year’s Eve anyway so I didn’t mind, I was in good company and that what all that mattered.

Since then, I flew back, and have been busy with my Lindy Hop lessons, tried Hot Yoga, went out to the Free for All Festival, caught up with some friends, started sewing a circle skirt from my mum (with- wait for it- some Dior fabric!!! Bought in Tissus Jaures in Orleans, my favourite fabric shop ever) and got myself on Pinterest! Phew, I have been busy! And this weekend I am planning on starting a Creative Writing for Children workshop. I have always wanted to attend a Creative Writing course, and this seems perfect!

So now that I’m more or less back on track, this blog should be updated more often. There are a couple of vintage acquisitions I can’t wait to blog about, the only thing is that I need to take pictures, and this is proving to be a real pain- when I have the time to do it, the weather is always rubbish!!!

Today it has been snowing in most of the UK, including Cardiff!

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That’s the Royal Infirmary, just off Newport Road- newly renovated and looking stunning!

Oh dear, Pinterest and vintage effects on pictures… I think I’m turning into a hipster.