Friday, 20 April 2012

Sewing class result = the finished dress!

As my regular readers will know, I began taking sewing classes a few months ago. I have been machine sewing for years - but no one had ever showed me how to do it properly, or how to make from a pattern, something that had been on my "to-do" list for a long time!
I finished my dress at the end of the ten week course, in which I also learned valuable skills like how to insert different zip types and interfacing, using an overlocker, needle types and their uses, and how to measure yourself properly for patterns. I am really thrilled with the results! The class started up again today after a two week break for Easter, so I thought I'd wear my finished dress for class, and get a few pics to show you. So, here it is....
Ta da! Also shocking that its actually sunny here today (its been dreadful for the past few weeks!)
Accessorised with leggings and a thermal vest (its still cold in the UK), Bakelite bangles, and a black bow waist belt. 
And a close up of the top detail. I still can't believe that I actually made this all myself! The most tricky bits were inserting the zipper up the centre back, and the cap sleeves.
I love the shape so much that I already started on another dress, but the sleeveless version, in this lovely Hawaiian fabric that I found at a local discount fabric store, where you buy offcuts by weight. I got 2 metres for just under £4! ($6.00)

And a close up of the print - perfect for summer!
My next projects are a couple of skirts that I have just begun cutting out (both vintage patterns). I'll keep you posted when I have something to show!
When I got home from class, the postman had been and brought me 2 exciting parcels....
The first was this beautiful green Bakelite bangle - I bought this off Etsy for $20 from Illinois, USA. It got to the UK in just 3 days, amazing! 
I love the way it makes the other bangles really pop with colour, and how well it matches my new dress!
The other thing was this fab flamingo fabric - how cool is this?  I am going to make another sleeveless dress out of this too. At this rate, I'm going to have about 50 dresses in this pattern in different fabrics!
As if you couldn't tell, I absolutely adore print and pattern. As a designer, thats a good job really! Here is a sneak peak at my wardrobe...
Only a couple of plain things in here I think!
The skull, eyeball and triffid vine print dark red dress to the right is one of my own designs that I made for Too Fast :)
Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Monday, 16 April 2012

I ♥ Carved Bakelite!

I have been lusting after some carved Bakelite ever since I first started collecting it....but, it is expensive! I have quite a few plain and spacer bangles now and decided that it was time to treat myself to a few of the carved beauties....after all - they are an investment, right?!
TA DA! ♥♥♥ Its red, its heavily carved and its my new favourite bangle (it has just ever slightly overtaken my polka one - but only just!).
 I bought this from a private collector. It was quite pricey (for me) at £40 (about $62) - BUT these sort go for $100s on antique sites and  Etsy, as you can see here. 1st thing I did - test it! (My preferred method is hold under hot water tap. If you get that 'medicine cabinet smell' - you know you have a winner!). 
Very happy with this one....just want more now! :)
I also picked up this mango coloured double carved line bangle, a steal at $24 (£15). After reading Solanah's - from Vixen Vintage blog - Bakelite polishing tutorial HERE, I was tempted to give it a sand and polish as it looks as though it was originally pink! squee! BUT I think as its carved, I will leave well alone and enjoy it as it is. I also like the fact that it has aged over the years, as we all do!
And this is how I store them - on my 50s vanity, in my glitter lucite box purse!
Last week I also picked up this great Bakelite collectors book from Amazon marketplace.... 
I was lucky enough to get this used copy for just 40 pence (about 65c), plus shipping!!
Drool drool drool - one of each please!
And loving all these nautical pins - would like any one of these, especially the Marlin!
Oh, and this acorn bracelet would be nice too!
On my internet travels, I also discovered this amazing shop in San Francisco; Gaslight & Shadows Antiques that I must visit someday! It looks amazing. I would be like a kid in a (very expensive) sweet shop!
A blogger who has inspired me to collect is the lovely Holly from Temperamental Broad. Check out her amazing bangle collection HERE. Seriously enviable - read it and weep!
If you want to know more about collecting it, the different types, and how to test it - Holly did a great article on her blog last year with all the info HERE.
I'm on the hunt for more now, (at resonable prices!) so, watch this space.......... :))

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Vintage snobbery = a fab 60s dress for me!

Happy Easter everyone! This morning, Michael and I decided to go to the Vintage Village at Stockport - the big monthy vintage fair that I blogged about last November. I decided to wear my gorgeous new (to me!) 60s dress to the fair. This dress has a story, which is vintage snobbery at its best! I'm not going into it, but as a whole, I hate vintage snobbery. On this occasion however, it worked in my favour!
You know the sewing class I have been going to? Well, one of the retired ladies who goes, Carol said to me a few weeks ago that she had been clearing out her loft over the past few months and had an original 60s dress that she used to wear, that she thought I may like. She brought this dress in and I fell in love with it! I was also thrilled that it fits me perfectly - woo hoo!
She also told me that a few weeks previously (when she had first found the dress, amongst other 60s clothes), she had been going down to visit her daughter who lives in London. Her daughter said to bring the clothes down, and see if she could sell them at one of the vintage shops there. So Carol took the dress, along with some other original pieces along to a well known, and exclusive vintage shop specialising in 40s to 60s, and asked the shopkeeper if they bought clothing. Without even looking in the bag, the man looked Carol up and down and said snootily "Not from the general public, no". He then carried on with what he was doing and ignored her! How rude! So Carol left the shop, and brought the things back home, ready to put into the charity shop bag, until she met me at the sewing class and asked if I would like the dress! Yes please!
Here are some of the details:
Made by Dolly Rockers - designed by Sambo. I did a bit of research and found that 'Sambo' was actually
Samuel Sherman. From the Vintage Fashion Guild:
 "Samuel Sherman teamed up with Dolcis Shoes so that they could coordinate that season’s ranges and carry out a joint publicity campaign headed by the Smith’s Crisps girl Pattie Boyd, who had conveniently just begun dating a Beatle when the campaign began, so she got a lot of extra attention for both labels"
Look at the cute shaped collar and contrast black buttons! I did put my hair in a mini beehive, but you cant see it at this angle!! I'm also wearing my Bakelite screwbacks.
The dress is such a lovely bright turquoise colour. Its also some kind of mohair mix (eek -itchy!) so I'm wearing a long sleeved high neck top underneath!!
And my Bakelite bangles, including my newest addition, which is the mango coloured carved one in the middle - just $22 off Etsy :)
And my original 60s/70s knee high boots - £3 from a flea market in Manchester
And a couple of pics from inside the fair
It had even expanded from last time into the old Produce Hall, which is now a permanent vintage fixture in the town centre, called The Room at the Top:
Although we saw tons of cool stuff, we didn't actually buy anything this time. We are really tight on space, and so until we move, we don't really want to buy much. We did stop off on the way home for Tapas, which was delicious. Hope you are all having a nice Easter break! :)