Saturday, 24 May 2014

Blue summer outfit & vintage charity shops

Blue summer outfit & vintage charity shops

I am reliably told the colour of this 1950s Chrysler is "Sea foam".

I do like an arresting blue. I recently found this very charming vintage umbrella in a local charity shop. I used it as a parasol last weekend at Hedingham Castle vintage fair. That handle and contrast lining alone are worth the £15 price tag. I love the way the colour really pops in the sunshine.

Classy handle with sparkly sapphire stones.
The charity shop I bought it in recently relaunched as a Vintage shop. It's right in the middle town and the prices are reasonable so it's proving quite popular. They do have some advantage over other vintage sellers, with free stock and an army of volunteers. There are now half a dozen sellers, as well as pop-up shops and fairs in our little town, so competition is tough but I suppose there must be enough customers to go around.

A bamboo grove at Hedingham

The dress was from ebay in 2012, one of the first in my 'new' vintage wardrobe. I sold all my vintage dresses about 10 years ago because they were too small for me and I needed the money. Silly me.

The dress turned out to be Marcel Fenez, it is nylon and quite sheer so I found a frilly petticoat to wear with it at the same shop as the umbrella. It has pink bows too! I didn't plan it but the whole outfit (umbrella and bag included) is from the mid 60s.

And finally a bit of blue from about a month ago. A view of bluebell woods on the Essex / Suffolk border. Blue doesn't get more delightful than this.

A spectacular view over ancient bluebells in West Bergholt. I think that's Suffolk over there.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Distractions and learning to sew properly

Distractions and learning to sew properly...

So, it's May again. This time last year I tried to make this shirtdress.

It was my first ever attempt at a shirt style garment and it stalled at the toile stage. Like many sewers I have quite a few half finished projects lurking, sometimes just because it's really easy to be distracted by new ideas... (parasols anyone?)

This May I am most excited be doing a short couture course. I know completing Simplicity 5124 for this would teach me loads (see the list below). It is a lovely dress and I will wear it. But still something is pulling me towards this girly Vogue 9260.

It has a big collar, button front and a full skirt, but it's less of a challenge. And I know exactly what the big draw is - just look at those sweet pink and purple dahlias on the vintage fabric I am planning to use for it! I am dying to make it up and I have enough of it for a full skirted dress.

Whatever I end up making, I cannot recommend going to sewing classes enough. I am used to reading books, blogs, watching craftsy etc. but finding a good teacher and going to regular lessons has been amazing. Sewing with a group is a treat; you get less done but chatting and learning from other each other more than makes up for it.

For this 10 week course we will cover some interesting stuff which will fit with either of my dresses:
  • Collars and cuffs
  • Bound button holes
  • Patch pockets
  • Top stitching and seam finishes
  • Arrowhead trims
I am off to give myself a good talking to and hopefully produce something nice to wear at the end of all this. Watch this space.