Well, another month has gone by and it’s time for my monthly Vintage on the Web post. Is it me or is this year just flying by? I can’t believe it’s May already. Thankfully the British weather has been relatively kind to us over the first few weeks of Spring and I really hope it continues to get better and better so we actually have a decent summer. I’m also keeping my fingers crossed that the sun comes out this weekend (although it’s not likely) because I’m off to Cardiff for a couple of days shopping and sightseeing. I can’t wait! Anyway, on to the my latest vintage finds.
Freshly Given is both a blog and online shop run by a Whitney Robinson from North Carolina, USA, who originally worked in IT but turned her hand to designing accessories with leather. Her blog isn’t the slightest bit vintage related but this girl has that enviable effortless chic I could never even dream of pulling off. However, whilst I was looking around for vintage sewing patterns I came across her fantastic tutorial and it reminded me of the make do and mend movement of the 40s.
The picture above was her inspiration, a photo she found on Google’s Life Images (a great resource for vintage images). Whitney actually took her grandma’s skirt and recycled it into a very similar blouse which not only looks incredibly stylish but was so simple to make. Anyone could do this with an old sheet or scrap of fabric they don’t want. I know I’m going to have a go.
I recently started dating again after a long period of avoiding such things due to a really horrible break-up. When deciding on where to meet my new date for the first time I had a look online for vintagey type things to do as he was mildly into it too. Anyway, after three dates, one to a museum, one to a vintage fair and one out for Sunday lunch, I called it a day. Anyway, onwards and upwards!
But whilst having a look around for date ideas I came across The Vintage Guide to London’s Top 5 Vintage Date Locations. These are all really fab suggestions and, quite frankly, you don’t need to be on a date to enjoy them. I’ve added them all to my list of things to do the next time I’m up in London, especially the Blitz Party and you never know I might meet a dashing chap there!
My mum and I normally go off somewhere for a holiday in September for about 4 or 5 days, as it’s a great excuse for her to do girlie things with me, rather than the sort of things my dad likes to do. We’ve been to Dublin, Hamburg and Edinburgh over the past few years but this year we just couldn’t agree on where to go. So instead we have decided to do several overnight stays in places we haven’t been to for ages. So Cardiff is this weekend, we’re heading down to Paignton to see my best friend in August and somewhere in between we’ll be enjoying the delights of Brighton.
Now, just so you know, I love Brighton. Love it. If I could move to anywhere in the UK it would be Brighton. It has the sea, which I’m always strangely drawn to, it’s got fabulous shops and it’s just one of those places where you can walk down the street in the most outrageous outfit and no one would bat an eyelid. What more could a vintage gal want?
However, it has been about 6 years since I was last there and it’s about time I went back. Now I remember all the wonderful vintage shops from back then, and I know Beyond Retro is still going, but I need some help to plan my trip. Cue VintageBrighton.com.
Cherise Design is an Etsy shop run by Leea, a fashion graduate from Finland. After just one year at college she set up her own company designing and making garments that were both high quality and hand made. Her aim is to design beautifully fitted timeless clothes that women of all ages will love for years to come.
Her focus is very much on my favourite eras from the 1930s to the 50s and I absolutely love the Veronica dress pictured above. It’s a reproduction of a 1940s home sewing pattern that she has adjusted to fit the modern day figure. It’s made in a dark inky blue rayon/polyester blend which creates the stunning draping detail across the bust. Apparently it’s quite a heavy fabric, so perfect for the winter and thankfully will give me enough time to save up for it.
I’ve been reading the By Gum By Golly blog, run by Chicago based Tasha, for a little while now but a couple of weeks ago I started having a good look through the archive of her posts. This was when I came across this brilliant tutorial about how to use a scarf to create a Gibson style roll. I got very excited and let me explain why. My hair is a nightmare. It never behaves itself and it is impossible to do anything with it but more about that in a future post.
This tutorial actually looked pretty simple and, although I had my doubts with my own hair, I decided to try it. And boy am I glad I did. This works! I couldn’t believe it, it actually works in my hair and it looks so darn cute. I was so happy and tried it several times with different scarves tied in different ways. Oh I am going to wear this a lot, so thank you Tasha. And next I’m going to try and make the hair rat in the tutorial she recommends from Eileen’s Basement.
And talking of things on top of your head, I’m getting more and more into hats. I’m very lucky as I can put on just about any hat and it will suit me, so I can’t wait to go vintage shopping to try some on. However, whilst having a look around at vintage hats online I somehow graduated into looking at vintage hat sewing patterns which is when I came across The Closet Historian’s Retro Felt Leaf Half-Hat tutorial.
It’s a beautiful fascinator style headpiece inspired by a genuine 1950s one she found on Etsy at the amazing Poppycock Vintage shop (it’s one of my favourite’s to drool over!). Instead of purchasing it, blog writer Bianca decided to try and make her own and it looks quite straight forward. Made simply by cutting out felt leaves, and attaching them to a thin headband along with a small piece of veiling, she’s created something that is really quite stunning. That’s another thing to add to my list of things to try and make then.
I mentioned the fantastic Nora Finds blog on my last Vintage on the Web post as I had only just recently come across her but I’m so glad I did. A couple of weeks ago she published this brilliant post about how to start wearing vintage. It’s a very refreshing piece as it talks about not taking it too seriously, not having to go top to toe in vintage straight away and that you should just have fun with it.
When I first started blogging I read a horrible post that was the contrary to this, saying you must wear your hair in an authentic style, you must wear genuine vintage shoes and accessories and you must never mix eras. Well, that’s a lesson in how to make friends and influence people then. What’s different about Nora’s post is that it’s inclusive, it says it’s okay to create your own look and wear what makes you happy. And that’s why it’s been popping up all over vintage-based social sites. This is what the vintage community is about. Well, it is for me, anyway.
Now, you know I like my lingerie, particularly vintage style lingerie, so when I came across this review by Write Me Bad Checks of the to-die-for Catherine D’Lish Burlesque Dressing Gown I fell head over heels in love. As many of you probably know Catherine D’Lish is one of the world’s top burlesque stars and has worked alongside her friend Dita Von Teese. She’s renowned for her extravagant, ornately hand jewelled and feathered costumes which she designs and produces herself.
In her spare time she designs and sells the most stunning dressing gowns.These are beyond incredible. They are exactly the sort of thing our Silver Screen heroines wore as they sauntered down their grand staircases or relaxed in their boudoir. In a word, heaven. And I want one, particularly after reading Write Me Bad Checks’ review. If you’re interested you can have a drool on the Boudoir D’Lish website.
Have you come across any interesting blogs, articles or online shops in April? I’d love to know what you’ve discovered, so leave a comment below.