Monday, 30 January 2017

Preloved Vintage Kilo Sale

Yesterday I traveled into Bristol which is a few towns over from me to visit Preloved's vintage kilo sale. I'd never been to a vintage kilo sale before, but I knew the premise of it and that they're supposed to be excellent value. But from everything I'd ever seen of them, they appeared to be more "hipster vintage" than the kind of clothing people interested in vintage lifestyles would want to wear; by which I mean lots of denim and check shirts and stuff from the '80s. However I'd heard a good review of Preloved, so decided to go along and I'm so glad that I did!

Everything cost £15 per kilo and my total came to £43 which was 2.8 kilos. You're given a large plastic bag to fill as you go in, and they weigh it on your way out, so it's very easy to just throw things in your bag without knowing how much it totals but I feel I did really well! I definitely got a little carried away and bought a couple of things that are questionable, but I'm in the process of accomplishing one of my dreams and opening a vintage store so I'm not too bothered as it just means it's stock!

Before I show what I bought, I thought I'd just share a few tips about going to one of these sales in case you're considering it.

  • Wear a bag that will leave your arms completely free. I wore a backpack, something that goes across your body would also be good. You're going to be rummaging through a lot of stuff and carrying all of the goodies you want to buy so you won't want your handbag getting in the way!
  • It doesn't matter what time you go, there aren't any benefits to being an early bird. They continue to add things throughout the entire day, so it's not a case of all the good things will be gone by the end (however it's probably not a good idea to go just before closing, still keep it reasonable!)
  • You can go up to the people at the scales and ask them how much you've collected before you're ready to pay and then go back and get some more/put stuff back, that's perfectly OK. 
  • If you see something you're on the fence about, grab it and inspect it later, if you put it back it might be gone before you've blinked! If you change your mind on something, there are dedicated bins around the room to put things you want to discard (and these are also worth checking!)
  • Everything is split up according to item. Dresses are most important to me, so I made sure I checked the dress rail first and most thoroughly. Try and be strategic about your hunting.
  • Check the condition of the item before you buy it, inside as well as out! Especially if you're not a seamstress! A few of the items were damaged in some way, some as little as needing a hem being stitched back into place. One dress I saw had a silk lining which was completely moth eaten and falling apart beyond repair, yet looked fine from the outside so check, check, check
  • There are changing rooms, so you don't have to take a risk with everything you buy if you can be bothered! However I was bundled up under a lot of layers so I didn't take advantage of that.

Now onto the goodies!

This darling pink dolly dress was one of the very first things I saw, and my favourite of all of my purchases. It fits me to perfection, and it's made of a light cotton that will be so perfect for humid summer days. The white crimplene dress is too small, which I guessed it might be but couldn't bare to leave it behind. It needs a few repairs so I'll fix it up to it's former glory before passing it on.

This purple maxi dress fits like a dream, and is made from a thin crimplene so it's nice and comfortable and I just love the patterning. These next three chiffon dresses are the things that I consider questionable and where I think I got carried away! In my frenzy the pink one looked OK and like it might be nice and floaty and I liked the pattern of the fabric. It is definitely floaty, but not my thing at all so it will be passed on.

I bought this dress as I was impressed with these magnificent sleeves, and I liked the blue colour but I'm not yet decided if it'll be staying with me.

Again my love of sleeves made me weak! I saw this magnificent purple and magenta bishop sleeve poking out of the rail and it's another thing I wasn't sure of from the off, but decided to go for in my frenzy. I just find chiffon dresses a little too fussy for my personal liking, but hopefully I can find them good homes!

I loved this mod crimplene jacket, I thought it'd be perfect come spring when I want to wear lighter layers but unfortunately it's a bit too big so might get passed on. I could easily take it in to make it fit, but I feel bad doing that when I know larger sized vintage items are so highly sought after and plus sized girls already feel excluded from vintage. I'd rather it go on to a better home just as it is.

This cotton blouse is another favourite and will be perfect come summer time paired with a mod a-line skirt. The buttons on the back are surprisingly easy to manage as you only need to undo the first one near the neck.

I love a good shirt as they're so versatile, and this floral one with it's dagger collar is just my style. I've been dreaming of a Welsh tapestry vest for a while but unfortunately this one turned out to be too big, so it will be passed on.

And lastly the swimsuit is just perfect! I don't think it's ever been worn as it still has it's protective plastic stitched across the gusset which is a nice extra as I admit the idea of second hand swimwear makes me a little squeamish. However I find it really difficult to buy modern swimwear as it's far too skimpy for my taste. Not that I'm prudish, I just have areas of my body that I'm conscious of particularly my tummy and thighs as I'm a pear shaped girl and I'd just rather be covered. Even if you find swimwear that is high waisted, it still comes with high legs leaving all of my thigh on show. I love these vintage swimsuits from the late '50s/early '60s as they have a little inbuilt skirt so you're completely covered to below the crotch whilst still looking very feminine. They also have a full inbuilt bra to keep the girls firmly in place. The cups in this bra are very pointy and bullet shaped, not a style I've tried before but I have to say it looks very flattering in the swimsuit and keeps everything perky! I love the patterning and it's exactly my size, so it felt like absolute fate that it should be mine.

Have you ever had any luck at a vintage kilo sale? I'd love to hear your stories!

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Free to play alone with time

I haven't been drawing an awful lot lately, the negatives of being an art student is having barely any time to draw for yourself. And when I have had time, I've felt more inclined to sew instead. But I have drawn two portraits recently.

I wanted to draw Nick Mason as it was his 73rd birthday yesterday and as he's one of my favourite members of Pink Floyd I wanted draw something to both commemorate it and to have something to post on social media. I've been trying to simplify my portraits lately back like I used to. I've gotten into the habit of only drawing intricately detailed larger scale portraits which has made me feel intimidated to draw just when I feel like as I'm sure you can imagine they take several hours. I drew Nick in about 4 hours which is much better! It's exciting as it means my options for portraits opens up as if I'm drawing more simplified then I don't need massive HQ photographs to draw from. I'm just really excited to draw more throughout 2017 as I don't feel I did even almost enough last year.

Last month in December I also drew Rick Wright. This is one of those intricately detailed drawings I mentioned, I love how they come out but they just take too long! I had planned on doing one for each of Pink Floyd, but I'm not so sure now as I don't want to pressure myself with promises my heart is no longer into.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Such is the silence o'er royal Camelot

I just love this dress. I found it on Etsy, and my first thought was “it’s beautiful, but when would I wear it?”. Then I checked myself and remembered that I don’t need an occasion to wear what the hell I want and bought it immediately.

dress and shoes - 1960s vintage // necklace - Topshop sale
It’s handmade from the ‘60s and in just wonderful condition. Whenever I buy handmade vintage items, I can’t help but wonder if one day my own handmade clothes will fall into the hands of someone who loves them? It’s quite exhilarating to think that could happen and although it feels unlikely to me, I bet it would of felt unlikely to these girls in the ‘60s who just wanted a dress like they saw in the boutiques but without the price tag and had no idea their creations would live on.

This particular dress is modelled after the medieval revival in the late ‘60s, a fashion movement I absolutely adore. Most of the clothing I've featured below was designed by The Fool, a Dutch design and music collective who like their name suggests were hugely inspired by imagery from the tarot. They're one of my most favourite designers of the era.

Of course much of this was toned down for the everyday dolly, but elements of the style such as lace up bodices, brightly coloured tights, huge balloon, bishop, Juliette and bell sleeves and opulent brocade and velvet fabrics became hugely popular.

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