Tuesday, 28 February 2017

These boots are made for walkin'

This dress was my latest me made project. I'd been saving this crimplene for the perfect project, I hate to feel like I'm wasting vintage fabric because it's so finite (wasting and destroying vintage in general is my biggest pet peeve, I don't understand how people don't realise that this stuff is limited quantities so treat it respectfully. Anyway, tangent!) I kind of like this dress, and I kind of feel a bit disappointed with it at the same time which is a bummer. But I often feel like that after sewing projects, then after they've been in my closet for a while I'm able to appreciate them more.

I did a little pattern frankensteining on this dress, just on the sleeves. The dress pattern had elasticated balloon sleeves, but I liked the shape of these with the additional frill on the end and smocked cuff which were on another pattern. I'd never done smocking before, and honestly don't think I'd ever do it again, it was such a PITA and didn't even really come out like it was supposed to. The collar ended up a bit different too, as the white crimplene was so much heavier than the purple crimplene. It was supposed to be more of a dagger shirt collar, but the weight made the collar just lie flat so I embraced it and altered the neckline. I think it's the sleeves that are the biggest annoyance to me, especially as the frill at the end keeps flipping inside out. But it's easily fixed, I'd just need to unpick all of my smocking and add elastic to make it a balloon sleeve.

I bought these boots when I last went to Bristol. After going to Judy's I took a little wander further into the city than I usually go in search of an art shop, and there ended up being a vintage shop right opposite that I couldn't help but wander in to. I've never sought out the vintage shops in Bristol before, and entering this store confirmed my suspicions. It's all the same kind of tat sold in places like Brick Lane, and I mean actual tat with minimal real vintage. Secondhand converse, cast off jeans, more plaid shirts than anyone could ever look through. They'd even marked brands you can find in the likes of New Look as "vintage".

However tucked away on the sale rail, I did see these boots and I was smitten immediately. I've been looking at white mod boots online a lot lately, and finding these felt like serendipity. I haven't been able to identify their age, the label is "Richard Draper" which has apparently been around since 1937 and is still going strong. The Cuban shaped heel and contrast piping makes me think they're probably 1980s? But honestly I couldn't care less if they're not '60s, they look the part and that's all that matters! All of my other vintage boots are suede which isn't the best choice for rainy England, and so I've been after a pair of leather boots for the longest time. These also have sheepskin lining, so I'm not only cosy but feel like I'm walking on clouds.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

The big black smoke

Everything 1960s vintage

Last week I decided to take a little day trip into London. London has a comforting familiarity to me as it's where I'm from. I didn't have any plans, which I think can sometimes be the best way to take a trip, to just go where the fancy takes you.

I spent the morning around Camden, weaving my way in and out of record and vintage stores and browsing trinkets on stalls in the Stables. Camden is a bit of a tourist trap, but it holds a lot of nostalgia for me as it's where I used to always hang out with my friends, and because it was a weekday it wasn't too busy.

Leaving empty handed, I headed to Soho and spent the rest of the day wandering through the streets until I'd done a big full circle. I started at Berwick Street which has a few record shops worth a visit. I rarely leave empty handed, and today was no exception. There are often rare pressings available, but you'll not find any bargains (I don't think you'd find bargains in any record store in London, hence I like living in the countryside where they're £1!) They also sell quite a wide selection of bootlegs, and that's what I usually buy. I found Saint Tropez, a live recording by Pink Floyd; As A Matter Of Fact It's All Dark which is demos and alternative takes from Dark Side Of The Moon; and A Ladder To The Stars which is BBC sessions by Queen.

I wanted to visit Lazy Oaf and Monki which are over by Carnaby Street. I know Carnaby Street is often seen as some kind of "mecca" for vintage lovers, but it's really nothing special, just the usual high street stores that you can find most other places. No boutiques left I'm afraid!

If I'm near Oxford Street, I can't resist popping into Topshop, it's my weakness and where I spent most of my money! I may as well make the most of that student discount! I was particularly taken with the shoes, finding two pairs that I'm absolutely in love with. I've had a bit of a shoe overhaul recently, and gotten rid of about 80% of my collection that was either gathering dust or no longer inspiring me so I could justify buying a couple of new pairs.

I love these galaxy print platform trainers, they go perfectly with my casual clothes and will look so cute with ankle socks in the spring. My old Converse finally gave up last year after 12 years of use, so these fill that gap perfectly. I also love how they go with the sequined Skinny Dip backpack I got too.

I ummed and ahhed over these lovely gold boots, but they're probably the thing I'm most pleased with and I couldn't stop getting them out to admire on the train on the way home. They were in the sale, and they're made of the most buttery soft leather imaginable. Wearing them feels like I'm just wearing a pair of socks, they're so comfortable. And I love their '60s design, they're a direct replica of metallic boots that were available at the time.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Recent Acquisitions

I wanted to share the vintage knick knacks I've been picking up over the past week to add to my collections.

Firstly, I attended Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair in Bristol this past Sunday. I've been to a few Judy's Vintage fairs now, and I really feel I prefer the offerings in Lincoln overall, but I certainly found some lovely things! I was ever so pleased that everything fit me too, as I tried nothing on and was wrapped up in my big Afghan coat so holding things up to myself wasn't very helpful. I guess I know my body better than I realise, as I've certainly felt the disappointment before of finding the perfect thing only to not be able to pull up the zip!

First is this gingham mod shift dress, with the tie attached. I just adore the colours of this, and I've long admired the mod look of pairing traditionally male items of clothing with dresses, I even remember writing an entire post about it when my blog was still Oh! Darling. I've never had the confidence to just pair a random tie with a random dress before though, so I love that this comes preselected for me to achieve the look effortlessly. I was worried that this dress would be too small, but to my utter delight it fits! The lining is a bit too small over my hips so I can't pull it down all the way, but the dress fits me with room to spare which is odd! Upon closer inspection I noticed that at some point over the past 50 years some lovely person has very carefully hand-stitched to let the bust out an inch which I'm very grateful for! Unfortunately I don't have the boyish figure of Twiggy so I definitely needed that extra room.

Next is this citrusy crimplene dress which I was worried would be too big but fits just right. I kept looking at it and leaving it, but the fab colours would play on my mind so I'd go admire it again and leave it again. Just as I was about to leave I had that feeling in my gut that I'd regret it if I didn't buy it, so went back yet again this time to take it with me. The stall holder must have thought I was nuts going back and forth so often! I'm so glad I went back for it though, it's become my favourite of the lot.

Lastly this folk '70s midi skirt. I just love the floral pattern on the fabric and the lace trim along the bottom tier. This will be perfect for a casual outfit during the height of summer with a folk style top and my platform sandals.

I also managed to pick up a few records I've been after for a long time now. Opel now completes my little Syd Barrett collection so I was very happy to finally find it. I don't have any of the compilations of his work that have been released, but I don't really feel I need them now I have this as well as The Madcap Laughs and Barrett. I also finally picked up a copy of Ogden's Nut Gone Flake by Small Faces. This is probably my favourite of their albums, and whilst I have seen it before it's often terribly overpriced so when I saw this one I knew it had to be mine. Of course I had to make sure I got one of the originals with the round cover.

I also picked up this book from the charity shop which is exciting. It was sitting on display on the top shelf, and I almost overlooked it as you can bet as big of a fan as I am of Stephen King that I've already read The Bachman Books. If you haven't read this particular collection, I highly recommend it as it contains my all time favourite Stephen King story, The Long Walk. So I was ready to dismiss this find, until I noticed that it had not three books listed on the cover, but four. It contains the novella Rage, which has been long out of print. Rage is said to be the first novel King ever wrote back in 1965, and was first published in 1977. It's about a school shooting, long before school shootings were ever a real thing, and is said to have inspired many of the school shootings that happened in the US throughout the 80s and 90s. King himself had the book withdrawn as he was so horrified that his horror novel had come to life. So it's quite a difficult book to get hold of, and one that I'm curious to read with all of the somber history surrounding it.

And what a note to end the post on! I hope you've all had a lovely week, and let me know if you've found any goodies recently, I'd love to hear!
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