Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Precious Patterns

I'm always on the lookout for new patterns with a vintage flare and i recently found some crackers!

I have wanted a Vivien of Holloway dress for a very long time. My budget thus far hasn't stretched enough for me to add it to my wardrobe yet however my little dress fund is slowly growing so maybe soon i will get it. After many minutes drooling over said dresses, i decided to go on the hunt for a pattern that would have the same feel as one of their dresses and i found this stunner! I just love the sweetheart neckline and i will be sure to flare that skirt out or even put a circle skirt on it.

I think it definitely has the potential to become a vintage inspired dress that could be suitable for day or night depending on how luxurious you want to be with your fabric choice.

I'm very excited about this pattern and i have been itching to make it but i haven't been able to get down to the fabric shop yet but as you can see i will be spoilt for choice.

I saw a Youtube video of a lady making up this pattern as a Betty Draper dress just couldn't resist hunting it down. A friends wedding is coming up soon so i thought i could knock up this beauty to wear for it. when it came, i got to look at the pattern in more detail and i can already tell that this pattern will be one that i make time and time again.


I love the little cape detailing, i think it looks very different to anything i have come across before.

I bought these two patterns on the Sew Essentials webite. They were having a sale so it cost me for both what it would have cost for just one at normal price. After all the tweaking and altering of the last dress i made from a vintage pattern it will be a refreshing change to make something that is a tad easier (lets hope). There are many patterns with a vintage style out there so for those of you that are starting sewing of thinking about buying a modern pattern; it's a great staring point.

Happy pattern hunting.

Hugs and Kisses

Thursday, 24 May 2012

OOTD - Silk and Sunshine

Today was a glorious day in Manchester, so what better way to spend it than by going for a wander in the meadows and taking pictures in the garden like a fool!

I must say that i try, whenever possible, to take advantage of the sunny weather and be outside in the garden.

My outfit today is what i like to call none vintage, vintage (haha) I would surely love to be head to toe in vintage everyday however my clothes budget and vintage wardrobe size don't quite cut the biscuit yet so in the mean time i try to style in a vintage way.

Plus i absolutely adore this skirt and i hardly ever get a chance to wear it because its silk; and lets face it silk and the good old Manchester rain do not mix!

Glasses - Bought at a vintage fair
Linen blouse - H&M
Cami - Primark
Wrap around silk skirt - Shop in Brazil
Shoes - Moda in Pelle

Told you i was taking pictures like a fool but this skirt makes you want to twirl. As my good friend says " It's a lady skirt to twirl in".

My little friend Bruno got in on the action sunning himself before we took a walk. 

Its so lovely to see all the flowers blooming and hear all the birds singing. All the winter blues are gone and people seem generally happier when the sun is out.

Hope you all have a day in the sunshine and enjoy the English summer.

Hugs and Kisses

Friday, 18 May 2012

V is for Victory

I am definitily one for having many projects on the go at any one time and this jumper is the latest. Knitting is one of those things that you can quite happily sit and do whilst watching a film or whilst your other half has control of the tv. I'm not an experienced knitter by any means; in fact the only thing i have made before is a scarf but i thought i would give it a crack anyway.

I found a variety of free knitting patterns on the Victoria and Albert Museums website and fell in love with this 40's victory jumper.

As much as i love to support local businesses where wool is concerned i didn't have a clue where to start so off to Dunhelm Mill i went to buy wool; of course i got red, white and blue!

I am lucky enough to have a few ladies of a mature disposition (aka grandmas haha) to ask for help and i was lucky enough to get my hands on more than enough knitting needles of all different sizes to complete this project and many more.
My two pence worth when buying needles is ask for them at your local charity shop or look out for them at car boot sales.You can certainly pick them up for cheaper than you will at any other shop and you may even strike it lucky and pick up a bundle at a bargain price. Last time i went they were 20p a pair! You can't get better than that!

So i had the wool, i had the needles and i had armed myself with the suitable inspiraton of other peoples success stories with this pattern. Let the knitting commense!!

The wonderful world of Youtube was my first stop for any problems that i encountered and there are hundreds of thousands of handy tutorials from the very basics to the more complicated. If you are brand new to knitting and want to start Youtube is the place to look as you can see step by step what to do and what things should look like.

So far my delightful jumper looks like this:
Not too shabby if i do say so myself. I have nearly finished the back with a few glitches and mistakes along the way; but forgive me i'm learning. Its a working progress and i will fill you all in on my progress along the way!

If you would like to knitt this jumper too check out this link to the V&A website and have a look at the other little gems that they are gratouse enough to give for free.

Happy Knitting!

Hugs and Kisses

Thursday, 17 May 2012

An Ebay Gem

I am always scouring the internet for affordable vintage and vintage inspired resources and I have a love hate relationship with Ebay; it can be your worst enemy or your best friend. Never the less I am a regular shopper on there and it is always nice when you discover a seller you have never used before with some fabulous goodies in their shop.

Recently I made a purchase from one such seller called bluebubble123. I was looking for some 50's inspired earrings at a reasonable price to wear everyday and i found just that and more!

What first caught my eye was the variety of items she makes, yes makes! It's a kitsch paradise! Everything from cute and delicate to quirky I found in this shop.

I noticed that they were running a buy one get one free offer on these super little rose earrings and I had to get in on the action. With so many colours on offer I did have some trouble narrowing it down to a few that I really liked otherwise I would have been spending a lot on these little gems!

The postage was extremely reasonable for the items she is selling as the worst thing I find about some sellers is that they charge a fortune for something that we all know doesn't cost that much! This certainly wasn't the case and she does combine postage on multiple purchases for an extra 10p!
Its so refreshing to find a genuine, sensible seller on Ebay. They are out there people!!

In the end i bought these three:
Parma Violet
Lemon Sherbet
Peacock Blue

 Trust me when i say this guys and girls I could have bought a whole lot more! But i showed restraint as much as it pained me.

I love getting packages in the post. It's so much fun especially if its as nice a package as I got from this lovely seller and it was shipped extremely quickly which is important as I just couldn't wait to get it.

Just look at the care and attention to detail she went to in the packaging. Plus these little bags come in so handy for storing your earrings in. The earrings that came free in the offer were these little delights and i couldn't have been happier.
Key Lime Pie Green
Hot Pink
Snow White

The earrings themselves are wellmade and the colours pictured are the true colour the earrings are. Rest assured ladies and gents I will definitely me visiting this shop to make future purchases as there is so many things I am just waiting to get my little mits on!

My little wishlist includes:

Item image Item image Item image Item image Item image Item image Item image Item image Item image Item image Item image Item image

Please check out Sara's Ebay shop I am sure you will find something on there you will fall in love with!

Hugs and Kissses

Monday, 14 May 2012

Product Rave - Motions foaming wrap lotion

As any vintage hairstyle enthusiast will tell you, pin curls are a must in creating a 40's or 50's do. I have struggled in taming my mass of locks into sleek glossy curls with little success, that was until i got my hands on this little gem of a product.

The delightful Sam of Primped Preen N' Peachy on Youtube uses this product reqularly and I am definitely on the fan list.

Lovely Sam

To begin with, Motions foaming wrap lotion is meant to be used on wet hair ideally after you have washed your hair and before you have styled it. It can also be used to create a strong base for more modern styles including blow drying and straightening however we are here to talk about that all important pin curl.

I found that this product has the most delightful smell. It smells clean and fresh but whats most fun is that it smells of watermelon! For me, it makes all the difference from the other setting lotions that i have tried as most have a very chemically smell that, lets face it ladies, isn't what we want from a hair product.

I have used the wrap lotion several times to achieve different styles and have worked out the best way to use it to tame my curly mane of hair! Once curled, dried and taken out the curls were beautiful, bouncy and most importantly not at all crispy.
The curl stayed strong and flexible even when rained on which was a massive advantage for me as the moisture in the air attacks my hair something rotten.

You will usually find it in the ethnic hair section along with olive oil shampoos and dark and lovely products amongst other brands. I bought my Motions wrap lotion from a local store. and it was only £2.99! A steal i feel for such an amazing product. You can also buy it from various online retailers, if you do google search for it I'm sure you will find it.

All in all i am super impressed with this product and i will definitely be purchasing it again, with an average price of £3-£5 it is most certainly one of my holy grail hair products; a must have for all you gals.

If you haven't already and are interested in vintage hair, fashion and makeup please feel free to check out those lovely ladies on Youtube I'm sure dear Sam of Primped Preen N' Peachy would love you to visit her page.

Hugs and Kisses

Friday, 11 May 2012

Curly Sue - Vintage styling for curly hair

Now ladies, although there are many wonderful tutorials and blogposts on how to pin curl and style like a pro, i have found that there is a lack of information about achieving this vintage look on naturally curly locks.

Hair styles of the 40's and 50's generally involve a curl whether that be in the form of soft waves like this:
Anyway Heres Dita Doing Victory Rolls In Fine Style And A Few Vintage
Dita Von Teese
Veronica Lake
Sleek and perfect styles like this:

Betty Grable
Betty Grable
Oh so Glamorous

or all out Hollywood glamour like this:
Gene Tierney

Marilyn Monroe

All of these styles have a few things in common; no frizz and structured curls. If any of you ladies have curly hair then you will know this already but for those of you who dream of luscious curls hear this: frizz and structure to your curl is something we curly Sue's have to battle with all the time! haha

With this in mind, these are my tips and tricks for taming those curls baby dolls!

I always use a setting lotion when pin curling or vintage styling my hair as this creates a solid foundation for setting those curls in place and making sure they stay put not only for the day but hopefully for a few days. I will be doing a product review on my favourite setting lotion soon. Just for your reference, this is my wet hair au naturel.

I have found that it is pretty much essential for you to blowdry your hair before you begin styling. I have had experience in setting my pin curls when my hair is wet and it really all depends on the look you are trying to achieve as to whether this method works. If you are trying to re-create any of the looks in the above pictures, then a wet set (in my experience) doesn't work well. Now you may be thinking Ana, whats the point in blowdrying your curly hair straight just to curl it again?
Well blowdrying smooths out and stretches the curl giving you a smother base to start from and although it will cause heat damage to your hair as anything involving heat will do, using a good blowdrying lotion always helps combat this.

Now for the those pin curls baby! I prefer using a dry set after spending all that time blowdrying! so i take a spary bottle with water sometimes with a tiny bit of whatever setting lotion i have handy and moisten the hair slightly and then roll, roll, roll!!
If your lucky you will look as glamorous as me right now!

Depending on what look your going for the brushing out of your curls will vary and trust me ladies you will try many different ways of brushing and setting your hair to find out what works best for you. What i have discovered is the use of a good hairspray, some pomade and de-humidifying spray are a must for all you ladies not just us curly Sues.
All hair is different and what works for some might not work for all and with all techniques that are not always in modern use, practice most definitely makes perfect.

Good luck with your curls, I would love to know how you all get on!

Hugs and Kisses

Monday, 7 May 2012

Manchester Vintage Fair 05/05/2012

The Manchester Vintage fair has been something i have been looking forward to for a while. Being in Manchester i am lucky enough to have access to quite a few vintage shops, however there is nothing like a fair to bring out the best in vintage attire at reasonable prices!
I went with the lovely Amy to Whitworth Hall on Manchesters Oxford Road, which i thought was a very apt venue to host it in as its a beautiful old building.

Inside the fair.

There was a good variety of stalls set out clearly and with easy access to all the treasures that were waiting to be discovered (by me haha)!!

There was an abundance of beautifull dresses, cardigans and blouses that i was just waiting to get my hands on; however as always with vintage clothing size is everything and i didnt want to get anything that needed major adjusting after i had just finished my strawberry dress and quite frankly needed things to be a tad simpler.

My first delightful discovery were thes fabulous sunglasses! Although it is renoundly rainy in Manchester it was a lovely sunny day yesterday and we can all hope for a nice summer this year and lets face it, who could resist such these babies haha.

There was an array of items to look at including a few homeware items; teacups, teapots and such like. To be honest, the fair here in Manchester was very clothing and accessory focused so there wasnt much in the way of homeware there.
I did get my hands on this gorgeous Stratton of London handbag mirror, which i absolutely fell in love with and just had to have!

The beautiful pattern on the front and bag gives that added bit of glamour whilst applying that all important bit of lippy!

I also picked up this pink gingham dress which i was lucky to find in a size that is workable with the right undergarments.

All in all i was very pleased with the fair. everything was extremely reasonably priced with the majority of things costing between £15 and £50 depending on how elaborate the item was.

Please feel free to check out the vintage fair website or follow them on facebook for updates and upcoming events at

Hugs and Kisses