Category: Fashion

It’s only fruit but I like it…

I took these photos a few weeks ago but forgot to ever post them! It was one of the first sunny days we had and I was having a pottering-at-home day. I needed to pop to the Post Office and decided that was an excuse to put on a dress and start tanning my legs!

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So I’m wearing a Wallis dress, bought on eBay last summer because I really loved the print. The lemons, oranges and cherries are so bold and fun. It’s every bit as vibrant as it looks in the photos. The bolero is from Monsoon a couple of years ago and the shoes are Clarks. The basket was a find at a Lou Lou’s vintage fair recently.

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The result? Well, the guys outside WH Smith – who were trying to sell broadband from a stand – flirted with me and an old man followed me round ASDA for a bit, standing too close.

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All in all, maybe I should stick to jeans next time.

It is with a wry smile I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a Bespoke dress (update!) but I like it…

I had an exciting parcel today – my toile, from Ali over at Shake your Tush(https://www.facebook.com/shakeyourtush).
I was unaware of this but apparently it’s good practice for dressmakers to make a practice garment when using a new pattern. Well, I say a new pattern, this one is from the early 1950s! Anyway, they’re often made from cheap material, because sometimes multiple toiles might be made before a pattern is perfected.

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Ali doesn’t make them out of cheap fabric and I love this green rosey pattern. It’s lovely cotton and it’s even better on!

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Excuse the dark photos and mad hair – I had just got in from a heavy week!

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I’m very happy with the fit- it’s like a glove! Very excited to get my real dress. The next step is for Ali to to use this same pattern to make my dress from the vintage sheet I gave her.
I shall keep you posted. Meanwhile I need to find out how much she charges for her toiles! If we have a sunny day this weekend (looking doubtful) I quite fancy giving it an outing!

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It is with a meteorological wish I say:
It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Nomads Clothing but I like it…

I have been a fan of Nomads ever since I discovered a rail of their dresses in a tiny shop in Wales. As soon as I stepped out of the changing room in this beauty, Mum, I and the shopkeeper agreed I had to make a purchase!

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I liked the styling of the dress and felt it had some vintage inspiration even if Nomads don’t necessarily identify as a ‘repro’ company.

Nomads have been trading for over 20 years now and deal in Fairtrade, often organic cotton, ladies clothing. They take inspiration from many styles and cultures and everything of theirs I have experienced has been very vibrant and beautiful quality. They do a great range of smart and casual dresses, trousers, tops and some stunning statement coats for the Winter too.

I was lucky enough to be offered some items to review. The first item I chose from this Spring’s range was this lovely glowing shirt dress.

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I had various ideas on how to style it. Firstly thinking some 60s style t-bar shoes and vintage yellow beret. I also fancied a floppy black hat, with maybe a tan belt. But when the day dawned for me to try and take some half decent shots it was such bright sunny day I slipped on my Roxy sunnies, White Stuff flip flops and a black stretchy belt from eBay to nip me in at the waist, going instead for a more 1950s look.

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A little slick of my favourite cherry lipstick from Besame and I was quite happy with the results! I think it conjures up a 1950s picnic scenario with my basket (a fiver at a recent vintage fair!) and vintage flask (Charity shop – 3 pounds) along for the ride. The sunnies and belt make me look very much the 50s pin-up! Well, I like to think so anyway!

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The dress was a size 14 and a great fit on me. It has a lovely collar and pretty shell buttons running all the way down the front. The pattern is perfect – not too bright, but with a lovely glowing yellow and orange that cuts through the white and grey.

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The buttons at the top mean you can reveal as much or as little cleavage as you desire – I definitely think the length and style of this dress make it a multipurpose item – I could certainly wear it to work on sunnier days without any concerns.

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If you can tell good quality cotton by how it feels, then this fabric passes the fingertip test! It’s beautifully soft and fully lined in a gauzy cotton, making it very comfortable in the warmer times we’re hopefully about to have!

I felt that rare combination of comfortable and sexy in this dress and I think it’s also one that could take you from the day to the evening effortlessly. I will admit that I kept it on after I’d taken these photos and when Dr P got home from work I insisted we buy ice creams and walk around the harbour. In my sunnies and lippy, my boy by my side, I felt glam and relaxed – thanks Nomads for the nice memory!

Whilst I don’t specifically shop for items that are Fairtrade, it does assuage my guilt a little to know no-one has been exploited for me to look good. I’m grateful to companies like Nomads for putting options out there for me, making it easier to choose ethical clothing.

All in all, I felt this dress had a nice vintage feel to it and I know I’m going to get lots of wear out of it. If you head over to the Nomads website you’ll find that they’re offering 20% off some items in the lead up Earth Day, so it’s a great time to make a purchase. (http://www.nomadsclothing.com)

If you liked this post, stop back in a few weeks time as I have another Nomads dress to review and it’s a stunner, seriously!

It is with a glamorous glow I say:

It’s only Vintage but I like it!

*I was lucky enough to be given these items to review, but the views expressed are all my own*

It’s only Twinwood but I like it…

So on a whim I entered a competition to be Miss Vintage Twinwood 2015.

https://www.facebook.com/twinwoodevents/photos/a.10152666756157657.1073741838.30797112656/10152683917717657/?type=1&permPage=1

You can see my picture here and if you go to the Facebook page and ‘like’ it that counts as a vote! If I get down to the final 40 ladies I get free tickets to the event, which is a great deal as tickets don’t come cheap!

Please, please, please vote for me!

It is with an imploring gaze I say:
It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Hilda the Pin-up but I like it…

Meet Hilda.

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This big, bountiful babe was created in 1957 for a pin up calendar. Her artist and maker, Duane Bryers, says he used models for some of the his Hilda drawings, but many of the best artworks were entirely from his head.

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She is definitely a plus size lady and it is so refreshing to see. I was so delighted to discover her fresh, healthy and lovely self. I think it would be fair to say that the ‘pin up’ tradition as a whole embraces curves, but I think Hilda is at the far end of that.

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It is a look I personally find very attractive. Not least because these pin up girls look *real*. Hilda looks like me. I have thighs, I have a large bum, I have dimples. And I believe I can be attractive. I believe people of any size and weight can be attractive. I can’t help but wonder what the world would be like if we celebrated Hilda’s unashamed extra layers and spent less time aspiring to the gamine figures we see on the catwalk. I don’t want to stray into what I have heard called ‘body snark’ – I genuinely believe whatever is happy and healthy for you is best. But I think an achievable, healthy figure is what we should be aiming for.

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Hilda always seems to be having fun or getting into a scrape! Her outfits are skimpy and she is totally at ease with her body. I’m jealous. It has taken me 30-odd years to even *begin* that journey.

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Check out The Militant Baker’s post about how to create some of Hilda’s looks!

http://www.themilitantbaker.com/2013/06/style-icon-hilda-plus-size-pin-up.html

i have definitely never spent an evening in bed eating Garibaldi biscuits. Ever. Ever. Oh ok, there was this one time…

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A gallery of Hilda images can be found here: http://www.toilgirls.com/hilda/gallery.html

It is with a crumb- laden bed I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only A style icon but I like it…

Style icon: Jean Shrimpton.

I have a link to Jean. A tiny link. In fact it’s not even my link but my Mum’s. Meet my Mum – Andy. She’s quite a babe these days and, as this photo from about 1969 shows, she was quite a babe in the 60s too!
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My Mum worked in a local bank in a very rural part of Mid Wales for a few years before she went to College. It so happened that Jean Shrimpton had a holiday cottage nearby and she came into the bank one day to open an account. My Mum happened to be free and so she helped out and took Jean through all the paperwork. Later, Mum’s colleagues wouldn’t believe her when she told them who’d just visited. Like I said, it is a very rural part of Wales and we don’t get many interesting visitors!

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A few weeks later Mum went to the cinema and saw Jean there, she remembered her and said hello and the next time she was in the bank she asked mum if she’d enjoyed the film. I love this story. It’s always pleasant when you meet a celeb and they take the time to make conversation with you.
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Jean Shrimpton is one of the key figures of ‘Swinging London’ and is often cited as one of the world’s first supermodels. She started modelling at 17 and was soon dubbed ‘The Face’, one of the highest paid models of the time and Glamour magazine named her ‘Model of the Year’ in 1963.
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She was involved In promoting the miniskirt and caused a stir when she stepped off a plane in Melbourne wearing a dress that stopped 10cm above her knees! No hat, no gloves and wearing a man’s watch too. I say!
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She dated photographer David Bailey for several years, in fact he left his first wife to be with Jean. They were engaged and she has stated that she owes her career to Bailey. It was a mutually beneficial working relationship as many of Bailey’s early photos of Jean were well received, helping further his career.
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So, why style icon? Well, she has pretty amazing eyes and it cannot be denied that the camera does love her. I must admit to being a sucker for the 60s styles she wears and the fact that she was definitely instrumental in the creation of the miniskirt is a pretty immense thing to have on your CV. I mean, seriously, what have you done with your life?! Also, those pins. I would kill for legs like that. Yes, she’s gamine (waiflike and boyish – I looked it up) and I guess she may have begun the fashion industries’ love of the boyish figure and subsequent media obsession with women’s weight. But that’s hardly her fault. And it’s changing. Ever so slowly, I believe it is changing.
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But most of all, she was nice to my Mum. I’d expect the same from any supermodel…

It is with an anecdote for the grandchildren I say:
It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a Bespoke Dress but I like it…

Today I met up with the lovely Ali from Shake your Tush ( https://www.facebook.com/shakeyourtush ) to discuss my dress!

We met in Ikea and I was able to hand over the lovely 70s duvet cover I bought off eBay. It was an amazing find as it’s never been used and the colours are as bright as the day it was made!

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 Here’s a blurry photo of me wrapped up in it, in case you’d forgotten!

i also handed over my candy striped sheet. Again, fab condition and just £2.50. I’d love a dress in that material! So perfect.

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We discussed the style of dress and Ali had brought several patterns with her to show me her ideas. She sent me away with a list of measurements and we agreed on a date of completion. Now I just have to wait patiently! I am told I’m a patient person although I feel this will definitely test that opinion!

It is with an impatient sideways glance I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a Bespoke Dress but I like it…

I have a dream people.

I’ve had it for some time. In fact ever since I saw this on Pinterest:

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A little bit of detective work took me to www.naughtyshorts.blogspot.co.uk. But Naughty Shorts hasn’t blogged in a couple of years so I’ve no idea if she’s still making her amazing dresses from old sheets!

I love these old sheet patterns, they remind me of the kind of bedding my Grandad had when I was little. I love the idea of having a bespoke dress made for me – especially one made from 70s bedding!

Now, somewhere along the line I have discovered a seamstress in my area. I’ve been following her for sometime on Facebook and I am confident she is the lady to realise my dream.

After a little bit of eBay searching I discovered a brand new, old, duvet cover in this amazing pink pattern. It cost me just 20 British Pounds and I cannot wait to have it transformed into some super chic summer wear! I was so excited when it arrived I may have stripped down to my undies and wrapped it around me. Please look away if you are of a nervous disposition!

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I promise selfies in my scanties will not be a regular feature on my blog, but I felt it illustrated just how excited I am about this project! I will keep you updated – I hope to meet mystery dress maker lady and handover the fabric soon. I will be documenting the process on here.

It is with an excited squeal I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Amy Laws but I like it…

I’m going to enjoy writing this post because it’s a chance to write in depth about a British dressmaker who I’ve mentioned before and I really believe in.

I discovered Amy Laws on folksy (https://folksy.com/shops/Onlyoneamylaws) , which as I’ve previously discussed is a great place to find independent makers of all kinds of amazing things. I noticed Amy’s Rockabilly Robin dress a couple of Autumns ago and immediately knew I had found my ‘Christmas Day Dress’! At £45 it was reasonable and after a few emails with Amy to query measurements I definitely felt like I wanted to take the gamble. I loved the style and shape and even more those chubby screen printed robins, settled snugly along the hem.

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I wore it that year for dinner with Dr P and again on Christmas Day with my family. I accessorised it with black tights and little black shrug.

Fast forward a year and my Mum announced a Christmas themed wedding on the 27th of December. I wondered if it was another chance to give Robin an outing. As part of the service I was singing with my favourite duet partner, my little cousin Molly. Normally we coordinate outfits when we sing together and when I described my dress she loved it and wondered whether it would be too cheesy to wear the same one? Amy was very helpful when I contacted her about making me a Rockabilly Robin for Molly. She asked for measurements, checked sleeve lengths and styles and shipped it off to Molly when it was done.

These are some photos from the day. I’ll be honest, I’m not one hundred percent happy with the way I put this outfit together. The length of the dress is a little shorter than I’d normally wear and I wish I’d worn thicker tights – I’m not a fan of how my legs look and a Welsh churchyard on the 27th of December is less than balmy! I’m wearing some black spotty Irregular Choice shoes but I’m not sure how well they come across either! I love the vintage fur stole and the vintage handbag – both bought at the Yellow Vintage Fair I went to just before Christmas. I think I match well with my sister MrsJMP which was more luck than judgement.

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I’m very happy with my hair which was styled by Phillippa Torrance (https://www.facebook.com/pages/PJ-2-CUT-mobile-hairdressing/177453405635996?fref=ts). If you’re in the Mid Wales area she is definitely the person to go to for cuts or styling. She’s winning awards left, right and centre, and I can see why. She had done her homework and knew what I wanted better than I did! I only wish I had some better photos of it!

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In terms of make up Mrs JMP helped me with foundation and eyeshadow and then I applied my favourite Besame Cherry lipstick. I find it the perfect shade for me.

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I thought, seeing as we were going all out on this Christmas theme, this might be the perfect moment for my Tatty Devine Holly necklace(www.tattydevine.com). I think it set off the whole ensemble quite nicely!

I think Amy did a great job and cousin Mol and I were very happy with our outfits. We sang Ho Hey by the Lumineers (in the style of Lennon and Maisy – check them out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkBJu5lUCuA.

Molly Polly

Amy has a whole range of dresses for adults and children in some beautiful designs. I am definitely thinking of treating myself to some more of her dresses for the spring. Can’t wait to see what she’s got planned to take us into the summer!

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Something for every season and every mood I think you’ll agree. Go and check her out and let me know if you make any purchases – I don’t about you, but I need those flamingos in my life!

It is with dress envy I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Lindy Bop (Megan) but I like it…

At risk of being a bore, I’m going to talk Lindy Bop again! Although I don’t find pretty dresses remotely boring and I suspect you don’t if you’re reading this!

The Megan dress (http://www.lindybop.co.uk/swing-jive-dresses-c3/megan-flirtatiously-fun-50s-vintage-inspired-pleated-bust-polka-party-dress-p633) in green is the third and final of my Christmas dresses from Dr P. It’s possibly the least dressy of the three – I can see myself wearing this to wander into town for instance, which I may not whilst wearing the other two. We had a little jaunt out to the park to take the photos for this one and I think you’ll agree that Dr P excelled himself.

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I love the shaping on the bodice of this dress. It’s a nice snug fit with a bit of stretch to the fabric. The shaping over the bust is lovely and it did sit where it was meant to even though I’m on the busty side!

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The dress is not lined and I’m going to try it next time with a fluffy petticoat. Who doesn’t love polka dots if we’re honest? The skirt is nice and full and hangs beautifully.

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I teamed it up with a red stretchy belt and my Irregular Choice Green Trinkletina shoes. Low heel of course!

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These have a clear blue acrylic heel and contrasting fabric with a big green bow. I love them!

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I was also wearing a red perspex ring. It’s in the style of Tatty Devine but I think it was from Dorothy Perkins.

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As usual, I applied a slick of Besame Cherry red lipstick and my tortoiseshell Peggy specs from Retro Peepers. These catch the light and look stunning! The dress doesn’t reveal much cleavage so I went sans necklace, although I can see a nice string of pearls at the neck might be perfect.

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I like this dress a lot and it’s an easy one to wear. I can see me getting a lot of use out of it – hopefully when the weather’s a bit warmer! I think the green is a good match with my hair colour and I like the bodice detailing combined with the patterned skirt.

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All in all, it’s three thumbs up from me Lindy Bop!

*All views expressed are my own and I paid for these items!*

It is with a sepia smile I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!