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Friday, May 13, 2011

frills and spills

finally I was able to make some lingerie after being loaned a working sewing machine..thankyou Anna:)
they are all made from vintage fabrics and to vintage designs my favourites are the sheer hotpants made from the cut off from a vintage maxi dress (I wore the shortened version to a wedding)..I love making these adding lace gives me a thrill!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

one shoulder dress

I made this from a long vintage berketx dress ..I should have taken a before picture but had a collar and buttons and a belt and now it is a clingy(I made it too small for me again!) one shoulder number.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


The lady who sent me the vintage vespa top  emailed me yesterday with  the full story  of the top..she had said to me if only the top could talk..and I emailed back..intriguing!
Well the story is she lived in Kenya when she was 17 and met as she said..a glorious! young man fresh out of the RAF and wanting to live in Kenya he was 19 and Christine rode pillion on his vespa so he bought her the top to kep her warm....their romance began... but it  was deemed inappropriate and she was sent back to England to live with aunts..two years later she was sent to Nairobi..but the glorious man could not get over to her and she never saw hm she put the top away and din't take it out until 50 years later.  Now I have it..what a responsibility!
After receiving this email I feel as though I want to know about Christines what happened next?..but I doubt I will hear from her again..they are strange emails to appear in you ebay account


Here are my new pants..the best I have ever owned so comfy I may wear them at the swimming pool today.  I have a vintage bikin pattern winging its way to me so I might quickly make up a top  to go! but I like it mismatched with this 80's bikin halter.  They were made from this 60's shorts pattern using just two pieces (view c)...I left off the waistband and missed out the zipper so I had to use stretchy fabric from a vintage dress, the pattern is an 8 as I am a 10(uk) I needed the leverage of stretchy! They have six darts (four in the back) so they have a cute rounded feel in the bottom.

Monday, April 18, 2011

skater skirt

Here's my 70's skirt turns out its bigger than I thought and fits me worn with a granny cardi..tied in a knot as always for me:)

The Mystique of gardening

Why do chickens destroy my seedlings?
why do does my cat pooh in the veg plot?
Why do I not have a lawn mower and therefore use 'scissors to cut my grass'( no wander I never have spare time, this is definitely a fourth bridge scenario!
Why do my carrots always 'grow' small
Why does my apple tree (full of beautiful blosssom) bear no fruit?
Why has my lavender died?
Why does my honeysuckle have no perfume?
but I do grow perfect radishes:)

Belt sandals

How cool are these..uncomfortable impractical maybe..but my son has struck again with a fashion quirk..made be think about using belts to try and make a pair of sandals I have no idea how yet, maybe using the sole of an old pair.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

clothes sale

this weekend the annual save the children clothes sale in my town took place.fill a large bin liner for £10 it was real fun!! never done anything like this before where you just grab things and hope for the best! We had to que with a paid for bin liner and then the grabbing began....My daughter it turned out had the best eye for what to grab and she managed to find 70's nightgowns and vintage dresses I had to stuff in things my son gave to me so as not to hurt his feelings (and avert a meltdown!) ..I found vintage footglove sandals and overtop the belts!...and one of my favourite things vintage coathangers..I just love them!!... I never hang my clothes up....havn't got the time it takes to put things on hangers:)..but I love the quilty bit on the hangers reminds me of old dressing gowns.which I find freaky!!..I kind of like things that freak me out..the edge of drama. I have never liked dressing gowns per se, seems like something that encourages lounging around and excess time on your hands..which maybe I had prior to children but it's a distant memory now!!
they also remind me of my mother...(good job she will never read this she hasn't mastered the net apart from to trace family history archives) ..I remember her puffed up eyes and wild hair in the mornings, then she would put on a pink fluffy dressing gown that buttoned right up to the neck and drink weak coffee.  I would sit eating my ready break unrecognisable as anything aside  from a bowl of melting sugar, (which I always made for myself) hoping she was in a good mood to start the day (rarely).
The  dressing gown would make a  reappearance after her nightly bath ( a habit I too indulge in) she sat with a book on our very prickly sofa and sometimes she would massage my of my happy memories of her..I struggle to find these moments in my memory...mostly I remember being scared of her and not liking her..she scowled a lot...I secretly called her The Ogre....she didn't like me..she said I confused her because I was too intelligent and it made her feel she thinks I have wasted my life because I did not become a career woman!..(her dream for me)..she still has the same style of dressing, gown having gone through a towelling bath robe phase and reverted back to buttoned up comfort.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The full moon is approaching..I can feel that my emotions become fuller, more complex, needing an exorcism.  I am a moon child..having the moon in cancer..the natural mother placing...My children both have cancer sun and cancer ascendent we are taken to the brink once a month..more tears than usual (not mine I save those for sad films) and heightened frantic energy! I notice also we all need more sleep, heavy sleep and heavy son just dreamed a lady with magical eyes made him faint.
I dream about travel ..almost always....sometimes not having a ticket or missing the bus/plane/train or just being late for the journey..or if I manage to catch the ride its usally going the wrong way or the ride is full and cramped..sometimes I just make it by the skin of my teeth but it never leaves me feeling content or relieved.  The latest dream was  a huge liner sinking!..except for the dream where I was going to war and so had to half an advocado  take out the nut and wear them as shoes to protect myself form ammunition!!
My favoutite dreams are flying dreams experiencing the bodies weightlessness is amazing acrobatics in the air  deft landings, and being able keep to a good height..they are rare but very special when they occur.  I can astral fly but have not done so for a long.  The last time being I was sharing a bed with a friend when a guide/spirit came into the room as a silver ball turning into human form he helped us both to leave our bodies and we all three flew around york where I was living at the time, keeping quite close to the ground in flight.  When we arrived back we sat in bed speechless..for a long time...
My brother who is completely not into anything spiritual or out of this world can astral an expert...we lived a distance away from each other for about 10 years and in this time he often took me to places/countries..particularly the East.  I didn't recall any of the journeys..not once...but I know they happened..he just has such a down to earth persona he could never make this up and for evidence he described my bedroom perfectly and what a trouble it was to get me to leave my body.
The first time I  did remember flying ..I had just moved into a house with a boyfriend we were checking out the area the next day and went into the local library I picked up some magazines and remembered that I had been there during the night reading those very same mags  I was able to say what was in them and I knew my way around the boyfriend was totaly unimpressed not believing in that 'kind of thing'.
It's 3.30 am now.. I'm going to try for a dream!


skin peeled
pulsed blood
do you think I should ?

What would happen if I did?
In a blood pool
reminded I'm a fool

vespa top

Well here is the original 60's vespa top (left) and my version (stayed up most of the night making it)...The original is  made from a stretchy nylon fabric in a much nicer colour than this photo indicates, my version is made from a knitted fabric with a fair isle stripe.  The long funnel neck pulls up as a hood which is so snug! and it has 3/4 length sleeves which for me is the prefect length! I love this top! and so simple to make I think it might be nice batwinged too!!or without the neck/hood, though for me that is the beauty in this garment.  The owner of the original emailed me today to say "if only the top could talk"...ooh la la!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How to wear pants with style

I was dancing with my son to Noah and the Whale..his favourite...when he stripped off clothing and then re dressed with his pants as a one shoulder top..I havn't tried my pants like this yet, but I am completely inspired!!..he put his t shirt on as a loin cloth..which again looked fantastic..he has such an incredible imagination both my children seem to have fashion in their blood..can't think why!!
I have never been a follower of fashion always a vintage girl scarred by the horrible outfits my mother used to make me wear, I resisted any fashion item that was popular! I had an emerald green straw hat with a very large brim which I lived underneath when I was in my twenties. of all my items from the past I think this hat sums me up most.  I could be mysterious in its depths but still be noticed in a quite shocking way..thats me..sadly it has left my life now, but i have a new hat winging its way to me!!
I actualy don't buy that many clothes for myself but yesterday I added a mod top  to my collection of vintage the funnel neck pulls up as a hood ( a most inventive item).  It was unworn the story goes..the lady had been bought it by her boyfriend when she used to ride pillion on his vespa..I loved this...I used to ride around on my uncles when I was a girl I was never scared just exhilarated!!. He was so cool.. he was an artist who painted and decorated to survive  He saw humour in everything and cartooned his way trhough life.  He swaped his motorbike for a bicycle then got arthritis in his knees from  and swapped his bike for a wheelchair.  He was my favourite uncle and I love to picture his wicked smile and crinkly eyes

Saturday, April 9, 2011


What a great feeling to sell clothes that you made yourself..........
StellaMay was my grandmothers name she was the first person to introduce me to vintage she was quite large so her handmedowns hung on me but I loved them anyway! She gave  me a pair of lemon french knickers which I altered to fit.. I miss them now.. thrown away in a fit of minimalism fever..  lovely 40's suits  I wore just the jackets cinched in at the waist with belts.  She also had a fox stole which lived with me for a while but I was a bit creeped out so returned it to her huge ornate, musty wardrobe.  I loved her bedroom.  I had a key to her house as they spent a long time away each year. The smell of the house is the thing I can recall most, I guess its the first imprint you get when stepping it stays..I used to beeline for her room.  They had three bedrooms two of which they (grandad) had shifting sleep routines between, a plain functional room and then the more ornate version.  I loved the latter this is where she kept her treasures an ottoman full of textile treasures! and jewelry boxes with spooky chimes that revealed endless brooches mostly purchased from Woolco.  Her bed was giant sized, difficult to climb onto and scarily high when on.
I loved the illuminous nylon bedspread...still do!  In that room my senses were on edge maybe I felt I shouldn't have been in there prying but I was too fascinated to respect any privacy issues, or maybe it was the fox in the cupboard!..I knew it was there..lurking!
There was a small room with a single bed which I slept in only once, and once too often! it did not engender feelings of comfort.  It was a room that by daylight was to be avoided as far as I was concerned and when I went upstairs I always grabbed the door of it quickly and closed of the emanations from within.. swiftly!
I did eventually inherit my grandmothers bedroom furniture a piece of which I still have..which I shabby chiced (is that a word).
I wasn't particularly close to my grandmother.  She was a staunch Yorkshire woman.  She had a fierce look. heavy eyebrows (sometimes I see her in dreams and this look has become more accentuated in them than I remember her being) She always wore oversized home knitted cardigans and would sit crocheting intricate  table clothes for hours..this was her passion..(the one that she revealed to the outside world anyway).. My mother adores her crochet left behinds.  Meals at her house were fried eggs with chips and pickled red cabbage followed by a fairy cake.(we call them buns in yorkshire) always. She wore an apron in the kitchen..nylon of course with buttons up the front the full dress kind...She didn't say much to me unless I asked about past times and then she would tell me the same stories of her youth over and over.  The time she escaped out of her bedroom window after being grounded, the time she ran away to the mills, and the time she was a stowaway..embellished maybe..fascinating absolutely!
I think she might have kept people at a distance, although she was popular in a way because of her reliability, her steadfastness, and perhaps because of her commanding size a sort of protective aura hung around her.  I never witnessed her anger but I heard tales of it.
She never opened the presents I gave her at christmas she would just put them in a draw..unopened...which was always sad, I didn't get to see any faked surprise and happiness which you kind of expect as a child (although you don't know it's faked)
Her emotions were tightly clamped down, perhaps not even felt that keenly to her.  She was a complicated, uncomplicated woman..I threw a red rose into her coffin which she has reminded me of since.

vintage sale

I have my first vintage fair sale today..with things that I have collected and made in vintage styles..I should be sewing now studs..stopping for a hot chocolate break and to update my secret diary!!
sewing fables
grandmothers wisdom
knitting patterns discarded
new wool carded
pinking sheers at the ready
vintage panda a wannabe teddy!
My stall is set
inside on a sunny day!!

Monday, April 4, 2011


I have the first sale of my vintage and  handmade vintage style clothing this weekend my StellaMay labels arrived yesterday and i sewed the first one into a piece of clothing...birth...
I do not feel ready for the outing, as I do not feel it is it time for my son to go to school but I believe that lifes timescale has little to  do with human intervention and everything to do with cosmic intervention!
especially when one opens oneself up to being guided and stops trying to be in charge.  My son enjoyed school after many tears ..I refused to take him I have never left my children  crying and walked away,  it isn't posssible for me to do that, i would have camped out in the playground or whisked him away.  I have a home educaton nature but I see many flaws with this, having home educated my daughter for 2 years.  for us it became a constant pursuit for social opportunities and very little rhythm.  I believe that children should have their parents close by but being with them constantly is way too intense.  For this reaason I think community living in a shared space is the answer where children can interact with all age groups in a safe secure environment.....maybe oneday!! for now I have to watch my little boy become the property of the state! a friend reminded me today we always have choices, it's just that sometimes it doesn't feel like it. Whether one is making the right descisions is the hardest thing to come to terms!

Sunday, April 3, 2011


in and out of the pages
sensoring my rages
peace runs dry
collecting  petals in drifts
some would say...
what is the end?
how did it begin?
scooping up leaf mould
its like this....
or so I am told
throw into the air the matter that I have
watch it land in patterns
catching breath on its way down
close the book
and do not peep
clearing the gate post
counting sheep

Saturday, April 2, 2011

very early mornings

I have been getting up at ridiculous hours in the morning.. the kind of times I used to go to bed..pre children.  It started at around 5am but I seem to be knocking off an hour each night so I arose at 2am today.
I kind of hope no one reads this blog it feels like a diary and hence i would like to put private thoughts into it....I could write a diary instead.. I tried that for a couple of years and wrote daily short poems in a Wemoon diary which is full of beautiful art work and spirtual musings..I never get around to getting one on time, and it doesnt seem to make much sense starting one now.
A wedding dress arrived today from ebay a 60's vintage fur collar thing! kind of nice, kind of scarey! I will use it in some photo shots..not sure how yet...maybe laid out like a corpse (i'm so not romantic!!)
I did used to dream of marriage once..  back as a little girl....I even designed my own wedding dress age(10ish) as a dark green velvet flowing sleeved number.the frothy white of those times appalled me!! now I find myself interested in making wedding dresses from vintage patterns (of course) but the whole idea of this confuses me because of my own feelings towards marriage...I just don't get the point.. the excess of weddings is vulgar when so much of the world is in poverty..and yet 'The Dress'..think thats what I'll call my photo shoot... looms in my consciousness

The Dress
sequined disaster that you are
hold me together for the day
primped and preened
already primed
me is slipping away

I might extend this on flickr

When I was a young girl I dreamt of security and resposibility I used to walk to school and pretend to hold my own childrens hands as I crossed roads I imagined decorating their bedrooms  children co sleep with us!!.... I imagined loving to decorate my daughters long brown hair...My daughter has long blonde hair and I have little to no interest in decorating it!!she and I have taken to plaiting our hair at night  to have our preraphelite days! waves are in in our house..reminding me of crimping with tongs when I didn't care about the condition of my hair..and all those crazy colour dyes..I was never an au natural and bleached were definitely my favoured hair colours! after a decade of naturalness I have sought out the dye again!! almost black and am loving it... being natural is definitely only live once...well many many times actualy..but thats another post.  I went to a jumble sale today and found some 60's makeup, lipstick made from pure whale fat, a manicure set..I never manicure (too much soil under my nails) and false eyelashes with a very dodgy looking tube of glue that I know I will not be able to resist using! even though commonsense yells out red swollen eyes are not a good look!
ooh!..its Mother Day..just remembered..I forgot to send a card to my own mother it confuses me being a mother I misplace that I have one too..we are not the best of friends..sending cards is not on my list of priorities in fact I would like to start an anti card sending campaign...right here!!...the amount of guilt one has to feel when you forget  a birthday or worse still 'Mothers Day' is uncalled for.
I should have remembered my son gave me his card early... four tissue paper petals hurriedly glued so that he could run off to stroke a sheep...he starts school on Monday neither he nor I want this to happen
he is in my opinion still my baby!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


found the purse..of course always happens after going to the trouble of changing all the cards.  Loving life without a car it is amazing how generous and obliging people are with giving lifts and sharing their journeys, and my sons love of walking has become a real joy , previous to the demise of the car  he had to  be heavily cajoled into going anywhere on foot, and I get to have exercise which is virtually impossible to fit into my family life normally.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The lost week

This week I lost my beautiful vintage makeup bag that I use as a purse plus all its contents, cards, vital phone numbers, my endless list  of dental apointments.  Then  Bella my beautiful car broke down en route, it is unfixable and so  I am for the unseeable future without a car, My son and I have walked everywhere we can think of within our local and enjoyed learning numbers (he's 4) from gate whilst we cannot go far afield we have discovered doorstep pleasures and that we both love freely mooching together. Alas My sewing machine broke too..I spend endless amounts of time experimenting with different approaches to repairing it, the thing that seems to work best is leaving it alone and letting it rest (its old) it then has a flurry of excitement before it pegs it again. I have wanted to throw it out of the window several times this week but in its little unpredictable way it is becoming a passion for recreating vintage dresses cannot be stemmed only hemmed!
thus far I have made peasant skirts form an old valance, duffle bags from pillow cases and a lovely number in seersucker
The delights of a jumble sale await me on saturday......heaven.... in the lost week

Monday, February 28, 2011

Duffle bags

inspired by a jumble sale find of a nautical themed duffle bag..I have been making a few out of vintage curtains with rope handles