Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Vintage gloves and a free pattern

In the past few weeks I have read a couple of great posts on vintage gloves. Jessica at Chronically Vintage is a frequent glove wearer, matching them with her fantastic outfits and looking super stylish. She wrote this fab post on the etiquette of glove wearing which is really useful if you want to find out more about the types of gloves that go with different outfits. Then over at Retro Rover Kate wrote a lovely post about the changes in gloves from the 1920's onwards, illustrated with some pictures of her own glove collection and marvellous outfits. 


I really enjoy looking at the different ways in which people accessorise their outfits and I always think that gloves make an outfit look incredibly elegant. I don't wear them myself as I have never found any that fit my man hands! 


Gloves can be made from many materials: leather, suede, fur, felt, tweed, wool and cotton. They can be stitched from fabric or knitted or crocheted. Unsurprisingly, in my small (ahem!) pattern collection I do have some for vintage gloves and I was motivated to seek them out after looking at the gloves of Jessica and Kate. I thought you might like to see them.



This 1940's pair are so fine and fancy! I like the frilly cuffs. I think they might count as occasion wear. Also, look at that hat and dress! I love this outfit!



This 1940's pair are similar but a little more sturdy, perhaps more for every day wear. I like the longer length cuffs. I wish we could see a little more of what looks like a potentially marvellous hairstyle!


I think this monochrome pair are pretty amazing, it looks so effective. Whilst this colour combination is probably the most practical in that it would go with anything, you could make them in many colour combinations to match specific outfits. Nice cuffs again!
I love the delicate lace pattern of crosses on this pretty 1950's pair. They really are elegant. Nice hat too! If you are doing an outfit post with gloves you need to make sure that you copy this pose!


Back to the 1940's with these lovely lace gloves, another gorgeous stitch pattern and great hair.



These gloves are knitted. I like the relatively plain fingers with the lace pattern backs. Looking at these patterns provides lots of outfit inspiration and styling ideas. Some great poses and props too, find yourself an old telephone quickly!


Are you inspired to add a pair of vintage gloves to your outfit? I am sharing a pattern here so that you can make yourself a pair if you don't have any. I am sharing the patterns illustrated in the last two images so that you can choose between knitting and crochet. If you make any I would love to see them.





Tuesday, 21 April 2015

A many cabled cardigan

I had been hankering after a cabled cardigan for a good while and after perusing my vintage pattern stash I decided upon this pattern. It has lots of cabling for interest, is a good shape and length and it has a Peter Pan collar which is always a winner. I bought some lovely green Sublime Cashmerino with silk and got knitting. I have been wearing it regularly for a while and it is as comfy, cosy and warm as I hoped for. Somehow I hadn't written a post about it so I decided to remedy that right now!
This is a close up of the sleeve. The cables were lots of fun to knit. I remember being kind of scared of the idea of cables before I first tried knitting them but now I have no idea why that was as I love them!
It took a while to decide on the buttons, mainly because I was doubting my judgement at pairing pink plastic buttons with a green cardi. After checking with a friend I went with my gut feeling. I love these vintage buttons, they look like little jelly moulds and the flecks of green around the edges are exactly the right match!
The collar was interesting to knit with lots of shaping to get it to curve correctly and a border which is knitted on afterwards. I was after a casual 1950's look that day so a quiff and a pony tail were perfect.
Back view of the lovely cables and collar. Look at the colours of all those shelves of woolly goodness!
I like the fact that the cables continue all the way down and around the sleeves.
Having knitted this cardi I have found that it has given me more outfit choices. I planned to just wear it over dresses but found a couple of skirts that I really like it with too. This one looks like silk but isn't and I really like the green with the berry colour of the skirt. Plus - polka dots!
The other great thing about this skirt is that it has a lot of swish.
See! Swish, swish swish! Endless fun. Thanks to Helen for taking the photos and to Ribbon Circus for the pretty backdrop.  

Cardigan - hand knitted by me.

Skirt - modern Monsoon, £5 from a charity shop!

Shoes - Clarks ages and ages ago.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

If I could wear doll's clothes

I didn't mean to disappear for a whole month! I have been having the most frustrating laptop and Blogger issues and have been going round in slow, tedious circles trying to write my blog posts. I think and hope I have a solution and can now get back to writing posts again! 


If I could wear doll's clothes I know exactly what I would be wearing. I was flicking through the new Butterick patterns catalogue yesterday and found these:
Butterick have reproduced some of their vintage sewing patterns for doll's clothes. If these were in your doll's wardrobe she would be the best dressed ever! The designs are from 1946, 1954 and 1956 and there are some fabulous outfits that I would be very happy to wear myself.
Let us take a closer look.
The 1946 page of designs is my least favourite but I am very taken by this Little Red Riding Hood Cape and bonnet. I would happily skip about the nearest forest wearing this. Wolves? Pah!
If I got sick of my red cloak I would replace it with this gorgeous blue coat and bonnet set from 1954. The coat has a great swing shape and has pockets which is always a winner.
Also from 1954 is my favourite casual outfit, perfect for a teenage doll. Turned up high waisted jeans, checked shirt and matching shoes and hair bow. This is great inspiration for a casual '50's look.
From 1956 we have another fabulous casual outfit. I like the bows gathering the bottom of the Breton top and the matching capris. Nice shoes too.
This drop waist polka dot dress is lots of fun, I can imagine that skirt rustling with lots of petticoats. The matching sun hat is an added bonus.
We only get to see a glimpse of this red dress but it looks like it is decorated with floral braid which would be ever so pretty and a perfect diy if you own a red dress you are a bit bored of. The white coat could be quilted which would be marvellous and the matching bonnet is very cute.
You have to love a playsuit, especially a gingham one. The puffy shorts are pretty puffy but at least you have room to eat a big dinner!
This nightdress has a matching pair of puffy shorts. It makes me think of the sleepover scene in Grease which makes me want it all the more.
I wish we could see this gingham dress. I do like the co-ordinating trim on the hood of the swing coat.
This dress is adorable. Monochrome daisies trimmed with red ric rac and a red bow around the waist. A perfect daytime look.

I would definitely pair it with this red coat with the matching trim on the collar and the cuffs. I am coverting the top clasp structured bag too.

So, if I could indeed wear doll's clothes these are the outfits that you would find in my wardrobe. How about you?


Saturday, 21 February 2015

Snood day

I am going to start with a confession. I really should have washed my hair this morning. In fact, I really should have washed my hair yesterday morning. But on both occasions staying in bed that bit longer and not having to fight with the hair dryer won out. I know that washing and drying your hair isn't really that much of an effort in the great scheme of things but some days, actually, it just is. My usual dirty hair day style is a quiff and a pony tail, I get a great 50's look and it holds better if your hair isn't freshly washed. By dirty hair, I do mean three or four days, not weeks and weeks on end However, this morning I wanted a change so I had a little think.....

and I realised - snood day! The perfect solution to a less than perfect hair day! I intend to learn to crochet so that I can make my own snoods but to tide me over until that day I have a couple that I bought from a seller on Ebay. This one is emerald green. Please excuse the not great photo quality, they are all taken on my camera phone as I didn't have my camera to hand.

Such a quick and easy solution - a bit of rolling at the front, a few kirby grips, tuck the rest into the snood, a few more kirby grips and done!  So, snoods - the way forward for those who want those extra precious minutes asleep!

Look at all that beautiful woolly goodness and gorgeous ribbon behind me. Thank you Ribbon Circus, purveyors of the finest haberdashery!

I paired my snood with my dark teal velvet dress (I love a velvet dress) and purple cardigan, grey tights and purple shoes.

These are the shoes that I wore on my wedding day so they have very happy memories in every step!

Monday, 2 February 2015

January knitteds

I am loving my knitting at the moment. Absolutely, totally love love loving it. I would be knitting all the time if I could and if it didn't make my shoulder hurt - (extreme knitting injury there)! I always love knitting but there is something about the cardigan that I am knitting at the moment that is making it even better. So I thought that I would share a sneak peak of my progress so far.

This yarn is a beauty to knit with. It is Sublime extra fine merino with silk double knit in teal. It is so soft and has great stitch definition. For someone who loves knitting it is a shame that I struggle to wear wool as it itches me like mad. I turn into a crazed woman screaming 'get it off me NOW' as I contort and writhe to get the offending garment away from me as fast as possible. As this yarn is a) merino and b) has added silk, I can wear it as long as it is not directly next to my skin.

My parents and my sister between them bought me a garment's worth pile of this yarn for Christmas and I knew exactly what I was going to make with it.

It isn't this cardigan! Not that it isn't a lovely cardi but it is not the one. But it is from this issue of Stitchcraft. I started it on New Year's Eve - so only 62 years after it was published! I rather like that, I wonder how many people in 1952 cast on this cardigan.

'To complete her skating outfit, Joan wears an amusing cap and mitts set'!

This is the one! I just fell for it! A perfect short length and fitted shape and that completely amazing stitch pattern. The magazine refers to the stitch pattern as 'chunky blisters' which is possibly the most hideous description of the most beautiful pattern that someone could come up with. I am referring to them as foxglove flower bells as that is what they look like to me.

This is a close up of the stitch pattern patted flat but it is far nicer raised which is how it knits up.

Drum roll............

This is the back of my cardigan, hot off the needles! This is the first time I have knitted a stitch pattern like this so I am very proud of it.

I do like a nice bit of rib! The colour is more like the top photo that this one.

For those of you who have knitted from vintage patterns before you will be well aware that the instructions are often not as full or as clear as they might be or assume a certain level of knowledge. This one is not so bad though there have been a few places where I have had to scratch my head and go 'eh? you what?' a bit whilst I worked it out. Plus a few rows of unknitting when my interpretation turned out to be not quite right! But that is all part of the excitement.

The back and both fronts are complete and I started the first sleeve yesterday. So it is coming on. I just can't wait to wear it! I am planning the outfits that I can make with it. As the magazine styled it with an amusing cap and mitts set perhaps I need to find myself one of those!

This is the back cover of this issue of Stitchcraft. It is such a pretty children's set. There is a bit of snow on the hills around here so it is quite fitting too!

Monday, 26 January 2015

Thank you Secret Santa

I am a bit tardy with this one but better late then never! I kept forgetting that if you don't take photos in the morning at present then it is too dark by the time you remember later in the day. Add to that some very grey rainy days with no decent light at all and you get to this point - a late thank you.

Towards the end of last year Jessica from the marvellous blog Chronically Vintage had the genius idea to organise a vintage themed Secret Santa. It must have been a feat of organising to pull off but she did it and everyone who wished to participate was both given a Secret Santa and became one. People could give links to any social media sites that they are active on and write a short profile about themselves to help generate present ideas. I really enjoyed shopping for the presents to send to the person that I was allocated and I was very excited indeed when a parcel for me arrived in the post.

It was beautifully wrapped and was this is what was inside:

Such a pretty, sparkly brooch. A bunch of flowers tied with a bow. As I wear a brooch everyday I am always really pleased to add to my collection and it will go with everything.

Carefully sandwiched between two thick pieces of cardboard were these two knitting pull out booklets from some 1950's Women's Illustrated magazines. I thought it would be nice to have a further look at some of the great patterns that they contain. So much possible future knitting goodness!

A slim fitting jumper with a pretty beaded neckline.

A high necked jumper with unusual bands of cables up the sides.

A twinset with bands of mock smocking. I really like it when patterns tell you which colours were used originally and this one also gives us an idea of how much making the items would cost.

An amazing spotty jacket which looks like it might be a pain to knit - but worth it!

A ribbed dress with a large collar and elbow length sleeves.

This is a pretty, fitted jumper with its yoke detail and unusual collar.

A lace pattern fitted V neck jumper.

Another lovely twinset with a stitch pattern that looks like peacock feathers. This is gorgeous.

A very jolly stripy cardigan. I like the variation in the width of the stripes.

So thank you very much to my Secret Santa for such a fabulous present.