Thrifty August

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I can’t believe the month is almost over, time really is just slipping away from me at the moment! Anyway I thought I’d add a new feature to the blog to share all my bargain buys over the past month. Times are tight for a lot of us at the moment, but I don’t think that has to mean we can’t have nice things, just that we have to try to be a bit smarter about where we find them.

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(Yes another terrible selfie! I need to buy a proper tripod!) This skirt is from a car-boot and it was new with tags for 50p, there’s a nice man there every week who sells old dead stock, it’s pretty hit or miss, but I did get a really jazzy 80s cardi off him a few months ago, so it’s always worth having a rummage to see what he’s got. The elastic is totally dried out, so I put it away to be fixed at a later date, but when I got this top in the H&M sale for £2 (plus a £5 off voucher) I knew it would be the perfect match and with a belt the skirt stayed up fine (I’m still going to fix it though!).

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I love it when I find hand knit clothes for the girls, they wash and wear really well and you can tell that so much effort has gone into making them. I bought this bright yellow vest for Rosie for £1.50 from our local salvation army charity shop, they had loads but this was the only one which fit her, it’s perfect for layering when the weather turns cold. I also couldn’t resist this 80’s giant snakes and ladders board game for £1.50 (pictured above), the box is just to funny.

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These wedge boots are from the Simply Be sale for £14 reduced from £35,  unfortunately I’m not great with taking care of shoes especially suede type ones so I can’t see them lasting more than one winter.

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Lastly this isn’t really a thrifty find, but I enter a few give-a-ways each month and I finally won one!! This gorgeous goody bag arrived yesterday from Penni at Sew Smitten. I’ve been following her brand on Facebook for a while and love seeing all the things her and her partner (who I went to uni with!) make, now I own some!! It’s well worth checking out, the screen printed teas towels are amazing!

Friday Favourites

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I bought my Colette Hawthorn pattern last week and have almost finished making view A (the blouse) and will hopefully be ready to share it tomorrow. But now I’ve fallen in love with yet another shirt-dress pattern! This new 1940’s Burda Style shirt-dress is a little more classic than the hawthorn, I’m going to try and get a copy of the magazine as the print at home patterns can be such a hassle (and a nightmare waste of printer ink!). I could only find the plus size pattern which is for size 16+ so perfect for me, but they do have some other regular sized shirt-dress patterns.

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1. I’ve be avidly watching ‘The White Queen’ every week and even though I know how it’s going to end, it’s been really fun to see Philippa Gregory’s spin on it. I haven’t read the book, in fact I haven’t read any of her books, I really want to now though especially after watching the brilliant documentary she made to go along with the show.

2. I’ve loved 4OD since it was launched a few years ago, it’s such a great way to catch up on shows I missed the first time around either because I was to young or working. Recently I’ve watched all of ‘Bob and Margaret‘ a really nostalgic and funny cartoon made in the late 90’s, it’s made me long for simpler times before the smart phone!

3. I have a total girl crush on Lucy Worsley so can’t wait to watch her new programme starting next week all about the royal bed chamber, she really knows how to make history come alive!

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I got these cute vintage postcards off of eBay this week, I think they’ll look great in the girls bedroom along with all the needlework pictures I’m working on. The top one is postmarked from 1930 and I love the simple valentine message on the back, how lovely is the joined up handwriting! The second arrived this morning and the image is copyrighted to 1908, but the postcard is probably later sadly its unused but I just love the diving girl. They were both really cheap costing under £2 each including postage, eBay is literally packed full of them, below are a few of my favourites.

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Vintage Pound Store @ The East End Thrift Store

Vintage Pound Store @ The East End Thrift Store

Today I went to the ‘Vintage Pound Store’ at the ‘East End Thrift Store’ near Whitechaple, they basically had a room full of vintage clothes all priced at a £1! I’ve been wanting to go to one of these fill a bag type sales for a while, but was worried it wouldn’t really be my type of thing and I’d end up paying for a half empty bag! So this seemed like the perfect opportunity to dip my foot into the messy mass vintage sale world as I only had to pay for what I wanted!

It was mostly 80’s/90’s so a lot of denim and crazy ugly fleece jackets! But there was definitely some treasures hidden among the mess and some real bargains, where else can you buy a fake fur coat for a £1?? I couldn’t find one the right size or without crazy yellow stains in the armpits so gave them a miss this time round, but will be on the look out for one at the next £1 sale. It was really busy and even though I got there half an hour early I had to queue for over an hour to get in and since they clearly weren’t restocking I can’t help wondering what amazing things I missed out on! Anyway I spent £10 using the philosophy that if I liked it even a little bit it was probably worth getting for a £1 rather than regretting it later! Here are my bargain buys:

blue dressHandmade 70’s Dress –
The lining is in a really bad condition and the zipper is a bit of mess so I’ll probably refashion this into something completely different.

blue skirt80’s knitted skirt –
This is too small for me, so I thought I’d try and felt it or just make it smaller for one the girls.

IMG_196070s/80s – shirt-dress –
The lining on this is a really horrible cheap polyester so I’m gonna take it out and then probably just leave it and wear it with a belt.
IMG_1970Polka-dot dress-
I’m having trouble dating this one, but I think it’s probably 80’s does 40’s, the shape on it is amazing but it’s absolutely filthy! There are loads of amazing online tutorials about cleaning vintage clothes so hopefully I can get the stains out!

IMG_197570’s Tartan Dress –
This is in really bad condition, the buttons are missing, the seams are ripped and the cuffs are a mess. It looks alright on with a belt, so I’ll probably repair rather than refashion.

IMG_1988Crochet cardigan –
This is great as is, so I’ll be wearing it a lot over the summer.

IMG_1990Jumpsuit (I totally thought it was a dress until I got home!) –
This was definitely an impulse purchase! it’s huge and quite clown like with the over-sized collar!

knitted skirtKnitted skirt –
This fits fine so I’ll just stash it away for winter.

pink dress70’s Pink Dress –
I managed to date this one from the label (thank you google! lol) It’s great as is but a little small for me, I’m gonna keep though as I usually a few pounds over summer.

pink wool skirt

 

80s/90s wool skirt –
The waist is proper tiny and the lining is a total mess so I bought it with the hopes of keeping the pleats but just making it smaller as a winter skirt for lily.

The ‘Vintage Pound Store‘ runs until Tuesday evening and totally worth going to if you love a bargain! My friend Magda got the most amazing floral shirt-dress and another one with a scalloped front, you just have to rummage through and you’ll find treasure!

Working on another bed sheet makeover

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I bought this sheet a few months ago for £2 at my local charity shop, I love the print so much and it’s in amazing condition, but I’ve found it hard to come up with ideas for how to make it work as clothing. Last week I just decided to take the plunge and make a simple kids 70s style sundress, I always find once I’ve cut into fabric I’m a lot less precious about what to use it for!

70s dress

The great thing about having two little girls is being able to try stuff on them and then gage the size! I sewed this to be a size 3, but it’s can be a little hard to work out if that’s 3-4 or 2-3, this definitely worked out more 2-3.

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I’ve cut the pieces to make a little shirt-dress like the one I made for lily, it was a bit of nightmare to pattern match so I hope  it works out ok once its sewn together! I think I’ll probably use the rest of fabric as an accent with a more modern polka-dot or stripe to make some women’s clothes.

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Oh and yesterday I ordered my ‘label’ fabric from Spoonflower, it was really easy to use and surprisingly cheap especially compared to getting cotton label’s printed! I ordered one fat quarter in quilters cotton and with postage to England it was $11.90. It’ll take up to three weeks to arrive and of  course I’ll share it when it does, I’m really excited to see how it’ll turn out! I’ve also ordered my laundry care labels, I decided to go for hand-wash only to be on the safe side, although most of the fabrics I use are cotton which will withstand the washing machine some of the trims might not. Now I’m wondering if it’s worth hunting down some size tabs as well, it seems to be a lot easier to get s, m, large labels so I might just go for that? Its starting to seems like as soon as I get one thing sorted I think up a long list of other things I need to do!

Crafty Sunday

My weekly craft post to share what I’ve been up to!rosie coat

I started the week by making Rosie this vintage style swing coat, I was making it to sell, but I’ve totally fallen in love with it! It’s not particularly waterproof, but it’s perfect for summer and autumn. I have enough of the same type of fabric in a different print to make another one to sell and now I know how to make it, so it’s not a total loss :/ (I’m going to have to get better at parting with stuff!)

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This super hero outfit happened one evening when I picked my daughter up from school to be informed that they were having a superhero picnic the next day and she would need a costume! ugh they really gotta give parents more notice than that! Anyway I couldn’t have her be the only one not dressed up and I couldn’t convince her to be a princess superhero (that’s a thing right!?) so I cut up an old bed sheet my mum gave me and made her a cape and fleece backed mask. Super lily to the rescue!

Lily upcycle skirt

I picked up this mango skirt from the £1 rail at my local RSPCA, the print is just so 70’s and I love the brown and purple together, it had a pulled thread at the front which is probably why no one bought it. It was a really simple refashion I just cut the skirt in half, gathered the bottom section (hiding the pulled thread!) and then reattached to the shortened waistband elastic.

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So if you read yesterday’s post you’ll know that my mum brought me back a ton of fabric from Texas where she was visiting friends. It’s all half meters and meters so perfect for clothes for the girls, my niece and nephew and small sewing projects. There is so much I could do a whole post on it! (I won’t though!)

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Yesterday I went to the car-boot again on the look out for more retro bed sheets as it really is the cheapest way to buy them and my stash was looking a little bare. I picked up two for a £1 each and what I thought was a vintage brushed cotton baby sheet (£2.50), but actually turned out to be a nightdress! (it’s huge so I can still make a pair of children’s pj’s out of it and maybe even a matching teddy!).

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I also scored these great patterns, the style one is from the 40’s and the other two are from the mid sixties at a £1 for all three and this amazing 1942 knitting magazine they were a real bargain!

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It’s crazy that so many of these flimsy paper magazines survived the war, its amazing though and full of romantic fiction, once I’ve read it all I’ll do a post on it.

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I’d actually gone to the car-boot with the hopes of being able to pic up some 40’s magazines as I’m on a bit of a 40’s kick at the moment inspired by this AMAZING book the lovely people at Carlton books sent me to review. I know I say every book is amazing (honestly it’s only because I only review books I like!) but this one is stunning and the essay at the start is fascinating, anyway proper review to follow soon!

Me Made May – Round-Up & Ideas for June.

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Ok so the last week has been a total fail! I kind of gave up after the last post 😦 At the beginning of the month it was fun and inspiring to find new ways to work with the clothes I’d made or refashioned but by the end it was becoming a chore. I probably still wore something handmade/refashioned everyday, but it just wasn’t fun anymore to photograph and document what I was wearing every single day, I don’t know how the fashion bloggers do it!

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My favorite outfit from MMM13 – only because I love this vintage cardie!

 I did learn a lot about my wardrobe though, most of my clothes come from only three shops :/ so maybe I need to branch out and shop around a bit more. I also spotted the holes in my wardrobe, I need a lot more plain/simple items (the lure of bright fabrics is just too strong!) and I also probably own too many dresses. Style-wise I’m definitely more 80’s than 50’s which is a shame because I love that look, but it’s just not me. So while I learned a lot about the way I think about clothes and the items I’ve made, I doubt I’ll do it again. I will in future however try to post at least one picture of me wearing the clothes I make as well as on the hanger (not always decapitated either!).

Ideas for June

My boyfriend has been pestering (guilt tripping!) me about never making him anything, so I’m going  to make one piece of  Mens/boys wear every week in June. Not just because he’s been annoying me, but also as a challenge I hope I’ll enjoy and learn from.

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This week my mother brought back lots of amazing fabric from Texas (i’ll share it all tomorrow) including some great cowboy prints to make a shirt for my nephew. Boyfriend also wants a shirt and there is a great Burda pattern with the Sewing Vintage Modern book I’ve just managed to borrow again from the digital library. I also want to make something for my brother, I guess it’s all planned out now I just hope I can managed to get it done!

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I know I keep saying this but I really want to launch my Esty shop soon, I’ve found a great tutorial here for making your own labels through Spoonflower and there are shops on eBay sell the washing instruction ones super cheap! I just need to muddle through and make more stock, I really don’t want the shop to launch half empty. Also this way if they don’t sell I’ll have enough to set up a stall one weekend at one of the many London craft markets. With this in mind I’m going to do a weekly post on what I manage to turn all the old bedsheets, curtains and tablecloths into, hopefully it’ll also inspire others to think differently about unused textiles.

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I have some really great new release craft book reviews in the pipeline for June, I really enjoy making the projects and sharing them with you all! I’m going to try and add some more fashion related books and antiquarian books, I also own loads of rare art books too if you want to see them??

One Duvet So Many Possibilities!

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There was no crafty Sunday last week mainly because it was the bank holiday and I was just enjoying the sunshine, while it lasted! I’ve haven’t been slacking though and have loads to share this weekend. However I wanted to start a weekly post inspired by some of the great vintage fabric’s I’ve picked up and as a kick up the bum to actually make somethings out of them!  This week is this great 80’s single duvet set I picked up a car boot sale a few weeks ago for £2 (pictured bottom above). I managed to make four pieces of children’s clothes out of it and line a Colette patterns dress!

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dressSize 5 – Summer Dress – Based on 70s Pattern

IMAG1982 jumpsuitSize 2 – Jumpsuit – Based on 60’s pattern

IMAG1985 IMAG1989Size 2 – Dress and matching bloomers – Based on 60’s pattern


IMAG1991Colette Patterns – Licorice Dress

I made the girls clothes with intention of adding them to my pile of things to sell on Etsy, they’re based on some of the vintage patterns I picked up earlier this year, but since I’ve modified them slightly I think I should be alright regarding copyrights. (From everything I’ve read about it online apparently legally the pattern companies haven’t got a leg to stand on when it comes to actually reinforcing any copyright claims, but for me it just seems unfair to sell some else’s designs as my own. When I list these I’ll make sure to mention that they are based on original vintage patterns). I also made them a little bigger than my girls are now so if they don’t sell they won’t be wasted!