Wednesday, 7 December 2011


 Maclancy, etsy

One of my admittedly strange pastimes is to browse through old photographs - snapshots of real people wearing my most beloved fashions,  with their goofy, pretty or contemplative faces glaring back at me from the yellowed frames... 
Through this window to someone's soul, this crumble of someone's existence, I sometimes get the odd crush on strangers, and I  wonder: who were these people? were they happy? were they loved? have they achieved what they set out to, have they obtained what they desired? have they lived full lives? and have they really grown old, became ill, died? ...have they survived perhaps in someone's heart?...
No answers, only a smile shared through time. 
And soon this too is to be dust...

YesUms, etsy

Qerkazoid, etsy

PaperSeeker, etsy

Oz5477, etsy

Monday, 5 December 2011

The cardigan that changes all - falling for Fair Isle

As you can see, it's versatility that preoccupies me at the moment, the chameleon-ing of one outfit into something else with the add of a piece or two. In this case, what I wore in my last post to channel a Katherine Hepburn look, steps now further back in time for a whiff of late 20s /early 30s sportswear.

I don't know how you like my take on Fair Isle, but I'm telling you, this little thing does take me places. 
It certainly took me to work 3 days in a row as pictured above...and little thing it isn't, in fact it seems more like three sizes bigger than I normally wear. So big in fact that I've been wearing it on top of a small fitted jacket too, as an outer layer! Yeah, baby, this is looove... Can't take the damn thing off! 

In fact, it sparked an interest with Fair Isle that I had not yet experienced, in spite of this thing being very fashionable lately (outside the vintage circles) from what I can gather.
I suppose it  all spurred naturally - if rather slowly - for me out the growing obsession with 20s and 30s casual and sportswear that I've been entertaining for the last year or two.
So there you have it: I'm officially a Fair Isle convert!

Photo from Barbara's blog Re Knitting

The 3 images above are part of the Textiles Collection in the Shetland Museum and Archives
Photo via the wonderful A Polar Bear's Tale blog, see article here
Pattern available at The Vintage Knitting Lady

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Channeling Miss Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn, The Lake, 1933

The polo neck or turtleneck, paired with slacks, was a get up much favored by Katharine Hepburn and Greta Garbo.
I am an admirer of both, and most of all, of the slick, casual style they sported with such aplomb.

 Jigsaw silk/angora polo neck;
Hobbs trousers; 
Vintage military map bag;
Alfred Sargent shoes

Friday, 2 December 2011

Same dress, different woman: a mid to late 1930's style outfit

Speaking about putting a base piece to more uses, what do you think about this? It certainly responds to my need of change and "adventure", of starting from the same point but taking a side route and arriving to something altogether different. 
It also gives me that sense of satisfaction that you get when the things in your wardrobe just click together, like a puzzle that falls into place.
For all these reasons and more, I love this outfit. Not bad for a cheap dress that I picked for my shop - it never made it there, fits far too well in my wardrobe - and a cardigan that mum knitted out of remnants from a different project!


The forest green and wine red are yummy together, and I like the off center/asymmetric fastening illusion coming from the sides that overlap - they are not meant to, but since the cardigan jacket is quite roomy it allows me to do this. There a a lot of examples of later 1930's style employing this off center, asymmetric closure which for some reason appeals to me.

I have accessorized with a 1930's Robin Hood/Peter Pan style hat, a tiny treasure that comes in dark green velvet. It has a grosgrain bow that is in need of a trim, but even so, it has to be the star of this ensemble.

A Deco hide clutch in two tones of green, one of the favorites in my collection, and just the thing for this outfit!
Finally, another pair of "snakeskin" Poetic Licence shoes, I am a fan of what they produced a few seasons ago.

Spot the resemblance?- a vintage cherry knit dress and leopard print accessories

Remember this dress? Well, I've always wanted to show you a better view of it, but this wasn't my lucky day of camera cooperation.  Anyway, you get to see a different outfit using the same base piece, in a  40's inspired approach.

Now I'm no feline, and don't normally do leopard print. An accent is all I manage. But my sweet shoes were so lonely that in the end I gave in. and decided to get the vintage fur collar (died rabbit) pictured above to match the leopard print on these wedges. It has seen better days, but haven't we all?!...

 For a spot of authenticity I added this 40's copper brooch. Isn't she a beauty? Believe or not, I have come across 2, one which which is up for grabs in my etsy store!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Magenta, anyone? - a 1930's inspired winter outfit

This is what I wore today; in spite of not involving a lot of actual vintage, I am rather pleased with this outfit. By the way, what looks like crazy hot pink is in fact magenta in real life, and nowhere near that bright. 
You can see a detail of the accessories in the second pic, together with a sneak preview of a seriously big cardigan - about 3 sizes more than I wear, which I picked up today because I couldn't not to.. ahem. 
And now I'm off to check out some more stuff on line, as my over excited shopping mood seems to coincide with  a number of promotions on etsy (see Rhianon's comment to my previous post, to mention just one). 
I must be good though!...So perhaps turn to buttons?!...

 Accessorize wool beret, silk scarf and leather belt;
Laura Ashley cardigan and coat; 
French Connection skirt; 
Van Dal shoes; 
1920s clutch bag.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Here comes the chicken ...or how not to wear a 1930's swing style jacket

There is posing...and there is me posing. 

This mid 30's inspired knit is the last in the current series. It is made from a wonderful yarn,75% wool 25% silk, that behaved extremely well and on which both mother and I are hooked.
So much so I can't wait to get more!

This little project started - surprise, surprise! - with a sporty short sleeve blouse, yet another golf little number.
I am not showing this yet as it's waiting for the buttons to arrive (yes, that's right, I bought special 30's green glass buttons to go with it :)).
Then I wanted a skirt to match. When the skirt was done, there was yarn left. So I thought: why not a 3 piece ensemble? That's how the cardigan was born.
And that's the making of one glorious set!

It all turned out wonderfully if I may say so myself, I am beyond happy with this, all pieces fit perfectly, and the work is definitely worthy of its vintage inspiration / counterpart. 
I love you mother, and let me say: we have arrived!
This is the right league.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Olive is coral and I'm crazy about vintage sportswear

 My husband calls me Olive. You can see why.

Knitted polo t-shirt in coral & cream mohair

Ah! aspirations..."far cry" comes to mind. None of the panache, none of the grace of the original model reflects on me in the slightest. 
So what if my keds actually match my sport top? My joy of owning both comes across, surely, if only rather disjointed...:)

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Red seams

This is how my cardigan from the previous post was supposed to turn out.
Only that it didn't :).  It turned out like this:
Not only is it a lot longer but it forms an unfortunate gap in the middle of the bust. I will try and resew the buttons to see if I can overcome this problem.
Here I have folded it in on the inside to get closer to the wanted length.

I have actually taken these pics in order to prove to my mother, who has knitted it for me, that things are not really that bad (she wasn't chuffed when she saw it first time around) but I'm afraid I'm falling rather flat.
Mum is still not happy with it at all, and will redo it for me in the summer when I go home.
Since it seemed that I needed a little bit more than funny faces to "work" this, I thought I'd try these seamed tights I bought a while back but never gave a go. Not at all authentic, I know, but fun nevertheless.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

How do you like my tie?

Hullo, I thought I'd pop in to say I'm still here and show off my latest purchase, this dashing tie! I love it to bits, but I was rushing so badly to get dressed and be out of the house while there was still some light, that I made a right pig's tail of that knot! It can only be better next time, I guess. But I couldn't wait until next time to show it to you, so that's that.
Coming with it there are 2 knits just sent over by my mother, the red cardigan is made in a lovely Debbie Bliss Donegal tweed, and the vest in some rough dark green Shetland with lime flecks. I am very chuffed with these too, and I'll probably show them over and over again in many posts, as I hope to get a lot of wear out of them. 
If you like them, stay posted, I've got more knits to show, some already made, others in the making as mother and I have project after project lined up, you'll get bored stiff... I, for one, never seem to.

Friday, 30 September 2011

The age of innocence

Childhood revisited or to put it bluntly, mutton dressed as lamb? Call it as you may, I obviously couldn't resist the temptation (see the grin). 
My worst to date, Mr P endeavored to remark. Apparently I have absolutely outdone myself in choosing the most unflattering shape and going for the "institutionalized child" look, possibly slightly retarded too...Ha ha! Well it certainly isn't one of my more mature choices... Joke aside, I can see where he's coming from ...if by institutionalized he means an early 30's boarding school, that is :).
Because that's where this piece of cloth works its magic for me. The evocative capacity is second to none among the vintage I posses . And while by no means do  I have a comprehensive collection, I still find the fact significant.
"This dress is not as nice as you think" says he. Yet the point is not that, but a different matter altogether. 
...I'm about to chase butterflies, roll in the grass and watch the clouds become fiery dragons reduced to nothing by valiant princes, my eyes dipped into the blue, my heart soaked into the light of this eternal summer... So it's not "nice" I give you, my friend - or rather, I give to myself - but a split second of a paradise forever lost, or perhaps only ever imagined, a glimpse du temps perdu I could almost catch through my tinted glass of nostalgia.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Magenta, sea green and curls under a head scarf (read: 1930's casual chic)

With the sudden resurgence of summer over here I jumped back into what has become for me a warm season staple: wide legged trousers with some blouse or another.Yep, I could do this forever. Lazy, yet happily so.
As for the colour combination, now I know why I needed that bag I left behind at the vintage shop...darn it!