Author Archives: Lucy Meakin

Vintage Style: Blue Monday

Happy January! I thought I’d start doing a few vintage outfit inspiration posts on the blog, I love putting together outfits – and what better way to do it than trawling Etsy and making a little collage – it doesn’t cost a penny, but satisfies my vintage hunting urges (that is if I can resist the temptation to buy the things I find!!)

I’ve taken my inspiration from the fact that today is known as ‘Blue Monday’ here in the UK, aka ‘the most depressing day of the year’. Boooo! So I thought I’d see off those winter blues with a few blue-hued threads. I’ve put together two looks, one fancy and one casual though you could easily mix and match both… how cool would that dress look with a pair of Converse? Or boyfriend jeans with a sequin cardigan and heels?

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dress | cardigan | shoes | handbag

blue-monday-casual

sweater | jeans | trainers | bag

 
And, seen as it is Blue Monday… a little music for you!

Happy 2015!

Hello pretty. Well it’s been a while since I updated this here blog hasn’t it? Halloween in fact, crikey! I hope you had an awesome Christmas and new year. Mine was fairly quiet and chilled, with lots of good food and drink, and plenty of quality time with family and friends, which is really what Christmas is about for me.

It also gave me a chance to sit down and take stock of what I really want to do with my life (serious stuff, huh?)

Now it’s the start of the new year. I have a bucket load of good intentions, lots of ideas and something resembling a plan. What more does a girl need?

My focus this year is on living honestly, independently and creatively – basically doing more of what I LOVE. One area where I plan to channel that is through my business and blogs.

My plan behind this blog, as well as having a place to write about what I love (one of my aims is definitely making more time for that), has always been to start up my own vintage and fashion business. That’s a big thing to put out there; I don’t have much ‘arts’ or fashion training, I’ve not even worked in fashion retail… but I know vintage, I’ve spent years learning sewing and dressmaking skills, I’ve been selling handmade for a few years, and boy can I style an outfit! (I also have a whole heap of business skills from my day job in marketing for a business organisation, so I’m not exactly going into this blindly). So that’s my main focus of this year – getting this here thing off the ground.

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What you can expect from the blog…

Frock has always been more than just about selling clothes for me. I really want to share the love for secondhand and vintage clothing, promote their benefits as a sustainable option, and teach others how to rework their wardrobes.

This year you can expect more inspiration posts and DIY tutorials (maybe even videos?), a peek at what I’m making, and dispatches from the best vintage shops and fairs I visit (I visit a LOT!)

Plus, you’ll be the first to know when the online shop is open.

You can check back here or follow on Twitter or Instagram for updates.

Can I ask a small favour?

In order to make this idea a reality, I’d really love to know what you think. Are you a vintage expert or does it intrigue and terrify you in equal measure? Do you sew your own clothes or would you love to learn?

If you could spare five minutes to answer a few questions that might help shape my business and this blog I’d be ever so grateful!

Thanks, and happy 2015!

Alternative Halloween Playlist

Happy Halloween! Do you have any plans to dress up this year? If so, why not get some inspiration from this vintage witch (though you might need a coat if you’re going out trick or treating… brrrr!)

If you’re as sick of Thriller coming on the radio every five minutes this time of year as I am, I’ve put together a list of some good tunes, with very VERY tenuous links to halloween. In fact, just listen to them all year round.

What I Wore: Reworked Vintage Co-ord

Co-ordinates (or ‘co-ords’, or ‘twosies’ as I’ve also seen them called, but let’s agree to never call them that, ok?) seem to be all the rage at the moment. I can see why, they’re SO comfy to wear and make a nice change from a dress – plus, you have a top and a skirt or shorts that you can mix and match with other pieces of clothing, making them a really versatile addition to any wardrobe.

I’ve got a tutorial in production to show you how to make a co-ord from an old dress (watch this space!) but for now I wanted to share with you a really quick rework I did recently to take an old outfit and make it into something instantly more wearable.

vintage-coord-before

Co-ords are nothing new, as this little 80s paisley number shows though back then it was called a ‘suit’. All I needed to do was shorten the hem on both the top and the skirt to create something that retained its awesomeness but just made it, well, a little more awesome.

I simply tried it on then decided where I wanted to crop the skirt and top to (I mark these with a few pins, it always helps if you have someone handy to help you out with this!)

Next I worked out my seam allowance (tip: follow whatever the manufacturer has used) and add this measurement on to the bottom of where I want my new hemline to be. Then I’m left with how much I can cut off. I then used the double-folded hem method expertly explained here and sewed it on my sewing machine.

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This outfit came to Amsterdam with me, and was perfect for exploring on foot in the hot summer weather (which seems like a distant memory now we’re well into autumn, brrrr!)

P.S. Excuse the mirror selfies, I was missing my tripod.

Vintage Shopping in Amsterdam

This summer I went on a little birthday holiday to Amsterdam and I absolutely loved it. One of my main motivations for going there, other than it being beautiful, cultural, laidback and easy to find my way around, was that it has an infamous vintage scene (ok, maybe not as infamous as that other scene, but still pretty prolific).

That’s me in the kitchen of my gorgeous AirBnB apartment, hallo!

brouwersgracht-kitchen

I wanted to round up some of the best vintage places I visited, so if you’re visiting soon you know where to start looking to get your vintage fix. I’ve tried grouping them by ones that are near to each other so if you’re there and you see one, you know to look out for the others.

It’s pretty image heavy, so read more under the cut… Continue reading

What I Wore: Reworked Watercolour Dress

One of my favourite things about reworking and updating vintage clothes is hunting for the perfect new project to work on. There are a few things that make me pick a dress over all the others. A unique detail or an unusual pattern are the key things, but if you find a piece of clothing that is well-constructed it is all the better.

I picked up this frock from St Ann’s Hospice in Stockport for a whole £8. I just loved the abstract watercolour like floral print, but also it is really well made, with a bit of structure in the corset and a nicely gathered waist.

watercolour-dress-before2

Somebody had already shortened it at some point, saving me a job, but there was still some work to do. Those big puffy sleeves were a bit too 1980s prom/bridesmaid dress for me.

I had two choices here, to reduce the sleeves or remove them completely. I went for the latter as I wanted to make the dress as simple as possible and let that lovely fabric take centre stage.

Removing sleeves is one of the simplest things you can do to transform a dress, but it’s not always quite as straightforward as just unpicking a sleeve and creating a hem. You often need to reduce the armholes and, because this dress was a little too big for me on top I needed to reduce the amount of fabric in the top half.

watercolour-dress-modification

I also chose to create a facing, rather than a visible hem, but fortunately there was more than enough fabric in those sleeves to create one.

The result is a rather nice little summery dress which I wore for my birthday meal.

watercolour-dress-after

What I wore: Reworked Lanz Originals vintage dress / Gold bow necklace, Ladybird Likes / ASOS sandals (last year)

What do you think? Do you modify your own clothes or would like to learn? I’m thinking of sharing some tips on the blog of simple alterations you can do. Let me know in the comments below if there’s anything you’d like to see.

Music Monday: Wilderness

One week after I left Wilderness Festival behind and I’m still longing for the sun on my face and wide open spaces.

Sadly, it’s back to the real world for me, but I still have a lot of great memories, not least of all seeing live performances, so I thought I’d share some tunes from some of the favourite acts from the festival on this musical Monday… enjoy! x




Back from the Wilderness

Well I have made it back from Wilderness Festival. Looking like some kind of slightly sunburnt reject from Woodstock, but most definitely more relaxed and refreshed. I didn’t want it to end.

Wilderness is 15,000-capacity festival set in the stunning grounds of Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire, and brought to us by the same minds behind the Secret Garden Party. Over four days, it brings together music, food, wellbeing, debate, nature, literature, vintage, crafts. Kind of like a mini Glastonbury. I was in my element!

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Not a seasoned camper, I was kind of dreading spending my nights in a field, but my friend Emma is a pro and her bell tent served as a cosy home for four of us for the weekend. It was even better once I’d bought some earplugs. Plus, we weren’t too far from a hot shower, bonus! (I did have to pay for it, but some luxuries are worth it, no?)

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Wilderness lived up to it’s name, totally taking us back to nature, including strolls through fields, woods and a morning swim in one of the on-site lakes. After the initial shock of jumping in a lake, it was actually a really beautiful experience.

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By day, the festival had a sort of village fair kind of feel to it, with tons of stuff going on at stalls and tents. Particular favourite spots included the free guided meditation sessions, listening to some local acts in the folk tent, and to debates in the Secret Forum.

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By night, the festival turned into a magic moonlight party. There were headline gigs from Metronomy and London Grammar, plus I managed to catch some pretty stunning sets from Jessie Ware, Joan as Policewoman and Gregory Porter.

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But the best thing was stumling upon parties in the woods where you could dance until dawn.

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Thanks to some stunning weather (it only rained once, how lucky!) I managed to wear most of the vintage outfits I took with me. By far my favourite was this gorgeous 80s Susan Freis dress I found for a mere £10 in a charity shop.

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I accessorised with a sequined butterfly mask borrowed from my 5-year-old niece and a can of Tetleys. Pure class, I think you’ll agree!

If you’re looking for a festival to go to in 2015, I can definitely recommend Wilderness. Brilliantly organised (if not a bit strict on the booze limits) and in beautiful surroundings, it’s the perfect mix of partying and chilling out.

Did you go to any festivals this year? Which is your favourite?

P.S. Thanks to Emma who took most of these photos!

Music Monday: Burt Bacharach

I love an old tune or two, and there is really no one who wrote them like they used to than Mr Burt Bacharach. It’s actually amazing once you start looking at which songs he wrote, how many classics are in there.

I’m off to Wilderness festival later this week and the great man himself is playing (along with more modern acts like Metronomy and London Grammar – I cannot wait). This prompted a rather hilarious game of guess the Burt Bacharach song at work the other day as my colleague hummed everything from The Carpenters to Dionne Warwick.

But here for your listening pleasure (thankfully not hummed) are two of my favourites…

Some great 70s styling in that first one!

Thrifty Thursday: Sun Dresses

I’m lucky enough to live in a town with an awesome vintage fair. Vintage Village takes place in Stockport’s Victorian market hall on the second Sunday of every month and it really is one of my favourite fairs. The quality is always so high, and there is always a bargain to be had.

I was super lucky last Sunday to score, when I had just gone for a browse of course, two beautiful sun dresses. The red dress on the left is a 100% cotton number from Germany (I can’t remember whose stall it was from) and the one on the right is a 1980s Next dress from Lace and Liquor Vintage.

vintage-sundresses

After a little bit of hemming (as always, everything I ever buy is too long for me) these two beauties will be coming on holiday to Amsterdam with me. Now, let’s just keep our fingers crossed for a bit of sun for me to wear them in!

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