Tag Archives: vintage

“The Joy of Vintage” video: How to Buy, Wear and Sell Vintage Clothing

You may have noticed but I love vintage fashion. A lot. I buy it, I wear it, I sew it, I sell it, I write about it.

So it was only a matter of time before I made a video about it.

I am really happy with how it’s turned out, and am excited to share it with you… now I’ve got over the initial shock of seeing and hearing myself on screen, that is.

I hope you enjoy it, and please let me know what you think in the comments.

Video produced, shot and edited by PixByEd.

A few things…

I realised afterwards that my definition of vintage may not fit with everyone else’s and also I didn’t explain it very succinctly. If you’re geeky about that kind of thing, which I am, you can read more about how I personally define antique/vintage/secondhand.

I also wanted to say a HUGE thank you to the staff and volunteers at Barnardo’s charity shop in Cheadle, who let us film there with zero notice. They were so helpful. I love that there are lots of locations from my hometown of Stockport in there, including the 20th Century Stores and the wonderful Vintage Village, which is on every month and is a must visit if you’re in the area.

And finally, I’m working hard to get my shop stocked for summer. So do please follow the shop on Etsy or at the usual social media channels to find out when new stock goes live:

Etsy: frockvintageshop
Instagram: @frockvintage
Twitter: @frockvintage
Facebook: FrockVintage

6 reasons to love vintage polyester

Polyester, that fabric so abundant in vintage shops but with such a bad reputation. Sure, it doesn’t let your skin breathe like a nice cotton or linen would and it can cause more static than a thunderstorm… but I must admit to having a soft spot for this synthetic textile in its vintage form.

Polyester use boomed in the late 60s through the 70s and 80s, as did clothes manufacturing in general, which is why you find it a lot in vintage shops nowadays.

On one level, of course polyester is BAD because it’s not biodegradable and its production pollutes the environment (though so does the production of many natural textiles, depressingly enough). I’m not saying “hey clothes producers, hit me up with some polyester clothes like nanna used to wear”, but I am saying that seen as the stuff that has already been produced is here, let’s not let it fester in charity shops or clutter up landfill. Let’s bloody well wear it!

Some vintage enthusiasts have purposely chosen to distance themselves from this type of clothing. And that’s fine, whatever floats your boat, I say. But I have a little soft spot for the shiny stuff, and here’s why…

  1. It doesn’t crease. I am not well acquainted with the iron so this is a win-win for me! They’re great to just chuck in an overnight bag and take out the other end perfectly crumple-free.

    80s does 50s polkadot vintage dress

  2. It’s soft and shiny, like silk. Ok, maybe not like silk. But it does have a nice flow to it that flatters many body types, and it’s actually really comfy.


  3. It comes in a rainbow of colours. Man did they like colour in the 70s and 80s! Their prints are bright and bold, and they don’t fade.

  4. It’s easy to work with. If you want to play around with modifying a vintage dress, I’d suggest starting with something (cheap) and polyester. If you go for the thicker stuff, it doesn’t fray when cut, so you can even turn up and stitch raw edges.

  5. It’s in plentiful supply. This is kind of a negative into a postive thing, but the fact that there is shed loads of polyester vintage out there (most deadstock flooding the market is from the 80s) makes it easy to find if you want to add a little touch of vintage into your wardrobe.

    Vintage polyester clothes on rail

  6. And finally, you don’t have to look like an old lady in it. Just because a dress is old, doesn’t mean you have to look old in it. With a few nips and tucks, most outdated clothes can be given a new lease of life.

Guest blog: The-Thrift.co.uk

upcycling-before-after

Just a quick note to let you know I’ve got a guest post up on Barnardo’s ethical shopping blog The Thrift, giving you some upcycling inspiration to take a vintage dress from drab to fab!

Giving old clothes a new lease of life is one of my favourite things and so simple to do, even if you don’t own a sewing machine. Let me know if you give it a go.

Barnardo’s Vintage Birthday Party

Last Friday, I was delighted to be invited to an after hours party at one my favourite vintage shops (and favourite charity shops), Banardo’s Vintage.

It’s an absolute goldmine of vintage everything – clothes, toys, books, records, homewares, haberdashery – hidden away in the sleepy town of Cheadle, just south of Manchester. It’s also my worst kept vintage shopping secret as I can’t help but tell everyone about it at every given opportunity (including you!)

The party was in celebration of the charity’s 150 year anniversary of helping children and young people in need, something definitely worth celebrating. The fact that it was basically a vintage lock-in only sweetened the deal.

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There were strawberry and passionfruit mocktails courtesy of the lovely mixologist miss Suzie Wong and the perfect vintage soundtrack on the decks (including plenty of Prince!)

If you’re ever in the area, I can well recommend a visit to the shop (look out for the shop manager Gemma’s incredible window displays). And if you can’t get there, they are well worth a follow on Instagram @barnardos_vintage for total vintage inspiration and eye candy.

Outfit details: Dress, vintage of course, from HOV on ASOS Marketplace

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?

blue-monday-fancy

dress | cardigan | shoes | handbag

blue-monday-casual

sweater | jeans | trainers | bag

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

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.

vintage-coord-finished

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.

DIY Fashion: Update an Old Blouse

Sometimes you find a vintage or second hand item that has the best colours, pattern and some sweet features (hello collars!) but the style is just a little, well, frumpy.

Recently I was lucky enough to hit the motherload of discounted Japanese vintage blouses. I love everything about this one, but the arms are too long and the whole thing just swamps me a bit.

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If you have a top or blouse that fits the bill, today I’m going to tell you how to give it a quick update – NO CUTTING or machine sewing involved. There’s just a little bit of hand sewing, so it’s totally reversible (good if you’re just borrowing it, hehe).

What you’ll need

  • Blouse (of course!)
  • Matching cotton or polyester thread
  • Sewing needle

For mid-length sleeves, the ultimate quick update you can do to give it a slightly more contemporary edge is roll the sleeves.

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  1. For an even turn up, fold the hem back on itself on itself once, then as many times as necessary to achieve the length you want. It can help to get someone to do this for you whilst you’re wearing it, then pin to make sure you don’t forget.
  1. Now to get it to stay in place. Take a length of thread and tie a double knot in the end and thread your needle.

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  1. Find a spot on the centre top of the sleeve where the back of the cuff meets the sleeve. Sew from the inside of your sleeve out – so your knot is hidden – going through the top of the cuff and back down. It only needs to be a tiny stitch, so it’s barely noticeable. Repeat this 2-3 times. When the needle is threaded inside for the last time, tie off with a double knot.
  1. Repeat on the underside of your sleeve.
  1. Then repeat 1-4 on the other side.

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Finally, another nice touch for summer is to take your blouse in at the waist with a simple knot. If, like mine, your knot won’t stay in place, put in a few small stitches to hold it.

Et voila! One fresh and funky (not frumpy) new blouse to stay cool in this summer.

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I must say, this one looks particularly lovely with my mint green Ladybird Likes heart collar clips.

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Thrifty Thursdays: Two Thrifty Frocks (and some other stuff)

I’ve been a busy thrifting girl recently, and you know I like to share my finds.

 
The warm, sunny weather is drawing me towards pastel colours and I had two great finds at my local charity shop; one peach polkadot Eastex dress and a Lanz (US label) floral dress. They need a little bit of work doing to them, and I’ll show you when I’ve done them up.

thrifty-frocks

I’ve also had some luck with finding more vintage sheets, including this pretty.

vintage-sheets-3

But the best thing I’ve found recently has to be this pair of tiny Dutch studs in a delft style with a windmill design – perfect for my upcoming trip to Amsterdam!

delft-earrings

Have you had any great thrifty finds recently? Link up in the comments below if you’ve blogged about them.

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