Month: July 2013

Vintage Land: where people wear hats & tip them appropriately

I’m going to be up front: my personal style has been missing in action for many years. As a teenage Goth, I thought nothing of staying up all night to get my hair upright & black as jet, or spending an hour on make up.

Marriage, my conversion to Orthodox Christianity (with a good dose of modesty) and gaining weight – and being a busy mother – did nothing to encourage a return to looking nice.

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Cardigans, jeans (at home only), full length linen smocks & pinafores… Not exactly setting the world on fire. Or inspiring my daughter to think its possible to take care of our appearance, have a sense of modesty & still be Christian. It’s a tricky one for me: but enough is enough.

I had a good look around the ‘fashion’ magazines and was completely uninspired. The style just isn’t flattering for a middle-sized pear shape mum: I can’t wear heels, I don’t show my legs or arms (mainly because I’m self conscious) and I like to keep my cleavage to myself.

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All very nice but not at all ‘me’.

The images I found myself pinning and being drawn to were all ‘vintage’: maybe not the smartest ones of the 50s but even so, they were so much more feminine, flattering to my shape and… charming, I suppose.

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I began to do a little digging around and found the adorable Land Girl blog and was inspired to call Edinburgh’s very own Miss Dixiebelle to arrange a hair makeover. Everyone knows if your hair isn’t right, nothing is right, right? And my hair was, to be honest, very very dull.

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Of course, now I look at it & wish I was a hippy again… It will grow.

Now onwards to vintage land, where chaps tip their hats & ladies can wear gloves even in summer.

A Proper Party Dress. Part 4 – and dolly came too.

On the morning of her 5th birthday, Wee Bear woke to sun & clouds, as usual for June in Scotland. The party dress looked amazing – for the ten minutes it stayed on!

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Alas, some little girls arrived & announced they weren’t wearing party dresses – after her big entrance. Peer pressure starts early, so the party dress came off & another, normal frock went on. I tried not to want to throttle anyone too much… even though my eyes were still bleary from the late nights of sewing. I’m happy it fits her so well.

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Apart from a frantic time tracking down a bouncy castle (ordering the first one for July wasn’t a great move!) it all went as well as I had expected. Too many girls in a state of high emotion and after the same fancy dress and balloon caused a bit of friction. Who knew that being five was so stressful?

The big presents came on her actual birthday, including her doll: Lily Sugar, as she was immediately renamed.

I had spent a while the night before making a little party frock for her doll – I used a plain lined bodice pattern from the All Dolled Up book, then gathered scraps of tulle and net all together – using them as one layer was much faster and made the skirt a lot neater at the waist. Finally, I attached the soft Velcro strips – a normal width strip cut in half. It is only made from the soft loops but seems to stick together nicely and doesn’t scratch.

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I’ve never seen her so happy to get a present: she hugged her close, decided she had a new little sister but – best of all – immediately wanted to wear their matching clothes. I can see many happy hours of play in our future (and sewing in mine!).

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