Monday, January 30, 2012

There's a new kid in town.....Dunedin

Well, dear readers, there is a new thrift/second hand clothing store in Dunedin: 
I discovered this Savemart-esque styled store when I was really looking for the Hayward Auction rooms on Princes Street so I could view the vintage clothing listed in their current auction.  I had read the advertisement in the Otago Daily Times that morning and had instantly honed in on the "vintage clothes" as well as noticing there was some New Zealand Railway memorabilia which appealed immensely to my dear Husband.  As we parked outside Haywards I noticed a large new white sign across the road proclaiming in large bold letters 
Anyway, due to timing issues - my dear H and dear D were actually on our way to go to the movies to see The Mysterious Island in 3D - I could not devote much time to looking around.  So I honed in on what looked like the "retro" section and quickly skimmed through the hangers.  A fabulous pink purple black paisley pucci patterned maxi skirt with belt $30.  It was truly gorgeous and in excellent condition but outside my budget.  Belts $2, hats $2.  Judging by the rows of racks and the colour coordinated sections it looked like it was modelled on Savemart.  I quickly dashed across the road and entered Haywards, frantically looking for husband and daughter knowing that we had 5 minutes to get to the movies.  When I found them they were happily looking at a banjo-mandolin.  The NZR memorabilia had not been discovered!  

From a quick google search it would seem that Toffs has branches in other towns in NZ including Christchurch.  I can't believe I had never heard of it, or that I had missed any advertising proclaiming the opening.  I read the local paper daily as it is delivered to work. 

So, when I have time this week I am going to take the car at lunch time and have a decent look around the new store in Town: Toffs. 

Hope you are all having a good week!  Bye!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hello Friday .......with a quick outfit post

Hello everyone, I hope you have all had a good week.

I wanted to show you the cute top I bought from St v de P the other day which I teamed up with a skirt refashion:

The top was on the "Retro and Party Gear" rack at the back of the shop, and I had seen it several times.  I think, although I can't be certain that there was a matching skirt.  Anyway, on the third or fourth viewing I decided to try it on, and when I did I realised that it had been taken in on both side seams and several new "darts" had been inserted (all by hand I might add).  It fitted - very snugly - but as there is a spectacular long zip down the back I had no trouble getting in and out.  So, it came home with me.  I removed the hand sewing and ta da!!! Teamed up with the textured trevira(?) skirt I refashioned and my pink shoes, I think it looks really cool.  What do you think?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dressing Robe refashion and Outift posts

Just before Christmas I went to Savemart for a look around and spotted (haha) this amazing rayon dressing robe:

Priced at $4.5 the only thing I could see wrong with it were these tears under the arms:

So one afternoon after work last week I carefully removed the sleeves and the offending torn armpits.  Then this weekend I affixed some bias binding to the sleeve edge - the binding was one of three packets I got from the excellent supply of haberdashery at the Butterflies shop.

Now, I have encountered a new problem - the armhole is slightly longer than I would want for a sleeveless wrap dress.  So when my trusty Husky is next out of the sunroom and on the kitchen table I will take the robe in around 1-2 cms down the side seams making the armholes smaller in the process.  I am a bit annoyed though because I had hoped to wear the dress this week.  I also finished my sleeveless shift dress from the purple peony and fish material - again I had hoped to wear it this week but this time the weather intervened.  It has been very cold, windy and pouring with rain.

Here I am on Sunday morning, before the rain fell in abundance, wearing my green Norman Linton dress which is fairly densely knitted polyester and therefore able to resist the southerly breeze.  As you can see I am almost recovered to my normal self and able to hold an amazing cruise ship in the palm of my hand.

Today, in acknowledgement of the start of the Year of the Dragon, I decided to wear my new dragon wrap skirt (Trademe $6).  Again, I had to wear warmer clothes and boots due to the gusty breeze.  The belt is a thrifted one from the Yellow Shop and the top is by Staxs, a faux wrap in a light knit which I have had for years.  Boots from the St V de P.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Have you ever wondered.....

Hi everyone, hope you are having a good week.  I thought that I would use my mid week post to illustrate and describe some of my inspirations (and perhaps to hint at some of my plans for the weekend.)

Have you ever opened a book and seen a picture of a dress and just gasped "Oh Wow".  That's what happened to me when I bought "The Film Star Album" which dates from around 1958.  In this book there are a number of amazing photos of movie stars and articles such as "Meet My Family" by Jane Russell, "I love Parties" by Ann Miller and "Around the Clock on a Ranch" by Joel McCrea.  But the standout feature to me are the photos of clothes.  My all time favourite is this amazing dress worn by Yvonne de Carlo:

Oh how I want to make this dress.  It looks so Mediterranean and makes me think of Monte Carlo.  I love the fabric with the sailing flags on it and have looked on the internet to see if I can source any, but nothing (so far) seems suitable.  I have dallied with the idea of making the flags separately and then attaching to the dress.  I wonder what the top of the dress looks like - its concealed under the cute jacket.

Another outfit featured in this book is worn by Barbara Rush:

Oh my goodness, she just looks amazing!  The soft fabric draping over the shoulders is either supported by a generous bust or some kind of stiffening.  Look at the enormous pockets and the belt!!!  So big and the so luxurious.  I imagine wearing this outfit would be like being an exquisitely wrapped gift.

Another of my favourite books is the "Bumper Film Book" published by Spring Books London.  This book has lots more colour pictures but they are not as crisp as Move Star Album.  There is no publication date but I guess it to be earlier than 1958 and the beautiful dress worn by Patricia Owens below, seems to be more of the mod-1950s style:

This wide neck dress with bows at the shoulders  has a fitted bodice and a wide skirt.  I am not sure how realistic the colour is, but like many vintage fans, I love roses and I think this fabric is gorgeous.

Back in the 1950s the men dressed very well too.  Cary Grant is one of my favourite actors and features in a number of Hitchcock films.

I could post pictures from the whole book showing examples of the fashions of the day - like this photo below of Luciana Paoluzzi.

What I want to know is what is she wearing underneath???  I mean I am absolutely certain that I would never have enough to fill any bra to make that kind of profile!!  She looks like she one confident woman - those sultry dark eyes promising something sexy!!

In contrast Jill Ireland looks sweet and innocent in her cropped pants and ballet pumps.

As it happens I bought a pair of gingham polyester 3/4 pants today ($2 from Butterflies) in my op shop travels inspired by this image and others.  I imagine pairing them with a red top or a white shirt.  My dear darling H said they look like Chefs pants.  In retribution I am going to take them in around the calf, maybe in a pleat and add a black bow, so that they will be nothing like chef's pants at all.

Finally, I have to show you this photo which was tucked in the pages of the Movie Star Album and was an unexpected bonus as I bought the book online.  I have no idea who this is, she looks so cute in her fluffy sweater with what looks like fur around the sleeves.  The wide belt makes her waist look tiny.  Like many movie stars she is practically choking on an enormous pearl necklace and her ears are weighted down by large earrings.

She looks so young - not wearing a wedding ring I notice.  I wonder if this was a promo photo or one of set she had taken so she could get a part in a film.  Was this part of her portfolio??  I wonder.  Is there anything from a book or a magazine which inspires you?  Perhaps a picture of something you would like to sew for yourself or an image which captures your imagination?  I would love to know.  Hope you are all having a good week.

Oh nearly forgot, assuming I am still feeling better, this is what is on my "to do" list for the weekend:
1. sew pair of cotton shorts to be worn as underwear made from fabric from my stash
2. sew pair of undies made from $1 cotton top from Yellow Shop
3. finish this dress - the one with the vee- neck but without sleeves and just below knee length

made from this material which was $5 from Butterflies shop, its a sort of 1970s silky knit and an absolute devil to sew with:

So what are you plans for the weekend??

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Warrington Market and Fair - fair finds!

Hello readers, I am feeling up to a short post again today - thank you to all of you who sent good get well wishes, very much appreciated!  Today I wanted to post a photo of some of the goodies I found at the Warrington Fair which I visited two weeks ago today.

When I arrive at a fair or a market I make a quick assessment of the situation and then tend to move around in an anticlockwise direction (not sure why but it seems like the most interesting things are always on my right!!)

Straight away I found a Japanese tin train in a box - very rusty and needing a lot of TLC - and a black friction toy train just like one I had as a child! I then spied a shoe box full of bangles....and the ones pictured above.  The trains were $8 and the bangles were priced at $2 each but I did puppy dog eyes at the stall holder and snaffled the lot for $10.  

As I had two young ladies with me, it was inevitable at some stage that they would find something that they would want.  I put them off while I wandered around looking at the Japanese origami paper rings, pots of delicious chutneys, there was even a stall of quilt fabric which I did not have time to look at.  Eventually I felt the pull of the beach so to speak and told the girls that it was time to go.  Then I was subjected to puppy dog eyes, or in their case, Puss in Boots eyes (those who have seen Shrek know what I mean) and I bought them a blingy 1970s piece each, originally priced at $5 each but I bartered down to $7 for both.  Then of course, I had only a $10 note, and spied a box of rings.  How delightful!  The modern mood ring is on the right (with an oogley centre), the vintage mood ring is on the left and in the centre is a turqouise coloured stone of indefinite origin but on an adjustable band so it fits several of my fingers.  Priced at $2 each I hummed and haaa-ed and the nice stall holder agreed to $10 the lot.  

The red carved/flower bangle is 1970s I think, its a bit pitted around the edges.  Unlike the ivory coloured carved one which is in almost perfect condition.  After some brief googling I think the ivory carved one is earlier as it seems to be superior plastic.  The bottom one which is partially obscured is also very hard plastic and possibly bakelite.   

You may have noticed that trains have been mentioned in my posts recently, well there is a good reason for this.  My dear darling H has a thing for trains, locomotives, train books, toys and all things to do with diesel and steam.  

Righty ho, feeling weary so all for now.  Its a beautiful day today, perfect for watching the Train lover plant some veges in the garden and listening to the birds.  Hope you are all well and enjoying the start of 2012.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

..the sound of silence.....

Hi everyone, just wanted to put a few words to the page, so to speak, to let you know that I am around, just not up to blogging at present due to ill-health.  I also wanted to "speak" up when I am sick I feel very small and possibly lonely too.  When I am sick I spend all my time in my bed if I can, because I like to hide away but the obvious affect of this (1) hiding away is not really my style, and (2) I have loads of time to think about things which I want to share!

So in this update post, firstly thank you Dear Readers, thank you for your wonderful comments on my plans for 2012.  I don't really make "traditional new year's resolutions" I tend to just come up with something I want to do.  The starting point for this blog was in March, which is post-Christmas and more like Chinese New Year!  However, as Christmas 2011 approached I felt more compelled to be be proactive rather than re-active.  Planning something and then following it through will be more of a challenge than just suddenly throwing up my hands in horror, and saying "that's it, I have had enough, I am going to stop...."

To clarify:

I will buy clothes from second hand/thrift/charity stores: just like last year, but without the "new" tee shirts from JayJays and the "new" shoes from Rubi/No 1 Shoes etc.  

New underpants were bought in December which are a horrible fit and shape and I swear I can make something more comfortable, so I am writing a "Clothes to make" list which is currently topped by undies. 

I can hear a few mutterings about bras....come on you know you are wondering about bras, I KNOW you are wondering about bras.  I am just going to spit it out.  I cheated.  I went to the Bendon Outlet store on 27th December and bought 4 beautiful bras.  Two for $10 each and two for $20 each.  I was in the store for about an hour as I am a "popular size".  Anyway.  Bra situation is under control.

Right, all my brain can manage at present, over and out.  

Sunday, January 1, 2012

What I have been up to ....

This is in the Dunedin Botanic Gardens on Christmas Day, with a spectacular peony flower.  For the record I am not that tanned, its just I used the "ultra vivd" setting on my camera.  Yes, this is the amazing fabric I purchased at Tessuti, in Melbourne.  

A holiday season would not be normal for me, without a decent movie.  
Can you guess what I watched??

NZ Tui with flax on random t-shirt $1 from Yellow Shop

Giant scarf / wrap, Shoe Warehouse $9

Long double thickness vintage scarf - a bit like a cravat - $1 Box of Birds, Port Chalmers

My family went to Ashvegas and on the way home we stopped in the historical preccint, look at this fabulous car!!  

Oh and look what my fabulous family gave me for Christmas, isn't it just so cute!

 I cooked the Christmas lunch: beef olives with asparagus, kumara mash and carrot dahl.  Followed by my very first Baked Alaska!  I pre-cooked all the veges the day before, only needing to scape and boil the new potatoes my parents brought around to share.  The alaska was also prepared the day before so that it was rock frozen solid.   Here I am in the middle of things wearing a cute apron from Butterflies $2

Recipe for Penny-Roses beef olives: 9 slices of schnitzel stuffed with home-made stuffing from stale bread (on special as New World Port Chalmers), gin soaked craisens, chopped red onion, salt pepper and some fresh home-grown sage.  Mixed together with  some milk.  

For tea, we went to my parents place, and the piece de resistance was her famous chocolate cake in a magnificent three layer coffee cream filled pile of yumminess.  

Oh, and I cut this cool peony, fish and crab patterned fabric to make a dress.  I was planning to sew on Boxing Day but ended up taking my daughter and her BF to Long Beach for a swim in the surf.

Part of our trip to Ashvegas involved an important detour to Pleasant Valley so Dear H could salivate over the cutest little engine, and the big AB (above) 
and then in Oamaru we went down to the Penguin Colony for a ramble on the beach and look what came out to see like Thomas the Tank Engine!!

Hope you all had a lovely time over Christmas!