I'd love to hear from you

email me at charliesewingvintage@googlemail.com

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Goodwood Revival

You couldn't get the smile off my face; the sun shone, the racing cars roared, the bands played those 40s tunes, the people laughed and drank champagne under a clear blue sky - and everyone but everyone looked fabulous.

It was the perfect autumn day and we set out from our overnight stay in London at nine and arrived at the gates of Goodwood at 11am. I was planning to wear an outfit of my own creation but in the end with the sun beating down I opted for my Tara Startlet red dress which I bought from Twentieth Century Foxy back in July. I did make my daughter's outfit though in this sweet Laura Ashley strawberry print. My DH looked fabulously Brando and I think we looked rockin' in the end.

Throughout my recent illness I doubted that I would ever be able to make this event, as at times I couldn't venture very far from my home - but yesterday sat on this carousel with my little girl on the horse in front I whirled around under a perfect sky and I thought I was in heaven. It was my fairytale ending...

Everybody made an effort and the 40s, 50s and 60s were well represented. The air was thick with nostalgia and fun but there was just a slight tinge of sadness; John Surtees chocked with emotion as he talked on the screen above the track about the friends he had lost during those dangerous early racing years. WW2 flypast in remembrance of the Battle of Britain during its 70 year anniversary was poignant too. I know those of us interested in vintage are sometimes critised for ignoring the difficult circumstances of the eras we pay tribute to, but for me the fact that women looked damn good and gave a damn about how they looked despite the difficulties and tragedies they faced says an awful lot about their spirit and courage. For me, my admiration for these decades is as much about that as the clothes they wore.

Were you there? What did you wear? What was your day like?

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Tailoring a suit

I'm tailoring a woollen suit in a sumptuous grey. I'm determined to get the tailoring correct so that I can use the pattern over and over again. The skirt will be a pencil skirt designed from my block and the jacket is Burda 7757. The jacket is a light grey pure wool and the skirt will be a darker grey woollen mix with a bit of stretch as the skirt will be very fitted.

I'm having the worst time trying to get the toile fitted for the jacket and so far have shortened it above and below the waist by 2" in total and narrowed the shoulder by 5/8". The sleeve head was extremely pouffy and so I've taken out about 3/8" at the apex of the sleeve but this may have meant the sleeve sits slightly forward which I'm not sure about.

If you have any thoughts before I cut into the wool let me know...

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Do you Vogue?

So yesterday I'm sat in the hair salon under a pile of raven black dye and I pick up the August 2010 edition of Vogue, spying an article entitled 'real clothes make a comeback' I read on with interest. And get this ladies: if you have a figure that closely resembles that of a woman and if you like to wear the odd frock you might just have made a fashion comeback. So it's out with pants that make women look as if they are doing bad impressions of MC Hammer, out with metallic leggings that make real women look like spray painted hippos, in fact out with anything any teenager in your house might want to share with you.

In are circle skirts, pencil skirts, boned bodices, nipped in waists, camel cashmere coats, long-legged-wide-legged trousers that flow all the way to the floor, satin blouses... I needn't go on because all you need do, as you are a classy woman who knows a thing or two about dressing (you are reading this blog after all), is go and look inside your wardrobe. Sweetie you're back in vogue (and back in Vogue)!

But do you care - I suspect not! We all know, don't we, the nonsense and frippery of the fashion world and we've been eschewing it for ages. Since I was eight years old I hate being told what to wear! I know what I like, what looks good, how to wear it and better still, damn, I know how to make it.

Apparently, this latest trend looks set to stay - hmmmmm. In some ways I hope not because now I'm going to have to work really hard to make sure my personal signature style doesn't make me look like a fashion victim. Sigh....

Over to you, what's your view?

Sunday, 15 August 2010

A fight to the death with the dog

I've been poorly - a serious and difficult case of the black dog. And I lost my blogging mojo - well I lost my everything mojo to be honest. It's been a very difficult few weeks but thank God I'm through it now. So just to prove I'm back on track here I am working on tea dress number 2. Thanks for bearing with me...

Monday, 12 July 2010

Waspy Waist & Circle Skirt

What could be more 50s than a big poofy circle skirt. I designed and drafted this myself but those of you in the know will know (of course) that that is not as impressive as it sounds. For those of you not in the know this is simple geometry: take your waist measurement and divide by 6.28; this gets you the radius of the inner  circle of your skirt and from this you can draft a pattern. If you want to give this a go there's a great tutorial on Ruffles and Roses although I would urge caution with the instruction to measure your waist and then -4. I did this and ended up with a skirt I can only wear with a waist cincher and if I do another I won't deduct the 4 inches - the explanation on R and R is that this accounts for stretching of the fabric on the bias at the waistband. I staystitched the waistband to eliminate this problem but ended up with a waspy waist!

The photographs don't do this fabric any justice at all. The is a deep purple with a lime green dot and it's fabulous!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

So pleased

If you've been reading this blog for the last few weeks you'll know that I've been attending night school to learn how to design and draft patterns for myself. In the first few weeks I designed this:

So tonight after many weeks of drawing endless amounts of seam allowances I give you:

So let me tell you that I am really very chuffed to bits with this. For starters it fits like a glove - no really it does. And secondly it looks like I envisaged it and thirdly it has a beautiful dusky pink satin lining too - I know, I know it's very remiss of me to not show it but I forgot to photograph it so you'll just have to take my word for it.

As a fitting finale to the course my wonderful tutor Maria arranged for a night out for all her students in our finished garments. What a well-dressed bunch we were too! Having been quite ill this week and last I was still covering the buttons a mere two hours before we met up and at that point I realised that I hadn't made a belt (doh!) so I whipped up the belt in a mere twenty minutes with just half an hour left before I had to leave. I think I have issues in respect of leaving everything to the last minute. 

Anyway I think it's good enough for tea on the lawn at four - what do you think darhlinks?

Twentieth Century Foxy

I've been having a difficult time recently so my DH Simon arranged to take me out to a vintage fashion show and burlesque evening on Saturday.

The event was hosted by vintage clothing company Twentieth Century Foxy and featured lines by Stop Staring and Tara Starlet amongst others.

We had a ball. So to appeal to your inner Dita here are some of the pictures it's safe to show you of the fashion show. I'll leave the burlesque stuff to your imagination.