Sunday, 29 April 2012

Fab Fleamarket Finds

Spent a very happy hour or so yesterday at the lovely Kings Lynn Fleamarket.  Found some lovely vintage items, most to sell on, but the vintage 30s Handy Pack sewing set above will be kept.  Don't you just adore the Art Deco styling of the packaging.  It comprises a small card box containing 5 discs each holding "essentials" for the 30s flapper - Art Silk Hose Mending - threads and needles; Ideal Wave Pins - for your bobbed hair; Dress & Lingerie Pins - in pink, blue & gold; For Your Sewing - black & white threads and needles; and finally, and perhaps most essentially!, some Brenda Best Art Silk Knicker Elastic along with a large needle with a gigantic eye through which to thread the elastic.

And last but not least, a very sweet little vintage articulated basket trinket with tiny compartments in which to store tiny treasures.


Friday, 20 April 2012


Well folks, if anyone is in any doubt that vintage textiles & costume are worth sourcing and collecting, then I trust the title to this blog post (borrowed from an email I received from Kerry Taylor Auctions) proves that they are wrong!  I can't find a link on the KT website yet, but the text from the email starts:

QUOTE A few weeks ago a collector was sifting through a London street market when he spotted what appeared to be a good quality gown. It was somewhat crumpled and soiled in appearance but upon inspecting the inside seams he spied a Lanvin label. Despite the initial rather dishevelled appearance of the gown he agreed to purchase it for £70 and brought it straight round to show Kerry Taylor. It was suggested that the dress would benefit from specialist cleaning to try to remove some of the grime and stains – to help its appearance when displayed on a mannequin, as the probable purchaser would be a museum or private collector and so this was done. It was the highlight of the April 17th auction. UNQUOTE

I always recommend Kerry Taylor very highly.  Her expertise is second to none & in the past she has advised me helpfully by email on some items I had found, so it is always worth contacting Kerry if you need an opinion on a textile item.  I found this really interesting article describing Kerry's working day - Kerry's diary.  Sadly my own life is nowhere near as glamorous, but I adore going round thrift stores, country auctions, fleamarkets and antiques fairs in search of my own vintage stock.

The recent auction proves that there are still treasures out there waiting to be found.  Some of my own "best" discoveries are a Hermes scarf bought for 1p in a jumble sale, found in a bundle of other textiles totalling 10p.  Also a Christian Dior scarf found amongst a huge basket of scarves in the middle of a barn in the middle of nowhere in rural France.  I also treasure an amazing 50s Paris souvenir scarf which I bought for £1 which has simply the best illustrations I have ever seen and which I will never ever sell!  Would love to hear about your own prize purchases.


Sunday, 15 April 2012

Sew 50s vintage baby doll & pyjamas sewing pattern

Had a lovely time stock shopping at Newark antiques fair on Friday (this was my treat for surviving the last few weeks of plumbing mayhem!)  Found some great vintage scarves & cravats (all in the washbasket right now, photos will follow).  Plus some lovely sewing patterns, including this great rockabilly baby doll & pyjamas pattern in a realistic size 38" bust.  I love the knickers & bloomers, even if I am more of a leggings type girl.

This week's Etsy items


Sunday, 8 April 2012

Springtime greetings

Hope you are all enjoying your Easter break wherever you are and whatever you're doing.  Have been experimenting with scanning textiles recently & was pleased with the way this little embroidered lace motif, I would think c1910, came out.  Thought the little bird & flowers were suitably springlike to bring you these Eastertide greetings.

Quick rummage through one of my archive boxes full of vintage ephemera found these quirky little postcards, one on an Easter theme & the other with a very surprised baby who just makes me laugh - I guess anyone would be surprised if they were plonked in the middle of a cabbage (and I thought Anne Geddes got there first).


Sunday, 1 April 2012

Oh those 70s summer nights (in Laura Ashley dresses)

Quick vintage stock shopping trip last week (to distract me from my kitchen-sink drama, well kitchen floor drama really, but you get the idea) - was delighted to find two lovely early vintage Laura Ashley maxi dresses of the type I used to wear myself.

They have the old style Laura Ashley labels & are in heavy cotton prints from the early ranges.  I read in the biography of Laura A. by Anne Sebba that Laura & Bernard often took their motifs from the end papers of Victorian books - the cherry blossom motif on the mauve dress definitely looks as if that could be its origin.

I once committed quite a serious fashion faux-pas & wore a Laura A. maxi dress (very similar to the mauve dress above) to the Hacienda in Manchester circa 1982.  So uncool.  I had been to a dinner party which decamped to the club.  I remember feeling SOOO out of place in my ruffles, high neck & flounces that I wanted the floor to open & swallow me up.  Must have looked ridiculous dancing to Spandau, Dexy's or whosoever done up in that dress!!

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