Tuesday, 26 June 2012

DIY "vintage ladies" necklace & earring displays


I will be having another stall at the Swinderby antiques fair on 9th July and wanted to make some necklace displays for one or two of my necklaces.  I have looked at the standard card, velvet or wire necklace stands but was uninspired.  So I had a browse through my saved photos and found this photo of a print of the Princess of Wales at a fancy dress ball held in 1897.  The theme of the ball, held by the Duchess of Devonshire, was for attendees to dress "in an allegorical or historical costume dated earlier than 1897" (hey, they knew how to give a party then!!).  The Princess is dressed as Margaret de Valois in an immensely extravagant costume decorated with pearls and precious gems.  Details of the party are contained in this article from the V&A archives:
I printed out my photo in A4 size and then glued that onto a sheet of foamboard.  I then cut round the image with a craft knife, taped a stand (like you find on photo frames) on the back and voila.  This is just a prototype and I will probably paste a plain section on the front of the frock so that my necklaces stand out against the background, plus she will have some companions from different eras, but she is perfectly sturdy enough for display.  In fact I got quite carried away and started printing off postcard sized mounts for earring packaging:

In one of my reference books (a catalogue of the Cecil Beaton exhibition), there was a very early photograph of the Duchess of Portland at the same fancy dress party.  Even makes Elton et al seem restrained by comparison ....

(Sorry haven't been many postings lately - June is always a bittersweet month for me as I have my birthday but it is also the anniversary of the loss of our dear Mum, who died back in the 1980s, plus this year my Dad gave us all a big scare by being taken very ill with a lung infection - thankfully on the mend now - so blogging took a back seat for a few weeks)
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Monday, 11 June 2012

Another year older ... and looking back to the 70s

Another year older (Gemini birthday at the weekend) and still looking back to the 1970s and earlier.  My 70s nostalgia saw me leafing through some old Jackie annuals from the late 70s - Cathy and Clare anyone?  This bright and breezy sewing feature caught my eye - given that I was a teenager of the romantic peasant persuasion, these type of sewing projects were always right up my street.
Mr b. and I often laugh ourselves off the sofa when we are watching the Top of the Pops programmes from the 70s on the Beeb.  We cannot believe teenagers dressed so badly, had such terrible hair, and looked so, well, geeky.  We are not being cruel - we are perfectly entitled to laugh as we too dressed badly, had terrible hair and were geeks of the first degree.  I reckon at 16 I still looked like a 2012 ten year old.  Turning a few more pages of those Jackie annuals, I stared in wonder at the "beefcake boys" who were pop bands at the time (I don't remember either of these groups - Dead End Kids and Flintlock in case you're wondering).

Poor lads!  Whoever decided swim shorts were a good idea should have been taken out & pensioned off immediately!!

Can you imagine your Mum or Nan knitting you a matching House of Horrors hat and handbag set like those below?  Hardly sophisticated, is it, wearing a knitted version of a Big English on your head?  I picture some poor lass waiting at the bus stop trying to look funky in that get up (and no, in case you're wondering, that lass wasn't me ...)

Let's finish with another infinitely more useful sewing feature which will make good use of your vintage habby stash.  Happy 70s everyone!!




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Friday, 1 June 2012

Wishing you a right royal jubilee weekend


Looking through my vintage copies of Needlework Illustrated magazine, I found many examples of royal themed sewing and indeed knitting projects designed back in 1953 to celebrate the coronation.  Hope you all have a lovely jubilee holiday weekend.




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