Pinstripes & parasols

pinstripe skirt

Now there’s nowt very exciting to say about a pinstripe pencil skirt. It’s pinstripy and pencilly… and that’s about it really. But it can’t possibly go without documentation, especially since Mr O and his buddy the camera made it look more interesting than it actually is!

pinstripe skirt outside St. Pancras station

I self-drafted the pattern so it fits well and it used up just under a metre of leftover wool-mix fabric and  a piece of purple stash lining which makes it cost-free, sort of!

pinstripe skirt and parasol

The main reason for making a garment so dull, was to rehearse the fitting process before I make a long awaited-skirt for my friend, who bid for it in the school auction! (More about that soon hopefully). But dull and boring as it may be, this skirt does make for a great go-to for work.

back of skirt

I made it a last week but needed some divine inspiration before shooting it. And then I spotted these beautiful brollies over at Masato Studio Boutique! (Yes, they are brollies and not parasols but that would kind of ruin the whole alliteration thing, don’t you think?)

Red Umbrella

It was well worth the investment. Total distraction from skirt but much more interesting photos… win! My little red beauty is made by Love Umbrellas. They do some really cute heart shaped ones too. Rainy days most certainly wont get me down any more!!

pinstripe skirt

Mr O took these shots around St Pancras Station, London, today, Just after I had the most lovely lunch with some of my favourite sewing ladies: Amy, Sally, Clare, Rehanon and Alison. They had all done their fabric shopping in the morning and I was so pleased to catch them for a couple of hours and a couple of G&Ts over at Drink Shop & Do. Boy I love that place! Should have really got Mr O up earlier to get an impromptu shot of us all but heyho can’t have it all!

St Pancras Station

Jeepers Creepers, where d’ya get those peepers?

I always fancied the idea of some face furniture. Not the furry kind, you understand. And I certainly was never brave enough to go down the road of facial piercings. But a good old pair of bins / Gregorys (specs) / glasses – whatever you like to call them – have always been on my wish list. Well you know what they say… be careful of what you wish for and all that.

The time came with the realisation that my arms were no longer long enough to read the back of a sewing pattern. Let alone the inside instructions! I’ll reserve that excuse for some of my mishaps!

I dutifully set off for Specsavers. Was told the price of the test and dutifully walked out! Since when did that happen? Then I remembered the voucher that was on the reverse of a receipt from a recent purchase from Boots. A fiver for an eyetest? That’s more like it!

I’m sure you don’t need me to talk you through an eye test. It’s clearly only me who hasn’t been for 20 years or more!

The results weren’t too harrowing, though keeping ones eyes open while air is puffed onto your pupils IS! The diagnosis was a very slight stigmatism in one eye and the need only for low strength reading glasses.

The reality (and a little bit of excitement) set in. I actually need to wear glasses! I marched straight over to the designer frames. £280 for a pair of bins might just be a little too much but honestly and truthfully that Prada pair was the only pair that didn’t make me look like a complete dork! Vain? Moi? Well maybe just a titchy bit! Even the sales assistant was politely ushering me over to the £5 specials in little plastic tubes. Ugh! Really? There’s got to be more choice than this.

So I went home to Google… some goggles! (sorry) And promptly found this wonderful site called Retro Peepers. There was choice. There were cool frames and they weren’t a million squids… hoorah! I emailed with a couple of queries and do you know, the lovely Annie got right back to me. She was even replying to an Email I sent later at 11.30pm. That’s proper dedication to the cause.

Anyway. Here they are, in all their cheeky nerdy retro glory. Introducing the Peggy frames. A snip at £18.

retro spectacles

The ordering/delivery service is amazing. I placed the order online one afternoon and they arrived, properly packaged and cozied up in their free case, the following morning! Don’t you just love a smooth operator?

And before anyone asks, this is not a sponsored post. Retro Peepers won’t even know I’ve blogged this unless anyone clicks through to them. But I jolly hope they do in their hundreds and give them all the business they deserve because quite frankly there aren’t many companies out there that I’d give a free shout out to unless I truly believe in the service.

There is just one tiny flaw with them though. It doesn’t stop at £18 for a pair of readers because you will be back to order another pair in a different colour or style and then theres the retro sunnies, the reader shades and of course I will need another pair with a proper prescription…. oh well. At least I’ll be a while, and a fair few pairs before I get to Prada prices!

In other news. I have been sewing, honest I have. Though very little I have to say. Too much work maketh a dull Ooobop! Working on Mr O to take some pictures of my latest frock this weekend. So keep yer peeper peeled. There’ll be a more interesting and sewing-related post coming up soon.

Blue suede shoes… and no silly walks!

blue suede shoes

Well you could’ve knocked me down when I saw these in Clarks! And in the sale… and they’re wide fitting (for my stupidly square feet) and so blue and soooo incredibly comfy and now they are mine!

They go by the name of Camelia Kate and a bargain, methinks, at £34.99. Here’s a link if they make you go ‘ooo’ and you fancy a pair too!

More often than not I will go for quirk over comfort when it comes to shoes, and that usually rules out Clarks, but these little beauties ticked all boxes and were defo one for the money! They have little spongy bits to soothe the ball of your foot which means I don’t look like a member of the ‘Ministry of Silly Walks’ when I come home from work! (usually like the lady with the tea tray)

And before you ask, no of course I don’t have anything for them to go with, that would be plain silly!

Leopard-love shoes

Roder from Aldo

Roder from Aldo

You wouldn’t be wrong in thinking I have a thing about shoes but I do owe most of the wonderful shoe finds to my trusty self-appointed ‘shoe-scout’, Mr Ooobop! He spotted these little beauties online giving much reassurance that the height of them was balanced out by the platform, and so we set of to Westfield. Honestly, I tell no lies when I hype up his enthusiasm for ladies footwear including the sometimes tiresome task of shopping for them!

Roder leopard print shoes

See how the platform outweighs the heel?!

I wouldn’t go as far as saying they are the most comfortable shoes in the world but for the first half of my working day (given that I have been given a lift to work) they are not too bad. The 10-minute walk back to the tube station at the end of the day is a slow one to say the least!

At the peak they are an impressive 5.25 inches (13cm) high. Perfect for diddy people like me and possibly my tallest ones to date! All leather, save the adorable faux fur leopard print insert and the rubber sole which is an absolute life-saver as they are really grippy.

Roder leopard print shoes from Aldo

An impressive 5.25 inches at peak!

Not the cheapest pair in the shop at £90 but if you fancy some really impractical but not particularly comfy, dead cool shoes, pop along to Aldo. For the best part, most of the others are a little on the sensible side for me but they do have a great range of funky boots.

So what do you go for comfort or style? Or is there a both?!

The London Vintage Fashion, Textiles & Accessories Fair

My good friend Ms Lenith gave me a lovely list of vintage fairs and events that were taking place this weekend, which was lovely of her considering how grumpy she was at having to miss them all! But with everything that I had to do this weekend I  knew I would only be able to make one of them and it had to be local. So today I spent a wonderful morning at the London Vintage Fashion, Textiles and Accessories Fair. I have lived in this area for a good five years now and I have only just wised up to the subtle signage that whispers news of the next treasure trove. They happen every four to five weeks apparently. Well now that I know about them I am a poorer person indeed!

The event is held upstairs in the town hall and my first impression was that it was relatively small, a bit smelly,  and just full of vintage clothes. Not unusual for such a fair one might think but I was determined not to spend hard cash on ready made clothes. I’ve spent a fair bit on vintage patterns recently and I have a fabric stash that would clothe an army (in an interesting way) so I have prohibited myself from buying them in order to force more learning about sewing my own creations. Honestly, some of the dresses were in excess of £150. Lovely as they are, for that price, I’d sooner invest the time in reproducing ones to fit.

I was on a mission to find some vintage habershashery with half an eye out for a new bag. Everything was there. In all its gorgeousness. But mostly at a price! And the fair itself can’t have been that small because I was there for a good two and a half hours!

So here is what I found whilst swanning around the stalls in time to ‘The Girl From Ipanema‘! Praps you might want to listen to it whilst perusing all the lovely things I found . . . !
Oh . . . and see if you can spot the red herring!

Blackmore 9512: 60s dress pattern

Blackmore 9512: 60s dress pattern

Butterick 9635: 50s dress pattern

Butterick 9635: 50s dress pattern

Bestway 40s: suit pattern

Bestway 40s: suit pattern

Very red pvc bag

Very red pvc bag

Silk guipure lace neckpiece

Silk guipure lace neckpiece

Large metal buttons

Large metal buttons (1.5 inches tall and wide)

Little plastic buttons perhaps for a little 60s number?

Little plastic buttons perhaps for a little 60s number?

And lastly is my favourite find of all. It looks a bit deco to me. Though that is a completely uneducated guess. The seller didn’t know it’s story at all. But I think it is screaming to be worn with a little 40s dress which I haven’t made yet!

weighty brass / bronze buckle with enamel(?) mosaic inlay

Weighty brass / bronze buckle with enamel(?) mosaic inlay

The red herring is (of course) the entirely modern red plastic bag. The seller fessed up but I really don’t care! It is going to be the perfect accessory to the 60s shift dress and red shoes that I haven’t made or bought yet!

If you live locally and have never been, this vintage fair is worth a visit. Or do you know of any good ones local to you?

Pussycat shoes

Ooo . . . look what came in the post on Saturday!


Pussycat shoes from Irregular Choice

Care of my very lovely fiancé these ‘Sirens’ from Irregular Choice arrived in good time to replace my beloved patent orange slingbacks which are in need of heel-surgery. I am already a fan of these gorgeous masterpieces since I spotted a small range in Schuh, Westfield a couple of weeks ago. Dan was drawn in to one of their shops in Carnaby Street and so generously snapped up a pair for me, knowing all the ooo’s and awww’s that would ensue, upon delivery!

They are made of black suede with a polka dot fabric cat appliqué on the front, complete with a little pink bow collar. It’s tail ‘snakes’ round the side of the shoe. The heels are glittery and sparkle when we get our little teases of sunshine.

No detail is overlooked. From the gorgeous packaging, complete with sticker…

Irregular choice packaging

Beautiful packaging . . . which wont be visiting the recycling bag for some time!

and the crazy retro rabbit-print sole of the shoe . . .

siren shoe sole

Beautiful design on the sole . . . shame to walk on!

to the insides which are lined with pretty rose-print fabric.

siren shoe lining

Pretty lining that makes me smile every time I put them on

I have to admit that they are not the most comfortable of shoes – no discredit to the design – mainly because my feet are ‘square’ and wide! But I am hoping that the suede will ease a little after a few wears. Buy hey! I’m not old enough to go for comfy shoes yet anyhows!

New Shoes!

orange shoes

Very orange patent leather brogue lace-up high heel sling backs!

Well I thought I might brighten everyone’s day with a picture of my new shoes that begged me to take them home this weekend.

Yes they are orange patent leather and no they don’t really go with anything I have but do I care? They came from Office in Westfields and were £62 (I think…. I got a bit excited and cant remember exactly how much they were!)

I have got the hang of Westfields now and from the giant scary place I once thought it was, I now feel elated that it is a mere walk away. Having said that, I have to walk past the fabulous fabric shops in the Goldhawk Road first so the entire journey can take some time but who is complaining?!