Sunday, 23 October 2011

Winter warmers: line your boots in shearling for toasty feet!

The darkness has descended and that dastardly Jack Frost is back, which can mean only one thing: winter is upon us. Le sigh.
Now I must admit that I am a secret admirer of the winter months; twinkling lights in the darkness, fireworks, the smell of bonfires and best of all, Christmas (it all feels rather exciting, don't you think?). But one thing that I always struggle with is what to wear during the cold months, as my regular cotton dresses and sandals just aren't going to cut it!

Today I am going to tackle the issue of footwear, because no one likes a long day with cold, soggy feet.

A 1945 illustration from Paris et l'Elegance feminine.

On the hunt for a good pair of 1940's-esque boots to protect my tootsies, I stumbled across these Clarks boots on ebay and immediately saw their potential for a turned down, cuffed style...

These brown suede boots have a low, wedged heel and slashed ankles which are reminiscent of snug 1940's styles, but they still needed be just perfect. So I set to work...

For this project you will need:

~ One pair of boots
~ Shearling or faux shearling (I found mine on ebay)
~ 1 pen
~Superglue which will work on fabric/leather
~And some newspaper to prevent any superglue disasters

Step 1:

Lay the shearling, wrong side up, over one side of one boot. 
Trace out the centre-back seam first, and then trace a rough shape, thinking about where you would like the shearling to sit when inside the boot, adding a bit extra around the top to be trimmed off when finished.

Step 2:

Next, cut out the shape you have drawn 4 times (2 for each boot)

Step 3:

Apply a reasonable amount of glue to the reverse side of the shearling, and then carefully place the piece into the boot; lining up the centre back seam first will make this easiest. Once you are sure that it is in the right place, press firmly and hold for a short while until the glue is well bonded. 

Step 4:

Take a second piece of shearling and repeat previous step, meeting the two lining pieces in the centre.

Step 5:

Repeat the same process for boot number two, et voila!

Step 6:

Once the glue is dry, trim off the excess shearling from around the tops of the boots. You may need to add a little more glue under the edges to make sure the lining is firmly stuck.

I also covered those rubber flower buttons with the fabric too, to give fluffy little buttons!

And the result?

Gloriously fluffy boots which will be both warm and cute with wool dresses and fur during the cold months of winter!

What do you ladies think?
Please to let me know if any of you try it. I'd love to see the results.

Pip pip xx

Saturday, 22 October 2011

A moonicure from Minnie Moons....

Now, we gals of the vintage-inspired variety are often seen sporting a nice nail colour, but what if your nails refuse to grow to that glamorous length you want?

I am one who has spent many a year with serious nail envy of those who can grow delightfully glamorous nails, with strength to hold a good nail varnish without immediate chipping.
My nails, however, have never managed to get very long, even with layers and layers of top quality nail varnish and strengthener. So, when I met the beautiful Sharon whilst working with VP, and discovered her new venture into mobile manicures, specialising in the vintage half-moon mani, I invited her over to work her magic on my little nails.

A 1936 Cutex ad from Cosmopolitan magazine, featuring a half-moon manicure.

Sharon goes by the name Minnie Moons, and strives to bring vintage-style glamour to you and your fingertips (and in the comfort of your own home)!

On wednesday, she popped over to mine and set to work on my nails. My nails are rather short still, so with her help, the intention is to get my nails long enough for a pointed 1930's nail shape, with bare moons and tips, so under Sharon's advice I opted for an acrylic overlay to my nail. This means that an acrylic layer is added to my nails which adds no length, but instead acts as a protective layer to give my nails the strength they need to grow to my desired length without breaking. This will then need to be in-filled as my nail grows, and then taken off and re-done every now and again.

My short nails still look pretty impressive with the beautiful silver half-moons, and are now super-strong which will allow them to survive the battering they get at work!

If you would like some glorious nails from Minnie Moons, then you can pop over to her facebook page to can see a list of services available from this clever lady!

Pip pip xx

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Ahhh. Blog, sweet blog.

Bonjour, hello and hola my dear readers!

... I am back (at least partially) from my terribly long absence!
The last month and a bit has been utter madness, involving two jobs, a freelance dressmaking job of two bridesmaids dresses (during which my sewing machine packed in), physiotherapy, and moving flats. PHEW!
It exhausted me and left me feeling a little bit frantic, to say the least. Plus, I have also had no internet in my new flat. Which is almost really a good thing, as it has given me a bit of time to settle in/unpack/defrost my brain.

So I do hope you'll forgive me for my absence?

But as I begin to settle into the new place, I can't tell you how different I am feeling! Life is good again. Me and Mr Mike have moved from a little studio flat full of mould and other problems, to a TWO BEDROOM; that's right, we now have a spare room! A spare one. Just spare. I know!? This is a massive change, and once sorted and unpacked properly, the spare room will be great for me to sew and craft in, and Mr Mike to geek out in.

Photos of the new place will follow at some point, once we are a bit more settled and out of cardboard boxes and bin bags, I promise.

In the meantime, I am back with a post about "stuff". Yes, one of my ever impending "stuff" posts. Because, I am back in Norwich with my fam for a few days for my birthday, and of course, Norwich is an amazing place to find wonderful things to purchase!

Today me and my step mum scurried around the city, in the sweltering heat and during this time we popped into the old Loose's for a spot of treasure hunting, obvs. And, as it was saturday, the fleamarket was on upstairds. HUZZAH.

This is what I came away with:

Clip-on fur earrings: fleamarket, £5.
Think of all that winter outfit potential.

A WWII era pincushion with Hitler hand-embroidered. 
So you can stick pins in Hitler.
A piece of amazing history and a total bargain.
Hitler pin cushion: fleamarket, £2.

And then I came across this wonderful dress! <3
A 1940's, cream wool dress, with brown leather-covered buttons, and brown wool pom-poms. I had seen this in Loose's a long time ago, and at the time talked myself out of even trying it on as I had already bought some other things and it was more money than I'd usually spend (not to say that it was expensive, as it definitely wasn't). But I went home pining for it and wondering if it would have fit me or not.
So today when I went to Loose's, I was absolutely astounded to see it was still there. I grabbed it and headed to the changing rooms. 
To my disbelief, it fitted me. Almost perfectly. So of course I decided to purchase it; it is my birthday on tuesday after all. Early birthday present to myself, that's all!

 1940's wool dress, £40.

 Isn't she a beauty? 
I am having all sorts of visions of wearing her with my fur earrings, and my brown suede winter boots, and my 1930's brown fur handwarmer.
A perfect wintery outfit!

I know I shouldn't be thinking of winter on such a hot day, but I'm pretty sure any girl would find it difficult not to with this dress in their possession.

What are you lovelies thinking of wearing to take you through winter glamorously?

Pip pip xx