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Tuesday 29 June 2010

Shopping with Peter part two

And now for part two of my adventures with Peter from Male Pattern Boldness...
(sorry if this seems slow coming, jet lag meant that one eye was doing whatever it wanted - singing "la la laaa" as to rolled about the room, it was most disconcerting and it slowed me up)

After thrift shopping all over town, Peter and I ended up where we both new we would, in the garment district part of town. (Peter, put the tassles DOWN and step away   v e r y   s l o w l y.)

I in particular needed a length of ribbon to go with a vintage dress that I had bought while away.  It needed a belt and we knew a grosgrain ribbon would be perfect. So we headed to MJ Trimmings.  

It was the glossiest most devine haberdashery shop I have ever seen! Trust New Yorkers to do it well! No pokey little dusty places in which you would not wish to be in a fire, no grumpy staff, no mice...(no bargains either my cheapo friends!)

I came prepared with clever trick my Mother taught me, which is to snip a wee piece out of the seam allowance, and attach it to notepaper to carry with you so that you can match to it. Disclaimer: this only really works with items that have a decent seam allowance like vintage does.  So, if you can't do that, then Mum takes some thread that is the right shade along instead.
Peter was the one to choose the winning Grosgrain.  Something we didn't know, is that it comes in cotton, silk or polyester.  We agreed on Cotton, due to its stiffness and non slippery-ness and that turned out to be the perfect combination for a belt that remained tied all day and all night, since I ended up wearing it home on the plane. Instant belt: Ta Dah!

I left the ends a bit longer than the finished product will be, to give me some allowance to hem it when home.

Next up we headed to Peters Fave Fabric joint: H&M Fabrics 248 West 35th street. 
Hmmm...I could instantly see the attraction...

And is where we drooled over the burnout velour which was a possible 20s project (Peter, you know you are going to have to buy it one day ANYWAY - so go get it. Better yet, someone in NY go get it for him, please!)

And I picked up some stunning Hawaiian print at $2/yard:

I need to cut into it before I fall MORE in love with it (which is when it is too precious to be subject to scissors and will remain in the fabric stash until I move into a retirement home). 

(The dress and belt, and horrible model pose, in Central park)

Thank you Peter for the whistle-stop tour of your lovely city, its thrift stores, its fabric stores, and for letting me meet your cute dogs and see your sewing machine... um...gallery.

Shona x

Friday 25 June 2010

Love yourself, Love others, Love vintage Challenge

A really neat challenge has come my way! I was tagged for the Challenge set by Brittany from Va-Voom Vintage.  It is the "Love yourself, Love others, Love vintage Challenge"  Ohh that is clever. Well done Brittany! I am all for a bit of support of each other, whether you are curvy or bean pole, youthful or...um... wise.  We all have something stunning to love.  

I got passed the gauntlet by Kiss Me Kate in the beginning of June and I have been slow to pass it forward since I was travelling just then, (did I tell you I have been to New York? tee hee). I am so thrilled, being still a bit new to blogland and still finding my "voice" and my feet, so it was just so sweet to be picked as a top five by someone. Kate liked my hair and my designs - *Blush* Thank you!
Here's Kate herself:

I gotta say Kate, you are one saucy lady - those eyes are smokin'!

So as to the rules, I need to choose 5 thinks I like about myself first, then 5 people in blogland that I have something to envy them for! Goody.
So the 5 things I like about myself. 

  1. My colouring. My red hair and green eye colour is unusual.  Sometimes the hair means I stand out when I might feel like hiding, but mostly I love it. It means I am always different and I have come to like that. I feel a bit special and I am easy to find in a crowd.
  2. My little waist and my big boobs (yes really!).  They stay in proportion even if I gain weight, so my shape stays an hourglass. It doesn't suit a 20s look, but it is knock out in 40s or 50s gear. My shape has also got ex-boyfriends off speeding tickets...but that is a story for another time...
  3. My cupids bow (that is the wee indent in the middle of your top lip). When I had braces the dentist told me it was the reason that people didn't notice them - wasn't that sweet of him?
  4. My back, knees, feet and joints in general.  I recognise now that my limbs are quite good at keeping me active. Dancing is my favourite thing in life and I am really glad my joints are playing ball with me.
  5. My eyelashes. They are long.  They are fair, so need mascara to be seen, but they can flutter with the best of them.
I have to say that now that I am 38 I like myself a WHOLE bunch more than I did at 28, yet I was firmer, fitter, bouncier...even..err... zestier then.  Why did I have all those wasted years? People write books on such things and quite rightly too, as it seems to be a modern (mostly feminine) condition that rocks the confidence of beautiful people all around the world.  Imagine the things we could achieve if we were not spending a heap of time thinking we are not worthy! Blah.

Ok, enough rant,  Here are my 5 envy worthy bloggettes. This was tough to choose as I have many that I follow just to see their pictures!
Solanah of Vixen Vintage: I adore her smile! She makes me feel happy and about her age (which is just few years off mine!  heh heh heh) And I just love, love, love it when she wears long socks and boots. Yes Solanah, you can brighten my day by just wearing socks.

Esme and the Lane way: This girl has got it all going on, eyes, brows, hair, legs, but if I choose one thing, it will have to be her jawline. Sounds odd but it is true.  Pure ENVY. (note, also a girl that can wear long socks, darn it)


And now for some eyes: check this pair out:

Jeepers Creepers, where did you get those Peepers! - Meet Melanie from  Pink Champagne for dancing.  She has great hair and a great smile and I always look forward to her outfit posts.

Ok gosh just two more... who will it be? I have many to choose from.

For hair evny, my choice is Andy B. Goode.  Andy you have the Lush-i-ness locks! Check out the cute dimple and deep brown eyes too.  Andy does vintage beautifully and with a lot of fun as well.

Afternoon Tea

Last but not least, this woman has got legs. She has quite a lot of them...  I know because I have to lengthen her trousers. Is it bad to be so jealous of your friends pins? I don't think so! She has everything else going on too, complexion, shape, brows, hair, cheekbones, long neck, slender anklebone... but...Fleur de Guerre - your legs are stunning! Grrrrr.... (I am allowed a little growl of envy here, she knows I adore her in truth).

There we have it, some beautiful ladies that I have been honoured to meet in Blogland.  There are many many more that I could have equally gushed about. You could tell me about your favourites in the comments, or take up Brittany's Challenge yourself.

A toast to lovely ladies around the globe!

Shona x

Wednesday 23 June 2010

Shopping with Peter part one

Hey everyone!
As promised, I have heaps to catch you up on, and firstly I think you will want to know about Shopping with Peter in NY!  If you haven't met Peter already, you will find him over at Male Pattern Boldness(yep, that links to a blog about me! how chuffed am I?

Peter runs what must be just the most fun, most inspiring blog of the internet. And he will nag you about your sewing projects if you let him, which can be a good thing! He is teaching himself to sew using vintage patterns and  vintage sewing machines and sometimes fabric and notions he picks up second hand, so already we had a lot in common - fabrics, patterns, vintage fashion, and pre-loved stuff in general.  Peter had a wonderful warmth and humour about him and was easy to get along with so I was so pleased to have the chance to meet him! 

First off he took me thrift shopping which turned up some lovely hair flowers and a cardy for me, but the highlight was VINTAGE shopping at a place near heaven called "The Showplace".  (Peter covers off some of our tour in his blog post, linked to above also.)

When I say shopping, we didn't make actually make any purchases. The owners were all lovely though and ok for us to take photos to show you all.

First off we found Joe Sundlies Vintedge on the groundfloor. Joe himself was lovely, but didn't want a photo, so I had to content myself with his sign and the yummy hatboxes. It looks like there might be treasure up there don't you think?

He had fantastic vintage stage costume headdresses - if any of you burlesque girls need a costume get there!

Next we trooped in anticipation upstairs to find Marlene Wetherall (actually we met her sister). We were both entranced by the displays, with stock spanning decades, they did very well in showcasing like items together:

Next was Vintage Lingerie run by Illisa.  How do you like her shop "sign"?

The shop was choc full of silks and satins, beaded cardigans and all things ultra feminine. (Peter coped very well).  Had money been more on my side I would have purchased a few of these beauties.

Well, they would have fitted into my hand luggage and most of them were unused.  I could just picture them prettying up a cardy or dress, or an evening jacket, or on a hairband even. I was all lit up with the choices and in the end could not choose just one. It was like being in a candy shop!  


She had many many pairs of slippers. Apparently they are popular with brides for their wedding day (or night!)
I lusted after this crocheted sachet.  It had long ago lost its scent, but not its charm:

Some lucky lady might have been given this as a gift.  Do you think it is sad she never used it, or do you think it is marvellous that she kept it pristine for us? Old things always make me wonder about the previous owner...was it not her style, or was it too precious to be out of its box?

What really took the cake though was this, a garter with a POCKET! I am guessing it is from the 20s, 30s or even earlier (the brown lace makes me think it might be Victorian). Any ideas fellow readers? We took guesses at what it might have held, as the pocket is small.  It is too small for a key or a comb.  A small lipstick or pot of rouge? Tobacco? Smelling salts? Some coins? Ohh it beckons the imagination to think what a girl might tuck into her garter in those days!  Please someone, go buy it and give it a good home!

Next Peter and I hit the fabric and trimming shops, so stay tuned!

Shona x

Monday 21 June 2010

Back in Ole London Town

Gosh 58 followers already - I feel honoured (must do something about a flashier header!)
Well I am back from a whirlwind trip. I have lots of lovely posts lined up for you, and here are some teasers about what I have been up to:
First off we went to Cleveland All Balboa weekend where I sat on the moon with Gal Pal Vanessa from NZ...

Then we flew to New York where I caught up with fellow bloggers Gertie and Peter

Peter took me shopping (or did I take you Peter?)

I made Mr Wolf staple up a hem of a vintage dress, while I hacked into another...(shock, Horror!)

We all went dancing at Swing 46 and saw the George Gee Orchestra (and other famous swing dancing people... tease tease)

We larked about in Times Square...

I went to see the American High Style Exhibition at The Brooklyn Museum...

We did a serious amount of shoe hunting at Macys...

and I waltzed about in Central Park

I will be filling you in on my adventures during the next week - So much to tell you!

Shona Rockette

Tuesday 15 June 2010

Jet Setting

Hey there lovelies

Things might be looking quiet but in truth I am zipping all about the place.  First off, family were in London to stay, then we all nipped to Cleveland (USA) to the All Balboa weekend.  It is pretty neat to have a brother that can Balboa too.  My dodgey knee managed to cope with dancing day and night (and in heels) so I am very happy, and worn out too!
Now I have a mere 4 days in the fabulous city of New York, which I know will not be long enough. I have some adventures planned, including M&J Trimming (thanks Lauren) which might just have to be on the agenda today.
I have lots of pictures to show you, though that is going to have to wait, as I forgot the doodad that will let me download photos from our camera. Stay tuned for updates of dancing, vintage shopping and general touristy Shenanagans.

Signing off until next week,
Shona Rockerfeller

Wednesday 2 June 2010

One dress for Peter

I am on a roll getting all these demanding fellow bloggers settled down (just kidding really, it is lovely to connect with such fun inspiring people)

This is for Peter over at Male Pattern Boldness - see, I finally got it finished... 

I was very excited by the print when I bought it, and it is a great linen cotton mix that has a good body to it. It was cheap at £3 a metre, and then I found it had a flaw at intervals along one edge and had to buy a bit more - just goes to show you it is worth inspecting bargains to make sure they really are!  
You can see the print is fabulous - it could be real vintage: 

Sadly it wrinkles a bit, but not half as badly as 100% linen would. What has disappointed me more is the sewing pattern (MaCall; 8387), it was a little lacking.  I made proper darts at the front up to the bust line as the orignal tucks at the waistline didn't give it enough shape just under the boobs, which just makes the puppies look larger (and I don't need that!). I find it typical of patterns of this era, they simplified and shortened darts too much for my shape, so I did see that coming. Next time, I will take also a little out of the bust and shoulders too.

Still it is kind of a Wearable Toile so I am not bothered, it is comfy and stylish and I just might have got a few approving looks while running errands too.

My hair did good things (before it rained)

So I rushed into a charity shop and picked up a lovely old red umbrella for a £1.  (Any excuse really).  I'd say it is 70s (but I'll pretend it is 30s).
Note the now flat hair!

 I am being ungracious, rain it is GOOD for roses.  I think they were smiling:

So I decided to agree with them and get on with being glad it was raining....

(Note to self: it is easier to spin for the self timer than it is to jump for it.)

Now today we are back to full-on Sunshine mode, with a dress to go with it (hair has recovered).

Whatever the weather is doing about you today, I hope you can find a reason to feel glad too.

Shona x

The info bit:
Pattern was McCall 8387
Black heels - reproductions from Johnsons Shoes , Black cardy - (few years old) H+M
50s/early 60s cotton dress -  Freddies of Pinewood at the War and Peace show. (When Jo has a clear out, it is worth being around) 
Off white sandals - Rocket Orignals
sunglasses, original 50s - dead mens spex


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