Yummy Vintage Knits

The other day I was making an effort to catch up with my google reader and I went straight to the beautiful Butterfly and Hurricanes blog.  This lady is beautiful and talented and I ADORE her style! If you like vintage clothes and dress making then you must go over for a visit.  Oh, her hair. What I would give for her hair.  Oh her talent.  Crikey, if I can ever one day make dresses like this lady can I shall be a happy bunny.

Anyway, she blogged about a knitting book and on seeing it I got all shivvery and excited (as I do!) and I HAD to have it.  It finally arrived from Amazon today and wow, I was not disappointed! LOOK:

Oooooooh, do I knit this one first??

ahhhhhh………or this one?

How gorgeous is that???

oh, oh, oh, but there’s this one….

or, or, or…..thiiiiiiiisssss onnnnneeee…..

Oh honestly, there are so many gorgeous, sexy and beautiful patterns in this book I don’t know where to start.  Fortunately MiL is coming over on Wednesday so I shall be packing her off with wool and patterns to go create!

For those of you more on the ball you may be thinking ‘but you’re yet to finish your Victory jumper’ and you would be right.  Never shall I knit with three balls of wool ever again.  What on earth possessed me to make that my first adult project?  It’s like the never ending jumper from hell.  Every time I feel i’m nearly there it just goes on and on and on and on.  I feel like I have been knitting the life out of myself. I bet you that jumper pattern was sold in 1939 and there was no bleeding Victory allowed until 1945 as none of the women had finished their damned jumpers! I am DETERMINED to finish it this week.  I have half a sleeve and sewing to do.  Not much it would seem but considering this jumper knits as though it’s a tardis it may well take another year.  However, I now have new motivation. I NEED one of the above tops.

Happy knitting!

Lottie -x-

PS – yes, I know i’m moving to California but they do have breezy days on which a lightweight wool top can be worn i’m sure! They’ll have to once I have a wardrobe full of these beauties!

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Support Our Soldiers – today!

It’s been hard work writing this post.

On the 4th June 1940, the last day of the Dunkirk rescues, my Grandad and his best friend swam out to sea amid firing and desperate chaos to meet a boat which would take them home after days stranded on a death riddled beach in fear, wondering if they will ever get home and see their families and their beloved country again.

My Grandad climbed aboard and went to pull his best friend from the sea.  He was told there was no more room on the craft and that he had to let go of his friend’s hand.

He never saw his best friend again.

My lovely Grandad lived with that story on his mind his entire life and only told us when he was on his deathbed. Such a sad and tragic story to live with. He was one of many.

This story makes me cry, still, even though I have thought about it and heard it told many times since my Grandad died 16 years ago.

I’ve always been interested and dare I say it passionate about the plights of those in the first and second world wars and the events and stories that come from those periods. I guess the knowledge that my Grandad fought in the Second World War gave me an added emotional interest in that period and the above story allows me a slightly deeper understanding of the tragedy of it all.  After all, to see one you love suffer, from anything, including a memory is a difficult thing and stays with you in a more profound way than just another anecdotal story.

In addition to the anniversary of Dunkirk this month has also seen us celebrate the World Cup and once again raise our patriotic interest in an achievement for our country. It strikes me that as being rather odd that *I* enjoy football.  I’m not exactly the typical, average football fan and I rarely if ever watch club football, I have no interest.  However, when England are playing I can quite happily and passionately enjoy it. I also feel the same when England play cricket and although I don’t understand Rugby at all I feel a sense of pride when I hear they have won a game.

My interest in major tournament football and other international sports events and the passion they arouse in me stems from my need and desperate desire to celebrate my patriotism. To acknowledge that feeling that I believe those who fought or suffered through our wars had and understood.

I want to feel pride in our beautiful country and what we achieve and what we have achieved in the past that anything that illustrates our achievements calls out to me as interesting, watchable and followable. This said, I feel this country is at odds with its patriotism.  For many years, probably all of my life, England hasn’t really understood what it is to be patriotic and how to celebrate its pride in the country.  We try and we desperately hang on to sport to show these unnurtured feelings but we lack the ability to wear our patriotism on our sleeve and show others what our country is about and what it means to us on a day to day basis.

I often hear the dismissal of other countries that have an evident and strongly held patriotism as ‘up themselves’, ‘arrogant’, ‘mislead’ or just downright ‘annoying’.  I hear such comments about countries like France, America, Scotland and Ireland all the time but actually I think we’re a little jealous of these nations and their patriotism.  They understand what it means to be French, American, Scottish or Irish, god darn it, I feel that WE understand what it means to be French, American, Scottish or Irish but we don’t for the life of us know what it means to be English – why is that?

I don’t know.  I would love to understand it better.

In my opinion patriotism is so important.  It got us through the Blitz you know?! *ironic snigger* But seriously, as often as we hear that I am sure it so true.  Somehow, back then, in the early 1940′s when our country was being annihilated, we learnt to understand patriotism, to believe in it, to pull together and to be a country. We understood that our men were fighting for theirs and their families lives.

I guess if something is threatening and destroying your homeland literally it is easy to find your patriotic spirit and reason to fight. The trouble is that sometimes we need our patriotic spirit to be evident when we’re not fighting a battle on our own land or other than on England match days.

There is historical evidence that this country has always been this way.  If it’s not happening where we can see and feel it we prefer to ignore it and just get on.

I want to remind you all today that we don’t just need to display our patriotism for our lads playing football, cricket, rugby or any other sport but also for our brave, gallant and truly incredible men today fighting a dreadful war in Afghanistan and DIEING.  Yes, they’re dieing and all of those dieing are husbands, boyfriends, fathers, sons, brothers and friends. They’re adored, loved and needed by their families and friends yet they have chosen to fight a war for our country.

I’m not going to get into a debate about whether or not we should have troops fighting that war.  Lets face it war is never a good thing, never a wanted thing but sometimes a necessary thing whether those of us at home believe it or not.  You believe me when I say that those fighting in Afghanistan today DO believe in their country, they ARE fighting for their country, for their Queen and most definitely for their families. They are patriotic and survive to come home to a country they love.

Why is it that this country comes to a standstill when England is playing a football match but when 18 soldiers die during one week of war, a war they are fighting for our country, very little is said?  I know there were celebrations yesterday for our forces but they were massively overshadowed by the World Cup coverage and barely noticed by most people.

Maybe I am wrong, maybe we are all aware of our brave men, maybe we do acknowledge them, maybe we are proud of them, maybe we will support them when they come home and take off their uniforms, maybe we will never forget. I fear that we don’t do any of those things enough and that we do forget all too easily.

We aren’t given the means to show of our support for them other than through the odd tweet.  We’re not being asked to provide anything for them as a nation and we are not being asked to sacrifice anything for them as a nation. We SHOULD do SOMETHING.

There is a wonderful charity called SOS (Support our Soldiers).  Show your patriotism by doing something simple yet amazing for our  guys in Afghanistan.  See a list of things you can do here .  Many of my wonderful friends on here are more than capable of writing a letter of support, sending a care package or sending a handmade card.  There is something on here that every one of us can do to show our support.  Do your good deed this week and send something to our troops.

I’m not sure what I am going to do but I am going to do something and I’ll let you know what.

18 British soldiers lost their precious lives in Afghanistan last week.  May they rest in peace and forever be in our hearts.

May we never forget.

Lottie -x-

PS – I don’t know anyone fighting in Afghanistan at the moment.  I know many who have been but they are fortunately home and safe for the time being.  If you are reading this and you know someone out there who would appreciate a care package please leave their name in the comments section so that I and others can address our parcels to them as they need to be sent to named personnel – thank you xx

*I don’t know the credit for this photograph but would like to add it if anyone does

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Think Frock It’s Friday – Think Bespoke!

This Think Frock It’s Friday I have the pleasure of introducing you to Sarah from Sarah’s Scribbles (@sarahs_scribble to those of you on Twitter).

Please give her a warm welcome as she shares her exciting dress experience with us.

I am green with envy! Over to  Sarah:

“Think Frock” – “Think Bespoke”


Wearing a dress is special, it’s no average piece of clothing, its not just another thing you “shove” on in morning – it is a work of art.

The way a dress can skim over every feminine curve you have, the way it can accentuate and disguise the good and bad, the way it can look different each and every time just by changing a tiny accessory, the use of fabric, colours and textures are endless but most of all, what counts, is that it’s a dress.

After joining the incredible campaign that has just snowballed, of “Think Frock it’s Friday” The lady behind it all, the formidable Lottie, has given us the most amazing opportunity, to embrace being a woman – not out of the ordinary I hear you say, but in today’s busy, stressful life, it is oh so important to remember what and who we are.

I have been embracing this campaign since it started and it is getting easier to get excited about donning a frock every Friday, plus I rather enjoy the compliments! But where as I love wearing a dress, and I love every single one of my dresses that I own, yes.. every single one, I have never owned that one special dress that stands out from the rest in the wardrobe, I’ve had pretty ones, memorable ones and disaster ones, but none that I can safely call my “me” dress, Until now that is….. Until I met the most amazing fashion designer Lira Leirner.

After stumbling across her website after following her (in a non stalker-ish way) on Twitter, I have completely and utterly fallen in love with her collections. What first captured me, was the use of colour, the use of a real woman modeling and the shape and style of her dresses. Her emphasis was on feminine and fitted – this was a first, a designer piece that wasn’t made for the models and being made completely inaccessible – here we had, truly special pieces that literally made your heart flutter. I instantly spotted my fave – I was drawn in by its spell-like form – the way the waist of the dress cinched in, the way it flared out over the hips to form a real hour-glass sexual, feminine shape, the layers of underskirt that added the flirty, girlie little touch to it – I knew I had to have it. Unfortunately for me, it wasn’t avaliable in my size – my dream was so near, yet so far…but before you all start sniffling, Lira came to the rescue and introduced me to Lira Custom Made and boy, was I in for a surprise.

I’m not married, never have been, and never had the opportunity to wear an outfit that was made purely for moi, plus I never really felt special enough to warrant it either, I mean lets face it, it’s only little old me right, why on earth would I deserve a specially made dress?!?! Until I remembered Lottie, and her very wise words – she’s re-introduced me into being a woman and dressing like one – so…why not…. Let’s just go for it, and so I have. I have my very own custom-made dress being made just solely for “little old me” and I love it! The feeling it has given me is truly amazing – no longer will I pull a dress out and put it on and think, “yeah I’m wearing a dress, but I could do with losing a few pounds”…. Oh no… not now – this one-off dress, made for Sarah is going to be the making of me, I may very well find myself wearing it 24hours a day, 7 days a week, but hey WHO CARES! It’s mine! I have, so far seen snippets of the bespoke “dream dress” from Lira, and every time I see it I feel god damn amazing, so much so, I want to go put on anything and everything womanly in my wardrobe and run around with a sign saying “ I LOVE LIRA” The joys of knowing something was made for you is unreal. I recommend all you “frocksters” out there, to go, search around, find the “one” dress, make it custom, make it just for you, cos lets face it: we’re women, we should be made to feel like a woman and I thank Lottie and Lira for making me feel like (in the words of L’oreal) “I’m worth it”

S_S

*All images from http://www.liraleirner.com – click on image for more information

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Thrifting in St Ives

Yesterday I had to go to the beautiful town of St Ives in Cambridgeshire to see my Optician.  This is some distance from where I live but the optician in question is a friend of mine so I prefer to travel and give him my business rather than go elsewhere.

A six monthly excursion to St Ives is no hardship as it really is a stunning place.  I highly recommend a visit if you are ever in the area and fancy an afternoon tea by a river – gorgeous!

St Ives has a proliferation of Charity shops and I could therefore not resist the call to thrift.  Gosh, honestly, anyone who knows me from my day to day life must be astounded that *I* thrift – clearly I have undergone some radical change in personality in recent months, but honestly it is so addictive and soooo much fun.

I was not disappointed as I marched around St Ives sniffing out bargains.  Here are a few of the things I picked up.

I have been looking for a plain, kind of old-fashioned watch for a while now.  I ideally want a vintage watch but until I find one I love this is a brilliant find.  It is brand new plain tan leather strap Timex watch and at just £1.99 I wasn’t going to say no.  It is exactly what I need for day to day and looks fab on.

This little Windsmoor blouse shouted out to me with its cute red polka dot looks! It is a cropped blouse with an elasticated gathered seam at the bottom.  It will look gorgeous and vintage with high waisted shorts.  I just happen to have a pair of shorts with which it will go perfectly. At £6.99 it was a little more than I would normally pay but I am moving to California so really must have appropriate clothing – don’t you think??

I bought this with Ebay in mind.  It such a cute wool top with a definite Emma Pilsbury, 50′s feel about it (you all know how much I love Emma).  It is actually a Next top but not being a regular Next shopper I have no idea how old it is. It’s in perfect condition.  I picked it up with Ebay in mind as I really can’t justify adding anymore to my wardrobe this month and given where I shall be this winter I don’t really need another wool jumper.  However, now I have it home I don’t know if I can part with it…..My husband will start to lose the plot with me if I don’t.

Another find for Ebay was this gorgeous little bag:

It has no label.  The problem is that this morning I put a dress on and this bag is just soooooooooo perfect with it I really don’t think I can part with it.  I really, really do have far too many handbags.  If I keep this one I shall have to Ebay some others…what do you think?

It wasn’t on purpose.  I happened to have this dress on today and I was posing with the handbag for Ebay purposes and it just looked right.  As though it had found its home, its life partner.  How can I possibly part with it now??

Incidentally the little bolero I have on is one of my Mother in Law’s creations.  I now have a yellow one, a black one and a red one.  They are really very cute with my 40′s and 50′s style dresses, she is so clever.

I had a lot of compliments about this dress at school today.  I am getting more confident about being in the playground as my glamorous self and it feels good – I recommend it to all women! Of course I didn’t tell them that is was thrifted for £5!

I picked up a couple of other bits for my house too which I am quite chuffed with but won’t show you.  Mostly plant pots for houseplants which after trawling around many normal shops in the hope of purchasing some was astounded that I couldn’t and that I had to resort to charity.  Still, it saved me a fortune and I now have rehoused plants happy in their new containers.

I am now going to wait for my exasperated sigh from my husband after he reads this :-)

Love to all

Lottie -x-

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England Tea Party

Today is going to be a busy day as I this afternoon we are having a little England Tea Party for our boys.  I decided that as the sun is shining, England are playing their final game and I have two gorgeous boys who love football, what better excuse is needed to have their friends and my friends round for some fun in the garden?! We have invited thirteen under eight year olds from our street and their Mum’s round for tea – I am clearly barking mad!!

I doubt there will be a great deal of the match being watched but we will be enjoying the patriotic spirit along with the nation.

There will be:

Little Boys in England kits ready to commiserate celebrate

Prior to that my chef and I shall be baking cakes:

Then decorating the garden with bunting and flags:

And lots of balloons

As well as preparing lots of football themed goodies to eat.

I think today may call for a paddling pool too. Argos here I come!

I hope you all enjoy this beautiful day, regardless of the football results.

Love to all

Lottie -x-

PS – new blog and photos delayed by a week as can’t move it until I have been registered for 60 days, which isn’t until Saturday – grrrr…..very frustrating!! It is coming though – promise!

* Images from The Flag Wizard and We Heart It – click on image for more information

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Look what I did…

Today I thought I would show off one of my recent creations as I haven’t done that in a while.  I am always up to something or another but my blog has got rather carried away with frocks and helping women become womanly.  I am far from complaining about this as I absolutely love it but I also love making things and am still at it in the background.

You may recall that I recently bought this dress as part of an amazing vintage job lot from Oxfam:

It is a 1960′s dress in a mad psychedelic material.

During the England Game on Friday night I sat and did what women do best – multi skilled!  Whilst watching that appalling match I  hand sewed (the best way to deal with this knitted fabric according to my dress making tutor) and turned the dress into this (a productive use of the 90 minutes which is more than can be said for our poor England squad!!):

I have shortened it to be a tunic top and altered the sleeves to be three quarter length.  In addition I have added a corsage brooch in some left over remnant to jazz it up a bit.  The corsage is on a pin so can be removed easily. It looks fabulous on with jeans or leggings and is definitely going to look stunning on the West Coast Swing dance floor for which it is made. I have made it per my friend Jenny’s requirements.  She fell in love with it in its original form but knew she wouldn’t wear it as is so had me alter it to be more wearable today.  I am so pleased with it and more than a little jealous that I now have to hand it over. Still, I can look upon Jenny proudly when she gets lots of compliments for being in ‘my’ top.

I think I might be getting the hang of this dress making lark.  Next week I should be able to show you the 1940′s skirt I have been making!

One final note, I am hoping to be here as usual on Wednesday but I may not be as my blog is being migrated to my domain proper. I am very much hoping that this week’s Think Frock It’s Friday will be extra special with my new blog design AND my Pin Up photo shoot pictures *squeals in excitement* .

If I disappear for a while I promise I shall be back.

Love to all,

Lottie -x-

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Think Frock It’s Friday – She’s the One.


I don’t need to give this astoundingly beautiful woman an introduction do I? You’re not surprised to know I idolise her either are you?

She definitely shows every one of us how to wear a dress!

The pictures do the talking today

Lottie -x-

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