Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Embroidery complete! A pillowcase

Behold, a craft that is not knitting! I finished embroidering this pillowcase over the weekend, and while it's not perfect, I'm pretty proud of it.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

The look of Crimes of Passion, episodes three and four

It's time for another look at the clothes in Swedish midcentury-set drama series Crimes of Passion. (Here's my post on episodes one and two.) While there were some gorgeous garments for the ladies in episodes three and four, we'll come to those later, because there was much more to look at on the gents than either of the first two.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Get thee a spreadsheet!

The single most useful thing in my wardrobe is a spreadsheet. 'A spreadsheet?' I hear you say. 'That's not very vintage.' Well, you could get a proper old-school ledger book and keep a hard copy one. Whether you opt for digital or paper, though, and whether you're a gent or a lady, I promise you it will be fanstastically useful.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

The need for tweed

My favourite tweed suit. The hair's
changed, but the suit is the same!
Autumn is upon us! There are some things I really don't like about the season – mainly the rain and having to get up in the dark; I'm solar-powered and find it very difficult to get up before the sun does – but there are lots of things I love about it. There's Halloween, cold-weather foods like stew and dumplings, and the first squashes arriving in my vegbox. There's also the sheer delight of going to my wardrobe and rediscovering all my tweedy old skirts and woolly jumpers. Isn't that a delight? I certainly don't know any knitters who don't love digging out their favourite knitteds each winter; rediscovering something you spent weeks on and enjoying it all over again is a real treat. And there's nothing like tweedy trousers or a wool skirt ot jacket to pair with a favourite knit.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Random acts of shopping

New shoes and dressing gown
For someone who claims to hate shopping, I certainly seem to have been buying a lot lately, though without spending very much actual money. I've just got another dress from Boden – it was knocked down from £115 to £22 in Clearance – and is very Grace Kelly. It's a cappuchino brown broderie anglais shirt dress, and for now is providing the background to the bags in the second photo. I plan to wear it with my vintage beige Cooltimer jacket, ivory lace flats and the boxy cream midcentury-style bag, which I got for £2 in the Red Cross shop.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The look of Crimes of Passion, episodes 1 and 2

Christer, Dina, Puck and Einar (episode 2, 'King Lily of the Valley') in their wedding reception outfits
Crimes of Passion is a midcentury-set Swedish crime drama currently being broadcast on BBC4. I've seen it described as 'Midcentury Midsomer Murders', which is a bit harsh – Midsomer Murders really is the low point for me as far as crime dramas go; I love the cheesiness of things like Quincy and Diagnosis Murder but Midsomer Murders is just dire. For me, Crimes of Passion is more akin to Agatha Christie stories, which is appropriate as the books were originally published in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, though there's a bit of spice in the form of the Einar-Puck-Christer triangle. (Einar and Puck are in love, but you just know Puck and Einar's pal Christer fancy the pants off each other.)

Sunday, 7 September 2014

A trio of 1930s Oxford murder mysteries

If you love old crime novels, you'll know it's getting harder and harder to find them nowadays – it's been ages since I've found a decent stock of greenback Penguins, which used to be ten-a-penny. Imagine my delight, then, when Mr Robot and I nipped into Waterstones in Trowbridge yesterday and I saw that the British Library had started re-releasing classic crime novels from the past. There are currently eleven novels in the British Library Crime Classics series, and I hope there will be many more.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Is repro bad for vintage?

Does it have to be original?
I like reproduction clothing. It has lots of advantages: it's easy to find in larger sizes, or to get custom-made if you have special clothing needs (say, arthritis means you can't fiddle with poppers and buttons, or you need to accommodate calipers or supports). Usually it's made of fabrics that are easy to care for, and because you can get another one easily you're not going to bawl if you rip the armpits out of a garment, unlike a unique piece of vintage that took you ages to find and months to save up for.