Friday, 4 May 2018

Crinoline Robot's vintage week

The Circus, Bath

Maybe it’s the sunshine, maybe it’s finding a set of uranium glass dishes in a charity shop weekend, or maybe it's taking part in the #vintagefashionchallenge on Instagram, but I am really feeling my love of old tat right now.

 It was also Mr Robot's birthday this week, so we went for a really delicious dinner at a restaurant called Henry's, behind the Assembly Rooms (where the Fashion Museum is, if you know Bath). We both work nearer the train station and it felt like it had been ages since we went into that part of the city. It was lovely seeing the Circus in late afternoon. (If you don't know Bath, the curved terrace above is one of three forming a circular street, called The Circus, and it's just down from the Royal Crescent, probably the city's most famous street. They're not big on straight roads round here, which is ironic given how the city swanks about its Roman heritage.)

I’m only three days into the vintage fashion challenge, and for the first couple of days (themes: ‘You, in a nutshell’ and ‘Heritage and roots’) I felt really awful – so many people had beautiful photos of themselves, and I’m acutely aware of how I’m neither naturally beautiful or polished into elegant perfection. I was also annoyed at not having better-quality photos of my family. But yesterday’s theme was ‘Eras’, and that made me look at all my lovely 1960s frocks and think ahead to my sewing plans, and the happiness I felt was exactly why I took up the challenge. Not to compare myself and be found wanting, but as a useful exercise in counting my blessings and seeing where actually things are okay. Today it’s ‘People and places’ and so I will be celebrating YOU.

Still can’t actually wear my vintage gear, but that’s fine for now: after a month, I’ve managed to shift my lunches at work over to mostly salad, and turning down biccies when offered is easy now. The weight took a long time to go on, it might take a long while to come off, but the lifestyle shift is happening. Mr Robot and I have even had the odd vegetarian day, thanks to interesting curry recipes and being too lazy to haul ourselves over to Devizes to the butcher every weekend. And I’ve some nice non-vintage pieces to wear; photographing myself in those has reminded me that even if my vintage doesn’t fit, I’m still not the appalling blob I think of myself as. I’m a nicely-dressed fat lady, and that’s just dandy.

Three vintage crime novels: Dead Man's Folly, The Norwich victims, and The Gazebo
More good things from charity shops: vintage crime from the Oxfam bookshop. I wasn’t surprised to find the repro one, but the older volume of Christie and that lovely hardback were a pleasant surprise. No idea what The Gazebo will be like, but it's a hardback with a nigh-immaculate dust jacket and it called to me...

We’ve got next week off, and I’m planning to make another version of the 1960s top – hopefully the second version in modern fabric will work and I’ll be able to move on to the vintage cloth. Perhaps I’ll whip up some cushions from our Indian silk too.

There are books to read, and things to cook, and people to see… and with luck that Instagram challenge will keep providing more inspiration. Here’s to brighter days, and if you too are doing the challenge I look forward to seeing your photos.

14 comments :

  1. Consider yourself a nicely-dressed lady, full stop! Fabulousness comes in all shapes and sizes. No need to let yourself down. Good luck with the rest of the challenge! Well done on finding the vintage crime. I often come across things like The Gazebo, although not in hardback. If I like the cover, I'm tempted to buy them. Enjoy your week off and I'm looking forward to seeing your latest version of the 1960s top! xxx

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    1. Yeah, I buy them just for the covers. It's rare to find one that's completely awful.

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  2. Happy Birthday to Mr Robot! Those crime novels were a fab find, I love the lurid cover of The Gazebo.
    I'm glad you're feeling a bit happier about your looks. You've got fantastic individual style and whether it's vintage or not it really doesn't matter one bit as long as you feel good in your stuff. I loved your 60s pictures today. you ought to share your posts on the blog for non-Igers or people like me who find it impossible to keep up with!
    Have a fab week off and enjoy your sewing. xxx

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    1. Well, I completely slid out of the IG thing after my anxiety levels spiked again. Argh. I really should stop doing those challenges; it feels as though every time I start one fate goes, "Oooh, you got time on your hands? Feel able to cope? Have this?" On the plus side, it's driven me to the gym as gym endorphins are healthier and last longer than cider for keeping the nerves in order, so wearing more vintage could be on the cards sooner than I thought.

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  3. Check the US sellers on etsy-the amount of wearable sized vintage is astounding. That said, I do like your vintage-look dresses from Boden, etc.
    Don't pass by great skirts with too-small waists. Once you start sewing regularly you'll be able to assess if you can re-make them to suit you (look for generous hems that can be taken out).

    Oooh I wonder what happened in the Gazebo?

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    1. A lot of my actual vintage comes from the US, particularly the older stuff.

      When I get round to the Gazebo - I'm reading an absolute BEAST of a book to review for SFX right now, around 800 pages - I shall let you know.

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  4. Mim, you are completely fabulous, and fabulous doesn't have a size tag. You have such great personal style and are always really nicely turned out (I think). Veggie curries sound brilliant. I hope that Mr Robot enjoyed his birthday. Bath looks very picturesque and the Circus reminds me of the ones in Edinburgh and Glasgow. I suppose that they are the same age. Really looking forward to seeing your sewing. You make great stuff. Xx

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    1. Egg curries are excellent, and I've got a fantastic Kolkata-style aubergine recipe (baigan curry), though as the aubergines are pre-fried for that one I don't think it's the lowest-calorie curry in the world...

      It's definitely about the same age as a lot of Edinburgh; I hadn't realised Glasgow also had lots of Georgiana.

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  5. Happy belated B-Day to Mr Robot!
    But you are a natural beauty, Mim! Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes & hues.
    Really looking forward to seeing your sewing creations- like some smart 60's stuff with all those fabrics you've been showing us!

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    1. I need to get sewing. I didn't do as much as I'd planned - anxiety struck - but my mojo is now returning.

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  6. Your vintage challenge sounds interesting and I'm sure you're looking fabulous in what you're wearing. I don't do IG so haven't seen any photos.

    Happy birthday to Mr. Robot!

    I like your book finds - I remember those Agatha Christie paperbacks so well. My uncle worked on a newspaper/book stall at one of the main line London stations and used to bring them home for me.

    Have a lovely week off and I look forward to seeing your sewing projects.

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    1. Thank you! In the end I didn't do as much sewing as I'd hoped to, but I did resume my knitting.

      I spent most of the week in what I call 'pyjama outfits' - wide-legged trousers and baggy tops, so easy to wear I feel like I haven't made nearly enough effort and might as well still be in my nightwear.

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  7. Mim, I definitely commented on this . Did Blogger eat it?

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    1. Sorry, I had a bit of an anxiety spiral and have been off most social media for a week. My fault! (I find Blogger's actually a very well behaved platform.)

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