Wednesday, 26 September 2012

1920s Cherries

Even though the shop is supposed to be emptying my wardrobe of jam-packed rails and bulging coathangers (and hoarder tendencies!), I did take in a waif and stray a few days ago: this little cherry jacket.


I found it while rummaging in a nearby secondhand shop and couldn't believe how low the price was (I cannot justify much clothes-buying at the moment!). It was an even nicer find when you consider that the jacket dates from the 1920s and it is in such good condition. I love the velour / velveteen fabric with its cheery red and blue graphics.

The same shop had a beautiful dress with printed swallows around the collar, which I think would be perfect for the shoppe. Fingers crossed it's still there when I next visit!

Monday, 24 September 2012

Open all hours

Finally, my little shoppe is open! 

Visit for a look around. If you have any questions, send me a message and I'll be happy to send more information and photos. 

Wednesday, 19 September 2012


After a few days away, I'm back home and putting the finishing touches to the shop. A few more measurements here and a few more postage prices there and the virtual doors will be well and truly open...finally! While I get myself sorted, I wanted to share a final sneak peek of another dress that I'll be selling. This one is a brilliant 1980s affair with a bold floral print, lace trim collar, bow detailing, pleated skirt and peplum waistline.

There's certainly a lot going on but I am very fond of this pretty dress with its fitted bodice and mid-calf length. I read that the fashion label - Scott McClintock dresses, founded by the American designer Jessica McClintock - looked to the Victorian and Edwardian periods for inspiration and this is apparent in the delicate lace and detailing of its design.

I think the dress would look lovely paired with short white gloves for an exaggerated Victoriana style or worn with some bright red 1930s/1940s heels. If my hips were a little smaller, I'd definitely squirrel this dress away for a special occasion!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Look for the union label

As promised, here is one of the earlier dresses I'll be listing in my shoppe. It is one of my favourites. The cut of the dress is extremely elegant with a flattering cowl-neck collar and unusual button detailing and the material is a lovely, mid-weight crepe.

Not only is this dress a beautiful item of clothing, it also belongs to the history of the American labour movement as it was union-made by the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU). An interior label sewn inside the top of the dress states the maker(s) as 'The Sidneys'. 

The dress was given to me in perfect - perhaps even unworn - condition with a lovely brown packet containing two spare buttons. I will, of course, send these with the dress! 
Through online research, I have found out that 'The Sidneys' were based in New York, where many members of the ILGWU were concentrated, and that the dress probably dates from the mid-1960s (certainly post-1964 according to the date of the union label). I also began to wonder if perhaps 'The Sidneys' name was a reference/nod to Sidney Hillman, who was an American labour leader and head of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America.

Reading about the history of the ILGWU, I discovered that members of the union put on a very successful Broadway musical named Pins and Needles in 1937. Because the female cast worked in the factory by day, they would fit in rehearsals in the evenings and at weekends. The songs are all pretty memorable but I'll leave you with the lyrics from Sing Me A Song With Social Significance:

I'm tired of moon-songs of star and of June songs,
They simply make me nap
And ditties romantic drive me nearly frantic
I think they're all full of pap 

History's making, nations are quaking
Why sing of stars above
For while we are waiting father time's creating 
New things to be singing of

Sing me a song with social significance
All other tunes are taboo
I want a ditty with heat in it, 
Appealing with feeling and meat in it!

Sing me a song with social significance
Or you can sing 'til you're blue
Let meaning shine from ev'ry line
Or I won't love you

Sing me of wars and sing me of breadlines
Tell me of front page news
Sing me of strikes and last minute headlines
Dress your observation in syncopation!

Sing me a song with social significance
There's nothing else that will do
It must get hot with what is what 
Or I won't love you.

I want a song that's satirical
And putting the mere into miracle
It must be packed with social fact
or I won't love you

Sing me of kings and conf'rences martial
Tell me of mills and mines
Sing me of courts that aren't impartial
What's to be done with 'em tell me in rhythm

Sing me a song with social significance
there's nothing else that will do
It must be tense with common sense
or I won't love you.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Sneak peek

Since my last post, I've been choosing clothes for the shop, with much dithering and umm-ing and ah-ing. It's not been easy quashing hoarder impulses but - for the sake of magpie ways and an empty purse - the time has come to say goodbye to some loved pieces of thread. So, I've been busy sifting, sorting, washing and ironing and have finally started photographing some of the clothes I'll be selling. Here's a sneak peek (until I can save enough for a mannequin, there'll be pictures of me posing awkwardly - a real shop dummy - so apologies in advance!):

1980s navy cotton skirt in a mid-century, nautical style

Vintage blue wool fedora

1980s floral wide-legged jumpsuit with a 1940s feel

Early 1990s-does-1960s denim shirt dress

And I'm still not sure about parting ways with that sailor skirt! Ah well, needs must... You'll notice that these pieces mainly date from the latter decades of the twentieth century but my favourite clothing eras are actually the 1920s to the early 1960s. The pieces I've gathered from later on usually echo earlier fashions so you'll see a common thread throughout the threads (as it were!). My first shop update will mainly focus on more recent times but there are older clothes waiting to be laundered and photographed... I'll give you a sneak peek of one of those tomorrow!