Friday, 30 January 2015

40s Fashion Calendar - January

Just in time, here's my effort for the 40s Fashion Calendar January project.

40s Fashion Calendar - January

In the spirit of Make Do and Mend, I constructed my brooch entirely out of things I already had in the house. I didn't have any felt, so instead I used some craft foam which I happened to have available in some squares of approximately the right size. The flowers came from all kinds of places; my mum and I always try to hang onto things that would be useful for crafts since we like to make a lot of things. I also don't  have a hot glue gun, so I glued the flowers in place using craft glue, and I didn't have a brooch pin so I fixed a safety pin to the back using a little piece of ribbon which I again glued in place. I'm not sure how well the pin will hold up, but I'm sure I can always mend or replace it later on. I only made one brooch, partially because I only had enough bits to make one, and partially because I don't have a muff or fabric handbag to pin the second one to.

And here's what my outfit looks like complete with the brooch - doesn't it add some lovely colour for a dreary winter's day?

Outfit - 40s Fashion Calendar January

Coat - M&S via now defunct local boutique | Dress - 1940s vintage from Second Hand Rose
Socks and hat - Primark | Bag - 1950s vintage, Ebay | Shoes - 1940s vintage from Ava Aviacion
Gloves - M&S via charity shop | Brooch - made by me for 40s Fashion Calendar

My socks are actually a pretty shade of lilac which I really like with the dress. It's a functional choice as well as a stylistic one as I just can't be doing with cold feet! I just managed to get the best of the weather for the day when I was taking these photos as we had another snow storm afterwards which killed the light for the day.  

40s Fashion Calendar January

Outfit - 40s Fashion Calendar January

I'm really happy with the brooch especially since I made it out of basically nothing. I've definitely started how I mean to go on! I love making things and it's even better when it's not expensive. It makes such a difference to have the extra colour on my coat, I think.

Outfit - 40s Fashion Calendar January

40s Fashion Calendar January

40s Fashion Calendar January Project

Let me know in the comments if you've also had a go at making the brooch, I'd love to see your results!

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

The 40s Fashion Calendar

Brittany of Va-Voom Vintage recently blogged about a project she is undertaking in which she will be buying fewer clothes and making use of the items she already has in order to create one 1940s style outfit per month. This 1940s Fashion Calendar sounds like a really great idea for me, because I have a very limited clothing budget but I'm always seeking inspiration for new outfits.

1940s fashion calendar


Brittany provides a list of basic items which you need to get started with, and then small additions will be made each month to modify the outfits. Here's the list of foundation items:

40s Fashion Calendar Foundation Items
1 winter coat in any color or fabric that you like
1 small brimmed hat in any fabric, in a neutral color. Mine will be straw
1 simple suit (skirt and jacket) in a neutral color
1 dark colored bolero (will discuss patterns to sew your own)
1 pillbox hat in a neutral color (will provide a tutorial to sew your own)
1 basic dress in any solid color and in a non-sheer fabric


I have a few of these items already but will need to buy, make, or improvise some. Here's where I'm at with it currently:

Already own: 

Winter coat - have two options; a tan trench coat and my much-loved black fur coat


1940s fashion calendar

Dark coloured bolero - have two options but both are more 50s style, so would consider buying or making a 40s style one


1940s fashion calendar

Pillbox hat - may use my cream pillbox but would also consider buying one or making one from Brittany's tutorial


1940s fashion calendar

Basic solid-coloured dress - I will be using a mauve 1940s shirtwaist which I've had since the end of last year but which hasn't appeared on the blog yet (the colour is a bit darker than it appears in the photo)


1940s fashion calendar


Need to get

Small brimmed hat - I don't own anything suitable so will definitely have to either buy or make one
Simple suit - I only own a late 50s suit or a modern one which I wear to work; I also don't have an appropriate skirt and jacket combo. I'll have to buy either a suit (which I was thinking about doing anyway, if I can find the money) or a jacket to go with one of my 40s-style skirts. I might end up sticking with my late 50s suit if needs be although it has the typical boxy late 50s fit, so I'm still hoping to get something that, if not original, at least looks more 40s.

For shoes, I have plenty of options and won't need to buy anything. I have my original 40s black lace-ups, tan Mary Janes, tan brogues, or my new black loafers which I bought to replace my old pair after they wore out. 

1940s fashion calendar

I'm really excited to see what this project will bring for me. I can't promise I'll manage to join in every single month, but I'll certainly try. Brittany will be using the hashtag #40sfashioncalendar for the duration, so we can keep track of everyone's projects. I'll be Tweeting and Facebooking my outfits or sewing/crafting using that hashtag, so make sure you're following me on there if you're interested in keeping up with what I'm doing. 

Monday, 26 January 2015

Graduation 2014

graduation 2014

My graduation ceremony for my Masters degree was on Wednesday. This is my second time graduating, so I at least knew what to expect this time. Last year I was really nervous but this year I thought I had it a bit better in hand - until one of my tutors commented on how nervous I'd looked just before going on stage.

graduation 2014

In contrast to last year, there was no time to mingle after the ceremony, and therefore no time to take photos once I'd returned my gown. It was freezing outside (I'm sure I looked a sight sliding around on the ice in my stilettos) but we managed to get one or two snaps afterwards when I went out for lunch with my parents.

graduation 2014

graduation 2014

It's such a shame I didn't manage to get a full-length photo of the outfit (without the gown) where I'm standing up, as this dress really deserves it. It's a slinky little late 50s number, which was given to me for my birthday by my cool auntie (we all have one, right?); it used to be a favourite of hers so I guess we're keeping it in the family. She also gave me the late 50s shoes which only just fit me, but match very well. I'm also wearing a new bolero from Collectif (seems to be sold out now, sorry!) because I wanted something to help keep the cold weather at bay.

My lipstick is American Beauty by B├ęsame which I really love, and my jewellery is marcasite. The necklace and earrings were a graduation present from my parents which my mum chose partially because she loves her own marcasite jewellery, and partially for its vintage credentials (although this jewellery is new, not vintage). The bracelet is borrowed from my mum, who coincidentally also chose to wear marcasite jewellery with her outfit as she has more than one set.

As for what's next - who knows, but I'm aiming high!