Vintage crochet shawls

I had a fantastic find a little while ago. A stash of vintage shawls and ponchos. Most of them are hand crocheted too.

They are a real mix of hippy chick style, evening shawls and some 40s 50s style ‘bed jacket’ style. Quite an eclectic mix!

Some of the 70s ponchos sold as soon as I put them online, but I’ve just popped up a more varied selection which would be perfect for the current cooler weather.

They are on the eBay Shop and the Etsy Shop.

Incidentally I have also sourced some cool 70s crocheted shoulder bags. These are in fab bright colours and are just on the Etsy Shop at the moment.

I’ve got a few more shawls to work through at the moment but so far they are looking fab! What do you think?

Crochet toilet roll cover doll

 Quirky Purple crochet doll toilet roll coverQuirky Purple  crochet doll toilet roll coverWell, I blogged about these a little while ago in Crochet toilet roll dolls.

The dolls arrived a couple of weeks ago so I had a look around online for some patterns and they were sadly lacking. Lots and lots of pictures of various styles of these dolls but hardly any patterns. I’d already got some wool that matched the doll’s eyes – that’s not weird is it?

Quirky Purple  crochet doll toilet roll coverIn the end I found two. The first one I tried just didn’t seem to make sense. I crocheted a few rows and couldn’t work out which bot of the dress it was! It didn’t help that there weren’t any pictures with the pattern, just the finished article. The second wasn’t much better. I started the bodice of the dress and it quickly became apparent that it was wayyyyy tooooooo big for my dolls. Also, again it was just a pattern and no real explaination of which bits of the dress you were doing.

Quirky Purple  crochet doll toilet roll coverQuirky Purple  crochet doll toilet roll coverSo, like I usually end up doing, I made it up as I went along. And it came together pretty well.

I liked one bit of one of the patterns and kept that. Quite nifty idea that I’d not tried before. You do your first chain around around a small elastic band. You end up with a stretchy piece of crochet. I used this to make the very top of the bodice so that it would fit nice and snug. It also means that the dress is removable and not sewn onto the doll.

Quirky Purple  crochet doll toilet roll coverSo, I worked the bodice in a singe crochet until it reached the waist of the doll and then started to increase until the circle sat in top of the toilet roll and reached the edge. The I just worked the rows the same size in double crochet until it reached the bottom of a toilet roll and then for the final row I did a scalloped edge

The it was just a case of doing a strap for a halterneck and doing a few daisies to sew onto the dress. I also did a belt around the waist and a headband with a daisy.

This is what she ended up looking like – not bad eh?    Quirky Purple  crochet doll toilet roll cover

I think I’ll sort out the pattern next and I’ll post it up. Let me know if you want a copy. I’ll try and make it easier to follow and with some pictures 🙂

If you would like one of these dolls to grace the smallest room in your house – then you can find it here Quirky Purple crochet toilet roll cover doll on Etsy.

What’s in a name? Playsuits, culottes and jumpsuits!

70s jumpsuit from Quirky PurpleIn 1977 the Queen came to visit my local town of Mansfield. It was the Silver Jubilee and if I remember correctly, she had come to open the new library.

When we were kids we only used to get new clothes at certain times of the year, like Whitsun or summer holidays. Well I was getting old enough that I could choose what I wanted, obviously within a pretty strict budget, and this particular time I chose a jumpsuit and a blue nylon bomber jacket.

The jumpsuit was fabulous! I was in a khaki brown colour, full arms and legs and had patches on it like an American car mechanic overalls. I was rocking it. I was so enamoured with it I wore it to see the Queen. People like Charlie’s Angles were the sort of girls that wore jumpsuits…

See how I called it a jumpsuit?

Jumpsuits were quite new, modern things as in the 60s the word ‘catsuit’ was used to describe an all in one. Think Cat Woman in the old Batman series, which incidentally was my favorite thing on the telly when I was 18 months old (and I have pictures from the local paper to prove t).

80s playsuit from Quirky PurpleRoll on a bit to the 80s and something similar crops up. In the 80s there were a lot of culottes. These could be skirts or dresses, the dress was usually being the button front style and not really being noticeable as being culottes rather than a dress. Calling them jumpsuits would have seemed old-fashioned.

In the 90s I remember dungarees being the closest to jumpsuits or culottes, but I’ve got to say, I wouldn’t have been seen dead in them…

So moving forward again we seem to have had a little resurgence of these similar styles. This time around they are called playsuits. They look a little like the 80s culottes but more suited to the beach or a night out

80s playsuit from Quirky PurpleIt’s actually been very interesting from a vintage point of view as 80s culottes have been very popular again and I’ve been sending them all around the world. I guess they are very wearable and can look smart enough for work, or dressy enough for a night out. Some are really lovely takes on 40s style tea dresses.

There’s one thing I’ve omitted to mention so far. Rompers. Hmm, to me these are something that a child would wear, or maybe one of those adults that like to dress as babies. Clearly I haven’t got the full picture as I discovered last year that this is what some other countries call our culottes.

So, it just brings me round to, what’s in a name?

Crochet toilet roll dolls

Toilet Roll Holder Doll Ages and ages ago I mentioned crochet toilet roll holder dolls in my post More Tea Vicar about tea cosies.

Well, I regularly get searches and even requests for patterns for these lovely retro items.

Like may children of the 70s, we had one of these in our toilet. There seemed to be 2 main styles – crinoline lady and Spanish lady. I’m guessing the popularity of the Spanish variety was due to the rise of foreign holidays to sunny places like Spain.

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to make on of these for a while now and just not getting around to it. Well, drum roll please, I have finally got around to purchasing some dolls! This means I need to get cracking on doing the crochet.Toilet Roll Holder Doll

I’ve had a look at some patterns for inspiration. I say inspiration because I don’t think I ever manage to follow a crochet pattern or a food recipe without ‘improving’ it – which to other people just means me fiddling with something that probably works for 99% of the population…

I think I’m going to start with a Spanish inspired creation. I’ve got quite a good selection of nice bright wools in my stash so it would be good to use them up. Once I’ve done that one, I’ll adapt for different colours and styles.

Well, when I say different colours and styles, and if I’m true to form, I mean that my second one is like to be  zombie toilet roll holder!

Toilet Roll Holder Doll

What would be your design or colour combo for one of these? Would you match the colours in your bathroom or go all out for vintage colours and designs?

If you would like one of these dolls to grace the smallest room in your house – then you can find it here Quirky Purple crochet toilet roll cover doll on Etsy.

Hurrah – we’ve started doing men’s vintage!

Well quite exciting news, or what?

We’ve started to stock some items of men’s vintage. I’ve just been photographing the first batch and getting them ready to go on the online shop.

This first batch are mainly men’s vintage tops, including Lacoste, Polo and some cool collared mod tops.

Here’s a sneaky peek at what will be going online this afternoon –

Men's vintage tops

I’ve got a few more items to sort through yet, but I’ve been a little way laid with sorting out some lovely vintage wedding frocks that I picked up a couple of weeks ago…

You can find our Men’s Vintage section here. I’ll be adding more as I sort through!

Vintage buttons – it’s all about attention to detail!

I was photographing a few items to put onto the Online Shop yesterday and was admiring some of the buttons on a vintage 1960s dress. It reminded me of how much attention to detail you find in vintage clothes.

I specialise in 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s clothes and even the day to day wear dresses all have those little touches. It might be a matching belt in the same fabric or a completely contrasting belt with matching buttons. But it is buttons that really tend to make the difference in the look and the feeling of it being ‘complete’. They very often give the simple garment that luxury touch!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not ignoring the quality of vintage clothes. They were made to last, which is why they are still around and still good enough to wear. I’ve even got some handmade dresses from the 1970s and these are massively superior to anything mass-produced for the High Street.

Here are some of the buttons I found that are used for contrast or highlight on the garments:

This gallery shows the buttons that are made to blend in with the garment or just match the material or colour. Sometimes it’s even difficult to pick out the buttons from the material itself:

They really make the outfit, don’t they?

You can also pick up original vintage buttons in some charity shops, if you don;t mind searching through pots of them. Usually you can pick up enough to make a set, and they are perfect for using on handmade or remade items.

And hopefully you’ve only paid ‘button’s for them..

Feeling shirty?

Shirts are one of those things that never really go out of fashion and many styles are real vintage wardrobe staples.

Think about some of those classic black and white films from the 30s and 40s, you can see some real classic shirts styles on the screen icons.

Shirts were always a big thing for mod girls in the late 70s and early 80s. If you were lucky you could get them from local charity shops, but more likely from Carnaby Street or London markets. Long collars, button-down collars, plain, checked, striped or paisley, teaming them up with a pair of hipster trousers was always a cool look.

Cool shirtsRecently I’ve managed to get hold of some really cool shirts that fit that same sort of style – that mod, come psychedelic, come smart hippy. There are some geometric patterns, checks, velvet and even some frills. They all have one thing in common though – lovely long collars!

Reworked shirts are also still very big at the moment, and you can see them in all the High Street shops. Usually though these seem to be a lower quality cotton with those ‘stuck on’ studs. It’s much better to get a vintage or reworked shirt from an independent shop. They will have made all the changes themselves and you’ll get a real individual piece.

A little while ago I did a blog post on re-working shirts, which you can find here.

Reworked shrtsWe still have a few reworked shirts in the online shop, in various sizes and colours.

There are both sleeveless and long-sleeved, but they can also be made to order, by dropping us a note here.

You can find many of these styles at the Quirky Purple online shop.

What’s your favourite style?

James Bond – girlies and gadgets!

I went to see the latest James Bond about a week ago – Skyfall. I do love a bit of James Bond!

Basically I love all the old 60s and 70s Bond films, especially Sean Connery and a bit of Roger Moore – although only the early Roger Moore – when he started wearing pastel safari suits I kinda lost interest…

Oddly enough I even love all that misogynistic stuff that Bond does so well. There’s barely a Bond girl that doesn’t have to wait for Bond to save her (Oh, James, James) or jumps into bed with him during that first 20 minutes of the film and then dies some horrible death (painted in gold or has poison dripped into her mouth).
Still I also love the Bond girls and all their outfits from those first 2 decades of films. Then again I used to love Miss World and Eurovision during the 70s…. I loved the way the Saturday papers came with a centre page insert of all the contestants listed so you could add your own marks as the shows progressed.

Also let’s not forget those James Bond girl names – Honey Rider, Pussy Galore, Mary Goodnight, Solitaire, Tiffany Case,Chew Mee, May Day, Domino, Vesper, Kissy, Pleny etc.
As Bonds go, I do think Daniel Craig is a good Bond along the lines of Sean Connery. As someone recently commented (sorry, I can’t remember who), he actually looks like a Bond that could kill people – it’s in his eyes… The latest Bond , in my opinion, was missing a couple of big things – a massive car chase and Bond girls. Yeah, yeah, I know there were a couple of Bond girls but nowhere near as much as usual… even that lame ones.

Still it’s always a good excuse to share some piccies of Bond and some Bond girls  just look at these fashions!

From Russia With Love - Tatiana Dr No - Ursula Andress Thunderball - Domino Tomorrow Never Dies - Paris
The Spy Who Loved Me - Anya Goldfinger - Jill Live and Let Die - Rosie Diamonds Are Forever - Plenty
On Her Majesty's Secret Service - Teresa Octopussy - Octopussy The Man With the Golden Gun - Goodnight Live and Let Die - Solitaire
Goldfinger - Pussy Galore Die Another Day - Jinx View To A Kill _ May Day For Your Eyes Only - Bibi

Hmmm, oddly enough once I’d complied the list above I noticed that the majority are eith in bikinis or in bed…

Now, who’s your favourite Bond or even your fave Bond girl?

Sorbet, sherbet, candy cane – fashion that’s good enough to eat

Sorbet treatsListen to this – pistachio, peach, lemon yellow, Limoncello, lilac, tangerine, soft turquoise, muted melon, baby pink, zesty watermelon, soft peach, spearmint green, rose pink, glacier blue.

Do these sound good enough to eat? Well these are one of the latest fashion trends – sorbet. These are candy cane colours in soft, muted shades.

Remember the 80s? Pastels were a big trend there. In the 90s we had neon brights. Well sherbet is kind of somewhere between neon and barely there pastel. They are strong enough shades to stand out on their own – these are not wishy-washy colours!

I can remember my mate coming round to call for me in the 80s so that we could go Saturday afternoon shopping. She had on pastel pink pedal-pushers. They were very fashionable at the time and she was really pleased with them, until I pointed out that I could see the butterfly on her pants through the very thin material!

The high street is awash with sorbet colours in dresses, trousers, top, in fact just about anything. You can wear it head-to-toe, mixing pastels in colour-blocked macaroon like layers, or for a more subtle look combine pastels with brights, navy or neutrals (putty, nude, white).

Sorbet colours work well with colour blocking; clash pinks and oranges and yellows and aquamarines in bold statement pieces. For a softer, more feminine take on the trend try sheer fabrics, floaty textures and long loose layers in all sorbet shades of the rainbow. Don’t forget accessories could give you just that splash of fresh sorbet to any outfit. Or go the whole hog, and get candy cane hair

Sorbet shades for hair

Because these colours have been around in various guises over the decades, the good news is that if you look you will find vintage articles that really rock this trend. You can mix and match it with items from the high street to pull together your own unique look.

Quirky Purple have just popped some sorbet shades onto the online shop at http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Quirky-Purple and below are some of the examples of what we currently have in stock.

Sorbet vintage at Quirky Purple

Quirky Purple logoAbove is just an example of some of the things we have  for sale on our eBay shop – stock changes daily. Check us out!
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Quirky-Purple

Flirty florals and playful playsuits

Well, we all know that the british summer can be changeable at best – as I’m writing this it’s raining, but only a few days ago we had a lovely heatwave.

So, I think we all need something that will brighten up even the dullest, rainiest day – florals can just do the trick!

Florals are really big news at the moment and vintage florals really fit the bill especially when they are vintage playsuits.

Can you remember playsuits in the 70s and 80s? The 70s always seem to be the longer full length trousers and then the 80s made it shorter.

My mum and dad have a picture of me on a cruise in 1990 at the Captain’s dinner. I was wearing the most fabulous full-length, wide-leg, halter-neck pantsuit in black with gold swirls. I thought I looked the dog’s doo-daas. That was until the current Mr Quirky Purple saw the photo, burst out laughing and asked me why I was wearing fancy dress!

It took me until the end of last year to buy something similar for an award ceremony in London. I didn’t want to look like everyone else, just wearing the same little black dress. I thought it was a pretty glamorous outfit. No gold swirls this time around, but plenty of gold bling accessories!

I’m loving seeing all these playsuits in the shops, so I’ve found some absolutely fab vintage playsuits – mainly floral, some strappy and some that look like gorgeous tea dresses. We also have some great 70s floral summer dresses that just remind me of Saturday Night Fever disco dresses.

Below are some of what you can find on sale in the shop.

Floral playsuits and summer dresses

Quirky Purple logoAbove is just an example of some of the things we have  for sale on our eBay site – stock changes daily. Check us out!
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Quirky-Purple