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..

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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?

Not available on the High Street – Christmas fairs, markets and pop up boutiques

We’re pretty excited here at Quirky Purple!

We’re off today to set up our area in our first ever pop up boutique collaboration!

I would imagine that anyone involved in vintage, handmade and remade are pretty busy at the moment. What with online sales, Christmas markets and the like, it keeps us all busy. Not just in appearing at market, but also making things for the market.

Last week, it was getting to the stage that every time I made a zombie kindle cover or tea cosy, I sold it. I was on a zombie treadmill for a few days!

Anyway, back to the pop up boutique. We’ve run a couple of stalls at Bartons over the last few months and this first pop up boutique for Nottingham is a collaboration between Bartons and Bluebird Tea Co.

Pop Up Boutique details

Pop Up Boutique details

We’ll admit to being a little bit excited! It starts on Wednesday 5th December at 12pm and runs through until Christmas eve. There’s also a launch night at 7pm on Wednesday 5th December with mulled wine and mince pies (and I think there are also some other lovely goodies). Opening hours are on our Events page.

I hope we see a few of you there. Remember, this boutique has things that are not available on the High Street. You don’t want to buy the same as everyone else. Buy something different, original and maybe a one off!

Yesterday was market day!

Barton's Sunday MarketYesterday we did our first stall at NOT the Camden Market in Beeston near Nottingham. They run on the first Sunday of every month and last month we went to have a look around, liked it, so decided to do our first ever stall there.

I knew that it would be different to our eBay and Etsy shops, so I wasn’t sure what stock to take, so had to take quite a mixture of goodies. This meant quite a lot of trips to and from the car, but it was worth it to see what things people liked at this market, rather than on the online shops. I also took along some new things that I hadn’t even tried online yet.

Well, we sold a few things and took a few orders, spoke to some lovely people, and made some new stallholder friends. It was also encouraging to have a few people say that their daughters would love the clothes we have and would bring them next time or point them in the direction of our online stores.

Also, we were asked a number of times if we would be at the next event as folks were already starting to think about Christmas pressies – we’d better get cracking on more Christmas stock!

Quirky Purple stall at Barton's Not the Camden Market Quirky Purple stall at Barton's Not the Camden Market Quirky Purple stall at Barton's Not the Camden Market

Reworking, customising, fading and studding

I do like to mooch around the garden centre looking for plants that are a bit sad and neglected, and usually in the bargain bucket. I like to buy them, build them up and pop them in the garden or allotment. Most of my garden is stocked with bargain rack plants – and my garden is blooming nicely thank you!

I tend to also like mooch around charity shops and look through the rails to look for odd little items that look a bit sad and neglected. I like to try and think what I can do with them to revive them and make someone want them again.

Well I’ve been working my was through my pile and seeing what I can do with them. I posted an article a little while ago about reworking an old shirt and I’ve been doing some similar things to some other shirts.

Below is what I’ve done with a few shirts – mainly cutting and studding:Reworked and customised shirts at Quirky Purple

Here’s some of the cut of jeans/shorts that I’ve been working on – these have been cut, bleached, and studded:Reworked and customised denim shorts at Quirky Purple

Here’s a few skirts that I’ve recently customised – these have been studded mainly:Reworked and customised skirts at Quirky Purple

It’s quite nice seeing what they actually become as I don’t always know exactly what I’m going to do, and it kind of evolves as I work with the garment.

I’m always on the look out to try new things to try so I’d be interested to hear of any new projects I could try!

These reworked, customised items are available in our Quirky Purple Online Shop – happy shopping!

Rework that ‘ole shirt

One of the things I love to do it give something new lease of life. Very often I’ll look at something in the shops, in my wardrobe or online and see something I like about it, but not everything. Then I know that I can make it better with a little bit of TLC – and usually some hard work and a bit of swearing!

A lot of shirts on the High Street at the moment are sleeveless. A lot of shirts in charity shops are long-sleeved. There’s a solution! Below is a step by step guide for a shirt that I recently re-worked.

 Reworked shirt part one Take a man’s shirt. Oversize is better. The one here is an extra-large.
You will need a stitch-picker and a pair of scissors.
I also used collar-tips to give the shirt a new look
 Reworked shirt part three Find the seam for the sleeve and unpick with the stitch-picker.
Take care with the stitch-picker as they are very sharp and you can cut the material by mistake (if not your fingers).
 Reworked shirt part 4 Once you have unpicked the seam, then use scissors to cut the sleeve off.
I prefer to use little cuticle scissors for this as they are a little bit more accurate for this delicate work.
 Reworked shirt part four Here’s the first sleeve removed.Check it over and remove any of those irritating little pieces of removed cotton.
Also check that you haven’t snipped any other bits of seams.If you have snipped a bit of say the seam that goes under the arm, get a needle and thread and finish these off.
You don’t want it unravelling when you wear it!
 Reworked short part six Here’s both sleeves removed.You’re nearly there now.
It’s time to add any extras like collar tips.

This is the finished article – looks fab doesn’t it – great with leggings or skinny jeans:

Reworked short - finished article

This shirt in the demo is currently for sale in our online shop at: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Quirky-Purple

I’ve also done a similar rework with other shirts and playsuits. Below are a few more examples of what you can create with just a little bit of time and patience (and swearing when you slice yourself with the stitch-picker). Sorry, but a couple of these have sold already.

Other reworked items

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