Vintage 1970’s Floral Dress with Bell-sleeves

VINTAGE OF THE MONTH

Sharing a vintage a month, since September 2017!

So it seems to me that I had completely forgotten about my VOTM post for December 2017. My apologies for that, and let’s pretend that I was on a holiday somewhere…

Welcome back to my “Vintage of the Month” series! This month, I am sharing another piece from the groovy 1970’s, and discussing some very lovable details in this well-made vintage garment.

Wearing: Vintage 1970’s dress, vintage mid-century leather purse, very old RTW heels

I got this beautiful 1970’s Japanese vintage dress when I was on a holiday in Hong Kong a few years back. It’s just about 1/2 to 1 size too large for me, but I couldn’t let it go because of its beautiful shade of meadow green and those graceful, subtle bell-sleeves.

The bell-shape design wasn’t only restricted to pants in the 1970s. They also made their way up and crept into the design of sleeves! Bell-sleeves started becoming popular in the late 1960’s when the free-love hippie movement came about and fashion took on a boho-chic angle. It continued to stay in fashion in the 1970’s, especially in the years when the Gunne Sax and the Little House on the Prairie look became in vogue. Many knee-length and floor-length dresses in those years feature a sleeve design with a wide opening, and a length that goes up to the elbow or beyond. Just like the bell-bottom pants, these sleeves are called “bell-sleeves” mainly because of how they resemble the shape of a bell. The more exaggerated versions with even wider sleeve openings are sometimes described as “angel sleeves” too, because they look like wings when you spread your arms out with these unique sleeves.

(via)

I wore this dress for the first time to a friend’s wedding in 2016 and these photos were taken on the day itself. Notice that I have shoulder-length hair in these photos. 😉

As with many pre-1980’s vintage garments, there are many hand-stitching details in this dress. Let’s zoom in and have a look:

Blanket stitches on hook and eye

Blanket stitches on hook and eye

Hand-stitching on the facing

Hand-stitching on the facing

Thread belt loop

Thread belt loop

Sheer polyester fabric with embroidered leaves

Sheer polyester fabric with embroidered leaves

These are all beautiful hand-stitching details that I would like to learn to incorporate into my own sewing. I have only used regular straight stitches when sewing a hook and eye, but I really like the way the blanket stitches look. Yes, I definitely should make it a point to start using blanket stitches when sewing hooks and eyes!

What is your favourite detail of this dress? And to all my sewing friends out there, what kind of vintage sewing technique do you incorporate in your everyday sewing?

 

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Vintage 1970’s Faded Glory Denim Jumpsuit

VINTAGE OF THE MONTH

Sharing a vintage a month, since September 2017!
vintage 1970's faded glory denim jumpsuitAh… the 1970’s. What a glorious time!

I’m sure everyone will agree with me that bell bottoms are the most iconic style from the 1970’s. I am usually more of mid-century style gal, but there’s something about bell bottoms that makes my heart sing and my hips shake to the soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever.

vintage 1970's faded glory denim jumpsuit

vintage 1970's faded glory denim jumpsuitWhen I found this denim jumpsuit in a Buffalo Exchange in Colorado earlier this year, it was love at first sight. I have been searching for a vintage (denim) jumpsuit for as long as I can remember, and to find a vintage one in a resale shop is just like a dream come true! Of course, the fact that it fits me is the icing on the cake.

vintage 1970's faded glory denim jumpsuitFor me, the bell bottoms and label are dead giveaways for the age of this jumpsuit. I have thrifted a couple of items by Faded Glory previously and I immediately recognised that this ornate design appears to be an older version of the one they have in other items I have, like this straw bag I used to own (pictured below). Usually, I would consult the label resource on Vintage Fashion Guild to confirm my suspicion. Unfortunately, there’s no entry on Faded Glory on the site currently.

A straw bag by Faded Glory with a different label design. I thrifted this a few years ago in Texas.

What I usually do next is a bit of detective work – I would look up other items with the same label that are listed on online sites such as eBay and Etsy. True enough, many people have also described this label as something from the 1970’s.

In addition to the design of the company label, the “Made in Hong Kong” label provides another detail that supports my guess. Most high-street items these days are made in China and other developing countries such as Vietnam and Bangladesh (where labour is cheap, sadly). When industralisation started gaining speed in the 1970s, many factories that produced clothes were located in countries like Hong Kong and Taiwan. Some quality vintage items from the 1950’s and 1960’s may even be labelled as “Made in British Crown Colony of Hong Kong”.

So there, in summary, these are the details that helped me decide the age of the jumpsuit:

  • Decorative design of the company label which is different from what I know
  • “Made in Hong Kong” label
  • Iconic bell-bottom design

Do you like the fashion from the 1970’s? What’s your favourite part of the 1970’s?

SHOP: Australia 2017

Searching for unique handmade, vintage and secondhand items all around the world…

I love shopping. There, it’s plain and simple – I love buying stuff. But I’m trying to avoid careless consumerism that is slowly destroying our planet. When it comes to shopping, I’m a big fan of the more eco-friendly (and sometimes more stylish) alternatives… vintage and thrift shopping!

Unfortunately, there is a huge black hole in the vintage and thrift shopping scene in Singapore. Since moving back to Singapore 5 years ago, every holiday I have taken involves multiple trips to different vintage and thrift shops. Over the years, I have amassed a collection of things from various thrift shops and vintage stores overseas. They each tell a story and serve as great physical memories of my trips. They are the perfect holiday souvenirs!

Unsurprisingly, my recent trip to Australia a month ago consisted of trips to various op shops, antique stores and vintage boutiques in all the little suburbs I visited. I stayed in Brisbane for 3 days and Gold Coast for 2 days, and visited about 9 or more shops in total.

And now that we are done with the preamble, here’s the details of my haul!

Vintage 1940’s garter from Commercial Road Antiques & Decorative Arts (Brisbane). Vintage nylon hose mending pack thrifted from Vinnies in West End (Brisbane).

Two sets of vintage glass buttons from Retro Metro (Brisbane).

Vintage beige purse and modern plastic tortoise shell screw-back earrings thrifted from Vinnies in Paddington (Brisbane).

It’s so uncommon to find modern earrings with screw-ons! They are still in mint condition.

Vintage Gold Crest purse.

Bone and wood necklace from Animal Welfare League QLD op shop in Southport (Gold Coast). Wooden mini hoops from Vinnies in West End (Brisbane).

These wooden hoops remind me so much of the Flinstones!

Sewing paper patterns from various op shops in Gold Coast. The red dress on the far left looks like such an easy and classic make! The skirt suit look is a little out of my comfort zone but I couldn’t let it go! The Kwek Sew pattern looks like it’s from the 1980’s but I might be wrong. Regardless, I could make a cool 1950’s inspired bomber jacket with this pattern.

Book on sewing knit fabrics from Vinnies in West End (Brisbane). Knitting book from op shop in Gold Coast. I am most looking forward to knitting that cute little green number on the front of the cover!

Various craft books from Retro Metro (Brisbane) and an op shop in Gold Coast.

For anyone who is interested, here’s the list of op shops and vintage shops I visited. I didn’t buy something in every shop, but these shops are all great for browsing if you happen to be in the area!

BRISBANE:
Commercial Road Antiques & Decorative Arts
85 Commercial Rd, Newstead QLD 4006, Australia
Paddington Antique Centre
167 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington QLD 4064, Australia
Retro Metro
297 Given Terrace, Paddington QLD 4064, Australia
Vinnies (Paddington)
16 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington QLD 4064, Australia
Vinnies (West End)
134 Boundary St, West End QLD 4101, Australia

 

GOLD COAST:
Cat & Hound Antiques & Collectables
18 Young St, Southport QLD 4215, Australia
Animal Welfare League QLD Op Shop
18B Young St, Southport QLD 4215, Australia
Add Care Op Shop
10B Railway St, Southport QLD 4215, Australia
Lifeline Shop Southport
Southport, 14/12 Railway St, Gold Coast QLD 4215, Australia

Vintage 80’s does 50’s Pink Candy Cane Swing Dress

VINTAGE OF THE MONTH

Sharing a vintage a month, since September 2017!
Gwenstellamade VOTM 80s does 50s pink swing dress

Wearing: Vintage 80’s does 50’s swing dress, Sunjellies basket and sandals

Hi everyone, I am back with my VOTM post for the month of October! In my last VOTM post, I shared a beautiful 90’s does 30’s Betsey Johnson dress and talked about how fashion keeps going in cycle. This month, I am sharing another dress in my favourite colour – pink!

This sweet pink number is an 80’s does 50’s swing dress I purchased a couple of years back. I may have purchased it from Hong Kong or from a seller based in Singapore – I honestly can’t remember.

This dress is made of polyester fabric with diagonal pink & white pinstripes. The bodice isn’t lined so I had to wear a white tank top with the dress. The skirt, on the other hand, is lined. It has a comfortable elasticised waist and a roomy, boxy bodice. The sleeves, despite being considered “short sleeves” were still too long for me and I decided that wearing the dress with the sleeves folded up made it look better.

Gwenstellamade VOTM 80s does 50s pink swing dress

Details: Elasticised waist, boxy bodice, full circle skirt

My favourite thing about the dress is the fun, full circle skirt. Who doesn’t love twirling in a circle skirt?

While this dress has a silhouette that is reminiscent of the 1950’s New Look style, everything else about the dress which I have described about is a dead giveaway that it is not from the 1950’s. I guess people in the 1980’s valued comfort over fit, which explains the elasticised waist and unfitted bodice. Also, fashion in the 1980’s was big on the large underarm ease! And of course, mass production came into place and polyester is a cheap fabric option. For anyone who is new to vintage and slowly building a vintage wardrobe, an 80’s does 50’s dress is definitely a good place to start, as they are usually cheaper and easier to find than true vintage pieces from the 1950’s.

Gwenstellamade VOTM 80s does 50s pink swing dressThese photos were snapped on the day that I last wore this dress. I sold the dress a few months back as I am slowly culling my wardrobe to make more space for #gwenstellamade pieces and mid-century pieces that hold a special place in my heart. If I can’t even remember when and where I bought this dress, then it’s obvious that this dress has to go.

Gwenstellamade VOTM 80s does 50s pink swing dress

Details: Centre-back buttons, #Gwenstellamade hair tie (tutorial here), vintage 60’s hoops

Stay tuned for next month’s VOTM post! Judging from the progression so far, I have a feeling that next month I will be sharing something from the 70’s… xx Gwen

 

Vintage 90’s does 30’s Betsey Johnson dress

VINTAGE OF THE MONTH

Sharing a vintage a month, starting this month!

Vintage 90's does 30's Betsey Johnson dress

Every vintage lover (and dedicated follower of fashion) knows that fashion comes in cycle. Most people  estimate that fashion cycles around on the average of once every 30 years. When shopping online for vintage, I have come across many examples of the 30-year cycle rule. I have seen tons of 90s does 60s, 80s does 50s, as well as 70s does 40s on the internet. But never have I thought of or came across 90s does 30s… until I chanced upon the listing for this dress on Instagram.

Pink
Velvet
Betsey Johnson
Bias cut art deco vibes

 

These are all the things I love… embodied in a single dress. Something truly magical happened in the 1990s for this dress to come to be.

Vintage 90's does 30's Betsey Johnson dress

Vintage 90's does 30's Betsey Johnson dressI kept this dress for several months and waited for the right occasion to wear it. That chance finally came along when my partner and I decided to have dinner at The Black Swan for date night a while back.

The Black Swan Singapore - art deco vibes

The Black Swan Singapore - art deco vibes

The Black Swan is a dreamy restaurant and bar oozing with glamorous art deco vibes, set in a beautifully restored 1930’s building in the heart of Singapore city. I visited the restaurant for the first time with a couple of friends from work, and knew right away that I had to revisit the restaurant all dressed up in 1930’s inspired style.

The Black Swan Singapore - art deco vibes

The Black Swan Singapore - art deco vibes

The service at The Black Swan was excellent during both of my visits, and my partner thoroughly enjoyed the fact that he could select the steak knife to use for his steak.

I wore my 90s does 30s pink velvet gown with a pair of black heels that I have had for many years, as well as a vintage beaded black purse I found in a thrift shop in the USA. My hair was basically the result of a failed wet set and a dozen of bobby pins. Nothing is more classy (and easy) than a low, messy chignon!

Vintage 90's does 30's Betsey Johnson dress

To give the entire look a bit of a quirky modern edge, I also made and wore a black choker. I am working on a post to share with everyone how I made this little choker. Stay tuned for a super easy and quick tutorial!

xx G

Click here to see all ‘Vintage of the Month’ posts

 

OUTFIT: ‘Til seams come apart

 

Wearing: True vintage 1960s dress, vintage London Fog sunnies, thrifted & upcycled wicker purse

You might find this dress familiar. You might be thinking that you have seen this dress on the blog prior to this post.

Yes, this dress was first featured in this post exclaiming the importance of owning a pair of white stockings for a vintage/retro wardrobe. You have seen this dress before, but today is the first time that you will be reading about the story of this dress…

This is a vintage 1960’s dress that I bought in Austin, Texas back in December 2014. I wore it out for the first time for Chinese New Year in 2015, then a couple more times after. It remained untouched in my wardrobe for most of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, until I took it out again for brunch a couple of weeks ago.

With the last week being Fashion Revolution Week, I am once again reminded of the importance of buying quality over quantity, and cultivating shopping habits that encourage sustainability. Admittedly, I don’t utilise my wardrobe as much as I want to, and I am still in the process of decluttering and learning to ‘choose joy’. Being a recovering shopaholic, I still have emotional attachment to all of the things I own and need a bit more time to learn to let go. But I always make sure I go through my wardrobe in cycles so my clothes get worn and I get to decide if I need to turn them in at a swap or sell them, in my own time. Check out my Instagram and you will see that the same few pieces of clothes will always tend to pop up for a certain period of time.

I love the concept of putting together a capsule wardrobe with what I already own, working through the pieces and being creative with the styling of an outfit. The same dress looks different when you roll up the sleeves, carry a different bag, and slap on a different pair of shades with it.

I don’t have a weekend capsule wardrobe right now, but I am working with a colour theme – pink. And so, here I am again with this pink dress which I first blogged about in 2015.The stressed seams on the front darts make it too precious to be worn out regularly, but every time I wear it, it’s like a new dress to me. You will probably see this dress on my Instagram or on this blog again some time in the future. Don’t be surprised if you do. Loved clothes last. x

If you are interested in learning more about the perils of fast fashion and the current dire state of consumerism, check out The True Cost documentary. I also love this article by The Telegraph. 

Vintage Secret Santa 2015

Vintage Secret Santa 2015

Jessica from Chronically Vintage held the annual Vintage Secret Santa for the second time this year and I am so happy to have been part of it! I am Secret Santa to a sweet lady from France, and yesterday I received my gift from Linn Sunniva, all the way from Norway!

Vintage Secret Santa 2015

Vintage Secret Santa 2015

This little gift box had such a perfect little bow tied around it, I almost couldn’t bear to undo it. Linn selected a very pretty vintage gold leaf brooch for me. I adore it and I can’t wait to wear it out on a fancy date. Thank you Linn! xxx

Also, I cannot thank Jessica enough for taking time and effort into organising an event like this. I like how this Vintage Secret Santa has also connected me with other vintage-lovers around the world. I can’t wait to take part in another one next year. In the meantime, I’m still waiting for the gift I have sent out to arrive at my recipient’s doorstep…

Vintage Secret Santa 2015

Did you also take part in the Vintage Secret Santa organised by Jessica? I’d love to hear what you received. Do drop a link in the comment so I can check your gifts out!

Warmest Christmas wishes,

Gwen

SHOP VINTAGE: Perth (2015)

And here we are, finally, a blog post about my vintage shopping haul from Perth! I am awfully sorry that this has taken a lot longer than I initially intended. Work has been keeping me busy, and so has my crochet project.

As some of you may know, I had a short vacation in Perth about a month ago. Now, there are a few things that I must do every time I go on a holiday:

  1. Shop vintage
  2. Buy craft supplies
  3. Dance rock and roll

When I’m lucky, I get to do all 3. If not, I’ll be happy to be able to do just one of those. During my last vacation in Perth, I got to do both #1 and #3. Yay!

As it was a short trip, I was only able to squeeze some vintage shopping in on the last day of the trip. To save time, I decided to shop around the Northbridge area where all the shops I went to are within walking distance from one other.

Here are some of the shops I visited:

  1. Beleza Vintage Microshop
    (located in Fi & Co., 289 William Street)

    Beleza Vintage
    vintage shopping Perth beleza vintage
    vintage shopping Perth beleza vintage
    The vintage stocked in this microshop within Fi & Co. is eclectic and quirky. I love the range of handbags and jewelleries available. Just look at all those cute necklaces in the display case! The wooden animal necklace really caught my eye but I was already busting way out of budget, so I couldn’t take it home with me.

    Apparently Beleza Vintage has a bigger shop located on 282 William Street. Somehow, I missed it.. So, if you ever stop by William Street in Perth, make sure you pop by both shops!

  2. Oh Henry Vintage
    (312 William Street, also on Etsy at www.etsy.com/shop/OhHenryVintage)

    Oh Henry Vintage
    vintage shopping Perth oh henry  vintage
    This shop = vintage heaven. The range of dresses available in this shop is unbelievable, from 1950s tea dresses to 1970s maxi dresses, and vintage wedding dresses, there’s bound to be something for everyone! I absolutely adore the way the clothes are organised according to their colours. They all looked bright and cheery in the spacious and well-lit store. It is no surprise that I was spoilt for choice in the shop, but the shop assistant was very helpful and I managed to find this cute, 1960s yellow number.

    vintage shopping Perth oh henry  vintage 1960s dress
    P.S.: The white vintage Ferragamo pumps are not from the shop, but are probably what I am going to wear with this dress.

  3. Vinnies Retro Boutique 
    (267B William Street)

    St. Vincent is doing it right with the concept of gathering all the retro and vintage beauties in a single op-shop. Sure, scouring through racks and racks of preloved clothes to find a vintage gem is part of the fun, but when you’re pressed for time like I was, you’ll want a shop just like this. I bought a total of 3 items in this shop, including an absolutely divine 1960s baby doll nightgown. It’s been a while so I can’t quite remember the cost of each item, but I don’t think I spent more than $100 in this shop. So if you want to buy vintage but haven’t got enough dough, this is the place to go!

    vintage shopping Perth oh henry  vintage 1970s prairie dress

    1970s Prairie Style Maxi Dress: This dress is wayyyy too long for me so I am planning to do something about it. *Hint* it’s gonna be another blog post!

    vintage shopping Perth oh henry  vintage 1960s nightgown dress

    1960s Babydoll Nightie: Sweet dreams are made of this…

    vintage shopping Perth oh henry  vintage 1970s maxi dress

    1970s Baby Bluebells Maxi Dress: Disney called… they want Cinderella’s dress back. Once again, it’s too long for me, so it will need to go under the knife first.

So, have you been to any of these shops I mentioned? Tell me all about your experiences and purchases! x G

Sydney Summer Love Vintage Show (and a dress called Edith)


Edith

This post just cannot wait. As everyone who has been following me will know, I am not very good at keeping up to date with my posts. But this post simply cannot wait. 

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was making a dress to wear to the Sydney Summer Love Vintage Show. I was almost certain that I was NOT going to finish the dress in time as the date of the show drew near. But I did it. I finished the dress 2 days before the show and I think it’s most probably the loveliest thing I have ever made. So, behold, my favourite dress at this very moment – Edith. 


Wearing: Handmade vintage-inspired 60s dress, nude Rubi flats, white vintage purse, white ASOS sunnies



Oh, I also made a matching bow

Don’t ask me why I’m calling it Edith. The name just popped into my head as I was admiring it. 

Anyway, the Sydney Summer Love Vintage Show was amazing and I loved every minute that I spent there. There was a sign outside which said no photographs of the stalls were allowed, so I didn’t take many photos at the show. But I did take a couple at a stall with the permission of the stall vendor. 

Mustang Sallie



And here are the things I got at the show:  


Vintage red luggage bag, $30
Vintage Australian Home Journal (1951), $18
Vintage handmade crochet gloves, $12. My life is now complete.
Vintage dress, $10. What a steal! 
Vintage sunglasses, 2 for $25. My friend bought one too.

The details of this sewing project will be discussed in another post. Stay tuned! x

Gone thriftin’

The  op-shop

I went to Padstow today to buy a pair of Rock and Roll dance shoes and chanced upon the most lovely op-shop ever. There was something endearing about the dimly-lit shop and the organised mess. It’s the kind of shop that whispers, “come, discover treasures.” And so, once I got in, I put my stuff down, reached my hands in and dug. 


I went a little overboard with the jumpers. But I have no regrets. Besides, they were on sale for half the price! Behold, the most lovely jumper in the world.

Front and back of landscape jumper

And here are two other jumpers and a couple of other things I bought from the shop. 

Neon orange jumper without a tag and probably handmade
Tiffany blue jumper with amazing cable design
Pin
White shoulder bag

Last but not least, this was the look of the day. I am honestly starting to fall in love with my red lipstick. It might have something to do with how it looks with my hair…

Ciao! x