OUTFIT: Happy, Happy Birthday Baby

1950s 1960s floral dress butterick retro sewing

A month ago I celebrated my 27th’s birthday. Wow, 27 years of existence. I never really used to celebrate my birthday in any remarkable fashion, but in the past few years, my lovely partner has always found a way to make it special for me.

cherry blossom sakura high tea singapore pollen gardens by the bay

This year, he took me to catch the cherry blossoms that are in bloom and on exhibit at Garden’s by the Bay (Singapore). The line to catch the blooms up-close and personal was too long and we were happy to just catch the ones just around border of the main exhibit. Of course we also took some time to appreciate the other exhibits in the garden.

The highlight of the day was high tea at Pollen, which was the best high tea set I have ever had in Singapore! Yes, I have had high tea at several hotels and cafes in Singapore, but Pollen is definitely the best one I’ve had so far.

high tea singapore pollen gardens by the bay

high tea singapore pollen gardens by the bay

high tea singapore pollen gardens by the bay

The menu consisted of a good range of savoury and sweet items. Even my partner, who isn’t usually a big fan of high tea or sweets, enjoyed the menu thoroughly. And did I mention that there’s free flow of tea and coffee? My partner had about 3 cups of coffee but I only tried 2 different types of tea.

1950s 1960s floral dress butterick retro sewing hell bunny petticoat

1950s 1960s floral dress butterick retro sewing hell bunny petticoat

1950s 1960s floral dress butterick retro sewing hell bunny petticoat

1950s 1960s floral dress butterick retro sewing hell bunny petticoat

Wearing: Cat-eye sunnies by ASOS (from 2 years ago), thrifted vintage bag, pink heels by ASOS (from more than 3 years ago), wooden fan (gift from a friend), and my dearest me-made Edith dress with the luscious Hell Bunny petticoat

1950s 1960s floral dress butterick retro sewing hell bunny petticoat

1950s 1960s floral dress butterick retro sewing hell bunny petticoat
And now let’s talk about the dress! This green floral dress is my beloved Edith dress. I made it back in 2012 using the retro Butterick 6582 dressmaking pattern and it’s been featured on my blog a few times (here and here too). And hey, if you’re observant, you’ll notice sometimes it’s a featured photo on my blog header too. Yes, my infatuation with this dress is obvious. This dress is very special to me because I made it around the time I started getting serious about both dressmaking and vintage style. Specifically, I made it so I could have something decent to wear to a vintage fair. It’s really a shame that I haven’t been making such dresses at all in recent years, and I really hope to change that this year! We’ll see…! *fingers crossed*

1950s 1960s floral dress butterick retro sewing hell bunny petticoat

Wearing: Brows by Anastasia Beverly Hills, eyeliner by KATE (Japanese brand by Kanebo), eye shadow by Too Faced, lips by elf, and not forgetting a pair of vintage cluster clip-ons

Do you also have a dress that holds a special place in your heart? xx G

DIY: Jean Seberg’s New York Herald Tribune T-shirt

The New York Herald Tribune t-shirt is an iconic fashion piece that was worn by Jean Seberg in the movie “Breathless”. Since the release of the French New Wave movie in 1960, the t-shirt, like Seberg’s gamine pixie haircut, has gained a cult following and inspired many, including me. There’s something about the combination of a clean white shirt and classic typography that is very appealing. Ever since I got my haircut and watch the film, I wanted a t-shirt like that to wear for casual days out.

Apparently, Rodarte even released an almost identical design in 2010 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the film’s release. I’m not sure how much that t-shirt by Rodarte costs and I’m not even going to try looking it up, because I made one myself easily.

And you can do it too, with a print-out of the New York Herald Tribune logo. Tip: Search on Google!

Jean Seberg Breathless T-shirt 1960s Vintage Retro DIY

Materials:

1x piece of freezer paper
1x penknife
1x plain white t-shirt
1x print out of the New York Herald Tribune (ideally full A4)
1x pot of black fabric paint
1x paint brush
Some washi tape

Steps:

 

1. Trace the logo on the side of the freezer paper without the smooth, shiny wax.

jean seberg new york herald tribune t-shirt DIY 1960s fashion2. Cut out the letters on the freezer paper with a penknife. Some letters will be tricky, like “O” and “R”. You can choose to either cut the inner piece out and stick it on later (like my letter “O”) or cut the letters out like a stencil (like my letter “R”).

jean seberg new york herald tribune t-shirt DIY 1960s fashion3. Iron the freezer paper on the t-shirt. Notice that the inner circle of my “o” is missing in this picture. I stuck in on later.

4. And now the fun part! Slap on the paint over the letters and make sure you got all the itty bitty corners covered.

jean seberg new york herald tribune t-shirt DIY 1960s fashionjean seberg new york herald tribune t-shirt DIY 1960s fashion5. You may end up with some thin lines in each letter that don’t show up from your painting. Stick some wash tape to make sure you mark the boundaries and paint over with confidence!

6. Ta da! And it’s all done!

jean seberg new york herald tribune t-shirt DIY 1960s fashion

jean seberg new york herald tribune t-shirt DIY 1960s fashion

STYLE: Gingham all the way! (Part 2 of 2)

Read Gingham all the way! (Part 1 of 2)

So back in December last year I wrote a post on a peasant-style cropped blouse I purchased and played crazy mix and match with. Here’s the second part of the post featuring all the rest of the outfits I styled with this retro gingham blouse. Hopefully, this and the previous post will give everyone some ideas for doing wardrobe remix and for creating simple, retro 1950s pin-up/rockabilly style with basic pieces from your wardrobe!

As seen from the previous post here

As seen from the previous post here

And here’s how you can remix a top like this gingham peasant blouse. You can..

1. Pop on a pair of high-waisted shorts in a coordinating colour

Retro 1950s Pin-up girl style

2. Squeeze into a pencil skirt in a contrasting colour

simple retro 1950s pin up girl style fashion

3. Fool around in a circle skirt

simple retro 1950s pin up girl style fashion

There, it’s as easy as ABC! You know what, I even have a circle skirt in a similar gingham print and I’m hoping to wear that skirt with this blouse together one day. I did try it once but it seemed a bit too much at that point… We’ll see how that goes again!

I hope everyone has had fun reading this series wardrobe remix posts. I am planning to do more of such posts in the future. There’s only so much clothes my wardrobe can contain but the days for OOTDs are endless…

Do you like doing wardrobe remixes or capsule wardrobes? I’d love to hear from everyone!

xox G

Read Gingham all the way! (Part 1 of 2)

MAKE DO & MEND: 1970s Pastel Bohemian

Make Do Mend Vintage 1970s Pastel Peasant Dress

As I bravely declared in one of my Instagram posts, one of my goals for 2016 is to work on more sewing projects. This includes altering a garment so it works better for my body and my current style, as well as dressmaking projects.

Make Do Mend Vintage 1970s Pastel Peasant Dress

Make Do Mend Vintage 1970s Pastel Peasant Dress

Make Do Mend Vintage 1970s Pastel Peasant Dress

This is an alteration project that I completed quickly in 2 nights earlier in January. Silly me, I got into the project so quickly I didn’t take a proper photo of it before the alteration. This 1970s pastel peasant dress is one of the vintage pieces that came with a vintage lot I bidded and won on eBay. It was too large for me and the original band around the top was losing its elasticity so I decided to unpick the stitches and reinsert new elastic bands.

The waist also came with a tiny and frail elastic thread that wasn’t really doing its job anymore, so I also took that out and put in a thicker elastic band around it. I am pretty proud of how neat the gathers around the waist turned out!

Make Do Mend Vintage 1970s Pastel Peasant Dress

Left: The altered dress on the mannequin
Right: Close-up of the gathers of the waist on the right side

Make Do Mend Vintage 1970s Pastel Peasant Dress

Left: Close-up of the bodice
Right: Close-up of the top band with elastic inserted on the inside

Make Do Mend Vintage 1970s Pastel Peasant Dress

Thick elastic band on the waistline on the wrong side of the garment. I’ve taken a bit of the sides in after sewing the elastic band… bad planning…

Unfortunately, I miscalculated the width of the waist and the dress turned out a little baggy even after inserting the elastic band. I fixed that by taking in the sides a little. No way am I going to unpick all 3 rows of stitches in the thick elastic band! I know that sounds awfully lazy, but I swear I do more unpicking with dressmaking projects when something goes wrong.

Make Do Mend Vintage 1970s Pastel Peasant Dress

Make Do Mend Vintage 1970s Pastel Peasant Dress

I know it looks better on the mannequin, probably because the mannequin has a bigger bust than I do…. Yes yes yes, on hindsight, I probably should have measured the width of my chest and width of the top of this dress, and altered the sides accordingly.

Make Do Mend Vintage 1970s Pastel Peasant Dress

Make Do Mend Vintage 1970s Pastel Peasant Dress

Experimenting with elastics in this project was fun and I am pretty happy with the way it looks on me right now. Pop on a large sunhat and coordinating accessories, and I am ready for a lazy Sunday afternoon in the park.

xx G

 


Wearing: Vintage 1970s babydoll peasant dress (eBay), white sunhat (Target Australia), white clip-ons (thrifted), white necklace (nondescript shop in Sydney), vintage white purse (thrifted), retro square sunnies (ASOS), vintage-inspired huaraches (ASOS) 


More Make Do and Mend projects on the blog right here

MUST HAVE: Sun Jellies Originals Tote for an Instant Retro Flair

Sun Jellies Jasmine tote retro 1950s style

I love plastic shoppers. They have a certain kitschy charm to them and they add an instant retro flair to any outfit.

Most of the retro and vintage bags that I have are pretty small and can’t carry much. This makes things tricky when I have to carry more than my bare essentials (i.e. lipstick, mobile, and purse) when going out.

Sun Jellies Jasmine tote retro 1950s style

Wearing: 1950’s style gingham swing dress (Hell Bunny), retro plastic jelly bag (Sun Jellies Originals)

Sun Jellies Jasmine tote retro 1950s style

Sun Jellies Jasmine tote retro 1950s style

Sun Jellies has a range of totes in delicious colours like white, pastel yellow, pastel blue and pastel pink (or you could also call them Serenity and Rose Quartz aka Pantone colours of the year haha). I am lucky to get my hands on the dreamy white version and I think it’s a lovely addition to my retro/vintage wardrobe. It’s a spacious carry-all that is perfect for trips to the beach and to the mall. Best of all, it has a clip that fastens the handles together so your things don’t fall out of the bag easily. Nothing beats the joy of having both convenience and style in a single bag!

Sun Jellies Jasmine tote retro 1950s style

1950's retro vintage pincurls Asian look

Also, I want to show my first attempt at doing pin curls on my short hair! 😄

You can find Sun Jellies Originals on their site/Instagram/Twitter/Facebook

MADE: Vintage 1950’s inspired Polka Dot Sweater

Vintage 1950s inspired polka dot sweater

Vintage 1950s inspired polka dot sweater
Many of you may not know this, but I started blogging eons ago when I picked up knitting. My first blog was called “because she started knitting”. Obviously, my focus has changed significantly since. But… my knitting skills pretty much stayed stagnant because I was never confident enough to move away from hats and scarves.

A while back I blogged about some vintage-inspired knitting and crochet books which spurred me to pick up my knitting needles once more. Fast forward many months later, this polka dot sweater is born.

Vintage 1950s inspired polka dot sweater

Left: My creation // Right: The original pattern from the book Vintage Knits for Him & Her: 30 modern knitting patterns for stylish vintage knitwear

Vintage 1950s inspired polka dot sweater

That’s 6 inches off the bottom!

It took me about 2 months to finish this project, and then a couple more months to grieve over the fact that it was too long for my liking. After a tearful post on Instagram, I finally mustered enough courage to snip the bottom off and to correct the length. I took off about 6 inches from the bottom! I honestly don’t know how I ended up making a dress. Maybe I shouldn’t have steamed it with a steam iron. But I love how yarn looks after a bit of steaming.

Vintage 1950s inspired polka dot sweater

Vintage 1950s inspired polka dot sweater

Front and back

And then, after the length was fixed, I realised that I wished it fitted on my body better. Once again, maybe.. maybe I really shouldn’t have steamed it, because steaming relaxes the yarn.

Vintage 1950s inspired polka dot sweater

It took me a few more months of grieving before I finally came into terms with the fact that I am NOT going to make it better. I am NOT taking the sides in. I have had enough. This project has exhausted all of my patience. And so, this is the way it stays. xo G

OUTFIT: Happy 2016 and my Missguided Red Lace Dress

Missguided Red Lace Dress 1950s Style

Oh hey everybody! It’s 2016! *insert party popper emoji*

I hope everyone had a smashing holiday over the Christmas and New Year’s weeks. One of my goals for the new year is to get back into the rhythm of blogging and to write more frequently. This MIGHT be something I mentioned last year… but with the new year comes new hope! Perhaps this year is the year that I really make it happen…

So, what did everyone do for the holidays? My boo and I spent Christmas in the States; we spent most of the time in Texas with his family but also took a little road trip down to New Orleans (aka food heaven). For New Year’s, we went out for a date in the evening to celebrate our 2nd year anniversary.

Missguided ASOS Red Lace Dress 1950s Style

Missguided ASOS Red Lace Dress 1950s Style

Missguided ASOS Red Lace Dress 1950s Style

I have been saving this dress for a special occasion and that definitely was it. This is a MISSGUIDED dress which my friend bought via ASOS. Unfortunately, it didn’t fit her so she passed it to a friend that would be able to wear it (aka yours truly). Lucky me!

Missguided ASOS Red Lace Dress 1950s Style

Missguided ASOS Red Lace Dress 1950s Style

Vintage 1950s Earrings

All the accessories that went along with my outfit are at least 2 or 3 years old. Yes, I like old things. My bag is a vintage beaded evening purse which I thrifted from Vinnies several years back when I was still living in Sydney. My earrings are vintage 1950s and they are actually Christmas presents from my boyfriend’s sister. I’m so smitten with them! Those heels are also from ASOS; they are about 2 years old and are getting pretty worn on the insides. I’m going wear them until they disintegrate.

That little Union Jack thingy is a Rimmel London smokey eyeshadow palette. Umm I bought when I was still in Sydney. Umm, that makes it at least 3 years old. Umm, I don’t think they even make this Union Jack eyeshadow palette anymore? Don’t judge me, these colours are EVERTHING. I am still constantly using them every weekend on my eyes. The only other thing that I should have included in the photo is my MAC Ruby Woo lippy, which is about 2 years old.

And there you go, a quick break-down of my New Year’s day outfit. Put your hands up if you think red and black are best friends! xo

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

STYLE: Gingham all the way! (Part 1 of 2)

Gingham pin-up outfit

Wearing: Gingham peasant blouse (ASOS), retro ‘Call Me’ telephone bag (Betsey Johnson), everything else from eons ago or eBay

A few months ago, I bought a new gingham peasant-style cropped blouse from ASOS (when it was on sale) and I went gaga over it, wearing it almost every weekend in different styles. If you are following me on Instagram, you would have seen a few of those outfit posts. And now, I will be sharing more photos and talking about the outfits in details on the blog!

Let’s start off with the outfit that turned out to be the most pleasant surprise… This outfit was in part inspired by pin-up fashion and in part out of the sheer desperation from the chronic “I have nothing to wear” syndrome that so many of us battle with. I wore the gingham peasant blouse with my uber tight-fitted 4-year-old denim pinafore and my (?)14-year-old pink heart belt.

Gingham pin-up outfit

Gingham pin-up outfit

Oh sweet thing – I think I bought the pink belt when I was 12. I can’t really explain why I have held on to it for so long. I can’t even remember the last time I wore this belt. Have I ever worn this belt? I don’t even know now. Maybe I kept it with me because it felt special to me and I thought it would come to good use one day.. and also, it’s super cute! Honestly, I don’t know where I could get belts like this anymore. Seriously, I would love to have this in EVERY COLOUR. Bumblebee yellow, black, baby blue, forest green… etc.

Betsey Johnson Retro Call Me Telephone Bag

That little Betsey Johnson ‘Call Me’ telephone bag is something newer but still very special to me – it was a Christmas present from my boo last year. The coolest thing about this bag is that the phone actually connects to your mobile and works as a functional receiver. The sound quality from this receiver is actually really good, definitely much better than some random $3 plastic piece of crap I got from eBay years ago.

Betsey Johnson Retro Call Me Telephone Bag

But, as with a lot of things that are special, I don’t use this bag enough. The same goes for my special dresses and special accessories. Yeah, I’m the kind of person who saves the best piece of meat for the last when eating. I guess I do the same for material goods I own.

Also, pink eye shadow to match my pink belt...

Also, pink eye shadow to match my pink belt…

Close-up

Close-up

My boyfriend often laments about how I haven’t worn a few of the vintage accessories he got me as presents. Well, I just want to save them… for something…!!!(???) But then again, he will definitely be glad to know that I am keeping those presents for at least 14 years, just like what I have done with my sweet pink belt. One day, my pink belt will become a vintage item. Ha!

Anyway, if you like this outfit that I have shared, please stay tuned for the other outfits I created with this gingham cropped blouse in the next blog post!

***

Do you also like “saving” things for something special? Tell me all about it!

 

DIY/MUST-HAVE: Vintage-inspired Saddle Shoes

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

*This post is also featured as a guest post on Atomic Amber’s fabulous pin-up and vintage style blog.* >>> here!

Saddle shoes were very popular in the 1940s and 1950s, and are a must-have for anyone that loves mid-century fashion. Back in 2012, I made a pair of two-tone oxford brogues using bronze fabric paint. Now that I am slowly progressing towards a more vintage-inspired wardrobe, I find that I need a pair of black and white saddle shoes to supplement my wardrobe. And being me, I’d much rather make a pair myself than to buy a pair online.

So here’s a simple tutorial for everyone out there who wants to make a pair too!

Materials:

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

A pair of white plimsolls – I got mine from Target
A pot of black fabric paint
A paint brush with a flat or sharp tip for precision during painting
Black fabric marker
Sticky tape – I used wash tape I have in my stash

Steps:

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

1. Remove the shoe laces. Place sticky tape somewhere off the centre of the shoes. Also, tape the tongue of the shoe down so it doesn’t get in the way while you paint.

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

2. Use the black fabric marker to mark a semi-circle on the back of the shoes. I followed the stitching pattern that was already on the plimsolls.

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

3. Start painting away! Don’t be too worried about getting paint on the eyelets because you can wipe the paint off before it dries.

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

4. Wipe off any paint you have on the eyelets. You can also clean the insides using cotton buds.

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

5. Allow the paint to dry for a day, then set the paint with an iron. Avoid being too close to the rubber soles because you don’t want to melt the rubber!

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

6. Put the laces back on and smile, because you now own a pair of saddle shoes!

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

Wearing: Freddies of Pinewood Lana jeans and #gwenstellamade vintage-inspired saddle shoes

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

A couple of weekends ago, I wore my “new” saddle shoes for the very first time. I’m so excited about all the different ways I can incorporate it into my mid-century outfits in the future! Let me know if you make a pair for yourself too. I’d love to see your projects! x G