Sunday, August 31, 2014

Polyester Girl

Forever drawn to the wild, psychedelic prints and saturated colours of clothes from the late 60s and 70s, it seemed natural to collect the polyester pleasures that made my heart soar.
However it wasn't long before I remembered my mother's words about man-made fabrics; they just don't breathe.
In cooler climates it didn't seem too much of a bother but here in Brisbane, my wardrobe was getting jammed with amazing gear, yet I had nothing to wear.
Nylon, crimplene, nylon-jersey, polyester of every weight and thickness in every colour under the sun greeted me merrily each morning: "pick me, pick me Desiree!"
It finally dawned on me why there was such an abundance of beaut maxis, flares and jackets in the op shops and markets ... they were an instant sauna in a bag and people in our sub-tropical climate simply couldn't abide them.
So I sold off and gave away a large portion of my polyester friends *sniff*.
I'm afraid I cannot bear to have clothes hanging in my wardrobe that I can't wear for comfort reasons, instead adhering to a cotton-only policy for 1970s gear and drawing on my life-long love and adoration of all things 1930s and 40s.
Rayon was an inexpensive, affordable and hard-wearing fabric during that era, and since it's a synthetic manufactured from wood pulp, it seems a more humidity-tolerant fabric.
What a relief!  I love the styles from the 30s and 40s ... the details are beautiful, the fabrics fare incredibly well for their age and I like the tailoring.
But if you've been popping over here for a while, you'll probably know I never, ever wear any era from top-to-toe ... not my scene.
Modern synthetics are still very dodgy in my opinion, but depending on the cut, they can be worn on days like today ... the last day of winter.
So today I chose a few bits and pieces that I can get away with before the sauna cranks up for six months of summer.
An ode to nylon in its many forms.

Earrings and FREEK necklace - Bones Couture
1940s slip, lace coat, Top Shop shoes, spiked headband, other jewellery, gold powder compact, feather hair clips, gold belt - all from op shops, markets, eBay

Monday, August 25, 2014

It's So Easy ... Sometimes

Wonderful, drenching rain means tea, crusty old movies, hot scones and sewing.
Thankfully we've had plenty of it all here so I'm feeling rather smug and happy.
And bloated.

This is one of the three-skirt bargains I picked up from the Red Cross op-shop last week where I bought three skirts for $10.
The waistband on this one was too small so I unpicked it, added some fabric to the waistband, re-did the gathering to fit my waist, then sewed it back on.
The next day I got a blood-bomb and my waist shrunk a couple of inches. 
WTF is that about?
So I unpicked the sodding thing, re-made the waistband, re-gathered the skirt and sewed the fucker back together.
This skirt is lucky I love it, despite it reminding me of the 80s when I didn't have a pre-menstrual waistline like saggy elastic.

These two don't have to worry about such news-dominating issues.

1970s Coffey movie t-shirt - Creative Markets
1950s tapestry handbag - gift from my beautiful sister, Merilyn
Fishnet t-shirt - online sale
Skirt - Red Cross
Shoes - vintage market
Jewellery - Camberwell Market and op shops
Tights - both from Sock Dreams

Getting as much wear out of this wee dear until my waistline explodes again.

Some skirts are kinder than others and there's really nothing more comfortable than a Franken-Skirt.
It's a t-shirt in a skirt and if you need to rustle one up in a flash, here's how:

Grab a guy's t-shirt (bloke's t-shirts are WAY cooler than chick's ones).
Cut the sleeves off.
Slice the top off.
Sew up what's left of the armholes.
Grab some stretch fabric and cut a rectangle that will fit around your waist and stretch over your hips.
Sew the ends together to make a circle.
Fold the circle in two, wrong sides together.
Zig-zag the waistband to the top of the t-shirt, stretching the band to fit the skirt.
Put the skirt on.
Do a dance.
Here's some music.

Sequin top, Marvel t-shirt - op shops
Gold lion necklace - gift from lovely Miss Ada
Boots - second hand from local boot maker
Leggings - Black Milk
You're welcome.
Love Desiree xox

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Dime a Dozen

I've been in a style funk for a couple of months now.
In limbo for this long, my it's no fun.
Then our local Vinnies and Salvos recently shut up shop for a couple of weeks and reopened in vastly improved, bigger premises just a few doors away from their original digs.
Days later, I was strolling down the street and spotted a new shop, Pop Up Vintage.
Clearly the planets were aligned and it was time for a jolly good rummage to whet the appetite.

I've been wearing cast offs since I was a kid and I can't recall an occasion when I didn't get excited about wearing someone else's clothes.
I learned to sew at a young age and was sewing most of my own clothes by 16 then once I started working I loved treating myself to new gear.
But I always returned to second hand clothes and to this day, I get more of a thrill from finding something odd, used and inexpensive than prancing about in clothes from over-priced, pretentious boutiques.

During the 90s, I wouldn't have been seen dead in saggy floral frocks like this, even when they were popular here in Brisbane.
It was strictly black all the way for me back then, which I still love, although these days my black outfits are usually highly decorated.
But ever since I grabbed this fine cotton frock from Pop Up Vintage for $12, I've worn it nearly everyday.
Just goes to show it's never too late to change your mind about style.

Cotton frock - Pop Up vintage shop
1960s beauty case, Demonia shoes, jewellery and 1940s fur cape - op shops and markets
Tights - Sock Dreams

The black sequin 80s top was a closing-time $10 bargain from Camberwell Market in Melbourne during our recent adventures and I found the cotton stretch skirt at the Red Cross shop.
When I took it to the counter I was told if I bought two items I'd get the third for free, so I found two more skirts and paid just $10 for the three.
I haven't worn tube-style skirts since my Madonna days in the 80s, so I'm cracking open yet another time capsule.

1980s sequinned top - Camberwell Markets, Melbourne
1950s leopard-print beret and 1970s beaded bag - Nelly of Vintage Wishes
Fishnet top - online sale
Skirt - Red Cross op shop
Jewellery - all op-shopped
1970s leather boots - second-hand from local boot makers

I've unpicked part of the waistband of this fab 80s taffeta skirt as it's too small.
I can't wait to finish it as I love it!
It's the second of the three-skirt bargains.
The kilt was the third of the three-skirt bargains.
After my recent wardrobe purge, I realised I'm low on skirts and a Scottish kilt for three bucks?
Yes please.
This is my favourite t-shirt in the world.  
I have no idea what will happen when Miss Camel Toe goes to t-shirt hell, but it's not worth sweating over.  
She only cost me a few bucks, so it's no great financial loss, yet Miss Camel Toe has attitude and understands me.

Green leather jacket - Camberwell Market 
Black t-shirt - online second hand shop
Bangles, earrings - op shops
Pink tights - Sock Dreams
Shoes - market
FREEKY necklace - custom made by Phussy

I trawl op shops and second hand markets for ideas when I'm in a style funk.
What do you do?
Desire xox

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Why Yes I Did Cut My Own Hair!

I can't even admit to having pondered over cutting my fringe.
It was more of a reflex action when I decided my crooked hair could do with a tidy up.
Oh dear.
But look at my frock.  Look, look, look the frock!
I pounced on it in the Salvos yesterday, eight bucks with original tags and it's the most delicious pure silk.
I can only guess at the text accompanying the lovely teapots, yet the dress makes me feel very early-30s film star.
Mmmmmmm ... I've almost forgotten about my accident with the scissors.

Lily gets all frisky and playful whenever we're outside.
We're on her patch and she's showing us around.
And she doesn't get too judge-y when I make poor hair decisions.  BFF.

Yup, I'm having a super bad hair day and I ventured out sans paper bag.
Points for trying.

Silk frock - Salvos
All jewellery and 1960s beauty case - assorted op shops
Tights - Sock Dreams
Shoes - some online sale

Friends, thank you for your kind comments on my last post.
Actually, thank you for even popping over here!
I'm so very grateful and chuffed with your visits and I love to read your thoughts and visit you as often as possible.
Are your buns burning?  
That's coz I just gave you a MASSIVE arse-squeeze.
Desiree x

Friday, August 8, 2014

There's A Hole in my Bucket

The title says it all.
Except the bucket has so many holes, there's just a handle left.
Last week, Number One Son stepped in and swept Bella and I off for some respite from the insanity.
We flew to Melbourne where he took care of all the details and allowed us the break we needed.
One must eventually return to routine, but briefly resting under the wing of that wonderful son and brother for a few days certainly helped. 
I may have even smiled again.
An hour before setting off for the airport, I decided my hair needed some zing.
It helped.
We stayed two nights at #1 Son's quaint, old, inner-city, worker's cottage, then he put us up in a beautiful old heritage-listed hotel, Warwillah, a beautiful Queen Anne-style mansion built in 1896, which was once home to Governor-General Issacs.
We felt very spoiled.

Just one of the beautiful, original stained glass windows at Warwillah.

It was wonderful to rug up in our coats and hats; here I'm wearing a 70s velvet skirt that rarely gets worn in Brisbane.  The parrot brooch was a gift from sweet Vintage Bird Girl, while the 1950s coat was ten bucks from a Brisbane market.

A mish-mash of brooches (who can stop at just one?), including the Anti-Joyce badge Clare (formerly Miss Simmonds Says) made me.

Number One Son took us to the historic St Kilda Pier, where we saw three Little Penguins nesting among the rocks.
What a treat!  We'd never seen wild penguins before.

I love wearing this enormous brooch Helga made for me and decided to flaunt it on my turban.
The Tiki Tour continued with a visit to Brighton Beach, where the brightly-painted huts draw tourists even on the coldest, yet sunny days.
We searched for Miss Fisher, but she was probably putting some fine young boxer or dancer through his paces with a fan dance.

Sundays mean a very late start, coffee, breakfast, then Camberwell Markets.
We arrived 40 minutes before closing time so there was no time for pics, but we perfected the art of vintage shopping on the run.

Bella picked up fab leather boots for five bucks, plus a glut of clothes for her, scored for a dollar or two.
The girl is rapidly outgrowing her wardrobe, luckily she adores the hunt for second-hand treasures.
Long may it last!
I found her chic, warm coat at an op shop in Canungra during our school holiday adventure.
On Monday it was breakfast at Balaclava, where Bella discovered she had a taste for Yo-Chi frozen yogurt and sourdough toast with smashed avocado and feta. Yum!

Lucky I had a second cup of espresso.
It meant I had to make a run for the nearest public building, where the delectable Miss Tallulah Porkchop, spotted us sprinting for the loo!

What are the chances?
As you can see I nearly suffocated the poor wee dear in excitement. 
Melbourne's a big city, so we couldn't believe our luck!

From there, Miss Porkchop directed us just a few meters down the road where we sprung upon gorgeous Clare of Stitching Purple Blooms.
Holy feck!
I couldn't stop myself from beaming with joy at finally meeting, by chance, both of these two stunning wenches.
You can tell I'm happy from all my chins.

Then it was off to St Kilda Pier and boardwalk again, stopping off for a look at Luna Park, then we spent some time with huge, native black swans.  They look so elegant in the water, yet so clumsy waddling about on the sand don't they?
What a glorious day.

The embroidered cotton blouse from the Philipines was a dollar and the shell cross was fifty cents, both from Camberwell Market the previous day.

 I've nicknamed Melbourne the City of Coats, Boots and All-Age Stunning Wenches.

 On our final day we snapped more beautiful buildings: Flinders Street Station and the Royal Exhibition Centre, before spending a leisurely afternoon exploring Melbourne Museum.

A majestic blue whale, a locally-themed ocean exhibit and volcanoes were some of the features of our "school day".
Then there were the art lessons.

Looking ahead, I realise being a full-time carer to my husband isn't viable and we will have to work with any and every agency to get the help he needs.  It's an incredibly taxing job and after four years, I feel my kids and I are the ones that need some care.
Hopefully I can find a way to fill the holes in the non-existent bucket.
Please, no sympathy.  
Hugs, D xo
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