A truly beautiful Minxy mix of charm, inspiration, practical advice, and pretty projects to simplify and beautify your life and home. - Jane Brocket, The Gentle Art of Domesticity
Feels like yesterday we were having a ball at the last Love Vintage, and yet the next one’s on in less than a month. The new venue means more stalls, more events, more fantastic people-watching opportunities and more vintage thrills. Plus I’m doing workshops again on Saturday and Sunday. Can’t. Wait.
Check out these pics from last year’s festivities, and pop March 23-25 in the diary – hope to see you at one of the workshops below.
Vintage clothing restoration with Kelly Doust
Saturday 24 March @ 11am, Sunday 25 March @ 12pm
The bestselling author of Minxy Vintage, A Life in Frocks and The Crafty Minx will be sharing her hints, tips and creative ideas for restoring all vintage clothing at this free workshop. Come along to hear Kelly’s advice on how to fix or customise preloved and damaged pieces, giving them a new lease of life for many years to come. These are fun, easy and environmentally friendly skills for even the least crafty. Feel free to bring along an item or two for specific advice on restoration – after this workshop you’ll never look at those less-than-perfect finds the same way again.
My top five tips for revitalising vintage pieces:
- Shattered silk and holes can be almost invisibly repaired with iron-on bonding – available from Spotlight and most haberdasheries – paired with fabric sneakily borrowed from a generous seam or hem (this works best on printed fabrics rather than block colours).
- Expel musty odours by dipping your vintage piece in a warm bath and adding ½-full cup of white vinegar. Dry in the shade before dipping in a second bath, this time with a few drops of sweet-scented lavender or grapefruit oil, to eradicate the smell of vinegar.
- Eucalyptus and tea tree oil remove stubborn oil stains and chewing gum. Simply apply directly to fabric, before finishing with a handwash or popping hardier items in the washing machine.
- Most other stains can be faded or disappear with Napisan. Dip item in dissolved solution and dry in full sunlight without rinsing. The enzymes react with the sun to bleach stains (be aware this may also fade bright colours or delicate fabrics – try a test patch first).
- Badly stained items are easily revitalised by dyeing to a new hue. Some shades are harder to achieve when added to the original fabric colour but when in doubt, black covers almost everything and is eternally chic.
Signed copies of Kelly’s books will be available at Love Vintage from Coco Repose (stall no.C02) and at both workshops.
We have a sort of alcove in the hallway which, up until recently, was decorated with mismatched frames portraying family photographs, illustrations, artwork and favourite postcards, but I took them all down in readiness for a change. I know the entire hallway would look striking and gorgeous wallpapered on both sides, but I’m loathe to make such a big commitment (have you seen what a faff it is to remove? Scary). So my new thought is creating a stencil to repeat in the alcove, then try out down one wall and then the other, depending on how it looks. At the very worst, I can paint over the lot.
Here’s a few motifs I’m considering – fleur de lys, crowns, tropical birds or orchids – but perhaps we’ll steer away from the traditional with a Banksy-inspired graffiti print, which could work a treat. Decisions, decisions.
Visit the Events page to find some of the places I’ll be appearing at this year to speak about Minxy Vintage. Free styling sessions, workshops and champagne soirees aplenty… hope to see you at one or more.
It’s the unique theories behind a designer’s work I find most inspiring, such as Luella Bartley and her debut Daddy I Want A Pony collection back in 1998.
I met Rebecca recently, a graduate from the University of Technology, who shares the collection created for her course with me here. Based on how life on the road inspires the use of nature as shelter and protection, Rebecca used raw fabrics such as wool, cashmere and leather and created her own contemporary lace from alpaca fleece. Softer textures were inspired by the longing for comfort, warmth and familiarity when moving around or living out of a suitcase. The harder elements seen in the leather pieces suggest the natural human instinct for shelter and protection, hence the earthy tones. Apart from the shoes, this is all her original design work – designed, pattern made and sampled, with outsource assistance brought in for the final garments where specialised equipment was needed (dyeing, leather construction, etc).
I love Rebecca’s futuristic take on such old, raw materials, and her adventurousness with accessories. It’s something to keep in mind: even if your own machine doesn’t do the job, there are ways and means of having your ideas turned into reality.