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Back to Basics: Your Guide for Channelling the 1950’s

In order to achieve the perfect 1950s fashion look, you need to know and understand the fashion trends of the era. I have done some research over time and here is what I have found are the key pieces:

  1. Swing dresses
  2. Petticoats for fullness
  3. Slim sheath dresses
4. Tailored suits 5. Pencil / poodle Skirts6. Cape 7. Circle skirts 8. Capri / cigarette pants 9. High waisted jeans 10. Crew Neck cardigan 11. Peter pan collar blouses 12. Bolero 13. Twin set cardigan sweaters 14. Swing coats in winter 15. Neck scarf 16. Kitten heels, saddle shoes, stiletto heels 17. Small hats, headscarves, hair flowers18. Pearls, brooches, sweater clips 19. Gloves, belt, handbag 20. Buttlet bra, girdle, backseam stockings

I hope this has helped you gain more of an understanding of the fashion trends of the 1950s, to help you achieve your look.

Back soon………….

Ridiculously Retro Xx

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Woodstock 1969

Three days of Peace and Music

An advertisement for Woodstock 1969
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On the 50th anniversary of Woodstock it seemed only fitting to write about it… I have been watching so many documentaries and interviews recently of stories from people that attended!

Woodstock was held at a dairy farm in the town of Bethel, New York and ran from 15th August to 18th August 1969. It was organised by four men all in their 20s. The idea behind the event was to make enough money to build a recording studio near the arty New York town of Woodstock, and it is now known as the most famous and most talked about concert throughout history.

Michael Lang, one of the guys who organised Woodstock
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There were over 500,000 people who attended the three day concert. The tickets were originally sold for $18 in advance and $24 at the gate, but the fence was so flimsy it was knocked down and hundreds of thousands more people attended for free. They ran out of food on the Friday night and resorted to concession workers from Food for Love. The army had to air lift in the supplies and the performers. One thing we can learn from this event and the hippy generation is that with 500,000 concert goers there was no violence that occurred – just peace ✌️

The audience at Woodstock
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The line up of artists was incredible and included:

  • Jimi Hendrix
  • The Who
  • Janis Joplin
  • Grateful Dead
  • Joe Cocker
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
  • Joan Baez
  • Santana
  • Richie Havens
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Sly and the Family Stone
  • Jefferson Airplane
  • Blood, Sweat and Tears
  • and so many others
Janis Joplin at Woodstock
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The Who at Woodstock
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Wow… how impressive!!

There was a lot of nudity, music, love making, drugs, yoga in the fields, fun and games, dancing, and a whole lot more love making and drugs. In interviews they described themselves as “spawning in the water like fish”, swimming and bathing in the same water. There were other stories of babies being born in the fields but no evidence is available.

Audience at Woodstock
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The concert ended with Jimi Hendrix playing the Star-Spangled Banner.

Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock
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It would have been a life changing experience to have attended Woodstock. This 3-day festival has changed the world, becoming a cultural touchstone and paving the way for rock festivals and outdoor concerts we attend today.

How to Cover a Chaise Lounge and A Cushion

This blog shows you how easy it is to cover any lounge. You can cover it all if needed or you can cover only part, like I have done, if that will suit the look. It is a cheaper alternative to up cycle a lounge and recycling helps to save the environment and reduce your carbon footprint!

Tools Required:

  1. Fabric
  2. Matching cotton
  3. Scissors
  4. Curved Upholsterers Needle
  5. Staple Gun

Steps:

  1. Place the fabric over the area you wish to cover and tuck into any crevices where possible. For example, where the back rest and arm rests meet the seats. Double check that it is all straight along the seat top.
  2. Where there is wood you can use a staple gun and staple the fabric to the lounge. Be careful to pull the fabric taught and make sure there are no creases or lumps. The easiest step for the corners is to twist the fabric as you pull it tight then staple it while holding it. Turn in the rough edges of the fabric to stop fraying and keep it looking tidy. Make sure to staple all the sections so that none of the covering comes loose.
  3. For the sections without wood, you will sew it onto the lounge using the curved upholstery needle. You will need to do this mainly on the seat area. The curved needle makes it easy to pull through to the other side. Turn in the rough edges of the fabric to stop fraying and keep it looking tidy. Once again make sure that you sew all the sections so that nothing comes undone.

7. If you are only doing part of the lounge like I have, you will need to tuck in the fabric edge where the back rest meets the seat. Sew along the entire edge, opening up the edge so that the sewing can remain hidden and extra tight within the crevice. This will stop the fabric moving when the seat has been sat on. Otherwise you will be forever tucking it in to tidy up the seat!

Now you are done! If you are covering the whole lounge, then you can repeat the steps for the remaining parts. Good luck!!

Cushion

Now I will show you the simple steps to make a matching cushion

  1. Cut out the fabric about 5cm bigger than your cushion.
  2. Sew it using a sewing machine with right sides of the fabric facing. Sew all sides but on the last side leave a gap wide enough to squash your pillow through.
  3. Now turn the right side of your fabric through. Push your cushion through.

6. Close the opening of the cushion by turning in the edge and sewing both sides together to sew close the edge. Your cushion is complete and ready for use on your lounge!

Good luck with your project of covering your lounge. I have covered a few in my time as I love doing it for myself and friends. Revamping a lounge and reducing your waste is a great project. Send me an email if you have any questions or photos of your finished product, I would love to see them.

Back soon……

Ridiculously Retro Xx

DIY Retro Oven Mitt and Hot Pad

If you have been wanting to replace your old oven mitt and hot pad then why not make your own! I am going to help you through an easy step by step guide to making an oven mitt and hot pad in your favourite retro fabric to suit your retro kitchen. It is an easy project and takes very little time to make. You can use left over fabric and the only cost may be the heat proof insulated wadding, which you will need 1/2 a metre of, depending on its width.

What You Will Need:

  1. Insulated wadding
  2. Retro fabric
  3. Matching Ribbon
  4. Matching cotton
  5. Sewing machine
  6. Paper & pen
  7. Scissors

Mitt

1. To begin with, trace around your hand on a piece of paper. Do an over exaggerated trace as I have done in the picture below. This allows for any size hand to use the glove and also ease to pull on and off.

Cut around the trace.

2. Use this as your pattern for cutting out your fabric piece. You will need 4 pieces of your retro fabric for the glove, cutting it to the pattern shape. I used 4 pieces of fabric as I prefer the inside of the glove to be fabric rather than wadding as I do not like the feel of wadding on my hand.

3. Next, cut out all your wadding. You will need 4 pieces of your wadding for the glove, cutting it to the pattern shape. This will give you extra padding from the heat.

4. Now grab two pieces of fabric and 2 pieces of your wadding and pin together matching up all sides evenly and having the correct side of fabric on the outside and wadding on the inside. Sew close to the edges on all sides leaving no openings.

5. Do the same with the remaining two pieces of fabric and two pieces of wadding. Once again, pinning together, matching up all sides evenly and sewing close to the edges.

6. Now you can pin the two sewn pieces together leaving the bottom piece open, as this allows your hand to enter. On one side before you get to the end of the seam add a ribbon loop along the seam (do the loop on the inside as we will be turning the glove through so the seams are on the inside & the hoop will then be on the outside ) This loop will allow you to hang your mitt, see picture below.

Once sewn turn the glove inside out so the seams are on the inside (not showing)

7. Now you can hem the bottom or use the remaining ribbon to hem, like I have done below.

Hot Pad

This is a really easy process:

1. Cut out fabric 2 squares & 2 wadding squares. It is usually recommended that you do a square 17.5cm x 17.5cm, but it is really up to you.

2. Place fabric pieces right sides together and wadding on the outside, then sew all sides together leaving a 5cm gap to pull it through to the right side

3. When you have pulled it completely through to the right side. Use a knitting needle or something similar to push the corners to check they are through completely. Then you can finish sewing the seam closed. As you sew the seam closed you can use ribbon to make a loop for easy hanging.

4. To tidy it up, I like to stitch around the edges.

Your kitchen mitt and hot pad is now complete

Let me know how you go, I would love to see your finished product!

Back soon….

Ridiculously Retro Xx

Style Me Vintage

If you were looking for some step-by-step instructions or some inspiration on how to recreate and achieve vintage looks in clothing, makeup, hair or accessories then I suggest Style Me Vintage! Style Me Vintage are an excellent range of books to guide and teach you how to achieve some great looks. There are also editions focused on recreating a vintage home and hosting a vintage tea party or wedding.

 

There are a variety of Style Me Vintage books to choose from:

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Inside each book you will find so many wonderful ideas! Here are my favourite examples from the five books that I have purchased:

1. Style Me Vintage Accessories…

If you need help to achieve your final polished authentically vintage look, this is the book for you! It provides a guide on how to correctly identify items to attain your look, in terms of sunglasses, jewellery, hats, gloves, scarves, bags and shoes. The book provides looks ranging from the 1920s right through to the 1980s.

 

2. Style Me Vintage Home…

This book is a fantastic guide to help you achieve the vintage home that you desire. It will guide you from the 1920s to the 1970s on what was the classic look of each era.

 

3. Style Me Vintage Clothes

This book has plenty of information on specific details of vintage clothing, from the 1920s to the 1980s, and how to recognise vintage labels. There is also some handy tips on how to repair and maintain vintage clothing, and some great tips on developing your own unique vintage style!

4. Style Me Vintage Hair

This book has some useful step-by-step easy guides on hair styles such as: finger waves, pin curls, 1940s waves, victory rolls, the poodle, and beehives. There are also great guides on how to incorporate accessories, such as headscarves.

5. Style Me Vintage Make-up

This book is FULL of fabulous tips to help you achieve your classic makeup look. It gives you the tools and step-by-step guides for all the classic makeup looks from the 1920s to the 1980s.

Whatever is your vintage style, I am sure that you will find the collection of Style Me Vintage books exceptionally useful as they are full of handy tips and information to guide you through. Let me know which Style Me Vintage books have helped you. I would love to hear!

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Ridiculously Retro Xx

DIY Denim

Do you have pairs of jeans or denim jackets, and find that you aren’t wearing them as often anymore? I decided to make some changes and up-cycle my denim to portray more personality. Here are some different ideas to make your denim extra fancy and express yourself!

1.Denim Jacket with Tulle Hemline

I purchased this jacket already like this, but this an easy DIY project. This denim jacket has tulle added to the bottom and bling badges pinned. All you need to do is purchase tulle and sew it to the inside of the hem of the denim jacket. You can sew on as many layers of the tulle depending on the look you desire or you can gather the tulle and sew along the hemline.

2. Painted Denim

If you are a talented artist, or know someone who is, then you can paint on your denim! Make sure you draw your image first, using fabric pencils. Then with fabric paint you can go ahead and paint your desired image. You can do basic images or fancy depending on your preference. Be careful to never iron straight on the paint.

3. Iron on Transfers on Denim

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If you’re not too artistically skilled, another option is to purchase an iron-on transfer. You can find many excellent retro inspired designs online. Follow the instructions, but most just require ironing upside down onto the fabric. Be careful to never to iron straight on the transfer, when ironing your denim, as it may melt!

4. Patches on Denim

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You can purchase retro patches and sew or iron them onto your denim. Patches are an easy and affordable option to decorate your denim, and there are so many designs to choose from online, at markets or sewing shops.

5. Embroidered Denim

Embroidery is a super fun DIY if you already have the skills, or are willing to learn! There are plenty of online videos and tutorials making it easy to learn. I am planning on embroidering cherries on a pair of denim capris, so check out my blog in the next few weeks! Some sewing machines also have embroidery functions.

6. Fabric on Denim

Retro fabric can be sewn onto your denim, for a fresh look! To make it look professional I like to sew the fabric along the sewn sections of the denim, such as collars, pockets or the back seam of the jacket, like above.  Place the fabric over the area you want to sew it on, and cut it about 2.5cm bigger. Pin it to the area while tucking the edges under, for a tidy edge. Now you’re ready to sew! Try sewing as close as possible to the fabric edge. With excess fabric you can also make matching headbands, scarves or bags.

Double denim was big in the 1950’s, and I have achieved this look by sewing the same fabric on denim pants and jacket!

I hope this inspires you try up-cycling your old denim items. You can even purchase second hand denim from op shops, markets or vintage clothes shops to try out your DIY ideas. Send me photos of your finished products, I would love to see them.

Back soon….

Ridiculously Retro Xx

1950’s Ladies Gloves

In the early 1950’s, ladies were required to wear gloves as etiquette and as part of fashion. They wore gloves that match their shoes or their outfit, while some ladies wore traditional white gloves. Fashionable ladies would wear striped gloves or patterned with matching scarves. Not only fashionable, gloves were also worn to warm hands.

1950s Glove advertisement

The 1950’s glove etiquette for ladies was that gloves had to be worn in most public places, including the streets of cities and large towns, at church, to a luncheon or dinner, reception, a dance, theatre, restaurant, wedding and any official function. Smart ladies wore gloves on trains, buses and trams.

When wearing formal wear, ladies needed to wear elbow-length gloves. This made a person look fashionable and glamorous.

Everyday gloves were not fancy or piped or in contrasting colours. Ladies kept everyday gloves very simple, like all the basics in their wardrobe.

Brides had to keep their hands covered. A bride wearing short sleeves had to wear long gloves but had to slip her hand out easily for the wedding ring.

Bracelets could be worn over gloves but never rings.

Marilyn wearing bracelets over her gloves

Some ladies wore leather gloves. They could be deerskin or cowhide. For warmth some wore theirs lined with sheepskin but this meant the gloves looked bulkier.

Ladies wearing their gloves

A lady only removed her gloves before eating, drinking, smoking, playing cards or putting on makeup. Long gloves remained on at all times at dances. Gloves even remained on when shaking someones hands. At a restaurant, a lady removed her coat, then was seated and could only then remove her gloves.

To me, I think gloves are very stylish and I love to wear them at formal outings to match my vintage outfit. What do you think of gloves? Stylish or not? Let me know your thoughts.

Back soon……

Ridiculously Retro Xx