Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow!

It is this time of the year when the evenings are just starting to get lighter that I look longingly at the colourful, cotton, summer dresses that I have taken out much too early from storage and wish that the warmer weather got a move on!
The clocks still haven't gone forward and I am still waiting for the first of the daffodils to say "Hello!" And when they do, I will be ready with just the right frock!

I bought this dress from Monsoon a few years ago and it wasn't until recently that I discovered its original design from a 1950s brand called Horrockses. They were a British brand that specialised in printed cotton dresses. I was flicking through a book about the brand and found My Dress!
I know the two are not quite identical. The Original skirt is much fuller, the bodice is more structured and the print is slightly different. But I'm pretty ecstatic with my knock off.
I do own one original Horrockses piece- a house coat in a bold canary yellow that I scored last summer at a vintage shop and paid way too much for but it is now a favourite so never mind.
 I will bring out the house coat for you to see when it gets warmer so for now I will leave you with some images of Horrockses dresses. 

"Ring a ring a roses, a pocket full of posies"

Oh my, this is my favourite!!! Awesome neckline, Fabulous pockets and that pose is effortless! Why don't I look like that when I'm lounging???

I hope you enjoyed the pretty pictures!!

Thursday, 12 February 2015

1950's Swirl Dress

Starting off my pledge to make 10 vintage patterns in 2015 I present numero uno McCalls 5411 

I used a lovely red floral cotton in a light weight and it was very easy to make. I really love the neckline and pocket border options. This is a very comfortable dress to wear and I can easily wear it with thick tights, leather boots and a cardigan in the colder months or bare legged in the summer.

The only issue I have with the pattern is the wide neckline, which causes a slight gaping in the front. When I make this up next time I will remove a 1 inch wedge from the neckline, leaving the waist at the original measurement. Lingerie clips would also help to solve the issue, so for this dress I will add them to anchor the dress to my bra.

Isn't that pocket just gorgeous! I'm a serious ric rac fan and any opportunity to use it I'm in! I'm glad I went with the contrast trim as it makes the floral really POP!

In general I hate capped sleeves because they restrict my movement, are uncomfortable, and make my arms look fat. But these are charming! I have full movement, no cutting in at all, and I felt no arm embarrassment. Win Win Win!

The only change I made to the finish of this garment was to ignore the button that is meant to go at the centre back neck and hold the back closed. I left it off completely and pressed the back open, creating this cute back collar effect.

The wrap closure works well, and no knicker flashing so far whilst I have worn it, even in the windy weather. I've worn this dress non stop since I finished making it because it is both comfortable and stylish, and nothing can beat that killer combo for me!!!

Red floral has turned out to be the perfect look for Valentine's day, so I have definitely got something to wear this year.

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!



Monday, 9 February 2015

The Original Maids of Honour High tea

I have just had my first afternoon tea of the year in Kew at The Original Maids of Honour. It is one of my favourite places purely based upon the exquisite scones they serve. I would usually go for a cream tea but decided this time to go for the full works and order their High Tea. 

Based in Kew, opposite Kew Gardens, the tea room is beautifully situated. Externally it resembles a quaint English cottage and is very inviting.

Inside it feels like taking tea in your granny's parlour, all frumpy frills, florals and pretty porcelain ladies. A truly English setting.

The price of High Tea per person is £14.95 and includes a pot of tea, 2 scones with clotted cream and jam, Edwardian tea sandwiches and a cake or patisserie of your choice. This is cheaper than most places I've been and of good value.

A wide variety of cakes, patisserie and savoury pies and quiche are available to cater for even the fussiest among us.  I had the gluten-free chocolate cake that was extremely delicious. Very moist and rich but not too sweet. The sandwiches had classic fillings (smoked salmon, cucumber, ham, egg) and were decent.

So, for The Original Maids of Honour I would score as follows
  1.  Mise-en-scène - 4/5 - This is a quaint and homely place to enjoy refreshment -quintessentially English.
  2. Tea - 3/5 - Tea bags opposed to a loose leaf, and a more limited variety than I'm used to. Though I did appreciate the additional pot of water provided to top up.
  3. Scones - 5/5 - For these bad boys! Fluffy and light, unsurpassed so far in my search. I always take extra home for later.
  4. Service - 3/5 - Very friendly staff but not as attentive as I would like when so few customers. I'd dread Sunday lunch peak time.
  5. Value - 4/5 - Reasonably priced for what you get. A wide variety of cakes, including 2 gluten-free options.

Total: 19/25 

Keep an eye out for my next Afternoon Tea review which will feature next month. I'm aiming to visit a different London tea room every month in my search for the best!