Tales from the Sea Garden

Tales from The Sea Garden

Email me: theseagarden@btinternet.com

Saturday 10 February 2018

Dressing up

 The weather may be frightful, but in my bedroom this morning I got out some of my favourite vintage pieces and dreamt of hot summer days when I can once again float around in silk and lace - well, one can hope!
 The hollyhocks that 'grow' up from the base and the sleeves of this black dress are just stunning in their intensity of colour and design. I bought this last year but have not yet had an occasion to wear it. There is no label inside so I have no idea of its origins, or date for that matter, only that it is of a very fine quality silk chiffon.

 This bolero style jacket was originally the top layer of an Edwardian blouse, but the silk blouse had completely deteriorated so I painstakingly unpicked the black lace part to salvage it. Although it has a few holes the piece is still wearable with a little care. Over bare skin it looks very seductive.

The skirt above was a 1950's prom dress but the top half didn't fit, so I cut it off at the waist, keeping the lovely pink satin bow. I absolutely love wearing it now. The Edwardian blouse below was originally white, but I dyed it to give it a more contemporary look. I can wear it casually with jeans as well as a pretty skirt.
 I find modern clothes shops very bland and boring, do you? The delight of finding something completely unique at an antiques fair or from specialist vintage clothing dealers is so much more rewarding. For a start you know that you will be wearing a piece that no-one else has, and you can develop your own unique style. Of course there is that frustration of falling in love with something that simply doesn't fit, (aggghhhh!) but with a few rudimentary sewing skills you can usually adapt pieces to suit your size and shape.
 Silk under-slips from the 40's or 50's with a Chinese style silk jacket.
 The necklace is my own creation, made from bits of ribbon and embellished with mother-of-pearl buttons and a buckle.
 I loved dressing up as a little girl and I guess I have never grown out of that sense of fun and adventure.
 A 1920's fine see-through linen summer dress with a jacket fashioned from one of those simple French linen shifts dyed salmon pink and split down the front. Very much looking forward to wearing this for the first time when weather permits!

 I love my bedroom. It's the largest room in my house, and because I don't have a separate sitting room (my studio has to share space with the sofa and is usually too cluttered to sit down upon!), I spend a lot of time in it. My books and Selvedge magazines are all kept on shelves by the bed within handy reaching distance, and I do all my computer/blogging work sitting on a comfy deckchair in the corner next to the radiator. Going to bed is such a pleasure and I never tire of studying all the different patches of fabric on this quilt.

Hanging from the curtain pole is this little red dress with some of my favourite textile brooches pinned to it. Clockwise from top left they have been made by: Janine Pope (Mud Rabbit), Viv Sliwka (Hen's Teeth), Cat Rowe and Christine (Gentlework).

 On the mantelpiece are some handmade ceramic jugs and vases,
 and two textile figurines made by Janine Pope of Mud Rabbit. The painting in the background is by Cornish based artist Dana Finch. I have gotten really excited about her work; I particularly love her use of colour and the abstract plant forms which frequent her paintings.
Hope you enjoyed the little tour! xxx


  1. I did, thank you. The floral dress is stunning, roll on warm days.

  2. What precious garments, Christine, and what a lovely bedroom you have, thank you for this lovely tour, I truly enjoyed it!

    Wishing you a most lovely new week ahead,
    thanking you once again

    XOXO Daniela

  3. love your vintage clothing. I collect too. I love to mend them

  4. i have not seen it up close but it looks 1970s, early 70s. it is beautiful nice to have a guided tour of your boudoir, thank you.angelicaxx

  5. i love that patch quilt, i would love to see it -sooon!xxx

  6. Haven't visited for a while .. but just found you via Instagram via theyarnkeeper via Nikki fretwell
    All the way fro Western Australi
    Hello again
    Always a pleasurelynn