Friday, 7 August 2009

Books & Old Dresses

As I am going on holiday soon I have been deciding which books I will take with me to read - I love books & I love to read - always have & always will!

For a confirmed bookaholic like me one of my favourite sites besides Amazon & Persephone Books is "Read It Swap It" which is a simple but brilliant idea. It's like the old fashioned "swap shop" but online - for just the cost of postage you can swap books you have read for ones you want to read. You simply make a list of the books you are willing to swap, browse through the thousands of books that are on offer & if something catches your fancy ask to swap.
I have acquired a nice selection of books this way including the one above which I'll be packing into my suitcase.

"My Mother's Wedding Dress" by Justine Picardie is a book about what we wear & their effect upon us.

It reminds me of my friends Lizzie & Bettye, both of whom rescue, cherish & rehome lovely vintage clothing.

Of course I still have my wedding dress, but the oldest item that I still have is also a dress - one that I made to wear to my sister's 21st birthday way back in 1986.
I dyed all the fabric & then cut out all those little triangles & sewed them, layer upon layer on an underskirt.

When I look at it now I wonder about the fact that I once fitted into such a tiny dress & why do I keep it?

My mother has a suitcase full of clothing from the 60's & 70's with everything from minis & formal full length gowns to gold platform shoes!

Do you have any old clothes & what are they? Why do we keep them when we'll never wear them again (or fit into them!!).


  1. Your dress is so sweet! I could imagine it being used in a play for the 'Queen of the Fairies' costume!
    Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

  2. What a lovely dress Jayne. No wonder you're keeping it.

    I have a couple of my great grandmother's dresses from the 1800s - now those ARE vintage. I wore them in my Senior Class Play in high school.

    Also have a couple that I wore in a fashion show in the 1950s - and to me, those aren't vintage - but what do I know.

    Needless to say - can't wear any of them now.

  3. That's your wedding dress, Miss Jayne?! It's so YOU! :-) It reminds me of the banner flags you have hanging...somewhere :-) I love it.

    I still have mine, too...not out of any sense of sentimentality (we're divorced), but just out of lack of motivation to DO anything with it. It's not really sellable as is cuz I never had it cleaned and it has a couple small yellowed spots. I've thought of selling it as a cutter, but more likely I'll save it for a "Burn That Dress" photoshoot, with a "bride" flinging herself about in the mud or rain or something. And then it will be trash and easy to dispose of ;-)


  4. Your dress is beautiful and the book looks interesting, must keep a look out for it.
    Beki xxx

  5. However long did that take you to make? Fabulous!

    Sue x

  6. Great dress... very clever, it must have taken a long time to make. I still have some clothes that I used to wear on the scooter rallies, really don't know why I keep them because they make me feel sad when I see small??? how young???? :(
    Enjoy your holiday, I love a good book :)

  7. The dress is wonderful, it reminds me of a costume for Titania or one of the fairies in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. I love reading too, I am half way through a book called 'A vIntage Affair' that I bought from Amazon last week. I will post some details about it once I have finished it.
    Ann x

  8. I love that dress, it is so beautifully made. That must have been quite a challenge back then, so ellaborate. No wonder that you kept it. But saving things is something that must be in your genes (or not). I kept my first ball gown, a dress made by my mother of Laura Ashley fabric. The blouse I was wearing on the first date with my husband. To name a few. My daughter used to wear them when playing princess, but has no interest in them whatsoever. So what do now? Keeping them for when there are grandchildren old enough to play with them, (my eldest is 15), or selling them, the clothes I kept are vintage after all and most of them are a very collectible dutch brand. Too bad I'm far better in keeping than in selling.

    btw I couldn't reach your blog last night, google wouldn't let me. I hope everything is back to normal again.

  9. What a fabulous dress - it does look fairy-like and very inspirational!

  10. Thanks for reading my article, hopefully it will generate some interest. As far as the old clothes are concerned I can't bear to part with anything. I find it's best not to, especially if you have made it yourself. I know I would look back and regret it. When I was little and used to visit my Nan we would look through her wardrobe, she talked me through all the clothes, everyone of them had a story. I loved every minute of it. We still do it now.

  11. What a beautiful dress! It must've taken you ages to make it! I still have my RaRa skirt from the eighties. I met my husband when I was wearing it! It's blue with white polka dots, I just couldn't part with it, although I can'fit in it either!
    Have a wonderful holiday!
    Rachel x

  12. It's an exquisite dress Jayne, how lovely to still have it.

  13. It's a beautiful dress, I can see why you keep it. I have a beautiful wool plaid skirt that was my mom's in college and have kept a lot of my teen-age clothes. I also buy and sell vintage clothes and I do love them, specially Edwardian whites and 1930's velvet!
    I am definitely going to find My Mother's Wedding Dress and read it.

  14. That is a stunning dress Jayne! I still have the "Droopy & Brown" Edwardian style suit that I got married in (It was from a shop in Bath if anyone remembers it!) Have a fab holiday. Lizzie x