Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Retro Chic.

I couldn't resist buying this old copy of 'Oldies But Goodies' by Donna Lawson, from my local second hand book shop the other day. It was printed in the US, so I am not sure if it was available in the UK back in the 1970's when it was printed. It is all about recycling old clothes and textiles into new items of clothing. Some of the ideas are quite frankly hysterical!
It was a blast of nostalgia for me and reminded me of the fashions worn by the actors in 'Sesame Street', which I grew up with.
How about these for some wacky ideas?:

8 silk scarves become a floaty dress! Or 12 ties stitched together create a patchwork skirt.

Not quite sure why you would want socks that jingle, jangle, but if you would, then stitch buttons to the cuff of the sock!

Or maybe doily decorated sleeves is your thing!

I think this bedspread coat is quite stunning though.
Many years later, here I am recycling textiles myself, using vintage fabrics such as old curtains and eiderdown cottons and making new accessories and collectables.....hope they aren't seen as hysterical in the future!

My latest fabric finds include some beautiful floral barkcloth and linen fabrics, so a week of sewing lies ahead - have a great week, Niki x


  1. Hi Niki, it's hard to imagine your beautiful creations being seen as hysterical at any time in the future! The seventies were a crazy time for fashion so I think this book is a reflection of that. What some truly amazing ideas - the doilies on the sleeves had me laughing very loudly!!! Clare x

  2. Wow, Niki!
    What an amazing find!

  3. The 70's, a little scary.
    Fun to look back at those pictures.

  4. I ran across some '70's magazines and craft books last week and had a great laugh too! I lived during that time period and honestly don't remember any of that stuff! (I guess your brain blocks painful memories LOL!)

  5. Oh, take me back... I lived through the 60's and 70's (as an adult) and loved every minute of it. Of course I lived in liberal Berkeley, CA tho *grin*.

    Those skirts made of ties were all the thing. Eventually a designer "Carole Little" came out with a whole line of faux skirts and vests. The ties were actually printed fabric, not ties sewn together.

    The doilies on the sleeve? No, not me. Not then, not now.


  6. Hehehe I remember my mum collecting silk scarves from charity shops to make just that skirt in the 70's! Not sure if she ever made it tho.

    Oh the doily sleeves, how funny!

  7. My favorite thing about that book is the cover. HA

  8. Anonymous11:19 pm

    Your creations are classics that will never date, I don't really think that anyone in the seventies seriously thought that their tie skirt would become a classic, it was just a bit of fun I guess.

  9. Well I remember it all soooo well. Long gaudy skirts, heart patches everywhere.

    I love the mag, what a laugh. Nothing seems to be as funny as those 70's fashions except may be the fab shoulder pads of the 80's :))

    best wishes Ginny

  10. Love what you`ve done to the mirror! Happy belated birthday Niki :)


  11. Hi Niki

    You might all laugh at the doily jumper, but I have a customer who does just that! She buys Cashmere cardigans in charity shops, adds a different button for each buttonhole (and more) and then stitches small doilies randomly all over the cardi! Much more stylish than the one you've shown though, I have to say!!

    Good to see you at the weekend - and thanks again for the bolster!

    Sue xx

  12. Doilies up your sleeve!!! I remember my mum having a skirt similar to the one in the photo tho'. We'll not be laughing at your creations in years to come!
    Kim x

  13. What a hoot! Love that floaty scarf dress! I do remember those Sesame Street days and "funky" clothing. Looks like you've found yourself some gorgeous fabrics to work with! Can't wait to see what you create with it!

  14. Niki, I love your new found fabrics! Absolutely gorgeous. I just made a couple of pillows last night from my favorite barkcloth stash, I'll be sure to post a picture of them today ~ they're just your style!! Take care, Dawn

  15. I feel I've seen this book before as I recognise the tie skirt. Or perhaps I've seen someone wearing one! Love those new fabrics.

  16. Dear Niki,
    Thanks for sharing your book with us, it`s quite funny...but full of good ideas also!
    I LOVE all your fabrics and I`m hoping that you will make some of your beautiful Fairies, as I`m after one, two, three,... All Of Them, if my bank account would permit me...
    They are soooo BEAUTIFUL!
    Keep up with the good work!!!
    Kisses Kisses

  17. Hi Niki,
    You are such a sweet heart!
    Thank you sooo much for the lovely comment and "Blogging Tip", much needed and apprecciated!
    By the way, have you got a banner of your website so I can add to my Links page, and please would you add mine to yours?
    I`m sure that my American costummers would be delighted to find out about your website and your pretty hand-made TREASURES!
    Love debbie.

  18. What a wonderful book! Lovely fabrics as well.

  19. truly missing our chats.

  20. Hey man, that scarf dress is far out! LOL

    Yes, I often wonder if my friends look at my vintage "projects" (totes, sachets, etc) the same way I viewed the acrylic yarn, crocheted sweater vests and strawberry basket purses that the elderly neighbor lady made for us kids in the 70's.

    I'm assured that they don't as they request that I make items for them, but I still wonder.

    Beautiful fabrics you have to play with!!!

  21. Oh, I know just what you mean, I always wonder if the things I am making will be chuckled at someday. Hopefully, the 70s were just really BAD, tastewise, and what we are doing right now will be "classic" some day! Well, there's always hope, huh?

    By the way, I think your stuff is really cool right now!!! We should do a time capsule with our things though, and see what happens!!

  22. What fun! Can you imagine being decked out in Grandma's antimacassars and thinking you looked cool?? Thanks for sharing the look back!

  23. Anonymous4:44 pm

    GĂ©nial ! de beaux boutons jouent les breloques sur de grandes chaussettes.
    So funny !

  24. See my blog...I mentionsed your Barbola mirror....loved it

  25. Happy sewing dear Nicki, I love your new rose fabrics and look forward to see what you'll create with them! Hugs Carol xox

  26. Anonymous5:45 am

    I just wanna cry...these vintage fabrics you find are wonderful...do you actually find these in your thrift shops or somewhere else? All you UK bloggers have the best treasures - there are never any great fabrics to be found for a low price here. Tomorrow I am hitting 3 yard sales I saw signs for tonight - but, these yard sales here in so cal never yield any treasures. sigh.

  27. Good luck at the yard sales Tammy.
    I bought my vintage fabrics at my local antiques fair this time. But the flea markets can be great for bargains.


Thank you for finding the time to visit me...
Niki xx