Ha’penny Flea Market

As I mentioned in the last post, I’ve been a little busy selling at a few markets in Dublin for the last few months. My stall is usually a mix of the vintage things from my online Etsy boutique and some selected contemporary second-hand…plus cake! I don’t think I had ever done so much baking in my whole life.

The cakes in the photos here, which were taken at the weekly Saturday Ha’penny Flea Market at the Grand Social Bar in town, are chocolate banana brownies (made by me) and carrot cakes (made by my fiancé). We’re so awfully proud of them.

Pretty Bones Jefferson_Ha'penny Flea Market Grand Social_Lute al-Raad_JEG 2013 Pretty Bones Jefferson_Ha'penny Flea Market Grand Social_Lute al-Raad_JEG 2013 (1)

It’s great fun being out in town during the day on weekends and chatting to customers and other stall holders, as well doing a bit of treasure hunting myself. Some recent finds include a 1960s velvet long wiggle skirt, a vintage plate (which we borrowed for displaying our cake but couldn’t resit buying in the end), and a pair of 1960s long gloves that I’m going to use for a few photoshoots. Oh and the scarf clip that I’m using as a choker pendant in the photos above!

I’m aware that my Etsy boutique stock is running very, very low now so hopefully in the next couple of weeks I’ll be able to put up all the lovely new vintage things that are waiting to go on the shop. If you go to this photo album on my Facebook page, you can also find some of the dresses and accessories that aren’t listed on the online shop (both vintage and contemporary).

(The choker is a DIY creation from a good few years ago, with a scarf clip added as a pendant here, which I bought from fellow stallholder Moira, who has the most delightful and intriguing vintage jewellery pieces, at the Ha’penny Flea Market. The lace blouse top is Topshop, and the black dress is an old one of mine.)


Etsy Treasury List: Memorial Day Blue and Red

I was featured in this list of red, white, and blue Memorial Day gifts by Michelle Hawkins from wirequeen on Etsy!…Or to be more exact, it’s my shop’s vintage 70s navy blue pleated skirt

‘Hurrah For the Red White and Blue’ by wirequeen

Gifts to celebrate Memorial Day.

Wirewrapped Earrings Red Que…


Spa Bath Soak – Lilac And La…


Pearls Of Wisdom


4th of July Star Glycerin So…


70s – 40s style navy blue pl…


FREE SHIPPING red shawl,wome…


Maraschino Red Lampwork Spac…


Patriotic Red White and Blue…


Red crochet purse with owl l…


His and Her Mr and Mrs. key …


Sheer Wedding Handkerchief H…


Get Well Gift Aromatherapy H…


stained glass heart, suncatc…


Patriotic Inspiration Red Wh…


Reversible Baby Bib – Red, W…


The Best Is Yet To Come, Fra…


Treasury tool supported by the dog house

Aren’t these such refreshing, summery colours? It’s also reminding me of Independence Day and Old Home Week in Edith Wharton’s novel Summer; of hot, sunny summer days, with parlours of cooling drinks, a little dusty.

One afternoon toward the end of August a group of girls sat in a room at Miss Hatchard’s in a gay confusion of flags, turkey-red, blue and white paper muslin, harvest sheaves and illuminated scrolls.

Memorial Day 2012 was 28th of May, but I’m pretty sure that this list will be useful again in the US for Independence Day in July, and if any town is having an Old Home Week? Or just any day – we love red, white, and blue.

Here in Ireland there is usually potentially the Remembrance Day, with red poppies; but it’s in November.


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For the boutique: photos of the Laura Ashley “Blue Velvet Waterhouse” dress

*Now available in the shop!

It’s the full post for the Laura Ashley “Blue Velvet Waterhouse” dress, finally. I’ve got quite a number of photos to add! Well maybe not going to turn out very editorial, but as the dress is a boutique item, I’d risk erring on the side of posting too many photos.

Dress: vintage 80s Laura Ashley, UK made, available at the Pretty Bones Jefferson boutique

Gloves: vintage 50s, from Vintage Ireland‘s vintage fair at the Freemason’s Hall

Shoes: REDZ

But before I do, here’s a famous John William Waterhouse painting that I’d like to share, as an explanation why I’ve been calling this Laura Ashley velvet dress “Blue Velvet Waterhouse”. JEG, my wonderful photographer in this venture, was the one who thought of that the images of the Laura Ashley were quite “Waterhouse” during the photoshoot last week.

Miranda, The Tempest, John William Waterhouse 1916

I thought it a really lucky coincidence that we should happen to discover the “higher aesthetic” of this dress, since I had set out for the photoshoot without any definite concept or plan except to get practical photos of the dress, and possibly because I was focusing on the “Laura Ashley” attribute of the dress so much, it hadn’t crossed my mind that it’s actually just ever so slightly Pre-Raphaelite. But why of course! how could I have forgotten their massive use of velvet in the paintings?

One of the Waterhouse paintings that came to my mind was this one, “The Crystal Ball”, which I had a chance to see in another big town a few years ago when it was on a tour exhibition, before I had had an idea who the Pre-Raphaelites are. Look at the velvet.

(Now I could probably start talking about how George Lucas must have been inspired by this painting too, but then I digress.)

The Crystal Ball, 1902

As usual as for the boutique listings, I’m going to put up some headless photos, just to show the dress. This dress is actually a bit large for me overall, and I imagine it would look even more flattering on someone of the right size.

And some close-ups including ones that I won’t be able to fit onto the Etsy listing. As you may have noticed, the dress has two little flaws – one is that a button being of a slightly lighter colour than the others (apparently the original button was damaged and a lighter blue velvet fabric was used to replace the covering); and the other is that there was a tiny damage/hole on the back of the dress skirt, which has been repaired so that there is not danger of fraying or the damage getting worse. Here next is a close-up trying to show where the damage is. The fortunate thing is that as the velvet is so deep and rich, and the skirt is wide and pleated; the fault is unnoticeable when the dress is worn. If you click on some of the above photos for a larger view, you may be able to see where the damage is, like a little lighter spot beneath the hip in the centre right.

And the buttons:

I personally think that having a slightly lighter button at the bottom lends an subtle interesting element to the dress and draws attention to the waist, though of course it would depend on personal preference.

I’m going to finish writing up the listing description in a minute and then I’ll add the shop link for this dress to the post! So you’ll be able to read more technical details and see if it’s your size. I suppose I’ll just post one more Waterhouse painting before I finish this post; it’s my favourite, Mariana in the South –

Mariana in the South, John William Waterhouse 1897

I think I’d like to thank Waterhouse many, many times for helping me feel better about my hair.

(Photos of me by JEG.)


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Coming up in the boutique: a 1970s lilac Edwardian style dress

*Dress is now listed! 34 USD at my shop http://www.etsy.com/listing/96226662/vintage-1970s-dress-lilac-edwardian.

I’ve been spending some time editing the photos of a very special dress. Thought I would list it in my Etsy boutique shop yesterday but the editing took a bit longer. There were so many photos and details to choose from for this dress, and the colour correction was somewhat tricky. The dress is a lovely pure lilac (the waist corsage on the dress is true lilac flower!) with more lavendar in it than blue, but the photos showed too much of a blue tint, which, as I’ve heard fellow Etsians in Ireland exclaim, the strange Irish sunlight is prone to do; now all corrected to actual dress colour.

Where do I start? Well all right a photo. This one is exclusive to the blog (and maybe Facebook).

Vintage 1970s lilac Edwardian dress

And to show the front…

front of dress

This one is perhaps my favourite collage, and you can see the lace as clear as in real life. I’m liking it so much that I’m taking a risk to use it for the front picture on the Etsy listing. It doesn’t show the front of the dress but you do see the bustle trim so nicely. If in a week everybody complains I’ll change it to the above photo or another more conventional collage.

Vintage 1970s lilac Edwardian dress

And some collages to show the various details of the dress – front close-up, back, waist corsage (again, look it’s lilacs!), sleeves (press studs closure), skirt hem.

dress details collage

dress details collage

The flowing skirt.

dress skirt

(I should have done a better ironing job though; I’m always so impatient when it comes to photoshoots).

And finally here are the extra photos that won’t fit onto the Etsy listing.

front of dress


vintage 1970s Edwardian style dress

back of dressfabric

back of dress

back of dress

I’ve been so fascinated by this dress (and would have loved to wear it myself if lilac were my colour; I can’t wear anything purple). This dress was apparently custom-made, and every time I look at it I keep thinking how much work it must have been to put this dress together perfectly. The high neck collar and cuff sleeves alone would have greatly confounded me. There is also much of hand-sewn finishing touches at the hem which must have taken much, much time and care.

In addition to everything else, I especially like the bustle trim at the waist which is so handsomely cut, and the trimming white lace is something to take note of – I mean, there’s discreetly so much of it! The pattern is unusual and so elegantly lovely, with a leaf and flower motif that gives an overall impression of sea waves. I was motivated by it today to read up on types of lace though alas, haven’t been able to identify its origins yet. But I’ll keep reading – here seems to be a good place to start – http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/lace/types.htm (she’s got photos of examples which is really helpful).

The dress looks as if it could have been a theatre costume piece or one commissioned for a special occasion. I think it would be great for an Edwardian re-enactment (though for a very serious re-enactment the back zipper will have to be replaced with hooks and eyes), a day dress for something special like Easter, general good wear with a historical flare (I would wear something like this on any sunny day), or even a wedding dress for a lady who loves lilac.

And a good opportunity to refresh my education on Edwardian fashion (before fashion went adolescently boyish in the 20s with the flapper style), which I’ve always thought somewhat more slimly teenagerish in style compared to the Victorian. I loved this that I read today on tudorlinks.com’s article on Edwardian fashion:

The 1890s merge seamlessly with the early 1900s in an age of extravagance and style, appropriately called la Belle Epoque and lasting from approximately 1890 to 1914. This world began to decline by 1914, but the Great War ended it forever. Until then, throughout the early 1900s, fashion enjoyed its last true age of elegance, in what has been described as one long Edwardian summer.

One long Edwardian summer.

And fashion-era.com, as usual, has an enchanting section on “La Belle Époque Edwardian Fashion History”, with lots of notes and enchanting illustrations. Vintagefashionguild.org’s fashion timeline is also a good place to look at and they have photos. I think I’d like to read up more on Edwardian dresses and maybe either make or modify something relevant, especially the eternal slim long white tea gown that films like Picnic at Hanging Rock has made so famous (I’ve finally finished reading the book, by the way; my post earlier this month about some thoughts and impressions of the book and film is here).

I was happy to find a tiny section with photo on the Edwardian ladies’ high neck collar in the Wikipedia article on collars (Just look for “high neck collar” on the page). Also came across this reproduction product of zigzag wires for Edwardian collars on this website called Farthingales Corset Making Supplies, maybe something to remember for if ever I make or mend a dress with an Edwardian high collar…

I found this out-of-print 8375 Simplicity pattern for Victorian and Edwardian bustle dress online and I thought the outfits in the picutre reminded me somewhat of our lilac dress here.

Simplicity 8375 Victorian Edwardian Bustle Dress pattern

There, that’s good. I’ll go and put up the actual shop listing for the dress shortly today, where you can read the measurements and other construction details (and to buy, if you like!). And I promise that it’ll be a good affordable price like all the other dresses in the boutique.


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