Monday, 30 April 2012

Bon Voyage!

Hello lovely readers! 
I'm tres tres excited because tomorrow morning I shall be jetting off to gay Paree!

Image from Kitschy Cupcakes via Pinterest

I can't wait to get back to one of my favourite cities and take in the sights, it's going to be wonderful! I'm also going to be taking a break from blogging while I'm away, but never fear because I've got some fabulous guest bloggers who will be filling in for me this week. So basically everything is very exciting on my end, I'm a very happy bunny right now :)

For now I'll bid you farewell, but I'll be back soon to share all my Parisian adventures (plus Me-Made-May starts tomorrow too, so I'll be showing off my handmade wares to all of France!)

Au Revoir for now!

Katie xxx

Saturday, 28 April 2012

The best kind of dress is an IWGMU dress

So I think you already know how much I have loved the vintage scene in Norwich, what with all my vintage finds, but now I'm going to share something pretty special with you.

When I visited the Norwich Flea Market I picked up a few leaflets, one of which was advertising a vintage shop just down the road from St Andrews Hall, Prim Vintage. Now, can I just say, this has to be one of the loveliest and well stocked vintage shops that I have been in for a while. There was a brilliant selection of vintage outfits, ranging from the 40s to the 90s, so whatever you tastes you'll be able to find something that suits you. Everything is priced very competitively and the lady who served me was so friendly and chatty, buying clothes there was a real treat and a pleasure! If you're ever in Norwich, you absolutely must pay Prim Vintage a visit. But moving on to the most exciting thing, my purchase! Look was lucky old me got to take home...

Gah! I can't even tell you how much I LOVE this dress. The moment I saw it hanging up I knew it was the one for me. I love the fabric, the cut, and don't even get me started on the neck details! If the early wardrobes of Joan and Peggy had made a baby it would be this dress, don't you think?

Peggy's cut + Joan neck line detail = my dress! Can you see it?? :)

And if it's beauty were not enough, I discovered something even more exciting about this dress upon closer inspection after getting it home. This cheeky little label that was sewn into a seam...

My dress was made in accordance with the International Ladies Garment Workers Union! Meaning that I am now holding in my hands a little piece of women's rights history. How amazingly awesome and cool is that?! Plus, this label makes this dress much easier to date, because the design of the label means that this was made between 1955 and 1963, so I was dead right with my Mad Men reference! :)

So, as you can see, I'm a pretty happy bunny right now! Not only did I find a beautiful vintage purchase that fits me like a glove, but it's a part of garment making history, something that actually means a lot to a home-sewer like me :) 

I hope you like this dress as much as I do!

Katie x

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Vintage Finds from Norwich

Hello there, readers, fancy taking a look at the goodies I've recently collected?

As I mentioned before I've found Norwich to be quite a goldmine for vintage finds, it's really refreshing to find lovely quality items that aren't being sold for the ridiculously inflated prices that you find in London. That's one of the upsides of touring, not having to deal with Southern prices! Anyways, last weekend I paid a visit to the locally renowned Norwich Flea Market at St. Andrews Hall, and I left ever so slightly more weighed down than when I entered...

My first find was a real thrill for me, because I have been searching vintage shops far and wide for the perfect cats eye sunglasses for such a long time, and the moment I entered the market there they were!

Sunglasses of joy!

These 1950s beauties were hidden on what was basically a junk stall, I couldn't believe they hadn't been snapped up before I had got there! I love the unusual shape and colour of the frames and they are in really great condition considering their age. I will definitely be taking these to Paris with me :)

Sunglasses of joy, close up!

I have always been a great lover of books (I tried to use a kindle for a while but I just couldn't make it stick, I missed the smell and feel of solid pages too much!) so when I find pretty vintage books I find it hard to walk away. And look how pretty...

I love a good book :)

When I saw "What Katy Did" I couldn't leave it behind for obvious reasons and "Swiss Family Robinson" was a favourite of mine as a child. As for the other two they had some beautiful photos and illustrations so I decided to give them a new home too :)

My final score at the fair is something I cannot wait to use. I'm really looking forward to being at home for an extended period of time to that I can invite friends and family over for tea and cake, and what would make that scene even lovelier? Why, a vintage table cloth of course!

Too pretty for words

I have always been a sucker for roses and the embroidery on this beautiful linen just made me melt! The amount of care and detail that went into this piece is ridiculous, I can't wait to use it for afternoon tea!

So, what do you think? A pretty good haul I'd say. Like I said, Norwich has been very good for me, I've really enjoyed all the vintage offerings it has, I'll be quite sad to leave!

Have you found any fun vintage finds recently?

Katie x

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Wednesday Wonderfuls #67

Happy Wednesday Everybody!

This week I've been taking in the sights and sounds of Norwich, and I must admit I've fallen for it pretty hard. There's a really lovely, friendly feeling here, it feels the way I image Brighton felt about 10 years ago (no offence meant to Brighton at all, I adore Brighton!). Everyone that I've met has been ridiculously friendly, and there's a great vintage scene too, I've been to a few fairs and some shops and made some yummy purchases that I'll be sharing here soon. Basically it's been a lovely chilled time in the lead up to my week off and my trip to Paris, so life is good :) Also I've got some fabulous guest bloggers lined up for my holiday which I can't wait for you all to see. There's some great stuff lined up, I'm very excited about it all!

So in spite of the dreary weather and the exhaustion of such a long time without a break from the show I've definitely been enjoying myself this week. Here are a few snapshots from my life this week:

Images, From Top Left:
1. Knitting on the train, yes, I've become THAT person :), 2. The week has been powered by sweet treats!
3. Summer frock with winter boots, 4. A surprise gift from my Sweetheart, the boy did good!
5. Victorian locket, another gift from my Sweetheart

Life is good, but if you're feeling a bit blue because of the weather or whatever then allow me to brighten up your midweek a touch, it's time for some Wednesday Wonderfuls! Enjoy...

Now with all those wonderful things on the blogosphere I can't help but be happy :) I hope you all have brilliant rest of the week, I'll be back soon to share some of my vintage finds with you!

Bye for now!

Katie x

A Message to All Stash Busters...

Well hello there lovely readers and fellow Stash Busters! I hope you are all well and staying dry (the heavens have recently decided to constantly open in the UK, and there's supposed to be a drought??). I just wanted to check in and give you an update on this month's UFO/Stash Busting Project.

You may or may not have noticed that I haven't made my usual call for UFO/Stash Busting Projects this month, and this is because I have decided not to hold the Monthly Round Up this month. Things have been very busy at my end for a while, both with work and family, so I didn't feel that I could give the Round Up the time that it deserves. I love collecting all your beautiful projects together and I only ever want to do it properly and in the way that you all deserve. So this month's Round Up will be replaced by a bumper Round Up at the end of May for both April and May, and I think that will be pretty exciting :)

So for all my lovely readers who have been working away at their UFOs and their Stash Busting, never fear! We'll have a big celebration at the end of next month, so keep going with those projects :)

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Wednesday Wonderfuls #66

Hello lovely readers, Happy Wednesday to you all! 

Firstly I'd like to say a big thank you for all your lovely comments on my book dress and also my new pyrex collection, as soon as there is an update on either of these I will let you know!

And secondly I don't think I'm the only one who is wishing that Summer would just be here already! Unfortunately for us UK dwellers we have reached full on April Showers time, so the weather has turned very bleak, cold and wet. But it isn't stopping me from dreaming about summer days and summer frocks. Here are a few that I would love to have as a part of my wardrobe...

Image Sources, Clockwise from Top Left:
1. Butterfly Dress, 2. Oriental Print Dress, 3. Hawaiian Dress,
4. Green Floral Dress, 5. Lavender Floral Dress

If only I had a whole load of money to spend, but hey, a girl can dream!

I may not be able to enjoy these dresses myself but I've found some real enjoyment on the blogosphere this week, so here are my personal picks for your viewing pleasure:

I hope you've enjoyed this week's wonderfuls, I'll be back next week with more!

Katie xxx

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

A Passion... for Pyrex!

It was only a matter of time really, after the long hours I spent drooling over other people's collections. Just a matter of time before I too was hit by the bug and fell, and fell hard. I'm pretty sure this is the start of an addiction, but I'm too distracted by pretty things to care. Ooo look at the pretties...

Images found here

That's right readers, I have started collecting pyrex! Unfortunately me for me my collection is no where near the standards of the above images, but there's still time yet :) I have started small, with only a few pieces of pyrex to my name but I'm already head over heels in love!

First up is this snowflake space saver casserole dish, circa 1957. Isn't she a beauty?

My second new baby is this gorgeous Blue Gooseberry Cinderella Mixing Bowl. I cannot wait to use this when I'm baking, it's just too pretty to be true!

And last, but by no means least, is this set of pastel ramekins. I'm not really sure what to cook in ramekins other than creme brûlée or melting chocolate puddings, but I just couldn't resist them in all their pastel glory!

And just like that a new obsession is born! I cannot wait to have a kitchen full of pyrex, how much of a desperate housewife do I sound?! But seriously, if anyone knows of a good seller of vintage pyrex in the UK I would be forever grateful!

What are your thoughts on vintage pyrex? Do you have a collection too? Perhaps I can persuade you to start one of your own... :)

Katie xxx

Monday, 16 April 2012

What's on my sewing/knitting/cooking table

Happy Monday my lovely readers! I hope you've all had a wonderful weekend, I've been very busy and have been filling my time with family and fun things :)

Firstly, do you remember this fabric? I was worried that I wouldn't be able to squeeze a dress out of this fabric, and then a miracle happened and I found the perfect shirtwaist dress pattern! I am making the short sleeved version and there is just the right amount of fabric, phew! All my pieces are cut out and ready to go, so it'll just be a matter of time before I can take my book dress out on the town :)

I have also been knitting away whenever I have time backstage on the tour and my lacy cardigan it almost finished! I am totally obsessed with the colour of the yarn, I am head over heels over the colour mustard :)

I have also been cooking up a storm over this weekend. You may remember from my list of 24 Things Before 25 that I wanted to cook my first roast, and I did it! And this wasn't just any roast, oh no! I cooked a whole chicken and served it up with glazed root vegetables, my mum's recipe for perfect roast potatoes, yummy stuffing and yorkshire puddings made from scratch. To say I was proud of myself would be an understatement! 

And as if that wasn't enough cooking for one weekend I also decided to do a bit of baking, namely this incredible Cinnamon Sugar Pull Apart Bread, which I demolished with my parents. It was delicious, you really should try it, it would be perfect for a girlie afternoon tea!

I hope your weekends were full of adventures of your own! What have you been up to, anything fun?

Katie xxx

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Wednesday Wonderfuls #65

So, my wonderfuls are a day late for the second week in a row, oops! Ah, well, it doesn't make them any less Wonderful!

This week I've been crazy busy and enjoying my time in lovely Leeds :) It really is a beautiful city and I've loved my time here so far. I'm looking forward to exploring even more of it over the next couple of days!

I've also been snapping away over the last week on Instagram, so here are a few images from my life this week...

Images from Top Left:
1. Channeling my inner Betty Draper for Press Night, 2. My new little friend! 3. Squirrels are brilliant :)
4. A healthy snackette, 5. I am the pancake queen! 6. I love it when my pretty things are organised :)

But even in spite of all the pancakes I've been eating I've still found time to collect some Wonderfuls for you all! Enjoy :)

Happy midweek my lovely readers, I hope your week is filled with sugary treats and fun :)

Katie xxx

Monday, 9 April 2012

Stripey Summer Top (with boats and bunnies!)

Project: Stripey Criss-Cross Top
Stash Buster? yup :)
Items From Stash: both the fabric and the pattern have been in my stash for a while
Date Started: March 2012
Date Finished: April 2012
New Techniques Used: lace used for decorative hem
Wear Again? As soon as it's warm enough, yes!

Now you may have noticed from this blog that I love wearing dresses. I wear them most of the time because I love the fact that with a dress you basically have a complete outfit without any real effort :) However, I thought it was about time to get some more separates into my wardrobe and I have been wanting to give this top a try for a long time. You can probably see why, it's so cute!

This top is made from a 1950s pattern that had all kinds of different variations, but this one was by far the collect and most fun. The construction was a little bit challenging but also fascinating, can you believe that the whole front section (both the front panel and the crossing straps) is cut in one piece which is folded and sewn to give the crisscross effect? It truly is a brilliant pattern :) I'm also completely in love with the fabric which was a Birthday present to me last year, but I know it originally came from Ray Stitch, one of the best fabric shops I know. don't you think a whole dress in this fabric would just be too cute?! 

I paired the top with my new-to-me 1950s novelty print skirt, which I recently purchased from the Clerkenwell Vintage Fair (aren't the boats sweet?) together with one of my favourite Cassie Stephens belts (it is Easter-time so I thought the bunny was appropriate!). I just wish the weather was warm enough for me to wear this out properly, but alas I have to settle for prancing around my digs in it for now (hence the slightly dreary indoor photos, sorry!).

I hope you've all had a marvellous Easter weekend, do let me know what you think of this top :)

Katie xxx

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Happy Easter!

A very Happy Easter from the Little Red Squirrel!

Images Sources from Top Left:
1. Bunny Shakers from Etsy, 2. Easter Cupcake from Pinterest, 3. Crochet Egg Pattern from Easy makes me happy,
4. Dyed Eggs from Whosjaja, 5. Bunny Macaroons from Raspberri Cupcakes, 6. Hot Crossed Buns from uktv

May your day be filled with chocolate treats and lovely times with your friends and families!

Katie xxx

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Life is full of Challenges....

You may remember from my Wednesday Wonderfuls this week that I am going to be taking part in the fabulous Sew Cinematic Challenge in which you make a garment inspired by now of your favourite on screen looks. I am very excited about this and have almost settled on what look I'm going to try and recreate, but this isn't the only Challenge I have recently signed up for. This year I'm going to take part in Me-Made-May-12 over at So, Zo... What do you know?

For those of you that don't already know the lovely Zoe has been hosting Me-Made and Self-Stitched Challenges for two years now, in which the participants vow to wear handmade items of clothing everyday for a whole month. You can choose how few or how many items you challenge yourself to wear each day, some people just go for one whilst other brave souls opt for an entirely handmade made wardrobe for a month, but all in all it seems like a great way to get those handmade clothes out of the wardrobe and into the streets. I have been following these Challenges for a while now, and after a year and a bit of sewing I feel that I finally have enough handmade clothes to take part, it's all very exciting!

I have also decided to combine this Challenge with a little addition of my own. Those of you who have followed my blog for a while will know that something that I featured a lot on my blog in the early days were Vintage Revamp Projects, in which I took cheaper castoff vintage items that no one else seemed to want and turned them into something pretty. Particular favourites of mine were my Hot Pink 1950s dress and my Shirt to Skirt Challenge. These projects really helped me become more creative with my sewing and hone my crafting skills when I was just starting out, I think they are a great way to get people into sewing if they are a little intimidated. Now it's been while since I tackled a Vintage Revamp, but that doesn't mean I have stopped collecting clothing that need a good Revamp, oh no! So I am going to declare the month of May Vintage Revamp Month! I intend to tackle the section of my Stash (therefore putting my own UFO/Stash Busting Project into the mix) that is dedicated to unloved Vintage clothes and give them a new lease of life. So that will be two Challenges tackled in one month, not including the Sew Cinematic Challenge which will also be in the works. How's that for a Month of Challenges?!

To make things more official, here is the Pledge that I make to you my readers:

'I, Katie of The Little Red Squirrel, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '12. I endeavour to wear one item of me-made clothing each day for the duration of May 2012. Furthermore I pledge to complete at least 4 vintage revamp projects during May to wear as part of this challenge.'

So there you have it, May is going to be one exciting month! I better get cracking this month with finishing up some UFOs to wear...!

If you too want to take part in the Me-Made-May Challenge then head over to Zoe's blog to sign up, and do let me know if you do, I'd love to check out your part in the Challenge too :)

Katie xxx

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Wednesday Wonderfuls #64

*This was supposed to be posted yesterday (obviously!) but my internet wasn't playing ball, so let's just pretend  it's Wednesday, ok?!*

Hello there readers, happy midweek! A huge welcome to my new readers, I can't believe that there are over 200 of you now! I feel really privileged to have you reading my blog and I really hope you enjoy what you read here. I think a giveaway is definitely in order, so I'm going to be on the look out for some goodies for you all. More on that at a later date!

Now, this week I have been thinking about my plans for the Sew Cinematic Challenge, I love the idea of sewing up some fabulous outfits inspired by the big screen, so I thought I'd put together a little collection of some of my favourite outfits from some of my favourite films for your viewing pleasure. I'd gladly give any of these looks a go...
Image Sources from Top Left:
1. Marie Antoinette, 2. The Notorious Bettie Page, 3. Rear Window, 4. Midnight in Paris,
5. Pleasantville, 6. The Help, 7. 500 Days of Summer

I want to make them all! But you'll just have to wait and see what I choose at a later date :)

But enough teasing, allow me to brighten up your midweek with some Wonderful Wonderfuls! Here are my picks of the blogosphere this week:

  • I am totally obsessed with Instagram, it's such fun, so doesn't an instagram scrapbook sound like a cute idea? A Beautiful Mess strikes again with another fab tutorial.
  • I need some of these frozen yoghurt drops in my life, they sound like the perfect snack!
  • Cassie Stephens has increased my love of her blog even further by posting these adorable painted flower pots together with her floral ensemble. I just love how she fills her life with such beautiful things :) 
  • As a self-confessed cake addict I'm always looking for ways to make my cakes a little bit healthier, so I love the sound of this white bean bunt cake from Joy the Baker. You could make this for your friends or loved ones without telling them about the secret ingredient and I bet they wouldn't even guess...!
  • And finally I need to use this tutorial if I ever want to poach an egg myself. My progress has been terrible so far, but maybe after watching this video a few times my skills may improve!
Well that's it for another week of Wonderfuls, I hope you've enjoyed them and I'll be back with more pretty things soon.

Bye for now!

Katie xxx

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

March - The Best Bits!

Image Sources, Clockwise from Top Left:
1. Cinammon Rolls from Joy the Baker, 2. Lemonade from A Beautiful Mess, 3. Strawberry Cake from Sweet Teeth,
4. Ice Cream Sundaes from A Beautiful Mess, 5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake from Sprinklebakes

I think you can tell from the above pictures that March was a very food heavy month here at The Little Red Squirrel, I think all the travelling I've been doing has been making me long for my own kitchen so I can bake away to my heart's content!

This month has flown by so quickly, some of my blogging highlights are:

*My first ever "what's in my bag?" post*

and as always here's an update on my two ongoing projects:

24 Things Before I'm 25 - Update

I started my Bombshell Dress! It may be a while before it's finished but at least I've taken the first few steps :)
I saw Florence + the Machine in Concert, and she was incredible!!

UFO/Stash Busting Project - Update

Thank you all so much for your continued support of this blog, I can't believe I have nearly 200 followers! When I reach 200 I definitely think some kind of giveaway is in order :) Here's to another month of brilliant blogging!

Katie xxx
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