A Vintage Treasure

I’m having a couple of days away from the sewing machine after finishing the last Refashion and before starting on the Brumby skirt as part of the Made Up Initiative.

In the meantime I know there are lots of you out there who love a vintage frock so I thought I’d share this one with you.  Back in 2010 there was a collaboration between Wayne Hemingway and the Earl of March at Goodwood which became the Vintage at Goodwood Festival.  Great fun was had by all but sadly it was a never to be repeated event at Goodwood, although the Hemingways have continued the theme at events around the country in subsequent years.

We still have the Goodwood Revival every September but that is much more focused on the vehicles (and way too busy for me), whereas Vintage was all about fashion, music, film and design from the 40s to the 80s.  One of my favourite memories is of the collection of vintage caravans which had been restored to perfection.

I borrowed a lovely 1950s frock from our local WI headquarters.  They used to have a basement full of vintage clothing which they hired out but I can’t find anything about it online so perhaps they’ve stopped.  We did manage to find this photographs of me wearing it – it was a lot busier at the festival than it looks, I think a band had just finished playing so everyone had moved off!   The borrowed dress was slightly damaged so I did repair it, dealt with a couple of stains and gave it a good wash. It certainly went back in an improved condition!

Vintage at Goodwood

The music and entertainment were amazing and W spent a very happy time in the Northern Soul tent.  There are photographs of that too but I’ll spare you.  There were hair and beauty salons, a vintage high street, make do and mend sewing sessions and lots of vintage china serving cups of tea.  I loved it.

I was especially excited when I spotted this Horrockses dress and I couldn’t resist buying it.  The company was very well-known and respected in the 1940s and 50s and there was a lovely exhibition of frocks at The Fashion & Textile Museum in London not long after I bought this one.  It isn’t a perfect fit, slightly too big, but I have worn it on several occasions and the full skirt with the crisp and swishy petticoat underneath is really special.  I always feel like a character from a Barbara Pym novel when I’m wearing it, drinking tea with the vicar and discussing the merits or otherwise of the new young curate!  That’s twice I’ve mentioned tea in this post and I never, ever drink it!

Here’s the frock, modelled by the ever willing Doris.

The dress has unusual square inserts under each arm (shown above), presumably for reinforcement, and the collar is very neatly bound.  I love the fabric which is in very good condition, there are only a couple of tiny marks which have never shifted in the wash and the petticoat layer still has plenty of body. We’re off to a wedding Reception on Saturday evening, maybe I’ll give the Horrockses an outing!


11 thoughts on “A Vintage Treasure

  1. I well remember Horrockses dresses. I had a green one in a very similar style to your red one. And thinking of ‘Some Tame Gazelle’ I doubt if you will be wearing well mended corsets like Harriets and certainly not fishing them out from under a handy cushion..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Must confess I love a bit of Northern Soul myself and am enjoying it’s comeback! Have you seen the film. Great music, although I can’t claim to always like the clothes, I have grown more fond of them recently after making Kelly’s sample garments. (See updated blog “present” if you fancy a look. I digress, your dress is fab, I love these shapes and prints. Little gloves and a proper handbag draped over the arm, lovely. Shame I spend most of my life in jeans?

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