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Evesham Vintage Festival 4th and 5th May!


This has to be one of my favourite local events! With wonderful stalls to browse, scrumptious food and fantastic live music and entertainment throughout the 2 days, it certainly makes for a memorable bank holiday!

I am so proud and honoured to be the face of this year’s event and will be singing on both the Sunday and Monday! See you there!

  

Vintage Maternity Suit


Just thought I would show you this adorable 50’s maternity suit I borrowed from my lovely friend Shona. We now seem to be utterly comfortable with our baby bumps and many of us are not afraid to show them off to their best advantage with form fitting tops etc. It seemed to be a totally different story until very recently. The idea was to completely conceal what was going on until the baby popped out into the world. Smocks and very loose fitting dresses were the order of the day!

I wanted to make a couple of 1940’s things to wear at some point, so purchased a couple of patterns from Etsy. The covers made me laugh as every single one out there has illustrations of the designs on ladies who are clearly not pregnant. Although stating ‘Maternity’ across the envelope, you wouldn’t know it from what is on the front at all!

1940's matenrity patterns

Image from Coconutheadpatterns on Etsy

So here is the 1950’s suit I wore to Lyme Regis this weekend. It was very comfortable, the skirt very much so, with a flap at the front concealing a hole so that your baby bump can expand. There are 3 buttons either side that allows the waist to expand also. The jacket is obviously a loose fitting thing that skims over and smooths everything. I would say that a belt under the bust line would improve it immensely!

I will be writing an article for Military World about what to wear at events when you are expecting, so will post on here also. It is a struggle to find vintage styles out there when your bump reaches a certain size! I have some larger fitting repro items, but after a while, you do seem to need maternity wear or something with a higher waistline. I shall attempt to help those who still want to look the part, even if they still feel like a baby bungalow…

1950s Houndstooth Maternity Outfit

WW2 Doll Pattern




I found this fantastic doll pattern on Etsy, which is a copy of an original American WW2 doll pattern. It is very basic and that suits me down to the ground! I wanted something I could alter without too much hassle!

I decided to change the WAC uniform to British ATS and a red head (of course!). This was the first time I have tried embroidering a doll face, so was a new challenge for me! The eyebrows are Marino wool to match the hair but the eyes and lips are just formal sewing thread that I tripled in the needle before using.

The pattern includes 3 types of uniform (skirt, jacket, hat and blouse), but because I didn’t want the jacket to open, I just made the front of the blouse, collar and tie out if a scrap of one of Richard’s old USO shirts! I had used the other half of it for an act, so glad I kept the scraps!

The wool fabric was bought at a local haberdashers and although expensive by the metre, I only bought a 30cm width so wasn’t too bad and I have enough left for a matching boy doll and more. I also bought a sample swatch of leather as the pattern used more embroidering to depict shoes (literally just shoe laces). After some playing around I came up wit a basic pixie design and matching belt.

Here is my first attempt…

So, I was quite pleased apart from the head. The doll ends up with no neck, so I tried creating one which wrinkled the face and my stupid permanent pen guides I had drawn for the facial embroidery ended up spreading, making her look like an old lady!

I ended up doing a Marie Antoinette job on her head, which I had made all the more complicated as I had inconveniently sewn the blouse collar and jacket to the body. I drew around the head template again onto the plain cotton, but this time I added a neck! I sewed the new head on as best I could and tidied the wound with a strip of leather. Lucky it just neatens the area and doesn’t make her look like a 40’s themed dominatrix. 

So here you go! The finished doll and, for my first attempt, I think she is pretty good! I want to add some buttons on her jacket using thread, but just have to figure out a way to do this.

I am planning to use the pattern for different themes, not just military, but will re-draw the body so that she has more of a neck before trying another one.





2015 Performance Dates Added


Apologies that it has taken me so bloomin’ long to get these up. As some of you may know, your little Kitty here is expecting a wee bundle of dribbling joy around 6th July this year.

Because of this I am not doing any burlesque performances until November (very niche market anyway with a baby bump…), but will continue to sing for as long as I can up until the birth. After Mini Mew is born, and health accepting, I shall be at the War and Peace Revival Show singing a few slots and take it from there. Dates completely depend on how baby and I are doing, I hope you all understand and a HUGE THANK YOU to the organisers who not only kept our secret under wraps until we were ready to share, but have not put any pressure on my performances.

New Year’s Blitz Ball 2014


Well all the hard work paid off and the New Year’s Eve Blitz Ball was a huge success! Richard and our friend Mark Williams were complete troopers at getting the decor up as I pointed and waved my arms a lot. Paper decorations and bunting were strung, a cargo parachute hung over the dance floor and everything came together.  Our Guests all received an E-ticket in the form of a WW2 telegram with a special code in it. These codes were all put into a grand draw, whilst there were also prizes for Best Dressed Man and Best Dressed Lady.

BLITZ-BALL-TICKET

2nd-Mail-Out

The main part of these prizes were a bottle of ginger wine AND a whole week’s rations for 2 people. wrapped up in brown paper and string! There was also a vintage tie for Best Dressed Man, stockings for the lady and the prize draw included a ‘Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ DVD… and a banana! In these times of war, such fruit were a complete exotic rarity. Just don’t ask where we got it from…

Everyone came beautifully dressed and DJ Woody played some fantastic music to sing and dance along to. The beginners dance lessons was a big hit and 40 people hit the dance floor to learn a few moves, whilst another 25 came for the dance itself.

So here are some photos of the big night. A major thank you to everyone who came along, we had a wonderful time entertaining you all and I hope you had a memorable evening!

Ava Aviacion Dancing Best Dressed Lady Prize! New Year's Blitz Ball 2014 Guys Cliffe House Blitz Ball DJ Woody Mark, Kitten, Richard, David and Luna Kitten and Mark Luna Richard and Kitten Tango

A Modern Vintage Christmas


*PLEASE SEE THE POST UNDERNEATH FOR IMAGES AND INFORMATION ON OUR STOLEN ARTICLES. THANK YOU!*

vintage christmas

There are some of us who like to create quite an authentic 1940’s Christmas theme and there are others that would love to, but either cannot get the décor or their partners aren’t into the same ideals. I personally like the authentic and then pretend I am in some 1940’s Hollywood blockbuster instead and blitz the tree with more décor than branches.

I decided to delve through my own Christmas decorations and see what modern marvels were around too, to give a vintage effect but with a modern twist for those who still enjoy the 21st Century!

Let us start with the 1940’s basis. In the war, Christmas was still a very important celebration. It was an obvious morale booster and time for family, remembrance, tradition and joviality, even to those serving in the forces! Whether they were decorating palm trees, or making paper chains for an Anderson Shelter, the creativity was fantastic! Some people were lucky enough to have some glass decorations. The classic bauble has been around since the 1800’s and they were certainly in plentiful supply in the 1900’s. They were still being produced throughout the war, but the silver used to colour and line the insides was limited, applied very thinly or stopped all together. Tinsel was a big thing in the war, in plentiful supply and helped make the tree look full, even when only a few decorations were available. In fact, my Grandfather remembered collecting silver foil strips called ‘Window’ from fields. This was dropped by allied and axis planes to confuse radar signals…but Grandma, Ma and Aunt used it to decorate instead!

from warhistoryonline

from warhistoryonline

There were some patriotically themed decorations made in WW2. I remember seeing a Santa Claus riding a red, white and blue bomb, but the Third Reich seemed to have gone all out with Swastika and SS themed glass baubles and tree toppers. They even had hand grenade shaped ones.

Cotton wool was often used as snow and would be placed on tree branches or suspended from the ceiling on string. Christmas cards were also put onto the tree as part of the décor and letters too! I think this is a wonderful idea and there are still greeting cards around if you search online or in antique shops. WWI silk cards would look wonderful. I popped a couple of WW2 Christmas cards, an Art Deco one and another that had been printed out from an online design. It really does add interest and I could imagine this being done with postcards and old family photos.

retro christmas

You can find clear plastic baubles at www.my-accessories.co.uk that you can place your own photo inside. They cost about £3 each and look great! I got some last year and printed off a wedding picture of Mr Mew’s parents, a photo of his sons in military uniform and one of our wonderful friends Don and Steph in America. I am planning to purchase more so that I can do the same for other family and friend’s photos. Imagine creating a ‘family tree’ Christmas tree with all your ancestors photo baubles. I think that would be marvelous! Another great idea is the 2 part bauble, which has 2 hollow pieces. I stupidly bought these at an inflated price from a craft fair, but they are available very cheaply from Ebay in packs of 8 or more! I will be creating little scenes with mine and giving a couple as Christmas gifts. Here are a few ideas for yours: Was your relation in the service? Why not pop in a photo, a military patch and a few buttons! Or get some PVA glue, mix in some light gravel and pop some in to the bottom of one of the halves. Let it dry and harden and do the same amount the other side. Glue on a toy soldier (lead or plastic) and maybe even some moss as a bush or even a little tree (check railway model suppliers for inspiration!) and add some dried coconut or fake snow. Seal it up and enjoy!

photo bauble

You can also find miniatures or Dinky Toys of Spitfires and Jeeps to suspend from tree branches as decorations or make peg people! Dotcomgift shop have a great set of Queen’s Guard soldiers of elves with full instructions. I used UHU glue as sometime PVA doesn’t work so well, but after this, why not try your hand at some soldiers or sailors with some felt from a haberdashery? They make great gifts too!

clothes peg christmas decorations

You will see that I have an array of tin bird houses on this tree. These are very in fashion right now and I remember seeing them last year too. Quite shabby chic, the vintage prints fit in well and although an odd thing to accessorise a festive tree with, it gave me inspiration for their use. Get one for each family member and each leave a special note for that person in their own little bird house. Come Christmas day, every one (or even if it is purely a couple) will have something lovely, romantic or funny to read. Such things bring people closer and sometimes it is easier to say what you feel in a letter rather than face to face. Father’s telling daughters how proud they are of their achievements…Wives telling husbands that their snoring is like listening to the Philharmonic Orchestra and not at all annoying…You could even make some felt birds to go inside!

vintage christmas decorations

I made a load of really simple felt decorations that are sooooo easy to do. I decided on patriotic red, white and blue because at the time, all you could get was gold, red and green themes. All you do is trace around a cup so that you have a perfect circle, you need 2 of these, sandwich a loop of ribbon or string for hanging and either glue around the edge or stitch. Remember to leave a small gap and then stuff. I use cheap Argos pillows for stuffing. £2.99 for 2 and the wadding is super soft and also great for the cotton wool snow! For the decoration, you can cut out basic shapes of holly leaves and berries, reindeer or whatever else and glue them on. I created an RAF one, but can’t find the blasted thing, so apologies for not showing it. Next year I will do a piece purely dedicated on creating baubles and decorations with templates!

On to present wrapping. I am all for the brown paper and string method, but for those who like a bit of colour or interest there are many things you can do. Repros of the 1940’s newspapers were created by the likes of the Daily Mail some years back, and these are still around in jumble sales, or you could photocopy some originals to use as gift wrap. Look out for vintage cigar and chocolate boxes or even old toffee tins with great artwork on the front. These all look fantastic under a tree and can also form part of the present! This works for handkerchiefs and silk scarves too. Luckily, the vintage style is still in this season, so there are also some kitchy and retro gift wraps and boxes about in the shops. The little Panettone boxes in my photo are a superb for smaller gifts or a big slice of Christmas cake to take home and come in a set of 3!

shabby chic christmas

So there you have it. I hope I have given you some inspiration and get in touch with queries. If you try any of these ideas, why not send me photos? Merry Christmas my darling Catnips, and don’t forget that all important mistletoe!

1940's christmas

Stolen Vintage Jewellery and WW2 Memorabilia


About an hour after the 2 minute silence on Armistice Day (11th November 2014), a man broke into my home and stole selective pieces from my WW2 collection, nearly all my vintage jewellery, my silver wedding purse, ww2 leaflets, WW2 letter records (the type you play on a record player), a panther/ leopard bracelet based on the Duchess of Windsor’s, ww2 pamphlets, pocket watches, vintage watches, cufflinks, tiebars and even my Grandmother’s WW2 Identification Card. They stole a Nikon D70s camera with a DX lens along with memory cards (holding photos for a future article as well as other things) and my back up drive housing all my photos and videos.

They also broke into my next door neighbours house and as well as jewellery and the like stole his Saxophone?!

We have 1 possible sighting and that was of a man holding a large box of stuff with a large scary dog. He was stood opposite the Lower Compton turning on King’s Lane, Stratford upon Avon.

I have lost all of my Grandmother’s jewellery, all I have left is her lace handkerchief. I have lost my Art Deco engagement ring, all the vintage jewellery I have collected over the years at shows, my torpedo necklace and earring, compacts, and even a Bundles for Britain charm bracelet which was a treasured gift.

I cannot tell you how it feel to walk into your home, knowing someone had been in there. The sudden gust of cold air coming from an unseen broken window and the crackle of glass underfoot as you scan the room. This guy had carefully selected pieces from my cabinet and even closed the door again. This is not an easy cabinet to get into and you don’t just push it gently shut. He had been less careful in the bedroom with all cupboards and drawers opened, bags ripped open (one gas mask bag lock had been torn in his haste to check the contents). The thief shook out my military burlesque costumes out of my WW2 kit bag to put his loot in (if you spot this, it has white stenciled writing on it, an address for an American College) before going next door.

I am still so shaken, I can’t think straight, I can’t sleep right and I want to stay hopeful and proactive enough to track down at least 1 of these things that may give us a lead. This was a professional job and he knew what he was taking. Some of these items, especially my engagement ring, leopard bracelet and charm bracelet are so unique and rare that these should stand out. Please help us catch these crooks?

So I am calling on you antiques dealers, militaria collectors and dealers, carbooters, followers, friends, anyone out there who can help. We will be doing local searches and internet searches, but it is going to take far more than that to hunt a piece down I am sure of it.

Below are some images of just a few things that were taken. If you can print them off and carry them around with you when you go to your next antiques centre, or keep your phone handy to check the photos at a militaria show then that would be fantastic. Don’t worry about searching for the Tiki Mask Brooch, he dropped that.

Notify the police immediately if you see anything. My crime incident number is Kitten 23S6/25722H/14. Or you can say it is regarding the Von Mew Burglary in Stratford upon Avon on 11th Nov.

stolen vintage jewellery and items Stolen 2 for FB Stolen Items 3 FB Stolen Items 4 FB

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