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Tag Archives: 1940’s fashion

Vintage Photoshoot with CSN Photography at GWSR

In early March I had the pleasure of working with Chris Nicholls of CSN Photography! We visited the beautiful and peaceful GWSR as they prepared for yet another busy season. The weather was questionable, but we made the most of the odd sunny spell between the showers!

So here are my top pick pics for you! In the 1940’s themed images I am wearing an original 40’s swing coat, crepe dress and hat. The shoes are from Johnson’s Originals. In the 50’s/60’s images I am wearing an original novelty print vintage dress and Clark’s Shoes.

I am very much looking forward to shooting with CSN Photography again. As he is used to frequenting at vintage military events, Chris has a keen eye for detail! It’s a shame we couldn’t shoot more of the dress, but it was flipping cold at this point and the weather was really turning!

Military World Magazine Cover Girl!

Military world magazine pinup

Kitten von Mew on the cover of Military World. Photo by Malcolm Davis

You can still purchase back copies of this Military World Magazine HERE! Don’t forget to bring yours to one of my performances and I will happily sign it for you!

Stoneleigh Militaria 2014

Well what a wonderful show! I haven’t been for 6 years, so was surprised to see no entertainment or music at all at the event. Luckily I had an awful lot of exciting and random reunions that filled my time! Rex from War and Peace Revival, Paul from Wartime in the Vale, Dave King and the boys from Military World Magazine where I signed some copies of Issue 16, photographer Lee Parker, Maria and Ashley Elliot with their gorgeous little bundle, a wonderful chap who was on the Berliner journey and more besides!

I purchased a wonderful military bakelite microphone, which I later found doesn’t flipping work, so will have to try and get it fixed and a few other goodies. We really enjoyed the show and it was great to see some familiar faces and we made some new friends too!

Militaria Show Web

For those interested in fashion – The shoes are Red Cross 1940’s and original 40’s silk fully fashioned stockings. The suit is 1940’s with crepe silk lining and has a matching HUGE stole in the same wool with pale pink fox trim (I did not bring it with me). My wonderful blouse is a waffle texture by Heyday Online! The hat is a beautiful 1930’s original with black velvet detailing and the pin on my lapel is tortoise shell and silver inlay with a George V crest (1st World War). The Muff is 1930’s/ 40’s with a zip purse pocket (I know, sooooo handy!!!) and crepe silk interior.

Woman’s Own Magazine!

You may just spot me on the double page feature spread in this month’s copy on ‘Alternative Lifestyles’!

A few facts are wrong, so just to clarify a few things…

  • Things in our cottage date back to the 1930’s to the 1940’s. The 3 piece suite is Art Deco as are many of my furnishings and we love collecting WWII memorabilia and clothing!
  • When I was about 11 I was wearing my Grandma’s Victorian boots, high necked blouses and plaid skirts. I was wearing 1950’s clothing from around 2000
  • I was spotted by a local photographer in 2001 and was in full time employment at that point. My Media Studies course was in 1996 after leaving school.
  • My name Kitten Von Mew came into effect in 2001 as a modelling name
  • I met Richard in 2008 whilst he was part of the USO shows, of which I joined as a burlesque entertainer. We did not start dating until late 2010/ early 2011.
  • I do not think there was ‘something so simple and British’ about the 1940’s. I believe it was a time of uniting together, keeping up morale and making do/ getting creative with what you had.
Kitten von Mew in Womans Own Magazine June 10th issue 2013
kitten von mew womans own magazine

Kitten Von Mew in Woman’s Own Magazine June 10th Issue 2013

Thanks to Candee Piccies for taking the photographs and all of my followers for their constant support!

Vintage Knitting for Knit Wits

1940s pixie hat

1940’s Pixie Hat by Kitten von Mew

So I have started to knit. I tried doing this as a child and did ok on a standard knit and changing colours for stripes, but got bored as every one does and went back to playing pirates. Pirates don’t knit.

So now I have started again and with baby steps have become confident at basic knitting and purling, knitting together and casting on an off. I can see those talented people finishing off their Fairisle masterpieces with 5 needles, rolling their eyes at me as they cast off their sweater using their toes and start crocheting a matching beret just using their eyelashes… but this is a huge challenge for me. Anything that needs a precise pattern is a complete nightmare for this Kitten. I enjoy my crafts and yes have made some dresses, but alot of that is following a basic pattern and then botch jobbing it to suit me.  You cannot do this with knitting! If you drop a stitch it screams as you with its big gaping mouth, whilst its brothers and sister mock me until I have to pull them all off and start over. I have also tried cable knit and have resorted to the fact that I am ‘Knitslexic’ with some things. I know how it should look and find it perfectly logical to follow the pattern…until my blasted hands get in the way and my brain starts singing ‘I Wish I Was in Dixie.’ I suddenly look down to find that my twisted rope pattern resembles mores of a half eaten bread pudding.

I did however manage to make a 1940’s adult sized pixie hat! Although the pattern was for beginners, I found it a little complicated to follow, so have created a basic pattern that any beginner can follow and knit themselves a wonderful little hat for the chilly seasons and windy WWII event fields! It will go great with your Heyday Coat or Gab Jacket and why not knit a matching pouch bag using the same basic pattern?

40s knitted hat

1940’s knitted pixie Hat

What you will need:

  • 7 1/2 Needles
  • Thick to Chunky Wool
  • Large needle

Cast on 44 stitches and knit 4 purl 4 to the end of the line. Do this for the next 9 lines to create a rib effect

After this, garter stitch (that is just regular knitting to me and other beginners) until the whole thing is about 8″ long. You can obviously do this longer if your head is larger. I measured from behind my front curls (I like some of my hair to halo my face and soften the lines, but you can always knit one that comes right to the front of the head if you wish) to where I wanted the point at the back.

Cast off and fold it in half. The ribbing pattern will be the front of your hat.

Take your needle and spend the rest of the weekend cursing as you try and thread your wool into it’s eye. Once you have succeeded, grab a cup of tea as a reward and blanket stitch the back of your hat together, making sure it is inside-out as you do so.

Next you need to make the chin strap. If you have more patience, you can do 2 long knitted ribbons to tie in a bow. I had no patience left, hence I did a short strap and button. Simply cast on 6 stitches and knit 2, purl 2, knit 2 for every line until it is 7 inches long.

Change to standard garter stitch for the last inch. I just dropped a stitch to make the button hole on the second row of garter stitches. Im sure advanced knitters would have a heart attack at this, but it works for me. Cast off when your work measures 8 inches or more for larger heads.

After you have finished the strap, turn your hat the right way and sew it onto one of the pointed corners at the front of your hat. Sew a button one the opposite side for the strap to attach to.

Turn the hat around and tug the back point a little so it is more accentuated.

You can either leave it plain or adorn it with little pom poms as I have done! 3 on each side grouped together at the ears and 2 dangling from the point.

If you want to make a matching pouch bag simply copy the instructions for the basis of the hat, but sew up each side, leaving the ribbed top open. Thread your needle with wool and then sew in and out all around the ribbing to create a drawstring top. Adorn with pom poms and lie down in front of reruns of The House of Elliot, exhausted and surprised at your own talents.

London Trip – Churchill’s War Rooms and the Troxy

imperial war museum kitten von mew

Kitten von Mew outside the Imperial War Museum, London

In February we decided upon a  weekend trip to London, originally to go to The Imperial War Museum and a cinema event at the Troxy. I had been waiting for a free day to visit the museum and we were so excited about it! After a rather bad night at a Premier Inn (Angry Welsh drunks shouting down the corridor and the receptionist pumping up the volume of the foyer music to ease her boredom), we got dressed and gleefully made our way to the IWM. I can honestly say that I shed a tear as we were met at the door by a security person who told us the museum was closed until late summer and that most of the WWII exhibits were being relocated to Duxford. My insides were throwing toys out of my pram as I tried to outwardly keep composure, but the poor lady saw how mortified I was.

imperial war museum london

Imperial War Museum in London, taken by Kitten von Mew

We decided to check out Churchill’s War Rooms instead as we were dressed up, so made the trek to St James’ Park over the river. The ticket price was £17 each, which seemed a tad steep, but did include an audio tour in the form of a handset. The cabinet war rooms are a maze of tunnels and rooms below the Treasury building and feature original fixings, furniture, maps and phones. You definitely need the audio guide as you walk around as it is the only thing to explain what you are currently looking at. This is nice in a way as walls are not covered with descriptions, but not great for deaf visitors (although I am sure they must have a special free guide book for that purpose).

churchills war rooms

Churchill’s War Rooms – Phone and WWII Map. Taken by Kitten von Mew

I especially liked looking at the old war maps with their pins, string and roughly penned sunken ships and notes. The coloured scramble phones were also amazing (look out for the green handled ones that were used for top secret, highly important information!). It was also great looking into Winston’s bedroom and his wife’s room further down the corridor. They had even gone to the trouble of putting out one of his cigars on the bedside table ashtray!

winston churchills bedroom

Winston Churchill’s bedroom in the Cabinet War Rooms. Taken by Kitten von Mew

Lighting is extremely low in the War Rooms and as the doorways to rooms are covered with clear perspex, this makes it difficult to take good photos, so excuse my efforts!

the cabinet war rooms ww2 maps

Close up of the pins and string for the maps in the Cabinet War Rooms. Taken by Kitten von Mew

The next day we dressed up in our finest to go to the Future Cinema event at The Troxy. This time it was Casablanca and the theming of the place was perfect.

future cinema casablanca

Mr Mew outside the ‘Rick’s Cafe’ entrance to the Future Cinema event. Taken by Kitten von Mew

future cinema kitten von mew

Richard and Kitten Von Mew outside the Troxy back entrance.

troxy interior

Interior of the Troxy. Capturing some of the action of Future Cinema’s Casablanca! Taken by Kitten von Mew.

future cinema casablanca kitten von mew

Play it Sam! Kitten and ‘Sam’ at The Troxy.

1940s fashion kitten von mew

Kitten von Mew, taken by Richard Von Mew

What a great way to watch a fabulous film and round off the weekend!

Heyday Online’s New Spring Range for 2013!

It’s what sooooo many of us have been waiting for! Shona at Heyday Online has been working tirelessly to bring some new lines into her fabulous collection for 2013. PaPa Mew took some lovely shots in the garden and Candee Photography and I did a wonderful shoot just before Christmas. Mr Mew and I took some snaps this January for the men’s line too!

Here are some of the exciting styles that you could be wondering around War and Peace Revival in this year…and yes….the purple dress is THAT yummy…


Kitten von Mew modelling Heyday’s 50’s dress. Taken by Candee Photography


Kitten von Mew modelling Heyday Online’s 1950’s style dress. Taken by Candee Photography


Heyday Online’s new 1940’s style dress modelled by Kitten von Mew. Photograph by Candee Photography


Kitten von Mew modelling Heyday’s New long sleeved blouse. Taken by Malcolm Davis


Kitten von Mew modelling new long sleeved blouse by Heyday Online! Taken by Malcolm Davis

heyday-online-mens-trousers-with richard-von-mew

Heyday Online’s new pinstripe trousers, modelled by Richard von Mew. Photo by Kitten von Mew

So start saving up those ration stamps now and treat yourself to some incredible new trousers, blouses or dresses for this year’s events. Keep checking the Heyday website for new items!

Johnson’s Originals

I had a lovely email from someone yesterday saying how much they enjoyed the old fashioned advert in my previous post, so I thought I would share another I created for a repro vintage shoe company!

kitten von mew johnsons originals shoes

Kitten and Johnson’s Originals. Photo by Richard von Mew, graphics by Kitten von Mew

I took inspiration from a few shoe and dieting adverts in my 1940’s magazines to come up with the above! The photo was taken just after performing at Wartime in the Vale last weekend.

More about Johnson’s Shoes can be found here. The 1940’s styles they do are gorgeous and they also do men’s wing tips as well as women’s platforms and wedges!

1940’s Style Hair Snoods

arthelias attic hair snood kitten von mew

Kitten von Mew modelling a custom hair snood and matching bag by Arthelia’s Attic. Photographed by Richard von Mew

Hair snoods are the perfect head wear for vintage events, bad hair days and when you are pin curling your hair!

Most are available in the Medieval and Civil War styles,which were popular in WWII thanks to the Gone with the Wind and Robin Hood movies. Crocheted hair nets became popular for factory workers, especially those who fashioned Veronica Lake’s flowing tresses, only to end up with them caught in a machine. Snood stopped such awful accidents from occurring and became a fashionable and useful item for war work and beyond.

There are still a lot of people who recreate these hair snoods today, but not many who also focus on the more unique styles!

Naomi at Arthelia’s Attic on Etsy makes her snoods from original patterns and can even custom make them with crocheted flowers or a matching purse!

kitten von mew 40s hair snood

Check our her beautiful designs and treat yourself to something a little different but 100 times more stunning than a standard knitted snood. Check our her swell online store!

WWII House Dress

So here was the pattern I bought from Etsy. It was unfortunately missing the pocket part of the pattern, but I managed to recreate them anyway…

WWII House Dress Pattern

And here is the top half of what I came up with…

Dress made from 1940's dress pattern