Monday, April 27, 2015

༺ Stitching Stories: Going Dotty for Spotty Cotton ༻

1940's blouse made with Simplicity 1590 retro re-release | Lavender & Twill

Full 1940's look for autumn | Lavender & Twill

Peplum details & box pleats from Simplicity 1590 | Lavender & Twill

Adore platform chunky heels & gloves for a perfect 1940's look | Lavender & Twill

Simplicity 1590 sewn up out of quilting cotton | Lavender & Twill

Details of the fabric & buttons for my Simplicity 1590 make | Lavender & Twill

Dotty for spotty cotton & Simplicity 1590 | Lavender & Twill

Ohmygoodnessyouguys!  All the crazy here is sending me just a leeetle dotty! I keep signing myself up for all these sewing challenges ~ and then I don’t know why I am doing this to myself!  (> o <)’

First it was the insane Sewing All The Things idea, then I saw A Stitching Odyssey’s Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge and of course I was all “Oooh! That looks like fun!” so I put my name down:

I, Bonita Vear of Lavender & Twill, pledge to sew at least five vintage or vintage reproduction patterns in 2015 ~ these MUST be patterns that I haven’t used before from my stash!”

Because that fits into my sewing schedule for 2015, right? But then I saw Rochelle’s Spring for Cotton group sew along annndddd ~ BAM! April’s plan for the Simplicity 2275 wrap dress flew out the window {also because I was in the middle of a top secret sewing project that took most of April to get done}.  Hello quick project! This fit in with Brittany’s 40s Fashion Calender challenge for February which I was behind with: sew a 1940’s blouse and turban.

So last Monday I went to Spotlight with a handy Christmas gift card {thank you Mom!} and tried to find the perfect cotton fabric to use for Simplicity 1590, a retro re-release of this simple, but cute 1940’s blouse with a peplum.


~ I hadn’t made this one up yet, but I really liked View A and couldn’t wait to try it! ~

I found the perfect 100% cotton quilting fabric with a really nice ‘hand’ to it. It was soft, and it draped nicely, as well as having this fabulous vintage-looking print in the colours I wanted ~ navy and white.  Well, okay, I wanted navy, white, and red, and ended up with navy, cream, orange, and pink! But it was the closest to what I had pictured in my head and I knew it would suit this project perfectly.

Disaster struck when I reached the cutting counter ~ I needed 1.7 metres of my magical fabric and there was only a little over 1 metre left on the bolt!  Yikes! 

The lady at the counter went to see if she could find some more of the fabric, or something similar, while I racked my brains to figure out how to make it work. I knew she wouldn’t find anything as I had already scoured the quilting fabric isle and sure enough, she came back empty handed.  I quickly whipped out my pattern pieces {which I had traced out onto Polytrace so that I didn’t have to cut the pattern tissue} and proceeded to lay my pattern out on the cutting counter!  It just fit ~ but I’d have to make something up for the peplum, which took about 70 centimetres of the 1.7m needed all by itself.

I decided to wing it because I had fallen for this spotty cotton ~ it was “The One” for this pattern ~ sewers, you know what I’m talking about!

It did work, although you’ll notice box pleats at the back of the peplum, rather than gathers. I had much less fabric in the peplum so there really wasn’t any way I was getting gathers out of it. And obviously, I had to nix the matching turban because that just wasn’t going to happen ~ but in the end, I did it! 

I squeaked out a blouse that needed 1.7m of fabric from a piddley 1m and managed to fit in a matching vintage styled hair tie instead of the turban.  Which I am calling the “Vintage Bow Hair Tie” pattern. Original. (ง •̀_•́)ง

I think I can hail this 40s Fashion Calender/Spring for Cotton/Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge project as success ~ one 100% cotton blouse, sewn with 100% cotton thread, and a matching 100% cotton hair tie, also sewn with 100% cotton thread.  A little bit of tweaking here and there, and I couldn’t get 100% cotton buttons, but I’m okay with the ones I picked.   : P   Actually, more than okay, because I’m a little bit dotty over them too….  ❤ ❤ ❤ヽ(*⌒∇⌒*)ノ

The result is that I adore this blouse!  It will definitely be a staple in my wardrobe. All the stress is so worth it in that pivotal moment you see some gorgeous fabric slowly coming together then ~ POW! (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ You have a new garment! 

~ Project Details ~

  • Year: 2013 re-release of a 1940’s pattern
  • Pattern: Simplicity 1590
  • Fabric: 1 metre of DS Piccadilly Floral Spot 100% cotton quilting fabric in Navy, Cream, Orange and Pink ($11.89)
  • Notions: Five buttons with violet print on them ($5.00)
  • Time to complete: One week
  • Make again? Yes! I’m pretty sure I will. I love the neckline of this pattern, and it’s a really simple blouse to put together.  It’s fun.
  • Wear again? 100%!  I can see this blouse becoming quite a central piece to my 1940’s outfits. It’s easy to wear and I love the print, the colours, and the style. I’m so thrilled with how it turned out.
  • Total Cost:  $16.89 AUD

Have any of you sewn up Simplicity 1590?  Which version would you sew if you did? 



P.S. ~ I took a leaf out of the lovely Jessica of Chronically Vintage’s book, and inspiration from this post ~ I loved that lying down shot and tried out my own!

༺ ♡ ༻

Vintage Bow Hair Tie | Me Made, April 2015
Dotty for Spotty 1940’s Blouse | Me Made, April 2015
Pearl & Silver Chain | Thrifted
Navy 70’s does 40’s Skirt | Thrifted
Crochet Wheat Vintage Gloves | Canberra Vintage Emphorium
Vintage Navy Seeded Handbag | eBay
Santa Cruz Beach Heel | Modcloth, No longer available

༺ ♡ ༻

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Monday, April 20, 2015

༺ Currently: Time Flies ༻

‘Currently’ posts are a little snapshot of the events that are occurring in my day-to-day life. These episodes feature photos from my Instagram, do come and say “Hi!” if you are around. Also, if you would like to participate in this feature yourself, please feel free! I’d love to read your posts, so don’t forget to leave a link.  ♡



Dressage in Harmony by Walter Zettl – Book Four in The Masters of Horsemanship Series.  A technical book detailing the ‘Hows and Whys’ of dressage. I love it, but it’s certainly not a read for everyone!



Not thinking about much of anything.  Just taking it one day at a time over here. 



That I get to go riding again!  And also that we have a warm house.  It is currently a chilly 11°C with a max of 14°C…  Brrr!  (° ロ °)



Stuffed green olives. Roasted and salted mixed nuts. Gluten free toast with peanut butter. Tyring to keep it healthy through all the nursing cravings ~ it’s hard.



Cupcake Wars. Drop Dead Diva and, best of all, Agents of Shield! Ever since The Avengers came out I’ve been a total Marvel fangirl, and Agents of Shield has not disappointed.  *squee* Coulson!  ✧・゚:*✧・゚:* \(◕▽◕✿)/ *:・゚✧*:・゚✧



All the sewing projects… (ô д ô) Why, oh why, did I sign myself up for sewing two garments a month??



Autumn leaves. Horse riding! Cups of tea. All the baby snuggles. Stuffed olives. Crafting. New fabric. Finishing projects. Charlotte’s smiles and giggles. Isabelle’s chatter and “I did it!s”. Theodore’s helpfulness and random things he says. Pretty buttons. Organizing all the things. Family time. Movies. Cute hats. Parcels in the mail.  (• ‿ -)∠☆



To keep up with my sewing projects. To get back into the rhythm of housekeeping. To get out of the house more please!



To sleep more…  ‘Nuff said.   ( ̄。 ̄)~zzz



Small things. Lots of stuff around the house, and hopefully getting more and more into the regular swing of life.


(‘Currently’ post inspired by Danielle of Sometimes Sweet and Kaelah of The Clueless Girl's Guide!)



༺ ♡ ༻

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

༺ 2015 does 1950s: A Vintage Look via Modern Clothing ༻

1950s faux fur swing jacket statement piece | Lavender & Twill

Pastel pink to soften up this monochrome 1950's look | Lavender & Twill

Sweater clips add lovely detail, as do belts with ornate buckles | Lavender & Twill

1950s vintage look using modern clothing | Lavender & Twill 

Confession time! 

Though I’m sure you have already guessed from the title what I am going to say, here it is.

Only one item in this entire outfit is vintage. 

*le gasp!*

Can you guess which piece it is?  And no peeking at the outfit details!  (⌒ ▽⌒)

I hadn’t realized when I was putting together this outfit that most of it consisted of retail items ~ in fact, one third of the clothing is quite new, as in I bought it this season!

I think this makes an excellent point however ~ you don’t have to buy vintage to dress vintage.

I started with a simple A-line skirt, then channelled my inner Dita and popped a cropped t-shirt on to keep the outfit more ‘casual’ and less ‘business’ looking.  I added a pastel pink cardigan to soften the effect of the black and white monochrome {a styling decision influenced by Briar Rose from this post.}, a carved clasp belt for interest, and gold sweater clips for sparkle. Then I tossed my faux fur swing coat on top for some extra warmth and texture.

What I really liked about the whole ensemble is that any of these items could pass for vintage, and by styling them in an era appropriate manner, you really can’t tell that they are new.  Unless you happen to see the labels!

And that’s the great thing about vintage.  So much of it is about the way you style it, not what you are actually wearing.  It’s so easy to personalize ~ less vintage can be more with the addition of classic retail pieces, and it can be mixed up so that you look modern or like you stepped out of a photograph ~ you can really wear it any way you’d like too!

So tell me, do you have any favourite retail clothing that is “I can’t believe it’s not vintage!”? Which classic items do you buy from the shops rather than buying vintage?  Mine are cardigans.  I hardly ever buy vintage cardigans, and I have a box stuffed full, and overflowing, of cardigans of every shape and color.  It seems to work well for me. (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ



Fun note: I wore this outfit when going out for breakfast with friends and happened to have the most perfect hair day ever ~ right before I had to go get it cut at the hairdressers!  ( ゜-゜)…  Isn’t that always the way?!  

P.S. ~ It was the faux fur swing jacket.  I bought it at a Canberra vintage fair, and though I don’t know the exact era, I peg it as late 1950’s to early 1960’s.

༺ ♡ ༻

Tortoise Shell Bow Barrett | Chemist Warehouse
1950s Swinging Fluff Faux Fur Jacket | Vintage Fair, 2012
Cotton Candy Cardigan | Kmart, Current
Pop of Black Crop Tee | Kmart, Current
Pearl Starburst Sweater Pins | eBay
Butterfly Buckle Belt | New Look, Old
Houndstooth Fever Skirt  | Kmart, Current
Mimi Mary Jane Heels | New Look, Old

༺ ♡ ༻

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Monday, April 13, 2015

༺ Speaking of 1940’s ༻

I think that the 1940’s Fashion Calender event that Brittany of  VaVoom Vintage is hosting is a marvellous idea. I’m excited to participate, but I realise that I am missing a few pieces from the challenge! 

I wanted to do a short round up to see what I have to use, and what I don’t have and need.  So let’s look at the list of foundation wardrobe items we need for a year of ‘make do and mend’.

  • 1 winter coat in any color or fabric that you like
  • 1 small brimmed hat in any fabric, in a neutral color
  • 1 simple suit (skirt and jacket) in a neutral color
  • 1 dark colored bolero (will discuss patterns to sew your own)
  • 1 pillbox hat in a neutral color
  • 1 basic dress in any solid color and in a non-sheer fabric
  • 1 or 2 pairs of simple shoes


One Winter Coat ~ check!

Winter coat for the 40s fashion challenge | Lavender & Twill
This is an old coat of mine ~ I bought it in 2008 when I was at the Canterbury Markets, in London. It is one of my most favourite jackets ever! I love the puffed sleeve caps, and the lace detail, and the princess seaming on the bodice, and the pockets, and well, I just love it. (^ ε ^) ♡ 

One Small Brimmed Hat ~ check!

Vintage 1940's navy wool hat for the 40s fashion challenge | Lavender & Twill

This wool navy hat is a quintessential 1940’s style, and I think it’s super cute! It was a summer eBay purchase, so I haven’t worn it yet, but I am looking forwards to donning it soon.

One Simple Suit ~ Whump whump… I’m still not sure what I’m going to do for this item. I want to say sew my own suit, but I’m not really feeling up to it.  I guess I’ll just have to keep my eye out for something suitable.

One Dark Colored Bolero ~ check!

Sheer black bolero for the 40s fashion challenge | Lavender & Twill
This sheer black bolero is a retail piece I picked up years ago. I don’t wear it very much as most of my tops don’t  really call for boleros these days, but I have kept it because of it’s 1940’s silhouette. It fits the bill perfectly here.

One Pill Box Hat ~ whump whump…  I don’t have one of these, and I’m not sure that I want one?  I’m not really fond of the pillbox hat, which I have talked about before. I’m thinking that this straw hat might make a good substitute ~

Vintage straw boater hat for the 40s fashion challenge | Lavender & Twill

One Basic Dress ~ whump whump… 

Advance pattern & purple jersey fabric for the 40s fashion challenge | Lavender & Twill

But I have plans for this one!  I’m going to sew up one of the patterns I was already planning to this year, and that can be my dress. It means I’ll have to re-jig my sewing schedule, but I’m okay with that.  (- ‿◕)

Two Pairs of Simple Shoes ~ I definitely have these; it’s just a question of which pairs.  I think this pair:

B.A.I.T. Footwear Harrow Oxfords for the 40s fashion challenge | Lavender & Twill {B.A.I.T. Harrow Oxfords in nude, a great neutral color.}

and this pair:

New Look Mary Janes for the 40s fashion challenge | Lavender & Twill {Can you do navy & black accessories?  I sure hope so, or I can’t wear my wool hat with these shoes!  (ô_ô) }

I come out with four out of seven checked off, which isn’t too bad. Although the suit is a pivotal piece so I’d better get cracking and rustle something up! 

I missed last month’s challenge which was to sew a 40’s blouse and turban, but I am in the middle of a big project which has pushed aside the blouse & turban plans.  I also want to go buy some cotton fabric so that my blouse can be part of the “Spring for Cotton” challenge.  Hopefully I can get started on that this week because it finishes on the 30th of April. Yikes, with my record breaking slow sewing speeds I’d better hop to it!

Are any of you participating in the 1940’s Fashion Calender?  Have you got everything you need yet?  What about the Spring for Cotton challenge ~ are you sewing any up for that?



༺ ♡ ༻

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

༺ The Dress & The Kirk Yard ༻

The Dress from the Sisterhood of the Vintage Dress visits Australia | Lavender & Twill 
Authentic 1940's vintage fashions and style | Lavender & Twill

BAIT Footwear Harrow Oxfords have a lovely 1940s look | Lavender & Twill

All you need is some red lipstick and a great purse | Lavender & Twill

A complete 1940s look from head to toe | Lavender & Twill

A polished 1940s make up look with a neat curled updo | Lavender & Twill

There’s a story behind every piece of vintage that finds its way into our lives, but today I wore a vintage dress that is creating it’s own tale ~ an memoir of adventure around the world as it is donned by vintage loving ladies of many different nationalities.

I am delighted to present to you ‘The Dress’ from the Sisterhood of the Vintage Dress

Words cannot express how spectacular The Dress is. As soon as I slipped it on, its silky fabric settled on my frame, and I felt like it was made for me. The skirt swirls around you with a delicious satin swing, and the button detail on the bodice front works beautifully in conjunction with the dusty rose, goldenrod, and buttercup abstract floral print.

I paired it with pale pink accessories in shades of peach and cotton candy, and picked out my favourite wicker purse with woven pastel ribbons on the front to finish off my ensemble. We were ready for our own small part in this grand adventure!  ( ^ _ ^)∠☆

I decided to take The Dress out on a road trip along an old, half forgotten highway to visit an equally old, but not forgotten Anglican church ~ St Paul’s.

The grounds to this charming building are immaculately kept, and the ancient oak trees that tower aloft keep watch over the little sanctuary that is hidden away. I am reminded of the churches all over the world that I visited on my very own once-in-a-lifetime adventure ~ a trip to Europe with my sister.

We often laugh over the memories of how we would be wandering around these magnificent and stately European cities that were a million worlds apart from where we had spent our lives growing up ~ cities with amazing sights and a thousand different places to explore, yet we’d most likely end up hanging out in some rare, venerable graveyard, or in the grounds of a silent, peaceful kirk {which is Scots Gaelic for church}. 

I like to think that I’m passing on a tradition of my travels by visiting St Paul’s, because now The Dress has it’s own story of hanging out in a churchyard! ✿ ♡ ✿

Afterwards The Dress made an appearance at a local cafe for sushi, tea and a date with the Mister, then it was found nursing a seven week old baby girl, and then who knows ~ because The Dress will be off on the next leg of it’s adventure around the world!



༺ ♡ ༻

Candy Bow Ring Hat | eBay
The Dress | Joanna of Dividing Vintage Moments
Peach Ric-rac Rose Brooch & Earring Set | Me Made, tutorial here
Golden Gate Belt | eBay
Pink Bloom Vintage Gloves | Love Vintage Fair, 2011
Rainbow Be-Ribboned Handbag | Forever New, 2012
Harrow Oxford in Nude | B.A.I.T. Footwear, No longer available

༺ ♡ ༻

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

༺ Merry Frolic ༻

Vintage beach vibes ~ straw sunhats and floaty dresses | Lavender & Twill

Fun in the surf with jelly sandals and a jelly purse | Lavender & Twill

Lace, seaweed, glitter and sand ~ a day at the beach vintage style | Lavender & Twill

Repro Vintage Tea Rose Shirtwaist Dress | Lavender & Twill

SunJellies Alice Handbag in Baby Pink | Lavender & Twill

My Mister & I at Merry Beach | Lavender & Twill

Leisurely strolls on the beach. Ice cream cones. Paddling in the foamy surf. Relaxing by the flickering fire at night. Building sand castles with the children. Spa baths with skylights above so you can gaze up at the star dusted sky. Drinking a morning tea on the veranda,  while watching the surf pounding on the sand ~ all little snapshots that construct a delightful memory of our family holiday.  

We had a wonderful mini vacation at Merry Beach this last weekend. It was so relaxing to get away to the surf and sand ~ we hadn’t been to the beach all summer!  Which, in Australia, is considered pretty un-‘Stralian of you…  (ಠ_ಠ)  Lol.

Merry Beach is a quiet little cove, so the waves aren’t too big, but water is lovely and clean, a beautiful aqua hue that you can see right through. When we went swimming, the water wasn’t too warm, but although wasn’t icy either, I was still glad to be able to borrow a wetsuit from my mother to splash about in! 

I also enjoyed the chance to take out my SunJellies ‘Alice’ handbag ~ it is the perfect beach bag. I used it for carrying my sketch book, shoes and lip gloss, and it was just the right size. ∩(︶▽︶)∩

My sketch book is one of my beach must-haves. I don’t have much of a chance to just sit down and draw during the week so whenever I go on holiday, it’s always by my side.  I think that my Alice handbag will also be another beach must-have now. I just adore the pale pink colour and the cute lattice vintage style. Plus, being able to easily shake out the inevitable sand collection is a huge bonus!

And how about you ~ what’s been your most relaxing time away?  Do you have any beach or holiday must-haves?  Do you enjoy the beach or prefer to go away to the mountains, or maybe elsewhere?



༺ ♡ ༻

Scalloped Lace Sunhat | Local outlet shop
White Dove Collar Pins | eBay
50’s Tea Rose Dress in Pink | eBay
Watermelon Slice Jelly Wedge Sandals | eBay
‘Alice’ handbag | SunJellies

༺ ♡ ༻

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Discloser |  I am not affiliated with SunJellies in any way; I bought the ‘Alice’ handbag myself and reviewed it because I like it.  (✿◠‿◠)

Monday, March 30, 2015

༺ A Guide to Styling Vintage in Everyday Outfits ༻

A discussion in the comments on this outfit post got me thinking about the one of the major drawcards of vintage collecting ~ that one of a kind uniqueness that is only available once, represented in that exact piece of vintage.  This is a common trait that defines vintage, whether it be furniture or clothing.

It’s also a siren call to the vintage collector ~ “You can be the person who owns the only one of this thing in existence, you can be the one to show this special piece off to the world and nobody is going to have the exact same thing that you do.”

This is often the case with vintage fashionistas, and I know for myself it’s one of the things that I adore about wearing vintage ~ the challenge of styling unique vintage pieces to create a look that is all my own.


Sometimes dressing this way can draw a lot of attention, some of it negative or undesired as I wrote about here. Or, it could come across as a bit loud or costume-y which, depending on your preference, isn’t always a good thing. If you think that that means that vintage is not for you however, all is not lost!

It can be tricky to dip your toe into wearing vintage pieces and blending them with your everyday wardrobe, so I’ve put together a small guide for styling vintage with modern outfits.

~ 3 Tips for Styling Vintage with Your Everyday Wardrobe ~

  1. Look for colour.  Finding vintage pieces that match the colours that are already found in your wardrobe is a great place to start. For example, if you have a modern skirt that is blue with white polka dots, and you wear that with a red top, or a navy t-shirt, why not consider purchasing a white vintage cardigan that has some embroidery on it to throw over the top? Or maybe you are a purse kind of gal, and you find the perfect black vintage bag.  Well, black goes with everything so no hesitations there!

  2. Look for shape.  If you love full skirts and have a lot of them, there is no point in buying a vintage pencil skirt as it will probably sit in your wardrobe forgotten and neglected. If you only wear pants or jeans, try adding vintage accessories, or tops into the mix. The shape of the clothing you lean towards will help to either blend the vintage into your existing wardrobe, or make sure that you don’t wear it at all because you have nothing that works with it. Find pieces with similar silhouettes, and use that to your advantage.

  3. Look for simplicity.  One of the great things about vintage is that even though there are a lot of fabulous, one of kind pieces out there, there are also a lot of simpler, plain pieces that can sort of just fly under the radar because they are a bit more basic. No, you don’t have to miss out on the fun vintage details you want to incorporate just because the piece is basic, but you can rejoice in the wearability of said basic pieces!  Think about things like: coats, cardigans or jumpers, knit tops, plain or simple print dresses and skirts, black, grey, brown or navy clothing, and simple accessories ~ belts and handbags.


~ 5 Blogs You can Read for Inspiration  ~

The Clothes Horse Blog by Rebecca ~ A Guide to Styling Vintage | Lavender & Twill

The Clothes Horse ~ Rebecca has the perfect mix of vintage and modern pieces on her blog, and shows you how to wear practically any vintage dress with flare and chic style. Some of her outfits will take you out for a perfect evening look, and others, a comfortable day outfit that you can sport while hiking in the woods.


Selective Potential Blog by Tieka - A Guide to Styling Vintage | Lavender & Twill

Selective Potential ~ this blog by Tieka has a lovely range of wearable, everyday outfits which easily translate from modern fashion to mixed vintage style by swapping out outfit elements from new to vintage pieces.


Annie Pancake Blog by Annie ~ A Guide to Styling Vintage | Lavender & Twill

Annie Pancake ~ a fresh take on vintage style, Annie’s blog has got you covered for outfits that can range from baby-doll, to simple jeans and a tee, all the while adding that certain vintage flair and mashing up modern and retro for fun looks.


CCM Image

Cici Marie ~ Cici’s blog is all about creating the best of the vintage looks using modern pieces. With attention to sweet details, much like those found in the lovely old pieces of yesteryear, Cici’s outfits range from casual to work appropriate looks that can take you from week to weekend in a jiffy.


Forever Amber Blog by Amber ~ A Guide to Styling Vintage | Lavender & Twill

Forever Amber ~ Amber’s lovely style blog features modern clothing, but again with a very vintage inspired silhouette and look. Just think of what vintage pieces you could trade out for the modern and voilà! A unique vintage outfit that is easy to wear.


~ Pinterest Boards You can Browse ~

Fashion Spot on Pinterest ~ A Guide to Styling Vintage | Lavender & Twill
My (Pinterest) Closet ~ A Guide to Styling Vintage | Lavender & Twill
The Style I Wish I Had ~ A Guide for Styling Vintage | Lavender & Twill 
clothes/shoes ~ A Guide to Styling Vintage | Lavender & Twill

Feminine & Modest Fashion ~ A Guide to Styling Vintage | Lavender & Twill


~ More Resources for Buying and Styling Vintage ~

༺ ♡ ༻

I hope you found this guide helpful, but of course, that’s not all ~ do you have any tips or hints for slipping vintage into your every day wardrobe?  I’d love to add them to the guide if you do.  What about styling unique vintage pieces?  How do you work with those special items?




༺ ♡ ༻

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