Friday, 18 April 2014

Block making

Recently I've been block making. Standard size blocks are used as templates for making patterns for my designs using the standard measurements of sizes 8-16. So I've been making these to save me time in the future when beginning to pattern cut my designs. It is quite a complex and lengthy process as there are a lot of measurements of the body to consider rather than just the usual bust, waist and hips measurements. I have drafted standard size waist blocks as well as a few different skirt shapes which will help me when designing my collections. So that's a technical part of the process over and onto the fun bit, designing!! 

Monday, 31 March 2014

Circular skirts!

I really love the volume and femininity of circular skirts especially when worn with a petticoat underneath. A staple 1950s look that can be made into dresses or skirts and out of a variety if fabrics. This one I've made is created in a navy cotton with small blue flowers that I purchased as an end of roll sale on eBay. One of my favourite things about my upcoming business venture is that the garments I make are completely unique because the fabrics I buy are often one off pieces I find in auctions or shops.
The best place I've found so far to go fabric shopping is goldhawk road in London. It's just fabric shop after fabric shop and each one is an alladin's cave of stacks of fabrics and there's often a good chance of a barter over the price if you buy bigger quantities or the end of the rolls. I love a good bargain and the chance to get the last of something so I know I've got something really special. 

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Kimono making

Spending today making beautiful kimono jackets out of chiffon. I was always told at Uni never to use chiffon "or there'll be tears before bedtime" and it's not till you start using it that you see why your tutor gave you this advice! But once you get used to working with the lightness of the fabric you can really make some wonderful things! This particular print I came across by chance, going into a shop to buy sewing essentials for a project I was working on and saw it nestled among a load of other fabrics calling out to be made into something beautiful. If you're a sewer this will be something you can relate to, if not you probably think I'm crazy! 
I really love these jackets as they are really versatile and can be worn with many different things and can really finish off an outfit. They are made in one size and will soon be available to purchase on my website so watch this space! 

Monday, 3 March 2014

Lavinia loves designing

Designing my own collections has always been something that I've enjoyed as I can make something completely unique that has never been done before. One of my favourite things at university was that my course was both designing and making garments so we got the skills from both sides of the manufacturing process. I really believe that this makes me a better designer as I know what's possible to be created in certain materials and how this will work.
The 1950's is by far my favourite fashion decade of the 20th century as the dresses for women were so feminine with  big, voluminous skirts with petticoats to hold them out or figure hugging wiggle dresses that clung to every curve. It seems to me that women in the 1950's were celebrated for their curves and feminine figures whereas now it is often the case where incredibly slim, model looks are the sought after look for women. I personally prefer to have a curvy figure over a boyish one and want to bring back the celebration of feminine bodies through my collections. It's early days yet but here's a sneak peak of a few dresses I've been working on. 

Thursday, 27 February 2014

The Sewing room

Here is my sewing room, Lavinia loves Vintage HQ, where the magic happens etc... This is currently in the conservatory so lots of lovely natural light and views of the garden. I have recently had a good clear out in here, sorting out my fabrics and begrudgingly getting rid of things I can't use or don't need any more. I find this particularly difficult with fabrics (even the tiniest of scraps I try to justify to keep!) and books as I always think that one day I will use it. But I was ruthless and they've gone to a better place, the charity shop, and now I have an ultra organised space to work in, but we'll see how long that lasts for! So now onto working on the clothing collection for my website and getting you vintage lovers something lovely to wear. xx


Hi there and welcome to the blog of Lavinia loves Vintage, the home of vintage clothing and accessories handmade in the UK. My name is Emma and my love affair with vintage started in my first year of Uni in 2007 (!) when I was studying the fashions of the 20th century as part of my coursework. I fell particularly in love with the feminine, full skirted dresses of the 1950s, which are a flattering shape for my curvy figure but are not often available on the high street in anything other than polka dots! Don't get me wrong, I love polka dots as much as the next girl but I don't want that to be my only choice of print or to become a quintessential 1950s housewife!
I have a huge love of printed fabric with probably 75% of my wardrobe having some kind of pattern or print on it. I am constantly on the look out for unusual and quirky prints and beautiful fabrics to add to my ever-growing collection to be made into something fabulous and completely unique. It is this craving for having a garment that is solely yours because it is the only one ever made in that fabric that inspired me to create Lavinia loves Vintage, a place where women can purchase the styles of the past in the prints of today safe in the knowledge that no one else will have that exact same dress! I ensure this by buying only small quantities of fabrics, seeking vintage fabrics that are no longer in production and purchasing the last few metres on the roll from suppliers and traders. So if you see something you like, snap it up quick because once its gone, its gone for good!
I use genuine vintage patterns and those I design and make myself to create my clothing in a variety of styles and sizes to suit and fit the modern figure. The first collection is currently in the process of being created so please keep checking back to see what I'm up to and when the website goes live! I can't wait to share my pieces with you and to make something beautiful especially for you to wear in a style and fabric you choose. xx