Monday, 22 August 2016

Postcards from the Isle of Wight

Last month I spent 12 glorious (literally, it was hot and sunny) days on the Isle of Wight. It was my first visit and one that I was really looking forward to as it has been on my places to visit wishlist for quite some time. The Isle of Wight did not disappoint, I really loved it and want to go back to see the rest of what the island has to offer.

I'm going to talk about our accommodation in a separate post as it was that super so here I thought I would share some of my snapshots of the island.

There is a marvellous mix of seaside, beautiful countryside, historical locations, walks, relaxing spots and ice cream. Really, the best ice cream  ever!

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen some other views.

Ventnor harbour
Ventnor bay
Ventnor - dinnertime view
Osborne House
Osborne House
Osborne House
Appuldurcombe House
Appuldurcombe House
Freemantle Gate
St Catherine's lighthouse
St Catherine's oratory

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

A sneak peek and a free pattern!

Ta Da!

This is the first glimpse of the swimming costume that I am knitting for the Swimsuit Knitalong. I am using the suggested colours from the original pattern and I like the look of it so far. I am making this:

This is from the July 1945 Stitchcraft and is a top and bathing trunks. I can't wait to see how it turns out.

I thought that it would be fitting to finish my journey through vintage knitted swimwear, see herehere and here, with a free pattern incase anyone else has an urge to knit along.

This is the front cover of the magazine that I have taken the pattern from, The Needlewoman July 1938.

This is the pattern, I featured it in my 1930's swimwear round up. It is a plain, well fitting swimsuit with trunk legs that also come with a cute detachable skirt. I nearly decided to knit this one, it was beaten by the one I have chosen as I wanted to knit in two colours.

Here is the pattern.

Do let me see the result if you knit one!

Monday, 27 June 2016

Interview with Jessica from Chronically Vintage

Just a quick post today to share my news. I am this month's interviewee in the ongoing series on Jessica's fabulous Chronically Vintage blog. It has been very exciting to take part, Jessica asked me a great set of questions and you can read my answers and find out more about this photo here.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Knitted trunks are best - 1940's & 1950's knitted swimwear

I did a tour of my 1930's swimwear patterns in my last post and I'm finishing up my pattern tour today by travelling through the 1940's and 1950's.

July 1945. 'Bathing trunks and top'. A two colour halter neck top and bathing trunks with a solid colour trim. The top cleverly buttons onto the trunks.

July 1946.  'There's still time'. An all in one swimsuit with a contrast trim around the legs and neck. This is a super stylish yet plain option.

July 1946. A two colour swimsuit and bolero for an 8 year old. These were often referred to as sun suits and seemed to be very popular as I have quite a few patterns for them. They always consist of a swimsuit or trunks with a cardigan or bolero to match.

May/June 1947.

'Sunbathe or swim'. A brassiere top and briefs with contrast colour rope details and straps. Very nautical!

'Swimsuit with a tailored look'. A colour work swimsuit with a fitted mid panel and contrast trim. I wish the picture was in colour.

April 1948. 'Knit for your holidays'. Trunks and a bra top with a zig zag centre panel and twisted rope details and straps. Love that contrast panel.

April 1948. A child's colour work sun suit with a swimsuit and cardigan.

May/June 1948. 'Going to the sea'. A firm halter neck swimsuit in a three colour stitch. I think this one is lovely though I'm not convinced that those straps are up to much.

May/June 1948. Striped trunks with a contrast waist and leg trim.

June 1949. 'Going swimming'. A halter neck, blue and white diagonal stripe swimsuit. This one is very glamorous.

May 1950. 'Beachwear for the family'. Women's trunks and halter neck top. I think this is lovely, again, simple and stylish.

Men's trunks with a contrast trim.

Child's sun suits. Gorgeous picture knits featuring anchors, boats, ducks and fish set within a wave pattern.

June 1950. 'Your swim set'. A top and trunks in a lovely blue and white diamond pattern. This is just fabulous!

June 1951. 'Knitted trunks are best'. Men's trunks, plain colour with a contrast belt.

I couldn't find any more knitted swimsuits for adults past this date in my pattern collection. I am assuming that this coincides with the development and wider availability of manmade fabrics and their use in swimwear. I think these lovely woolly numbers have a distinct style and glamour!

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

For basking on the beach - 1930's beachwear

Lately, in my spare time, I've been having a very happy sort through my vintage knitting magazines on the hunt for knitted swimwear. After looking at the Patons and Baldwin 1930's swimwear patterns I wanted to find out what I had in my own collection. I also wanted to look at them to decide which I will knit to take part in the Pretty Old Patterns swimsuit knit along. I found so many that were interesting, and worth sharing, that I thought I would take you on a tour of my swimsuit patterns, starting in the 1930's.

Most of these are from Stitchcraft, the rest are from Needlewoman.

This 'peach of a swim suit' pattern could be obtained by sending the top of a Lux packet and a stamp off to Port Sunlight. It is quite common to find these Lux adverts with free patterns in vintage knitting magazines. Stripes were 'tops' for beachwear in the summer of 1936 apparently.

Also in June 1936 is this advert for P&B knitting wools featuring a rather fetching green and white diagonal striped bathing suit.

From June 1937 we have this halter neck swimsuit 'sea bathe'.

We can see more detail here, including the fine rib around the waist for shape and stability. The child is wearing a sunsuit with a sailing boat trim.

Here it is in close up, I think it looks smart on the two tone stripe background.

The same pattern spread also included these men's trunks, in four sizes.



No words!

This is one of the most elegant, glamorous and covetable pieces of vintage beachwear that I have ever seen so I had to include it. From May 1939, it is a linen tweed beach coat, lined in green terry towelling, made from a Vogue pattern. I would love to wear this whilst paddling this summer!

Here is another Lux advert from June 1939 featuring a 'smart knitted play suit'. The 'snappy little shorts are very practical because you can wear them with a pullover or shirt whilst playing games'. Styling tips too!

'For basking on the beach'. August 1937.

'Checks are good for beach wear' This is a 'novel' tunic frock in crochet. I haven't come across a pattern like this before. I think it is rather fabulous.

This bathing suit has a trunk style bottom and then a button through detachable skirt to go over the top. It is from July 1938 and I really like it, so very versatile!

Although this is a sun top rather than a swimsuit I wanted to include it as it is such a jolly ensemble and you can make 3 of the pieces of this outfit. 

The sun top is backless and made of crochet fabric. A wide band goes around the chest and a narrower band forms a belt that buckles at the side.

It is also possible to make the beach bag and the sandals. Apparently these are the 'most comfortable beach shoes imaginable'! The crochet tops would be attached to either rubber or rope soles, with or without heels.

Another Lux advert, this is a hooded, wide sleeved wrap inspired by an Arabian garment. It is designed to stop the wearer from getting sunburn and to keep them warm when the wind blows. Lux also suggest that it may be worn as a dressing gown once the summer is over!

Lastly, from July 1931, we have a truly incredible beach outfit.

Oh yes! This bathing wrap was made from a Vogue pattern in raspberry colour towelling. The pattern also includes a swimsuit, in fine navy blue jersey, and a divided skirt. The wrap could also be used as a skirt. The embroidery is worked in pink. The fish are cut out of bright green gingham and then appliqu├ęd to the wrap. I so wish there were colour pictures.

That year 'large aquatic motifs are favoured for beach attire, such as fish, seaweed, boat scenes and golden landscapes. What a glorious opportunity for riotous embroideries'.

Here is the fabulous fish.

The ensemble is finished with straw picture hats which have been embroidered with zigzags, the fish and thistles. Fish for beachwear I understand, thistles not so much. However, the whole outfit is just marvellous.

So, that was a quick trip through 1930's beachwear. The 1940's and 1950's are coming up next.