Fifties Fabric from Hungary

So it looks like November passed me by in a blur as the “Silly Season” descended.

Here’s some eye candy in the form of some 1950’s fabric samples I have recently acquired.

They were in a lot of Hungarian textiles – which also included a large amount of eighties or nineties curtain fabrics – not going to show you those.

My favorites are the barkcloths which would be lovely framed but I thought the linen rose prints would make a lovely patchwork bed covering, don’t you think?

I can feel some new cushions coming on!


















Thrift Life and What I bought at the Fifties Fair

Thrift Life

The gorgeous Astred over at Design Cherry is starting a new regular “semi regular” feature called “Thrift Life” which involves boasting about Op Shop or Thrift Store finds – I said I’d join up, you are invited to join in too!

She is a graphic designer, that lovely banner and button are her work.  Her blog is a visual treat, her home amazing and her colourful friends are like exotic birds.

Do go and check out Astred‘s fabulous blog and I hope you join in the fun!

Fifties Fair Shopping

So to kick off my contribution to Thrift Life – here’s what I bought this year at the fifties fair.

I was quite restrained this year while shopping . The fact that the prices were astronomical did help.

The pick of the day had to be these glasses. I plan to them made into reading glasses. You can’t have too many pairs!

This male Calypso dancer figure was cheap. He should be on a frame, and have a female partner, but he didn’t so he was just $20.   He’s hanging out in the hallway.

Finally, I couldn’t resist this sweet tablecloth.  I love the colour palette and strawberries – I think it needs to be reincarnated as a skirt, I know, another one.

Other business – Wardrobe renovations

My husband had some time off this week so we went to Ikea and are in the process of installing new wardrobes. Very exciting as the old ones were original from 1971 – damp, dark staring to fall apart and woefully inadequate for our (my) wardrobe.

I salvaged the vintage door handles and I hope that we can reuse them on the new white Ikea doors.

We will do the kids rooms too – when we get time.  Meanwhile – there are doors and parts stacked in the hallway – that’s nothing compared to the six months we had with a un-assembled kitchen taking up half the room – piece of cake;)





Fifties fashion from Australian Home Journal advertisements

You may like to do your Vintage Wardrobe Research using original source materials. In Australia, Australian Home Journal magazines from the forties through to the sixties are easily obtainable for under $20 on eBay or in Junk shops. They are a rich source of inspiration for your wardrobe, hairstyles, and make up.

This ad has has it all.

* Divine fabric
The diversity of fifties fabric never fails to surprise me.
This print features what looks to me like a night scene of fireworks over a Chinese village.
The cornflower blue with the pink background really appeals to me.


* Five cute fifties looks:
– two simple buttoned up blouses
– what would have to be a pleated or gathered waist skirt
(but is drawn as a circular skirt)
-and a classic button front skirt for whipping off at the beach
– revealing a pinstriped sun suit
– a shirt using the border print over the hip region,
just like a menswear style!

* Period make up – heavy, unplucked, brows,
winged eyeliner, pink lipstick

*Three hairstyles

* A palm tree – love!

If you can’t get your hands on Australian Home Journal – you probably have a local equivalent in your country.

Source: Australian Home Journal September 1959


Friday Fabric Find – Delft Tile Fabric

Another trip to the dentist with the big boy today so we visited two op shops out of our neighbourhood.  He doesn’t mind visiting an op shop and he found two pairs of All Stars (sneakers) and one pair of Vans – nice!


I got some patterns which I shall show you on another day – but how do you like this?  I think its very Fifties – because of its hand painted look.  The subject matter pictures what I assume are supposed to be Delft Ceramics – which are white and blue – but look lovely in the grey tones.


There is a subtle tile pattern in the teal background – can you see it?  I will have to make it up into a little top and see if my Tiler husband gets the joke!

It was a bit of a bargain 90 cms wide (definitely vintage) 1.5m in length for $6.50!


The fabric is cotton but has a lovely sheen to it – because it’s a sateen weave.  You can feel the difference when you run your fingers over from top to bottom (it’s smoother) and across (more rough).

Still not much sewing going on around here – ok none!  It’s still T-shirt weather in Sydney – the mornings are cooler but the afternoons still in the high twenties – it’s lovely actually.

Fifties Fabric

The big boy had to have an adult tooth removed – it was weakened by Asthma drugs as a baby and was never going to be any good – no matter what we did to it.  He was a little anxious on the chair and started to hyperventilate (just like I did as a kid).  The retail therapy improved his mood – like mother like son!

Hope you get some sewing done this weekend!

Polka Dots and Crosshatch

Just picked up this baby!

Score! It’s a vintage apron probably made from leftover fifties fabric after cutting out a dress.

Three of my favourite things feature, polka dots, cross hatches and yummy shades of green – kelly green and chartreuse.

And all for just $2! Worth walking through the rain for!



That place that has “Cool” in it

That’s how Noah described the place I disappeared to recently – he says the most poetic things at times. I hope he always does, but Alex doesen’t speak like this anymore! He’s all about the facts!

But, enough about the kids.

Here are some quick snaps of the things I bought on my trip to Coolangatta

From “That Shop” came this “Sourpuss” patent handbag – it fills a gap in my handbag wardrobe!


I also picked up this little bolero cardigan there too. It has very cute Day of the Dead skulls embroidered on it.  I do buy quite a bit of knitwear – well you can’t sew everything!


From the 21st Century Collectables place next door came this gorgeous 1940’s rayon fabric. I had some fabric similar to this that my grandmother gave me. I loved wearing the shirt I made from it and I have photos of me wearing it at a dance party in the 90’s. I need to dig that out for a laugh!!

If anyone has any idea what kind of plants or flowers these might be – I would love to hear it!


And finally – How cute is this tin? Still working at getting the very stubborn label off. I have added a couple to my collection recently. They are great for transporting food to places in the car and won’t break or chip if I drop them! Important for a klutz like me.


Please note – these photos were taken in my phone – still reading the manual of my new camera – watch this space.


Coolangatta Gold

Does anyone remember the movie?  I saw it back in the 80’s and thought all of Australia was like that!  I actually thought the Gold Coast was the name of Sydney’s beaches.  Not that Sydney’s beaches disappoint. So last week I got to go there – isn’t it good-looking!


The view from our hotel room – those distant skyscrapers are in Surfers Paradise 

Coolangatta is the town that hosts “Cooly Rocks On‘ – Formerly “Wintersun” – a Nostalgia Fest for Fifties lovers.

It was a busy few days – I attended my company’s Sales Conference in Coolangatta. We had a couple of days in meetings and some nice dinners out – I love not having to cook!

I also managed a little shopping! Coolangatta has a couple of op shops and a great reproduction vintage clothes shop called “That Shop” – where I bought a nice handbag. You can find “That Shop” at 2/33 McLean Street, Coolangatta

Just next door is the 20th Century Antiques And Collectibles. I spent a long time there – feasting my eyes!!  I may have bought a couple of items there too!

There is another vintage clothing shop just down the road a bit called “Retrosheila”. Alas it was closed when I went by but it looked like they had a lot of 70’s clothes – fun!

Here are a few photos from my phone so please excuse the poor quality.  My early Christmas present – a new camera – is currently stuck in Customs – I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Tea Cups $35 each at the Antiques Centre



Aussies have a tradition of lovely outdoor furniture from my favourite era – these were beautifully upholstered



Lucite Beauties!



20121203-135832.jpg20121203-140654.jpgOut and about on Griffith Street


Mosaic Tiles in a Shopfront

20121203-140751.jpg“That Shop”


Dinner at the Surf Club



One last look – at dusk

It was a real treat for me to have a few days away, Mark did a great job with the kid’s school run and meals – and they loved the extra time with their Dad.  Maybe next year we can all make the festival!