Saturday, 21 June 2014

Denim jacket update - go collarless

A denim jacket has been in my wardrobe for as long as I can remember. It used to be like my second skin, and my friends were of the same persuasion: we could often be seen going around together like a denim jacket clad army.

I"ve not worn my denim jacket for ages, but when I saw this one in GAP, I fell for it instantly. And when it went in the sale I snapped it up for £14.99 (although strangely it's now gone back up to £24.99, still in the sale). And Jigsaw is also doing a version this summer, as is Topshop in white. I'm drawn to this style of jacket because of it's round necked and short, which is a style I seem to favour.

{new GAP collarless denim jacket, complete with vintage tasselled brooch}

And this is something which you could easily do a DIY and create yourself: studying the collar of my old denim jacket, it looks easily removable, so just remove it using a quick unpick, and then leave the edge raw, just sewing about 5mm from the edge of the neckline to prevent further fraying.

{collarless denim jackets}

Monday, 16 June 2014

Statement bags

'Tis the season for weddings, christenings and garden party gatherings, and as such I spent an aaaaaawfully long time a few weeks ago searching for something of a statement bag, to fill a gap in my current collection of very plain, simple leather clutches. I felt the need for one which was a bit more special, a bit more stand-out, whether in colour or sparkle or shape. And I felt quite drawn to the little, boxy kind which don't fit much in (so make sure that you wear a jacket with pockets or take your partner, for some extra carrying space).

I went for this one in the end from ASOS, but these bags below also were in contention, and some of them are now in the sale - yes, summer sale time already!

Top row, left to right
Brianna box clutch, £65 French Connection; Neon square bead clutch, £28 Coast; Beaded box clutch, £59.99 Zara.

Middle row, left to right
Margeurite clutch, £28 Coast; Tortoiseshell minaudière, £49.99 Zara; Beaded box clutch, £39.99 Zara.

Bottom row, left to right
Bright pink leather pony skin cross body bag, £35 River Island; Woody clutch, £28 Coast; Turquoise leather giraffe cross body bag, £35 River Island.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

A simple stool makeover

{newly recovered stool}

When I went to visit friends recently at their new flat, they were sorting through some furniture left by the previous owners, working out what they'd keep and what they would chuck. When it came to this stool they decided to chuck it and so instead of pointing out how easily it could be re-covered and transformed I agreed to take it off their hands.

I still had some of the same fabric left over from covering these chairs and this chest, so I didn't need to buy anything new for this project, as the foam underneath was still in good shape (although if I'd have been really serious about it, I might have replaced it with a more dense foam, to give it an even firmer surface). The stool makes a handy side table, but also doubles as a foot rest or extra seating for when friends come round.

I can't tell you how easy this was - no previous upholstery skills needed, just a good staple gun and an afternoon to spare. Give it a go! And if you do, send me your pictures of how you get on via Facebook or Twitter

{the original, covered in plastic faux leather}

{the plastic cover went all the way underneath the stool too, in one moulded piece}

{I just needed scissors to cut off the covering}

{blurry photo - a dismantled stool - the legs just un-screwed}

{the legs were not in great shape so I decided to sand them all down}

{my first experience with an electric sander}

{legs sanded and feet removed}

{I cleaned the legs with white spirit after sanding, and oiled with Danish Oil}

{I painted the underside of the stool white, as it is no longer covered by the upholstery}

{staple gunned the fabric around the foam and base}

{the corners were a little tricky - needed careful folding}

{the finished article - left the metal covers off the legs for a more streamlined look}

p.s. don't forget my first blog giveaway to win a vintage Trifari necklace - more details here.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Vintage jewellery giveaway - Trifari necklace (now ended, and the winner is...)

Whether you're a die-hard Lemonade Pockets reader (thanking you kindly) or are new to these pages, welcome one and all to my first blog giveaway!

I must say, researching my last post on Shopping for vintage jewellery led me on a journey of discovery, unearthing some hugely collectable and covetable items in my vintage jewellery stash.

One such item is this Trifari necklace, which is now the prize of my blog giveaway - the perfect addition to or starter piece for anyone's vintage costume jewellery collection.

{blog giveaway prize - vintage Trifari necklace}

For anyone who's keen to build a collection of their own, it's worth reading up about Trifari, one of the heavy-weights of the costume jewellery industry for many years. There's an impressive selection of classic Trifari pieces available on Susan Caplan Vintage retailing for over £200, in a similar style to my own (especially here and here) some of which has been featured in Mad Men.

As Susan explains, Trifari is another example of something that no one was interested in a few years ago. But its top designer, who worked there from 1930 to 1960, came from Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels", which is one reason behind its huge increase in popularity today.

 So, what do you have to do to be in with a chance of winning this necklace?

If you're a Facebook user:
- like Lemonade Pockets on Facebook, and then share the giveaway Facebook post.

If you're a Twitter user:
- follow Lemonade Pockets on Twitter, and then re-tweet this giveaway tweet.

If you're not on social media...just email me! Send an email to with "giveaway entry" in the subject line.

It's that simple! And if you use all three methods of entering, you get yourself three chances of winning. Win-win. Win.

Good luck!
Sorry, this giveaway is open to UK entrants only. The giveaway is open until Sunday 15th June. The winner will be announced on Tuesday 17th June.

This giveaway has now ended. Thank you to to all of you who entered, and the winner is... Holly Dolly Radish! Well done Holly, I'll email you to arrange delivery. I know you'll wear it with style. x

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Shopping for vintage jewellery

I read keenly the article on the Telegraph website the other day, How To Buy Vintage Jewellery, because I have amassed a substantial collection of my own, thanks to my magpie-like sensibilities and penchant for scouring charity shops and flea markets.

I have casually browsed the Susan Caplan Vintage website before, admiring their selection of such pristine looking vintage jewellery - her bridal section is great for anyone looking for a special piece which is both rare and not too pricey.

{bracelet by Sarah Coventry - sold out on Susan Caplan Vintage but available here}

I've often wondered whether any of the vintage jewellery I own might be of any value or significance. I have owned this bracelet for a number of years but only learned its origins when I saw it featured in a recent issue of Grazia. I called Susan Caplan to find out more about it, and discovered it's a bracelet made by designer Sarah Coventry in the 1970s, and that her work is quite collectible. I noticed that the bracelet has a tiny tag on it with Sarah's name on it, and these kind of tags, or signatures, are what to look out for if you're making a purchase.

Here are some other tops tips on what to look out for, as suggested in the article:
1 Always check the quality, craftsmanship and condition. Pearls are particularly prone to losing part or all of their casings, and verdigris is almost impossible to move.
2 Do your research and familiarise yourself with the materials and design references. Different companies produced different levels of pieces, depending on the fashions and designers on board at the time. The most sought-after were created for the high end and are very elaborate, sophisticated and highly detailed.
3 Check the signature and this will help authenticate and date it. Companies used different stampings, closures and clasps at various periods. Be wary of unsigned pieces unless you are very confident about recognising the level of execution. 
So which names should you be looking for? "Some designers such as Dior have always been collectable," says Caplan, "but most people didn't even know that Elizabeth Taylor worked with Avon. Monet has also increased in popularity. Their pieces from the Fifties to the Eighties were very well-made and 22ct triple gold plates, which was very unusual for costume jewellery at that time. Trifari is another example of something that no one was interested in a few years ago. But its top designer, who worked there from 1930 to 1960, came from Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels."
In terms of where to find a real bargain, Caplan advocates a good old rummage amongst your local table sales and charity shops. "You find bargains in the unlikeliest of places. Smart antique fairs are not the place for undiscovered treasures. You're better off at a local auction or a jumble sale." No further encouragement needed here. And here's another item from my charity shop stash which I found on Susan Caplan Vintage (modelled by Dominic the Donkey):

{a Jewelcraft charm bracelet, found in a charity shop}

{now selling for £125 on Susan Caplan Vintage - charming!}

{the all important Jewelcraft tag}

If you're a lover of vintage jewellery then stop by in a few days for my first ever Lemonade Pockets blog giveaway - tune in again soon!