Vintage furniture for modern purposes

For many years now I have been buying vintage furniture and something I have learnt in this time is that most pieces will need some form of love and attention to bring them back to their former glory. 

This example is of a 1930s display cabinet I bought a couple of months ago. I managed to get the cabinet for a bargain price of £15 and managed to have a day out in Northamptonshire and then pick up the cabinet on the way home. 

When I got the cabinet home it was in quite good condition but the wood was a little dull and dirty, but the main issue was lots of staples in the back panel where someone had clearly stapled in some type of modern wallpaper in the past. 

So the first task I had was to carefully remove all the staples using some pliers, someone had done a thorough job in the past because there must have been well liver 100 staples. 

Once this was done the only thing left was to give the cabinet a dust, polish the wood and clean the glass inside and out. And ta da the cabinet was ready to use. Due to limit space in my current living arrangements I could not just use this as a display cabinet in the living room, however I did have spare space in my bedroom and was in need of more shoe storage. So for now this cabinet been repurposed as a very ornamental form of shoe storage. 

Stay tuned for more vintage furniture restorations and purchases in the future. 

Wartime Recipe – Scalloped vegetables with bacon

So this week I found the time to try out another wartime recipe from the Victory Cookbook. 

I was feeling ill and therefore craving vegetables, which suited what I had in the fridge, so I found a suitable recipe, scalloped vegetables with bacon. 

The recipe is as follows: 

Now, as I do with most recipes, I adapted it slightly to my own needs and tastes. So instead of weighing out the vegetables I just used what I had, which was 1 large potato, 1.5 large carrots, half a red cabbage, 1 leek and 1 onion. 

Looking at the recipe the 2 main things I changed were, firstly, to add in some softened white onion, onions always go well with most meals, however this is an extravagance that not all could take during wartime. Onions were hard to come by in most shops, so unless you grew your own these were not used as frequently in cooking as they are today. 

The second adaptation was to use a thicker white sauce than suggested, and this was because personally I prefer thicker sauces (this also goes for things like gravey and custard 😁).

So here we have the stages of preparation: 

And the final product:

During the cooking process I definitely learnt that this recipe works best done in the oven first and then finished under the grill. Cooking it this way should prevent the breadcrumbs from catching and burning. Luckily I caught this before it could carbonise too much. 

So to conclude this was not only a very filling and tasty meal, but also relatively easy to prepare and healthy. I will definitely be keeping this recipe in mind for the future and I think it would also work really well as a side to other dishes, such as roasts. 

So it’s a 10/10 from me. 

Let me know if there are any wartime recipes you would be interested in me trying out next. 

War time recipe – Pea soup

So here is another wartime soup recipe I tried recently. This one is super simple, super quick and super tasty. 

The recipe as it appeared in WW2 is as follows and is taken from the Marguerite Patten Victory Cookbook. 


However after deciding to make this at short notice I adapted the recipe slightly. 

I didn’t have any fresh peas in pods so instead used the only peas I had, frozen petit pois. I also decided to cook everything in vegetable stock instead of plain water. 

 So basically I just chopped the potato and onion and added everything all at once into the stock and left to book for about 10 minutes. 

 Now in the recipe it says to run the vegetables through a sieve. However as we do live in the 21st Century I thought it would be silly not to take advantage of modern day technology and used a hand blender instead. 

After blending I decided that the soup was quite thick enough as it was, I believed this was from the added potato, so left it as it was and didn’t add the flour for thickness. 

And there you have it, the finished result. This was only my second time ever making pea soup and this time it was with a slightly different recipe. I shall definitely be making this again and would give it a 10/10 for taste and ease. 

 If you have a go at making this recipe why not share your experiences and let me know what you think to it. 





A Week in Outfits

So here is a weeks worth, almost, in outfits from last week.


Here I am on Thursday in Christ Church garden in Oxford before heading off to explore the botanical gardens with my mum. It was actually quite a cool day so I decided to wear my new black novelty print dress with a black gabardine jacket. As I knew I would be doing quite a lot of walking I just wore some flat ballet pumps, not vintage, but very comfy. To finish the look of I accessorised with a 40s style satchel and a feather brooch.


Next we have quite a casual weekend outfit from Saturday, featuring a 70s does 40s skirt and a 1930s embroidered blouse. As I was just relaxing round the house I didn’t bother accessorising or wearing makeup. As you might soon realise, unless I have an event or special occasion to attend I will normally be found with unstyled hair and no makeup.


This outfit was what I wore to Louth vintage day last Sunday. It was a lovely day with friends and we had glorious weather to boot. I decided to wear this lovely summer dress I picked up last year at Brooklands 1940s weekend; teamed with cream and brown accessories, including my much loved straw bag.


This last outfit is again very simply, as this was actually what I wore to work on Monday. So no accessories, just a smart and practical outfit, featuring the 70s does 40s skirt and a very old reproduction 1940s blouse from Tara Starlet.

So I hope you have enjoyed seeing the sort of outfits I wear for work, casual weekends and to events. Let me know if you would like to see more ‘week in outfits’ posts, and keep an eye on my Instagram for regular outfit posts.


Cabbage Soup


Today I thought I would try a new recipe to me, cabbage soup. The recipe comes from a Ministry of Food leaflet from WW2 about easy to make soups and broths. 

The recipe is as follows:

Having never tried this recipe before and never used milk in a soup before I was a bit unsure as to how it would turn out and if I would like it. 

So surprisingly the soup turn out very well, really tasty and was super easy to make. 

So if you are looking for a new 1940s recipe to try I would definitely recommend giving this one a go. And if you are short on time, as I was, you can even make it in 20 minutes instead of 30. 

Taking Care of Vintage Clothes

Hello dear readers, today I thought I might share some tips and tricks I have picked up over the years about how to care for your vintage clothing.

Over the years I have amassed a moderate collection of true vintage items that can be worn day to day, however I don’t tend to wear true vintage every day for the sheer fact I don’t want to ever wear an items so much that it becomes too fragile or faded to wear. I am as keen to preserve these truly special items as best I can whilst also giving them the use and appreciation they were intended for.

So here are a few tips that will hopefully allow you to wear but also take care of your vintage items to see them last for many years to come.



I would always recommend hand washing for any vintage items, I know this can be an arduous and time consuming task, but I really feel it will help preserve even those thick cotton dresses. Hand washing ultimately puts less stress on the fabric and seems whilst heavy with water.

Even though some of your items might be 70/80 years old this doesn’t mean that the fabric colours cant still bleed. So I would also recommend separating your washing into similar coloured loads, this may seem obvious but it can be a simple and devastating mistake to make.

Cotton – Cotton fabrics are the most resilient of clothing items and can be rung dry and rubbed clean. However if there is excessive dirt or staining it is advisable to spot clean these areas before soaking the whole item.

Rayon – Never rub rayon items whist washing, simply massage in the water, as dirt sits on the top of rayon fabric and should lift relatively easily; and rubbing rayon may cause the dirt to penetrate the fabric and make the mark worse. Squeeze excess water out, don’t ring out as this may cause excessive creasing.

Wool – Squeeze out excess water, never ring. Ringing woolen items can stretch the fibres and misshape the item.


Cotton – Cotton items can be hung straight on a washing line, however to avoid misshaping garments never peg them by the shoulders, instead hang garments by the bottom hem or fold in half over the line and peg.

Rayon – Before being hung to dry rayon items should be rolled in a clean towel to remove excess water, then when hanging peg by hem or hang on a clothes horse (if using a clothes horse then ensure the garment is open and not creased/bunched up)

Wool – Woollen items should be laid out flat to dry whenever possible to avoid stretching and misshaping. To do this you can use a clothes horse with fold up sides like the one pictured.



Making sure you use the appropriate temperature to your item is crucial when dealing with vintage. Many items can be made from blends of fabric and delicate fabrics that require a cooler iron. So this first this you need to do is try an establish shat fabric your item is made from, this can be tricks as most vintage will not contain a label telling you this, so if in doubt ask someone with knowledge of fabrics; and the more vintage you collect the more you will come to recognise what each fabric feels and looks like.

Cotton – Most cotton items are safe to use with a relatively hot iron. If the item is a cotton-rayon blend use your judgement to make sure the iron will not be too hot for the item and iron wrong side out again.

Rayon – Use a warm not hot iron when dealing with rayon or rayon blend items. To prevent the iron from being too hot and damaging the items test the iron by placing it on some newspaper for 15 seconds, if the paper scorches then the iron is too hot. Finally always iron rayon on the wrong side to prevent the fabric from going shiny.

Wool – For woollen items a warm iron will usually be fine. Make sure to press clothing and never drag the iron over the item as this may misshape and stretch the item or even add more creases.


If you notice an item needs mending, whether it be a popped seam, a moth nibble or a tear make sure this is mended before wearing the item again. This will prevent the damage from increasing and mean you do not create extra work for your self when it come to mending. Mending should also be done before washing and item, because the weight of the wet items could again cause more damage to the item.

If you are not too familiar with mending techniques and tools or the appropriate one for the type of damage, I would recommend the book ‘Make Do And Mend’ containing reproduction WW2 Board of Trade leaflets on just this sort of thing.



When it comes to storing vintage there are a few key rules I have. The first it ensuring each item is hung on an appropriately sized hanger, this will ensure no item becomes stretched out and misshapen. The second thing is using moth preventatives, such as cedar wood cubes and lavender bags, I would also recommend having a securely closing wardrobe if possible to also prevent moths from reaching your clothes. Finally airing your wardrobe a couple of times a year, taking all your clothes out and checking them for any moth presence or bad smells is also a good idea.



When wearing true vintage, when an items might be 70 or even 80 years old, I try considering what activities I plan on doing that day and if I feel wearing an item of clothing I deem more delicate would be appropriate. For example if I know I am going to be doing any cleaning at home or gardening (things that might involve bleaching agents or vigorous stretching and kneeling) I will generally wear modern clothes with plenty of stretch to them; or at work, whilst working around museum collections and storage, I will try not to wear fabrics that could easily get snagged. Now I do own vintage pinafores/wrap aprons that were designed to be worn whilst cleaning, but again I would like to preserve these items for as long as possible, so I tend to only use these whilst doing things such as hand washing and dusting.


Now we have come to the end of what turned out to be a very long post, I do hope you found these tips helpful and please let me know if you have any different tricks for keeping your vintage tip top.




Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas


Hello all, today I thought I would talk about something Halloween related as it is only a few days away and it is one of my favourite events of the year.

Now if you are still struggling to decide on a Halloween costume or have simply decided on a last minute party, why not take a look at some of these vintage style Halloween costumes worn by people during the 1920s-1940s and see if they can provide any costume inspiration.

The Witch

For this costume you will need a simple black witches hat, a black swimming costume/leotard/body or shorts and t-shirt to be worn with thick tan tights (these can easily be found at dancewear shops) and black heels. For modesty and warmth add a cape (either bought or sew a simple one out of black velvet or satin).

For outfit accessories team it with a broom, a pumpkin or a cardboard cut out cat.

This outfit can also be done in silver or white for a good witch style.

Spiders and Cobwebs

For this outfit, accessorise an existing outfit (dress, skirt, top and trousers) by pinning on spiders (either bought or made from pipe cleaners), sew on cobwebs made from ribbon or even create  a spider web head-dress from a headband, pipe cleaners and tissue paper.



One of the simplest outfits would be to create some simply sewn bat wings from satin or chiffon, then accessorise the rest of your outfit by pinning on paper cut out bats.



This outfit will ideally be red shorts and t-shirt, accessorised with some devil horns and a tail (either bought or hand crafted) and teamed with some heels. For additional props you could try making a little pitch fork from some wooden dowel painted red and some red pipe cleaners.



Again another simple outfit, for this simply cut out skeleton pieces from white paper and pin these onto black trousers and a long black t-shirt. But if I were you I might leave off the skeleton mask like these fellows pictured as it might be a little uncomfortable and scary for some, so maybe try some white and black face painting instead.


I hope this has given you some inspiration for a Halloween costume like those popular in the early 20th Century. If you do recreate one of these costumes feel free to post a picture showing off your handy work and to inspire others.





Corned Beef Hash – My favourite war time recipe

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 tin of corned beef
  • 1 medium white or red onion
  • 200g cold new potatoes
  • 1tsp tomato purée or 1 tinned tomato, chopped (if desired)
  • 1 tin of baked beans to serve (alternatively use frozen peas if desired)


  • Finely chop the onion and cube the corned beef and cold potatoes. 
  • Fry the onion until soft, then add the corned beef and potatoes. 
  • Cook until corned beef softens and add the tomato is desired. 
  • Serve with either baked beans or peas. 

This is a very quick and easy recipe to which you could add many things dependent on your tastes and preferences. If you do not fancy baked beans or peas you could also try serving this with a salad or homemade coleslaw. 

Let me know if you try this recipe and any alternatives you try.

Hope you enjoy this meal as much as me. 

OOTD – Crowle and Ealand 1940s weekend

So on Saturday I went along to the first ever Crowle and Ealand 1940s weekend and this is the outfit I chose to wear. 

As usual for British weather at this time of the year it was a bit unsettled  and I wasn’t sure what to wear, so I went with a suit with the idea that I could take the jacket on and off as appropriate. 

Suit – The suit is a burgundy 1940s suit by Richard Healy Company of Worcester. 

Jumper – The blue jumper is a fine wool knit and dates to around 1940/50s. 

Shoes – The shoes are 1940s nylon mesh and suede heels.

Bag – The bag is a 1940s faux crocodile clutch with detachable strap (however the strap was long since lost when I bought it so I have done a make-do-and-mend and created a new one out of grossgain ribbon).

Accessories – These are just some simple modern pearl earrings and necklace.

So what do you think to this outfit? I thought the colours were very appropriate for the start of Autumn. 

YouTube Venture

So some of you might have already seen, but the other week I took the plunge and made my first ever YouTube video all about Autumn/ Winter Vintage Wardrobe Essentials. If you would like to go watch you can find it at: 1940s Remembered YouTube Channel

Let me know what you think and if there is any other topics you would like to see a video on.