Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??


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This old thing ~ My ‘new’ vintage dress

I’ve been massively inspired by watching Dawn O’Porter’s This Old Thing show on channel 4 for the past few weeks. I know thrifting is nothing new to this blog and I’m sure you all know that I was huge fan of vintage long before this programme was launched, but it’s just given me an extra bit of inspiration where my ideas had begun to dry up. You may remember that I wrote about my ‘sewing block’ a couple of weeks ago and how I forced myself to sit down and start sewing something, anything, to pull myself out of the slump. Well this TV show has also given me a bit of a kick up the behind to take another look at vintage and see what’s out there that I can made-do-and-mend for myself.

Coincidentally, I also went to an Americana day at Horham and loved the experience of visiting the WW2 airfield, seeing all the militaria on display and taking photos of all the gorgeous old vehicles. Again, you probably know by now that this kind of event is right up my street and the more often I visit a nostalgia show or vintage car rally, the more passionate I become about decades passed and I want to wear the fashion of the era even more than ever. So this week my love of all things vintage, my passion for fashion and my eye for a bargain have all conspired to lead me to buy this dress.

I spotted a clothing stall at the Americana day called ‘Inside Cassie’s Closet’ so how could I not have a browse?? And it would be rude not to buy something beautiful from my namesake. I did have a good ol’ rummage through the rails and this one dress leapt out at me. It’s an old Melissa Lane wrap dress from the 70s – a little newer than I usually go for because I prefer 40s and 50s shapes on me – but I really loved the floral print and the style of the dress. It’s also longer than I’m used to, needs a lot of repairs and not long ago I swore off wearing black altogether, but even though everything seemed to be against this dress, I really really liked it.

The fact that the dress had been split under the arms on both side seams actually worked in my favour because I was able to get the dress at a reduced price and I knew that I could repair it myself, it was simply the case of finding the time! The neckline was also rolling outwards so that the seam was visible, so I thought I’d have a go at top-stitching this to see if I could get it to lie flat.

I’m still not sure about the length of the dress because it is calf-length and I know that I look better when a dress falls on my knees – anything longer swamps my small height! But again, I kind of like it being this length because it seems to go with the 70s style. I might take it up if I really can’t live with it, but wouldn’t hem it shorter and loose the pattern around the bottom of the dress – instead I would take the excess length off at the waistband.

So I’ll be doing a bit of sewing this week and I’ll let you know how I get on with my dress repairs!


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Inspirations for my retro living room – vases & flowers

After putting up my retro pattern wallpaper, I thought I had nearly completed my retro 60s/70s-inspired living room, but I don’t think I’ll ever really be finished, especially when there are so many vintage bargains to be found in the charity shops and at car boot sales. This week I was lucky enough to find these lovely (or horrid, depending on your viewpoint) vases. It was perfect timing, because my friend had just bought me some tulips and daffodils as a thank you for making her a fancy dress costume and I only had a cocktail jug to put them in. 

Retro Hornsea pottery vase 60s 70s glass vases vintage floral

So I’ve been keeping an eye out for something suitable to display my Spring flowers in and was so happy when I spotted this rust-brown coloured glass vase (which matches the tumblers I use for tealights) and a brown patterned ceramic pot by Hornsea. I thought it might be a flour tub or biscuit barrel but it didn’t have a lid with it, so I bought it for a bargain price and I’ll use it as a vase instead. Or maybe it is supposed to be a vase or plant pot, I have no idea about this kind of thing, so if you know anything more about it please get in touch and leave me a comment below - that would be great! 

Please have a look at my other blog posts about my project to give my living room a retro makeover:


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Interior Design Inspirations for my retro living room – Christmas touches

I’ve chosen a fairly garish 60s & 70s retro theme in orange for my living room and, after 6 months of rummaging through car-boot sales, second-hand shops and auctions, it’s finally complete. I’ve buffed up a few pieces of furniture and given a new lease of life to items that would have previously been overlooked, or even thrown away (yes, I have picked up things being given away at the side of the road – my budget was uber tight!). And now its time to jazz up my living room for Christmas!

So I’m taking inspiration from these retro homes decorated for Christmas and will be keeping an eye out for vintage decorations, retro-inspired fairy lights, and gaudy tinsel!

retro lighting orange glass lampshade 60s 50s 70s interior design


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Interior Design Inspirations for a Retro Home: Lighting

Now that I am at the stage of adding the finishing touches to my retro living room, my attention has turned to lighting and I wanted to get a couple of lamps and shades that would compliment the 50s and 60s style that I’ve used throughout the room so far. I’ve been keeping an eye out for a while now and I managed to pick up this glass lampshade from a carboot sale. The orange and yellow glass is great around the ceiling light, casting a slightly warmer glow from the bulb than normal, and the circles look a little like honeycomb to me, so it goes nicely with my bumble bee curtains!

I was delighted when my husband and I inherited a lampstand and shade that grandma no longer needed but it was such a huge ‘over-size’ lamp, at nearly 6ft tall and 2 ft wide, that it was difficult to find anywhere to put it! I love how crazy it looks (like a mad hatter’s lamp!) and its a very chintzy style but its on a teak G-Plan-style chunky base, so now I’ve finally been able to use it in my living room and give it a new lease of life!


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Interior design inspirations for a retro home: Office space

I’ve been working on a ‘makeover’ for my living room since moving in back in May (yes, I know… I’d never succeed on 60-Minute-Makeover!) and I’ve chosen a fairly garish 60s & 70s retro theme in orange, teak and brown with a few accents of blue. Although it’s taken me a while to get to this point that’s mostly due to lack of funds and the need for rummaging through car-boot sales, second-hand shops, auctions and even giving a new home to furniture that would otherwise be thrown away at the side of the road. I’ve buffed up a few pieces and I’m pleased to say that I’m nearly there! The only thing that needs attention is my work-space so I needed to do a bit of research into retro office spaces and here’s some of the photos that I’ve been inspired by from John Lewis, Retro Office and Apartment Therapy.

So I’m taking inspiration from these office spaces and will be keeping an eye out for a suitably retro office chair over the next couple of weeks. Let me know if you come across anything that might be suitable!