A few months ago, I reviewed a beautiful floral 40s style dress from new brand Pretty Retro. As I said in that review, the dress would be perfect to wear to 1940s events. Last week I received anther gorgeous dress from them and this one is every bit as lovely and a very authentic tribute to 40s fashions.

pretty-retro-1940s-style-shirt-dress-reviewFor those of you unfamiliar with the brand, it comes from the creators of established repro brand The House of Foxy, and is an affordable range of staple items for a vintage wardrobe. The range consists of several dresses as well as a great range of separates. The dress in todays review is the latest new addition to the collection and comes in a choice of green and red.

pretty-retro-pretty-green-shirt-dressSince green is my favourite colour and I don’t have nearly enough of it in my wardrobe, I knew it was the perfect dress for me. I love the simple shirt style and all the extra details are really flattering. The dress has pleats and tucks in all the right places, giving it a very authentic vintage feel and setting it a cut above similar reproductions I’ve tried. I love the slightly padded shoulders and larger buttons which finish the look of the dress of perfectly.

pretty-retro-green-1940s-dressWhen it comes to fit, I went for a size 14 which is my usual size and it fits perfectly. The side zip allows for a perfect fit and it was lovely to have a shirt dress which doesn’t gape at all at the bust. The length falls just below the knee, which is just right for the era. The dress is made from a poly, viscose and spandex mix, which acts in the same way as a traditional 1940s rayon.

pretty-retro-outfit-detailsI will definitely be giving the dress a spin at any 1940s events I go to. I’m quite tempted to buy it in the red too, as it’s such a useful dress to have in my collection. It is also perfect for everyday wear, as it’s really comfortable and classic and it can be machine washed, so it’s practical too. At £59 it’s a great investment piece that can be worn year after year.

pretty-retro-pretty-green-shirt-dress-reviewI wore mine with a beret which I picked up on Ebay, some Cath Kidston bangles, a vintage Enid Collins box bag and my Clarks Orla Kiely shoes. I love mixing up my eras a bit, but I’d probably wear some classic brogues with it to an event.

Check out the full range on the Pretty Retro website.

*Thank you so much to Pretty Retro for sending me the dress for review. All opinions as usual are entirely my own. 

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One of my favourite things about Halloween and Autumn is pumpkins. Carving our pumpkins into weird and wonderful designs is one of my favourite family activities of the year and working out what to do with the spare pumpkin is always a challenge. This year I decided to make pumpkin pie and it came out absolutely delicious.

pumpkin-pie-recipeI’ve used a mixture of butternut squash and pumpkin in this recipe, carving pumpkins don’t have very much flavour and the squash helps to make a smooth mixture and give the pie a better taste.

pumpkin-pie-recipe-vintage-frillsYou will need:

  • 375g chopped pumpkin
  • 375g chopped butternut squash
  • 350g sweet shortcrust pastry (I use this recipe)
  • 140g caster sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 25g melted butter
  • 175g condensed milk

traditional-pumpkin-pie-recipeHow to make:

  1. Put the pumpkin and squash in a large pan, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Leave to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180ºc
  3. Roll out the pastry and fill the bottom of your pie tin.
  4. Line with parchment and baking beans and blind bake for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and parchment and bake for another 10 minutes.
  5. Increase oven temperature to 220ºc.
  6. Push the pumpkin and squash mixture through a sieve and put to one side.
  7. Mix all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  8. Mix in the eggs, butter and condensed milk, then add the pumpkin and squash puree and stir together.
  9. Pour into the pastry shell and cook for 10 minutes.
  10. After 10 minutes reduce the temperature to 180ºc and bake for 35-40 minutes.
  11. Allow to cool, remove from the tin. Store in the fridge and serve chilled.

traditional-pumpkin-pie-recipe-2This did take quite a long time to make and my pastry isn’t the neatest, but the pie tastes absolutely delicious and I think I’m going to have to make it a yearly tradition!

pumpkin-pie

As usual if you try this or any of my other recipes, send me over some pics, I always like to see them!

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I had been looking forward to the Cath Kidston and Disney collaboration, since I first heard about it a few months ago. I knew there would be a dress in the range and I was determined to own it. As the range was a limited edition I knew it would be hard to get my hands on one, so I signed up for the early bird newsletter and luckily managed to get the dress in my basket within ten minutes of it going online.

disney-cath-kidston-winnie-the-pooh-dress-2These sold out so quickly, by later that evening there were none left so I was definitely one of the lucky ones. So is the dress worth the fuss? In some ways I feel I got a little sucked into the hype of this collaboration. I absolutely love Cath Kidston and Winnie the Pooh, so I was always going to love this range. However I very rarely wear polka dots, so this is a bit of an exception for me. I think it’s really cute how the polka dots are incorporated into the print though, but it would have been nice to have had a floral dress option too.

disney-winnie-the-pooh-dressMy other misgiving with this dress is the length. It’s just a little bit too short for me. Although I love wearing shorter 60s dresses, to me this style of dress would look better sitting at knee length. Other than that the dress is wonderful, I love the thick textured fabric and the overall shape and as a collectors item, this was a great addition to my wardrobe.

winnie-the-pooh-cath-kidston-dressI wore mine with some vintage red and yellow jewellery and my favourite yellow Miss L Fire shoes, to bring out the colours in the polka dot balloons. I’m looking forward to trying it out with different accessories and making it work for the winter.

I am really looking forward to the next Disney Collaboration from Cath Kidston. Here’s hoping I’ll get lucky and get my hands on the next dress from the range!

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Today I’m sharing a recipe for a cake I made back in the summer. I’ve cooking with treacle and syrup quite a bit recently and I really like the results. This cake is nice and heavy and goes down a treat with a cup of tea in the autumn.

black-treacle-cake-from-a-1950s-recipeYou will need:

  • 250g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/3 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 125g butter
  • 60g sugar
  • 3 tbsp black treacle
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 6 tbsp milk

black-treacle-cake-recipeHow to Make:

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC and prepare a 6 inch cake tin.
  2. Sieve all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Rub the butter into the mixture
  4. Add the sugar to the mixture and mix it in.
  5. Melt the treacle and syrup together in a saucepan on a low heat. Add to the mixture.
  6. Add the milk to the mixture and stir until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
  7. Pour the mixture into the tin and level out.
  8. Bake in the middle of the oven for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours
  9. Once baked, leave in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out ad cooling on a wire rack.

lyles-black-treacle-treacle-cake-recipeI slightly over cooked mine, most because I got distracted and didn’t take it out of the oven in time, but it still tasted really lovely. I’m looking forward to giving it a go again and seeing if I can get it perfect.

vintage-black-treacle-cake-recipeIf you try this, or any of my other recipes please send me pictures as I’d love to see. Don’t forget that I’m also writing about food for Vintage Life magazine, which you can pick up online here.

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One of my favourite things about blogging, is sharing my outfits with you. Putting them together, getting dressed up and choosing my favourite pictures is so much fun. I’m not sure my trusty photographers Rob and my Dad enjoy it quite as much, but you never know! Anyway, as well as sharing my outfits on here, I also post quite a few of my everyday outfits on Instagram. These are the usually just quick snaps I’be got people to take on my phone and they never make it onto the blog.

I though it would be fun to share a few of my favourite Instagram outfits on here today…

A photo posted by Catherine (@vintage_frills) on

A photo posted by Catherine (@vintage_frills) on

A photo posted by Catherine (@vintage_frills) on

A photo posted by Catherine (@vintage_frills) on

A photo posted by Catherine (@vintage_frills) on

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I usually post a couple of different outfits each week and I’m going to try and share more. I also add a lot of pictures on my Instagram that don’t appear anywhere else. So if you’d like to keep updated and see what I’m wearing or doing you can follow me over on Instagram.

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