Thursday, 22 September 2011

The Betty Blue's Brand Launch (Official)

So my online presence has been around for a couple of months now with lots of lovely people following me on twitter and keeping up to date with this blog as well as facebook, but to the general public I am still largely unknown.  So what better way to launch my retro/vintage style brand than at the Goodwood Revival event, that specialises not only in classic and vintage cars (for the chaps), but vintage styled fashion and all sorts (for the ladies).  I set myself this challange of launching my brand at the Goodwood Revival back in April/May time and have been working away ever since to try and get my garments made in time.

Well I did it by the skin of my teeth!  The last stock due I received very early in the morning on the Friday, the morning of my launch!!  My friend/intern, Alice, and I were frantically sewing on buttons before the general public were let loose on the Goodwood tracks.  To save babbling on and on I will now illustrate the fantastic weekend I had through some of the pictures that were taken!

Alice and I arrived to set up camp and then to our delight dinner (pasta and pesto) and a show! (the air craft in the background!)  I was clearly very happy about this :)

Our tent which was all snuggly and cosy...........until it rained
On our first night we had a run in with two spiders - the first was little and Alice was very brave and dealt with it.  The second WAS HUUUUUUUGE!!!  No exaggeration!!!!  And it was blocking our way out of the tent so we couldn't escape!   After much screaming and laughing at us from the other tent in our party, I finally escaped and found a very kind man in the caravan next door to remove it for us :) THANKS!!  We learnt from this and didn't leave the door open like the above pic again!

This is me cooking my breakfast VERY early in the morning - you can just see Tigz in her onesie in the background teehee.  Cooking brekkie didn't last long - I favoured the lie ins!

After a very early breakfast, the first day of officially being a real brand started with panic sewing which Alice elected to do.......she may be my friend but she is an intern after all ;-p

I think this photo looks like a Russian washer woman sewing by the side of the road teehee - a comment not appreciated by Alice ;-p
Then the buzz about Betty Blue's started to get going, which included a visit by a man who writes/takes pics for the News of the World group.  I'm trying to chase this up to see if I made the Nationals on my first day of official trading :D, wouldn't that be awesome!!  Anyone read any such papers and spot us?  I do hope they used the pics somewhere!!

This man made me pose in a very strange position!  You can almost see the confusion on my face.  But it starred the soon to be best seller, the Nell robe, which has a long waiting list for it now :) are you on it?
Then the Goodwood press man turned up along with the lovely ladies who I did a sewing course with at The Textiles Space and we all posed in our home made dresses.........apart from me who had completely forgotten.  We also enjoyed a glass or two of pink bubbly to celebrate my launch :) and what a lovely bunch of ladies to celebrate with!!  Thanks ladies!!!

I think they tried to hide me so they wouldn't see that I didn't wear my dress teehee
After having a little too much champers, I spotted Mr Alan Titchmarsh in the crowd, so naturally I had to tell him that (and I quote) "I know a girl who used to live next door to you in Alton!  She used to nearly run you over when you were out jogging in your tiny shorts".........I don't know which was more frightening, me telling him I knew where he lived, or the thought of Alan Titchmarsh's really short shorts.  I should have got a picture with Mr Titchmarsh but honestly I think he was trying to run away from me haha.  This is my glee at meeting Alan Titchmarsh and scaring him oops!

Note to self, lay off the champers (I am wearing the "Winter" Luna Silk Head Scarf)
On the second day I started the day wearing a dress but soon changed into one of my Rita Siren Suits as the weather turned rather nasty.  My old old friend (from primary school), Alex, also popped in to help me out and she too wore a Rita Siren Suit to keep warm!

I also teamed my Moss Green Siren Suit with the Black Marilyn Head Scarf.  Alex is wearing the suit in Black.
One of the perks of the job is to road test products to make sure they work properly, and Alex and I can attest to their snuggly warmness!!!  In fact a photo was caught of the lovely Tigz borrowing my fur coat and me in my Siren Suit.......I like to think I was the warmest ;-)

Fur VS Rita....who won?!
By this time I was getting very tired so not many more photos were taken.  So that brings me to the end of the photos I have for now - hopefully I will get more from other people and will be able to share them on facebook or here on my blog.  I will leave you with a gorgeous pic of Tigz doing her best model impression

Wearing a Viv of Holloway dress (we made friends over pink fizz with the Viv of Holloway  girls who are all very lovely :))
and a sneaky picture of a lady wearing the most beautiful outfit :)

I want to own this outfit!  Such a style inspiration :) although she must have been freezing
I hope you enjoyed my quick roundup of the Goodwood weekend, did I meet you there?  I had loads of fun meeting lots of like minded people and bringing beautiful garments for lounging in to a whole new audience.

Lots of Love
Betty xxx

Monday, 12 September 2011

Press Release - Official Brand Launch

Hello all!  I have written a little press release about the forthcoming Goodwood Revival weekend, at which Betty Blue's is officially launching :).  So for the schedule of events of the weekend, and some info on the brand please see below.

Please click to enlarge!
Not going to Goodwood?  Well fear not.  Anything you like the look of you can email me ( to ask about, and I will send an invoice to you so you can snap it up.  Or, alternatively, you can wait until the online shop on the website launches, which will be very very soon I hope.

Betty xxx

P.S Can you spot the special Christmas "Nell" robe which will be available in November time?! ;-)  

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Behind the scenes

My lovely intern Lisa took her camera to the photoshoot and got a few snaps of what goes on behind the scenes.  I thought my blog readers would like a chance to see how we got to the fabulous pictures that Tigz Rice Studios produced for me :)

This pic shows my brill make up artist Kelly, aka Miss Honey Bare of Heyday Honey Vintage Hair and makeup, putting the finishing touches to Banbury's Monroe-esque look.

Here is Banbury Cross doing her thing in front of the camera looking effortlessly beautiful :)  She had great fun twirling around in the Bridgette Babydoll and Knicker set, the fabric is so floaty and fun to wear!

Tigzy having a little lie down - it was a loooong day!  Teehee she's gonna love me for this photo!  And again Banbury Cross looking fab whilst relaxing as one does so often on a fur rug!  And you can just see me in the background having my hair done by Kelly, and I'm pretty sure Fleur was floating around in the background somewhere.

Sorry for the black box - I want to keep the suspense till it's ready to sell ;-)
And the last pic is a teaser of a product that will be ready around November time just in time for Christmas!  The red is lovely and bright and festive so tell your other halves to start saving now for it ;-). That's me making sure it looks neat and presentable on Banbury so it will photograph well.  And photograph well it did!  I am so excited about his robe.  If you are coming to Goodwood Revival you will catch a glimpse of it, and I will be  taking pre-orders there - otherwise you're going to have to wait a few months till it's up on the website :-p Can you see I'm wearing my slippers teehee I like to make myself at home!  This was towards the end of the day so excuse the  messy background, we were all very hot and bothered and couldn't be bothered to tidy as we went along!

So there is a little insight into photoshoots and it just shows you how bloody fantastic Tigz is with editing photos!  We shot on a plain background and she worked her magic to put in coloured backgrounds that complimented the products in them.  I think this was a bit of a nightmare for her so YAY FOR TIGZ.  Thanks we love you and your photography!  

We love Tigz Rice so much that she is joining us on Stand 81 in the Market Area at the Goodwood Revival, so come on down and say hi to us!!!  Only a few more days for you to be able to get your tickets.......get them here:  Only Friday and Sunday tickets left!!!!

Betty Blue's will be officially launching the brand at Goodwood Revival, but I will make another blog post about everything we have lined up for you in a few days.

Betty xxx

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Ta Daaaaa

So finally the time has come for me to be able to show you the much anticipated Betty Blue's debut ranges!!  I have teased here and there as to what they look like over twitter and facebook, but I can now show you some of the products in all their glory on my fabulous models!!  There will be more photos to come when the website is launched, showing various views, colour ways ect and also some model pictures of the Marilyn scarf which I posted here before, but to start with let me introduce some things to you!

Bridgette Babydoll and Knicker Set
Meet Bridgette - The Bridgette babydoll and bikini brief set is a lovely bright and sunny summery outfit that will brighten up even the rainiest of summer days (well if you’re in the UK!!).  Wear whilst cleaning the house to put a pep in your step, whilst answering your many admirers love letters, or simply as a little nightie on a sultry summer evening.  The babydoll consists of a full circle body, that is great fun to twirl about in, that has an under cotton layer and a sheer chiffon over layer.  The shoulder straps are pleated vintage lace and the bottom edge is also trimmed with lace.  Just as in the 50’s/60’s the fabric is man made to give you that authentic retro feel.  And the price for such a fab little set?  £75 and it is all yours, wrapped in tissue and gift boxed for that extra special touch!

Doesn't Miss Banbury Cross look spectacular in it?!!!!

The Rita Siren Suit
The second item of clothing is the Rita Siren Suit - A truly luxurious lounging ensemble like the ‘Rita’ Siren Suit has never been seen before.  Made from the finest stretch velvet and lined with a buttery soft jersey fabric and finished with sparkling black buttons, this Siren Suit will keep you all warm and snugly when your man isn’t there to do so for you.  You can almost envisage a film star reclining elegantly on a chaise longue with this ensemble on!   Designed with comfort and warmth in mind in the gloomy British winter season, this suit is a must have.  It is comprised of a little Jacket and wide legged, high waisted pull on Slacks.  Available in Classic Black, Moss Green and Aubergine.  Don’t miss this opportunity to own this truly beautiful Siren Suit, limited numbers have been made in each colour, with black set to become a Betty Blue’s signature line.  Grab the Rita suit at £130 for the jacket and £150 for the trousers, again tissue wrapped and gift boxed to perfection!

Fleur will attest to the snuggly warming nature of this fab little set.  We shot on a very humid muggy day, and I must admit I was a little worried she may feint!  But being the trooper she is Fleur survived and managed to look radiant and gorgeous even though she was dying inside.  What a gal!!  This picture shows the Aubergine version but it is also available in Moss Green (fab for red headed girls!) and Black (fab for everyone!).

Exclusive "Winter" 100% Silk Scarf (worn with the Black Rita Jacket)
The above picture and below are 2 out of 4 silk scarves with the following 2 to follow in Spring/Summer 2012

Exclusive "Autumn" 100% Silk Scarf
I am honoured to announce that such a beautiful and talented lady, Luna DeLovely, has designed a limited edition set of silk scarves exclusive to the Betty Blue’s website.  I briefly mentioned about these silk scarves in a previous blog post but here is a chance to see them on a person to get a feel for them.  The Luna scarves are perfect to keep your noggin warm and rollers protected on a winter’s eve or to add a splash of colour to a winter tweet suit - or the Rita Siren Suit for that matter.  The “Autumn” print is poppies of rusts and deep aubergines, evoking the colours of autumnal leaves.  The “Winter” print is a classic British Rose set in a warm purple border and the cheery polka dot background will help cheer up a dreary winter day. Proud to support the British fashion industry this outfit is 100% designed, printed and Made in the UK from the finest 100% silk chiffon we could get our hands on!  Get them whilst you can as they’re bound to go fast and they won’t be repeated!  Watch this space (well around February/March time) for the last instalment of Luna’s scarves for Spring and Summer.  And the price for these limited edition one of a kind babies?  £98, of course it goes without saying also perfectly wrapped in tissue and boxed up like a little present :)

Everything comes in sizes S, M and L and my size chart can be found here.

Of course this post wouldn't be complete without a bit of bum licking towards the fabulous people I have worked with.  Photographer extraordinaire Tigzy of Tigz Rice Studios.  I couldn't have asked for a better job done!  The way she has captured the movement and luxurious nature of the fabrics and shown the products off to their best is just amazing!!  Of course my fab models Miss Banbury Cross who is stunning in person and in photos! and the infamous Diary of A Vintage Girl writer Fleur De Guerre also enviously beautiful.   Oh and I have to mention Miss Honey Bear of Heyday Honey's Vintage Hair and Make up for enhancing the models already good looks :)  I am so lucky to have met these wonderful people who have really helped me with the launch of my brand so THANKS I LOVE YOU!!!

So there you have it, the first few Betty Blue's items.  There will be lots more to come, including a slinky little red number in time for Christmas (tell your other halves to save up now!  They will want you to have it trust me!), so keep checking back regularly.  All these items I will be taking to my official brand launch at Goodwood Revival - so pop along and get some goodies.  The online shop will hopefully be up around the same time, but until then if anything tickles your fancy give me an email at:

Lots of Love 

Saturday, 3 September 2011

An English Summer (well it's Autumn now really)

The weather wasso lovely this afternoon that I engaged in a spot of 'Englishness' and indulged in one of my old granny hobbies - jam making.  Last year when I graduated from Uni I found myself without a job and as a consequence very very broke.  It just so happened that I visited my uncle and he had a glut of apples on his fruit trees.  So I diligently collected them so they wouldn't go to waste and had a problem - what to do with them all?!  I had a light bulb moment that I could make all the apples into jam and give them to people for Christmas presents as it is a cheap alternative to bought presents and adds a little personal touch to Christmas festivities.  So with the glut of fruit this year and a new found passion for jam making I got out the kit and made some jam!

The fruits of my labour - no pun intended
So as you can see above we have quite a lot of plums hanging around.  Our ever so thoughtful neighbours have VASTLY overgrown fruit trees full to the brim with Victoria plums.  The upside of the overgrown trees is that the branches laden with fruit tend to overhang into our garden where only we can reach them.  Not one to let good fruit go to waste (and in a bid to stop the wasps swarming on rotten fruit) my Dad and I diligently picked the ones on our property!  So whilst the overgrown trees block out our daylight - at least we get something in return, thanks thoughtful neighbours :-p

So I will now show you how I made "Betty's Homemade Plum Jam"

I recently purchased a proper jam book (had just chucked things in and hoped for he best in the past) called "The Basic Basics Jams, Preserves and Chutneys Handbook", by Marguerite Patten.  This is now my new favourite book!  So according to the recipe you need the following:

1lb Plums
1lb Sugar
Up to 4 tablespoons of water

Preserving pans can be expensive from kitchen shops, there was one I looked at in Lakeland that was nearly £50!  So when I saw the above pan on the great vintage homewear website "Home Sweet Homestyle"  I just HAD to buy it at a mere £18!  I had not anticipated how huge it is lol, the Lakeland ones are minute compared with this one, so mine was deff a bargain AND has some history to it :).

Anyway back to the jam, we had SO many plums that I think in the end I chucked in 3lbs.  To begin you bring to the boil the water and fruit like so:

Once it is boiling along nicely and the fruit has broken down slightly, the sugar is then added.  I only had 2 and a bit lbs of sugar, to my 3lbs of fruit, but as a family we tend to like things a little less sweet than shop bought as everything seems to have sooooo much sugar in!  But just in case there was not enough pectin I added in the juice and rind of one lemon at this point too.

Then you need to boil, boil, boil and boil some more!  This took a lot longer than our dear Marguerite Patten said in the book as I had tripple the amount of fruit/sugar, but didn't take three times as long.  It took a good hour and a half or more to reach the setting point!  This is the jam bubbling away:

and this is what the jam looked like once the setting point had been reached:

You can see how much the jam has "reduced" by the lines around the pan :)

As you can see the second picture looks a lot shineyer and just generally more sticky and jam like.  The way to test the setting point has been reached is to put a little blob of the jam on a cold plate, let it cool a little and then push your finger into the liquid.  If the jam wrinkles and has formed a sort of skin to it, it is ready.  If not boil it some more!!!  But once you have made a few batches of jam it is easy to tell by look and consistency whether it is ready to be jarred!

The jars have to be steralised beforehand to make sure that no bacteria is trapped in the jar, so the jam won't go mouldy.  I washed the jam jars and lids with fairy liquid, then dried them with a clean tea towel.  I then placed them in a baking tray and "cooked" them in the oven at a high temperature for about 10 mins or so.  When I took them out I made sure that nothing touched the inside of the jars and lids whilst jarring up the jam.  I did this by placing a funnel in the jars and using a ladle to spoon in the mixture like so:

*You could also at this point use a sieve to get out all the lumps of fruit but I decided not to as I like my jam with fruity bits :)*

Once jarred I popped a little wax disk on top of the jam to exclude the air, then tightened the screw top onto the jars.  This is how many jars that 3lbs of fruit made:

There was also a little bit left over, roughly half a tea cup full, that was immediately put to good use!!  I made a nice cup of tea and had a slice of toast with butter and jam!  (refer to the first picture!)

So that is what I did this afternoon.  I do so like doing "English" things and keeping our traditions alive - apparently my Grandma had a book about jam by Marguerite Patten, so I chose the right jam book to buy!  There are SO many good recipes and I now know the difference between a jam, preserve and jelly!!  I hope you enjoyed this post and may be inspired to take up jam making ;-)

Lots of love
Betty xxxx