dressmaking · Fun days out

A Fabulous Fifties Afternoon Tea

On Sunday, my friend and colleague Katie and I treated our mums to afternoon tea with a vintage twist. Organised by the Friends of the Richardson Hospital in Barnard Castle, the Fabulous Fifties Afternoon Tea combined three of my favourite things – 1950s fashion, history and lots and lots of cake.

Such a lovely event required an extra special outfit and I decided only a circle skirt would do. I love the Eliza M Vintage Circle Skirt pattern as it is so easy to make and very flattering. I created the skirt below from some curtain fabric and, for such a bold print, it is surprising how many of my tops it goes with. On this occasion I wore it with a  fuschia knitted top with a kind of wrap effect. It was also a fantastic opportunity to wear my new yellow fakelite beads and bangle from Splendette.

My mum wore a jersey top she created using the Goldstitch t-shirt pattern and Art Gallery Lavish Fabric by Katharina Roccella. She bought her jacket at a charity shop.


When we arrived at the venue, we were presented with a glass of prosecco or elderflower fizz, which is usually a sign of lovely things to come. Not long after, the organisers introduced Lucy Aldington of History Wardrobe and the entertainment began.

Lucy is a costume historian, author and actress who uses clothes as a means of exploring our social history. She has amassed a large collection of vintage garments and accessories from the 19th and 20th centuries and has written numerous books on the subject. Lucy and her team tour the country giving costume presentations on anything from Agatha Christie and Art Deco, to Jane Austen, Laura Ashley, women and the Great War and fairytale fashion.

We were treated to the ‘Fabulous Fifties,’ which truly was fabulous. Lucy brought the era to life with her knowledge, humour and enthusiasm. There were also lots of beautiful dresses and accessories to look at, many with photographs of their previous owners wearing them back in the day. Katie and I are both reporters at a regional newspaper and you can read Katie’s article on the event by clicking here. For a full list of History Wardrobe presentations, click here.



Lucy’s presentation was a hard act to follow but the Friends of Richardson Hospital rose to the challenge. The afternoon tea, which was all prepared from scratch by their talented chairwoman, Marie, was utterly scrumptious! As well as the cakes pictured below, we indulged in sandwiches, quiches, cheese scones and vol-au-vents.


Thank you so much for reading my blog and thank you Katie for letting me use some of your photographs 🙂

5 thoughts on “A Fabulous Fifties Afternoon Tea

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