Ivy Leaf's Dairy 2021


Happy New Year



January 2021


Happy New Year everybody. Let us be realistic, 2021 is going start out tougher than 2020 but there's light at the end of the tunnel. Keep on moving towards that light.

Unfortunately, for the first time in many years, we have no new calendar to hang on the wall. My husband, however, did a little bit of research and discovered that 2010 has the same dates as 2021 so our original calendar will have to suffice.

It reminds us of the hilarious sessions and photo-shoots that we have enjoyed with our army of amateur models and the lovely Victoria, Moira and in 2016, Cathie Jung.

2021 also has the same dates as 1965, the middle of that amazing decade that would change the world forever.

Let us indulge in a little piece of nostalgia as we show some pictures from the Golden age of corsetry.




Joan Sims laces a grunting Amelia Bayntun into a pair of corsets in 'Carry On Loving' (1970). Were women still wearing corsets then? Yes indeed. Regard the article below from 1969 published in the Spirella house magazine.



The wedding description below comes from November 1969 and refers to the picture above. Note that even at the end of the swinging 60s, two middle-aged women are wearing corsets and amazingly, so is one woman barely into her 30s although she does look rather stunning! From left to right, the corsetiere wears a 305 corset, what else. The bride's mother wears the complex (and expensive) 325 corset, but she looks like the type that might. The bride, by way of a contrast wears a Spirelette 132 pantie-girdle. The bridegroom's mother wears a Coppelia 44 girdle. These were Spirella's off-the-shelf girdles. Would the bride's traditional mother have approved? Certainly the bride's elder sister, who must be in her 30s is wearing a corset but this is very old-fashioned for 1969. Perhaps the younger bride has fallen for the social revolution that has left her older sister unchanged. I suspect the corset might just be for 'special occasions' only, such as this wedding.


An exciting day for the bride and a proud moment for our consultant Mrs. H. of Peterborough. The bride wore Spirelettes 83 and 132 , the bridegroom's mother (on her left), a Coppelia 44 and Modern Line bra; sister of the bride (extreme right of picture) wore a 305 and Fashion Line bra, and (on the bride's right) her mother in a 325 corset and style 72 bra, and Mrs. H. in Spirella foundations 305 and 30. Reports Mrs. H.: "A guest at the wedding became interested in Spirella and ordered a Coppelia girdle and bra. Another guest had a Coppelia girdle and asked me to get her some support stockings." It was Mrs. H. who, in the August issue, explained how she had secured orders while helping out at a funeral.  Is nowhere safe??


We really hope that 2021 will see the production of our final calendar for 2022. Let us look to the future with hope.

At some point in the past, we asked for help to identify the lady attending to the Queen Mother in these pictures. On the right they are at a Hardy Amies fashion show in December 1954.

One reader has tentatively suggested that the lady may be Lady Jean Margaret Florence Rankin (née Dalrymple; 1905 - 2001), 'woman of the bedchamber' to the Queen Mother from 1947 until 1994. Can anybody substantiate this? Circumstantial evidence is that Princess Margaret was present at the Hardy Amies show and was a close friend of Lady Jean. By a strange coincidence, Florence Dalrymple was the name of my husband's aunt who ran a draper's shop in Renfrew from which the Ivy Leaf Collection started.


The ever expanding book has now reached 269 pages, however, publication will have to wait for a return to being allowed to have guests in one's house again. At the end of last year, I hoped that this might be at Easter but I fear that is extremely optimistic. Our model Moira is only 42 and will not be vaccinated before she moves to Scotland and out of our reach later in the year - if she is allowed to that is.

Nevertheless, there are positives. Being of a certain age, I hope to be vaccinated in February and my husband, being one year younger, in March.



Meanwhile this piece of whimsy crossed our desks last week.


The un-pixelated version of the left-hand picture will appear in the book.

I feel that the Dummies are a bit modern for a book extolling 1960s corsetry.

Never mind '"Zip me up, Darling!"

Any poor women who was persuaded that she was 'Extra Stout' (my Goodness) would have to ask her husband

"Lace me up Darling; I hope you have a few hours to spare!"


Our current thoughts on the book are to publish it as is. With a little selective weeding out of unnecessary pages it now stands at 267 pages. The trouble is that every time we go through it to check for errors, it is highly tempting to add a bit more.


February 2021


I have had my vaccination and I expect that my (slightly younger) husband will receive his soon.


The book is now with the publisher. There was the usual back and forth email flurry to sort out margins and all the technical minutiae that printers love and writers could hardly care less about. The book has ended up at 264 pages plus the cover and we await the first proof copy. Three pages had to be removed for copyright reasons but this hardly detracts from the content.


The draft book has arrived and it looks stunning but it is heavy, weighing in at 1.2 kg. Postage outside the UK will be expensive and to send it across the pond will be prohibitive. Nevertheless, we'll offer the books at cost price plus 10% (for charity) plus postal charges. The books should be printed in about three weeks and we will publish the costs before then. The book is an expanded version of the ring-bound 'What Lies Beneath' and is professionally bound. It looks amazing.




The Book:  Prices and Postage


The book started out as a lockdown project to convert our first book 'What Lies Beneath' from Landscape into Portrait format.

During this process, we added 64 new pages and corrected a few errors. The book is very much derived from our web-site but using photographs of our models that never appear un-blurred on the web-site


We are only printing 10 copies of the book and because of this, the cost of production was £ 309.85 that works out at £30.99 per book. Postage to the UK is 3.30, to Europe £12.10 and to the USA (sorry guys) £29.20!!

The models in the book gave their time so that the calendars and books we have produced could be sold for charity, however, I am aware that the cost plus postage is very high particularly outside the UK. Also the pound has strengthened considerably over the past two months.

For that reason we will only add 10% to the cost of the book for charity. Should any purchaser wish to make an additional contribution to charity please feel free to do so. This can be added when you pay the PayPal invoice. So, the bottom line is


Total price including post and packing:


to the UK  £ 37.19

to Europe  Euro 53.45

to the USA  US$ 89.56


We expect the book to be finally printed in a few weeks after which, we will immediately contact those who have expressed interest.


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