Saturday, 6 February 2016

An Edwardian Affair



I was watching the film A Room With A View the other day and realised that I haven't lost my teenage love for the Edwardian era.


Thinking about it, I originally put the blame on the 1979 ITV series Flambards based on the novels by K.M. Peyton and set between the 1900s and 1910s. The story was based on a love triangle (all the best ones are!) between Christina and her half-cousins William and Mark; it had me fascinated - so much so that I even had to buy the books from the series, which I still have.



Then I realised that those Sunday afternoon films I had watched in my 1970s childhood such as Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Go-Between and The Railway Children might have subconsciously sowed the seeds for my later Edwardian love affair.


Rolling forward a few years into the 1980s, the visual delight that comprised the Merchant Ivory adaptations of E.M Forster novels fuelled this love.  I thought Helena Bonham-Carter was mesmerising (I still do) as she flounced about in her cotton lawn dresses with beguiling wisps of hair framing her beautiful face; willed that Maurice and Alec would finally get together in the film Maurice and riled at the class snobbery in Howards End.


The Eighties was also a great time to buy Edwardian clothes cheaply. Those narrow Edwardian shoes didn't fit my teenage feet; however the cotton camisoles and petticoats with their intricate embroidery, crochet and thread-work did. In flea markets and antique shops I found lovely velvet jackets and linen duster coats with their large mother-of-pearl buttons. If I was particularly lucky, I might come across an almost sheer cotton blouse inset with lace panels. I happily jumbled these clothes up together with de-mob jackets and waistcoats, jeans from the local market or long fringed black Indian import 'Goth' skirts. 


Unfortunately I don't have any of these clothes left now, with them being lost in house moves or too far gone to be repaired and thrown away. Mind you, I probably wouldn't fit into them now if I did. 

However, old habits die hard and all these years later I still hold onto my love of Edwardiana. From the silver sovereign holder that Dad gave me which still gets worn regularly, to a monogrammed leather purse that I use daily. Its the best purse I've ever had with its numerous slots and compartments...


...and I still can't resist buying those camisoles that fit as they're perfect for summer.


Looks like it'll be a long-term love affair!



Wednesday, 27 January 2016

I've Taken the Pledge of Sewing Allegiance


Its that time of year to take the pledge...

...why, the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge for 2016 of course as kindly run by both Marie at http://www.astitchingodyssey.com and Kerry at http://www.kestrelmakes.com.

I was absolutely awful last year at keeping my pledge of making three items from vintage patterns and only made one shift dress using my favourite 'Vogue' pattern. What a failure!


So this year I'm going to re-pledge that I, The Vintage Knitter, pledge to make at least three garments using vintage sewing patterns.

I intend to keep to my 2016 Pattern Pledge starting off with Monkeychild's 'Alice in Wonderland' dress based on this 1972 'Simplicity' pattern:


Feel free to name and shame me if I don't keep to this year's Pledge!

Happy sewing everyone.






Monday, 18 January 2016

Win Win


My first blog post of 2016 is somewhat belated. Over the past few weeks I've been working on my first ever lecture (ecology and gardening if you're interested); preparing notes, handouts and the dreaded Powerpoint presentation. Luckily, the lecture went well last week and I can relax for a bit...until the next one that's scheduled for March.

So, onwards and upwards. The title of this post refers to a recent blog competition win and some nice finds that I picked up last week. The competition first...

Last year as a tie-in with the Vintage Pattern Pledge, Kestrel Makes co-hosted a competition to win £40 worth of sewing materials. Lucky me won it and quickly choose my selection, which included haby bits and pieces, a fabric cutter and some blue and white fabric. Here's my haul:



A big thanks to both Kestrel Makes and Bamber Sewing Machine Centre.

This win was quite fortunate as Monkeychild has requested that I make her an Alice in Wonderland dress for her School Book day in March. With my chosen fabric and a 1972 pattern, I've started to make her dress; having cut out the pattern pieces, ready to start seaming over the next few days.




The second 'win' was a few nice buys that I made on Friday, including the very alluring Bardot-esque picture at the top of this post.




I love those old Weldon's Sixpenny series magazines that covered virtually all aspects of crafting and housekeeping, so I was pleased to come across this 'Leathercraft' edition. For the woman with plenty of time on her hands, an array of fetching leather goods could be made by her own good self - like this appliqué jumper in the on-trend Egyptian style: 



Not practical enough for you? Perhaps a leather trimmed golfing hat and jumper instead?



Still not working for you? Then how about a bag? We all love a stylish bag.



There's a couple of lovely adverts in the back of the magazine too...




At the same time, I also brought this little bit of knitting ephemera; a yarn shade card, invoice and information notes from 'Chadds of Lowestoft' circa 1960.




I wonder what its original owner, Mrs. M.E. Davies of Pangbourne, made with her three ounces of 4 ply in Lovat Green?





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