Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Sewing Pledge for 2015

I don't make New Year Resolutions because I know for a fact that I never keep them, so there's no point in me exercising the grey matter in thinking about them. However, I was reading Kestrel Makes' blog yesterday when I came across the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge that she's co-hosting this year. I've now signed up to the Pledge as this is more up my street that NYRs; also, it'll give me a good kick up the butt incentive to make more clothes: bonus.

So friends, I VK, pledge to you that I will make a minimum of three items using vintage sewing patterns this year and I will share my makings here with you as they progress.

I only made two things using vintage patterns in 2014: my Vogue shift dress and Monkeychild's New Look play-suit, so I'm aiming (marginally) higher this year!

I thought that this would be a good time as any to go through my very untidy pattern box and group everything into order of size and wearability, and whilst doing this I could pick out 'potentials' to meet my pledge. So after having a good old shuffle, I've come up with this selection:

Now, I'm not suggesting that I shall be making something from every pattern (that's too optimistic for me), but there's a few that I'd love to make such as the girl's short dress in the Style 2317, the long maxi dress in a Style pattern (far left, middle row) and the mini dress in Style 2287. However, some of these patterns will need to be re-sized which I'm really crap at, so if any of you know of some great blogs etc. that provide an idiot's guide to pattern re-sizing, please let me know - cheers.

With patterns chosen, I'm thinking next about fabric. I reckon I'm going to resort to making a toile first (good lord I'm getting serious as I normally hack and sew!) with some of these patterns, as I don't want to waste any fabric, but I can't wait to sew with this gorgeous one:

I saw it first on Nicole Needles' blog, where she had used it to make a cracking shirt for Mr. Needles - thanks for the inspiration, Nicole! I'm saving it for something special; I'm thinking a watch this space!

P.S. Public Sewing Information Update:

The Great British Sewing Bee is back: BBC 2, Wednesday 28th January, 8:00 pm. Game on!

Saturday, 10 January 2015

New Year Stitches

I was feeling in the sewing mood the other day but didn't want to start anything 'big', so I thought that I'd sew a quick cushion cover - we all know that you can never have too many cushions! Searching through the stash I found some bold 1950s novelty print fabric that I'd been saving for such a project.


The one thing I love about cushion covers is that they're so easy to make and even if you're not keen about sewing in a zip, you can plump for buttons or just a simple yet effective envelope opening. 

I had it stitched up in no time at all and here's the final item, puffed up and ready to be sprawled upon:

By the way - do you remember Monkeychild's Just William pullover?  Well, I've finished the back *cue gasps of surprise* and am now onto the front. My tension went a bit off as you can see, but I'm hoping that'll come out when I block it - fingers crossed!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

That was the Year: 2014

Firstly, Happy New Year everyone!

I hope you all had a great Christmas and welcome back.

This is a bit of a catch-up really as I had planned to do a post over Christmas, but my good intentions went a bit amiss. Anyway, I thought that this can be a Christmas Day outfit post with a quick look-back at some of my favourite second-hand buys from 2014.

I turned another year older on Christmas Day and celebrated said birthday at my parents, where we took the below outfit photos. As it was quite a cold day, I was happy to wrap up in my latest buy, a 1970s fake fur jacket by a French brand: Labrador. I think I could have some fun with that label - heh, heh!

The lining is gorgeous with blue shimmery flowers set against a chocolate background, and its feels gorgeous and very snugly on - I look like a bear! On the day I teamed it with a '70s maxi dress in crimplene. I don't know why poor old crimplene gets a bad press - its fabulous: easy to wash, dries quickly and doesn't even need ironing; ideal!

Looking back at my buys it appears that 2014 was the year for shoes; I found some real bargains in charity shops, boot sales and bric-a-brac shops. To be honest, I'm a real fiend for footwear, especially boots - so let's have a quick re-cap:

From top left we have: 1960s Charles Jourdan pilgrims, top right: 1950s Clarks boots; middle left: 1960s Charles Jourdan lace-ups, middle right: 1940s CC41 boots; bottom: Vivienne Westwood for Melissa jelly pumps.

I wasn't sure of the date of the Clarks boots as I thought they might have been late 1940s or early '50s. So as I had the original box with the style name and number, I thought that I'd email the Clarks Archive based at their museum in Street, Somerset, and see if they could help. Well, the Archive were brilliantly helpful and after looking back through their catalogues they confirmed that the boots date from July 1957 - later than I had originally thought. They even provided me with a few helpful tips to help look after them; thank you Clarks!

To finish off, here's a few of my favourite other buys (and a make) from 2014...

Top left: plethora of patterns (charity shop), top middle: 1950s linen tea towel (boot sale) top right: 1970s Preci Ware 'Pac-a-Pic' picnic box (flea market); middle left: 1960s flamenco print (flea market), middle right: 1940s Stitchcraft booklet (charity shop); bottom left: CC41 apron (flea market), bottom middle: 1950s Horrockses shirt (, bottom right: 'made my me' skirt in fabulous flamingo fabric. 

Wishing you all a happy 2015 and may your second-hand buys be plentiful and your sewing/knitting fun!

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