Monday, 5 December 2011

Make Do & Mend (with a bit of a spend)

It's been a busy couple of weeks here at VK HQ and I've got a bit of catching up to do with you all. I've managed to squeeze in some car booting, charity shop browsing, a vintage fair and a day of Make Do & Mending, so settle down with a cuppa and here we go......

Archie and I motored down to Chipping Sodbury for the Vintage & Handmade Fair on Saturday. Although I had wrapped up warm as Arch's heater throws out about as much hot air as a polar bear's fart, it turned out to be a lovely sunny day and by the time I decided to drive back home, I had discarded my layers and had the window wound down. The fair was a lovely event and you could see the amount of time and thought that had been put into the sellers' displays. Temptation was high yet again and I brought a few bits and pieces, including some vintage Christmas paper decorations. We didn't bother with Christmas decorations before the arrival of Monkeychild, although that's all changed now.

After the fair, I decided to call into a charity shop that's never thrown up any goodies for me whenever I've visited it before, yet I thought I'd just go in on the off chance and here's what I found:

'CC41' 1940s/50s Utility blanket, a 1960s/70s Witney blanket, bud vases and a cotton crochet tablecloth.
I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw all these in a single shop, especially the CC41 blanket. The most expensive single item was the tablecloth at £1.75, which I will dye (I'm thinking of either a shocking pink or turquoise at the moment) and I'll do the same to the pink and white blanket. This just goes to show that its always worth checking out any charity shop, even though you may think that it might not be worth the effort or look promising.

Other recent finds have been a pair of unused leather Topshop clog boots and some crimplene and polyester remnants. Being a boot fiend, I was very happy to find these, especially as I paid a fraction of the price (£10 if you're asking!) that they would have cost originally. I'm hoping that I'll have enough of the red crimplene to make a maxi skirt and will probably use the other material for summer dresses/tops for Monkeychild.

Yesterday we went to a 'Make Do & Mend: 1940s Christmas' event at the Museum in the Park in Stroud. I had planned to dress Monkeychild and I up in our vintage garb and enter the 'Best Dressed' competition, but time wasn't on our side. However, when we got there and saw the effort that everyone else had put into their outfits, I wish we had dressed up too!

Anyway, we had a go at the Make Do & Mend crafts on offer, with Monkeychild keen to have a go on the vintage Singer sewing machine (she's asked Santa for a 'Hello Kitty' sewing machine this year - start them early I say!). All the usual WWII exhibits were on show, from gas masks to ration books and delicate slips made from parachute silk. Also on show were a collection of brooches made during the war by local schoolgirls out of electrical wire, buttons and anything else they could lay their hands on. These fascinated me, especially the more intricate ones. 

And finally on the knitting front, here's my gearstick gaiter cover that I've knitted for Archie to cover up his black rubber one. I've even matched the colour of the yarn to his original 'Tartan red' upholstery. That's car love (or automotive madness) for you!

 P.S. Don't forget that this Thursday is the final day to enter my giveway.


  1. Wow how cool is the gear stick gaiter!!! I don’t think my Pa would appreciate it if I knitted one for our Millicent Maude!

    …That’s certainly an amazing collection of brooches- I’d quite happily walk away with some of those- mine are rather boring in comparison! Mind you I did buy a green necklace like the red bobble one in the pic yesterday!

    Tups x

  2. I love the paper Christmas decorations. So much nicer than the tacky modern foil things.

  3. I'm having paper decorations this year...can't do foil, sends the cat off on one.
    I love a Whitney. I have several and there is nothing as

  4. Gearstick cover is brilliant! I'm all for softening cars up with a bit of home knit.

  5. I love a vintage blanket and those Toppers boots are amazing. x

  6. Nice finds! I totally agree that sometimes a usually crappy chazza will come up trumps. Last week I scored over 3 and a half metres of wool fabric for £3.99!

  7. I adore the knitted cover for the gear lever, it's wonderful!

    Did you work out the pattern yourself?

  8. Thanks everyone for taking time to comment. The paper decs are far nicer and I love the faded look they have to them.

    Anne - yes, it's my own pattern. All I did was knit it in the round and used a horseshoe cable and a slanting double-decrease. I left a hole at the top after binding off for the gearlever to fit through.

  9. Amazing finds, love the boots and the tablecloth will look amazing dyed a bright colour. Just don't do it in your washing machine with Dylon. Grrr

  10. Those blankets are wonderful, I especially love their labels.

  11. Sorry to have missed a chance to say hello (yet again!) Very jealous of your CC41 find in the charity shop! Love the wartime brooches on show.. sold one of those on Saturday.. I think.. it was a totally wonderful & manic day! Lizzie x

  12. Ooh: nice Christmas decorations. And nice Barbara Jones Fairground print. I've nearly bought that print a couple of times!

  13. Philip - I love the School Prints, but this one is my favourite. Its got a spooky feel that appeals to me; I think it must be all those shadows.

  14. Fabulous finds, VK. Love the Witney blankets and do show the tablecloth in its dyed glory.

  15. Love the Christmas decorations but I especially like the 1940's brooches. Thank you for sharing :o)


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment on my blog; I do enjoy reading each one.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...