Thursday, 26 May 2011

Experimentally speaking ...

Mr Brocobelle might drop the "experi-" off that statement

Have been busy experimenting with some new jewellery ideas for a vintage fair I am "standing" at in Stamford, Lincs. next Saturday 4 June

I am incorporating vintage beads (I have a whole little wheeled 6 drawer cupboard full - now there's a surprise - not!!) and my vintage textiles from the dark recesses of the gigantic housemaid's cupboard (that is, the cupboard is gigantic, not the housemaid who once owned it, although one never knows ...)

Spent a lovely hour or two creating the recipes for my necklaces, bracelets and earrings - that is, going through all the bead boxes and choosing lovely beads to complement the textiles - bliss


Monday, 23 May 2011

brocobelle dreams of brocante

It's been too long now since I last went to France to truffle out textiles and treasures

If any of you are visiting la belle France, be sure to check out the following site for lists of vide-greniers and brocantes

You click on "calendrier", select the appropriate month, and then select the region you will be visiting.  I will post more brocante tips soon, both for the UK and France.  A bientot!


Thursday, 19 May 2011

Can never throw anything away ...

Some vintage millinery flowers - 30s to 50s, a piece from a broken bracelet, some cute little dyed wood 1930s beads - just had to make them into a corsage cuff to go with my favourite Frida Kahlo inspired embroidered skirt!  Quite unusual for me to make something without lace and sparkles, but I really love this bracelet.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Presenting Mr Cholmondeley Border

A couple of posts ago I showed off a bolero I had made using patterns and applique ideas from my 30s and 40s home dressmaking books.  I mentioned I had also made a little dog jacket for a special little boy.  Well, here he is!  I appliqued his jacket with countryside motifs as I was inspired by the farms all around us.  I was particularly pleased with my tractor motifs each using a large and small button from the button box.

My little model didn't really get the concept of posing for the camera and kept wriggling and hoping that the camera might in fact be a box of treats.  Oh well!


Friday, 13 May 2011

Desperately seeking vintage

Depends how I'm feeling on any given vintage shopping day - can I face asking the ladies in the charity shop if they have any sewing patterns for sale?

Replies have been variously a) we only get really old fashioned ones so we throw them away (WHAT! those are the ones I want!) b) we throw them away because we cannot guarantee they are complete c) we use them for wrapping china

Anyway, yesterday I was feeling courageous.  I was pointed in the direction of a drawer in a rickety old chest in a forgotten corner.

Result!  Some lovely patterns, mainly 70s/80s, including a lovely wrap sundress which is even in my size!!  Thank you, oh thou Benevolent Good Queen of Vintage!  Patterns will be pictured in a later post.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Hello Dolly (Bonjour Poupee)

Never cease to be amazed by the items I find in charity shops.  This elegant lady had a very elaborate 50s/60s interpretation of an Edwardian outfit.  She was made in France and had an unusual painted rubber composition face, the like of which I had never seen before.  Unfortunately it gave her complexion the appearance of an artiste from the seedier side of town and, for me, made her all the more interesting.
Out shopping tomorrow .... what treasures are awaiting?

Sunday, 8 May 2011

A fairy is for life not just for Christmas ....

Have always loved making peg dolls ever since I made a Jean Greenhowe pedlar doll design from a Woman's Weekly magazine back in the 1960s!

These little fairies indulge my love of whimsy as well as my obsession with Liberty Tana Lawn cottons!  I find I can make a doll from a 6" charm patchwork square and usually buy the squares on ebay, although the mauve Tana lawn above has been in my sewing cupboard for many years since bought as a fat quarter at Liberty's sometime in the 1980s.

My little fairies, now listing on Folksy, are definitely good fairies.  Make a wish and all your dreams will come true.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

The "It" Bag - or rather, the "Make It" Bag

Reckon I've got my make it mojo well and truly back as I have finally used up some patchwork I had made using some of my treasured vintage textiles by making this ruched tote bag

Those of you who remember the 70s might recognise some pieces of vintage Laura Ashley prints; then there is a 30s paisley chintz in the prettiest pink tones; antique French ticking; 30s barkcloth; French print; Liberty furnishing linen; some vintage toile de jouy.  The top panels are made from an 80s Boussac oversized paisley floral.  Handles from burgundy suede.  The binding on the top of the bag is a pique ribbon my Mum used to trim a lace dress I wore as a child back in the 60s - told you, I never throw anything away!!  So, as you can see, I love hunting out vintage French textiles as well as English ones.  My hubby still has nightmares about all the times he has to stand in a French barn in the middle of nowhere, arms outstretched to receive the textiles I am excitedly removing from huge jumbles of fabric laid out on trestle tables. 


Friday, 6 May 2011

Make Do & Mend - My Way!

A dowdy, matronly but impeccable 1960s coat set me thinking ... what can I do with that?  I had recently bought two copies of a home dressmaking book - one being the 1930s edition, and one being the Make Do & Mend 1940s edition.  The result of the equation

1 wool coat x (30s / 40s styling) = 1 vintage style bolero and 1 small doggy jacket!

I made my own pattern using the books as a guide and copied some applique motif designs from the 30s book; I worked with some of the seaming and lining in place, binding other seams for neatness.  Et voila!

Doggy coat will be shown in another posting when I have persuaded the reluctant doggy model to participate - you know, he just doesn't get out of bed unless there are at least a few biscuits, chews and choccy drops in it for him!!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Anyone for netball/handball/football Deco style?

Had to smile when I found this little vintage Deco fairing at a jumble sale - not sure if she is playing football or maybe netball - but whatever sport it is, she is certainly decked out to excess by modern lycra-clad standards, what with the large floppy hat, bell bottoms, waistcoat and tie!

Or maybe she was just an elegant spectator who grabbed hold of the ball?

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Scarves - the natural selection process

My current passion is for scarves, shiny 50s satin roses, 80s crepes, 60s Pucci-esque brights, I love them all!  Sometimes this passion gets so out of hand I have to list some of them for sale on ebay.  I find this is performs a process of natural selection and saves me from choosing which to keep ....

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Sunny Saturday in York at the Festival of Vintage

Only now unpacking my bags from my lovely day spent yesterday at the Festival of Vintage (organised by Discover Vintage)

I met so many lovely people and we had loads to talk about - sewing, vintage, patterns, textiles, fave shopping haunts, the world today!!  Strangely, we we were all so busy chatting about our vintage loves that we didn't even mention the royal wedding!!!

Quick trip to a sale this morning and found some lovely scarves (my current retro passion!) and pretty brooches
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