Friday, 29 July 2011

Brocobelle vintage textile bag

I love this (modern) bag pattern and was keen to adapt it to use up some of my vintage textiles.  Years ago I took a handbag making weekend course, absolutely brill, and the tutor was an inspiring guy who I reckon must have been BORN in a handbag!!  Anyway, we learned lots of useful stuff about patterns for bags, cutting out, sewing, lining etc.  I used this knowledge to adapt the above pattern to create my own interpretation below.

I changed the body pieces so my patchwork would fit.  I also sewed on longer suede handles rather than using braid.  I was so pleased with the result.


Wednesday, 27 July 2011

My 70s soul

Recently I've been finding tons of 70s craft books in charity shops

Reading them avidly and finding them very inspiring and, in a funny old way, fresh, and it has made me look again at some of my vintage 70s sewing patterns, like the one above.  Am I imagining it or do the designs from the 70s have a simplicity, charm and style that is very appealing?

I enjoy embroidery and reckon I could tackle the folkloric look of these tops

Now, I know the fashion gurus say you shouldn't wear things if you wore them first time round, but hey, my 70s soul is calling me louder every day ... x


Saturday, 23 July 2011

50s style summer wardrobe make do and makeover

UPDATE **** I have rescanned these pages & saved them as PDFs for you to download on my new website here ***** UPDATE
I recently bought a batch of 1950s Woman's Weekly magazines - have already spent several hours sitting in the garden, glass of vino in hand, totally fascinated by the vintage fashion and home articles. This feature from the June 30 1956 edition had me intrigued as it has good instructions on how to remodel your clothes to create a natty summer wardrobe. I thought this was too good for us Sew Retro gals to miss, so please feel free to use these scans for inspiration for your own sewing. Happy summer sewing everyone!


Are there fairies at the bottom of your garden?

Maybe not, but I have several sitting in my housemaid's cupboard full of crafting supplies and makes

Some are destined for Christmas trees, others, like the little fairy above, can be used to decorate rooms, summerhouses, wherever - after all, remember a fairy is for life, not just for Christmas!

They are perfect for using up tiny vintage scraps of Liberty tana lawn, lace, silks, ribbons, wool or yarn for hair and beads for sparkles

Instructions to make your own will be posted shortly


Sunday, 17 July 2011

Run away with the gay gypsies

Oh yes, currently in the process of releasing my inner gay gypsy - 1970s style - and attempting to crochet a "gay gypsy" scarf from a 1970s crochet book.  OK, I haven't got the yarn specified in the pattern, my crochet hook is probably a size too big, and I didn't check my tension - but since when has not following a pattern exactly ever stopped me from having a go??

I sewed and stitched my way through childhood - toys, dolls' clothes and dressing up outfits; through my teens - gypsy style tiered skirts, pinafores and petticoats along with various am dram outfits (tonight, Matthew, I'm going to be Cinderella); through the 80s when I even made my own suits to wear to the office.  But I never really got to grips with knitting.  But then I had my dear Mum (who was one of the best knitters ever) to take care of beautiful cardigans and knitwear for me.

I taught myself a few basic crochet stitches from an old leaflet I bought for the grand total of 5p in a charity shop.  Then a kindly neighbour, Eileen, has showed me some more stitches (although she despairs of my crooked edges!)  Another 50p spent in another charity shop discovered a fab book of vintage crochet patterns.  Watch out folks, a crochet bikini might be on the cards yet ...


Saturday, 16 July 2011

Sweet as cherry pie

It's often the smallest details that make the biggest impact

I recently discovered a batch of Woman's Weekly magazines from the 1950s

Lots of fab vintage knitting patterns, including a whole department store of knitted dolls' clothes - must have been the only thing they played with way back then!

Each issue had a page of fashion hints from the "London Girl"

As I have an original 50s cherry corsage somewhere amongst my collection, this little snippet caught my eye.  Maybe I should get sewing a red gingham dress sometime soon....

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Can't move forward for standing still

Please tell me it's not just me.

Sometimes there is so much to do - finish designing the garden, make a start on decorating the entire house, sew some clothes, carry on learning to crochet, walk my 10,000 steps a day, shop for stock, list items to sell so I can actually afford to live - that I find myself overwhelmed with it all and instead of rushing around really DOING things, I am unable to decide what to do first, end up doing nothing, then feel really frustrated with myself for wasting so much time!

I know it must be many, many times worse for those of you with kids to factor into the equation too, and I know I have some days, nay even whole weeks, where I can effortlessly achieve some of or even all of the above.  Guess it's just not one of them weeks!!

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