Thursday, 28 February 2013

Patterns of my life

Like other persons of the 50ish generation, I am increasingly surprised (and at times mildly alarmed) to find sewing patterns I remember from the 70s and 80s now classified amongst the "vintage" wares - the 70s smock tunic and the 80s jumpsuit above being examples!  Don't they say something about not wearing a style if you wore it first time round?, but I am becoming more and more drawn to the fashion of my youth .... Yesterday I had a good browse through the pattern catalogues in John Lewis and was flabbergasted to see a standard pattern retailing at £8 plus. Oh well, I'll have to keep discovering my patterns in thrift stores and online, or of course maybe try to draft some more of my own patterns - which I love trying but can be time consuming. 

Yesterday evening I spent a couple of happy hours looking through the batch of 1940s Workbasket magazines I bought online just before Christmas.  I am surprised how many crochet patterns they contain, and although my brief flirtation with learning to crochet hit a bit of a stumbling block when I realised increasing and decreasing was beyond me (I know, I know ...), I am tempted to try again.  The Workbasket magazines have some lovely knitting too, and of course my favourite, some lovely vintage needlecraft projects.  Thought I would share this knitted rug pattern with you as I had already scanned it - will share more with you soon.


Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Happy Vintage Valentine's Day

Like I need an excuse to have a look through my lovely ephemera file, full of vintage greeting cards and postcards, always a source of design inspiration for my handmade projects ...
Happy Vintage Valentine's Day everyone

And if those cards are a bit too cutesy for your taste, a vintage greeting card from the 1950s with a more down to earth theme!



Let's get (vintage) beading

The illustration (taken from an advert in a vintage craft book c1910) shows a lady in a relaxed pose contemplating her divine embroidered cushion and delicately beaded top - very different to my usual frantic days spent running my little vintage & handmade business!  Oh well - I thought she would make an elegant introduction.  I am currently stitching a range of brooch designs using vintage textiles and (modern) felts, and I love using vintage beads to highlight my embroidery.  So I was thrilled to find an old Sylko thread box full of vintage seed beads whilst out stock shopping this week.  I think these must have come from a retailer and I would date them at c.1910-30 - some of the skeins of beads have tiny paper labels marked "L Dept" and stock reference numbers but no other clues.  The colours are divine - old gold, vintage silver, bronze as well as some jazzy hot pink, ethereal amethyst and deep aqua:

And just to show how these beautiful beads would have been used, here is a photo of a lovely Deco beaded net dress trim from my collection
There are some lovely beading projects in the book from which I took the first illustration, all a bit too finicky even for me, and I was interested to discover instructions for making a beaded daisy chain as I have some daisy chain trim in my stock:
So if any brave soul out there fancies having a go at making some of this trim, I have scanned the instructions below:
Happy beading everyone!
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