Monday, 27 July 2015

My vintage 70s

I am becoming more & more of a 70s geek every day .... I adore vintage 70s magazines & am fascinated by the adverts which take me back to my teens .... loving these vintage 70s ads from a recent find of craft & knitting magazines

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Vintage Fabric Flower Hairbands

A few weeks ago I took some of the fabric flowers I had made from vintage textiles, lots of silk scarves & vintage cotton scraps, & stitched them onto hair elastic bands.  
The last photo shows a 1940s style felt flower attached to a ponytail elastic.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Life's little surprises

Yesterday I was given the most wonderful gift by a friend ... totally unexpected and totally "me"!  This darling quirky vintage 40s secretary doll is a real treasure - I love the way a handmade doll has been perched on a manufactured desk of the time, and she has great accessories including a typewriter, notepad & pencil.  She has fabulous high heeled shoes & a tight fitting sweater.  Of course, as a dollmaker, I love seeing how vintage dolls have been made so I will be giving this lady (as yet unnamed) a closer inspection.  I can see that her hair is mohair & she has a painted fabric face.  Her new home is the 30s & 40s sewing bookshelf in my office, alongside 30s & 40s books such as Modern Needlecraft by Davide C. Minter (do buy this one if you find it, a fabulous book), 2 editions of The Pictorial Guides by Odhams (30s & 40s versions), some original as well as modern publications of Make Do & Mend books, and my treasured 30s Liberty catalogues & Vogue Knit sewing magazines!

It is great to have a new pal in the office with whom I can gossip! xx

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Strip Rag Patchwork Bag & How to Fray Fabric Experiment

OK, as I said in an earlier post, I haven't done a lot of patchwork, mainly because cutting squares or hexagons etc drives me a bit batty, but I had seen some lovely strip patchwork projects on Pinterest so decided to give that a go.  I raided the rag bag & pulled out some small scraps & strips of patchwork.  I wondered whether I would be able to get a textured rag effect on the strips so stitched them with one raw edge loose.  There was no pattern as such, I cut a piece of lining fabric the size of my cutting board & folded the corners to give the bag its depth.

I used a (vintage) pure cotton thread as I hoped this might shrink slightly on washing to add to the texture.  Once I had stitched the strips onto the backing & constructed the bag, I cut along the raw edges of the strips like you would do for a rag quilt & washed the bag.  After one wash the edges had begun to fray a little:

 I wanted even more texture so snipped away again & washed & dried the bag once more.  I was pleased with the rippled effect on the lining - glazed cotton & no batting (wadding)

After the second wash the edges were beginning to fray more & of course will become more textured with use

I love the random upcycled vintage fabrics in this bag & plan to make more of these.  This one will be going to the Sue Ryder Vintage shop next week xx

Friday, 3 July 2015

the novice quilter

Just spent a happy afternoon sewing ... working on my latest idea for a patchwork bag.  I had an assortment of brightly coloured scraps saved from the scrap bin & wanted to try a rag quilting technique to get some more texture into the patchwork, making it more tactile & interesting.  All made, stitched & snipped, going into the washing machine this evening & will post photos of the finished result (which will be donated to Sue Ryder Vintage in Peterborough when I go in next week) xx

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Motorbikes & More at the Assen MotoGP 2015

Have just returned from Holland where hubby & I spent a great few days at the Dutch MotoGP in Assen, staying in Groningen,  & in Amsterdam.  Thought some of the stuff we found out might be handy for others planning a trip there next year - I did a bit of online research before our trip & found out some good information which was really helpful for us.  (LOL This is of course a departure from my usual blog posts about sewing but hope it is of help to other wives & partners who accompany biker Other Halves to Assen in the future!!!)

We had general entrance tickets for Friday (practice day) & Saturday race day.  On Friday, the track was busy but it was possible to sit in the stand seating on the De Bult Tribune (be warned, I found the steps & seating quite steep, well I was carrying a coffee & sandwich at the time & proceeded with trepidation as I did not fancy falling latte over ham roll down the steps in front of several hundred ever so slightly boozed up Dutch bikers ...)

Following a tip off from a kind Scottish racegoer, when we arrived at the track on Saturday we marched off purposefully to the left, past the De Bult Tribune stands (you had to pay to get in there anyway) and right down to the Mandeveen "loop" at the end.  This section has a grassy bank where lots of fans were seated, but we put our chairs (yep, it really is worth having folding chairs with you) right up against the metal fence at the front just a couple of panels in from the entrance to this section.  We set ourselves down at 10am & stayed there until after 3pm when the GP had finished.  Because we were near the entrance to this section, it was easy for one of us to go out for drinks/food/loos leaving the other with our chairs.  We had no trouble at all & a nice family next to us.  Some others in our group in other viewing spots had trouble with people spraying them with beer or chucking litter at them (beer did form a large part of the proceedings for many) but our section seemed more family based.  You can see from this photo how close we were to the track - I could even see the numbers on the bikes without binoculars & we saw some thrilling racing as the bends here are really close which allowed Rossi to overake Marquez in front of our eyes.

Of course, being so close to the track meant we got filthy, absolutely covered with dust, the collar of my shirt looked like it had never been washed EVER!  I would recommend wearing boots or trainers, not just because of the dust, but as the ground is quite sandy there are lots of ants!

Not a great choice of food, mainly Becker burger stands but we had some lovely rolls & coffees from the Croissanterie stand (15 euros for 2 of us).  Of course lots of beer & cola/drink stands - I saw a guy carrying about 10 plastic cups of beer in his bare hands, a finger in each cup!  Others have specially adapted beer carrying paddles like planks with cup shaped holes in them, so they can carry up to about 20 cups of beer at a time ... you get the picture.  

Keep a few euros of change so that you can use the white toilet blocks, 50c a visit, which are nice & clean.  I reckon the (free) portaloos were probably not for the fainthearted like me, and lots of men just found a spot near a hedge, fence or stream & ..., so I decided it was just a more sensible ploy to keep my eyes trackwards at all times ....   The litter is a shock, there are no bins, and it is a massive contrast to the rest of the country which is wonderfully clean, but I think they just send in sweeping machines afterwards & clear it all up.  Be warned, after the main races are over, the temptation to set fire to litter is too great for some of the attendees, although marshalls swiftly arrived to deal with this.  Hubby & I are probably a bit too old now for some of the high jinks which no doubt continue well into the night as evidenced by the guys we saw asleep on a sofa on the roof of a caravan when we arrived on race day morning (and that was only the morning after the night before the racing took place, goodness knows where that sofa ended up the morning after the actual race ...)

The racing was thrilling.  I really wanted Marquez (or Bradley Smith) to win, but given that about 95% of the crowd were behind Rossi (that guy's fan base is incomprehensible until you witness it yourself), it was probably just as well that he cut across that last gravel corner & won!  Great weekend.  We might go again x

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Vintage Shopping Detox

I am officially meant to be on a vintage shopping detox (yup, that's the only detox going on round here), but as usual, I fell off the wagon ... beautiful Cacharel shirt with embroidered collar (close up below), classic 90s Penny Plain navy broderie anglaise dress, two vintage scarves, cute lizard skin bag, polka dot silk bow tie ...

... and jelly belly horse brooch

But, honestly, I did resist the following ... dress & jacket, jacket, blouse, tie & hankie set, two 30s knitting bags ...

However I did donate a holdall of goodies to the thrift store so maybe the old one in, one out adage is just about holding.