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.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Collecting Vintage Textiles for Doll's Clothes

I have been busy searching for interesting vintage garments & textiles to use in making clothes for the rag dolls I have been designing.  This cute pair of vintage 90s (or maybe 80s) shorts are by that lovely vintage brand Nightingales & I love this ditsy daisy sprigged pale denim.  The shorts were actually a pair of jeans but they were badly worn on the knees.  I will donate the shorts to the vintage store where I volunteer & have the remaining "legs" to make into clothes for the dolls.

Vintage Lace Bobby Pins

Lovely vintage lace motifs glued onto bobby pins to make pretty hair decorations

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Vintage Petticoat Rescue

This vintage petticoat was very beautiful with some lovely broderie anglaise but had been through the wars & needed some attention.
Firstly, I removed the label inside as I was concerned this might run when I bleached the fabric.  After soaking for a couple of hours in a weak bleach solution, I laundered & line dried the petticoat.  It had a rather voluminous waistline with tapes inside the waist casing.  I opened the casings at the side seams so that the tapes could be pulled up to gather the waistline & fastened with a bow inside.  I rethreaded the original peach ribbon through the slotted broderie anglaise trim at the top.  Using white cotton thread, I darned over one small dark dot which I had been unable to remove.  Finally I stitched on some white cotton daisy trims to camouflage a couple of small holes towards the hemline.
This petticoat is now officially ready to party!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Groovy 70s Tank Tops

Tank tops take me back ... I love these bright 70s motifs and thought they are great inspiration even if, like me, you cannot knit.  I love the way these jumpers have been knitted in T shirt shapes!

Having a MAJOR house sort out - not for the first time in my life!! - and trying to rationalise the shedloads of "interesting" vintage & retro magazines & books I have accumulated.  This vintage 70s Stitchcraft magazine is in a very poor state but has some great retro motifs to be used on children's knitwear but which would be lovely inspiration for stitchworks too.  I have scanned the knitting instructions for the motifs & hope they might be used to make some fun knitwear ... just wish I could knit! x