Sunday, 26 February 2017

Vintage Cloth Lover .... that's Me

Has it really been that long since I last visited blogland? 
It's now silly o'clock past midnight and I just got the overwhelming urge to write a post, as you do when you're a night owl like me.

My first news is very sad. Last week our dear Alfie Blue died. Back in the days when I blogged regularly, and we lived another life in the countryside,  he featured a lot in my posts with his funny loving ways. You may remember that he came and lived with the girls and I when we moved briefly to my mum's,  after selling our family home. Eventually we had to hand him back to his master and only saw him a couple of times after that. We had to accept that we had lost a lot and so we had to move on,  but hidden away in our hearts where it didn't hurt so much we missed him terribly. I was told he had died by my ex in a very short text so I don't know all the facts, but I do know he was loved incredibly by him and that's as it should be for a sweet kind soul such as our Alfie was.

Now to try and lift the mood I thought you might like to see what I've been stitching of late and to hear about some of my adventures. 

Well most recently, last weekend in fact, whilst my love was having a wonderful history trip time in Ypres with his dad and brothers there was a vintage fabric fair in Felistowe. The Festival of Fabric (run by Amanda Bowden of the Felixstowe School of Sewing) was something I'd been looking forward to for a while. When the time came I was utterly skint. My lovely man made sure I didn't miss the fabric fix I needed though by giving me enough pennies to do a bit of damage so like Cinderella we got dressed in our finest and off we went.

We walked into a hall of delights. Two of my favourite dealers were there, one who's a friend, so we had a good catch up too. Another lady I'd never met before, Vee for Vintage was selling the most ooh and aah cloth. I could have bankrupted us with her fabric, but restrained myself by buying these four.
I also treated myself to a beautiful wool felt brooch made by Lucy of 1940's Style for You who knits the most amazing vintage pieces, makes frocks and sells CC41 shoes, hats and dresses too.

Then we came upon The Vintage Pattern Shop. Good lordy too much delectable choice here. All the patterns have been reproduced onto strong paper with instructions which makes using these a lot less mind boggling than those with no instructions or even a clue which piece is which. 

We had a really interesting chat with Sonny, whose business it is,  about studying fashion, design and well you know all the stuff that dressmaking cloth addicts like.

Now that was on Sunday and that evening my love came home. We spent the next day together and as I do prefer him to fabric and sewing, I waited until the next day to get stitching the idea I already had in my head. 

Using the free pattern from Sew magazine (New Look K6447) and one of the pair of Fotheringay curtains I'd bought on Sunday, I got a cutting and a stitching. 

I can't believe I finished this frock in one day. Head down, no distractions and I was off.

To line the bodice I used a jewel bright purple cotton I found in my cloth cupboard. I love the surprise of seeing it there.

The frock had it's first outing the next evening when we went to see The Viceroy's House as a free preview, followed by dinner. It also scrubbed up well to take me for drinks with a friend at The Gin Palace on the Friday too. All in a frock that cost me £15 to make and is already earning its keep. 

Two days later, while Doris beat the hell out of the outdoors world and after I'd finished a few orders, I squeezed a bit more me sewing time in. This time I had a whirl with the Anna Dress from By Hand London. This comes as a Pdf so it's fun and games jigsawing the pattern together before you get to work on the exciting bit. Thankfully it's a really simple and quick make once that's done.

I chose the subtle barkcloth for this frock that I'd also bought on the Sunday. Even though there's a lot of this cloth, I didn't want to waste it pattern matching as I plan to make some bags from it too. 

I'm not sure if this was the right choice, although my Millie assures me it was.

 No photo wearing it as yet as it still needs the zip stitching in.

Finishing off a truly cloth and frock related week, a pal and I, who I've know since art college days, went to the Costume & Textile Association's free talk on the New Look. Boy that was interesting and has made me want to join their group too so I can go and look at the archives of amazing fashions they hold.

When I got home I started on one of the vintage patterns I'd bought on Sunday. I need to mention at this point that I'm not always industrious like this. In fact I haven't sewn this much in ages, just some weeks I guess you get the fire in your belly and I had the time. 

I chose to make the version with the tie and it needs a lot of cloth. Often with patterns I find myself choosing what I have in my stash that fits the amount needed. This cloth was gifted to me by a dressmaker friend after it was given it to her by a lady in her WI group. She also gave me another stunning 1950's piece that I haven't dared cut into yet.

As I didn't have enough to make the bias binding for the neckline and sleeves I bought some ready made black binding. I was also debating whether to make the ties in black. That's why this chunk of blackncloth (which is destined to become a man's shirt) is wound around the waist, I'm planning on it looking far more flattering than this and have decided I need to use the same fabric.

Now I think I'll end this post here for two reasons. One, I think any more and you'd be nodding off and two,'s 2am so I really should be nodding off. 

I hope and aim to be back shortly as I've lots to share if you don't mind.

Ta ta for now.


  1. I'm not a Twitterer (too olden...myself and my phone) but I follow your Twitter photos tho I can't comment. Very happy to see you here on the blog! Sorry for the loss or Alfie Blue...he was a beautiful boy.

  2. It is good to get an update on what you are doing, I think of you quite frequently.

  3. Oh no poor Alfie I hope you and the girls are ok xxxxx

  4. Will be happy to see you back soon and showing more makes. Love what you have done recently. Sorry to hear of Alfie's passing.

  5. That's sad about your little dog, poor Alfie , Love all your creations and your home xxx

  6. So sorry to hear about your bad news.
    Wow, your sewing skills are incredible chuck!
    Big hugs xxx

  7. Lovely, lovely fabrics and makes! Interesting about Felixstowe I will look up and keep an eye out for the events which sound delicious.

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I always try to get back and reply, but sometimes this may take a bit longer as pets and children always seem to need attention around here.

Bobo X

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