Monday, 31 January 2011

should I stay or should I go?

Have nearly finished but the waistband is too loose so really I should take it off and do something but I am not sure what. Then all I have to do is the hem and buttonholes. Ha ha ha ha! Buttonholes! Manic panicy laughter!

I think I am going to leave it for a bit to join in this week's challenge - sew something inspired by something you like that is on sale in the shops now. I have had a look at the Monsoon website and chosen an item, I have material, I have a pattern, wish me luck.

And because this blog has just been a collection of photos of a half finished dark coloured skirt, here's a photo of Aunty Peg and Uncle Bill in the early fifties (I think). Aunty Peg is wearing a lovely summer dress, they seemed to go in for horizontal stripes then.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

unexpected vintage fashion

Went out for a Sunday potter today and stopped at Ayscoughfee Hall in Spalding where they used to have a delightfully unPC collection of stuffed birds, obviously a previous owner of the house or somesuch had an obsession with oddities and stuffing endangered species for fun. It was a sight to see and extravagantly pointless. Anyway I thought my little girl would like the birds so we went into the museum. Of course they have refurbished it and made it into the most dull and lecturing display you can imagine. All in the name of education I imagine. Sigh.

However imagine my surprise when I find a display I actually like in a sideroom:
In the tradition of the erstwhile birds display I have no idea why it was there. There was no explanation of the pattern, owner or date, just some vague guff about the 1950s and 60s and the factory the shoes came from.

Great though, isn't it?

Saturday, 29 January 2011


I gave myself a pep talk and actually managed the side seams - zip tomorrow.

It's been a lucky week, my friend Louise's lovely crafty Mummy gave me this:

So I'm off to bed for a read. Night!

Make do and mend

Still no kasia skirt - this is where I am up to:

However, I had a great boost today. I occasionally get given things through my local freecycle group and today I went to pick up a large collection of vilene (interfacing). It was a large shoebox sized packet so should keep me going for ages. I met a lovely lady called Marjorie and I had told her on the phone that I was a bit of a novice sewer so she also gave me this fabulous booklet:

How lovely of her! It's dated 1947 and I just love it. My favourite page so far tells me which colours should suit me:

I'm currently an Auburn, (top right) so it's greens and browns for me, apparently. I will soon be in the going grey section though....

Sunday, 16 January 2011

one potato two potato

It's Sunday evening, my little one is in bed and the chores are done - I have even made a little salad to take to work tomorrow, get me and my weird organised ways - but not much time to sew today. I have spent half an hour on the skirt and essentially made the pockets.

Still got crafty today though, we made potato prints and got stuck into two ready made shopping bags:

Saturday, 15 January 2011

put your money where your mouth is

Started sewing the Kasia skirt as promised. I had already downloaded and cut out the pattern, and all the pieces. I am not using retro material (shame!) but something I got when I first bought the sewing machine a couple of years ago in a mad fit of keenness.

And this is how far I got after just over an hour:

I've stopped there for the evening as I don't want to get sewing fatigue and start messing up.

But to prove I do actually finish stuff and not just procrastinate madly, here is the heart I made for my lovely friend Gemma and her fella Dan, who are getting married this year and having a homemade, vintage themed wedding:

Gemma and I went on a charity shop trawl today and I got a fab McCall's Sewing Book from 1963 for a quid, I already have a fave page (which gives some much needed advice on how to do an FBA).

I also snagged a great coat, not old sadly but a very nice, retro look:

My husband only had one comment: it smells of charity shops.... I think a trip to the dry cleaners is needed ;0)

Friday, 14 January 2011

a little less conversation, a little more action

I have stumbled accross this great idea - I will be following the two talented stitchers to see what they come up with. I would love to join them but I appear to be too lazy. I have cut out the pieces for a kasia skirt, I got the free pattern from and I have also seen it on, which I love love love. The pressure is on to get something made - or maybe just have another hobnob.

Kasia skirt or biscuit? Erm...

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

knitting ain't what it used to be

I was so envious of my mother-in-law's vintage knitting book that I bought my own copy on ebay. (I hinted and hinted but the old bat wouldn't hand it over.) Her book was my father-in-law's aunt's from about 1940. My copy isn't in quite as good shape but only cost a few quid and is now in my hot little hands.

So, what  to sew? I would ask what to knit but it's not a pun.

I am quite tempted by this hat but can't imagine when or how I would ever wear it. I am very tempted by the wooly French knickers. Wouldn't anybody be?

Perhaps I ought to buy some wool. I have a small stash but if I want to try vintage knitting DK just won't cut it. More thought required.

For some reason I am drawn to socks. I mentioned this to Aunty Peg on the phone and she thinks I am bonkers. She has pointed out that socks are really cheap and readily available. I pointed out that she is missing the point, it's for the experience and fun of it that I want to knit socks. In the forties she knitted socks because she needed socks.

I mentioned it to my mother too and she shares Aunty Peg's view on socks. I asked if she could knit socks and she answered "of course" as though I were simple. Perhaps I am. I have concluded from these conversations that:

1. People who can knit socks don't want to knit socks because they had to knit socks or go without socks.
2. I, who has plenty of socks, can't knit socksbut really want to knit socks.
3. I must be bonkers, the Pegster is right.

Final sock thoughts: the vintage socks look difficult, the book has 3 different ways of doing a heel.

Maybe I'll start with a doll's scarf and work up.

Monday, 10 January 2011

why I think I should knit more

I thought I would tidy up my crafty things. So I started pairing up needles. And I realised that I have: over sixty pairs of knitting needles, about a dozen crochet hooks, five sets of double ended pins (which I have a vague notion are for sock knitting, for ages I thought it was odd that I had four cable needles the same then I realised they were a set), seven stitch holders, three Tunisian crochet hooks and various other things that I'm not sure what they do but I'm pretty sure it isn't for torture. Could be though.

And I don't really knit.

How did someone who can only knit in a slow and ponderous manner with their tongue poking out get so many needles? Well, I like the idea of knitting and I am what you call keen but rubbish (I was like that at sport at school. No use but there for every practice. My teacher gave me a place on the hockey team because she felt sorry for me.). So I ask alot of questions about knitting. And in the end the people who taught me to knit so inefficiently gave me their needles.

Thank you Aunty Peg.

This is her sometime during WW2 I think. Her hair is amazing. Anyway she doesn't knit now but made me my fair share of home made jumpers in the past, for which I was ungrateful beyond belief of course.

My New Year's Resolution is therefore: to knit more. And sew more. Just for fun. Not to win, or be better, or to become an expert, but because I like it.

So there.