Sunday, 30 March 2014

Feather jar and punched glass bowl

This is one of those odd posts in which the things I have written about were just too pretty not to mention. I have accumulated quite a few guinea fowl feathers, some dyed and some un-dyed from various shops. I was in need of something to put them in as they were all still in the plastic bags they came in. I found the perfect glass jar from John Lewis amongst the wedding favours a few weekends ago. The jar is topped with a ceramic lid featuring a bird and is already full up with feathers of all colours ready for use in all kinds of projects. The other thing is this beautiful punched glass bowl from Waitrose which my Mum bought for me, as of yet I haven't put anything in it, but it'll probably be full up of little bits and bobs sometime soon.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

The teaspoon lady now has a teacup!

You might remember the Tilda teaspoon lady I made a while ago. I didn't have a teacup small enough to fit her in at the time so I was waiting for the next vintage fair to get one. The one I mentioned in the post about the vintage fair the other day turned out to be the perfect size. She can now sit alongside another vintage teacup and a few crocheted doilies.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Vintage jumble sale

To carry on the weekend's vintage theme, here are my purchases from yet another vintage jumble sale yesterday. Its the same one I have been to many times before. You can always be guaranteed to get some good buys, so long as you  get there early. We always make it there for when the doors open, to ensure all the best things aren't snapped up before us.
Yesterday I mainly bought textile items, the exception being a two piece set of a small jug and bowl featuring floral motifs. I bought a box of loads of tapestry wools in soft muted colours, a piece of dark floral fabric, some Broderie Anglaise fabric and piece of embroidered fabric which looks as if it has been cut off a wedding dress; all from the same stall. I am planning to cut off individual motifs from the embroidered piece and use them as decorations for different sewing projects. From another stall I bought a large piece of printed polyester chiffon featuring a small scale print with birds and flowers. I also got two vintage scarves, one a painterly floral print, the other a paisley print which reminds me so much of a Liberty scarf. I have been wanting a vintage scarf for a while so I was very pleased to find these two.
Each time we go, there seems to be a common theme of a few items which reappear on several stalls, this time there were a couple of miniature sewing machines around, as well as vintage scarves. Of course there is always an abundance of fabric and china and there are always a few unusual things too. It still amazes me what I can get for my money at these vintage fairs, I spent little over £20 yesterday. Vintage shopping is so much more exciting as you never know what you will find.


Saturday, 22 March 2014


While I was in Paris in February there was another vintage fair in Chipping Sodbury, I missed the fair at Christmas as well so I was a bit disappointed to miss this one too. But the crisis was averted as my Mum went and brought back a few things for me, she chose very well. The first item was another vintage teacup, I can never have enough! Its small one and has lovely details. The other two things match very well, a couple of vintage blanket squares in soft shades of peach, green and cream and a reel of orange silk thread.


Friday, 21 March 2014

Fashion Friday: Erdem A/W 2014-15

Erdem has taken a new turn. There's a darker side emerging from the signature floaty fabrics and feminine florals. This collection showed at London Fashion week a few weeks ago, but I couldn't miss the chance to write about the new collection. I remember writing about the last collection, S/S 14; commenting on how different it was. Now it seems that this change is here to stay. The florals are still there, but they're darker, the femininity is still there, but now its moody and edgy.
The collection includes a large amount of black, something which never featured in earlier collections and the patent black, snakeskin effect fabric certainly surprised me. At first I thought the collection was going to be entirely monochrome, as the last was, but there are splashes of colour throughout the collection. These colours are deep and rich, adding depth to the light chiffon and delicate florals. 
Aside from all the change, some things have remained the same. Most notably, the quality and originality of the embellishment and fabric.  Highly detailed cutwork creates intricate patterns over dresses and ordered, sparkling beading looks almost regal. This luxurious feeling is continued in the brocade floral fabrics. Of course, floral patterns are another Erdem trademark, only this time they feel more dramatic played out against black.
I like Erdem's new direction, it takes some getting used to, as it is so different to the previous collections. But as I looked through the images of each design, I became more and more excited by the embellishment, the cuts, the colours and realised just how brilliant the collection is. There may be a major change in design features, but the label has not lost any of its charm or quality. I urge you to go onto Vogue and look at the whole collection, and the close up photos, there are so many beautiful details you can't see in the whole-garment photos. Trust me, you do not want to miss out on this.

The man behind the collection, Erdem Moralioglu

Images from

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Vintage and sewing cabinet

For Christmas I was given a plain wooden cabinet from Queen of Crafts which can be decorated. Unfortunately, I think Queen of Crafts has shut down as their website no longer works, so it seems like I got my cabinet just in time. Last month I bought a tester pot of Annie Sloan chalk paint in a dusky pink colour, which I had just enough of to paint the outside of the cabinet. I wanted to paint the inside a different colour, so I chose a Farrow and Ball cream coloured paint, which was another tester pot left over from when my sister was deciding on a colour for her room. I painted this colour onto the inside of the drawers as well.
To back the inside of the cabinet I used Liberty fabric in William Morris' Strawberry Thief print, it worked particularly well with the colour scheme as the pink of the cabinet is picked out in the fabric. I also chose this fabric because of the pastel colours of the pink and cream I didn't want to use a pastel fabric for the back as well, I thought it would be better to use a contrasting fabric. As a finishing touch I used some vintage lace trim on the ends of the shelves. I bought this trim at a vintage fair a while ago and as I didn't have a lot of it I have been saving it for the perfect project.

The next stage was to fill the cabinet, which I finished doing last weekend. In the cabinet are a few of my vintage and sewing items. I spent ages organising these things so they looked just right.  The cabinet is probably bigger than you would think from the pictures, so I was able to fit quite a few things in it. As you can see, in the cabinet, I have put a lot of wooden reels with trims wound on and a couple of miniature vintage teacups. I have filled two of these teacups with the sequins I bought in Paris and the other with trims in the cup and beads in the saucer. The glass jars which I customised with heart buttons a while ago, have found a new home in the cabinet. One of my favourite vintage items I have ever bought, a tiny floral plate stands up on the top shelf, finishing off the vintage theme.


Saturday, 8 March 2014

Dark floral skirt

At the moment I am in love with the abundance of different floral prints set against a dark blue or black background that seem to be everywhere. Of course, I would always have said that a floral print is my favourite kind of print, but for quite a while dark floral prints have been irresistible. So how could I resist a gorgeous painterly floral print with zingy yellow and pink on a deep blue background, especially when it was £5 a metre in the new year John Lewis clearance sale. The fabric is an incredibly fine, fairly loosely woven cotton and I was just as much attracted to the way it draped beautifully as I was the print. It immediately called out to be made into a skirt; a gathered one to accentuate the drape.
I have found lightweight muslin to be the best fabric to line garments with, it is so breathable and hardly adds any extra weight to the finished garment. A lining was essential for this skirt because the fineness of the fabric means it is slightly see through and I thought the lining would stabilise the fabric as it is very delicate. I had made a few gathered skirts from the same pattern years ago so I was quite familiar with the process. In my opinion its one of the easiest garments to make as adjusting the fit is so simple and the techniques are pretty straightforward.
The pattern features a straight waistband which is quite deep, I'd say its at least 5cm. I think that a thinner waistband is much more elegant, so I adjusted this just by taking a few centimetres off the depth. I also find that, with interfacing, a thicker waistband can stand away from the waist towards the top slightly which is something I wanted to avoid. The skirt has a short invisible zip at the side and is finished off with a 'Handmade by me' label.