Vintage Apron

ready to wear

ready to wear

All the aprons I make are generally long bib aprons with decorative appliqué.

wide pocket

wide pocket

I have just finished a short waist apron in vintage floral fabric that is decorated with yellow velvet ribbon and I rather like it. It is something I will make again.

pocket trim

pocket trim

It is roughly based on a very old apron that my gran used to use (I think it was hers – it has certainly been around a while) which is very thread bear and much the worse for it’s years of service.

waist band trim

waist band trim

The pocket detail is full width and divided to hold cloths, tools and anything else you need when wearing it, be that in the kitchen or elsewhere.

tie at waist

tie at waist

I love this fabric. I picked it up a few months ago and I have already used for a different apron but I have been waiting for an excuse to use this lovely yellow velvet ribbon for an age and this was it.

 

 

sewing machine cover

my singer

my singer

 

My lovely vintage machine is never put away now that I am lucky enough to have a dedicated sewing space so it gets dust and the lint build up that you already get from sewing is worse for being out in the open all the time.

 

hemming the cover

hemming the cover

 

It’s original storage case is a big old rigid thing that is stored away out of sight and out of mind as it is more about transporting the machine rather than protecting it between uses.

 

Sooooo….

 

top stitching

top stitching

 

I scrabbled through my stash of fabrics to find something pretty but understated that would make a nice sewing machine cover. I don’t want to draw attention to the machine in the small room that I use for sewing, I want it to disappear a little.

 

This vintage Arthur Sanderson furnishing fabric has a very gentle yellow and turquoise floral print that I really like.

 

finished and fitted

finished and fitted

 

The measuring is easy as it is overall a rectangular shape that needs covering and although there are features that mean it is not an actual rectangle, a good fitting one would be perfect.

 

fitted straight after being made

fitted straight after being made

It is generally 45 x 35 x 25cm and could not have been easier to make.

 

 

Clothes Cloning

my joules tunic

my joules tunic

I went to a talk at Stroud Green WI last year that was about cloning your clothes. The talk was by Claire-Louise Hardie of Great British Sewing Bee fame and it tweaked at my old skills of pattern cutting and making my own clothes.

I keep threatening to do it again after years and years of filling my wardrobe with off the peg instead of unique made to measure items.

joules original and my clone behind

joules original and my clone behind

Inspired by Claire’s talk, I dug out a few items of clothing and all the tools that I hadn’t had occasion to use in a while.

I promptly set them aside when I got distracted by work, christmas, commissions and work again to name but a few.

It has sat for months and looked very like it would be condemned to my large pile of unfinished works.

almost identical - no zip, slightly smaller & pocket detail adjusted

almost identical – no zip, slightly smaller & pocket detail adjusted

Until last weekend.

I’d actually got around to making the pattern some time ago. I’d bought a dirty cotton drill remnant in my favourite little sewing shop (The Cloth Shop) in Market Hall of Wood Green Shopping City and had also cut it out (remembering to mark it up properly with fold lines, tucks, darts etc etc thank goodness).

neck detail - should have cleaned the lose thread off!!

neck detail – should have cleaned the lose thread off!!

The cloning process and the pattern making had gone quite well but I wasn’t convinced that I had got the slight shape and size changes I wanted to make quite right. It would be fine, the remnant was only £5 and if all else failed, I’d repurpose any disaster into something else entirely.

needs washing and ironing again but it fits

needs washing and ironing again but it fits

It only took me a few hours to assemble the various parts and it went much better than I expected. Even the dreaded sleeves eased into the holes with only a tiny unwanted crease.

pockets adjusted to hold my sewing bits and bobs while I work

pockets adjusted to hold my sewing bits and bobs while I work

It needs washing and ironing again but I’m delighted with my new sewing tunic that is cloned from a Joules tunic that I rather like.

fabric bowls

remnants from The Cloth Shop

remnants from The Cloth Shop

I was inspired some time ago by my purchase of a dear emma fabric bowl to make an odd one of my own but  I wanted them with a fold over top and contrasting linings.

cutting out

cutting out

I wanted them for use around the place for the various ‘bits and pieces’ that seem to need a home but don’t have a specific one or are in transit to somewhere else.

outside ready for patterned lining

outside ready for patterned lining

My original need for them was so that I had somewhere to put all the threads that I am using so they are easy to get at. Since thinking about making them though, my big top drawer on my sewing table seems to work well for these so the bowls will now be used for lots of other things sewing and miscellaneous alike.

lined and turned the right way for finishing

lined and turned the right way for finishing

I got a remnant of some fabulous heavy upholstery fabric from The Cloth Shop recently that is weighty enough to make a fabric bowl work so I got on with it this weekend.

pinned ready for top stitching

pinned ready for top stitching

They are surprisingly easy to make if you get the basics right and allow yourself a little tolerance here and there.

tada!!

tada!!

Preparation and making sure you don’t skip on the stages is the key to neatness but you really have to have the right fabric to make them stand up.

3 different sizes with 3 different linings

3 different sizes with 3 different linings

I love the fact that they are completely reversible to suit your requirements and I will change the combinations and what is on the outside depending on where the bowls end up living.

grouped together

grouped together

I will make more (possibly a nest and definitely some as presents) that are pretty and contrasting but also some that are decorated on the outside with applique.  These plain ones, however, are perfect for and will go into my work room and onto shelves around the flat.

complimentary fabrics

complimentary fabrics

A very satisfying little project before I get on with the rest of the things that I want to do and those that I still need to finish.

contrasting lining

contrasting seersucker lining

Summer Dresses

navy, white and red daisy pinafore

navy, white and red daisy pinafore

A while ago, I made my nephew’s little girl Ella (named after her paternal great gran and one of my favourite names) some pretty princess pinafore dresses for her birthday.

I am going to Harringay Market again soon so I thought I’d make some more ready for the summer.

shoulder button detail

shoulder button detail

They are very cute and perfect for the warm weather.  The ‘new baby’ size is particularly cute.

The possible variations on these are endless, I have put buttons on the shoulder fastening of all so far but have varied the style and number of the pockets on each one.

rolled hem ready for hand sewing

rolled hem ready for hand sewing

I sold one of them a few weekends ago and it is off to be worn by a little girl in Spain this summer.

I have 3 available at the moment but will certainly be making some more.

I’ve concentrated on using some of the floral fabrics from my stash but will be venturing into using some of the lovely, lovely fabric pieces I have bought from The Village Haberdashery as well as bringing in some of my hand applique which I have been missing lately.

What do you think?  Any suggestions for variations?

doggy neckerchiefs

max in a peach floral number

max in a peach floral number

I have blogged about these doggy neckerchiefs before. I’ve made them for friends who have asked for them and I have given some as gifts, but people don’t seem to buy them.  During my days at Harringay Market, it occurred to me that the reason could be that it isn’t easy to work out what these little doggerchiefs actually are!

IMG_0605

Hamlet modelling Agnes’s Doggerchief

Although Max goes down a treat with doggy shoppers at the market; he behaves like everyone loves him and he is always pleased to see anyone who makes eye contact with him, it’s not very fair to expect him or Hamlet to sit around modelling in the freezing conditions that we have had there JUST so that people understand what these doggerchiefs are.

doggy outline

doggy outline

So the solution is to have a stand in; A cardboard cut out of sorts (made of MDF to be precise).

It couldn’t have been easier:- a quick outline of a JRT (Max wriggled a bit but we managed to get him flattened out………only joking!!!! ) enlarged to about the right size, an off cut of MDF from the shed and a jig saw.

cardboard cut out

cardboard cut out

JC did the cutting for me and it is now done.

Although, I haven’t been making much lately and my pile of unfinished projects is really not getting any smaller making the cut out for the purpose of modelling the neckerchief, made me pick these out of the basket & I got them finished.

IMG_0591

I must do some in more masculine fabrics as these all seem to be a bit more appropriate for girls but when you are working with vintage, it is hard to be sure what you will come across.

lady labrador's neck warmer

lady labrador’s neck warmer

Anyway, Agnes now has the cute daisy green, Bosley will get his blue and gingham one next time we see him and there is a labrador along with her chihuahua buddy who also have them in hertfordshire

Hamlet modelling Agnes's doggerchief

I love this fabric!!

I love them and would put Max in a new one every day if JC didn’t think he looked ridiculous!!

the tiniest doggerchief in the world!!

the tiniest doggerchief in the world!!

LOVE is in the air

heart of buttons

heart of buttons

I really am being rubbish at the moment but work is very full on and there seem to be sooooo many demands on my time

but

I did get another of the unfinished projects finished.

Alas, I have probably missed valentine’s day shoppers as it is a tad late.

Still, very much along the same lines as my last post about the valentine cushion, this one has the word ‘love’ on it but the ‘O’ is a heart and it is covered in buttons.

love heart cushion

love heart cushion

It’s quite cute and a completely different shape to all the other cushions I have made in the past.

It’s nice and neat and I have been thinking about doing some doggy cushions and think this one lends itself to a dog image. however, since I still have a load of things to finish and a commission to squeeze in, I will have to hold onto that idea and do something about it another time.