After a Fashion?

 

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The inside of my winter wardrobe.

I don’t often post on this blog: I’m usually to be found thinking about quilts at She Sews You Know , but as my thoughts are wardrobe related I thought I’d write them here.

Lately, I have been reading a few things about minimalism, capsule wardrobes and having the clothes you need for your life. Project 333 is one you might like to look at if you are interested.

There is nothing minimalist about my wardrobe. Running kit, scruffy clothes for walking the dog and cleaning out hens are all in drawers and of course there is the extensive laundry pile.

There’s also nothing fashionable about my wardrobe.

This is still my favourite coat and it makes me easily recognisable. No one else has one like it and that’s my aim where possible.

There are only two items hanging there bought new from shops – a green maxi dress bought in Berlin and a camel maxi coat bought about fifteen years ago. There isn’t much of a colour theme: if I think it suits me I will wear it. Sometimes I find or make a piece and it has to wait a few months until I find or make a piece that goes with it.

I recently filled up a bin bag of clothes for the charity shop – I make mistakes and I go off things. I’m hoping there’ll be other people out there who aren’t too worried about up to the minute fashion so they’re not wasted.

 

This is my evening skirt, made of silk, lined with silk and worn once, maybe twice. It didn’t get added to the bin bag because I’m planning to reuse the fabric for other projects. The silk top is already in the unpicking pile.

I am trying to build a wardrobe I can actually wear year in year out until it wears out – I get fond of clothes and I don’t want to trash the planet. I love clothes  but I don’t want to be dictated to. I want to wear clothes that represent who I am, brighten up my life and let me get on with that life.

I’d love to hear from you if you are working on the same lines…..

Norma x

PS. Yes, still wearing them!

 

An exciting week!

I’m going to give a historic quilting workshop at the Weald & Downland Museum in May. Victorian & medieval to try & lots of other sorts to examine.  I’m in the brochure & I’m so excited….

The latest quiltThe latest Victorian style Weald & Downland Museum quilt.

Tumbling blocksMy own Tumbling Blocks – grown much bigger since this was taken.

And a new skirt…

New skirtNew skirt (and Gus!)

The fabric is very felt like and I bought it from the Turkish Market in Berlin.  I used the same pattern as the patchwork skirt I made in the summer. I love the way it’s cut on the bias.

Patchwork SkirtIt was hard to find interesting  fabric in Berlin – I should have asked people for tips before I went.

New skirtIt’s also a bit of a stash bust – the lining came from a bag of fabric given to me by a friend ages ago.

New skirtHeading off to the supermarket

New skirtPurple coat and pink skirt are me-made, boots from green shoes, denim jacket from charity shop and blouse from car boot sale.

The blouse is lovely but it crumples like a rag after a really short time. I’m thinking of using a bit of spray starch. Or does anyone have a better idea, please?

Happy Weekend! xxx

Berlin Days

Anyone remember Cabaret?  It was one of my favourite films.

I went to Berlin for the first time in the 1980s – before the wall came down and it seemed a sad place but I’ve always wanted to go back. So that’s where we went, taking the Eurostar to Brussels, changing in Cologne and reaching Berlin about 12 hours later. Train travel is my absolute favourite: it really feels like travel.

Askanischer HofThis was the hotel – the Askanischer Hof in Charlottenburg. Gogeous art deco place dating from the 1920s.

Our bedroomOur bedroom. Does it remind you of Cabaret? Well, nearly. A girl can dream can’t she?

StaircaseChristopher IsherwoodIn search of Cabaret, Christopher Isherwood, cycling around Potsdam, hanging out in Prenslauerberg, the Turkish Market, museums, history…. so much to do and only a week to do it in. I’d love to go back.

Spy Exchange Bridge This is where spies used to be exchanged during the Cold War.

BerlinIt was colder there than here. I wore my coat every day – and needed it!

Everything me-made except boots from Green Shoes, tights – retail, denim jacket – charity shop.

Good news at home too.  My other half has a new job and I’ve just started a temp job at M & S.

Happy weekend xxx

A Sunny Weekend

Day 25I went to a Vintage fair on Saturday, only to discover it was actually on Sunday.

Still, I got the chance to wear my lovely new shoes

New Shoes!These arrived last week from Kinky Melon.  1970s, unworn & my size. Aren’t they lovely?

Avoca dressAs the vintage fair was only a few minutes cycle ride away, I went on Sunday too. I wore this summery Avoca dress as it was such a lovely day.

Avoca dress close upI know it’s not me- made but I think it counts for MeMadeMay.  I had to sew up the front to make it wearable.  I have no problem with showing cleavage, but this dress gaped & I would guess that was why its original owner gave it away.  I also did a few minor repairs.  I convinced myself it counted anyway……

1930s buttonsAnd I bought these lovely vintage buttons – 1930s, I think.  I don’t know what I’ll use them for but use them I will.

Linking to Lakota’s Ta Dah Tuesday.

More Quilting & a bit of Me Made May

I’ve been hand quilting a waistcoat for the Weald & Downland Museum & thought you might like to see it.  Baasically, it’s a 17th century bodywarmer.  The top is a fine pale green wool, there’s carded sheeps wool in the centre and a linen backing. It’s quilted with linen thread which has to be waxed.

Quilted waistcoat

This is the waistcoat quilted & ready to be made up.

Quilting 17th century styleIt took me about 15 hours to quilt.  The thick linen backing means that it’s hard to get up any speed.

I decided to show a couple of Me Made May outfits because I particularly like them.

Me Made MayI think it might be the setting like best rather than the outfit.

This is a refashioned (altered & dyed) skirt and a top made from another skirt.

Top, no pattern requiredThis is my favourite top.  I made it from a Liberty Print skirt I found in a charity shop. Those are my me made shoes too.  I’ve worn them most days this month. The trousers are Olsen from a charity shop.

Some days I’ve only got one visible me made but I always wear my me made knickers, so that’s two. (In answer to Curtise).

I’ve got a dress in progress at the moment so I will have something new to wear this month. Hooray!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Wearing the Blues

Blue skirt & blouse

My new clothes.  I feel smart enough to work in an office.   A blue cord skirt made from my own pattern.

Blue cord skirt

And my first Deer and Doe Airelle blouse. The main fabric is cotton lawn. The fabric has to be soft and drapey as the blouse can’t be very fitted: there are no fastenings at all.  Rather like a non-stretch tee shirt.

Airelle blouse

I love the pattern and will definitely make another.  Very French don’t you think?  The contrast collar and cuffs were made from a scrap of quilting fabric.

Airelle pattern

I have the Robe Sureau pattern to try too –  maybe some of my birthday fabric.

Cord skirt

I thought the skirt and blouse would be good together, but I made the skirt first and couldn’t wait to wear it.

Blue Airelle and skirt

I have started my purple Minoru jacket but it won’t be ready soon because I am making a dress for someone else – a customer! I have started a business to do repairs and alterations but I was asked to make a dress.  And yes, she has seen me wearing my me mades and was happy with the standard.  Exciting!

New clothes and a new business, I’m so happy  I’m linking this to Lakota’s Ta Dah Tuesday.

Was it was here?

Chatsworth Road, Clapton

For the first time in more than thirty years I went back to the street where I lived when I moved to London.  This is Chatsworth Road, Clapton and this might be the shop I lived above. Only it was a shoe shop then and I lived at the back: yard view not street view. I really don’t know if it was the same place or not.  How crazy is that?

Birthday fabric

On a more certain note, my other half’s mum gave me some money for a shopping spree in London and I bought all this fabric on Walthamstow Market for £50.  Karen at Did you Make That? recommends the market and I can easily see why. If you can get along there on a Saturday it’s definitely worth it.

The striped fabric is pure wool made in Huddersfield – probably for trousers;

the purple is a wool type destined to be my first Minoru jacket, a practice for a waterproof and more expensive version ;

Minoru pattern

the turquoise is jersey  for my next long sleeved tee shirt.  I said there would be another and I meant it;

the spotty fabric is soft cotton for a dress – maybe Robe Sureau or New Look 6000.

Thank you to everyone who commented on my tee shirt – I really appreciate your encouragement.  Pattern making seems the way to go if I can get to grips with it.  Just think of being able to make anything you can imagine…….