A Reverse Applique Waistcoat

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Reverse Applique Waistcoat

I made this waistcoat for my husband several years ago and never blogged it. No idea why.  I’m writing about it now because the quilt group I belong to, Welsh Heritage Quilters,  are putting on an exhibition 26th March – 9th April (Minerva Centre, Llanidloes) and I thought I’d show this.

The top is made of stretch velvet stabilised with interfacing. The underneath layer is silk taffeta. I beaded with glass beads and the machine threads are a mixture of variegated threads from cheap to expensive – silk to manmade.

Does he wear it? Yes, for several New Year parties or anything else where bling is an option.

Thanks for dropping by.

Norma x

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1930s Sewalong

 

I made this dress in 2010 from a 1930s pattern. It’s made from a high quality navy and white cotton. I wore it once or twice and then dyed it French lavender and wore it again.

Although I liked it I was never really happy about the quality of the sewing. It was a wearable toile at best and I’ve always thought I’d like to make the real thing. I think it would enhance that not so pared down wardrobe of mine.

Emily Ann Frances from RetroGlam is also going to sew 1930s and we’re hoping that you would like to join in. There are no rules or deadlines so please go over to She Sews You Know if you’re interested in joining us or you’d just like to follow our progress.

 

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

Old Jeans Reused

I have a real passion for reusing textiles.  I will try to mend more or less anything: it’s a mainstay of my little business and of my life generally.  Once mending isn’t practical I go on to reusing.

I buy my jeans secondhand – most of the ones I buy look almost new – and I wear them to death.  After that I try to make something else from them. I think this bag is a big success so I thought I’d share it.

Jeans bagI’ve had a request for more pictures of Gus, so here he is.

I’m displaying my new recycled jeans bag and wearing Red Herring top from car boot sale and posher than usual Per Una jeans from the St Catherine’s Hospice shop.

Jeans bag close upClose up of jeans bag

I patched fabric scraps on to a piece of curtain lining, added part of the leg of some old jeans on top, sewed lots of zigzags in lines to hold the fabric together and then cut back the denim.

I didn’t take any photos of the process, but if anyone is interested I can easily do some more and post a tutorial.  Please let me know in the comments if you would: l love the process so don’t mind having another go.

Hope you are all having a good week. My treat of the week was bright red hair – better in reality than on the photo.  I’ve been working quite hard though, so I’m planning a relaxing trip to the charity shops tomorrow.

xxx

Patchwork stripes

Patchwork SkirtMy beach skirt!  We’re not going to the beach until September but I’m ready for it.

Patchwork skirt - backThe back

I made up the patchwork as a piece of fabric and then cut the pieces out of it.  The pieces are all cut on the bias and unfortunately I cut some the wrong way and had to make extra fabric. I used a Burda pattern; there’s a back zip and a slightly elasticated waist.

Sideways onSide view

Now all I need is some good weather…..