Posts tagged ‘books’

April 22, 2012


I read about ‘thrifting’ on other people’s blogs and have this romantic idea of going into second hand shops and coming out with armfuls of beautiful vintage fabrics, quirky objects and items that can be up-cycled into wonderful new things.  The reality however, in my experience, is not like this.  I’ve popped into the local charity shop and come away empty handed many a time.

But recently I’ve had a little success!  Nothing too amazing but it’s a start. Last week I managed to pick up this decent sized piece of blue material for £5, which might become the back of a boy quilt sometime in the future, and some cotton dollies to add to a couple I got a few weeks ago.  I have a few ideas for these, and one now lives under the glass on my coffee table.

I also got some embroidery and needlework books from a few different shops when I was away in Norfolk last week.   All a couple of pounds each.

They’re all from the 60s/70s but my thinking was that the techniques will still be as relevant today.  In fact some of the designs are quite timeless, or they have come back into fashion.

I like the colour and the pattern of this front cushion


Interesting embroidery image


One of the few colour pages in 'Enjoying Embroidery'. Sadly most of them are black and white

So I am now inspired to carry on hunting out finds, but think I have learnt a couple of things:

  1. Know what you’re looking for.  That way you can go in and hunt them out.  I found that without an idea of the sort of things I wanted I was in danger of ending up with a load of stuff that I had no purpose for just because it was cheep,  or (more often in my case) coming away with nothing because nothing stands out.
  2. It makes a difference where you shop.  Thinking about it it’s obvious that the contents of the shop is going reflect the people in the local area who donate to it so it’s worth shopping in different places.
  3. Go often.  Because things change and you never know what you’re going to find.

Also while I was away I went into Jarrolds, an independent department store in Norwich, which has a lovely little haberdashery section.  I couldn’t resist getting some grosgrain ribbon in aqua, grey and flowers, some buttons and a length of this lovely patterned binding.

January 14, 2012

Not a stitch or post in sight

No making lately unfortunately but I was given a couple of making books for Christmas which should provide some inspiration.

I got Lovely Things to Make for Girls of Slender Means by Eithane Farry, which is indeed lovely!  I’ve only flicked through but it is packed full of ideas on making, adapting and refashioning clothes and accessories.  I like her approach to clothes making which has a strong sense of ‘just have a go’ which I need a bit more of, I’m too cautious.

"There's probably a seamstressy way of making this skirt so that the finish is couture, but I made it up as I went along, and it worked out pretty fine.."

There are some things that I probably won’t make…

Chipfork necklace

But also some nice embellishment ideas and alternative ideas that I would like to have a go at.

Fabric corsage

China necklace

Eithane also provides loads of basics and tips and commentary relating each section of the book (the seasons) and the projects.  I’m looking forward to having a proper read.

At the other end of the spectrum (project cost wise) I was also given The Liberty Book of Home Sewing.  This has many very nice sewing projects, made all the more nicer by the use of gorgeous Liberty fabrics.  I love this apron…

Liberty apron

And another flower corsage…

Rose corsage

Plenty of inspiration.  My next project is going to be a notice board.  Post soon hopefully x

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