A vintage day out in Norwich

This weekend the husband and I took the train to Norwich for some quality time with the in-laws. After a lovely Saturday afternoon spent celebrating my 16-year-old sister-in-law’s birthday we did a quick spot of shopping around the The Lanes, a fantastic area full of little alleyways bursting with independent shops and vintage treasures. Although pre-payday my budget didn’t extend to buying vintage clothes, a second day exploring Magdalene Street on Sunday unearthed more affordable treasures.

Magdalene Street is a vintage-loving sewist’s dream. It has no less than four (yes, FOUR!) fabric shops, a bunch of great charity shops stocking fabric, curtains, furniture and clothes plus a couple of amazing antique shops. One particular place was as big as a warehouse and was stocked to the rafters with stunning pieces of furniture. Not rock bottom prices but cheaper than anything I’ve seen in London and generally in much better condition for the money. It also had rails and rails of vintage clothes, aprons and textiles. Heaven! One day I will go back with a car and furnish my entire home from there, but in the meantime I picked up some vintage sewing supplies that I just can’t wait to use.

Le-Roy 3133 vintage 60s pattern

Love this little pattern from the 60s – specifically view A with the contrast collar and cuffs. However, after closer inspection I’ve discovered it’s unprinted! Ack. Not sure how to approach this. I know Gertie has done a tute on how to make a muslin from an unprinted vintage pattern but I suspect that one’s better left to a winter’s Sunday afternoon.

Vintage 30s/40s buckle

Vintage 30s/40s buckle

Vintage mother of pearl buckle

Vintage 30s/40s buckle

I also picked up a selection of vintage buckles from as far back as the 1930s. I particularly like the mother-of-pearl buckle – think that might make a nice belt to go with the Betty Blue Beignet.

Vintage 50s buttons

Look at these little sweeties – don’t they look good enough to eat? Looking forward to putting them on a vintage-style blouse or shift at some point in the future.

Black and white check

I also had a bit of a root through Oxfam’s fabric section and found this black and white check for £2. Possibly enough for a simple shift/pinafore? Definitely enough for a miniskirt. Not fantastic quality but am sure it will come in handy.

Ulster Weaver fabric

And far from Norn Iron I found this lovely cotton/polyester mix from none other than the Ulster Weavers for £5! I love the bright colours – it’s almost verging on arts and crafts territory. I’m going to use it as a throw as the fabric is rather too thick for clothes. Or perhaps it would make some gorgeous cushions with a lime green trim? The background blue is a lot more vibrant than this picture suggests btw.

I also have a confession to make. In all the excitement on Saturday I clean forgot to have my pic taken for Self-Stitched-September. I was wearing my upcycled monsoon dress. And on Sunday I only wore my robot bag as when I was packing I forgot about SSS’11 altogether and just packed what was practical and light (i.e. jeans and t-shirt). So double fail on documenting this weekend’s SSS’11 activities. But unbelievably a lovely lady approached me on Saturday in Norwich town as we were heading home, and asked me where I got my ‘pretty dress’ from! While I would have loved to have grinned widely and said ‘Thanks – I made it myself!’ I simply couldn’t take the credit so said it was from Monsoon and then went into probably more detail than she would have liked about how I took it up and added rick rack. She scarpered off a bit quick after that – ah well. 🙂

Anyone else enjoyed the delights of Norwich? Any vintage treasure troves to recommend?  We’ll have none of your ‘normal for Norfolk’ comments round here – that’s my future home you’re talking about 😉


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