A grand day out at Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair

Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair Bethnal GreenSo on Sunday I decided to head along to Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair with some chums. I was on the lookout for a seventies-style vintage sideboard and maybe see if they had any patterns/fabrics. It was pretty fantastic – not as much furniture as last year’s (I think a few sellers have realised the awesome power of ebay – boo) but lots more clothes and barware.
Look at this vintage sewing machine - what a beauty

Look at this little beauty. Isn’t she divine? I love that kidney shaped desk – so pretty.

I've got my eye on you sister sideboard

I spotted this soon after I arrived. It’s beautifully made and very well kept. The only thing that’s missing is a glass sliding door on the top shelf but it’s barely noticeable.

The first ever Wii?

Is this the first ever Wii?
A veritable vintage fabric bounty

There was an abundance of fabric but a lot of it was only suitable for cushions and upholstery work. I have plenty of that already.

A treasure trove of a haberdasheryA gorgeous treasure trove of vintage haberdashery items, but by this time, I’d already blown my budget. But what on, I hear you say?

Vintage sideboard finds a new home #3Yep – bought the sideboard. It was delivered that very evening by Oh So Retro! on their way home from the fair.

Thanks Caroline!

A rockin' record boxOh and I also bought this adorable late sixties/early seventies record box. But I’m not using it for records, oh no…

A rockin' record boxIt’s now my yarn, zipper and trims stash box.

Vintage sideboard finds a new home #2And here’s the obligatory craaaazy seventies shot of said sideboard. Holy anachronistic furniture pieces, Batman!

If you’re in the UK and interested in attending the furniture flea fair (try saying that with a mouthful of penny sweets), they go all over – check out the website for details.


Self-Stitched-September’11: Days 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11

Ooof it’s been a long week. I’ve been knackered most days – too many late nights and early starts. Even on the weekend I’ve been setting my alarm which on the whole is pretty horrible a task. But onwards and upwards with SSS’11. I’ve not run out of clothes thanks to my trusty hotpoint but I am getting a little bored with wearing the same polka dot tops all the time, even though I do love them. I’ve also worked out I am rubbish at sewing buttons on Beignets, as I’ve managed to lose one already (and I don’t have any spares – yikes) and another two have just popped off.

Day seven: Robot bag

Day seven: Workaday 

Wearing: Robot bag

Wear again? Bit of a cheat day today; I just couldn’t be bothered so I slipped on a trusty old polka dot dress and let the Robot bag take the strain. But yes, I wear it every day so I WILL wear again. Needs a wash though…

Upcycled Monsoon dress

Day eight: More workaday

Wearing: My upcycled Monsoon dress (I took it up by seven inches and added rick rack) plus a Modcloth cardy and thrifted belt.

Wear again: Love this dress. Love the colour and the shape. Am in danger of wearing it ragged so may have to try and copy it before I do that.

Day nine: Bowery gig

Day nine: Pints and a gig

Wearing: Black polka dot smock top

Wear again? Indeed this is in danger of becoming the most ubiquitous item in my wardrobe during SSS’11. Must try harder…

Day ten: Upcycled cardy

Day ten: Tired and blogging

Wearing: Upcycled thrifted cardigan (added lace trim and made sleeves 3/4 length)

Wear again? Yes but hopefully next time I’ll get some sleep and wear some makeup before I let myself be photographed. Eurgh.

Day eleven: Bright Eyes smock top and Zen-im Beignet

Day eleven: Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair in Bethnal Green

Wearing: Bright Eyes smock top, Zen-im Beignet and Robot Bag

Wear again? I need to sort the Beignet out – the buttons are popping off all over the place. But yes – it’s a trusty go-to wardrobe staple and I love my little rabbity top so will definitely wear this again.

Updates from the sewing room

Updates from the sewing room

Greetings sewing-lovers! It’s been a while since I last posted a ‘sewing room update’ but I have a few things on the go and some fabulous fabrics to show you (I promise I didn’t break my monthly budget – well just a bit, but they’re from charidee shops so that’s ok).

First up – I’ve had a couple of great finds from the charity shops in Muswell Hill. All the shops meld into one for me now so I can’t remember whether I got both of these fabrics from the same shop but considering that most of the stores no longer do curtains and duvet covers (boo! When did that become charity shop policy – I’d rather have them than weird/twee doll’s houses and organic canvas bags thank you very much) I think they’re from the same place. Last weekend I picked up this seventies duvet cover for a fiver. It’s begging to be made into cushion covers and even possibly a shift dress.

Seventies flowery duvet Next, I was rummaging about today and found a length (2 metres to be precise) of this quite nice green fabric. It’s darker than  the picture suggests. I was thinking perhaps I’d use it as a wearable muslin for either McCalls 2401 or Simplicity 3835. Bargain price of (wait for it) £2. That’s a quid a metre!

Green charity shop fabric

I also received my skulls & crossbones fabric which I was going to use for pyjama bottoms for current husband and the nephew. But shock horror, when it arrived it was too rough – almost like a canvas material. And I have three metres of the stuff! I’m going to make the boy a drawstring rucksack instead, and have reordered some 100% cotton skulls fabric. That’ll learn me – read the bladdy description instead of drooling over the cheap price.

Skulls canvas fabric

Finally, I’ve cut out all the pieces for my next Beignet. Am so excited about this! I’m using a gorgeous teal corduroy I ordered last week and a green polka dot lining (which I bought six metres of and plan to use for Casey’s circle skirt sewalong as well…

Beignet prepTomorrow I’m off to Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair in Brick Lane. I’m on the lookout for a seventies sideboard and maybe some fabric too. Anyone else going? Look out for an over-excited woman in a denim beignet… 🙂

Completed project: Bright eyes smock top

This is the third time I’ve used this pattern now – it’s getting to be a fave. Regular readers (oh my god I think there are some now other than my sisters – cheers sisters) will remember I copied a Zara top and made a pattern from it. I’ve recreated it in a green print and a black & white polka dot already. This time, I broke out the bunnies and pimped it up a bit.

Bright eyes smock top

I love peter pan collars so I decided to add one to this version. It was really easy actually – I followed the first part of Gertie’s video for drafting a peter pan collar and then freestyled it with my French curves, adding a half inch seam allowance. I didn’t use interfacing – the fabric is pretty sturdy as is, so I didn’t think I’d need it.

Peter pan collar

The fabric is from Fabric Tales – isn’t it adorable? The more I make my own clothes the more I realise I seem to like little animals gambolling all over me. Who knew?!

The trickiest bit was figuring out how to pin the neckline, the collar and the facings all together and working out what order they go in (don’t judge me – I find this simple stuff really hard!), but it worked out just dandy. Pressing it was a bit of a ‘mare though – I really need a tailor’s ham now… it’s on the sewing wish list for Christmas (sisters… take note).

Purple cuffs

For a bit of pizazz (is that even a word that people under 70 should use?) I added some bias binding I had knocking around to the cuffs.

OK I’m going to stop making this top for a couple of weeks. I promise to move onto something else, really. Or maybe just one more time…

Self-Stitched-September ’11: Days 3, 4, 5 and 6

A cocktail and a beignet

Day 3 – Cocktails at Crafternoon

Wearing: The Zen-im Beignet

Wear again? Definitely although I need to get more wide belts to mix up the look a bit.

Day 4 of SSS'11

Day 4 – At the bus stop

Wearing: My upcycled charity shop cardy (attached lace trim and reduced sleeves to 3/4 length) using Casey’s tutorial plus the robot bag. Jacket is also thrifted for £6, but is from Jigsaw – bargainous.

Wear again? I’m always wearing this so YES

SSS'11 Day 5

Day 5 – Relaxing at home with the kitties

Wearing: The Whale of a Time blouse… and Keef

Wear again?I love this blouse personally but I always feel a little ‘unusual’ when I’m wearing it as it’s quite individual, so perhaps not suitable for every event. Although I had a meeting at work with a web developer who thought I was referencing the ‘fail whale’ you see on Twitter which made me chuckle!

SSS'11 day 6

Day 6 – Passed my driving test!

Wearing: Polka dot smock top

Wear again: Hell yeh – it’s now my luckiest item of clothing EVER.

How’s everyone else getting on with the challenge? I’m running out of stuff!

My first hosted Crafternoon

This weekend a group of lovely ladies came to my house, ranging from the age of six months to (ahem) years. We knitted, crocheted  and sewed but we also ate, drank and cackled throughout.

Knitting and crochet

There was an abundance of food brought; cakes, waffles, cheeses, biscuits, crisps, pate and a ton of white wine and prosecco.

Love waffles

Some of us had little or no experience of making stuff, others had some leftover to share. I learned a spot of crochet from Bridie, although by this stage my mental capability to take anything meaningful  in was flagging (I blame the excitement… not the prosecco…)

Learning to crochet

My chum Fay made her first ever piped cushion! Her excitement and delight was awesome.

Fay and her cushion

A few new recruits to the world of crafting….
Crafty babiesCocktails and crochet make for a fabulous combination, no?

Crochet and cocktailsMe keeping up with my Self-Stitched-September ’11 pledge!

A cocktail and a beignet

Completed project – パジャマ(that’s pyjamas in Japanese)

I love pyjamas. I’m one of those people that get home from work and change into their pyjamas as soon as possible, before dinner, whatever. I have about 20 pairs on the go at any one time and my favourite moment of the YEAR (yes that’s right – the YEAR) is Christmas Eve when my mum gives me a new pair of pyjamas to slip into – it’s the best feeling in the world and the fact that I’m not a child anymore and actually a grown woman of 33 doesn’t matter one jot. I love pyjamas.

So anyway… I’m amazed I haven’t got round to making these before.

パジャマ pyjamas

Cherry blossom and asanoha stars I used the gorgeous Japanese cherry blossom and asanoha stars fabric from Fabric Tales. It’s incredibly soft – almost like brushed cotton. I traced around an existing pair of jammy bottoms as described in this excellent tutorial from instructables.com.

Tracing the pattern

Jammy bottom pieces

They look massive in this picture don’t they?! It was fairly easy sewing them together  although it was my first elasticated waist and it was a bit bulky first time round, so I unpicked it and did it again, with better results.

Pyjama elasticated waist

I love the trim – it was only £1 a metre from John Lewis. Everyone needs a bit of pompom action at bedtime don’t they?

Pompom trim

Is there anything nicer than slipping into new self-made pyjamas? Nighty night.