Friday, 20 June 2014

Hello again!

 Well my lovely Friends how are you all - I think you must feel that I disappear in a puff of smoke sometimes.  I set out with the best of intentions of writing to you all and then, things get in the way.  This week has been mega busy with marking and getting my students ready to leave us to go to university.  I still have a lot of work to mark and the whole team have been burning the midnight oil practically every night this week in order to make sure that everything is ready for when the Academic Board come to visit us next week.  The other major problem this week has been my phone as it refuses outright to send any photographs to my blog - what frustration lovely Friends, I go so annoyed with it and have to take it back to the shop to see if they can fix it for me.  So annoying - I had managed to send a few thank goodness and so have enough for this post.   
 However, last week I did have some time out to go to a wonderful vintage fair in Hoole in Chester.  Hoole is the lovelies of little places with really nice little shops and a real old fashioned feel to it, very much a thriving community of people of all ages.  I would love to live there as there is such a buzz to the place.  If you remember I go to Rachel's sewing classes in Hoole so have been finding my way around the place - considering it is on the outskirts of Chester it still has that small community feel to it - fabulous!  I had a wonderful time at the fair and met some really nice people.  I find the crafting and vintage community so talented and inspirational.  A lot of the stallholders were craftspeople themselves so it was so good to stand to talk to them - plus enjoy a cup of tea and some fabulous homemade cakes (all calorie free so they said!).
Now I have been having a go at the schoolhouse tunic and have made two up to now.  Now the second one is my favourite made up from a vintage piece of Liberty fabric which I bought over a year ago from Rachel.  I love it and thought that it looked ok when I had finished.  However Hubby was not impressed and said that I looked as if I was wearing a set of curtains!  Anyway I showed it to my class and they all said that it looked really nice so when my phone begins to work I shall show you and see what you all think.  This pattern is so easy peasy I cannot believe it and I just love making it up.  I hate to say it but I did a far better job on this one than on Tilly's pattern, although I do love hers.

The fabric was from Abakhan and was something I bought to make some dresses for the little Peeps, however the eldest Peep didn't like it very much so poor old Grandma has had to wear it.  I think it is a cute pattern and looks a bit on the vintage side, just like me!
You cannot really see it properly in the photograph below, I have since made a small brooch out the fabric and pinned it to the top which looks quite effective.  It is so easy to wear with white trousers or leggings and I think I will be getting a lot of wear out of during the coming months.  I am already planning some heavier versions for the winter.  I had even thought of extending the length so that I could wear one as a dress with thick tights in the colder weather.  What do you think lovely Folks. 
Now to the vintage fair.  Well there was lots to see but I had set myself a tight budget as I know that I can get carried away at these places. The basket in the photograph below was one of my buys and I intend to spray it a pastel colour just like the wonderful Daisy who does a stunning job on her baskets and lines them too.  There was lots to look at on this stall and the buyer was so kind and friendly and said that a lot of it was out of her collection but she had a true love for vintage.
Here is the stallholder below - Alison.  I told her about my blog and how I have met such wonderful people from all over the world and would she like to be in it?  She was having a big giggle here saying well I might be famous after all.  She was just delightful to speak to. 
This was Alison's first fair and she was quite nervous about it, although she was really confident when speaking to everyone and was doing good trade. She knew a lot about the fabrics she was selling and it was obvious that she had a great love for textiles and vintage.   
I bought quite a lot of this fabric below - I know that it looks a bit gaudy but it is very 1970s and I know that lots of people really like this era.  What do you think Folks?  These are bolster covers which were long pillows which you put across the bed and then placed your individual pillows on top.  I can remember my parents having these on their bed in the 1950s/1960s.  Alison had three of them and I got them for a good price as they were in perfect condition - didn't look as if they had ever been used.   
Here is another bargain I picked up for £5 for the three - these are settee covers with two arm pieces and a long back piece.  They are in lovely condition and although creased they feel brand new. I just love the crinoline lady and am always keen to get my hands on embroidery with this design on. 
 The lovely lady below is called Deborah and she is a very talented textile artist who had previously worked as a lecturer in textiles so really knew her stuff.  She had simply loads of unusual things to sell and I did buy some pieces from her.  
For some unknown reason I was really drawn to this little nightgown which I think is 1930s all hand stitched and such fine fabric - almost feels like a very soft wool.  Every single stitch on it is put their by someone's hand and you can almost feel the love coming out of it. That may sound silly but I honestly had to bring it home - I wonder where this little baby is now?  The detail is just amazing and these photographs do not do it justice.  It is certainly from a bygone age.
Being blue it is obviously for a little boy and even the sleeves have fine ribbon stitched into them so they can be closed up. 
Although it is difficult to make out the photograph below shows the hem and this took me right back to my convent days when we were making our first apron.  I could not get the stitches 'invisible' and had it thrown back to me that many times that it began to look more like a dishcloth than an apron.  The sewing nun was in despair with me and said that I would never get on in life if I couldn't sew and I would never get a husband - so there!  Looking at the hem on this little gown I can see exactly what she wanted.  You cannot see the stitches underneath the hem - the ones on top are little tacks which have been left in.  Wonderful attention to detail. 
Don't you just love with little smocking detail - perfect. 
Part of the gown has these little embroidered motifs on - obviously the baby's name - Stephen or Samuel - who knows? 
I do love the little blue and pink edging all around the hem - it must have taken hours to sew. 
And finally a little shot of the details stitchwork.   
Well lovely Friends I hope you didn't mind indulging me down memory lane.  I shall treasure this little gown, my Hubby is bemused as to why I would buy something like this?  Well I don't know either except that I love to touch it and look at the care and love which someone has put into it.  I wish I had the skills and patience to do this - sometimes our world goes too fast for comfort and I am one of the worst for trying to cram in 24 hours into 12 - we are probably all very similar, such is the pace of life. 
Well my lovely Friends I do hope you have had a glorious week and will have an even better weekend.  I am hoping that my telephone will be sorted very soon so I can get back on track with everything.  The back of the marking should be broken this weekend as I am working online with my team colleagues to try and get everything done by Wednesday at the latest.  After that I will have a little more time then which I can devote to things I enjoy in my social life, like meeting up with all of you lovely Folks. 
I have to catch up with all my favourite bloggers out there and send them all some messages.  I really miss blogging when I am doing other things and couldn't imagine my life without one now.  Do let's know how you are all doing and leave a message if you can as I love hearing from you all.  Hope to speak to you very soon, take care and have a fabulous weekend.  Big hugs and loves to you all.  Dorothyxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 


  1. You are doing so fabulously well with all your makes - well done! I hope things do start to calm down a little so you can spend more time on them. And that looks like you had all the fun of the fair surrounded by all that vintagey loveliness!
    Happy weekend to you, hugs xx

  2. Hi Dorothy, you are busy as ever I do hope things calm down a bit for you after Wednesday so you can have some more time for blogging both on your own blog and visiting all your friends in blog land. Your tunic looks great and yes I think you could make one in a longer length to wear with thick tights in the winter.
    I remember bolster pillows I had one on my bed when I was young as did my parents and those covers are very 70's they are great.
    It sounds and looks like you had a fabulous time at the fair and you got some great buys too
    Have a wonderful weekend and I hope you get some time to play
    Take care
    Jackie x

  3. Always great to catch up. We went to Blists Hill last Sunday in the afternoon but I may have got my weekends muddled up because we poked our noses into every house but could't see you. Jo x

  4. The fair looks as though it was lovely and you got some great things! I like your top and hope that you love wearing it too. You are right that a bit longer with some thick tights would make a great dress in the winter I think! Hope that you have a good weekend. xx

  5. How busy you have been Dorothy- at work the culmination of all the year's work with the students is always a challenging time. Great that you have found time for some lovely activities as well and I love your vintage finds! What fabulous retro fabric and the embroidery is beautiful. It reminds me of so much my mother did -I have seen the crinoline lady design before too. The Christening gown is gorgeous, yes what careful work went into such items and all by hand. Have a lovely relaxing weekend, Love Alison xx

  6. Oh Dorothy I think your tunic is beautiful. It did make me smile when you said about hubby making the curtain comment - my mum got the giggles when she read about my Kate dress and said I looked like I'd escaped from a 1950's mother and baby home! The cheek of it!!! Love your vintage finds, what lovely people you met. Hope your work starts to calm down soon - Mr K teaches A level and I've hardly seen him the last few weeks - bring on the holidays! Have a lovely weekend x Jane

  7. Sounds like you are very busy at the moment Dorothy but I'm glad that you are managing to fit in a few moments of crafting. I think your tunic looks lovely and the fabric is very pretty too.
    Marianne x

  8. Husbands don't understand do they. I've had similar comments from mine. I've 2 dolls like the ones in your picture and a really old one with a bit crossed eyes that I love. That one has a very fragile nightie .
    Absolutely love the embroidered chair back covers.

  9. Hi Dorothy, I think your blog is lovely and what great vintage bargains. I love the nightgown and can't wait to see what you do with the basket.

  10. Your tunic top looks amazing Dorothy! You did a beautiful job on it, and I particularly like the detail of the high waist and pleats. This really will look nice with white leggings. The ladies at the fair look like they were enjoying the attention. You found some really fun things. I remember bolsters too, but we put ours upright to keep our pillow from slipping out between mattress & headboard. That orange fabric really does scream 70s doesn't it! Thank you for showing all the amazing details on the baby's gown. Very charming, and I love this kind of thing too. I once picked up an embroidered dresser scarf, and it wasn't till I got it home and had a really close look at it that I appreciated and loved all the work that someone had done on it. They must've had great patience (and time!) to complete it. Have a wonderful week, and I'm sure you're looking forward to a break in the fast pace of work. Wendy x

  11. Hello lovely Dorothy! I have been away in Norway and just getting organized enough now to drop a line. What wonderful ladies in your blog including the crinoline lady. Just simply delightful!!!