Thursday, 18 July 2013

Shorts and charity shop scores

Folks, it been a scorcher the last couple of weeks! The UK seems to be experiencing this strange thing called "Summer". It's hot, and hasn't rained for 2 whole weeks!! When you live in a county that is famous for its lakes and wet weather, this is nothing short of a miracle.

As is this picture:

Cor blimey, look at the colour difference between my arms and legs. Hah!


I made shorts! Never before have I had the urge to wear shorts, but in this heat I'm past caring. Let's talk body issues for a moment. I hate my legs, or rather my thighs. They are second only to my super stretch-marked belly in not being bared to the world (as far as decency goes, obviously). My thigh measurement is the same as some people's waist size, and they are the reason I can't buy trousers to fit. I hated every PE lesson at school where I had to get my wibbly legs out, and those days developed in me a subconscious hatred of wearing shorts. Especially the "knickershorts" they made us wear for gymnastics, which were exactly what they sound like. Think 1970s hot pants, made of horrible acrylic jersey. Yeah.

One thing that has helped me get over that issue, aside from being in a relationship with someone who generally makes me feel happier about myself, was getting tattooed last year. You can see part of it peeking out from under the shorts. I got this tattoo for our daughter: I designed it myself using elements from the inspiration for her name. I won't share a full picture of it just yet as it still needs some reworking; an allergic reaction to the cream resulted in some poor healing in places, so it needs some touching up before I'm happy with it. The act of getting this piece has made me love that leg, at least, a little bit more. Plus, when sitting with your legs on display for all and sundry at a public event, being watched by passers by while a guy twice your age inks you, you can't exactly be shy.

So while I may not be about to strut around town in these, I'm at least happy to wear them around the house and garden, and be seen by the neighbours wearing them!

They were made using Simplicity 2654. I just about squeezed them out of the leftover denim from my Simplicity 3688 jeans, and used a scrap of floral cotton for the facing. I didn't bother with pockets, and threw the zip in by machine with little care for neatness. I made these in under an hour one evening after DD had gone to bed.

Oh yes, the charity shop scores.

Yesterday I hit on both fabric and vintage patterns in the same shop!

2m of this pretty polycotton print. It is shades of dusky blue, grey and pink and will do nicely for some dresses for Little One.


Three vintage patterns:



Butterick 6696

The Woman pattern is one that I've lusted after for ages. It was one of the first things I ever pinned over a year ago- I can't quite believe I found it! The blouse is a nice basic with some cute details that will probably see a fair amount of use.



I also picked up this very pretty cake plate a couple of weeks ago. It's pressed glass with transfer printing on the reverse, probably 1950s and is nice and big, though the gilt edging has been scrubbed away by its last owner. It's already seen use for Little One's birthday cake last week!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to eat about a million ice lollies! Brits can't cope well with the heat.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Woolfest 2013

This year I got round to attending Woolfest, a treat courtesy of Boyfriend's mum. I only actually found out about this event last year, even though its venue is very local to me here, being in the next town over just a few miles away.

I did take the proper camera, but made the error of not checking to see if the memory card was in! I do that all too often. So no proper pics, and just a couple of phone snaps.

Little One thoroughly enjoyed stroking the array of fancy sheep with crazy horns, but the alpacas were definitely her favourites!


I don't blame her. These guys are so sweet with their giant eyes and afro hair. They'd just been sheared too, which makes them look so very odd.

I bought a few bits, though no actual wool, heh. I guess I'm still too much of a cheapskate to pay the prices for wool at these things even though I know it's worth it. Plus I didn't have much spending money AT ALL with Little One and Boyfriend's birthdays both coming up next week.

I got this issue of Needlewoman and Needlecraft, dated October 1953.


I bought it primarily for this pattern, which I wholeheartedly intend to make up at some point. Pretty!


A couple of knitting patterns: a simple cardigan for me, and a textured cardi and a shrug for Little One.


The magazine and patterns both came from Felicity J Warne's The Old Bookshop, a specialist costume and fashion bookseller with a vast array of vintage and current books. I spent a good while at this stand browsing- she had some gems! They sell via their website as well as having an appointment-only shop in Enfield, London.

I also stopped by Susan Crawford's stand and got to look at some of her lovely knitwear in person. They really are as nice as they look in the books. Speaking of which, Boyfriend's mum bought me both Vintage Gifts To Knit, and Coronation Knits, two lovely pattern books. Though apparently they're my Christmas present- she whipped them out of my carrier bag and took them home when I wasn't looking. Bah. Sadface.

My only other buy was some always-necessary buttons from Brimstone Buttons and Buckles. They had a lovely selection of vintage ones as well as fancy carved wooden and horn new buttons. I came away with a set of three red 1950s ones, and some 1930s black carved ones for £1 each set.


I wished I had enough for the blue glass daisies buckle in the photo below (top right). It was beautiful!


Afterwards we stopped off for coffee and cake at the Squirrel's Pantry tea room- a lovely little place with vintage crockery for sale on all the windowsills. Someone enjoyed a big jammy scone.


Hopefully I'll get to go again next year with more money!