Thursday, 29 March 2012

Go dotty

Go dotty ad
Source: Ad from Stitchcraft magazine, February 1967

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Knit a pair of stockings

 golden hands vintage knitted stockings

I love this photoshoot, the hopscotch, the typical London street on a spring day – and that's before you get to the airborne, shoeless gals in their mini pinnies and handknitted hosiery.

Next they're snapped looking pensive on a pair of gate posts: Golden hands vintage knitted stockings

This issue was part 44/Vol 3 from 1972 of Golden Hands, the Marshall Cavendish partworks that dedicated crafters of the '70s could buy every week for 22½p and collect in special ringbinders. The talented photographer was a Mr Clive Corless.

And here are the patterns for your daisy lace stockings and lace rib stockings... start knitting them now and you could be skipping down the street in them by autumn with a nice pair of loafers and a secret suspender belt.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Looking for Annie Hall

annie hall style
Source: The Book of Creative Crafts, Edited by Elsie Burch Donald (Book Club Associates, 1978)

Thursday, 22 March 2012

The Land Girl look

In my book, there are few styles as easy on the eye as '1970s-meets-the-1920s/1930s' (see The Boy Friend and the original Great Gatsby film), so this 1979 book by Nancy Vale really floats my boat:

nancy vale knitwear
Copyright: Nancy Vale/Mills & Boon books 1979

As the '70s drew to a close, the expert handknitter was reinterpreting some typical '20s and '30s knitwear, using two (three if you count the man) unmodelly models to show off her finished designs.

The tomboyish 4-ply lumber jacket shown on the front cover is my favourite, even among all the fair isle jumpers, cardies and lace-knit twinsets based on garments from way back when every woman and her dog was a knitter.

nancy vale knitwear

The model's wearing an amazing pair of grey pleated jumbo cords in every picture. I want her look!

nancy vale knitwear

So if you fancy knitting yourself a lovely Land Girl-style lumber jacket (in one of the colour combos on the left perhaps?), here's a link to Nancy Vale's instructions, with part two here and three here. I'm off to dig out a pattern for some cords.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Ooh la la

ooh la la
Source: A Complete Guide To Knitting by Pam Dawson (Marshall Cavendish, 1976)

Friday, 16 March 2012

Hello sailor

vintage sewing sailor bag
Source: The St Michael Book of Handicrafts for all the Family, 1975

Surely this nautical, rope-handled, hessian-ricrac-appliqué beauty deserves more from life than sitting in a boy's bedroom holding his pyjamas?

Ah if only you could still wander into a branch of M&S and put such a compendium as the St Michael Book of Handicrafts in your basket along with your ready meals and undies:

St Michael Book of Handicrafts

I've been using this book for craft inspiration ever since I picked it up in a Bournemouth charity shop a decade or so ago. The sailor doesn't get a look-in on the cover but the tie-dye horse has made it onto the front and back – maybe he was too tired to move:

St Michael Book of Handicrafts back

Anyway, if you need a fancy new beach bag/swimming bag/shopping bag/library book bag (or OK, pyjama bag), click here for the sailor boy bag pattern, and here and here for the easy peasy instructions.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Check it out

vintage dressmaking checks
source: Golden Hands Encyclopaedia of Dressmaking (1974)

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Five a day

vintage sewing felt fruit jewellery

Tomato, carrot and pear brooches, a strawberry choker and – the pièce de résistance – an apricot adorning the hem of a trouser leg just north of a nice red espadrille. This 3D felt fruit & veg jewellery is fun alright.

vintage sewing felt fruit jewellery

I found these felt foodstuffs in the Golden Hands Book of Popular Crafts from 1973 – pretty rough around the edges and definitely not from a 'smoke-free home' but packed full of '70s goodness:

golden hands popular crafts cover

In case you weren't sure what piece of jewellery is meant to be what, a handy guide is supplied:

black and white fruit

They're really simple to make from scraps of 'zingy'-coloured felt, thread, stuffing, safety pins and optional beads and sequins.

So if you're not getting enough fruit & veg, or you've just got boring trousers, click here for the patterns.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Knitted ties are in fashion

vintage knitted ties

There's nothing like knitted neckgear to lend a man an intellectual air. These two hunks are sure to have teamed their home-crafted cravats with cords, cardies and Hush Puppies and accessorised with chunky specs and fountain pens.

Note the wonky Letraset-style lettering...

I found these fashionable ties among the tea cosies, oven gloves, pot holders and coal mitts in the Patons Third Bazaar Book:

knitted ties vintage craft

It's more of a leaflet than a book really and I couldn't see a year of publication – any guesses?

Does a man in your life need a stripey or tweed-look necktie? The instructions are here – they couldn't be simpler to make.

Thursday, 1 March 2012


vintage sewing pattern illustrations

How can I get number 5's hair?

Absolutely love the way 2 and 5's hands stray over the zigzags to the pictures next door and that all six ladies have mix & match hairdos and poses – fitting really, as they're modelling the clothes you can make with this 25-garments-from-five-patterns Golden Hands special from 1973:

vintage sewing illustration 

Sadly I can't share the actual patterns with you as I don't have a human-sized scanner. These humans wear their Golden Hands creations well anyway (although they don't look too thrilled about it).

 Golden Hands vintage sewing