Sunday, 29 April 2012

Sew simple quilted jacket

quilted jacket
Gimme shelter
It's been raining cats and dogs in London for what seems like months now, and with no let-up on the cards any time soon, I spent this crepuscular Sunday afternoon with the heating on, searching for a pattern for a mac, sou'wester or some kind of rain bonnet.

Nothing doing on the waterproof front, but I did find a smiley girl posing on the seafront with a bright red brolly in a lovely quilted jacket and, in one of my boxes of paper patterns, this skirt depicting a tree being struck by lightning:

lightning skirt 2

The jacket is called the Instant Quilted Jacket, which I must admit is a slight exaggeration, but it is made out of pre-quilted fabric, which is a bit of a cheat (purists and those with time on their hands could quilt their own) and the pattern pieces are all squares and rectangles, so it actually is pretty simple to make. Click through to the instructions here and here and here.

quilted jacket brown
Same girl, different hairdo, same jacket, different fabric...
The Instant Quilted Jacket is taken from the 1982 book Stitch by Stitch Part 1, a compilation of the Marshall Cavendish partworks of the same name from 1978-79 (the son/daughter of Golden Hands?)

stitch by stitch cover

The half-circle lightning skirt is from this American 1971 McCall's pattern (35p in the UK):

lightning skirt 1
The lengths we will go to

My old paper patterns are a separate collection and the illustrations are worthy of a blog of their own. But I couldn't resist including the section of the instructions about the appliqué tree and lightning... Just so you know, lightning first, tree second:

lightning skirt
Absolutely cracking

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Beautiful buttonholes

 felt flowers

Meet Daisy, Marigold, Pansy and friends, fabulous felt flower brooches... it's as if they're standing in a line waiting to be picked.

Well I'm picking the pansy – what great colours! Handy, because a close-up of it is provided. Wish I could have a better look at the purple crepe (1930s?) dress it's pinned on:

felt pansy

This bunch of flowers is bloomin' simple to make, from felt scraps, needle and thread and optional wire. So liven up the approaching wedding season by ditching the boring corsage and fashioning your very own non-living buttonhole to wear on your lapel, dress collar, or in your hair (after attaching your floral adornment to a hairband or hairclip).

Here's a guide to the shapes you'll need to cut out:

felt flowers pattern
Source: The Complete Book of Handicrafts (Octopus, 1973)

You'll find the proper instructions on how to make this pretty posy, including what to do with the wire and everything, by clicking here.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Make a mid-century cushion

midcentury cushions

A simple embroidery project using basic chain, couching, daisy, buttonhole, straight and knot stitches to great effect. I love these two colour schemes but I'd really like to see the design in black, brown and white on a red background, or a neutral linen cushion with very bright, verging on flouro, stitches (*rummages through fabric and thread stash*).

midcentury cushion diagram

Love their jaunty off-centredness, which must be intentional, as it happens near the middle of both cushions where the stitching starts, before any accidental wonkiness would have had a chance to occur.

Full instructions, including an embroidery-stitch crash course/reminder, right here and here.

Taken from this well-thumbed copy of The Complete Book of Handicrafts (Octopus, 1973)

handicraftsbook cover

Friday, 13 April 2012

Into net

vintage net
Source: Golden Hands part3/1970

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Print a pet cat

ray toys pussycat
For those into screenprinting, this printed puss is the cat's pyjamas. I do love his paws – three on the front, one on the back – his smiling face and graphic-print fur, and the fact his friend the mouse is thrown in as an optional extra.

He'd make a brilliant cushion... and if you don't have the space or equipment for screenprinting, or don't fancy the mess, you could always appliqué him instead.
(Update: to make him a glam lady-cat-friend, click here)

The pussy cat's book-mate Pollyanna is a long-lost cousin of Kitty the Clothkits doll, but with a smaller wardrobe, consisting of one apron:

rag toys pollyanna

They are both taken from Printed Rag Toys (1967) by Joy Wilcox, who won the Design Centre Award for her toys in 1965:

rag toys

It's full of wonderful things for '60s kids to play with – king, queen, robot and spaceman dressing-up outfits, a carousel drawstring bag and a hobby horse (or I should say a stern-looking hobby unicorn):
hobby horse
What a lustrous mane
queen costume print
Queen for a day
Got a fancy-dress party to go to or need a cat-shaped cushion? Click here for a printable pattern.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Laugh at the cold

mum and kid in scarves
Source: Golden Hands part 3/1970