You will be pleased to know I have not found any stray dogs in the last couple of weeks – although my neighbour found a lost (and very thin!) hunting dog this morning which, of course, everybody denies all knowledge of. I hate the hunting season – and yes, it has already started again – because, as well as not being particularly enamoured of hunting with dogs for sport, I can’t bear to see the dogs who are often treated abysmally and sometimes get left roaming about for days in danger of being in an accident (or causing one) or loitering around with the bell round their collars ringing through the night and keeping us all awake whilst driving our own dogs mad. Rant over – no more shaggy dog stories – this was supposed to be a ‘girly’ post.
My latest vintage passion is these gorgeous old French fashion magazines, Le Petit Echo de la Mode, which were produced from 1879 until 1983. I have started amassing some as and when I come across them but my favourites are the ones from the 1920s and 30s. Having said that, I love the 1940s ones too which came in a smaller format because of the paper shortage during the war years.
Look at those gorgeous coats – and those waists! – and I love the Eiffel Tower in the background. I do put these in my shop from time to time but I am going to frame up a couple of the smaller ones and some of the Art Deco period ones for my own home. They fit so conveniently into the Ikea Ribba frames and the black version complements the header really well. I might go with some sort of theme when choosing which issues to frame such as those featuring dogs – why aren’t you surprised?
I have now finished the little fabric tote bag from the French craft magazine I showed you a few weeks ago and I am quite pleased with it. I made the matching coin purse too which is a fat and squidgy shape and looks as if it is full of money but isn’t, unfortunately. I will be making some more of these – I have had requests – but I think I will add an interior pocket next time otherwise there could be lots of fruitless rummaging going on when looking for mobile phones or car keys.My sewing buddy has put me to shame and finished her ‘handbag quilt’ before me. I love all those cottage chic florals and muted colours and I have put it in my shop. I am still quilting mine, which has a completely different feel as it is mostly in black, grey and cream, and will hopefully get it finished once Mlle T. the elder has gone back to Uni and stopped hogging my workroom and no longer needs my (surreptitious) overseeing on her sewing projects.
Speaking of which – how proud am I that, as only her 3rd ever project, she made this lovely dress from the Simplicity 1803 pattern. I even forgive her for the fact that I bought the pattern for myself (although was going to do View C with short sleeves and this is View B) and had even bought this same fabric. I will still make it but I have some dusty pink linen mix fabric with cream polka dots and will use the white patterned fabric for something else. She did all the shaping, facings, gathering and zip insertion by herself so I am definitely going to get a sewing machine delivered to the U.K. as soon as she goes back as her belated birthday present because I really think she will continue sewing now she has a few successful projects under her belt. This is a lovely pattern – it has a beautiful scooped back – but I do recommend you make a muslin first as the bodice is very fitted and, to be honest, the sizes on the pattern envelope don’t make too much sense. We just made a muslin for the bodice, without facings or anything and it was time well spent as it came up much smaller than we wanted it. I have seen versions where other people have pleated the skirt a little rather than gathering it, especially if the fabric is a little thick but this one was gathered, as per the pattern, and I think it works well even with this slightly heavy cotton.
Another two weeks of the summer holidays left so I am making the most of her being here and not moaning about my projects going very slowly or my vintage shop being neglected because, once she returns to Uni, I’ll probably have my workroom to myself until December and I’ll be able to do what I want but it won’t be as much fun!
p.s. I do have another Mlle Tialys – and I’m not deliberately leaving her out in my blog posts – but she has as much interest in sewing as I have in Manga or Screamo bands so, until her tastes change or, in a more unlikely scenario, mine do, she will not be found in my workroom unless it is to bring me a cup of tea.