Findings, bindings, buttons and more …

photo 1I’ve just spent a couple of lovely days in the company of my parents and we did the obligatory trip to every single charity shop in the county. As you do.

My parents are the king and queen of charity shop shopping and they have trained me well. Our time in these wonderful little havens is generally spent spreading ourselves out, searching for Bob Dylan CDs and Donna Leon books (my dad, not me) and patterns, fabric, buttons and other exciting notions (me and my mum). Once Dad is certain there is nothing left unturned, he’ll wait patiently outside eyeing up the pound shop, while my lovely mum and I continue on our very important mission.

denimYes, that is 2.6 metres of pink denim for £3.99 that you see before you! Before that, hooks, eyes, binding and buttons complete with their own tobacco tin (complete with their own tobacco smell) for 50p.

And what’s this? Could it be …

photo 5-1

photo-8Only Ann Ladbury’s “Dressmaker” A Sewing Guide for Beginners! Yes it was £1.99 and yes I am feeling a little bit smug excited!

I should have stuck with illustration, look at this fabulous artwork!

photo 3photo 2-1

So many pretty pictures and saucy ladies looking hot in dressing gowns draped over car bonnets! What’s more, it’s come complete with untouched, well looked after, still in their packet, patterns!

photo 2Not only did I find all these goodies, but something else, even better and more exciting happened …

My lovely Mum only went and cracked my biggest fear and showed me how to knit!

knitOk, ok, I know it doesn’t look like much, but to me it isn’t a long, acrylic based scarf type ‘thing’ full of errors and missed stitches. To me it’s a thing of beauty, an art form, a much longed for skill (seriously!) and if you’ve read this post before, you’ll know why.

I can’t actually cast off yet, so it may be a very long scarf for an unsuspecting doll (if I can find one). My parents had to leave in the end. They were worn out from my demanding charity shop regime and quite frankly I think I frightened them with my ability to simultaneously knit and jump for joy. Knitting needles in hands whilst leaping about hugging and squealing shouldn’t be allowed.

Gosh, I’m exhausted … By the way, can anyone recommend a good knitting book for beginners?



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9 responses to “Findings, bindings, buttons and more …

  1. Just found your blog. What fantastic op shop finds. I love it when I find other dressmakers that embrace this

  2. Nice charity shop haul!
    Debbie Stoller’s Stitch and Bitch Handbook is good for beginners. She has a relaxed conversational writing style and her instructions are fun (I seem to remember in the casting-off section she names stitches Harry and Sally to help explain the process!)

  3. Ooh what good finds! That book looks great – I love that kimono style jacket in the photo & the illustrations are gorgeous! Me & my husband both love checking out the charity shops when we go somewhere new, so much fun!

  4. What Great Finds! I also went Op – Shopping over the bottom half of the Island this weekend I love looking for fabrics, vintage linens and haberdashery, sadly I didn’t find much!

  5. the Ann Ladbury book is such a good find! Her dressmaker’s dictionary is my favourite sewing book.

  6. What a lovely way to while away the hours treasure hunting in charity shops. The ones outside London are the best. Ooh must investigate that book. I’ve not heard of her.

  7. AnnieS.

    I have recently found your blog and love it! I had that Ann Ladbury book in the early 70’s and made several garments from it. I am SO wishing I had not given it away! However, you will find the patterns and her instructions so easy. I used to make all my own clothes but have not done so for about 20 odd years, but inspired by ‘Sewing Bee’ and your blog I have today bought a new paper patter for a dress and am determined to get back into dressmaking! Cheers!

    • Hello Annie, your comment has made my week, thank you! I will keep my eyes peeled for another copy and let you know if I see one! Good luck with the dress, I’d love to know how you get on please.

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