Category Archives: books

Nose blowing for fabric lovers …

There are lots of things that make my heart skip a beat. Loved ones aside, this mainly involves sea views, parma violets, charity shop treasure finds and babies (hormones are cruel at my age). Vintage patterns are a major heart racer (pant pant pant) and also of course, vintage fabrics … Excuse me while I momentarily day dream and stare open mouthed at an imaginary pile of precious fabrics right here beside me.

Wake up! If like me you love vintage fabrics, their colours, their patterns and their general vintagey vintageness, then you will love this book.

photo 1The Printed Square by Nicky Albrechtsen (Thames and Hudson) (£14.95) is basically a handkerchief sized book of vintage handkerchiefs in all their beautiful, colourful (and clean) glory! I’m not reviewing it (in case you were wondering), but I thought I would spread the word of its loveliness around a bit.

photo 3Just for inspiration it’s a gem, but if you ever need a little help in deciding which colours work well together then this is a great reference book.

photo 4photo 2photo Don’t you just wish you could get handkerchiefs like this nowadays? Actually, sod the hankies, just to buy metres of fabric like this would make my heart explode!

Now for vintage patterns of the other kind, I have just spotted Marie’s Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge over at Sewing Odyssey. I’m probably the last to join in (as always) but it’s a great idea and just what I need to get me sewing up my stash, so  …

During 2014, I, Amy of Sylkotwist, will try (very hard) to sew up at least three of my vintage patterns.

IMG_3435There, I’ve made my pledge, now I just have to decide what to make … Bye for now!



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A winter skirt … lined!

When I sorted my wardrobe recently (you know, summer out, winter in) I realised that I am a serial summer seamstress, last winter is shrouded in a fog that I obviously got a bit lost in (what in the world did I do with my time?) and I made nothing to wear at all. Well, it will be different this year …

I’ve made a skirt, a lined skirt! I have never lined anything, apart from a sandwich tin (and let’s face it, sometimes I don’t even do that). It’s very satisfying lining something and actually I’m not sure why I was so worried about it as it was very straightforward and simple with this pattern.

I love it when (because of my inexperience) I look at a pattern and wonder how the hell it’s going to come together and make what it says on the packet, then as you work through it you realise just how clever it is and voila, you have a garment! It seems daft now but I was confused when I first saw this all laid out.

The pattern is Style 3410 from 1971 and it’s so simple, there are three pieces, one narrow front panel and two back wrap around pieces with a dart on the hips. I went for view b using the fabric my mother in law gave me from her attic. When I asked her if it was wool she said not and as it washes well, I suspect she’s right but anyway, it will be warm enough with the lining.

I almost left the pockets off because I worried it looked a bit bulky with them on but without them it was just a little bit boring. They are an insy bit wonky, but don’t say anything, I have it on good authority that no one will notice when it’s on (Jimmy is so kind) and after three attempts, I believe him.

I used some cotton I had for the facing and a contrasting zip. I might add some buttons in the same dark red to the pockets, these colours are a good combination in my humble opinion!

I’m afraid that there are no photos of me modelling my new make as I am in bed with a stinking coughcold and I look like poo. Seriously, I have a massive chin spot (another one), red eyes, sore nose and I’ve just curbed a nose bleed from so much blowing. But, do not worry, my Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing has arrived and whilst I may look rubbish, I am quite happy to be stuck in bed for the morning reading this.

Everything a revolting snotaholic needs to make her feel better. Except for chocolate. Bugger.

Oh and I mustn’t forget a quick, but huge thank you to the lovely Lizzy for my liebster blog nomination, very kind of you and cheered me up no end! I will look into what I do next when I’m not such a limp lettuce. x

I’m away next week with the whole in-law family for a little break and am determined to get up later to finish another make (although not lined and extremely impractical for the cold spell that is forecast)…

Or, maybe I’ll just stay here and sleep.




Filed under books, makes

Cider with Rosie and Friday night in …

Thank goodness for Fridays. The pizza dough is ready, the kids are watching telly and Jimmy has popped out for wine (can’t believe there’s none in the cupboard!). Friday nights always revolve around a home made pizza in front of the telly and a long bath, not too early but not so late that I fall asleep in it.

Tomorrow, I’m looking forward to starting a new summer skirt with this yellow, floral, curtain fabric. We are trying to book a summer holiday and I would love to go with a home made or charity shop capsule wardrobe or at the very least an ethical one! Actually it’s quite hard to find a holiday at this late notice that fits in with 14th and 16th birthday celebrations, a music festival and results day. Still, we hope something with pop up!

I will let you know about the skirt …

If things get really bad – the holiday search drives me to insanity or the skirt goes terribly wrong, I will curl up in a chair and finish my lovely book, Cider with Rosie. It is such a comforting book, honest and lyrical, you can almost smell Laurie Lee’s childhood kitchen! Jimmy nudged this book my way after he fell in love with it and we recently discovered that our neighbour knew Laurie Lee when she was a child. She says he used to visit her father (in the late 1940s) and would picnic with them often. He wrote her a poem about the spire of the church we live next to and made quite a fuss of her by all accounts! She tells us that she was always amazed that he had a country accent on the radio and in real life sounded quite different! Sadly, the poem was lost a long time ago but as she has lived in the house all her life (she’s 75 now) so it may still turn up somewhere!

My Mum says she knew the girl on the cover of my book who modelled as Rosie for the artist – small world!

Have a lovely weekend x

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