Way back in August 2016, I included some beautiful 1960s barkcloth in a 5 happy things post. I came across it in a shop called Domestic Science. It was expensive at £20 per meter, but in the end I couldn’t resist. The plan was to make us a pair of bedroom curtains.
The reality was that to comfortably make a pair of curtains I needed 6 meters, and there were only just over 5 meters of fabric left on the bolt. Therefore, cutting them was nervewracking & I wasn’t brave enough to do it until this summer. Mismeasuring could be disastrous as there was no possible way of getting more fabric if I cut it wrong.
Pippa didn’t mind, as it seemed to be her favorite cushion for a while. She was very keen to be involved with making it. She supervised when I finally took the plunge and cut the fabric. I cut it into 3 lengths, then sewed the 3 panels together, then cut them in half to create the two panels. She also oversaw this. (Yes, my house was a disaster. No apologies; sometimes that’s what real life looks like.)
I ordered thermal curtain lining online, and followed a few different online tutorials for sewing lined curtains. This one was particularly clear to me.
The pattern matching in the final product isn’t amazing, but overall it isn’t that noticeable at first. It was a necessity given the scarcity of fabric. Besides, as it’s in our bedroom I don’t think it really matters very much. We are loving having something cheerful to wake up to. It’s also made a huge difference to how the room feels – it finally feels a little more like home.
Ta-da! The button-back blouse inspired by my Helsinki charity shop buttons is done, and I am very pleased to say that it looks just like I imagined it. I’ve already worn it twice. Can you tell I’m a little in love? Completing another item for the Vintage Pledge is a great feeling as well.
Any credit for success goes to the pattern. It was surprisingly easy to follow, with the exception of the sleeves. Those gathers were not intended, though luckily they look okay. The pattern says you should “shrink the fabric to fit” and I just couldn’t figure out what that meant. Do you know?
The final blouse fits just like I wanted it to, is very comfortable, and I think it looks quite elegant. I was shocked that the sleeves are exactly the same length as the hem of the body. (I know you can’t tell in these photos, but that’s because I’d been moving around a lot & they were a bit wrinkled.) My favourite detail in the pattern is the tiny little darts in the sleeves. Beautiful! The buttons are of course the star of the show, and I’m really pleased with how they look even if my bound buttonholes are terrible! For the body I used white linen found in the Birmingham Rag Market for £3.50/metre. I also lined the front using basic acetate lining, stitched in by hand so it is nice & tidy. This is especially good because I forgot to zigzag my edges & they are not particularly pretty.
A few weeks ago, we went around the charity shops in Gloucester. A few shops in particular consistently have good vintage items. I bought two of my favourite vintage items in the Salvation Army, for example. Finding vintage haberdashery items in any charity shops can be a challenge, but I got lucky during this trip. Isn’t this thread beautiful? I bought all of these, plus a few other modern cottons, for £2. I just can’t get over how vibrant they are!
I’m not sure when they’re from, but I think it’s between the 60s-70s. The best thing about them is definitely their names – bright navy, light kingfisher, venetian red, light reseda, lagoon blue, dark petunia, Napoleon. They’re so evocative. I think it adds another lovely detail to homemade items, to be able to describe the colour so nicely.
I can’t wait to use these! A colleague asked if I planned to display them, but I am eminently practical and try not to buy things that don’t serve a purpose. Are you the same? Would you use them or just show them off?