Here I'll be sharing my latest projects and anything retro, vintage or mid-century inspired that takes my fancy. I'd love to hear from you on my blog post comments or via the contact page.

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Weldons Home Dressmaking Magazine

If you follow me on social media you will have already seen a couple of these pictures. I bought a few vintage magazines a while ago from a vintage fair and have been scanning some of them in. The illustrations are beautiful so I've cleaned them up a bit and will share the whole magazine here. This magazine is Weldons home Dressmaking No. 696. no date on it anywhere sadly.[...]

Marian Martin brushed cotton plaid shirt

A few months ago I decided that I would like a brushed cotton plaid shirt. I wanted it to be a mens style but with a ladies fit. This Marian Martin pattern seemed to fit the bill. It’s one of my favourite pattern envelopes. Being a mail order vintage one, it still has the original purchasers name and address, Mrs Douglas Rose, Milwaukee, Wisconsin What had sown the idea was[...]

Delano wraparound skirt

I have got so many sewing projects to share it will take me forever to write up the posts, but I am going to keep adding one now and again just so you hopefully don’t get bored with the same sort of blog content. It was only after going through all my photos that I realised just how many items of clothing I have actually made now. I have filled[...]

Hand crocheted wool blanket

I’d always wanted to crochet a blanket and I also always like something to do once I’ve sat down in the evening so this project was a bit of a no-brainer. My lovely sister-in-law who is also very crafty, bought me a brilliant book ‘200 crochet blocks for blankets, throws and afghans’ by Jan Eaton. So I set about choosing the blocks for the blanket I wanted to make.[...]

Sewing Midcentury style handbags

Last year I had a spate of sewing bags. I was kind of experimenting with ideas for new products I could sell but I didn’t get around to sharing them for opinions, so I thought I’d make a blog post out of them. The first one which I love is this fortune cookie style bag with a tie handle. I think this could be really cute for a night out.[...]

Handpicked Selection of Midcentury Style Christmas gifts

No matter who you are buying for this Christmas we have a gift to suit.From our most recent range of shoulder bags and pouches... beautifully luxurious feather filled cushions and matching coaster sets for the home. For the chef in your life we have marvellous mid-century teatowels (which also coordinate perfectly with our coaster sets)... And finally matchy matchy wash bags and mirrors. Did we mention that the mirrors[...]

Make your own pattern weights

I have recently bought myself an overlocker (or serger to those of you in the US) I mainly wanted to be able to make myself T shirts and tops in knit fabric and despite buying a walking foot and stretch needle I could not achieve the finish I was hoping for with my sewing machine. I have to say using the overlocker has been a bit of a learning curve.[...]

Coats & Clark Fashions In Quick Crochet

Just take a look at this fantastic advert from the Coats and Clark 'Fashions in Quick Crochet' book for their 'Speed-Cro-Sheen' crochet yarn. I hope you all like the crafty things I share on here because I keep on finding more of them! Although I guess you don't actually need to like crafty things to be able to appreciate this amazing vintage advert.What an amazing name and what an amazing[...]

Making myself a Marian Martin wrap dress

I made this dress ages ago. I've just checked and it was 4 years ago to be precise and I am only now getting around to sharing it. I did take lots of photos during construction but I think they often make for not very interesting reading, and believe it or not I had only got 2 photos of me wearing it finished and neither were very flattering. So I[...]

Vintage Justin cowboy boots

If you follow me on Instagram you will have probably seen these already, I shared a few photos when I originally bought them but I love them so much I’m going to share some more! I fell in love with these boots when I was looking for a pair of western style boots. I love western styling but wanted some that were a bit more subtle, I also love the[...]

Make your own 1950s tailored hat

A while ago I bought a few magazines from a vintage fair, one of which was 'Popular Handicrafts and Practical Homecrafts' from August 1957. It has loads of lovely adverts and quite a few interesting projects to make and I thought since I love to find free patterns online and from other blogs, that I would scan and share some myself. (also it makes a change from having to think[...]

Sewing the Wearing History 1930s blanket coat

This has been the scariest project I have undertaken on my sewing journey. I cannot deny I was really nervous about it, and for those of you who follow me on social Media you will already know that the buttonholes spooked the hell out of me! I do love a coat with a hood. I also love wool coats, and I had been looking for a vintage wool coat with[...]

Homemade 1940s blouse McCalls 7277

I have 2 teenage daughters and despite my love of crafting from a young age neither of them has had any inclination to take up sewing. They are both incredibly arty and very talented on the drawing and design front but have no interest in actually creating anything that they can wear. So I was surprised when my eldest (now 17) asked me to make her a blouse in one[...]

Mid Century Floor Cushion

I’ve recently been playing around in my head with new product ideas, one of which is roller blinds which will be coming to my shop very soon. If you haven’t seen my recent Instagram and Facebook posts showing my colour tests have a look and I’d love it if you let me know what you think. Anyway on with the post. I do enjoy a bit of sewing when I[...]

Sewing with fabric scraps, how to make a jewellery roll

Recently I was thinking about using up scraps of fabric and making something useful so I set about trying to find a pattern to use and share with you all.In my Etsy shop I sell what I call ‘scrap packs’ which are useable bits and pieces of my prints. I try to make sure each pack contains roughly a square metre made up of various designs. These are ideal for[...]

My 50s English Rose kitchen

I thought this month I’d share some photos of my English Rose kitchen. I shared some of my bathroom when we decorated it a few months back so this completes the story. When we moved into our house in 1995 (the days before Ebay and the Internet) there used to be a free ads paper called ‘Loot’ that I’m sure several of you will remember. We were about 2 weeks[...]

Lampshades in my new fabrics

I don’t often remember to mention the fact that I also sell lampshades made using my fabrics. The ones shown on my website all feature my first collection of dress fabrics and are all still available to buy but I have just made a few samples in my new interior weight fabrics. Since these fabrics were designed with interiors in mind the colours are more subtle (or at least subtle[...]

Sew your own vintage bunting

How many of you have ever had a go at making bunting? I made quite a lot of it for when I was selling my wares at various fairs using my original range of dress fabrics. I was often asked if I sold it (which unfortunately I don’t) but I thought I’d share with you all how I make it. This is my method, I’m sure there are others. I[...]

Vintage Sewing Box

About 5 years ago my husbands Aunt sadly passed away.She had been a machinist all her life and worked in various sewing factories up in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.When I used to work for M&S suppliers she always used to ask me ‘what are the colours going to be next year?’ because she knew we would be working on the next years collections and she wanted to be ahead of the[...]

Economy Design 1950s blouse pattern

Sewing yet another vintage blouse pattern... So last year I decided to have a complete wardrobe review (if that's the right word for it) I had become aware that although I had too much in my wardrobe I wasn't really wearing a lot of it because I didn't have things to pair with a lot of the items in it. I am a sucker for buying things on the spur[...]

Another vintage knitting project…

As any of you who follow my rather sporadic blogging will know, I do like to try to knit.I can knit but very, very, slowly. I am not great at knitting anything with a pattern - it takes all of my concentration to get the increasing and decreasing correct in plain garter or stocking stitch.My choice of pattern is therefore restricted to anything simple with no pattern. Bizarrely I can[...]

Vintage Bathroom Redecoration

Back at Easter time we decided to bite the bullet and redecorate our bathroom. The bathroom suite itself was fine but the paint had gotten a bit cracked and flaky and the tile grouting was grubby. Plus I'd never really been happy with the pale turquoise colour we'd painted it when it was first done about 20 years ago. We were lucky enough to pickup this vintage 50s bathroom suite[...]

Fabric printing methods and my homemade duvet cover

Over a year ago I shared a photo on Instagram of a duvet cover I had made from my Senora fabric, As I was hanging it on the washing line at the weekend and marveling at how little it has faded in the year it's been in use. I thought I'd share it again in a blog post. It's quite an interesting (I hope) way of explaining about the printing[...]

Making a 1950s duffle and tote bag

One of the benefits of designing and printing your own fabric is that you always have a plentiful supply on hand for those little craft projects that you’ve always been wanting to make. A while ago I bought a pattern from Etsy seller ‘My vintage wish’ for a 1950s tote bag.  I liked the look of it for just general carting around of stuff (something I do a lot of)[...]

Hand made Midcentury placemats to match my coasters

Just a quick post to show you all something I made recently.I really liked the idea of having some placemats to match my Melamine coasters so set about sewing some up.I wanted them to be double sided and found a tutorial on Google that looked interesting and that I thought relatively easy. (Famous last words…) Basically the pattern called for 2 rectangles with one being about 1.5” larger all around.The[...]

Mid Century chair reupholstered in 20th Century Cloth fabric by Sewplush

Recently I was approached by an upholsterer from Suffolk, the beautiful next door county to my home county of Norfolk. She was interested in purchasing my Starlight fabric to reupholster a 1970s Gplan style chair. I watched her Instagram account in anticipation, and was completely blown away by the end result. Nicky very kindly sent me some photos of the finished result to share with you all. Isn't it just[...]

My First Experience Of Sewing With Knit Fabric

I received the 'Gertie Sews Vintage Casual' book for Christmas and have to say it is fantastic! I spent ages just reading through it and making notes of additional bits and pieces I wanted to buy. I do love to have an excuse to buy new sewing supplies. I quite fancied the idea of sewing one of the knit tops but considering I'd never sewn with a knit fabric before I[...]

The Trials And Tribulations Of Wearing Vintage

I had this lovely little red and white gingham vintage cotton blouse. As with most of my vintage finds I remember buying it. I can still see the shop in my minds eye, we were driving through a small town in Texas and pulled over to have a look in a little vintage/thrift shop. I bought this blouse and a pair of bowling ball earrings. It was before we had[...]

Another Vintage Knitting Project

This is my third attempt at knitting a vintage cardigan and I think I am gradually improving!! I've actually worn this one a lot, it fits better than any of the others and is a pretty straightforward style to wear. Again the pattern was a download from  I love this site, so much choice and very quick to get the downloaded pattern. (please excuse my scribblings on the pattern[...]

Vintage Fashion Illustration Haul Continued

About three months ago I posted  four of these sketches with the promise that more would follow but they didn't. Better late than never, here they are. If you follow me on Facebook you'll have seen them already but I like to keep my promises so I'm posting them here too, hope you enjoy them. I know nothing about them other than they have a signature of sorts which appears[...]

Relining My Vintage Pendleton Coat

This post is long overdue.I actually relined this coat about a year ago, took photos and meant to write a post on it straight away, but as with a lot of things I didn't find the time. It has sat on my to-do list for the last year but finally here goes.I absolutely love this coat. I just about live in it in the winter. It goes with most of[...]

Vintage Fashion Illustration Haul

A few weeks back we popped over to East London for a Sunday morning car boot sale.I do love a car boot but have to be in the right frame of mind to really have a dig around.I only came away with one purchase but one I'm really happy with, a set of vintage fashion illustrations, slightly dog-eared but absolutely beautiful.There are 25 in total, almost all suits and winter[...]

Hair today…….

I just wanted to share a few thoughts on hair. My hair has always been poker straight and from about the age of 7 or 8 (except for a brief spell when I was 18) I've always worn it short.  Often very short - in fact when my eldest daughter was born 13 years ago I'd had it shaved, not completely off but a number 3 all over. This is[...]

My second attempt at knitting a garment

Knitting is something I've always wanted to do but never been able to master. I can crochet and sew to a reasonable standard but knitting has always alluded me and I hate to be beaten by something. My nan was a fantastic knitter and produced huge amounts of cardigans, jumpers and socks for us when we were kids. It always fascinated me watching her, but despite nan trying many times[...]

Final Blog Post On My Finished Garments!!

These are the final 2 garments that I made - well apart form a shirt that I made for my husband in the 'Modesto' print. Maybe I'll be able to persuade him to model it for a couple of photos, but for now I'm happy that I have managed to show the ones that I made for myself. I also briefly mentioned these two garments back here when I thought it[...]

Finished Garments In Coronado And Delano Fabrics

I thought the Coronado fabric was quite suited to a shirt or blouse and I liked the idea of adding one to my wardrobe so I settled on Simplicity 2076 for this garment. I made the sleeveless version. There's not really too much to say about this pattern, I didn't realise when I started it that it has no bust darts nor back darts so it doesn't have much shape[...]

A Quick Look At A Few More Finished Garments

A Quick Look At A Few More Finished Garments I am determined to finish showing the garments that I made using my 20th Century Cloth fabrics. It is taking me some time but to speed it up a bit I'm going to try to cover 2 garments in one post. If I keep in the order that I made them the next in line is the Kona Bambusa print. I[...]

Memphis Noir Circle Skirt

Still trying to keep things simple I made another skirt - this time though a circle skirt. I chose Butterick 6167 from my pattern stash, it only has 3 pieces so couldn't be that difficult! Cutting it out proved to be one of the most difficult parts - although there are only 3 pattern pieces the two skirt pieces are big. I ended up cutting it out on my living[...]

Butterick 9347 skirt made using my Biscayne print

Butterick 9347 skirt made using my Biscayne print The second garment I made was a skirt from the Butterick 9347 pattern. I was still trying to keep things simple (didn't want to jump into anything too complicated too soon!) and this was basically a wrap-around skirt with a tie waist. As an added bonus it had lovely big pockets too, I love big pockets on skirts. Pocket detail The sewing[...]

A belated look at my finished garments

Way back on the 9th October last year I posted on my Facebook page that I'd blog about the garments I made with my 20th Century Cloth fabric. Well 3 months on and here I am, finally! I am struggling with finding time to keep up with the social media side of running a business but am going to try harder to post more often this year. I actually made[...]

Look what arrived today….

Look what arrived today…. I'm very excited today to have finally got my hands on my business flyers designed and photographed by my husband Al at If any of you people out there have shops or stalls and would be kind enough to display some to help spread the word please let me know and I'll send some out to you. Thanks, Helen.

Fall For Cotton Sew-Along

Last month I took part in my first ever online 'Sew-Along'It was organised by Natasha of and Rochelle of To take part we had to choose a decade between the 20s and the 70s, choose a pattern and a cotton fabric - it HAD to be 100% cotton, hence the Fall For Cotton title! I chose to make a skirt from my Senora fabric and a wrap dress[...]