How to make a fabric teacup … should you ever need one!

I am having a very lovely and very productive weekend. The weather has been brilliant, which is great for all my friends who are at an event this weekend and we have been having a major sort of of all of Jake’s things.

He leaves for Japan in 3 weeks 🙂 so he has been getting rid of things he no longer needs as hopefully, he will love it and be able to stay for a while.We were very inspired by Ellen’s work on the kitchen last week so lots of things have been re-homed.

I have finished the tea party hat and am so pleased with it! It is exactly what I wanted and it looks so cute 🙂

Tea party hat 7

I did a quick bit of embroidery this week on some of the vintage linen I used to make the tablecloth jacket and taped that to some card to make a little sign.

Tea party hat 5

 

Tea party hat 11

The donut is probably a little small in scale but I love the way it looks and any bigger would have obscured the teacup.

Tea party hat 6

I love this little purple cake! I have a whole packet of these little ribbon roses that I bought from Spain and am planning to use some for Barbie dresses.

Tea party hat 2

Tea party hat 1

I found the little spoons from this supplier on Etsy and they are the perfect size.

Tea party hat 3

Tea party hat 10

Ironically it probably took as long to make as a new jacket would have but it was very peaceful sewing of an evening and I am so please with how all of the felt cakes turned out.It is attached to the hat by a combination of double sided foam tape and pins and seems secure. All I need now is a miniature bottle of gin (aka TEA) to go on the front.

I could not find any actual tutorials of how to make a teacup so thought it might be useful to do one here, partly to remind myself as I have plans for another teacup hat for later in the season. The doily is the one I had previously stiffened with Powertex and painted. It is more purple than it looks in this picture.

Making a tea cup1

I started with an Evian bottle and cut both top and bottom with a craft knife. I chose this bottle specifically as it had a nice rounded shape for both cup and saucer.I taped up the bottle to give it a little more stability. I cut the teacup part open for ease of sewing.

 

The patterns I made from the plastic pieces, adding extra for seaming. I cut a layer of thin wadding from these. I then put double sided tape all over the plastic so that I could stick wadding to it.

 

I fussy cut the floral fabric as I wanted to have one of the roses showing on the cup.

 

I sewed the inner fabric first to the wadding with the tea cup still open, then sewed on the outer and stitched it together. I cut a small rose motif out and used it for the cup base.

 

The saucer was done the same way with wadding stuck on first. I could not easily attach the cup to the base due to the curve of the saucer so Ellen came to the rescue with her glue gun. I am definitely going to get one of those as they are so useful for Steampunk creations.

The handle was just a piece of fabric with wadding and a short piece of garden wire to give it shape. It was quite easy to just sew that to the side of the cup. A little bit of lace from stash gives it a final elegant touch and voila, one fabric teacup!

Tea party hat 4

This is what I love about Steampunk, the creativity and the problem solving, I have seen lots of wonderful teacup hats and am so glad I now know how to make one.

I am continuing with felt flowers this afternoon but with a little twist as I am combining them with Liberty fabric. My intention is to make some pouches with them as decoration which I think may sell well at Yarndale.

I have not had much chance to make stock for that yet so will have to get cracking. I have another two weeks before the doctorate is finished and then there will be lots more time for crafting, hurrah!

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend whatever you are doing. Take care and thanks for visiting.

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Happy World Embroidery Day!

To be honest I didn’t know it was World Embroidery Day today until one of the textile companies I subscribe to e-mailed me about it but it is, so many happy stitching returns to you all.

I was just about to start some new embroidery this evening so that is fortuitous. I have a new project that I will share with you in a bit. If you want to know more about World Embroidery Day you can find out more here. I particularly like the part of this description that says…

‘To embroider is a peaceful occupation. It can be traditional made from a common
remembrance, drawn designs, from a pattern, or from your own imagination. You embroider for joy, beauty, decoration and for the creation of identity.’ 

I am sure that all of us who embroider share those sentiments. The lovely Karen from ‘Did You Make That’ has recently taken up embroidery and talks about the different emotions different crafts give us in this post here. I love all of my crafts for different reasons, some can bring frustration as well as joy (the black velvet jacket that never was) but mostly they bring me peace and sanity in a frantic world.

I have been doing a little bit of crafting over the last few days, mainly as respite care from the increasingly frantic work on the doctorate which is due in exactly 2 months from today!

We have had some more people leave work under our latest voluntary redundancy scheme including my very best friend.We have worked together for 15 years and shared wonderful times together. I am very, very happy for them all as they  are off to enjoy retirement or adventures travelling the world but I am very sad to see them go so I made a couple of pouches as gifts for special friends.

Liberty star bag 1

Liberty star bag 2

Liberty star bag 3

These are from some of the blocks I made last year which have been waiting to be turned into something special and details of how to make the bags can be found in this tutorial here. The beautiful lace zips come from Buddly Crafts and I shall be ordering a little restock very soon.

Liberty block bag 1

Liberty block bag 2

The embroidery is part of a new hat for the Steampunk Asylum event in Lincoln over August Bank Holiday. I had contemplated making a new jacket but with the focus needed on the doctorate and a few minor household issues (one involving an expensive boiler repair!) decided that I needed something that would not add any stress.

So I am wearing the tablecloth jacket again but I am making a tea party hat to go with it. I had done some planning for this a while ago for another hat that I have not yet created but am well on the way with it.I loved wearing it last year with the sewing themed hat and it deserves more outings.

Steampunk event Alison 5

I will devote a whole post to the creation of the hat when it is completed but meanwhile here is a sneak preview of a very cute felt cupcake that will be part of the tea party. I have really enjoyed making these, as with the felt flowers it is a joy to work with all the lovely colours of felt and add little beads and embellishments. I used this tutorial to help me and found lots of different ideas and videos for all types of felt food.

Felt cake 1

Felt cake 2

In other exciting news with the help of my wonderful children we repainted the kitchen at the weekend and my daughter very enthusiastically Marie Kondoed the contents meaning I have far less clutter. I was very good and let lots of things go.

We also had a surprise visit from a herd of cows in the back lane. They were being escorted from a farm up the road when they made an unexpected right turn. This picture was taken as they were being escorted off the premises which is why is is a bit blurry. This is why I love living in Marsden, there is never a dull moment 🙂

Cows 1

Well I will love you and leave you and get on with some more of the hat, the embroidery is for a little sign that will say ‘everything stops for tea’ for the front. Take care, thanks for visiting and have a happy week whether you are embroidering or not.

 

What a difference a week makes!

I am sitting here watching torrential rain fall, thinking back to last weekend when we had a beautifully sunny (but not too hot!) weekend at the Tewkesbury event. You’ve got to love England haven’t you, we have the most bizarre weather. It has been raining for two days now and doesn’t look remotely like July, meanwhile last weekend we all got sunburnt.

It was excellent weather for re-enactment, 22 degrees and cloudy so just perfect and we had really good fun as usual. I have got lots of pictures to show you, courtesy of my friend James, the wonderful Pat who takes thousands of photos at each event and posts them for us to use, and another person called Ferez Fee who posted some on Facebook as well. Thanks to everyone who shares pictures with us, it is much appreciated.

The costumes were amazing as always, the ladies looked fantastic, including Kerry in her beautiful Burgundian dress and henin. Here is a back shot of the gorgeous veil as we walked onto the battlefield on Saturday. The picture below shows her coming off the battlefield with another friend Nick who was marshalling.

Tewks 2019 4

 

 

Tewks 2019 9 - Ferez Fee

The photos below are courtesy of Ferez Fee and show the ladies in the King’s and Queen’s camps. I particularly love this one below as it has one of my favourite tapestries, the Lady and the Unicorn, as a backdrop. I have a small version of this in my lounge.

Tewks 2019 5 - Ferez Fee

Tewks 2019 4 - Ferez Fee

Tewks 2019 3

The picture above is of my friend Kat who was wearing her latest amazing head dress. For more pictures and information on its source you can visit her Facebook page here. She also has photos of her equally lovely outfit from Saturday.

One of my favourite photos, also by Ferez Fee,  is of Gwen who plays the Queen just relaxing in her tent with her embroidery by her side, so beautiful.

Tewks 2019 8 - Ferez Fee

There were also some wonderful costumes worn by the men. Here is the young Prince Edward in his tent before getting into armour. Pictures by Ferez Fee.

Tewks 2019 7 - Ferez Fee

I loved this outfit as well, such beautiful detail in every aspect.

Tewks 2019 6 - Ferez Fee

The king and his entourage looked suitably splendid, both on the battlefield with their heraldic surcoats and on their way to the abbey.

Tewks 2019 12 Pat

Tewks 14 Pat

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Tewks 2019 8

This is the only medieval event I am doing this year. A combination of other re-enactments like the WW2 ones, less this year events for our group and the doctorate have meant this is a very quiet summer for me so it was especially lovely to spend time with my friends. We had a new member join us for the event as well, Sam, and she really enjoyed it. Here are all the combatants and watercarriers off to battle with Sam, Ellie and Sadie in front of Symon and Shane.

Tewks 2019 1

This picture from Pat captures Symon and Shane in the battle and I have also got some wonderful ones from him of the gunners and gun smoke, it really does make it so atmospheric.

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Tewks 2019 11 Pat

Tewks 2019 10 Pat

I had a new role this year, that of being a marshal which Kerry and I did on both days. I have been doing this at Tatton and Caldicot for a couple of years and really enjoyed it and it was lovely to be involved in a different way this year at Tewkesbury. You can just spot me at the back of this picture in my blue dress. Margaret of Anjou has just slapped Edward 4th at the start of the battle here.

Tewks 2019 9 Pat

I enjoyed talking to the crowd and watching all of the armies march on past us. It was amazing to see even though I know how many combatants there are it was still very impressive. I love to see the flags and hear the drums, it is just magic!

Tewks 2019 7

Tewks 2019 8 Pat

We managed to go to the beheading at the abbey and the beautiful Compline service this year which was wonderful.It is a candlelit service where the monks sing and it was a brilliant end to the day. Next year I will go in the parade as well, we have not been for a few years and there were many more floats this year including this wonderul dragon.

Tewks 2019 2

I luckily am staying in all day today so don’t have to venture out in the rain.  I am still working my way through lots of WIPs. I really need to be strict with myself before I start any new projects so today’s tasks are to finish a flower brooch and a pouch. Kerry is coming for a sewing day tomorrow and we will be sorting out a surcoat for an event she is attending in a couple of weeks.

I hope you are all having a good weekend and are not getting too soaked if you are in the UK. I was half planning a BBQ this weekend but think that will have to be postponed 😉 Take care and thanks for visiting.

 

Finding my people

Long time, no blog! I hope you have all been having fun while I have been away. I had a wonderful time at the Leeds International Medieval Congress, both in the sessions and in meeting wonderful people and socialising. It was so lovely to meet people who were interested in the same things that I am. I made some very useful contacts including some people who sent me their research which was very kind of them. It is brilliant to know that there are people out there interested in the same things that I am and I came home very enthused about my doctorate.

It was wonderful to be in such a lovely environment. I stayed in student halls which took me back a bit, though they were much more sophisticated than in my day, more like Travelodge rooms. Leeds University campus is very similar to ours with a mix of different period buildings and these were my favourite ones. Quite fitting given my interest in textiles as they were the Clothworkers’ Court.

IMC Buildings 1

IMC Buildings 2

IMC Buildings 7

In the lobby there was a display of dyeing samples. I can just imagine the workers in the local textile industry coming to have lectures all about the different processes.

I went to quite a few really interesting presentations on textiles as well as ones on pilgrim badges and manuscripts. In total I attended about 36 separate presentations so I had a very busy week.

One of the most fascinating was about how they make facsimile manuscripts. There was a presentation and display by a company based in Germany, Zeireis Facsimiles,  where they showed the very complex process which was really amazing. They had some gorgeous reproductions including one of Mary Stuart’s book of hours below in the velvet cover.

IMC 6 Manuscript

IMC 1 Manuscript

IMC 3 Manuscript

IMC 2 Manuscript

There were also displays every lunchtime from the Brotherton Library, which is based at Leeds University. Those were fascinating, though some were not as ornate as others, but just amazing that they have survived this long.

IMC 10 Manuscript

IMC 9 Manuscript

I would love to go over and look at some of the manuscripts there so will try and factor that in to some free time after completing the doctorate.One other interesting thing was that they hold the collection of drawings from one of the major sources we use for costume research for re-enactment, by Herbert Norris, so I would love to look at those.

On the last day there was a medieval market with displays and stalls including one of my favourite textile people, Tanya Bentham from Threads of Time. She has the most amazing embroidery on her blog, Opus Anglicanum.

IMC Market 10

I also saw the lovely Jim of Trinity Court Potteries who I buy all my medieval ware from as well as one of my favourite thread suppliers, the Mulberry Dyer, who were doing a rope making demonstration. There was also book binding and falconry, it was just like being at a re-enactment event!

IMC Market 9

IMC Market 1

IMC Market 8

The combat displays were done by a very good group called Three Swords, you might recognise the heraldry on this shield as Jamie in our group also portrays De Warrene.

IMC Market 6

IMC Market 7

I loved the outfits that the Eran ud Turan group were wearing, such amazing fabric! They have a blog here which I am going to devote some time to as they have information about all the wonderful places that I want to travel to when I retire.

I have had a busy week since getting back from the conference, I made a shirt for Jamie as well as doing lots of sorting out and catching up from being away for nearly three weeks and then was off to the wonderful Tewkesbury event for last weekend. I will post about that next time as I need to collect some more pictures of the event first.

In other news the boiler has been poorly, it is nearly fixed but it is going to be quite expensive so I am glad that I have not got much else planned to do this summer. Jake is off in London today sorting out his visa for Japan which is very exciting, fingers crossed all will go well and he can start getting the final arrangements made.

I hope you all have a good week ahead, I shall be mainly working on the doctorate with a bit of work admin thrown in but plan to have some time at the weekend to craft. I seem to have quite a long to do list and really need to decide on an outfit for Lincoln at the end of August.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

 

Don’t you know there is a war on?

I wanted to show you some more of the Clumber pictures before I go away again. I didn’t get chance to take many but have also got some from the National Trust Facebook page.

These are mainly courtesy of Charlotte who was organising the event with Ellen and Lewis. He is the marvellous ranger who helped everyone pitch their tents in the rain on Friday when they realised that the ground was really hard and they couldn’t get the pegs in. Here they all are with Winston Churchill and a member of the Admiralty.

Clumber event 10

I really love this one of Charlotte and Ellen, they look so happy. Despite the stresses of the event organisation including the bad weather they did a brilliant job and hopefully we may get to attend a similar event next year.

Clumber event 9

Ellen got the chance to fire a few guns which made her very happy.

Clumber event 8

I met some very nice people while doing the rationing talk, the costumes were brilliant and I had lots of chats with people about making, my favourite sort of conversations.

Clumber event 1

These lovely ladies were also Steampunk people and had knitted a Land Army jumper, matching gloves with the rest of the wool and also made a hat.

Clumber event 2

Clumber event 3

I didn’t get their names but the lady with the hat told me she had a very large collection so I don’t feel too indulgent with my now quite small (9 at present) including two Steampunk works in progress.

The displays in the camps looked really interesting, we got a chance to see them on the Friday night after set up and to chat with the re-enactors on Saturday in the beer tent.

Clumber event 6

Clumber event 7

I did not get chance to visit on Sunday as we were so busy but did get chance to have a quick wander round the turning yard where these groups were having afternoon tea with their vintage cars.

I love the attention to detail here, the tablecloths, tea cosies and china all looked amazing. I had serious tablecloth envy and I loved their vintage picnic chairs.

Clumber event 5

Clumber event 4

I am having a very nice quiet day today, it is actually my birthday but I celebrated early in Spain. I had a lovely time there, I did do lots and lots of work on my doctorate so it is about 80% completed. I also got chance to go to the pool a few times and the beach and had a brilliant visit to Tabarca, the island I have previously posted about . It was a gorgeous day and we swam in cool blue sea feeling very lucky and happy.

I am off to a conference tomorrow, the International Medieval Conference in Leeds, where I am presenting about some of my research into how re-enactors develop their roles as medieval royalty. I am really looking forward to that and to going to all of the other presentations that I have chosen, mainly on textiles! It will be brilliant to spend four days in the company of so many people who love the same things that I do.

Then it is back here for some more working on the doctorate time before the Tewkesbury event. I am then looking forward to a nice quiet summer with lots of time to just relax and do textile related things. I seem to have been so busy in the last few months it will be nice to just be at home with very little to do. We do have a couple of weekends away planned but then nothing more until the end of August. I intend to make a big list of all the unfinished projects and get some of those worked on.

I hope you have a nice week ahead, what ever you have planned and thanks, as always for visiting.

 

 

 

 

Doing our bit for the war effort

We had a brilliant time at Clumber. Sadly the weather was not kind to us on Friday or Saturday, resulting in a very damp day of set up and for those who were in the field displays and Ellie and her team, a very wet first day and not many public visiting.

We were fine in the Parsonage and so were very busy on Saturday. Luckily Sunday was lovely and sunny and there were lots of people there enjoying the displays and the music entertainment.Due to the nice weather we expected to be less busy on Sunday but had visitors all day.

Clumber display 12

Clumber display 2

Clumber display 1

We very much enjoyed playing our new re-enactment roles of Margaret and Ann from the WI. It was very lovely to be able to sit and drink tea and chat to people in the beautiful surroundings of the Parsonage.

The really lovely thing about the event as Kerry said was that unlike medieval where we are giving people lots of information people were sharing their stories with us, their memories of rationing and the sewing and mending that their mums and grannies did and sometimes some very moving stories of their families during the war.

It was so interesting to hear all about their stories and to meet lots of different people. I didn’t get chance to see any of the events in the field during the day as we were quite far away from that part but we had a really nice chat to lots of the re-enactors on Saturday night at the beer tent and made a new friend who was doing a food rationing display.

Clumber display 5

Dawn (Mrs Mac) had a brilliant display and it was amazing to see how little food the actual weekly ration was, especially the bacon!

Clumber display 3

Clumber display 7

I love bacon and easily eat four times that in a week.We also loved the cardboard wedding cake which lifted off to reveal a small sponge underneath.

Clumber display 6

Clumber display 9

We had two tables, one for clothes rationing and one for the Make and Mend leaflets and there were some very good reactions to my ‘what will you spend your twenty coupons on?’ activity with a list of what things cost in coupons such as a raincoat for 9 coupons and underwear 2 coupons each.

Clumber display 26

Clumber display 25

Clumber display 24

I also had lots of my vintage textiles displayed and the transformed shirt as well as the knitting patterns. We were lucky to find some lovely vintage cups to have tea out of!

Clumber display 23

Clumber display 22

I am very glad that I took the crochet lace and pegs which were a last minute idea as I had lots of leaflets and they made a great display on the fireplace. I have also made a new set of marigold flowers for my hat which you can see at the front on the table.

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Clumber display 19

Clumber display 18

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Clumber display 15

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Clumber display 13

Here I am demonstrating the use of the darning mushroom.The visitors were all very complimentary about the jacket and no-one thought it was made out of tablecloths. I am very inspired to make something else now, maybe a summer blouse.

Clumber event 7

I do have some other pictures of the event which I will share with you later, I am going to be away for the next three weeks, in Spain and at a conference so I will see you all when I return. I am really looking forward to some sun and to lots and lots of sleep! It has been a very busy few weeks but everything has been done now so when I come back things will be much quieter.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Make do and Mend – cute flowers and vintage finds!

I have been having a lovely time this week working on my hat and some more felt flowers. I am now slightly obsessed as these are so easy to make so I have made enough for the hat and for a corsage and am now making some extra ones for my display. One of the things that I bought in the original charity shop bargain haul was a very boring burgundy felt hat so I am planning some beautiful marigold style flowers for that one.

I have treated myself to some new felt which I know is not strictly in the Make do and Mend spirit but I still have quiet books on my to do list for sometime so I will use some of it for that as well.

MDaM felt flowers 1

I found lots of inspiration for the flowers on Pinterest and also came across this brilliant site with free templates for personal use, thank you Paper and Peony for your generosity with these! I used template P-01 for the pink flowers below and P-03 and P-05 in layers for the hat flowers.

MDaM felt flowers 2

 

The corsage flowers are two layers of felt stitched with perle thread with a pearl bead added and then backed with leaves from the templates and a stem I cut myself and stitched with perle. I have seen wired versions as well that use florist’s wire.

MDaM felt flowers 3

 

I have added a little brooch pin from stash, I think these came from Ebay or Etsy and I bought them a while ago when I was making flower brooches out of fabric.

MDaM felt flowers 4

 

The hat is modelled on an advert for one that I found on Pinterest.

Make do and mend hat

I have no idea if it is actually a 40s design but since it is for a hat and felt flowers to make yourself it does fit with the spirit of Make do and Mend. I actually bought the hat from Amazon here  and removed the feathers and sewed the flowers on with perle. I liked this hat as it is not made from the more modern simamay but from stiffened fabric.

MDaM felt flowers 5

 

The flowers are made from three layers of felt petals and then the centre is just a short piece of felt snipped on one side and rolled up and stitched in place. It does not show up very well in the photos but there are different colours used in the pink and darker purple ones.

MDaM felt flowers 6

 

I am still working on the slippers ( as I got sidetracked by flowers!) but I wanted to show you the vintage finds that I have been gathering. I do have my mother’s ration book to use in the display, she was born in 1941, but also I managed to win these on Ebay which cover three years of clothing coupons which were owned by a man from Stockton. I wonder if most of the books that are left are from men who did not spend their coupons!

MDaM - ration books 1

MDaM - ration books 2

MDaM - ration books 3

I have also got this wonderful set of vintage dressing up dolls. I wanted to find something that I could use to let children decide what to spend their coupons on and found this set on Ebay. I wasn’t sure if I was going to carry on bidding for them but told Ellie about them and she won them for me as a present! There are lots of dolls and outfits so they are going to make a marvellous addition to the display.

MDaM - dolls 1

I have also bought some vintage knitting patterns, these are so lovely and I am very tempted to do some actual jumper knitting as I love the styles that were available. I love the cheerful expression on the glove pattern lady’s face and she does have the most fantastic hat.

MDaM -knitting pattern 1

MDaM -knitting pattern 2

MDaM -knitting pattern 3

MDaM -knitting pattern 4

I love the pram set, especially the little leggings with feet. I knitted a lot when I was pregnant with Ellie and I still have the little woollen suit that I knitted to bring her home from hospital. I used to love knitting baby bootees as they were so quick and cute.

I have been drooling over the work of a brilliant knitter who I found on my travels, 1940s Style for You. She no longer actually blogs but has a Facebook page and still sells vintage clothing but has some wonderful stuff on her blog and I have been learning a lot as there are posts covering four years of knitting and vintage clothing.

MDaM -knitting pattern 5

MDaM -knitting pattern 6

1940s jumper patterns feature a lot of lacy designs as this takes less wool. Wool cost 2 coupons per ball so the less you could get away with the better when you only had only around 20 coupons for 6 months. I will do a full post on all of the lovely stuff I have found out later on about rationing and tell you more about the Stitching for Victory book as well.

Today’s plans are for a bit more doctorate work then spending the afternoon in the craft room finishing the slippers and sorting out all my things for the event. I leave Thursday afternoon as I am helping with set up on Friday and my wonderful best friend Kerry is coming to get me so we will have chance to have a catch up as well.

I am so excited about the event, there has been some publicity about the replica of the trench digging tank that they have made and it looks absolutely fantastic. I am so proud of Ellie and her team. I am also very, very pleased to tell you that Jake, my son, has got a teaching job in Japan. I am not sure where he will be going yet but that will be sometime in August. I have been a very proud Mum this week 🙂

I hope you have a lovely time whatever you are doing and I will attempt to post some pictures from the event before I leave for Spain a few days later. Take care and thanks for visiting.