Costume inspiration

The recent visit to Bankfield Museum gave us so many ideas for future Steampunk costume. There were some lovely fashion plates up the stairs and decorating the rooms and then some gorgeous Victorian gowns. I really love this purpley/grey one on the left here and Ellie would love to make the pink one below.

Costume Bankfield 3

Costume Bankfield 4

Costume Bankfield 11

The dress in the foreground of the picture above was originally purple and you can see that on the fringe and the mottling on the back of the dress. The one at the back is so elegant, I love the shaping on the jacket.

We also loved the fact that they  had dress up, and not just for children. These top pictures were really high quality reproductions of two of the Regency outfits they had on display, the embroidery on waistcoats from this period is always stunning.

There were also some displays of local textile production, including a lovely collection of hat pins, cuff links and buttons all made from casein which is actually milk protein! Fascinating to think that buttons can be made of milk.

It is so nice as well to see pictures of the women who made the hat pins. There was such a huge demand for them then. I think it is a great pity there is not more hat wearing, and I don’t just mean woolly ones in winter. Bring back hats for everyday wear!

Costume Bankfield 13

There was also the display of the gorgeous costumes from the Gentleman Jack TV series, part of which was filmed in Halifax, at Shibden Hall where Ann Lister lived. This is the fourth TV costume exhibition we have seen, the others being Victoria, Downton Abbey and a sneak peek at some of the Wolf Hall ones from before the exhibition . I really like seeing the clothes in detail, close up without the cases the museum pieces often have to be in. The sleeve silhouettes on these dresses are gorgeous and I love the lace shawls.

In the cases round the room there were also some fascinating needlework tools and accessories and samplers, I love seeing things like these, they really make you think about who was using them and what they were making and the skill level of these very young needlewomen.

One of the most interesting was this pincushion made from a shell. You can also see a walnut thimble case in one of the above pictures, next to the miniature sewing machine.

Costume Bankfield 32

I have started reading the Elm Creek Quilts book series again, I first read them all about 10 years ago and loved them so have the joy of re-reading all 20 books in the series and was very excited to learn that a new story is being published. It is definitely making me want to make more quilt blocks again after all the Yarndale stock is finished.

I am interspersing time in the craft room doing that with finishing off a knitted animal and then am going to work on some Christmas and birthday gifts. As well as more Barbie clothes I really want to make a quiet book. I have been doing some research and have found some gorgeous ideas. I particularly love the ones that are little doll houses like this one in this video. Look at the cuteness of the little cat and teddy and that wonderful wardrobe!

Quiet book doll houseSo many lovely things to make and luckily more time to do them! Jake is happily finding his feet in Japan, the doctorate is done 🙂 apart from the final proof read and printing off so I can indulge myself in all manner of crafty loveliness with all this free time I now have!

 

Hope that you are having a nice weekend as well. I will be back soon with some of the Lincoln Steampunk costumes.Take care and thanks for visiting.

Halifax at War

We had a lovely day out after dropping Jake off at the airport and our first stop was back to the brilliant Bankfield Museum where they had a really good exhibition about the town’s involvement in WW2.

Halifax at war 1

This was the same place where we saw the excellent Women Traveller’s exhibition in the Spring and once again I was really impressed with their interpretation.

As well as the wealth of original artefacts on display there were some really lovely examples of civilian dress, some of these were Utility garments. We really loved these beautiful dresses.

What we really liked was the focus on the town’s involvement, Halifax has been an important textile centre for centuries and so the exhibition talked about the involvement in making wool for uniforms.There were lots of original publications about textile production during the war which was really interesting for me.

There was also some lovely Make do and Mend areas with some familiar things. I was very excited to see an original slipper pattern as you may remember that I bought a copy of one like this for my display. We were also pleased to find that we girls could be useful to the war effort as well as decorative 😉

The museum also had just opened their new costume gallery and in addition had an exhibition of costumes from the Gentleman Jack TV series. This tells the story of Anne Lister, one of the women featured in the Women Travellers’ exhibition, so I will do another post with all those pictures.

I have been having a wonderful relaxing week, mainly embroidering sheep for this year’s Yarndale stock. Jake has started his teaching and is enjoying teaching Primary age children in the centre of Tokyo.

Teaching starts tomorrow for me so I am looking forward to meeting a new group. I do have Sunday and Monday off to carry on with the Yarndale bags and pouches as there are only a few weeks to go! I don’t know where this year has gone, the summer seems to have flown by and I am sad that it is over but as usual looking forward to more time to stitch.

I hope that you have had a nice week and have an enjoyable weekend planned. Thanks for visiting, take care and I will see you again soon with more costume loveliness.

Giveaway winner and a quick update

Just a quick update for you. I have so many wonderful pictures from Lincoln and Scotland but just wanted to pop in and tell you that the winner of the giveaway is Julia’s Creative Year. Please e-mail me at alisonmryan@yahoo.co.uk and let me know if you would like a brooch, hairslide or hair bobble and which colours you would like and I will get creating.Thanks to everyone who liked or commented on my posts.

Scotland was so beautiful, I took so many of photos of the amazing mountains and lochs. We were there partly to visit a friend who lives very near this castle at the edge of a loch and this is one of my favourite pictures with Kilchurn Castle in the distance. The weather was mostly good and the stormy skies at times just added to the atmosphere. It is an amazing country and I will have to go back there as there is so much we did not get to see in the time that we had.

Scotland 1 - Kilchurn

Lincoln was brilliant as well, as usual but so warm! I have no idea why most of my hobbies end up with me dressed so inappropriately for the weather but was very glad of the parasol. Here is a photo of my beautiful Ellie in her house of Worth dress complete with new hat. I know I am biased but she does look stunning.

Ellie at Lincoln 2019

In other exciting news Jake is in Japan 🙂 He has been there for a week now and we have been having regular chats via the miracle of the internet. He has just moved into an apartment and starts his teaching job tomorrow.

Exciting times and I am so happy for him that all his hard work has paid off. He has had time to do a little bit of sightseeing  and has been sending us pictures of some of the beautiful parks. I am really excited to go and visit him next year.

Jake Japan 1

Tomorrow will be mainly devoted to crafting as I have some stock to make for Yarndale. I have almost finished the final draft of my doctorate so will be doing that first thing and then it can be e-mailed off to my supervisors and I can relax.

It has been a busy and somewhat stressful few months finishing that and waiting for all of Jake’s things to be finalised for his job so I am looking forward to peace, quiet and tranquility for a while  🙂 Here’s hoping anyway.

I will be back soon with more pictures for you, meanwhile take care and thanks for visiting.

Cobwebs in the chapel and other conservation tasks

Many years ago, 7 to be exact, I went to visit my lovely daughter at her first full time job with the Trust at Powis Castle in Wales. I had a great time and learnt lots about conservation and what she did to maintain the things in the castle. Here she is in that job with her daily checklist clipboard for recording light levels and other important things.

Ellie at Powis

Since then I have visited her at Hardwick House and had an access all areas in the textile store there which was amazing, climbed the chapel tower at Clumber and been a World War 1 Land Girl volunteer. Having a daughter in the heritage industry is fab because as well as all the lovely places she has worked I have had some brilliant behind the scenes fun as well.

Clumber 3 - chapel

On Sunday she was working so I went and volunteered with her again. The first job was cleaning the chapel which involved learning some new dusting skills.

Clumber 20 - chapel

There are some amazing statues in the chapel and they have to be cleaned very carefully with a soft brush as they are extremely fragile being over 130 years old.

Clumber 21 - chapel

Clumber 22 - chapel

Clumber 23 - chapel

I also dusted the gorgeous hanging lights with a very long extendable fluffy duster.This is more complicated than it sounds as the lights are very fragile and the brush needs careful control, not easy when it is eight foot in the air!

There was a lovely exhibition that Ellie had put together of some of the ecclesiastical garments that they have at the chapel. One of my projects over the winter will be some gold work to take to re-enactment. I was thinking of something like this piece on the top left on this montage as I love the simplicity and elegance of the design.

I was also really thrilled to see the candlesticks that I have recently donated to the chapel on the altar. I bought these from a local charity shop about 5 years ago but Ellie mentioned last time she was here that they were looking for some for the chapel as the originals can no longer be on display.

Clumber 16 - chapel

I was going to donate them anyway when I move to Spain so I was very happy for them to go to their new home now. They look amazing, so shiny and sparkling and I am so pleased that they fit in so well.

Clumber 18 - chapel

Clumber 17 - chapel

We also got to visit Nellie, the replica of the trench digging tank that Ellie and her team constructed as part of the WW2 events at Clumber this year.

Clumber 1 - Nellie

It is an amazing feat of construction, all made of wood and it looks so much like the original. There is also an assault course which the children have been enjoying.

Clumber 4 - Ellie

Clumber 5 - Nellie

The afternoon was spent in Ellen’s conservation room and store where I got to see some of the artefacts from the house.

Clumber 24 - chapel

As it was demolished in 1938 there is very little that has been found but anything that is goes in here and is catalogued and stored in conservation grade bags.This is a gorgeous confirmation badge.

Clumber 26 - chapel

Clumber 25 - chapel

Clumber 2 - Nellie

There was a small piece of a cross from the chapel statues that needs to be reattached along with various finds such as some small wooden shields.

Clumber 29 - chapel

I helped with some cataloguing of these and Ellie showed me some of the others including two of her favourite finds from underneath the choir stalls in the chapel.

Clumber 27 - chapel

Clumber 28 - chapel

One is some little boats made from the notes of the hymns to be sung that day and the other a crumpled bag that came from a sweet shop. Clearly some choir boys were getting bored one day! I do love these little bits of social history, they are just as exciting to me as ornate paintings or grand houses.

I am so lucky to have children doing exciting things that they love and it is brilliant that I can share in them.

I am still making felt flowers but am going to stop soon and get back to some knitting as there are Christmas presents to be finished. We are at Lincoln Steampunk this Saturday so I am really looking forward to that. I shall be taking a brolly to protect the tea party hat as we have had some dreadful downpours lately 😦

Hopefully I will get chance to post some pictures before we set off for Scotland next week! Hope that you have a nice week ahead and thanks for visiting.

 

Warning, tram heavy post!

I have had an absolutely brilliant weekend thanks to my lovely daughter.The BBQ social was excellent, we had lovely food and played lots of games and it was so nice to meet all her team. They are the fantastic rangers and gardeners that look after Clumber Park and a really fun and dedicated group of people. Luckily the weather was good, a little windy and damp later at night but we had a camp in the rose gardens and it was nice enough to have bacon butties outdoors before heading back to Ellen’s for a quick change into our 1940s outfits.

Crich 1

Crich was such a fantastic place. I have never been before and can’t work out why as it not that far away from here. However I haven’t been to any of the other open-air museums either so we must just have missed them all on our travels.

Crich 2

The heavens opened just as we parked and we were absolutely soaked to the skin by the time we got there but luckily it brightened up and we had just about dried off before getting soaked on the way out. Here are Ellen and Charlotte looking damp but happy!

Crich 13

It is amazing how quickly the weather can change at the moment but luckily for the re-enactors it was nice all afternoon and there were lots of people there.

I loved the trams, there were lots in the sheds as well as ones running up and down the street. They have been so beautifully restored and there all sorts of different types.

There was also lots of information about the development of trams and the history of the depots. I loved these pictures of them in action and the celebrations of the openings.

Crich 9

Crich 8

I would love to go back on a non-event day as well as we did not get to see everything. We did have tea in the tearooms above the pub, the whole place is so beautifully built and I love the little touches like the tape on the windows and the vintage signs.

Crich 22

Crich 23

We also had a ride on the tram below and saw the parade of vehicles and some of the group displays.

The tram ride was lovely as it went all the way up into the countryside. The museum is located in an old quarry and there are some lovely woodland walks that you can do, when it is not tipping down and you are not wearing fabric shoes with heels! I was very excited to be given an old penny for my tram fare as well.

Crich 27

Crich 28

I didn’t manage to get many pictures of people in costume but did get this lovely couple having a vintage picnic and a couple who were wearing ARP kit.

Crich 16

Crich 15

The Land Army group who we met last year at Thoresby were there again as well as some of the groups we met at Clumber and this wonderful tent, set out like a 1940s kitchen.

I am hoping to persuade Ellen to let me buy a vintage caravan to do up for 1940s events, I would love to have one like this that we could use for Make do and Mend displays.

Vintage caravan 1

I think she might be coming round to the idea as at least, unlike a tent, you don’t have to dry it off after camping weekends!

We ended with a lovely sing song in the park where all the entertainers were on the bandstand and we had a medley of all the WW2 songs. It was such a lovely day and I can’t wait for my next 1940s event in the autumn.

Crich 33

On Sunday I went to Clumber and did some volunteering. I will devote whole post to that as I got to do some very exciting things and learnt a lot more about looking after the collection.

I am in work all week now as it is A level results time, so will be doing lots of phone duty and catching up on admin. The weekend ahead is all doctorate and then hopefully just a few more days until it is all done.

I hope that you all have a good week ahead, don’t forget to like or comment on this or any post until the 23rd Aug for my flower giveaway. Take care and thanks for visiting.

My latest addiction …. and a giveaway

I have a very addictive personality. Luckily it only manifests itself in craft related ways rather than anything nefarious but it does mean that I tend to get mildly obsessed by one thing and want to do it all the time for a while. Then that wears off and I find something else to obsess over.

At the moment it is little felt flowers. I have moved on from just the 1940s style ones for brooches and combined them with some of my all time favourite Liberty. The first one I made was for a gift and I thought that the combination of colours went really well. This is still very 1940s in tone though the later ones are a lot brighter.

Felt flower brooch mustard

I have found these so therapeutic, I have just been sitting here every evening with a big pile of Liberty scraps and a big pile of felt and combining the pretty colours.

Felt flower collection

I use some lightweight iron on interfacing on the Liberty so it doesn’t fray. Again that is very good for using up off cuts from bag making so very make do and mend.Even though I love purple and pink I have also been using some blues.

Felt flower purple

Felt flower blue

Felt flower blue 2

This fabric below is one of my favourite ever Liberty prints, it is so beautiful.

Felt flower pink 2

I really love this colour combination, I am not normally drawn to orange but these look really good with my purple top hat so I am thinking I might make some for a decoration for that for beer tent wear next year.

Felt flower pink

As I said in the last post some of these, the paired ones, will be going to decorate bags, others I will make into brooches or little hair slides and bobbles for my younger relatives.

Felt flower blue pink

Felt flower blue pair

So to the giveaway! This is my 700th post so I thought that deserves a little celebration. Since I am currently loving the felt flowers I would like to offer a flower brooch, hair pin, bobble of your choice, either a 1940s style one as featured here  or one with Liberty. Let me know what colours you would like as well. I will keep the giveaway open until Fri 23rd August and all you have to do is like or comment on this or any other post until then.

My friends had a lovely time at the Evesham event last weekend, the weather was good and there have been some lovely photos. I was so pleased to see Kerry’s latest make, she came up a couple of weeks ago and we used one of Dave’s old surcoats as a template to make this stunning new one, it took her hours to attach all the stripes and it looks amazing. Picture of the new surcoat is by Jennifer Jane.

Kerry - surcoat 1

Kerry - surcoat 2 - Jennifer Jane

It was lovely to see a picture of Jamie in the surcoat I made him a few years ago. It has done well to be going strong since 2015. He has a new tent in his colours and has made a flag and it is all looking wonderful.

Evesham - Jamie

I am going to have a very exciting weekend. I am going to Clumber for part of it, I have been very kindly invited for a social event with Ellen’s colleagues which means camping over on Friday night. We are off to Crich Tramway museum for a 1940s event on Saturday, then it is back to Clumber on Sunday for the church service in the morning and some volunteering in the afternoon.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend ahead, hopefully there will be lots of fab pictures of both transport and fashion in my next post, I love trams and am very excited to see some vintage ones!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

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.