Granada, mother nature and man

I am firmly convinced that one of the reasons that Granada, and specifically the Alhambra, is so stunning, is due to the contrast between the man made splendour and the amazing beauty of the Sierra Nevada backdrop.

This is the second time I have visited the city, both in the same season with snow on the mountains and it is the most amazing sight. My first trip, around 20 years ago, was going to be my only trip to Spain as an adult but I fell in love with the beautiful houses and coastline here and the rest is history!

We stayed in a beautiful apartment, Apartamento Capitania found on Booking.com, in a fantastic location near the cathedral, with shops, tapas bars and taxi and bus stops all minutes away. It was also excellent value for money, costing us each 30 euros a night. It had a gorgeous view of a small church and a square with a few bars around.

As always the architecture was stunning, so many beautiful ‘wedding cake’ style buildings, balconies and wonderful doors!

On our first day we went to the Albaicin, in itself a World Heritage site for its steep winding roads and Moorish architecture. This trip was for Mum’s birthday so she had planned everything that she wanted to see.

The houses are, as often in Spain, amazing in the way that they have been constructed on top of each other up the hillside, with beautiful roof gardens and lots of wonderful tiles and doorways. We were aiming for one of the royal palaces but stopped off at the numerous miradors, or viewing places to get closer and closer to the views of the Alhambra with the snowy mountains behind it.

This was the view from the restaurant where we had a delicious mango and goats cheese salad and fried aubergine with honey.

The Palacio de Dar al – Horra was lovely, a very understated version of the Alhambra, with again amazing views across the Albaicin and the Alhambra.

After that we wandered down into the valley, with the assistance of Google maps, and around the mountain to the area of Sacromonte, famous for its cave houses and the flamenco venues that the gitanos or gypsies who have been here since the 1700s developed. We are now quite knowledgeable about cave life since our visit to Ben and Amanda so really enjoyed looking round the cave house museum there.

The best bits were all the textiles and the old photos of the people who lived in this complex. There was a perfect little one person cave that I would be very happy living in, complete with sewing area! In this cave there was the most fascinating rag rug, made from triangles, unlike the other strip ones I have seen and it was wonderful to be able to see all the different fabrics that had been used.

An amazing day and a perfect start to our trip. We had pre-booked tickets for the Alhambra for the following day so to see so much of it beforehand was just perfect.

I will be back with part two of the trip soon. I have made a promise to myself that I will develop a design from one of the Alhambra pictures so if you have any favourites in the next post let me know in the comments.

As always have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Stepping back in time, in many respects

This post is going back to some of my travels this past summer, to tell you about all the loveliness from museums that I did not have chance to post about when I was travelling. As you may expect it involves re-enactment and historic costume 🙂

Our first trip was a very special day out to visit our friends in our re-enactment group, Swords of Mercia, most of whom we had not seen for about 2 years. We were not able to join in the full event at Nottingham Castle, due to number restrictions because of the virus, but did have a very lovely day in Nottingham.

We found a beautiful location for lunch, completely by accident, just wandering through the city centre. The Nottingham Secret Garden is one of the many venues that have adapted brilliantly to outside eating and drinking, despite the British weather and we had a delicious tapas lunch there. The interior rooms are also beautiful, though I don’t think that they are open at the moment.

The encampment at the castle was smaller than usual, due to the need to keep distancing but it all worked really well and our friends had a lovely time doing both show and tell and small fight demonstrations. There were people from lots of groups there, all representing different time periods in the castle’s history.

We have some hugely talented people in our group and both of our leatherworkers have spent the down time due to the pandemic refining their skills. Symon and David both do exceptional work making scabbards and bags. These are some of David’s beautiful sword scabbards. If you ever need anything like this, or a decorated leather bag, or a beautiful bespoke hair ornament do visit Buffy Historical Leatherwork and Lionhead Leather.

We were also excited to visit the newly refurbished museum within the castle. After a quick stop in the café for a gluten -free cream tea and a look at their fabulous button wall, we headed for the lace and costume displays.

Nottingham is famous for its lacemaking, firstly hand made lace and latterly machine lace so the displays were fascinating. There were some gorgeous garments from the last 150 years.

They also had lots of samples of lace and the jacquard machines and hole punch cards that were used to make the fabric.

One of my favourite things was this panel commemorating World War 2. A small but really well thought out exhibition with lots of information and very interesting pictures of the lace makers and their craft. Well worth a visit.

We have been invited back to Nottingham Castle to do another event this coming July, fingers crossed we can all go this time, so looking forward to it. Hopefully all of the events that are planned will be able to go ahead this year.

Jacky has been doing some work to the campervan as we go away again in a couple of weeks which is very exciting. I have had a busy week with trying to perfect reversing into parking spaces on my driving lessons, continuing with my very enjoyable creative writing course on Zoom with the WEA, and working on my novel. I have now written 11, 958 words so far and it is really starting to take shape. It takes me back to the days of writing the doctorate, thankfully over a year ago now. It so lovely to be writing things just for me and I am thoroughly enjoying the process.

I hope life is good with all of you, and that you are enjoying your weekend whatever you are doing. I will be back soon with more lovely museum textiles so until then have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Caceres – traditional costume and incredible embroidery

As I have mentioned there were many palaces in Caceres that have been turned into museums. One of the first that we visited was the Fundacion MCCB, set up by two local residents Mercedes Calles and Carlos Ballestero. As well as some great photography and paintings by local artists about fiestas within the city, there were also some gorgeous artefacts and paintings.

The one that I loved the most was a painting of a young girl, wearing the most amazing traditional costume, she looked so happy that I was thrilled when I managed to buy a small mirror with the image on in the gift shop.

There was also some information and personal items from the couple, Mercedes was born in 1915 and clearly had a very interesting life. I would love to find out more about her, and as I am planning to write a book set in Spain one day, may research more about the area in the future.

One of the other palaces held a brilliant collection of traditional costume from the surrounding area. What was especially lovely was that there were photos of people wearing the costume next to each item.

This was particularly interesting when looking at how they sat wearing the very full skirts. This is where ethnographic sources like this are so vital.

This wonderful hat was used for everyday wear to shade workers from the sun, rather than just being for fiestas.

This photo shows the local people at the opening of the museum in the early 1920s. Even though the picture is blurry it is wonderful to see them all in their best clothes for the occasion.

There were so many lovely embroidered costumes from the surrounding villages, each one slightly different but all with an emphasis on colour. It was really interesting to see this, as previously I have only seen the sorts of costume that are worn at the large fiestas, which are more based around what looks like more formal hooped dresses.

The following day we were lucky enough to see the local folk group who still wear versions of these costumes, complete with matching masks at the moment!

The linen work was incredible, I could have been there for hours just looking at these pieces. They were so finely done and it was very interesting to see the same motifs come up as I have seen in many other countries, and reinterpreted in a lot of Quaker inspired cross stitch designs.

As well as other displays of weaving, spinning and embroidery, there was the ubiquitous Singer sewing machine.

I love seeing these in museums, it always makes my little heart so happy to see them and to think about the women who may have used them. I have more pictures from another Caceres museum to show you but will save those for a later post.

Life here with my sister has settled into a nice routine. I have finished two creative writing courses and have started two more. One is a group class with the WEA using Zoom and I am really enjoying it. I never wanted to have a Zoom meeting ever again, after last year’s teaching. However, it is much more fun when you are a student, rather than the teacher worrying about losing people in the ether. There are lots more courses that I like the look of so will do more in the future. It is lovely to study informally with no deadlines or pressure, and I am finding that it is really helping with the progress with the first book.

It has been very cold here, though sunny, so apart from trips to the gym I have been cuddling up with cat, writing, knitting and sewing and generally enjoying the peace and quiet. Jacky and I have just booked an amazing trip to Scotland for August, we are going to Loch Lomond, Skye, Harris and Lewis, and North and South Uist, following in the footsteps on many of my favourite travel vloggers. We also have camping in the Peak District booked for February half term. So we have lots of exciting adventures to look forward to!

I hope you are managing to stay warm, or cool, depending on which season you are in. Have a good rest of the weekend, and a great week ahead. Have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Bright lights, big city!

Happy New Year to you all, let’s hope 2022 is a year when we can do the simple things like meeting up with family and friends more often without worrying, and plan things without the risk of them being cancelled.

I have been lucky enough to meet up with lots of people over Christmas, seeing all of my ex work colleagues and friends in Marsden before a lovely time in Edinburgh over Christmas with Ellen. I am now staying with my sister in Worcester for a few months and start driving lessons again in a couple of days so wish me luck!

I will post later about Edinburgh but wanted to show you the lovely things in Manchester first. This was a last minute decision as I was going to stay with my brother, but due to the fact that he had to isolate when coming back from Spain decided to go there for a little tour of some of the places I had never visited.

I stayed at the Salford Quays development in a very cute little room in an Ibis Budget hotel. This was only a short tram ride from central Manchester and I got to admire all of the amazing tower blocks on the way in to the city.

The area was created out of the old dockland area from the era when ships used to sail as far as America via the Manchester Shipping Canal, as Manchester is a long way from the sea. It was one of the first urban regenerations in the early 1980s.

Within the modern shopping malls there were some lovely photos of the old docks and the workers are commemorated along the walkways with art and poetry. I spent a lovely couple of hours wandering around the new areas admiring the Christmas lights and the sheer scale of the buildings there.

My first visit was to the Manchester Art Gallery. Their fashion collection is still being developed but they had some beautiful art depicting costume, which I always love looking at.

There were also some very interesting other exhibitions looking at the role of ‘unskilled workers’, particularly during the pandemic.

That afternoon was a visit to the Manchester Jewish Museum, which is housed in the old Spanish/Portuguese Synagogue which was so beautiful. I have never visited a synagogue before so it was very interesting and very well interpreted with oral history recordings from the people that used to worship there.

There was also a separate museum with the history of the many people who had come to Manchester to settle, which was again full of the personal stories and belongings. I love museums like this that tell the history of ordinary people, it is so important that their stories are not lost.

I was also lucky enough to come across The Portico Library, a beautiful little subscription library that was founded in 1806 and had a quick look around. They had a lovely exhibition on ‘polite literature’ and they also have some resources on fiction writing that I am going to follow up on You Tube.

The final visit was to The People’s History Museum, which is a museum about the history of democracy and has many really interesting sections on the struggle for votes and worker’s rights. Some of these I remember well as they happened during my teens and early twenties. They also had a really interesting collection of banners, from the simple home-made ones of the 1970s and 80s to the very elaborate ones of the Victorian and Arts and craft era.

It was a lovely couple of days and it was nice to visit some of the smaller, less well-known museums in the city. After a busy few weeks I am looking forward to a nice quiet time here. I have bought a new sewing machine with lots of decorative stitches and am looking forward to trying that out this coming week so you never know there may be more evidence of crafting on the blog very soon!

I hope that you all have a nice week ahead, have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Let’s start as we mean to go on…

Well the first week of retirement, or permanent holiday, as I have decided to call it went very well. We were not able to join the others for the full weekend of the event at Nottingham Castle, due to restrictions on numbers who could camp. However, we did have a very nice day out, complete with lunch in a fabulous outdoor garden at a restaurant and bar in a Georgian House in the middle of Nottingham. One of the very good side effects of the restrictions is that people have created wonderful outside spaces and I am very happy that we can sit and eat and drink in such pretty places. The outdoor lifestyle is what I love most about Spain and it is lovely that we can now do more of that as well.

It was brilliant to see our friends, we have not met for 2 years so we did have some hugs and a lot of catching up to do. The event featured lots of different groups and was a nice gentle easing back into re-enactment. I will hopefully be doing an event in August if all goes well.

We really enjoyed the trip to Oxford, very busy and we we packed so much into the two days, lots of walking around finding filming locations from the Discovery of Witches series as well as visits to the Ashmolean and the Natural History Museum/Pitt Rivers Museum.

The colleges were all closed due to Covid but we did see All Souls and the Bodleian as well as the Bridge of Sighs.

We especially loved the Pre-Raphaelite rooms at the Ashmolean, the detail on the painting was incredible and there were many of our favourite artists there.

The Natural History Museum was just as fascinating for its architecture as well as the contents, with an amazing glass ceiling and pillars carved from different rocks representing various flora and fauna. And who can resist a dinosaur skeleton! Jake used to love these when he was younger and both children were big fans of the ‘Walking with Dinosaurs’ series.

At the Pitt Rivers I loved the textile elements of the collection, especially this sewing box and these amazing beaded costumes from North America. Also absolutely fascinating were garments made from seal intestines, especially the designs of what we would now recognise as as waterproof jacket that dated from over 100 years ago.

There was also a boat trip along the Thames, where we learnt a lot about the buildings along the river and the importance of rowing to the colleges. There was a very old ‘party barge’ moored on one of the banks which had been restored. I would love to go back and do some of the towpath walk one day. The blue boats are a steamer company whose boats were involved in the Dunkirk ships evacuation.

We also had some lovely lunches and dinners, including a surprise visit to the gorgeous Comptoir Libanais where the food was as good as the decor.

We stayed in a cute little log cabin Air b n b, which was located at the end of a garden not far from the city centre. We are trying out all sorts of different types of places to stay and could have happily lived in this one as well. It was a lot bigger than the last cabin by the sea, with an attic as well as two separate rooms and the living space.

Our final day was a trip to Blenheim Palace, which was just as spectacular as I had imagined. It was a lovely day for a wander round the gardens and a picnic by the fountains.

We also met a falcon, who was there for pest control rather than as a display of hunting skill. Her presence scares off the pigeons!

We went on a tour of the state rooms where there were some wonderful patterns on the walls and ceilings. I loved the library with the statue of Queen Anne.

There were also some beautiful portraits, particularly the ones of Consuelo Vanderbilt. I would like to read more of her story and have added some books about her to my wishlist. Lots of Steampunk inspiration there.

I also volunteered at Ellen’s new workplace, the Bassetlaw food Bank, which was a really interesting and enjoyable day, meeting her colleagues and getting to see what actually happens. I will not be able to commit to much volunteering in the future, but would like to help out as much as I can with fundraising, or anything that I can do remotely.

I have had two lovely leaving dos as well, I was very lucky to be able to meet up with some of my work colleagues in person at a local bar and it was lovely to share memories with people I have in some cases worked with for nearly 20 years. I was given some very generous gifts, including money which I am going to use for an interrail ticket, when we are able to travel again.

I also met up with the Wool and Wine group for a celebration and they very kindly gave me a gift voucher which I have used to buy some new camping supplies. I have spent time sorting my new camping bag, as well as decluttering and have lots of lovely new kit for all of my adventures.

I hope that you have all been having a nice time and have a good week ahead. Take care, have fun, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

The kindness of strangers

It never ceases to amaze me how kind bloggers are in giving away free patterns for things. I know sometimes that is to promote things like a new fabric line, but you don’t have to buy anything to be able to take advantage of their generosity and I love collecting ideas. They will all be for future makes as I have enough to keep me going in live projects until about September.

I say strangers but I do think of these people as friends, well imaginary friends though the wonderful Jenny of Elefantz and I have corresponded by e-mail. She is always giving away beautiful designs and this year she has two things for everyone.

The first is her Posies Block of the Month Quilt. These are gorgeous little stitcheries that would make great gifts appliques onto a bag or lavender sachet if you didn’t want to make them into a quilt.

Each one is very quick to do and I love the combinations of colours that she has chosen. All pictures are from her website.

She is also producing a magazine this year, The Homemakers Heart, and the first edition is full of lovely things. I knew I would love it as soon as I saw the cover, this looks so much like my craft room stash (picture from Jenny’s website).

This month’s edition has the first of a days of the week stitchery set, a quilt block and a journal cover as well as recipes and other delights. It really is gorgeous and is totally free! Thank you so much Jenny 🙂

Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet also has a new quilt design out called Flea Market Flowers. I love Lori’s designs and this one really appeals to me because of the Dresdens it uses.

I had a flurry of Dresden making a few years ago when I got a ruler free with a quilt magazine and made lots of pouches with them on. I loved combining them with vintage crochet.

Not only do you get the free quilt pattern and a step by step weekly tutorial with such lovely pictures but there is also a download for the quilt info pack which includes this notepaper and clip art set. You can download them from the links on this page here.

We are so lucky to have the internet for all these lovely things and such wonderful people sharing their talent through it. It all makes me very happy.

It is another very busy week here, with more snow. We have had so much more this year, I think it is Nature’s way of giving the children a break from all the online home schooling they are having to do during lockdown and there were lots of them enjoying it today.

I managed a long frosty walk up on the hills yesterday lunchtime which was lovely. I am trying to get as much exercise as I can do and it was sunny and gorgeous, a real promise of Spring.

I hope that you are having a good week, I shall be back at the weekend hopefully to share some more loveliness with you. Meanwhile have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Living our best Downton life

Ellen has been re – watching Downton Abbey during lockdown and I watched a few episodes when I was staying with her so we were really pleased to find out that some of the series had been filmed at both Beamish and Alnwick Castle. It was nice to wander round pretending that we were dressed the part and we both thought it would make a fabulous Steampunk event location.

The 1900s town at Beamish was amazing, it just looks so much like a real street, although it is made of elements from lots of different places. There are so many buildings such as the bakers, chemist, bank, garage Masononic hall, sweetshop and a lovely little town park as well as a row of houses. With the bus coming through and a little train station you can see why it is the perfect filming location for period dramas.

I think my favourite was the Co-op, one side was all groceries and the other the haberdashery. A whole shop full of vintage textiles – absolute heaven 🙂 I would love to have the time to be a volunteer there and work behind the counter, just look at all this wonderful stuff!

You can just see the quilt wadding and many lovely textiles for dressmaking as well as so many sewing notions. I really loved it.

After a stop in the town park for a rest we got on the bus and went to the mining village which was equally wonderful. I can’t wait to go back and hopefully we will be able to go inside the houses, there were so many amazing textiles, such as this beautiful crazy quilt and a really unusual embroidered waistcoat.

Our visit to Alnwick was on a very grey day so my pictures do not do justice to the beautiful setting.

We were lucky enough to be able to get tickets for the State Rooms and although no photos were allowed I found these on Google. The ceilings were amazing and this red and gold room was my favourite.

There was also a really good film about the shooting of the Downton Abbey Christmas special there and it was fabulous to see the actual rooms after watching that. I found some lovely pictures of the cast at the castle as well on Google.

Things are very busy at work, so there has been little crafting done. I am still putting together knitted animals and have finished another camper van embroidery so will share that with you soon. I am still teaching on campus so we are all keeping our fingers crossed for that to continue. It still seems very strange and everything is a bit tense as we are constantly expecting things to change. Thank goodness for the comfort of wool and thread to keep me sane 🙂

I hope that you are all ok and not too stressed, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Back in time, or not…

Our first visit on our Northumbrian trip was to Beamish. To say we enjoyed it would be an understatement. For two heritage enthusiasts, with a particular love for social history it was an amazing day out, and we can’t wait to go back.

Things were obviously a little restricted, the trams were not running, but the buses were and we had a trip on this gorgeous vehicle.

Some of the rooms were closed off, as were some of the smaller properties and there were less interpretive staff working but that just gives us all the more incentive to return next year. We loved the vintage style mask signs.

Our tickets are valid for a year and it is such a large place we didn’t manage all of it in one day anyway. I have split the photos into two posts as I took so many.

Our first location was the 1820s hall which had a beautiful formal garden. I think it is one of the original buildings at the location, many others have been relocated or are being built as replicas. It was a really hot and sunny day so we got to see the place in the sunshine which was wonderful.

The second location was one of my favourites, a 1950s miners’ welfare hall. It was complete with all of the things that you would expect, and some that were very unexpected and really interesting. I think it was one of my favourites due to all of the textiles, and the lovely interpreter we chatted to.

I had spotted the knitted version of Muffin the Mule as we went up to the table. I remember my Grandad had a metal version of this puppet and I watched some of the episodes when I was younger.

We were also fascinated by the knitted baby in the womb which was used by midwives in the 1950s to explain birth, and particularly which way the baby was lying. I do remember having a knitted womb at my antenatal classes 30 years ago which the midwives used to explain the birth process.

As well as the wonderful textiles with crochet, embroidered tablecloths and hexagon patchwork there were lots of information signs not too dissimilar from those we are seeing today.

Diptheria was the issue then, with posters warning of the dangers of coughing and the need to vaccinate against the disease. Very relevant to the situation today and a reminder of how public health is vital despite the differences in society now. We also loved this poster stressing the importance of taking holidays to keep you healthy for work, we couldn’t agree more!

The attention to detail in the building was brilliant, they had even asked the Formica company to make them some of a 1950s pattern for their tables and had the advert outside the building. I am sure I remember this from my childhood.

The 1950s area is one that is being expanded so I am really looking forward to seeing more of it on our next visit.

We have had the first week of term, met the new Year 1s and are keeping everything crossed for teaching being able to be on campus still. It was very difficult getting to know a group of students all sat in rows with masks but we did at least have a Zoom tutorial later in the week so we could see their faces.

It was upsetting for all of us as normally this week would be full of fun and creative things that we were doing with them. However, we are adapting. I always used to say to my teacher trainees that the key to being successful is to be flexible and adaptable and that will be even more important this year.

We are under enhanced restrictions in my area again but the sun is shining so I have been able to go for walks at least. I have finally finished the very difficult jigsaw and am on with a new one. I am so thankful again for my lovely home, and secure job as we enter another period of uncertainty.

I hope that you are all ok and coping with everything. I am also so grateful for my crafting as it gives such respite from all of the anxious bits of life. I am working on a new camper van embroidery alongside the knitting and enjoying some new series on Netflix, one set in space, Away, which has been excellent. However scary life is the the moment at least I am not trying to get to Mars 😉

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

An obsession with campers

I have always had an obsession with tents, at one stage I owned 7 of them, I have got rid of a couple and now only have a modest 5 ( all different sizes and one medieval one so I think that is justifiable). Since I started seriously planning for retirement, and my bones started getting so painful I have now switched my obsession to campers.

I think at the moment it is definitely a wish to get outdoors but also because I just love the cuteness of the retro campers and caravans and the sheer ingenuity of all those people who convert vans of all shapes and sizes into homes. I will always love camping but going away with my sister last year just made me really appreciate the joys of a camper van.

I love watching the videos on You Tube of the van tours and keep checking on Gumtree for the sort of camper that I want to buy eventually. There was the cutest one in my price range in a nearby town today. Such a pity that I can’t drive or I would have been so tempted just so I could have it and decorate it while I wait to be able to go away somewhere!

Once I have finished the current embroidery I am going to make another of the camper embroideries that I have just finished. I checked on Diary of a Quilter’s blog this evening to read the instructions for this week’s Riley Blake Block Challenge which is the Sawtooth  Star Block. I have made these before but was looking at her examples and came across these cute little coasters that she had made. Picture from Amy’s web site.

Camper sawtooth-square-coaster

I thought I recognised the fabric and checked my previous blog posts and yes it is the Riley Blake ‘I’d rather be glamping’ fabric that I bought last year.So that is my plan for the weekend sorted, two Liberty Sawtooth Star blocks and a couple of these little cuties as well.

Campervan fabric

I am currently working on one of my Ebay puzzle purchases most evenings which is also fueling my camper love.It looks very much like a camp site Ellen and I stayed in a couple of years ago in the Lake District when we had a wonderful holiday.

Camping puzzle 3

I bought this as I loved the illustration and had to laugh when it arrived and I saw on the side of the box that it said, ‘before there were holidays to Spain, there was camping and everyone loves camping’.

Camping puzzle 2

Camping puzzle 1

Well I do love camping but I would also like to go to Spain to see my lovely Mum but will just have to be patient about that.

Meanwhile I will spend my time adding pictures to my newly created Pinterest board of cute retro camper designs. Look at these cute interiors! My van will definitely have bunting, lots and lots of bunting.

Cozy Little House camper

Retro cottage camper

I also found these very lovely cushions on this blog, this group of friends have all got vintage caravans and I love these embroidered cushions. They look wonderful with the grandmother’s garden quilt as well.Picture from the blog, stitched by Juli.

Retro camper van pillows

I can but dream, and make pretty things of course so that I when I do finally buy the camper then I will have lots to put in it 🙂

I hope that you have some nice things planned for the weekend. My excitement starts with collecting my freshly baked bread tomorrow morning (yes I am going out of the house again!) and also a little walk on Sunday, weather permitting.

Take care, keep safe and thanks for visiting.

 

 

The leaving of Liverpool

We had a very lovely time this weekend, although we did leave in a bit of a hurry due to the awful stormy weather. We were looking round the Maritime Museum, ironically we had just visited the section on emigration, when the museum closed due to the bad weather so we cut short our visit.

Luckily made it back to the car in one piece as it was very blowy and made it safely home through a few bits of flooded road. I now do not have to leave the house for three days as I am working on my doctoral rewrites and some marking which I am very grateful for! It is now sleeting and very cold out so I shall hide indoors and sew 🙂

We were there primarily to visit An English Lady’s wardrobe exhibition at The Walker Art Gallery which was very good. It was an unusual exhibition in that it was the collection of one person, Emily Tinne, who was born in 1886 and died in 1966. It was also accompanied by letters that she and her family wrote and photos of them, sometimes wearing the garments.The portrait photo below shows her around the time of her wedding.

Liverpool Clothes 1

The garments date from around the time of her marriage like this silk evening gown and a beautiful tiny waisted lawn dress with its whitework detail, to the clothes she wore as an older women after seven pregnancies. Emily did comment on how she could not believe that she had ever been so slim.

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The blouse above has the most beautiful embroidered detail on the sleeves and I love the ruffled cuffs. It is the sort of thing that I would love to try and make to go with my Steampunk outfits.The silk dress below has gorgeous embroidery and is one of a collection of her day dresses.

There was also information about the shops in Liverpool that she bought from, copies of adverts from magazines and  information about her dressmaker so a real social history of the time and fantastic detail for costume historians and sewing enthusiasts.

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There was a little display of some of the sorts of patterns that she used, the illustrations here are gorgeous so I bought a notebook and bookmark from the gift shop with some of these on.

What was lovely was that there were many things that she bought, such as some of the evening gowns, and never wore or that were not even her size or style but the family said that she probably just wanted to keep supporting shops and the salesgirls who worked on commission during the difficult years of the Depression. I think that is a fabulous reason for buying things and one that I can use as well for supporting fabric retailers.

There were also 150 hats in the collection, we were talking to one of the collection stewards and he was telling us that a group had recently visited in 1930s and 40s costume and he loved the hats and why didn’t we all wear hats more often and we both agreed. One of the lovely things about re-enactment and Steampunk is the wearing of hats and head dresses that instantly make you feel more glamorous.

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The evening dresses were, as you would expect from a 20s and 30s collection, full of the most wonderful beading and embroidery.

Emily was also a very good needlewoman and made many of her children’s clothes herself. I love the two versions of this dress with ruffles.

Liverpool Clothes 2

Liverpool Clothes 3

The smocking on this ivory silk dress below is so skillful and tennis dresses so elegant. The little embroidered dress in white and blue at the bottom of the display is one of the ones there was a photo for, showing her daughter wearing it at the age of about three.

I have been watching some more videos on You Tube about historical costuming while I have been sewing which I will post about another time. It was fascinating to see all of the underwear as one of the vloggers has just made some combinations like the ones here. The detail of the pin tucks and lace is so gorgeous, especially as this was not going to be seen.The last photo is of a chemise that was never worn and still has the price tag on it.

Liverpool Clothes 19

Liverpool Clothes 22

One of my favourite pieces was this velvet evening jacket on the left of the picture below. I love wearing velvet, though not sewing it, and I have a gorgeous black jacket that I have added lace to for Steampunk. I also loved this amazing georgette evening cape. I would love to have the skills be able to make something like that.

Liverpool Clothes 34

Liverpool Clothes 35

We also saw some more Regency gowns which I will post about later and had some lovely meals out in historic properties. There is still so much to see in Liverpool so we will definitely go back and visit more of the museums next year.

I am working on a couple of secret projects for a friend’s wedding and another friend’s partnership celebrations and those are going to take priority for the next few weeks so will only be able to do a little bit of my own crafting in the evenings. I am going to focus on getting some more of the Barbie things finished for the first set of birthdays in April and early May as those and the wedding things have to be done before we go to Japan in only seven weeks!

I hope you are all having a good time and are not too storm damaged. Take care and thanks for visiting.