Tag Archives: Vintage Textiles

A Perfectly Vintage Weekend

Rocking Dog Loves A Bit Of Domestic Science!, Rocking Dog

Rocking Dog Loves A Bit Of Domestic Science!

After a very difficult week it was lovely to have the most perfect weekend. On Saturday morning there was the sudden and delicious realisation that a Vintage & Handmade jumble sale was happening at Rangeworthy Village Hall. I have a feeling that there are plenty of women like me who attend these events. We certainly don’t need any more textiles, bobbles, ribbons or braids… but we simply cannot resist! My haul this time included some tapestries which had never quite made it to a frame or cushion pad. I have a feeling they will be heading for cushions of the “make it up as you go along” variety. On another stall I picked up a pretty embroidered cloth for £1 which is destined for another Rocking Dog quilt. More contemporary was a stash of small remnants including fabrics by Celia Birtwell. Small whimsical cushions, patchwork squares, appliqué they will await their fate on Material Mountain. My favourite buy of the day was some jolly 70’s Sanderson nursery print. I quite fancy making a pair of dungarees for baby Doug’ (hope not too “Sound of Music”!) and there’ll be plenty for some fab’ Christmas stockings.

After a lovely vintage trawl, and alas no time for delicious WI cake I headed back to the kennel. I then went with lovely vintage friend (we have known each other for over 20 years) to Tetbury. Domestic Science was our first port of call for a sandwich and then a gander over four floors of vintage, domestic, wearable, smellable loveliness. My friend MADE me buy a lovely electric blue linen dress…she’s very persuasive! The honey coloured town was buzzing with people and a throng of noisy vintage convertibles. There are wonderful things to buy in the town but you need deep pockets, especially in one of the many antique shops. A cup of tea, and then it was time to head home. On the way back we passed Westonbirt Arboretum the colour of the Acers were truly spectacular. Autumn has arrived despite the welcome warm daytime temperatures.

Sunday we ate lunch with more gorgeous vintage friends (25 years). I was so pleased with my Yorkshire pud’s. Why is it that when I weigh everything out they are a disaster and if I simply chuck everything in without much thought they are belters!

Vintage fabrics were laundered, dried in the sun and folded. Tomorrow I will sew. It is a lovely prospect and my way of being kind to myself.

Have a wonderful week and I hope the autumnal (or not) colours are glorious in your part of the world.

Love vintage loving Rocking Dog x

Vintage Tapestry,Rocking Dog

Vintage Tapestry

Vintage Nursery Print,Rocking Dog

Vintage Nursery Print

£1 Vintage Stitches,Rocking Dog

£1 Vintage Stitches

I Love Celia!,Rocking Dog

I Love Celia!

Make Space!,Rocking Dog

Make Space!

Awaiting A Sewing Day,Rocking Dog

Awaiting A Sewing Day

Midwifery, Monograms And Mishaps

Written In Red, Rocking Dog

Written In Red

It feels as if I have always loved monograms. Perhaps my earliest memories of monograms were my Dad’s monogramed handkerchiefs in the early sixties. This was an age before the advent of paper tissues. Boxed handkerchiefs were a somewhat boring Christmas present staple for both women and men.

Much later when I was training to be a midwife in Cardiff I had an introduction to Italian monogram’d linens. I was doing a community placement with an experienced midwife, Rina. In her fifties, she was a glamorous, vivacious and busty Italian. One lunch time she took me to see a little Italian family and that’s when I was taken to see drawerful’s of truly beautiful monogramed linens. I was told that all the Italian villagers had come together to embroider household linens and nightwear for the couple as they started their married life together.

In many countries a monogrammed trousseau represented a display of wealth. The intricacy and elaborateness of the stitching and cloth denoted a families standing in society. In the 14th century 7 year old Isabelle of France received a trousseau when she became betrothed to Richard II. In the 19th century a Parisian department store advocated a trousseau should include 6 pairs of sheets, 2 dozen pillowcases, 3 dozen napkins, 3 tablecloths, hand towels, dishcloths and aprons.

For a long time I have loved collecting the odd piece of monogram’d textile to add colour and texture to the kennel. Perugia market on a Saturday is a good place to feed my monogram habit. Some linens I reconfigure into cushions, whilst others I simply covet!

I am no embroiderer myself, but really appreciate the handiwork of others. My lovely friend Stephanie M does amazing work with needle and thread. She loves using historic alphabets, wonderful linens and threads. If there are items to be filled, she stuffs them with the most amazing aromatic concoctions. Moth’s be very afraid!

Now for the mishap bit of the post! Dear Rina and I went to do a post- natal visit at a house in central Cardiff. We knocked on the door and were let in by two very smiley Bangladeshi ladies. We set our bags down on the coffee table, took off our coats and put on our aprons. We washed our hands and were kindly provided with soap and towel. We then asked the ladies to fetch the baby. Presently we heard them come down the stairs and re-enter the room. The “baby” was a seven year old trousered boy. We were in the wrong house! Laughter crosses any language barrier.

I find it somewhat disconcerting that some of the babes I delivered will now be in their early thirties. Sorry couldn’t resist a George link, I remember playing it on my Sony Walkman as I walked between community visits.

Characterful Curls, Rocking Dog

Characterful Curls

Love This, Rocking Dog

Love This

Book Inspiration, Rocking Dog

Book Inspiration

Wooden Letters, Rocking Dog

Wooden Letters

All In White, Rocking Dog

All In White

Block Capitals, Rocking Dog

Block Capitals

Matrimonial Nightwear, Rocking Dog

Matrimonial Nightwear

Beautiful Embroidery, Rocking Dog

Beautiful Embroidery

M&S Monogram, Rocking Dog

M&S Monogram

A Lovely Weekend In September

September Beech Wood, Rocking Dog

September Beech Wood

The weekend was full of lovely impromptu things. A wettish Saturday was spent travelling to Dorset with a friend. Somewhat fortuitously Di’s Sat-nav took us on a little bit of an unconventional journey. It meant that we couldn’t resist having a peek into Antiques Bazaar near Crewkerne. We both loved a circus trapeze bar and various pieces of quirky furniture. There were lots of toby jugs, but I managed to resist! I did however buy a large and pretty curtain which will more than likely form the backing for my future hollyhock quilt.

We travelled onto lovely Bridport, drank coffee, ate lunch, chatted, laughed and enjoyed dipping into lots of independent shops. Unfortunately with the weather being a trifle rainy and windswept there were not many of the usual street stalls. However, it was a really great day and certainly blew away the cobwebs!

Sunday dawned bright and sunny. Andyman, Real Live Rocking Dog and I decided on a spur of the moment Bath walk. We walked on Lansdown Hill, the site of a bloody civil war battle in 1643. The views were truly breathtaking. In the distance we could pick out the old and new Severn Bridge Crossings together with Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge. It was tempting to stay sitting cherishing the views long after the picnic was finished.. but there was another four miles to muster.

The hawthorns and elders as we climbed, were covered with a profusion of berries. My mum would be saying “it’s a sign it’s going to be a hard, cold winter. It’s nature’s way of providing well for wildlife” We will have to wait and see!

At one point in the walk we had a lovely view down to the ribbon of water at Saltford. There were so many pretty sails, a gorgeous scene to ponder. We also chanced upon the sweet little church of St Martin at North Stoke. 12th century with older additions, I could easily imagine Jane Austen empire line, bonneted weddings. Unfortunately the church was locked. It apparently has a plaque inside honouring the 23 men and unknown number of farm horses who went from the village in WW1. The plaque was unveiled in 2008 by Britain’s last Tommy, Harry Patch, to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the end of WW1. Just a year later at the age 111 Harry died, his funeral service being held at Wells Cathedral.

The last part of our walk took us through a beautiful wooded area. The last glowing embers of the Sunday sunshine penetrated the beech canopy. It was glorious and so atmospheric.

So the new week now begins….

A very Happy Birthday to our lovely boy Alex who is 29 today. He is working at the Paralympics in Rio, and we hope is having the time of his life. Very wonderfully we had a glimpse of him on C4 just after Jonnie Peacock’s 100m gold medal win.

Toby Jug Treasure, Rocking Dog

Toby Jug Treasure

Back At Albion, Rocking Dog

Back At Albion

Sunday Skies, Rocking Dog

Sunday Skies

Green Hill, Rocking Dog

Green Hill

Doggy Picnic Time, Rocking Dog

Doggy Picnic Time

Pretty Sails, Rocking Dog

Pretty Sails

Peaceful Place, Rocking Dog

Peaceful Place

Carved Cherubim, Rocking Dog

Carved Cherubim

Happy Birthday Alex!, Rocking Dog

Happy Birthday Alex!

Rocking Dog Cuts Out Christmas Stockings…Again!

Vintage Loveliness Ready For Sewing, Rocking Dog

Vintage Loveliness Ready For Sewing

Rocking Dog decided to use the stash of fabrics bought at the Vintage Jumble on Saturday. So on my workbench the lovely Pooh fabric has been cut into stocking shapes ready to be sewn. The stockings will have cheery green & white gingham linings and will be embellished with some lovely frou! I have also cut stockings from a bright 60’s print. This little piece of fabric has been stashed on Material Mountain for a long time. A green check tablecloth bought at the jumble will provide the linings. More Marie Antoinette pretty feet boots have been cut, and in due course will be embellished with buckles, French ribbon and bobbles. Perhaps if I leave everything out on my work bench something magical will happen, those little mice in Beatrix Potter’s “The Tailor of Gloucester” will sew and embroider my stockings exquisitely!

Christmas really doesn’t need to be all about green, red and gold. It can be about French toiles, 50’s and 60’s prints, crewelwork and Pooh! I know it’s really early to be sewing such festive wares but shops are like Boy Scouts, they like to be prepared….dib,dib,dib!

No,no,no….. absolutely no Michael!

Vintage Jumble Fabrics, Rocking Dog

Vintage Jumble Fabrics

More Pretty Feet!, Rocking Dog

More Pretty Feet!

Ribbon Stash, Rocking Dog

Ribbon Stash

Embellish, Rocking Dog

Embellish

Festive Stash, Rocking Dog

Festive Stash

Material Mountain, Rocking Dog

Material Mountain

The Rocking Dog Vintage Laundry!

Looking For New Homes, Rocking Dog

Looking For New Homes

Earlier in the week it was all about pickling and yesterday it was all about sewing. Beloved Bernina was rattling away on a secretive project, but NOT the wedding coat. I did however take the pattern to bed with me to gear myself up for what lies ahead. In truth I have never made a coat before and setting in the sleeves is somewhat bewildering. I really was going to make strides with this ominous sewing task this week…. but alas it hasn’t happened. I sometimes think life is rather like a doctors surgery. You start off with a good plan but things rarely stick to time! So lots of jobs on the daily to do list simply end up being carried over to another day or indeed another week.

I have very finally hung the Roman blind but think it needs some pom-poms or other decorative frou to over-gild the lily!

I have enjoyed laundering my Italian vintage stash. The pieces need to be sorted into little textile categories. Some will remain whole such as some pretty embroidered tablecloths, whilst others will be remodelled into “new” pieces. Cushions, lavender pillows, drawstring bags and decorative kitchen cloths are past makes.

I love the linen nightdress with its cheery monogram. I’m tempted to make this into a pillow sized cushion. Naughty Real Live Rocking Dog is rather partial to some vintage nightshirt pillows that I made a few years ago. I hand sewed the linen garments onto a backing of red and white striped material and filled the cases with soft feather pillows. Real Live Rocking Dog is so like the Princess and the Pea. He chooses the softest, plumpest places to sleep and we quite often have to shoo him off one or other beds or sofa’s.

Back to my textiles, one of the hardest decisions is which ones I am going to keep and decide on those I can bear to part with. The shelves of Material Mountain are cram packed and I need to do some serious sewing to reduce stocks!

The weekend beckons and I hope whatever you are doing you’ll have a good one. Love Rocking Dog x

Prince & The Pea, Rocking Dog

Prince & The Pea

Hung Out To Dry, Rocking Dog

Hung Out To Dry

Ship Shape & Bristol Fashion, Rocking Dog

Ship Shape & Bristol Fashion

Monogram Nightdress, Rocking Dog

Monogram Nightdress

Pretty Stitches, Rocking Dog

Pretty Stitches

Kitchen Cloths, Rocking Dog

Kitchen Cloths