vintage fabric

Fabulous vintage fabric pins

Well hello and Happy Friday lovely people! Hasn't that rolled around quickly? I'm popping back today to share some of my favourite vintage fabric pins and pinners. Those of you who've followed along for a while will know that I adore colour and pattern - especially the vintage floral numbers from the 1960s and 70s. There's just something about those bold, bright, colourful and often naive patterns that makes my heart sing! I don't have the budget or the space to snap up every print I love, so Pinterest is the next best thing. I get to feast my eyes on a huge range of beauties from around the world I would otherwise not encounter - it's a win win situation :)

So, here are a few snapshots of my Happy Colours and Prints Pinterest board. It's not just about vintage fabric - you'll find gorgeous wallpaper, tea towels and the odd vintage illustration too that makes me happy :)

I came relatively late to the Pinterest party, but now I'm completely addicted. I think it's a marvellous invention for those collectors amongst us who would otherwise be spending money we don't have to fill space we don't have with beautiful things. Now we can do it all virtually! You can find me on Pinterest as @zoepower.

If you love the 60s and 70s floral numbers as much as I do, I'm pretty sure you will love the boards of all these lovely pinners too: @modflowersUK (and do take a look at her lovely blog featuring her gorgeous creations using all that swoon-worthy fabric).

@rainbowvintagehome (and whilst you're at it check out her gorgeous shop selling the creme de la creme of vintage fabric).

@janefoster (who makes the most gorgeous creations combining her screen prints with the most enviable collection of vintage fabric I've ever seen).

@pommedejour (the lovely Tanya sells vintage fabric via Etsy and eBay and finds some incredible designs).

Happy pinning!

Cushion cover tutorial on Bibelot Magazine

Fancy having a go at making a super simple cushion cover? Well head on over to the Bibelot Magazine blog to find my easy sew tutorial - absolutely no zips required! I do warn you, though, that it gets rather addictive - before you know it, your house will be stuffed full of cushions and beautiful fabric ;)

While you're there, do have a good browse around - there are lots of interesting reviews, how to's, interviews and bits and bobs to get you thinking. Bibelot is described as follows:

Bibelot, “The Little Book of Creative Curiosities”, will be a quarterly craft, design and lifestyle magazine celebrating the hand-made, the ethical, and the unique. Bibelot is about more than craft projects; it represents an imaginative and sustainable way of life. Readers will feel stimulated, uplifted and motivated. Bibelot will begin its life as a blog, an online hub bringing artistic, original and innovative people together. It’s a space for sharing ideas, learning and sparking inspiration!

What I've been making lately(ish)

It's been a while (4 months!) since I did one of these posts - ahem! But in my defence I have been rather busy with house selling, hunting and buying shenanigans - and that's not over yet! I think there's a very good reason it's up there with the most stressful life events! Anyway, I digress.... In order to keep my sanity, the sewing machine has come out to play several times....

I made the tote bag above and below back in August, just in time to take away with me on my summer hols. I thought I'd try adding a pocket for a change, with some precious little pieces of Alice Apple fabric - I think the prints co-ordinate perfectly with the main vintage sheet fabric (my all time favourite print). The tote bags are the perfect size for carrying around Blythes, so they get used a lot, as well as being a pretty display on my wall :)

I then made a little batch of pencil cases and coin purses for presents (below). I'd been itching to use the bunny fabric I'd bought a little while ago, together with the contrasting polka dot fabric - don't they make the perfect partners? The little birdy purses were made from some fabric remnants I picked up in Cambridge - I love the colours together.

Then it's back to the tote bags again and my favourite fabric. I made the bag below for my sister's birthday and thought I'd try a little bambi pocket this time :)

I had a special request from my sister for some embroidery hoops with vintage fabric to display on her wall - not a problem :) I enjoyed rummaging through my stash and picked out these favourites (below). I also couldn't resist making another cat cushion from the pattern by Modflowers from Mollie Makes issue 39. This fabric worked perfectly as the print wasn't too strong - I think he might be my favourite cat yet! I even attempted to use the applique stitch on my sewing machine for the first time on the eyes, ears and nose - rather tricky round the curves - but you've got to try these things, right? You can see my other cats in the My Makes set on Flickr.

And last, but not least, it's another tote bag! I'm addicted to making these - such a lovely way to use and display favourite fabrics. This time I didn't add a pocket as the print was so fabulous and psychedelic, I didn't want to cover any of it up (the fabric came from the most gorgeous of fabric shops: Rainbow Vintage Home). I used another strong print for the lining - think they work well together.

And that's it! But not for long - I have plans for some cushions with some more wintry looking fabrics - time to change the summer ones! TTFN, Zoë x

What I've been making lately - bumper catch-up!

Goodness, I've just realised that it's been a month since I last blogged - where has the time gone?!! We've been away to Cornwall for a week (photos coming soon - why oh why do I take so many.....) and I've been busy making things - quite a lot of things actually. I hadn't realised quite how much until I started putting this post together. I've definitely caught the sewing bug - making things yourself is just so satisfying! It's also the perfect way for me to indulge my love of fabric and vintage prints without feeling quite so guilty about stockpiling them ;)

So, what have I been making?

Well, lots of purses, glasses cases and pencil cases. I adapted my cosmetic bag pattern to make all of these. The glasses case and pencil case have some soft wadding inbetween the fabric to protect their contents. I love how light the glasses case is - perfect for carrying around without even noticing :)

There have also been some tote bags. I absolutely love this pattern - it's such a great way to use and display vintage fabric. And it's the perfect size for carrying around Blythes! I've actually used my tote bags quite a bit - in fact, I'm itching to make more! I think I might try adding a contrasting pocket to the front (and maybe the inside) next time.

I also made this little set for my mother-in-law in a gorgeous contemporary Amy Butler fabric for mother's day - it seemed perfect for spring! I absolutely love choosing a complementary fabric for the lining too - these little green eggs felt like a perfect match.

I wanted to use up some of the smaller bits and pieces of fabric I had, and some pretty scraps, so decided to make a batch of lavender bags. I'd taken some away with me when we went on holiday as our travel bags smelt musty from being in the attic and I popped them in our drawers. They gave me so much pleasure, I resolved to make a batch for our drawers when I got home. I love how they look altogether :)

And last, but by no means least, is a little collection I made from an absolutely stunning Echino fabric by Etsuko Furuya. I'm a huge fan of Echino fabric, and completely fell in love with this stag fabric. It took a fair bit of hunting down on the internet to find a supplier - this lot came from

modes4u.com

in Hong Kong. I made the little black and white collection as a birthday present for my husband (the most manly fabric I had!!).

And I just adore the combination of the pink polka dots with the aqua (another Echino fabric) - the cushion covers were the first thing I made. The fabric is a linen and cotton blend and is pretty heavyweight - perfect for cushions and cases :) Although I have to say the black one is now completely covered in grey cat hair - Poppy is particularly fond of it!

So there you go - I'll try not to leave it so long next time!!!

Cushion makeover time

I've been stockpiling lovely vintage fabric for quite a long time now and am so pleased to finally get round to making something with it. I decided it was time to change our cushion covers - a relatively cheap and easy way to refresh our living space. The first challenge was to choose which fabrics to use....

I knew I wanted something happy and bright to cheer us up during these dark winter months, so this led my choice for this first lot of cushions. I used fat quarters for the fronts, but needed bigger pieces for the backs, as I decided to go for the envelope style. Turns out that I don't actually have that many bigger pieces - need to hunt down some more vintage sheets :)

Fronts on the left, backs on the right:

For the second lot, I had bought some gorgeous aqua, green and purple fabric (once an old bedspread I think) that I hoped would co-ordinate well with the aqua theme in my bedroom, and my aqua owl shelf. I was so pleased with how they turned out and how they look in situ - such beautiful colours! I used a vintage sheet for the back of the cushions.

The last lot of cushions were dominated by purple. I thought the bold print would work well with the blue and purple barkcloth lampshade in my sitting room :) I used the same vintage sheet for the cushion backs as before - one sheet goes a very long way! Not so sure about the purple M&S fabric one in the middle, though, am feeling like I need a bit more pink now! Might have to go and have another rummage in my stash....