Elle 1954

Let’s start with the smallest part of my magazine collection: Vintage magazines.

With the current trend of anything vintage I’ve got loads of scraps with vintage lifestyle, but last year at the antiques market in Lille I stumbled on a box of old Elle magazines.
With it being only the start of the day I choose only 2 of the 100 French Elle’s from the 1950/60s.
I don’t speak or read much French, but it is interesting to see how subjects in those magazines have changed over the last 50 odd years. Nowadays you wouldn’t really find knitting patterns and grilled chicken recipe in Elle magazine.

Elle France Cover Elle FR cover car

My favourite part of fashion magazines are the advertisements. (maybe because they seem to take up most pages.) They clearly show the fashion and interest of the readers.

Ad Elle FR Elle FR stripes

The 50s are also my favourite era and I cannot help but swoon over the fashion in those times. Wish I’d bought more copies, but I already had enough to carry by the end of the day.










Magazines collection

I’ve just moved home and probably my biggest moving box was filled with magazines (and shoes, but thats another story). Therefore this week will be all about my favourite magazines.

Together with my mum we’re secretly obsessed over magazines. No gossip or celebrities for us, but our lives are filled with home decoration and crafts. With my mum living in Holland and me in England I get the best of both countries with our swaps. Regularly there’s a big envelope in the post stuffed with magazines, that I get the christmas issue in summer doesn’t matter, I get completely sucked into the pictures and stories of other houses like you do with someones life in a book.

My favourite British magazines are Mollie Makes, Country Living and Home & Antiques. And my favourite Dutch ones are Flow, Ariadne at Home, Daphne’s Diary, and Jean d’Arc. Lucky for you international readers Flow and Jean d’Arc bring out English versions.

If I kept every magazine I liked I would need a barn for storage, so instead I cut out all the images and articles I like (unless that would include a whole magazine I’d keep the whole thing) or scan them in if I send them further to family. Fortunately for me being abroad I’m usually the end of the magazines chain, so I’ve got boxes with cut-outs.

Now I don’t just leave them in boxes, every season I create a new moodboard on my wall with images that inspire me for that time of year.

Here my current spring moodboard:

 Spring 2013 moodboard
Its a bit of an easter mad-hatters tea party.

Machine Embroidery workshop

A little while ago I did a course in machine embroidery at ‘Sew Over It‘ in London. I’d already been there before to just use the sewing machines (see week 4). For my birthday I got given a machine embroidery course as I love the look and idea of it, but was a bit scared about using a sewing machine for loose curves instead of straight lines.

On a rainy evening 8 likeminded women gathered in the cosy shop to learn the tricks with a cup of tea. As I suppose tea is a big part of sewing most of us choose the teacup pattern to practise on. With little gems from the overflowing scrap basket we stuck our teacups on a plain piece of calico with bondaweb. Then the fun began of machine embroidering or free flow sewing. Initially it felt a bit scary and unnatural to move your work around and going sideways, but it is so much fun. Together we laughed about each others mistakes and ideas.


Now we knew how to do it it was time to actually make something. We could choose from a lampshade, tea cosy or cushion. Thinking easy and practical I went for the cushion and staying in the tea theme I went for a teapot with two cups. Choosing the right fabric seemed to be almost the most difficult part of the night, with so much to choose from. I settled on a pink with white polkadot as background and blue paisley print for the items.

It seemed we had a little too much fun playing around, because most of us didn’t finish at the end of the night, but I decided to meet up another time with a couple to finish our projects.


I now only need to buy the right foot for my sewing machine and I can continue what I’ve learned.

Pillow fight

Thats certainly something I can do now. I realised cushion covers are one of the easiest ways to have a bit of sewing fun and show off lovely fabrics. It started with this world map print cushion I made for my brother. We’d seen a similar one in a shop a little while ago, but for the cushion we had to buy the whole sofa which went a bit too far for us. When I spotted this fabric I simply had to buy it. I added a plain envelop back, put it around an old cushion and ready was my present.


At the same fabric store I also found the stamp fabric as used for the purse in my previous post. The print seemed a bit too busy to just use as a cushion cover, so I cut up the stamps and made a checked pattern of plain and print fabrics.

Checked stamp cushion

I’m not done with cushions yet! Did a course in machine embroidery the other day, more about that soon.

Bag (back) on track

As said before I’ve been active making bags lately. Most patterns come from Cath Kidston’s book ‘Sew’ and I used some great fabrics I bought at a fair the other day.

First this tote bag with front pocket. Bought the fabric for a present for my brother and had enough left over to make this tote. I love a good tote to fit all my stuff and its a nice sturdy fabric.

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Another one I made from the ‘sew’ book is this large purse. Making I didn’t really have a purpose in mind, however once finished it seemed perfect to keep items for my overflowing sewing basket.

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Finally I made this Alice in Wonderland shoulder bag from ‘Everything Alice’ by Hannah Read-Baldrey. The floral fabric is from an old dress and is also used for the lining.

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Next up are cushions with a familiar fabric.