A visit to Pemberly

Chatsworth

On our holiday to York we also took a trip to the countryside. We took some of the bendy roads through the Peak district where the Tour de France was this week, to idyllic Bakewell. Naturally we tried bakewell pudding and tarts, but we really were there for a visit to Pemberly, or Chatsworth as this beloved Jane Austen estate is called.

Bakewell

Bakewell pudding from the bakewell pudding shop.

Seeing the grand estate appearing in the countryside made me feel like Elizabeth Bennet taking a look at Mr Darcy’s home with her aunt and uncle. Although apart from his bust there was no sight of Mr Darcy (yes the bust from the film is still on display).

And having recently enjoyed BBCs ‘Death Comes to Pemberly’, who doesn’t recognise this view from the very last scene of the series?

Death Comes to Pemberly

Scene from ‘Death comes to Pemberly’.

Chatsworth pond

My own view of Pemberly, or Chatsworth.

Apart from Jane Austen’s world coming to life, Chatsworth really is a most impressive country estate. We spend about 6 hours in the house and gardens and I wouldn’t mind going again as I’m certain I’ll discover new bits.

Chatsworth wallpaper

The wallpaper from the guest bedroom.

The visit also creatively inspired me for a new cushion cover. The guest bedrooms had beautiful wallpaper of a banana tree and tropical birds inspired from the estates greenhouse, in a second hand shop near York I found a piece of upholstery fabric that looked very much alike for only £2! The shopping bag from the Chatsworth giftshop had an illustration of the house on it, which I transferred  and machine embroidered onto a piece of creme fabric.

Chatsworth embroidered

Detail of Chatsworth embroidered on the cushion.

I took out a corner of the floral fabric to put the embroidered house in, added mint green piping around the border and a piece of lace that I once got at a vintage market. Et voila a cushion to remind me of our trip through the countryside and dream of living in a grand estate like Chatsworth or Pemberly.

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xx Ilse

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Sew for Victory completed

Sew For Victory

Ready for the warforce. Sew for Victory blouse with black pencil skirt.

Just before the deadline I’ve completed my Sew for Victory blouse. Initially I was planning to make a top and bottom, thinking a month gives me plenty of time to sew. Well no, not combined with essays, exams and other uni stuff. Also I think this blouse has given me enough skills to show off; sleeves, collar, button holes, tucks, gathering, fit, it’s all in there.

This was the second time I attempted attaching a collar, no idea how I did it first time, but got many a confused moment this time, think I spend an evening staring at the pieces, assembled it to only take it all apart the next day. Think I sort of know now how it’s done, but help is welcome. I’m still not a big fan of this collar, the attachment is fine now, they’re just a bit too pointy and big for my liking, but it is more 30/40s style like this.

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Straight line down the sleeve!

Back blouse

Neat matching up stripes and gathering, no?

I have to admit, I probably wouldn’t have bought this shape blouse in a shop. Not that I don’t like the end result and won’t wear this one (because I’m wearing it right now and loving it). But the tucks that make it tight at the bottom and wide in the body did feel strange to sew for me. This pattern is perfect for big boobs, which I don’t have so there’s just a lot of fabric flapping about.

If I were to make it another time I’d find a way to use less fabric, but maybe keep a little more down the bottom. The puffy sleeves and big collar are both probably period appropriate, but not my style so I would cut on them too. (Guess I’ll be using a lot less fabric.)

Having said that I’m very proud of my sewing skills on this blouse, practiced a lot of skills and think they came out pretty good. Though the bottom darts felt strange whist sewing, wearing the blouse with a pencil skirt they make perfect sense to ease it under the skirt and make it nicely puff above.

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Oh yes I’m happy with my new blouse.

Finally I’m very proud in the make-do-and-mend style, apart from the pattern that I bought at Wearing History, I haven’t spend one penny on this blouse. Already had the fabric, waiting to be used and the buttons are from a button card that I once got at a flea market and used for display.

x Ilse

Sew along for Victory

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That I am obsessed with dressmaking and vintage style is no surprise. Recently I discovered Rochelle’s blog Lucky Lucille and I am in love with her 1940s style and selfmade wardrobe. At the moment she is running a ‘Sew for victory’ sew-along and though I usually go for a ’50s look I decided to go a little further back in time and join the sew-along.

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Floral scraps quilt

From this blog you have probably gathered I love a good floral fabric, whilst fabric shopping I have to be careful not to buy yet another flower print to make sure my wardrobe doesn’t end up looking like a wild flower garden. From all these fabrics I naturally have ended up with a stash of floral scraps. Last year I started using these scraps for a couple of machine embroidery projects. I now got 4 of them and decided to stitch them together in a quilt. Quilting wise I’m not really one to follow a set pattern or anything, rather look what shape scraps I’ve got lying about and what looks nice. So I ended up with this square.

Floral scrap quilt

Have only made the front so far, need to buy some quilt batting and a nice (possibly more plain) fabric for the back.

And you might have noticed a familiar fabric, the scraps from my meringue skirt were just enough for the borders.

Meringue skirt

Dear me it’s really been too long since I last posted something. Though that doesn’t mean I’ve been sitting still without crafting. As the weather seemed to have skipped winter I’ve already started on my summer wardrobe.

meringue skirt full

For christmas I received the ‘Colette sewing handbook’, I would recommend it to anyone starting dressmaking. It is loaded with instructions, tips and tricks on dressmaking, from reading a pattern, altering to techniques and 5 lovely patterns to put what you’ve learned into practice. I started at the very beginning with the first item: the meringue skirt. Now I’m usually one for wide layered skirts and this one was a lot more figure hugging. Continue reading

Tote’s amaze

I love using cotton tote bags, as book bag for uni to sports bag, and though you can find them with any print, I like to make my own.

This week I’ve been playing with transfer paper and scans from old magazines. I love vintage magazine covers and advertisements, they’re like paintings.

On the front the cover of a 1930s French ladies magazine.

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