Mini Stanley Pyjamas

Mini stanley pyjamas

Little Miss Ooobop has been hassling me for a pair of PJs for so long, bless her. So yesterday, we set off for the Goldhawk Road to track down the very specific ‘cats and dogs’ fabric that she wanted. But of course, the shops were shut. It was New Years Day, after all! In order to relieve the disappointment (me more than her), we drove off, instead, to get a burger and watch a movie!

Now as luck would have it, for all that was closed in Chiswick High Road, Cath Kidston was open! Like some shining apparition amidst the rainy gloom! And there was a sale on. So we duly picked out some Mini Stanley fabric. No cats but very cute dogs!

Cath Kidston mini stanley pjs by the window

I used this vintage Maudella pattern. It’s not dated but could be 1950s if not 1960s. What would you say?


I’m still working on convincing LMO to have the matching top to the bottoms but I don’t think a 9 year old can see past the ‘fogey’ images on the pattern sleeve!

I dutifully traced the one pattern piece. This is something I make a habit of nowadays. Just purely out of the respect for a tissue pattern piece that has happily existed for between 50-70 years. I don’t want to be the one who destroys that amount of history!

So including the careful ironing of the pieces, the tracing, the cutting, the making and the finishing touches, it took all of 2 hours. This is largely down to the magic of my new, though very old, overlocker, which was so generously bestowed upon me just before Christmas. I didn’t realise what the implications of having one were, until all the seams were serged and the hem edges neatly finished in a jiffy!

detail of overlocked seams

I am still going to have to work on the fine tunings of the tensions but it will so totally do me for now!

reading a book in mini stanley pjs

LMO has spent the rest of the afternoon in her new PJs and I’m delighted to have completed my first project on just day 2 of the New Year. Here’s hoping its the first of many more projects to come.

jumping in mini stanley pjs

Happy New Year lovely people x

Photography by DJ Photographic

Fabrics that fashioned a band

For someone who has lived, worked and partied with musicians since a very early age, it’s shocking how little I used to listen to the radio. But, thankfully, my new found obsessionial love of sewing has sparked a renewed love of radio, in particular BBC Radio 6! A great all round, varied, genius playlist even though it does draw attention to my short term memory! Such brilliant company at night when everyone’s in bed and it’s just me and the the hum of the machine. And by day at work when I’ve got my designer head on, but sshhh not too loud though, some people can’t hear themselves think! ;-).

Many a planted seed, conversation, memory, argument and debate has been triggered just from the intro of a song that was from the 70s, 80s, or 90s… or even last week…. have you heard David Bowies new single? ♥

Anyhows, one such seed that got firmly planted was the realization of how many bands were named as types of fabric!

So here you go, in no particular order:

1. The Chiffons (A lovely one to have stuck in your head)

2. Suede (Oh yes!)

3. Corduroy (Remember these?)

4. Black Lace (sorry!)

5. Velvet Revolver (woken up yet?)

6. Velvet Underground (Another velvet, sorry cheating a bit!)

7. Psychedelic Furs (I won cinema tickets to see the movie from a radio phone in!)

8. Billy Cotton and His Band (I used to work in the road behind the Lambeth Walk!)

9. The Swinging Blue Jeans (Well kind of Denim!)

10. Elastica (Forgot how much I like this!)

I feel sure I’ve missed one or two. Can you think of any I shouldn’t have missed?

Happy Thursday everyone! x

Fabric Dilemmas

I have another new found addiction in the form of fabric shopping. It has got out of control over the last few months. And clearly my shopping time outweighs my sewing time!

I blame the number of charity shops on my way to work and in my way of a lunch time visit to the super market!

I am blessed to be living a stones throw away from fabric heaven in the Goldhawk Road and Shepherds Bush Market , but nothing outweighs that eureka moment when you spot 5 metres of eyelet cotton for £3 or a pretty vintage sheet for £2 in a charity shop. Of course there is that do-goody factor when you buy from these places but I also like the self-centred fact that you can make a toile for the equivalent of 50p a metre and if it turns out good you have an amazing dress for around £2!

You really have to check over the fabric properly first, before you leave the shop. It might be £2 for a reason. It could have a small tear, which you could possibly work around or a massive horrid stain slap bang in the middle!

The last two dresses I have made (70s dress in blue and vintage sheet dress) are from remnants bought in Oxfam shops. Come to think of it so are my Danielle dress and my floral mini skirt.

But here is a small selection of some other remnants that I have accumulated. I have an idea for what some of them might be good for but any suggestions for the others would be most welcome.

This mono print lightweight cotton might lend itself to a tea dress…

flowers and dots lightweight cotton fabric

Black, white and grey, lightweight cotton. 4 metres.

The shiny metalic stretch material below is a really interesting one. But only 1 metre. So it might make a mini a-line skirt like my plaid wool version.

Stretch metalic fabric with wave design. 1 metre. £1.50.

stretch metalic fabric with wave design. 1 metre. £1.50.

The orangy, pinky, peachy flower print below is a lightweight furnishing fabric that kind of yells 60’s a-line mini dress to me.

orange flower furnishing fabric

Orange flower lightweight furnishing fabric. 3 metres. £4.99

Theres a pattern for a lovely little girls dress in one of my burda magazines that would be perfect in this pink and brown flower print…

pink and brown flower design cotton

pink and brown flower design cotton print. 2 metres. £2.50.

And you should have been there to hear my squeals when I spotted this beauty…. 7 metres of vintage Laura Ashley fabric. Its 100% cotton and presumably a lightweight curtain fabric but it feels like linen and Mr Ooobop has firm plans to be sporting a 70s fitted shirt from this in the very near future. I’m a bit hesitant, only because I haven’t attempted one yet. But hey…. if it goes wrong I will have a good few metres to spare!

Laura Ashley 1970s linen

Laura Ashley 1970s linen-like fabric. 100% cotton. 7 metres £10!

I have a thing about turquoise. Maybe its because it is my birthstone. Maybe because it simply is an amazing eye catching colour. Not sure if this is vintage fabric or not but the print will lend itself nicely to a vintage shift dress of some description I’m sure.

Turquoise black and grey cotton print.

Turquoise black and grey cotton print.

And finally…. if I haven’t yet bored the pants off of you. My piece de resistance!!!! I love this retro shoe print. Turquoise background colour an’ all! This is firmly earmarked as a 1950s dress with a shirt buttoned top.

retro shoe cotton print fabric

retro shoe cotton print fabric

The downside to having such a stash is that however big it is, am I compromising the intended garment by limiting my choices of material? Sometimes the dress screams a certain fabric and although I would like nothing more than to cherry pick the exact colour and fabric in mind from my local ‘heavenly strip of fabric shops’, I feel a duty to employ my precious finds.

I decided that I had to use 2 charity shop finds before I purchased any more new fabric. But that didn’t really work this week. I got a bit excited at allowing myself a legitimate shopping trip and I bought 5 lots of new fabric.

Best I get sewing!